Welcome to the first edition of the Market Anarchist Carnival! For more information, or to ask for a spot as future host of the Carnival (we only have two months covered at the moment), please read the introductory post.
Without further ado, let’s start the merry-go-round!
First, a video. Niels van der Linden, of The Freedom Channel, challenges us to affirm our self-ownership. (unfortunately WordPress is too retarded to allow videos, so you’ll have to click on the link)
Now, imagine you have ‘consented’ to be ruled. If at any time your judgment says that you should not obey your ruler, and your promise of obedience (in your judgment) does not outweigh that, the only sane action is to break your promise. Therefore, even if you consented to be oppressed, ‘taxed,’ etc. by some god-complex psychopath politician, that still cannot give you an obligation to forego your own judgment in favor of his, which is nice, since it is impossible to forego your own judgment in favor of anything. Also, if someone has the power to override your judgment, he doesn’t need your “consent.”
The fact that only the individual is the ultimate decision-maker is a fundamental one, which nicely disproves all delusions of “common” or “higher” good. Deciding to follow such goods can only come from the individual and his own values, and coercion made in its name is immoral and self-contradictory.
Aaron Kinney, co-writer of The Radical Libertarian with myself, writes about how the Burden of Proof argument deconverted him, in “The Burden of Proof, and Aaron Kinney’s Political Deconversion”:
I’m not so sure that anarchists employ the Burden of Proof as much as they should. While it is a popular atheistic tool, I don’t get the feeling that it is as popular a tool among anarchists, as I don’t see it mentioned in any anarchist writings that I’ve come across. Conversely, I can hardly read a single atheistic essay or book without coming across the Burden of Proof concept.
A pointed comment, which we would do well to take to heart.
There’s the ridiculous idea that without a State, people would act immorally – there’d be no basis for morality anymore. Sound familiar? Atheists, by the same logic, should supposedly be lacking in morality because they don’t believe in a god. Why should we think that the lack of a government would suddenly make us all murderers? If all that’s keeping you from committing immoral acts is the State, you have issues.
The parallels between atheism and Anarchism are so obvious that they should jump to the face of any atheist. The modern voting booth is little more than the new altar of the State religion, and State soldiers are our new saviours.
If you want to change the world, start with your own self. Put more thought into your daily lifestyle. Educate yourself on how your actions affect others, and alter them accordingly. The Mishna in Sanhedrin says that only one human was created at first in order to teach us that every individual is a world of their own.
I really can’t argue with that. We can’t look to groups and organizations to change what can only come from our own will.
When you “do good,” you benefit yourself, in that you are fulfilling YOUR VALUES. Values like, helping society. One thing you can do to help your society is to refuse to promote false premises like doing good in the name of something. Fuck politics. Promote truth.
Where on earth did Faust study law? Mephistopheles took him for a ride. Always negotiate hard and get the best deal you can.
There’s no shame in being a miser. Who wants to be the poorest person in the graveyard?
Finally, my own entry: “Anti-Consumeurism is Anti-Individualism.”
Who benefits most from this ultra-efficient division of labour? Those who have the least resources. They are the ones who benefit most from progress. The upper classes are most able to bear the cost of inefficiency through the sheer accumulation of resources. If we look at history, we find that progress has equalized society, not divided it. Look at the difference between yourself and Bill Gates… While we obviously have wildly differing levels of freedom, Bill Gates and I benefit from the same products, technologies and the same general standard of living. The differences between an upper-class nobleman and a lower-class peasant, to us, seem in comparison abysmal.
Jamila Akil, of an eponymous blog, analyzes the data about “American” health care and that of the rest of the world, and finds it quite lacking, in “We Don’t Need Universal Health Care Pt. I: Why Does The US Have Such A High Infant Mortality Rate ?”:
According to a 2006 Institute of Medicine report, the numbers of women using assistive reproductive technology doubled from 1996 to 2002. At least half of their pregnancies culminated in multiple births (twins or more), which are at high risk of premature delivery, and subsequently a higher risk of death. In 2005, 12.5 percent of births in the United States were preterm, at less than 37 weeks gestation.
The problem of high infant mortality is really a problem of reducing premature birth and as yet, methods for reducing prematurity have been unsuccessful. If the rising rates of prematurity are driven by the fertility industry there may not be a way to significantly reduce the IMR.
This is perhaps the single most important blog entry in this Carnival. I have to commend Jamila for this investigative work.
David E., from Worldwide Success, submits an entry on the telecom monopoly, pretty straightforwardly titled “Cable Companies Monopoly Equals Lower Service and Higher Prices”:
Consumers must stand strong and fight back against these types of abuses from monopolistic enterprises. If consumers refuse to pay these outrageous prices for poor service, companies like Comcast will have to change their ways in order to survive. There is only one way to respond to a situation like this. Refuse to give them your business.
Well said. It reminds us that Market Anarchists are not blindly in favour of whoever happens to be selling products and services, but that we believe in the power of the individual in making his own decisions. And if that means using alternatives, then by jove use them.
The next day, Garrison’s version was replaced by an more strongly-worded
Resolved, whereas governments of violence, all with their murderous
machinery, are upheld and sustained by military force and direct and
indirect payment of taxes; therefore, Resolved that it is a violation of
non-resistance principles voluntarily to pay military fines, mixed taxes, or
to purchase taxed goods.
But these resolutions were shelved, and apparently the Society didn’t
take them up again.
As we know, the law was brought in to stop fraud and to protect investors. One of its provisions targets accountants and lawyers destroying incriminating evidence a la Andersen.
But once again, the law of unintended consequences strikes. Now it’s being used in the arrest of an attorney on charges of destroying evidence in a child pornography investigation.
The Carnival Freaks
This category is reserved for those who submitted an entry without reading the instructions, and thus made fools of themselves. There is only one entry this time around: “Ideal Tax Simplicity – The Sales Tax,” by Praveen.
The simplest and least intrusive tax is a sales tax. The federal goverment should replace the income tax with a sales tax.
Since the instructions for this Carnival clearly ask to forego submissions which advocate one government measure against another, you ended up in the Freaks section. Good work Praveen, you little statist you. Anyone may feel free to publically ridicule this entry for the next Carnival edition.
Thank you everyone for your entries! Please link to this edition so that more people can become aware of its existence and so we can get more entries.
See you all for the next edition at There is No Government Like No Government!