Posts Tagged: vs

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Professor Donald Boudreaux has destroyed the economic argument against immigration beautifully on his blog. Taken to its absurd but logical extreme, if walling off a territory to prevent competition from flowing in were an economic benefit, then why not apply it on a state level, or even the city, neighborhood or household level? Wall yourself and your family off from the rest of the world and produce everything in-house. See what kind of prosperity results.

I’ll continue to embrace isolationism as long as the political class is defining the term, but I long for the day when we can call a spade a spade. Yes, it is the government that is the real isolator. Immigration is just one small facet of their isolationist attitude. There are countless other ways in which government seeks to cut you off from the entire world around you.

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"Every last human being is intellectually creative in ways beneficial to us all if we’d let them have the time and space for it. We will always dream and discover wonderful arrangements of concept, art and mathematical description. Rather than empower a select elite to pursue these passions full-time by scurrilous means we should secure a world of flat market relations where everyone is paid enough for less labor that they might pursue their creative passions. And anyway who on earth would prefer to live as one of Lanier’s “middlemen”? Doing explicitly unnecessary work, a parasite on the system of violence, censorship, and surveillance that underpins Intellectual Property?"

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In this essay, the individualist Anarchist writer Charles Johnson offers an analysis of the concrete mechanisms of capitalism, and of how the revolutionary potential of free economic relationships is diverted and deformed when markets are constrained to labor under bosses, monopoly and government. Johnson revisits, and updates, Benjamin Tucker’s classic “Four Monopolies” analysis of state capitalism, arguing that the case for Tucker’s free-market anticapitalism is stronger than ever, as we take into account not only the growth and retrenchment of the Land Monopoly, Money Monopoly, Patent Monopoly, and Protectionist Monopoly, but also the metastatic spread of state-capitalist monopolies into Agribusiness, Infrastructure, Utilities, Health Care, and Regulatory Protectionism.

For most of the twentieth century, American libertarians saw themselves, and were seen as, defenders of “capitalism.” Until nearly the end of the 20th century, anticapitalist anarchism was sidelined in political debate, and most simply ceased to be treat it as a live option; mean­while, most American libertarians, and nearly all of their opponents, seemed to agree that opposing state control of the economy meant defending business against the attacks of “big government.” The purpose and effect of laissez faire was simply to unleash existing forms of commerce from political restraints, and to produce something which would look, more or less, like business as usual, only more so: bigger, faster, stronger, and no longer held back by government from pushing the corporate business model to the hilt.

This was almost a complete reversal from the attitude of traditional libertarians like Benjamin Tucker, an attitude which we might call ‘free-market anti-capitalism.’ Tucker was one of the best-known defenders of free markets in nineteenth-century America. . . Yet he repeatedly described his views as a form of “Anarchistic Socialism.” . . . What could “social­ism” mean for a radical, free-market individualist like Tucker? Certainly not govern­ment control of industry. Rather, what Tucker was pointing out was his opposition to actually-existing capitalist business practices, and his support for workers’ control over the conditions of their own labor – the control denied by the Four Monopolies and the artificial inequalities of wealth and bargaining power they fostered. For Tucker, then, a libertarian politics meant an attack on economic privilege – by removing the political privileges that propped it up, and dismantling monopolies by exposing them to competition from below. . . .

Support C4SS with Charles Johnson’s “State Capitalism and the Many Monopolies”

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"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."

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Two take-home lessons: First of all, the state’s official narrative about “foreign threats” is quite likely to be an outright lie — I mean a lie on the scale of Germany putting operatives in Polish army uniforms and then using “Polish attacks on our ethnic German brothers in Danzig.” And second, there’s a good chance the foreign bugaboo is blowback from the state’s own policies. States try to legitimize their policies of class rule and empire by appealing to a common “national interest” shared by all, high and low. But their actual policies, stripped the patriotic hogwash, are meant to serve the interests of the rich folks who control the state. And they’ll most likely bring death and destruction home to their own people, as Americans learned on 9/11 and Israelis are learning now.

Don’t trust the state. It’ll just get you killed — maybe on a battlefield overseas, maybe in your own home.

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Colombian Student Faces Prison Charges for Sharing an Academic Article Online

In many parts of the developing world, students face barriers to access academic materials. Libraries are often inadequate, and schools and universities are often unable to pay dues for expensive, specialized databases. For these students, the Internet is a vital tool and resource to access materials that are otherwise unavailable to them. Yet despite the opportunities enabled by the Internet, there are still major risks to accessing and sharing academic resources online.

A current situation in Colombia exemplifies this problem: a graduate student is facing four to eight years in prison for sharing an academic article on the Internet. He wasn’t making a personal profit from sharing the article—he simply intended for other scientists like him to be able to access and cite this scientific research.

Diego Gomez, 26, is a Master’s student who has been researching biodiversity and working on the conservation of reptiles and amphibians for several years in the South American region. Throughout his young career, the biggest obstacle he faced was in accessing academic resources that existed on global research databases. As a student at a small university in Armenia, the availability of research papers was so limited that he often had to save money to make trips to Bogotá to access biological collections, articles, and databases only available to him at natural history museums and libraries at the capital city. …

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Modern Commerce

… Such an organization of industry can be accomplished only in a condition of freedom.

While government lasts commerce will continue to pillage and rob; to cause the young to look old; to furrow with care the brows of those who should be careless; and, while it fills the halls of some with splendor, it fills the cots of others with woe.

Away with the parent of monopoly — government — and all other monopolies will vanish like fog before the morning sun, and the re-organization of industries upon a sane and rational basis will proceed apace, and gaunt destitution be known no more in all the land.

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A Hacker Artist Sent the NSA an 'Uncrackable' Encrypted Mixtape

In late May, hacker artist David Huerta, co-organizer of Art Hack Day and Cryptoparty, sent the NSA one hell of a snail mail. Huerta built a DIY encrypted mixtape using an Arduino board and a transparent acrylic case, containing a “soundtrack for the modern surveillance state.” It’s a mixtape the NSA won’t be able to listen to because of the power of private key-based cryptography. 

Originally, Huerta wanted to make a traditional mixtape and share it with friends and co-workers. But, without a cassette recorder, he didn’t get very far. That’s when his DIY hacker artist instincts kicked in, and he started building the encrypted mixtape at NYC Resistor

"I made my own version of a mixtape with an Arduino and wave shield sandwiched in between two laser-etched pieces of transparent acrylic," he wrote. "The use of a giant-ass Arduino and wave shield was chosen since the (shitty) 44KHz wave file format gave it roughly the same audio quality I figured a wiretapped AT&T phone conversation would have."

Huerta settled on the transparent acrylic cassette casing as a symbolic gesture of transparency. …

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“The state of Slavery is a state of war…”

This rare, incendiary classic of radical Abolitionism, printed at Boston in 1858, was circulated in secret by the Abolitionist lawyer and radical libertarian, Lysander Spooner (1808-1887), later the author of No Treason, the “Letter to Bayard,” and “Vices Are Not Crimes.” Spooner defended the natural right of revolution against slaveholders and detailed a plan to destroy the slave system by overturning Southern society from the bottom up: emancipation brought about not by government wars, invasions or occupations; and not by legislative authority and political compromises; but with power taken into the hands of slaves themselves rising up to defend themselves from enslavement, free themselves of masters, claim the land and the fruits of their forced labor, and destroy the slave system by rendering the South ungovernable by the slavemasters.

“It is only those who have a false and superstitious reverence for the authority of governments, and have contracted the habit of thinking that the most tyrannical and iniquitous laws have the power to make that right which is naturally wrong, or that wrong which is naturally right, who will have any doubt as to the right of the Slaves (and those who would assist them) to make war, to all possible extent, upon the property of the Slaveholders and their abettors… .Make slavery unprofitable, in this way, if it can be done in no other… .” — Anonymous.

The “Plan” called on abolitionists and non-slaveholders to declare their support for uprisings and campaigns of sabotage against slaveholders and pro-slavery governments, guerrilla militias uniting enslaved blacks with poor Southern whites, and solidarity from Northern Abolitionists to provide aid to fugitive slaves, local slave uprisings and free maroon communities.

“We specially advise the flogging of individual Slaveholders… .” —Anonymous.

Originally published as a two page, anonymous circular in the radical abolitionist underground, only about 200 copies were ever printed. Spooner himself withdrew the circular at the request of John Brown — who feared that the appeal might tip off the government to his own plans for the raid on Harper’s Ferry the next year.

Support C4SS with Lysander Spooner’s “A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery”

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Happy Birthday Woody Guthrie!

Woody Guthrie~ All You Fascists Bound To Lose