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Communalism is better then communism

What is
Communalism? The Democratic
Dimension of
Anarchism Murray Bookchin Seldom have socially important words become more confused and divested of their historic meaning than they are at present. Two centuries ago, it is often forgotten, “democracy” was deprecated by monarchists and republicans alike as “mob rule.” Today, democracy is hailed as “representative democracy,” an oxymoron that refers to little more than a republican oligarchy of the chosen few who ostensibly speak for the powerless many. “Communism,” for its part, once referred to a cooperative society that would be based morally on mutual respect and on an economy in which each contributed to the social labor fund according to his or her ability and received the means of life according to his or her needs. Today, “communism” is associated with the Stalinist gulag and wholly rejected as totalitarian. Its cousin, “socialism” — which once denoted a politically free society based on various forms of collectivism and equitable material returns for labor — is currently interchangeable with a somewhat humanistic bourgeois liberalism. During the 1980s and 1990s, as the entire social and political spectrum has shifted ideologically to the right, “anarchism” itself has not been immune to redefinition. In the Anglo-American sphere, anarchism is being divested of its social ideal by an emphasis on personal autonomy, an emphasis that is draining it of its historic vitality. A Stirnerite individualism — marked by an advocacy of lifestyle changes, the cultivation of behavioral idiosyncrasies and even an embrace of outright mysticism — has become increasingly prominent. This personalistic “lifestyle anarchism” is steadily eroding the socialistic core of anarchist concepts of freedom. Let me stress that in the British and American social tradition, autonomy and freedom are not equivalent terms. By insisting on the need to eliminate personal domination, autonomy focuses on the individual as the formative component and locus of society. By contrast, freedom, despite its looser usages, denotes the absence of domination in society, of which the individual is part. This contrast becomes very important when individualist anarchists equate collectivism as such with the tyranny of the community over its members. Today, if an anarchist theorist like L. Susan Brown can assert that “a group is a collection of individuals, no more and no less,” rooting anarchism in the abstract individual, we have reason to be concerned. Not that this view is entirely new to anarchism; various anarchist historians have described it as implicit in the libertarian outlook. Thus the individual appears ab novo, endowed with natural rights and bereft of roots in society or historical development.[1] But whence does this “autonomous” individual derive? What is the basis for its “natural rights,” beyond a priori premises and hazy intuitions? What role does historical development play in its formation? What social premises give birth to it, sustain it, indeed nourish it? How can a “collection of individuals” institutionalize itself such as to give rise to something more than an autonomy that consists merely in refusing to impair the “liberties” of others — or “negative liberty,” as Isaiah Berlin called it in contradistinction to “positive liberty,” which is substantive freedom, in our case constructed along socialistic lines? In the history of ideas, “autonomy,” referring to strictly
personal “self-rule,” found its ancient apogee in the imperial Roman cult of libertas. During the rule of the Julian-Claudian Caesars, the Roman citizen enjoyed a great deal of autonomy to indulge his own desires — and lusts — without reproval from any authority, provided that he did not interfere with the business and the needs of the state. In the more theoretically developed liberal tradition of John Locke and John Stuart Mill, autonomy acquired a more expansive sense that was opposed ideologically to excessive state authority. During the nineteenth century, if there was any single subject that gained the interest of classical liberals, it was political economy, which they often conceived not only as the study of goods and services, but also as a system of morality. Indeed, liberal thought generally reduced the social to the economic. Excessive state authority was opposed in favor of a presumed economic autonomy. Ironically, liberals often invoked the word freedom, in the sense of “autonomy,” as they do to the present day.[2] Despite their assertions of autonomy and distrust of state authority, however, these classical liberal thinkers did not in the last instance hold to the notion that the individual is completely free from lawful guidance. Indeed, their interpretation of autonomy actually presupposed quite definite arrangements beyond the individual — notably, the laws of the marketplace. Individual autonomy to the contrary, these laws constitute a social organizing system in which all “collections of individuals” are held under the sway of the famous “invisible hand” of competition. Paradoxically, the laws of the marketplace override the exercise of “free will” by the same sovereign individuals who otherwise constitute the “collection of individuals.” No rationally formed society can exist without institutions, and if a society as a “collection of individuals, no more and no less,” were ever to emerge, it would simply dissolve. Such a dissolution, to be sure, would never happen in reality. The liberals, nonetheless, can cling to the notion of a “free market” and “free competition” guided by the “inexorable laws” of political economy. Alternatively, freedom, a word that shares etymological roots with the German Freiheit (for which there is no equivalent in Romance languages), takes its point of departure not from the individual but from the community or, more broadly, from society. In the last century and early in the present one, as the great socialist theorists further sophisticated ideas of freedom, the individual and his or her development were consciously intertwined with social evolution — specifically, the institutions that distinguish society from mere animal aggregations. What made their focus uniquely ethical was the fact that as social revolutionaries they asked the key question — What constitutes a rational society? — a question that abolishes the centrality of economics in a free society. Where liberal thought generally
reduced the social to the economic, various socialisms (apart from Marxism), among which Kropotkin denoted anarchism the “left wing,” dissolved the economic into the social.[3] In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as Enlightenment thought and its derivatives brought the idea of the mutability of institutions to the foreground of social thought, the individual, too, came to be seen as mutable. To the socialistic thinkers of the period, a “collection” was a totally alien way of denoting society; they properly considered individual freedom to be congruent with social freedom, and very significantly, they defined freedom as such as an evolving, as well as a unifying, concept. In short, both society and the individual were historicized in the best sense of this term: as an ever-developing, self- generative and creative process in which each existed within and through the other. Hopefully, this historicization would be accompanied by ever- expanding new rights and duties. The slogan of the First International, in fact, was the demand, “No rights without duties, no duties without rights” — a demand that later appeared on the mastheads of anarchosyndicalist periodicals in Spain and elsewhere well into the present century. Thus, for classical socialist thinkers, to conceive of the individual without society was as meaningless as to conceive of society without individuals. They sought to realize both in rational institutional frameworks that fostered the greatest degree of free expression in every aspect of social life. II Individualism, as conceived by classical liberalism, rested on a fiction to begin with. Its very presupposition of a social “lawfulness” maintained by marketplace competition was far removed from its myth of the totally sovereign, “autonomous” individual. With even fewer presuppositions to support itself, the woefully undertheorized work of Max Stirner shared a similar disjunction: the ideological disjunction between the ego and society. The pivotal issue that reveals this disjunction — indeed, this contradiction — is the question of democracy. By democracy, of course, I do not mean “representative government” in any form, but rather face-to- face democracy. With regard to its origins in classical Athens, democracy as I use it is the idea of the direct management of the polis by its citizenry in popular assemblies — which is not to downplay the fact that Athenian democracy was scarred by patriarchy, slavery, class rule and the restriction of citizenship to males of putative Athenian birth. What I am referring to is an evolving tradition of institutional structures, not a social “model.”[4] Democracy generically defined, then, is the direct management of society in face-to-face assemblies — in which policy is formulated by the resident citizenry and administration is executed by mandated and delegated councils. Libertarians commonly consider democracy, even in this sense, as a form of “rule” — since in making decisions, a majority view prevails and thus “rules” over a minority. As such, democracy is said to be inconsistent with a truly libertarian ideal. Even so knowledgeable a historian of anarchism as Peter Marshall observes that, for anarchists, “the majority has no more right to dictate to the minority, even a minority of one, than the minority to the majority.”[5] Scores of libertarians have echoed this idea time and again. What is striking about assertions like Marshall’s is their highly pejorative language. Majorities, it would seem, neither “decide” nor “debate”: rather, they “rule,” “dictate,” “command,” “coerce” and the like. In a free society that not only permitted but fostered the fullest degree of dissent, whose podiums at assemblies and whose media were open to the fullest expression of all views, whose institutions were truly forums for discussion — one may reasonably ask whether such a society would actually “dictate” to anyone when it had to arrive at a decision that concerned the public welfare. How, then, would society make dynamic collective decisions about public affairs, aside from mere individual contracts? The only collective alternative to majority voting as a means of decision-making that is commonly presented is the practice of consensus. Indeed, consensus has even been mystified by avowed “anarcho- primitivists,” who consider Ice Age and contemporary “primitive” or “primal” peoples to constitute the apogee of human social and psychic attainment. I do not deny that consensus may be an appropriate form of decision- making in small groups of people who are thoroughly familiar with one another. But to examine consensus in practical terms, my own experience has shown me that when larger groups try to make decisions by consensus, it usually obliges them to arrive at
the lowest common intellectual denominator in their decision- making: the least controversial or even the most mediocre decision that a sizable assembly of people can attain is adopted — precisely because everyone must agree with it or else withdraw from voting on that issue. More disturbingly, I have found that it permits an insidious authoritarianism and gross manipulations — even when used in the name of autonomy or freedom. To take a very striking case in point: the largest consensus- based movement (involving thousands of participants) in recent memory in the United States was the Clamshell Alliance, which was formed to oppose the Seabrook nuclear reactor in the mid-1970s in New Hampshire. In her recent study of the movement, Barbara Epstein has called the Clamshell the “first effort in American history to base a mass movement on nonviolent direct action” other than the 1960s civil rights movement. As a result of its apparent organizational success, many other regional alliances against nuclear reactors were formed throughout the United States. I can personally attest to the fact that within the Clamshell Alliance, consensus was fostered by often cynical Quakers and by members of a dubiously “anarchic” commune that was located in Montague, Massachusetts. This small, tightly knit faction, unified by its own hidden agendas, was able to manipulate many Clamshell members into subordinating their goodwill and idealism to those opportunistic agendas. The de facto leaders of the Clamshell overrode the rights and ideals of the innumerable individuals who entered it and undermined their morale and will. In order for that clique to create full consensus on a decision, minority dissenters were often subtly urged or psychologically coerced to decline to vote on a troubling issue, inasmuch as their dissent would essentially amount to a one-person veto. This practice, called “standing aside” in American consensus processes, all too often involved intimidation of the dissenters, to the point that they completely withdrew from the decision-making process, rather than make an honorable and continuing expression of their dissent by voting, even as a minority, in accordance with their views. Having withdrawn, they ceased to be political beings — so that a “decision” could be made. More than one “decision” in the Clamshell Alliance was made by pressuring dissenters into silence, and through a chain of such intimidations, “consensus”
was ultimately achieved only after dissenting members nullified themselves as participants in the process. On a more theoretical level, consensus silenced that most vital aspect of all dialogue, dissensus. The ongoing dissent, the passionate dialogue that still persists even after a minority accedes temporarily to a majority decision, was replaced in the Clamshell by dull monologues — and the uncontroverted and deadening tone of consensus. In majority decision-making, the defeated minority can resolve to overturn a decision on which they have been defeated — they are free to openly and persistently articulate reasoned and potentially persuasive disagreements. Consensus, for its part, honors no minorities, but mutes them in favor of the metaphysical “one” of the “consensus” group. The creative role of dissent, valuable as an ongoing democratic phenomenon, tends
to fade away in the gray uniformity required by consensus. Any libertarian body
of ideas that seeks to dissolve hierarchy, classes, domination and exploitation by allowing even Marshall’s “minority of one” to block decision-making by the majority of a community, indeed, of regional and nationwide confederations,
would essentially mutate into a Rousseauean “general will” with a nightmare world of intellectual and psychic conformity. In more gripping times, it could easily “force people to be free,” as Rousseau put it — and as the Jacobins practiced it in 1793-94. The de facto leaders of the Clamshell were able to get away
with their behavior precisely because the Clamshell was not sufficiently organized and democratically structured, such that it could countervail the manipulation of a well- organized few. The de facto leaders were subject to few structures of accountability for their actions. The ease with which they cannily used consensus decision-making for their own ends has been only partly told,[6] but consensus practices finally shipwrecked this large and exciting organization with its Rousseauean “republic of virtue.” It was also ruined, I may add, by an organizational laxity that permitted mere passersby to participate in decision-making, thereby destructuring the organization to the point of invertebracy. It was for good reason that I and many young anarchists from Vermont who had actively participated in the Alliance for some few years came to view consensus as anathema. If consensus could be achieved without compulsion of dissenters, a process that is feasible in small groups, who could possibly oppose it as a decision-making process? But to reduce a libertarian ideal to the unconditional right of a minority — let alone a “minority of one” — to abort a decision by a “collection of individuals” is to stifle the dialectic of ideas that thrives on
opposition, confrontation and, yes, decisions with which everyone need not agree and should not agree, lest society become an ideological cemetery. Which is not to deny dissenters every opportunity to reverse majority decisions by unimpaired discussion and advocacy. III I have dwelled on consensus at some length because it constitutes the usual individualistic alternative to democracy, so commonly counterposed as “no rule” — or a free-floating form of personal autonomy — against majority “rule.” Inasmuch as libertarian ideas in the United States and Britain are increasingly drifting toward affirmations of personal
autonomy, the chasm between individualism and antistatist collectivism is becoming unbridgeable, in my view. A personalistic anarchism has taken deep root among young people today. Moreover, they increasingly use the word “anarchy” to express not only a personalistic stance but also an antirational, mystical, antitechnological and anticivilizational body of views that makes it impossible for anarchists who anchor their ideas in socialism to apply the word “anarchist” to themselves without a qualifying adjective. Howard Ehrlich, one of our ablest and most concerned American comrades, uses the phrase “social anarchism” as the title of his magazine, apparently to distinguish his views from an anarchism that is ideologically anchored in liberalism and possibly worse. I would like to suggest that far more than a qualifying adjective is needed if we are to elaborate our notion of freedom more expansively. It would be unfortunate indeed if libertarians today had to literally explain that they believe in a society, not a mere collection of individuals! A century ago, this belief was presupposed; today, so much has been stripped away from the collectivistic flesh of classical anarchism that it is on the verge of becoming a personal life-stage for adolescents and a fad for their middle-aged mentors, a route to “self-realization” and the seemingly “radical” equivalent of encounter groups. Today, there must be a place on the political spectrum where a body of anti-authoritarian thought that advances humanity’s bitter struggle to arrive at the realization of its authentic social life — the famous “Commune of communes” — can be clearly articulated institutionally as well as ideologically. There must be a means by which socially concerned anti- authoritarians can develop a program and a practice for attempting to change the world, not merely their psyches.
There must be an arena of struggle that can mobilize people, help them to educate themselves and develop an anti-authoritarian politics, to use this word in its classical meaning, indeed that pits a new public sphere against the state and capitalism. In short, we must recover not only the socialist dimension of anarchism but its political dimension: democracy. Bereft of its democratic dimension and its communal or municipal public sphere, anarchism may indeed denote little more than a “collection of individuals, no more and no less.” Even anarcho-communism,
although it is by far the most preferable of adjectival modifications of the libertarian ideal, nonetheless retains a structural vagueness that tells us nothing about the institutions necessary to expedite a communistic distribution of goods. It spells out a broad goal, a desideratum — one, alas, terribly tarnished by the association of “communism” with Bolshevism and the state — but its public sphere and forms of institutional association remain unclear at best and susceptible to a totalitarian onus at worst. I wish to propose that the democratic and potentially practicable dimension of the libertarian goal be expressed as Communalism, a term that, unlike political terms that once stood unequivocally for radical social change, has not been historically sullied by abuse. Even ordinary dictionary definitions of Communalism, I submit, capture to a great degree the vision of a “Commune of communes” that is being lost by current Anglo- American trends that celebrate anarchy variously as “chaos,” as a mystical “oneness” with “nature,” as self-fulfillment or as “ecstasy,” but above all as personalistic.[7] Communalism is defined as “a theory or system of government [sic!] in which virtually autonomous [sic!] local communities are loosely in a federation.”[8] No English dictionary is very sophisticated politically. This use of the terms “government” and “autonomous” does not commit us to an acceptance of the state and parochialism, let alone individualism. Further, federation is often synonymous with confederation, the term I regard as more consistent with the libertarian tradition. What is remarkable about this (as yet) unsullied term is its extraordinary proximity to libertarian municipalism, the political dimension of social ecology that I have advanced at
length elsewhere. In Communalism, libertarians have an available word that they can enrich as much by experience as by theory. Most significantly, the word can express not only what we are against, but also what we are for, namely the democratic dimension of libertarian thought and a libertarian form of society. It is a word that is meant for a practice that can tear down the ghetto walls that are increasingly imprisoning anarchism in cultural exotica and psychological introversion. It stands in explicit opposition to the suffocating individualism
that sits so comfortably side-by-
side with bourgeois self- centeredness and a moral relativism that renders any social action irrelevant, indeed, institutionally meaningless. Anarchism is on the retreat today. If we fail to elaborate the
democratic dimension of anarchism, we will miss the opportunity not only to form a vital movement, but to prepare people for a revolutionary social praxis in the future. Alas, we are witnessing the appalling desiccation of a great tradition, such that neo-Situationists, nihilists, primitivists, antirationalists,
anticivilizationists and avowed “chaotics” are closeting themselves in their egos, reducing anything resembling public political activity to juvenile antics. None of which is to deny the importance of a libertarian culture, one that is aesthetic, playful and broadly imaginative. The anarchists of the last century and part of the present one justifiably took pride in the fact that many innovative artists, particularly painters and novelists, aligned themselves with anarchic views of reality and morality. But behavior that verges on a mystification of criminality, asociality, intellectual incoherence, anti- intellectualism and disorder for its own sake is simply lumpen. It feeds on the dregs of capitalism itself. However much such behavior invokes the “rights” of the ego as it dissolves the political into the personal or inflates the personal into a transcendental category, it is a priori in the sense that has no origins outside the mind to even potentially support it. As Bakunin and Kropotkin argued repeatedly, individuality has never existed apart from society
and the individual’s own evolution has been coextensive with social evolution. To speak of “The Individual” apart from its social roots and social involvements is as meaningless as to speak of a society that contains no people or institutions. Merely to exist, institutions must have form, as I argued some thirty years ago in my essay “The Forms of Freedom,” lest freedom itself — individual as well as social — lose its definability. Institutions must be rendered functional, not abstracted into Kantian categories that float in a rarefied academic air. They must have the tangibility of structure, however offensive a term like structure may be to individualist libertarians: concretely, they must have the means, policies and experimental praxis to arrive at decisions. Unless everyone is to be so psychologically homogeneous and society’s interests so uniform in character that dissent is simply meaningless, there must be room for conflicting proposals, discussion, rational explication and majority decisions — in short, democracy. Like it or not, such a democracy, if it is libertarian, will be Communalist and institutionalized in such a way that it is face-to-face, direct and grassroots, a democracy that advances our ideas beyond negative liberty to positive liberty. A Communalist democracy would oblige us to develop a public sphere — and in the Athenian meaning of the term, a politics — that grows in tension and ultimately in a decisive conflict with the state. Confederal, antihierarchical and collectivist, based on the municipal management of the means of life rather than their control by vested interests (such as workers’ control, private control and, more dangerously, state control), it may justly be regarded as the processual actualization of the libertarian ideal as a daily praxis.[9] The fact that a Communalist politics entails participation in municipal elections — based, to be sure, on an unyielding program that demands the formation of popular assemblies and their confederation — does not mean
that entry into existing village, town and city councils involves participation in state organs, any more than establishing an anarchosyndicalist union in a privately owned factory involves participation in capitalist forms of production. One need only turn to the French Revolution of 1789-94 to see how seemingly state institutions, like the municipal “districts” established under the
monarchy in 1789 to expedite elections to the Estates General,
were transformed four years later into largely revolutionary bodies, or “sections,” that nearly gave rise to the “Commune of communes.” Their movement for a sectional democracy was defeated during the insurrection of June 2, 1793 — not at the hands of the monarchy, but by the treachery of the Jacobins. Capitalism will not generously provide us the popular democratic institutions we need. Its control over society today is ubiquitous, not only in what little remains of the public
sphere but in the minds of many self-styled radicals. A revolutionary people must either assert their control over institutions that are basic to their public lives — which Bakunin correctly perceived to be their municipal councils — or else they will have no choice but to withdraw into their private lives, as is already happening on an epidemic scale today.[10] It would be ironic indeed if an individualist anarchism and its various mutations, from the academic and transcendentally moral to the chaotic and the lumpen, in the course of rejecting democracy even for “a minority of one,” were to further raise the walls of dogma that are steadily growing around the libertarian ideal, and if, wittingly or not, anarchism were to turn into another narcissistic cult that snugly fits into an alienated, commodified, introverted and egocentric society. — September 18, 1994


State capitalism aka china

With a series of reforms that began in 1978, China discarded its staunchly Communist economy. These reforms allowed for the privatization of certain areas of the Chinese economy, and for
China to enter into the Western world. China’s move away from Communism proved to be of
considerable foresight, as the USSR and Eastern bloc nations collapsed under similar economic
modalities a mere decade later. However, despite more than 30 years passing since economic reform began, the West’s
acceptance, and predictions that China will become the number one economy by 2016, the Middle
Kingdom has not emerged as a kind of democratic, free-market nation. Rather, China’s economic
and political position is a complex, translucent combination of absolute state power, repressions
of speech and thought, propaganda, and private enterprise. Tendencies to brand this nationalistic,
quasi-state run system as a kind of socialism are inaccurate; rather, China would be more properly classified as a modern model of a historic, twentieth-century Fascist economy. The Fascist “Third Way” Concerning the original Italian movement under Benito Mussolini, the Fascist economy in the twentieth century was a system that placed utmost importance on the state as an organic
institution. The Fascists decried both Capitalism and Communism as economic systems that placed
other interests above the needs of the state; Capitalism was unhealthy for the state because of its
focus on the individual, and Communism unhealthy for its priorities with the working classes.
Mussolini and other Fascist theorists rejected both systems and instituted what they labelled a
“third way.” Although mainly focused on the militarization of Italy, forcing propaganda upon the public, and
the obsessive attempts to define “Italianism,” Fascism did claim to possess a coherent economic system. Mussolini, at least in his co-authored Doctrine of Fascism, purported that “the Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others . . .” Mussolini supported
“Corporatism,” which was a system defined by small-but-powerful groups resembling medieval
guilds of industry. These government-controlled groups were to regularly meet and make
industrial decisions in accordance with the state’s domestic and international interests. This
system of guild-like entities was to create a utopian harmony between classes in Italy—
industrialists and the workers—that were commonly hostile. Corporatism’s applicability was simpler in theory than in reality. Defining the state’s interests was
difficult because Fascist membership—at least prior to the Pact of Steel with Nazi Germany— included Italians from all economic, political, and cultural spectrums: be they industrialists,
socialists, Catholics, atheists, Futurists, and so on. Although Mussolini was dictator—the self-
proclaimed Duce—his position did not exempt him from compromise, lest he jeopardize that position and become estranged from large sections of the Fascist intelligentsia. Ever the ambitious opportunist, in his rise to power Mussolini routinely readjusted his position on a
host of issues in order to garner widespread support. Once a revolutionary and international
socialist, he quickly went through a self-metamorphosis and became a staunch enforcer of the
industrial status quo. Once a philosophical pacifist who possessed an admiration for other cultures,
he later became a brutish and xenophobic warmonger. Once a virulent anti-Catholic atheist who
wrote on the historic atrocities conducted by the Church, he later created granted the Catholic church its own Vatican State. A fair portion of Fascism’s political and economic murkiness can be attributed to Mussolini’s personal comprises and ambition for power. Fascist China Despite Fascism’s
complexities, there are a
few factors which, when
combined, make the
Fascist economy stand out
from other models. In Fascism, one finds the
existence private business.
This does not make
Fascism unique per se, but
it is a requisite not found
in the Maoist regime. The second is that the
government must direct
the actions of the private
sector and larger
organizations. A close look
at some of the largest corporations in China will show that they are state run. At first glance, this could very well be mistaken for a kind of Socialism. However, one cannot
label China a Socialist nation in that Socialism concerns itself with the rights and wellbeing of the
working classes. China betrays Socialism in that regard; the quality of life among China’s working
class is poor, given the long hours, low wages, low air quality, and numerous incidents involving hazardous materials finding their way into food and health products. The Chinese working classes do not have the freedom to complain, for much like Fascist Italy,
China routinely quashes political dissent. Chinese secret police are able to make arrests for
criticizing the government: a mere mention of sensitive subjects as Tiananmen Square, Tibetan or
Taiwanese independence can mean jail. However, this kind of imposed subservience to the nation
does not fall solely upon the workers. As stated, a Fascist economy demands obedience from all
classes—both elite and poor. Recently, the High Court of China found China Mobile executive Shi Wanzhong guilty of accepting a bribe from Siemens, an international company. China decided on
the death penalty. There is to be no dissent in modern China. Although it has reformed its Maoist economy, China’s government remains exuberant in its
economic practices. Whatever Mao’s vision may have been for instituting communism in China in
the past, the modern regime is now concerned with economic prowess and regional—if not global—
superiority. To achieve these goals, the regime has been resolute in crushing dissent, both in the
political and economic arenas. These desires and actions present a striking resemblance to the
Fascist movement in Italy under Benito Mussolini. Much as the Fascist Party stood alone in Italy to do as it pleased, one must remember that in China
there is only its Communist Party. Perhaps most alarming about China is its ethnic policy, which
promotes the marginalization of the Tibetan and Falun Gong peoples. While this may not have
been a central tenet in early Fascism, Mussolini certainly developed a racial doctrine after his pact
with Hitler and Nazi Germany. In many ways, China is the Fascist regime that had never lost World
War II: the regime that never committed war crimes in Ethiopia and drew the ire of the West, the regime that was allowed to continue its militant march towards achieving state absolutism.

China is the phony communist…. What disgusting cows

Seeing saw Chairman Mao one time in Beijing. Or at least I thought it was Chairman Mao. I was only able to glance at him for five short seconds before a somber faced security guard prodded myself and hundreds of other people out of the Chairman Mao Mausoleum and back onto Tiananmen Square. Yes, Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China still takes up residence in Beijing. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world throw flowers at his casket every year; they crane their necks as I did to get a glimpse of China’s ‘great’ leader. While Mao’s body has been amazingly preserved since his death in 1976, it seems that his spirit has not survived the test of time. He may lie in eternal peace inside his Mausoleum but the world around him has changed considerably; China is no longer the gray and drab country that it was during Mao’s time. It is now a place where people can dream and then go out and make that dream come true. It is not like the old days. People other than just high government officials can drive cars. Chinese people can do business and store up wealth for themselves. Peasants can go to the university now; finding food to eat is no longer such a grave concern. Just around the corner from where Chairman Mao lies in State, the American restaurant chain McDonald’s is full of Chinese people enjoying greasy food and a cool environment. Inside homes, people can watch Western movies on DVD and even occasionally on state owned television. The world is just a mouse click away for the millions of Chinese people who have access to the Internet. Friends and family are no longer afraid of discussing politics with each other. It is even acceptable to criticize the government behind closed doors. All this is happening as Chairman Mao sleeps peacefully at Tiananmen Square. If only he knew. I recently asked my Chinese friends how they thought Chairman Mao would react if he was suddenly brought back to life in the 21st century. “Not happy” and “Disappointed” were the most common answers that I received; I was not surprised by such responses. After all, it is difficult to find very many reasons to label China as communist these days. The ruling party in China still calls itself communist. The international media still likes to refer to China as a communist giant. But where is communism still manifested in China today? Where are the basic Communist values of sharing and equality evident in Chinese society now? They cannot be found. Quite simply, China is no longer a communist country. If we are looking for evidence of communism in China, the first and most important place to look is at the economy. The economy in China is now decidedly capitalistic in nature. Average Chinese citizens can start their own businesses and put their income into private bank accounts. Chinese citizens can buy stocks in companies and enjoy the revenues or suffer the losses. As of just a few years ago, private property rights have been greatly enhanced in China, and Chinese people can now be more secure that their land will not be taken away from them. Let us not forget about the heavy international investment that has been permitted in China which has played a major role in fueling this developing and booming economy. As a result, there are very rich people and very poor people in China as well as an emerging middle class. Chinese citizens, who always carried a good sense for business but were restricted from entrepreneurship in the past have now been more free to take risks and build successful companies. Thus capitalism has transformed the Chinese economy and changed people’s lives forever. Does the Chinese government still maintain strict control of the economy in China? Absolutely. Is there a free market in China in the true sense of the word? Of course not. But where is there truly a free market in the world? Does one exist? Can someone show me a country where the government is not heavily invovled in its nation’s economy? The CCP’s control on China’s economy may be unusually tight but it has been weakening very slowly over the past 30 years. People often ask me about human rights when we are discussing whether or not China is still communist.
There is undoubtedly still a major problem with human rights in China. Citizens are still beaten by the police when they are arrested. Christians are still persecuted for worshipping in unregistered churches. Women are still being forced to have abortions if they are discovered to be pregnant with a second “illegal” child. But even the issue of human rights really has little to do with China’s status as a communist country. There are many other countries in the world, such as Sudan and Zimbabwe, for example, that are also guilty of human right atrocities which we do not label as communist. What about Hitler and Mussolini? They murdered their own people but yet their systems of government were labeled differently. Human rights violations do not just belong to communism; they transcend all political parties and systems. They can happen anywhere. If there is one place in China where we can still see some elements of the old communist system still at work, perhaps it is in the structure of the Chinese Communist Party itself which has not changed drastically since Mao’s time. But the CPC has changed greatly in terms of its ideology since Chairman Mao left the helm. Following the death of Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping sought to restructure the Communist Party and move towards what he called “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.” Since then, it appears that the CPC has more or less rejected the fierce Marxism that fueled early Chinese communism instead choosing to take a more socialistic approach to the obstacles that confront the country. While the Chinese people still have little say in what goes on in their government, the Chairman of China is no longer such a cult personality as before and these days the burden of policy making is being shared by more and more people in the government. There is still one party rule in China but the power is no longer so concentrated in one man’s hand. If China is no longer communist, then how can it be labeled? “China is now a socialist country,” some Chinese students explained to me while we were discussing world political systems recently. They told me how these days, for a mere 15 (just over 2 USD) RMB per year, some form of limited health insurance is available to almost every Chinese citizen. Senior citizens who are unable to fully support themselves can apply for some financial help from the government. There are also a number of programs available to help underprivileged students go to the university. “Our government helps the poor much more now,” they tell me. ”It is much easier to get help now.” Most of the Chinese people I talk with agree with this sentiment although many still prefer the communist label. Two questions thus remain. First, if China is no longer a communist country, then why does the Communist Party still hold on to its name? Second, why does the world still insist on labeling China as a communist country if it has moved so far towards a quasi-socialist system with capitalist characteristics? It is easy to arrive at an answer for the first question. Marxism may have disappeared from the Party ideology in China, but nationalism is as strong as ever in China. The mere mention of the Communist Party and all the great deeds it has done for China invokes pride and adoration in the average
Chinese person’s heart. In this way, Chairman Mao, while his ideals may have died with him, still lives on
as an icon which can excite the Chinese people and remind them how far they have come and far they can still go. Maintaining the communist label can also benefit the Chinese government in that it can compare itself to North Korea and Cuba. When the world complains about ‘communist’ China and all of its problems, the Chinese government can simply point to the two other communist governments and remind the world how far China has come. In this way, China can always be the world’s ‘favorite Communist country.’ The second question is not so easy to answer. However, there is no question that the United States government, for example, can benefit from still labeling the Chinese government as communist. The U.S. does view China as a threat and any future confrontation with the PRC will most assuredly be waged under the banner of ‘fighting communism.’ Human rights organizations are also prone
to label China as communist because it helps their cause. People in the West are and have always been afraid of communism and for good reason. Government and human rights organizations are more likely to garner support from the public if the name ‘communism’ is invoked in their rhetoric. Thus, I must agree with my friends and students. Chairman Mao would most likely be very unhappy with the state of current affairs in China if he were brought back to life. Instead of a nation of destitute and poor peasants struggling to find food, China is now a country featuring rich and poor people as well as success and failure. It is a nation that has tasted of the fruits of capitalism and yearns for more. There is little equality here but at least there is now room for social mobility. Everyday, I hear of great success stories; I hear of people who worked hard and made a comfortable life for themselves and their family. And as the world witnessed in the aftermath of the Sichan earthquake, those in China who do have more are willing to give to help their fellow citizens. This is how communism works best; when it comes from the heart.

Socialist and it’s ties to nazis

My purpose today is to make just two
main points: (1) To show why Nazi
Germany was a socialist state, not a
capitalist one. And (2) to show why
socialism, understood as an economic
system based on government ownership of the means of production, positively
requires a totalitarian dictatorship. The identification of Nazi Germany as a
socialist state was one of the many
great contributions of Ludwig von Mises. When one remembers that the word

“Nazi” was an abbreviation for “der Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiters Partei — in English translation: the National Socialist German Workers’ Party — Mises’s identification might not appear all that noteworthy. For what should one expect the economic system of a
country ruled by a party with “socialist” in its name to be but socialism? Nevertheless, apart from Mises and his readers, practically no one thinks of Nazi Germany as a socialist
state. It is far more common to believe that it represented a form of capitalism, which is what the
Communists and all other Marxists have claimed. The basis of the claim that Nazi Germany was capitalist was the fact that most industries in Nazi Germany
appeared to be left in private hands. What Mises identified was that private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German
government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be
charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners
would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced
essentially to that of government pensioners. De facto government ownership of the means of production, as Mises termed it, was logically implied by such fundamental collectivist principles embraced by the Nazis as that the common good comes before the private good and the individual exists as a means to the ends of the State. If the individual is a means to the
ends of the State, so too, of course, is his property. Just as he is owned by the State, his property is also
owned by the State. But what specifically established de facto socialism in Nazi Germany was the introduction of price and wage controls in 1936. These were imposed in response to the inflation of the money supply carried out by the
regime from the time of its coming to power in early 1933. The Nazi regime inflated the money supply as
the means of financing the vast increase in government spending required by its programs of public works,
subsidies, and rearmament. The price and wage controls were imposed in response to the rise in prices that
began to result from the inflation. The effect of the combination of inflation and price and wage controls is shortages, that is, a situation in which the quantities of goods people attempt to buy exceed the quantities available for sale. Shortages, in turn, result in economic chaos.

It’s not only that consumers who show up in stores early in the day are in a position to buy up all the stocks of goods and leave customers who arrive later, with nothing —
a situation to which governments typically respond by imposing rationing. Shortages result in chaos throughout the economic system. They introduce randomness in the distribution of supplies between geographical areas, in the allocation of a factor of production among its different products, in the allocation of labor and capital among the different branches of the economic system. In the face of the combination of price controls and shortages, the effect of a decrease in the supply of an
item is not, as it would be in a free market, to raise its price and increase its profitability, thereby
operating to stop the decrease in supply, or reverse it if it has gone too far. Price control prohibits the rise
in price and thus the increase in profitability. At the same time, the shortages caused by price controls
prevent increases in supply from reducing price and profitability. When there is a shortage, the effect of an
increase in supply is merely a reduction in the severity of the shortage. Only when the shortage is totally eliminated does an increase in supply necessitate a decrease in price and bring about a decrease in profitability.

As a result, the combination of price controls and shortages makes possible random movements of supply
without any effect on price and profitability. In this situation, the production of the most trivial and
unimportant goods, even pet rocks, can be expanded at the expense of the production of the most urgently
needed and important goods, such as life-saving medicines, with no effect on the price or profitability of
either good. Price controls would prevent the production of the medicines from becoming more profitable as
their supply decreased, while a shortage even of pet rocks prevented their production from becoming less profitable as their supply increased. As Mises showed, to cope with such unintended effects of its price controls, the government must either
abolish the price controls or add further measures, namely, precisely the control over what is produced, in
what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it is distributed, which I referred to earlier. The combination
of price controls with this further set of controls constitutes the de facto socialization of the economic system. For it means that the government then exercises all of the substantive powers of ownership. This was the socialism instituted by the Nazis. And Mises calls it socialism on the German or Nazi pattern, in contrast to the more obvious socialism of the Soviets, which he calls socialism on the Russian or Bolshevik
pattern. Of course, socialism does not end the chaos caused by the destruction of the price system. It perpetuates it.

And if it is introduced without the prior existence of price controls, its effect is to inaugurate that very
chaos. This is because socialism is not actually a positive economic system. It is merely the negation of
capitalism and its price system. As such, the essential nature of socialism is one and the same as the
economic chaos resulting from the destruction of the price system by price and wage controls. (I want to
point out that Bolshevik-style socialism’s imposition of a system of production quotas, with incentives everywhere to exceed the quotas, is a sure formula for universal shortages, just as exist under all around
price and wage controls.) At most, socialism merely changes the direction of the chaos. The government’s control over production may
make possible a greater production of some goods of special importance to itself, but it does so only at the
expense of wreaking havoc throughout the rest of the economic system.

This is because the government has
no way of knowing the effects on the rest of the economic system of its securing the production of the goods
to which it attaches special importance. The requirements of enforcing a system of price and wage controls shed major light on the totalitarian nature of socialism — most obviously, of course, on that of the German or Nazi variant of socialism, but also
on that of Soviet-style socialism as well. We can start with the fact that the financial self-interest of sellers operating under price controls is to evade
the price controls and raise their prices. Buyers otherwise unable to obtain goods are willing, indeed, eager
to pay these higher prices as the means of securing the goods they want. In these circumstances, what is to
stop prices from rising and a massive black market from developing? The answer is a combination of severe penalties combined with a great likelihood of being caught and then actually suffering those penalties. Mere fines are not likely to provide much of a deterrent. They will be regarded simply as an additional business expense. If the government is serious about its price controls, it is necessary for it to impose penalties comparable to those for a major felony. But the mere existence of such penalties is not enough.

The government has to make it actually dangerous to conduct black-market transactions. It has to make people fear that in conducting such a transaction they
might somehow be discovered by the police, and actually end up in jail. In order to create such fear, the
government must develop an army of spies and secret informers. For example, the government must make a
storekeeper and his customer fearful that if they engage in a black-market transaction, some other
customer in the store will report them. Because of the privacy and secrecy in which many black-market transactions can be conducted, the
government must also make anyone contemplating a black-market transaction fearful that the other party
might turn out to be a police agent trying to entrap him. The government must make people fearful even of
their long-time associates, even of their friends and relatives, lest even they turn out to be informers. And, finally, in order to obtain convictions, the government must place the decision about innocence or guilt in the case of black-market transactions in the hands of an administrative tribunal or its police agents on the
spot. It cannot rely on jury trials, because it is unlikely that many juries can be found willing to bring in
guilty verdicts in cases in which a man might have to go to jail for several years for the crime of selling a
few pounds of meat or a pair of shoes above the ceiling price. In sum, therefore, the requirements merely of enforcing price-control regulations is the adoption of
essential features of a totalitarian state, namely, the establishment of the category of “economic crimes,” in
which the peaceful pursuit of material self-interest is treated as a criminal offense, and the establishment
of a totalitarian police apparatus replete with spies and informers and the power of arbitrary arrest and
imprisonment. Clearly, the enforcement of price controls requires a government similar to that of Hitler’s Germany or
Stalin’s Russia, in which practically anyone might turn out to be a police spy and in which a secret police
exists and has the power to arrest and imprison people. If the government is unwilling to go to such lengths,
then, to that extent, its price controls prove unenforceable and simply break down. The black market then
assumes major proportions. (Incidentally, none of this is to suggest that price controls were the cause of the
reign of terror instituted by the Nazis. The Nazis began their reign of terror well before the enactment of price controls.

As a result, they enacted price controls in an environment ready made for their enforcement.) Black market activity entails the commission of further crimes. Under de facto socialism, the production and
sale of goods in the black market entails the defiance of the government’s regulations concerning production
and distribution, as well as the defiance of its price controls. For example, the goods themselves that are
sold in the black market are intended by the government to be distributed in accordance with its plan, and
not in the black market. The factors of production used to produce those goods are likewise intended by the
government to be used in accordance with its plan, and not for the purpose of supplying the black market. Under a system of de jure socialism, such as existed in Soviet Russia, in which the legal code of the country
openly and explicitly makes the government the owner of the means of production, all black-market activity
necessarily entails the misappropriation or theft of state property. For example, the factory workers or
managers in Soviet Russia who turned out products that they sold in the black market were considered as
stealing the raw materials supplied by the state. Furthermore, in any type of socialist state, Nazi or Communist, the government’s economic plan is part of
the supreme law of the land. We all have a good idea of how chaotic the so-called planning process of
socialism is. Its further disruption by workers and managers siphoning off materials and supplies to produce
for the black market, is something which a socialist state is logically entitled to regard as an act of sabotage
of its national economic plan. And sabotage is how the legal code of a socialist state does regard it. Consistent with this fact, black-market activity in a socialist country often carries the death penalty. Now I think that a fundamental fact that explains the all-round reign of terror found under socialism is the
incredible dilemma in which a socialist state places itself in relation to the masses of its citizens. On the one
hand, it assumes full responsibility for the individual’s economic well-being. Russian or Bolshevik-style
socialism openly avows this responsibility — this is the main source of its popular appeal.

On the other hand, in all of the ways one can imagine, a socialist state makes an unbelievable botch of the job. It makes the individual’s life a nightmare. Every day of his life, the citizen of a socialist state must spend time in endless waiting lines. For him, the problems Americans experienced in the gasoline shortages of the 1970s are normal; only he does not experience them in relation to gasoline — for he does not own a car and has no hope of ever owning one —
but in relation to simple items of clothing, to vegetables, even to bread. Even worse he is frequently forced
to work at a job that is not of his choice and which he therefore must certainly hate. (For under shortages,
the government comes to decide the allocation of labor just as it does the allocation of the material factors of production.) And he lives in a condition of unbelievable overcrowding, with hardly ever a chance for
privacy. (In the face of housing shortages, boarders are assigned to homes; families are compelled to share
apartments. And a system of internal passports and visas is adopted to limit the severity of housing shortages
in the more desirable areas of the country.) To put it mildly, a person forced to live in such conditions must
seethe with resentment and hostility.

Now against whom would it be more logical for the citizens of a socialist state to direct their resentment
and hostility than against that very socialist state itself? The same socialist state which has proclaimed its
responsibility for their life, has promised them a life of bliss, and which in fact is responsible for giving them a life of hell. Indeed, the leaders of a socialist state live in a further dilemma, in that they daily encourage the people to believe that socialism is a perfect system whose bad results can only be the work of
evil men. If that were true, who in reason could those evil men be but the rulers themselves, who have not only made life a hell, but have perverted an allegedly perfect system to do it? It follows that the rulers of a socialist state must live in terror of the people. By the logic of their actions and their teachings, the boiling, seething resentment of the people should well up and swallow them in an orgy of bloody vengeance. The rulers sense this, even if they do not admit it openly; and thus their major
concern is always to keep the lid on the citizenry. Consequently, it is true but very inadequate merely to say such things as that socialism lacks freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Of course, it lacks these freedoms. If the government owns all the newspapers
and publishing houses, if it decides for what purposes newsprint and paper are to be made available, then
obviously nothing can be printed which the government does not want printed. If it owns all the meeting
halls, no public speech or lecture can be delivered which the government does not want delivered. But
socialism goes far beyond the mere lack of freedom of press and speech. A socialist government totally annihilates these freedoms. It turns the press and every public forum into a vehicle of hysterical propaganda in its own behalf, and it engages in the relentless persecution of everyone
who dares to deviate by so much as an inch from its official party line. The reason for these facts is the socialist rulers’ terror of the people. To protect themselves, they must order
the propaganda ministry and the secret police to work ’round the clock. The one, to constantly divert the
people’s attention from the responsibility of socialism, and of the rulers of socialism, for the people’s misery.
The other, to spirit away and silence anyone who might even remotely suggest the responsibility of socialism
or its rulers — to spirit away anyone who begins to show signs of thinking for himself. It is because of the
rulers’ terror, and their desperate need to find scapegoats for the failures of socialism, that the press of a socialist country is always full of stories about foreign plots and sabotage, and about corruption and
mismanagement on the part of subordinate officials, and why, periodically, it is necessary to unmask large- scale domestic plots and to sacrifice major officials and entire factions in giant purges. It is because of their terror, and their desperate need to crush every breath even of potential opposition,
that the rulers of socialism do not dare to allow even purely cultural activities that are not under the control
of the state. For if people so much as assemble for an art show or poetry reading that is not controlled by
the state, the rulers must fear the dissemination of dangerous ideas. Any unauthorized ideas are dangerous
ideas, because they can lead people to begin thinking for themselves and thus to begin thinking about the
nature of socialism and its rulers. The rulers must fear the spontaneous assembly of a handful of people in a room, and use the secret police and its apparatus of spies, informers, and terror either to stop such meetings
or to make sure that their content is entirely innocuous from the point of view of the state. Socialism cannot be ruled for very long except by terror. As soon as the terror is relaxed, resentment and
hostility logically begin to well up against the rulers.

The stage is thus set for a revolution or civil war. In fact, in the absence of terror, or, more correctly, a sufficient degree of terror, socialism would be
characterized by an endless series of revolutions and civil wars, as each new group of rulers proved as
incapable of making socialism function successfully as its predecessors before it. The inescapable inference
to be drawn is that the terror actually experienced in the socialist countries was not simply the work of evil men, such as Stalin, but springs from the nature of the socialist system. Stalin could come to the fore
because his unusual willingness and cunning in the use of terror were the specific characteristics most
required by a ruler of socialism in order to remain in power. He rose to the top by a process of socialist
natural selection: the selection of the worst. I need to anticipate a possible misunderstanding concerning my thesis that socialism is totalitarian by its
nature. This concerns the allegedly socialist countries run by Social Democrats, such as Sweden and the other

Scandinavian countries, which are clearly not totalitarian dictatorships. In such cases, it is necessary to realize that along with these countries not being totalitarian, they are also not socialist. Their governing parties may espouse socialism as their philosophy and their ultimate goal, but socialism is not what they have implemented as their economic system. Their actual economic system is that
of a hampered market economy, as Mises termed it. While more hampered than our own in important
respects, their economic system is essentially similar to our own, in that the characteristic driving force of
production and economic activity is not government decree but the initiative of private owners motivated by
the prospect of private profit. The reason that Social Democrats do not establish socialism when they come to power, is that they are
unwilling to do what would be required. The establishment of socialism as an economic system requires a
massive act of theft — the means of production must be seized from their owners and turned over to the
state. Such seizure is virtually certain to provoke substantial resistance on the part of the owners, resistance
which can be overcome only by use of massive force. The Communists were and are willing to apply such force, as evidenced in Soviet Russia. Their character is
that of armed robbers prepared to commit murder if that is what is necessary to carry out their robbery.

The character of the Social Democrats in contrast is more like that of pickpockets, who may talk of pulling the
big job someday, but who in fact are unwilling to do the killing that would be required, and so give up at
the slightest sign of serious resistance. As for the Nazis, they generally did not have to kill in order to seize the property of Germans other than
Jews. This was because, as we have seen, they established socialism by stealth, through price controls,
which served to maintain the outward guise and appearance of private ownership. The private owners were
thus deprived of their property without knowing it and thus felt no need to defend it by force. I think I have shown that socialism — actual socialism — is totalitarian by its very nature

This was not my article!

The worlds #1 tool, a todo list

Do you frequently feel overwhelmedUsing Your To-Do Lists, we its ok you’ve come to the right place.

Different people use To-Do Lists in different ways in different situations: if you are in a sales-type role, a good way of motivating yourself is to keep your list relatively short and aim to complete it every day.

In an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to keep one list and ‘chip away’ at it.

It may be that you carry unimportant jobs from one To-Do List to the next. You may not be able to complete some very low priority jobs for several months. Only worry about this if you need to, and if you are running up against a deadline for them, raise their priority on your list.

If you have not used To-Do Lists before, try them now: using them is one of the most important things you can do to become really productive and efficient, please I beg you, it’s will make life a whole lot Easier.

Key Points: I know some people are busy so I summarized my post at the start here

Prioritized To-Do Lists are fundamentally important to efficient work. If you use To-Do Lists, you will ensure that:

-You remember to carry out all necessary tasks.
You tackle the most important jobs first, and do not waste time on trivial tasks.
You do not get stressed by a large number of unimportant jobs.
To draw up a Prioritized To-Do List. Mark the importance of the task next to it, with a priority from A (very important) to F (unimportant). Redraft the list into this order of importance.

-Now carry out the jobs at the top of the list first. These are the most important, most beneficial tasks to complete. by the amount of work you have to do? Do you face a constant barrage of looming deadlines? Or do you sometimes just forget to do something important, so that people have to chase you to get work done?

-All of these are symptoms of not keeping a proper “To-Do List”. To-Do Lists are prioritized lists of all the tasks that you need to carry out. They list everything that you have to do, with the most important tasks at the top of the list, and the least important tasks at the bottom.

-While this sounds a simple thing to do, it’s when people start to use To-Do Lists properly that they often make their first personal productivity/time management breakthrough, and start to make a real success of their careers.

-By keeping a To-Do List, you make sure that you capture all of the tasks you have to complete in one place. This is essential if you’re not going to forget things. And by prioritizing work, you plan the order in which you’ll do things, so you can tell what needs your immediate attention, and what you can quietly forget about until much, much later. This is essential if you’re going to beat work overload. Without To-Do Lists, you’ll seem dizzy, unfocused and unreliable to the people around you. With To-Do Lists, you’ll be much better organized, and will seem much more reliable. This is very important!

In detail for the people that care to read it all, thank you!

Preparing a To-Do List

Start by writing down all of the tasks that you need to complete, and if they are large, break them down into their component elements. If these still seem large, break them down again. Do this until you have listed everything that you have to do, this shouldn’t take long buddy, and until tasks will take no more than 1-2 hours to complete. This may be a huge and intimidating list, but our next step makes it manageable!

Next, run through these jobs allocating priorities from A (very important, or very urgent) to F (unimportant, or not at all urgent). If too many tasks have a high priority, run through the list again and demote the less important ones. Once you have done this, rewrite the list in priority order.

You will then have a precise plan that you can use to eliminate the problems you face. You will be able to tackle these in order of importance or urgency. This allows you to separate important jobs from the many time-consuming trivial ones. I’m a geniuses right, is so simple!

Using Your To-Do Lists

Different people use To-Do Lists in different ways in different situations….ok: if you are in a sales-type role, a good way of motivating yourself is to keep your list relatively short and aim to complete it every day.

In an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to keep one list and ‘chip away’ at it.

It may be that you carry unimportant jobs from one To-Do List to the next. You may not be able to complete some very low priority jobs for several months. Only worry about this if you need to, and if you are running up against a deadline for them, raise their priority on your list.

If you have not used To-Do Lists before, try them now this instant. using it is one of the most important things you can do to become really productive and efficient.

Please repost on your blog, I want more traffic.. Thank you

How never fear anything again using visualization

Sometimes we are not able to change our environment to manage stress – this may be the case where we do not have the power to change a situation, or where we are about to give an important performance. Imagery is a useful skill for relaxing in these situations.

Imagery is a potent method of stress reduction, especially when combined with physical relaxation methods such as deep breathing.

You will be aware of how particular environments can be very relaxing, while others can be intensely stressful. The principle behind the use of imagery in stress reduction is that you can use your imagination to recreate and enjoy a situation that is very relaxing. The more intensely you imagine the situation, the more relaxing the experience will be.

This sounds unlikely. In fact, the effectiveness of imagery can be shown very effectively if you have access to biofeedback equipment. By imagining a pleasant and relaxing scene (which reduces stress) you can objectively see the measured stress in your body reduce. By imagining an unpleasant and stressful situation, you can see the stress in your body increase. This very real effect can be quite alarming when you see it happen the first time!

    Using the Tool:

Imagery in Relaxation

One common use of imagery in relaxation
is to imagine a scene, place or event that you remember as safe, peaceful, restful, beautiful and happy. You can bring all your senses into the image with, for example, sounds of running water and birds, the smell of cut grass, the taste of cool white wine, the warmth of the sun, etc. Use the imagined place as a retreat from stress and pressure.

Scenes can involve complex images such as lying on a beach in a deserted cove. You may “see” cliffs, sea and sand around you, “hear” the waves crashing against rocks, “smell” the salt in the air, and “feel” the warmth of the sun and a gentle breeze on your body. Other images might include looking at a mountain view, swimming in a tropical pool, or whatever you want. You will be able to come up with the most effective images for yourself.

Other uses of imagery in relaxation involve creating mental pictures of stress flowing out of your body, or of stress, distractions and everyday concerns being folded away and locked into a padlocked chest.

Imagery in Preparation and Rehearsal

You can also use imagery in rehearsal before a big event, allowing you to run through the event in your mind.

Aside from allowing you to rehearse mentally, imagery also allows you to practice in advance for anything unusual that might occur, so that you are prepared and already practiced in handling it. This is a technique used very commonly by top sports people, who learn good performance habits by repeatedly rehearsing performances in their imagination. When the unusual eventualities they have rehearsed using imagery occur, they have good, pre-prepared, habitual responses to them.

Imagery also allows you to pre-experience achievement of your goals, helping to give you the self-confidence you need to do something well. This is another technique used by successful athletes.

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