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.
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:
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.
Everyone should know by now that I'm morally opposed to taxation in all its forms. Many don't quite understand why that is the case, and those that do tend to disagree based on utilitarian reasoning. If someone has seen my arguments on facebook, read this blog, or spoken to me in person for even fifteen minutes, and still do not understand my moral opposition to taxation, there is nothing I can do to help him.
The difficulty with utilitarian justifications (for anything, not just taxation) is that it compartmentalizes individual actions. Why is it moral to abort Hitler but immoral to abort someone else's baby? Why is it immoral to mug a guy in a back-alley (assuming you don't really, really need that money) but it is moral to take a percentage of their hard-earned wages against their will?
Utilitarian thought obfuscates moral and ethical considerations with a certain pragmatic results-oriented thought in which a perceived end can justify any action. One useful tool to double-check utilitarian arguments for rectitude is to find the logical form of the argument being made and replace terms with functionally equivalent terms and see if the argument still matches one's intuition.
Sax and Violence is an excellent, artful, and cogent demonstration of this approach to double-checking a utilitarian argument. There are those out there who will find that both taxes and saxes match their intuition... and those people terrify me. There are those that will discover that both taxes and saxes are counter-intuitive after reading this article, as well. However, it would take an act of willful ignorance to say that one is morally justified whilst the other is not.
You can watch a video that has a reading of the text and a further exploration of the idea, but the audio quality is a little shoddy.
In today's resource suggestion, Tom Woods discusses Caesar and the Lamb, a book that's been on my amazon wishlist for a while, now. The discussion in Episode 452 of the Tom Woods Show centers on the history of the early Church and it's relationship to the sixth commandment (or fifth, if your knowledge of the Faith is limited to the Catechism). It is a detailed and lighthearted exploration of the historical record and the philosophy hidden behind the Church's prohibition on being a soldier and it's change of heart after conquering the Roman empire.
This is a must-listen for anyone, even non-Christians, as it explores the origin of just war theory and the relationship it bears to the Christian ethos.
In the spirit of Rothbard, Walter Block presents a treatise on the relationship between crime and economic manipulation, semi-appropriate ethical indignation and the unintended consequences of using violence to try to prevent those ethically unappealing actions.
In Defending the Undefendable, Walter Block defends the heroin dealer, the speculator, the employer of child labor, and the man who screams "fire" in a crowded theater against accusations of economic perversity and harming the social order. He does so quite effectively. After reading this book, one who is educated in economics will have to seriously reconsider support of a minimum wage and legal prohibitions against child labor.
The introduction, written by Rothbard himself, makes it clear that while the people defended in Block's book are heroes because of the role they play economically and the adversity they face in reducing the friction of a politically-controlled economic system, this is not a moral defense of the particular actions the people make. For instance, a heroin dealer could very well be a boon to the market and a hero in face of the evils of government while also perpetrating an immoral or unethical act (such as selling poison to people, even if it is a voluntary interactions).
As compelling, concise, and informative as the book is as a whole, there is one chapter, however, that doesn't seem to belong. The defense of the "Male Chauvinist Pig" was less an economic defense of chauvinism and much more an incoherent and aggressive defense of feminist talking points, most prominent of which being the importance of abortion. This defense of abortion is actually inconsistent with a much more compelling case he makes later on in the case of defending "The Employer of Child Labor".
All-in-all, though, this book is a must-read for anyone who believes in the free market but hasn't critically assessed their position on "the undefendable" as of yet, people who are genuinely interested in reducing crime and increasing the quality of life for the poor, and those that still believe that government violence can somehow improve the world. Each chapter is a few pages long, very direct and to the point.
One can acquire the book for free in digital form from the Mises Institute, or purchase a hardcopy at Amazon. I strongly recommend that you do so.
There is a liberty-oriented radio show that plays daily for a few hours. It is syndicated on something like 150+ radio stations around the globe, including Africa. It's called Free Talk Live, and every episode is posted on youtube after the broadcast concludes. They also have a podcast feed that plays all the episodes (on the left side of the homepage).
Full disclosure, I do not really enjoy listening to Free Talk Live. I find it to be repetitive and elementary (and certain personalities on the show really get on my nerves). Of course, this is because I'm already neck-deep in libertarian culture... the show is played nightly on something like 150+ broadcast stations around the globe, including Africa and brings the message of liberty to thousands of people that would otherwise never hear something outside the 3x5 index card of educational talking points they learn at school and on TV. It's a part of the Liberty Radio Network, which does so much for bringing the message of liberty to people.
I used to listen to Sunday episodes with Brian and Stephanie (of Sovryn Tech) before they moved on to bigger and better careers and Wednesday nights with Christopher Cantwell before he got suspended for arguing with a liberal on twitter. After Cantwell's suspension, viewership numbers dipped. Now that he is back, people ought to do what they can to boost those numbers back to their original magnitude, if not beyond.
Cantwell provides an essential service in the libertarian culture, as a watchdog against corruption in the "movement". Of course, those that find themselves attacked by Cantwell have substantial resources to bring against him; this results in a need for more people to support him free-market-style. So, this is a combination resource suggestion and call to action. Please watch and like this video, amongst the others that Cantwell will be a part of in the future. Who knows, maybe you'll learn something along the way.
This is how police should treat people... and how people should treat police.
One of the single greatest reasons I intend to move to New Hampshire is this: A few guys (some openly carrying guns) take chalk and write polite but firm anti-cop messages all over the sidewalk in front of the police station. Instead of coming out, beating, and arresting these men, a solitary officer comes out for a nice lunch-break chat about how government is an unnecessary evil.
In many other places around the country, as mentioned in the video below, people would be executed on the spot simply for having a gun, let alone writing chalk messages in front of a police station.
Like Cantwell, I believe that if someone, anyone is attempting to rob, murder, or coerce you, you have an obligation to stop them at any cost. However, if someone is dressed like a criminal but not attempting to commit a crime against you, then you have an obligation to at least give them a chance. This video demonstrates this second situation perfectly.
I really don't know why liberty people don't want Cantwell around. He can be coarse, but the Truth is coarse. He sticks to the fundamentals because, without fundamentals, you can't go anywhere good. When it comes down to it, Cantwell has accomplished more for freedom by chalking sidewalks, pointing guns at drunks, and having cops out for coffee than everything done by Jeffrey A. Tucker or Austin Petersen combined.