At this year’s Porcfest, I did a presentation at the AltExpo on the history of anarchism. I was overly ambitious with what I could fit into an hour, and really ran through some things that I would have liked to explain more. Particularly a lot of the post-WWII history was not given the depth it could have used.
But it was a good introduction to a lot of the concepts and names that have shaped the history of anarchism. Audience members said they liked it and I think many of my readers will enjoy it too.
Much thanks to Bile for filming the presentation and posting it online so quickly.
Reuters characterized the ruling as “a defeat for Chicago.” By “Chicago” they mean the current administration of the Chicago government. If “Chicago” had meant people in the city who don’t want to rely on the armed enforcers of the local political machine, the ruling is a win for Chicago.
I’m just recovering from a great weekend at the Free State Project’s Porcupine Freedom Festival. The campground-based event in New Hampshire is not just a huge party with some of the coolest libertarians to ever throw lit matches at each other. It also offers a glimpse into a future of freedom.
Some have said that the actions taken by black bloc protestors – donning masks and black clothing to smash windows and burn police vehicles – will be used by the state to justify the massive security apparatus surrounding the summit. But the state will always find a reason to act as they do – whether it is assaulting peaceful protesters or filling streets with poison gas to deter those who fight back.
Roads are currently built according to political demand in an economy dominated by the state, which exists to secure power and ultimately answers to the powerful.
In Rolling Back Prices at the Paris Metro, I take a look at how to compete against government monopolies in light of a story about fare-dodging insurance in Paris. I was going to call it “Rollback Time at the Paris Metro” but was concerned that international readers who haven’t been exposed to the same Walmart advertising as myself wouldn’t get it. Which is a shame, because I think that would have been a funnier title.
Government uses the enormous wealth it extracts through coercion to establish monopolies for itself or for its favored private profiteers. But prices can still be driven down using creative competition.
The schedule for Alternatives Expo 6 is now online at libertyactivism.info. I’ll be leading a talk on the history of anarchism at noon on Friday, June 25. It will most likely be posted on YouTube. I’ll probably talk for about 30-40 minutes then offer to address specific concerns or questions the audience might have.
I’m actually concerned about how much cool stuff Jack and the AltExpo crew packaged in there – will I be able to experience the full amount of awesomeness? I will definitely be at Ryan’s hydroponics talk and the anarcho-summit. Probably other events too.
On June 14, 2010, Julian Heicklen was arrested during his latest attempt to distribute jury rights information in front of the federal courthouse at 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan, and was released later that day.
Julian has distributed information on how juries can nullify laws (see fija.org) at several locations. Each time he attempted to do so at the New York federal courthouse, officers have attempted to issue him citations for distributing literature on federal property. Each time Julian has taken the route of non-violent non-compliance and gone limp, which has usually led to an ambulance taking him away.
This time he was accompanied by six other individuals, including myself. As soon as he walked into the center of the concrete courtyard in front of the federal courthouse, several men in suits surrounded him and uniformed officers created an outer ring around them. A man said, “Mr. Heicklen, we are US Marshals and we have a warrant for your arrest.” The warrant was likely related to earlier citations for distributing literature at the courthouse.
Heicklen engaged in non-compliance, and was dragged into a waiting unmarked black minivan. The rest of us left the immediate area and began reporting on the event.
I discussed the arrest on Thinking Liberty. James Babb later joined us to offer his perspective. He described the federal area in downtown Manhattan as if “Jack Bauer had invaded a Batman movie.” After seeing one of the numerous Homeland Security SUVs receiving a military salute as they were let through a mechanized barrier surrounded by foreboding and severe buildings, it’s hard to disagree.
But an effective project of liberation needs to include more political questions than “how can force be used?” This would include questions like “what kind of culture creates a political environment conducive to individual liberty and how do we get there?”
If it was a big word column, I’d spend time with a term like “solidaristic social individualism.” Maybe that’s something for a later date.
In Direct Action is Key I described how a Florida community’s response to potential oil coverage provides support for anarchist ideas.
Nathan Thornburgh’s Time.com article, In Florida Keys, Residents Plan Their Own Spill Cleanup, shows locals fed up with authoritarian bureaucrats, and challenging state and corporate control of the disaster area.
I’m also happy to announce that Center for a Stateless Society will be rolling with MARV, an excellent opportunity to put our message of maximum liberty in front of people concerned with freedom.
My weekly commentaries are up at Center for a Stateless Society.
Monday’s column What’s In a Uniform? examines the meaning of government uniforms in light of the Red and Black Cafe controversy.
The Red and Black Cafe, an anarchist business in Portland, Oregon, became the subject of controversy after a cafe worker told a uniformed police officer to leave the building. The often overtly threatening responses from police supporters have revealed the self-serving absurdity of how government uniforms are viewed.
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