Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Henry: Tyranny & Despotism

‎"The honorable gentleman who presides told us that, to prevent abuses in our government, we will assemble in convention, recall our delegated powers, and punish our servants for abusing the trust reposed in them. Oh, sir! we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? You read of a riot act in a country which is called one of the freest in the world, where a few neighbors can not assemble without the risk of being shot by a hired soldiery, the engines of despotism. We may see such an act in America."

Patrick Henry 1788 House of Burgesses, Virginia.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rothbard: Leftist

CONFISCATION AND THE HOMESTEAD PRINCIPLE

MURRAY ROTHBARD

     Karl Hess's brilliant and challenging article in this issueraises a problem of specifics that ranges further than the libertarian movement. For example, there must be hundreds of thousands of "professional" anti-Communists in this country.  Yet not one of these gentry, in the course of their fulminations, has come up with a specific plan for de-Communization.  Suppose, for example, that Messers Brezhnevand Co. become converted to the principles of a free-society; they than [sic] ask our anti-Communists, all right, how do we go about de-socializing? What could our anti-Communists offer them?
     This question has been essentially answered by the exciting developments of Tito's Yugoslavia. Beginning in 1952, Yugoslavia has been de-socializing at a remarkable rate. The principle the Yugoslavs have used is the libertarian"homesteading" one: the state-owned factories to the workers that work in them!  The nationalized plants in the "public" sector have all been transferred in virtual ownershipto the specific workers who work in the particular plants, thus making them producers' coops, and moving rapidly in the direction of individual shares of virtual ownership to the individual worker. What other practicable route toward destatization could there be?  The principle in the Communist countries should be: land to the peasants and the factories to the workers, thereby getting the property out of the hands of the State and into private, homesteading hands.
     The homesteading principle means that the way that unowned property gets into private ownership is by the principle that this property justly belongs to the person who finds, occupies, and transforms it by his labor. This is clear in the case of the pioneer and virgin land. But what of the case of stolen property?
     Suppose, for example, that A steals B's horse. Then C comes along and takes the horse from A. Can C be called a thief? Certainly not, for we cannot call a man a criminal for stealing goods from a thief.  On the contrary, C is performinga virtuous act of confiscation, for he is depriving thief A of the fruits of his crime of aggression, and he is at least returning the horse to the innocent "private" sector and out of the "criminal" sector.  C has done a noble act ands hould be applauded. Of course, it would be still better if he returned the horse to B, the original victim. But even if he does not, the horse is far more justly in C's hands than it is in the hands of A, the thief and criminal.
     Let us now apply our libertarian theory of property to the case of property in the hands of, or derived from, the Stateapparatus. The libertarian sees the State as a giant gang of organized criminals, who live off the theft called "taxation" and use the proceeds to kill, enslave, and generally push people around.  Therefore, any property in the hands of the State is in the hands of thieves, and should be liberated as quickly as possible.  Any person or group who liberates such property, who confiscates or appropriates it from the State, is performing a virtuous act and a signal service to the cause of liberty.  In the case of the State, furthermore, the victim is not readily identifiable as B, the horse-owner.  All taxpayers, all draftees, all victims of the State have been mulcted.  How to go about returning all this property to the taxpayers?  What proportions should be used in this terrifictangle of robbery and injustice that we have all suffered at the hands of the State?  Often, the most practical method of de-statizing is simply to grant the moral right of ownership on the person or group who seizes the property from the State.  Of this group, the most morally deserving are the ones who are already using the property but who have no moral complicity in the State's act of aggression.  These people then become the "homesteaders" of the stolen property and hence the rightful owners.
     Take, for example, the State universities. This is property built on funds stolen from the taxpayers.  Since the State has not found or put into effect a way of returning ownership of this property to the taxpaying public, the proper owners of this university are the "homesteaders", those who have already been using and therefore "mixing their labor" with the facilities.  The prime consideration is to deprive the thief, in this case the State, as quickly as possible of the ownership and control of its ill-gotten gains, to return the property to the innocent, private sector.  This means student and/or faculty ownership of the universities.
     As between the two groups, the students have a prior claim, for the students have been paying at least some amount to support the university whereas the faculty suffer from the moral taint of living off State funds and thereby becoming to some extent a part of the State apparatus.

     The same principle applies to nominally "private" property which really comes from the State as a result of zealous lobbying on behalf of the recipient.  Columbia University, for example, which receives nearly two-thirds of its income from government, is only a "private" college in the most ironic sense.  It deserves a similar fate of virtuous homesteadingconfiscation.
     But if Columbia University, what of General Dynamics?   What of the myriad of corporations which are integral parts of the military-industrial complex, which not only get over half or sometimes virtually all their revenue from the government but also participate in mass murder? What are their credentials to "private" property?  Surely less than zero. As eager lobbyists for these contracts and subsidies, as co-founders of the garrison state, they deserve confiscation and reversion of their property to the genuine private sector as rapidly as possible.  To say that their "private" property must be respected is to say that the property stolen by the horsethief and the murdered [sic] must be"respected".

     But how then do we go about destatizing the entire mass of government property, as well as the "private property" of General Dynamics?  All this needs detailed thought and inquiry on the part of libertarians.  One method would be to turn overownership to the homesteading workers in the particular plants; another to turn over pro-rata ownership to the individual taxpayers.  But we must face the fact that it might prove the most practical route to first nationalize the property as a prelude to redistribution.  Thus, how could the ownership of General Dynamics be transferred to the deserving taxpayers without first being nationalized enroute?  And, further more, even if the government should decide to nationalize General Dynamics—without compensation, of course—per se and not as a prelude to redistribution to the taxpayers, this is not immoral or something to be combatted.   For it would only mean that one gang of thieves—the government—would be confiscating property from another previously cooperating gang, the corporation that has lived off the government.  I do not often agree with John Kenneth Galbraith, but his recent suggestion to nationalize businesses which get more than 75% of their revenue from government, or from the military, has considerable merit.  Certainly it does not mean aggression against private property, and, furthermore, we could expect a considerable diminution of zeal from the military-industrial complex if much of the profits were taken out of war and plunder.  And besides, it would make the American military machine less efficient, being governmental, and that is surely all to the good. But why stop at 75%? Fifty per cent seems to be a reasonable

(Continued on page 4)


4The Libertarian Forum, June 15, 1969


CONFISCATION — (Continued from page 3)
cutoff point on whether an organization is largely public or largely private.
     And there is another consideration. Dow Chemical, for example, has been heavily criticized for making napalm for the U.S. military machine.  The percentage of its sales coming from napalm is undoubtedly small, so that on a percentage basis the company may not seem very guilty; but napalm is and can only be an instrument of mass murder, and therefore Dow Chemical is heavily up to its neck in being an accessory and hence a co-partner in the mass murder in Vietnam.  No percentage of sales, however small, can absolve its guilt.
     This brings us to Karl's [Hess] point about slaves. One of the tragic aspects of the emancipation of the serfs in Russia in 1861 was that while the serfs gained their personal freedom, the land—their means of production and of life, their land was retained under the ownership of their feudal masters.  The land should have gone to the serfs themselves, for under the homestead principle they had tilled the land and deserved its title. Furthermore, the serfs were entitled to a host of reparations from their masters for the centuries of oppression and exploitation.  The fact that the land remained in the hands of the lords paved the way inexorably for the Bolshevik Revolution, since the revolution that had freed the serfs remained unfinished.
     The same is true of the abolition of slavery in the United States.  The slaves gained their freedom, it is true, but the land, the plantations that they had tilled and therefore deserved to own under the homestead principle, remained in the hands of their former masters.  Furthermore, no reparations were granted the slaves for their oppression out of the hides of their masters.  Hence the abolition of slavery remained unfinished, and the seeds of a new revolt have remained to intensify to the present day.  Hence, the great importance of the shift in Negro demands from greater welfare handouts to "reparations", reparations for the years of slavery and exploitation and for the failure to grant the Negroes their land, the failure to heed the Radical abolitionist's call for "40 acres and a mule" to the former slaves. In many cases, moreover, the old plantations and the heirs and descendants of the former slaves can be identified, and the reparations can become highly specific indeed.
     Alan Milchman, in the days when he was a brilliant young libertarian activist, first pointed out that libertarians had misled themselves by making their main dichotomy "government" vs. "private" with the former bad and the latter good.  Government, he pointed out, is after all not a mysticalentity but a group of individuals, "private" individuals if you will, acting in the manner of an organized criminal gang.  But this means that there may also be "private" criminals as well as people directly affiliated with the government.  What we libertarians object to, then, is not government per se but crime, what we object to is unjust or criminal property titles; what we are for is not "private" property per se but just, innocent, non-criminal private property.  It is justice vs. injustice, innocence vs. criminality that must be our major libertarian focus.


[Further reading if you are interested: http://mises.org/daily/2099]

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Foucault: History

"...do not look for progress or meaning in history; do not see the history of a given activity, of any segment of culture, as the development of rationality or of freedom; do not use any philosophical vocabulary to characterize the essence of such activity or the goal it serves; do not assume that the way this activity is presently conducted gives any clue to the goals it served in the past."
~ Michel Foucault

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rationality & Empathy


@Simon Portez I sense that your remarks indicate that you would like others of like-mind to emulate the actions you have taken; I receive the impression that you disapprove of, or perhaps possibly frustrated with those who seem to "talk" or "think" in similar ways as yourself, but do not act in a manner you have chosen for yourself. If this is so, I share some of that frustration/impatience; while theory/theorizing/philosophy is important (for how would one determine how to direct one's action without some theory/philosophy?), action is also clearly important and I would like to acknowledge this. I believe that, regardless of the speaker, the passage I referenced has remarkable insight; that while thinking/theorizing/philosophizing by itself, lacks a certain dynamism of action, the expression and sharing of ideas, is a kind of action of its kind. You may well wish others to do more than share ideas, but that sharing of ideas with rationality and empathy is the action that will draw others to the cause and this support is what is ultimately necessary to win the day. I am not convinced that if many were to replicate the actions you describe, that such action would sway many to support the cause of liberty, but perhaps may even alienate some to the cause of liberty? I support the use of self-defense against instituions of domination, just as I support the use of self-defense against a mugger; but I would not the condemn the woman who surrenders her purse to the mugger and similarly, I would not condemn the woman who might capitulate to the agents of an institution of domination in the attempt to ensure her own safety. It is my view that each person must decide for themselves, what actions that they would choose to take in order to meet their needs; I can certainly respect your dedication to the opposition to institutions of domination but I also respect those who are dedicated to sharing ideas of liberation with others; I suspect that it is the sharing of ideas with reason and empathy that will ultimately prove efficacious to secure our liberation.

  • The great mass of persons ultimately support institutions of domination, because those institutions of domination have expended much energy, over a great period of time, in the expression of rhetoric (though rhetoric lacking in its logic and grammar) to convince people that the institution of domination provides for their safety and protects them. Institutions of domination rely far more on rhetoric (persuasive words & ideas), than they have need to resort to violence. To unravel the institution of domination, a superior rhetoric supplied with superior logic (reasoning) and grammer (facts/evidence/definitions/fundamentals) will be required; it may not in the end be a bloodless revolution, but the revolution of ideas must occur before action can be efficacious in winning the day. 

    But perhaps beyond the employment of the rational arts, institutions of domination use the *threat* of violence to induce fear, coercing compliance and expropriate possessions. Fear is an emotion that reaches beyond the scope of reason; it is the primal instinct to preserve one's self from danger. The rational arts are nearly impotent against these emotional factors, therefore another approach/strategy must be employed. To a certain extent, persons opposing the agents of institutions of domination and surviving, provides some encouragement to others so inclined, that it is possible to oppose an over-whelming source of power/violence.

    I am of the opinion that empathy is the approach to overcome these latter obstacles, if one values cooperation/power-with-others more than one gravitates to domination/power-over-others. A person will fear, so long as they cannot acknowledge their own fear, so long as they remain out of touch with their true/authentic-self but when another person is willing to acknowledge/empathize that fear, the person who fears can begin to process their emotional turmoil. 

    In empathic response to fear of the power of institutions of domination and with superior rhetoric informed by sound&valid logic and grammar, we may begin to unravel the harm caused by institutions of domination.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Anarcho-Capitalism: a Facebook Reply to detractors and supporters

[A reply on Facebook to those who are critical of "anarcho-capitalism" and the supporters of "anarcho-capitalism"]

I would like to contribute to the discussion here. I would like to start off, requesting some patience with my presentation and expression of my thoughts in the context of this discussion. I would like to request some temporary amnesty for using Rothbard as an avatar picture; Rothbard represents for me, an economist who I respect, though I may not find agreement with all of Rothbard's thoughts.

I am not overly fond of labels for my own self-identification, and though I hesitantly confess to at one-time identifying with "anarcho-capitalism", I have since distanced myself from such an identification as I recognize some of the strengths to the criticisms of "anarcho-capitalism". If pressed for a self-identification, I now self-identify as "radical liberal"

I recognize that the traditional/historial owners of large capital accumulations have always done so under the arm of the State; therefore I recognize how it would seem like a hopeless endeavor to many to unravel such an insidious conflagration of the State and its "capitalists" and therefore I think I understand the appeal to toss the entire nest of vipers into the flames.

But I would also like to recognize, that "anarcho-capitalists" do not use the term, "capitalism" in the same way as Marx would have used it; that "anarcho-capitalists" have an independent theory of economics, and within the context of that theory, "capitalism" does not *necessarily* imply the institution of domination/violence/coercion.

I feel that the "anarcho-capitalist" theory of "property" needs some revision, or rather, it has need to reinterpret its theory of "property" as a theory of possession or just-use; I would like to recognize that the "anarcho-capitalist" theory of "property" actually implies, not property as is employed by institutions of domination, but just-possession/just-use. I believe that the implications of a Lockean/Rothbardian "property" theory, do not actually imply "property" but rather imply a claim to the just-possession of the transformation by labor of material "stuff" and the just-possession of the exchange of the transformation of that material "stuff".

http://darjeelingzen.blogspot.com/2012/06/question-posed-to-thepopularfront.html

"[E]very man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, an left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it that excludes the common right of other men." ~ John Locke

"Nowhere and at no time has the large-scale ownership of land come into being through the working of economic forces in the market. It is the result of military and political effort. Founded by violence, it has been upheld by violence and by that alone." Ludwig von Mises

“There are two types of ethically invalid land titles: 'feudalism,' in which there is continuing aggression by titleholders of land against peasants engaged in transforming the soil; and land-engrossing, where arbitrary claims to virgin land are used to keep first-transformers out of that land. We may call both of these aggressions 'land monopoly'–not in the sense that some one person or group owns all the land in society, but in the sense that arbitrary privileges to land ownership are asserted in both cases, clashing with the libertarian rule of non-ownership of land except by actual transformers, their heirs, and their assigns.”
–Murray N. Rothbard

http://darjeelingzen.blogspot.com/2012/06/property-or-posessions.html

"Anarcho-capitalists" can sometimes be found to support arms of institutions of domination such as legal-entities known as "corporations". "Anarcho-capitalists" often do not recognize that their theory of "free-markets" actually implies that large-accumulations of capital are less likely under voluntary-market exchange systems; that rather than a few wealthy "capitalists" directing factors of production, if there was an absence of institutions of domination, then the barriers of market competition being removed, would imply that the forces of production would be in more hands, rather than fewer; that there would be a much greater distribution of wealth, not just because of an increase in production, but because each person would be an independent producer, as well as consumer of goods produced.

Yet, the definition of "capitalism" as "the ownership of the means of production" also has its limitations. What is the "means of production" other than those means by which goods are produced? Can any goods be produced without any labor inputs? Even a machine which automates some of the production processes, requires labor inputs to produce the machine, to maintain and repair the machine, as well as labor inputs to feed the machine raw-materials (those materials themselves requiring labor-inputs).
If labor is a necessary condition for production to take place, which is to say, without labor, no production is possible, then labor is the primary means of production; it is the mode by which production is possible.

For labor to take place, a mind or consciousness must direct the body to act in meaningful and purposeful ways; therefore without mind/consciousness, no labor is possible and therefore the mind/consciousness is likewise, the means of labor.

I reason that mind directs labor in purposeful action, in order to satisfy human-needs, either for one's self or for the needs of others in gift or exchange for the products of labor of others.

Therefore, each individual, possessing a mind and a body by implication of their mind directing their action in labor to satisfy needs, possesses in themselves the [primary] means of production. Through these means, they may fashion labor-saving devices in order to increase either their production or their recreation; these additional but secondary or tertiary means of production may become increasingly complex but they all fundamentally proceed from the individual's control or possession of their own body by their consciousness. Therefore, all persons by their minds' control of their bodies, possessed to the exclusion of others, the means of production.

This reasoning would imply that the definition of "capitalism" as something separable from labor-forces themselves, is a misnomer, and an arbitrary definition/distinction.

But, I for one, would prefer to live in any society, be it Proudhonian, Rothbardian or any other, that would be absent institutions of domination.

I recognize that there is much disagreement of ideas, but I would like to see more cooperation in finding agreement on how we might defeat/bring-down institutions of domination and I am hopeful for a day when we may all be free-people and live our lives in peace and prosperity in common sisterhood/brotherhood of our common humanity.

Fusions of liberty

[oringinally published at: http://forum.libertarianprepper.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5 ]


I'm interested in the fusion of ideas mentioned by LibertarianPrepper. I see the ideas of liberty as a matrix reaching out into varied application and integration into daily life. For instance, if a person grows a garden and learns simple preservation methods, such a person is remarkably less dependent on food-distribution systems and has achieved quite a lot of independence or freedom from reliance on those systems. The simple act of growing a garden, while innocuous in and of itself, decreases our reliance on systems that are ultimately controlled/regulated through coercive/dominative means and therefore can be unreliable and/or unstable.

Even if someone was to accept the principle of liberty as applied to ethics or politics, they may still retain some of those old-domination thought-patterns, because it is no simple thing to unravel the pain/trauma of a childhood/life-time of domination, just by the gossamer cognitive acceptance of a principle such as the "Non-Initiation of Aggression Principle". I'm interested in how persons who are interested in liberty, may learn to clear their minds of all traces of domination-thinking and domination-language and embrace a consciousness of empathy and connection with others. 

Therefore it seems to me, that there are a lot of possible "fusions" or integrations possible within the liberty-movement that are as yet, still in their infancy of development/incorporation; among these might be self-reliance of some food-production (gardening, husbandry, aquaculture, fishing, hunting), polyculture systems (permaculture), wilderness survival skills (confidence one's ability to survive/provide-for-one's-self, decreases fear of losing the systems/institutions as we know them today), permaculture (agricultural design systems for permanence & sustainability), paleo/primitive diet (emphasis on fats for carrying calorie load, rather than energy-intensive production of grains for calorie-load; has benefit of being evolutionarily/genetically appropriate and decreases sugar/insulin spikes, reducing inflammation), home medical skills (herbal medicines & traditional medicine at home), self-defense skills (martial arts, firearms), peaceful/connected communication (Non-Violent Communication {NVC}), trivium guided autodidactism, and of course all of the "traditional" interests of liberty-minded persons such as economics, political theory, philosophy, history, etc.

I would like to point out, that the liberty-movement is still young and while there is lively academic debate in many areas, the core principles of liberty in their application (how does an individual create a space of greater freedom for themselves, in the present now) is a development in its infancy and I'm very interested in exploring these "fusions" of liberty.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mencken: Proposal for government job-holders

"I propose that it shall be no longer malum in se for a citizen to pummel, cowhide, kick, gouge, cut, wound, bruise, maim, burn, club, bastinado, flay, or even lynch a [government] jobholder, and that it shall be malum prohibitum only to the extent that the punishment exceeds the jobholder’s deserts. The amount of this excess, if any, may be determined very conveniently by a petit jury, as other questions of guilt are now determined. The flogged judge, or Congressman, or other jobholder, on being discharged from hospital — or his chief heir, in case he has perished — goes before a grand jury and makes a complaint, and, if a true bill is found, a petit jury is empaneled and all the evidence is put before it. If it decides that the jobholder deserves the punishment inflicted upon him, the citizen who inflicted it is acquitted with honor. If, on the contrary, it decides that this punishment was excessive, then the citizen is adjudged guilty of assault, mayhem, murder, or whatever it is, in a degree apportioned to the difference between what the jobholder deserved and what he got, and punishment for that excess follows in the usual course."


H. L. Mencken
"The Malevolent Jobholder," The American Mercury (June 1924), p. 156

Mencken: Politicians

"Politicians, seldom if ever get [into public office] by merit alone, at least in democratic states. Sometimes, to be sure, it happens, but only by a kind of miracle. They are chosen normally for quite different reasons, the chief of which is simply their power to impress and enchant the intellectually underprivileged….Will any of them venture to tell the plain truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the situation of the country, foreign or domestic? Will any of them refrain from promises that he knows he can't fulfill — that no human being could fulfill? Will any of them utter a word, however obvious, that will alarm or alienate any of the huge pack of morons who cluster at the public trough, wallowing in the pap that grows thinner and thinner, hoping against hope? Answer: may be for a few weeks at the start…. But not after the issue is fairly joined, and the struggle is on in earnest…. They will all promise every man, woman and child in the country whatever he, she or it wants. They'll all be roving the land looking for chances to make the rich poor, to remedy the irremediable, to succor the unsuccorable, to unscramble the unscrambleable, to dephlogisticate the undephlogisticable. They will all be curing warts by saying words over them, and paying off the national debt with money no one will have to earn. When one of them demonstrates that twice two is five, another will prove that it is six, six and a half, ten, twenty, n. In brief, they will divest themselves from their character as sensible, candid and truthful men, and simply become candidates for office, bent only on collaring votes. They will all know by then, even supposing that some of them don't know it now, that votes are collared under democracy, not by talking sense but by talking nonsense, and they will apply themselves to the job with a hearty yo-heave-ho. Most of them, before the uproar is over, will actually convince themselves. The winner will be whoever promises the most with the least probability of delivering anything."

~ H. L. Mencken

Friday, October 19, 2012

School as alienating education


Jarl OdinsenYesterday 12:18 PM+3
It can't possibly be more damaging than when the government actually tries to actively indoctrinate kids.

John SummersYesterday 2:53 PM
Jarl, Let's fix what's broken and improve our schools. More parent involvement, more parents telling their children to question authority, encourage our children to strive for and engage in critical thinking. My daughter having had this parental guidance was able to survive public school , be on thee honor roll and think for herself. Unfortunately too many of our children are raised mainly by school, TV, Movies, Pop Music and... superstitionšŸ˜‰

Jarl OdinsenYesterday 3:01 PM+2
The first step is to not send your kids to school at all. Schools, especially State schools, do not exist for the purpose of education, but rather indoctrination and the destruction of critical thinking skills. Homeschooling is definitely a good idea.

John SummersYesterday 4:24 PM
Home schooling is a extremist reaction to public school so naturally the few who are home schooled get better attention. However, if the majority of children were home schooled we'd have streets full of children getting no education. likely told to get a job to allow the family to buy their fifth tenth TV. 

Study the past. Photos of children working in the mines and factories. You think public school is bad, let the RWNJ get control of our families and we'll return to their "work children for less wages". Or as they call it, "The Good Ole Days"
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Jarl OdinsenYesterday 4:36 PM+2
Wow... so to jump straight to the elephant in the room - what's your position on the initiation of violence against people?

Scott Swain1:46 AM
+John Summers I hear you that from what you have heard and seen and imagined, you worry that home schooling would take us back in time to harsh conditions you heard existed? I'm also guessing that you worry that parents would take advantage of their children instead of giving them a useful education?

John Summers1:55 AM
+Scott Swain I didn't just hear it. I have read the history of child workers. There's plenty of photos of children miners and children factory workers. When families fall on hard times, sometimes, the whole family must pitch in. They certainly did in the past when no unemployment insurance was available, no Government safety net was available and families were left to survive or die on their own.

It hasn't been that long that most families were doing well. The vast majority of the history of working people has been working and barely affording to live. My grandparents generation never felt secure even with a job. FDR was allowed to change all that because of the Great Depression. 

http://lmgtfy.com
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Scott Swain2:30 AM+2
Saving this for when not on phone.

Jacob S.2:40 AMEdit+3
I think of a past when many people lived a primarily agricultural lifestyle  out of necessity, or tradition, or preference; I wonder if out of a need to contribute or out of a wish to be respected as a contributing member of the family, (or out of necessity, or out of familial/social pressure), if such a lifestyle has a tendency to lend itself to children, contributing to the family's work.  I notice my daughter trying to copy everything I do; I observe that she seems to want to help me wash dishes, or do laundry or tend the garden, or rake leaves, or dig swales.  I imagine that in a more agricultural lifestyle, there would be even more of this.  I wonder if perhaps it isn't natural for children to want to help and if those cultural attitudes of the acceptance of children contributing to the same work as the family, might have kept going as people were dispossessed of the land that they had anciently tended by government/lords/kings, enclosure, religious persecution, etc....   I wonder if as these persons were disposed of their lands and were by other pressures moved into more urban areas for work, if that same attitude of the acceptance of child participation in familial labor in the agricultural setting, didn't get transferred to the industrial era... I wonder if when there was connection with production from subsistance on the land, that child-labor was good, healthy and natural, but if that good-thing was made an ugly-thing when in the setting of the alienation of industrial labor? [Not that industrial labor is necessarily alienating, but when labor-supply is plentiful, and the owners of factories believe themselves to be of a superior-breed of person {because of royal, government or mercantile connections} if that plentiful labor-supply under these conditions, lends its self to a devaluation/lack-of-respect-for of human-life]

Personally, I feel that I wouldn't want ANYONE, neither child nor adult, working under the conditions I have read about or  seen from pictures of the past.  I am sad that so many persons must have been so desperate, to have accepted these dangerous working-conditions, the LONG work-days, the barely subsistance pay, that they would accept such a condition to labor under.  I sometimes feel angry when I look to the causes of why those persons came to be dispossessed, of a modest-living to be sure, but one in which they worked for themselves (and the tax-collector), to a condition in which they are in every-way exploited by those in power.  Those institutions of domination, which led them to be dispossessed of land, to be herded into the cities to provide cheap-labor for the cronies of those in power... this thought angers me.

I have taught in public schools, and I wonder if schools represent a dispossession of education; I wonder if it is a kind of industrial education; if an institutional education, is an alienating education.

I wonder if children would not be better off, exploring their world with the guidance of those who love them and cares for them (and who's not in it for the pay-check).

I wonder, what if children learned by doing, by experimenting, with what most interests them; I wonder if children couldn't be spared the boredom of the classroom by learning from the world.  I wonder if children might not be spared the intimidating/bullying environment of a school, by learning in the hopefully, safe learning environment at home.

And if their home is not a safe-environment... I wonder how institutions of domination have dispossessed that family over generations of their self-respect, of their human-dignity and caused them such hurt and alienation, that that hurt/alienation gets transferred to their children.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Acton: Power corrupts

"I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it."

John Emerich Edward Dalberg (Lord Acton) [found in an appendix from a collection of Acton's essays (published posthumously), to the Bishop Creighton Acton]

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bureaucracy

I am of the thinking that people who work within the bureaucracy are disincentivized to connect with or empathized with the people who are subject to the institution of domination, that are not part of the institution.  They have needs for efficiency, and connection with those who are subject to the institution of domination, are from their view, a problem to be over-come, not a customer who they are incentivized to deal with in a manner satisfactory to the customer.  They have needs for safety/security, and those who question or object to the institution of domination by which they are employed, are implying that their current safety/security is threatened.  They have needs for respect, and to those that question or object to the institution of dominion by which they are employed, are received as undermining their self-respect they wish to cultivate for the work that they do.  They don't call them "institutions of domination" for no reason; the institution is set-up to assimilate ordinarily compassionate persons into persons who wish to get every interaction with the "citizenry" over-with as quickly as possible; they wish to maintain a vener of civility, so long as their needs for respect, safety, security, efficiency are met; and the strategies that they select to meet those needs, are unlikely to take into consideration, the other person, because the power-disparity is completely in their favor; this makes them select strategies of withdrawal; physical withdrawal, intellectual withdrawal, empathic-emotional withdrawal.  It is hard to connect with a person engaged in those strategies, when there is such an uneven power-disparity in play.

Depressions and Recessions

I assess depressions/recessions as a market-recalibration, which is recognized as a lull or slow-down in consumption, and thus production also lags as consumption falls. 

I assess this recalibration as necessary because producers have acted upon errant/artificial market signals, that indicated to them, a certain amount of savings (by consumers) in the marketplace which is an indicator that consumers have excess funds that they are using to invest, either because there are many profitable investments to be had, or because of future expectations of consumption (actually, these are the nearly the same thing, said in different ways).

If consumers are saving in order to provide for future consumption, then it is an opportunity for producers to invest in additional products and production capabilities, so as to take advantage of that future capacity of consumption. How does a producer know that consumers are saving? Because like all markets, finance/banking is (in theory) about supply & demand; if people are saving, then there are more dollars available for banks to lend; if the banks have excess money to lend and they are competing for borrowers, then they lower interest rates to attract business. Therefore, the reduction of the interest rate, is a market signal that consumers are saving, which is a market signal for producers to invest in additional production capacities to provide for that future consumption.

But what if that future consumption never takes place? What if that apparent savings of consumers in the market, did not actually occur? Then producers find themselves, having invested in additional production capabilities and yet consumer demand remains constant (but up until this point, everything has appeared to the economists to be great, greater investment, greater employment, a boom-market). 

After producers invest in additional production capabilities, and they find that their goods/services do not have an actual demand in the market place, they have to let those additional production capabilities lie fallow & they have to lay-off workers. The producers have over-invested, or invested in excess of market demand. Because of the lay-offs, consumers have even less demand, and so begins the recession.

But why did producers over-invest? Why did they misinterpret the market-signals? Where did those artificial market signals, that there was savings in the economy come from?

I assess that it occurred through state-sponsored central-banking. The creation-of-new-money to lend to the State gave the appearance of savings; the lower-interest rate by the central-bank's fiat-money-creation provided the incentive to over-invest. When producers realize their mistake, they down-size their operations to conform to actual market conditions; a recalibration.

Just some wondering

I wonder if people would be more responsible, if they were given the responsibility.  I wonder if people would be more incentivized to care for their responsibilities if they knew they were responsible for themselves.  I wonder if the mistrust by the authorities, was not the cause of the irresponsibility we might sometimes see today.  I wonder if the government doesn't actually create that irresponsibility and then uses the resulting dependency as a justification for more government.  I wonder what would be the result, if the government provided people a service they actually wanted, like any other business, then, if there wouldn't be a need for involuntary taxation in the first place.  I wonder, if monopolies naturally try to exploit their customers, then a monopoly of the government on government, isn't also exploitive of the people.

A tale of two theories of economics

One theory of economics says that the greatest satisfaction of human needs, comes about when people voluntarily exchange with each other, this theory requires neither government intervention (in fact, calls against it) nor does it require the government to employ professional economists.

The other theory of economics says that the government must employ professional economists to measure, analyze and control the economy by using fiat-money creation to have a monopoly control on credit and therefore to have a critical control over the financial/banking sector of the economy; this theory of economics says that the government can spur or prime the economy by borrowing lots of money from the money-creator-economists/bankers and spending it like a drunken-sailor.

Guess which theory of economics is most favored by politicians and economists employed by the government?
Guess which theory is responsible for economic "bubbles"/recessions/depressions?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Plato: "dumber"

"Good men are unwilling to rule, either for money's sake or for honour.... So they must be forced to consent under threat of penalty.... The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself. That is the fear, I believe, that makes decent people accept power...."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mencken: High Crimes and Misdemeanors

‎"It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume...that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him." --H.L. Mencken

Some Quotes:

Still, instead of trusting what their own minds tell them, men have as a rule a weakness for trusting others who pretend to supernatural sources of knowledge. - Arthur Schopenhauer
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche
We can do anything we like as long as it is UNIMPORTANT. - Theodore Kaczynski
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. - Anatole France
Beware of the fish people, they are the true enemy. - Frank Zappa
The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them. - Karl Marx
The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people. - Noam Chomsky
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca the Younger
The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are. - H.L. Mencken
To the sober person adventurous conduct often seems insanity. - Aristotle
You don't have a peaceful revolution. You don't have a turn-the-other-cheek revolution. There's no such thing as a nonviolent revolution. Revolution is bloody. Revolution is hostile. Revolution knows no compromise. Revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way. - Malcolm X
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. - Sinclair Lewis (1935)
Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of the government. - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought. - Graham Greene
The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions. - Frank Zappa
The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other - instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals. - Edward Abbey
A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years. - Lysander Spooner
If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people - including me - would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism. - Hunter S. Thompson
Your mind is totally controlled, it has been stuffed into my mold.  And you will do as you are told, until the rights to you are sold. - Frank Zappa, I'm the slime
He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination. - Andrew Lang
I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time. - Friedrich Nietzsche
Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
The seven deadly sins of the Christian Church are: greed, pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust, and sloth. Satanism advocates indulging in each of these 'sins' as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification. - Anton Szandor LaVey
Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker. - Mikhail Bakunin
It's possible to love a human being if you don't know them too well. - Charles Bukowski
Going to the electric chair will be the supreme thrill of my life. - Albert Fish
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity. - Bill Vaughan
At the bottom of a good deal of bravery... lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion. - E.H. Chapin
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. - Charles Darwin
Every normal man must be tempted at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H. L. Mencken
It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. - Krishnamurti
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. - Karl Marx
A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes. - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Christ died for our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them? - Jules Feiffer
Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood. - Henry Louis Mencken
Money is my God. If you think God will help you then quit your job and see how much he cares. - Mike Tyson
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. - Bertrand Russell
Life is the great indulgence — death the great abstinence. Therefore, make the most of life here and now! - Anton Szandor LaVey
If we are attacked we can only defend ourselves with guns not with butter. - Joseph Goebbels
People do not consciously and rationally choose the form of their society. Societies develop through processes of social evolution that are not under rational human control. - Theodore Kaczynski
Religion is induced insanity. - Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media. - Noam Chomsky
There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven. - Robert Green Ingersoll
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. - P.J. O'Rourke
How could you set yourself up as the most powerful institution on earth? You first find out what every man feels at least once a day, establish that as a sin, and set yourself up as the only institution capable of pardoning that sin. - Anton Szandor LaVey
No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world.  I cleave to no system.  I am a true seeker. - Mikhail Bakunin
To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge. - Benjamin Disraeli
You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. – Al Capone
Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision. - V. S. Naipaul
Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines. - Bertrand Russell
To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt. - Mikhail Bakunin
Some people never go crazy, what truly horrible lives they must live. - Charles Bukowski
The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. - Hunter S. Thompson
Christian fundamentalism: the doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life. - Andrew Lias
Without deviation progress is not possible. - Frank Zappa
Show me the government that does not infringe upon anyone's rights, and I will no longer call myself an anarchist. - Jacob Halbrooks
People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern: to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy. - Mikhail Bakunin
This is the epitaph I want on my tomb: "Here lies one of the most intelligent animals who ever appeared on the face of the earth” - Benito Mussolini
Serial killers do, on a small scale, what governments do on a large one. They are products of our times and these are bloodthirsty times. - Richard Ramirez
You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you, for the law is too slow. I'll ruin you. - Cornelius Vanderbilt
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? - William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice.
I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate. - Albert Camus, The Stranger
If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose. - Charles Bukowski
Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish. - Timothy Jones
The measure of the state's success is that the word anarchy frightens people, while the word state does not. - Joseph Sobran
The passion for destruction is also a creative passion. - Mikhail Bakunin
I had thought of annihilating the entire block that I lived on. - Ed Kemper
There will always be something to ruin our lives, it all depends on what or which finds us first. We are always ripe and ready to be taken. - Charles Bukowski
When you see me smash somebody's skull, you enjoy it. - Mike Tyson
America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. - Hunter S. Thompson
I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough - I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race. - Friedrich Nietzsche
No one is free who is not master of himself. - Claudius
Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
Constitutional rights are useful up to a point, but they do not serve to guarantee much more than what could be called the bourgeois conception of freedom. According to the bourgeois conception, a "free" man is essentially an element of a social machine and has only a certain set of prescribed and delimited freedoms; freedoms that are designed to serve the needs of the social machine more than those of the individual. - Theodore Kaczynski
If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion. - Noam Chomsky
All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. - Noam Chomsky
Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear. - Alan Coren
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. - Alice Walker
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle
Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect. - Hunter S. Thompson
The Atheist complains about the wind. The Christian prays for it to change. The Satanist adjusts his sails. - Anton Szandor LaVey
The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself. - Noam Chomsky
The wild, cruel beast is not behind the bars of the cage. He is in front of it. - Axel Munthe
Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic. - Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them. - Frederick Douglass
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. - Galbraith's Law
The Church hates a thinker precisely for the same reason a robber dislikes a sheriff, or a thief despises the prosecuting witness. - Robert Ingersoll
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. - H.L. Mencken
The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind. - H.L. Mencken
Conservatives say teaching sex education in the public schools will promote promiscuity. With our education system? If we promote promiscuity the same way we promote math or science, they've got nothing to worry about. - Beverly Mickins
If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. - Noam Chomsky
The truth alone has never set anyone free. It is only DOUBT which will bring about mental emancipation. Without the wonderful element of doubt, the doorway through which truth passes would be tightly shut, impervious to the strenuous poundings of a thousand Lucifer's. - Anton Szandor LaVey
What garlic is to food, insanity is to art. - Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning. - Frederick Douglass
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. - Soren Kierkegaard
A delusion held by one person is a mental illness, held by a few is a cult, held by many is a religion. - Robert Todd Carroll
It is sometimes useful to pretend we are deceived, because when we show a deceiving man that we see through his artifices, we only encourage him to increase his deceptions. - Magdeleine Sable
After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands. - Friedrich Nietzsche
If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion. - Edmond de Goncourt
I'm a polyatheist - there are many gods I don't believe in. - Dan Fouts
Cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel. - Che Guevara
Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love. - Butch Hancock
The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule. - Samuel Adams
You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy. - Charles Manson
The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea. - Mao Tse-Tung
It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry. - H.L. Mencken
Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state. - Noam Chomsky
To live exhilaratingly in and for the moment is deadly serious work, fun of the most exhausting sort. - Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun - Katherine Hepburn
History is the propaganda of the victors. - Ernst Toller
A man's greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all the things that have been theirs, to hear the weeping of those who cherished them, to take their horses between his knees and to press in his arms the most desirable of their women. - Ghengis Khan
In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant. - Charles de Gaulle
Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it. - Malcolm X
I don't care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting. - Che Guevara
Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play. - Joseph Goebbels
We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view. - Mao Tse-Tung
The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. - Rita Mae Brown
The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him. - Sun Tzu
The only problem with seeing too much is that it makes you insane. - Phaedrus
Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world - and never will. - Mark Twain
Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best. - Edward Abbey
They can gas me, but I am famous. I have achieved in one day what it took Robert Kennedy all his life to do. - Sirhan Sirhan
Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. - Mao Tse-Tung
And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this - this (chuckles slightly) is working very well for them. - Barbara Bush, while touring Hurricane Katrina refugee facility, before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home.
Take me to the Brig. I want to see the real Marines. - Major General Chesty Puller, USMC
If you don't control your mind, someone else will. - John Allston
To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated over, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither right, nor knowledge, nor virtue. - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Grown men do not need leaders. - Edward Abbey
The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting. - Charles Bukowski
Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason. - Samuel Adams
The essence of government is force, and most often that force is used to accomplish evil ends. - Walter Williams
When the enemy advances, withdraw; when he stops, harass; when he tires, strike; when he retreats, pursue. - Mao Tse-Tung
If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they'll gonna murder you in your sleep. - Frank Zappa
A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road. - Voltaire
The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime. - Max Stirner
It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata
It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. - Samuel Adams
Who are these Swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush? ..... They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and viscious in the American character.... I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck Them. - Hunter S. Thompson
Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others. - Edward Abbey
When will they awaken to the truth? When will they finally have enough and spit on their masters? When will they rise up with one voice and say NO!? The answer my friends, is never. - Patrick K. Martin
Society has good reason to fear the Radical. Every shaking advance of mankind toward equality and justice has come from the Radical. He hits, he hurts, he is dangerous. Conservative interests know that while Liberals are most adept at breaking their own necks with their tongues, Radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of Conservatives. - Saul Alinsky
How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us. - John Bale, "The Pageant of the Popes"
The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental. - John Steinbeck
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. — H. L. Mencken
You can't fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up. - George Carlin


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