no one who has ever been tempted toward a revolutionary. Captain Capitulation, eye of the storm (2011-01-10).
no one who has ever been tempted toward a revolutionary politics or a radical political philosophy or envisioned a big transformation can be entirely comfortable with the the notion that "anti-government" rhetoric must be...controlled, lest it lead to violence. that sort of thing threw eugene debs in prison and deported emma goldman.(Linked Monday 2011-01-10.)
On Cable News | The Agitator. www.theagitator.com (2011-01-10).
Ta-Nehisi Coates: ...it's my impression that much of cable news is rigged. Complicated questions are forced into small spaces of time, and guests frequently(Linked Monday 2011-01-10.)
The Agony of Paul Krugman. Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2011-01-11). Paul Krugman is a Very Serious Thinker. His words are like the rain. If he did not say these things about purely political matters, who else possibly could? (Linked Tuesday 2011-01-11.)
Graceless Degradation: WordPress Uglification for Outmoded Browsers. drench.github.com (2011-01-12).
Graceless Degradation Graceless Degradation is a WordPress plugin that gives visitors still using Internet Explorer 6 an appropriate user experience.(Linked Wednesday 2011-01-12.)
If suspect Jared Lee Loughner has schizophrenia, would that make him more likely to go on a shooting spree in Arizona? - By Vaughan Bell - Slate Magazine. www.slate.com (2011-01-12).
If you found evidence on the Web that Jared Lee Loughner or some other suspected killer was obsessed with soccer or football or hockey and suggested it might be an explanation for his crime, you'd be laughed at. But do the same with "schizophrenia" and people nod in solemn agreement....(Linked Wednesday 2011-01-12.)
Forced to Be Free. Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2010-10-08).
Across Europe, high-minded debates about terrorism, assimilation, and the social effects of Islam have been devolving into disputes over the clothes the government will let people wear, as countries from Switzerland to the U.K. ponder bans on burqas and head scarves. Curiously, legislators and pundits on both sides of the...(Linked Saturday 2010-10-09.)
09.23.10: Don't Forget the Motor City. David Byrne, David Byrne's Journal (2010-09-23).
I’m here in Detroit to participate in a film directed by Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo). The other day we performed the song “This Must Be The Place” with band and string section while the camera made a complicated move and a living room set rose up and traveled over our...(Linked Saturday 2010-10-09.)
The Drug War Metaphor: Increasingly Literal. Radley Balko, Radley Balko: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2010-10-06).
A New Mexico narcotics task force sent a SWAT team and helicopter to raid a school where students "participate in farming as a context for learning mathematics and science." The raid was apparently part of a larger operation involving the task force, the state police, and the National Guard, in...(Linked Saturday 2010-10-09.)
Nazi Nudges. Will Wilkinson, Will Wilkinson (2010-10-06).
Most of you have probably seen this on Marginal Revolution (from Dan Ariely), but the lesson is too good to pass up. When it suits them, Nazis use nudges, too… Nudge-style “choice architecture” techniques are ideologically neutral. We can’t count on the guys in charge to have benevolent motives. That’s...(Linked Sunday 2010-10-10.)
Military Keynesians Are the Worst Keynesians of All. Sheldon Richman, Free Association (2010-10-07).
From the National Journal this week: Two wars are not enough. America's economic outlook is so grim, and political solutions are so utterly absent, that only another large-scale war might be enough to lift the nation out of chronic high unemployment and slow growth, two prominent economists, a conservative and...(Linked Sunday 2010-10-10.)
Feminism. Marja Erwin (2010-08-24).
When men consider how they should treat other men, it is moral philosophy. When womyn consider how we should treat other womyn, it is feminism. It has taken feminism to separate the were-centered moral philosophies from the human-centered ones. It will take feminism-in-practice to discover the full potential of feminism-in-theory.What...(Linked Monday 2010-10-11.)
American schools are killing children. Marja Erwin (2010-10-10).
Through bullying, through high workloads, and through indifference to the needs of different children. Classrooms may be a good teaching environment for some kids, mediocre for other, and downright destructive for some. Bullying was an epidemic when I was in school, and I understand it has grown worse yet. Calling...(Linked Monday 2010-10-11.)
Here’s Paul Krugman, self-proclaimed Conscientious Liberal and the New York Times’s professional Keynesian opinionist:
Reading some of today’s news, it suddenly struck me: we’re living in the age of the anti-Cassandra.
Cassandra had the gift of prophecy — she saw, correctly, what was coming — but was under a curse: nobody would believe her.
Today, our public discourse is dominated by people who have been wrong about everything — but are still, mysteriously, treated as men of wisdom, whose judgments should be believed. Those who were actually right about the major issues of the day can’t get a word in edgewise.
What he no doubt intended is for that last sentence to be completed with the unspoken phrase:
those like me, Paul Krugman. But in fact this is the sort of passage that puts one in grave peril of committing certain kinds of logical fallacies. But in fact an argument can be assessed on its own merits, apart from the vice or folly of the arguer, and I’ll certainly concede Krugman’s general point. In fact, it’s as apt a description as you could hope of the cultural position of the entire staff of professional blowhards on the New York Times Op-Ed page.
If you’ve decided that you’re not interested in helping limited-governmentalists make the trains run on time, one of the first replies you are always going to get from minarchists and minarcho-enablers is some snide remarks about how you must advocate
doing nothingout of a prissy or sanctimonious concern for ideological purity. Of course, this reply is usually plain nonsense, since it depends on the completely unargued, and in fact easily refuted, principle that the only alternatives on the table are (1) partisan politicking in government elections, or else (2) doing nothing. Of course these are not the two options, and the only reasons that you would act as if they are is (a) if you are wearing the conceptual blinders of statist political analysis, or else (b) you don’t have a clear or concrete enough conception of what someone might put down for option (3). I tried to make my point clear about problem (a) in my follow-up post; but for a more straightforward approach to the problem, see also this great post tackling problem (b) from Francois Tremblay at Check Your Premises (2008-01-22): Eight ways you can personally help to smash the State:
One of the problems with Anarchism is that, unlike other political ideologies which rely onRead the whole thing, and note especially numbers 5–8.
the system,the courses of actions one can take are not obvious. People who are convinced by the arguments are discouraged by the notion that
there’s nothing I can do,and new Anarchists, not seeing any way out, turn to political means as
the only solution.… So what can we do to resist? Not as a movement, but personally? There are a number of things that a single individual can do that brings concrete, if small, change.
Thomas Knapp, a market anarchist and sometime Libertarian Party activist, who has used the
freedom trainmetaphor often in the past (and who I quoted in Take the A-Train), has a lot of thoughtful remarks in reply to my criticism, in KN@PPSTER (2008-02-01): Train kept a-rollin’, part 1 of ???. There’s some good points here, both by way of objection and by way of agreement, which I should have linked some time ago, and which provide a lot of great discussion-fodder and deserve a reply when my brain is a bit less fried than it is right now. I’m not especially convinced by some of Knapp’s rejoinders — e.g. I think that the claim that it’s easier to get from Anarchotopia once the train has already pulled in at Minarchistan is refuted by, or at least faces an as-yet unanswered challenge from, precisely the points that I raised in my follow-up post. But while I unfry my brain enough to talk at more length, you should definitely read the whole thing.
Mutualists and counter-economists alike may find something of interest in Michel Bauwens’s mention of the
unMoney Convergence – a conference on money, liberation and systems change,to be held in Seattle April 14–16. The convergence will discuss the emergence of alternatives to government money (community currencies, Internet currencies, open currencies, etc.); the development of open, peer-to-peer infrastructures for gifting, sharing, and exchange; and efforts to move to open money systems over the next ten years. (The convergence will no doubt include plenty of crankery and rubbish along with plenty of genuinely good discussion and perhaps even mildly thrilling developments. But that’s par for the course. Again, more stuff that I’d be interested to talk about and hash out — e.g. the tensions between genuine mutual money and community exchanges, and
progressiveMonopoly-money deliberately obstructing non-local use — once back in a post-brain-fried state.) Anyway, read the whole thing and follow the links.
Finally, for a change of speed, we have the latest Radical Healthcare Reform proposal from New York Times humor columnist Paul Krugman (2008-02-04): Clinton, Obama, Insurance, in which it is revealed that the most significant policy difference between Hillary Rodham Clinton’s scheme for massive government subsidies to third-party health insurance bureaucracies and Barack Obama’s scheme for massive government subsidies to third-party health insurance bureaucracies is that Hillary Rodham Clinton’s plan would force everybody to buy health coverage from a big corporate insurer, whether it’s in their financial best interest or not; whereas Barack Obama’s plan, although forcing everyone to subsidize other people’s use of big corporate insurers through taxes, would at least give each individual person some choice over whether or not it’s in their own best interest to buy corporate health insurance for herself. Krugman then suggests that reveals a major defect in Obama’s plan and a major virtue of Clinton’s plan. Because, apparently, the purely statistical achievement of
universal coverageis an obvious good, regardless of what that
coverageamounts to or what the cost of achieving it is, whereas the notion that a bug-government-mandated captive market for big, bureaucratic insurance companies might not always be the best way for each and every one of 300,000,000 very different people with very different needs to get their healthcare costs covered, is an idea that could only be advanced by the dupes or hirelings of the same insurance firms that stand to massively profit from this subsidy program (!).
This is, apparently, what passes for Leftist economics among the professional statist-blowhard class in America. Libertarian mutualists, i.e. the genuinely Leftist alternative to the corporate liberal managerialism and
progressivestatism fraudulently passed off as Leftism today, know that radical healthcare reform would mean something very different — the abolition of government obstacles in healthcare and the emergence of grassroots networks and institutions for mutual aid among the working class, not a massive effort by the policy elite to universalize and ossify the existing boss-and-bureaucrat model of third-party healthcare coverage.