Quote for the Day: Via Brad Spangler 2009-05-02, Mikhail Bakunin on spontaneous order and the utopia of utopias:
... [W]e neither intend nor desire to thrust upon our own or any other people any scheme of social organization taken from books or concocted by ourselves. We are convinced that the masses of the people carry in themselves, in their instincts (more or less developed by history), in their daily necessities, and. in their conscious or unconscious aspirations, all the elements of the future social organization. We seek this ideal in the people themselves. Every state power, every government, by its very nature places itself outside and over the people and inevitably subordinates them to an organization and to aims which are foreign to and opposed to the real needs and aspirations of the people. We declare ourselves the enemies of every government and every state power, and of governmental organization in general. We think that people can be free and happy only when organized from the bottom up in completely free and independent associations, without governmental paternalism though not without the influence of a variety of free individuals and parties.
—Mikhail Bakunin, Critique of the Marxist Theory of the State
Obama’s Earth Day: Crispin Sartwell, eye of the storm (2009-05-07). In the spirit of this administration.
The War on the Informal Sector: Jesse Walker, Hit & Run (2009-04-10): Air Force Unable to Hold Bake Sale to Buy Bomber, in which, thank God, the Professionalizing State saves us from the menace of unfettered pie-baking at the Friday fish-fry.
The War on Urban Homesteaders: Daniel Santana, Los Angeles IMC (2009-04-25): Never Forever 21 Action: Round 3 4/25/09, in which the South Central Farmers continue their fight to reclaim their homesteaded land from the city government bulldozer-brigade
Developmentschemes (cf. GT 2006-06-14: Enclosure comes to Los Angeles), currently slated to be turned over for a Forever 21 clothing warehouse. They’re calling for protests to the city government and a boycott of Forever 21.
On Libertarian Fissionism and open Anarchism: Brad Spangler (2009-04-30): Left Libertarian Terminology and Strategy: Obama the statist and more
Congratulations to Jeff Riggenbach: his fine little book, Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction to Revisionism is now available for free online (or you can pay to get it in print or on Kindle, if you prefer).
On Patriotic Correctness run amok: Dennis Perrin (2009-05-02): Just Kidding! Ltd., on corporate liberal pressure-valve Jon Stewart, the nuclear terrorist, war criminal, and President Harry S. Truman, and the horizons of acceptable satire in the American Patriotically-Correct media.
Anarchy in L.A. a Report-back: Rockero, Los Angeles IMC (2009-04-24): The Resistance is Not Quiet: 2009 Anarchist Activist Conference at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
Anarcho-Nerdery: Roderick Long, Austro-Athenian Empire (2009-05-11): Dilithium Dynamite, in which a bunch of us anarchists get together to geek out (including the time-honored geek tradition of lodging endless nitpicking quibbles) about the new Star Trek.
On home cookin’: Jennifer Reese, Slate (2009-04-22): Scratch That: How cost-effective is it to make homemade pantry staples? Answer seems to be that it’s mostly a win, although not always. My own experience is that it becomes even more cost-effective compared to store-bought when you get all your vegetables for free through Food Not Bombs.
War news: While on patrol in Baghdad in 2007, Master Sergeant John E. Hatley, Private Michael Leahy, and Sergeant First Class Joseph P. Mayo, soldiers in the U.S. government’s army, murdered four Iraqi captives by shooting them in the back of the head at point-blank range while they were tied up and blindfolded. Then they dumped the bodies in a canal. Major General Qassim Atta, a general in the U.S.-approved Iraqi government’s military, is filing suit in order to get the government to forcibly shut down a major newspaper and an Iraqi television station for publishing claims that the government claims to be false.
On legal lynching: Joshua Holland, AlterNet (2009-04-01): Ted Stevens’ Charges Dropped: A Tale of Two Justice Systems. When Anarchists propose that all the functions currently controlled by the authoritarian State, including the judgment of cases involving disputes or violent crimes, we are inevitably told that without a State-controlled, hierarchical system of courts, you’d have nothing more than the justice of the lynch mob. This is actually a classic example of statist inversion: by focusing on the dangers that informal and irregular efforts at seeking justice will lead to a disregard for objectivity or evidence, the statist completely blanks out the ways in which formalization and enforced hierarchy oblige government courts to disregard evidence themselves in the name of formal procedures, and to elevate authority above objectivity, by standing on ceremony or respect for turf at the expense of substantive justice. If the state’s plans to murder Troy Anthony Davis are not an example of a slow-motion lynching, what is?
On tearing down the walls (of Facebook): Martin Blaabjerg, Kaplak Blog (2009-05-10): When The Garden Walls Come Crumbling Down, Or what would happen if Facebook went GPL. One thing I would like to see more of is a discussion not only of using Facebook’s code, and of exporting its data for open reuse, but also the kind of architectural and structural changes you might expect to see as a result of those garden walls crumbling. If the data moves freely and exchanges between countless networking tools, you can expect to see emergent networks that aren’t dependent on any single site, and that provide real polycentric social networking, where the platform is the Internet, not one company’s server grid, with the rich features of social networking sites dispersed out to billions of far-flung nodes and hubs. What might it look like, and what would be the implications? Technologically? Socially?