Over the last year the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) has been getting a lot of airtime on the mainstream news. They’ve beheaded western journalists and prisoners, and now control large territories throughout Iraq and Syria. In the beginning of this year ISIL forces managed to take much of Al-Anbar province in western Iraq. ISIL is a violent non-State actor striving to become a State, just as the Taliban began as a non-State movement (including Osama Bin Laden) to resist Russian occupation, and became the State in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. ISIL and the Taliban both started out as a resistance to occupation, and like the Taliban, ISIL may already qualify as the de facto State in the Levant region.
In his article Government is Better (For Some) Aaron Bachman observes that there are a privileged few in the United States that benefit greatly from government programs. The article makes a sound point that not everyone would be better off with anarchy, but people have a tendency to lose sight of the larger picture while focusing on a small part that they are working on, and vice versa. Whether or not claims that the US is the best or freest place in the world are true, what is true is that the US enjoys a unique strategic position in the world. There are things that activists may not realize while engaging in their operations.
Life is a giant competition. Opportunities and threats constantly present themselves and the people with the most efficient, and decisive strategy are rewarded with success. Though many people are attached to the notion of “fairness,” the reality is that life isn’t fair, and it pays to be a winner. Strategy is used in all aspects of life, but for some reason strategy is seldom taught. I’d like to rectify that situation by introducing formal strategic thinking to activists, hopefully increasing their understanding of how to effectively accomplish their goals.
“Those who assume (often unconsciously) that it is impossible to achieve their life’s desires-and, thus, that it is futile to fight for themselves–usually end up fighting for an ideal or cause instead. They may appear to engage in self-directed activity, but in reality they have accepted alienation from their desires as a way of life. All subjugations of personal desires to the dictates of a cause or ideology are reactionary no matter how ‘revolutionary’ the actions arising from such subjugations may appear. ”
–The Revolutionary Pleasure of Thinking for Yourself by Anonymous
The point of activism is to bring about a desired change in society. Before an activist, or a movement, can achieve anything several questions must be answered. Part of the answer is finding out what obstacles exist and they can be overcome. Good information is key for good decision making. If we are to be revolutionaries we need to be proactive, systematic and methodical in our intelligence gathering. If we are to be successful, it makes sense to emulate what works rather than reinventing the wheel. So, let’s take a look at a basic intelligence gathering technique used by the military, and see if we can adapt it to suit our needs.
Liberty activists are constantly protesting the numerous political prisoners in the United States, held for no other reason than consuming cannabis. In New Hampshire the Porcupines engage in civil disobedience and organize public marijuana smoking events. The people who participate are often arrested (kidnapped) by police officers and locked in cages. Marijuana use in the United States is rampant. The drug is readily available in every city. As it turns out the wholesale cannabis market is the primary source of income for the drug “cartels.”
When Austrians argue about Bitcoin there seems to be two basic camps. On the one hand there are those who use the regression theorem to argue that Bitcoin isn’t money, and on the other there are Bitcoiners who don’t see the regression theorem as relevant to Bitcoin at all. The regression theorem applies to Bitcoin in the same way that modern evolution theory applies to Darwinism. The regression theorem explains the origins of money, but it does not explain the current state of the money market.
Diax’s Rake is a phrase coined in Neal Stephenson’s novel, Anathem:
“Diax’s Rake: A pithy phrase. Uttered by Diax on the steps of the Temple of Orithena when he was driving out the fortune-tellers with a gardener’s rake. Its general import is that one should never believe a thing because one wishes that it were true.”- (Anathem p. 895)
While this idea already exists in our world, to my knowledge there is no other succinct phrase to express it.
One of the most common cries of the Statist is “Who would provide defense without the State?” The idea that the State somehow provides protection is observably false. If one examines military campaigns throughout history they will find that armies always defend the capital of the State as its top priority. It defends government facilities and officials first, and civilians are low on the priority list.
Let’s examine the Russian defense of Stalingrad, and the Chinese defense of Manchuria during World War II, and just so you know it can happen here too, the battle known as “First Bull Run” to the Union and “First Manassas” to the Confederates, and the Battle of Gettysburg, both during the American Civil War.