Posts tagged North Carolina

Shameless Self-promotion Sunday: This Really is the Final Straw

There’s a number of interviews out recently that Gary and I have done for Markets Not Capitalism. I’m going to do a fuller post collecting them later this evening, but in the meantime we have to prepare our escape from Chicago. Before I do, however, I wanted to mention the most recent, and the upcoming broadcast.

Bursts O’Goodness from The Final Straw on AshevilleFM.org very generously invited m to an extended interview on Markets Not Capitalism in advance of my upcoming book talk at Firestorm Cafe & Books in Asheville. (From the show’s website: The Final Straw works to bring new music and new ideas to it’s audience. A mixed-format show, The Final Straw presents a dynamic mix of music from around the world alongside inteviews concerning radical political, social, economic and environmental issues. The host, Bursts O’Goodness, hopes to make radical content more accessible to a wider and wider audience.)

A selection of the conversation from yesterday will be airing today, Sunday, March 4 from 2:00pm-3:00pm EST (1:00pm-2:00pm Central) on http://www.ashevillefm.org/. I’m told that it will also be streaming about every 4 hours or so on Monday at http://www.kwtf.net/, and will be broadcast a few times on Tuesday at KXCF in Marin County, California. The show will be available for download at http://www.ashevillefm.org/the-final-straw from March 5 - March 12, and later at http://www.archive.org/. I’ll put up a link here when I have it — but if you can tune in today or later this week at ashevillefm.org, the hits for Bursts’s show will help support the show and let his network know how much we appreciate radical voices and in-depth conversations about freedom on community radio.

I’ve got to run. But more links soon. In the meantime, I note also that this is once again Shameless Self-promotion Sunday. So; I’ve been on holiday in Chicago the past week, done a few interviews, seen a few bookstores. And y’all? What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.

Markets Not Capitalism on tour!

So I’ve mentioned already that I did a book event a while back with Roderick back in Auburn, and that I am going to be in Austin, Texas this weekend to do a couple more book events for Markets Not Capitalism. What I’ve been working on, behind the scenes, but haven’t announced publicly yet is that these are just the first two legs in a seat-of-the-pants sort of book tour that I’ve been working to put together over the next few months. In addition to the events this weekend in Austin, there are also confirmed events in late February in and around Nashua, New Hampshire, and in mid-March in Asheville, North Carolina. As with all these events, I’ll be doing a brief talk, a reading, Q&A and book-signing. (In New Hampshire I’ll also be holding down tables at Liberty Forum and AltExpo with a wide selection of left-libertarian and market anarchist literature.)

Editor and contributor Charles Johnson will be here for a discussion of his new book, Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty (Autonomedia, Nov. 2011).

Individualist anarchists believe in mutual exchange, not economic privilege. They believe in freed markets, not capitalism. They defend a distinctive response to the challenges of global capitalism and social justice: eliminate the political privileges that prop up capitalists. The economic crisis needs fresh new responses, which emphasize the ways in which poverty and economic inequality have resulted from collusion between government and big business, which has enriched a few corporate giants at the expense of the rest of us. Rather than turning back to politics, the authors argue that working people must begin to free themselves of the mistakes of the past, and work together to take back control over their own lives and livelihoods through individual freedom, mutual exchange, human-scale markets and nonviolent grassroots social activism. Books for sale, books signed, discussion to be had, Q&A to follow. Come on down!

Charles Johnson (b. 1981) is a market anarchist writer from Auburn, Alabama. He is a member of Occupy Auburn and the Industrial Workers of the World, and a Research Associate at the Molinari Institute. He has published the Rad Geek People’s Daily weblog at radgeek.com since 2001, and is a frequent speaker and columnist on radical responses to the economic crises, stateless social activism, and the philosophy of anarchism.

Here are the dates we’ve got more-or-less confirmed so far:

Interested? I hope I’ll see you somewhere along the road! Come on down to one if you can; invite your friends; spread the word. I’m excited; these events are always a lot of fun, and vital to helping get the word out, and I’d like to do what I can to keep this market anarchist roadshow going as long as can be managed. If you’re interested and able, here’s a couple things that you can do to help keep it running.

  1. Set it up! If you would like to get an event in your neighborhood, and you know a good space to get in touch with, contact me by e-mail or phone! Radical bookstores, infoshops and (A) community centers, and independent community bookstores are usually the best bet, but I’ll show up anywhere I’m invited to talk. I’m especially interested in dates that I might be able to connect with one of the existing appearances — I’m open for any stops along the way from Alabama to New Hampshire during the days before my appearances in Nashua; immediately after the appearance in Nashua, I’m going to be in Chicago, Ill. for other reasons (but if you’re interested in getting an event set up there, I’ll have the time; just let me know!). And I’m happy to add stops to the trip after Asheville in mid-March. (Or anywhere else, after the March 15th appearance.) I’m definitely willing to go just about anywhere east of the Continental Divide; for points West, get in touch with me anyway, as we might be able to hook something up with either me or Gary. Let me know what you think! Hopefully I’ll be adding more details and stops as they come in and get confirmed.

  2. Chip in! If you want to support the progress of the rolling free-market anticapitalist caravan, you can help us out by tossing a few coins into the hat to help cover the costs of transportation and lodging. I’m working on as thin a shoestring as possible, by combining trips, packing a lunch and couch-surfing for crash spaces; with support from y’ALL, I can keep this going a lot longer and make the most of the opportunities to talk about market anarchism and free-market anticapitalism, make connections with local radicals, and put the good word out among our fellow Anarchists.

Here’s the shoestring so far, for reference. (Costs are estimated using AAA’s fuel cost calculator, etc. This budget may be revised as new events are added.) Donations go to the Molinari Institute; any proceeds above reimburseable expenses will go to support left-libertarian scholarship and market anarchist outreach.

Markets Not Capitalism 2012 tour shoestring budget
Cost Description
$290 Austin, Tex. Feb 3-6: Travel expenses. 2 events: Brave New Books and MonkeyWrench Books.
~$0~ Lodging in Austin (crash space secured!)
$210 Nashua, NH. Late Feb. Travel expenses (one way). Multiple events: appearances in and around Liberty Forum and AltExpo 2012, bookstore event(s) TBA.
$50 Lodging en route to Nashua
~$0~ Lodging in Nashua, NH (crash space secured!)
$110 Asheville, NC. March 15. Travel expenses. Firestorm Books in Asheville, NC.
$660 Total costs (estimate as of 3 Feb 2012)

Today Austin, tomorrow the world …

I oppose civil rights acts because I support civil rights movements

Appearing this month in The Freeman (60.7, September 2010):

Opposing the Civil Rights Act Means Opposing Civil Rights? It Just Ain’t So!

Charles Johnson, September 2010 • Volume: 60 • Issue: 7

Just after winning his Republican primary in May, Rand Paul got himself into a political pickle over his views on property rights and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Having reluctantly discussed concerns about antidiscrimination laws with the Louisville Courier-Journal and NPR, Paul made his now-notorious appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show, where Maddow grilled him for 15 minutes on whether he opposed government intervention to stop racial discrimination. After saying he favored overturning government-mandated discrimination, Paul finally admitted that he opposes Title II, which forbids private owners from discriminating in their own businesses.

As he told the Courier-Journal: I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism; I think it’s a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant; but at the same time, I do believe in private ownership… .

Maddow responded: I think wanting to allow private businesses to discriminate on the basis of race, because of property rights, is an extreme view. Within a day Progressives were touting the interview as proof of a deep conflict between libertarian defenses of private property and struggles for racial equality. Meanwhile, compromising libertarians like Brink Lindsey reacted by discovering exceptions to libertarian principles—to make room, again, for federal antidiscrimination laws. The entire debate has played out as an argument over libertarianism and extremism, with Progressives and many nominal libertarians both condemning Rand Paul’s simplistic extremism about private property and libertarian rights.

I have little interest in defending Paul but it’s strange to treat him like some case study in the dangers of libertarian extremism. Rand Paul is a conservative, not a libertarian—let alone an extreme one. He’s said as much, in so many words, in repeated interviews. Now, you could simply say, He may be no libertarian, but never mind Rand Paul—what about the issue? Libertarianism opposes government control of private business decisions; taken to extremes, doesn’t that include laws against racist business practices—the civil rights movement’s crowning achievement?

Well, I do have something to say on behalf of extremism. Not on behalf of sacrificing the civil rights movement’s achievements to extreme stands on antistatist principle. Rather, extreme stands on antistatist principle show what the civil rights movement did right, and what it really achieved, without the aid of federal laws.

. . .

[I]f libertarianism has anything to teach about politics, it’s that politics goes beyond politicians; social problems demand social solutions. Discriminatory businesses should be free from legal retaliation—not insulated from the social and economic consequences of their bigotry. What consequences? Whatever consequences you want, so long as they’re peaceful—agitation, confrontation, boycotts, strikes, nonviolent protests.

So when Maddow asks, Should Woolworth’s lunch counters have been allowed to stay segregated? neither she nor Paul seemed to realize that her attempted coup de grace—invoking the sit-in movement’s student martyrs, facing down beatings to desegregate lunch counters—actually offers a perfect libertarian response to her own question.

Because, actually, Woolworth’s lunch counters weren’t desegregated by Title II. The sit-in movement did that. From the Montgomery Bus Boycott onward, the Freedom Movement had won victories, town by town, building movements, holding racist institutions socially and economically accountable. The sit-ins proved the real-world power of the strategy: In Greensboro, N.C., nonviolent sit-in protests drove Woolworth’s to abandon its whites-only policy by July 1960. The Nashville Student Movement, through three months of sit-ins and boycotts, convinced merchants to open all downtown lunch counters in May the same year. Creative protests and grassroots pressure campaigns across the South changed local cultures and dismantled private segregation without legal backing.

Should lunch counters have been allowed to stay segregated? No—but the question is how to disallow it. Bigoted businesses shouldn’t face threats of legal force for their racism. They should face a force much fiercer and more meaningful—the full force of voluntary social organization and a culture of equality. What’s to stop resegregation in a libertarian society? We are. Using the same social power that was dismantling Jim Crow years before legal desegregation.

I oppose civil rights acts because I support civil rights movements—because the forms of social protest they pioneered proved far more courageous, positive, and effective than the litigious quagmires and pale bureaucratic substitutes governments offer.

— Charles Johnson, The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty (September 2010): Opposing the Civil Rights Act Means Opposing Civil Rights? It Just Ain’t So!

You can read the whole thing at The Freeman Online, or in the forthcoming print issue.

Many thanks as always to Sheldon Richman and FEE.

See also:

Beware the State; celebrate the Ides of March!

As you may know, there are only 10 more ranting days left until Tyrannicide Day, which this secessionist republic of one celebrates every year on March 15th, in commemoration of the nearby anniversaries of the assassinations of Gais Julius Caesar and Alexander II Nikolaevich, the self-styled Caesar over all the Russias. As in years past, (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), although my time for the celebrations may be limited by the weekend trip to San Francisco that I’ll be just getting back from.

Here's a Tyrannicide Day logo, with a cartoon silhouette of a T. rex with a crown on its head and an asteroid hurtling at it from the sky, with the slogan SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS printed on top.

In any case, I’m happy to receive word through diplomatic channels that this secessionist republic of one’s Ministry of Culture will not be alone in celebrating this international holiday. If you happen to be in the area of Asheville, North Carolina, the Firestorm Cafe & Books will be hosting a celebration on Monday, March 15th in honor of the holiday. Plus, they’ve designed this awesome logo for their holiday event.[1]

For those of you who are new to this holiday, I can tell you what Tyrannicide Day is all about. Lights please:

Today, March 15th, commemorates the assassination of two tyrants. Today is the 2,051st anniversary — give or take the relevant calendar adjustments — of the death of Gaius Julius Caesar, the military dictator who butchered his way through Gaul, set fire to Alexandria, and, through years of conquest, perfidy, and proscription, battered and broke every barricade that republican institutions had put in the way of military and executive power, until he finally had himself proclaimed dictator perpetuus, the King of Rome in everything but name. On March 15th, 44 BCE, a group of republican conspirators, naming themselves the Liberatores, rose up and stabbed Caesar to death on the floor of the Senate. Meanwhile, Thursday, March 13th, was also the 127th anniversary (give or take the relevant calendar adjustments), of the death of Czar Alexander II Nikolaevitch, the self-styled Caesar of all the Russias. Alexander was killed by grenades thrown by a group of anarchist conspirators on March 13th, 1881 C.E., in an act of propaganda by the deed. In honor of the events, the Ministry of Culture in this secessionist republic of one has proclaimed March 15th Tyrannicide Day (observed), which is kind of like President’s Day, except cooler. Instead of another dull theo-nationalist hymn on the miraculous births of two of the canonized saints of the United States federal government, Tyrannicide Day gives us one day in which we can commemorate the deaths of two tyrants at the hands of their equals — men and women who defied the tyrants’ arbitrary claims to an unchecked authority that they had neither the wisdom, the virtue, nor the right to exercise. Men and women who saw themselves as exercising their equal right of self-defense, by striking down the would-be tyrants just like they would be entitled to strike down any other two-bit thug who tried to kill them, enslave them, or shake them down.

… There are in fact lots of good reasons to rule out tyrannicide as a political tactic — after all, these two famous cases each ended a tyrant but not the tyrannical regime; Alexander II was replaced by the even more brutal Alexander III, and Julius Caesar was replaced by his former running-dogs, one of whom would emerge from the abattoir that followed as Augustus Caesar, to begin the long Imperial nightmare in earnest. But it’s important to recognize that these are strategic failures, not moral ones, and what should be celebrated on the Ides of March is not the tyrannicide as a strategy, but rather tyrannicide as a moral fact. Putting a diadem on your head and wrapping yourself in the blood-dyed robes of the State confers neither the virtue, the knowledge, nor the right to rule over anyone, anywhere, for even one second, any more than you had naked and alone. Tyranny is nothing more and nothing less than organized crime executed with a pompous sense of entitlement and a specious justification; the right to self-defense applies every bit as much against the person of some self-proclaimed sovereign as it does against any other two-bit punk who might attack you on the street.

Every victory for human liberation in history — whether against the crowned heads of Europe, the cannibal-empires of modern Fascism and Bolshevism, or the age-old self-perpetuating oligarchies of race and sex — has had these moral insights at its core: the moral right to deal with the princes and potentates of the world as nothing more and nothing less than fellow human beings, to address them as such, to challenge them as such, and — if necessary — to resist them as such.

— GT 2008-03-15: Tyrannicide Day 2008

Anyway. How about you? How are you planning to celebrate Tyrannicide Day? Got any plans? A favorite tyrannicide to highlight for this year’s ceremonies? A party to throw? If you are or do, send some fraternal greetings my way; I’d be glad to hear how you plan to pass the holiday.

Just ten more days, y’all. Beware the State; celebrate the Ides of March!

  1. [1] Which has the advantage of combining multiple visual puns with some remarkable skill, and which, for a dinosaur nerd like me, is like the funniest thing ever.

Rapists on patrol (#7). Officer Marcus Ramon Jackson.

Trigger warning. This post includes extended quotations from a newspaper article that includes narrative descriptions of sexual violence, battery, and other forms of abuse committed by a male police officer against four different young women. It may be triggering for past experiences of sexual or physical abuse.

Officer Marcus Ramon Jackson, rapist on patrol.

Officer Marcus Ramon Jackson, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte, North Carolina. Last week, the Charlotte city government’s police force fired and then arrested Officer Marcus Ramon Jackson, for using the power of his badge and the threat of arrest to pull over, abduct and then rape at least two different young women off the street within a period of a week and a half in late December. The police force’s spokesman is keeping mum about it, but apparently Jackson was still out on patrol after the first woman came forward to the police — and raped the second victim during the time he was allowed to stay on the road. This is what Police Spokesman Captain Brian Cunningham considers act[ing] in a swift and appropriate manner.

On Wednesday, Jackson, 25, was arrested after two young women told investigators he had pulled them over on traffic stops and sexually assaulted them. He was on duty in a marked patrol car at the time, according to police.

The first incident allegedly occurred on Dec. 18 but wasn’t reported until Monday. Police Chief Rodney Monroe said Jackson — wearing his uniform and driving his police cruiser - pulled over a 17-year-old girl, forced her into his car, drove to another location and forced her to commit sex acts.

CMPD began its investigation after a relative of the girl called police Monday.

As detectives investigated the allegations, Monroe said, a 21-year-old woman reported Tuesday night that she too had been assaulted by Jackson under similar circumstances. That assault, she said, occurred on Monday.

Police would not say what time on Monday they received the first complaint, or how much time passed before the second attack occurred.

— Ely Portillo and Gary Wright, Charlotte Observer (2010-01-01): Ex-officer had past reports of violence

The reason that Officer Marcus Ramon Jackson was given a badge and a gun and the power to detain and arrest in the first place is because the city government’s police force decided to hire him even though he had already been taken to court two different times for threatening violence and battering women:

Court documents reveal that Jackson’s past included two allegedly violent episodes in Mecklenburg County. The first was in 2003 when Jackson, then 19 and a student at UNC Charlotte, was dating a 15-year-old Harding High School student.

The girl’s mother sought a restraining order against him in May 2003. The defendant threatened my daughter by telling her she was going to get hers and catch one, the mother wrote.

Jackson tried to hit the teen with a car and pushed her into a locker, according to the mother’s complaint. He was later summoned to court after being accused of violating a restraining order, but was found not guilty in August 2003.

In 2005, Jackson was working at Off Broadway Shoes on South Boulevard and still studying at UNCC when his 21-year-old girlfriend sought a restraining order against him.

The defendant grabbed me by the face several times, screaming and yelling…, the girlfriend wrote in her complaint. The defendant hit me in the back of the head, slapped my face, pushed me down in the floor, forcing (me) in (a) walk-in closet.

The judge ordered Jackson to stay away from the victim and not own or carry any firearms [for the duration of the restraining order].

— Ely Portillo and Gary Wright, Charlotte Observer (2010-01-01): Ex-officer had past reports of violence

The police admit that they were already aware of the 2003 domestic violence complaint when they decided to hire and arm Jackson. They claim that they weren’t aware of the 2005 restraining order — but, of course, they claim to do background checks before they hand out badges and guns, and the restraining order was a matter of public record, and could easily have been discovered if they took the time to follow up on the 2003 complaint, to see whether it was part of a pattern of behavior. In other words, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department chose to hire, train, arm, and put out on patrol a man who they already knew, or already should have known, to be a hyperviolent control freak with a history of violence against women. Who then went on to become a serial rapist, using the legal and martial weapons that they gave him to single young women out, force them into his car, abduct them, and force sex on them against their will. Police Chief Rodney Monroe has mentioned to the press that he thinks it would be naïve to believe that Jackson hadn’t raped other women while out on duty.

Yes, it would be. Men who attack women typically do so repeatedly; men with a known history of violence against women will do it over and over again, unless and until they are stopped. So how naive is it to hire a man with a known history of abusive rages and physical violence against women, heavily arm him, and putting him out on patrol, where he effectively holds the power of life or death over any woman that he chooses to single out?

See also: