- 2 days ago
"There is no electoral way to move forward on this goal — only direct action. Only in rendering institutions useless, only by starting our own alternatives will we be successful. There is no single answer to the problems that have given rise to the situation in Ferguson, there is no way top-down decree will ever successfully manage the lives of individuals who simply long to be free of institutional suppression. Addressing problems from the top down, via the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on terror, and so on and so on only exacerbates the problems of everyday people."
- 2 days ago
The more than 100,000 people who cry on streets because Eduardo Campos is dead remember only his most cynical side: The “modern” politician, who wanted to rid the country of “cronyism” and “favoring,” someone who was willing to “build alliances,” promote “sustainable growth,” “think about the poor,” and to defend “more humane politics.”
Someone like that really would have a lot of problems in the political system. Eduardo Campos didn’t have many.
He died, but his ideals live on — unfortunately."
- 4 days ago
"Vices and individual inadequacy are not the reason people end up without jobs. And the attempt to frame the debate in those terms only diverts us from the real question. Paraphrasing Spooner, the question is not what are people’s shortcomings, but what are their rights?"
- 4 days ago
"There’s more. According to the Missouri Attorney General’s office, even though white people in Ferguson are statistically more likely to be carrying contraband on their person during a police search than black people, the latter group is: six times more likely to be stopped in their vehicles by local PD, 11 times more likely to be searched and 12 times more likely to be arrested."
- 6 days ago
… As Jim says, it’s a messed-up state that systematically creates poverty through the enforcement of special privilege, and then uses welfare programs to ameliorate a small part of the poverty and inequality caused by its own policies. “But it’s a messed-up libertarianism that looks at that situation and says, ‘Man, first thing we gotta do is get rid of that welfare!‘” Or as I once put it,
If the privilege remains, statist “corrective” action will be the inevitable result. That’s why I don’t get too bent out of shape about the statism of the minimum wage or overtime laws–in my list of statist evils, the guys who are breaking legs rank considerably higher than the ones handing out government crutches. All too many libertarians could care less about the statism that causes the problems of income disparity, but go ballistic over the statism intended to alleviate it. It’s another example of the general rule that statism that helps the rich is kinda sorta bad, maybe, I guess, but statism that helps the poor is flaming red ruin on wheels. …
- 6 days ago
These three articles raise a challenge against the inter-national system of debt and the crippling burden inflicted by neoliberal debt policies and financial institutions on people who should not be shaken down for even one dime of the oligarchs’ power-trips and “development” policies. A liberated society means a society where no-one is forced to pay off debts for political capitalists, and the only humane, or even sane, demand is total and unconditional Repudiation Now.
“We have not acquired any debt. The so-called public debt really belongs to the oligarchy. We the peoples have not acquired anything or been benefited, and thus we owe nothing… .” — Confederation of Ecuadorian Kichwas
“Their main function is to work in collusion with the World Bankto run up debt building the infrastructure foreign capital needs for profitable investment. A majority of World Bank loans have gone to building the roads and utilities necessary to support foreign-owned industry. The effect is to crowd out decentralized, small-scale, locally-owned industry serving local markets, and to integrate the domestic economy into a neoliberal framework of providing raw materials and labor for foreign industry… .” — Kevin Carson
“So-called ‘public debt’ is, of course, never contracted by ‘the public’(if that means all the people of a particular country); it is contracted by a tiny, parasitic minority that lives at the expense of the rest of the public, and which has arbitrarily declared itself the rightful rulers and the designated collective-bargaining agents of everybody else in the country — whether or not anybody else ever agreed to that arrangement. When banks or foreign governments loan money to a government, they loan it to that tiny, parasitic minority, and they do so with the expectation that their ‘investment’ will be repaid by means of taxation, which is to say, by means of the money that the government extracts from ‘the public’ by force. None of the rest of us are ever asked to take on these debts; none of us are ever given any meaningful choice over whether to take on these debts, or how to disburse the money that has been loaned to ‘us;’ we are just made to pay them against our will… Whatever the would-be governors of Ecuador may owe, the people of Ecuador owe not one damned dime to the World Bank, the IMF, CitiBank, or any other lender.” — Charles Johnson
- 1 week ago
These four articles include provocative looks at the copyrighting of digital culture and the rising global struggle against it. “Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto” is the work of Aaron H. Swartz (1986–2013), a young brilliant hacker and information-justice activist driven to suicide in January 2013 by a long campaign of abuse by an out-of-control federal prosecutor. Additional essays include “Thoughtcrime” (2003) by market anarchist philosopher Roderick T. Long, the“Crypto Anarchist Manifesto” (1994) from the Cypherpunks FAQ, and the memorial “Aaron Swartz and Intellectual Property’s Bitter-Enders” (2013) by Thomas L. Knapp.
“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations… . Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable. ‘I agree,’ many say, ‘but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, and it’s perfectly legal – there’s nothing we can do to stop them.’
“But there is something we can do: we can fight back. … It’s called ‘stealing’ or ‘piracy,’ as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral – it’s a moral imperative… . There is no justice in following unjust laws.
“We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take the stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerrilla Open Access… .”
- 1 week ago
This is the curse of IP – excessive restrictions upheld by laws used to protect the “economic rights” of authors. Instead of promoting scientific progress we are instead beholden to copyright. Instead of allowing human innovation to flourish, we are told ideas should be owned. IP reserves itself the monopoly of coercion. It does not exist to ease, facilitate and grant social innovation – it prevents such progress. IP is a hurdle to self-direction and thus the inclined labor of human beings. The solution is to question and dismantle this authority, furthering our progress towards a free society.
Bitcoin tips welcome:
- 1 week ago
“It would be interesting to discover how far a seriously critical view of the benefits to society of the law of copyright … would have a chance of being publicly stated in a society in which the channels of expression are so largely controlled by people who have a vested interest in the existing situation.” — Friedrich A. Hayek, “The Intellectuals and Socialism”
A Dispute Among Libertarians
The status of intellectual property rights (copyrights, patents, and the like) is an issue that has long divided libertarians. Such libertarian luminaries as Herbert Spencer, Lysander Spooner, and Ayn Rand have been strong supporters of intellectual property rights. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, was ambivalent on the issue, while radical libertarians like Benjamin Tucker in the last century and Tom Palmer in the present one have rejected intellectual property rights altogether.
When libertarians of the first sort come across a purported intellectual property right, they see one more instance of an individual’s rightful claim to the product of his labor. When libertarians of the second sort come across a purported intellectual property right, they see one more instance of undeserved monopoly privilege granted by government.
I used to be in the first group. Now I am in the second. I’d like to explain why I think intellectual property rights are unjustified, and how the legitimate ends currently sought through the expedient of intellectual property rights might be secured by other, voluntary means. …