The cause of reparations is back in vogue. Self-proclaimed representatives of peoples from around the world are claiming that other races owe them for past injustices, payable in cold hard cash. Justice must be done, no matter how much time has elapsed since the atrocities, or how little, if any, relation people alive today have to the original perpetrators of injustice.
The Liberty Movement is sometimes colloquially called, “The Lovelution,” referring to a popular logo in which the “evol” in “Revolution” is reversed to spell “love.” The image was designed by radio personality Ernest Hancock, popularized by the Ron Paul campaign, and subsequently trademarked (stolen) by Russell Brand. The term even appears in the Urban Dictionary defined as, “The revolution in a society to move towards becoming ideally free.” I had an opportunity to ask Walter Block what he thought of the term and he said, “This was a great publicity device for the Ron Paul campaigns. But, the essence of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle. Theres room in our big tent for hate.” That didn’t really satisfy. When art rises to such prominence it indicates some kind of powerful resonance in the audience. It’s undeniable that love has something to do with liberty. But what? Libertarians are so obsessed with formulating precise definitions that libertarianism is sometimes described as a form of Asperger’s syndrome, or applied autism. Yet, despite the obvious attraction to the term, I’ve found no satisfactory definition for “love.” Let’s try to remedy that.
As next year’s election cycle draws near perhaps you, like me, are already exhausted (and disgusted) with the political process. There are no interesting ideas circulating on either end of the political spectrum. The average voter has absolutely no influence on the political process. Oligarchy is here and the traditional political process seems pretty pointless. The famous Gilens and Page Study actually provides hard data that what voters want is irrelevant. Special interests alone dictate whether or not a bill passes or a candidate gets into office. So, even if 90% of American citizens want to audit the Federal Reserve it’s not going to happen under the current system. So, if the political process is a game where the individual is set up for failure, then what are the solutions? How do we address problems like crime, crumbling infrastructure, economic growth, and national defense if the political system is not an option? The simple answer is that the market can best address all these issues. The difficult question is how do we go from the era of the nation state to the era of free markets and free individuals?
We often hear people repeat the platitude that “a human life is priceless.” But how true is that? Maybe in some spiritual sense, where resources and time are infinite, is a human soul also infinitely valuable in the eyes of the creator. But we live in the physical world where time and resources are not infinite. And since resources and time in the real world are not infinite it only follows that the value of an individual life is also not infinite, at least in terms of time and resources. This, then, begs the question: How much is a human life worth?
1. The Enlightenment is our foundation.
As I have written before, libertarians are often the unknowing and ungrateful inheritors of the Enlightenment. They take for granted that there SHOULD be justice. It’s beautiful, really, but it doesn’t correspond to the real world.
The big reveal which libertarians experienced, the “red pill” moment which we so often try to communicate is that the state is ultimately violent in everything it does. We say this as if it’s both surprising and disturbing. Let’s be grateful that it often is.
Today I received a message through the Contact Page which said simply,
“Anarchy is, by definition, the absence of hierarchy; Capitalism extols hierarchy, so the wedding of the two is nonsensical.”
People send me drivel like this fairly regularly, but there’s been a spike in the last few weeks, so I think it’s time to dispel some rumors about Daily Anarchist, and anarchy generally.
When I wrote parts 1, 2, and 3 of the Nuclear Anarchism series I expected to receive many comments informing me that I was an idiot for even considering the concept of privately owned nuclear devices. Now that the arguing has died down, this fourth part will address the common objections raised by those responses, as well as any interesting or thoughtful ones.
The next time one of your friends says “name one place where Anarcho-Capitalism has been tried,” you can proudly respond “The Republic of Cospaia.” For nearly four hundred years, this tiny republic thrived in central Italy with no government, no rulers, no military, no bureaucracy, and no taxes!
THE RATTLE OF SOVIET SKELETONS
Living in Ukraine, particularly since the poorly disguised Russian invasion began last April, has taught me a lot of what the Soviet Union must have been like.
Petty gangsters and vain nobodies are elevated to positions of power and status. When their Russian handlers disapprove of them, they are murdered in the street (like “Batman”), or simply vanish. Some have reappeared in Moscow doing interviews with Russian media.
Early in the Crimean invasion, a Tartar activist, Reshat Ametov, was kidnapped and his body was found covered with signs of torture. He died a painful, horrible death.
Early in the invasion of Donbas, a local, pro-Ukrainian politician, Volodymyr Rybak, was kidnapped and his body found covered with signs of torture. The reason they lead with such savagery is spelled out in Lenin’s infamous 1918 hand-written hanging order: “Do it in such a fashion that for hundreds of kilometres around the people might see, tremble.”