I was recently contacted by Katie Herzog, a Seattle-based writer whose prolific work has been featured on a variety of websites including Salon, Real Clear Books, and Splice Today. In this instance she was acting as a social reporter for Grist, an environmental blog which describes itself as “making lemonade out of looming climate apocalypse.” She wanted to interview an anarchist who chooses not to vote. Guilty as charged. Her request was simple. As she put it, “Try and convince me.” So, I provided a lengthy treatise on my decision not to vote. Unfortunately her editor is insisting that it be trimmed quite a bit before seeing it fit to publish. Editors… am I right? However, I’m the editor of this little sandbox. So, I can publish whatever I like, unabridged, so at least Grist readers might follow a link to the full content.
Is that title too provocative? Well, my intention is to provoke, not because it’s my style but because it’s his. In some circles he is known as “He Who Shall Not Be Named,” in part because when people discuss him by name he apparently demands equal time, or so I’ve heard. I invite such demands. Chris is free to comment, and also to submit a rebuttal, or a clarification if I’ve got the facts wrong. As the editor of Daily Anarchist I can say with relative certainty that we will publish it (No special treatment. It would have to meet our submission guidelines). But before there can be a rebuttal there must be a proposition, and I would put forward that according to Chris Cantwell’s ethic (not mine), Chris Cantwell has already committed a capital offense, and it may well be time for him to put a gun in his mouth to prevent his own future aggression.
I just got back from a highly successful east coast tour which included both speaking at Bitcoin In The Beltway, and vending at the eleventh annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, both of which were highly lucrative. I’ve said many times that Bitcoin is a tool for personal freedom, and I’ve also said that freedom requires personal responsibility. So, when Bitcoin goes missing while I’m at the helm I have no one to blame but myself.
You can’t debate online for long before tripping over a specious little adage that anyone who makes a comparison to Germany under National Socialism has automatically forfeited the argument. This is often referred to as “Godwin’s Law” or “playing the Hitler card.” Some people even refer to it by the mock Latin, “reductio ad Hitlerum,” as if it qualified as some kind of formal logical fallacy. Quite the opposite is true. Godwin’s Law, when used as an argument, is dangerously fallacious, and using it to break down legitimate bulwarks against fascism can only escalate totalitarian trends in the modern era.
Let me begin with an apology. Normally I try to maintain some level of intellectual stoicism in my writing, but tonight I’m pounding on my keyboard. Over the years many events have inspired me to write about white “privilege,” whether it’s the Occupy Movement or the Knockout Game. This time it was an article by a courageous college student named Tal Fortgang who wrote Why I’ll Never Apologize For My White Male Privilege. Thanks to him the issue of white “privilege” is surging on social media to twerking Cyrus proportions. Usually I come to my senses before I publish these rants, but if you’re reading this it’s because this time anger got the better of me. Hopefully I can tease out some kind of teaching moment about race.
I have been a full time Agorist since October 2012. That means I set my own hours, I don’t answer to an employer, and I have no one to blame for my failure but myself. I have jokingly called it, “bootstrapping through life.” Agorism is a species of market activism where people trade voluntarily in an untaxed, unregulated barter economy to avoid faceless corporations and intrusive bureaucracies. Agorism holds all coercion and fraud as moral evils, and aims at manifesting a society where all coercive systems are replaced by consensual competitors. Being an Agorist combines the skill set of an entrepreneur with the sensibilities of a radically anti-establishment political activist.
One of the advantages of being a teetotaler is that when liberty-minded people get together and have brilliant ideas, I’m often the one who remembers them. The idea of a Keynote Robot is not my own. It was borne out of the frustrations among some of the attendees of PorcFest X that keynote speakers like Gary Johnson didn’t really reflect their ideas. Similar frustrations surrounded the selection of Naomi Wolfe as a keynote at this year’s Liberty Forum. The problem is it’s becoming increasingly difficult to secure more like-minded speakers like Larken Rose, or Ben Stone, because more principled speakers are refusing to fly. The liberty movement in general is losing a lot of great speakers to the TSA. Plus, a number of international speakers won’t set foot in the US. So, it’s time to take the idea of a Keynote Robot more seriously. And you know this is a viable idea because it recently made it possible for whistleblower-in-chief, Edward Snowden to speak at TED2014.
If that headline seems shocking, read it again. It does not say what you think it says. The legal concept of the precedent, whereby judicial decisions in one case are binding upon future cases, is utterly flawed, and should be abolished. In fact, the entire way Voluntaryists think about Stateless justice needs to change if we ever want our ideas about restitution to reach more than forum trolls. But if that headline still offends you, just pretend it says “Bitcoin, Pizza, and the Future of Justice.”
It seems like every time I fly I have an interesting interaction with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). I make it a point to always opt out, and if possible always strike up a conversation with the man molesting me. But yesterday was by far the most frightening, as well as cautionary for Bitcoin users. I’m going to begin simply by relaying the facts as observed, including some that will seem insignificant at first. Then I will provide some analysis, as well as speculation what’s going on here. What’s absolutely clear is that the TSA is looking for Bitcoin, and Bitcoin users need to be conscious when they travel, especially internationally.