Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mock it and Rock it - Vote Nobody

write-in (rtn)
1. A vote cast by writing in the name of a candidate not on the ballot.
2. A candidate voted for in this manner.

The definition of write-in, provided by the Free Online Dictionary. Most anarchists, and rightly so (to an extent), propose NOT VOTING as a means to further the cause. This strategy is despicably deficient. Why? A couple of reasons:

1. Voting, while useless, is voluntary. Even if you can convince your voting friends to adhere to the non-aggression principle, you will not EVER convince them not to vote in the name of such a notion. The chain of command between placing a slip of paper in a box and a police officer shooting a man for resisting taxation is too long and convoluted for anyone, anarchist or no, to seriously suggest that one morally implicates a person for the end consequence of the other.

2. By not voting, you open yourself to the classically fallacious (and first-amendment denying) "those who don't vote have no right to complain!". Since voting is done in secret, you can walk into that booth and vote for all the nobody you want. But hell, get creative. Vote everybody. Vote Jehovah. Vote Rowan Atkinson. Just as long as whoever it is will never accept the invitation.

3. We finally get to join the Get-Out-The-Vote campaign, only we get to have infinitely more fun doing it by asking questions like:
Does a not voting constitute a vote for nobody?
Does a vote for one person constitute a vote against another?
How many votes would it take to cross the threshold into supreme-court-ruling turning?
Is a voting multiple times, once for each candidate, for all candidates; voter fraud, one vote for everyone, or no vote at all?

4. Action is far more inspiring to a cause than non-action, no matter the action in question or how useless it may be. Ask any damn rally organizer or charity activist you want, you'll get the same answer - keep people doing easy shit symbolically for a hard cause practically, and you've won half the battle. By deliberately refraining to vote, you put yourself in the same class as those who routinely just don't give a shit, and your reasons for inaction could not be further apart. You don't vote for caring too much, they for caring too little.

5. Clog in the cogs, anyone? Voting for "Uncle Sam" is so much more time-consuming to vote counters than staying home and having him get elected anyway. Voting Nobody is active, spiteful, creatively de-constructive, and honest. What's not to love?

In conclusion, get out there and vote for your ruler - put your own name down if it really comes to it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Anarchy Is Always Working

Anarchists have that sincere and in many aspects exclusive trait among ideologues, in that their namesake aspiration is assumed as implicitly esoteric. Anarchy is to the Democrat, as the Republic is the Monarch and the Commune is to the Czar. Threatening to the passions, yet seductive to the reasons - in any honest discourse.

Anarchism is not something to be implemented, like one would implement a policy or leader with a declaration or constitution. Anarchy is nearly everywhere. Defined as “any place where there is no coercion occurring”, all of outer space is in a condition of Anarchy. So I say we put to bed these silly notions that Anarchy “just doesn’t work”. If by work, you mean any of these:

then please specify. If not, shut up with the irrational argument which employs undefined terminology.

What Is Not The Problem

Television is not the problem. Every so often, in any amateur discussion of social ills or national afflictions, a person will witness a vehement denunciation of all televised programs. It is true that television may inspire sloth, for the fact that it normally demands long periods of bodily inactivity. And it is just as pertinently true that television may inspire violence and disregard for moral standards, as most plot lines in any good thought-provoking stories do. But one cannot attempt to smear television with both of these brushes at once. Television cannot simultaneously be to blame for active violence and contagious passivity. But even if by some miracle of psychology it could, television would not be to blame for anyone’s actions in particular. People are responsible for their own actions, so if television is influencing them to an undue degree, talk with them about it. After all, any activity can be dangerous or unhealthy if pursued to excess – everything in moderation, like they say. But we know then that it is not the television or the televised to blame, rather the excess.

Money is not the problem. It is easy for someone to hear that anonymous parable about the poisoning of the rivers and the leveling of the forests and conclude that since money is inedible, it must be worthless. And to that degree, they are correct. Money has no practical utility besides it’s rare employment as insulation or tinder, as can be observed in cases of sudden hyperinflation. However, since money is intrinsically doing no harm to anyone, you cannot claim it it is anything less than worthless. An arguably too-strict adherence to the labor theory of value will lead one to conclude that all money is justly possessed by whomever prints it (money doesn’t grow on trees, after all), but even this can be considered a temporary loan from the printer to the traders for purposes of a trusted socioeconomic organization, and therefore is not intrinsically evil or detrimental.

Money, at it’s best, is an IOU, but when presumed as an “objective standard” of value, invites dishonesty in the forms of identity theft and counterfeiting. There are problems with it, especially in it’s flat form, but these are problems of technicality, not principality.

Logo, or signature, is not the problem. Many see symbols like the “golden arches” as symptoms of some dreaded capitalistic disease, and prefer to homogenize production of like wares so that no one body of persons may profit from personalizing the fruits of their labor. This is the stance of the “market abolitionist”. Most see the idiocy in such a stance, but we can understand the justice of decentralized logos by contrasting their purpose to the purpose of a signature. When a painter finishes painting a picture, they sign their name in the bottom right corner, so that other people know who painted it. Either for interests of posterity or profitability, it is of use to link a product to the identity of it’s producer. If that was not permitted to occur, you would never know just who to consult to reciprocate a service you preferred from them, by virtue of their talent. It is in this light, notice, that we ascertain a distinction between the market and capitalism. Keep this distinction in mind for later discussions on the subject in order that nobody conflates the two in some “package deal”.

Conformity is not the problem, despite drawing the short straw from the hand of preferred human tendencies. Most “evil empires” throughout history have been evidenced by their rigid adherence to codes of their invention, codes pertaining to behavior and uniform. This sort of conformity may be lamented for what edicts it is conforming to – for example, ethnic genocide or blitzkrieg. But the evil does not lie within the existence of conformity, rather the essence. If every human being conformed to the edict “never murder”, for example, there would be no murder. So it is misleading to assert the inferiority of conformity in contrast to absolute liberty. Conformity is natural, if anything can claim to be “natural(see next paragraph). Monkey see, monkey do.

Human nature (ie. popular tendency) is not the problem. Often, in an argument, a person will desperately attempt to supplant prescription with description. This is a fallacy of relevance, known as the naturalistic fallacy. Much the same disastrous course is pursued when a prediction is offered up in place of a prescription. This is usually diagnosable as some version of the slippery slope fallacy, but only time and testing will tell. For example, if I were to assert that coercive government should be eliminated, my opponent might respond with: “without government, there will be mass murder!”. This is akin to saying: “without color, there will be mass blue!”. But besides that much, is not an argument, rather a vague forecast of some sort, whose veracity is indiscernible in the absence of legitimate attempt of experiment. Human nature is a favorite rallying point for social conservatives, who believe the current status quo is the best one by virtue of the fact that they were born within the temporal extent of it’s domain. The social conservative was pro-slavery during slavery’s time, anti-suffrage during the time that males exclusively monopolized democratic participation, and the epitome of the epithet reactionary during the French revolution, despite the injustices committed in it’s name.

Technology is not the problem. Currently. In the event a technological singularity arises and attempts to destroy, enslave, or deceive the human race, that may change. But technology (derived from the Greek, “the study of skill”) as a whole is no threat to anyone. It has become minorly popular to preach primitivism, which rejects all technology and advocates a regression from all civilization. If you ever see this preaching upon a computer screen, or even a piece of paper, know that the preacher (like most religious preachers) is a hypocrite. They are not practicing what they preach. In the words of a less hypocritical primitivist, the Cynic Diogenes, “Those who have virtue always in their mouths, and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is insensible of the music.” The only technologies that bear beratement are those that threaten to be employed as coercive governance.

H-bombs, for example. You can’t have everyone walking around with a button that, if pressed, launches a nuke into some inhabited country. While the preservation of such a world, for as long as it exists, may be the defining evidence of Utopia, Utopia is impossible and largely undesirable. Technology must be handled intelligently, so that a person is at liberty to reduce the burden of their efforts however they can to achieve whatever goal they wish, as long as that goal is not coercive.

Logic, reason, and rationality are not the problem. Occasionally, you will run across a surrealist, or perhaps a Dadaist, who bloviates in opposition to these saviors of good sense and sense itself. A rejection of logic is also a rejection of language, because language is predicated upon conception in coordination with the law of identity. Therefore, surrealism cannot in any way, shape, or form, be refuted by dialogue. Thus, I possess no duty to explain any statement of truth I ever make. Because I’m not bound by the obligation to prove what I say, Reason is good, because reason is bad. I win.

God, or the belief that a God exists, is not the problem. Personally, I do not believe in God, and I would not believe anything a God told me if I ever met one. God knows Gods have enough incentive to lie, God forbid we ever believe them. God is not to ever be confused with religion. That is what Einstein did, describing his spiritual inclination as a “religious feeling”. He denied he possessed a personal God, yet denied that he was an atheist. I have bad news for Einstein, he’s either one of the above, or a surrealist. The lack of a personal God (he believed in Spinoza’s God) is pantheism, which like it or not, is ATHEISM. Naturalistic pantheism is atheism in the same way that a picture of a cup is at once a picture of a cup and two faces at the same time. It depends upon what you want to label “God”, the black (nothing), or the white (everything). So the verdict is still out on Einstein’s theology, but either way he claimed a position of agnosticism, so he gets off easy no matter which theological truth turns out to be correct. Anyway, God is not the problem because he flat out doesn’t affect anything. Belief in God is not the problem because a belief doesn’t affect anyone but the believer, at least intrinsically. Sure, plenty of religious idiots have oppressed and killed nonbelievers. But that is not the result of their theism, it is a result of the religion their theism justifies. In the same way that we would not punish a schizophrenic for his schizophrenia, we should not punish a theist for their theism. And to those that think it impolite to draw a comparison of the two – when you talk to God, it’s prayer. When God talks to you, it’s schizophrenia. Regardless, belief in God hurts nobody, so stop being anti-theist and become anti-religion instead.

Cultural nationalism is not the problem. Nations are not the same thing as States, so there is no coercion implied in the idea of separate nations. The vast majority of nationalists, unfortunately, support some form of statism, when it is in fact anarchism they should be turning to. Anarchists support the liberty of anyone to disassociate themselves from anyone else, for any reason whatsoever. If the certain members of the white race want to live only with other white people, that’s perfectly fine. That’s why anarchists support the elimination of borders, so that people can travel where and when they want without fear of restriction or retribution. Other strains of nationalism (political nationalism, or state nationalism) must be opposed, but only insofar as they are Statist and coercive.

The market is not the problem. Defined broadly, (and accurately) a market is any location where goods or services are traded on trust of reciprocity. This is NOT capitalism. It is the market. There is a huge difference. To oppose markets is to either oppose locations (a kind of surrealism), or to oppose trade (a kind of stupidity). Trade, being consensual in all cases, but the case of accepting contractual obligations beyond your preference by necessity of acquiring food to avoid starvation, is not wrong. So I believe it is exceedingly obvious that markets are, by and large, a good thing.

Violence is not the problem. Most people, who lack a clarity of language demanded by the shrewd and deliberate, use the word violence to additionally denote coercion. This is perhaps the most widely accepted “package deal” in existence. For example, when Steven Pinker describes the “decline of violence” to coincide with the formation of nation-states, the example he provides is not violent, it is coercive. Cat-burning is not anymore violent than skipping down the sidewalk, but it’s a great deal more coercive. Obviously if a cat doesn’t want to be burned, it would be coercive to burn it. That’s the definition of coercion! Violence on the other hand, occurs anywhere and everywhere. Just consider the egregious amount of violence occurring elsewhere in the universe, like on Venus, where lightning arcs through the sky constantly and volcanoes erupt on a regular basis. Once we understand the distinction between violence and coercion, we can realize that while a professional wrestling match might be violent, it isn’t coercive.

Discrimination is not the problem. Discrimination is a synonym for “personal judgement”. When I say prefer chocolate ice cream to vanilla ice cream, I am discriminating. The words “sexual discrimination” entail a bit of a social stigma, but the fact remains that almost every person sexually discriminates. Are you heterosexual, but not homosexual? Are you homosexual, but not heterosexual? Then you sexually discriminate! Discrimination is a liberty that nobody can deny, as long as it does not entail coercion. For example, lynching a black person because you take offense at the color of their skin is coercive and wrong. But telling a black person not to talk to you because you take offense at the color of their skin is not coercive, and not wrong.

It doesn’t matter which race, gender, hair color, eye color, or shirt color you base your judgements on, the justice (or lack thereof) is the same.

Affluence is not the problem. Excessive affluence may be a symptom of the problem, but it is not the problem. For example, Bill Gates popularized the personal computer and is now filthy rich thanks to his efforts. He, at least arguably, has earned his affluence justly. However, his daughter, who did not do anything, shares in his excessive affluence. Is this wrong? No. But it sure looks wrong if we look around and see other sons and daughters starving to death every single day because of their brutal poverty. It sure looks wrong in comparison, does it not? Why should one person inherit the liberty to live healthily, and not another, who just happened (by pure chance) to be born somewhere else? The demand for equality of affluence at the outset of a person’s life is called the demand for equality of opportunity. But it should instead be called the demand for affluence of opportunity, because that better embodies the motivation behind it’s adoption. Obviously two starving people possess equal oppurtunity, but they are in no way affluent, the true end-goal of any theory devised to better the lives of it’s adherants.

Altruism is not the problem. Altruism, as a tendency, is a concern for the welfare of others. This is far from problematic, as long as the golden rule is rejected. The golden rule is “treat others as you would like to be treated”. This sounds foolproof, but how would a masochist get along in such an ethic? He might end up whipping people for the fact that he likes to be whipped, or any other perverse thing. To quote George Bernard Shaw: “Do not do unto others as you expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.” So it is not altruism that is the problem, rather the assumption that a person prefers what they do not in fact prefer – which is stubborn stupidity at best, imposed governance at worst.

Egoism is not the problem. While there are many forms of egoism, all egoism boils down to the importance of the self. It can be simplified, in contrast to altruism, that you should “treat yourself as you would like to be treated”. So the immediate question must be raised, again - how does a masochist like to be treated? It depends upon what you mean by “like”. Bodily likes, like the like of being free of pain, would deny the masochist their liberty to do to themselves what they wish. A masochist’s body likes health and pleasure, but a masochist’s mind likes depriving their body of that enjoyment. So egoism is not the problem, as long as every person’s mind is at liberty to decide what it is they like, even if it is in opposition to what most people like.

Evolution, it’s existance or it’s failure, is not the problem. Generally, the only people you will hear bitching about evolution are the people who think that it doesn’t happen – the ignorant – and the people who think that it has stopped happening – the idiotic.

Evolution happens. Everything from the hip bones on a whale to the coloring of a person’s skin to the arisal of a new virus proves this. There are more transitional fossils available than you can shake a stick at, some of which are walking around on Earth as we speak (yes, you are a transtional fossil). I’m not going to go into a professional dissertation on the subject, but the fact that humans are apes does not in any way invalidate morality. It doesn’t lower humans to the standards of chimps. On the contrary, it raises chimps to the standards of humans, in that any valid moral theory must not be “speciesist” – applying to one species only. On the other side of the fence, there are social Darwnists clamoring on about how letting evolution go unregulated is the same as “devolution”. “Devolution” is as invented and arbitrary a concept as “deceleration”, but no social Darwinist seems to recognize this. Evolution means “change”, as long as things are still changing, they’re still evolving. So even if things are changing for the worse, it’s not a liscense for you to advocate genocide or negative eugenics because you think people are too stupid to take responsibility for themselves. Some of us can take responsibility for ourselves, and we’re damn sick of you shifting the blame for those who won’t onto biological theories you have nothing to do with.

Sexuality is not the problem. Despite Christianity’s best aspirations, people are still having unregulated sex, and even worse, enjoying it. You have to stop and really wonder about a society that gets all up in arms, ready to prosecute someone, over this:

(boobies during the superbowl)

But doesn’t blink twice at this:

(David, the famous sculpture)

So what if one happens in a fancy museum and the other during the halftime show of some football game? It’s not like something gets more acceptable as it gets less exposure (and David, to his credit, has had some exposure). Religion has been the driving force behind conflating body parts with sex, and sex with immorality, neither of which is true. And once the vast majority of religions have been refuted and disestablished, it is likely their restrictive non-morality will die with them. If people do not possess sexual liberty (or even non-sexual liberties like the ability to walk around topless), they are being oppressed. So, it is an understatement to say that sexuality isn’t the problem. The belief that sexuality is a problem, is the problem.

Obscenity is not the problem. In much the same way that sexuality is not the problem, since obscene things are mostly sexual things. However, death and extremely gory violence is also considered obscene. In most cases, the “gory violence” is only detestable because gory violence so rarely occurs with the unbridled consent of all participants. But if it were to, who could object? Obscenity also applies to words. I present the famous Milwaukee seven, out of respect for the recently deceased comedic genius George Carlin, and to make a point: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. See? Nobody got hurt. Nobody died. And at the end of the day, nobody cares. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is obscenity, so fuck you.

Rational authority, or consensual government, is not the problem. Rational authority is the authority of an expert on some subject. For example, if the experts on climate change warn us to beware of our carbon emmisions, we would do well for the longevity of ourselves and our children to listen to them. Similarly, if we have no idea how to rock climb, it’s in our conditional interest to obey what the veteran climber has to say about keeping our footing – at least as long as we don’t want to fall to our deaths. Obeying the rock climber when he or she tells you to reposition your feet against the cliff face, and obeying the rock climber when he or she tells you not to curse, is the difference between rational and irrational authority. It is rational to obey the rock climber in regards to rock climbing, but it is not rational to obey them in regard to what language you employ to communicate (as long as you are communicating). The inability to distinguish between these two forms of authority is a defining trait of an authoritarian – someone who obeys any given authority at their discretion and expects others to obey them, categorically.

Civilization is not the problem. Aspects of civilization may be, but not civilization itself. For example, States only occur within civilization, and as coercive entities in conflict with on another, they enact arbitrary laws restricting actions which should not be restricted just for the fact that they occur. For example, many States punish homosexuality with death. This is disgusting, so States should be abandoned for the imaginary bullshit they are. But that does not mean all civilization has to be abandoned. Roads and medicine and libraries are all functionally good things, they aren’t hurting anyone by themselves. So society can keep them, and if we personally don’t like them, we have a wonderful option at our disposal – don’t use them.

Hatred (or lack of love) is not the problem. If somebody deliberately murders one of your family members, it would make sense to hate that person. That is not to say that it would make sense to murder them in return – that would just create a neverending cycle of familial strife. But it would make enough sense to justify removing them from society and attempting to rehabilitate them. Hatred is the necessary antagonist of love, without one we would never really know the other. So to go on endlessly about the power of love and peace and flowers is a bunch of hippie bullshit. Sure, you think it’s great. But I’ve got a right to hate whoever I want because I want and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Until my hate manifests in a coercive action, I am guiltless, goddamn it.

Greed (or lack of generosity) is not the problem. Greed is always bandied about like either a sin or a sacrament, it has a polarizing effect. Either it is wonderful and perfect and improves society, or is a detriment to the whole Earth. Neither of these denigrations of the phenomenon are correct. Greed is personal. If my aim in life is to live in a huge mansion with personal servants, it says nothing about my respect for justice if I accomplish this feat. As long as my servants aren’t being forced by hunger or human hand to serve me, they serve me voluntarily. As long as I harm nobody and earned my mansion through my own labor and it’s product that I peaceably traded for the product of someone else’s, my greed for that mansion has hurt nobody. So greed – the emotion, the impulse, or the desire – is not wrong or flawed. It just raises the stakes, so to speak.

Chaos or rage is not the problem. Many “doves” who desire peace apparantly haven’t given much thought to the word. For them, peace is “package deal” that includes liberty and tranquility. But if liberty allows violence, how can peace be the solution by ruling it out? Chaos is not a requirement in anarchy, contrary to what most politicians would have you believe, but it certainly remains an option. Daredevils and bohemians, who refuse to submit to an ethic of “tranquility” reject peace as a virtue. Peace is just passivity in purple robes, and if peace comes at the end of a stick, I’d be enraged. Most people refer to any period between wars as peace, but how can that be peace when it’s so rarely peaceful? Lots of good things aren’t peaceful. Sex isn’t peaceful, sport isn’t peaceful, space travel isn’t peaceful, and heated debate isn’t peaceful. These things are loud, competitive, active, and energetic. In a word, chaotic. So while the word peace retains a definition of passivity and the connotation of liberty, we must explicitly identify which we merely permit and which we unabashedly demand.

Illicit substance is not the problem. In the USA, a person can be drafted to fight and die in war, but be punished for lifting a bottle of beer to their lips. It is oppression whose method of operation goes by the name of ageist prohibition. Sure, it’s wrong to force-feed alcohol to a toddler, because it’s equivalent to poisoning a person. But after the mind has developed into the teen years, why does prohibition still exist? You might argue it has to do with the number of deaths every year that occur as a result of motor vehicles and alcohol. Well, if 1/3 of car accidents involve alcohol, wouldn’t it mean 2/3 DON’T involve alcohol, and wouldn’t in then mean that the majority of car accidents have nothing to do with alcohol? Yes, it would, at least if logic means anything. So why do groups like MADD go on and on about alcohol when they should be going on and on about good old fashioned bad driving? Because they’re a bunch of prohibitionists! That’s why. If we started removing bad drivers from the road at the rate we removed people whose BAC was .01 over the legal limit, there would probably be a lot fewer accidents. But we don’t do that. This argument applies to any other substance you can name. Cocaine, marijuanna, all of them. If a person is allowed to lift weights, but must have a “spotter” nearby to make sure the weights don’t fall onto their neck and choke them to death (it happens), why don’t we legalize all the rest of the drugs and require spotters for drug users? Because that might put some reputability back into the profession, people would have to start accepting the consequences of their actions, the economy might start moving a little faster, and it would overall be the more intelligent decision. That’s why we don’t do it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Video Link In Leau Of An Article

I was going to write about this non-topic, but I saw this guy's Youtube video, and he says it pretty damn well. So here's the link and the end of this very short update.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Critique of the Communitarian Anarchism Espoused by
The site where the article in question may be found.

“I am a citizen of the world”
– Diogenes, Greek (rather, Earthen) Cynic

The problems with communitarian anarchism are the communities. It bills itself as the “you do it your way, we’ll do it our way” anarchism, but who is the subject ‘you’ to which the sentence refers? You, or your community?

Alas, that is the curse of this “new anarchism”, this “anarchism of the future”. Every attractive thing about it has been stolen from it’s ideological nemesis, individualism! After all, you don’t want to be pushed into line, do you? You don’t want to conform to just one Globalist Utopian schematic, do you? Well then welcome aboard!
Yet the next words out of the communitarian’s mouth are in praise of the “community” and the “greater good”. What? What is this supreme contradiction? We should fear being governed by laws that apply to everyone, but not laws designed specifically for our particular geographical region?

“Communitarian anarchism is strongly opposed to the idea of one system applied to all people; we think that leads to the normalization of cultural diversity, creation of giant bureaucratic states, exploitation of our environment, and financial structures that force us to obey dogmatic, capitalist jobs where we slave for a rich elite who don’t care about us.”

Slippery slope fallacy. Cultural diversity is a blanket term, it applies as much to the nuances in traditional marriage garb as it does to the tribe that mutilates it’s infants and cuts patterns into children’s skin with sharpened rocks. Bureaucracies and states are opposed by every anarchist, you can not seriously claim that every globalist anarchist is a hypocrite by attempting to conflate globalism with statism. The environment, if it must be protected, requires uniform protection, you can’t have one country polluting and another not polluting, the same outcome will ensue – the ruin of the GLOBE. Or rather, the planet it is modeled after, our own Earth. And capitalism has nothing to do with globalism either. What kind of an argument are you trying to weave together there?

“Some say anarchism is trying to create Ultimate or Absolute freedom, meaning no restrictions at all = everything’s allowed. But wait. We all carry values. Some things seem to be less wanted, like dumping radioactive waste in rivers, raping women, torturing children, exterminating ethnic groups etc. Suddenly it seems like "Absolute freedom" is not realistic, since it would allow these things to come about. Think about it: Would you allow your neighbour to shoot your dog, because it was his personal freedom?”

Some may say it, but no anarchists are saying it. In fact, they’ve been trying to shut those people up for years. ALL anarchists oppose the freedom to coerce, whether communitarian or cosmopolitan, individualist or collectivist. The million dollar question is: do you?

I am an individualist cosmopolitan anarchist. I believe the same one standard applies to all people, and that standard is objective and not up for negotiation. That standard is as follows: Don’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to do – even, especially, dogs.

If communitarianism would excuse anyone or any community that didn’t adhere to this libertarian principle, then I will not excuse, or endorse, communitarianism.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What Is Contract?

A woman is crouching in the corner of a room, beer bottles smashing violently against the wall beside her. Her husband, once a loving and charming bachelor, has become a raging abusive alcoholic. She wants a divorce, but the proceedings would take a lot of time and money that she is unwilling to forfeit.

What is contract? That is the question this essay will occupy itself with. Contract takes many forms, but whether verbal or written, authoritative or impromptu, contract rules a great deal of our lives. Marriage, for example, is a contract which entails that:

· Two people – usually of the opposite sex – agree to live with one another for the rest of their lives.

· The bride must buy a very expensive dress

· The bride’s family must pay for a glorified party

· The groom is expected to purchase an expensive ring

· Flowers are expected to be thrown over shoulder

· The groom is expected to ask the bride’s father for permission to propose

· Economic endowment is shared between the two people

· Vows must be written

And a whole host of other traditions and customs. Yet, at least in the United States, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Half the people who sign the contract end up breaking it. So we must inquire: which is most just?

The retainment of a contract no longer unanimously agreed to?

Or the abandonment of all duties contractually specified, any interval of time after the participants bound by them object to their enactment?

Abstractly speaking, there are 2 variables in every contract:

· The stretch of time the contract applies to, and when it expires.

· What duties or restrictions are entrusted to volunteers that enter into it.

For example, let us propose that Satan comes to me with the following proposal –

If I agree to fellate him every day, he will grant me eternal life.

If I should ever fail to fellate him on any day, he will kill me.

We shall hold, for the sake of examination, that I agree to and consent to these terms at the moment I sign the contract. Perhaps I’m in a wave of sexual urgency, and Satan has transformed himself into the lustiest concubine ever seen. The time this contract applies to is literally eternity. I have bound myself to two options – please Satan every day, or die.

It may be argued, however successfully, that I deserve whatever destiny I reap from this contract. I agreed to it, after all. But if after a day, or two days, or a week, I begin to dread sexually pleasing Satan, should I stop?

If I do stop, would it be as morally wrong for him to kill me as it would have been had I never signed the contract at all?

The question is one of trust. Satan has put his faith into receiving stimulation from me on a regular basis. I have put my trust into living forever. But if I take my trust OUT of living forever, for whatever reason, I may decide I no longer agree to serve Satan for that reward. Does Satan’s trust overrule my desire to refrain from servicing him?

Sure, letting him down would be unkind to him. But persisting in fellating him would be unkind to me. There is unkindness no matter which route you take.

Is he justified in murdering me now for changing my mind about an agreement I made yesterday or yesteryear?

No. To suggest otherwise is to pervert the intuitive truth of justice.

There is no one moment in time that can serve as a rule for any other moment in time. Today I may wish to do this, tomorrow I may abhor undertaking that same action. Today I may wear a green shirt, tomorrow I may wear a red one. Popular wisdom has long warned to “be careful what you wish for”, as if there were some genie manifesting your edicts as you spoke.

But this aphorism is what Nietzsche might have called slave-morality. It is framed from the point of view of the Aladdin, of the serf.

Being that there is no genie, each of us is approximately as powerful as the rest of us, we should instead remember we all possess the capacity to enforce and to decree. Therefore, I amend the popular wisdom to:

“Be careful what wishes you grant, as yesterday’s consent to their terms is no replacement for today’s, and justice does not shut it’s eyes at your whim.”

Monday, June 9, 2008

Critique of Bernard Sena's Anarcho-fascism

This is a response to an essay I found using Google that I have since been unable to locate. However, the forum entry that I originally posted this as is now the 6th result in searches for "anarcho-fascism", so I figured I'd post it here on my blog as well.

Anarcho-fascism. Who’d a thunk it? Not only does Bernardo Sena get his definition of anarchy wrong, right off the bat, – invalidating his entire analysis – but he even gets the definition of fascism wrong. In an essay that itself attempts to describe (or perhaps invent) anarcho-fascism, that is the antithesis of impressive.

First, anarchy. According to Bernardo, anarchism is, “A non-political platform which derives from the ‘individual against the point of authority’ idea. Initially it is a philosophy which supports violence against those in power in order to achieve a peaceful existence in which individual man can live in free will and without the restraint of social laws or order.” This is a flawed denigration in more than one respect. First, anarchism has never been, and hopefully will never become, non-political. Anarchy is vehemently anti-political. There is a difference. Where politics is defined as the art of excluding people from affairs which properly concern them, an anarchist is not content to sit idly by like the merely unaffiliated. The anarchist is devoted to unaffiliation, not just theirs, but everyone else’s as well. Anarchism, it must be clarified, does not support violence against those in power. Anarchists might, but anarchism does not. Gandhi was a pacifist anarchist who aimed to abolish all violence, in fact. The role of violence in anarchism is a personal and undecided matter in general anarchist history. What all anarchists can agree on, is that the violence used in a coercive or forceful manner, in any anarchy, would not exist. And I believe I speak for every anarchist when I say that liberty – the goal of any anarchist – is the mother, not the daughter, of order; which would be anything but eliminated.

Second, fascism. According to Wikipedia, this oft-abused epithet means the following: an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers the individual subordinate to the interests of the state, party or society as a whole. But in Sena’s understanding, it means, “a philosophical and realistic perspective to society in which the majority are considered ignorant and thus must be either overthrown or controlled in a ruthless manner so as to preserve the further evolution of intelligence within the state and the progress of said state.”
Notice the very wide leeway of terms at our disposal. Majority, society, state. In actual fascism, the collective is all-important. Yet in Sena’s fascism, it must be “ruthlessly controlled” so as to preserve the state, which undeniably does what Thomas Paine warned us all the writers of his day were doing, so confusing society with state as to leave little or no difference between the two.
In this gigantic fallacy, the equation of nation with state with society with majority, the axiomatic truth held by the anarchist that the state is the parasite of society, is rendered meaningless by the fascist’s counter-assertion that the society is the parasite of the state.

So, anarcho-fascism is most accurately translated to mean the following – a belief that both the society and the state are parasites upon the anarcho-fascist himself. Anarcho-fascism is then the most extreme and repulsive egoism possible, one that is not characterized by a fundamental trust of all individuals, but by a fundamental suspicion.

Anarcho-fascism, then, is not as contradictory as some may claim. It is simply consistently horrifying, flying in the face of every intuition, history, and reality.

Sena, of course, uses the prefix of this neologism to represent the means to the base’s ends. Anarcho-fascism is supposedly anarchy achieved for the sake of fascism. Sena’s anarchy being chaos, destitution, and jungle law, achieved for the sake of what could more aptly be classified as extreme social Darwinism. The strong overtaking the weak, the intelligent outsmarting the stupid.

Sena then proceeds to administer the summation of his idiocy. “If anything, Anarchy and Fascism are more of a social doctrine or philosophy for life seeing as they both reject politics.” Needless to say, both assertions reek of pure ignorance on the part of the speaker. To claim that anarchy is apolitical is to fall for bourgeois lies, to claim that fascism is apolitical is beyond comprehension.

In closing, I would like to express SERIOUS concern for the health of the anarchist movement. These perversions, anarcho-fascism, - lump anarcho-capitalism in as well, if it suits you – and social Darwinist ideology, are anathema to historically valid anarchism and anarchist struggle. It’s not so much the absurdity of the ideas themselves, rather those idealist's appropriation of the anarchist name.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Questions Any Philosophical Anarchist Can Try To Answer

#1. Are humans causing global warming? Whether they are or not, do we as a species have an obligation to stop it? Aside from that question, what amount of pollution constitutes government? If the temperature rises to 130 degrees every summer and people are dying in the streets as a result of gases expelled from inefficient technology, would some form of intervention be necessary to prevent the use of that technology?

#2. If your particular State provides it, look up the sexual predators in your city online. In a properly functioning anarchist system, what social history deserves to be private? Is it a good or bad thing that anyone may at any moment know where any known pathological governor exists?

#3. In one box, I have a healthy calico cat comprised of exactly ten trillion cellular organisms, all cooperating to form the cat. In another box, I have a primordial soup of exactly ten trillion cellular organisms, drifting in gooey anomie among one another.

I decide to put one of these boxes into an incinerator and incinerate it.

Is it more or less moral to incinerate one of these boxes and it’s contents rather than the other?

#4. You are hiding in the secret basement of a shanty of a seedy Vietnamese village.

Foreign troops are coming to slaughter the inhabitants. You and ten other people are holding your breath as you hear the enemy walking into the shanty above you. Suddenly, a woman’s baby begins to cry. If the only possible way to stop the baby from crying is to suffocate it, would you suffocate the baby in order to prevent the soldiers from hearing it and killing all of you?

#5. If someone tells you every day,

“I’m going to kill you, rape your dead body, and set fire to your friend’s houses”, and it seems like they mean it, do you (or anyone) have a right to preemptively restrain this person in a prison because of it?

The Anarchy Of Free Market Socialism

The words “free market” and “capitalism” seem to be equivocal to quite a few anarcho-capitalists. Namely, all of them. Similarly, many socialists dismiss the free market as terminally unfree or an implicit contradiction in terms. This has inspired a great many fruitless arguments wherein the socialist definition of capitalism and the capitalist definition of capitalism (two completely different things) are contrasted in a bout of contrarian confusion. Of course, misunderstandings abound on both sides. Capitalists often assume a socialist policy of centralization, and socialists often assume a capitalist policy of decentralization – two things that in no way entail one another.

In order to proceed with this article, I am forced to define my employment of the ideologies in question. First, capitalism. Capitalism, as I refer to it, is the practice of collecting rent, interest, or profit from someone based upon a claim of ownership.

Socialism, a I refer to it, is the society where every individual is entitled access to the product of their labor. The “market”, as I define it, is simply any place where people congregate to trade the acquired products of their labor, whether those products were acquired justly or unjustly.

Here is the common capitalist objection to Libertarian Socialism – that the positive liberty advocated somehow conflicts with the right of the worker to use the product of their labor. The resolution to this paradox is, “the watch belongs to you, the watch-factory to the people”. What does this mean? It means the factory or farm is controlled “democratically”, and in the most anarchistic way imaginable. There are no quotas, and there is no boss. There is merely an expert on the scene at all times to answer any technical question about production. In this way, anyone who wishes to show up at the farm may exert their labor upon the primitive land to reap their own crop, without being compelled to subject any part of their wealth to some exploitative authority (as would be guaranteed by capitalist employment or purchase). This does not mean that donations to the farm as a whole, or even an individual expert that frequents it, would be banned. It simply means a strict adherence to the principles that:

A. cost is the limit of price

B. labor is the only real cost

Privately owned homes, spaces of personal existence not large enough or fertile enough to qualify as a “means of production” would not be likewise collectivized democratically. The libertarian socialist does not rebel against the private in private property, they rebel against the property (possession used to extract rent, interest, or profit). This allows for what I have termed free market socialism. Another common misrepresentation of socialist motive is the idea that mutually beneficial trade is “capitalistic” or “exploitative”. As long as I’ve been around the anarchist scene, (not that long, but long enough) I’m sure that there are some such misguided socialists out there to which this strawman might apply. But it does not apply to my socialism. If two people, who have justly acquired their possessions wish to trade these possessions, they may. They may even set a time and place for it, making a market.

Now, I can already hear your next question. What definitively qualifies something as a MoP? If, for example, a man were to make himself a hammer through his labor and trade, the hammer would exist as both a product and valid means of production.

The rule is simple – the right of the hammer-maker to access the product of his labor takes precedence. Collectivization in any form must must must must must always be unanimously consensual. In this way, free market socialism is not a “revolutionary” ideology. It is an ideology rooted fundamentally in the doctrine of methodological individualism, which asserts that society as a transcendental meta-organism does not exist. There are only individuals. Before the concerned “social” anarchist misunderstand me, I suggest reviewing the great anarcho-communist Emma Goldman’s immortal treatise “The Individual, Society, And The State”. Even the staunchest collectivists admit some degree of methodological individualism. It is precisely this individualism that entails an opposition to every coercive revolution. Revolutionary anarchists are those anarchists that still harbor the last traces of lust for death on a battlefield, a mystical glory reserved for martyrs and soldiers. A free market socialist believes that if you don’t allow your worst ideological opponent to dance during and through it’s days unscathed, no revolution can be just.

If any questions remain of free market socialism, I will readily answer them at anyone’s sincere behest.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Disgusting Things That Can Be Wonderful


At first, eating dead human bodies may seem taboo. But think of what a waste it is. There are a billion starving people on this planet, you can’t tell me we’re too good to do a bit of recycling. I mean, people eat crickets. They eat monkey brains. What’s wrong with a dead human body? You’d have to make certain it was dead, of course. Go through all the standard procedures to bring it back to life. But if you’re prepared to call a corpse a corpse, bon apetit! Why let a natural resource as renewable and natural as this just go to waste rotting in the ground? And why waste money and time on all the elaborate ceremony normally associated with dying? Again, for as long as LIVE people are withering away in the gutters, it seems a mite irresponsible to send flowers and love to a dead person. It’s really insane when you think about it. What’s a dead guy gonna do with a beautiful floral arrangement and a custom-carved coffin? Absolutely nothing. And if the grieving are looking for a place and time to mourn, there’s no better place than the thanksgiving table adorned with gourmet remains of the dearly departed.


Nudism is wonderful. You might be shy, at first. You might think it’s weird, at first. But there’s nothing WRONG with it. It’s certainly not a punishable offense. You can’t say other people don’t have the right to lack clothing. For as long as you are entitled to close your eyes at immediate command, a nudist is entitled to do whatever they want as naked as they want. Naked babies are cute, but naked adults aren’t? Then stay home and don’t associate with any, dumbass. The law wasn’t established to protect the sensibilities of your petulant aesthetic preferences.


Under the heading of pansexuality I include all parasexualities. Homosexuality and every possible “philia”. What’s the big damn deal, people? If a man and a woman can get married, there’s no reason a man and another man can’t get garried. That’s right, garriage. It’s like marriage, but with a “g” instead of an “m”. Now that all you sanctity-of-marriage idiots don’t have anything to bitch about, we can start inventing new words for every possible perversion pining for it’s own institutional acknowledgment.


Suicide is horrible. You know what’s even worse? A living torture of abject existential destitution and 60 years of writhing in the thrownness of cruelty and human fault. I’m tired of suicide being thought of as it’s own problem. Here are the real problems:







All of these thing make someone want to commit suicide, but THEY are the problem, not the suicide! If you aren’t prepared to help a person, if you aren’t prepared to fix the substandard conditions of their miserable life, you aren’t prepared to tell them they have to go on living just for the sake of continuing to clog up this vastly overpopulated planet.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Human Nature and the Prescription of Proscription by Means of Description

The most central question to any serious consideration of anarchism is that of human nature. The debate is an ancient one, and may best be summed up as, absent of any contact with society and it’s chains of conforming conservation – it’s politics, morality, aesthetic opinion, and abstractions – what remains of a single human’s humanity? What are the holds-true-in-all-cases assertions a person is logically entitled to make about their own species?

The term human nature possesses two parts, the adjective and the noun. It may be reconsidered as the nature of humans, or the properties of the natural human, but if those rewordings imply any science differently than the colloquial “human nature”, we will surely prove to be at the mercy of our language, the mercy of ideas we’ve invented after the fact of our humanity. So let us analyze the fullest spectrum of interpretations in order to make our conclusion.

First, to define nature. We’ve all heard the poems and paeans in praise of what is popularly understood to be nature – the trees and the squirrels and the bees and the pearls – but this is nature perceived in a xenophobic frame. It is nature minus what is considered it’s chief production, human society. By this logic does the word unnatural make it’s entrance, that anything man makes is seperate, either above or below, from what made him. It is the synonymization of the words “unnatural” and “artificial”, where all of man is none of nature, and vice versa.

Nature understood more widely, as the deterministic consequences of each moment becoming the next, not only includes man, but includes all the species that may arise after or by his influence: cyborgs, tabletops, lampshades, microwave ovens. Every one the evolutionary consequence of man’s inquiring mind and idle hand. This conception of mother Earth does not dictate that nature existed only in the past, as some “state of affairs” where either the tyranny was red in tooth and claw, or the liberty was white in primitivism and paw. It merely acknowledges the existence of reality as a descriptive entity, and a susceptibility to rapid or gradual fluctuation as it’s prime attribute. Nature, then, is anything that has ever happened or was. Nature is history.

What is human? Well, nothing is, really. Human is a syndrome, a set of attributes possessed by an organism. Humanity is a binary measurement, answers either yes or no to whether a creature meets all the requirements of identicality to some arbitrarily agreed upon stage of transition in the continual process of evolution. So what if we share 50% of our DNA with the banana, does that mean the banana is 50% human? Who knows. But we may say with certainty that while nothing in existence is purely human, all things are to varying degrees more or less human.

So it is, in light of these slippery words, with much care that we should approach human nature. There are many people out there who would attempt to bamboozle you with the term. In fact, the tendency is so common as to have garnished it’s own stature as a fallacy – the appeal to nature (a fallacy of relevance).

The appeal to nature is a fallacy because of what students of philosophy know as the problem of induction. The problem of induction is a conundrum that asks, when we throw an apple into the air and watch it come down, how can we know with certainty it will continue to do so in the future, under the same circumstances? How many times must we observe gravity in order to know that it will always be there?

The answer is: we can’t.

We cannot know anything based upon what was. We can make guesses, certainly. We can perform experiments, and set up conditional guarantees, but we can know nothing absolutely. For example, on the condition that the theory of gravity holds true (and nothing obstructs it), the apple will continue to fall. On the condition that it doesn’t, it may not. Correct conclusions are dependent upon correct precepts, but no precept can be categorically guaranteed, meaning we can never know whether or not they are true.

So, when we speak of human nature, what we really mean is social history. Social history tells many tales, tales of Christians being eaten by lions, tales of celebrated pedophilia, tales of Zeus and Thor. Tales of genocide, war, and an 1,000 year dark age of religious integrity and barbaric practices.

Then came Gutenberg. People began to read, and they began to understand. In a literal sense, humanity had first sunk it’s teeth into that forbidden apple from the tree of knowledge. The spirit of humanism and the Enlightenment bloomed. Monarchies descended (or were violently thrust) into comparatively libertarian Republics and Democracies.

And as the centuries rolled by, government, at least in ratio to population, decreased. No longer is cat burning any man’s idea of a good night out on the town. And that particular attraction was popular even into the 16th century.

So it must be realized that yesterday’s conservatism is today’s reactionism. And so too will today’s conservative be tomorrow's reactionary.

“We know what we are, but not what we may be."

-William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Debunking Common Myths About Anarchism

Anarchism. What is it?

Some will tell you that Anarchism is violence.

Some will tell you it is chaos.

Some will tell you it is Utopian.

Some will tell you it is oppressive.

Some will tell you it is an abandonment of technology.

Some will tell you it is unrealistic.

Some will tell you it is Marxist.

Some will tell you it is tolerance of anything.

All of these people are lying, deliberately or not.

Anarchism is the decision that all relationships can and should be characterized by consent rather than coercion. That is all.

Why is Anarchism not violence?

Because violence has nothing to do with ethics or politics. Violence happens everywhere, even on Venus where the sky is filled with lightning and the ground with lava. Violence is hated by anarchists, but only when it is committed upon a person without that person’s consent.

Why is Anarchism not chaos?

Because chaos is anomie. Anomie is the absence of order, direction, and meaning. Anarchists think that order is wonderful, because when people are free to use their minds to design their own lives, they can best accommodate themselves with others to whatever ends they may desire.

Why is Anarchism not Utopian?

Utopia (or, On the Best State of a Republic and on the New Island of Utopia) was a novel written by Thomas More about an island where, according to Wikipedia:

- Every household has two slaves.

- Premarital sex is punished by a lifetime of enforced celibacy, and adultery punished by enslavement.

- Atheists are despised... as they are seen as representing a danger to the state.

- Women are not given a high degree of equality in the society. Wives are subject to their husbands and are restricted to conducting household tasks.

All of these things are anathema to Anarchy, and all Anarchists rebuke them.

Why is Anarchism not oppression?

Because all oppression is coercive. Some will try to set up the straw man that Anarchy is any place that does not possess a formally recognized State, even places with chieftains and warlords. But that is not true at all. Chieftains and warlords are tyrants, the worst kind of government, and Anarchists hate tyrants arguably more than anything else.

Why is Anarchism not an abandonment of technology?

Because technology helps everyone. Technology is, literally, the study of technicalities. It’s given us bicycles, bifocals, windmills, and houses. It has also given us dangerous things like H-bombs, but anarchists oppose these technologies alone because their sole use is to kill others, in blatant violation of anarchist ethics (unless you count deploying them to blow up incoming apocalyptic asteroids).

Why is Anarchism not unrealistic?

Because it does not violate natural law. If, for example, I were to claim that we should all live in flying houses and use free energy, I would bear a burden of proof that this was possible. Anarchism by itself does not propose anything like this, and is therefore quite realistic.

Why is Anarchism not Marxist?

To put it simply, because Karl Marx was not an Anarchist. He believed in a tightly controlled State where civil liberties are strictly suppressed. His ideas and their effects permanently destroy the idea that Anarchism has anything to do with Leftism.

Why is Anarchism not a tolerance of anything?

Because a tolerance of anything is apolitical ambivalence, not Anarchism. Anarchists are intolerant towards coercively imposed authority and hierarchy. Always. Anarchists do not make the mistake of thinking that fascists can live with fascists, communists with communists, and other illusions of ideological segregation. There is one objective reality, and consequently, one ideology worth promoting. Anarchism, the abandonment of abolition and the prohibition of mandation.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

195 States, So Little Time

That is the official count. 195 seperate and mutually contradictory manifestations of rulership, living together not-so-peacefully on planet Earth. Every other standing eternally as each one’s justification. All of them subversively disseminating xenophobia, crime, and bad will towards our fellow man.

Some are undeniably better than others, of course. Who is willing to argue that domestic life in the United States is worse than domestic life in, say, Iran? Indisputably very few. But this no more makes me a patriot than not being murdered makes a rape victim a happily wedded woman.

Too often do people think of “THE government” as a fixed entity, some homogeneous hominid deity making things safe for us from afar. Government is an action. It is a transgression. When I am instructed to be at a certain place by a certain time, by threat of physical retaliation, I am being governed. I may not know it, because I may comply with it’s dictates, out of sloth or ignorance. But when I fail to show up at whatever camp I’m interred at – be it a workplace or school building – then I am introduced to government’s real face, a face inflamed with rage and violence.

It is when one combines the continued occurance of these despicable actions, induced by a majority as an indissoluble given, and a generalization of a variable quantity of humen into a “society” or “nation” (forgetting the obvious truth of methodological individualism), that a State is formed. A State, a celebrated coalition of thieves and liars, claiming necessity in the existence of other thieves and other liars. Without someone deceiving the deceivers, you will be deceived, says the State. Without someone murdering the murderers, you will be murdered, says the State. There is a name for this fallacy – it’s popular name is “two wrongs make a right”.

If you don’t support genocide, don’t commit it. If you don’t support marriage, don’t get married. It’s that simple, and that’s as far as our moral prescriptions to other people should go. Never should we presuppose the necessity of retribution or retaliation, for if one man can be convinced to restrain a murderer, that murderer could just as easily be convinced to restrain himself.

And if that is not the case, what is the use of speaking? Keep your guns close and your suspicions closer, because some men can’t be trusted regardless of your words.

Anarchism is the name given to the struggle for a society wherein each actor has a say in each decision to the degree they are affected by it, as one t-shirt so eloquently puts it.

I couldn’t say it better myself. An anarchist is a person that trusts liberty fully – not conditionally or contractually. And in order for us to realize it, in order to cross out each State from the list of world countries as if we were marking off collected groceries from a grocery list, we’ll have to do more than speak out. We’ll have to live in accordance with our principles. As the saying goes, anarchism does not stop at the doorstep.

Wherever and whenever, we must not choose to rule. We must choose to not permit the continued existence of fallacious self-justifying authority. Do not be offended if your friend is wearing clothes not fit for some occasion you both plan to attend. The stigma is his consequence to reap. If you yourself are bothered by his appearance, be honest and say so, but do not presume to speak for others too afraid to. Do not say, “you cannot wear those clothes because those others will not like it”. If that is the case, let those others speak when the occasion arises!

Anarchism entails liberty, liberty entails honesty, honesty entails personal responsibility. A duty to your own happiness and nobody else’s, a deed to your own life alone. Live, and let live.

Love, and let hate; hate, and let love.

Do any thing, save make it certain for another.