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Posts tagged William Gillis

Technological civilization is awesome. (Cont’d.)

There is a common notion that the problem with technology, or with a certain technological view of the world, is that it obliterates immediate relationship with the world, and the appreciation of the here and now for its own sake. That instead it constrains us to view the world as a whole, and everything in it, instrumentally, according to our own demands and interests, not as something wonderful in itself but simply as a sort of standing-reserve which is understood, appreciated, and valued only in relation to human uses, and perhaps human tastes.


The wonderful thing about technology is that it allows me not only to wonder at the hummingbird out my window this morning (which is — no doubt about it — a wondrous thing), but also at traveling through the glimmering light of 10,000 distinguishable galaxies in the very infancy of the Universe, 13,000,000,000 years ago. So vastly remote that there is no possible angle, and no possible reason to care. Other than the fact that it is there, shining behind a tiny bit of the black that our unaided eyes could only take to be utterly empty. And yet, with only the right tools to gaze at it, is revealed to be shining with the light of a quadrillion stars.


Friday Lazy Linking

  • Winter Soldier: Just Another Tuesday. From Ryan Endicott, formerly a United States government Marine stationed in Iraq.

    Via Clay Claibourne, L.A. I.M.C. (2009-05-13): Winter Soldier Southwest on YouTube #1

  • The regulatory State versus freed markets and the human future: A quote from Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, via B.K. Marcus at Mises Economics Blog:

    To expect the government to prevent such fraud from ever occurring would be like wanting it to provide cushions for all the children who might fall. To assume it to be possible to prevent successfully, by regulation, all possible malpractices of this kind, is to sacrifice to a chimerical perfection the whole progress of industry; it is to restrict the imagination of artificers to the narrow limits of the familiar; it is to forbid them all new experiments; it is to renounce even the hope of competing with the foreigners in the making of the new products which they invent daily, since, as they do not conform to our regulations, our workmen cannot imitate these articles without first having obtained permission from the government, that is to say, often after the foreign factories, having profited by the first eagerness of the consumer for this novelty, have already replaced it with something else. … Thus, with obvious injustice, commerce, and consequently the nation, are charged with a heavy burden to save a few idle people the trouble of instructing themselves or of making enquiries to avoid being cheated. To suppose all consumers to be dupes, and all merchants and manufacturers to be cheats, has the effect of authorizing them to be so, and of degrading all the working members of the community.

    –Turgot, Éloge de Gournay (1759), translated by P.D. Groenewegen




  • On dialectical jujitsu: Roderick Long, Austro-Athenian Empire (2009-05-19): How to annoy a conservative

  • Ownership failures, not market failures Chris Dillow, Stumbling and Mumbling (2009-05-01): Markets, the poor & the left. Dillow makes two really important distinctions: one of them the familiar left-libertarian distinction between freed markets, on the one hand, and actually-existing corporate capitalism, on the other; the other a less familiar, but very important, distinction between market processes and patterns of ownership. Quote: In many ways, what look like ways in which markets fail the poor are in fact merely ways in which a lack of assets fail the poor. Exactly; and the many cases where there are not really market failures, but rather ownership failures, have everything to do with feudal, mercantile, neoliberal, and other politically-driven seizures and reallocations of poor people’s land, livelihoods, and possessions — and nothing to do with genuine market exchange.




ALLies on the Airwaves

(From Portland ALLy Shawn Wilbur 2009-02-18.)

From Occupied Cascadia, Kyle Burris recently interviewed Portland ALLies Shawn Wilbur and William Gillis for KBOO-FM’s program Radiozine:

Market Anarchism: Government regulation and the financial crisis.

What roll [sic] did government regulation play in the current financial crisis? Is more regulation what we really need? What would a truly free market look like? And is there hope for radical reform, beyond the failed Marxist model?

KBOO’s Kyle Burris speaks to local anarchist activist William Gillis, and historian Shawn Wilbur, about the theory know as Market Anarchism, or Left Libertarianism. They discuss the roll [sic] government plays in the current economy, and also take a historical look at government’s affect on unions and health care in the US.

More information on the subject can be found at the website Invisible Molotov.

— KBOO.fm (2009-02-17): Market Anarchism: Government regulation and the financial crisis.

Congratulations Shawn and William!

An mp3 of the interview is available for download at the KBOO.fm website.

Free the St. Paul 8 and all political prisoners!

These are video segments from a press conference hosted by members of the RNC Welcoming Committee and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. Several police agencies, ramrodded by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s department, staged massive pre-emptive raids against houses where activists were staying and against the RNC Welcoming Committee’s convergence space. Many of the imprisoned protesters continue to be held without charges. Many have been abused by their jailers, including a woman being knocked to the ground and dragged by her hair, several protesters being denied prescription or over-the-counter medications for serious medical conditions, and a 19-year-old activist named Elliot Hughes, who was beaten and tortured for over an hour because, according to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s department, he was being verbally disruptive.

Ramsey County prosecutors have formally charged eight members of the Welcoming Committee with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism. If convicted, the St. Paul 8 face up to 7 1/2 years in prison. Affadavits filed by police informants who infiltrated the Welcoming Committee allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, attack police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. These allegations have not been corroborated by any physical evidence or any other evidence independent of the testimony of police infiltrators. Members of the RNC Welcoming Committee held a press conference together with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in order to respond to these charges and to discuss violence against imprisoned protesters by police and jailers.

In related news, William Gillis is my fucking hero.

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