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Author Topic: Anti-politics  (Read 13164 times)

J’raxis 270145

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #60 on: December 17, 2007, 09:25 AM NHFT »

do you really think the civil war is the fault of decent people throughout america who wanted to end slavery?

The Civil War wasn’t about slavery, although the secession of the South was caused in part by their belief that the federal government was soon to outlaw slavery. Other contributing factors were the tariffs the northern industrial states were trying to impose on imports (protectionist scheme for northern industry), and just their all-around disdain for states’ rights and attempts at exalting the federal government above those of the states.

However, Lincoln’s government was able to artfully paint the entire war as a crusade to end slavery, and many abolitionists (not all of them, thankfully) were only too happy to go along with it. Ultimately, the sudden liberation of the slaves and the humiliation that the former ruling class received as a result of it, was the impetus behind the creation of the Klan.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #61 on: December 17, 2007, 09:36 AM NHFT »

My fears around gradualism is that you'd have to implement a long-term plan, which you'd have to announce as such at the beginning.

Just because you have a long-term plan, doesn’t mean you have to announce it. Ever heard of the Fabian Society? [Wikipedia]
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dalebert

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #62 on: December 17, 2007, 09:39 AM NHFT »

I wish I hadn't used the word "violence" once again to describe political action. It's a clear point of contention after that other long thread and also emotionally charged when I was trying to make a tactical point; not a moral one. It distracts from my point.

The point I was trying to make when I talk about a paradox is that politics is the root tool of the state. It's the mind fuck that makes it possible to control people on a massive scale without it looking like coercion. It's how they give it the appearance of legitimacy. They call democracy government "by the people" for that very reason, and we all know that's a load of crap. Democracy is not freedom. That's the mind fuck that I'm fighting to dispel. If you aren't fighting against that, then your message is that it's okay for us to pick leaders by expressed majority preference that will then have power over everyone, including the people who didn't vote for them or who didn't vote at all.

If I go up to a Hillary supporter and say the role of government should only be defense and police so vote for my candidate, then they just express their preference that the role of government should also be welfare and health care. Meanwhile, our real beliefs (anarchists, that is), that imposing your preferences on someone else, are being lied about. We're shouting out the exact opposite of what we really believe to be the problem- installing rulers that have not been explicitly accepted by every individual being ruled. Even more harmful (IMHO) than the silent vote in a private booth is waving signs and raising money to send the message out that we prefer this lesser evil (according to us) to someone else's lesser evil (according to them), and that we hope to over power those who disagree with how the country ought to be run via the political process. Some anarchists say they just want to use the political process to get a government that doesn't impose it's will on individuals, but that's exactly what the political process is.

The civil war wasn't about slavery. It was about federalism. And racism has been perpetuated by the state by segregation and 2nd class citizenship LONG after slavery ended and then by coercive, collectivist programs like welfare and affirmative action that build resentment in people who didn't personally feel any responsibility for the harm done to slaves before they were born. When the civil war started, we had the constitution to protect federalism. Surprise, surprise. Words on a piece of paper written by a bunch of elitists who thought they knew best how to run other people's lives, and who felt justified in doing so, did not radiate magical forces to prevent slavery or protect state's rights and maintain peace. Minarchy failed miserably. Now we have this constitutional preacher evangelizing about how important this magical piece of paper is, while the rational message ought to be that it never did have any magical powers and that it was built on an illogical premise that a homeopathic insertion of violence and coercion by the government will somehow prevent large scale violence.

As a political atheist who thinks minarchy is a unicorn, I'm called a purist by other political atheists for being against preaching the gospel of minarchy.  ::) I call myself a realist. I want less government too and would be glad to have it ASAP, but wanting it doesn't make it so. Next let's gather the atheists (the religious kind, not the political kind) to pray to God for less government and if an atheist tells them they're wasting their time, call him a purist.

UPDATE: Two replies were posted while I was writing this.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2007, 09:47 AM NHFT by dalebert »
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #63 on: December 17, 2007, 10:50 AM NHFT »

The civil war wasn't about slavery. It was about federalism. And racism has been perpetuated by the state by segregation and 2nd class citizenship LONG after slavery ended and then by coercive, collectivist programs like welfare and affirmative action that build resentment in people who didn't personally feel any responsibility for the harm done to slaves before they were born.

The Civil War wasn’t about slavery (I’ve argued this point myself quite a bit) but it did play a part; it was one of the states’ rights issues the south was upset about the federal government meddling with. But, most importantly, the war was portrayed as being about slavery, and eventually accepted as such by many people on both sides. Many abolitionists supported the idea of using a war to end slavery. Many southerners were led to believe the war was about ending slavery. The perception, not the reality, is important here, because that’s what drives people’s behaviors—and after the war, a great deal of racism was a direct result of the perception among the deposed southern ruling classes that the north had come down there to free their slaves and set them up above them.

As a political atheist who thinks minarchy is a unicorn, I'm called a purist by other political atheists for being against preaching the gospel of minarchy.  Roll Eyes I call myself a realist. I want less government too and would be glad to have it ASAP, but wanting it doesn't make it so. Next let's gather the atheists (the religious kind, not the political kind) to pray to God for less government and if an atheist tells them they're wasting their time, call him a purist.

I’ve made the comparison before that the State is God, whereas the government is the clergy. My argument is that infiltrating the government in order to downsize or eliminate it is an acceptable strategy; this doesn’t require belief in the legitimacy or even existence of “the State.” By this line of reasoning, becoming a member of a religious order’s clergy in order to undermine the religion would be the correct parallel to in-the-system activism. And whereas I don’t think such things have ever been done, that to me would be a pretty decent strategy.
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #64 on: December 17, 2007, 10:50 AM NHFT »

If I go up to a Hillary supporter and say the role of government should only be defense and police so vote for my candidate, then they just express their preference that the role of government should also be welfare and health care. Meanwhile, our real beliefs (anarchists, that is), that imposing your preferences on someone else, are being lied about. We're shouting out the exact opposite of what we really believe to be the problem- installing rulers that have not been explicitly accepted by every individual being ruled. Even more harmful (IMHO) than the silent vote in a private booth is waving signs and raising money to send the message out that we prefer this lesser evil (according to us) to someone else's lesser evil (according to them), and that we hope to over power those who disagree with how the country ought to be run via the political process. Some anarchists say they just want to use the political process to get a government that doesn't impose it's will on individuals, but that's exactly what the political process is.

That's a very good point and having said that how do you forsee anarchy being brought about in your lifetime despite the fact that a majority of people prefer government?

Do you think every person in America could be convinced of the virtues of anarchy?
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dalebert

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #65 on: December 17, 2007, 11:55 AM NHFT »

That's a very good point and having said that how do you forsee anarchy being brought about in your lifetime despite the fact that a majority of people prefer government?

I don't even know if it can be done in my lifetime. How can I know? I've said we have a herculean task before us. I know I can't do it on my own and I don't expect one person to guide it. That's not how anarchy works. Anarchy merely aims to maximize the potential benefits of every individual working uninhibited in their non-violent creativity. I expect it will happen organically by lots of individuals expressing their individuality and by withdrawing their support from the state. Future resistance will refine and improve on previous acts. We might make 3 steps forward and 2 back. I don't have to offer an alternative to point out what's neither rational nor acceptable. It's like we're in a car trip and we get lost and the driver takes us back to a road we're familiar with and there are several other roads to take and he suggests going right back in the direction we came from to our origin. I may not claim to know which road to take, but I can confidently say not to go in the exact opposite direction from our destination.

Quote
Do you think every person in America could be convinced of the virtues of anarchy?

No, and they don't necessarily have to. We may just need enough people to throw wrenches in the system. Government is merely a very well orchestrated criminal organization that operates under a veil of legitimacy. Without that illusion, the criminals lack the ability to be a cohesive orchestrated monopoly on violence and they become much smaller threats. They won't go away. They just go back to being criminals in the free market of crime. :) Overt criminals will be resisted, particularly when it goes along with a gradual culture shift toward more personal responsibility, and crime then becomes much more difficult. Since crime and government are the same to an anarchist, anarchists should see anarchy as the path to minarchy (minimum crime). See J? I'm actually an incrementalist!

Major culture shifts happen when the state is forced to use overt violence to control people rather than this subtle "government by the people" violence where there's a convenient disconnect that prevents anyone from feeling any responsibility for it. It has the appearance of coming from some being of authority that actually has no real physical presence, like a demon that was summoned by reading the magical words of the Constitution. The police are just following orders. Not their fault. Politicians have a mandate from the people. They're just following orders too. (Government by the people, remember?) Voters say they didn't like any of the candidates. They were just voting for the lesser evil. After all, someone was going to be voted in regardless, right? So not a single person actually feels responsible for the violence of the state, this mythical beast. Who can be surprised when it grows? Psychopaths are defined as having no sense of remorse for their actions. That's what collectivism does to us all. I'm not a spiritual person, but its the closest thing I can imagine to real evil. Don't doubt my sincerity when I compare it to Tolkien's ring of power.

Overt violence isn't able to garner broad support like this cryptic political crap. Consider the cultural impact of the footage of police sicking dogs on and aiming fire hoses at peaceful civil rights protesters (2nd class citizens at the time). The tragic flaw that kept that from having the lasting impact it could have had was that people didn't point their finger right at the state itself as the problem and call it out. People misdiagnosed it and tried to use the state to solve the problem of the state and racism merely changed form. The statists themselves will have more difficulty propping up the legitimacy of the system if they're put in the more difficult position of defending against the very clear position that the state is flat out wrong rather than lots of different people agreeing that the state needs to be small and then all fighting to keep their piece of the violence from being the part that's shrunk.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2007, 12:00 PM NHFT by dalebert »
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dalebert

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #66 on: December 17, 2007, 12:26 PM NHFT »

That's a very good point and having said that how do you forsee anarchy being brought about in your lifetime... ?

I failed to correct one misunderstanding about where I stand. Anarchy is a personal philosophy; not a form of government. It's completely contradictory for me to talk about how to implement anarchy as if it's a form of government which implies that as a society, collectively, we will one day definitively "be there". Anarchy for me is a personal code against aggressive violence in any form. I'm already there, so I guess the answer is "yes". It can and has been brought about in my lifetime.  8) To me, the path to minimum violence is a culture shift away from what I see as a failure of rational thought that we actually need some violence in order to have a peaceful society. It is therefore a very rational and sensible incrementalist approach to minimum violence (minarchy).

My personal motto which you may have read before:

Anarchy isn't a form of government. It's a personal philosophy.

Anarchy isn't the end. It's the beginning.

Does it now make sense why my website is called "Anarchy In Your Head"?
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #67 on: December 17, 2007, 01:12 PM NHFT »

My impression is that you are okay with only having freedom in your head, correct?

In that case what was an advantage of moving to NH?

Most, if not all, of the freedoms that NH has today have been made possible by pro-liberty folks working in the political process to stall or reverse the growth of government.

In my opinion when you make the choice and effort to move to a place with less government you are acknowledging that less government is better and you support that idea (by making the effort to uproot yourself and make the move). Couldn't you have been just as free in your mind where ever you lived before?

I think that some part of you is definitely happy about the physical liberties that NH has to offer such as not requiring you to wear a seat belt, not taxing you on every purchase at the store (that is if you lived in a state with sales tax before), etc.

And if you support the idea of less government, well, how can you not be supportive of folks who are making strides in doing so?

While you are freeing yourself mentally those folks working inside the system are freeing you physically. And no amount of intellectual freedom (unless you can convince a majority to agree with anarchy) will set you free physically. And I think the fact that you moved to NH is proof that you want to be physically free and not just 'in your head'.
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MaineShark

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #68 on: December 17, 2007, 01:19 PM NHFT »

Auntie, you'll find most of them have little background in basics. MaineShark talks about the taxing of fuel, but doesn't equate it with the cost of maintenance of roads. Does one believe that the system has inefficiencies? Point them out. For it is fact that it has no ROI, which is required of capitalism.

Roads should be paid for by private owners, who would find ways to fund them: tolls, advertising, etc.  Taxing gasoline makes no sense.

Many modern trucks get better gas mileage than my Corvette.  Do you imagine that the 'Vette is wearing the roads out faster than the trucks?  What about my lawn tractor?  Is that wearing the roads out while I mow my lawn?

do you really think the civil war is the fault of decent people throughout america who wanted to end slavery?

No, it was the government that started it.  But they certainly used abolitionists to further their goals, just as they use those who parrot slogans about voting being immoral.

Joe
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dalebert

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #69 on: December 17, 2007, 02:11 PM NHFT »

My impression is that you are okay with only having freedom in your head, correct?

Absolutely not. I wrote two long posts talking tactics for real liberty, and all you respond to is a side comment I added clarifying that anarchy is the path rather than the goal. I was merely pointing out that the goal as stated was poorly defined. It seems like a purposeful misreading of that one statement so you can argue a straw man again. People hope to use the tactics of our enemies against them, but it's those tactics that define our enemies. Without the hope of overpowering our enemies, we need to affect a culture shift toward voluntaryism. We should be expanding the numbers of people who reject coercion as a means to an end and will then contribute to furthering that cause. I made some suggestions for possible actions in that direction, but I don't have all the answers and don't claim to. I only know it absolutely has to start with reason and rejecting the paradox that we can work against our goal and toward it at the same time.

I have no problem with activism against new laws or speaking out against bad ones. That's merely part of the culture shift I speak of. Politicians will respond to those shifts in our culture and that can take us in a direction of more liberty, but in the screwed up collectivist game of imposing rulers on others, you cannot hope to overpower the culture and the attempt to do so affects a culture shift in the opposite direction from our goal.
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David

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #70 on: December 17, 2007, 02:30 PM NHFT »

Dalebert Quote<To say that political activity is harmful to the the liberty movement would also be watering down my position. Political activity is the very antithesis of liberty. The notion that it is acceptable for a mob to impose a leader on others IS the problem. If you want to know what my goals are, it is to change actions. It is literally to change the means by which we approach problems. This is what is meant by "The means is the end." Holy fucking shit! What is it going to take to convey this very simple concept? If my goal is to convince people that violence is an unacceptable means to their ends, how does using violence convince anyone? How hypocritical is that? Hell, "hypocrisy" is a watered down term for what I'm trying to express. This is a complete oxymoron, a complete break down in logic, a paradox that cannot exist. I am trying to do my part to affect a culture shift away from using violence to solve problems. This homeopathic solution of installing a softer tyrant is nonsensical and takes us in the opposite direction of the real goal. I realize that you disagree and I expect debate, but do not water down my position so that you can argue against purism instead of my real position.

So in a way, I guess you are right about my feeling that politically active anarchists are "almost there" and therefore worth my
attention. I feel my hope is to start brushfires in the minds of a tireless minority so that they can go out and spread the word. I flat out do not believe in minarchy any more than I believe in unicorns. Minarchy is a paradox. You cannot shrink aggression by convincing people it's necessary but just needs to be smaller. Collectivism doesn't work that way. There is a massive culture shift that needs to take place for us to achieve any measure of liberty. To shrink the violence, you first have to convince people that it's evil and wrong in no uncertain terms. It's not a thing that we're fighting and this is crucial to my point. It's an activity. The state is equivalent to a means, an activity, a route of violence and coercion. That's what I'm trying to shrink. When anarchists go out and use political activity, it's as if we had this conversation where we all agree that aggression is bad and we absolutely must convince people to use non-violent means to their ends, and they all went out and just started using violence! It's mind-blowingly nonsensical to me. Sure, I want to convince all those other non-anarchists to reject violence as a means, but I'm swimming upstream against other supposed anarchists who claim to agree with me but are spreading the opposite message! How can I hope to convince pro-violence people that violence is an unacceptable means when I can't convince anti-violence people that violence is an unacceptable means? OMG. My head is going to explode!>

Agreed, and well stated. 

If I go up to a Hillary supporter and say the role of government should only be defense and police so vote for my candidate, then they just express their preference that the role of government should also be welfare and health care. Meanwhile, our real beliefs (anarchists, that is), that imposing your preferences on someone else, are being lied about. We're shouting out the exact opposite of what we really believe to be the problem- installing rulers that have not been explicitly accepted by every individual being ruled. Even more harmful (IMHO) than the silent vote in a private booth is waving signs and raising money to send the message out that we prefer this lesser evil (according to us) to someone else's lesser evil (according to them), and that we hope to over power those who disagree with how the country ought to be run via the political process. Some anarchists say they just want to use the political process to get a government that doesn't impose it's will on individuals, but that's exactly what the political process is.

That's a very good point and having said that how do you forsee anarchy being brought about in your lifetime despite the fact that a majority of people prefer government?

Do you think every person in America could be convinced of the virtues of anarchy?
No.  A majority of people prefer gov't, that is why anarchy must start somewhere, someplace.  To create a beachhead.  Trying to change peoples mind is a waste of time.  :BangHead: It isn't going to happen.  Statism is a near religious belief.  No matter what 'proofs' we have to show or witty well written essays we have, we will never convince people en mass to join us. 

For the anarchists out there, we will always have to deal with gov't.  It is necessary to learn how to best defend ourselves now, nonviolently, or you will never, never have what you want.  Not even close to what you want.  If you don't believe me, wait ten years, or twenty, or thirty, and see if you can change anyones 'religious' beliefs. 
We have the opportunity now to organize on a small basis, close IMHO, to a gov't bankruptcy, to form a city of anarchists, to resist gov't to the point that they find it easier to leave us alone as they fleece their 'religious' followers.  Bankruptcy is important, it reduces the gov'ts ability to harm us, so long as we maintain the moral high ground, and remain nonviolent. 
Then the bugs, the issues, and the conflicts that are inevitable will be worked out on a continual basis.  We will be in a position to actually offer people something close to theoretical anarchy, rather than promises. 
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MaineShark

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #71 on: December 17, 2007, 02:39 PM NHFT »

I have no problem with activism against new laws or speaking out against bad ones. That's merely part of the culture shift I speak of. Politicians will respond to those shifts in our culture and that can take us in a direction of more liberty, but in the screwed up collectivist game of imposing rulers on others, you cannot hope to overpower the culture and the attempt to do so affects a culture shift in the opposite direction from our goal.

What, precisely, is magical about making a mark on a piece of paper with a Sharpie that is different from "activism against new laws or speaking out against bad ones"?

The only place "voting" is anything special is in the minds of those who believe in democracy.  To anyone else, it's just an expression of opinion.  I can express the opinion that Ron Paul as President would right a number of wrongs, even if he isn't by any means perfect.

Can I say that to you?  Can I write that opinion down for you?  Should you care which particular piece of paper I write it on?

The fact that the government thinks there is something magical about the pieces of paper that they call "ballots" does not mean that I do (or that any anarchist does).  The supposed magical power of ballots is part of the mystique of government.  How do you claim to be opposing that belief system, while still attaching such a huge degree of importance to ballots?  Sounds like you still believe.  Whether or not you do is between you and yourself, but it certainly sounds like you still believe, and that defeats the purpose of "opposing the system," doesn't it?  I call hypocrisy on anyone who claims to "oppose the State," and yet goes on about how voting has magical powers.

Joe
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #72 on: December 17, 2007, 03:07 PM NHFT »

I have no problem with activism against new laws or speaking out against bad ones. That's merely part of the culture shift I speak of. Politicians will respond to those shifts in our culture and that can take us in a direction of more liberty, but in the screwed up collectivist game of imposing rulers on others, you cannot hope to overpower the culture and the attempt to do so affects a culture shift in the opposite direction from our goal.

Most Americans are against the war and none of the politicians running for president (other than Ron Paul) are even suggesting a troop pullout. How's that for politicians responding to shifts in the populace?
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #73 on: December 17, 2007, 04:00 PM NHFT »

Auntie, you'll find most of them have little background in basics. MaineShark talks about the taxing of fuel, but doesn't equate it with the cost of maintenance of roads. Does one believe that the system has inefficiencies? Point them out. For it is fact that it has no ROI, which is required of capitalism.

Roads should be paid for by private owners, who would find ways to fund them: tolls, advertising, etc.  Taxing gasoline makes no sense.

Many modern trucks get better gas mileage than my Corvette.  Do you imagine that the 'Vette is wearing the roads out faster than the trucks?  What about my lawn tractor?  Is that wearing the roads out while I mow my lawn?


The State gas tax goes to pay for State highways... they were the property of the British monarchy during colony. I doubt that a private owner would be willing to take the responsibility without a return on investment.
And your lawn mower falls under unrefunded gas taxes... you can actually fill out a form and get the tax returned to you.
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MaineShark

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #74 on: December 17, 2007, 04:19 PM NHFT »

The State gas tax goes to pay for State highways... they were the property of the British monarchy during colony. I doubt that a private owner would be willing to take the responsibility without a return on investment.

Plenty would.  The advertising and toll possibilities would be a major money-maker.

Joe
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