Saturday, March 29, 2014

More Capitalism Conflation

C'mon gals. If we cannot agree on what words mean, then there is no way for us to succeed in uniting through discourse. Words should be able to have different meanings in different contexts, but they should never be allowed to have ever-shifting meanings. Capitalism has to mean one fixed thing. It is either the existing economic structure, or one in which the State is removed from the picture. It cannot mean both, or any shifting variety betwixt the two.

Though not an absolute, the usage of the word capitalism by a libertarian is quite telling of that person's ideology. The "libertarian" that refers to existing economic arrangements as capitalism, and defends capitalism, is showing that her ideal world is less about radical liberation from oppressive barriers, and more about feng shui. The libertarian that anathematizes, or eschews from her lexicon, the word capitalism, whilst claiming the existing system is capitalism, illustrates a want to leave the status quo. She is aware of the power, offensiveness and weight held by the term capitalism in banal dinner-party-conversations, academic debates, and the blogosphere. This libertarian sees the rosy horizon of the localized bazaar of businesses and cooperatives that will be, once we end the State.

How did this all come to me? I was on my way to smog-drenched downtown Los Angeles, on the 10 highway, from the westside, when I mentally paused to think. Why is there so much traffic on this God-forsaken State owned and managed (sovietized) road? Generally, the libertarian that thinks the status quo is capitalism, and defends capitalism as if it were the freed market, does not seek to relinquish control of the roads from the State back to We The People. If she speaks of any removal of the roads from the State, it is to slide it, for what is lauded as a great deal of money, to the Combination Pizza Hut & Taco Bell. You know, "privatization" (corporatism). The other libertarian? She wants to have no trades with the State. Skedaddle is the verb that suits the State in her eyes. Then local communities surrounding the roads can use consensual courts to determine who gets which portions, and in what manner.

The difference betwixt the two libertarians is the power they think belongs to us, in determining what our work environments should look like. Should our options be determined by various bosses that have State bestowed access to land, credit, currency and digital files? Or, should each person be able to determine which options lay before her? In the latter, more structural diversity arises from the greater competition. It all comes down to competition. How much freedom do you feel comfortable allowing people to have? Enough freedom to sell health services from home? To work 20 hours a week? Do you want power more centralized or decentralized?


Furthermore, the State is not your friend.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blockbusted

I can't help but be joyful everyday. Blame my faith or blame my apolitical* philosophy, but either way to the chagrin of the legion, a Cheshire smile adorns my face on the daily. I whipped it to In-N-Out in my American, but not muscle, car today, lo and behold the blandly festering carcass of a Blockbuster video store was before me. 

I was familiar with this particular spot before its desert emptiness sent one chill down my spine. That was for the workers. There was one woman sifting through the darkness and dust of the innards, to take pictures of the remains with her iphone. Lord knows where the income of the fired workers will be coming from now - one worker found out about his store's dodo fate from reading the news. Secular hierarchy oft leads to the formation of information barriers betwixt each layer of bosses. Austrian Economist Hayek says the presumption that these bosses can serve the consumers' whims without knowing what each layer of lesser bosses knows about the consumers is what leads to sluggish movement and miscalculations in behemoth corporations. I don't know what information Blockbuster as a whole lacked about its consumers, that's an entrepreneurial question, but I do know that they lacked essential information to serve the consumers. The market process is the will of the masses like no election in history. In the market process, minority parties' votes count towards the calculation of producers serving them. If not, then the consumers votes in the direct democracy of the market process would have kept Blockbuster amongst the living.

Libertarians and Progressives have room for unity in witnessing the extinction of Blockbuster. Both are in word opposed to corporations. To have consistency in deed, they should delight in the future without Blockbuster. Blockbuster achieved it's rise to largesse because it is protected by State copyrights, patents and trademarks of videos, snacks, video games, and accessories. Without this protection, people wanting to work from their own employ, instead of under a boss, would be able to have localized home production of videos, snacks, video games and accessories. Small scale neighborhood production and sale of these items would have severed Blockbuster's hold over our communities eons ago. Alas, Blockbuster fell to the likes of videostreaming sites like Netflix and Hulu. They too are paper tigers, until the day we abolish State patents, copyrights and trademarks.


Post Scriptum:

apolitical: no interest in the political system

I studied Political Science, read international and domestic news, and even the works of some political scientists and yet I call myself apolitical. Why? I don't believe in using the State as a means to an end. My views on voting are a little more nuanced, but basically I keep my eyes away from electoral politics. If politics means changing the world to the vision you seek, then I do have some political views. I want all adults to form voluntary communities, associations and cooperatives to provide goods and services to each other at any consensual price.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Our Enemy, the Pigs

Limey polemicist and fiction author George Orwell is claimed as a hero by progressives and libertarians. How can this be? Tom Watson, commissar of the thought police and writer at Salon, says we must be in opposition to one another, instead of uniting against the NSA. George Orwell was not a libertarian, nor was he a classical liberal. He was however, a man with a proclivity to liberalism, and this is the least common denominator betwixt progressives and libertarians.

I may be a smidgeon tardy, but I just finished reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. Literary critics, and more importantly Orwell, say that the entire novel is an allegory to the U.S.S.R. under commissar of the commissars Joseph Stalin. I agree. SPOILER ALERT, this should not be necessary seventy years after Animal Farm was written, but I'm covering my bases with my readers. Mr. Jones is a human farmer who gets his farm, Manor Farm, overthrown by his animals who had been preached the equality of nonhuman animals by an aged goat. The nonhuman animals, hereafter beasts, want to have equality of outcome and establish seven commandments which they will abide by. It does not take long for hierarchy to set in. The pigs, the most literate of the herd, take charge and deliver orders. Most of the commandments are about not emulating humans - one in particular bans trade with them. The pigs incrementally break/alter the commandments and become more human. In the end the beasts can't tell pig from human. Mr. Jones is the tsar, the pigs are the State Socialist ruling committee, the neighboring humans that the pigs trade with are the varying interventionist countries bordering the U.S.S.R. , and the beasts are the uneducated masses intellectually won over by the utopia of State Socialism.

A progressive and a libertarian can read this tale and learn that as Lord Acton says
power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I would stipulate this phrase works in the context of man, and has no metaphysical connotations. The pigs claim to be equal with the beasts, but over time they become "more" equal. They get more food. They dress as the humans do. They get drunk as the humans do. They walk on two legs as the humans do. The progressive sees that this is an issue of authority. She says that the pigs have no right to tell the beasts what do in the privacy of their homes. The libertarian takes this one step further and says the pigs have no authority the beasts are bound to respect. Let's make like a tree and leave this allegory.

The brushfire of liberty is being ignited in the minds of progressives, because the State has penetrated our collective privacy to an extent they did not expect. Progressives do not want the State to read the emails, listen to the phone calls, and track all electronic trails of Americans without a warrant. They don't think the State should have the authority to do this, nor to prevent homosexual unions, nor to hail missiles at Syria until kingdom come. The libertarian agrees. Again, she takes this thinking to its theoretical conclusion. She pontificates, "If the State should have no authority to do x, why should the State have authority to do y?" She concludes, the State should have no authority that men outside the aegis of statehood should have. She concludes, the State should have no authority to steal, kidnap, murder et cetera. She concludes, the State should have no authority.

The great uniter betwixt progressives and libertarians is our shared appreciation and history against authority. Though Lord Acton uses the term power, authority is interchangeable. Progressives and libertarians are witnesses to the collusion of corporation and State in sundry sections of the market economy. The libertarian testifies to this persistence in all State action - roads, courts and security production included.

I'm not asking every progressive to wave the black flag, against all other flags, though I would ooze jubilee everywhere I frolicked if they did. I'm asking progressives and libertarians to put aside their other differences and collaborate against authority wherever and whenever they both see it. Smash the NSA, the banks, Big Pharma, land thieves, oil tycoons, patent/copyright Gestapo, the military-industrial-complex and any other tentacle of the State. People of the world, unite against our enemy, the pigs.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Gang or Us?

Cookie cutters, suburban domiciles, and textbooks provided by the State are engraved with the stale bacteria known as commonplaceness. Cookie cutters are designed to mold raw materials to one prescribed shape and size. How boring. Suburban domiciles are mass produced to reduce the cost of quickly expanding across former deserts. Great for affordability, horrendous for standing out in our universe. Our enemy, the State, has had a stranglehold on individuality since it was a zygote. Statehood and individuality are inherently at each others' throats. The former demands, at gunpoint, uniformity and mediocrity of services. The latter permits herd thinking, but thrives when host to sundry strains of dissent. The public school system in the U.S. is an abject failure. No controversy here. In this discussion, let us prioritize the mal effect this has on our ideas over the economic disarray it displays.

There is no positive reason to have a system of State sponsored schooling. The commissar, or lobbyist, responsible for maintaing the status quo is acting either in ignorance, or malevolence. Either she does not know that she is suppressing the human spirit, or she is proud of the fact. The secular humanists worship the State. Like any other religion, secular humanist adherents have texts considered holy. In this case, it is those anointed for distribution to our children by the State's high priest of schooling. Revisionist historian Jeff Riggenbach notes the constricted view of history this leaves us.

Wendy is damned to have her world view highly influenced by an institution that wants her no different then the other cogs. She may have wanted to explore art, theoretical mathematics, Eastern mysticism, Austrian Economics et cetera. Her wants are for not. She gets the same recipe as the rest of us, the glory of the State. Why is there order? The State. Why is there respect for contracts? The State. How should security and law be provided? The State. What about the roads? The State. To think otherwise is sacrilegious.

If we abolished the State today, thought would be freed. The diversity of ideas would be expressed in the varying schooling methods of local communities. There would be more home schoolers, cooperative based teaching, private schools, religious schools et cetera. The specifics are questions for entrepreneurs to pursue. With certitude, I can say that we would have ranging opinions on history, science, mathematics, art and so forth. This would promote the investigation of truth. Which one is right? Which schools have the most voluntary consumers? Who gets to select what we learn, the gang or us?

If State theft and transfer of wealth is an inseparable part of your ideology, fret not. There is a plan for you as well. If we abolished the schooling bureaucracy, we would see the same advancements in education as listed above. Sponsoring students with scholarships (reduced tithes), from the State, to attend these myriad schools is a better alternative to the status squo.

The first option would be better for lack of theft. Furthermore, we must end the State.


Post Scriptum:

Recall the book review I did of legendary polemicist Murray Rothbard's Education Free & Compulsory. If nothing else, I want you to read his analogy of State education
One of the best ways of regarding compulsory education is to think of the almost exact analogy in the area of that other great educational medium- the newspaper. What would we think of a proposal for the government, Federal or State, to use the taxpayers' money to set up a nationwide chain of public newspapers, and compel all people, or all children to read them? What would we think furthermore of the government's outlawing all other newspapers, or indeed outlawing all newspapers that do not come up to the "standards" of what a government commission thinks children ought to read? Such a proposal would be generally regarded with horror in America, and yet this is exactly the sort of regime that the government has established in the sphere of scholastic instruction.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

She is A Paper Tigress

Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, And Structural Poverty is a tome of authors who hate the State. Not because of ivory-tower-circle-jerk-abstractions, but because of systemic invasions in the affairs of consensual exchange that have unintended yet damning consequences. Here is professor Gary Chartier's video summary.

The premise of the series of polemics is simple. We all have an enemy, the State. This enemy has an ally, corporate America. We should not anathematize a company for making profits, but we should beware of the means of said profit. The authors live by the motto "let any union of State privilege and corporation be anathema". The authors criticize zoning laws, licensing laws, permit laws, trade barriers, border Apartheid, the land monopoly, the credit monopoly, the currency monopoly, the digital files monopoly, and indeed the entire apparatus of centralized law and security production as a monopoly.

A ruby of wisdom I found, whilst flipping through the digital pages of my copy of Markets Not Capitalism, is the open field for alliance with unlikely friends. People who call them selves non-State socialists, or enemies of property, or communists, or syndicalists have more in common with market anarchists than I previously thought. Anyone who waves the black flag of Anarchy, and verily seeks a stateless society, should work in stigmergic direct action protests of the corporate-capitalist statist quo. What happens after the disintegration of the State should be determined after the disintegration of the State. Until then, we should weave decentralized networks, on the internet and in our communities, to dismantle the false principalities and powers that be. The Axis of Evil comedy tour had a phrase about America that I think is apropos for the corporate-capitalist statist quo.

She is a paper tigress - she will fall.

Furthermore, we must end the State.


Post Scriptum:

If you prefer Amazon, go purchase the book here.

A five minute video on why all anarchists should unite, by Karl Hess, can be found here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Capitalism: A Conflation Story

Those of us who give a damn about societal discourse should have consistent terms. Many disagreements occur because of what the debate community refers to as two ships passing in the night. If our arguments don't meet each other face-to-face, we are talking at each other and not with each other. Communication brings understanding. Without understanding we convince no one.

The Telegraph and The Guardian are two British newspapers that I read from time to time. I sense less partisan goat offerings, and it is refreshing to see English written differently. Read this article about Detroit from The Guardian. Read this article about Detroit from The Telegraph. Richard Wolffe and Daniel Hannan, I accuse you both of conflation. They both use the term capitalism in contradictory ways.

Wolffe says that
Over the past 40 years, capitalism turned that success into the abject failure culminating now in the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.
Hannan says that
The Observer, naturally, quotes a native complaining 'that capitalism has failed us', but capitalism is the one thing the place desperately needs.
They cannot both be right. Either capitalism was a detriment to Detroit, or would be a boon. Wolffe and the Detroit denizen seem to be speaking of capitalism in its common usage. The prefix corporate makes it more accurate, but capitalism usually references the status quo. Proper understanding of the status quo, lets us know that Wolffe is confused. He wants more workers' cooperatives, and claims the movement of production was the main woe. The status quo incursions into the production process by the State, on behalf of corporate interests, was, is and will be the problem unless we end the State. For smaller workers' cooperatives to flourish, the State imposed increased costs of production need to be discarded. Hannan is usually a sober analyst of economics, and does not disappoint in noting the problems with Detroit. His Atlas Shrugged reference is a bullseye. Ayn Rand's fictional Starnesville is a doppelgänger of Detroit in 2013. But, he should know better than to think that the Detroit denizen and he agree on what capitalism means. Hannan is no anarchist, but he definitely wants to sever the umbilical chord between corporation and State. He wishes the market would be freed.

The corporate capitalist State is the ungodly polygamous union of privileged cyclopean corporations to the tangled bureaucracy of taxgatherers. Corporate capitalism is the status quo. Corporate capitalism is the theft of our funds, to maintain and promulgate the flourishing of the largesse of corporations and the State. State regulations, State licenses, State prohibitions, State land grabs, and State monopolization are the tools of oppression. Corporate capitalism is evil, always and everywhere. I capitalize the s in State, because I want that word engraved in your minds. Corporate capitalism is impossible without the State. If you don't believe me that the State is the problem, I want you to at least consider it. Many ignore the State. Ignore the State, and it wins. I refuse to cede to it, and will ever more audaciously proceed against it.

Furthermore, we must end the State.

Reparations Exist

The adage goes
even a broken clock is right twice a day.
The State, though evil root and branch, is capable of making good decisions. In Columbia, the State has  a law that helps victims of land theft get their land back. Non-State marauding gangs of goons with guns, led by supervillain Carlos Castano, stole land from Mario Cuitiva. Thank God, Mario got it back.

Find the full story from Human Rights Watch  here.

These types of joys are what we should appreciate more often today, and look forward to in a stateless society. With no monopolized court system, we would have sundry consensual dispute resolution firms. Some would be cooperatives, and some would be business. There would be community courts of varying shapes, sizes, and colors. The State occupies acres of land that was acquired through conquest. In a stateless society distribution of this land would be settled in consensual courts. Consequentialists would yawp for the land slide in land prices. Fanatics of justice would yawp for the equality of protection under the homesteading principle.

Furthermore, we must end the State.