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Archy's Archenemy
Silver Lining of Statism: Creating More Anarchists Every Day

Silver Lining of Statism: Creating More Anarchists Every Day

This post originally appeared on my blog. “Liberty, finally, is not a box into which people are forced. Liberty is a space in which people may live. It does not tell you how they will live. It says, eternally, only that we can.” -Karl Hess, “Anarchism Without Hyphens“ - For the victims of police violence – whether while protesting or filming inside a warzone like Ferguson, or the 50,000 SWAT raids per year, or the “asset forfeiture”or the daily cobweb of regimentation – it’s hard to feel any sense of justice. The system is designed to give law enforcement officials complete license to assault, maim, and kill – “qualified immunity” – without the ability of the public to hold them accountable. If state police were to be held to a higher standard of say, market forces and market regulations, then there would be far more peace officers and far less rogue cops. Instead of answering to us as customers, they answer to the politicians that assign them their budgets. And who pays for their budgets? You and I. Or else. Fines. Tickets. Cages. House raids. And they will kill you if you resist their aggression if you fall under the mistaken…

How to Avoid Paying For Traffic Camera Tickets

How to Avoid Paying For Traffic Camera Tickets

Exposing The Blue Line has a great post on how you can avoiding paying the state’s traffic-camera extortion racket: So, down to the brass tax. You’ve gotten a traffic camera ticket. You have received a warning from the government that because you crossed an imaginary line that you are subject to legal extortion. If you fail to pay your penance, you face imprisonment in a cage. If you still refuse to submit your will to the state deity, have no doubt, they will send someone like me and he will kill you. That $50 fine isn’t sounding so bad now, is it? This article has been floating around the web for a while now. It is the best guide for dealing with a traffic camera ticket in my opinion. You can modify his response to tailor to any camera initiated citation. Remember, the burden of proof lies on the state. You are not required to prove your innocence. They must prove you guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re not familiar with legal terminology, reasonable doubt is the highest burden of proof for the state. It means just what it says, a prosecutor must prove you’re guilty beyond any reasonable doubt…

Long Live Lyft!

Long Live Lyft!

In “Technology Can Make the Regulatory State Obsolete,” The Independent Institute’s Lawrence J. McQuillan highlights one of the many ways markets and technology are undermining the power of the state to enforce their cartelizing and coercive regulations on peaceful people. The late American inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Ridesharing services are trying to do this, but governments stand in the way. In a two-minute Perspective aired today on National Public Radio station KQED in San Francisco, former taxi driver Kieran Farr explains why overregulation is making it impossible for San Francisco taxis to compete successfully with ridesharing services such as Lyft, Sidecar, Tickengo, and Uber. Farr recommends that government agencies begin cutting taxi regulations and fees to allow cabs to compete; otherwise, taxis will continue to loose customers to app-driven alternatives. Let the state regulate all it wants! It is becoming easier and easier to simply circumvent through non-traditional and more horizontal means of providing services to others. But, as Farr points out, for those unfortunately entrenched and intertwined in the political cobwebs of corporatism, it is not that easy.…

Panarchy in Palestine: The No-State Solution

Panarchy in Palestine: The No-State Solution

“I like to believe that people, in the long run, are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.”  -Dwight D. Eisenhower, Radio and Television Broadcast With Prime Minister Macmillan in London, 8/31/59 - It is hard to think of a better example of the role governments and media play in shaping and controlling public debate than the way the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is portrayed in America. Propaganda, slogans, changing goal posts, lies, half-truths, misinformation, echo-chambers; it’s all there. But since understanding the political nature of this conflict is at the heart of the U.S. Empire and the terrorism aimed at our shores, it’s easy to see why this is done. Since 1968, Arab terrorism can be directly attributed to the U.S. government’s unwavering and blind support for the self-destructive and murderous policies of the Israeli government. Every year, Americans have a portion of their liberty and property confiscated in order to provide Israel with the most advanced weaponry in the world, surveillance date for military strikes, prop up a corporatist-militarist economy, and immunity from international law, even when they intentionally…

Free Market Food Nullification

Free Market Food Nullification

A few years ago, Sedgwick, Maine became the first town in the US to pass a “Food Sovereignty” law, giving its citizens the right “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” This includes raw milk, locally slaughtered meats, and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s also a decided bucking of state and federal laws: This isn’t just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” In other words, no state licensing requirements prohibiting certain farms from selling dairy products or producing their own chickens for sale to other citizens in the town. What about potential legal liability and state or federal inspections? It’s all up to the seller and buyer to negotiate. “Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect.” Imagine that–buyer and seller can agree to cut…

The Power to License is the Power to Destroy

Thomas Paine, Ralph Waldo Emerson on Spontaneous Order

Thomas Paine, Ralph Waldo Emerson on Spontaneous Order

Thomas Paine, in “Rights of Man” writes: Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all the parts of civilised community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their law; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost everything which is ascribed to government. And in “A Speech on Affairs in Kansas,” commenting on the not so “Wild Wild West,” Ralph Waldo Emerson says: I am glad to see that the terror at disunion and anarchy is disappearing. Massachusetts, in its heroic day, had no government – was an anarchy. Every man stood on his own…

Decentralize and Repeal!

Decentralize and Repeal!

“Big Government and Big Business … will try to impose social and cultural uniformity upon adults and their children. To achieve this they will (unless prevented) make use of all the mind-manipulating techniques at their disposal and will not hesitate to reinforce these methods of non-rational persuasion by economic coercion and threats of physical violence. If this kind of tyranny is to be avoided, we must begin without delay to educate ourselves and our children for freedom and self-government. Such an education for freedom should be … first of all in facts and in values — the facts of individual diversity and genetic uniqueness and the values of freedom, tolerance and mutual charity, which are the ethical corollaries of these facts.” - Aldous Huxley, Brave New World One of the biggest and most harmful myths in American civic discourse is the idea that Big Business and Big Government are opponents of each other. We all learned that Teddy Roosevelt and the “progressive” movement sought to use the noble power of the federal government to protect us against the evil, greedy cartels. But a more thorough investigation into the relationship between business and the state reveal that they are and have been…

Will ‘Open Carry’ Fight Police Brutality?

Will ‘Open Carry’ Fight Police Brutality?

Over at The Liberty Crier, Trevor Lyman makes a very compelling argument for the use of “massive open carry” to combat the police state: I believe that if the majority of the public were to open carry (which I would call “massive open carry”), police brutality would diminish greatly for two main reasons: 1.) More often than not the would-be victim of police brutality will be armed under these circumstances. Police are absolutely more considerate and careful when dealing with someone who is armed and who can defend themselves. This is the way all bullies behave. They prey on the weak, and in an environment of open carry there are simply fewer of the weak to prey on. 2.) Under massive open carry it is more likely that members of the public, who may be witnesses to police brutality, will be armed. A cop who is doing something that is clearly wrong and excessively violent and is surrounded by a crowd of increasingly angry people who are all armed is likely to stop what he or she is doing. And if necessary the members of the public can stop the police officer from continuing their brutality and save the would-be victim’s life.  So…

When Victims Become Bullies: The Case Against Political Power

When Victims Become Bullies: The Case Against Political Power

“The Israelis tried to dehumanise the Palestinians, just like the Nazis tried to dehumanise me. Nobody should dehumanise any other and those who try to dehumanise another are not human.” - Dr Hajo Meyer, Auschwitz survivor - Israel has been bombing and terrorizing Gaza – again – for the last week. It’s not the casualties or the airstrikes or the backwards media narrative or the viciousness of the attacks that struck me; as horrific as they are, spending a cold, humid afternoon reading Antiwar.com, MondoWeiss, and The Electronic Intifada can truly test one’s limits of frustration and anger at the cruel and utter reality of the consequences of Israeli occupation and aggression. But this is the Israeli government, after all, and no one should be surprised at this manufactured crisis. Just ask the survivors of the U.S.S. Liberty attack about the lengths Israel is willing to go to both commit and conceal acts of state terrorism. No, what is incredibly worrisome are the politics inside Israel and the lengths the Israeli government goes to keep their subjects from knowing the truth. In Ha’aretz, Abeer Ayyoub describes how what is actually happening in Gaza does not reflect the Israeli government’s claims. It’s an open-air prison; blockaded,…

5 Loners and Introverts Who Changed History

5 Loners and Introverts Who Changed History

In a time dominated by flashes of celebrity, screaming talking heads on TV, and cities that don’t sleep, introverts and loners have few places to fit in. But as Laurie Helgoe argues in Psychology Today, those that are slightly uncomfortable with a noisy culture often have the biggest impact on society. Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not necessarily shy and anti-social. Introverts simply become overwhelmed by too much social engagement, tend to process more information than others and prefer quiet environments. They “seek time alone because they want it … making them relatively immune to the search for happiness that permeates contemporary American culture.” So for those us stuck wandering in our heads during conversations, craving the solitude to hear ourselves think and distracted by the noisiness of modern culture, here is a list of my favorite introverts and loners that have revolutionized the same societies they are slightly unable to cope with. 1. H.L. Mencken As a journalist and essayist, Mencken was truly a hybrid of the past and the present time in which he lived. He penned articles and books with a tenacity and wit that, with apologies to the great Samuel Clemens, was unmatched then and now, blending an unapologetic intellectualism with a…

How Libertarians Make Fascism Real: A Rebuttal

How Libertarians Make Fascism Real: A Rebuttal

“Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river.” -Will Durant My good friend Preston Picus and I have had many friendly and spirited discussions in the last year and a half or so about politics and philosophy. Picus is an author and a grassroots activist, and while we have many disagreements, every time we go back and forth I think we both come away learning something new and become richer for the experience. Recently, Picus wrote an article on his blog called, “How Libertarians Make Fascism Real.” I wanted to respond to as many points as possible and attempt to rebut the claims that Picus makes about libertarianism. Neither Left Nor Right Picus starts off by making a point that I would tend to agree with, if for entirely different reasons: I’ve been concerned for quite some time about…

Ben Stone – The Religion of Statism

Ben Stone – The Religion of Statism

Anarchy In The San Francisco Panhandle

Anarchy In The San Francisco Panhandle

Spontaneous order is all around us, all we have to do is stop and notice it. Even in places as statist as the People’s Republic of San Francisco. While walking slowly through the Panhandle after a good long basketball workout, I stopped to sit down on a bench to soak in the scenery as the sun woke up and its arms reached through the trees that line the park. Even more beautiful, however, was the peaceful order right in front of my eyes. The Panhandle is a small park, a strip that separates two busy streets that intersect San Francisco. Shaped like a thick frisbee, there is a cement trail that circles the patches of grass. Dotted by gorgeous trees, the Panhandle is its own little world. At virtually all hours of the day, these mini-roads are travelled by moms with strollers, old couples guided by canes, runners, wanderers, and bicyclists. The path isn’t very wide, yet everyone travels at vastly different speeds. The bright, skin-tight colors of a bicyclist’s outfit zooms by, often times in opposite directions as everyone else. Runners with earbud chords bouncing cruise by chatty young mothers. There are minimal painted lanes, no stoplights, no uniformed men blowing…

Private Property, The Best Option

Private Property, The Best Option

Joseph S. Diedrich has a great post at C4SS, called “Private Property, The Least Bad Option,” arguing that libertarians tend to lionize private property rather than seeing it as an unfortunate, but necessary, reality of the world we live in. Libertarians tend to see two worlds: one with private property that works reasonably well, and one without that farcically implodes. What they often miss, however, is that this dichotomy is conditional. Private property isn’t morally meritorious or great in itself, but only insofar as it is the best and only way to avoid conflict given the reality of scarcity in the physical world. Private property is unavoidably coercive, and should therefore be a convention only where absolutely necessary. Private property is a coercive stricture. It is not coercive in the sense of putting a gun to someone’s head or stealing wealth in the form of taxes, but coercive in the sense that it circumscribes, dictates, and restricts our interaction with the natural, physical world. The realities of scarcity coerce us into choosing between private property and dismal alternatives. We would be much better off if we weren’t tormented by scarcity. There would be no conflict or potential for conflict over physical goods. This…

Here’s How You Turn the Police State Against Itself

Here’s How You Turn the Police State Against Itself

Potential growth of an incredibly intrusive surveillance state threatening to virtually destroy the Bill of Rights and the privacy of millions of Americans, the possibility of repealing or severely scaling back a federalized Big Brother in the United States seems remote. The technology at the state’s fingertips, combined with political representation which loves having their eyes on our emails, phone calls, and wallets, make the struggle for civil liberties even more daunting. Like it or not, the technology that enabled the U.S. to erect a vast network of surveillance and spy agencies is here to stay. But rather than look to Congress or political reform to limit the excesses of the surveillance state, creating millions of Little Brothers with their eyes carefully watching those in power may be the most effective way of keeping government in check and safeguarding constitutional liberties. In a recent article at Reason, Ronald Bailey discusses one of the many benefits of Manhattan Federal District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s recent challenge to New York City’s stop-and-frisk program. In addition to finding the policy unconstitutional, Scheindlin also wants police officers in the areas of New York with the highest stop-and-frisk incidents to wear video cameras for one year. As Bailey argues,…

The Worst Parts Of the Government Never Get Shut Down

The Worst Parts Of the Government Never Get Shut Down

If you have survived the imminent doom of a possible government shutdown and are somehow reading this today, you might be surprised that very little has actually changed. Despite the apocalyptic rhetoric and the finger-pointing, the threats of government shutdowns are not a new occurrence in American history and actually distract from far more important fiscal and economic issues. Since 1976, there have been 17 (now 18) occasions on which there was no agreement on funding the federal government. The longest one lasted all of three weeks during the Clinton administration, without any of the dire consequences we are constantly being told will inevitably come to pass. So why is there such gloom and doom coming from the Beltway and the media? The cynical answer would be that it’s just another political sideshow, but perhaps there is some truth in this. The two political parties may be bickering back and forth and fractions of a percentage of cuts may or may not be made, but even if there is technically a government shutdown, will any of what lies at the heart of the state’s power be shut down? Of course not. President Obama’s fleet of flying robots will still be firing incredibly…

Lauryn Hill’s Prison Sentence Was a Harsh Reminder of Slavery

Lauryn Hill’s Prison Sentence Was a Harsh Reminder of Slavery

Last year, Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill was released from federal prison after serving three months for tax evasion. Between 2005 and 2007, Hill did not pay any taxes on the $2 million she earned and is now serving out the rest of her sentence under home confinement as part of her guilty plea. Never one for avoiding controversy and expressing her opinion, Hill made it very known she was not pleased with her treatment. She lambasted the IRS and the system of “inequity and inequality” the justice system perpetuates. Her charity work and six children did not persuade the judge from handing down the sentence. Hill called the judge, Madeline Cox Arleo, a “grotesque slave master” while comparing her treatment at the hands of the state and the music industry to the slavery her ancestors went through. While some may dismiss Hill’s attitude and statements as hyperbole and the rantings of a frustrated musician, the process which put her in a cage for not paying the proper tribute to the state is eerily similar to the slavery system Hill compares it to. We don’t have to look much further than the 1984 Grace Commission Report to prove that there is a lot of truth in Hill’s…

10 Most Iconic Libertarian Moments Of 2013

10 Most Iconic Libertarian Moments Of 2013

This article originally appeared at PolicyMic. Whistleblowers, leakers, filibusters, photoshopping Obama, a government shutdown and more highlight a great year for the spread of liberty. 1. Edward Snowden blows the whistle on the NSA   This summer, Edward Snowden made himself perhaps the most famous person of the year by leaking information about U.S. surveillance programs. In several days of interviews with the Guardian, Snowden explained, “I’m willing to sacrifice all of [my life] because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” Not only did he expose to America and the rest of the world just how vast Big Brother is, but Snowden also put the U.S. government on its heels. Nearly every claim made by the U.S. defending the program, including those by President Barack Obama himself, was proven to be a lie. Thankfully, only 1% of the information that Snowden took has been released. He truly is a libertarian and an American hero, and he is already being vindicated. 2. Chelsea Manning bravely speaks out For over three years, former Army Private Chelsea Manning was illegally detained, kept in…

Poll Has Bad News For Neocons As Americans Oppose Interventions

Poll Has Bad News For Neocons As Americans Oppose Interventions

This article originally appeared at PolicyMic. For the first time in 50 years, a majority of Americans wants the U.S. government to mind its own business internationally. According to a new Pew Research poll that measures Americans’ perception of their country’s place in the world, 53% of Americans say the U.S. “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own” and that the U.S. “plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader than it did a decade ago.” Meanwhile, some 70% say the U.S. is less respected than in the past. For those of us, including a huge majority of millennials, who are growing increasingly skeptical of the utility, and financial and mortal costs of war, this is welcoming news. There are also two key factors behind the poll that suggest reason for even more optimism. While Americans want the U.S. less involved around the world militarily, the partners behind the Pew poll — the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) — express nearly the opposite view. The CFR is an organization with a mix of foreign policy experts with a heavy interventionist bias and the support of large corporate and banking interests.…