A perfect follow-up to yesterday's resource suggestion is a very short blog post concerning "limited government" and the impossibility of such a thing.
There are some Fundamental Flaws in the concept of limited government. While this article doesn't fully explore these issues and their ramifications, It piggy-backs nicely on yesterday's post and begins a discussion which can only lead to one of two places: willful ignorance or anarchy.
I have a lot of notes pertaining to Utopianism. As a disillusioned and reformed utpoian (of the communist persuasion), I find it important to make a compelling and expansive case against utopia and the evils committed in the pursuit of such. I came across this gem a while back while looking for material related to the subject.
This article on "Libertopia" is a very good precursor to a post I hope to get in before December concerning utopiainism and all of the difficulties with such a pursuit. Anyone who thinks anarchism is inherently utpoian does not understand utopia and does not understand anarchism. This article does a good job of clearing up those issues.
Today's resource suggestion is a short and entertainingvideo with a very strong point that is made. I think there may be some metaphysical commitments hiding in the video that I don't agree with, but those disagreements are immaterial to the case presented.
About once a month, someone who knows me (usually from the summer camp I used to work at) asks me, "how can a Catholic be an anarchist?" I usually use this prompt as a pretense for reuniting with old friends, catching up, and seeking out a novel perspective on my beliefs. It's interesting to see how much and how little my beliefs and the beliefs of my friends have changed over time.
Given the Church's history of manipulating politics, choosing and overthrowing kings, burning "heretics" at the stake, and attempting to dictate the very nature of the universe, it would make sense, at face value, that an anarchist would reject the Church as just another state. I have a few blog posts waiting in the wings that address these issues but, for now, I will call upon the work of others to begin the discussion.
What's important is holding the Church to the moral standard set out by it's philosophy. Where I can reject the government of Empire (the USA) based on the philosophy enumerated and expressed in the Constitution and the actions of the "Founding Fathers", that same opportunity is drastically diminished, if not impossible, with regards to the Church.
This article begins to explore this reality.
Today's resource is something a little less topical and a little more important the the Pope's bad science.
The Tragedy of Enforcement is something that bothered me for the longest time. Even back in my commie days, I was faced with the tragedy of enforcment. For this reason, I was enthralled with cybernetics, as it seemed to be a useful tool for "tricking people into" voluntarily doing "the right thing", so as to avoid turning to the constant use of lethal force and coercion "for the common good". Of course, cybernetics presents its own ethical issues that are far more complex and destructive than even the tragedy of enforcement.
Ultimately, (mostly on my own), I came to realize that there is no solution to the tragedy of enforcment. One must either become a moral nihilist or reject the use of enforcement. This was one of the key elements in my journey to anarchism.
All this is just supposed to contextualize the role that videos like this could have played in my awakening, and may play in that of others.
The time has come, I think, to purge some podcasts off my list. I have more podcasts than I have time, and some of them have ceased providing utility for my current situation... which happens a few times a year. Usually, when this time comes, I share on facebook the ones that I am abandoning and why. Now that I have a platform on which I talk about podcasts incessantly, I figure this may be a better place to do so.
Podcasts I continue to listen to (in order of priority):
Podcasts I no longer listen to:
Podcasts that have been discontinued:
Today's suggestion is a little strange. It's a Wikipedia page and a suggestion. I've addressed in some main posts and on social media the fact that it seems AnComs are far more prone to actually doing something (burning down buildings, fighting ISIS and drug cartels, and shooting federales) than AnCaps, who seem to simply sit around and pray for the coming of John Galt.
An apparent example of AnComs kicking ass and taking names is the PKK and YPG serving as a private security force/free militia in the areas of the middle east being outright destroyed by the Turkish government and ISIS. Information coming out of that region is sparse and incomplete, which shouldn't be surprising given the governments' propensity for murdering journalists on live TV.
I've been watching the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) as closely as I can, especially the YPG (Peoples' Defense Units) for the last couple years. On rare occasion, they will appear in mainstream news, but never by name. When one hears of all-female Kurdish units racking up hundreds of confirmed ISIS kills on Fox News, that's the YPG.
They PKK (as one could guess from it's name) has a checkered past, to say the least. Having originally been a straight-up communist revolution group, they have since reformed into an federated voluntary anarchist community... which still sounds very communist. It's hard to argue with results, though. Where the PKK and YPG fight, civilian casualties drop dramatically, important tactical positions against the local governments (Turkey and ISIS, primarily) are secured, and quality of life improves while crime rates drop. Or, so the information coming out of the region seems to indicate.
Today's resource suggestion is the YPG Wikipedia page. The information on the page is too sparse to have much of a political spin, but it provides enough information to begin a journey down the rabbit-hole. I have done my best to not simply sing the praises of the PKK and lay all the supposed facts that I have found out on the table, as there is simultaneously a paucity of facts and a surplus of speculation. If one could read the local languages, I'm sure they would be able to put together a more complete picture than I. If someone is genuinely concerned about ISIS (I'm not) and wants to know "How would anarchists stop things like ISIS?" I recommend looking at the YPG for answers. It would seem to be one of a handful of real-world examples of anarchism working better than statism when it comes to dealing with aggressive government invasions, but you have to figure out what you think about them on your own.
The Beastlick Internet Policy Commission Outreach Team recently produced a new media license, similar to the existing GPL license. However, unlike any other media license, it does not hinge it's enforcement on the violence of the state being used to enforce it.
As a matter of fact, it is the only valid license that allows use by anyone EXCEPT governments and government employees. Enforcement of the license hinges on honor and shame as opposed to the violence of the state used to enforce the benighted concept of intellectual property.
As is the case with all things created by Michael W. Dean, the BipCot NoGov License is simultaneously something functional and farcical. It is functional as a legitimate media license that operates in the typical legal jurisdiction of copyright, EULA, and copyleft, granting the user of such a license some degree of protection from the insanity of IP laws and courts. It is also farcical at the same time, mocking the entire system of copyright law and courts, hinging its enforcement on shame and disallowing government use demonstrates the anarchist ethos in a peaceful manner.
So, if you make anything and put it out on the market, I recommend you follow in teh footsteps of HYPERCRONIUS and Ninja Trek, by licensing it with the only anarchist media license that currently exists:
Due to licensing issues with Weebly, this blog is only partially covered by the BipCot license, but once I secure my own domain and host, you can rest assured that it will be fully covered by the BipCot license.
Today's resource suggestion is another book. This one is available on amazon for purchase or, for free, in unabridged installments at The Daily Bell. It is a fun novel which explores real technology, real cultures, and provides the reader with a new way of looking at the world and a set of actionable options for improving one's quality of life.
To call Thieve's Emporium a work of science fiction would be unfair. While it somewhat defies genre, I guess it could be considered an educational drama? The characters are largely fictional, but what they face and what they do are largely non-fiction.
I don't want to spoil too much of the plot, and I have not quite finished the book yet, but I strongly recommend people read this book. With unlikely sympathetic characters in a world that is designed to marginalize them, and a slew of philosophical, moral, and ethical discussions that can and should be sparked by this work, It's certainly a good way to spend a lazy weekend.
Today's resource isfive minutes of Milton Friedman. It will sound quite familiar to anyone who's been exposed to the propaganda of "American Exceptionalism"... but corrected in some very important ways. There isn't much substance to the five minutes, but it effectively demonstrates the flaws in the rhetoric of "fiscal conservatives" when talking to lefties.
It's actually an excerpt from a series of lectures that became a TV series and a book. I've read parts of the book and seen about half of the TV show, so I can't speak for the whole thing, but I recommend giving them a look, as the parts I have seen are legit. While the five-minute video from today is more rhetoric than substance, the book and the TV series is much more meaty.