Long thought to be a problem only in America’s poorest cities or the world’s most impoverished nations, human trafficking is now making a move toward the upper fringes of society.
During a speech Thursday at the University of Mississippi School of Law, federal prosecutors said sex trafficking, both in terms of victims and suspects, has spread to wealthy suburbs as well as small rural towns, The Commercial Appeal reported. More…
By Kevin Vallier
Libertarians have often opposed what philosophers sometimes call welfare rights, or rights to various goods and serves that promote or safeguard human well-being. These include rights to healthcare and education. Libertarians don’t like welfare rights because they appear to give some the moral permission to force others to provide them with goods and services. So welfare rights seem like they permit the subjugation of some to others. This is understandable, but I think it rests on a rather narrow conception of welfare rights. Let me explain.
The case for Georgism.
By D. J. Webb
Libertarians support low taxation on principle, in order to free people and the economy from the burden of the state. If the writings of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill are anything to go by, however, there is an important exception: land taxation. Land taxation is not just a necessary evil that affords the state some revenues with which to perform the very few necessary functions of government; it is a positive good, in that it tackles monopoly and speculation, and should ensure efficient use of land. If land taxation had remained the key source of government revenue in the UK, the current economic crisis would not have taken place.
By Russell D. Longcore
I have an acquaintance in the Patriot Movement name of Sam Kerodin. Sam has a website at www.iiipercent.blogspot.com Sam is hardcore, to say the least. I respect him and his efforts.
The name of his blog is derived from the Three Percent. Historians state that about three percent of Colonials took up arms and challenged King George in the Secession of 1776.
Recently, Sam and some friends have brainstormed a terrific idea to start a new firearms manufacturing company named III Arms. www.iiiarms.blogspot.com. They will begin manufacturing the 1911 pistols and battle rifles on the AR platform.
They have also taken a decided step toward secession, as they intend to create a liberty community in the New American Redoubt. They have chosen Idaho as their new home. The weapons manufacturing facility will be at the center of their new Galt’s Gulch-like planned community, named The Citadel.
By Thomas Naylor
Second Vermont Republic
A Meganation World
Much to the chagrin of Washington and Tel Aviv, a recent meeting of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement, a group formed during the Cold War that views itself as independent of the major powers, sent a clear signal to the US-Israeli cabal that they are visibly annoyed at the United States and Israel for continuing to portray Iran as the world’s foremost scapegoat. The meeting which took place in Tehran on August 26-31 proved to be a public relations coup for Iran in spite of UN Secretary General and American pawn Ban Ki-moon’s attempt to hijack the meeting.
The NAM represents nearly two-thirds of the nations of the world, most of whom are small and poor. However, their membership does include four meganations which have populations in excess of 100 million – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
By Morris Berman
La longue durée —the long run—was an expression made popular by the Annales School of French historians led by Fernand Braudel, who coined the phrase in 1958. The basic argument of this school is that the proper concern of historians should be the analysis of structures that lie at the base of contemporary events. Underneath short-term events such as individual cycles of economic boom and bust, said Braudel, we can discern the persistence of “old attitudes of thought and action, resistant frameworks dying hard, at times against all logic.” An important derivative of the Annales research is the work of the World Systems Analysis school, including Immanuel Wallerstein and Christopher Chase-Dunn, which similarly focuses on long-term structures: capitalism, in particular.
The “arc” of capitalism, according to this school, is about 600 years long, from 1500 to 2100. It is our particular (mis)fortune to be living through the beginning of the end, the disintegration of capitalism as a world system. It was mostly commercial capital in the sixteenth century, evolving into industrial capital in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and then moving on to financial capital—money created by money itself, and by speculation in currency—in the twentieth and twenty-first. In dialectical fashion, it will be the very success of the system that eventually does it in.
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.