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.