Bryan Caplan has become perhaps the leading libertarian spokesman for “open borders,” the term that many people are using to mean that national governments do not place restrictions on the movement of people across the outer boundary of a country. Although I agree with the economics of Bryan’s analysis, I strongly disagree with his rhetoric. In particular, I think the very term “open borders” is awful on two counts: It incorrectly states what the libertarian position actually is, and–perhaps more serious–it concedes the nationalist framing of the immigration question in a way that will hasten the transformation of the U.S. into a giant police state.
First let me deal with the question of the libertarian ideal. If politics weren’t an issue, and we could get the society we really want, I think both Bryan and I would want all real estate held in private hands. There would be no such thing as “immigration policy” or “border control,” except for what each landowner decided for his or her property boundary. If the current border between the U.S. and Mexico ended up being divided among 2,870 different people, owning contiguous plots of land that collectively reached from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, then those individuals would have the legal right to decide whether to build a fence to keep out Mexicans or whether to have a giant neon sign saying, “Hola Amigos!”
One thing amazes me prodigiously—I’d say it stuns me: that even during the scientific era in which I write, after umpteen examples, after all the newspaper scandals, there can still exist, in our dear France (as they say in the budget committee), a voter, one single voter—that irrational creature, unnatural and hallucinatory—who consents to interrupting his affairs, his dreams, or his pleasures, to go vote in favor or anything or anyone.
If you think for one second, isn’t this surprising phenomenon the perfect way to derail the most subtle philosophies and muddle our reason? Where is the new Balzac who will describe for us the physiognomy of the modern voter? Or the Charcot who will explain the anatomy and the mentality of this incurable nutjob?
“There is no progress in human history. Democracy is a fraud. Human nature is primitive, emotional, unyielding. The smarter, abler, stronger, and shrewder take the lion’s share. The weak starve, lest society become degenerate: One can compare the social body to the human body, which will promptly perish if prevented from eliminating toxins” Vilfredo Pareto
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
The debate between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke is widely regarded as the basis between the left and the right. Thomas Paine regarded politics as similar to any other intellectual endeavor that requires the capacity for deep thought, critical analysis and creative synthesis. Resembling Plato’s Philosopher King, the politician regards the problems of society as that of “applied metaphysics” where solutions to all social ailments can be obtained through the exercise of reason alone. In line with Aristotle’s distinction between episteme and techne, Burke regarded politics as a practical rather than an intellectual endeavor. He rejected the doctrine of Socratic intellectualism that underpinned the Philosopher King thesis, asserting that people who know what constitutes the good are capable of acting in an evil manner.
Almost half of all Americans want to support Israel even if its interests diverge from the interests of their own country. Only a minority of Americans (47 percent) say that their country should pursue their own interests over supporting Israel’s when the two choices collide. It’s the ultimate violation of George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address warning that “nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded. … The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.”
It is inconceivable that a substantial portion of Americans would want to support any other foreign country even where doing so was contrary to U.S. interests. Only Israel commands anything near that level of devoted, self-sacrificing fervor on the part of Americans. So it’s certainly worth asking what accounts for this bizarre aspect of American public opinion.
The answer should make everyone quite uncomfortable: it’s religious fanaticism.
The United States is “untouchable” when it comes to war crimes and other violations of the Geneva Conventions because there is no global body that can enforce punishment against the country.
Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday when asked whether US officials will ever be taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague for violating the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
On Saturday, US warplanes struck an Afghan hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, or Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), an international medical charity group based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The attack killed 12 medical staff members and at least 10 patients, three of them children, and injured at least 37 people, according to the medical aid organization.
The US airstrike was an “attack on the Geneva Conventions” and warrants an independent fact-finding mission to establish whether it amounts to a war crime, MSF said in a statement on Wednesday.
“If it were to determine that this constitutes a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, the question of what kind of recourse would be available is difficult to determine,” Preston said.
“It is very unlikely that charges could be brought to the International Criminal Court. We have to remember that the United States has never ratified the International Criminal Court precisely to avoid having charges of this type being brought against it,” he added.
“So we have to understand that the provisions of the International Criminal Court do not apply to the American government because they are not a signatory to the treaty that established it,” the analyst pointed out.
“Whether there could be other forms of repercussions brought against the United States under the actual provisions of the Geneva Conventions, it is unlikely that there would be any party that was available to enforce such sanctions,” he noted.
“It is very unlikely for example that the UN would ever bring any sanctions against the United States, particularly given the power the United States has over the UN,” he stated.
“So, in many ways, the United Sates is untouchable when it comes to these kinds of issues,” Preston opined
On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama apologized to Afghanistan and the Doctors Without Borders organization for the deadly airstrike on its hospital.
Brandon Martinez Non-Aligned Media October 4, 2015
So Russia has launched an air campaign in Syria to allegedly defend the embattled Assad regime. While this action will undoubtedly tickle the fancy of Putin’s diehard supporters in anti-Zionist circles, it does not undermine the logical, factual inferences I laid out in my recent essay.
The bottom line is this: Putin is not an “anti-Zionist.” He has never been one and he will never truly be one. As I noted in the essay, Russia and Israel have much more in common than Russia has with any Arab, Muslim-majority state.
Russia’s alliance with Syria and Iran is based on economic pragmatism, not ideological kinship. It is essentially no different than the Kremlin’s strong partnership with Erdogan’s Turkey, Al-Sissi’s Egypt, and Modi’s India, the only difference being the latter three countries are not being threatened by the West or Israel at the moment because they are all neutralized on the Palestine question and submit to Western economic and geopolitical demands.
The culture and economy of Texas
How a Free Market is defined by a high degree of competition and participation
How capitalism is not a truly free market and leads to consolidation
How conservatism became redefined as corporate global capitalism instead of local control and tradition
The need to end corporate subsidies and regulations favoring large corporations
The Transportation System as a subsidy to corporations
Monopolies in the media and communications
Banking and the need to end to big to fail banks in favor of localized banking Georgism and the theory on land speculation
Why John favors a wealth tax over an income tax
How the breaking up of large estates led to the economic success of Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea
The Emilia-Romagna Cooperatives in Northern Italy
Free Trade deals and how they destroyed small businesses and manufacturing
Healthcare reform involving patents and guilds systems
How guilds could issue health insurance at cheaper rates the insurance companies
Why John’s advocates providing services locally
A gunman killed 9 people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg Oregon before being killed by responding sheriff deputies. This is a sad, horrific incident, and my heart goes out to the families of the deceased.
President Obama was quick to say that “This is something that should be politicized” in reference to stricter gun control laws and has even gone on to cite Australia’s outright ban on guns and subsequent confiscation as an example of what might be done here in the US. Before I can entertain support for such policies, there are a series of issues and questions that I would like to have addressed.
Mother Jones cites 572 fatalities in 71 mass shootings from 1982 to July of 2015. Adding UCC that makes 72 mass shootings and 582 fatalities. From 1984 to 2014 there have been 608,478 homicides in the United States. Based on these numbers, mass shootings have accounted for .09% of homicides in the United States. Should we be crafting nationwide policy based on terrifying, spectacular, but extremely rare incidents such as mass shootings?
A woman in North Carolina is attracting media attention for telling her story about pouring drain cleaner in her eyes because she identifies as a blind person.
Jewel Shuping was born with perfectly healthy eyes, but she told Barcroft TV in a recent interview that growing up there was always something missing.
“By the time I was six I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable,” she said. She fantasized constantly about losing her vision, and spent hours staring directly at the sun after her mother warned her that it would damage her eyes.
At first, Shuping simply pretended to be blind, going about with sunglasses on, her eyes closed, and using a cane to navigate. She also became fluent in braille. But after a while, that just wasn’t enough. (RELATED: Why CAN’T Rachel Dolezal Be Black?)
Afghanistan has been ravaged by over 40 years of war. Yet this country, which is in transition, enjoys great potential for economic success.
The political and security transition continues to take a heavy toll on Afghanistan’s economy. Economic growth is estimated to have fallen further to 2 percent in 2014 from 3.7 percent in 2013 and an average of 9 percent during 2003-12. But the country’s economy never had a chance for real growth due to the US invasion and subsequent occupation from NATO and ISAF forces. Any cash injection which turned the wheels of the economy was either from foreign donations or the occupying forces.
The minerals of Afghanistan range from gold to copper and iron. Undiscovered deposits of gas also count. The estimated value of these deposits is about 3 trillion dollars. With an agricultural sector that could be vastly expanded by making irrigation available, Afghanistan can become one the richest countries in Central Asia.
If there was any doubt that Washington has learned absolutely nothing since George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, then President Obama’s address to the United Nations has confirmed the world’s worst fears. It was an oration that combined the most egregious lies with the wooly-minded “idealism” that has been such a destructive force in world affairs since the days of Woodrow Wilson. First, the lies:
“The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood and landed in opposition neighborhoods. It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.”
The evidence is far from “overwhelming,” and the only insult to human reason is the dogmatic repetition of this American talking point. As Seymour Hersh pointed out in the London Review of Books:
“Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts.
The export of so-called ‘democratic’ revolutions has continued, but has unleashed poverty and violence instead of the triumph of democracy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said addressing the UN General Assembly.
Attempts to push for changes in other countries based on ideological preferences have led to “tragic consequences and degradation rather than progress,” said Putin in his speech to world leaders and policy makers gathered at the UN General Assembly’s anniversary 70th session in New York on Monday.
“We should all remember what our past has taught us,” Putin said. “We, for instance, remember examples from the history of the Soviet Union.”
It seems however that some are not learning from others’ mistakes, but keep repeating them, he said, adding that “the export of so-called ‘democratic’ revolutions continues.”
Across an empty and arid plain, south of a town in eastern Syria called Tell Brak, there is a long berm marking the front line of the war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. A levee of gravel about 20 feet high was raised by excavators operated by men and women who were often killed by distant Islamic State snipers. Every few hundred feet, there is a sentry point or dugout for a platoon of the Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or Y.P.G., that holds the position.
Along this stark boundary, the Kurds are there not only to fight against the Islamic State, but also to defend a precious experiment in direct democracy. In Rojava, the Kurdish name for this region of eastern Syria, a new form of self-government is being built from the ground up.
After the authority of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad collapsed at the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011, the Kurds took advantage of the vacuum to set up government without a state. There is no top-down authority, even within the military. One Y.P.G. commander gently corrected me when I addressed him as “general.”
What Noam says about Sanders is what I always said about Ron Paul:
“Suppose that Sanders won, which is pretty unlikely in a system of bought elections. He would be alone: he doesn’t have congressional representatives, he doesn’t have governors, he doesn’t have support in the bureaucracy, he doesn’t have state legislators; and standing alone in this system, he couldn’t do very much. A real political alternative would be across the board, not just a figure in the White House.
It would have to be a broad political movement. In fact, the Sanders campaign I think is valuable — it’s opening up issues, it’s maybe pressing the mainstream Democrats a little bit in a progressive direction, and it is mobilizing a lot of popular forces, and the most positive outcome would be if they remain after the election.
It’s a serious mistake to just to be geared to the quadrennial electoral extravaganza and then go home. That’s not the way changes take place. The mobilization could lead to a continuing popular organization which could maybe have an effect in the long run.”
Throughout his illustrious career, one of Noam Chomsky’s chief preoccupations has been questioning — and urging us to question — the assumptions and norms that govern our society.
Following a talk on power, ideology, and US foreign policy last weekend at the New School in New York City, freelance Italian journalist Tommaso Segantini sat down with the eighty-six-year-old to discuss some of the same themes, including how they relate to processes of social change.
For radicals, progress requires puncturing the bubble of inevitability: austerity, for instance, “is a policy decision undertaken by the designers for their own purposes.” It is not implemented, Chomsky says, “because of any economic laws.” American capitalism also benefits from ideological obfuscation: despite its association with free markets, capitalism is shot through with subsidies for some of the most powerful private actors. This bubble needs popping too.
And he remains soberly optimistic. “Over time there’s a kind of a general trajectory towards a more just society, with regressions and reversals of course.”
In an interview a couple of years ago, you said that the Occupy Wall Street movement had created a rare sentiment of solidarity in the US. September 17 was the fourth anniversary of the OWS movement. What is your evaluation of social movements such as OWS over the last twenty years? Have they been effective in bringing about change? How could they improve?
They’ve had an impact; they have not coalesced into persistent and ongoing movements. It’s a very atomized society. There are very few continuing organizations which have institutional memory, that know how to move to the next step and so on.
This is partly due to the destruction of the labor movement, which used to offer a kind of fixed basis for many activities; by now, practically the only persistent institutions are the churches. So many things are church-based.
It’s hard for a movement to take hold. There are often movements of young people, which tend to be transitory; on the other hand there’s a cumulative effect, and you never know when something will spark into a major movement. It’s happened time and again: civil rights movement, women’s movement. So keep trying until something takes off.
The United States and Russia are pursuing “polar opposite objectives” in Syria which can lead to a serious military confrontation between the two powers, an American political analyst based in Virginia says.
Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on a joint statement by the United States and Russia on the situation in Syria.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, attended a joint conference after a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Lavrov said the two countries were working to “avoid any unintended incidents” and adopt a “safe approach” while conducting airstrikes in the Middle East region.
“It’s clear I think that the United States and Russia really do not want to have a confrontation with one and other. And it seems to me that the purpose of this statement is to avoid such a confrontation,” Preston said.
“I don’t think that either nation really regards a confrontation between the United States and Russia as being in their own interests,” he added. “However, it is a difficult situation, because both nations have entirely different, in fact polar opposite objectives in Syria.”
“In President Obama’s speech to the United Nations [on Monday], he mentioned that the Assad regime needs to go, that’s precisely the opposite position that the Putin government and Moscow takes,” the analyst noted.
Russia sees Assad govt. as bulwark against terrorists
Preston said that the Russians consider the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a “bulwark” against Takfiri terrorists wreaking havoc in the Middle East.
“The Russian position is that the Assad regime must be allowed to stand at all costs, and the reason for that is they see the Assad regime as a bulwark against ISIS terrorists and against other comparable terrorist organizations in the region,” he said.
“And Russia regards the existence of these terrorist groups as a threat to their own national security,” he stated. “They are concerned about these movements growing and expanding. They are concerned about them spreading into the nations that are border nations with Russia. They are concerned about the terrorist incidents sponsored by these kinds of organizations within Russia.”
“That’s the position of the Russians. They want to keep Assad in power as a bulwark against these terrorist organizations,” the analyst stated.
Assad’s Syria not a US client state
Preston said that “the United States has a polar opposite objective, and that is to remove Assad from power as a primary objective, and the reason for that is that… [the Assad government] is not a client state of the United States and is opposed to Israel.”
“For nearly half a century or longer, the primary objective of the United States in the Middle East has been to eliminate regimes that offer opposition to Israel or offer opposition to the American hegemony,” he observed.
“So the removal of Assad is the primary goal that the Americans have and the preservation of Assad is the goal that the Russians have. So they have polar opposite objectives,” he stressed.
“So it will be interesting if the United States and the Russians are able to pursue polar opposite policies and yet manage to avoid stepping on each other’s toes in the process. So it’s a very tense situation and it is certainly something that can escalate into a much more serious confrontation between the two powers,” Preston concluded.
Lupus Dragonowl’s “Against Identity Politics: Spectres, Joylessness, & the Contours of Ressentiment,” originally publishd in AJODA, is read aloud by Arabella Story Tella.
This essay discusses and critiques identity politics and identity politicians and offers a different way of seeing and viewing the identities forced upon us by society and its structures. Using a Stirnerian critique, Dragonowl breaks down the thoughts, actions, and ideas of identity politics, defining them as another iteration of leftism. Full of anecdotes from the anarchist and radical milleu, this essay attempts to shed light on the workings of identity politicians. Click here to check out AJODA Magazine, Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed
The United States does not want a direct military confrontation with Russian forces in Syria, an American political analyst based in Virginia says.
But the primary objective of the Obama administration is the overthrow of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with the assistance of terrorist groups including Daesh (ISIL), said Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com.
Preston made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV while commenting on a statement by Republican Senator Bob Corker, who said on Wednesday that the Pentagon should target both the Assad government and ISIL.
Corker’s comments came shortly after Russia carried out its first airstrikes against ISIL terrorists near the Syrian city of Homs.
“The Obama administration seems to be pulling back from waging the war on ISIS,” Preston said, using an alternative acronym for the terrorist group, which is operating in Syria and Iraq.
“They are conducting military operations against ISIS, but I don’t think the total destruction of ISIS is something they are really that motivated to achieve, because they see ISIS as the weapon against the Assad regime,” he said.
“I think that the first objective of the American foreign policy in Syria is to bring down the Assad regime. They see ISIS as perhaps the useful force towards that end, but they are also concerned ISIS potentially threatening American allies,” the analyst noted.
“Now that the Russian have gotten involved, I think the Obama administration really doesn’t want a direct confrontation with the Russians,” he observed.
“Bob Corker comes from the opposition party, from the Republicans, which take a more hard-line perspective on foreign policy than the Obama administration,” Preston said. “He seems to be more eager for a confrontation with the Russians.”
“I think he wants [the US] to fight ISIS more aggressively and tries to take down the Assad [government] at the same time. And that’s totally unrealistic objective, because there’s no viable alternative in Syria,” he pointed out.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.
Daesh terrorists, with members from several Western countries, have been active in Iraq, Syria and more recently in Libya, committing acts of terror against people of different religious and ethnic communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.
An unapologetically Nietzschean take on the refugee crisis.
By Dr. Robert M. Price
Thus Spake Zarathustra
I have read two books that turned out to be truly prophetic. Not clairvoyant, mind you, just prescient. The authors were like Isaac Asimov’s futurologist Hari Seldon in his Foundation epic: they had a far-reaching grasp of how present trends would turn out. One of these books was Andrei Amalric’s Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984? It was published in English in 1970 and already foresaw that the USSR must unravel because of irreconcilable ethnic tensions between the disparate Soviet “republics.” Okay, he was just a few years early.
The other book was Jean Raspail’s novel, The Camp of the Saints (English publication in 1975), whose title comes from Revelation 20:7-9: “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” It suddenly occurred to the author one day as he relaxed at the beach: what if the inexhaustible hordes of the scarecrow poor from all over the Third World were to show up on the shores of affluent Europe? Would the survivor guilt of the liberal West sap any and all resistance to the invading army whose only weapon was their terrible neediness? Would Europe throw open its doors, welcoming the destruction of their culture with the famous last words, “Give me your tired, your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores”? You know they would. And now, in 2015, they have.
Of course, the mistake made here is taking the feminist “equality” spiel at face value, instead of simply acknowledging the special pleading that forms the backbone of the ideology. On a related note, I’m somewhat wary of the reports of a “rape epidemic” in Scandinavia, given not only the prevalence of feminist dogma, but also expanded definitions of “rape”, the possibility of false/mistaken reports, and questionable reporting procedures (particularly in Sweden); it certainly raises the question of how embellished the “epidemic” is by such factors.
Why do radical feminists remain silent on the issue of mass immigration into Europe, in spite of the fact that the statistics show that European women are among its primary victims?
I’m not the first to ask this, but the more times it gets asked, the better.
During this debate on just how we’re going to get millions of Muslim migrants settled in Europe—since Europe’s politicians apparently have never seriously considered the option of actually securing their borders—where the hell are the feminists?
Because rape is bad, right?
Have they read the rape statistics regarding the millions of devout Muslims who are already ensconced in the Land of the Unbeliever?
Also, this is the most media coverage I’ve seen Sylvanian Families receive in decades.
An exhibition celebrating freedom of expression has become the unlikely victim of censorship – after an artwork which showed Sylvanian Families being terrorised by ISIS was banned from the display.
The Passion for Freedom exhibition is currently being held at London’s Mall galleries – and features work such as ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’ – an eight foot long wall cast from the genitals of 400 women.
But the ‘Isis Threat Sylvania’ piece was removed after police became concerned that it was ‘potentially inflammatory’ and told organisers that they would have to pay £36,000 for security if the piece was displayed.