From: American Free Press
By Victor Thorn
With dissent higher in this country than it has been in decades, a number of secessionist groups are asking the question: Would certain states or territories be better off if they seceded from the union?
On August 16 AMERICAN FREE PRESS interviewed Thomas Naylor, the founder of the Second Vermont Republic, which is at the forefront of America’s secessionist movement.
“There is no moral justification for this country to exist any longer,” said Naylor. “The U.S. has lost its moral authority. It’s corrupt to the core. Today, the U.S. is owned, operated and controlled by corporations, the military-industrial complex and the Israeli lobby. Ultimately, I’m calling for Vermont to become an independent entity and for the dissolution of this empire.”
Naylor’s views are radical and controversial, even to those who sympathize with his cause. He told this writer: “I lump Ron Paul, the tea party and Occupy Wall Street together because they all espouse variations of the same theme: that the system is fixable. I like a lot of what Paul says, but he thinks the system is fixable if we return to the Constitution. But it’s not. Gridlock in Congress epitomizes how ungovernable we’ve become. Right now, we can go down with the Titanic or seek other options.” More…
By Brian Doherty Sep. 19, 2012
The folks at the great site libertarianism.org are celebrating Roy Childs Week this week, noting their publication of Anarchism and Justice, an ebook collecting some of the more interesting essays by the late libertarian popularizer and editor. More…
By Craig FitzGerald and Jamie O’Hara
This essay is included in the recently released National-Anarchism: Ideas and Concepts, edited by Troy Southgate and available from Black Front Press.
Anarchism today is primarily theoretical in nature, and an unfortunate amount of anarchist interaction consists of More…
By Israel Shamir
Now, in the monsoon season, Cambodia is verdant, cool and relaxed. The rice paddies on the low hill slopes are flooded, forests that hide old temples are almost impassable, rough seas deter swimmers. It’s a pleasant time to re-visit this modest country: Cambodia is not crowded, and Cambodians are not greedy, but rather peaceful and relaxed. They fish for shrimp, calamari and sea brim. They grow rice, unspoiled by herbicides, manually planted, cultivated and gathered. They produce enough for themselves and for export, too — definitely no paradise, but the country soldiers on.
Socialism is being dismantled fast: Chinese-owned factories keep churning tee-shirts for the European and American market employing tens of thousands of young Cambodian girls earning $80 per month. They are being sacked at the first sign of unionising. Nouveau-riches live in palaces; there are plenty of Lexus cars, and an occasional Rolls-Royce. Huge black and red, hard and precious tree trunks are constantly ferried to the harbour for timber export, destroying forests but enriching traders. There are many new French restaurateurs in the capital; NGO reps earn in one minute the equivalent of a worker’s monthly salary.
Not much remains from the turbulent period when the Cambodians tried to radically change the order of things in the course of their unique traditionalist conservative peasant revolution under communist banner. That was the glorious time of Jean Luc Godard and his La Chinoise, of the Cultural Revolution in China sending party bonzes for re-education to remote farms, of Khmer Rouge marching on the corrupt capital. Socialist movement reached a bifurcation point: whether to advance to more socialism Mao-style, or retreat to less socialism the Moscow way. The Khmer Rouge experiment lasted only three years, from 1975 to 1978.
By Russell D. Longcore
The Federal Reserve flushed the toilet Thursday…and by extension Washington and the US economy are beginning to pick up speed as they circle the drain.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced Thursday September 13th that the Fed would be buying $40 Billion per month in mortgage-backed securities indefinitely into the future. The reason he gave was to “see more progress (in job growth)”. He said “the program should increase downward pressure on interest rates,” supposedly to encourage more home sales and refinancing.
When challenged about low interest rates hurting savers, Bernanke said the low rates help the value of homes. What he does not say is that the entire housing market is built upon a balloon of debt, and that home values are only where they are today because of inflation.
By Robin Wells
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve delivered a bold program of quantitative easing presaged by comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke at the Jackson Hole economic symposium in August. Photograph: Reuters
Last month, at the Federal Reserve‘s Jackson Hole conference, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told the audience:
“The stagnation of the labor market is a grave concern not only because of the enormous suffering and waste of human talent it entails, but also because persistently high levels of unemployment will wreak structural damage on our economy that could last for many years.”
This week, Bernanke assumed the obligation of those words as the Fed announced Thursday that it will engage in another round of quantitative easing – the so-called QE3 – through open-ended purchases of $40bn of mortgage debt per month. Furthermore, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) declared its intent to hold the federal funds rate – the interest rate that the Fed directly controls – near zero “at least through mid-2015”.
By Kevin Carson.
There’s a wonderful phrase for how capitalism works in the real world (I’m not sure who first came up with it, but I associate it with Noam Chomsky): “The socialization of risk and cost, and the privatization of profit.”
That’s a pretty good description of what the state does under actually existing capitalism, as opposed to the free market. Just about everything we identify as problematic about corporate capitalism — the exploitation of labor, pollution, waste and planned obsolescence, environmental devastation, the stripping of resources — results from the socialization of cost and risk and the privatization of profit.
Why haven’t the cybernetic revolution and the vast increases in productivity from technological progress resulted in fifteen-hour work weeks, or many necessities of life becoming too cheap to meter? The answer is that economic progress is enclosed as a source of rent and profit.
This is funny.
CHICAGO—Producers of the long-running Chicago Public Radio program This American Life announced Monday that they have completed their comprehensive 12-year survey of life as a modern upper-middle-class American.
In what cultural anthropologists are calling a “colossal achievement” in the study of white-collar professionals, the popular radio show has successfully isolated all 7,442 known characteristics of college graduates who earn between $62,500 and $125,000 per year and feel strongly that something should be done about global warming.
“We’ve done it,” said senior producer Julie Snyder, who was personally interviewed for a 2003 This American Life episode, “Going Eclectic,” in which she described what it’s like to be a bilingual member of the ACLU trained in kite-making by a Japanese stepfather. “There is not a single existential crisis or self-congratulatory epiphany that has been or could be experienced by a left-leaning agnostic that we have not exhaustively documented and grouped by theme.”
The questions below, which I received from a liberal curious about left-libertarianism, are fairly typical. The common thread running through the left-libertarian response is that most of the evils currently remedied by the state result from state intervention in the first place.
“1. If government provided no safety net for the poor, what would happen to the 100+ million Americans with an IQ under 90, to the millions of Americans who can’t work because of cancer, heart disease, etc., to even the millions with graduate degrees who can’t find a job, and to America as a country?”
Government policies increase the basic threshold of subsistence for the worst off enormously, making comfortable poverty impossible (see, for example, Charles Johnson, “Scratching By,” The Freeman, December 2007). If government didn’t enforce absentee title to vacant and unimproved land against “squatters,” building codes whose main economic effect is to criminalize cheap vernacular building technologies or new low-cost/high-efficiency techniques the incumbent contractors don’t want to compete with, licensing regimes that impede independent production by unlicensed cabs, home daycare and the like, there would be a huge reduction in the marginal cost of both survival and comfortable subsistence. As I mention below, these same forms of exploitation drastically reduce the material resources and leisure available to working people for developing their own self-organized solidaristic safety net.
By Brian Merchant
What’s the number one reason we riot? The plausible, justifiable motivations of trampled-upon humanfolk to fight back are many—poverty, oppression, disenfranchisement, etc—but the big one is more primal than any of the above. It’s hunger, plain and simple. If there’s a single factor that reliably sparks social unrest, it’s food becoming too scarce or too expensive. So argues a group of complex systems theorists in Cambridge, and it makes sense.
At a protest last year at New York University, students called attention to their mounting debt by wearing T-shirts with the amount they owed scribbled across the front — $90,000, $75,000, $20,000.
Jupiterimages | Getty Images
On the sidelines was a business consultant for the debt collection industry with a different take.
“I couldn’t believe the accumulated wealth they represent — for our industry,” the consultant, Jerry Ashton, wrote in a column for a trade publication, InsideARM.com. “It was lip-smacking.”
Though Mr. Ashton says his column was meant to be ironic, it nonetheless highlighted undeniable truths: many borrowers are struggling to pay off their student loans, and the debt collection industry is cashing in.
In 2011, 11.8% of employed workers were union members, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s most recent figures. A look at union membership by state:
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
CHARLOTTE – What a difference four years make.
- By Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
President Obama delivers a statement at the White House on Aug. 31, 2011, as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka looks on. The AFL-CIO is refusing to financially support this year’s Democratic National Convention.
By Mohammed Ali
States have allowed exploitation of mineral-rich regions without locals’ consent
The conflict between the government and the Maoists in the tribal areas didn’t start with the abduction of Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon and it would not end with his release, observed B.D. Sharma, the mediator who secured Mr. Menon’s freedom after two weeks in captivity.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Sharma said: “At the core of the clash between the governments and the Maoists lies the question of ownership of jal, jangal and zameen of the tribals, who used to be the owners of the mineral-rich region, and the model of development which the governments, State as well as the Union, are thrusting upon them.”
Whilst “diversity” in itself is not a “strength”, it certainly needn’t be a weakness.
According to Wikipedia:
Mauritius has a heterogeneous cultural mix. The island has received over the years a very eclectic immigration from Indian, African, European and Chinese incomers. This had produced a syncretism of different cultural baggage. This diversity can be found in different aspects, specifically regarding religion synchronism. Mauritius is also influenced by it´s European influence due to the colonial times, both by Europeans and the income of slaves they brought upon the island. In addition, since Mauritius always was an important exchange port it has a strong Asiatic influence due to Chinese traders, “the Sino-Maurtians”; and Indian workers, “the Indo-Mauritians”.
Mauritius is different from other African countries in close proximity because the largest group, and the majority of the population, is Indo-Mauritians (people of Indian descent) who make up 68% of the population, while Creoles (of African descent) are only about a quarter of the population . There are approximately 30,000 Mauritians of Chinese descent, from the Hakka and Cantonese sub-ethnic/linguistic groups. More than 90% of the Sino-Mauritian community are Roman Catholic, the remainder are largely Buddhist
Without a doubt, the nation of Mauritius is the freest country that you’ve never heard of — indeed, it is the freest country in all of Africa.
By Paul Craig Roberts
Does anyone remember when National Public Radio was an independent voice?
During the 1980s NPR was continually on the case of the Reagan administration. NPR certainly had a Democratic slant, and a lot of its reporting about the Reagan administration was one-sided. Yet, NPR was an independent voice, and it sometimes got things correct.
In the 21st century that voice has disappeared, which was the intention of the George W. Bush regime. Bush put a Republican woman in charge who made it clear to NPR producers and show hosts that the federal part of their funding was at risk.
Money often over-rules principle, and when corporations added their really big money NPR collapsed. Today the local stations still pretend to be funded by listeners, but if you have noticed, as I have, there are now a large number of corporate advertisements, disguised in the traditional terms “with support from . . .” If you are not listening to classical music, you are listening to corporate advertisements.
From AI/AN ATS
by Vince Rinehart
William Lind, in his article Gangs of Aleppo shares with us some insights into the conflict in Syria and what is fueling the violence.
One of the characteristics shared by most disintegrating states is a vast surplus of young men who have no access to jobs, money, or women. Gangs are a magnet for them. We see this in American contexts as well: in public schools, in ethnic neighborhoods, and in our prisons, most of which are controlled not by wardens but by racially defined gangs.
I have no idea whether any of this is true or not, but it would be consistent with my own understanding of Obama as a manifestation of a class revolution carried out by an upper middle class motivated by cultural leftist ideology. If indeed Obama was a Marxist revolutionary in his youth, it’s quite likely that he’s since modified his views to accommodate a social democratic version of capitalism but one with a strong cultural leftist orientation. That’s the general trajectory that the New Left has displayed and while Obama is too young to have been a radical in the 60s it is clear that it was in the offshoots of that ideological milieu that his political ideas were formed.
By Dr. Gary North
I sent a stripped-down version of my movie review of 2016 to my Tea Party Economist list. I knew it would outrage some of them.
Why did I do it? To make sure D’Souza sees it. The list is large. Someone will send it to him. I want him to know that the Old Right isn’t buying his thesis that Obama’s agenda is somehow uniquely wrong because it is anti-colonialist. Obama is a defender of the American Empire as Bush was. His agenda is that of one of the factions of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is not in bed with the neocons, meaning big on Israel, but the dominant foreign policy objectives of the CFR were pro-oil and therefore pro-Arab long before 1948, let alone the late 1960s, when the neocons showed up.
Hat tip the Center for a Stateless Society.
This essay first appeared in Reason magazine, written by Roy A. Childs and published in 1971.
By Matt Zwolinski
The welfare state is a relatively recent historical phenomenon. How did individuals and societies meet the needs of the poor before its emergence? And how might they deal with those needs in the future, if the welfare state should fall?
Those questions are explored in a new book, After the Welfare State, edited by Tom Palmer and published by Students for Liberty, a group the praises of which I have sung before. It includes a terrific essay by David Beito, whose pathbreaking work on mutual aid societies in the United States should be required reading for those interested in classical liberalism and issues of social welfare (for the gist, see his short article here). Other essays by Michael Tanner, Johan Norberg, and several by Tom Palmer himself, analyze the current crisis of the welfare state and the moral and economic principles that should guide us in moving forward.
Some of us here at BHL have suggested that, in principle, some form of state-based provision for the needs of the poor might not be impermissible on classical liberal grounds: see, for instance, here, and here. But whether the welfare state can be justified in principle is an entirely separate question from whether it can be judged in fact. And in fact, the welfare state has often produced disastrous unintended consequences.
[Editor’s Note: If anyone had any doubts at who the ANC and it’s government in South Africa serves, it should be clear not that it is not the working class: English, Bohr, or Black. This rail-roading of striking miners makes that clear, and complacency of union labor aristocracy makes that even clearer.]