Tyrant Joe Arpaio Fundraising in South Lake

Arizona sheriff and underwear mogul Joe Arpaio will be fundraising for the NE Tarrant Tea Party at a home in South Lake in September.

Arpaio’s presence casts such unease that one of the FAQs is whether guests will need to provide ID to attend. Luckily, “All patriots” are welcomed.

For the sum of $250, attendees will get to eat a homemade meal with Arpiao, unlike the detestable spread served to many of Arpaio’s prisoners yet to be convicted of a crime, along with an autographed pair of pink underwear similar to the garb provided in his Maricopa County jails. Granted, having people wear jailhouse underwear is a likely approximation for the disposition Arpaio has toward ordinary people.

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O individualismo de esquerda

Talvez por viver em Chicago ou porque trabalho com outros advogados, em minha vida cotidiana estou rodeado por pessoas que se identificam com a esquerda americana e democratas centristas para quem a mera menção da palavra “libertário” incita pesadelos com a direita do Tea Party. Infelizmente, qualquer possibilidade de diálogo com esse grupo de pessoas acaba quando me identifico como libertário; para essas pessoas, o libertarianismo é a extrema direita de um espectro político americano unidimensional a que foram condicionadas a nunca questionar. Frequentemente, sabem algo sobre Ayn Rand até o ponto em que são capazes de considerar o libertarianismo como uma defesa simplista e impiedosa da ganância corporativa, do status quo econômico em que o 1% se torna cada vez mais rico enquanto a classe média diminui e os pobres sofrem em destituição. Ironicamente, esse tipo de social-democrata centrista provavelmente entende os efeitos do capitalismo melhor do que muitos libertários, percebendo a predação econômica e procurando (de forma não-sistemática) por algo que controle seus impulsos. O que eles não compreendem, porém, é o libertarianismo como uma filosofia real ou o abismo que separa o sistema econômico atual do livre mercado genuíno.

Por causa dessa repulsa reflexiva à mera menção do libertarianismo, minhas experiências me levaram a descrever minha posição política como “individualismo de esquerda”. Essa caracterização, pelo que noto, é mais convidativa a perguntas em vez de diatribes raivosas, preparando o terreno para uma conversa proveitosa e não dando lugar a um debate fútil. Peguei a expressão “individualismo de esquerda” de Eunice Minette Schuster, cuja dissertação Native American Anarchism tinha como subtítulo “A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism” (em português, “Um estudo do individualismo americano de esquerda”). O livro de Schuster segeu o anarquismo americano desde suas formas nascentes e prototípicas até seu desenvolvimento em um sistema filosófico e movimento distintos. Seu estudo é importante por dar atenção a uma corrente política que pode parecer confusa e contraditória no contexto dos debates atuais.

Os anarquistas individualistas que Schuster discute na parte do seu livro que trata o anarquismo em seu estado “maduro” eram individualistas extremos e socialistas, arquitetos de um projeto que nós do Centro por uma Sociedade Sem Estado (C4SS) tentamos continuar atualmente. Como defensores da liberdade total de competição, dos direitos de propriedade e da soberania do indivíduo, os anarquistas individualistas são parte da história do movimento libertário contemporâneo. Paralelamente, como o C4SS de hoje em dia, esse grupo se opunha ao capitalismo e considerava o socialismo como o “grande movimento antirroubo”, nas palavras do reformador radical Ezra Heywood. Ao contrário dos libertários atuais, que frequentemente demonizam os pobres como “parasitas” do assistencialismo, pensadores como Benjamin Tucker, Ezra Heywood e Josiah Warren (para mencionar somente alguns) viam os ricos como a verdadeira classe ociosa e parasitária, como beneficiários de privilégios que permitiam que eles manobrassem o sistema para impedir a competição real.

Esses antigos libertários viam que a liberdade e a competição funcionavam por todos os motivos que conhecemos atualmente: divisão e especialização do trabalho, grandes quantidades de informação destiladas em preços e a impossibilidade de planejar a economia através do maior de todos os monopólios, o estado. Eles argumentavam que a competição genuína em um livre mercado é a forma mais segura de garantir que o trabalho receba seu produto total, resolvendo, assim, o que era chamado com frequência de a Questão Trabalhista; isso os tornava socialistas, mesmo que eles não se encaixassem tão confortavelmente dentro do movimento socialista. Também não se encaixavam bem entre as fileiras liberais, que defendiam o livre comércio e a competição — os economistas políticos —, e se viam com frequência tendo que ensinar aos economistas sua própria doutrina, apontando os erros e inconsistências que caracterizavam muito daquilo que era considerado argumento em defesa do livre comércio.

Os anarquistas individualistas eram fanáticos pela coerência; se o trabalho tinha que ser posto em competição, sujeito à oferta e à demanda, então o capital também deveria. Como aponta Schuster, o “anarquismo científico” proposto por indivíduos como Benjamin Tucker, portanto, “não tinha apelo para o Capitalista, porque ele não defendia um ‘individualismo resistente’, mas um individualismo universal” (ênfase minha). Uma vez que os individualistas consideravam a renda, os juros e os lucros (a “trindade da usura) como resultados aproximados dos privilégios coercitivos, eles eram tratados como similares aos impostos, permitindo que os donos do capital se apropriassem a diferença entre os preços sob um regime de privilégio e os preços em um regime de competição aberta. A competição do mercado, portanto, não era o inimigo, mas o aliado do trabalhador. O argumento do anarquismo de mercado é simples: se insistimos que todos têm direito àquilo que conseguem obter num livre mercado, então devemos ao menos tentar chegar a um livre mercado. E um livre mercado não pode tolerar algumas das características históricas mais comuns do capitalismo: o roubo agressivo de terras em larga escala, os sistemas regulatórios e de licenciamento que funcionam como barreiras de alto custo à entrada no mercado e como barreiras ao autoemprego, vários subsídios diretos e indiretos que redistribuem renda a firmas bem conectadas e o sistema governamental de leis e instituições financeiras que produz o cartel de Wall Street que temos atualmente. Assim, o capitalismo parece não combinar com o que os libertários de fato querem quando dão seu apoio ao livre mercado. Não estamos tão perto assim de um sistema de livre mercado como muitos libertários gostam de pensar. Não precisamos apenas de alguns ajustes e algumas reformas aqui e acolá, de algumas privatizações de monopólios estatais e da desregulamentação de algumas indústrias. Para chegar num sistema livre, precisaríamos de uma ruptura completa e sistemática com a tirania capitalista que temos há tanto tempo, um sistema que é o sucessor direto dos sistemas estatistas, desde o feudalismo até o mercantilismo.

Anarquistas como Warren e Tucker compreendiam esse fato e passaram suas vidas lutando contra a desigualdade do status quo capitalista que coloca os trabalhadores em desvantagens sistemáticas. E apesar dos esforços em colocá-los na direita política — ou mesmo de tirá-los da tradição anarquista —, eles pertencem (se é que pertecem a alguma ponta do espectro) à esquerda, como entendia Schuster. Representando a tremenda falaa de compreensão em relação ao anarquismo individualista entre acadêmicos de esquerda, o historiador David DeLeon, em seu livro The American as Anarchist, afirma que Benjamin Tucker é um “libertário de direita” e, incrivelmente, aponta Ronald Reagan e George Wallace como seus sucessores ideológicos. Em outros pontos do livro, DeLeon classifica casualmente Voltairine de Cleyre — cujas explorações dentro do anarquismo não se prestam facilmente a rótulos — como “anarcocomunista”. Preocupante é também sua incrível alegação de que Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau e Walt Whitman todos eram libertários de direita. Se alguém que está tão envolvido nos estudos profissionais desses personagens e de seus movimentos é capaz de interpretar erroneamente suas circunstâncias, não é de surpreender que o anarquismo individualista seja complexo para a maior parte dos leigos em filosofia política.

Apresentar a mim mesmo como “individualista de esquerda” é uma das minhas atitudes para reintroduzir o anarquismo individualista do século 19 no discurso contemporâneo, uma tradição que equilibra o indivíduo e a comunidade de uma maneira que é desesperadamente necessária em um mundo dominado pelo poder centralizado. O movimento libertário, além disso, não deve se apressar tanto em desprezar anarquistas como Tucker como se fossem ignorantes econômicos de eras passadas. Afinal, qualquer consideração sobre os relacionamentos econômicos em um livre mercado necessariamente será marcado pela especulação. Os libertários que acreditam que os relacionamentos seriam como os atuais têm pouca imaginação e não conseguem nem imaginar a profundidade das mudanças que um real respeito à soberania individual traria.

Traduzido por Erick Vasconcelos.

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The Labor Politics of Prisons

Today is Labor Day, a federal holiday in the United States designed to promote a sanitized history of labor organizing. As Charles Johnson puts it, “the federal holiday known as Labor Day is actually a Gilded Age bait-and-switch from 1894. It was crafted and promoted in an effort to throw a bone to labor while erasing the radicalism implicit in May Day (a holiday declared by workers, in honor of the campaign for the eight hour day and in memory of the Haymarket martyrs). As a low-calorie substitute for workers’ struggle to come into their own, we get a celebration of labor … so long as it rigidly adheres to the AFL-line orthodoxy of collective bargaining, appeasement, and power to the union bosses and government bureaucrats.”

On this occasion, I’d like to discuss the relationship between prisons and labor. There are many facets to this relationship, from the use of prisons to enforce work discipline, to prisons as sites of slave labor, to the role of police and corrections officers unions in pushing for increasingly coercive criminal justice policies.

Prisons and Work Discipline

Prisons have been used to enforce work discipline for centuries. In his book The Enterprise of Law, Bruce Benson explains how England transitioned from customary law to authoritarian law controlled by the state. He notes that prisons were first used in England primarily in order to control the poor and force them to work:

“Houses of correction” were first established under Elizabeth to punish and reform able-bodied poor who refused to work. A “widespread concern for the habits and behavior of the poor” is often cited as the reason for the poor laws regarding vagrancy and the establishment of facilities to “reform” the idle poor by confining them and forcing them to work at hard labor. But Chambliss reported that “there is little question but that these statutes were designed for one express purpose: to force laborers (whether personally free or unfree) to accept employment at a low wage in order to insure the landowner an adequate supply of labor at a price he could afford to pay.” Such laws clearly reflected the transfer function of government.

In this case, prisons were used as institutions of violent coercion meant to establish work discipline, enforce the work ethic, drive down wages, and thus transfer wealth from poor and working people to landowners.

The Slavery Connection

Slavery did not experience a clean and straightforward end in the United States. Rather than prohibiting slavery universally, the 13th Amendment prohibited slavery “except as punishment for a crime.” In the South, this was followed by the passage of the Black Codes, which criminalized a litany of innocuous actions specifically for blacks.  So rather than abolishing slavery, the 13th Amendment simply changed its form.  This created forced labor that was arguably worse than chattel slavery. As Angela Davis explains in her book Are Prisons Obsolete?:

Slave owners may have been concerned for the survival of individual slaves, who, after all, represented significant investments. Convicts, on the other hand, were leased not as individuals, but as a group, and they could be worked literally to death without affecting the profitability of a convict crew.

This convict lease system was truly appalling, and allowed for the enslavement of former slaves under similarly brutal and racialized conditions to the ones they had supposedly been emancipated from. While prison labor is no longer as brutal as it was under the convict lease system, it still persists.

The Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola, is literally a converted slave plantation where inmates are forced to toil in the fields. Companies like Walmart, AT&T, and Starbucks all profit from prison labor. So do war profiteers like BAE, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. The racism of slavery persists; according to the Sentencing Project, 60% of prisoners are people of color, with 1 in 3 black men experiencing imprisonment in their lifetime. America incarcerates on a mass scale, with more than 2.4 million people imprisoned. The abolitionist movement has some unfinished business here.

Prisoners have their rights violated repeatedly, and that’s true with respect to their labor as much as anything else. While most labor unions either ignore this or simply focus on how competition from prison labor drives down wages outside prisons, the Industrial Workers of the World seeks to organize in solidarity with striking prisoners.

Marginalization from the Labor Market

James Kilgore argues that the main labor problem entailed in imprisonment today is not slavery inside, but marginalization outside the prison. Kilgore points to a litany of ways marginalization from the labor market intersects with incarceration. First, he notes how it fuels incarceration, writing “The chief labor concerns about mass incarceration are linked to broader inequalities in the economy as a whole, particularly the lack of employment for poor youth of color and the proliferation of low wage jobs with no benefits.”

Kilgore then notes the numerous ways that those who have been incarcerated are marginalized from the labor market. He explains:

People with a felony conviction carry a stigma, a brand often accompanied by exclusion from the labor market. Michelle Alexander calls “felon” the new “N” word. Indeed in the job world, those of us with felony convictions face a number of unique barriers. The most well-known is “the box”-that question on employment applications which asks about criminal background. Eleven states and more than 40 cities and counties have outlawed the box on employment applications. Supporters of “ban the box” argue that questions about previous convictions amount to a form of racial discrimination since such a disproportionate number of those with felony convictions are African-American and Latino. Advancing these Ban the Box campaigns will have a far more important impact on incarcerated people as workers than pressing for higher wages for those under contract to big companies inside.

However, even without the box, the rights of the formerly incarcerated in the labor market remain heavily restricted. Many professions, trades and service occupations which require certification, bar or limit the accreditation of people with felony convictions. For example, a study by the Mayor of Chicago’s office found that of 98 Illinois state statutes regarding professional licensing, 57 contained restrictions for applicants with a criminal history, impacting over 65 professions and occupations. In some instances, even people applying for licenses to become barbers or cosmetologists face legal impediments.

So here we see criminalization producing a stigma that excludes people from employment in many careers, both due to the judgement of employers and the exclusionary nature of occupational licensing laws. The IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee has condemned these forms of exclusion.

Furthermore, Kilgore notes that “the very conditions of parole often create obstacles to employment. Many states require that an employer of a person on parole agree that the workplace premises can be searched at any time without prior warning-hardly an attractive proposition for any business.  In addition, tens of thousands of people on parole are subject to house arrest with electronic monitors.  All movement outside the house must be pre-approved by their parole agent. This makes changes in work schedule or jobs that involve travel an enormous challenge.” In It’s About Time: America’s Imprisonment Binge, criminologists James Austin and John Irwin note that these parole policies lock ex-convicts out of legitimate employment and thus make them more likely to reoffend, not less. 

Immigration Detention and Exploiting Migrant Workers

One of the largest segments of imprisonment in the United States today is immigration detention. Immigrants are locked up in detention centers without charges, trials, or often even access to counsel.

Undocumented immigrants outside of detention centers live in constant fear of being caught, imprisoned, and deported. This fear can easily be used by employers in order to intimidate, abuse, and exploit migrant workers.

A recent documentary from Frontline, Rape in the Fields, exposes how immigrant women are vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse on the job, largely because fear of deportation deters them from reporting such abuse.

In addition to making migrant workers vulnerable to violence, abuse, and exploitation, immigration restrictions trap third world workers in poverty. As Bryan Caplan puts it, “Most would-be immigrants are desperately poor, but could easily work their way out of poverty if they were here.” 

The effect of immigration restrictions is bad for immigrant workers and bad for consumers. Not only are workers trapped in poor countries where they can’t earn much, but their production is also restricted accordingly. As Caplan explains, “Immigration laws trap people in countries where workers produce far below their potential.”

So total production decreases dramatically because of these coercive laws that trap people in poverty and leave violators vulnerable to exploitation and violence.

Unions for the Prison State

While most of this post emphasizes how workers are harmed by incarceration, it’s noteworthy that particular workers benefit from and actively lobby for mass incarceration. Corrections guard unions and police unions are concentrated interest groups that benefit directly from criminalizing the public, expanding prison populations, and expanding the state’s violent powers. These groups engage in persistent rent seeking, lobbying for authoritarian policies. In a sense, imprisonment is a mechanism of plunder, by which these concentrated groups of workers benefit at the expense of most other workers. The prison state means enslavement, exploitation, marginalization, and structural poverty for workers around the globe, but for guards and police it means being given extraordinary power and extracting rents through the state.

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Pacifism

I just re-read a piece that I originally wrote back in 1999 about how I view and relate with pacifism. This piece was printed in the anarcho-pacifist publication "Ahimsa" and then later on was put up on their website as well. I find it interesting to read this piece, because I still basically believe the same things that I say in it, although I would frame it a bit differently, I could elaborate more on things now that I could then, and would not put words IN ALL CAPS as I often did in that piece.

I also find it interesting that I wrote it back before I knew about and got into Nonviolent Communication, Focusing, Vipassana Meditation and Buddhism. These four sets of practices, among others, provide practical real-life "how-to"s for applied pacifism, which is something that I openly admitted to not knowing about in my original piece from 1999.

I definitely see it as being a worthwhile project for me to update my thinking on pacifism, both in writing as well as for myself. And the field of anarcho-pacifism in general is also something that I see as being in great need of an up-date and revamping. Before I can move further with that, however, I do feel as if I personally have some more learning and exploring to do. So in the meantime, I present to you my original piece on "Pacifism" here.

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Pacifism

My version of pacifism is very inter-connected with many of my other views and philosophies, so if you want just my pure isolated "pacifism" explained here, you're probably not gonna get it.

Does my pacifism mean that I am against all war? Yes, of course it does. Does my pacifism mean that I am against all physical violence? Yes, of course it does. Does my pacifism mean that I am against all hurting of people? Yes, of course it does.

The very fact that I include these three already is enough to count me as being a pacifist extremist. But, as the rest of my site shows, I am certainly not one to shy away from "extremism".

My form of "pacifism" basically means universal love, respect and solidarity with all people everywhere, no matter what. If you truly do LOVE someone, if you really do RESPECT someone, if you really have SOLIDARITY with someone, it automatically places you in a mind-set that is the furthest thing from that which commits acts of violence and hurt against others. Being in such a mind-set, you make yourself INCAPABLE of hurting others, because you can never seek to hurt that which you really love. My form of pacifism means seeing the beauty, uniqueness and commonality within ALL people. It means the elimination of ALL concepts of "goods guys" and "bad guys". It means the elimination of the entire "Us vs. Them" mentality. It is the recognition that ALL humanity is already the "Us" and that to solve our problems we need to change OURSELVES rather than seeking to change OTHERS. The minute you view another person as an "outsider", as a Them, then you automatically write off their humanity and make them become expendable in your mind. By mentally distancing and alienating people in such a way, you instantly loose the ability to empathize with them, thus making yourself capable of hurting them in various ways without feeling a thing.

My form of pacifism is an extension of my anarchism, or, my anarchism is an extension of my pacifism, you can look at it from either angle. I believe that it is a basic human instinct, an innate psychological defense mechanism, to resist forms of authority being imposed on you. To fight back against being controlled is natural. I view Authority as being a kind of spiritual disease. The minute Authority invades our psyche, we are willing and able to do anything to fight back against it, no matter how insane or violent it may be. Therefore a kind of spiritual self-healing needs to take place, where all forms of Authority are eliminated from your mind and soul, and from your actions with others as a result. Once you eliminate your authoritarian actions towards others, you make their self-healing process easier as well, as well as eliminating some of the roots of violence and hurt in the world.

So, getting back to "the real world" and "practical matters", what does one do about "self-defence" and dealing with the violent and hurtful behavior of others? Well, in terms of the hurtful and antagonistic behavior of others, I think that an approach of love, acceptance, and trying to understand the other person's side and where they are coming from is necessary. It does not matter how others' response to this is. Regardless of if they change their hurtful behavior or not, what is important is that you maintain your positive peaceful and loving stance no matter what. One person's hurtful attitude never justifies yet another hurtful attitude to be taken. As long as you are doing all that you can within your own personal boundaries to add love, compassion, etc to the world, that is all that matters. To feel otherwise, and be let down by the behavior of others is ultimately an Authoritarian attitude. Because, by doing this, you are seeking to CONTROL other people's attitudes, actions and feelings, which is intrinsically wrong and leads to more violence and hurt, as I said earlier.

As far as "Self-defense" goes, I think that EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT should be strenuously put into making a non-authority-based, peaceful, loving and respectful social relations, society, culture, environment, etc. But, when the "inevitable"(as the pessimists call it) act of actual real-life violence actually occurs and is right there in front of you, what do you do? Well, I do not know, to be honest. Life is to a large degree a SITUATIONAL and CIRCUMSTANTIAL thing, each particular individual instance is unique and different in it's own way. I say that one's own personal individual judgment is needed in such situations, but that a primary non-violent, non-authoritarian ethical code should ALWAYS be in place as the foundation for all actions and decisions. A variety of different options exist for actual violent cases.

- Number one should be talking and communication.

- Then there is always the "wimp" tactics of hiding and running away.

- There are also a number of non-violent martial arts self-defense tactics and disciplines that one can use.

- And there is ultimately the "human shield" and "martyr" options that one can take, which is always noble, but not necessarily always "practical".

The choice is always YOURS, but I say that a basic non-violent foundation to ALL your thoughts and actions is always necessary.

So, how do you "get things done" with pacifism? How do things really "work" if you operate in such a way? My answer is, I really don't care. I view the ETHICS of pacifism and non-authority as being of primary importance, and the nitty gritty of getting things to "work" as being secondary. If we all die in the process, so be it, as long as we have lived an ethical life. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

I think one of the greatest mistakes of many pacifists and radicals is the using of pacifism as a "tactic," as a way to get others to do what you want. I think Gandhi started a lot of it, and many radicals have taken his example and have even put themselves in harm's way to get others to do what they want. Many people call this kind of pacifism "leading by example". I think that this kind of pacifism is bullshit. Pacifism to me is primarily an ETHIC, a way to live your life. If you look at it in terms of "tactics," you miss the very ESSENCE of what it is all about. It does not matter IF you get there, what matters is HOW you get there. Also, using pacifism as a way to control people, as a way to "lead" people (albeit non-violently) is also inherently wrong, since it is wrong to control people in ANY form. To try to do so naturally leads to counter behavior from those who are trying to be controlled. Controlling people, whether initially using violence or no violence, inevitably leads to violence.

Also, I do not see pacifism as necessarily being detached from "reality" and "practical" life. I think that people naturally respond positively to behavior that is non-threatening and views and treats them respectfully as equals and does not seek to control or manipulate them in any way. I think that the only time when people do NOT respond naturally positive to such behavior, is when they are personally in the midst of dealing with the spiritual disease of Authority and are not left in the most "social" of moods as a result. Sort of like how when one is physically ill, you do not think and inter-act with others in the best of ways, the same goes with the spiritual disease of Authority and the symptoms of hurtfulness and violence that is causes.

Pacifism, love, empathy and anarchy are the natural state of people, it is this commonality that we all share that we need to go back to, broaden, understand - and most of all LIVE in our own personal lives and with others, in order for us all to have peaceful and loving lives.

Avowals of Selfhood: Review of Egoism on Feed 44

C4SS Feed 44 presents David S. D’Amato‘s “Avowals of Selfhood: Review of Egoism” read and edited by Nick Ford.

For the egoist, individualism must precede anarchism, for the affirmation of self is the source of the denial of all authority — individualism being the more general thing, anarchism a specific implication. Any anarchism that sets itself up as above individualism becomes its own cause with its own designs and will, subordinating the unique individual, becoming a new “alleged higher interest,” in Apio Ludd’s words. Perhaps this is why many anarchists deny egoists the title, and likewise why many egoists repudiate it themselves, as did Sidney Parker and Dora Marsden.

Feed 44:

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Threat Level: Pointless

“Man the terror alert for London has just been upped I don’t wanna go out now :(”, the text from my friend read. The recent news that Britain’s government has raised its terrorism alert level to “severe” unsurprisingly prompted a renewed climate of fear, reflected on social media and in major news outlets. Yet even if we grant a significantly increased risk of a terrorist attack, how can publicly raising a “threat level” do anything to lessen that possibility?

My friend did not change his plans, of course. Few – if any – do. The only likely change in behaviour amongst the British public is a greater feeling of dread when they see someone who looks “a bit foreign.” This fearmongering serves the state’s agenda of control and power by applying the timeless formula of uniting the population against “the enemy within.” It fits seamlessly into the narrative of xenophobia peddled by successive governments, so successfully that around three quarters of people in Britain are now anti-immigration. In the absence of any sort of protective value, Theresa May’s much-publicised announcement can be viewed as a further attempt to galvanise support for the next election. This support is built on the practice of blaming anyone and everyone but politicians for the country’s economic and social difficulties.

Those who chose not to take the raised alert level seriously displayed the typically British response of taking the piss, with numerous “#ThreatLevel” parodies doing the rounds on Twitter. When you’re nearly fourteen times more likely to die drowning in a bathtub than as the victim of a terrorist attack, such disregard for government threat levels is understandable. Terror attacks are horrific, and no reasonable person would say otherwise. But you (or indeed someone you know) being a victim of an attack is stupendously improbable.

It’s true to say that a small number of Brits are fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It’s also true to say that making a huge song-and-dance about raising the terror threat level will do absolutely nothing to prevent them from staging a terrorist attack. Maybe if politicians replaced such needless posturing with an examination of the failures of interventionist foreign policy, they might make a real contribution to the safety of Brits. Until then, we are left with a grim irony; the British government’s “terror alerts” help nobody and – if taken at all seriously – only succeed in creating terror.

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English-Language Media Coordinator Update, August 2014

Dear C4SS Supporters,

A quick monthly update on our media progress:

In August, I submitted C4SS op-eds a total of 44,606 times to 2,595 English-language newspapers world-wide. I’ve cataloged 55 pickups for the month of C4SS English-language material by “establishment” media (and selected alternative, but large-viewership, media).

A couple of highlights for the month:

  • We always get a bit of a giggle when state media picks up our anti-state stuff (that’s generally via secondary routes). This month, that state media was Iran’s PressTV, which picked up Kevin Carson’s “The Roots of Police Militarization” (the pickup was via Counterpunch, a non-state American left publication that I submit some of our material to).
  • We don’t get as many campus press pickups as we’d like, but they do happen. For example, Indiana University’s Daily Student ran my own “Ferguson: Nixon Would Make a Solitude and Call it Peace” on August 19.
  • As we add media coordinators focusing on languages other than English, our international media presence continues to expand. But until we’re addressing every member of the global community in his or her own language, one of our most productive avenues is English-language media in countries where English may not be the first or most prominent language but is still used. We’re proud of our increasing reach to audiences in Taiwan, Bangladesh and other Asian venues. See our Press Room for details of those pickups!
  • One that I missed in last month’s update because it happened right at the very end of July — Joel Schlosberg’s “Reading Rainbow Soars Free” appeared in the Richmond, Virginia Voice — our first pickup that we know of in that state.

We seem to have stabilized somewhere north of 50 English-language pickups per month — the next goal is 100. As always, your support makes our continuing work possible and I personally appreciate it. Market anarchism is the bright future of humanity, and you are building that future, day by day, in the ruins of the statist present.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society

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state formation

one account of what's going on with isis puts the blame on 'stateless' or 'ungoverned' areas (another traditional formulation is 'failed state'). that's where the danger is suposed to lie, where terror blooms. but, first, surely the problems of syria and iraq are basically fomented by oppressive/corrupt governements. and second, is provides a pretty good model of how states arise (obviously, it calls itself a state) a more realistic version than the just-so stories of a hobbes or locke. people don't band together for mutual protection; they band together for rapine and sack (or religious fanaticism, or both). then as they roll in, you face a choice: die/lose evertything, or declare your loyalty to the sackers. pretty easy choice. your loyalty will expressed as tribute/protectio/taxes. then you are under the gang's protection, and they will start to consolidate a base by providing social services as well as physical protection from themselves and others. that's how the crips behaved in la, e.g., or hamas in gaza, and i speculate that it is the origin of the political state.

Be True To Yourself.


       Our pompous parasite class of privileged millionaires, and their mouthpiece, that babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, continue their attempt to glorify and justify, the imperialist bloody land grab of 1914/18 with a biased phoney history. We will have distorted documentaries, plays and ceremonies, about how it was all justified, in an attempt to defend democracy. Of how we were the honourable side, and the other side were a despicable sub-human species. The reality was, those sent by the UK imperialists, to do the killing were bus drivers, farm labourers, office workers, shop assistants, plumbers, engineers etc., who they were sent to kill, were, bus drivers, farm labourers, office workers, shop assistants, plumbers, engineers, etc.. None of whom had ever known democracy in their entire life, all of whom, on both sides, were struggle to create a democracy, something the Imperialists could not tolerate.
     Prior to the Imperial slaughter of 1914/18, the UK, like the rest of Europe, was in turmoil, here in the UK from 1900 to 1914, the country was racked by a continual series of strikes that were noted for their militancy and refusal to follow union leaders dictates.


Troops paraded in the streets of Liverpool in an attempt to intimidate workers, 1911.


        This militancy shook the British capitalist state to its foundations and forced the Liberal government of Herbert Henry Asquith to increasingly turn to military means in an attempt to halt the strikes. While the most famous examples of Government militancy was the despatching of two warships up the River Mersey following the 1911 strike of seamen there are also plenty of other examples such as the use of troops during the rail strike of 1911 in an attempt to keep scab trains operating. This period saw workers militancy break out of the boundaries of bourgeois legality and begin to start to develop towards a more critical consciousness which questioned the very basis of capitalist rule.
      This then was the democracy that existed in the UK prior to the 1914/18 imperial bloody greed fest. Today we are still struggling to create that democracy, and today like then, it is the capitalist class that stands in our way. If only once again, the workers would create that 1911 critical consciousness, and that breaking out of the bourgeois legality.
       When we hear our lords and masters talk of war as a solution to their problems, we would do well to remember the words of Eugene V. Debs, as he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and stripped of his citizenship, in that "Land of the Free", the good ol' US of A, for speaking out against that all encompassing 1914/18 imperialist slaughter.
      “They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people … Do not worry over the charge of treason to your masters, but be concerned about the treason that involves yourselves. Be true to yourself and you cannot be a traitor to any good cause on earth.”

Patriotism

No, I shall not die for the fluttering flag,
if truth be known, ’tis nothing but a multi-coloured rag
held aloft by some foolish hand
inciting worker and peasant to kill
on some green and wooded hill,
peasant and worker from some other land.
Nor shall I shed blood for the fluttering rag
that brings out fools to stand and brag
of brutal deeds painted grand,
deeds where rustic and craftsman lie so still
killed by my brothers' misguided hand.
No allegiance have I for the Nation
this man made autocratic creation
that divides my brothers in a world so small,
binds us to a country's cause, right or wrong,
bids us follow its drum, sing its song,
then sheds our blood in some border brawl.
No, I'll be no slave to flag or nation,
have no ear for power oration,
though its iron heel is on my breast,
my back feels its leather thong,
at patriotism's barracoon, I'll be no guest.

Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk



TPL · War Tax Resister Katsuki James Otsuka

Here are a couple more data points about the war tax resistance of American Quaker Katsuki James Otsuka. First, a United Press dispatch from :

Refuses to Pay Tax, Sentenced

 A Japanese-American Quaker today was fined $100 and costs and sentenced to 90 days in jail for failing to pay a $4.50 federal income tax.

Federal Judge Robert C. Baltzell sentenced Katsuki James Otsuka, 28, a student at Earlham college in Richmond, Ind.

Otsuka paid 71 per cent of his tax but refused to pay the other 29 per cent because it “would be used for military purposes.” He is a farm worker between terms at school.

Next, a second United Press dispatch (as distilled through an Indiana paper), from :

Hoosier Carpenter Among Those Who Refuse To Pay Tax

 Only one Hoosier was listed among 40 “peacemakers” who refused to pay all of their federal income tax.

National headquarters of the organization here said the Hoosier was Roy Nusbaum, a carpenter of Wakarusa, Ind.

There would have been two from Indiana on the list, but Katsuki James Otsuka, former Earlham college student from Richmond, did not earn a taxable income in , the statement said.

Otsuka was in federal prison nearly half of because he refused to pay $4.50 in a previous year, a part of his income tax. The Peacemakers refuse to pay that part of their tax which, they say, corresponds to the percentage of national budget now allocated for defense.

In a prepared statement, the Peacemakers said President Truman’s decision to make the hydrogen bomb made them “even more determined than before” not to pay taxes.