Think of the beliefs you have which you hold most dear. How much will it cost for you to change those beliefs? Will you change them for a title? Will you change them for prestige? Will you change them for riches? We would like you to be compliant and obedient, so tell us what it will take for you to change those beliefs?
Every anarchist understands the inherent incompetence, and corruption of the modern State. However, Greece is not a typical case. Greece is competing with Argentina for the most extreme failure of the State, and its many cronies, in the postwar period.
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.
It has been said that carrying a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. This phrase has been running through my mind a lot as I read the comments made by Cuban American politicians upset over the thawing of relations between Cuba and the United States. To hear their hysterics you would think America was arming people who want to kill Americans (a policy they seem to support for the Middle East), instead of liberalizing trade and travel with one of our closest neighbors.
Most libertarians and anarchists can point to a few major influences whose writings or speeches seized their attention, and made them want to not only embrace their philosophy, but spread it. Some might point to Lysander Spooner, Murray Rothbard, or Ayn Rand. Many of my peers point to Ron Paul. And some might point to relatively unknown activists, close friends or distant online acquaintances who challenged their views by offering new ideas about peace and liberty. Several people played a part in shaping my worldview, but one in particular stands out. He was a voluntaryist, a proponent of the non-aggression principle, and also nonviolent resistance. He was a peaceful criminal, guilty of victimless crimes for which he was arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and executed. His name was Jesus.
Marijuana is wonderful at best, and harmless at worst. Making this plant illegal has led to an increase in violence from government agencies and cartels, and people in every state are realizing what a mistake criminalization has been. In the recent midterm elections legislation passed legalizing the plant on various levels. Florida, where I live, narrowly missed the 60% supermajority needed to add a medical marijuana amendment to the state constitution. Many were disappointed and irritated, blaming young people for not turning out to vote on this very important measure. As one of those non voting “youths” (albeit narrowly), I feel that the ire of pro-legalization voters is undeserved. You see, legalization is a trap.
In the summer of 2004 I found myself and twenty other “classmates” doing push-ups, jumping jacks, and all manner of physical torture for over an hour, while my Marine Corps drill instructor (a five foot two black woman from Arkansas) screamed at us. She was inflicting upon our class a form of group punishment called “Remedial Physical Training” or RPT. This “training” usually consisted of doing one exercise after another all while the drill instructor yelled in our faces. This was a common occurrence during my twelve weeks in Naval Officer Candidate School, but this event stands out in my memory because the lesson our drill instructor was trying to drive home was the importance of questioning orders that do not make sense.
I am not a doctor, and I am not offering medical advice. Let’s get that little disclaimer out of the way right off the top. I don’t want the fascist fools at the FDA who protect the criminal minions of the AMA and insurance companies to get any funny ideas about coming after me on some bullshit statute of legalese. That’s not paranoia talking, I assure you. That’s just good, old-fashioned common sense, along with foresight of the fact that I’m about to lace into those fuckers, as well as the system of Death Care that they serve, as hard as I possibly (and legally) can, and I’m not at all interested in winding up locked in a cell for what I say.
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.