How to Build a Better Government: Smaller, Consensual, and Decentralized Reply

By Trey Goff

Mises Institute

[Your Next Government?: From the Nation State to Stateless Nations by Tom. W. Bell]

When I first met him, Tom W. Bell seemed more like the successful lawyer/entrepreneur type than he did the type of guy to write an intensely well-sourced book synthesizing information from a variety of fields. On that front, he pleasantly surprised me: this book is an excellent, abundantly well-sourced paean to consent, choice, and competitive governance.

Bell begins the book by explaining how smaller, consent-rich and decentralized government is creating a “bottom-up, peaceful revolution” in the way governance is organized around the world. He cites the usual examples of Chinese special economic zones and SEZs all around the world generally as evidence of this. All of this has been surveyed extensively by other authors as well, but Bell does an excellent jo of succinctly re-presenting it here. However, Bell forays into a field I’ve not seen broached elsewhere by examining previous examples of special jurisdiction-type entities within the United States. Specifically, he details the extensive use of foreign trade zones (FTZs) throughout the United States as an example of special jurisdictions closer to home. These zones exempt the businesses within them from many aspects of US customs, excise taxes, and import taxes. These zones are ubiquitous and play host to a sizeable portion of US foreign trade. He closes this survey of the evidence of special jurisdictions by dedicating a chapter to some interesting examples: Henry Ford’s spectacularly failed attempt to make a massive city in the middle of the Brazilian rain forest (Fordlandia), Honduran ZEDEs, and seasteads.

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The Hezbollah Model Wins Reply

The model that all anarchists and anti-statists need to be studying. One of our objectives should be to develop non-state political and militia confederations that will usurp many of the functions currently provided by states, with the goal of eventually superseding states.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

When we think of ISIS’s enemies, we usually list religions other than Islam, Islamics who reject Sunni puritanism, local states, Western states and so on.  But from the perspective of Fourth Generation war theory, ISIS’s most important competition may be with Hezbollah.  These two Islamic Fourth Generation entities represent two different models of 4GW.  Hezbollah’s model hollows out the state where it is based but leaves it standing.  The ISIS model does away with the state and creates a replacement in the form of a caliphate, which is a pre-state type of government.  (Ironically, the ultra-puritan ISIS proclaimed a caliphate that, under Islamic law, is illegitimate, because the legitimate caliph is still the head of the house of Osman; the Ottoman sultan was also a caliph). 

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Porn Star Cherie DeVille and Rapper Coolio Announce White House 2020 Bid 2

Our time has come. It’s time to start building the coalition against consensual crimes.

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Reason

Frustrated with the state of American politics, porn star and physical therapist Cherie DeVille says she’s running for president in 2020 with the rapper Coolio as her running mate.

“If our criteria now for becoming a political official is minor celebrity, I have that,” DeVille told The Hill on Tuesday. “I feel like I can be [what] the American people—for better or for worse—want, which is interesting news, scandalous news, you know, not ‘boring’ political news. But at the same time [I can] do what the American people really need” by being “a person with integrity, and having someone listen to the people.”

DeVille said she sobbed when Donald Trump won the 2016 election, not necessarily because of his personality or politics but because of what she felt it “meant for the direction the country was going in. We’re voting for people as if we’re on a reality television show.”

But if you can’t beat ’em…well, you know the saying. By August 2017, DeVille had enlisted porn actress Alix Lynx as her press secretary and musician Coolio—who “is primed to bring the nation CoolioCare“—as her vice-presidential partner.

Their campaign slogan: “Make American Fucking Awesome Again.”

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California secessionists think their path to independence is easier than Catalonia’s Reply

 By Kate Irby
Sacramento Bee

The world has been watching the play-by-play of Catalonia’s bid for independence from Spain, but one group is tuning in more closely than most: California secessionists.

The California Freedom Coalition, the campaign that has taken the lead in the effort to break California off from the United States, sees similarities with Catalonia’s secessionist movement. But there’s an important caveat: they believe California has more legal tools at its disposal, creating an easier path to secession – if that’s what Californians decide they want.

“There are definitely similarities in the fiscal situation – we both give more than we get back,” said Dave Marin, director of research and policy for the California Freedom Coalition. “But there’s more flexibility in the U.S. Constitution for secession than there is in the Spanish one. California has more tools available to it.”

The Catalan Parliament, together with President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, approved in September a binding referendum to make Catalonia an “independent and sovereign state.” Spain’s constitutional court suspended the process, but Catalan authorities continued with the vote on Oct. 1, prompting violence between voters and Spanish security forces tasked with shutting it down.
After a majority who voted in the referendum cast ballots for independence, Puigdemont issued a symbolic declaration of independence from Spain on Tuesday, but immediately suspended it to ease negotiations with the Madrid government. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Wednesday that the Catalan government had eight days to drop the bid or he would suspend Catalonia’s political autonomy and rule the region directly.

Catalonia has approached secession in the best way it could, Marin said. If secession is what Californians want, he says their path to independence will be easier thanks to the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says any powers not explicitly given to the federal government are retained by the states. The states cannot unilaterally declare independence, but Marin argues that the Constitution provides the federal government and the states a sanctioned path toward that negotiation.

The California Freedom Coalition is collecting signatures to get its ballot initiative in front of voters in 2018. It does not definitively say California will declare independence from the United States; it would repeal a provision in the state constitution that says California is “an inseparable part of the United States.” It also directs the governor to negotiate for greater autonomy from the federal government and establishes an advisory commission on California autonomy and independence.

What Would the Ideal Anti-State Leader Be? 6

Adam Kokesh’s plan to seek the Libertarian Party nomination in 2020 on a program of abolishing the federal government would seem to be a move in the correct direction. However, this idea may be incomplete in various ways. This leads to the need for a consideration of what the ideal anti-state leader would be, and what their actual role might be in the development of an anti-state movement.

I would argue that abolition of the US federal government is the most important task that anarchists, libertarians, and anti-statists can currently devote themselves to. The US regime is not just another government. It is the most powerful state in history, the de facto government of the world, and, not coincidentally, the world’s most deadly and lethal regime at present in terms of the sheer numbers of casualties generated by its actions. Domestically, the USA is also the world’s leader in mass incarceration, and maintains one of the world’s largest police states. This does not by itself mean that the USA is the worst possible state to live in as a citizen. To the contrary, the US maintains a much higher per capita income level and a much higher level of technological and industrial development than many states, which affords the average person a very high level of comfort by world-historical standards. However, it should be no surprise that one of the world’s most technologically advanced and wealthiest states would also be the most aggressive and imperialistic.

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How Long Can Americans Go on Hating the President and Each Other? Reply

The money quote, and the main reason why most US political factions are worthless:

“Unfortunately, most Americans do not bat an eye at the worst offenses committed by the presidency, namely the killing of millions in undeclared wars of choice with nations who have never attacked the United States.”

By Tom Mullen

Foundation for Economic Education

Trump Derangement Syndrome rages on, the latest symptoms flaring equally based on causes both legitimate and ridiculous. A key characteristic of the syndrome is its ability to evoke the same outrage over the president retweeting a harmless (and let’s admit it, funny) meme as threatening to destroy an entire nation. The breathless apoplexy over absolutely everything Trump-related, down to the shoes his wife wears while traveling, has desensitized Trump’s supporters to behavior even they should be concerned about.

It is true Trump has inspired new levels of hostility — even for politics — but Americans have been hating the president for this entire century, which is no longer in its infancy. Bush may not have been “literally Hitler,” but he was Hitler nonetheless to the Democrats, just as Obama was “literally Mao” to conservatives. But the proud American tradition of hurling invectives at the president isn’t nearly as ominous as the trend towards violence. Both the right and the left have mobilized armed groups, not just carrying signs but ready for violence. In fact, violent resistance is the far-left Antifa’s stated raison d’etre.

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Forced Takeover of Catalan Government Institutions by Spanish Police Reply

Liberal democratic capitalism shows what it really thinks of self-determination and political dissent.

Thomas S. Harrington

Counterpunch

I just got of the phone with Josep Maria Sole Sabaté, my friend and a leading Catalan historian and public intellectual. He was nothing short of breathless as he described the helicopters flying overhead stated flatly that he was in the the midst of a coup being carried out by the Spanish State.

He wanted to get in touch with me and others “out there” because he was not sure how much longer free communication would be available to him and other out in the street protesting against he Spanish central government’s arrest of members of the Catalan Autonomous government.

As of this writing at least six agencies of the Catalan Government have been the object of forced police searches and thirteen, mostly mid-level members of the Catalan government have been arrested.

The homes of two the leading architects of the incipient Catalan state, Carles Viver Pi i Sunyer and ex Spanish judge Santi Vidal, have been searched by police. The headquarters of the far-left CUP, part of the pro-vote coalition in the Catalan Parliament, has been surrounded by police.

The leader of the Catalan National Congress Jordi Sanchez and the head of Omnium, a major Catalan cultural organization, Jordi Cuixart, has called Catalans to come into the streets and they have responded with a massive presence.

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Support of the Right of Secession Rises to 40% Among American Reply

By Kirkpatrick Sale

LewRockwell.Com

While division between both political parties has been accepted as a norm for decades, we have witnessed a level of intensity in 2017 that has dwarfed anything remotely similar in recent American history. While it appears to be boiling over, perhaps many are ready to set aside their differences in a way reminiscent of the Declaration of Independence.

Over Labor Day Weekend, a nationwide poll of 800 likely voters, conducted by John Zogby Strategies asked, among other questions, which view is closer to their own on the topic of secession; Statement A: If a majority of residents within a given state prefer to have the final say over their destiny without the control of Washington D.C. then let them have it – it is their right.Statement B: If residents within a given state were to take such a drastic measure and secede from the United States, the federal government would be justified in sending in the military to prevent secession from taking place.

While nearly 1/3 of the public (32%) agree that the federal government should intervene to stop any state movement for secession, nearly four in ten (39%) agree that each state has the ultimate say over their destiny and that secession is a right. Just shy of three in ten were not sure (29%).

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Radical Municipalism: The Future We Deserve Reply

By Debbie Bookchin

ROAR Magazine

Only a global confederation of rebel cities can lead us out of the death-spiral of neoliberalism towards a new rational society that delivers on the promise of humankind.

I am the daughter of two longtime municipalists. My mother, Beatrice Bookchin, ran for city council of Burlington, Vermont thirty years ago, in 1987, on an explicitly municipalist platform of building an ecological city, a moral economy and, above all, citizen assemblies that would contest the power of the nation state. My father is the social theorist and libertarian municipalist, Murray Bookchin.

For many years the left has struggled with the question of how to bring our ideas, of equality, economic justice and human rights, to fruition. And my father’s political trajectory is instructive for the argument that I want to make: that municipalism isn’t just one of many ways to bring about social change — it is really the only way that we will successfully transform society. As someone who had grown up as a young communist and been deeply educated in Marxist theory, my father became troubled by the economistic, reductionist modes of thinking that had historically permeated the Marxist left. He was searching for a more expansive notion of freedom — not just freedom from economic exploitation, but freedom that encompassed all manner of oppression: race, class, gender, ethnicity.

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Where Technophobia Meets Lenin 2

A review of Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, by Theodore John Kaczynski. Fitch and Madison Publishers, 2016.

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By Keith Preston

Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How is a work by Theodore John”Ted” Kaczynski, otherwise known as the “Unabomber” terrorist, a former mathematics professor who sought to fight what he regarded as the excessive encroachment of technology by blowing up those who invent and market it. Kaczynski has been imprisoned since his 1996 arrest, and this book was completed during the course of his incarceration while serving multiple life sentences.

As the title suggests, this work seeks to provide an answer to two primary questions. Why must the “technological system,” as Kaczynski refers to it, be abolished? And how might such abolition be achieved? Kaczynski devotes a considerable portion of the book to revolutionary strategy. I found this to be the most compelling part of the book, as I am likewise interested in revolutionary theory, even if I cannot abide Kaczynski’s ideological framework. More…

National-Anarchist Movement Conference 2017: A Summary Reply

Image result for national anarchist movement

By Keith Preston

Special thanks to Peter Topfer, Adam Ormes, Thom Forester, and Sean Jobst for their assistance in the writing of this summary.

On June 17 and 18, the first ever conference of the National-Anarchist Movement (N-AM) took place in Madrid. The process of arranging this conference was certainly not without its difficulties, and the organizers deserve much praise for their diligence in this regard. Originally, the conference was supposed to be hosted by the Madrid section of N-AM, who dropped out of the project shortly (and out of N-AM altogether) before the conference took place. This led to the irony of a conference being held in Spain where no actual Spanish people were among the attendees. Because National-Anarchists are widely despised by leftists who mistakenly regard N-A as a “fascist” tendency, security was a paramount concern.

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The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left 9

The conflicts between myself and the mainstream leftist-anarchist movement are well-known. When I am asked about the source of this conflict by outsiders to the anarchist milieu, my usual response is that what they are observing is a continuation of the historic battle between the anarchists and the Marxists. Fundamental to this conflict is a contending view of the concepts of state and class. For Marxists, the principal target of revolutionary conflict is capital. However, for anarchists it is the state that is the primary enemy. This difference was acknowledged by Friedrich Engels.

“The anarchists put the thing upside down. They declare that the proletariat revolution must begin by doing away with the political organization of the state. But after its victory the sole organization which the proletariat finds already in existence is precisely the state. This state may require very considerable alterations before it can fulfill its new functions. But to destroy it at such a moment would be to destroy the only organism by means of which the victorious proletariat can assert its newly conquered power, hold down its capitalist adversaries and carry out that economic revolution of society without which the whole victory must end in a new defeat and in a mass slaughter of the workers similar to those after the Paris Commune.”

– Frederick Engels, “Engels to Philipp Van Patten in New York,” London, April 18, 1883.

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Anarchism or Vanguardism? Critique of Guerrilla Ideology of the IRPGF Reply

The Free Online

Guerrilla ideology reduces all revolutionary questions to quantitative problems of military force. Nothing could be more disastrous. – James Carr,

Power does not come any more from the barrel of a gun than it comes from a ballot box. No revolution is peaceful, but its “military” dimension is never central. The question is not whether the proles finally decide to break into the armouries, but whether they unleash what they are: commodified beings who no longer can and no longer want to exist as commodities, and whose revolt explodes capitalist logic. Barricades and machine guns flow from this “weapon”.

The greater the change in social life, the less guns will be needed, and the less casualties there will be. A communist revolution will never resemble a slaughter: not from any nonviolent principle, but because revolution subverts more (soldiers included) than it actually destroys.

To imagine a proletarian front facing off a bourgeois front is to conceive the proletariat in bourgeois terms, on the model of a political revolution or a war (seizing someone’s power, occupying their territory). In so doing, one reintroduces everything that the insurrectionary movement had overwhelmed: hierarchy, a respect for specialists, for knowledge that Knows, and for techniques to solve problems — in short for everything that plays down the role of the common man.Gilles Dauve, When Insurrections Die

 

 

 

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Anarchists, It is Our Duty to Vote in Elections 1

I can’t say I agree with this, but I’m always amazed at the diversity of anarchist thought.

By Paddy Vipond

Trouble and Squeak

As election fever reaches its sweaty, unbearable heights in both the UK with the coming General Election, and in the US as Hilary Clinton officially announces her campaign to run for Presidency, we are faced with the age old anarchist dilemma: To vote or not to vote.

I do not expect this article to answer this question once and for all, but I do expect it to change a few people’s perceptions on the issue. As anarchists it is our duty to question everything, even our own decisions, and as with any set of political beliefs if they remain unchallenged they become dogma.

As I grew up and discovered the principles and key thinkers of anarchism I slowly began to turn my back on mainstream politics and their parties. Once I had read what I had, the seed had been planted, and it was a seed that did not need chemical fertiliser in the form of propaganda in order to develop. It grew naturally because what I had read and discovered made sense. I did not need to be coerced and persuaded, or attacked and threatened. Quite simply, anarchy was logical.

Within this logic, time and again I encountered one moot point. It was a point that every anarchist had written about, and it was a point that was at odds with the logic inherent in anarchism. What frustrated me about it was that rather than question it, as we are told to do with every other belief and system, we must instead accept it. An anarchist has no place voting in an election.

Great writers and thinkers of the past have argued it, posters plastered on the walls of buildings around Brighton were stating it, and fellow anarchists online were writing about it. Anarchists should not vote, and they should be proud of not doing so.

As you may have guessed by the title of this article, I disagree. It has taken me a few years to reach this decision, but now that I am here I am wondering why I ever opposed the idea. Voting in elections is not only a duty of anarchists, it is the single easiest weapon at our disposal.

Before I continue discussing why voting is beneficial for anarchists, let’s challenge the arguments as to why we should oppose it.

The Role of Anarchy in Politics Reply

By Nick Pugh

When we are thinking of politics, anarchy is often not the first word that comes to mind in a positive way. For the most part, we think, the political system is put in place to avoid anarchy. But is there more to the idea of anarchy than we are aware of?

In fact, there are many groups that are pro-anarchy. These groups believe that the system is broken and needs a complete overhaul. Here are three roles that anarchy plays in modern politics.

Looking Toward Revolution

Some of the most well-known anarchist movements are social movements, not political ones. Although there are political repercussions, the focus is more on social liberties than on political ones. In the United States, these have included the labor movement (including the International Workers of the World), some parts of the Civil Rights Movement, and more the recent Occupy Wall Street. The idea is to change the existing political system to one that is freer for all the people involved, putting a higher emphasis on liberty than on faith in a federal government.

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Why the US Won’t See a Violent Political Revolution Anytime Soon 2

Because we’re a nation of aging, overweight slobs.

By Sam Harris

Business Insider

This post from Sam Harris, an entrepreneur, engineer, and former data scientist at the U.S. Air Force, originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the question, “Is the United States on the brink of a political revolution?

No. We don’t have enough teenagers.

When I was an officer in the Air Force, I was a data scientist, and at one point we were tasked with determining what level of violence in Iraq could be considered “normal” so that we could declare victory and leave with dignity.

Obviously, the base level of violence in Iraq would be higher than in Sweden, but precisely how much higher and why? These were the questions.

We did analysis on hundreds of factors across centuries worth of data from hundreds of countries to determine what drove the levels of violence in a society. The worst violence levels are obviously during civil wars and government collapse.

We looked at wealth inequality, famine, disease, number of children per woman, infant mortality, median GDP, average GDP … literally hundreds of factors and their cross-dependencies that numbered in the quadrillions — think average GDP combined with median life expectancy combined with infant mortality combined with … you get the idea.

What we found was that the most significant factor was the number of individuals aged 13–19 relative to the number of individuals aged over 35. If the teenage group ever exceeded the over 35 group, violence increased to the point there was a very high chance of civil war. Furthermore, the opposite was true. If the 35+ year-olds outnumbered the teenagers, there was no chance of civil war.

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The Democratic Party seems to have no earthly idea why it is so damn unpopular Reply

Right now is an ideal time for the promotion and cultivation of ATS ideas. Thanks to the bizarre nature of the US electoral system, a perceived “fascist” party is the ruling party, with control over the entire federal government and most of the states, and in opposition to the centrist to center-left cultural and political majority. Meanwhile, the “liberal” opposition party is increasingly being recognized as a band of incompetent crooks even as the wider culture continues to move leftward. The left continues to become more radical, and alienated from the liberal establishment, while the right is moving further rightward after having kicked the neocons and GOP country clubbers to the curb. Probably the ideal future would be for the GOP to maintain control of the state while the culture continues to move leftward and the left becomes more extreme, thereby creating a polarization between the political majority and the state. Hopefully, Trump will be a disappointed to the radical right as well, having the effect of pushing the right in an even more radical direction as well.

By Shaun King

New York Daily News

A troubling new poll was just released showing that the Democratic Party is significantly less popular than both Donald Trump and Mike Pence. My gut tells me that Democrats will ignore this poll, or blame it on bad polling, and continue down the same course they are currently on: being funded by lobbyists and the 1%, straddling the fence or outright ignoring many of most inspirational issues of the time, and blaming Bernie Sanders for why they aren’t in power right now.

As a general rule the Democratic Party doesn’t listen well and struggles to hear the truth about itself.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Republicans now control the House, the Senate, the presidency, and the overwhelming majority of state legislatures and governorships. This new poll from Suffolk University illustrates just how that’s possible. Here are the base results of the poll with favorable/unfavorable ratings.

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