Democracy: The Hanging Judge Reply

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My Takimag debut. The responses pretty much reinforce what I said in the piece about the demos.


I noticed a fair few mentions of the phrase “death penalty” from UK news outlets last fortnight; little surprise, given that the antepenultimate Wednesday marked the half-century since this Sceptered Isle’s last execution. No doubt, papers and petabytes were packed with philippics decrying the dead and deadly practice (at least the broadsheet-based brands). Can’t say I paused to check, agreement aside.

That said, one editorial succeeded at snagging my attention two weekends ago. Written by no less than the notorious Nigel Farage, the Independent Voices piece put forward the perspective of the UKIP leader in terms both clear and concise; whilst personally opposed to capital punishment, he wishes to see it put to a vote in the name of “sovereignty” and “direct democracy.” To buttress his point, he cited public opinion polls, as well as the words of fellow UKIPer Louise Bours.

I first and last saw Bours back in May on BBC’s Question Time, where she castigated “brains in [his] feet” footballer Joey Barton for his “offensive” likening of British political parties to “four really ugly girls” (thereby making a point of missing the point—and the joke—in tragicomic fashion). Bours’ boorishness found fresh vent on the aforementioned Wednesday, with her calls for the culling of cop and kiddy-killers along with the heads of those who severed that of Fusilier Lee Rigby. In a recent YouGov poll, 45 percent of respondents echoed her bilious bloodlust, outstripping the 39 percent opposed to such measures.

For me, such outcries do nothing beyond reinforcing my already low opinion of demagogues and demos alike.

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Koch Brothers Take On Camo-Wearing Cops Reply

It looks like some more “right-opportunism” is on the way. The upside is that this opens the door for those with more radical views to come in.

The Daily Beast

Democrats have long loathed the conservative billionaires, but they’re united on one topic, at least: militarized police. How the Kochs are working to prevent the next Ferguson.

The convergence of the progressive left and libertarian right over police demilitarization is yielding a liberal-tarian moment—and it’s brought to you by the Koch brothers.

Groups on the left have been among the loudest voices condemning police actions in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown this month. But the Koch brothers, boogeymen of national Democrats, have long funded libertarian groups that laid the intellectual groundwork for opposing police militarization, a phenomenon that now has been discussed and denounced much more widely.

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The Limitations of “System Libertarianism” 6

These two guys, who headed the Libertarian Party ticket in 2012, are perfect illustrations of what I call “system libertarians.” By “system libertarians,” I don’t mean “right-opportunists” who are simply trying to hijack libertarianism towards other ends like Rand Paul, Bob Barr, the Kochs, etc. By all accounts, these two are sincere libertarians so far as one can be within a pro-system framework. When Johnson was governor of New Mexico, he was a fairly outspoken and maverick critic of the war on drugs. I have no reason to doubt his sincerity, BUT he explicitly rejected the use of executive pardon to release drug war prisoners on grounds that doing so would be “un-democratic.” In other words, his libertarian values are subordinated to his democratist values.

Gray is a former prosecutor and judge who is also a maverick judicial critic of the war on drugs. Yet in his otherwise excellent book on the drug war, he strongly criticized the use of jury nullification to obstruct drug war prosecutions on the grounds that doing so would undermine the legal system and the “rule of law.” In other words, his legal positivist values take priority over his libertarian values.

I have nothing against these guys personally. They fill a necessary role. But they illustrate the difficulties associated with individuals who claim the mantle of “libertarian” without fully rejecting the system. This is one of the reasons why I have always preferred to call myself an “anarchist” rather than a “libertarian.” The label of “anarchist” is one that most people are uncomfortable adopting. But the importance of accepting this label is that it signifies one’s willingness to completely turn one’s back on the system, and adopt an explicitly revolutionary stance, which “system libertarians” won’t do.

By Alan Pyeatt

This past weekend, the Libertarian Party celebrated its 40th birthday by choosing its candidates for President and Vice President.   The Libertarians selected former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for President, and retired judge James Gray of California for Vice President.   The convention was broadcast nationally on C-SPAN, and received coverage on National Public Radio.

What are these candidates like, and how do they compare to their opponents?

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Why taxation should be voluntary Reply

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

Random Meanderings

The Republicans and the Democrats disagree about the role that the government should play in providing social services. The former insist that it should be smaller and intervene less in the economy. In contradistinction, the latter maintain that the public interest would be better served by a higher degree of government involvement in our institutions.
The Republicans are more likely to excoriate politicians who pioneer inefficient government programs than the Democrats, but they stop far short from conceding that all forms of taxation constitute theft.
Even the most intransigent conservatives will staunchly assert that taxation for some government services is legitimate. Who could argue that the government perpetrates theft by taxing all citizens to build schools, roads and police departments?
The problem with this rationale is it involves an element of coercion that could be construed as a violation of individual rights. This engenders a peculiar asymmetry in our moral outlook that creates a double-standard. Both orthodox schools of political thought prohibit individuals from coercing each other in such a manner but allow the government to do so.

Suppose you’re back in school and I discover that you have several college papers to write. When I solicit you offering my services, you promptly turn me down because you do not need my help. Instead of respecting your wishes, I employ hackers to gain access to all of your virtual accounts and complete several assignments for you. In return, I’ll withdraw twice as much money from your bank account as was necessary to cover the market fee for the service I’ve rendered. Since I now know that I will always have you as a client, I’ll have no incentive to meet your deadlines or make an honest effort to fully maximize the quality of my work. In this case, you would be justifiably aggrieved, yet this still seems insufficient to show that the government is culpable of the same moral transgression.

Prima facie, it appears that I am making a category mistake. It is clear that you never authorized me to render a service to you, but all citizens entered an implicit social contract with the government that grants them such an authorization. That’s quite a questionable counter-argument because most citizens do not understand what the contract is about and certainly did not consciously acquiesce to it.
In effect, the argument you would be espousing is an off-shoot of Rousseau’s General Will that can be summarized as follows. The government should provide the public not with the services they vocally demand but with those that reflect their true general will. In other words, the government should analyze the cultural values, attitudes and the general ethos of the nation’s collective consciousness in order to determine what their unspoken “General Will” is. History is replete with examples of how such political philosophy gave rise to totalitarianism on the left and the right and there is no need for me to go into them here.
 

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A Short Primer on US Party Politics of the Past 25 Years Reply

I agree with the analysis in this piece by Robert Lindsay if we stick to defining the Left as “advocating state intervention in the economy on behalf of objectives sought by reform liberals, progressives, and socialists.” Over the past thirty years, US economic policy has mostly been about dismantling the New Deal/Vital Center compact in favor of neoliberalism, and the resulting growth of class divisions and poverty. I would agree that the Democratic Party is a center-right neoliberal party on economic questions.

But if we define “conservatism” in the popular American sense of “limited government,” then government has continued to grow even in the face of neoliberal hegemony, although I would attribute this to the perpetual expansion of the military-industrial complex, bureaucratic profligacy, and fiscal hemorrhaging generally rather than “socialism” (as “conservatives” claim).

Also, I’d really have to disagree that the reactionary-populist, “movement conservative” Republican “base” represents either the mainstream society or the political establishment. It’s true that this sector of the Right has gotten more militant and adopted ever more shrill rhetoric over the years, but this is largely due to its desperation driven by its ongoing marginalization and dwindling numbers. It represents a perspective that was arguably mainstream forty years ago, and now seems extremist only because the wider society has moved so far leftward (in a cultural sense) in the meantime. For instance, same-sex marriage would have been considered a fringe issue only a decade ago, but it’s now well on its way to becoming normalized.

What we have is a situation where U.S. politics has moved towards ever greater corporatism, militarism, and statism for decades, even as the culture itself has made a dramatic leftward shift. Much of the responsibility for this can be laid at the feet of the Left who somewhere along the line decided that class-based, anti-imperialist, or civil libertarian politics was no longer worth the bother or at least needed to take a backseat to cultural extremism to the point that transexuality is rapidly becoming the Left’s flagship issue.

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Growing National Unrest Has Many Worried, Even Capitalists 1

A principal difficulty with the Randian “let them eat cake” model of libertarianism is that extreme inequality of wealth, whatever one thinks of it from the perspective of “social justice,” normally produces abhorrent political outcomes. It invites either the ascension of the demagogue promising to uplift the poor, or the rule of the elite through sheer brute force and repression. Historically, anarchists have debating the relative merits of laissez-faire and individualism versus non-state socialism and anarcho-communism, and that debate should continue, but the plutocratic apology that mainstream libertarianism often falls into is a non-starter.

By Jeffrey Cavanaugh

Mint Press News

Police Shooting Missouri

A few days before the dramatic events in Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrated so dramatically what decades of institutionalized inequality can do to a population, the economists at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Servicesissued a report highlighting the dangers growing inequality holds for America’s long-term economic growth.

More a research note summarizing findings on the topic than the presentation of new scholarship, the economists working for one of the premier institutions of American financial capitalism undoubtedly state that inequality is a clear and present danger to both the health of American society and the U.S. economy.

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Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston on the Ferguson Riots & the Police State 2

Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston on the Ferguson Riots & the Police State

 

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Topics include:

Update on the riots in Ferguson Riots

Similarities and differences between the Ferguson Riots and past

Why the incident itself is not the key issue

Why police brutality has historically affected groups such as poor inner city blacks

How police brutality is spreading to the white middle class

How people on both the left and the right fall back on their conventional narratives

How the public views unsympathetic victims of police brutality

The militarization of the police

Sunil Dutta’s Washington Post article  I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me

The different types of individuals who become Cops

Political opposition to the police state from unlikely groups such as mainline conservatives

Whether opposition to the police state will affect future political coalitions

Why groups that riots such as poor blacks have little to loose

Whether former members of the white middle class will become radicalized or riot in the future

How the Patriot movement in the 90′s was a reaction to small farms being destroyed during the Reagan Administration

Vince Rinehart’s article Predictable responses to resistance against the system

Robert Stark interviews Matt Forney on Millennials Reply

Robert Stark interviews Matt Forney on Millennials

 

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Topics include:

Matt’s Takimag article Twit Planet about the Millennial generation, social media addiction, and sexual dysfunction

Roosh’s new book Poosy Paradise

How  Millennials are the least adventurous generation in recent history due to helicopter parenting and their economic situation

How the Millennial’s asset is that they have no memory of a functional society

How younger Millennials born in the 90′s have no memory of a world without social media

The Fourth Turning Theory on generations

Matt’s thoughts on the riots in Ferguson, Missouri

How the left and the right are equally intellectually bankrupt

The class war between the white Brahmins and white Vaishiyas

Matt’s thought on Living in the Philippines

How the Philippines is a much freer and socially open society than America

Matt’s observations on dating  in the Philippines

Matt’s review of Some Thoughts on Hitler and Other Essays by Irmin Vinson

How politically correct taboos are declining

Andy Nowicki’s video LET’S TALK ABOUT JEWS! about his rejection of obsessive anti-Semitism

Matt’s review of the film Are All Men Pedophiles?

America’s totalitarian laws about sex

Anarchism, Socialism & Libertarianism Summit – Alternatives for Peace Reply

This is somewhat interesting. Each of the three guests are like a parody of their respective ideologies. But the host seems to understand the need to move past sectarian left/right silliness in favor of a greater unity against the system. It would have been nice to have seen someone from N-AM, NATA, or ATS come on after the first three and pull all of it together: “Governments, corporations, imperialism, and the establishment parties are all the enemy. Left and Right unite against the system. Anarchist communities for anarchist, libertarian communities for libertarians, socialist communities for socialists.”

 

Ferguson: A Preview of America’s Burgeoning Police State Reply

By Chuck Baldwin

Even America’s smallest towns can be instantly turned into occupied territories as local police agencies quickly transform themselves from peacekeepers into Swat TeamSwat Team Photo
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWAT
occupying military forces. The small town of Ferguson, Missouri, is living proof of that.

The London Guardian covers the story:

“Michael Brown was shot dead by an officer from a police force of 53, serving a population of just 21,000. But the police response to a series of protests over his death has been something more akin to the deployment of an army in a miniature warzone.

“Ferguson police have deployed stun grenades, rubber bullets and what appear to be 40mm wooden baton rounds to quell the protests in a show of force that is a stark illustration of the militarization of police forces in the US.

“‘I’m a soldier, I’m a military officer and I know when there’s a need for such thing, but I don’t think in a small town of 22,000 people you need up-armor vehicles,’ Cristian Balan, a communications officer in the US army, who was not speaking on behalf of the US military, told the Guardian. ‘Even if there’s an active shooter–are you really going to use an up-armor vehicle? Do you really need it?’

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Ferguson: Ten Days That Shook the Country Reply

A domestic police state is the logical outcome of imperialism.

By Justin Raimondo

The facts surrounding the murder of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old resident of Ferguson, Missouri, gunned down by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson police officer, are not entirely known – but enough is known that it’s quite justified to characterize it as cold-blooded murder. Thanks to Brown’s family, an autopsy has revealed that of the six shots fired by Wilson, five were survivable, but the sixth – which entered through the top of his head – was not. Although the evidence is not yet conclusive, the forensics – and the testimony of eyewitnesses – point to the fatal shot being fired as he was falling to the ground with his hands up in the classic posture of surrender.

Yet regardless of the circumstances surrounding his death, the significance of this event lies in the reaction to it – from the people of Ferguson, and, most importantly, from local, state, and federal authorities. From the former – anger: from the latter – repression.

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In Defense of Gavin McInnes Reply

By Justine Tunney

Photo of Gavin McInnes

Last week, Gavin McInnes, CCO of Rooster and co-founder of VICE, was forced to take an indefinite leave of absence (a.k.a. getting fired) for posting an offensive article in Thought Catalog titled, “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural”. In this article, he argues that transgender men and women are mentally ill individuals who mutilate their bodies. He then goes on to condemn society for supporting them, which he perceives as “enabling” their behaviour.

Clearly this article was intended to elicit a reaction, rather than present a cogent scientific argument. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see from a rabble-rousing troll, perched beneath a murky bridge, feeding on liberal outrage. I’ve read stuff like it a thousand times before on websites like Reddit. It’s an unfortunately common point of view. So common that when I see it, I’ll normally just roll mine eyes and continue along with my day.

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Greening Out Interviews Dr. Sean Gabb, Author and Director of The Libertarian Alliance UK 1

Great interview with Dr. Gabb by Dan and Caitie Greene.

This interview is spot on in terms of identifying what is wrong with the mainstream libertarian movement.

Listen to the interview.

 
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Dr Sean Gabb is a writer and broadcaster and academic. He is the author of twenty books, which include ten novels and three volumes of poetry. He has been commercially translated into Italian, Spanish, Greek, Slovak, Hungarian and Chinese.

He joined the Libertarian Alliance in 1979. He became its Director in 2006, shortly before the death of its founder Chris Tame. 

We talk about Libertarianism in the UK, conservatism, the NHS, UKIP, mass immigration, gay marriage, Scottish independence, Marxism and much more.

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Predictable responses to resistance against the system 7

The Huey P. Newton Gun Club protested against police shootings with an armed march in Dallas on Wednesday. Dallas-Fortworth Fox News reports:

Earlier Wednesday, other demonstrators held an open carry gun march through South Dallas to protest against police shootings.

Organizers there said the show of force served as a reminder of the right to bear arms to protect themselves from criminals and from police.

About 30 men and women with the Huey P. Newton Gun Club rallied through the streets, focusing on deadly police shootings from the Ferguson, MO shooting death of teen Michael Brown to shootings by local police.

Some carried long guns, rifles, shotguns and AR-15s, while others carried signs others and wore messages.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Reginald Cofer with Mothers Against Teen Violence.

“They are trying to protect the community,” said Jacey Cofer with Mothers Against Teen Violence. “At the city hall meeting the other day, we got no answers. It’s been a bunch of murders, the cops are not being accountable for it, and we want answers.”

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Roundtable on Religion and the State: Can Pagans, Christians, and Atheists Get Along? 31

Attack the System
Roundtable on Religion and the State: Can Pagans, Christians, and Atheists Get Along?

August 3, 2014

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ATS contributors discuss their spiritual and theological perspectives, and the relationship of these to history, ethics, and politics. Features conservative Christians Brock Bellerive and Todd Lewis, pagan Rodney Huber, and atheists Spencer Pearson and Keith Preston.

Topics include:

  • The unfortunate history of mutual persecution between Christians, pagans, and secularists.
  • The question of which religious or philosophical traditions have the most blood on their hands.
  • How political decentralization and cultural separation help to foster peaceful co-existence

File type: MP3
Length: 2:23:50
Bitrate: 32kb/s CBR

Download (right click, ‘save as’)

Email Keith:
kppgarv@mindspring.com

University College London Bans Nietzsche Society Reply

“One of the common driving forces behind Nietzsche’s thinking was the desire to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” he wrote in 1888, but the UCL students’ union wasn’t taking any chances.”

Daily Beast story here

UCL was cool with this however.

“The arrest of Mr Abdulmutallab, a former president of the Islamic Society at University College London (UCL), for allegedly trying to blow up a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day, meant he was the sixth member of a UK student Islamic Society to be arrested for suspected terrorism offences.”

BBC story here

Seems reasonable.

Robert Stark interviews Charles Lincoln on Tort Law Reply

Robert Stark interviews Charles Lincoln on Tort Law

 

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Topics include:

How Charles defeated  the Insurance companies in Texas when he was a lawyer

How Insurance companies made Tort claims profitable for themselves through their advertising campaign

How Insurance companies lobbied for Tort Reform once they received a monopoly on Tort

How the advent of technology increased the need for Tort

How insurance started as a self protection strategy

How Tort is neither the absolute purity of criminal law or the absolute freedom of contract law

How  Tort Law enforces standards known as social obligations

How Tort is entirely compatible with economic freedom while upholding some of the ethical concerns that have driven people towards socialism

How Texas has historically had liberal Tort Laws but recently passed Tort Reform

The Conservative myth that pro Corporate policies have improved Texas’s economy

How Tort Reform is pro Corporate and lacks a social responsibility

How advocates of Tort Reform advocate Caps on damages and oppose damages based on emotional harm

How Tort Reform is class warfare and makes it nearly impossible for the poor to sue corporations

How Tort Law can protect Freedom of Speech and protect political dissidents

Whether Tort could be used to dismantle corrupt corporations

How Tort is needed since one cannot depend on the Government for protection

 

Robert Stark interviews Max Marco of the Renaissance Party of North America 1

Robert Stark interviews Max Marco of the Renaissance Party of North America

 

 

 

Max Marco is the Chairman of the American Branch of the Renaissance Party of North America. http://rpnamerica.com/

Topics include:

How the Renaissance Party was originally recreated in Canada by Sebastian Ronin

The need to reject the left right paradigm

Why they reject reactionary right wing movement’s such as white nationalism

Why they reject Americanism and symbols of America

The differences between ethno nationalism and white nationalism

Secessionist Movements such as the League of the South and the Second Vermont Republic

Bio Regionalism

Peak Oil and how it will recreate localized economies

Ecological based economics

Distributism

Position of Social Issues

Robert Stark interviews Colin Liddell on the Middle East Reply

Robert Stark interviews Colin Liddell on the Middle East:

 

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Colin Liddell is co-editor of the Alternative Right.

Topics include:

The European New Right and the barriers of identity that the American version faces

His article VERMINOCRACY II: THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE

The Secular Baathist Parties in Iraq and Syria

The current power vacuum in the Middle East left by the demise of the Baath Party

How the Cold War impacted the Middle East

How Israel and the Arab Gulf Monarchies have opposed the Baath Party as well as Shia Iran

Whether ISIS posses a threat to Israel and the Gulf States

Why Colin does not think we should be emotionally invested in the Middle East