Rad Geek People's Daily

official state media for a secessionist republic of one

Posts from April 2023

“If Proudhon’s predictions regarding peace remain unfulfilled, perhaps it is because we have scorned anarchic means….”

Shared Article from Reason.com

An anarchist's guide to war

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's most controversial book has finally been fully translated into English.

Shawn Wilbur @ reason.com

The publication of a complete English translation of War and Peace allows us to move beyond the rumors that have accumulated around it and decide on our own what sort of book it is. Very little about that task is simple….

— Shawn Wilbur, An Anarchist’s Guide to War
Review of War and Peace: On the Principle and Constitution of the Right of Peoples by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, edited by Alex Prichard and translated by Paul Sharkey
Reason, May 2023

AK Press has released a complete English translation of Proudhon’s monumental late work War and Peace (1861), translated by Paul Sharkey and Alex Prichard. Shawn Wilbur reviews the book and the new translation for Reason.

For the Love of God, Let Them Out

Shared Article from nytimes.com

As Migrants’ Desperation Mounts at the Border, a Fire Kills Do…

The fatal blaze comes as border cities across Mexico have been flooded with migrants turned back from the United States and more arriving from other c…

By Rocío Gallegos, Natalie Kitroeff, Emiliano Rodríguez Mega and Simon Romero @ nytimes.com

Shared Article from nytimes.com

‘No One Gives Me Answers:’ Migrants Search for Bodies of Lov…

After a deadly fire in a migrant detention center in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, some victims’ families and friends are still looking for answers about …

By Nicole Salazar and Noah Throop @ nytimes.com

Shared Article from nytimes.com

U.S. Border Policies Have Created a Volatile Logjam in Mexico

As the United States has cracked down on border entries, Mexico is bearing the burden of housing and feeding tens of thousands of desperate migrants.

By Miriam Jordan and Edgar Sandoval @ nytimes.com

As always, border policies and the border cops who enforce them impose horrendous suffering on innocent people, for the sake of inflicting the deplorable, invasive and violent means to an utterly worthless political end.

Then they turn around and look at the humanitarian crisis that they themselves have created, they contort their faces into a grotesque mask of feigned pity, and Joseph R. Biden will talk on and on about how people shouldn’t be trying to come to the United States at all, or if they have to then they can wait in prison on the other side of the border waiting for court appointments that never come and fiddling around with a mobile app that doesn’t work, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador will say that it’s all so awful, and he will investigate how the fire started, when of course he already knows perfectly well why dozens of men were caught and could not get out and could not get away from it.

And the politicians in Washington and in Mexico and the military and paramilitary patrols on both sides of the the border all care so, so very much and they are all so, so very sorry, and this only shows how much harder they need to work at discouraging immigrants ever more thoroughly, and at shutting down border crossings ever more systematically and relentlessly, and at securing funds to build ever more jails to imprison the immigrants they have caught, and then rounding people up across the border towns to force them into immigrant jails while they wait, and wait, and wait. So that they can make damned sure that the U.S. government will always be able to go on enforcing all the laws that keep forcing peaceful, harmless people into these awful conditions over and over again.

And when another unintended but utterly predictable disaster happens at another overcrowded jail, then what everyone knows, but nobody in politics is willing to say, is that what happened is that so many people who have done nothing wrong, and who pose no threat to anyone, were locked away in a jail that they could not get out of, and the fact that they were locked in and could not get out is the entire reason that they were left to suffer and to burn and to suffocate and to die.

This is not a matter of complicated and measured considerations of policy. It is a matter of really appalling recklessness and brutality that had no reason to exist. There is no political policy on earth that could be worth this, no system of control and enforcement that could justify or even excuse rounding people up and locking them for God knows how long in an immigration jail while they wait endlessly on a broken system of administrative procedure that will leave them stranded for months, or years, or forever.

There is no clever technical fix to the system that produces horrors like this over and over again, no endlessly and mendaciously perpetuated Trump-era policy, no innovatively progressive feat of technocratic legerdemain that will alleviate the crisis or mitigate the suffering that it causes to any extent that matters.

There is no policy solution except for the urgent, simple, utterly obvious solution of allowing for massive, order-of-magnitude increases to the numbers of people legally allowed to immigrate openly to the United States, regardless of their nation of origin. That’s all. People who are being stopped from crossing the border should be allowed to cross the border, openly and peacefully. People who are in jails along the border should be let out of those jails so that they can cross the border at their earliest convenience.

There is no crisis on the border that is not the obvious and direct result of the crisis of the border, no humanitarian disaster that would not be instantly and forever wiped away just by letting people out of jail, by letting them cross peacefully where they want to cross, and by letting them stay anywhere that they can find a place or a person willing to have them. All you need to do is stand down, let these people out of detention, let them cross freely and openly where they choose and not worry about how to force them through a kafkaesque system of immigration courts, and leave them alone. If that seems politically difficult, then damn politics to hell.

Nobody needed to die like that in this awful jail. Not one man. How dare you? What else is there to say? What could there be to say in anything other than looking directly at the allied governments of the United States of America and the United Mexican States, and the political border that they enforce, and and just screaming, screaming, screaming.

Just pay them

Shared Article from Washington Post

Troubled U.S. organ transplant system targeted for overhaul

Federal health official announces plans to break up monopoly power of group that has run system for decades

Lenny Bernstein @ washingtonpost.com

Good. I hope so. If so, then thank goodness. I can only hope that this opens the door for more radical changes. The organ transplant control monopoly poses as a humane medical system but in fact it is a cruel, strangling vine that has wrapped itself around life-saving medicine and produced a system of utterly needless delay, protracted misery, and daily needless death. May it burn to the ground and never rise again. There are some political issues, the Bruce Banner issues in our political life, that I am just always angry about — not just concerned or committed, but actually really angry about, constantly, and genuinely angry with the people and systems that uphold them. This is one of them. Here’s why:

If successful, the proposal would leave little unaffected in the sprawling, multibillion-dollar network that sends kidneys, livers and other organs from deceased donors to severely ill recipients. That system has long been criticized as inadequate: Nearly 104,000 people are on waiting lists for organs, most of them kidneys; 22 people die each day awaiting transplants, with poor and minority patients generally faring worse than affluent and White people.

— Lenny Bernstein, Troubled U.S. organ transplant system targeted for overhaul
Washington Post, 22 March 2023.

I can only hope that this opening will be allowed to pass, and that after it passes the opening up of competitive bids will allow for some space for innovation, accountability and improvement within the system. Any improvement over the appalling public-private status quo will save lives. But ultimately the problem is not with United Network for Organ Sharing’s monopolistic position. The problem is with the Health Resources and Services Administration itself, which made the monopoly possible, and with the National Organ Transplant Act that controls this inhuman, stifling system of controls against the availability of willing organ donations.

Under UNOS, which holds a $6.5 million annual contract with HRSA, the network has been plagued by problems: Too many organs are discarded, damaged in transit or simply not collected, faulty technology sometimes jeopardizes transplants, and poor performers face little accountability.

. . . One major obstacle to the plan is that UNOS’s grip on the network is virtually written into the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act. It established the network to be run by a nonprofit that would function as a quasi-governmental agency under a single contract — with UNOS in mind. And although UNOS is a contractor with the federal government, it considers the technology that undergirds the nation’s transplant system its own.

. . . Johnson said she will ask Congress to amend that law and raise the cap on what it can spend on contractors. But she also asserted that she has the legal authority to move forward if Congress does not act. Bid solicitations could go out as soon as this fall, she said.

— Lenny Bernstein, Troubled U.S. organ transplant system targeted for overhaul
Washington Post, 22 March 2023.

In reality, easing up on the existing system of controls will help people in need of transplants, and that will save lives, and that is good if it happens. But whatever the politics may be, there is no policy solution to this problem — no available solution to the constant crisis of organ availability — except for a radical, order-of-magnitude increase in the number of organs available for transplant.

And there is a simple, consensual, and effective way to find far more willing donors — a way that is already practiced in a real-world market in a large country without any noticeably catastrophic results — which is simply to make it legal to pay them openly (or to pay their families, in the case of posthumous donations).

There’s no reason you couldn’t do this; there’s no good reason you shouldn’t do it. Mainstream political debate about the issue still amounts to little more than blank stares of incomprehension, or by unmoored bioconservative meandering about the importance to human dignity of disregarding actual human beings’ deliberate choices about their bodies, or by purely speculative fantasies and fear-mongering about possible socioeconomic dynamics or structural outcomes.[1] It is appalling, and it is utterly needless. There is another, better way, and it is maddening that this is so rarely even brought up for consideration, that even most of those who bring it up with the most humane and intelligent and urgent of reasons to consider the change still feel that they must bring it up only when hedged around with all kinds of timid qualifications and halfway-house measures limiting the extent of open buying and selling, in the hopes that this might do at least a little bit of what open and unrestricted market exchange would do far more simply and fully. The current system kills people — slowly tortures people to death — every single day. It is not just wrong, but insane and obscene. Let us consider another, better way.

Shared Article from WIRED

Would You Sell Your Extra Kidney?

Each year thousands die because there aren’t enough organs for transplants, and I may be one of them. It’s time to start compensating donors.

Dylan Walsh @ wired.com

  1. [1]Never mind the actual, observed socioeconomic dynamics and structural outcomes of a system that chronically under-supplies the need for transplant organs, that inevitably resorts to strict rationing and endless queues, that utterly predictably leaves people slowly dying on dialysis every day, and that utterly predictably happens to be far more likely to do that to poor, minority and socially marginalized patients than it is to the affluent and privileged.
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