Friday, March 18, 2011

God, Nukes, Japan

Jesus CHRIST shit is fucked up in the world these days. Revolt all over the Middle East? Check. Earthquakes? Check. Dead fish everywhere? Check. Nuclear fucking MELTDOWNS?! Check.

I've been going out of my mind watching the agonizing videos of the tsunami in Japan. Watching what took generations to build wiped away in a few minutes is some sobering shit to watch. It reminds us that all the energy we pump into this culture of monopoly is nothing compared to what 10 minutes of nature can do.

And as usual, statism is the chocolate center of this tootsie pop. So to speak.

In the Arab world, people have been living under oppressive regimes for decades, and have risen up to burn them to the ground. Now, before everyone decries violence, let us remember that the State started the fight. By employing various methodologies of coercian and direct violence, the State has created distortions, which in turn act as its fail safe. The people rise up, burn the government to the ground, then build a new one in its place. Rinse repeat.

Now, I don't think the State is using HAARP to start earthquakes. I do think we live on a highly active geological planet, and therefore earthquakes have been, and always will be, occurring. The issue is that the State is a system of monopoly, which means that people are often forced, directly and indirectly, into condensed areas. Now, I'm a firm proponent of mass society, but this is distinctive from social monopoly. One of the fundamentals of a free market is freedom of movement, which would regulate any mass society. But through immigration prohibition and the housing market (which traps people in debt and place), people become condensed and unmoving, and are therefore in more danger should something like an earthquake or tsunami strike. Where there is less room to breathe, there is less room to run.

Did the state kill all the fish? Popular science says it is not related to pollution, and that these are natural die offs. On the other hand, due to global climate change, could schools of fish be changing their routes and ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time and quite dead? Since the evidence does show human involvement of some degree in climate change, the State becomes suspect number one in the majority of it. The State is the world's biggest polluter. It pollutes and protects others that do. For example, if more people rode in cabs, carbon emissions would reduce. But since it is so expensive to operate a cab (and therefore expensive to ride in one), that resource of the free market is not utilized. To date, it costs 225,000 smackers to operate a cab in New York City.

Kevin Carson recently wrote a fantastic piece on how to actually ban nuclear power. He writes: "...the actual problem is that government has been actively intervening for decades to prevent the market from banning nuclear power. Precisely because the stakes are so high and there’s so much room for unforseen things to go wrong, nuclear power is uninsurable on the private market...Nuclear power is a virtual creature of the government. The nuclear industry grew directly out of the “Defense” Department’s nuclear weapons programs, and the first reactors were built as an offshoot of military production. A major portion of the cost of just about every single step in the nuclear power production chain, from the federal government providing preferential access to government land and building access roads at taxpayer expense for uranium mines, to the above-mentioned assumption and capping of liability, to taxpayer-funded storage of nuclear waste, shows up on your tax bill rather than on your electric bill."

The impending possibility of meltdown in Japan is a direct result of State action. And before you say, "No, it's capitalism that did it," dude, they're the same fucking thing. As Sam Konkin wrote, "Capitalism, then, does not describe a free market but a form of statism."

All of this madness has led folks to start talking about God and the end of the world. The apocalyptic nature of the culture of monopoly is actually quite predictable. The meme of statism is thousands of years old, and as such we have collective memories of its constant collapse. Since the advent of the State that has been its nature. Monopoly is unsustainable long term, and as such always maxes out and subsequently collapses. Authoritarian religion (yes there is another kind) provides great back up for the State. By acceding to an invisible "authority" it is far easier to accede to an actual authority. And so these collapses of the State are seen as fulfillment of prophecies, and when the world doesn't end, that's fine, because the State's cycle will always support those beliefs, which in turn will always support the masters. So, when collapse approaches, retarded fundamentalism ensues. Rinse repeat. It's actually pretty fucking sophisticated if you ask me.

On a deep level we all know this, but we are too far removed from "pre-statism" to know what the fuck to do about it, so we go on supporting villains. There are ways to change direction, of which anarchists have been talking about and doing for years and years. With the internet we now have a way of telling and showing a larger audience how they can affect systemic change and move away from this culture of monopoly. One of these, my personal bread and butter, is agorism.

We can change direction, and it begins with us as individuals. Don't let the monopoly stunt you into inaction. Start making those little cuts to the State today, and together we will bleed the fucker dry. And it will never know what hit it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cops, Drug Dealers, Baseball

I had an interesting conversation last night with this guy at the bus stop. He told me about when he played baseball in college. Now, as always goes in these sort of stories, he was exceptionally good. I made the leap and believed him. But any embellishment aside, he told me when he was growing up the local drug dealers wouldn't let anyone mess with him. That they would tell him to go away when he came around. He said this was because any young black kids that were good at sports were supported by the community, including the drug dealers. He said the dealers saved a lot of lives by keeping these kids away from them.

"Get out of here," they'd say, "you know what we do."

For the record, I don't give a shit if people want to buy, sell, and/or do drugs. However, the drug trade as it is now is largely part of the red market (violent and degenerate) due to state prohibition. Many of these street dealers are violent, coercive thugs, despite the fact that they often help and protect people in their community.

Police can be described in much the same way. Their organization is not a product of the free market, but IS a product of state mandate (violent and coercive means). As an organization, they are often brutal, and violent, despite the fact that many cops help and protect people in their community. They are also part of the red market.

However, when a street dealer is shot, there are no road blocks, man hunts, or any other kind of massive state mobilization. When these folks are killed on the job it is written off as their own fault. They chose that life. They chose to behave in immoral fashions and had it coming to them. If you break the law, you face the consequences.

Two kinds of workers, both red market, both capable of charity, and both built on a foundation of violence and coercion. Yet, somehow, this culture deems one moral and virtuous, and the other, not.

And that, dear readers, is stupid.

Friday, January 7, 2011

That Beaver is Going to Sue You: Property Rights in the Non-Human World

I feel like a real asshole when I destroy a spider web. They are fucking lovely, and they probably took an insane amount of time and work to make. Not only that, but it's the home of a living creature. But, dammit, why did you have to build in across the walkway leading to my backyard? Or between my bike and the window sill? WHY, SPIDER, WHY?

So, I ask myself, why do I feel so bad? Have I violated some natural law and feel like shit for it?

Yes, I have.

One of my main criticisms against libertarian anarchism is that there is a tendency to lose sight of our neighbors on this planet. For as much as we espouse moral codes and ethics, with the exception of our funny cat and dog motivational posters, or our photos of pets at home, we don't really talk much about the other creatures of this planet who have as much right to self ownership as we do.

Now, there's no doubt in my mind that real property rights (and not the concept as co-opted by the state, which is meant to protect the "property" of special interests, which is not property but actually theft), provide the most straight forward, consistent philosophy leading to ecological harmony in terms of the human animal and its neighbors on this planet. If individuals own themselves and the fruit of their labors, than they are more likely to take care of them. Therefore, if someone homesteads a spot and builds it up as a dwelling for themselves and their kin, collective, etc, and are left alone in absolute freedom, they will protect their spot.

As the saying goes: nobody washes a rental car. In India, where pollution is staggeringly awful, the state "owns" most of the land. Take away individual property rights, and disaster ensues.

So what about other animal communities? A beaver dam is awesome. It is a very cool feat of engineering. It is a spot that has been homesteaded, and which the beaver may fight to protect if young are present. These are the basic tenants of property rights. The beaver owns itself, the fruits of its labor, and has the right to protect it.

All life owns itself, and as such will fight to live. This is the core of self-ownership.

Do violations of life's property rights occur? Yes, all the time. Would they occur in a free society? Yes. The difference is that when the human individual has real rights to property, their actions will fundamentally be different. Therefore, poisoning the air is a violation of other creatures' right to self ownership, as is poisoning the water, and clear-cutting track after track of forest.

In short, a free society will have minimal violations of the rights to property, limited to the normal cycles of life, which are anything but utopic, but are FAR more preferable to the long term health of the animals and life systems of this planet.

So, try not to wreck the spider web or the beaver dam, because they'll fucking sue you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Taking a Wikileak on the State

I have a man crush on Julian Assange. What a bad motherfucker. In the resistance against the the state, Wikileaks has provided a great service. In agorism, part of the counter-economy is a free market of information, with the understanding that with information individual behavior can change, if only slightly. One of the more intriguing aspects of revolutionary market anarchism is that it delivers system disruption via millions of little cuts. Combine this with our comrades in the resistance taking larger, more dramatic steps (breaking windows, burning cop cars, tree sitting, etc.) and you have a formula for large scale shifts, as opposed to the highly toxic, collectivist notion of mass movement.

A few of these slight changes in behavior that deliver little cuts to the state can be giving a bit of cash to a houseless person, not casting one or two votes, quitting voting altogether, grow a garden, save some tadpoles , buying a bit of junk silver, and on and on. Agorism relies on invisibility, and conscious, small acts of resistance throughout ones day are possible for anyone in any environment.

The counter-economy encompasses far more than free market money and trading, it also encompasses small acts of infrastructure rebuilding, wherein the individual is empowered in the details of their lives, and adds that bit of energy to building the new within the shell of the old.

Organizations like Wikileaks help give us a bit of fuel in agorism, for information is a powerful thing, and if it helps us change direction, if only slightly, that is far better than business as usual in this culture of monoply.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The School of Being Ripped Off

A friend of mine who is infuriatingly brilliant (note both my sarcasm and jealousy over his powerful mind), has to retake the GRE because his scores passed some sort of cutoff date. While he agrees with me that this is a complete scam, he argues that state regulation is needed to get rid of these scams. My retort is simply that the hidden costs of regulating said scam is a scam in and of itself, and it becomes a matter of which set of pigs will do the stealing.

The political class, whether capitalist pigs, or state pigs, have no interest in providing accessible, quality education. In other words, we are not dealing with a niche-based, freed market education environment. In even more other words, education in this culture is another mechanism of control on the part of those at the top of the pyramid. Said control is for profit/politics, and NOT for the consumer. If it truly WAS for the consumer then they would be BEGGING my brilliant friend to come to their school.

In a freed market, colleges would actually have to compete. They would have to build a solid, long term reputation for high quality turn out of students. They would also be subject to the desires of the students (customers), and not to the state, or Pepsi, or other kinds of nonsense.

Schools would have to teach what people truly desire to learn.

In a context of state capitalist power and fiat currency, there are virtually NO incentives for real competition.

There is a fundamental reason the political class does not desire a freed market, and this is not because the children need to be protected. This is because in such an environment the power shifts to individuals.

This is not to say that one can't wring a quality education out of this culture of monopoly we live in, it's just to say that it will come through being stolen from by pigs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Balancing the Books: Free Market Population Control

Turns out, there are a lot of people on the planet. According to some humans are pushing the scale, thus leading the planet toward ecological ruin.

I'd say there are all sorts of things causing issues, one of which is massive overpopulation. But the spin on overpopulation that I take is that people/communities have been monopolized, in more vulgar terms we have been herded into concentrated groups. Lump us all together in a cage and we start to go fucking mental. So, yeah, there are lots of social/ecological problems.

A fundamental aspect to a freed market is the necessity of movement. People must be free to move around whenever they see fit. This requires a broad approach to the principle of property rights, but such is the nature a truly freed market. We must be flexible in our social approaches for long term adaptability and stability.

When people are free to move and work as they please (as long as it is done through non-aggression), or, rather, when they have more options in front of them for their lives, pumping out kids for a living becomes one of many life choices, as opposed to the ONLY life choice.

From an economic point of view, people act according to incentives and disincentives. Therefore, a coercive welfare state and property monopolization place people in an environment where choices become quite narrowed, and they subsequently multiply like fucking gremlins in water.

In essence, a free society would broaden life choices for folks, thereby naturally bringing down overall birth rates, and thereby stabilizing our population. The effect of such a phenomenon would butterfly into social organizing and ecological responsibility. Not because of some mass ideology, but as a product of absolute freedom.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Starbucks and Porcupines: The Stupid Wrongness of Stefan Molyneux

Two guys are my biggest influences as an anarchist. Murray Rothbard and Stefan Molyneux. You might remember, dear reader, that I have a bit of beef with Rothbard, and now I have some with Stef. First of all, thank GAWD. These days many seem to hang on to philosophers like a religionist without a god. I for one am stoked at the opportunity to drop a turd on one of my heroes.

In a recent podcast Stef makes a couple sad assertions. The first is that the participants of the black bloc are not real anarchists. The second is that we should feel sorry for Starbucks when their windows get broken; this being implied by his "poor Starbucks" comment.

Let the turding begin!

As to whether or not the people in the streets are the real deal holyfield resistors, peep this.

Obviously, the notion that those burning cop cars couldn't be anarchists because true anarchists would never destroy property is silly. First, the police institution has no valid property rights as an organization. It is an organization based on theft and corruption (and other assorted uglies), therefore action taken against it is retaliatory and often admirable. It is not an initiation of force. And what if the people setting fire to the cars were undercover cops? GOOD. Finally, my fucking taxes go to something ACTUALLY worthwhile. I'd cast a fucking VOTE for that shit. Fuck ideology, taxes for burning cop cars? Sheeeeeeeee-iiiiiiiiiiit.

Stef claims that the real anarchists were to be found at PorcFest, a freedom festival in New Hampshire. From what I've heard, it was peaceful, people's goods laid out in a true, free market fashion, and absolute freedom celebrated. I wish I could have gone. PorcFest is basically an anarchist community realized. It sounds fun as shit.


While I agree that PorcFest is a beautiful expression of anarchism as a socio-political theory, SO is the fucking black bloc. The cops fight it and the media spins it because the bloc THREATENS them. And really, think about how fucking restrained those comrades are out there in the streets. They break windows of big businesses and burn cop cars. Oh SHIT, not THAT! The strength in numbers, the decentralized force, combined with what is overall an enlightened group of people filled with some righteous fucking fury, and showing the kind of force they are to be reckoned with merely by donning masks and breaking windows, is fucking amazing and beautiful. They are not beating people in the streets, shooting people, shackling people, abusing people. The police are.

The bloc scares those who know nothing but centralized, monopolized, coercive force.

Fucking STARBUCKS. I can't believe you said poor, fucking STARBUCKS. I really held my breath, waiting for the punchline, but sadly, none followed. Sigh.

For one, Starbucks is not a product of a free market. It is a giant corporation with lots of political connections, that may have started as a small business, but is no longer a business; it is a corporation. It capitalizes hugely on fiat currency. Yes, I know there are studies suggesting that they "help" mom and pop cafes, and blah blah blah. I worked at a Starbucks, it sucks fucking balls. BALLS.

Not to mention that Starbucks is notorious for giving free coffee to cops. Ya know, the people who enforce the laws that we market anarchists apparently hate so much?


Ya see, I used take the same position. That I, this highly enlightened market anarchist, had puzzled out what the true essence of anarchism was, and could therefore smirk and decry the direct action of others as not truly anarchist.

Then I met some social anarchists. Shared meals with them. Worked with them. And what I found is they are some of the most passionate, freedom loving people you will ever meet. Yeah, we fucking disagree on some shit, debate it hotly, whatever, but they are the real fucking deal. These are people risking their lives in the streets to fight for freedom. It's galvanizing, it's really risky, and yes, we can offer criticisms, but to condemn and write-off off these freedom fighters as false is some serious fucking bullshit. It is spreading the lies of our mutual enemy the state.

Neither Stefan or I will be participating in the bloc anytime soon, I know, but I can say that they are my comrades, my brothers and sisters, and perhaps Stefan would do well to consider them the same.

They fight for you and your family.