Sunday, July 26, 2015

A second grand post: On the failings of libertarians

Libertarians have developed into a complicated picture unto their own. There are the hard culturally ‘left’ libertarians – the wayward libertines and left-Rothbardians, many degenerates or hangers-on to such baggage that they tacitly accept gutter law that would permit a society whose aesthetics would be trashy to the extreme. These are the C4SS crowd, the degenerate child pornographer and fondler Brad Spangler, Kevin Carson, and various ‘market syndicalists’ and ‘market socialists’ and ‘libertarian socialists’ who contend for the title of ‘left libertarian.’ There are of course the centrists, as ever, who fall in the grays and grades between designated endpoints. Most modern libertarians arguably fall in the left-center or right-center of this cultural picture. Then there are the traditionalist libertarians, more like myself, Hoppe and his PFS crowd, and some of the American Renaissance folk as well.
The first criticism of the average libertarian aside from what I’ve stated in the previous entry is their insistence upon focusing on the economic and to some extent foreign policy, and on the latter with an emphasis on pacifism or quasi-pacifism. This stems most likely from the average libertarian’s lack of historical or philosophical grounding. To them, war, struggle, and austerity are understandably anathema. Freedom and peace are good above all. They rarely ask, peace at what cost? Nor do they generally follow with how one should maintain and ensure good peace, nor do they seem to much care how one should attain a more stable demographic equilibrium. To the anarcho-capitalist or other radical libertarian, autistic economic details regarding maximizing free trade when tariffs are already generally rather low and bellyaching over the import-export bank and the like are more important than whether the population is replacing itself or whether the foreigners we’re importing will continue to perpetuate our culture and civilization – or indeed whether they’ll go into a demographic decline of sub-replacement birthrates once they get here, as most non-Sub Saharan Africans and non-Muslims do.
I am increasingly convinced that for great civilizations and nations to exist, that there is a general subconscious desire to conquest or exploration. If this need cannot be met, morale shrinks; that our high point in the space program was now over fifty years ago and everything since has been feeble attempts to recreate that with more expensive baubles and trinkets, that among other things has sapped morale from Americans and the West generally. The awe and terror of the middle of the Cold War era gave way to the contempt and trite boredom of the gadgetry-infused New Millennium. We have more processing power and nothing but frivolous shit to process. The basic gist is one must go forth and conquer or be conquered. If this is the case, and many libertarians may balk to hear it, then better to conquer than be conquered, or find some way of putting this drive to purpose that doesn’t involve so much long-term risk.
Decadents undermine civilization out of boredom and a perverse noblesse oblige to muddy hordes while complaining of various spooks. Essentially, they bitch mostly about things outside what matters, and about the things which do matter they tend to produce 'solutions' which will not work. A force almost wholly negative, except in the rare case that their repulsive behavior galvanizes people in the opposite vector, they have no place within a healthy society in mass numbers. The social justice movement from modern feminism to race hustlers and the homosexual lobbies as well as environmental groups are all good examples of these sorts. Marxists, Jacobins, and various other communists and socialists were the original archetypes.
The sorts of people described above are good consumer classes. They are the typical lay-about  who is disinclined from any sort of ardor which would improve them vitally, whether it would improve their economic means or simply give interest to life and pass time. To further paint broad strokes, they are usually mediocre income earners, and when they earn high incomes it is always in rather parasitical professions detached from production per se. Usually they are hacks in their job field no less, be they hack educators, bankers, or hack media personalities, though some have able verbal skills and interpersonal networking. What pay they make, if it is exceptional, is beyond the bounds of their merit. This so happens to be the case with a certain Levantine people who are far over-represented as millionaires, influential people, and academics even when one controls for IQ and any possible early childhood environmental advantage.  
Give them two options: exile and violent expulsion or death. Imagine a country with a population of, say, ten million people, that there are tens of thousands who constantly criticize the very foundations of the society and culture. The real net productivity of this subset is low. They are a low-trust people, constantly wary of the society around them. This group doesn't fit in with the rest of society. They might be ethnically distinct. Wallowing, they complain daily of the vagaries of life in this unjust society! How corrupt and abusive! Material comforts are simply not enough, their subsidies fulfilled as demanded by the humanitarian Christian ethic and white guilt narrative insufficient to sate desires for some secondary longing! Why should the rest of the society bear the cost of their misbehavior? Moreover, their languishing saps the moral and strength from the knees of an otherwise potentially healthy body. They taint the marrow, they drain the life’s blood, and what is left after some time is a clammy shell consumed with deathly pallor. There's a perfect escape: exile or force. Leave, or, ultimately there comes the threat of death. The great ultimatum. Especially when, unlike eighty or one-hundred fifty years before, they have their own large homeland to themselves.
The social center libertarians pick which parts of the Frankfurt school, post-Marxist New Left doctrine generally they like and discard the rest. They may display utter revulsion toward the worst parts, but on the whole they cede a great lot of ground and are warm to the notions aside from the few particular offenders. At least one might grant that they are not total pushovers, but they are not exactly stalwart opposition. They stand against racism, and while many of them consider the latest trends in university feminism perhaps stretching it too far, they consider women’s movements prior almost sacrosanct. Likewise, they bat not an eye at homosexual, transsexual, and other deviants’s rights. They are people too after all. I refer to these centrists ‘liberaltarians’ in mocking jest because they do tend implicitly accept most of the left’s baggage, and rarely are they conscious enough to discard more than the very worst and shrillest of those elements.
The left-libertarians are basically wholly on board with the worst of perversions and decadence which streams from shitlib media and the Post-Marxist and New Left camps of all stripes and flavors. Some of these left-libertarians, who often espouse to be market anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, and mutualists, are active contributors to the Frankfurt School-style signaling rot. Despite feverishly denying the existence of any so-called slippery slope and referring to it as an informal fallacy in passing, they affirm its reality in all discourse. Since civil rights, they have proven that they are perpetually discontented and need to push further the boundaries of decorum until gutters extend across the horizon. Equal rights weren’t enough, separate but equal wasn’t enough, integration wasn’t enough (Brown v. Board of Education, amended Civil Rights Act, expanded 14th Amendment powers), nationwide abortion imposed by fiat through the Supreme Court wasn’t enough, and all of their subsequent pet projects whether meaningless ‘assault weapons’ bans (which thankfully had a sunset clause in 2004) or queer marriage or various environmental protection legislations and regulation codes will prove insufficient for their cause. Nothing will suffice short of the desolation of productive Western European society and the subjugation of its people under third-worlders incapable of upholding that standard of aesthetic or civilization.
Men who lay with other men are not broadly deserving of death – that is not my contention, nor that they should be stripped of all rights on the sole grounds of buggery. Social shame and modest suppression to keep them in within the margins of decorum should suffice. But that they should be granted marriage, or special rights somehow is a very strange notion. Throughout history, it was rightly held that a man’s obligation was to establish and head a family, and to be economically productive or defend society. If a man was a failure in the latter, then he did not earn the privilege of begetting family and siring a line as the former; if a man was a failure in the former, it was quite likely that he was deficient in the latter. The two are entangled integrally at some point. That’s the reason married men perform better on the whole than single men by metric of income, and I suspect possibly as fighting men as well though I don’t know of any data to support the claim. Having something to lose as well as a sense of duty to the future connects you to the ghost of the tribe. Lacking those aspects, it is quite likely one will sink into nihilism and despair.
Likewise, I do not believe that degenerate gamblers, addicts, or otherwise irresponsible people with diminished faculties should be liquidated wholesale. I think that, however, as per the original intention of the welfare state, there must be an equilibrium met. The original welfare state was intended to provide benefits to able citizens and allow them many liberties, and to those unable citizens they were to be stripped of their intergenerational weapons – that is, they were to be sterilized after one child or none preferably, to prevent harm as much as possible. Even without a welfare state, sterilization programs would exist where charities and other foundations would give out stipends to degenerate women and men to disarm them and improve the stock of society. They and their children tend to represent net costs on society even when we are speaking of degenerate families of European stock, let alone ones of even lower racial stock whose aggregate IQs tend lower and whose genetic disorders tend to be worse and more costly.
The average libertarian fails to understand the above sense of unity to nation. A nation transcends dirt. That is an important maxim which one must drive home to the rootless wanderfolk of today bereft of a nation which fits them, born to a nation which to them seems utterly alien. I understand the feeling. As the US becomes more polyglot, mixed in its palette of tones and assortments of morphologies, and in its faiths than ever before, the sense of unity in nation begins to break down. Prior to 1980, the only major division in the US was between blacks and whites, with Mestizos being a relatively small portion of the population. After, they are a massive portion of the population and growing rapidly, and alongside them other splinter groups are making their way here and burgeoning. America is no longer extended family. Neighborhood is no longer trustworthy. They’re all strangers in a once familiar land.
Tied with unity comes duty. This is another concept that libertarians either miss or reject. This duty or obligation needn’t be so obvious as conscription, though serving as a conscript or militiaman is certainly one means of fulfilling that implicit oath. As one’s people defend one and one’s land, one shall join in defense of the people and the land shall they come under attack. The ‘every man fare for himself’ concept of the gutter libertarian does not fly in the reasonable nationalist mindset if there is a chance of victory. All the same, this obligation does not extend past borders, unlike some autistic deontological cuckold libertarians’s morality to include the whole of humanity to include open relatively indiscriminate borders, because one’s duty is foremost to one’s own and that which would imperil one and one’s own is necessarily in breach of that duty. Immigration continues only so long as the people crossing the selectively permeable borders are capable of assimilation and a net benefit genetically and culturally, and that they do not genetically and culturally overwhelm the natives. There is no noblesse oblige and no white man’s burden, nor any historical impropriety to set right through deference to outsiders who would dispossess us of our land and heritage.
That which is sacred is grounded in defense of  the people, or one’s own ego, or some other higher ideal. But without any prospective future, with only marginalization to look forward to where all of the West looks like Brazil or Mexico at best or South Africa and Zimbabwe at worst, we are in a polarizing situation. We must move to action in the coming years or we will find ourselves in such a weak position that any reconquest will be exponentially harder than it is currently once our demographic foes are firmly entrenched in our erstwhile institutions as they degrade and crumble. We’ve coasted on the inertia of Western greatness for too long. We’ve become too soft with nigh two hundred years of industrialization, and three hundred years of massive food surpluses produced by improving agricultural technology and colonization. Yes, our foes will weaken as the institutions flounder – but we weaken as well and who will last longer in this contest of attrition? Is it worth waiting to see?
It’s understandable, too. We who’ve become soft, doughy creatures with leisure and safety and in the horrors of modern war as though it were something new in the history of warfare – I submit only the totality of the nuclear warhead is new, and all else is merely a reshaping and honing of that which preceded – this is a peculiar phenomenon stemming from the fact that every Western society is now run without exception by the bourgeois class. The old high warrior caste stepped down off its former dais slowly during the ascent of industrialization, and industrialized warfare and the nuclear age merely cemented the downfall of the imperial warrior class once and for all.
The bourgeois elite inherited the mantle of power of all the West and they have squandered it so completely that they are managing to tear apart our birthright in the matter of seventy years or so. Decadents, flagellants, Calvinists, and Semites all tear in a mad frenzy at the bloody scraps of the West to reduce it to ruin.

Gods save the West, that she may see dawn anew.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A grand post, the first of many

While it is likely due to the peculiar nature of the milieu I inhabit, somewhere betwixt nationalists, conservatives, and libertarians of various stripes, I do come into interesting thoughts which I suspect lies outside of most relatively hermetical conservatives, libertarians, or nationalists, who but hear theirs and the typical liberal tripe fodder that dominates the citadel of the university and media. I would still characterize myself as a libertarian antistatist at heart, though I am more willing now than ever to admit the speculative nature of antistatism. It’s an experiment worth trying, although one must acknowledge the possible fragility of the institutions we envision.
I find myself rejecting a great deal of the libertine baggage I once hesitantly or readily embraced to varying degrees. To gain sufficient traction to manifest our will, a minimum standard of decorum across society will have to be met. Rather like now, that means that the possible images of some of a libertarian society where street merchants of varying repute wander streets freely peddling their wares, and where drug users, gamblers, and prostitutes and their clients likewise wantonly engage in their vices is a vain hope indeed. There are designated dens of vice; not that all men must be angels, or that vice is evil, but that aesthetics rather matter. One would rather not step over spent needles, used condoms, and have to wade through dodgy customers on the way to the market. This all means that the status quo is not entirely dissimilar to what we would see, although I would hark more to the nineteenth century or perhaps the early twentieth. There would be ‘dry’ tenements and covenants or towns where alcohol is forbidden, ones with mandatory disarmament except for explicitly approved staff, and so on for various rules of conduct. It also implies, to me, that if any subversive libertarian movement is to succeed, the libertines must take a subtle backseat. This doesn’t mean that all libertarians must behave like perfect puritans, but that when one operates under public scrutiny, one must keep private that which discretion dictates breaks decorum. This does mean that the whole “Free Keene” movement where idiots get out in public and annoy others without presenting a cogent, consonant argument is wholly ineffective and needs to stop. Of all the Free State folks in New Hampshire, they’re by far the loudest and least regarded. Recognition isn’t necessarily negative, but when it tastes like piss, it surely is. (This is borne out by the Colbert Report hit piece and the subsequent reaction on them. May they be thrown to the dogs for good.)
            Some of the above concepts are nothing terribly new to well-read libertarians who’ve read Hoppe, but the general message is something I endeavor to hammer home: even in a stateless society, libertarians should expect only pockets of permissive 'gutter' law. The overwhelming majority of the society will not be liberal in outlook in the way one would expect, nor should they be. Even I would be inconsistent. I would live in a racially exclusive area, ideally where only folk of at least three-quarters European descent could work and live, where drugs and prostitution would be legal but the public display would be restricted. Additionally, as Hoppe also stresses, there are times when various means must be employed to suppress anti-civilization forces, including violence if necessary. Above all, maintaining cohesion and insuring prosperity is the primary purpose of all the main institutions of state or that in lieu of states.
            I have also diverged from orthodox Rothbardian opinion on a number of issues. For a while now I’ve accepted that empiricism is lacking in the hard line ‘Austrian’ approach, and that for instance that sticky prices or indifference curves are even somewhat contentious amongst some members is telling and I’ve also criticized the false dichotomy between ‘economics’ and ‘economic history.’ I also suspect that while neo-classicals and some Keynesians overdo the maths and fudged functions, mathematics have a place in economics – certainly more than I believe most ‘Austrians’ have allocated for it. Curt Doolittle has expressed some of my long-standing sentiments in better and more elaborate terms: Rothbard contorted Mises’s system and ossified and compounded his errors, turning praxeology from a minor hiccup into a cornerstone pseudoscience. The logical-deductive method claims to yield knowledge that it cannot realistically give; the method is a dead end for economics. Economics is an empirical science, and the problem Mises was trying to solve as Doolittle sets forth (and seems plausible to me) is that a substantial set of economics even now are pure abstractions. All true economics must be operationally reducible to human behavior. At this point, Austrian economics is a historical school, and praxeology being useless for generating economic insights beyond the pale of what exists now, we ought refer to the existing corpus of knowledge we have now simply as economics.
            We will want to maintain a high-trust society. History and recent evidence bears that wealth and stable institutions come with a high-trust populace. This is engendered in the people, built into the institutions, and strengthened resolutely there to the point where violence becomes scant, institutions are resilient and in Nassim Taleb’s words, antifragile. Yet another point libertarians fail to generally appreciate: the importance of combating fraud and distrust generally.  Even though libertarians are generally hostile to most governments, this serves to illustrate the point. States in the west can easily last 90 or 150 or more years on a single stable constitution with relatively smooth continuity and some minor or major conflict inside the country before a catastrophe inside or outside breaks the resolve of that nation and it must reform or is absorbed into some other state. By comparison, looking outside the West and Northeast Asia, it’s exceptionally rare that a state based on a single constitution lasts more than 30 to 60 years – basically, the lifespan of a dictator and the reign of the subsequent generalissimo. If the state does last longer, it is generally with intensive foreign aid propping the regime up. Even in Northeast Asia, constitutions are less rigorously regarded than in the West. At any rate, the general pattern is deplorable infrastructure, poor political institutions rife with graft and corruption beyond the imagining of ordinary Westerners, and economies perpetually saddled with debt, capital shortfalls, low growth, and the consequent problems arising from those issues.
            It is no coincidence that this is divided rather neatly along racial lines. The largest problem area being in Eastern Europe, and while I believe Eastern Europeans – Slavs largely – have the potential for high-trust societies as demonstrated by their abilities in assimilating in Anglo societies in small numbers, their extant societies in their home countries from Poland going eastward tend to worsen. This is due to breeding patterns noted on the Hajnal line. Albeit, even as wretched a position and as exploited as the Ukraine is in and has been for some time, at least they’re not in the same perpetual state of degeneracy and delinquency of, say, Albania or areas in the Caucasus or which were once Transoxiana. Regardless, the most functional people in the world are Europeans generally and Northeast Asians. They are most readily capable of creating and maintaining high-trust societies. Europeans are the progenitors and Northeast Asians mimicked the European institutions to great effect. By replicating legal and economic structures, they were able to bring wealth into the orient reminiscent of the West without entirely sacrificing their traditional cultures. Middling in functionality are Persians, Indians, Southeast Asians, some Turkic speakers (namely those in Turkey), Arabs, North Africans, and Mestizos (American-Indians with European admixture). These groups exist along a continuum, of course, with some proving more success in assimilating Western-style institutions and high-trust societies – the more remote Turkic and Iranic speakers, along with some Southeast Asian Muslim populations and particularly degenerate Mestizo populations fall somewhere between the bottom of this middle rung and the lowest tier of functionality. The bottom rung of societal functionality encompasses most Sub-Saharan Africans, many or perhaps most American Indian tribes with little European admixture, and most Australasian aborigines. To contrast against the West with which most readers are no doubt familiar, the bottom category, which houses a frighteningly large portion of the world now, is home to commonplace violence and incredibly brutal warfare in comparison to what goes on in the West even when the West tends to war, stagnant economies, low life expectancy, low IQs, and poor health indicators generally for large portions of the populations inhabiting these regions.
Even when people from these areas resettle to the West, they carry with them this genetic legacy; their ancestors did not vie for resources in the same competitive environment as Eurasians, especially Europeans and Northeast Asians, and they of course bring their own unique health problems to a health system not suited to their needs. To turn around this hereditary situation is a multigenerational task, and a damned long one at that which implies much suffering and culling of the unfit to optimize the gene pool for the type of environment established in the modern era. For anyone with eyes to see, it’s merely a matter of course that the standard of care for a European or Northeast Asian is going to exceed that for someone of a different race – the medicine of the world has been produced largely for those of European and Northeast Asian descent and everything else is marginal in comparison. We work for the good of our own first, and when our own also proffer the most resources, that is double the incentive.
            My personal preference, and the preference of most people as borne by their behavior, is for segregation along relatively strict ethnic lines. I have no problem interacting with those from lower trust races, and from high trust competitor races, but I prefer to live in a society built entirely of Europeans. All jobs in the society and all products within the society are made by Europeans, augmented by any trade we can acquire with foreign elements, but endogenous products are entirely monolithic and of a singular folk. Plenty of diversity develops from subcultures organically without the need for importing friction and decay by way of low trust racial competitors who undermine our people, weakening us in the long term for short term comparative advantage. This should be recognized as the norm for most places with a few exceptional areas set aside as cosmopolitan centers, largely city-states distinct but anchored to proper nations. Whether these nations are nation-states or develop into the aforementioned speculative stateless societies is a matter of conjecture and hope; I should like that at least a few of them do, but regardless, to sketch a mental image generally, Europe would be for Europeans and at a lower level fragmented into its constituent nation-states. Perhaps a few ‘melting pot’ city-states accept North Africans, Arabs, and Sub-Saharan Africans, although I expect that their tolerance for degeneracy which threatens the social fabric and criminally deviant behavior would be substantially lower than today. That aside, the Netherlands would be almost entirely Dutch, and almost entirely natively Dutch-speaking, and at least 95% European ethnically; Germany would be almost entirely German, almost entirely natively German-speaking, and at least 95% European ethnically; and so forth for every European country barring perhaps Albania and Bosnia. The United States would be an interesting case, and the segregation here would entail either shipping the unmanageable Mestizos back to Mexico, especially those with very low European admixture, or setting aside some portion of the Southwest for them, and for blacks, either resettling them in Africa or setting aside portions of land and cities separate from whites and Mestizos for them as well. The majority of the country by land and by productivity goes by rights to the white majority (while that majority lasts, as current trends keep); for it was almost entirely by the European-American’s labor of mind and body by which this country was transformed from grassland, swamp, and forest into (that, and) farmland, cities, factories, and monuments.  
            Developing sociological evidence supports this predilection. Racial and linguistic diversity in most places tends to weaken the social fabric, decreasing charitable donations, increasing delinquency, reducing church attendance and community activities, and other aspects of social capital. In the long term, most of these places opt for effective political decentralization (e.g. federalization, cantons, or secession), one population migrates, one population replaces the other, the two groups merge unequally, or you get a cataclysmic balkanization. Phrased bluntly, low class stock breed low class civilization. Mexicans of primarily American Indian descent transplanted into the US will ultimately tend to create buildings and institutions strikingly reminiscent of Mexico, often even reverting to Spanish. In Europe, the same applies to Arab, North African, Turkish and Sub-Saharan African refugees and immigrants, largely Muslim in background, who all fail to assimilate quite predictably to the Romance or Germanic cultures they walk into and leech heavily off of the welfare systems and expect a permanent welcome while creating little to nothing of value – but appropriating for themselves community centers and churches as mosques! Switzerland is a good example of political decentralization in practice because, while a polyglot state composed mostly of German and French speakers and a few Italian speakers, the Swiss are more or less a true nation with genuine national traditions and national identity, even if French-Swiss have more in common with Lorraine or Franche-Comté and German-Swiss have more in common with Austrians and Bavarians. The US is increasingly a poor example because there is no effective measure allowing for implicit regulation of the people; consequently, we in the United States are flooded primarily by Spanish-speakers, generally Mestizos of low European admixture. Antidiscrimination laws and government measures catering to Spanish speakers combine with weak immigration control to compound the problem. Once they’re here on this soil, it is counter to law to avoid hiring them or to discriminate against them, despite it being entirely rational to do so on any number of grounds.  
            Weakness such as this persists for a few reasons. The first and least important reason Mexicans and Central Americans pour over the Mexican border into the US is a decently large lobby which represents several industries and the migrants and their families as well as their constituent nations. This lobby throws money at political candidates and represents a respectable voting block for parties willing to promise amnesty or bills which increase quotas or relax immigration standards for the target countries. Why is this least important? It’s easiest to fix satisfactorily and hardest to eliminate altogether, because there will always be border officials and senators in any government who could potentially be bribed even if the incentives are aligned properly. Secondly, there’s the obvious gradient of increasingly destitute countries. As wretched as conditions can get in Mexico, frequently the states directly to its south are even more deplorable in just about every way imaginable and people understandably want to escape. Lastly, and most insidiously, is politically correctness and the toxic insinuation of guilt. Europeans are supposed to be the guilty party for all of modern history, the greatest sinners of the past thousand or so years, despite also having delivered most of the greatest innovations in that same span. Europeans endeavored before any other people in any mass organized fashion to exterminate slavery; Europeans established secular states where people of different faiths can worship separately without fear of reprisal (as long as the faith adheres to the basic norms of society); Europeans initiated the industrial revolution, and modern philosophy and science as we know it; before your eyes are the fruits of European labor, mental and otherwise, whether it be from calculus, geometry, logic, programming and computer science, rocketry, materials chemistry, biochemistry, particle physics, circuitry, and so on.
Yet for this, according to a doctrine laid out by predominately Jewish post-Marxist university intellectuals tenured in European and American universities, Europeans are to be castigated? Jews, Northeast Asians, and other groups contributed some small pieces to the vast and immensely impressive scientific and technological progress of the last two or three hundred years, but the lion’s share of progress in all things thus mentioned has been directly from the Occident. As I’ve written before, it is this secular narrative of white guilt that replaces the doctrine of original sin after the death of God and the decline of the Church. Even the religious have become increasingly bicameral and choose and sacrifice increasingly for either their religious or political creed. Those with fire in their hearts and the conviction of God can stare down trials and travails of man and emerge with their faith unshaken, but for the rest, their faith bends for the sake of the political narrative which has taken an increasingly important and increasingly religious bent. Some churches now minister homosexual marriages willingly and offer various support groups to single mothers and homosexual families which were previously shunned or at the very least frowned upon, but which are now looked upon almost glowingly, as if in the image of Mother Mary herself. Post-Marxism proved so successful at infiltrating every institution in the west that it even penetrated religious doctrine, including to the Holy Father Church itself. It has become fashionable not only to disavow any sense of pride in one’s culture and forebears, but to repudiate them altogether and to cast them into the most shameful light possible – the most odious of men in history or all of existence, recorded or not.

            In truth, it is the generations of men and women who have betrayed their own kin and ancestors who bear the burden of the greatest shame and the greatest guilt. They – we – are in the process of tearing apart high civilization for a lower form of regressive civilization, inviting in backwards elements which threaten to move us into the darkness of the past and undo that for which our ancestors worked and bled for. Verily it is the worst fate to be spat upon by one’s own descendents for the crime of hard work and ingenuity. What a sordid tale we spin to console ourselves that Muslims and non-Europeans could uphold European civilization and values, even if they wanted to and even if they should bother to try – neither of those conditions being true, we won’t even be graced with being spared the indignity of plausible delusions. Our revolution fever dreams are as vivid and to many seem almost as beautiful as those during the French revolution, only not nearly so many people are lucid now. Perhaps we’ll have a Romantic revival for our troubles?

Sources for consideration
The Problem with Political Authority, Michael Huemer
The Myth of National Defense and The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, Hans Hermann-Hoppe
Machinery of Freedom, David Friedman
Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche
Great Wars and Great Leaders, Ralph Raico

Monday, March 3, 2014

In countering argumentum demographicae, turn the tables on the opponent if possible. Most ideological atheists on the internet, especially atheistkult, are males of European descent. I would wager that most of those sorts period fit that demographic. So if a lack of racial diversity can disprove an argument, or is at least strong evidence against it - mind you, race doesn't exist, but for some reason it matters hurr hurr social construct racist buttplug - then they're in the same boat. These social democrat atheistkult fucks would claim that they're an unprincipled exception, or point to a magic negro or other minority (in the west - Europeans are a minority on the planet, you fucking dodgy cunts, so stop being so Eurocentric), but we could point to William Norman Grigg or Walter Williams as "libertarians of color." Dan d'Amico might be considered an antistatist/ancap of color. And on and on. If demographics constitute strong evidence, then atheists are fucked. Clearly reality aligns most likely with Hindu, Christianity, or Islam if that's the case; and good politics, if we look across history rather than merely contemporaneously, are decidedly undemocratic and democracy is the European sausage fest of the past two hundred years.

At best, demographics could be used as a form of weak evidence against a position. For instance, if everyone who believes in some 'strange' idea hail from the same family or a group of related families (probably geographically clustered as well), then their belief might well be a result of a cult of personality within the community rather than sound argumentation. Even then, that hints that such might be the case but falls leagues short of any sort of even tentative proof. Bayes' theorem, atheistkult. It's the bludgeon that I'll use to bash your faces with. This vapid informal fallacy couldn't disappear soon enough. Worst part is that its existence owes entirely to the fact that it's not "cool" to be a European male, so the meme propagates by triggering some covert signals intelligence mechanism for social signalling amongst dispersed individuals grown in modern Western culture.

Isn't it sad that all the droves of faceless internet debaters whose intellectual faculties always fall two or more standard deviations above the norm can't come up with this? I've always been struck by how alleged geniuses are incredibly idiotic. (Substantially ripped from one of my posts on Plebbit.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This is something I wrote for a reddit post, somewhat jokingly. It is a positive vision for the stateless society.

You're walking down main street. On your right, you see a druggist, just like in the olden days. When you squint you can see bottles of laudanum, cocaine, barbiturates, anti-convulsants, antibiotics, and everything else. The pharmacist allows patients to purchase drugs without a written prescription, but she'll give you pertinent information on any drugs she dispenses before letting you walk and potentially endanger yourself. For the most part, these drugs are cheap and no one thinks anything of the fact that narcotics are sold only behind antitheft barriers alongside every over-the-counter medication in current use. Past that is the gun shop, where you can acquire suppressors, short-barreled long arms, and select fire weapons to your heart's content as well as the typical fair. If you have your insurance agency vouch for your good and responsible behavior, he's even inclined to order howitzers and Gatling guns for prudent customers.

On the left side of the street is a restaurant whose kitchen is inspected by a private agency which is merely one amongst many. One of the rival inspection agencies recently went under after detective work and subsequent litigation sunk them for passing shoddy kitchens. But this kitchen is well-ordered and stocked with healthy food, some of which is sourced from the owner's family farm, including unpasteurized cheeses and other dairy products. Some say these products are superior this way, and they don't have to worry about some brigands tossing their farm or restaurant over unpasteurized (but safely handled!) dairy. Its patrons look content, and the staff friendly. To the south of that restaurant is a large parking lot. You struggle to see a building, and once you do, it reads across in faded letters "County Tax Commissioner" and "Department of Motor Vehicles." The parking lot is used, all right, but the building is covered in graffiti and falling into disrepair. Some say the vapid souls of county and state bureaucrats haunt those fetid halls.

Further down the street you see apartment buildings. They look like one might expect for this part of town. Well-kept, most of them with little gardens somewhere around the building for residents to sit at a bench and read newspapers or walk their pets (if pets are allowed). One of the buildings had a rash of break-ins. The insurers compensated the victims to a degree the victims considered equitable. A contractor hunted down the thieves on behalf of the victims and their insurance and recovered as much stolen goods as possible. The thieves are awaiting an assessment of the damages they wrought before they're released and monitored pending the repayment of their damages.

That's one vision. The other is babies falling into industrial machinery to be ground into nutritious paste for obscenely wealthy early-adopter internet capitalists who chuckled about how they brought the old, decent order to an end with Bitcoin and peer-to-peer encryption. Outside the penthouses of these libertarian übermenschen are droves of starving and pathetic protestors gunned down in waves by drones and manned machine gun nests.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A response to D Aurini. I know, another one. I like the guy a bit. He's rough around the edges, and like a lot of other characters (Stephan Molyneux, for one), he's well-read enough on many topics to sound as if he knows a shit load more than he really does. In this case, I think he has legitimate criticisms as well as duds in his exposition. Let us critically examine it.

The first leg of the critique of libertarianism generally, and of anarcho-capitalism or market anarchism in particular, is "if it's so obvious, how did no one see it?" This is an obvious spate of hindsight bias. While not a formal fallacy, it's still fallacious thinking. How could they not tell that objects of mass impel other objects of mass? Could no one see that the democratic republic is clearly the best form of governance? Those two questions, by this line of logic, are completely legitimate. After all, the closest thing to democratic republics of today in antiquity were SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, or SPQR (the Roman Republic) for short, and the Athens of yore prior to Spartan domination. Yet those were massively unlike the current social democratic republics of today. In Rome, patricians which were old-stock high class families with ties into Latium's distant past held most of the power. Plebiscites existed and plebeian revolts did occur against the patrician hegemony, but never did they curb patrician hegemony totally; they received token concessions instead. In Athens, only males who served in the military were eligible as voters, and they voted directly on most general referendums. Many offices were held by people who won by lot, not voted on by the electorate. The modern nation-state, particularly of the social democratic mould, is something completely new and having appeared only within the last three centuries with little historical precedence. Much which seems obvious only seems such, and is not truly obvious to those prior. Why was atheism, agnosticism, classical liberalism, and scientific rigor completely nonexistent prior to the 17th and 18th centuries? I find it likely that deists and agnostics existed long before then, but not as an ideological movement, and scientific rigor was wholly lacking. That's why Newton devoted so much of his time to interpreting scripture rather than further developing calculus and physics; even for a man of astounding genius, he was not rigorously rational and scientific. Any classical liberal influence on the modern politic is purely cherry-picked. There is no classical liberal let alone modern free market libertarian society, nor has there ever been within recent memory.

But an-caps claim that it's better in just about every conceivable way. One of the commenters on the video gives a terse rebuttal ("3) markets are efficient, not a panacea"). Still, this warrants elaborating. How exactly would Ancapistan improve on what we have now? There's the calculation problem. States cannot adequately provide most services past a certain scale because it is difficult to allocate resources to satisfy legitimate consumer demand. Market actors act in alignment with consumer demand far better than the state or firms too large for a given context. There's also general competition among legal systems. That which governs most efficiently tends to prevail, rather than that which appeals most to the unwashed masses or at least exploits their complacency best in a state, especially a social democracy. Because all market activity is structured within the law, it's important that it be efficient and sound. Without the legal bludgeon of compulsory property forfeiture and monopoly (or at least hegemony) over the creation and enforcement of law as exists under states, one should expect less abuse. Private firms cannot afford to abuse customers and continue reaping profits unless we expect the masses to become systematically and extremely sheepish beyond their current extent, and for the master class to either cow or assimilate into the exploitative firms, in which case they would reform states if they could. Legitimacy by way of ideology allows agents of the state to abuse their stations far more than private actors without good reason. Thus Ancapistan would allow people of like mind to band together and form coherent policy or to ignore policy altogether and opt for market polycentrism. We should expect more efficient services all around, particularly in those sectors where government intervention at the moment is most heavy-handed. We can also reasonably anticipate services which are more elastic to consumer demand. For most folks, they would have more purchasing power generally and more choice in what goods they partake and how they produce value for others in the market. This means a more 'horizontal' statistical distribution of wealth than what we have now. Most billionaires' fortunes are basically accrued and then guaranteed and secured in no small part by state intervention. When Goldman Sachs CEOs, Warren Buffett, Rockefellers, or Bloombergs, to name a small number of the political elites, wish for bailouts, they tend to receive them. The tendency would be generally for costs and benefits to be internalized as fully as possible, markedly unlike the current ways. Lastly, economic growth would be bounded by natural limitations like population growth, natural resources, and ingenuity rather than the artifice of wretched policy.  

He does admit that markets do most things great, which is good. We don't have to convince Aurini that markets perform better than politics uniformly, merely that those of us who would opt for unfettered markets be allowed to pursue them without the specter of state aggression looming overhead.

The only requirement for Ancapistan in its loosest sense is some protracted period of pan-secessionism or "panarchy" followed by respect for the geographical boundaries that serve to separate disparate ideologies and bodies of people who wish that separation. That is, political balkanization. Even so, for Ancapistan to prove more than a flash in the pan, there must be some serious free market ideology for at least some Ancapistanis to rally around to actually bring justice to the title of the land. And how long have market-oriented ideologies existed? Not long in historical senses. Everyone intuitively recognizes the benefit of trade for the most part, yet explicitly many contradict that with the most banal loathing of a concept so advantageous. Something about wealth disparity and envy for goods we can never hold or see let alone possess sets the popular mind ablaze with anti-market rhetoric. For most of the post-antiquities period, "usury" was banned, which was lending at interest above levels explicitly approved by religion and by secular authorities. They had an interest to maintain interest rates at a sufficient level to entice creditors to extend liquidity to sovereigns whilst minimizing payments. Unfortunately, this stifled lending markets, which were limited almost exclusively to nobility and the wealthiest landed commoners until very recently. Due to the limitations of transport, only the wealthiest folks were generally capable of affording goods from far-off lands. That meant that a typical London commoner had no more access to a bottle of Bordeaux than a lay Arab. For that matter, the lay Parisian or Toulousian could probably ill afford such luxuries. Protectionism proved to grow out of fertile ground with these facts, and once the mercantile age took, most people with any political knowledge were too busy rationalizing it ex-post to evaluate it with any semblance of objectivity. How do we square this: those who benefit most from liberal private property markets are those who tend to oppose them most? Call it myopia, call it over-eager master worship, call it whatever. The reasons for this are many, and yet there it is.

Political ideology for most of history arises from the elites among society doing largely as they wish due to a number of advantages which they possessed over the vast majority of plebeian folk; essentially, a slaves and masters dynamic. The masters must concede some to the slaves, but the bulk of political clout and decision, and thus the reward of political action, lie squarely among the masters. Some ideas resonate more among slaves than others. Religiosity is one reason the masters prevailed so long. The average Middle Ages Christian was far more the fervent zealot than most fundamentalists today, if we are to believe our histories. For quite some time, they were given to flagellation as penance, attended mass and prayed frequently, and lauded inquisitions - things which even most modern fundamentalist Christians balk at. The masters could exploit this, and over time, I'm sure they came to believe that their station was ordained from the heavens. Democracy has peculiar magnetism among the slaves, and for good reason when the electorate is hardly discriminated, yet it has only dominated for two centuries or so. How can we explain this? Ideology is strong. For one, there's the conservative bias. Most people tend to like things they way they are when faced with a set of plausible changes, regardless how sound hypotheses speculate. The only change which receives almost universal applause is that which further ossifies the status quo (change you can believe in). Even when major change occurs, the tendency is for a divided set of masters clashing, with the unwashed masses joining on a side when the probable victor is apparent. We can look to any number of revolutions for good evidence of this, from the American revolution to the French revolution, to the October revolution and the Chinese Civil War from 1927-1950. Regardless of how many died in each of these revolutions or as a result of them, the core movers comprised very small groups as compared with the populations tossed about in the currents and wake they created. Thus we can see that people are significantly biased toward conservatism, and that their ideologies consist largely of post-hoc rationalizations of ideas inseminated by their masters. Anarcho-capitalists and libertarians generally are a group of masters diverging from the overlords of the current social democratic paradigm surrounded by a core group of early adopter slaves, dare we call them learned slaves. We don't have the momentum to overcome conservative inertia, not to mention that we are battling against all current institutional inertia. What we are trying to do is build more support among masters and a small core of learned slaves, and from there we build action - sea steads, free cities, pan-secession movements, high-orbit habitable satellites in the next hundred years or so, and so on. The emphasis for me, and for other like-minded folks, is not on the old method of conversion and incremental generational shifts. That works too slow for me; since I'm probably going to live perhaps another twenty to sixty years in all likelihood, I would prefer that I not squander time working as the cultural Marxists did. Thus the emphasis is on separation and building our own communities, from the ground up if we have to. The ideal gradual shift from the US to a large political laboratory with a great deal of liberty among its constituents would be nice, but astronomically improbable as well.

At the end of this, he asks how we get from where we're at to "utopia." Any an-cap who claims to pursue utopia is either doe-eyed, disingenuous, or seriously ill-informed. I seek not utopia but the provisional best. Perhaps private property free market societies are not the optimal for the values I uphold. If not, then I will change my ideology when confronted with relevant and persuasive evidence. Having never seen such evidence, and indeed seeing that less government seems to correlate with improvements in metrics about which I care most, and valuing liberty as an end in itself, I will always support the least necessary government. From my current extrapolation, built essentially upon a framework originally supposed by folks like Rothbard, David Friedman, and Hoppe, it seems that if little government would work far better than what we have currently, no government per se would fair still better. Rather than damning, I see the lack of any remotely pure historical precedence as redeeming. It means that "the obvious" has been long overlooked and, with all the indirect evidence, there is no solid empirical proof which invalidates this an-cap model. Whereas hard-line Marxism and all its obvious descendants are abhorred by anyone with a modicum of intellect and genuineness.

Then he speaks of the "memeplex." I've already stated that I have no interest in pursuing education as action. Education is a means of reaching people of a specific libertarian bent such that an actionable critical mass can be built. In Ancapistan, the only unifying factors would be what cultural tethers might exist as well as fear of invading states, but that is hardly worse than most states. What is the great "memeplex" of Denmark or Britain? It's the same vague, mushy shit that riddles most of the West, and apart from the core traditions, the social democracy detritus and its outgrowths which form the brunt of modern culture are deleterious to the survival of the underlying cultures, of that which creeps in the beautiful, solemn darkness beneath the rubble of modernity. It's the exact diffusion of ideologies into voluntary union that forms the impetus for Ancapistan's functioning. That is the reason I suspect it would prove more peaceful and tolerable; and beyond that, why markets are more likely to flourish in the least artificially fettered manner possible, and thereby permit the material prosperity that all non-ascetic folks desire. In Ancapistan, people would group together not only for economic advantage, but by religious affiliation, by cultural heritage, by common pursuits and dreams. It would be an unending political and anti-political experiment encompassing diverging visions and unifying them only by their genuine common interest (e.g. defense against foreign states). We can assume this would happen unless human nature does indeed change on some fundamental level, which is not something I would expect. Contra the utopians, Ancapistan requires some ideological shift, particularly toward panarchy, not a complete alteration of human nature.

"When you put culture on the free market, you get Hollywood; you get hip-hop..." Sure, some of these are lamentable, but somethings good have come about as well, no? How many films exist which are excellent entertainment pieces, which are expertly written, and only developed as a result of commercial interests? Quite a lot. How much does shittiness correlate with state subsidies? Probably also quite a lot. There's also the lowest common denominator factor to consider, that the movies that appeal to the heart of the Wal-Mart consumer base are those which are most likely to succeed commercially, and also likely to suck seed from shit-coated pricks. Commerce also provides the wealth necessary to generate great artistry. While few good classical composers grace the modern era, most of the great works having preceded us in the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic movements (as strictly defined as those movements can be), there is still other great music. Prior to the twentieth century, genuine 'academic' or classical music was something enjoyed almost solely by the elites or during mass at wealthy cathedrals, where the mass would be skewed toward the elites anyway. Sure, we remember all of the greats whose music survived to modernity thanks to their exemplary quality (though, I consider some like Handel to be lackluster for the most part). What we don't know are the numbers of composers who may have been technically sound musicians and who received good amounts of patronage from political elites but produced immemorable mediocrity at best. All sorts of great jazz exists which would not without markets to appeal to. And even classical music would not be enjoyed outside live theater performances without mass marketed commerce having developed record players and then CDs and so forth. And one of my favorite genres, extreme metal, would not exist at all without this shit. Even though most extreme metal bands fail to turn profit, they exist because market labor is profitable enough that some of the proceeds can go toward making music with only marginal appeal. There is a vacuum of sound culture, but to some degree it has always existed. Even two hundred years ago, most people preferred simple folksy music to sophisticated Baroque or Classical concertos or symphonies. They were more grounded in tradition and deep, volk culture; though a lot of that was, at least for Americans, this Christian shit which superseded most facets of the various European identities. That Christian aspect is easily the most superficial and least interesting part of all our heritage. These claims that the unfettered market sans states would debase culture are purely assertions with no good evidence aside from vague allusions to current debasement.

I would be interested to know how many an-caps are eschatological in thought. My guess would be rather few. Stefan Molyneux seems to be among the most prominent, as he believes that 'peaceful parenting' is the seminal key to the voluntarist pluralist paradigm. Yet from my experience, most market anarchists do not believe that our preferred institutions are inevitable. I also do not claim that everyone would be better off. Obviously, many who earn their keep primarily or substantially through rent-seeking and so forth would find themselves in a lower station. I suspect quite heavily that wealth concentration would not be so monolithic in a freer society (whether minarchist or market anarchist). If we couldn't tell already, I don't seek the end of history. I don't believe in such a thing. As I stated in the past, I do not believe in a progressive narrative of history. While the tendency is for life to improve over the long haul in a lot of ways, there's no reason to believe that this is a necessary trend that couldn't reverse periodically or permanently at some point. The critique of the non-aggression principle as religious conviction is pretty damn close though. I agree, it is a quasi-religious tenet such as all morality is. I think it's a good guideline to organize law because it minimizes the cost of enforcement, but I do not view it as an absolute ideal as many others do.

Do you not believe that, in the process of transitioning to Ancapistan, that some would not preserve culture and heritage? Do you not believe that they would maintain their norms and traditions, and from there spread to all willing others? And are those who live in a system of lies and piss and shit and half-rotten, soured traditions truly better off? Further, how is it that pan-secession can be imposed? The whole point is to avoid the current imposition of majoritarian democracies on those who object to the current political systems.

My corner of Ancapistan, if it ever happens, would be European, high-class, filled with high-brow people of merit. It would reflect liberty and unfettered markets put to purpose, not aimlessly drifting about in a sea of mass media attention deficit-sating refuse. There would be ample patronage of the arts. We would be willing to assume the mantle of our own defense, of the preservation of our families and people. We would, or at least I would, appreciate the greatness that exists among the sacred works of Christianity, but discard Christianity as a philosophy and dig deeper to a more distant and more heartfelt tradition. Perhaps I'll remain an atheist, but there's always a soft-spot in my heart for Asatru. Maybe it's the human sacrifice, or a mythology which reverberates within far stronger than a dead, Semitic-derived Hellenized hodgepodge faith. If it sounds too perfect, we would still have to labor. There would be limits to the material wealth. There would still exist conflict and violence and need for defense and legal systems. This bears mentioning, despite its obvious nature, to allay fears that I am fully utopian.

And if Ancapistan "devolves" or, as some would perceive, "evolves" into monarchy, don't you win? I would win, because a minarchist monarchy sounds a shit load better than social democracy. If we do have a bloodbath in the unlikely event that libertarian anti-statists are prevalent enough to cause such disorder, what are our alternatives? Does the West rot while we evangelize to the deaf? Do we assume an increasingly marginal space on this planet while mediocrity prevails? Inaction and evangelizing is getting libertarians, anti-statists, separatists, and traditionalists nowhere real fast.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Noam Droptheballsky... heh, ballsky.

Wise and magnanimous Noam Chomsky slips up.

You have to pay a little attention to notice it, but there it is in all its glory. Proof that the man is not the titanic intellect "left-libertarians" and others believe he is. At about 1:45 he says that laissez-faire libertarianism is "a call for corporate tyranny" and that it would "remove all barriers to corporate tyranny." So he's good at buzzwords, but that's about all that is. Noam has never, to my knowledge, actually analyzed how it is that markets empower this sort of organic oligopoly. Then just thirteen seconds later, at about 1:58, he says, "... But it's all academic, because the business world would never allow it to happen because it would destroy the economy. They can't live without a powerful nanny-state." This is lulzy on its face being that it is quite a juicy contradiction. Yet one could conceivably backpedal and come up with something almost plausible. One could say, 'Current corporate interests would tend to die out in laissez-faire. In their stead would spring even more powerful, even more robust corporations, albeit in a system of competitive dominance.' That would be minutely plausible, as plausible as horse shit gets, but still improbable. Let's look at the problems with it.

For one thing, no corporation on the planet nets even a significant fraction of the $3,800,000,000,000 US federal government's spending, not to mention the combined total of the cartel scheme of municipal, district, provincial, and federal spending which totals almost double the federal figures at an apparent $6,200,000,000,000. This is an actual cartel with total geographic monopoly, and significant power over subjects of the US sovereign even in foreign countries. It's the reason why Americans are forbidden to open bank accounts in non-US banks in many countries now, and why when those bank accounts are allowed, the US typically exercises some significant direct control over them (the ability to place levies and freeze assets, for instance). The largest corporations today earn net revenues of $300,000,000,000 to $500,000,000,000, and all of these receive extensive direct and indirect subsidies from states, in particular places like South Korea, China, and the US. Even if we granted that there would be competitive corporate dominance, at least these corporations would tend to grow no larger than city-states, and probably not even that. They would have to compete for customers significantly more than the US has to compete for subjects. At worst, it could be no worse than our current lot as serfs of the United States and its component and composite interests (of which, very little aligns much with ~80% of "Americans"). More likely, it would be better. There are problems with cartels. I could rehash those problems here, but since there are already great elaborations on those issues.

We must also remember that similar to monopolies, firms of bloated scale also suffer from the economic calculation problem. The link there is by Kevin Carson, though Rothbard also expounded most of the argument in Man, Economy, and State. Currently, corporations who overreach can buttress themselves with plunder from the state. They can lobby agents of the state to erect entry barriers, some of which penalize new firms, and some of which directly subsidize extant firms. Even in a libertarian minarchist frame, this reinforcement through the state would be impossible for nearly every industry to achieve. The only thing they can do, then, is either compel customers via persuasion or force or some combination thereof, by definition without the ability to exploit a majoritarian ideology, since we're talking necessarily about a non-state agent either operating under a minimal state or within a stateless environment.

Then we have two problems if we anticipate corporations succeeding at this on any systematic scale: either people are inept, timid, and unwilling to defend themselves from corporate depredation, this including the state if the system is a minarchism; or else people are convinced by the corporate creed that they should voluntarily surrender some material to profit the firm. If the former case, then the problem would hold true for any institution or organization of predators large enough to intimidate and cow the populace. The corporation, being a concentrated interest, would necessarily comprise a very select group of individuals within a society. If the society cannot resist that, how can they resist organized bandits or a rival or external state? They can't, and it was sheepishness that killed the libertarian system, not the incentives. The incentives would be for any capable and willing actors to resist to the greatest degree while remaining responsible to property owners and otherwise efficient if people do actually want to rid themselves of this "private tyranny." If people legitimately begrudged this corporate interest and were willing to act, it would never come to pass when there are competitors who can make significant bounds of money by squashing the tyrannical firm, well more money than they could make in cooperation with the predator. When individuals voluntarily surrender payment and custom to this firm, then they are acting in what they believe to be their best interest, and the problem is their perception, not the incentives of the system. If that continued for long and ideology ossified, the firm would once again become a state of some fashion. Would we expect these same people to act differently under a state? If anything, they would cede ground faster to a state, because the ideological investment is already there, and the force ready to be applied against marginal resistance is massive because most states have had decades or hundreds of years to accumulate force, whatever broken succession might run through the state's history.

What exactly supports this view that markets lead to totalitarian firms? We've already covered the financial problem - that no current corporation even with state subsidies nets the sort of revenues that large states do. Flexing totalitarian might is an expensive prospect. Enforcers have to be sufficiently compensated that they are willing to stomp their jackboots on the citizens' necks, which entails a rather high baseline and hazard pay for the more dangerous enforcement work. They must also be well-equipped and trained. This applies especially to the officer corp who decide how enforcers are allocated as well as specific tactics and strategy; basically, whether the head of state's edicts are actually put to practice, or whether they're conveniently ignored and to what degree they are enforced. The ideological center must part with substantial amounts of loot to successfully employ the enforcers and the enforcers must themselves be heavily indoctrinated. As a percentage of total state revenues, the US's largest plunderers net very small portions. Of course, one percent of three trillion is thirty-billion, and the highwaymen collectively earn more than that both immediately in subsidies and revenues their businesses realize due to subsidies. We also have to consider the incentive problem. In a market, cartels tend to fall apart because each firm within it has disparate interests that contradict the express intent of the formation of the cartel in the first place. The competitive firms cut prices regardless, even if they're 'secret' prices for long-time customers (which never remain 'secret' for long), and the uncompetitive firms tend to die out or lose market share almost as quickly as they would without the cartel. At best, a cartel might prolong a receding firm for a brief period. Of all monopolies through history, there haven't been any genuine creatures of the market which were any more than ephemeral blips. Monopoly and its cousin oligopoly are artifacts of the state, not surprisingly, as the state is a monopoly on provision of law and law enforcement. What non-state actor could enact compulsory civilian disarmament? None that I can think of. Without ideology, seizing property is an incredibly dangerous prospect when that property is not even conceivably legitimate as belonging to another party, namely the party seeking the forceful acquisition. With ideology, most who are affected simply turn their firearms in, and the few that holdout generally play it safe and cede part of their arsenal, while the smallest minority which physically lash out are trifling if they exist at all. Without the ideology there, we could expect much more widespread resistance, just as there is more resistance to criminal home invaders than there is to police busting in doors on bullshit warrants.

So what could we expect on a market? How would the provision of security, defense, and law look? Law would most likely be provided one of two ways in most places - either non-geographic subscription, like most forms of insurance currently and periodicals, or small geographic clusters for communities organizing on some very specific basis (say, an African-American ministry's community, or a group of communists). Laws will tend toward standardization with some differences to appeal to separate people and communities. Some communities might agree to prohibit the sale of alcohol and other 'vices' amongst themselves, as some do now, only this would be voluntarily agreed to among the community members rather than forced from on high. Penalties for laws will differ from place to place, of course; where water is plentiful, diverting small amounts of water might amount to a small property damage or theft claim, though where water is scarcer, such a crime might be penalized more harshly. Some would probably demand the death penalty and outlaw status for fugitives (the latter being something I support wholeheartedly). Security will be a different matter. While the overwhelming majority of people will subscribe to legal agencies (whether profit-seeking or non-profits), with only a few taking up the mantle of handling that sort of networking themselves, the same will not be as true of security. Some may leave security to be subcontracted by their legal firm, while others will assume the whole mantle of defense themselves, and yet others will hire their security quite apart from law. Defense would most likely be tied to security as an ancillary cost, as it seems sensible that those trained in peacetime to execute high-risk operations against criminals would logically work to oppose an invading state or would-be warlord or coercive state within Ancapistan.

That is the vision: variably non-geographic or small geographical clustered firms engaging in competition, subject to discipline based on operating within rather than above a market. Will there be some unique challenges in this system? Of course. Yet it seems the promise, at least theoretically, and from historical examples of polycentrism in various services related to the state's core services, is of a paradigm of much greater liberty and prosperity with smaller loci of conflict. At the same time, some of these problems are faced by individuals traveling between states, provinces, and even municipalities today. But with this greater plurality of competition, we might more accurately see the impact of certain laws, and what incentive systems and institutions work best. Even if Ancapistan is a fucking pipe dream, the next best thing would be small city-states and the like, to achieve a similar degree of competition within the framework of minarchism.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

YouTube sophists and more!

Typical, popular YouTube fair. Calls himself "Storm Clouds Gathering." He likes to use an animation of a fire looping with simple cockamamie salt shaker "music" in the background. Seems straight out of the Zeitgeist crowd. We'll call him "SCG" because writing out that moniker makes me cringe. One of his passions, as is typical with disciples of Peter Joseph, is combining some fact with some fiction and lots of speculation, and coming up with presentations which, to half-educated full-time half-asses, comes across as compelling. To those who know better, it's lots of sophistry dancing about a modest amount of substance.

Consider this video. Here, he presents a dire thesis: US foreign policy is on a bullet train to nuclear holocaust, to obliterating humanity in a massive series of fractal mushroom clouds. One of the first claims is that the US extended defense guarantees to all OPEC nations willing to agree to a long list of conditions set by the US. Countries like Algeria, Angola, Iran, and Venezuela. All of which, to the extent of my knowledge,  have no outstanding defense arrangements with the US military nor have they within the past forty years. OPEC formed in 1960, mind you. The Shah was deposed from Iran in 1979, and even before then, I know of a coup that installed the Shah with aid from the CIA, but not any military assistance for Iran. It's true that the US has enlisted military aid for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and that only in 1990 (a long, long time after OPEC and after the "petrodollar" came into use). Hell, a whole fucking war started on the pretense of removing one OPEC nation from its foray into another. So, he says, it was on the promise of defense that they adopted the "petrodollar." Already we can see gross generalizations reeking of mounds of bullshit atop a small kernel of truth. The man is quite right that the dollar's use as a reserve currency the world over lends to its current valuation. Here's the caveat: he seems to be committing a post-hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. OPEC nations probably, nay, almost certainly adopted use of the dollar to predominate exchanges in oil as a result of the Bretton Woods agreement. It was a network effect: the dollar was used because it was widely used. That's changing now. But there never was any broad defense agreement with OPEC nations generally, unless of course the speaker has access to knowledge the rest of us don't. The closest thing is NATO, in which the US guarantees military aid to countries like Canada and Norway, which do export a lot of oil. In fact, oil consumed in the US comes predominately from non-OPEC countries. Besides, OPEC really isn't as powerful as some believe.

"The dollar is tied to foreign oil." I'm paraphrasing, but at about ~2:35, he says something to that effect. Fucking wrong. The dollar is tied to jack shit. It's implicitly tied to the value of goods exchanged for dollars, not to any specific commodity. That phenomenon is called "purchasing power." All media of exchange possess purchasing power. It's fiat paper, not a "petrodollar." The part where he says the US gets the goods while other countries get the paper is somewhat true, but they got the paper and exchanged that for other goods from other countries. Some of the money makes its way back to the US as foreign countries import US-made goods, and some of it stays well outside in foreign circulation. As the dollar's value collapses in coming years, we'll see more dollars coming in. I don't anticipate hyper-inflation, but high base-rate annual inflation is guaranteed. Fuck, we've already had that since 2007 or so. High excess reserves among commercial and investment banks has helped stave off price inflation, but it's trickling in at still impressive rates which the CPI chronically under-reports. He highlights the sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s which allegedly led to the deaths of half a million children and however many adults. That's one of the few factoids he didn't fuck around with much or add layers of shit upon it.

To the last of his points I would care to address: is the US media and government colluding to build support for further military intervention in the Middle East? They certainly seem to be, but whether they'll be successful is uncertain. SCG seems to be claiming some strange sort of prescience. I'm anti-war just like the rest of the droves of libertarians, but if anything people in the US seem less bellicose than in 2001 or 2003. Perhaps the Boston bombing will allow them to pull one over the unwashed masses again, but maybe not. While the state department seems eager to join with Israel in bombing Iran to top off the current embargoes, nothing has happened as yet. I'm pessimistic personally, but I don't see Russia or China legitimately threatening nuclear war over US intervention in Syria or Iran. That would be the most surprising thing of all, probably because neither the Chinese nor Russians are total full-on retards. They also don't have the nuclear capabilities the US does, even with the US's somewhat downgraded armament from the Cold War highs (though it's worth noting that many of the current weapons are 'tactical' warheads which are actually far more effective kilo for kilo than old-school single warhead ICBMs). What China and Russia might do in the event of a US war on Iran or escalated intervention in Syria, however, is serious fuckery with current trade and trade partners. Russia might well hold back production of oil for Western European markets simply to hurt US NATO allies. China might nationalize or otherwise confiscate economic holdings of US citizens in China proper. Additionally, they would almost certainly stop all imports and exports involving the US and perhaps the Anglo Commonwealth in general. Would the US then threaten nuclear war over those economic sanctions and embargoes? As hilariously inept as Obama and crew are, I fucking doubt it. Few enough people want to be lord of the wasteland, emperor of a mound of shit, or president of an ashen nation.

If I were conspiratorially minded, I would probably flag this guy as a counter-intelligence agent disseminating disinformation.

In other news, this is somewhat old now, but nevertheless entertaining. 10/10.