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A Pox On All Their Houses

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

While we're at it...

Let me point out that there was a half-million person mobilization against HR4437, and that it was largely self-organizing. This is something that fills my heart with joy to see and I am in full solidarity with it. (sorry had to cut out the pics, too much load time)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Reiteration and Clarification, Part I

I'd like to re-iterate, and hopefully clarify, my position on this thing of ours, so you know what you're getting into.

First of all, I'd like to say that I am a libertarian by definition, not by identity. What I mean here is that I am only a libertarian because the definition fits me. I don't make a conscious effort to fit into a libertarian set of check boxes. (I used to, but I've grown past that, I think, or I just grew tired of it maybe)

What I do believe is that everyone owns themself. No one else owns anyone else, even in tiny little parts. You can try to nit-pick that with me, and that can be a fun game, but I'm certainly not going to take it seriously. That is the line in the sand that I've drawn. And I mean this in an ethical sense. In any other sense, ownership of another person is ridiculously impossible. You can't get me to do anything without my consent on some level. All you can do is constrain my physical situation. Doing so in a way that tries to assert ownership over me is unethical, IMO. Because it's based on a lie.
Because of this, I see fraud as much more dangerous and fundamental to crime than force. Force is the end point, the bottom line of last resort. But force creates counterforce as the United States government keeps revealing, though they don't seem to be learning the lesson very well. What is more difficult to overcome is being tricked into giving up some piece of life force for ersatz goods. This is the fundamental scheme that the financial criminals and governments use to assert their primary dominance over the people of the earth.
Liberty, in my opinion, is merely the absence of Crime. Crime, not as defined by legislature, which is another form of fraud, but the normal, everyday intuitive sense of crime. Murder, assault, theft, rape, swindles, that sort of thing.
A perfect Liberty is a situation where such things do not exist at all. This is probably not an achievable situation, but it constitutes an asymptote, a limit towards which true libertarians wish to carry society above all else. And I reserve the right to use the phrase "true libertarians" because I mean people who are libertarian by the definition of the word, not people who identify as libertarians. This is not a "no true scotsman" argument.

Anarchy on the other hand is a situation where no one is given the authority to commit crimes. They might still get away with it, but by and large people don't believe they are entitled to. Every Archon is a criminal. By definition. Someone who convinces you to do something honestly isn't a ruler over you but simply a wise man. No one wants to believe that they are not free, that their world is a lie. So it is easier for a lot of people to think that they are being led by statesmen.

The job of the anarchist is to point out that this is not so. What people do with that information will vary, as do people.

And so in all of this, my position on various issues is informed by these ideas. To get rid of the swindle, and secondly to reduce crime. This is why I have no qualms about supporting either the student protests in France (maintaining self defense against plutocratic crimes), nor the "Harass the Brass" direct action campaign to end the war.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

On the GWOT

This explains my position on the "Global War On Terror" very succinctly. <- link, click it

Now, I don't like terrorism at all. But my definition of it is probably different than the "official" one (surprise surprise). Yet mine encompasses pretty well, I think, the intuitive understanding of what "terrorism" is.
That definition is "the infliction of damage on non-combatants for a strategic goal".

Part of what galls me about it is that the terrorist mindset recruits everyone into a position against their will (you're either with us or against us). And that's kind of the root of my anarchism, that no one should be forced to participate in something they don't agree with. Let the fighters fight, and leave the rest of us the hell alone.

My solution to terrorism, arm everyone and let people form privateer squads to take out terrorists. It would totally work, of course, and that's why it will never happen under statism. Because just as the drug lords use their ill-gotten gains to fund the 'drug war', the terrorists use theirs to fund the 'war on terror'.

"Oceania has always been at war with Terrorism"

Friday, March 17, 2006

The way Howdt

Dr Lenny at the Zone mentioned me on his blog, so I checked him out. Very nice science/natural resource stuff. He's got an interesting approach to his thought processes that I like. He goes well with To Herd or Not to Herd.

He wrote something that got me thinking about why I'm doing this. Really, what we're all trying to do here is to keep crosslinking to each other to leverage each others ideas. In this way, the more unique our particular approach becomes, we might get fewer readers, but they'll be different ones, different entry points into the crosslink network. And ideally at least some of them will become one of us. Eventually we can reach that turning point faster than you might imagine.
But either way, it provides sustenance to all the other pro-liberty activities going on. It gets people to think in new ways about their ideas and to go off in new directions hopefully.

Interestingly, Kevin Carson just posted something really good about Pharm and Patents, which I think Dr Lenny and his readers might dig.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Steam Engine Time

One thing I've noticed is that as communication becomes more dense and interactive, certain concepts pop up out of the blue all over the place at once.

One of these is a reification of the idea of what a 'market' is. Statists and anti-statists alike often seem to fall into the trap of taking the metaphor of a market too literally and treating it as a noun, as a specific institution the way a 'school' or a 'hospital' is. And this leads to all kinds of weird attempts to fix it or replace it with something else. But the primary concept has already been lost, you're working on an abstraction of an abstraction at that point. What a 'market' is, IMO, is a metaphor for trading in the aggregate. But Sunni Maravillosa had a very elegant (and entertaining) way of making the point:
Markets and Marketplaces

Some other links that are illustrative here:
Kevin Carson on the "Crunchy Cons"
Inadvertent support for free markets in an anti-capitalist reader

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

More Poxes for everyone!

Lew Rockwell, in quotes, from his latest article, with commentary by me.

Against the Left:
"The typical response of the left is to say that they want a state that does only good things such as share and care, and not bad things such as steal and kill. But this cannot be. We might as well wish for a lion that only purrs and cuddles, or a rattlesnake that only provides percussion accompaniment to mariachi music. The very nature of the state is that it exists only through and for compulsion. To imagine otherwise is not to face reality."

And even its "sharing and caring" functions are at best iatrogenic.
Civil society could do anything the government does, if people wanted it to. But it's easier to let someone else handle it. (especially because we ourselves are under the gun, and have so little time and energy to help others with)

Against the Right:
"The question we have to ask ourselves is whether a society that fails to learn the art of civilization will erect and sustain a state that will impose civilization on the people. I submit that history also teaches that when a people are brutal and uncivilized, the state is even more so. The state is rarely and maybe never better than the people it rules; in fact, it is almost always worse."

I would add, that the state through its propaganda/mind control engines (education, PR and inflation), invariably makes the surrounding culture worse and worse, thus creating more clamor for "order" imposed from above.

The Bad News:
"Thus do we have the central bank to create money for the state. Thus do we have paper money that can be created in unlimited quantities. Thus do we have deposit insurance to make banks failure proof, so that the masses will never doubt that the credit pyramid is immortal. Thus do we have the fed's power to manipulate interest rates and control the flow of credit to the system."

The "evils of capitalism" do exist. But their source is at the root of the money/credit system itself. By definition, "capitalism" is not free trade, but a system whereby the means of production is in the hands of capitalists, or in other words, financiers. This condition can only come about through violent/fradulent intervention.
It is an unfortunate orwellianism that "capitalism" has come to mean both our capital finance system and free trade. They are not the same thing. IMO, "socialism" (in its orwellian meaning - the means of production in the hands of the state) is merely an advanced stage of "capitalism" (in its orwellian meaning). The oligopoly getting replaced by a monopoly. Ironically as this "progression" occurs, it creates a semi-cooperative society among the ruling class where they agree to share our slave labor amongst themselves.

The Good News:
"If any state could rule without propaganda, it would surely do so. Why then do states find educational control and the propagation of the civic religion in their interest? Because at some level, every state, in all times and places, is required to seek the tacit consent of those it governs. No state can control a society by use of the sword only and alone. It must also seek some degree of ideological conformity with its own goals. Otherwise its rule becomes threatened and destabilized." (italics mine)

All we really have to do is generate the understanding that the state is a form of organized crime. The rest will take care of itself, as people act spontaneously to avoid and free themselves from this uber-mafia, to the extent and by the method and form that they wish to.

PS - is anyone still reading this? Heh. I feel so Nockian lately...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I've never done one of these on this blog before, so apologies in advance if you find it jarring. :)
But I was kind of flattered to be tagged (by Brad Spangler), and I don't talk about my self much if at all here in general, so this might be a good way to release some small bits about me. So here it is, the "Meme of Fours":

Four Jobs I’ve Had
1. Roofer (fixing roofs on houses)
2. Java Programmer
3. Waiter
4. Network Technician

Four Movies I can watch over and over
1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2. Serenity
3. The Ninth Configuration (find it watch it love it)
4. The Matrix (the first one)

Four Places I’ve lived
1. New York City
2. Brooklyn, NY
3. New Haven, CT
4. Anchorage, AK

Four TV shows I love:
1. Deadwood
2: Cowboy Bebop
3. Firefly
4. Futurama

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven’t seen (much of):
No thanks.

Four places I’ve vacationed:
1. Nakhon Ratachasima, Thailand
2. Denver, CO
3. Cologne, West Germany (it was still west then)
4. Seattle, WA

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Filet Mignon / Hanger Steak
2. Bacon
3. Chicken Ceasar Salad
4. Grilled Swordfish

Four sites I visit daily:
1. Achewood
2. Lew Rockwell
3. Mutualist Blog
4. Strike The Root

Four places I’d rather be right now:
1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
3. Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
4. Costa Rica

Four bloggers I’m tagging:
1. Black Guile
2. Jeremy
3. Vache Folle
4. Wally Conger
(I tried to pick people who might actually do this)