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General / Re: Gradualism 101
« on: September 07, 2009, 03:28:27 PM »
To take apart the repressive government machine without causing terrible chaos, we would need to establish a order of operations as to what needs to go first.

I would say welfare has to go first, because if we begin downsizing government desk jobs and the military, then those useless idiots would clog the ranks of welfare and we would be no better off then before.

We also have to end the foreign entanglements we are in. People bitch and moan about troops being overextended and living in Iraq. What about the guys doing absoutely nothing in Germany, Japan, Korea, Chile, and all those other countries?

End corporate welfare first...

General / Re: The Truth About The Civil War and Southern Secession
« on: May 05, 2009, 06:38:56 AM »


It is heartening that at last, thanks to a few off-the-cuff remarks by Texas governor Rick Perry on “tea-party” day, people are starting to talk about secession in these not-very-United States, and for the most part taking the concept seriously. (”Secession Talk,” as the New York Times put it, “Stirs Furor.”) It’s the first time it has been a genuine subject in American public discourse, says Emory University secession scholar Donald Livingston, since the war of Southern Independence was settled in 1865.

So it’s no surprise that a lot of people have completely misunderstood it, and that the nerve in their knees often impels them to declare it illegal and unconstitutional. Robert Schlesinger, a columnist for U.S. News, is typical: under a headline “Texas Can’t Secede,” he wrote that “one third of the voters think the state has the legal right to secede from the Union.” Then, so sure of his errant position he could get cutsey, he added, “Ummm, no,” and went on to scold them for being so ignorant.

But the plain truth is that Texas has that right, and so do the other 49 states.

In fact, there has never been a real question about the legitimacy of secession. It was the principle that led the 13 colonies to fight to get out from under the British crown in the war of 1776. It was the principle implicit in the 13 states ratifying the Constitution in 1789, made explicit in the ratifying documents of New York, Virginia, and Rhode Island. It was the option understood to be available to all states from that time until 1861, and considered by New England states at the Hartford Convention of 1814. No one put forth a compelling argument that secession was unconstitutional, and the fact that the US Congress in 1861 debated and failed to pass a law against it proves that it was not illegal even in that year.

Lincoln put forth various, and often greatly varying, arguments against secession, but, as Livingston says, relying on their refutation by pro-Unionist philosopher Christopher Wellman (A Theory of Secession, 2005), “Lincoln’s arguments are preposterous.” He was not relying on reason and history and philosophical argument, no more than his party did, but on instinct and temperament, with pride and egotism (”Not on my watch”) mixed in.

(In fact, so far as reason has to do with it, Lincoln had previously argued that “any people anywhere… have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and to form one that suits them better,” and in his First Inaugural held that “if a majority deprives a minority of a clearly written constitutional right,” that would justify revolution.)

Of course it is true that the particular secession of 1861-65 did not succeed–but that didn’t make it illegal or even unwise. It made it a failure, that’s all. The victory by a superior military might is not the same thing as the creation of a superior constitutional right. In fact it dealt only with the question of whether secession would work that one time, decisively decided in the negative by an autocratic, unconstitutional usurpation of power and the waging of a deadly war that defied all civilized standards of warfare to date.

Amid all the talk today, it will be necessary for those who know history and the Constitution to refute those who throw up the rhetoric of “illegal” and “unconstitutional” and the like so that we can get on to an examination of its particular merits.

General / Re: The Truth About The Civil War and Southern Secession
« on: May 04, 2009, 01:23:29 PM »
With your line of reasoning...just replace "North" with "Husband" and "South" with "Wife"...then see if your logic is seen as rational by anyone not delusional...

The North is not a husband, and the South is not a wife. They are two areas of the USA, one of which decided to commit treason against the USA.

The fact is that the South had its opportunity to become its own nation, right at the beginning when the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were being drafted and signed by the various delegates from the various states. If, during that time, the South had decided to create its own convention instead of the main convention, and use that convention to become its own country, then that would have been fine. But what the South did instead is signed the documents from the main convention and then decided 70 years later that it didn't want to live by the documents it signed 70 years earlier. That just doesn't work, folks. Once the South signed the Constitution, it was part of One Nation, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All. If the South wanted to be part of a different nation, then it shouldn't have signed. But when it signed and 70 years later tried to secede, then what it was doing was breaking apart the indivisible nation of the USA, which is treason.

I believe that as many as three of the original states signing the constitution had explicit escape clauses to get out.

The Show / Re: Geolibertarianism
« on: May 04, 2009, 01:20:15 PM »
If you don't own the space you occupy you don't own yourself. As the libertarian ethical system is derived from the axiom of self-ownership, there's absolutely nothing libertarian about Geolibertarianism.

Except that the argument you made AGAINST geo-libertarianism IS the exact argument FOR geo-libertarianism.

Kind of confounding isn't it?

Because if all the locations were privately owned and you didn't own any - then where could you go to exercise your absolute right of self-ownership??

General / Re: Is individualist anarchism capitalistic?
« on: October 16, 2008, 02:38:47 PM »
Essentially, if you think the current standard Western business model is natural and free, and are a market anarchist, you're likely to easily accept the anarcho-capatilist label. If, however, you believe (or even just suspect) that the prevalence of that model is a product of state intervention, you're likely to reject the anarcho-capitalist label.

General / Re: Is individualist anarchism capitalistic?
« on: October 16, 2008, 09:46:55 AM »
The way I see it, is that Capitalism is a law of nature.  No matter what you try to do you cannot escape it.  The truth is that people will own or possess capital and use it for their own personal gain.  That is a universal truth, even in the most ardent communist society.  Yes mercantilism and communism are capitalistic as well, although they are not free market.

Aren't you confusing a physical "law" like gravity, which operate independently of human intentions and therfore can not possibly describe human behavior as we have infinite choices that don't lend itself to statistical (mathematics) predictions?


There are certain tendencies in human beings that allow us to make law-like statements. People do tend to buy more of a product when it is cheaper, and they tend to make more of that product when it is dearer; between these two tendencies, we really can posit supply and demand curves, and we can, at least in the abstract, discover the equilibrium point between these tendencies. And while the result of our calculations will not be a “law” in the sense that gravity is a law, in that it cannot be violated, it will be law-like: that is, useful enough for us to give useful descriptions of a particular economy.

All of this is true. But the real difficulties in human thought come not so much as an argument between truth and error (pure error is too easy to spot), but between greater truths and lesser truths. Correct thought is a matter of arranging truths in their proper hierarchies, of not allowing a lesser truth to displace a greater, or of not reducing all truths to one truth. This last error is the besetting sin of economists, because to make economics work as physics works, guided by physical measurement and ruled by pure mathematics, they had to reduce man to a physical object in a world of physical objects. They had to reduce man’s labor to a mere commodity, purchased at the lowest value like any commodity; they had to reduce man to an economic calculator, the mythical homo œconomicus.

Mostly, they had to divorce the economic question from any question of ethics. But one cannot found a science on a myth. Nor can one reduce man to something he clearly is not, or at least not completely. Man occupies a moral universe as well as a physical one, and to ignore the place he occupies is to lose the man and hence lose the science. Man, in his relations with other men, is guided by whatever notions of justice he has. Even the man who claims to divorce the questions of morals from the economy will always be attempting to give a moral justification for his actions; the plutocrat who exploits his workers will rationalize it by claiming that in the end the exploitation adds to the commonweal, or that he is just acting under the forces of “economic” nature. But if there is no question of justice, why bother to justify it?

Without understanding the nature of man, we cannot hope to understand the nature of his economic relations. The new “scientists” hoped to trade good justice for better science, but it was a bad bargain; in losing one they lost them both. In losing the ability to properly describe their subject (the human person) they lost the ability to properly describe anything about him, and most especially his economic systems. They ended up not with a science, which could serve as an arbiter of questions disputed under the terms of the science, but as a series of warring ideologies among which there can be no arbitration, indeed no communication, because they have no common terms among them, no common understandings.

General / Re: Is individualist anarchism capitalistic?
« on: October 16, 2008, 08:57:35 AM »
Is "mutualism" simply socialism with a pretty name?


Ok, what is capitalism then?


Unlike some other market anarchists, Carson defines capitalism in historical terms, emphasizing the history of state intervention in market economies. He says "it is state intervention that distinguishes capitalism from the free market." He does not define capitalism in the idealized sense, but says that when he talks about "capitalism" he is referring to what he calls "actually existing capitalism." He believes that "laissez-faire capitalism, historically speaking, is an oxymoron" but has no quarrel with anarcho-capitalists who use the term and distinguish it from "actually existing capitalism."

In response to claims that he uses the term "capitalism" incorrectly, Carson says he is deliberately chosing to resurrect what he claims to be an old definition of the term in order to "make a point." He claims that "the term “capitalism,” as it was originally used, did not refer to a free market, but to a type of statist class system in which capitalists controlled the state and the state intervened in the market on their behalf." Carson holds that "actually existing capitalism" is founded on "an act of robbery as massive as feudalism." Carson argues that in a truly laissez-faire system, the ability to extract a profit from labor and capital would be negligible.

Carson argues the centralization of wealth into a class hierarchy is due to state intervention to protect the ruling class, by using a money monopoly, granting patents and subsidies to corporations, imposing discriminatory taxation, and intervening militarily to gain access to international markets. Carson’s thesis is that under an authentic free market economy, the separation of labour from ownership and the subordination of labor to capital would be impossible, bringing a class-less society where people could easily choose between working as a freelancer, working for a fair wage, taking part of a cooperative, or being an entrepreneur (see The Iron Fist Behind The Invisible Hand).

Carson has written sympathetically about several anarcho-capitalists, arguing that they use the word "capitalism" in a different sense than he does and that they represent a legitimate strain of anarchism. He says "most people who call themselves individualist anarchists today are followers of Murray Rothbard's Austrian economics, and have abandoned the labor theory of value." However, with the release of his book, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, he hopes to revive "mutualism." In his book he attempts to synthesize Austrian economics with the labor theory of value, or "Austrianize" it, by incorporating both subjectivism and time preference.

General / Is individualist anarchism capitalistic?
« on: October 15, 2008, 10:59:33 PM »

The short answer is, no, it is not. While a diverse tendency, the individualist anarchists were opposed to the exploitation of labour, all forms of non-labour income (such as profits, interest and rent) as well as capitalist property rights (particularly in land). While aiming for a free market system, they considered laissez-faire capitalism to be based on various kinds of state enforced class monopoly which ensured that labour was subjected to rule, domination and exploitation by capital. As such it is deeply anti-capitalist and many individualist anarchists, including its leading figure Benjamin Tucker, explicitly called themselves socialists (indeed, Tucker often referred to his theory as "Anarchistic-Socialism").

So, in this section of our anarchist FAQ we indicate why the individualist anarchists cannot be classified as "ancestors" of the bogus libertarians of the "anarcho"-capitalist school. Rather, they must be classified as libertarian socialists due to their opposition to exploitation, critique of capitalist property rights and concern for equality, albeit being on the liberal wing of anarchist thought. Moreover, while all wanted to have an economy in which all incomes were based on labour, many also opposed wage labour, i.e. the situation where one person sells their labour to another rather than the product of that labour (a position which, we argue, their ideas logically imply). So while some of their ideas do overlap with those of the "anarcho"-capitalist school they are not capitalistic, no more than the overlap between their ideas and anarcho-communism makes them communistic.

In this context, the creation of "anarcho"-capitalism may be regarded as yet another tactic by capitalists to reinforce the public's perception that there are no viable alternatives to capitalism, i.e. by claiming that "even anarchism implies capitalism." In order to justify this claim, they have searched the history of anarchism in an effort to find some thread in the movement that can be used for this purpose. They think that with the individualist anarchists they have found such a thread. However, such an appropriation requires the systematic ignoring or dismissal of key aspects of individualist-anarchism (which, of course, the right-"libertarian" does). Somewhat ironically, this attempt by right-"libertarians" to exclude individualist anarchism from socialism parallels an earlier attempt by state socialists to do the same. Tucker furiously refuted such attempts in an article entitled "Socialism and the Lexicographers", arguing that "the Anarchistic Socialists are not to be stripped of one half of their title by the mere dictum of the last lexicographer." [Instead of a Book, p. 365]

General / Re: Yet Another "What are you reading?" Thread
« on: October 09, 2008, 07:57:58 PM »
Currently reading Agorist Class Theory.

(The link is to a .pdf if anyone is interested)

Interesting forward by Brad Spangler.

"Libertarians recognize that there is nothing inherently "exploitative" in
any genuinely voluntary agreement, such as agreeing to work for a
wage. Likewise, there isn't anything virtuous in subtly coercing
compliance with demands for labor to be performed on dictated terms,
including wage rates. Where Marx was right in his analysis is that under
State Capitalism (as opposed to a truly free market) there is an
exploitative relationship between the moneyed interests and the common
people. He misidentified the oppressor class, though.
What is this actual oppressor class, you ask? The actual oppressor class
is the "political class" as originally identified by the Frenchmen Charles
Comte and Dunoyer over 150 years ago. By the "political class" it is
meant those who draw their livelihood not from the Market, but from the
State. The political class is the parasitic class that acquires its livelihood
via the "political means" — through "confiscation, taxation, and other
forms of coercion." Their victims are the rest of us — the productive
class — those who make their living through peaceful and honest means
of any sort, such as a worker or an entrepreneur.
State Capitalism, which most confuse with a free market, is most prop-
erly understood as a form of Socialism in a Hayekian sense of statist
control. That is to say, it is banditry under guise of law. It would also be
economically accurate to label it Fascism, Mercantilism, or Corporate
Statism. Conversely, a truly free market (or Capitalism in the Randian
sense of non-aggression minus Rand's own personal fetish for Big
Business) would, I maintain, bear a striking similarity to the vision of
anti-state socialists and distributists.
Wally Conger has distilled in the accompanying text the essence of
Samuel Edward Konkin III's unfinished exposition of this class theory,
Agorism Contra Marxism. I'm deeply honored to present Agorist Class
— Brad Spangler"

Photoshops / Re: HILARY08!!!!!
« on: November 22, 2007, 07:13:42 AM »
Socialism is the equitable distribution of wealth via the government

No, socialism is the society (defined as the "state" in communism and "race" in nazism) owning the means of production.

Socialism is the collective ownership of the means of production with the collective being the state.

Communism is the collective ownership of the means of production with the collective being the commune (the lowest ubiform level of administrative division at a village, town, or municipality level).

Governance is not the state. In anarchism there are no rulers but there are rules, there are no orders but there is order, there is no illegitimate authority but there is legitimate agency.

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