Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm not Anti American

It's actually been some time since I last heard this thrown at me in the electronic world, but I get it a lot in the meat world. To me, it always seemed obvious, but I guess I better illustrate.

I've been called anti American for some time by many and various people. Even before I styled myself an anarchist.

It's not true, people. Since I'm putting this on both AINC and polycentric order, I know an international audience will read this. But I'm aiming it primarily at my fellow Americans, for two reasons.

One, my observation has been that foreigners understand that when I refer to America's actions and denounce them, I am speaking primarily about The United States of America. That would be the foreign sovereign ruling over what purports to be fifty independent states in cooperation. That all ended a long time ago. 1913, to be precise.

And Two, Americans need it more. A great many of my countrymen do not understand the difference between America and the United States of America.

America is a place. It's a label on a map describing, primarily to the english speaking world, the northern hemisphere of what was once called the "new world". Both Canada and the United States. It also describes South and Central America, but not so much culturally.

It can also refer to the ideals of it's settlers, or at least a significant amount of them. For instance, the idea that the common citizen should have a say in the affairs of state. Democracy wasn't spawned here, contrary to what a LOT of Americans think, but it did spread itself farther than at any other time in history. The twentieth Century was the Century of Democracy.

Yet Democracy is a failure. It was recognized as such by the founders. Even, reluctantly, by Thomas Jefferson. So they put it as PART of the system. A republic. Representative democracy to elect the rulers. And a means of ousting them. All states were to retain their sovereignty, relinquishing some rights and privileges as a price of membership. But as Sovereign States, they always had the right to seceed. This was never questioned during that period. Later, the Federal Government waged war on thirteen States that exercised that right, thus settling the question. Not by reason, or right, Nor treaty or any consideration for the legitimate (relatively) bounds of the Constitution. By Force of Arms it was established that the Union is not to be broken.

But it wouldn't be truly established until 1913, with the passage of the seventeenth amendment. The sixteenth was also passed that year (sorta, it wasn't properly ratified until somewhat later). But the seventeenth was the end of the Republican Form of government "guaranteed" by the Federal Constitution. The seventeenth, without ever directly declaring it, announced that the States were no longer sovereign. And removed what was probably the greatest of the original checks and balances.

The seventeenth Amendment eliminated the Senate in all but name. The function of the Senate was to be the representatives of the individual state governments. How they were chosen, prior to the seventeenth, was as the State Government chose. No uniform standard actually existed between states, because that was the POINT!!! The Senate represented the corporate entity of the state.

The House of Representatives were the representatives of the People at large, proportionate to population. Elected by direct democracy. Exactly the same function the Senate now serves. Clever, eh? They never SAY the states are no longer relevant and therefore no longer represented, but the States no longer have control of who represents them. Instead, Senators are now elected by direct democracy.

All of this and much more has been done deliberately, maliciously, and deceitfully by the United States of America. I hate them with every fibre of my being. Those sons of bitches have defiled my country and turned it into a wasteland of stagnation and low expectations. Basically because they got away with it. Even though I know it's not true, I still think of ALL politicians and Federal bureaucrats as deliberately evil. But it's not true. Some of them are accidentally evil. And they're worse!

They have polluted indiscriminately. I don't see this as the kind of "life and death right now" issue that the environmentalists do, but I still don't see the point of shitting where you eat once you learn not to. But worse, worst, they have polluted our minds and ideals. The American Dream used to be liberty. Now, it's a house you can't afford in a kingdom you don't want.

American Culture is partially to blame for this, though we've been led. I've been all over the country, and most Americans seem to be really REALLY naive about the world around them. Much more than people from the UK and Australia, at least. Our Media is pure garbage. Half of what they say is either untrue or misleading, and the other half is useless information about useless people in a couple of cities. Americans think of themselves as moral people, for the most part, and don't want to believe that The United States of America has committed and is committing grossly immoral acts from ANY philosophy except, possibly, some forms of nihilism.

They are blinkered. Because the government has relentlessly pounded home the idea that WE are the United States of America. This has made people feel personally responsible and simultaneously helpless as they believe that the actions taken by the state are necessary, and that we chose them.

It's completely false. Even in it's conceptual language, the government makes itself clearly separate from the people. Just like all other governments. It is a ruling institution over a certain geographic area. The American Government was supposed to be ANSWERABLE to the people. Not part of them. They are supposed to be our employees, and they are supposed to follow the book. They are and do neither.

Unless somebody reading this is a legislator, I think it safe to say you've never passed a law in your life, nor had ANY INPUT AT ALL in the process other than choosing your overlord. Even then, the lesser overlords given the current state of Imperia... I mean, Presidential power.

And while we're on the subject, if you're fool enough to think you can reform the government via elections, STOP FUCKING WORRYING ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE!!! "We the People" do NOT elect the President. I don't personally elect anybody, because I'm an anarchist and absolutely HATE the government. But if you wanna play, and have any effect, negative or positive, worry about who you can actually elect. They threw you two branches.

Now, these are the kinds of things I say to you who say I hate America. Horseshit. You're ignoring the argument and committing an ad hominem. Whether I hate America or love it with all my heart has absolutely nothing to do with the arguments I've presented against it's rulers.

I was born in America, in the Occupied Territory of Washington. I've travelled all of the west, most of the north and a fair bit of the south. Some of it is magnificent. Some is plain. Some, like Pittsburgh, is a blight on the planet. All in all, it's my home. I love America. I hate it's rulers, and I am disgusted with how easily we were led into an Empire.

Our rulers have been immensely successful in reversing every gain the founders aimed for or were argued into agreeing with. We have become horribly entangled in foreign alliances, grievances, and petty wars. Our rulers tax us outrageously, even if you are fool enough to think that Tax is not an outrage to begin with. They deliberately debase our currency. They divide man against man and nation against nation with malice aforethought. They tell us what we may or may not ingest. What risks we may or may not take. What kinds of property we may own, and under what circumstances. What we may accept in trade, and how we do so. Who we love. Who we associate with. Who we fuck. Everything. To paraphrase Ayn Rand, they have made so many rules with so many variations that you cannot live and not be in violation of the law. This is very deliberate. This allows them to hold you accountable IN YOUR OWN MIND to them. Because we all concede that Criminal Acts are, well, Criminal. They have fashioned us all criminals. Thus, we are all liable to the "justice system" at a time and place of their choosing.

But they "forgot" to tell you something.

We outnumber them. By really a lot.

If you love America as your home, and want to keep it a place worth calling home, then you need rid of the parasite that rules you from the swamp nobody wanted on the east coast. The foreign nation called The United States of America. Then, maybe, we can be great as a people again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Anarchy Is Not Chaos Forum

Well, the website is up, but blank. However, I've just installed a forum, which is working and sparsely populated. Give it a shot. Bear in mind that it's mostly default, and the software is new to me (MyBB). So far, I like it a lot better than phpBB, which is a pain in the ass.

Now, on to Content and Layout and stuff like that for the web page. Wish me luck, I know not what I do!

edit. Xomniverse pointed out that I don't have a link in the text. Well, I did put it in the links section to your right, and it's url is

sorry for any confusion. I'm old and tired.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Damn, Missed Again!

Well, I attempted to register the domain only to find it was already taken, and there is an anarchist's forum there. Site isn't much developed, but the forum appears to be active. Check 'em out. The more of us out there, the better. Even if I did have register as .net :)

Edit. Having now registered on their forum, I find nothing but links to porn in all sections. I smell a rat. Definitely NOT recommended.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Neo Feudalism?

Neo Fuedalism?
My Vision of an Anarchist society.

I deliberately did not title this my vision of an anarchocapitalist society for a reason. This construct, which I've been working in my head for well over a decade, is what led me to believe that anarchocapitalism is not only possible without rulers, it's inevitable. I concluded that it is, in fact, the ONLY way that anarchy could be achieved on a sustainable basis.
However, the deeper I go down the rabbit hole, I see how many similarities this has to what the anarcho socialists believe. There are, in our ongoing arguments, basically two points in which we seem to each other to be diametrically opposed.
1. Property. Both who should own it and if it should even exist as a legitimate concept.
2. Money and Capital. what kind of economic system should exist.
One actually follows from two, but we seem to see them as separate points. I am going to posit that we are not so far apart after all. Much of what the socialists wish to achieve is ALSO what the capitalists want to achieve. Mainly, we disagree on the mechanics. At least in the case of the Mutualists. The divide to the "left" is wider than the divide to the "right". Agorists call themselves "left" in the sense or revolutionary, but they fall more to the right in just about everything else. The only anti property argument I hear from them is Intellectual property, and I'm inclined to agree. I'm not committed to that position, but I am definitely leaning towards it. From there we go all the way left to anarcho communists and syndacalists. Of the two systems, I think the Syndicalists have a more realistic view of how to organize, but it's still pretty anti individual. But I digress, as I tend to do.
Rather than again address these points head on, I'm going to do something else. I'm going to build a mental model for you. This model is how I think that anarchy might be made to progress peaceably, and how it could work as a long term model for society. In all of my thought on this, sustainability has been my prime concern after liberty. Brief liberty isn't really better than no liberty. I am not going to label the activities at any point with the terms "capitalist", "socialist", or "communist". I am just going to describe them.
I think I can confidently say that most anarchists over the age of thirty have thought it through enough to have assumed their political position out of conviction, rather than fad. I don't say this to discourage or disparage the youth who ARE thinking it through, but I also know from my own experience and from watching others that being an "anarchist" is considered "cool" by quite a few youth who don't really follow through. I also think the situation is improving. I talk to a lot of kids who consider themselves anarchists who HAVE thought it through, or are well on their way. This was not true ten years ago, and even less so twenty years ago. The State has become far less important as technology advances, and far more intrusive. Kids today are not particularly well educated in the public schools, but they aren't stupid. They see what's going on. Maybe they don't understand it, hell none of us fully do, but they see it. They know it's wrong. If the world is to change, they're gonna do it. My generation probably will not see a lot of the changes we work for. But given the speed of modern communication and it's ready access, the next generation has a large chance of at least partial success. The establishment of ONE working anarchy that lasts ten years would be sufficient for me. Being a Transhumanist, I hope that I live long enough for life extension to be worked out, but the odds are long on that.
If you're an observer of history, and being honest with yourself, you know that there is no such thing as a "limited" state. The only real limits on it's power is how well it can shear the sheep and keep them from rebelling en masse. Small rebellions are more easily dealt with as a state grows. But states INEVITABLY grow, and just as inevitably become tyrannical. The only solution to this that has been proposed outside of the State is anarchy. The absence of the state, juridical persons, limited liability corporations, central governance, centralized law enforcement (as opposed to local), in short, all the impedimentia of the State.
I am, here, going to posit something that I've never heard an anarchist claim. I am going to claim that the State was necessary. Past Tense. I think, in fact, that given how we came to be civilized and advanced our society just about guaranteed the rising of the State in it's many incarnations. We tend to try things, and hold on too long to the ones that got supplanted. This has always been true of human nature. After a revolution, there is a continuous evolution. And it scares people, and they act out of fear rather than reason. The model that works in a crisis is one in which there is a leader. When the crisis passes, the leader becomes a Leader. Not always, but often. People continue to follow him and give over their power and autonomy under this common banner. After a generation or two of this, the idea that there has "always been" a ruler is well planted in the general populace, and the successive rulers gain ever more power until one or two of them overextend themselves and fall into chaos. Then the whole sequence begins anew with a different model. This is how humanity has always acted. Not just in the political realm, in everything. We try shit. What works we keep. Often along with a lot of stuff that didn't work, or don't work as well.
The problem with that is learning to discard what didn't work AND NOT TAKE IT UP AGAIN. In the past, this was probably impossible. The necessary ability to communicate rapidly and accurately did not exist. Things got lost to time and memory. Our knowledge, as a species, increased dramatically with every improvement in communication, starting with the written word and working right up to the moment with all of our modern forms of "instant" communication. We can now preserve for posterity damn near everything. Cheaply. We no longer have the NEED for the state, as a species, but the transition needs to be revolutionary only on a small scale, and evolutionary from there. And that starts with you and me. Our job, as anarchists in the most controlled statist environment that has ever existed, is to educate, agitate, and hopefully start that small seed that spreads like a virus. With any luck, it won't mutate as fast as a virus, and society will change for the better. I doubt that the other systems will ever go completely away, but if anarchy can be made to happen on a small scale, it will spread. Slowly at first, but along with goods and services, an intangible crosses borders. And that intangible has been the seed of societal change as long as there have been human societies. Ideas. Traders talk. It's part of what they do. Each side brings back the knowledge gained from the other. No monetary or capital value is exchanged, but the actual value is incalculable.
Societies, throughout most of history, have evolved with very little in the way of a plan. That has become less true with the passing of time, because of our ability to pass knowledge forward, but it's still the case. Here in the United States, much of what is our Law comes from the English Common Law, and much of it from even older sources than that. The differing influences are immmense. This is overly complex and unneccessary. Yes, the way things are has been built on the way things were. Under the current systems, we can't purge the dross. It currently outweighs every benefit.
But this is not purely necessary. We can, in small groups, begin anew with agreed upon standards, and in common courts of many sorts build up a new body of common "law" that addresses specific situations. And this can and should be done within the market rather than in one monolithic juridical monopoly. I was impressed with Robert Heinlein's description of a court that was considered binding by the residents of Luna in his book "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". They went to a guy who was trusted as a judge (it was NOT his profession) and gathered up some people to act as a jury. They all got paid, and the amount was agreed upon beforehand. I think this perfectly valid, and I think such would be part of anarchic juridical procedure. I also think that Stephen Molyneaux's DRO theory is a valid model, and that both compliment one another.
And that's all for today. I'm going to put up a website with a forum for this model, as the limits of a blog don't really give me the layout I want, but I'll still post each addition to the blog as well.

Intellectual Property

My thoughts on Intellectual Property.
After long thought and some violent internal conflict, I have come to a conclusion regarding intellectual property. It's bullshit, but it's not unfounded bullshit.
When a book was the main, often only, means of dissemenating information, I think that copyright may have been justified to some extent. I can still think of several arguments against it, but I can think of a number FOR it as well, in the sense of securing for LIMITED TIMES an exclusive right to market that which you have created.
But even under that rationale, once transmitted by the written word into another man's brain, the ideas are no longer soleley your own, if they ever were. So it's a rough point even under the statist doctrines I once adhered to when I was foolish enough to believe in the concept of limited government.
Now? With the internet and other electronic media that can be transmitted worldwide in seconds? I think that if the idea ever had merit, that day is past. Just as the iron plow has no place in the modern world outside of a museum, the idea of intellectual property AS A REAL, TANGIBLE RIGHT is something that belongs in the pages of history. Probably digitally stored and archived, with free access to any interested party.
This does NOT mean that I think authors and inventors should not profit by their creative efforts! I firmly believe that every man who creates should benefit by it. But, for the sake of argument, let's say I write a book, and I market it in multiple media. If someone then copies my book and sells it on their own, what have I truly lost?
Honesty requires that I answer: Nothing. If they claim the work as their own, they are committing a sort of fraud, but if they merely copy it and charge for the service? Well, you could accuse them of being unoriginal, derivative, perhaps uncreative. But fraudulent, or having committed theft? Not really. I lose nothing. Maybe a potential customer, but even then, there was no guarantee that the persons buying from the other party would have ever even HEARD of me if they had not seen my work via a third party. In the long run, were I cited, it might even benefit me in FUTURE sales of other works. At worst, I have a chance at widening my audience without any personal effort. At best, said audience would seek out the original source after being exposed via third parties.
Same case in the instance of inventions. If they take and market my design, I've really lost nothing. I might even be able to get some prestige by telling potential customers that , yes, Joe makes my widget too, but I invented it. Now if Joe were to steal my actual widget, that would be a different story. But the design? I should have been more careful in concealing my art if I didn't want this to happen. Almost every machine in existence is inspired by prior art. That's a real basic truth about technology. We don't reinvent the wheel every time we set out to accomplish something. More often, the inventor sees something and thinks "I can do it better or more efficiently" and runs with it.
None of this, however, makes me "rebel" at the idea of an author or inventor making an effor to conceal their process or make it difficult to copy their works. After all, they DID expend the energy, mental and otherwise, to create it. Till such time as the information becomes disseminated, they DO exclusively own, or at least possess it. I have no problem, then, with copy protection schemes from a moral or ethical perspective. I do find them annoying and often intrusive, and so seek out other similar programs if I am in need of such, but I have no ethical problem. No force is being employed, they are merely trying to conceal their art and maintain a partial exclusivity.
It's when the Rulers step in and tell me and others that I cannot possess that which is in my head that I start to have a problem. As with all such intrusions, they are making a claim that has no basis in reality and in the long run (often even the short!) harms the market and may even keep important advances at bay for a long time.
I have at this point become fully an agorist, as I no longer believe in the validity of Intellectual Property.