A History of Decentralization 5

aragon.black
Jun 11, 2019
14 minute read (full)

First let’s decentralize history…

This month’s thematic has been a real challenge for us and raised many questions in our minds. Why? The history of decentralization is complex and non-linear. But most of all, it is difficult to be considered from an objective point of view, stripped of the predominance of the state.

Talking about decentralization leads obviously to discuss about centralization; to find the ghosts of history, to cross-reference the victories and failures of social-political movements; to discover some contemporary alternatives to the generalized centralization of our lives. Unless we consider that a technology is neutral, in the end, we cannot talk about decentralization without talking about governancesuffragepolitics or apoliticismautonomyorganization… and the dominant model of centralization: the nation-state. Still, if a very vast literature and documentation concerns rise of states, it must be stated that the one granted to the opposite, i. e. the absence of a state, is almost non-existent. More…

Freedom of Association-Yes, Ethnic Cleansing-No: Solidarity with All Enemies of the State Reply

In my perfect world, there would be nothing but voluntary communities, and particular communities could be as open or closed as their members wanted. I tend to think that for utilitarian reasons within the current state-capitalist system there needs to be at least some limitation on both immigration and discrimination. I don’t know that throwing open the borders and saying, “Come one, come all” would have a happy ending, just like I don’t think anyone’s freedom is being abridged when WalMart can’t put a sign out front saying, “No Coloreds Allowed.” Virtually the entire spectrum of the ruling class and the state benefits from mass immigration, i.e. more scab labor employers, more clients for social services bureaucrats, more constituents for ethnic lobbies, more voters for political parties, more students for the education bureaucracy, new parishioners for organized religion, etc. But immigration enforcement also benefits other state/ruling class interests, i.e. the federal police state, companies that get state contracts to build walls/detention centers, the prison-industrial complex, capitalist corporations that profit from prison labor, retrograde Republican politicians using immigration as political vehicle, etc. It’s a win-win situation for the power elite, and lose-lose for everyone else.

I don’t think it’s a Left/Right issue per se. Immigrant detention centers didn’t start with Trump. They’ve been around for quite a while spanning Democratic and Republican administrations. I’d argue immigrant detention centers are part of the wider apparatus of the police state/state legal racket/prison-industrial complex. So people in immigrant detention centers are in the same boat as people in jails, prisons, places of involuntary psychiatric incarceration, juvenile detention, etc, etc,etc Traditionally, the US prison system has overlapped with the older slave system as well as things like Jim Crow. I’d argue it’s also something that transcends boundaries of race, class, gender, politics, etc even if those categories aren’t irrelevant either. But the same traditional conservative vs traditional progressive dichotomy that defines US politics today has been in place for over a century with swings back and forth in different directions.

Progressives have exercised a great deal of influence over US society since around 1900 (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were Progressives, for God’s sake). Progressives have long been involved in facilitating authoritarian state policies (eugenics, racism, and drug and alcohol prohibition among them). During the course of the 20th century progressives did an about face on race, immigration, homosexuality, the “sexual revolution,” etc. But they’ve still favored authoritarian state policies in many other areas. For example, the modern “war on drugs” has been supported just as zealously by liberal politicians and civil rights leaders as conservative Republicans and the religious right, and the war on drugs is to a large degree the foundation/cornerstone of the modern American police state (though there are obviously many other contributing factors).

Most progressives are not anarchists or libertarians (left or right) and don’t claim to be. They accept the supposed legitimacy of the state, state law, state penal institutions, etc. They just don’t like it when these things are used against people they like (illegal immigrants, environmental protestors, etc) as opposed to people they don’t like (the Bundy clan, corporate executives, gun nuts, racists, etc). But given their acceptance of these things, they don’t really have a principled argument against the statist argument that says, “If you don’t want to go to jail, don’t break the law” or “The law is the law. If you don’t like the law, you can work to change it not break it” or “These people chose to break the law and choices have consequences.” Once the legitimacy of the state, state law, police, prisons, etc. is conceded, I don’t know that there is a principled counterargument that can be raised that doesn’t amount to special pleading.

Of course, my view is that anarchists and libertarians who wish to be consistent should stand in solidarity will ALL persons being held by the police state and prison-industrial complex (and, yes, that includes serial killers on death row, racist hate criminals, scumbag corporate executives, pedos, and every other kind of creep imaginable as well illegal immigrants, drug users/sellers, sex workers, “consensual criminals,” self-defenders, “survival criminals,” vagrants, etc). The struggle against the state/ruling class/power elite/globalism/imperialism/capitalism/Zionism is not a “Nice People Only” club.

This Democratic Presidential Candidate Wants To Decriminalize Sex Work Reply

Tulsi Gabbard is turning out to be the most anti-statist of any of the presidential candidates (a very low standard to say the least). She has also introduced legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition as well. For many years, I have argued that the central focus of anarchists, libertarians, and anti-statists should be opposing US imperialism in the international realm, and opposing the so-called “criminal justice system” (police state), prison-industrial complex, over criminalization, war on drugs, “consensual crime” laws,” surveillance state, anti-terrorism laws, etc. as opposed to the Left’s focus on identity politics, environmentalism, and expanding the welfare state, and mainstream libertarianism’s focus on opposing the welfare state. We should also be striving to take the anti-gun control issue away from the patriotic, cop-loving, military-worshipping reactionary right, and frame gun control as means of oppressing the poor and minorities (which it clearl is).

By Dominic Holden

Buzzfeed

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic presidential contender from Hawaii, told BuzzFeed News unequivocally she wants to decriminalize sex work, asserting a clear position on an enormous underground industry that’s largely ignored by American politicians.

“If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime,” Gabbard said. “All people should have autonomy over their bodies and their labor.“

Most candidates in the 2020 race have skirted the issue, including President Donald Trump, but questions about sex work are beginning to chase the Democratic presidential pack.

Gabbard’s embrace of the issue comes just days after Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked for his position and didn’t have one. “That’s a good question, and I don’t have an answer for that,” he told The Breakfast Club.

When asked in late February if she supports decriminalization, Sen. Kamala Harris, who opposed a sex work decriminalization measure in 2008, told the Root, “I think so. I do.”

The White House didn’t answer questions from BuzzFeed News last year about whether Trump thought sex work or paying for sex should be legal. Nor would officials say if the president supported the Justice Department busting a website accused of posting sex work ads.

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‘No Allegations of Human Trafficking’ and ‘Women Could’ve Walked Out’ In Florida Massage-Parlor Prostitution Stings 2

Sex trafficking hysteria is the new “War on Drugs.” Like the war on drugs, virtually every category of do-gooder is getting duped once again.

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Reason

It’s been nearly a week since Florida police started bragging about their big “human trafficking” bust, an operation that pulled in professional football owner Robert Kraft, more than 150 other men, and several Chinese immigrant women associated with Asian spas in Palm Beach County. Police say the spas were fronts for prostitution, that the workers there were victims of sex trafficking, and that their six-month long investigation was time well spent.

Six months is a long time, however, and it’s hard to reconcile the cops’ timeline with their heroic rhetoric. If the women employed at these businesses were really the victims of “modern slavery,” why did police take six months to get them out of that situation? Why did it require repeat intimate undercover visits and building misdemeanor prostitution charges against all sorts of random men before these “heroes” decided to intervene?

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Patagonia Marshal Theatens to Arrest 12 Year Old Publisher of Orange Street News 1

By Hilde Kate Lysiak
Orange Street News

The OSN was working on a story in Patagonia, Arizona when a law enforcement officer threatened the reporter with arrest unless she stopped reporting the news.

The OSN was biking down Roadrunner Lane investigating the tip at about 1:30 pm on February 18th when the reporter was stopped by Patagonia Marshal Joseph Patterson and asked for identification.

The Orange Street News identified herself as a member of the media, including name and phone number.

“I don’t want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff,” said Patterson.

The Marshal continued “I’m going to have you arrested and thrown in juvey. “

The Marshal didn’t have his lights on and passed several people who were on the streets without stopping them or questioning them.

“I can have you arrested, do you understand?” the Marshal answered.

Asked what he could arrested for, the officer first said it was for “disobeying his command,” then said it was for riding on the wrong side of the road. Finally, the officer said a Mountain Lion was spotted in the area despite their being other people in the area who were not kicked off the road.

“I’m worried about your safety, the area you were in we were dealing with a mountain lion,” said Patterson.”

“I gave you a lawful order and if you disobey a law enforcement officer….Lying to me and saying you were going to your friends house wasn’t acceptable.”

“If you paste my face on the internet it’s against the law so I’m not giving you permission to use my picture or my face on the internet, do you understand all that?”

Read more at OSN

Texas indicts Cody Wilson on multiple counts of sexual assault of a minor 3

By Nathan Mattise

ARS Technica

AUSTIN, Texas—More than three months have passed since a warrant (PDF) initially went out for Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson’s arrest. That document detailed Wilson’s alleged sexual assault against a female “child younger than 17 years of age” whom he reportedly solicited through the website SugarDaddyMeet.com. Last Friday, December 28, the State of Texas finally formally indicted (PDF) Wilson. The 3D printed gun advocate now faces multiple charges: four counts of sexual assault of a child, two charges of indecency with a child by contact, and two charges of indecency with a child by exposure.

These charges are all second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Wilson’s two previously scheduled initial court appearances in November and December had each been pushed back, as often happens in cases still waiting on a formal indictment. This recent filing may make it more likely that the newest tentative date (scheduled for early February) will occur, meaning Wilson’s team would need to finally appear at the Travis County Courthouse.

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Press TV’s Hashemi unlikely to be released immediately: Son 2

Listen here.

A court in the United States has confirmed the arrest of US-born Iranian Press TV news presenter Marzieh Hashemi as a material witness in an unspecified investigation.

Ms. Hashemi, 59, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on unspecified charges upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, her family and friends said.

At the request of the US Justice Department, Judge Beryl Alaine Howell, the chief district judge for the District of Columbia, issued a federal court order, approving the partial unsealing of the Press TV journalist’s case, Reuters reported.

According to the document, since her arrest, the journalist has appeared twice before a US district judge in Washington and has been appointed a lawyer.

The Associated Press said US government officials expected her to be released immediately after her testimony before a grand jury, but Ms. Hashemi’s elder son, Hossein, was pessimistic about prospects for her immediate release, saying it was not clear yet how long his mother’s testimony would last.

“We’re hoping that it would be complete and she would be out this week. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” said Hossein outside the court on Friday. “So we’re just waiting to hear more.”

However, the Friday court order did not include any details regarding the criminal case in which she has been named as a material witness.

The order said that Ms. Hashemi “has not been accused of any crime,” but she has said she was handcuffed and shackled and was treated like a criminal. The journalist has also said she had her hijab forcibly removed, and was photographed without her headscarf upon arrival at the prison.

Trump: Hush payments in 2016 vote were legal Reply

US President Donald Trump says hush payments to women he allegedly had affairs with before the 2016 presidential election were legal. Trump said the payments were personal transactions and denied they were a violation of US campaign financing laws. Earlier, federal prosecutors in New York demanded a “substantial” jail sentence for the US president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen pleaded guilty in August to bank fraud and campaign finance violations. Democrats say Trump himself could face impeachment and imprisonment if the transactions are proven to be campaign finance violations.

The James Fields Verdict Reply

This is a really interesting discussion of the James Fields case that contains a lot of important information on how the US criminal legal system works. Anyone can learn from this discussion, irrespective of political views. Listen here.

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This is Rebel Yell – a Southern Nationalist podcast of the Alt-Right. I’m your host Musonius Rufus. Joining me are my cohosts Mencken’s Ghost and Ryan McMahon. For our 113th episode of Rebel Yell, Mencken and Fulwar speak to Augustus Invictus in a special report on the Fields verdict.

A False Open Society: A Marxist-Anarchist Critique of Political Correctness 6

Political correctness is the ideological superstructure of the left-wing of capital, and the technology, ideas, and information industries are its substructure/materialist base.

By Keith Preston

The Myth of the Open Society

One of the pervasive myths of our time is that we live in an open society where contentious issues, and serious questions of public policy, are supposedly addressed by means of Socratic dialogue, or open discourse reflecting the principles of Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson or John Stuart Mill. For reasons that I will explain, this claim of an open society is false. I could certainly discuss multiple ways in which the open society claim is problematic. For example, I could examine many parallel difficulties such as over criminalization, overregulation, increasingly greater centralization, and ever pervasive bureaucratization. However, for the purpose of this discussion, I want to focus on ideological conformity, and the way in which ideological conformity is enforced in liberal democratic societies.

More…

American Civil Liberties Union, RIP Reply

By David E. Berstein

Reason

In the late 1960s, the ACLU was a small but powerful liberal organization devoted to a civil libertarian agenda composed primarily of devotion to freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and the rights of accused criminals. In the early 1970s, the ACLU’s membership rose from around 70,000 to almost 300,000. Many new members were attracted by the organization’s opposition to the Vietnam War and its high-profile battles with President Nixon, but such members were not committed to the ACLU’s broader civil libertarian agenda. However, the organization’s defense of the KKK’s right to march in Skokie, Illinois, in the late 1970s weeded out some of these fair-weather supporters and attracted some new free speech devotees. But George H. W. Bush’s criticisms of the ACLU during the 1988 presidential campaign again attracted many liberal members not especially devoted to civil liberties.

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Trump endorses bipartisan criminal-justice reform bill 2

This legislation is a very important step forward, though not nearly as bold as it needs to be. Although undoing the police state that has been built up over the past 50 years will certainly take time and require a great deal of comprehensive reform. Not exactly the fascism Trump was supposed to bring. Apparently, a ruling class consensus is developing that the prison-industrial complex has become too much of a cost liability (even if a few Know-Nothings are still dragging their feet).

By Seung Min Kim

President Trump threw his support Wednesday behind legislation that would loosen some mandatory minimum sentencing laws — a measure backed by powerful Senate Republicans and Democrats, but which could run into opposition from some tough-on-crime conservatives.

At an afternoon event at the White House, Trump officially endorsed the First Step Act, which he said included “reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets.” He urged lawmakers to send him a bill, saying: “I’ll be waiting with a pen.”

“Today’s announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible,” Trump said. “This is a big breakthrough for a lot of people. . . . They’ve been talking about this for many, many years.”

The compromise criminal justice measure, which was hammered out in principle over the summer by a bipartisan group of senators, adds four provisions to a House-passed bill that focused on reducing prisoner recidivism.

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New York City Raids Condo Building in Crackdown on Airbnb Rentals 2

I invite any system-lovers who may be reading to explain exactly how it is that we don’t live in a police state.

By Josh Barnabel

Wall Street

A team of New York City law-enforcement officers swarmed a Manhattan condominium last month, issuing 27 notices of violations for illegal hotel use in one of the largest crackdowns on short-term rentals such as those listed on Airbnb.

The raid at the Atelier, a 46-story Midtown luxury tower, may be a sign of what’s to come. New York and other cities are seeking to limit short-term rentals that can run afoul of local laws designed to limit hotel-style stays in residential buildings.

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Larry Krasner’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration Reply

I’m inclined to say “I’ll believe it when I see it” but is this a case of the system actually working?

By Jennifer Gonnerman

The New Yorker

Krasner asked his young prosecutors, “Who here has read Michelle Alexander?”

Photograph by Jeff Brown for The New Yorker

Until Larry Krasner entered the race for District Attorney of Philadelphia last year, he had never prosecuted a case. He began his career as a public defender, and spent three decades as a defense attorney. In the legal world, there is an image, however cartoonish, of prosecutors as conservative and unsparing, and of defense attorneys as righteous and perpetually outraged. Krasner, who had a long ponytail until he was forty, seemed to fit the mold. As he and his colleagues engaged in daily combat with the D.A.’s office, they routinely complained about prosecutors who, they believed, withheld evidence that they were legally required to give to the defense; about police who lied under oath on the witness stand; and about the D.A. Lynne Abraham, a Democrat whose successful prosecutions, over nearly twenty years, sent more people to death row than those of any other D.A. in modern Philadelphia history.

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Invasive Laws Create Anarchy and Tyranny at the Same Time Reply

The late American paleoconservative columnist Samuel T. Francis on the phenomenon of “anarcho-tyranny”, a useful term for describing much of the systematic legalist bullshit plaguing the West today, particularly the U.K. and mainland Europe.

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~MRDA~


By Samuel Francis

If, as Bill Clinton tells us, the “era of Big Government is over,” somebody needs to tell the state of Maryland (not to mention Bill Clinton). Earlier this month the Maryland legislature had itself a small orgy of swelling the powers of the state government, and apparently it helped give Mr. Clinton some ideas of his own (orgies seem to have that effect on him).

Just before the end of this year’s legislative session, the Maryland lawmakers passed several new laws that (a) allow policemen to stop drivers for not wearing seat belts, (b) authorize hidden cameras at red lights to take secret photographs of the license plates of cars that run the lights, (c) ban loud car stereos on state roads, (d) forbid minors from buying butane lighters because they might inhale the gas, and (e) require drivers whose windshield wipers are running to keep their headlights on. The lawmakers seem to have missed outlawing cooking breakfast in your underwear, but of course there’s always another session next year.

The citizens of Maryland will no doubt be thrilled to learn that law enforcement in their state has now so mastered violent crime that the cops have little else to do but round up non-seat-belt wearers and butane-sniffers. As a matter of fact, Maryland’s Prince George’s County has just announced that rapes and homicides increased in the first three months of 1997. Nevertheless, you can be certain that no one will be raped or murdered without wearing a seat belt.

The new Maryland laws are rather perfect instances of what I have previously called “anarcho-tyranny” – a form of government that seems to be unknown in history until recently.  Anarcho-tyranny is a combination of the worst features of anarchy and tyranny at the same time.

Under anarchy, crime is permitted and criminals are not apprehended or punished. Under tyranny, innocent citizens are punished. Most societies in the past have succumbed to either one or the other, but never as far as I know to both at once.

More…

No Doubt About It: The Deep State Is Real and Trump Is Its Latest Tool Reply

These are the things our anarchist and libertarian friends ought to focused on.

By John Whitehead

Rutherford Institute

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

There are those who would have you believe that President Trump is an unwitting victim of the Deep State.

And then there are those who insist that the Deep State is a figment of a conspiratorial mind.

Don’t believe it.

The Deep State—a.k.a. the police state, a.k.a. the military industrial complex, a.k.a. the surveillance state complex—does indeed exist and Trump, far from being its sworn enemy, is its latest tool.

When in doubt, follow the money trail.

It always points the way.

Every successive president starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt has been bought—lock, stock and barrel—and made to dance to the tune of the Deep State.

Even Dwight D. Eisenhower, the retired five-star Army general-turned-president who warned against the disastrous rise of misplaced power by the military industrial complex was complicit in contributing to the build-up of the military’s role in dictating national and international policy.

Enter Donald Trump, the candidate who swore to drain the swamp in Washington DC.

Instead of putting an end to the corruption, however, Trump has paved the way for lobbyists, corporations, the military industrial complex, and the rest of the Deep State (also referred to as “The 7th Floor Group”) to feast on the carcass of the dying American republic.

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Where the Right Went Wrong on Criminal Justice 1

This is a decent enough article as far as it goes, but it fails to address the real elephant in the room, i.e. that mass incarceration results from too many laws and the overly broad definition of “crime.”

By Arthur Rizer and Lar Trautman

The American Conservative

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a collaborative series with the R Street Institute exploring conservative approaches to criminal justice reform.

Conservatism is not a monolith. There is no one way to be a conservative, think like a conservative, or define the conservative outlook. But there are certain bedrock principles of those on the Right: limited government, economic responsibility, and a belief that our Founding Fathers laid out sacrosanct rights in our Constitution. A firm belief in the importance of family, morality, and, for some, faith has generally guided the application of these principles. While no party can represent the whole of conservatism, the Republican Party’s role as the dominant right-of-center force in modern American politics makes it a good place to take ideological temperatures on the Right.

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‘Enforcing the Law’ Doesn’t Justify Separating Migrant Children from their Parents 9

By Ilya Somin

Reason

The Trump administration recently adopted a “zero tolerance” policy under which undocumented immigrants apprehended by federal officials are forcibly separated from their children. In April and May alone, almost 2000 children were torn from their parents and detained separately, often under cruel conditions likely to cause trauma and inflict longterm developmental damage. Attorney General Jeff Sessions claims that separation of families is justified by the need to enforce the law, and even asserts that the administration’s policy is supported by the Bible. I will leave the Biblical issues to theologians and cardinals, who have addressed them far better than I could. But Sessions’ secular argument is no better than his religious one. There is no law requiring family separation at the border. And even if there was, that still would not be enough to justify the administration’s cruel policy.

The federal law criminalizing “improper entry” by aliens does not require family separation. The law also provides for the use of civil penalties, as well as criminal ones. While it states that the application of civil penalties does not preclude application of criminal ones, it also does not compel federal prosecutors to pursue both. Until the administration’s recent policy change, civil proceedings were in fact the usual approach in case of families with minor children, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The use of civil proceedings generally does not require pretrial detention, and therefore obviates the need to detain either parents or children; some civil defendants were detained, nonetheless, but in facilities where families can stay together. The Trump administration, by contrast, has sometimes even forcibly separated children from migrants who have not violated any law, but instead have legally crossed the border to petition for asylum in the United States.

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