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Como devolver o transporte coletivo para as pessoas

No último dia 11 de julho, o governo federal revogou edital para leiloar linhas de transporte rodoviário interestadual para empresas selecionadas. O governo estava tentando escolher empresas para operar um conjunto de rotas, mas o procedimento, iniciado em agosto de 2013 com término previsto para janeiro de 2014, estava suspenso por liminares judiciais.

Parece um ato de pouca importância, mas que na verdade sinaliza uma nova postura do governo federal, disposto a ceder seus poderes pela pressão das circunstâncias.

Já no mês passado, a presidente da república havia sancionado a Lei nº 12.996/2014, que, em seu artigo 3º, modificou o modelo de autorização para empresas realizarem transporte rodoviário interestadual.

A diretora da Agência Nacional de Transportes Terrestres (ANTT), Ana Patriza Gonçalves Lira, explicou recentemente qual é o objetivo: “Se tiver 30 ou 40 empresas querendo fazer Rio-São Paulo, e elas se habilitarem, vamos autorizá-las. Depois, o mercado se ajusta.”

Ou seja, ao invés de tentar leiloar linhas para trechos predeterminados, que seriam obtidas por empresas específicas, o governo está anunciando que permitirá que empresas interessadas façam suas próprias rotas e as operem, desde que cumpram com requisitos mínimos de segurança e qualidade.

A revogação daquele edital no último dia 11, portanto, foi apenas o último suspiro de várias tentativas do governo, desde 2008, de realizar essas licitações de rotas interestaduais predeterminadas para empresas de transporte rodoviário.

A tendência natural do governo seria manter um sistema caracterizado pelo capitalismo de conchavo e por uma burocracia centralizadora, mas, pressionado por circunstâncias desfavoráveis e pela inviabilidade de manter um sistema deficitário de controle sobre o transporte coletivo interestadual, foi forçado a essa devolução de poder à sociedade.

Mas nem tudo são flores sob o novo modelo: as empresas ainda terão capacidade para manipular o sistema, ao influenciar esses requisitos mínimos de segurança e qualidade, além de que existirão tarifas máximas para as rotas durante 5 anos, após os quais as tarifas serão liberadas e punidos apenas eventuais abusos (possivelmente ligados ao Direito antitruste brasileiro).

O capitalismo de conchavo não foi completamente expurgado, mas houve um passo a mais em direção à mais liberdade.

E isso leva a uma reflexão: o Leviatã ameaçador não tem como se expandir infinitamente à custa da sociedade. Existem circunstâncias sobre as quais nada mais resta ao governo senão abrir mão da centralização burocrática e do conluio com empresas privadas específicas.

Alguns pensadores da filosofia política e da economia institucional já dedicaram observações importantes sobre este assunto.

Jeffrey Tucker escreveu sobre 50 novas tecnologias e práticas institucionais que nos permitem contornar o estado. A inovação seria fundamental para o estado ceder seu poder.

David Friedman comentou que seu caminho ideal para uma sociedade sem Estado seria um no qual instituições privadas gradualmente realocam as instituições do governo, de tal modo que ninguém nem notaria o desaparecimento de um Estado. Tendências rumo à cripto-anarquia digital e à expansão de arranjos legais privados de arbitragem e policiamento podem exercer um papel significativo nisso.

Kevin Carson já destacou que é preciso reverter o processo secular por intermédio do qual estados territoriais centralizados suprimiram supressão de alternativas auto-organizadas da sociedade civil. O caminho seria a construção de instituições sociais alternativas.

Compare agora o cenário traçado por estes autores com os protestos de junho do ano passado, onde milhares de brasileiros saíram às ruas para reivindicar que não houvesse nenhum aumento nas tarifas do ônibus urbano, sendo que o grupo que deu início aos protestos chegava a demandar o “passe livre”.

Aqueles protestos foram menos efetivos para mudar o modelo do transporte urbano municipal do que a pressão das circunstâncias foram para fazer o governo federal espontaneamente mudar o modelo do transporte urbano interestadual.

Um dos motivos é que, à exceção de poucos ativistas libertários, os protestos exigiam mais controle do Estado sobre o transporte coletivo urbano. O resultado foi, em várias cidades, o congelamento do preço da passagem, temporariamente, mas a manutenção de um sistema corporativista que beneficia apenas algumas empresas e políticos em conluio nos municípios do país, sistema que não foi questionado pela maioria. Muitos dos manifestantes esqueceram que o transporte clandestino em várias grandes cidades tem oferecido serviços alternativos ao transporte público autorizado pelas prefeituras, atendendo a demanda.

Portanto, um ano após os protestos, constata-se que, para mudar o modelo de transporte coletivo em nosso país e devolvê-lo para as pessoas, é preciso reivindicar do estado o poder que ele roubou de todos nós, de livremente fornecer e comprar serviços de transporte por meio de associações voluntárias e trocas livres.

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Volume 1, Issue 3 of THE NEW LEVELLER now online!

newnewnewleveller

“Are you interested in individualist anarchism, or at least so frightened by it that you want to keep an eye on its progress? Are you frustrated by capitalism’s love for central planning and communism’s conservative view of human potential? Do you suspect that abolishing the institution responsible for war, police brutality, and mass incarceration might not be so dangerous after all?

Then The New Leveller is for you!”

The third issue of the Students for a Stateless Society‘s newsletter, The New Leveller is now online.

For a link to a PDF of the entire issue (recommended!), click here.
For links to an HTML version of each individual article, click here.

In this issue:
“A Matter of Life & Death” by Jason Lee Byas frames the vision of individualist anarchism as a battle of life against death. This is not only because governments murder, but also because both aggression and domination are at odds with the principle behind life itself.
“Anarchists United” by Uriel Alexis explores ways in which anarchists with divergent views about how a stateless society would (and should) look can still cooperate toward those goals that they share.
“Identity & Individuals” by Elizabeth Tate explains that libertarians and anarchists should embrace, not shun, identity politics.
“Prisons: The Case for Abolition” by Nathan Goodman details reasons that prisons are both an unnecessary and unjust institution, and also shows how attempts at piecemeal reform can actually make things worse. The solution, then, is abolition.
“All Wars Are Unjust” by Jason Lee Byas argues for the conclusion in its title. To support any war is to support murder, dehumanization, regimentation, and theft, all on a massive scale. Because of this, we must reject all war.

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This is how some of the major mental health charities work against the interests of mentally ill people

Originally posted on Aethelread the Unread:
Today, there was a conference on mental illness. It was addressed by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg. The text of his speech is here. Since he was speaking about mental health in public,…

We’re All Illegalists Now! on Feed 44

C4SS Feed 44 presents Ryan Calhoun‘s “We’re All Illegalists Now!” read and edited by Nick Ford.

Being that the drug world is literally under siege by a domestic military operation, it is beyond anyone’s imagination how markets like the Silk Road could keep their doors open without a serious injection of class consciousness. All those involved in the drug community are criminals. Whether or not we are all revolutionaries is up for debate. We are criminals first and foremost. When you buy an ounce of pot from your friend, you are in no uncertain terms worthy of being pumped full of bullets in the view of most police and even many citizens.

Those employing the Silk Road must keep aware of this fact. Many imagine Silk Road to be something of a revolution, and I’d largely agree with that analysis. But the state does not see you as revolutionaries. To them, drug users are of the same class as rapists and killers. Those engaging in such activities ought to adjust their activities in accordance with this.

Feed 44:

Bitcoin tips welcome:

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Israel’s War on Gaza: The Context

Any discussion of Israel’s war on Gaza that does not focus on 1) the Zionist military’s and Israel’s systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians through roughly 1948 (that’s how Palestinian refugees ended up in the Gaza Strip); 2) the military conquest of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967; 3) the Israeli/Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007, following the Israeli withdrawal in 2005 (yes, the occupation ended, but Gaza remains a prison camp — as though guards left a prison but maintained strict control over who and what — food, medicine, infrastructure supplies, etc. — could enter and leave); and 4) the exploitation of the kidnapping and murders of three young Israeli residents of an illegal West Bank settlement (one a 19-year-old soldier) to rout Hamas (which denied responsibility; it normally claims credit for his acts) in the West Bank (Israeli forces rearrested several hundred West Bank Palestinians, including some who had been released in an earlier prisoner exchange; political leaders stirred up revenge fever and one Palestinian youth was burned to death, while another was severely beaten by police) – any discussion that fails to take all these things into account is worse than worthless. It is crudely dishonest. (Compare the reaction to the murder of the three Israelis with the murder by Israeli soldiers of two Palestinian youth on May 15 while peacefully commemorating the 1948 destruction of Palestine, known as the Nakba.)

Hamas is wrong to fire rockets at civilians (though few hit their targets), even considering that the villages those civilians live in were once Palestinian villages that Zionist/Israeli forces seized during the 1947-48 ethnic cleansing. The rocketing, however, is a sign of weakness versus Israel, not strength, and must not permit us to overlook this background of brutality against Palestinians. This year Hamas agreed to join the Palestinian Authority’s coalition government (after the Israeli government, again, made a mockery of “peace talks”) signaling an endorsement of the PA’s agenda — including recognition of Israel. Was this a welcome step for the Israeli government? No. It immediately set out to punish the Palestinians for this new unity — it prefers a divided Palestinian community and a Hamas it can demonize. (Years ago, the Israeli government nurtured the emergence of Hamas precisely because it could serve as a religious rival to the popular secular Fatah.)

Hamas, it is true, maintains a charter that calls for the destruction of Israel, but that has not kept it from issuing statements over the years — joining the coalition is only the most recent — indicating a willingness to accept Israel as part of a two-state solution. It is Israel that has broken truces with Hamas. Its soldiers have often killed and injured Gazans minding their own business on their own side of the fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, while Hamas leaders have been assassinated by the Israeli government following offers of a truce. It is clear that Israeli leaders do not want a Hamas they can make peace with, just as they don’t want an Iran with which they can have normal relations. They need the specter of an “existential threat” to maintain their iron rule. In particular, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must push this intransigent line especially hard to keep the members of his coalition government who are further to the right than he is (yes, further) on the reservation.

Israeli leaders and spokesmen continually say that their only goal in this war is “peace and quiet” for the people if Israel. Maybe a decent goal would include justice for the long-suffering Palestinians. This is not about Hamas, an organization that endangers the innocent people it claims to champion with futile yet criminal activities like the rocket fire. This does not let the Israelis and their brutal response — underwritten by American taxpayers and supporter by their rulers — off the hook, however. Ont the contrary, since Israel created and maintains the open-air prison, it is responsible for all the evils that go on inside. Its hard-line policies embolden the most extreme elements and undercut the moderate voices. Has the “peace process” even slowed the building of illegal settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank?

No, it’s not about Hamas; it’s about the Palestinians, who do not deserve this punishment at the hands of the Israelis.

For further discussion of the larger context, see Ramzy Baroud’s “Ravaging Gaza: The War Netanyahu Cannot Possibly Win.” Also worthwhile are Nathan Thrall’s “How the West Chose War in Gaza” and Neve Gordon’s “On ‘Human Shielding’ in Gaza.”

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mpdg

i was a sullen, withdrawn young man (ok ok i was pushing 40), and in a quasi-courageous attempt at life-affirmation i married a real-life manic pixie dream girl (ok she was pushing 40 too), indeed a person who for awhile was going to be played by zoe deschanel in the film of her memoir. i came out of the whole thing with a new appreciation for sullen and withdrawn, so it did have a life-affirming effect after all.

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periodic outbreaks of slaughter

the american foreign policy establishment (represented by madeleine albright this morning on cnn, e.g.) is still saying 'there must be a two-state solution', that's the only hope etc. if that's the only hope, there is no hope. the idea that israel ever was going to or ever will permit a palestinian state to emerge is false, whatever they may say. anyway, why isn't that just a formula for more and worse war? so if you can't come up with any new ideas, we're going to recapitulate this thing ad infinitum.

really, defining states ethnically/religiously cannot not lead to violence. it's just a wee bit as though we defined the united states as a white nation, for example. i think the only possible solution would be a fully multi-ethnic full democracy. but israel will never permit that either, because then it would have destroyed its own purpose and definition. so i would see this situation persisting for the next, say, century, with periodic outbreaks of slaughter. 

Andromeda Strain

Here are some pictures of Andromeda, the princess that Perseus rescued from a sea monster and then married. Notice anything about her?

Yes, she’s naked and in chains. I’m sure you noticed that right off. But what else?

She’s white.

What’s wrong with that? Well, Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess. “Ethiopian” comes from a Greek word meaning “burnt face.” In other words, the Greeks knew perfectly well that Ethiopians are black, so the correct colour of the woman whose beauty so stunned Perseus would have been traditionally understood by ancient audiences. Modern depictions have erased a fairly important woman of colour, and a fairly important interracial marriage, from Greek mythology.

Massacre(s) in Gaza

Bakr-beach

 

Gaza-nakba

 

Sabra-shujaia

physics or metaphysics?

i am going to speculate that high-end physics/cosmology has gone very far off the deep end. so, for example, stephen hawking has concluded on the basis - i guess? - of mathematics that "the universe has every possible history", and we're way into multiverses, infinitely many different spaces, and stuff. 

Dr. Tegmark, in his new book, “Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality,” turns the idea on its head: The reason mathematics serves as such a forceful tool is that the universe is a mathematical structure. Going beyond Pythagoras and Plato, he sets out to show how matter, energy, space and time might emerge from numbers.

now, i'm afraid i do not understand the claim that the universe is a mathematical structure. does that mean that physical objects are abstract objects? well, you'll need to grapple with the fact that that cannot possibly be the case, given that abstract and concrete objects have extremely different sorts of properties, and hence cannot be identical. where is the number 5, bro? inside that star?

now it may sound crass to say it, but isn't whether there are other universes - whatever that means - an empirical question? (if not, i wouldn't think it's a scientific question at all.) you can stipulate universes, or invent them - but you can't discover them except in the usual human way: by actual experience. i should have said it's quite like insisting that you know the number of planets before looking at all, maybe from a biblical passage, or just by thinking about it real hard. a few decadesago  we called that "the dark ages".

the piece says that they're going beyond plato and pythagoras, but maybe they're just going back to the little stage where people were worshipping abstract objects and trying to view the physical universe either as an illusionistic scrim over the numbers and concepts, or as actually being made out of them. like i say, that's not just a puzzling formulation. if you tell me a wall is made of bricks, i understand what you're saying. if you tell me it's made out of 16 and 137, or emerges from them (causally?) it's going to take a lot to convince me that you mean anything at all. 

maybe, just perhaps, this stuff isn't science whatsoever. it certainly isn't science that involves things like experiments and systematic observation. perhaps we're back to the wildest metaphysical speculation. there's a lot to be said for that, i think, but that is also not the way it's being presented. indeed, hawking, for example is (a) doing philosophy all the time, (b) doing it very very badly, (c) denying that he's doing it at all. but if you want to believe whatever he says, go right ahead, because even if everyone believed that the universe has every possible history or whatever it may be, that will have no effects at all on this one.

more hawking

whore mocking

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