The Paradox of Property. Roderick, Austro-Athenian Empire (2011-05-05).
Nonlibertarians are often puzzled as to why libertarians accept such strong property rights claims (sometimes called “absolute” property rights, though I’ve never figured out what “absolute” is supposed to mean in this context). The answer I’m going to give here is one I’ve already offered elsewhere (see here and here),...(Linked Thursday 2011-05-05.)
History News Network | Because the Past is the Present, and the Future too. hnn.us (2011-05-05). Mutual Aid in Tuscaloosa. (Linked Thursday 2011-05-05.)
TomTom Sold User Data to Police, Motorists Then Targeted With Speed Traps. John Gruber, Daring Fireball (2011-05-02).
Consumer Reports: Following reports that TomTom had sold traffic data collected from GPS device users to police who then used it to determine locations for speed traps, the company has issued a statement and video in an effort to appease angry customers. Shameful. ★(Linked Thursday 2011-05-05.)
Jon Stewart on the Photos of Osama bin Laden. John Gruber, Daring Fireball (2011-05-05).
Jon Stewart: Maybe we should always show pictures. Bin Laden, pictures of our wounded service people, pictures of maimed innocent civilians. We can only make decisions about war if we see what war actually is — and not as a video game where bodies quickly disappear leaving behind a shiny...(Linked Thursday 2011-05-05.)
On the Road to Nowhere With Johnson and Paul. Thomas L. Knapp, Center for a Stateless Society (2011-04-28).
Is it just me, or is the silly season of electoral politics — the presidential election cycle — arriving earlier and earlier in each successive four-year stretch? Last time around, it was nearly Memorial Day of the year preceding the election before pundits started speculating about when the obvious odd...(Linked Thursday 2011-05-05.)
Future Timeline. xkcd.com (2011-04-17). (Linked Monday 2011-04-18.)
Big Media To Innovative App Maker: Stop Innovating Without Our Permission! | Techdirt. www.techdirt.com (2011-04-18). "And, honestly, if creating an app that makes it easier to read your content is a threat to your business, you're doing business wrong." (Linked Monday 2011-04-18.)
boardgames are to monopoly as comics are to garfield, THAT'S RIGHT I SAID IT. Dinosaur Comics (2011-04-19). I blame the Georgists. (Linked Tuesday 2011-04-19.)
Austro-Californian Empire? Roderick, Austro-Athenian Empire (2011-04-18).
While in San Diego I’ll be meeting with the San Diego Austrians and the Café Libertalia folks on Thursday night. Details here (for the socially mediated).(Linked Tuesday 2011-04-19.)
if i was interested in starting a...resistance movement, i. Captain Capitulation, eye of the storm (2011-04-19).
if i was interested in starting a...resistance movement, i would proceed by simulated terrorism. such a procedure is suggested by things like this, where i'm thinking the authorities evacuated a mall or at least closed in en masse to get a guy wandering around a mall with a rifle, when it...(Linked Tuesday 2011-04-19.)
Birmingham officers who beat man while he was unconscious to be reinstated. Dr. Q, Gangsters in Blue (2011-04-15).
On January 23, 2008 Birmingham police officers attempted to stop and question one Anthony Shannon Warren about suspected drug activity. Warren fled in his car. Because interrogating people about suspected involvement in activities that harm no one is much more important than public safety, the officers decided that the best...(Linked Wednesday 2011-04-20.)
On Controlling Parents. der Blaustrumpf (2011-04-20). "Many of the comments, like the author herself, blame Rand for the father’s selfishness. What struck me is not the awfulness of Rand’s philosophy, though awful it is, but that a seemingly infinite number of options are available to parents who wish to justify abuse. A hardcore Objectivist parent is rare, thankfully, but it’d be easy to envision a Christian parent who would justify similar deprivation as a lesson in altruism and humility – the very opposite of Rand’s alleged ideals." - Cheryl Cline (Linked Wednesday 2011-04-20.)
Free Market Anti-Capitalism Paper Online. DarianW, DarianWorden.com (2011-04-19).
My contribution to the 2011 APEE Topics in Free-Market Anti-Capitalism panel is now available for download from my archives page: Capitalism, Free Enterprise, and Progress: Partners or Adversaries? The paper disentangles the concepts of capitalism, free enterprise, and progress in the context of the early Industrial Revolution. While a lot...(Linked Wednesday 2011-04-20.)
Digital Cash Sparks Digital Debate. Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2011-04-20).
Writing in Time, of all places, Jerry Brito discusses Bitcoin, the latest alternative currency to capture the digerati's imagination: The web has also seen all-purpose digital currencies, from defunct dot-com bubble start-ups Flooz and Beenz, to the slightly more successful e-gold. Unlike cash, however, digital currencies to date have had a...(Linked Wednesday 2011-04-20.)
"Eminent Domain Through the Back Door" - Reason Magazine. reason.com (2010-08-28). In which the city government's Bulldozer Brigade in Montgomery, Alabama attacks "blight" -- by which they mean black people's houses. (Linked Saturday 2010-08-28.)
C4SS Appeal. Roderick, Austro-Athenian Empire (2010-08-28).
Guest Blogs by Brad Spangler and Kevin Carson PLAN B: Okay, It’s Time to Panic by Brad Spangler Dear Supporters of the Center for a Stateless Society, I blame myself. When we launched the month-plus long fundraising drive for combined July and August expenses two weeks ago, I tried to...(Linked Saturday 2010-08-28.)
Gandhi on the State. Sheldon Richman, Free Association (2010-08-27).
"The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence." --Gandhi(HT: Shikha Dalmia)Atom(Linked Sunday 2010-08-29.)
True Economic Liberty: Not a Conservative Idea. Darian Worden, Center for a Stateless Society (2010-08-04).
Alexander McCobin (“Considering a Conservative Plea for Libertarian Support,” Students for Liberty, 08/04/10) makes an excellent rebuttal to the claim that libertarians are just a faction of conservatism. The label “libertarian” indicates someone who consistently supports the liberty of the individual — a standard that most conservatives just don’t reach....(Linked Sunday 2010-08-29.)
Unpaving is Progressive. Kevin Carson, Center for a Stateless Society (2010-08-17).
Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman, among others, have been in a tizzy recently about the unpaving of roads. One result of Congress’s refusal to renew counter-cyclical stimulus grants to state and local government is that fiscally strapped governments are cutting back on highway maintenance. Specifically, dozens of counties in several...(Linked Sunday 2010-08-29.)
So, as you may have noticed, it’s June 27th; I don’t know if you know this, but it’s quite a day for radical birthday parties. To-day take some time to say:
Happy birthday to Emma Goldman, revolutionary Anarchist organizer, agitator, speaker, writer, and publisher — born June 27, 1869, in Kaunas, Lithuania (then occupied by the Russian Empire).
The STATE IDEA, the authoritarian principle, has been proven bankrupt by the experience of the Russian Revolution. If I were to sum up my whole argument in one sentence I should say: The inherent tendency of the State is to concentrate, to narrow, and monopolize all social activities; the nature of revolution is, on the contrary, to grow, to broaden, and disseminate itself in ever-wider circles. In other words, the State is institutional and static; revolution is fluent, dynamic. These two tendencies are incompatible and mutually destructive. The State idea killed the Russian Revolution and it must have the same result in all other revolutions, unless the libertarian idea prevail….
… There is no greater fallacy than the belief that aims and purposes are one thing, while methods and tactics are another, This conception is a potent menace to social regeneration. All human experience teaches that methods and means cannot be separated from the ultimate aim. The means employed become, through individual habit and social practice, part and parcel of the final purpose; they influence it, modify it, and presently the aims and means become identical. —My Disillusionment in Russia (1923).
At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause. I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business. I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it.
I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world — prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal. —Living My Life (1931)
Happy birthday to FW Helen Keller, the Alabamian author, scholar, lecturer, and radical agitator — born June 27th, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Remembered today mainly for being blind and deaf and an inspirational example for the moral uplift of the young, what didn’t make it onto stage or screen was how, in her adult life, Keller won fame and infamy as a radical agitating for worker’ freedom, feminism, peace, anti-militarism, and the revolutionary unionism of the Industrial Workers of the World, which she joined in 1912.
I became an IWW because I found out that the Socialist party was too slow. It is sinking in the political bog. It is almost, if not quite, impossible for the party to keep its revolutionary character so long as it occupies a place under the government and seeks office under it. The government does not stand for interests the Socialist party is supposed to represent. … The true task is to unite and organize all workers on an economic basis, and it is the workers themselves who must secure freedom for themselves, who must grow strong. Nothing can be gained by political action. That is why I became an IWW.
—Helen Keller, interviewed by Barbara Bindley, Why I Became an IWW, New York Tribune (January 16, 1916)
What are you committed to—education or revolution?[Keller:]
Revolution.She answered decisively.
We can’t have education without revolution. We have tried peace education for 1,900 years and it has failed. Let us try revolution and see what it will do now.… Again the advisability of printing all this here set forth. And this finally from the patience-exhausted, gentle little woman:
I don’t give a damn about semi-radicals!—Helen Keller, interviewed by Barbara Bindley, Why I Became an IWW, New York Tribune (January 16, 1916)
The future of the world rests in the hands of America. The future of America rests on the backs of 80,000,000 working men and women and their children. We are facing a grave crisis in our national life. The few who profit from the labor of the masses want to organize the workers into an army which will protect the interests of the capitalists. You are urged to add to the heavy burdens you already bear the burden of a larger army and many additional warships. It is in your power to refuse to carry the artillery and the dread-noughts and to shake off some of the burdens, too, such as limousines, steam yachts and country estates. You do not neet to make a great noise about it. With the silence and dignity of creators you can end wars and the system of selfishness and exploitation that causes wars. All you need to do to bring about this stupendous revolution is to straighten up and fold your arms.
… They know that if the government dresses them up in khaki and gives them a rifle and starts them off with a brass band and waving banners, they will go forth to fight valiantly for their own enemies. They are taught that brave men die for their country’s honor. What a price to pay for an abstraction—the lives of millions of young men; other millions crippled and blinded for life; existence made hideous for still more millions of human being; the achievement and inheritance of generations swept away in a moment—and nobody better off for all the misery! This terrible sacrifice would be comprehensible if the thing you die for and call country fed, clothed, housed and warmed you, educated and cherished your children. I think the workers are the most unselfish of the children of men; they toil and live and die for other people’s country, other people’s sentiments, other people’s liberties and other people’s happiness! The workers have no liberties of their own; they are not free when they are compelled to work twelve or ten or eight hours a day. they are not free when they are ill paid for their exhausting toil. They are not free when their children must labor in mines, mills and factories or starve, and when their women may be driven by poverty to lives of shame. They are not free when they are clubbed and imprisoned because they go on strike for a raise of wages and for the elemental justice that is their right as human beings.
… Strike against all ordinances and laws and institutions that continue the slaughter of peace and the butcheries of war. Srike against war, for without you no battles can be fought. Strike against manufacturing scrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder. Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human being. Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction. Be heroes in an army of construction.
And while we’re on the subject, let’s also wish happy birthday to the Industrial Workers of the World! The IWW’s founding convention began 105 years ago today in Chicago, on June 27, 1905.
If the workers of the world want to win, all they have to do is recognize their own solidarity. They have nothing to do but fold their arms and the world will stop. The workers are more powerful with their hands in their pockets than all the property of the capitalists. As long as the workers keep their hands in their pockets, the capitalists cannot put theirs there. With passive resistance, with the workers absolutely refusing to move, lying absolutely silent, they are more powerful than all the weapons and instruments that the other side has for attack.
And happy birthday to the radical gay and trans liberation movements! Late at night, 41 years ago today, on June 27th, 1969, and early in the morning on June 28th, the
Public Morals Squad[sic] of the New York City government’s police force infiltrated and then assaulted the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, believing that they would use violence, prison, and social shaming yet again in their ongoing campaign on behalf of the Basher State. But something happened that night that they didn’t expect — when the poorest and most marginalized in the queer and trans community said no more, began to resist, and then fought back against the cops. When people dressed as women refused to be taken back to the bathroom to have police
verifytheir sex, men began to refuse to show their IDs, and cops started bullying and groping lesbians during
frisks,the police shoved the people in the bar outside. Those who hadn’t been singled out for arrest refused to leave, and stayed to witness in solidarity. People began to shout
Gay Power!and sing
We Shall Overcome.When a cop smashed a
stone butchover the head with a billy-club for complaining that her handcuffs were too tight, the crowd finally erupted, turned on the police, and freed the prisoners from the police wagon. The police, humiliated and massively outnumbered, barricaded themselves inside the bar until the NYPD’s Tactical Police Force arrived to pull them out and beat a hasty retreat. Running battles with police in Greenwich Village streets continued the next night. Witnessing the example of street kids, gay men, lesbians, drag queens and trans folks rise up, fight back, and win against the government violence of the Morals Police brought about a new urgency, a new daring, and effectively a new movement. Within a few months, the Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance, and Gay Pride organizing committee had sprung up in New York, with the first Gay Pride march in New York City’s history being held on June 28, 1970, in honor of
Christopher Street Liberation Day.As Frank Kameny, a longtime organizer for the Mattachine Society put it,
By the time of Stonewall, we had fifty to sixty gay groups in the country. A year later there was at least fifteen hundred. By two years later, to the extent that a count could be made, it was twenty-five hundred.
We all had a collective feeling like we’d had enough of this kind of shit. It wasn’t anything tangible anybody said to anyone else, it was just kind of like everything over the years had come to a head on that one particular night in the one particular place, and it was not an organized demonstration. It was spontaneous. That was the part that was wonderful.
Everyone in the crowd felt that we were never going to go back. It was like the last straw. It was time to reclaim something that had always been taken from us…. All kinds of people, all different reasons, but mostly it was total outrage, anger, sorrow, everything combined, and everything just kind of ran its course. It was the police who were doing most of the destruction. We were really trying to get back in and break free. And we felt that we had freedom at last, or freedom to at least show that we demanded freedom. We didn’t really have the freedom totally, but we weren’t going to be walking meekly in the night and letting them shove us around—it’s like standing your ground for the first time and in a really strong way, and that’s what caught the police by surprise. There was something in the air, freedom a long time overdue, and we’re going to fight for it. It took different forms, but the bottom line was, we weren’t going to go away. And we didn’t.
—Michael Fader, quoted in David Carter (2004), Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution, p. 160.
Here’s to many happy returns.
One reason to be glad for YouTube is that it gives me a chance to keep up with some of the things from back home that I’d miss out here in Vegas if it weren’t for the Internet. It’s summer in Alabama now, and it’s an even-numbered year. Which means it doesn’t matter if you get the local TV or not — no matter where you may be, thanks to YouTube it’s the season for Alabama state politics — the greatest show on earth.
Here’s Fob’s boy Tim, offering a soft-lit and touching tribute to monolingualism and belligerent ignorance:
Meanwhile, Dale By-God! Peterson is going to kick the ass of the Republican nomination for Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.
It’s a dime a dozen for cowboy-themed campaign commercials in Alabama state politics. But this is something special. Listen up: the moment when Dale Peterson, having just finished off a completely out-of-right-field tirade about migrant workers somehow hurting farming in Alabama (?) and a paranoid rant about Facebook bragging and the minions of his political opponents stealing his yard signs in the dead of night, then goes on to shout
We’re Republicans! and hefts a rifle up over the fence — well, it may be one of the most wonderful unintentional Happenings that I have ever seen on television.