Reflections on the Jacobin-Feminazi Alliance in France Reply

France declares war on the world’s oldest profession.
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Now France, upending a century’s old tradition of tolerance, is contemplating making patronizing prostitution a crime.

What’s the rationale? According to this report in France 24, “The new proposals would help demystify the trade, say the authors. ‘It would reaffirm the principle of non-commercialization of the human body and bury the myth that prostitution is simply the “oldest trade in the world” once and for all.'”

The article gives ample space to the other side of the argument. Ironically, it is the French Prostitutes Union STRASS that has come out most strongly against the proposed legislation. Pimps would be the only winners, spokesperson Mistress Gilda said. In fact, she points out in the article that the law will do what all such laws do, criminalize the behavior and thus open the way for organized crime to take over.

Such legislation can be seen as make-work for police unions and provide fodder for prisons, but there is probably little evidence that it has any effect on the behavior of those involved, especially those seeking out such services “Prostitution is not going to vanish,” Mistress Gilda said, “And these pimps would be the only winners.” Here’s some more from the article:

Until 1946, Paris had a flourishing sex industry based around a number of established brothels, or maisons closes, which benefitted particularly from the patronage of the occupying German army during World War II. A 1946 law closed the estimated 1,400 brothels across France, ending a system that had regulated prostitution in the country since 1804. France became officially “abolitionist” in 1960, when it signed the 1949 UN Convention on the Suppression of Trafficking and the Exploitation of Prostitution.

In 2003, then interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy passed a law banning “passive solicitation”, a vague term aimed at curbing a manner of “dress and attitude” that advertises sexual services. ‘We want to pay our taxes’ If a law to criminalise sex clients is passed, France would join Norway, Iceland and Sweden, where clients face a fine of six months’ pay and six months in jail. But in Germany, sex workers get the same state benefits as other taxpayers – a system that Mistress Gilda said would be welcomed by the prostitutes working in France.

Fresh from starting a war in Libya and causing a mini-genocide in the Ivory Coast, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has seemingly turned his sights on French sexual commerce. Once know for sexual tolerance, France is now to join the ranks of countries that have passed laws denying the expression of human nature. Whatever one thinks of prostitution, it is hard to deny that it will persist no matter what kind of legislation is aimed against it.

Trump This! Reply

Article by veteran libertarian Jerome Tuccille.
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But Trump for President?

Let’s get real. This is not the first time Donald Trump has announced his intentions to run for the highest political office on Planet Earth. A few years back he all but shanghaied the Reform Party before party notables recognized his ploy as a publicity stunt, booted him out, and settled instead for Ross Perot. It was a great headline-grabber then, and it is now. What is most surprising is how short the media’s attention span is. Once again they are showering the Donald with all the headlines he covets as though he is serious about actually getting his hands dirty in a real campaign and exposing the more private corners of his life to intense public scrutiny. Astoundingly, Trump is tracking second in the Republican sweepstakes as I am writing this, which tells you more about the quality of his competition than you need to know.

It’s during the political silly season such as the one that’s just getting under way that I miss my old friend Murray Rothbard the most. Murray and I had our differences along the way, but no one had a better sense of the absurd in politics than Murray did. My fondest memories of the old days are sitting around with Murray and a few others, quoting Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken, chuckling (no one could chuckle louder than Murray with his bowtie wagging under his chin) about the lunacies of the moment. There were always plenty to go around.

And there is no shortage of them at the moment. One of the biggest lunacies in recent weeks was the notion that either major party would let the government shut down for anything longer than a microsecond. The last thing the entrenched political establishment wants to advertise is that the absence of most government services, and the corresponding layoff of some 800,000 federal employees, would be a nonevent for the body politic. Business would go on as usual, investors would continue to trade shares and commodities in the marketplace, and all the other essentials of modern civilization would be provided by one entity or another. People would soon learn that it would be a better bargain for them if most of the government did, in fact, go on an extended vacation along with its revenue-collecting agencies. Can’t pay the troops overseas? Bring them home. Can’t conduct the war on drugs? End it now. Can’t stop citizens from cohabitating with whomever they prefer? Decriminalize their lifestyle arrangements. The only groups with a vested interest in prolonging the status quo are those receiving subsidies in one form or another: large corporations, rich farmers, special interest and advocacy groups. They were the ones screaming loudest about the threat of even minor cuts in government spending.

People Disposed Of Reply

Article by Darian Worden.
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A New York Times article, “Prostitutes’ Disappearances Were Noticed Only When the First Bodies Were Found,” (Apr 7) reveals the danger of devaluing human life. Little attention was paid to missing people until their corpses were found.

The Times report quotes Gary Ridgway, who admitted to murdering 48 women, as explaining, “I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.”

The prospect of being murdered without repercussion is the ultimate point of disempowerment. Sure, serial killers do get caught and ultimately punished, but only after numerous people are victimized.

How do prostitutes become such easy prey for the predators? It is ultimately due to a lack of respect and visibility. As people who exist outside of “respectable” society, prostitutes enjoy few protections from that society.

One cannot overlook the responsibility of “moral” crusaders for the pattern of marginalization. As something that’s “dirty,” prostitution is already off-limits to many forums of discussion, removing the prostitute from consideration. More serious is the extreme condescension shown toward those who trade sex for money. It’s one thing to be a little uppity about the choices you make, but it is quite another to regard someone as below the threshold of consideration because she’s “just a whore.”

Criminalization is a key factor in pushing prostitutes, among others, to the dangerous margins of society. Who can you turn to when the organization that largely monopolizes crime fighting is against you, and the other offers of “protection” are likely to lead to exploitation? The power that cops have over sex workers often manifests itself in the corruption and oppression one could expect from such an unequal relationship.

Criminalization makes further victimization easier in other ways too. A feeling of disempowerment leaves one with a sense of helplessness. If the law-breaker has access to weapons, getting caught armed would make them violators of more serious offenses. In the margins it is difficult to trust, communicate, or bring to bear resources for redress. Fortunately outreach projects bring some measure of understanding and communication to those who work in the sex industry.

One should also consider the economic situation that prostitutes face. Whatever the motivations of the numerous individuals involved, it is clear that there are prostitutes who would rather be doing something else. It is also clear that victims of lower income tend be less of a concern for authorities. The squeezing of the workforce by politicians and plutocrats, as well as the obstacles to advancement that regulations and artificially high costs of living create, leave many pursing more dangerous and less-rewarding jobs than they would in a freer society.

However the story of disappearance and bodies in a swamp turns out, hopefully the victims will at least be afforded the dignity to be presented as people, not as mere props. Raising the dignity of the individual, making room for them in a caring society, will go a long way in expanding their freedom to live. When society’s prejudice and state regulations make a person into an unperson, there is a shorter distance to go for a murderer to make her a dead person.

Hunger on the Rise in the U.S. Reply

Article by Gabe Pressman.
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Hunger is on the rise in the New York City. Seven hundred thousand more people get food stamps in the New York City today than did five years ago, according to Joel Berg of the Coalition Against Hunger.

In all, the Coalition estimates, there are 2 million people in the five boroughs who get food stamps now.

“We are facing a very serious situation when it comes to the poor,” Berg told me. “Food pantries and soup kitchens are struggling to meet the demand. There are actions in Washington that pose new threats to the hungry, including Republican efforts in the House to cut the WIC program that serves women, infants and children.”

The New York Times takes a swipe at our new governor, Andrew Cuomo, in an article about his girlfriend, Food Network personality Sandra Lee, Ms. Lee had a bake sale at Grand Central the other day to raise money for food banks struggling to survive.

“Every dollar that’s raised can turn into four dollars at the food bank,” she said. When reporters tried to ask her about the impact of Governor Cuomo’s cuts in money for food banks, she ducked. “I’m not here to talk about the governor’s budget, she said, “Thank you.”

But what about how the Governor’s budget will affect food banks?

Politely, she replied: “I’m not here to talk about politics. But thank you for asking.”

When another reporter pressed the issue, she replied demurely: “I’m not here to talk about politics but, if you want a great recipe for cream cheese icing, I’ve got that for you.”

The World's Oldest Man Dies Reply

Sounds like an interesting character.
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Walter Breuning’s earliest memories stretched back 111 years, before home entertainment came with a twist of the radio dial. They were of his grandfather’s tales of killing Southerners in the Civil War.

Breuning was 3 and horrified: “I thought that was a hell of a thing to say.”

But the stories stuck, becoming the first building blocks into what would develop into a deceptively simple philosophy that Breuning, the world’s oldest man at 114 before he died Thursday, credited to his longevity.

Here’s the world’s oldest man’s secret to a long life:

– Embrace change, even when the change slaps you in the face. (“Every change is good.”)

– Eat two meals a day (“That’s all you need.”)

– Work as long as you can (“That money’s going to come in handy.”)

– Help others (“The more you do for others, the better shape you’re in.”)

Then there’s the hardest part. It’s a lesson Breuning said he learned fr om his grandfather: Accept death.

“We’re going to die. Some people are scared of dying. Never be afraid to die. Because you’re born to die,” he said.

Commies: American vs Greek 12

US communist leader challenged by the Greek communists.
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Sam Webb, who chairs the Communist Party, USA published an interesting thinkpiece in the party’s internet magazine Political Affairs with the title ‘A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century’. It is fair to say that this has created a fair degree of controversy within the US party and excited interest without.
Sam Webb is familiar to British communists, not least through his contribution to the Communist University in London. His style is refreshingly unencumbered by jargon and clear enough in its exposition. The problems he identifies are familar to British communists, not least because we too operate in the complex ideological and political conditions of a major imperialist power with our governments engaged in a variety of imperial military expeditions to butress the economic dominance that is now under threat from competing imperialist entities and an insurgent popular movement in many party parts of the world.

The Greek communists are no less direct in their contribution to this discussion and have taken the US communist leadership at its word. Their robust response is carried below.

Position of KKE on the Webb’s Platform and the Developments in the CPUSA
Athens, 13 April 2011
To the members and cadre of the CPUSA, To the workers that struggle in the USA, To the communist and workers parties

Dear comrades,

In February 2011 the chairperson of the CPUSA, Sam Webb, published an article in Political Affairs, the electronic publication of the CPUSA, entitled “A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century: What It Looks Like, What It Says, and What It Does”. Even if the specific article is accompanied by an editorial note which claims that “The following article represents the views of its author alone. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the official views of any organization or collective.”, it is obvious to us that the public position of the head of a Communist Party concerning such an important issue requires special attention.

On the 16th of February we received a letter from the editorial team of Political Affairs which invited us to send in our opinion.

Our party, after studying this article and the reactions it has provoked within the ranks of communists both in the USA and internationally, considers it necessary to take a public position through this letter, as is required by its responsibility as a part of the international communist movement.

Our assessment is that we are dealing with a comprehensive liquidationist platform of 29 theses which has been placed before the international communist movement and proposes the total revision of the principles and revolutionary traditions of the communist movement.

The KKE, as a section of the international communist movement, considers as its duty the refutation of this platform, which questions the need for the existence of a party of the working class in the USA, and in general is directed against the revolutionary and anti-imperialist movement internationally. The 18th Congress of our party stressed that “The battle against social-democratisation tendencies in Communist Parties – through the intervention of imperialist mechanisms, anti-communism and the bourgeois media – must be fought firmly and consistently by defending the historic role of the working class and its organised vanguard, the principles of Marxism-Leninism and of socialism. This task takes on even greater significance in face of the growing anti-communist offensive in the EU and internationally.”

Repression of Food Not Bombs in Orlando, Florida 1

Court upholds Orlando’s homeless feeding rules.
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A federal appeals court has upheld a Florida city’s ordinance that restricts the feeding of homeless people at city parks.

The 2006 Orlando ordinance was challenged by the Orlando chapter of the group Food Not Bombs, which said the law restricted free speech rights.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sought to strike a balance in the opinion it issued Tuesday.

It said the feeding of homeless people by Orlando Food Not Bombs was protected by the First Amendment. But the opinion concluded that the city’s restrictions are “reasonable.”

A federal judge originally blocked the city from enforcing the ordinance, but a three-judge appeals panel reversed the ruling.

The full court then reviewed the case and issued its decision Tuesday in a 10-0 vote, with one judge abstaining.

Duke Lacrosse Accuser's Boyfriend Dies After Stabbing 2

Wow!
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Family members of a man who was stabbed in his home April 3 say he died Wednesday evening. Crystal Mangum, the Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006, has been charged with assaulting him.

Durham police confirmed Thursday morning that Reginald Daye, 46, had died.

“The case remains under investigation, and we do anticipate upgrading the charges. However, no new charges have been filed at this time,” police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said in an e-mail to WRAL News.

Police said Mangum, 32, stabbed Daye in the torso with a kitchen knife during a dispute at 3507 Century Oaks Drive early on April 3.

Daye was taken to Duke University Hospital, and Mangum was arrested in a nearby apartment.

A man who said he was Daye’s nephew called 911 to report the stabbing, saying it occurred while Daye and his girlfriend were arguing about rent money. The caller said police came to the apartment complex earlier while the couple argued, but the stabbing occurred after the officers left.

When asked for a description of the girlfriend, the caller said, “It’s Crystal Mangum. THE Crystal Mangum.”

He then added, “I told him she was trouble from the beginning.”

Trans Fat Ban: The Therapeutic State Advances Reply

Food fascism in Illinois.
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The Illinois House today passed a ban on the use of artery clogging trans fats in food served in restaurants and in school vending machines starting in 2013.

Although many cities and counties have passed bans, if the bill passes the state Senate and Gov. Pat Quinn signs it, Illinois would be only the second state in the nation to pass such a measure. The first was California.

If it becomes law, restaurants would not be able to serve food with trans fats starting Jan. 1, 2013. The ban also would apply to vending machines in public and private schools.

“I feel like this is a great step in the right direction,” said sponsoring Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago. Health problems cost our state so much money and if we can use prevention to keep people out of emergency rooms and keep them healthy this is a step in that direction.”

The latest version of the legislation also suggests “a goal” of eliminating all food containing trans fats in schools and state facilities by 2016.

The Spinoza Strategy: Defeating PC by Telling the Truth Reply

Article by Paul Deussen.
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It is probably asking a lot of alternative Right writers to appear loyal to, let alone adoring of, the gods of multiculturalism, diversity, and egalitarianism, but employing such a strategy when writing for politically correct audiences would be far more effective than directly challenging orthodoxy. One such tactic might be to support some of the ideals of egalitarianism and then show how they are contradicted by others. For example, if the intention of multiculturalism is to preserve the unique cultural identity of various racial elements in this country, then we could argue that what is really happening is the destruction of diversity by the merging and watering down of cultures into unrecognizable forms. As “true” proponents of diversity, we would be taking the moral high ground in claiming that minority cultures are under siege by “universalism” and “McDonald-ization” and that their preservation can only be achieved through the separation of cultures, not blending them together into a homogenous blob. This form of attack would be far more palatable to mainstream audiences than directly confronting multiculturalism with charges of reverse racism. We could make the corollary claim that multiculturalism itself is ethnocentric in its origins—i.e. it was invented by White people—and oppressive to minority groups that did not develop a similar ideological standpoint on their own.

Unfortunately, emphasizing the inherent conflict between multiculturalism and diversity may not always work, since actual global diversity is being preserved by non-Western countries that do not tolerate immigration or cultural diffusion. The only culture that is actually being destroyed by multiculturalism is Western culture, a consequence unlikely to concern most readers of the mainstream press who believe America, the “proposition nation” united by creed, has been spared the backwards ideology of racial identity. Nevertheless, an argument that multiculturalism is oppressive to minorities could have more traction.

Multiculturalism is often claimed to be a philosophy of universalism, but the intolerance its followers have for non-believers is a clear indication of its particularism. Internalizing this conceptual paradox has been unproblematic for most all PC types (truly, accepting irreconcilable ideas seems to go hand-in-hand with orthodoxy.) Forcing nonbelievers to convert to multiculturalism is also comfortably sanctioned because the principal subjects of this oppression are Whites. If, however, we can reframe the discussion in such a way that multiculturalism appears to be an ideology forced on minorities to their own detriment, then the reaction from the politically correct would be far different.

The key to bringing down egalitarianism from the inside could therefore be the vilification of multiculturalism as a ruling-class conspiracy. Similar to Spinoza who played off the anti-Semite prejudices of Christians, so should we play off the prejudices and neurotic suspicions the politically correct have for Whites. This might be done effectively with class-struggle arguments that link multiculturalism with cheap labor and the exploitation of the Third World by evil White capitalists. An even more powerful argument could be made that multiculturalism prevents non-White peoples from achieving their own unique destiny and subordinates them to a decadent White ideology. (This argument also carries the benefit of actually being true.) It is more than likely that similar arguments have already been made by vigilantly obsessed members of the Left who are constantly on guard for “White privilege” in society. We should cite these liberal experts, expand upon their arguments, and contribute as much as we can to the reinterpretation of multiculturalism as a racist ideology.

In other words, to awaken the politically correct from their indoctrinated slumber, we should convincingly accuse them of being guilty of that which they proclaim to be the greatest of sins.

Selfishness, the Movie Reply

James Kirkpatrick reviews the film version of Atlas Shrugged. I was never an Ayn Rand fan anyway, but this sounds awful.
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Even the promotional literature distributed by the makers of the movie doesn’t really reflect reality. It says, “What would happen if our producers disappear—Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, and other industrialists fall off the radar… their creative genius no longer powering America?” Of course, there are two problems here. One is titans of industry at the time Rand wrote her book were actual titans of industry that conquered nature and created new things. Today, fortunes are made on the Internet, which essentially lets us consume more efficiently or “create” things that only exist online. The second problem is that the titans of industry listed here are progressives. The last time the titans of industry were right wing was probably sometime in the 19th century when huge industries were built behind a protective tariff (which libertarians hate) and corporations were headed by men like Henry Ford, General Robert E. Wood of Sears-Roebeck, H. Smith Richardson and the like who would support things like the America First Committee and other right-wing initiatives.

In contrast, Sergey Brin and his company overwhelmingly support progressive Democrats. The site also censors right-leaning web results and collaborates with the web censorship of the Chinese government, suggesting no real ideological commitment to free speech, although a definite commitment to political correctness. Steve Jobs, meanwhile, proposed Al Gore for President in 2007. He has donated over $250,000 to political causes between 1990 and 2010—all of which were Democratic. If Galt’s Gulch were real, presumably it would look something like Berkeley, and Rand would be on trial for hate speech because she doesn’t have any Black capitalists in her books. As far as other young and famous capitalist icons go, the obvious one that comes to mind is Mark Zuckerburg, inventor of Facebook. Zuckerbuerg recently donated $100 million dollars to the public schools of Newark, NJ, on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” If the Aryan capitalist Viking Ragnar Danneskjold liberated Mark Zuckerberg’s donations, Zuckerburg would just send more. The moral code of the corporate elite of this country and the capitalist pinups Rand’s fanboys want us to fight for are promoting the exact kinds of altruism and victim worship that Rand despised. If the kinds of “producers” identified here went “John Galt,” the only things that would change would be the decline in Democratic donations.

The movie culminates with the government passing a crushing regulatory law that cripples Ellis Wyatt. In response, he abandons his oil fields and sets them aflame. As Dagny Taggart reaches the hellish firestorm that is left, she unleashes a classic B-movie cry of denial worthy of Star Wars: Episode III. The message of Atlas Shrugged was turned into something just as clichéd and predictable. It has been scrubbed, sanitized, and made ready for your next “Students for Liberty” meeting so you can encourage more people to vote for the likes of Gary Johnson.

Rand’s vision, whatever else one thinks of it, was unique. It transcended itself and contained implications that went beyond Rand’s actual policy positions and philosophy. Despite its flaws, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most forthright defenses of the aristocratic principle ever penned. It’s also a profound critique of the phony economy of banker and government manipulation and paean to an economy of production. In this film, it has been transformed into a call to let the likes of George Soros and Warren Buffett pay fewer taxes, despite their own wishes, and to turn this holy cause into the rallying point of the conservative movement. Unfortunately, I have no doubt the film will accomplish its purpose.

The Planned Chaos of National Security Socialism Reply

Article by Scott Lazarowitz.
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With Peace Prize Laureate Barack Obama’s new war of Orwellian peaceful violence in Libya, this is yet another reminder of why socialism and central planning in security is a bad idea. The conservatives who are the most outspoken opponents of “socialism” are the true socialists: It is they who cherish national security socialism, the public or State ownership of the means of production in national security, a central-planning monopoly in territorial protection.

Americans and foreign peoples have suffered time and again because of the moral hazard of any form of socialism, from what Ludwig von Mises would call socialism’s “planned chaos,” in this case the planned chaos of socialized national security. The State’s inherently immoral and counter-productive scheme of usurping a people’s right of self-defense has allowed the State to be responsible for the most egregious crimes against humanity, especially in the American “Civil War,” in two World Wars, in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other parts of the world.

And now Libya. Some are already predicting that Obama’s war in Libya will backfire, with a possible Gaddafi revenge attack similar to the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. Given that socialists and central planners tend to not learn from history, this Obama Libya war looks like another textbook study of planned chaos, similar to George W. Bush’s Iraq.

Former President Bush’s planned chaos in Iraq had effected in the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, widespread destruction of the country, and the establishment of a repressive, pro-Iranian Islamic Sharia Law in Iraq.

Even further than merely a Gaddafi revenge attack against the U.S., Obama may possibly be arming Libyan rebels including members of al Qaeda, a stated enemy of the United States especially since 9/11.

And Syria and Mexico may be next on the list for the inept security socialists.

Capitalism: Unfortunately Alive and Well Reply

Article by David D’Amato.
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In an article for Business Insider entitled Is Capitalism Dead?, Larry Doyle bemoans “the incestuous nature of the Wall Street-Washington relationship.” Observing that a “few gigantic banks dominate our markets,” Doyle reflects that “Wall Street as it currently exists is an oligopoly,” and is not an accurate reflection of “the principles of capitalism.”

He cites Investopedia for a definition of capitalism that describes it as “[a]n economic system based on a free market [and] open competition,” and he contrasts that with the high barriers to entry that typify, for instance, the banking economy. Against his “true form of capitalism,” Doyle sets oligopoly, “[a] situation in which a particular market is controlled by a small group of firms.”

It may seem to many to be all too precious a quibble, but market anarchists take exception to Doyle’s use of the word “capitalism” to mean “free markets.” Our umbrage at the C-word, instead of an idiosyncratic dislike of the word itself, is based largely on precedent, on the historic use of the word to describe something very different from “open competition.” Indeed, capitalism has, throughout its history, depended on significant and enduring state intervention in economic activity in direct contradiction to genuine free markets.

Notwithstanding his affinity for the word, capitalism has in actual fact denoted something closer to Doyle’s oligopoly than to anything bearing semblance to a free market. Contrary to the claim that “right now it isn’t capitalism,” then, market anarchists maintain firmly that the economic system right now is properly designated “capitalism.” We counsel free markets as a liberating and enfranchising alternative that would duly reward productive behavior.

When, as market anarchists, we urge the replacement of the relationships of authority with those of mutually beneficial exchange, or commerce, we are not offering an apology for the commercial entities of the present moment. It is not business in and of itself, as an object apart from its modes of action, that we plead for, but rather the “economic means” of reciprocal value.

As explained by the American individualist anarchist Francis Dashwood Tandy, “[S]olve the economic problem and you trim the claws of private enterprise, rendering it incapable of great evil, while retaining its good qualities.” Those good qualities, including the impulsion of price toward cost, obtain in completely free competition, a condition absent of the coercively instituted privileges of statism.

Manning Marable's Controversial Malcolm X Biography Reply

Article by David Montgomery.
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A blistering review of historian Manning Marable’s best-selling new biography of Malcolm X was rejected this week by ­TheRoot.com, a daily online magazine devoted to African American perspectives whose editor in chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr., is an admirer of Marable’s work.

“ ‘Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention’ is an abomination,” wrote reviewer Karl Evanzz. “It is a cavalcade of innuendo and logical fallacy, and is largely reinvented from previous works on the subject.”

Evanzz, a former Washington Post news researcher and author of a book on Malcolm X’s assassination, continued in that vein for more than 2,000 words.

Gates, on the book’s dust jacket, is quoted as saying: “Manning Marable has written the definitive biography of this outrageously misrepresented figure. He has plumbed countless historical records to bring out what is there, not what is imagined.”

Gates said Thursday, however, that he had no role in commissioning the review or deciding its fate.

“I haven’t read the review. I wasn’t consulted in any of the decisions,” he said. “I had no idea that it had been submitted or that it had been rejected.”

Discover Where Corporations are Getting Taxpayer Handouts Across the United States Reply

Check out the Subsidy Tracker.
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A growing number of state governments are disclosing which companies they are giving tax breaks and other subsidies in the name of job creation and economic development. Yet much of that information is being disseminated through hard-to-find reports and web pages. SUBSIDY TRACKER is the first national search engine for state economic development subsidies. It brings together recipient data from a wide range of subsidy programs in states across the country.

Each entry identifies the recipient company and, depending on availability, provides data on the dollar value of the subsidy, the program and state agency involved, the location of the subsidized facility, and the employment impact of the subsidy. Each entry also indicates where the data came from, so the user can go to the original source for more information. For more information on the data, see the User Guide.

Subsidy Tracker is a work in progress. In the months to come we will seek to incorporate data from more programs covering more years. Subsidy Tracker currently contains more than 64,000 awards from 140 programs in 34 states.

Resilient Villages – A rough blueprint Reply

From American Indian/Alaska Native – Attack The System.
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Over at the Republic of Lakotah website, there’s a brief outline of a strategy for developing an independent network of largely self sufficient villages.

1. Joining the Republic of Lakotah isn’t about having American Indian blood, it’s about wanting freedom AND making the sacrifices necessary to live free.
2. Everyone is invited to participate in developing our first “Lakotah Republic Villages.” As Russell sees these, they would be villages of 10-30 families that would share a kitchen/dining area, a car or two, solar and wind power. Each family could put up whatever sort of housing suited their needs. Children could be community schooled. Each village could have it’s own garden and solar-powered green houses. People could raise chickens, turkeys or whatever.
3. The land here is beautiful and very inexpensive. Good well water is easy to get.
4. If these villages are well-designed, nobody will be “roughing it,” life can be a paradise without the rat race of modern America.
5. Eventually, when the ROL is fully realized, ANYBODY can renounce their US Citizenship and get an ROL passport.
6. It’s not complicated, it just takes like-minded people planning well, pooling their resources and TAKING THE BIG LEAP!

What’s described above is a Resilient Community.

Politics And The State 1

by Michael Bakunin

We have repelled energetically every alliance with bourgeois politics, even of the most radical nature. It has been pretended, foolishly and slanderously, that we repudiated all such Political connivance because we were indifferent to the great question of Liberty, and considered only the economic or material side of the problem. It has been declared that, consequently, we placed ourselves in the ranks of the reaction. A German delegate at the Congress of Basle gave classic expression to this view, when he dared to state that, who ever did not recognize, with the German Socialists Democracy, “that the conquest of political rights (power) was the preliminary condition of social emancipation,” was, consciously or unconsciously an ally, of the Ceasars!

These critics greatly deceive themselves and, “consciously or unconsciously,” endeavor to deceive the public concerning us. We love liberty much more than they do. We love it to the point of wishing it complete and entire. We wish the reality and not the fiction. Hence we repel every bourgeois alliance, since we are convinced that all liberty conquered by the aid of the bourgeoisie, their political means and weapons, or by an alliance with their political dupes, will prove profitable for Messrs. the bourgeois, but never anything more than a fiction for the workers.

Messrs. the bourgeois of all parties, including the most advanced, however cosmopolitan they are, when it is a question of gaining money by a more and more extensive exploitation of the labor of the people, are all equally fervent and fanatical in their patriotic attachment to the state. Patriotism is in reality, nothing but the passion for and cult of the national State, as M. Theirs, the very illustrious assassin of the Parisian proletariat, and the present savior of France, has said recently. But whoever says “State” says domination; and whoever says “domination” says exploitation. Which proves that the popular or “folk’s” State, now become aud unhappily remaining today the catchword of the German Socialist Democracy, is a ridiculous contradiction, a fiction, a falsehood, unconscious on the part of those who extol it, doubtlessly, but, for the proletariat, a very dangerous trap.

The State, however popular may be the form it assumes, will always be an institution of domination and exploitation, and consequently a permanent source of poverty and enslavement for the populace. There is no other way, then, of emancipating the people economically and politically, of giving them liberty and well-being at one and the same time than by abolishing the State, all States, and, by so doing, killing, once and for all time, what, up to now, has been called “Politics,” i e., precisely nothing else than the functioning or manifestation both internal and external of State action, that is to say, the practice, or art and science of dominating and exploiting the masses in favor of the privileged classes.

It is not true then to say that we treat politics abstractly. We make no abstraction of it, since we wish positively to kill it. And here is the essential point upon which we separate ourselves absolutely from politicians and radical bourgeois Socialists (now functioning as social or radical democracy which is only a facade for capitalistic democracy,). Their policy consists in the transformation of State politics, their use and reform. Our policy, the only policy we admit, consists in the total abolition of the State, and of politics, which is its necessary manifestation.

It is only because we wish frankly to this abolition of the State that we believe that we have the right to call ourselves Internationalists and Revolutionary Socialists; for whoever wishes to deal with politics otherwise than how we do; whoever does not, like us, wish the total abolition of politics, must necessarily participate in the politics of a patriotic and bourgeois State. In other words, he renounces, by that very fact, in the name of his great or little national State, the human solidarity of all peoples, as well as the economic and social emancipation of the masses at home.

Manning, Obama and U.S. moral leadership Reply

Article by Glenn Greenwald.
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On December 15, when I first reported the inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention, I did not assign any blame to — or even mention — Barack Obama. Although, as Commander-in-Chief, Obama was technically responsible for Manning’s treatment, there was no evidence that he even knew about it, let alone planned it. But since then, the Manning controversy exploded into national prominence and Obama has explicitly defended the treatment, leaving no doubt that it directly reflects on who he is as a leader and a person.

For that reason, as The Guardian reports this morning, a letter signed by “more than 250 of America’s most eminent legal scholars” that “includes leading figures from all the top US law schools, as well as prominent names from other academic fields” — featuring “Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be America’s foremost liberal authority on constitutional law”; who “taught constitutional law to Barack Obama and was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign”; and “joined the Obama administration last year as a legal adviser in the justice department, a post he held until three months ago” — not only denounces Manning’s detention but also the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner’s personal responsibility for it:

[Tribe] told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that “is not only shameful but unconstitutional” as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia. . . . Tribe said the treatment was objectionable “in the way it violates his person and his liberty without due process of law and in the way it administers cruel and unusual punishment of a sort that cannot be constitutionally inflicted even upon someone convicted of terrible offences, not to mention someone merely accused of such offences”.

The harsh restrictions have been denounced by a raft of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, and are being investigated by the United Nations’ rapporteur on torture. . . .

The intervention of Tribe and hundreds of other legal scholars is a huge embarrassment to Obama, who was a professor of constitutional law in Chicago. Obama made respect for the rule of law a cornerstone of his administration, promising when he first entered the White House in 2009 to end the excesses of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism. . . .

The protest letter, published in the New York Review of Books, was written by two distinguished law professors, Bruce Ackerman of Yale and Yochai Benkler of Harvard. They claim Manning’s reported treatment is a violation of the US constitution, specifically the eighth amendment forbidding cruel and unusual punishment and the fifth amendment that prevents punishment without trial.

In a stinging rebuke to Obama, they say “he was once a professor of constitutional law, and entered the national stage as an eloquent moral leader. The question now, however, is whether his conduct as commander in chief meets fundamental standards of decency.”

The State: Who Needs It? Reply

Anthony Gregory is interviewed by Scott Horton.
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Anthony Gregory, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, discusses the case for anarcho-capitalism – pushing beyond “limited government” to eliminate the last vestiges of “essential” state functions like police, courts and national defense; the possible market alternatives that, while theoretical and uncertain, could only be an improvement on state-run institutions; the disastrous war on drugs that has failed to reduce crime or eliminate drug use – but has boosted and militarized the ranks of law enforcement; and Anthony’s 2006 article, “Law-Enforcement Socialism.”

MP3 here. (18:58)

Anthony Gregory is a research analyst at the Independent Institute, Editor in Chief of Campaign for Liberty, moderator of the Beacon, policy adviser to the Future of Freedom Foundation and columnist for LewRockwell.com. He guest edits Strike the Root. His writing has appeared in such places as the Christian Science Monitor San Diego Union Tribune, Antiwar.com, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, Counterpunch, the American Conservative, Liberty Magazine, the Mises Institute blog, the Stress Blog, The Libertarian Enterprise and Liberty and Power, as well as in textbooks, journals and other outlets, and has been translated in several languages.

He wrote for Michael Badnarik’s 2004 campaign. He got his B.A. in history at UC Berkeley in 2003, where he wrote his thesis on the 1993 Waco disaster. He sings and plays in a rock band, the Melatones, and is an Eagle Scout. He gives talks frequently and is now writing an Independent Institute book on habeas corpus, detention policy and individual liberty.

Sowell Attacks the Crony Capitalists 1

I’m glad to see Thomas Sowell bashing corporate welfare. He often leans way too much towards vulgar libertarianism for my tastes.
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Since everybody else seems to be coming up with plans on how to cope with the skyrocketing national debt, let me try my hand at it too.

The liberals’ easy solution is just to increase taxes on “the rich.” But, if you do the math, there aren’t enough of “the rich” to cover the huge and record-breaking deficit.

Trying to reduce the deficit by cutting spending runs into an old familiar counter-attack. There will be all kinds of claims by politicians and sad stories in the media about how these cuts will cause the poor to go hungry, the sick to be left to die, etc.

My plan would start by cutting off all government transfer payments to billionaires. Many, if not most, people are probably unaware that the government is handing out the taxpayers’ money to billionaires. But agricultural subsidies go to a number of billionaires. Very little goes to the ordinary farmer.

Big corporations also get big bucks from the government, not only in agricultural subsidies but also in the name of “green” policies, in the name of “alternative energy” policies, and in the name of whatever else will rationalize shoveling the taxpayers’ money out the door to whomever the administration designates, for its own political reasons.

The usual political counter-attacks against spending cuts will not work against this new kind of spending cut approach. How many heart-rending stories can the media run about billionaires who have lost their handouts from the taxpayers? How many tears will be shed if General Motors gets dumped off the gravy train?

It would also be eye-opening to many people to discover how much government money is going into subsidizing all sorts of things that have nothing to do with helping “the poor” or protecting the public. This would include government-subsidized insurance for posh and pricey coastal resorts, located too dangerously close to the ocean for a private insurance company to risk insuring them.

International Crime Syndicate Targets Libya Reply

Article by David D’Amato.
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On Wednesday (April 13), reports BBC News, “[a]n international summit on Libya [began] in Qatar, with delegates being told there is a ‘race against time’ to help Libyan civilians.” Comprising representatives from, among others, the United Nations, the European Union, and Nato, the summit promises to devise a plan for progress toward “peace-building” and “a democratic Libya.”

Though we are apparently meant to believe that the interests of the new “contact group” on Libya are limited to preventing further bloodshed, there are good reasons to believe other considerations underlie its meddlesome plans. Under the mantra of allowing Libyans to “develop their resources” and at last depart from the “internationally isolated” policies of the Qaddafi era, imperialism takes on a quality of sensibleness.

It is, after all, difficult to oppose to political and military intrusion when it is couched in the language of justice, progress and genuine self-rule for the people of Libya. And for opportunistic Western powers — under the de facto leadership of the United States — Libya represents one great pie, the pieces of which are to be allotted according to the rules of faux “free trade.”

One can be sure that, whenever world “leaders” convene to negotiate “solutions” to the problems facing ordinary, working people, the outcome will mean the imposition of faceless hierarchies designed to serve ruling class interests. When disturbances in places like Libya become a global focal point, the aim is to bring those places into alignment with the international order of state capitalism, as established by organizations like the World Bank.

In the same way that domestic welfare organizations — though appearing as charitable — are actually meant to mitigate the damages of state capitalism, governments’ “investments” in places like Libya are anything but altruistic. “Humanitarian intervention” is nothing but a calculated effort to lay the groundwork for legalized plunder.

So when, as the BBC story notes, “French and British foreign ministers [say] Nato should be doing more in Libya,” “peace-building” for the people of the country ends up looking like a thin veil for a new colonialism. Though there may not be an East India Company today, the corporate giants of neoliberal “free enterprise” are no less endowed with the functional equivalent of a Royal Charter. The world’s governing classes, constantly in search of new outlets for state capitalist investment, have seized on Libya because it serves their interests, not out of solidarity with rebels.

As the ideological successor of the League of Nations, founded on the idea, in the description of Ludwig von Mises, that some populations are “not qualified for independence,” the United Nations is designed to make empire palatable. In light of the their history where self-determination is concerned, the interest of international bodies like the UN in the “establishment of a temporary financial mechanism” is to be regarded with some skepticism. The flow of cash in Libya will likely turn out to do much for giving Big Business a foothold in the country and little for opposition autonomy in the new Libya.

The “aggressive origin and nature of the state,” advises Mark R. Crovelli, “ought to play a critical role in our moral evaluation of state humanitarian interventions.” Certainly some state are less overtly tyrannous than others, but we have no reason to believe that the crime syndicate known as the Libya “contact group” is excepted from all of the motivations that drive every state, every group of elites wielding political power.

As long as coercion rather than genuine, free market competition provides the means to wealth, the incentives for empire — for “humanitarian intervention” — will shape the world according to the wishes of dominant state actors. By resolving to make free exchange and cooperation the standard for human interaction, individuals can deracinate the state and with it its pursuit of new colonies. Libyans should see the writing on the wall, running from the “help” of the international community as fast as they can.