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A Pox On All Their Houses

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The advantage that 'evil' (such as it is) has, is that it doesn't need to follow any rules, so all possible tactics are open to it.
Its disadvantage is that of fracture - evil can never trust evil. Thus evil people often push loyalty, as a tactic, but constantly try to undermine it for their own gain.

And thus the pattern of an evil revolt against an evil oppressor is created and re-created over and over again.

And thus my restatement of "A pox on all their houses". Recent current events are illustrative of this point.

Anyone who is pushing you to 'take sides' should be viewed with suspicion. Either they are confused or...

Just do what you think is right, and if others show up to help, so much the better.

A dime's worth of difference?

"I'll make you a deal. Get the Democrats to oppose government policies that benefit the rich and the wealthy. We do away with all of the programs that create an uneven playing field in favor of those at the top.

Libertarians will vote for Democrats because they'd be the only party pushing for reducing the size of government. After we've done everything we agree on, we can agree to disagree and start fighting again. It's like in Europe, where two parties will form a coalition to focus on issues they agree on, and then after a few election cycles they'll start to fight again." (emphasis mine)

- Logan Ferree over at dailykos, on some diary page comments (thanks to Kevin Carson at the mutualist blog for the reference)

and yet, no one took him up on this idea and ran with it, or even criticized it, instead continuing to bash the straw-man version of libertarianism, as if they didn't read a single word of what he said. Has "Liberal Rage" set in so badly, that they've become the mirror-image of the neo-conservatives? Have we openly declared abdication of all reason?

Paraphrase of Proudhon

Anarchy is impossible

Let me start by quoting myself:
In reality though, all "anarchism" means to me is that there is a general understanding that "the government" is just a big organized crime operation. The rest is a matter of the people organizing spontaneously to resist this (and all other) fraud and violence.

It is not possible for all crime to disappear. It will arise intermittently as noise in the pattern. And if it is not snuffed out quickly, it may organize. Also, the meme of "government" may never be totally eliminated from our minds, just as "religion" has not. But it has been attenuated, and will continue to be so attenuated and abstracted away, as we learn to see it more clearly.

Anarchy is inevitable

When you have the awakening I spoke of before, the myth of government becomes just that, a myth, one that has an impact in the material world, but it is no longer a government for you. The air of legitimacy is gone. Then you realize that we are always in a state of anarchy and it is a matter of fighting crime, without resorting to crime.

Anarchy is liberty

If we had a "night watchman" state that consisted of perfectly functioning robots that prevented all coercive actions, minarchism might work (depending on how those robots were programmed to define coercion, and how well they can recognize fraud, which is a tricky thing for robots.).
In the meantime, in the world of humanity, the best way to secure freedom from crime, which is what liberty actually amounts to, is for all of us to watch over all of us. This is the ultimate end-point of "democracy". The power actually in the hands of the people, the real, individual people, not some abstract "representative" body.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Lew Rockwell, and why I respect him

Lew does some stuff that I think is bad use of language, like calling the free market "capitalism", when he actually means, a free market. Other stuff of that ilk, too. He gives Wal-mart far too much credit...

But he has a lot of guts (being one of the first libertarians with any following to use the "F" word consistently about both FDR-style interventionism, and the neo-con republicans, for example) and a good eye for how things are actually going down.

He posted something on mises.org that I really like, because it gets to the core point really well:
Society Needs No Managers
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Some nice quotes(emphasis mine):
Libertarianism doesn't propose any plan for reorganizing government; it calls for the plan to be abandoned. It doesn't propose that market incentives be employed in the formulation of public policy; it rather hopes for a society in which there is no public policy as that term in usually understood.

The nation needed no Caesar, nor president, nor single will to bring about the blessings of liberty. Those blessings flow from liberty itself, which, as American essayist Benjamin Tucker wrote, is the mother, not the daughter of order. This principle was illustrated well during the whole of the Colonial Era and in the years before the Constitution.

There are many examples of this awful concession operating today. In policy circles, people use the word privatization to mean not the bowing out of government from a particular aspect of social and economic life, but merely the contracting out of statist priorities to politically connected private enterprise.
Indeed, the contracted-out state has become one of the most dangerous threats we face. A major part of the Iraq war has been undertaken by private groups working on behalf of government agencies. Republicans have warmed to the idea of contracting out major parts of the welfare state by putting formerly independent religious charities on the public payroll.
After the abysmal performance of FEMA after hurricane Katrina, many lawmakers suggested that Wal-Mart play a bigger role in crisis management. The assumption here is that nothing important is happening unless government somehow blesses the effort through a spending program that goes directly to a particular group or interest.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Getting up to speed

I've updated my links selection to reflect my current blog-reading habits...

I'll be posting soon with some new stuff and a giant link fest.