Free the MOVE 9 Now!!! Reply

Article by Ramona Africa. The MOVE sect has been relentlessly persecuted by the state for decades.
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ONA MOVE! The MOVE Organization wants the press to know that this year marks twenty-six years since the bombing and murder of our innocent family members.

This year also marks thirty-three years of unjust imprisonment for our family members known as The MOVE 9. We have never and will never stop working for the release of our family.

While we will never let people forget the massacre of our family in 1985, our priority right now is to gain the release of our innocent family members.

Officials cannot give us back our family members that they murdered, but they can give us back our innocent family members that remain in prison despite their innocence.

Judge Edwin Malmed, the trial judge, admitted publicly on the Irv Homer radio talk show that he didn’t have “the faintest idea” who killed officer James Ramp on August 8, 1978, after he (not a jury) convicted and sentenced our nine family members to thirty to one-hundred years in prison.

After serving their minimum sentences and being recommended for parole by prison officials, the parole board has repeatedly denied MOVE people parole because they won’t lie and say they are guilty when they are in fact innocent.

We will be at Broad & Chestnut St. from 12:00pm til 3:00pm on Saturday May 14. We will be showing the documentary film on the August 8, 1978 police attack on MOVE on the evening of Friday May 13. We’ll announce the place shortly.

If this injustice is not newsworthy, important to you, then ask yourself if you would feel that way if you were innocent and spent thirty-three years in prison.

If you have any questions or would like to do an interview you can contact me at this email address or call me at 215 386-1165–ONA MOVE, Ramona Africa for The MOVE Organization.

PIGS Assault Funeral Goers Reply

Article by William Norman Grigg.
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Within the space of about a day, New Jersey experienced two public displays of organized intimidation by paramilitary thugs. The first involved an armed assault by black-clad bullies whose conduct was indistinguishable from the criminal street violence of the Nazi SS. The other was merely a public protest by the local chapter of the National Socialist Movement.

The family of Elsie Wenzel, a beloved school lunch lady who died at age 71, gathered for a memorial service at a funeral home in Hamilton (a small town near Trenton) on April 15. Charles Wenzel, one of her grandsons, “had … something like a seizure,” related Elsie’s widower, Edward, in an interview with The Trentonian. The family called 911 to summon the paramedics. Unfortunately, if you call the paramedics, the police are part of the package deal, whether they’re wanted or not – and they have an unfailing talent for making matters worse.

When Charles had another convulsion, he committed the unpardonable offense of defiling one of the sanctified bully-boys through physical contact. This constitutes “battery on an officer,” and so the offended cop and several of his boyfriends attempted to handcuff Charles while he was lying on the ground receiving medical treatment.

“We didn’t call you for this!” exclaimed a witness as several other people, including a granddaughter of the deceased, tried to intervene to protect Charles from the criminal assault. The officers responded by pepper-spraying the mourners and throwing several of them – including Edward’s middle-aged granddaughter – to the ground.

One of the officers called in a report that a “riot” was in progress – “riot” being defined as any situation in which Mundanes loudly criticize the anointed purveyors of consecrated violence for their crimes against innocent people. Apparently the funeral parlor was located near a donut shop, because within seconds at least a dozen police vehicles were on the scene.

From Waco to Libya: 18 Years of Humanitarian Mass Murder Reply

Article by Anthony Gregory.
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“The Davidian cult in Waco was dealt with by armored vehicles,” remarked Muammar Gaddafi in February, defending his own crackdowns in light of the U.S. government’s. April 19 marks eighteen years since the end of the Waco siege and exactly one month since Obama began bombing Libya. Now that the federal government is again shedding blood in the name of humanitarianism, we might reflect on how it obtains legitimacy for its most brazen acts of violence.

Long ago, when governments slaughtered the enemy merely for being different and thus subhuman or for occupying desired territory, such crude rationales satisfied the states’ agents and subjects. The modern democratic state, however, employs more sophisticated propaganda when it burns, gasses, shoots, and bombs people including civilians. There is always the excuse of security: the targeted people pose a threat. When this argument seems tenuous, it is well complemented by that most insidious of pretenses: The killing is done for the good of others. It is an act of kindness. The American empire, like the Roman and British before it, inflicts violence to civilize and rescue those in need.

Along these lines even the unparalleled mass death of World War II has been vindicated. Since then most U.S. killing sprees have been directed against Hitler’s ghost. Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic were both compared to the Nazi ruler. So were David Koresh and Muammar Gaddafi.

The Real Reasons for the Civil War Reply

Article by Kirkpatrick Sale.
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It was not formally or informally, in the minds of either the Union armies or their civilian instigators, a war about slavery.

The great myth that the Union was fighting for a high moral cause, the elimination of chattel slavery and freedom for four million oppressed people torn from Africa, was ultimately a very convenient falsehood that served Northern ends later on in the war, particularly in distorting world opinion so that neither England nor France, though they might have had some allegiance to the cause of independence, were able to take the side of the Confederacy. But even then, the ultimate welfare of black Americans and their peaceful economic and social integration into white American society was never, but to a tiny few – and certainly not to Lincoln or his government – a moral (or even political) principle even thought much less expressed. The deep racism of the American North, though the victors would try to go on to forget it, was as dark a stigma against the Union as anything it would project on the South.

And the Emancipation Proclamation? Well, in the first place, it had nothing to do with slavery, per se. It did not abolish slavery. It decreed that slaves in the Confederacy only were to be free, but not those elsewhere in the Union or the territories (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri all had slavery, as well as Washington, D.C., until 1862). It was at bottom a military ploy, hoping to create rebellion and civil unrest on the South’s plantations at a time when the war was not going all that well for the Union. (“It has no constitutional or legal justification, except as a military measure,” its creator acknowledged.) It had no particular moral implications, and it made no provision for how the liberation was to be effected, what would happen to the slaves after they were emancipated, what the slaves would in fact do for a living, or even where they were to go if they left the plantations that had been their home for generations. (They could not, incidentally, go north, because no state there would welcome them and a good many, including Lincoln’s own Illinois, had laws forbidding immigration and settlement of Negroes.) Unlike a number of serious schemes that had been proposed, North and South, before the war, the Proclamation did not deal with necessary issues of compensation for deprived slave-owners, integration of ex-slaves politically or economically into white societies, or even for their deportation to Africa, an idea that Lincoln in particular had favored. It was, in short, a military ploy without moral or humanitarian foundation.

Finally, we should understand that the issue of slavery, strictly, was not the cause of Southern secession or the reason for the war on the Confederate side. The South did not want to protect slavery from a Northern attempt to abolish it, because no such attempt was ever intended or expressed by any serious party, and indeed Congress in 1861 had explicitly defended the continuance of the institution in the South. Nor did the South want to extend slavery into the Western territories, because it was clear it was neither a useful nor a welcome practice there, and besides when it formed the Confederacy it no longer had any constitutional claim to influence in those sections.

What the South wanted was to continue an economic system that it had inherited for 200 years, that had been fostered and maintained by Northern interests (particularly New England shippers and textile barons) that entire time, that had been the foundation of the United States economy both North and South from the beginning of the nation, and that was a way of life now so entrenched no one knew how to alter or ameliorate it even if, like quite a few, they wished to do so. And the South wanted to be free of Northern interference: the continued attempts by abolitionists (as John Brown in 1859) to foster slave rebellions and terrorism in the South, the refusal of Northern states to return illegal runaway slaves (or to return Brown’s companions who had fled North), the threat of increased tariffs on Southern goods, the stated purpose of the new Republican party to expand federal power in the interest of Northern industrialists, and the clear perception that Lincoln had come into office with a hidden agenda of limiting if not eliminating Southern influence on the national scene (he was elected with not a single Southern electoral vote).

Totalitarian Pansies Reply

Article by Andy Nowicki.
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While many people are, no doubt, sincerely opposed to wanton acts of cruelty and humiliation by the strong and well-placed against the weak and vulnerable, one must nevertheless be aware that taking a political stand against bullying is, at best, a bland, empty gesture, much like opposing drunk-driving, homelessness, child abuse, or pollution; worse, it is quite often a brazenly fraudulent stance, since bullies as such are in reality not the true target of most contemporary “anti-bullying” campaigns. Instead, certain political interest groups have hit upon the idea of characterizing their opponents as ipso facto “bullies,” simply because they have the temerity to oppose what is so obviously right and true (gay marriage, legalized abortion, or some other ideological hobbyhorse), which can only be a result of hateful and repugnant motives, the same kind of mean senior football jock to steal a puny ninth-grader’s lunch money and shove him in his locker.

One would be hard-pressed to imagine, for example, that a Christian evangelical coed who gets mocked and threatened by militant campus homosexuals for expressing her conservative values would ever be considered a victim of “bullying,” no matter how egregiously cruel the abuse she endures. Nor are crocodile tears shed for Whites who are viciously assaulted by Blacks, or for Catholics gleefully derided by Jews. No, the campaign against “bullying” is nearly always invoked solely when a “victim” group favored by the Left (Blacks, Jews, homosexuals) is seemingly wronged by the “oppressor” class (namely White heterosexual Christians).

Targeting “bullies,” then, becomes a thinly-veiled means of advancing a political agenda for a trendy-Left cause.

Anarchy Erupts in Greece as Austerity Bites 2

Article by Elena Becatoros in Keratea, Greece.
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As Thessalonika riots, a town near Athens spins out of control with angry residents setting up massive roadblocks and hurling Molotov cocktails

As explosions boom, the town’s loudspeakers blare: “Attention! Attention! We are under attack!” Air-raid sirens wail through the streets, mingling with the frantic clanging of church bells. Clouds of tear gas waft between houses as helmeted riot police move in to push back the rebels. This isn’t a war zone, but a small town just outside Athens. And while its fight is about a rubbish dump, it captures Greece’s angry mood over its devastated economy.

As unemployment rises and austerity bites ever harder, tempers seem to fray faster in Greece, with citizens of all stripes thumbing their noses at authority. Some refuse to pay increased highway tolls and public transport tickets. There has been a rise in politicians being heckled and even assaulted. Yesterday, in Thessalonika, scores of activists were arrested after violent clashes with police.

The anger is most palpable in Keratea, a town of 15,000 people 30 miles south of Athens which appears to have spun out of control. The state’s attempt to start work on a planned landfill site on a nearby hillside in December caused locals to set fire to construction vehicles and erect massive roadblocks on a road that bypasses the town and runs to the capital. It’s a fight that has galvanised the town, from the mayor and the local priest to shopkeepers, farmers, schoolteachers and teenagers.

Over the past four months, locals have developed increasingly inventive roadblocks to stop contractors from getting to the site. They have parked trucks across the street and built piles of rubble and dirt. Apparently in it for the long haul, they have erected a wooden hut by the side of the road to serve as protest headquarters, complete with campaign posters, news clippings and children’s drawings of the riots. Their latest move was a nocturnal expedition to dig a shoulder-deep trench across both lanes of the road. That was one step too far for the authorities, who, on Thursday, sent in workers – protected by police – to repair the damage.

Within hours, the confrontation degenerated. Masked youths hurled firebombs and rocks at riot police, who responded with rubber batons and repeated volleys of tear gas. A police helicopter circled overhead. “The town is out of control. Business activity has stopped,” said Yannis Adamis, a resident and mechanical engineer. “The stores are closed. The sirens are blaring, the [church] bells are ringing, people are on the streets. This cannot continue.”

In nearby streets, gaggles of teenage girls, cut lemons held to their noses to ward off tear gas, mingled with young men in balaclavas, stocking up on rocks to throw at police. An elderly man wielding a shepherd’s staff stormed past. “We’ve learned at the age of 60 about Molotov cocktails,” he thundered through his gas mask – an accessory sported by young and old alike. He would give only his first name, Panagiotis. By the end of the night, more than 20 people – including three riot policemen – had been treated in hospital. Just after midnight, a police officer’s home was attacked with firebombs, leaving three cars destroyed. The officer and his wife, who is also in the police force, and their four children were home at the time but unharmed, police said.

Greece is no stranger to riots, and demonstrations in Athens often end in scuffles with police. But the escalation of violence in Keratea is causing concern. A sense of paranoia has settled over the town. Rumours abound that undercover police are at work, walking around town and gathering information. Journalists, with their cameras and notebooks, immediately arouse suspicion. A cameraman for an international news agency was beaten by locals during the clashes on Thursday, and his camera equipment destroyed.

A Split in the Right Wing Reply

A classic article from Jerome Tuccille.
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Nor is it any longer a question of libertarians criticizing conservatives for their “over-indulgence of state welfarism.” The issue of state warfarism took precedence over that one long ago. The responsibility for the national disgrace brought about by our military presence in Southeast Asia now rests just as squarely on the shoulders of Nixon and Laird as it ever did on Johnson and Rusk.

The mass destruction of the lives and property of innocent civilians – especially by a gargantuan power like the United States – is a thousand times more serious, morally speaking, than the domestic liberal sins of deficit spending and inflation. And as far as that issue is concerned, there has been far more talk of decentralization and local control of institutions and public money on the Left than in the pages of National Review in recent years. Even left-liberals have begun to recognize the follies of corporate-liberalism and to call for reforms, so Buckley is whipping a dead horse when he attempts to raise the specter of laissez-faire “lunacies” on the libertarian Right.

The real issue is the erosion of Buckley’s power base in right-wing circles – an erosion that came into the open with the defection of Karl Hess to the Left in 1968, and gained further momentum at the Young Americans for Freedom convention in St. Louis in the summer of 1969. Suddenly Buckley has woken up and realized that there are elements on the Right that don’t take him seriously – that there are economic conservatives in the United States of America who are not at all interested in joining this Unholy Crusade to rid the world of Communists. This is a difficult fact for William F. Buckley to swallow whole, and this is why he has taken to losing his temper in public.

The purpose of this article is to urge others on the Right, others who care about such things as peace and justice and racial harmony, to reevaluate their status vis-à-vis Buckley-style conservatism. To reevaluate and then support political candidates who really mean peace when they say peace; who understand and intend to promote the politics of decentralization, of pollution control, of economic and judicial reform, and so on all the way down the line. To reevaluate and vote those people into office whether they are Left or Right, or of the Center.

The Return of Anarchism Reply

An article on historic and contemporary anarchism from the flagship publication of our primary enemies, the neoconservatives. It’s actually a fairly decent article. Read it here. If both the neocons and Hillary Clinton feel threatened enough by us to call us out by name, we must be doing something right.
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In late 2010, several organizations with mysterious names made impressive claims on the world’s attention. During a two-day period in the first week of November, more than a dozen parcel bombs arrived at embassies in Athens and at the offices of leading politicians in three European cities. Only one exploded, burning a mail handler, but European capitals went on high alert, and international mail to and from Greece was halted for 48 hours. Police soon arrested two suspects who were identified as members of a terrorist group called the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, with more to follow in the ensuing weeks.

In early December, an organization calling itself Anonymous launched disabling attacks on the websites of corporations that had ceased facilitating donations to the whistleblower group WikiLeaks. For the second time in a year, Anonymous slowed down or took offline the likes of Visa, Bank of America, PayPal, and Amazon, and even the sites of some institutions and public figures, such as Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who had come out strongly against WikiLeaks.

On December 23, two mail bombs exploded less than three hours apart, seriously injuring employees at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome. The Informal Federation of Anarchists claimed responsibility and vowed future attacks to “destroy the systems of domination.” And on January 30 of this year, the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei struck again, with an explosion at the Athens courthouse, where 13 of its members were scheduled to go on trial.

These real-world and cyberspace groups have more in common than names seemingly lifted from comic books. They are anarchists, and the headline-grabbing attacks at the end of last year are only part of a larger recent anarchist trend. According to the European police office, Europol, “Spain, Greece, and Italy reported a total of 40 attacks by left-wing and anarchist groups for 2009. This constitutes an increase of 43 percent compared to 2008; the number of attacks more than doubled since 2007.” The numbers didn’t include cyberattacks, and new numbers from 2010 aren’t in yet—but they are certain to show another spike.

Suddenly, then, an ideological philosophy and political movement that had been thought of as a dusty oddity, a relic of the late 19th century, has returned to the fore with enough consequence that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently denounced terrorism “whether it comes from the right, the left, from al-Qaeda, from anarchists, whoever it is.”

Revitalize Detroit: Legalize Dope and Hookers Reply

Says famed attorney Geoffrey Fieger.
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Could Detroit be the new Amsterdam — a city where prostitution and marijuana are both legalized to help attract young people and turn the troubled city’s prospects around?

Why not, barrister and occasional mayoral candidate Geoffrey Fieger said during a taping of “Michigan Matters” on what he would do if he walked in Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s shoes and tried to address the city’s woes.

“I could turn it around in five minutes,” Fieger said.

“I’d shovel the snow and I’d clean the streets and parks. Then, I’d tell the police department to leave marijuana alone and don’t spend one dime trying to enforce marijuana laws. I also would not enforce prostitution laws and I’d make us the new Amsterdam.”

“We would attract young people,” Fieger said. “You make Detroit a fun city. A place they want to live and they would flock here.”

Neo-Anarchism: The Reformist Alternative 7

Yes! This critique sums up what’s wrong with the mainstream anarchist movement.
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Why are these reformist tactics used? Because the neo-anarchist, like their Social Democrat and Leninist forbears, never really broke with liberalism. Today’s new ‘anarchist’ is simply the same old reformist but only dons a different costume and speaks a slightly different language: a liberal wearing a black bandana in order to prove the existence of some sort of radicalism that was never there. Though this reformism passing itself off as radicalism may seem like a harmless occurrence, it is in fact a deleterious development. When a revolutionary situation arises, it will undoubtedly be these anarcho-liberals who will fight to defend capitalism and the state, and they will do this under the guise of radicalism. Just as ‘Marxism’ was called into existence to destroy the revolution and contain the spontaneous movement of the workers, ‘anarchism’ has now been called into existence to perform that same task in the future. Thus, the most dangerous assault on anarchism today is not from outside, it is from within: its ranks are being filled with liberals who are attempting to pass themselves off as radicals. Because of this, the whole nature of anarchism today is changing. Revolutionary tactics are being exchanged for reformist ones – often times with the approval of a few so-called leaders of contemporary anarchism (everyone knows them, we disdain to mention our self-appointed “anti-authority” authorities), revolutionary critique is being replaced with a lifestyle, class analysis is being replaced by sectarian identity politics, and anarchism, just like Marxism before it, is being carefully prepared as an ideology designed to save capitalism.

Judge "Let Me Go" 3

Article by Andrea Estes and Scott Allen.
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It looked like Carl Lemon would be going back to jail for the 20th time. Saddled with a 25-year record of shoplifting, drug dealing, and assorted other crimes, not to mention eight aliases, Lemon had made it easy for prosecutors. He even signed a confession saying that he had stolen a woman’s purse while she ate in a Back Bay restaurant. A second victim, whose bag he also snatched, had driven overnight from Canada to testify against him.

But, as the two victims watched in disbelief, the judge set Lemon free, saying that the career criminal, then 43, needed a detox program, not jail time. When the detective who arrested Lemon rolled his eyes and muttered that the decision was a disgrace, Judge Raymond G. Dougan Jr. had court officers lock him up for the morning instead.

“I thought someone was going to jail that day; I just didn’t think it would be me,’’ recalled Detective Andrew Gambon.

Dougan may be the most lenient judge in Boston, a prosecutor’s nightmare whose decisions are appealed by district attorneys far more often than any other judge in the Boston Municipal Court system, court records show. Appeals courts overturn his decisions the most, too, more than once including stern warnings that he should follow the law instead of his personal feelings. The 20-year-veteran judge’s reputation is so well established that one defendant predicted to police that he would go free after he went before “Judge Let Me Go’’ Dougan, according to the police report.

The Good, the Ignorant, and the Dumb Reply

Chris George on the foolishness that still guides drug prohibitionists.
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NPR’s Planet Money has a podcast posted featuring segments of an interview with Freeway Rick Ross, a big name former cocaine and crack dealer in ’80s and ’90s Los Angeles. They compare and contrast his experiences with economic theory proposed by anti-prohibitionists such as Jeffrey Miron. For the most part, it’s a very entertaining and informative (at least to people ignorant of the effects of prohibition), especially when talking about the price inflation caused by prohibition. It’s definitely worth a listen; however, there were two pretty big issues:

The Ignorant

The interviewers ask Rick Ross what affect risk of getting caught or killed had on the prices he’s willing to charge — apparently little to none. Ross explains that the environment he lived in was one of desperation and uncertainty with a substantial portion of the population doubting they’d even make it past 24-years-old. Essentially, the legal risk of selling prohibited substances didn’t factor into his reservation rate — had it been in the cards, he would have done the same for far less.

This leads the interviewers to tentatively conclude that the risk premium discussed by economists is not actually there. No, economists are correct, or, at the very least, Rick Ross’s testimony is not counter-evidence. Economists are focused on an entire market. We are interested in how prices are determined given the tacit information presented to individuals or organizations. Even if risk is not a factor in the decision making of the downtrodden of inner city LA, it is a factor in why a middle-aged white suburban dad isn’t stepping into that line of business. Sure there are cultural factors, but the entire reason prohibition makes sense is because of the risk component. Ross’s anecdotes actually explain this well: why do the drug markets center in poor areas? Because the disenfranchised are the only ones willing to accept the risk — because they have nothing to lose. Meanwhile, prices remain high while supply is constrained as a result of the legal risk imposed on the more risk conscious. The hosts’ misunderstanding of this appears to be a result of them not actually know the argument very well.

Is This a Free Market? Reply

No, says Chris George.
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From The Economist:

Faith in the free market is at a low in the world’s biggest free-market economy. In 2010, 59% of Americans asked by GlobeScan, a polling firm, agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” that the free market was the best system for the world’s future. This has fallen sharply from 80% when the question was first asked in 2002. And among poorer Americans under $20,000, faith in capitalism fell from 76% to 44% in just one year. Of the 25 countries polled, support for the free market is now greatest in Germany, just ahead of Brazil and communist China, both of which have seen strong growth in recent years. Indians are less enthusiastic despite recent gains in growth. Italy shows a surprising fondness for markets for a place that is uncompetitive in many sectors. In France under a third of people believe that the free market is the best option, down from 42% in 2002.

Predictably, this led to the “this is not a truly free market” type comments and responses on Reddit. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I agree. This is an incredibly stupid poll. I highly doubt they offered a definition of “free market,” let alone account for variation in understanding of it. This was simply a poll to rate the emotional pull of a phrase.

The following is an exchange** I had with someone who thinks “free market” is an appropriate description of our current economic system:

The idea that the US does not have “a free market” to you seems to mean that we are controlling all these markets with all kinds of burdensome taxes and regulations that are so pervasive as to distort the market from performing optimally. But why do those things exist, and what effect are they really having?

Taxes (excluding tariffs) affect many different markets simultaneously, almost by design. The cost is spread out to limit the impact. Of course, they exist to fund government, which in turn exists to deliver valuable services. Are we debating whether or not government services are (or at least can be) more valuable to society than the taxes that are extracted to provide them? I’m happy to have that debate if we are. Public goods, rule of law, and necessary regulation will make my case for me. US tax rates are generally low in comparison with our peers (in technology, not scale) around the globe, and in my opinion the cutoff point is too low. We aren’t buying as many government services as would be more valuable than the cost in tax as we could be.

Regulations are usually created to address some kind of exception where a normal market will not function optimally (meaning produce maximum welfare) in their absence. They are, by this definition, market improvements to private trade activities. There are certainly exceptions, in which regulations are politically motivated, exploitative, or otherwise counterproductive. If you need examples of situations where markets need regulatory intervention to perform optimally, there are many. Dispensation of public goods (e.g. gov’t built utilities, public airwaves, etc), counteracting monopolies, applying the cost of negative externalities back onto the producer, social equality, and even setting the basic boundaries of monetary trade (e.g. defining and controlling the money supply), and I could honestly go on all day. This is just freshman/sophomore economics.

Subsidies, tariffs, immigration restrictions, and other forms of protectionism are the highest impact examples of “bad” regulations. There are others, and imho, everyone single one of these should be stricken from law, but you don’t toss out the baby with the bath-water in the process.

Regulations like those requiring the licensing of hairdressers and interior designers? I work at a stock brokerage, part of a highly regulated industry. What does that entail? Mostly more paperwork, stress, and confusion. We’re not saints either, but it’s easy to get around the stuff that actually matters (for example, providing customers with unbiased information). If we had a sane regulatory policy, customers would have the regulations placed on them, guaranteeing their competence in performing a risky and difficult task. This is how we handle driving. You have to prove you’re capable of driving according to government safety guidelines. Why aren’t investors required to prove their aptitude? Such a policy would push costs onto the consumers of the service rather than socializing them onto the risk averse. It would also lower the costs of actual financial services by reducing barriers to entry and overhead. Which leads me to question why you didn’t acknowledge regulatory capture, public choice theory, moral hazard, asymmetric information, agency problems, calculation problems, collective action problems, etc. [Besides a brief aside] you’re not really applying critical analysis to government services. Private industries require regulation. Great. What about the government? Political pressure works for isolated bureaucrats, but not for competitive enterprise?

Here’s the kicker: no one can explain the fundamental difference between government (especially at the scope it is) and corporations. People can vote? That’s highly ineffective as people are, simply put, dumb. They lack incentives to remain informed and the information to make informed decisions. Meanwhile, concentrated interests have large incentives to lobby and engage in rent seeking.

Democracy: Enemy of the Left? Reply

Devin Saucier thinks so.
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Despite leftist rhetoric about the wonders of democracy, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the left’s worst enemy is true democracy, in its primary meaning as rule of the dêmos. As the West descends deeper into the once-outlandish fantasies of 1960s radicals, ordinary people are finding themselves strangers in a land which they could once proudly call their own. Meanwhile, the leaders they elect to presumably represent their interests are too busy growing fat from steak dinners paid for by the Treason Lobby to care about the experiences and opinions of the Average Joe.

Leftists realize all of this, so until the day when they have succeeded in dissolving the people and electing another, they realize it is in their best interest to prevent referenda or popular initiatives on issues which might yield a politically incorrect result. As Georgetown’s Marc Morjé Howard noted in his essay Politics of Immigration and Citizenship in Europe, “in terms of issues dealing with immigration and citizenship, a nondemocratic, elite-driven process may lead to more liberal policy outcomes, whereas genuine popular involvement can result in more restrictive laws and institutions.” Howard goes on to suggest that “proponents of liberal, inclusive policies should give more thought to the role of democracy – both representative democracy that results in the inclusion of Far Right parties in governments and policymaking and direct democracy that takes the form of referenda and initiatives – on issues that are prone to populism, xenophobia, and racism.”

Of course, by “give more thought,” Howard means “minimize as much as possible” and by “populism, xenophobia, and racism,” he means “the un-PC opinions of normal, everyday people.” Howard’s concern about the influence of Far Right parties applies only to Europe, as they actually have parties which represent the views of the people on immigration issues. Here in America, the best we get is the occasional congressman who ends up being silenced, or a state legislature which ends up being blocked from enforcing the popular will.

The truth is that if referenda or popular initiatives on immigration were put forth in Western nations, the people would overwhelmingly vote for restrictionist policies. The democratic deficit between public attitudes on immigration and actual policy outcomes in Western countries has been noted by scholars for decades. Yet political elites have proven themselves more willing to bend to business interests, ethnic lobbies, and political correctness than to the desires of their countrymen on the most fundamental of questions: who should be allowed to become a citizen or reside in our nation?

Soviet Marxism and Cultural Marxism: The Parallels Reply

F. Roger Devlin is interviewed by Tom Sunic.
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Tom Sunic and F. Roger Devlin discuss:

* How the anti-Russian character of the Bolshevik revolution parallels the anti-White movement in the West today;
* Solzhenitsyn’s works, The Red Wheel and Two Hundred Years Together;
* The Jewish involvement in the Russian revolutions of 1917;
* Why is Solzhenitsyn is important–politically, aesthetically and intellectually–for nationalists today.

In Defense of the Rich Reply

No, I haven’t gone over to the side of the vulgar libertarians. But this article by Gavin McInnes has some great anti-PC swipes.
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As Mark Steyn points out, “What’s about to hit America is not a ‘shock.’ It’s not an earthquake, it’s not a tsunami, it’s what Paul Ryan calls ‘the most predictable crisis in the history of our country.’” Steyn explains there is only one cause for this dead end and it’s the government’s spending habits, not those of the wealthy.

Why does anyone think giving bureaucrats money is going to do any good? Government is terrible at doing anything properly, especially distributing wealth. When they get money, they don’t train migrant workers to become astronauts. They tell people what they can and cannot feed their kids. Then they take away the kid’s basketball hoop. They look in a six-year-old girl’s pants for bombs and then tell her she can’t be cheered up with a Happy Meal. You want to pay these people to make us smart? They can’t even pave the roads. I pay about $40 in tolls a week here in New York and I still hit at least one pothole per trip. With the money New Yorkers pay in tolls the roads should be paved with gold, but they’re not even in the same universe as America’s beautifully kept private roads such as Virginia’s Dulles Greenway.

People complain about our country’s schools and say the government needs more money to fix them, but the government created this mess in the first place. While Wisconsin teachers tell us of their inalienable right to receive an indexed pension, my generation asks, “What’s a pension?” Stiglitz keeps talking about how the rich “take” America’s money, but they never took anything from me. The only entity that has ever taken anything from me has been the government. At this point, I’d rather Bill Gates throw $10 million in a fire than blow it on one of Obama’s cockamamie plans. It would probably be better for the economy and would definitely help inflation.

America’s Peculiar Institution Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.
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Once upon a time, a major portion of the American economy centered on a peculiar institution, which depended on a certain bizarre “property right.” The peculiar institution was defended by preachers and politicians, by lobbyists, and by an army of editorialists, arguing that this peculiar form of property was property in the same sense as any ordinary form of property. Any violation of this form of property, they proclaimed, was “stealing” in exactly the same sense as taking away a person’s ordinary possessions.

The federal government resorted to censorship to protect this form of property, and an intrusive police state developed in order to carry out the federal government’s legal obligation of enforcing the peculiar property right that this peculiar institution depended on. Government was forced to become more and more authoritarian in defense of this peculiar institution, because it flew in the face of every human instinct for freedom.

On the other side, there was a proliferation of advocacy groups and public figures who condemned the peculiar institution, and called for the abolition of the peculiar form of property it depended on. They argued that this so-called “property” was utterly spurious and abhorrent, and was not in fact genuine property in the same sense as ordinary possessions. Further, there were organized efforts to ignore or defy these spurious property claims, and to evade government’s attempts to enforce them.

That time is now.

Removing Obstacles or Erecting Them? Reply

Article by David D’Amato.
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“[T]he European Commission,” reports the New York Times, “[recently] proposed a dozen measures to dismantle barriers still obstructing the free flow of people, goods and services in the European Union.” The European Union, which has now taken on many of the attributes traditionally associated with statehood, was originally conceived as a kind of free trade zone, replacing the domestic protectionism of the European states with the “single market” of today’s Europe.

Since many of the criticisms of the state advanced by market anarchists pivot on the ways that the state restricts economic activity, one might think that the EU represents a model of the kinds of economic reshaping we envision. And if those impediments to genuine economic freedom are designed to cheat the vast majority of workers and consumers, then we might also imagine that the EU’s “dynamic and proactive” plans to promote trade are a real step in the right direction.

As Myles B. Kantor has argued, though, “European ‘integration’ and ‘harmonization’” are simply “innocuous terms for a pernicious enterprise” conceived for the “homogenization-centralization of political life.” Contrary to the decentralizing prescriptions of sincerely pro-competition market anarchists, the EU is a project in the fortification of bureaucracy and hierarchy.

Where multiple sources of legal rules governing economic activity arguably allow individuals to “vote with their feet” to avoid being exploited, the EU has created a stable, unvarying stage for corporate dominance. By the terms of the EU, “free trade” and “free markets” translate to the adoption of a Byzantine code of arbitrary rules on, for instance, what can be called “chocolate” and what sorts of products pharmacies may sell.

Worse still, like other “free trade” treaties across national boundaries, EU membership requires accession not just to these suffocating rules, but also to many more related to intellectual property. The marquee feature of the EU’s bundle of new laws, then, is — it goes without saying — a uniform system for patents across Europe, making it even easier for Big Business to levy monopoly rents on the public. The new “measures to dismantle barriers” leave the state-fostered corporate trusts unmarked, with the most foundational barriers of the corporate economy also the most immune to empty “reform.”

“Privatization” too has become a byword of EU politicians, but again it means something quite apart from turning the provision of services over to the voluntary workings of the market. Far away from where most Europeans live and work, agents of the ruling class in Brussels make economic decisions on behalf of, for instance, the European Round Table of Industrialists. After organizations have been assembled on the backs of the taxpaying public, they are “privatized” for pennies on the dollar; with the greatest of the costs already suffered by the common man, the corporate bosses are free to alight with the profits.

Predictably, the concentration of economic power has attended that of political power in the governing institutions of Europe. As Bertrand Russell wrote, imparting the views of Karl Marx, there has been a “substitution of trusts for free competition,” the “capitalist undertakings tend[ing] to grow larger and larger” as they grow “fewer and fewer.”

Condensing decision-making authority in ever smaller and more remote groups of elites will of course draw society’s wealth toward those few, but the aggrandizement of hierarchy is not without its Achilles heel. Market anarchists look forward to a day when the soundness and justice of voluntary exchange for mutual benefit succeed the unsteadiness of state capitalism. In the meanwhile, take the “free market” rhetoric of the European Union — and all ruling class, government bodies — with a grain of salt.

Persecuted for his Cross: Religious Persecution in PC England Reply

Article by Jonathan Petre.
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An electrician faces the sack for displaying a small palm cross on the dashboard of his company van.

Former soldier Colin Atkinson has been summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the giant housing association where he has been employed for 15 years because he refuses to remove the symbol.

Mr Atkinson, a regular worshipper at church, said: ‘The treatment of Christians in this country is becoming diabolical…but I will stand up for my faith.’

Throughout his time at work, he has had an 8in-long cross made from woven palm leaves attached to the dashboard shelf below his windscreen without receiving a single complaint.

But his bosses at publicly funded Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) in West Yorkshire – the fifth-biggest housing organisation in England – have demanded he remove the cross on the grounds it may offend people or suggest the organisation is Christian. Mr Atkinson’s union representative said he faces a full disciplinary hearing next month for gross misconduct, which could result in dismissal.

The association strongly promotes ‘inclusive’ policies and allows employees to wear religious symbols at work.

It has provided stalls at gay pride events, held ‘diversity days’ for travellers, and hosted a gender reassignment event entitled A World That Includes Transpeople.

Mr Atkinson, who has an unblemished work record, said he had not been shown similar respect.

‘The past few months have been unbelievable, a nightmare,’ he said.

Fascism, Anti-Fascism, and the Welfare State Reply

Lecture by Paul Gottfried.
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The senior and adjunct faculty of the Mises Institute discuss the history, theory, and contemporary meaning of the fascist temptation, and what the Austrian economists are doing to combat it. Mises Institute Supporters Summit 2005, October 7-8, Auburn, Alabama. http://mises.org

Paul Edward Gottfried is a Jewish American Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and a Guggenheim recipient. He is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of numerous books and articles in several languages on intellectual history, paleoconservatism, ancient historiography, and political theory.