No Heaven. No Hell. No State. Just Science, Reason and Liberty
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It isn't close to over yet
Stock up on food, buy ammo and gold.
Peter Schiff, author and economist, lays it out pretty plainly on Bloomberg today:
Now, what do you think our government's are going to do after that big meeting on November 10?
(h/t to LewRockwell.com)
For those who doubt Schiff's acumen, he predicted the current crash over 2 years ago:
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Free Market Anti-Capitalism
Libertarianism, it seems, has taken a beating lately. Of course, that is only if you take terms like 'libertarianism' and 'free market' to means something they don't - in this case the presently exiting state capitalist plutocracy.
Some folks are genuinely confused when they find out I am not just an anarchist, but a 'free market' anarchist.
If you really want to understand the left-libertarian, free market anti-capitalist mindset, I cannot think of two better examples than these two posts by Auburn Professor Roderick T Long at Art of the Possible.
From Regulation: The Cause, Not the Cure, of the Financial Crisis :
"The bailout is just diverting resources from the productive poor and middle-class to the failed rich, which doesn’t seem like a very good idea one either ethical or economic grounds. The only good effect such a bailout could possibly have (at least if you prefer costly boondoggles without piles of dead bodies to costly boondoggles with them) is if it convinced the warmongers that they just can’t afford a global war on terror right now"From History of an Idea :
But what if friendly politicians rig the game so that favoured companies can reap the benefits associated with economies of scale while socialising the costs associated with diseconomies of scale? Then we might just possibly end up with an economy dominated by those bloated, bureaucratic, hierarchical corporate behemoths we all know and love.
All too many libertarians still rush to defend giant corporations like Microsoft and Wal-Mart (two firms whose whole business model in fact depends heavily on government intervention – via, e.g., IP protectionism for Microsoft, eminent domain plus socialised transportation costs for Wal-Mart, and general suppression of competition from the less affluent for both) as though such a defense were part and parcel of a commitment to markets. As libertarians we can hardly complain when we’re accused of being apologists for corporate plutocracy, so long as we’re actually contributing to that perception ourselves by allowing ourselves to lose track of the basic facts about the price system that we of all people should remember.
Check out the links in both pieces and the links to Roderick, Brad Spangler and Kevin Carson in my sidebar.
Anyone that says they are libertarian and supports the bailout or government intervention of any kind is a liar.
The words 'free market' are not dirty words and libertarians are not Ayn Rand-loving apologists for the rich and powerful. Those are the 'vulgar libertarians' and are not libertarians at all.
Stefan Molyneux cuts through the guff and lays it out, plain as day. Please try to tell me after watching this insightful explanation that the current economic problems are caused by the 'free market' rather than regulations and government action. Think about it.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Obligatory Election Post
As a market anarchist, libertarian and free market advocate (and the real free market, not the crony capitalism and state capitalism most people today try to pass off as the free market) I found little except mild entertainment in this election.
As a former NDP party hack, who worked in an election or two, I still have an appreciation for how our system works (or rather doesn't work). Here are my observations as an outsider with no horse in the race:
Thank you so much for an completely unnecessary $200 million election which changed little. I'm sure glad you broke your own fixed election date law in order to call it. Such fiscal prudence. Funny how you can come up with that kind of money for a frivolous election called so you didn't have to run one during a recession, but you still can't come up with money to build a school for the kids in Atawapiskat. But I guess since you guys are already hiding a $20 billion deficit, I can somewhat understand. I mean, this is Jim Flaherty, he has a history of doing this kind of thing.
And what was your first act the day after your election? Release a "6 point plan" that is nearly identical to the Liberal's "5 point plan" that, during the election, you guys panned as an example of Dion "panicking". How very Pierre Trudeau of you all:
Trudeau later (in October 1975) instituted wage and price controls, something which he had mocked Progressive Conservative Party leader Robert Stanfield for proposing during the election campaign a year earlier.Liberals:
If the above isn't enough to convince that Stephane Dion is this generation's Robert Stanfield - a smart, genuine leader with interesting ideas who could never get elected Prime Minister - than I don't know what will. Dion's ATV gaffe near the end of the election last week is his "Stanfield football picture", his defining moment of "image politics". Like Stanfield, it doesn't matter how many pictures there were of him catching the football, or, in Dion's case, answering the question well in other contexts, the image that remains to this day is of a frail, nerdy Stanfield NOT catching that ball. The image of Dion will, for a long time be his inability to understand the question and get a do over. Yes, I could barely understand the question, but the image is important, sadly, not the reality.
Dion never connected with his own base it seems causing life long Liberals to either not vote or vote for the Conservatives. This is what caused the lose of seats in Ontario, not the damn traitorous NDP not supporting you against Harper. Case in point (and purely anecdotal, but still revealing) my wife only voted Liberal in this election because the candidate was an old high school teacher. She told me she would have voted Conservative if he hadn't been the candidate, despite the fact she hates Pierre Poilievre, because she feels its her duty to vote and she will not vote Liberal if Dion is the leader. Her parents were similar - they actually voted for John Baird, because they feared losing their income splitting in a Liberal Green shift and similarly don't like Dion.
They all told me they would have voted Liberal if either Bob Rae or Michael Ignatief were leader. Take that for what it is worth.
Bottom line is the Liberal brand is not enough to over come Dion's poor image and inability to connect with the electorate. The Liberals will simply not form a government with Dion as the leader. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can fix it. You can fix it by replacing Dion or changing Dion's image radically - and that may require a course of steroids and him punching out Jason Kenney at a press conference (not a bad idea actually).
Or you can continue to blame the NDP and a conspiracy involving Mike Duffy and Robert Fife for your woes. Your choice.
And that's not even mentioning the poorly run, uninspiring campaign.
A well run but entirely predictable campaign. And I found that the party of principle I once belonged to is gone. So while its understandable that you dismiss a candidate for exposing himself to teenage girls, dismissing candidates for once being part owner of a store that sold marijuana seeds when it has been the party's policy to at least decriminalize pot for years seems more than a bit hypocritical. All style and no substance.
Oh boy and when faced with economic hardship the answer is...roll back corporate tax cuts. Is there a problem in this country that can't be solved by "rolling back corporate tax cuts"? Seems to me this is merely the flip side of the Conservative "there is no problem in this country that can't be solved BY reducing corporate taxes" coin.
Maybe some fresh ideas beyond the "roll back corporate tax cuts" mantra next time, mkay?
And in this slightly changed Parliament you now hold the balance of power, something you didn't last time around. So when the Conservatives come calling, I hope you stand your ground on such things as refusing to pass legislation throwing 14-year-olds in jail for life and other draconian measures they will certainly propose.
I'm not holding my breathe.
Lizzy May did great in the debate, but sadly was unable to get a seat, either her own or for someone else. Of course most Canadians still think of the Greens as a one issue party, so perhaps you ought to really spread the news about your other platform stands. I think your ideas around health care are interesting...try focusing on that.
But what has this really shown? That by lying, smearing and manipulating people, the party that gets 37% of the votes of the 59% of the electorate the voted can now rule us all with "legitimacy" because the broken method of "democracy" ran its course.
Me? I don't really care.
I don't care what silly laws and regulations Harper tries to pass because I will simply ignore and disobey any that I do not explicitly agree to follow. Meaning I will rip MP3, copy DVD and do whatever the hell I want with the media I have purchased. Meaning I will go out of my way to refuse to pay taxes to support a war I do not agree with. Meaning I will defend and support abortion providers, underground if necessary, no matter what.
I don't care if Dion stays or goes, because I will never vote Liberal. But if any Liberals have any intellectual honesty, they should consider their own faults and the observations I made, rather than playing the victim.
I have said it before and it bears repeating at this time as a reminder of what is possible, from Henry David Thoreau's On Civil Disobedience:
"I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — "That government is best which governs least";and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient."
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
With the US meltdown still going strong, and yet another tax-payer funded bailout of big banks in the offing, its interesting to watch these prophetic videos by Max Keiser from May of 2007:
Bottom line, the issues we see today in the US and world markets are not a problem with the "free market" because the market is not free - it is economic fascism where what regulations do exist are set up to benefit the rich and powerful, rather than protect others in the market.
That they claim it is "deregulation" doesn't make it so. And now they are poised to enrich themselves again, while we all suffer.
(h/t to Red Tory)