Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The properties of propaganda part 1

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Propaganda is the main tool of legitimacy that the state has in its possession. As discussed before, the state is nothing without legitimacy, and legitimacy can only be obtained by getting people to believe in the state narrative. And given that the state is not legitimate, any propaganda must fundamentally be a lie. Propaganda is inherently immoral.

But what is propaganda ? From a sociological standpoint, Jacques Ellul defines it as such :

Propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the (...) participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulation and incorporated in an organization.
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, p61


Randall Bytwerk, professor and author of "Bending Spines: The Propagandas of Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic", defines propaganda politically as :

(...) the systematic attempt to persuade a public to accept the views of its leaders.


These definitions are crucial to understand the nature of propaganda. They indicate that, despite the common conception, propaganda is not just a message but a coherent structure of psychological entrapment (the Nazis, who were pioneers in employing large-scale propaganda, were well-aware of the need for systematizing). They also tell us that propaganda has the aim of manipulating people's value systems into serving the initiators of propaganda. Let's look at these two points in turn.

The democratic state is unusually well positioned to establish a powerful propaganda machine. Its democratic status confers it an initial credibility that simply does not exist with a monarchic state. Thus the task is quite simpler, since all politicians need is to convince voters that some measure or program represents "the will of the people" and that they serve "the people". This inevitably means that individual values must be attacked as going against the "common good". So propaganda must imply collectivism.

In the fully developed parasitic democracies of the developed world, the propaganda machine encompasses large swaths of society : the educational system, the academia and the arts, the media, fulfilling "public goods", and fascist control through subsidies and the threat of force. By coordinating its activities, government is able to indoctrinate the population on a certain issue, then implement measures that were anticipated by the propaganda, and repeat this over and over, building on previous propaganda successes.

These last two elements are perhaps the most interesting and least obvious. By establishing itself as a monopoly on the "provision" of certain goods (although we know very well that government in itself produces nothing, and must still be a parasite on private expertise in order to "provide" anything), the state establishes itself in the mass mentality as the only possible provider of that good. No one today can imagine private roads (even though a few exist), private police, private courts, or private defense, even though all of these things have flourished at different times and places, and are already the result of private expertise to begin with.

Fascist control is another powerful propaganda tool, although it does not involve any message per se. Fascist control over property consists of permitting private ownership, but controlling every aspect of it. For example, you may own a house, but government dictates what you will do with it, mainly through zoning laws and construction laws. You own your body, but the government reserves itself the right to tell you what to do about a foetus inside it, what substances you can put in it, what foods it will artificially inflate in price, what you can do with your own organs, or even what you can do with your genes or your cells. So it is a very myopic view of property which changes the conditions of society in favour of the state.

Continue to part 2.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Government schools suck / The Preamble Reconsidered

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On the 2+2 forums (Niels' favourite), Michael Owen ("Borodog") makes a great post about why government schools suck:

In my opinion, not a single one of these students has any business being anywhere near a university, except possibly working in the cafeteria. That may sound harsh, but it's the truth. The majority are wasting taxpayer dollars earning fraudulent degrees in voodoo fields like education.
(...)
They are the inevitable products of a system that is not built to educate children, it is built to pay bureaucrats, which it does exceedingly well. Administrators of failing school systems make six figure salaries. Educational spending is inversely corelated with academic achievement: The more you spend, the worse they do.



Jim Davies shows us how to realize that the Preamble of the US Constitution is complete bullshit, at least from a market anarchist perspective.

"... establish Justice..."

Oh, really? Let's leave aside the monstrous caricature of justice that the government monopoly has become, and notice just the theoretical nature of what the Constitution put in place.

They first monopolized it--government (in its several levels) was to administer the whole industry, with no competition allowed. Appeals were to be possible, but the Supreme Court was not to be obliged to hear them. Very few specific powers were either granted or prohibited to the judicial branch by Article 3, leaving the whole system wide open to self-monitored abuse--an opportunity of which it has taken full advantage.

Then they based it upon retribution. Yes, civil cases were contemplated, but the essence of their idea of "justice" was that of crime and punishment, not injury and recompense. This is barbaric and to this day a victim or his survivors can be seen vindictively celebrating if a defendant is found guilty of harming him and sentenced harshly. He walks out of court happy with what he thinks is "closure," but without a penny in compensation. The perp is left to rot behind bars and the taxpayer is forced at gunpoint to foot the bill. Some justice.

The Founders showed no evidence of having thought through what justice truly is, and their claim in this Preamble to have "established" it is therefore so much hokum.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The ruling class and its lackeys

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Class rhetoric is traditionally a Marxist tool, but libertarians have to a certain extent reclaimed it as a valid tool of social analysis. I think it is a valid way of seeing society, to a great extent (although not completely), and so use the term often. But what exactly is the "ruling class" ? Who is in it ? What does it do ? These questions deserve reflexion.

Well, one obvious way to define "ruling class" is : the set of people who rule. But how do we know they are the rulers ? One obvious answer is to look at who is using force, such as a soldier. But this category also includes, for example, a serial killer, who is obviously not a ruler. The difference is that the serial killer has no legitimacy, while a soldier does. The category also does not include people like political parties, interest groups and union leaders, who exploit that force in order to achieve their own ends at the expense of the general population.

So it seems that the concept of ruling class is very much tied in with the concept of exploitation. The ruling class is the set of exploiters in a given society.

Our concept of exploitation dictates our relationship to the ruling class. Libertarians see the ruling class as necessary evil at best, parasitic evil at worst. Now, the intuitive model of exploitation tells us that any concentration of power is exploitative. Thus people who subscribe to this model will tend to see government as a justifiable tool to hammer out social inequalities.

Of course they are blind to the fact that government is the greatest concentration of power in any society, because of the illusion of legitimacy provided by the democratic process ("It's not a concentration of power, because we are the government !"). Communism and nazism are merely extensions of this.

The initial impetus for the expansion of the ruling class was the democratic process. While monarchic systems provided incentive to restrict access to the ruling class and the resources of society, democracy opened the floodgates by making access to those resources a public good. As for any other Tragedy of the Commons scenario, the natural consequence of such an act is to endanger these resources. As a consequence, the level of taxation and control over individual freedoms is now higher than it has ever been under monarchies - and it didn't take very long, either.

One consequence of democracy is the dramatic expansion of the ruling class. A monarch is only interested in personal profit and does not need to get elected, and thus has only a modest interest in controlling the laws and means of production. In a democracy, political parties survive and flourish by manipulating the laws and increasingly controlling the means of production in ways that garner them more votes, resources or public opinion.

And one form of control opens the door to three others. For example, banning certain drugs for racial reasons led to the War on Drugs, which itself opened the door to the police state, which can then be used to control other areas of society.

This gives rise to the two other categories of exploiters I discuss in my entry on exploitation, second-hand parasites and free riders. These are the "lackays", in that their existence depends solely on the exercise of fascistic control by the democratic ruling class. If the government did not assert control over corporations and markets, coercive unions, corporate trusts and sybsidies would not exist (or be substantially reduced). If the government did not assert control over certain markets such as narcotics and sexuality, mafias would not exist. And so on and so forth.

What of the notion of class warfare ? Well, our notion of class is political in nature, and not economic. We therefore cannot agree with the Marxists that class warfare takes place between arbitrary levels of income. It is true that people who possess more means of production can become exploiters through the power of the state, and that this is a grave problem. But in general it is not concentration of money which is the problem, since in an anarchic society that money will have been acquired by fulfilling the needs of others in the free market. Rather, it is exploitation that is the problem. Some corporation owners are part of the ruling class because they are exploiters, not because they control more means of production.

The parasitic nature of the ruling class does give us hope for its extinction, in that a majority of people refusing to feed it could starvge it to death. A social parasite cannot survive without production to exploit. This is, therefore, the anarchist dream.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Republican Statism / Space Aliens from Luxembourg

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Here is a great site to show to those statist idiots who think the Republicans are more capitalist than the Democrats : "Republican Statism - Or... coercion is okay, as long as we're the ones coercing"

And here is a great article from Stefan Molyneux : "Space Aliens From Luxembourg: A Horror Story".

"We will use a two-phased approach to set you free," gurgles the alien, squinting into the camera with at least a dozen eyes. "First, we will impose economic sanctions, designed to force your leaders to relinquish their ill-gotten power. As part of this process, we will use ray shields to block international trade, ground your airplanes, and irradiate your food and medicine." Two of the alien’s eyes dart down to check some figures. "Based on prior experience, we calculate that this phase will cause the deaths of no more than 5–6 million of your children. Also, about 13% of your newborns will die before reaching the age of 5. But we are willing to make that sacrifice, because we believe it’s worth it. For freedom!"

The space alien frowns and flips some pages. Your mouth hangs open.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Market Anarchist on: non-violence and peace

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The topics of non-violence and peace are intimately associated with market anarchy. One term commonly used by market anarchists is NAP - Non-Aggression Principle - which states :

No one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, nor to delegate its initiation.
L. Neil Smith
This is all well and good, and even most statists agree that violence and force are bad things (only that politicians are somehow immune from this universal moral principle). but there are a lot of pacifist, emotionalist, starry-eyed people muddling an already complicated and touchy issue. So there is a lot of things to untangle here.

The first issue is that of free will. I think that collectivism has instilled the idea that people can be inherently evil (which, except in extremely limited cases, is just not true). An integral part of collectivist belief system is that man is somehow degraded or corrupted. Statists always try to make us believe that people do "bad things" without any good reason. But this is nonsense. People don't do things without reason.

The first premise we have to start with is : only individuals can harbour peaceful or violent intentions, not parties, cities or countries. You can't have peace at a social, national or international level without individual peace. And governments of all stripes exploit the lack of commitment to peace on the individual's part as an avenue to use propaganda and gain support for wars. Simply expressed : if everyone valued peace, then there would be no war. It must be the case, therefore, that most people do not value peace, but rather security, conformity or historical determinism.

The notion of a "just war" that has anything to do with government is an absurdity, and the notion of a "just war" in general is a purely theoretical construct, at least from our experience of history. At best, and I'm not saying this is sufficient justification, war can be justified from a pragmatic standpoint as an extension of an economic struggle.

The second premise is that people always act in their perceived self-interest. If you don't start from that point, then, as I said before, you will find human behaviour inexplicable, and might come to the conclusion that people are inherently evil, which is mostly nonsense. People who participate in, or support, wars are not inherently evil, they are participating in a system which they think they should perpetuate for their own self-interest. The same applies to the Nazi gassers, the American who has a yellow ribbon on his car, Haliburton, and army generals.

While war is its most prominent expression, violence is a much more extensive subject. We are here of course talking about criminality, of the grave kind and the more banal kind. There is also the issue of social warfare, discussed in previous entries, which, while not violent per se, encourages violence by isolating people from the greater society and implanting the belief in religious, class or race conflict.

So the important questions are : how does the democratic incentive system make war and violence in people's perceived self-interest, and whether market anarchy can solve these problems.

Because it is an exclusive tool of the state, war is an easier phenomenon to analyze than crime. It is also easy to figure out its roots in modern society - wars are waged because its instigators (governments) do not have to suffer through them or cover their costs. Rather, they can burden the masses with more taxes, drafts and tremendous propaganda in order to get the flesh and financial resources needed for wars.

Wars are also fought over what is seen as illegitimate government. Here it is the monopolous power of government which is at fault. People do not go to war over how bad Adidas shoes are (for example) : they buy shoes from someone else. We don't have that luxury with force, which is always monopolized by one person or a group of people. If you don't like said monopoly, the only way for you to become a competing agent of force is to go to war.

Market anarchy is therefore supremely able to destroy the motives and means for war. Since those who wage war would have to pay for it and persuade others to fight with them, and other people would see as suspicious any organization who tries to accumulate that much power, any warmonger would have his work cut out for him. And there would be no reason for people to feel trapped in a monopoly of power, since it would no longer exist. People would be free to start their own agencies or courts, and live the way they desire.

Crime is a more complex issue, and I really have no intention of detailing it, if only because I don't have the expertise to do so. However, there are a few things I can say about it :

* The least productive and free a society is, the more incentive there is for crime. This is once again simple self-interest - if honest work provides very little incentive, then crime comes up as an alternative. So a market anarchy, by being more prosperous, reduces these incentives.

* A lot of crime is caused by black markets, which are once again a government invention and probably would not exist in a market anarchy (or at least be drastically reduced).

* A better security market and ending gun control would lower the expectations of criminals. No one commits a crime thinking he'll get caught or shot at.

I realize these are somewhat superficial points, but they represent a large part of criminality. The moral roots of crime also need to be examined. While I don't think it would be that easy, I think that living in a society where peaceful cooperation, instead of social warfare, is the norm would present a moral example to all individuals to follow.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Net Neutrality = Net Socialism, redux

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Ever since I posted my entry yesterday about the socialist concept of "Net Neutrality", whereby stupid statists cry for the state to solve a problem that the state itself created (network territorial monopolies), I have noticed many hits from Technocrati. Looking at their dynamic page for entries about "Net Neutrality", I have noticed a total absence of opposition (apart from mine). It's filled with stupid statists who believe that the issue is about free speech - and not the state's control over communication networks. Behold :

http://bridger987.blogspot.com/2006/05/death-of-internet.html
In common sense terms it's about the government withdrawing our right to Internet Freedom, it's about the Death of The Internet.


What is "Internet Freedom" ? Is that different from normal freedom, with a small F ? And how many times have idiots preached the end of the Internet ? How is charging more for Google traffic going to kill the Internet anyway ? Never mind that, I guess...


http://jgrr.blogspot.com/2006/05/brownback-opposes-free-internet.html
Net neutrality removes the need for a heavy hand of regulation, instead allowing the invisible hand of the market to let businesses succeed or fail. Net neutrality is the principle that allowed the internet to be the tremendous influence it is, a power for democracy on the world stage and a powerful way of building links between unexpected corners of society.


Yes, OBVIOUSLY clamoring for more state regulation removes the need for regulation, attacking the free market more than ever allows the market to operate, and this has magical powers of democracy (all the more reason to oppose Net Socialism) and linkage... did I mention that war is peace ? Really, we're fighting for peace !


http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/2006/05/22/net-neutrality-something-on-which-we-all-agree/
Net Neutrality: Something on Which We All Agree
If Net Neutrality is gone, the future of the Internet will be dominated by only those large companies that can pay the phone cartel’s broadband fees. This predatory scheme would muscle aside the Internet’s real revolutionaries — the small-guy innovators who historically have made the Internet a beacon for democracy, economic growth and new ideas.


Once again with the democracy bullshit. I'd rather take the Internet down than promote the evils of democracy around the globe (okay, maybe not, but it's a hard tradeoff). But as we all know, anyone who disagrees about Net Socialism is at the pay of big eeevil corporations, and these heroes are the ones who support the innovators. Through state regulation. Yes, I can see how... HUH ?

Of course, none of them point to the real problem - the state. Who's surprised ? Even when they are beaten over and over again, people never learn. They just spew more statist propaganda and hope they can look like freedom fighters, when they are against you and your freedom.

Here is a positive article, from the Daily News in Jacksonville, to counterbalance all this bullshit : Eyes on the ’Net.

Instead ["Net Neutrality"] is a legal and political term for the belief that the Internet should be governed as the old monopoly utilities were, with the “pipes” to the Internet viewed as "common carriers," open to all on terms decided by a government regulatory agency. Ultimately, it means government price controls.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Net Socialism / The rich and powerful pissing on us... again

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The so-called "Net Neutrality" initiative is nothing less than outright socialism. It should be called Net Socialism. Apparently anyone who is against "Net Neutrality" - which should really be called Net Socialism - is at the pay of a big corporation. Gee, I wish I was at the pay of a big corporation.

It is the government that gave AT&T and those other companies territorial monopolies over the lines, and now they want the government to intervene even more because of that. The dirty statists want the state to "solve" a problem already caused by the state. Business as usual, then...


Talking about irrational expressions, "price gouging" is another one which should be censored or replaced. People call "price gouging" on other people they don't like - nothing more. When "organic farms" (a scam in and of itself) demand higher prices for their products, it's a premium in the name of the Earth. When oil companies raise prices after they lose a big part of their supply, it's "price gouging". And note that when Wal-Mart offers products at lower prices, they are evil agents of consumeurism. Lower or higher, youi can't win when you're an enemy of the ruling class.

Of course, the real winners here, as usual, are the ruling class and the giant oil corporations who gain at the expense of the smaller ones, and the loser is, as usual, the people :

If [anti-"price-gouging" legislation] passes, of course, it’s just going to hurt consumers. The same consumers that will then scream for more government intervention, further screwing the whole thing up. They don’t understand the implications of voting based on their own economic ignorance, and can’t see that politicians are willing to sell them up the river just to increase their own power.

This legislation, in fact, is a boon to the major gasoline chains. They’re the ones that know that if they get investigated, their armies of lawyers will keep them clean. It’s the little guys, like Warren, who would rather hang up their spurs than face the risk. Increased regulation helps big corporations improve market share, and will only end up creating higher prices and harder-to-find gas for consumers. I said before that this problem will only improve when individuals start to see government as the problem, not the solution.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What is legitimacy ?

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In recent entries, I have discussed exploitation, the model of exploitation that most people hold, and how this gives undue legitimacy to democratic systems. This of course brings up another question : what is legitimacy ? How is it given and maintained ?

This is a vital question for market anarchists, because we see government as exploitation and coercion, while most people see government as a legitimate and noble set of institutions. How does someone get to equate the organized murder of the military, or the organized theft of taxation, as legitimate ?

I think we need to first look at the concept of authority, because authority is what individuals who hold legitimacy claim to have. In the case of politicians and bureaucrats, this is, of course, a vain and hollow claim, much like how politico-scientific or pseudo-scientific hucksters claim to possess the "real truth".

However, there are cases where authority is warranted. I recognize that Stephen Hawking is an authority on the subject of astrophysics, while I obviously am not. Not only does he possess authority but also legitimacy - he is widely recognized as an eminent scientist. So in this case the two aspects co-exist. Despite the debacle of his first election, George W. Bush is widely recognized as a legitimate ruler. However, he has no objective authority to back up this claim, as he is an evil, barely educated, dope-addicted moron.

Now, belonging to a specific segment does not make one automatically an authority. I'm sure some bureaucrats are very competent in what they do and simply do not realize the cause they are serving. Likewise, some scientists can be most corrupt and servile, as the growing class of politico-scientists demonstrates.

Legitimacy, therefore, is a matter of, fundamentally, public opinion. The only reason why we legitimize a soldier and not a serial killer is one of pure public opinion manipulated by the apparatus of government. Authority, on the other hand, is a matter of fact. I'm sure some soldiers are quite the authorities on how to kill people, but all that means is that you are a very good murderer. It does not legitimize them as justified social agents.

Legitimacy and exploitation are closely linked, or to be more precise exploitation links itself to legitimacy, because it is far easier to exploit when the exploited believe that you are acting for their own good.

Scientists have legitimacy without wanting to exploit people. But this is only because science fills an actual need. The exploitative bastard cousins of science - politico-science and sacred science - are a lot more popular than science, because they gain their legitimacy by borrowing the language of science, but have no qualms with adapting their positions to the changing social context.

The legitimacy of the democratic system rests on three main pillars :

1. The illusion of equality presented by the democratic process - that "everyone has a say" and that power ultimately rests in the hands of "the people".

2. The social engineering that public schools, control of the media, the academia, the arts, imprint on the individual from his early childhood on.

3. All the "services" enforced or controlled by government, which lead people to believe that such services couldn't or wouldn't be provided by private individuals.

The main advantage of legitimacy is that the system is never under attack. No one, except us, questions the premises of government. If government is legitimate, then any problem that happens must be the fault of specific people, not of the system itself and its structure of incentives.

This is like a market anarchist saying that a soldier is fully responsible for all the people he killed. Trivially true, but in terms of understanding the situation you are going nowhere. You need to understand the system of incentives, manipulated by government, that led him to accept and follow the path of organized murder. Likewise, it is futile to try to analyze scandals, corruption, fraud, dishonesty in government without looking at its incentives system.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Strike the Root gold

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Two articles that strike gold, from Strike the Root :


"A Market Response to the Statists' War on Gun Makers"

No, while the Barrett Model 82A1 rifle is an interesting specimen of a rifle, what caught my attention and, upon further reflection my admiration, was a tiny small-print blurb at the bottom corner of the ad. This inkblot read as follows:

“The California Legislature has banned the .50 BMG from the good citizens of the state of California , violating their rights and the constitution of our republic. Therefore, Barrett will not sell to or service any California government agencies.”

That was indeed refreshing! Barrett was willing to forgo any sort of government business selling or servicing their line of rifles to any of the Golden State ’s police agencies because of the state of California ’s laws making most of them illegal for ordinary people to own.

Now as a matter of principle I cannot help but applaud Barrett.


If only more of our corporate elite realized the wisdom of this course of action ! Of course, in the long run, that would only make more regulation or more state companies, so even then you can't really win...


"Anarchist Revisions for Civilization the PC Game"

Every state is a religion. Generally we call this worship of state civic religion, with its flags, anthems, pledges of allegiance, rituals, and holidays. (Notice the etymological origin from holy day.) States often allow freedom of religion, but by propaganda, forced schooling/brainwashing, and threats to dissenters, it instills the civic religion into the core of every approved religion. You no longer have to believe that the state or king is God, only the instrument of God to be obeyed and the legitimate maker of laws of right and wrong.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The evolution of politics

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Even if we have a notion of exploitation, a natural question is : what use is it ? Well, for one thing it helps us to understand how the system works and perpetuates itself. Another area where it is helpful is in exposing the false premises of historical change.

1. Human history starts with tribalism - as an extension of the structures already existing for other primates, who need to band together to defend themselves from predators. This need for social organization led, in turn, to the development of language and higher intelligence.

Tribalism is therefore not primarily a political construct but rather an organization borne out of necessity. And if you have a tribe, you need the alpha male to regulate the tribe's activities. But at this point there is no parasitic ruling class because parasites need pre-existing excess resources to exploit. Subsistence societies have no such excess resources.

2. As food production and metal working slowly progresses, you start to get excess resources. This permits the rise of a parasitic ruling class, which uses its brute strength to enforce its domination over groups of tribes, with the strongest at the top. This is your basic monarchy. In a monarchy, exploitation is privately owned (by the king or a very small corresponding ruling class).

Another thing that happens is the rise of knowledge and education. With this rise in education also comes a growing awareness of the concept of unfairness and exploitation. So you get the intuitive model, which I think can be easily described as : any concentration of power - be it political, economic, social - is exploitative.

So once this primitive understanding is arrived at, legitimacy is very difficult to achieve for a monarchy, because after all a monarchy is the most concentrated form of exploitation. You get a lot of rebellions, civil wars, coups, assassinations, and so on. This is how the symbiosis between the state and the church is formed. The church provides the justification for monarchic power (i.e. the king was chosen by the gods themselves, is a demi-god, etc), and the state provides the general control needed for religion to impose itself on an entire society.

So the desire arises for everyone to hold political power in some form, in order to counter the perceived exploitation. This leads to the downfall of monarchic beliefs and the rise of democracy - which had existed before - as a viable and more just alternative. Even though this is nonsense, it appears irrefutable to the person on the street, and therefore it wins out.

3. After WW1, you get the stronghold of democracy on the world. The democratic system is one where exploitation is not privately controlled, but rather socialized. While it is established with the naive intention of countering exploitation, it leads instead to its spreading. You end up not only with a bigger ruling class, but with the extension of toxic government intervention into social institutions.

... with the transition from personal (monarchical) to democratic (public) rule in particular, contrary to conventional wisdom, the decivilizing forces inherent in any form of government are systematically strengthened.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe, "Democracy : The God that Failed", p17
And the worst part is that democracy now makes this toxic ruling class look like a legitimate expression of the "will of the people", when in fact this extended ruling class has a whole set of new incentives which go completely against the interest of "the people", eventually completely taking over its "will". If you look at my list of exploiters, these are the segments of society that (apart from CEOs) are the most admired and revered. This is the perversion of the will of the people - making evil become good, force become peace, injustice become justice.

The ultimate goal is to create total equality of power, but this can only be achieved by a strong ruling class. Communism and fascism are, in this perspective, not freakish abnormalities but rather only extensions of the democratic assumptions. To quote Nock :
Many now believe that with the rise of the totalitarian State the world has entered upon a new era of barbarism. It has not. The totalitarian State is only the State; the kind of thing it does is only what the State has always done with unfailing regularity, if it had the power to do it, wherever and whenever its own aggrandizement made that kind of thing expedient. Give any State like power hereafter, and put it in like circumstances, and it will do precisely the same kind of thing.
Albert Jay Nock

People in democracies distrust capitalism. This can once again be explained by the implicit model of exploitation. Capitalism is based on voluntary trade, and in such a system the individuals who produce the most value will see the most trade of value with other people. Those who contribute the most to society rise to the top and gain a lot of power. This creates a concentration of power, which in the inherent model is exploitative. This means that no one who believes in democracy or its outgrowths can possibly understand capitalism. They live in a fantasy world where good is evil, production is degeneration, volutary trade is coercion, and poverty is virtue.

4. What will the future of political organization look like ? I think it's obvious that market anarchy is very unlikely to be the next step in this evolution. I am also rather realistic in that I think the ruling class and its exploitation will continue to expand. Even collapsed democratic systems in our time do not revert to something substantially different.

So we'd have to look at how democracies would lose their legitimacy, and the new beliefs that would emerge from that. My hypothesis would be that, as democratic structures become more and more global, there would be more and more complaints about the distance of power and the lack of accountability.

This may give rise to a community-based form of government. Such a system would be even worse than democracy, because the closer your oppressor lives from you, the more control he can yield over you. So I think there would be a tremendous opportunity for control, if the apparatus of government was concentrated at a very local level.

But once again, this is just a hypothesis. I actually have no idea on how democracy will actually lose its legitimacy. But the amount of propaganda being put out to prop up democracy tells me that such a day is not actually that far away.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

United 93 Review / Vaccine Industry Signs Own Law

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Douglas Herman posted a market anarchist review of that propaganda movie, United 93, on Strike the Root.

Instead, in the movie, we watch outright bumbling and criminal negligence that would have justified long penitentiary sentences, if America possessed a justice system.



News from Think Progress : "Frist and Hastert Let Vaccine Industry Write Its Own Multi-Billion Dollar Giveaway".

Last December, Senate Majority Leader Bill First (R-TN) and House Speaker Dennis Hastert inserted a provision in the Defense Appropriations bill that granted vaccine manufactures near-total immunity for injuries or deaths (even in cases of “gross negligence”) caused by their drugs during a viral pandemic, such as an outbreak of the avian flu. The legislation was “worth billions of dollars” to a small group of drug makers.

(...)

A new report from Public Citizen reveals that vaccine-industry lobbyists essentially wrote the provision themselves.


Corporatism ? Nope, doesn't exist... Do you see it ? I don't see it...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Immigration Bullshit vs Reality

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So I posted a little rant about "immigration" and some people who read it freaked out. What I pointed out in my rant was :

1. There is no such thing as an "illegal immigrant", and borders are not legitimate.
2. There is no such thing as "stealing a job".
3. People who argue for "immigration" are just as racist as those who argue against it, and everyone should just shut the hell up.

If you think these three basic premises make me an extremist, then you have a very sad perspective on the world.

To go through these again...

1. The construct of "illegal immigrant" is predicated on the constructs of "immigration" and "country", which are predicated on the construct of "borders". These constructs are not legitimate, as a border is simply a tool for one state to delimitate its monopoly of force against all other states, and "the law" is simply a tool used by the state to enforce its singular value system against all others. Therefore, we should not recognize the idea that there are people who are here "illegally" any more than we should recognize the idea that people who cross the street without a "street-crossing permit" are in illegality. Both are equally ludicrous.

It makes no sense to say that I am an "immigrant" when I cross the border to Vermont, only a couple hours from here, and that I am not an "immigrant" when I go to say, Calgary. I am no less part of a society with people from Vermont than I am with people from Calgary.

2. It's impossible to "steal a job", and anyone who utters this expression is insane. Anyone who has a job obtained it from someone else, who wanted to trade with that person. Theft, on the other hand, demands coercion, which cannot exist here. It doesn't matter whether a person who has a job follows the false construct of "illegal" or not.

3. Pretty much everyone who argues against, or even for, "immigration" uses racist arguments to demonstrate that "immigrants" "deserve" or do not "deserve" to live in a country. Freedom of movement is not a privilege, it is a right that is owed to any human being regardless of the colour of their skin, their religion, their political affiliation or their desire to work. To treat "immigrants" as "good hard-working slaves" is just as racist and insulting as treating them as lazy. The construct of "immigrant" itself is racist.

Same goes for the argument that immigration is "cheap labour" and thus promotes the evils of capitalism (or at least, what statist retards think are the evils of capitalism). It assumes that "immigrants" are automatically unskilled and uneducated.

One aspect that I did not rant about is the aspect of culture. Some people argue against immigration on the basis that it represents an attack against their favoured culture. First of all, I hope I don't need to explain why this in itself is culturally supremacist. All cultures are nothing but collectivist detritus. Secondly, the fact that we are the pawns of social and cultural struggles is a consequence of the democratic process, which cultivates warfare between people who support different cultures in order to get their values enforced on society against everyone else's.

So in essence, people who use cultural arguments to fight against immigration, are clamoring for more state in order to solve a problem caused by the state in the first place. This is a common syndrome amongst idiot statists who can't reason worth a damn - which means all of them. Sadly, it also exists amongst some libertarians. Trying to get the state to limit itself is ultimately a futile endeavour and only serves to further legitimize the democratic process.

Show me the border, bitch.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Spittle and Ink Spits Some Venom

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I got Mark from Spittle and Ink all pissed off over my jury duty service post. The amount of anger and condescension in his writing reminds me of Paul Manata.

Let's see what he has to say:

So, as if following some right wing script, he starts his argument with an inference to being persecuted for his unique stand on things. Giggle.


Mark wastes no time in setting up strawmen. Getting kicked out of Jury Duty is not persecution of any kind, nor did I infer that it was. Mark quoted me saying, "Before I even first reported to the courtroom, I already suspected that my individualist and market anarchist views would get me kicked out, and today they did," and obviously it has no inference to any kind of persecution.

Mark sets up another strawman, claiming that I am inferring that my "intellect" got me out of Jury Duty:

Then, natch, he switched gears. Now it wasn't persecution that would get him out of serving, but his advanced intellect.


Mark then quotes me at length. I don't want to repost it here for the sake of brevity, but feel free to read my jury duty post and see for yourself that I never infer or claim that my "intellect" had anything to do with it. I was fully consistent with my original claim (that Mark even quoted and misrepresented): "Before I even first reported to the courtroom, I already suspected that my individualist and market anarchist views would get me kicked out, and today they did." That's it. No more, no less. I have views that are not compatible with the jury requirements set forth by the judge and the attorneys, and I got kicked off the jury box because of it.

Mark continues:

Wow, so controversial! (And yet, his views on minimum wage are so stunningly in rigid lockstep with every other bland, mainstream Republican in recent memory.)


What a coincidence! My views on one issue, minimum wage, are the same as some Republicans. Strange that my views on the mere existence of government are not. So a few Republicans want to abolish some of the same "laws" that I do. Good for them. Mark's attempt to paint me as being in some way aligned with a statist Republican falls flat on the most fundamental level.

The insulting tone is literally dripping off this guy's keyboard. I'm not the one claiming that my views are controversial. It is the judge and the attorneys (well, mostly the attorneys) who claim that my views are controversial. The attorneys judged me not able to serve impartially as a juror; I told them that I thought I could.

Mark then proceeds to tell us about his Jury experience. His experience, and his description of it, is quite different than mine:

I went in on Monday for jury selection. Because I wasn't predisposed to not serving, as Kinney admitted he was, I didn't waste time throwing up obstacles.


The strawmen never quit. Mark is either delusional, or dishonest. I did not throw up any obstacles whatsoever. I followed the oath that they made me take. I gave the honest truth to every question asked of me. I did nothing to escape jury duty. What I did do, is make a bet that I would naturally and legitimately get kicked off the case, and I won.

It is true that I did not want to serve, but I did nothing to cheat my way out of service. I'm not even against serving on a jury per se, but the only reason I didn't want to serve this time was because it was a three-week-plus case. I got real work to do at my job, and I don't want to be behind three weeks or more when I come back to it. It took three days of jury selection just for them to get to me. Mark's case, lucky for him, was over in two days. Not too much of a time commitment for him to worry about:

The trial I was considered for was a burglary. So long as the death penalty wasn't involved (it wasn't) I didn't see any reason to make excuses and "get out of it." Within two hours of my arrival, I had been assigned to a jury and told to report the next day. By noon I was sipping coffee at home.

Yesterday I appeared at court for the trial. We were told it would take one or two days, and in fact we finished on the first day, albeit late into the evening. The case was absolutely insane. The alleged victim claimed he came home and saw someone robbing his house. He chased the guy in his truck and the two cars collided a few times. Cops arrived, arrested the alleged thief, and thus the trial. Unfortunately, the evidence showed quite an opposite story. There was no evidence of a robbery. In fact, the guy wasn't a thief but a door to door salesman. The two cars hadn't collided in a chase, but happened when the homeowner -- who just assumed his house had been robbed -- intentionally rammed the other guy, trying to kill him. It also came out that the homeowner had lied about there being stolen property -- there wasn't anything stolen, although that hadn't stopped him from getting insurance money for the missing goods. In the end the evidence was overwhelming that the defendant not only hadn't committed a crime, but was himself the victim of attempted murder... all for just knocking on the guy's door. What sucks, of course, is that the homeowner not only got off without a single charge, but made money from his insurance company in the process.

So when we, the jury, left at the end of the day we knew without any hesitation that we had helped an innocent man stay out of jail. We protected this man's individual rights and personal freedom. And it only took me a day and a half of jury service.


So Mark boasts about protecting someone's rights in only a day and a half's time. Mark also implies that I didn't protect someone's rights due to his imagined attempts by me to escape jury duty. But even worse, Mark gives us no information on the things that my post focused on: the juror selection process, the questions the attorneys asked, the principles involved, etc. Mark simply gives us a rundown of the case, and then vaguely suggests that they reached a verdict, although it isn't exactly clear. Mark's jury experience, and his write-up of it, is totally unrelated to mine, especially considering his misrepresentations and strawman attacks.

Immediately after boasting about his day and a half jury service, Mark rails against individualism. Oh, the irony:

I think it's important to remember that when you hear the word "individualism" it really just means "sociopathological selfishness." All that matters is what's important to yourself, and everyone else can go fuck themselves. Anything involving a room with more than two other people in it is to be avoided. If that means other people's rights are trampled on, so what? Your "individualism" isn't affected.


Mark is full of empty assertions. Indeed, they are required in order for him to prop up and hack down his strawmen. Individualism quite specifically does not say "so what?" to the trampling of rights (click here for a cool animated clip about self-ownership). The trampling of an individual's rights comes from opponents of individualism: collectivism and statism, with their coercion and their monopoly of power. That is the philosophy that Mark subscribes to.

Honestly, for Mark to claim that "individualism" means that another individual's rights can be "trampled on," means that he obviously doesn't even understand the what it's title means, let alone the meat of it's arguments.

Mark then throws a punch for those who are oppressed under the collective boot of "Boards of Directors":

(Notice, however, how "market anarchists" can never quite explain how they feel about corporate Boards of Directors or other power-wielding, freedom-limiting groups that comprise their pro-capitalist enterprises.)


Boy is that statement loaded! Not only that, but it's self-defeating. If the compromising of capitalism is bad as he says it is, then the monopolistic, coercive, anti-competitive entity that is "government" is a very bad thing, isn't it? If anti-competition is "freedom-limiting" as Mark implies, then he doesn't have much justification for a monopolistic, taxing government that forces you to follow it's rules and buy it's products and services, does he?

Maybe market anarchists don't tell Mark how they feel about Boards of Directors because his own argument is much more of an argument against the state?

Now comes some ad hominem fun!

Well, that's okay. While libertarian, individualist, freethinking, market anarchists like Kinney are avoiding things like jury service,


I served twice as long as he did.

voting,


I don't like providing support to an entity that dissatisfies me. I won't patronize a store that provides a crappy product or service.

running for office,


That's like an atheist Pope. Next, Mark will explain how baldness is a hair color.

active participation in society, bathing, etc.


This is getting pathetic. This guy has no idea! I wonder if Mark would like to back up anything he says? Maybe he would like to compare which of us more actively participates in society? I'll bet $5 on myself!

-- and restricting their activities to typing up snarky little blog entries...


Mark totally sucks at research. Every single one of his assumptions is wrong. All of his strawmen are easy to point out. All of his arguments fail.

Why does Mark feel such a need to respond so with such a personal and insulting tone to what was a political and governmental-themed (not to mention positive and cheery) post? Is he projecting? Does he have something to prove?

Oh wait, now I get it! Mark has a parody statement! Silly me. I should have realized that Mark meant everything he wrote to be total bullshit. No person could logically be that good at truly being that dumb, unless of course they were only doing a parody (or they were a Republican, giggle).

Mark Spittle and Irony

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Mark Spittle pats himself on the back for participating in an inherently coercive and unjust "jury duty", which itself is inscribed in an exploitative and monopolistic justice system, berates Aaron for being legitimately excluded from his "jury duty", tells us that we're not concerned enough about other people's rights. Irony is beautiful.

I would like to note in passing that the fact that Mark Spittle didn't get excluded from "jury duty" has to be one of the most persuasive arguments against juries.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Socialism = Tall People / Who Owns the Internet ?

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Anti-State has pointed me to a page for a product called HeightMax in which Tom Hundley tells us how socialism makes people taller. I am not making this up.

Tim Swanson at Mises.org asks : Who Owns the Internet ? His thesis is that the neutrality of the Internet is endangered by communications monopolies granted by the state, and that the solution is not, as content providers want, more regulation. Once again, the state created the problem, and people want more state intervention as the solution. It's always the same fucking ringamarole.

The main issue is not a matter of bit discrimination, multiple tiers, or even denial-of-service; rather it is a fight over private property and who owns the cornucopia of wires, cables, fibers and network infrastructure spanning the continent. Unfortunately due in large part to State intervention throughout the past century, this is a somewhat vague and nebulous area with many seemingly gray regions.

The only reason AT&T (formerly SBC), BellSouth, Cox Communications, and other incumbents have the large user bases they currently do is because they were granted geographic monopolies for communications. They were legally insulated from outside competition for much of the past century. And, by and large, this protected status still continues unabated, shielded by the current FCC regulatory regime.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Religion vs politics: a comparison

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The issues of ownership and exploitation are fundamental in political theory, but for very different reasons.

Ownership is a vital concept because we cannot escape it, and it is the main determinant of how a system works. In standard democratic statism, private individuals nominally own their property, but under the control of the state and its monopolistic laws and regulations. Marxist theory gives ownership of all property to the state. Market anarchy gives ownership of all property to private individuals. And so on and so forth.

Exploitation, on the other hand, is a more philosophically negative concept, as it tells us what we should seek to eliminate. In general, the statist notion of exploitation (and I do realize this is a big generalization) revolves around the concentration of power in any domain. Whoever has the most power, is the exploiter, regardless of what they do. For market anarchists, on the other hand, it is the act of force that creates exploitation. In this view, the state is inherently exploitative because its monopoly is maintained by force.

Does religion have anything to say about all this ? While monotheistic religions have very little to say about political theory per se, I think that their attitude towards man and freedom is a strong stance against human governance of any kind. Their attitude is : you're not worth shit, because you are a human being. A common attraction of these religion is that they make you believe that man is inherently degraded and immoral (through Original Sin or otherwise) and then provide their particular brand of insane solutions. It's like one of those ads for spray detergent where everyone is shouting, except all the actors are wearing black robes and are clinically retarded.

They believe that you don't own yourself, God does. And if they don't say it explicitly, that is still the net result of their beliefs. After all, if possession if nine-tenths of ownership, we can equally say that control is nine-tenths of possession (he who controls the good benefits the most, regardless of deeds or contracts). If I am not habilitated as an individual to have my own moral freedom, and if it is perfectly moral for God to kill as many human beings as it wants, then in no way am I in control of my own life. At best, I am like a citizen in a democracy, owning my own body but not free enough to control it like I desire. It is a hollow concept.

This is in direct opposition to all other modes of social organization, which are based on ownership by a small concentrated ruling class (monarchy), a large and all-pervasive ruling class (democracy), or by the individual (market anarchy). All of these presume that at least some human beings, by virtue of their class, race or guile, are worthy of owning themselves and owning others.

The question then arises : if religion is opposite to politics, how have they developed such a close symbiosis ? Well, on the one hand, extreme forms of religion or politics do try to wipe out their opposite (such as modern Islam, Nazism, Communism). But on the other hand, their collectivist nature makes them mutually supportive to a large extent. Religion subjugates the mind, while politics subjugates the body.

The traditional form of symbiosis has religion provide the legitimacy for the ruler (i.e. the King rules by the grace of God, or is even a demi-god), and that ruler in turn provides the tool for religious supremacy (i.e. support of churches, state religion, war against heretics, etc). With the invention of democracy, legitimacy is a lesser problem for the ruling class, and therefore religion loses much of its influence. This is why democracy tends to chase away religion, and religion tends to chase away democracy (now there's a lose-lose situation).

In general, this is resolved by putting God, the state, the churches, and the general population in a certain hierarchical order, usually in that order (with women being inferior to men, of course). The fact that "God's laws" and "the state's laws" contradict most of the time is blithely ignored. What's a few commandments between friends ?

The religious theory of exploitation is also wildly different. Basically, everyone who disagrees with you is an exploiter. Once again, the use of force is not considered relevant here. Islam protestors may kill innocent people, but to religious commentators (and also statist ones, not coincidentally) they are the victims of "hate speech" (i.e. a few lame cartoons). The cartoonists are the exploiters. To the American Christian, the atheist whose rights he is spitting on is an exploiter. He is the victim of the atheist's demand for his rights, and every single Ten Commandments monument (which ironically break the second commandment) is another victory against anti-Christian exploitation.

This is partly so because monotheistic religions are based on a victim complex. Without hardships, there is no reason to be religious. Happy and fulfilled people don't need religion. When no hardship exists, it must be manufactured. Every single act of rebellion, even if done by other Christians, is an attack against them. If they do not exist, then they must be manufactured (war against Christmas anyone ?).

Another part of this is the inter-subjectivity of religion. As it is founded and sustained by agreement (which brings legitimacy), any inter-subjective system naturally sees credible disagreement as its worst enemy. So naturally such a system would not point to its own power structure as exploitative, since that would defeat the whole agreement mechanism (although New Age and other "liberal" religions sidestep this issue altogether), but rather must point to sources of disagreement. To be a critical thinker, therefore, is to do violence to oneself, and to express doubt is to do violence to others, within that perspective.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Private Companies Outperform Government Agencies in Katrina Disaster

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In yesterdays L.A. Times newspaper, there was an article entitled, "Report Details Katrina Communications Fiasco." Inside the article are details of how private companies responded much more effectively to the Katrina disaster than did U.S. Government agencies. Here are a few excerpts:

Private firms were often more adept at meeting the challenges.

The Starwood hotel company, "through effective panning and pre-positioning of phones," helped about 2,100 people -- guests, employees and their families -- in two of its hotels by deploying satellite phones and using batteries to maintain Internet connections.

"Local responders and journalists sometimes relied on Starwood's communications capabilities since the city's communications system was largely lost," the report says.

Mississippi Power Co. relied on an internal system, Southern-Linc Wireless, that had been designed with "considerable redundancy." Within three days of [hurricane Katrina's] landfall, it was functioning at nearly 100%. The utility also installed its own microwave capability to 12 remote staging areas.


Surprise, surprise! Private organizations are more capable at adapting to, and preparing for, emergencies or drastic changes. They should be good at it, since they are adapting all the time in the free market. What's especially sad about this is that these private companies aren't disaster-specialized companies. Starwood hotel company? Please! They are supposed to be experts at providing hotel rooms, not emergency services. Yet, they managed to outperform a Government agency that was specifically designed to handle emergencies: FEMA.

Some people would protest, and say "But FEMA was a clusterfuck of incompetence! Surely a better run Government agency could perform better." While this may be true, it still does not justify Government. If a hotel company can outperform the disaster-response agency known as FEMA, I contend that even a well prepared government disaster-response agency would not be able to perform as efficiently or effectively as a privately-run and competitive disaster-response company.

The government is not justifiable in arguments of principle, nor in utilitarian arguments.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The FDA - will it be toppled ?

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After 70 years of anti-capitalist murder and oppression, there is a very tiny light at the end of the tunnel for sick people. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that dying patients have a due process right to access drugs once they have been through the FDA's first-stage trials.

Is this just a glitch in the history of a murderous organization which kills more than five thousand people a year (as a very low estimate) by withholding life-saving medications, or the beginning of the end ? I hope to Providence that we're going to see a deligitimization of this quack mafia.

A Market Anarchist on: what is exploitation ? part 2

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In part 1, I discussed the social aspects of exploitation. Now I want to discuss the more personal aspects - what kinds of exploitation exist in our personal lives, and how we come to accept it, and why market anarchy requires such a frame shift.

Exploitation is a feature of relationships - be they personal, economic or social. So to understand exploitation we have to look at how it is expressed in relationships.

The first and most important exploitative relationship is that of the parent and the child. Raising a child necessarily involves exploitation at a certain level, because the child must be restricted from expressing his innate values - such as for example his curiosity in wanting to cross the street. So I'm not saying that every single instance of exploitation must necessarily be a social evil.

But beyond that, the parenting system is exploitative because the parent is not really accountable to anyone, especially given that the child cannot defend himself against abuse. Historically, parenting has been a festering cesspool of social repression : child sacrifice, sexual slavery, child mutilation, physical beatings, and the inculcation of fear (most of these methods still being used today).

Parenting is the basis of a person's psyche. So the repression of the parenting system has repercussions in our whole lives. For one, it makes it a lot easier to accept exploitation in our adult lives.

But even with this in place, the government needs a system of thought control in place to keep the beliefs alive. It needs to control the schools, the media, the academia and the arts. And it needs to constantly manipulate people's behaviour. So it seems that we have the advantage of being a natural position. People are naturally able to see coercion for what it is, and only an incredible amount of repression and indoctrination can change that.

Now, I admit that it is very effective, even on me. The first time I was exposed the idea that all war is morally wrong, I had to wrap my mind around it. When you've been blasted by propaganda for all your life, it takes a while to return to the state of being able to recognize government coercion for what it is. You have to first fully accept that you have to be honest about it. But when you make that commitment, breaking free of the propaganda is not so hard.

Does parenting prepare you for government belief ? I think so. Children believe that what takes place in their household is a universal. If people are raised to believe that meaningful human relationships must be exploitative, then they will accept the exploitation perpetrated in society.

Now, it is true that most relationships are relationships of power. This is something perfectly natural for hierarchical beings such as ourselves, and something which to a certain extent is perfectly healthy. This does not mean that relationships must be exploitative. To undo this idea, we have to first undo the intuitive notion of exploitation that relies on concentration of power. I will talk about this on a future entry.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Stop talking about immigration

3 statements

Everyone stop talking about immigration. Most of you are fucking racists and have no idea what you're talking about. There is no such thing as an "illegal". The "country" is not legitimate, any more than state or provincial lines are legitimate. It makes no sense to prevent people from traveling from one country to another any more than it makes sense to prevent people from crossing a side of the street or from one city to another. It is racism. NOTHING MORE.

And stop saying that people are "stealing jobs". there is no such thing as "stealing a job". That is physically impossible, you moron. How the fuck can you steal a JOB ? A job is a conceptual entity, you fucking jackass. I can't believe how fucking retarded and meaningless that argument is.

And don't give me your "compassionate" racist argument that immigration is good because they work so hard and they take shitty jobs. You fucking racist, is that how you see people from other countries ? Did lazy Jews deserve to be killed in the Holocaust, and only killing the hard-working ones was bad ? Is willingness to take your shit how we should measure whether a dark-skinned or weird-speaking guy has basic rights or not ?

In short, shut the fuck up. SHUT UP ! SHUT THE FUCK UP ! YOU FUCKING RACIST MORON, SHUT THE FUCK UP !

A Market Anarchist on: what is exploitation ? part 1

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Any serious political position must have a position on the existence and perpetuation of exploitation - in short, a model of exploitation. In Marxism, this model is centered around the notion of classes and discrimination between classes. Exploitation, according to this model, exists because the "higher classes" use their economic power to "oppress" the "lower classes".

A model based on reality must reject such notions, because they are based on collectivism. We must start from the premise that only individuals and their interactions exist. And the natural moral extension of this is : the only thing that can be exploited is the individual's value expression. Even if we're talking about money or power, all that we're talking about here is forms of value expression.

To exploit someone, therefore, must have something to do with stopping them from being able to express their values, or affect their ability to do so in the future. But the notion of exploitation also includes an involuntary nature. A person who desires to be restricted - for whatever reason - is not being exploited.

If I am in excruciating pain and I ask you to help me commit suicide, I am not being exploited. But if I was put in this excruciating pain because I was beat up by a policeman for speaking against the state, I was exploited. And the government in general receives the benefit of the police oppressing me because it raises its legitimacy. So in this case any politician in the government can be said to exploit me, even if they do not commit the force themselves, because they ordered and benefit from the oppression.

So exploitation, as a specific definition, is the process of restricting people's value expression without their consent, of one's own power or through the use of the power of another.

In this market anarchist perspective, I distinguish between three categories of exploiters : first-hand parasites, second-hand parasites, and free riders. Let me go through them in turn.


1. First-hand parasites are the individuals who use force directly, those that have the guns, and the individuals who give orders to them.

So obviously here we're talking about policemen and soldiers - public criminals - and we're also talking about private criminals and mafia foot soldiers. By extension, we're also talking about the politicians and bureaucrats who benefit from the law and wars, and the gangs that benefit from gang wars. In a sense, it is appropriate to list them together, since the government and mafias are basically the same kind of organization.

In past times, and still in some countries, we would also be talking about agents of religion as first-hand parasites. However religion serves a much more important role as a catalyst for state oppression, which I will discuss later.

2. Second-hand parasites are the individuals who indirectly exploit people by benefitting from government power, and depend on government force for the maintenance of their status.

Here we would be talking about people who manipulate the trappings of democracy, such as activists, interest groups, political organizations and parties. Unions are another major example of this category, as their monopoly on the workforce depends on government regulation. Corporate trusts, corporations receiving subsidies, and corporations benefitting from protectionism are also part of this category. Mafias are also part of this category, because they depend on government laws to maintain their markets.

3. Free riders are people who would still have a job in a market anarchy, but who use government power to further their aims, while suffering the perverse effects of said power.

A great number of people are in this category. They are not parasitic in nature, unlike the people in 1 and 2, but they are part of the greater area of control of government. This includes CEOs of multinationals, politico-scientists and politico-artists, activists, churches, lawyers, doctors, insurers, public school teachers, amateur and professional athletes, and so on. So there is a whole set of people doing their job with twisted incentives.

Organized religion is an interesting case. It used to be an exploiter on par with government. Nowadays, religion is a free rider on government power, keeping its grip on the people through religion-friendly laws and support from the state. In exchange, religion perpetuates the myth and narratives of the state. Unlike most domains, people who occupy the religious domain seem to suffer few perverse effects from their free rider status. Government and religion have a symbiotic relationship, where government busies itself with controlling bodies, and religion busies itself with controlling minds. Together they form a perfect system of social control, and catalyze each other.

Another additional category that could be added is that of prudent predation. However I don't really want to get into this, as this is more of a moral issue and less of a political issue.


As exploiters, all are morally culpable to some degree. A soldier who kills people for a living is obviously more morally culpable than the owner of an insurance company that benefits from evil laws. However both reap the benefit of exploitation in one form or another.

I want to make clear here that I don't think most people on this list are universal exploiters. They exploit a specific set of people. Public school teachers exploit children and the necessity of their presence, while the administration of the school exploits their parents. Politico-scientists exploit the masses through the credibility of the media and their pre-existing status. Union thugs exploit the people who are forced to be part of their union. Government is the only institution which has the power to exploit the whole of society.

As society is a network of economic and social relations, and government affects the whole of society, it is impossible to disentangle ourselves from the effects of government. All we can do is minimize our moral responsibility in its perpetuation. We still have to pay taxes and play by the rules of the game. But we must recognize that it is a game, a game that is being played for the interests of a small minority of exploiters against the people composing the vast majority.

So this gets us to the issue of perpetuation. If the vast majority of people suffer from exploitation, why does the system persist ? I think part of that lies in the symbiosis of state and religion that I described. Both are authoritarian, collectivist belief systems, based on a morality of repression and sacrifice, which feed off each other.

But the most important part of the answer lies in the consequences of social control. As government takes control of vital areas such as education, the media and
it is able to control the thoughts of its citizens, able to dictate what can or cannot be made aware. It is obvious that monarchies did not have the means to garner support that democracies have today, partly because of democracy itself and how it confers legitimacy in the eyes of the masses.

This power of global thought control is why I think the Internet will eventually attract the ire of states to a much greater extent than it is today. Right now dictatorships know what's good for them and try to censor the Internet as much as possible. I think that the strategy in the Western world to grab your free speech by the balls by threatening your ISP will continue to work very effectively, but that governments will eventually arm themselves with other means to attack free speech on the Internet.

In part 2, I look at the more personal aspects of exploitation.