Category Archives: Ideologies (Libertarianism)

The Nature of the Revolution


L. Neil Smith

Sometimes I wish that my soapbox were just a little bit taller.

Over the past two or three decades, I have more-or-less accidentally made a number of historically significant predictions in various of my books and essays that have turned out to be correct. In 1977, for example, in my first novel, The Probability Broach, I predicted the Internet, wall-sized computer/television screens, laptop/tablets, computer-aided forensics, and laser designators for handguns. Some time around the same period, I talked about what would become known as the “Strategic Defense Initiative” or “Star Wars” (in an article for Reason/Frontlines, and I predict now that the concept is coming around again). In 1981, in The Gallatin Divergence, I said that the Marxist regime in Russia would not survive to celebrate its 100th anniversary. My editor at the time, supposedly an expert on Soviet affairs, dismissed that as “wishful thinking”. In numerous books and articles, I insisted that Global Warming is a crooked scam, that the very notion of “peak oil” was absurd, and that our species would be far better off emphasizing travel to and exploitation of the Asteroid Belt than the Moon or Mars. Read more

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Beware The Atavistic Dynamics Undergirding Two American Wars


By ilana mercer

Periodically, America experiences episodes of mass, hysterical contagion.

What is “hysterical contagion”? A sociologist explains it as the spread of symptoms of an illness among a group, absent any physiological disease. It provides a way of coping with a situation that cannot be handled with the usual coping mechanism.

For example, in 1983, girls in the West Bank fell ill, one after the other. Soon, all the schools and finally the entire community was engulfed, affected with the same symptoms. Arab doctors implicated the Israelis. The Israeli Occupation had poisoned the girls by gas to reduce their fertility. After a thorough medical workup, however, the girls were pronounced physically healthy.

The frenzied behavior known as mass hysteria or hysterical contagion is well documented. The Trump-Russia “collusion,” “obstruction of justice” probe qualifies, with an exception: This particular form of mass madness involves a meme, a story-line, rather than the physical symptoms observed in the West Bank.

Rumor recounted as fact for which no evidence can possibly be adduced: Indeed, the Establishment and opposition elites have poisoned the country’s collective consciousness. However, it’s the emotional pitch with which the Trump-Russia collusion group-think is delivered, day in and day out, that has gripped and inflamed irrational, febrile minds.

What sociology terms “a collective preoccupation” is fueled by organizational- and communication networks. Friendship networks (the liberal kind) and work organizations (government departments infested with like-minded individuals) serve as nodes in a system that transmits faulty signals across the synapses of this collective, damaged brain.

The storyline du jour is manufactured by America’s gilded elites. During the era of Bush II, DC operative Karl Rove put it plainly: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

When you’re the most powerful entity in the world, as the US government certainly is—the only government to have dropped nuclear bombs on civilian populations (“good” bombs, because dropped by the US)—you get to manufacture your own parallel universe with its unique rules of evidence and standards of proof. What’s more, as the mightiest rule-maker, you can coerce other earthlings into “sharing” your alternate reality. Or else.

The manufacturing of Fake News by the Deep State, circa 2017, is of a piece with the anatomy of the ramp-up to war in Iraq, in 2003. (Chronicled in achingly painful detail in Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With A Corrupt Culture.) Except that back then, Republicans, joined by diabolical Democrats like Hillary Clinton, were the ones dreaming up Homer Simpson’s Third Dimension.

Conscripted into America’s reality, Iraqis paid the price of this terrible American concoction. Hundreds of thousands of them were displaced and killed due to “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

Because of Fake News generated so effectively by the likes of Judith Chalabi Miller, the Gray Lady’s prized reporter at the time, American soldiers paid dearly, as well. Miller shilled for that war over the pages of the New York Times like there was no tomorrow. She’s now a Fox News “specialist.”

To manufacture consent, elements in the intelligence community worked with neoconservative counterparts in Bush 43’s administration, in particularity with “the Office of Special Plans.” And while Fake News babes did wonders to sex up the cause of senseless killing—the dissemination of Fake News, vis-a-vis Iraq, was hardly the exclusive province of Fox News. With some laudable exceptions, Big Media all was tuned-out, turned-on and hot for war.

Now, it’s all-out war on Trump. Then it was war on Iraq.

Salient in 2003, as in 2017, was the monolithic quality of the cheer-leading coming from the networks; an unquestioning uniformity that spoke to a slutty sell-out throughout the media establishment. For journalistic jingoism, it’s impossible to best the coverage of the high-tech media extravaganza known as “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

Embedded with the military turned out to be a euphemism for in bed with the military. Practically all network embeds focused exclusively on the Pentagon’s version of events, to the exclusion of reality on the Iraqi ground. Yet reporters who slept with their sources were treated as paragons of truth. Those of us who refused such cohabitation were labeled “unilaterals.” (This column paid with a syndication deal.)

Reporting hearsay as truth and failing to verify stories were all in a day’s work on cable and news networks. A Geiger counter that went off in the inexpert hands of a Marine, stationed in Iraq, became “Breaking News,” possible evidence of weapons-grade plutonium. Every bottle of Cipro tablets located was deemed a likely precursor to an anthrax factory. Anchormen and women somberly seconded these “finds,” seldom bothering to issue retractions.

To comprehend the hysterical mass contagion that is the war on Trump it’s essential to trace the contours of that other war, “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” and the way it was peddled to the American public.

The war on Trump could end badly. By “badly,” I don’t mean the violent silencing of conservatives and their speakers, the firebombing of Republican Party headquarters (October, 2016). Or, the attempted murder of Republicans representatives (June, 2017).

These are barbaric. But if past is prologue; the frenzy of inflamed imaginations could spill over into all-out war—against Russia, Iran or North Korea.

You’ve been warned.

*****

Ilana Mercer is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube channel.

Natural theory of corporeal justice


Sebastian Ortiz

The stateless enforcement of natural justice, that is the provision of the services named “defense” and “conflict resolution” is a kind of science, namely a natural, normative, corporeal science that deals with what entails invasion of a body, a threat of invasion of a body, whether that is a personal body or owned object, proportional punishment, burden of prooof and due process. This “law” limits and is hierarchically superior to contract, “private” law. Read more

Good Governance – Part 2: The Area of Good Governance


This is the second part of a two part essay on good governance. You can find the first part at [4].

For brevity, I’m going to invent an acronym: “AGG” for Area of Good Governance. An AGG is a jurisdiction which has acquired, or is in the process of acquiring, good governance. That is to say, a region of the world, in which the political state has been or is being dismantled. And in which that state has been, or is being, replaced by governance which maintains peace, defends the rights of civilized people, justly resolves disputes, and does no more.

Some may dismiss the ideas I put forward here as Utopian. To them, I say: No radical idea can be realized, until it has been communicated to those who stand to benefit from it. And no vision can be passed on to anyone, unless it has first been articulated. That is my purpose today; to offer, as best I can, my vision of how an AGG might be constructed. Read more

Good Governance – Part 1: The functions of good governance


A few months ago, I published an essay titled “Rights and Obligations” [1]. There, I sought to develop a list of obligations of civilized people towards others of their kind, and the rights which flow from them. More recently, in “Conviviality” [2] I tried, building on the ideas of Frank van Dun and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, to sketch how it might be possible for civilized people to live together, and to resolve their disputes, without any need for a state or a “sovereign.”

This is the third essay in the series. It’s in two parts, published separately. Part 1 looks at what such a system of minimal government ought to do, and gives a list of things it must not do. And in part 2, I’ll try to suggest some ingredients, and perhaps even some recipes, for better government. “The Minarchist’s Cookbook,” if you will. Read more

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