Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Myth: Steve Kangas' FAQ is a good source of information

Fact: Steve Kangas' FAQ is loaded with terrible arguments and logical fallacies

Myth: No one has a right to my property. Fact: Our property rights are defined by democratic government, which is the sovereign owner of the nation's territory.

Circular argument

Myth: Tax cuts spur economic growth. Fact: High tax rates are correlated with economic growth.

Cum hoc ergo propter hoc

The Austrian School of Economics is a tiny group of libertarians at war with mainstream economics...Academia has generally ignored the Austrian School

Argument ad populum

Myth: A capital gains tax cut will spur the economy. Fact: Historically, economic slumps and unemployment have followed capital gains tax cuts.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

It would, of course, take a lifetime to go through Kangas' FAQ and point out all the fallacies and weak arguments. But these are just a handful off the top of head--I'm sick of people citing him as if he's gospel.

UPDATE: Back before he went nuts, Francois wrote a number of good responses to Kangas. Worth reading.

Socialism As Conscription

As a young man who deplores militarism and the State, the idea of conscription has always horrified me. I view it as the most cruel, despicable form of slavery on the face of the planet. The idea of someone else having that sort of control over me, and not being able to opt out of it, is horrifying. It is pure slavery and nothing more.

When you think about it, socialism itself is a form of conscription. You're conscripted into the central planner's economic battalion at gun-point, and then instructed on what to do. For the "good of the nation" or "good of the people," of course.

Something to consider as the US state continues to move in that direction...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

As Much As I Hate To Say It...

I think action is my least favorite genre when it comes to movies. I loved action when I was younger, but now it just bores the crap out of me. There's always a bunch of bad guys dealing drugs or hijacking a plane or something, then some hero with an ass-load of guns who beats the snot out of a bunch of guys for "information," some double-crossing here and there, a handful of car chases, and a bunch of pointless shooting scenes.

I like thrillers, dramas, horror movies, bizarre movies, and (non-romantic) comedies. Action doesn't do much for me these days.

Brainpolice: Friend of Corktageous

Yes I have - I've elaborated on it a lot over the course of this very blog you are now commenting on. I'm not going to regurgitate old posts.

I don't like the attitude assuming that anything to "the left" of Benjamin Tucker is Stalinism and mobocracy in disguise. I've already been familiar with your attitudes in this regard from your earlier comments left on my blogposts at the Mises Institute, in which you generally devil's advocated against my pleas for anarchist pluralism by proclaiming the sins of "the left".
Sorry, that's simply a strawman of my position. You'll have to do better than that.

You're also making the faulty normative assumption that corporations and vertical integration is necessary for the growth of the economy. That's just your vulgar bias.

Again, here it seems like Cork is being rhetorical and misrepresentative...This is basically just off-the-cuff mockery and misrepresentation. Clearly, this is a jab at anarchist book fairs, implying that they are merely a conglomeration of factions of state-socialism and the serious anarchists are some sort of tiny minority at an "anarchist meetup".

In case you haven't noticed, the alliance of the libertarian left is trying to reach out to, ally with and educate some of these people (as in the fringes of the anti-authoritarian left). And yet the attitude I've encountered from you has generally been that they are a total lost cause with inherently diametrically opposed views to "us".

This is rank nonsense. There is no way to *externalize* limited liability without the state. Stop conflating internal agreements with *external* limited liability in the attempt to justify authoritarian econmic models.

All of this makes me a sad panda.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Clarifications On My Rejection of the "Anarchist" Label

I recently wrote about why I reject the "anarchist" label. Basically, the vast majority of anarchists are hard-core communists, and anarchism is commonly associated with opposition to the free market.

Individualist anarchism has always been the exception to the rule. While anarcho-capitalism is an offshoot of individualist anarchism, it has its roots more in classical liberalism and the Old Right than in the movement of Proudhon and Co. When I do use "anarchism" to describe my beliefs, it will always have "market" or "(neo?) individualist" or something else before it. But to use the word by itself, without any further clarification, is misleading.

"Anarchist" these days is seen as one of 20 leftist sects handing out pamphlets at the Socialist Workers of Eurasia (or whatever) book fair, perhaps at a table next to the Maoists. No thanks.

People would be free to set up "voluntary socialist" institutions in an ancap world, so long as they are voluntary, non-coercive, and based on private property. People would be free to set up capitalistic businesses as well, and those who don't like it can form their syndicates, communes, nudist colonies or whatever. (I don't predict success for any of this leftist quackery, but they're free to give it all a shot.)

The thing is, all these institutions would still have to exist within the general framework of a market economy. Even socialist states have to trade with the outside world and thus deal with markets to some degree. The market can never be abolished entirely. Anarchists--in the common sense of the term-- refuse to understand this, which is why I'm not one.

Thoughts On Ward Churchill

Reason recently mentioned the Ward Churchill brouhaha, so I thought I'd comment on it.

First, there's Churchill's original essay that started the whole controversy. I actually think it's a well-written, provocative essay in many respects. It's rare that someone is able to convey the true brutality of US foreign policy in such a brief and effective manner.

Unfortunately, his over-the-top comment about "little Eichmanns" kind of spoiled it for me. "If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it," Churchill wrote. As much as I hate to sound like a conservative, this is pretty close to cheering on the deaths of the 9/11 victims, is it not? The 9/11 victims were just as big of victims of US imperialism as those in the Middle East. Churchill's moronic "little Eichmanns" comment was a huge stain on what could have been an excellent essay.

After Churchill came under public scrutiny for his "little Eichmanns" comment, it was found that he had made some academic boo-boos (plagiarism/fabrication and whatnot) in other areas, so he was fired. Churchill is now suing to get his job back, using the "free speech" schtick.

Of course, the problem with this is that Churchill's "free speech" rights have not been violated in any way, shape, or form. The government has not arrested or punished him for his speech. Churchill was fired for academic misconduct. But even if there was no academic misconduct, the university should have the right to fire him anyway.

Churchill and his lawyer do not understand the meaning of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech simply means freedom to speak without being persecuted by the state. It doesn't mean freedom to have someone else provide a forum for you to speak in, or freedom to keep a job after pissing off your employer.

This applies equally to everyone across the political spectrum: whether it's Ward Churchill, Don Imus, or Rush Limbaugh. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from getting fired after your speech hurts your employer's reputation. If I'm a secretary who greets every caller with "go fuck yourself," and my boss decides to fire me as a result, he's not violating my "free speech" rights.

So hopefully Churchill will lose.

UPDATE: WC interview on anarchism here, for anyone interested.

The Suicide Machines--War Profiteering Is Killing Us All

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Left-Libertarians Take On Obama's Corporatism

The left-libertarians recently released a scathing critique of Barack Obama's corporatism.


I'll be going to see Tom Woods speak next week about his Meltdown book. The timing is such that the audience will probably consist of me and a small handful of other geeks interested in the esoteric subject matter (everyone else will be out partying--presumably with fiat money).

Are there any particular questions I should ask him?

More Paleocon Idiocy

In an address to the H.L. Mencken club, Paul Gottfried said:

...the dream of living outside of the state in a society of self-actualizing individuals, opening themselves up to being physically displaced by the entire Third World, if its population chooses to settle on this continent, is not a rightist alternative to anything. It is a failed leftist utopia. It is one thing to deplore the modern welfare state as a vehicle of grotesque social change or for its violations of the U.S. Constitution. It is another matter to believe that all authority structures can be reduced to insurance companies formed to protect the property and lives of anarcho-capitalists. Such a belief goes counter to everything we know about human Nature, and even such an embattled anti-welfare- statist as H.L. Mencken never hoped to destroy all government.

O Rly? Was this the same guy who said, "I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty, and that the democratic form is as bad as any of the other forms.."? The guy who said, "I am an extreme libertarian, and believe in absolute free speech. . . . I am against jailing men for their opinions, or, for that matter, for anything else.."? He sure sounded like a radical anti-statist to me.

And note how we get the standard racist paleocon drivel about scary brown people immigrating from the "Third World" to destroy our culture and employment opportunities. Waaaahh! Opposing anti-immigrant fascism means you believe in a "leftist utopia."

I would complain about paleocons more, but others have done the work for me.


Even the extreme anti-capitalist anarchist Bob Black (the furthest thing from a Rothbardian) isn't sold on the idea that left-anarchists oppose the state:

The trouble with anarchists is that they think they have agreed on what they all oppose -- the state -- whereas all they have agreed on is what to call it. You could make a good case that the greatest anarchists were nothing of the sort. Godwin wanted the state to wither away, but gradually, and not before the progress of enlightenment prepared people to do without it. Which seems to legitimate really existing statism and culminate in the banality that if things were different they would not be the same. Proudhon, who served in the French national legislature, in the end arrived at a theory of "federalism" which is nothing but the devolution of most state power on local governments. Kropotkin's free communes may not be nation-states but they sure sound like city-states. Certainly no historian would regard as anything but ludicrous Kropotkin's claim that medieval cities were anarchist.

If some of the greatest anarchists, upon inspection, appear to fall somewhat short of consistency on even the defining principle of anarchism itself -- the abolition of the state -- it is not too surprising if some of the lesser lights are likewise dim bulbs. The One Big Union of the syndicalists, who also uphold the duty to work, is one big state to everybody else, and totalitarian to boot. Some "anarcha"-feminists are book-burners. Dean Murray Bookchin espouses third-party politics and municipal statism, eerily parallel to the borderline fascist militia/Posse Comitatus movement which would abolish all government above the county level. And Bakunin's "invisible government" of anarchist militants is, at best, a poor choice of words, especially on the lips of a Freemason.

If Black can see the statism hiding behind the curtain, why can't Brainpolice and the other apologists for these ideologies?

Nopalitano's Slip

Who can blame him?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

LeFevre on Rejecting the "Anarchist" Label


As I saw it then, and as I still see it, the anarchist philosophy is internally contradictory. It professes a sparkling and shining individualism, at which point I warm to the arguments. Then it advocates some kind of procedure to interfere with the processes of a free market, e.g., elimination of interest and rents; denial of the right of a man to own land, or to own land beyond some stated amount; abolition of profits; placement of management control in the hands of workers through democratic processes conducted within factories, and so on.

I myself went through an extended period of interest in social anarchism at one point. There's no denying the "let's all cooperate together" thing has a sort aesthetic appeal.

The more I looked into it, the more disgusted I became. They believe literally all capitalists and entrepreneurs are pure evil, the greatest evil on the entire planet, and that none of them do anything productive at all. Ever. Every last capitalist and entrepreneur is simply a worthless exploiter parasite who harms the workers. The market is useless too, without a single redeeming quality, and every nook and cranny of it is to be immediately abolished. All businesses are equally evil and exploitative, just by being businesses. In addition, being an employee is far, far worse than being tortured or executed by Mao or Stalin. State-socialism (and perhaps even Naziism) is a lesser evil than commercialism. Social anarchists devote most of their time to these ideas.

In my view, all of these arguments are fanatically dogmatic and one-sided, and there are more than a couple babies being cavalierly thrown out with the bathwater. Needless to say, social anarchists don't have much of an alternative to the market--they're more interested in demonizing anyone who defends it. The best they've come up with so far is some vague "workers' councils will plan the economy through a bunch of meetings" bullshit that has little historical or economic reasoning behind it.

Like it or not, this is anarchism. And it's why I'm now rejecting the label. All this "anti-capitalist" stuff is just too much. Maybe I'm just a moron for not seeing the (apparently self-evident) brilliance in all this simplistic twaddle. Or maybe, just maybe, war, slavery, genocide, nuclear weapons, racism and totalitarianism are slightly worse than Starbucks selling me a Frappucino. I dunno.

Update: I decided to make that last sentence into a motivational poster. Great stuff!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are the Chomskoids Right?

Franc has this asinine video posted on his blog:

Now, our standards of living are undoubtedly always going to improve over time. This is because as time goes on, we develop new ideas, new technology, and better ways of doing things. So sure, standards of living probably increased during slavery. Similarly, our standards of living have been increasing under the horrific statism that Chomsky supports.

So Chomsky is right that rising standards of living didn't justify slavery. What he fails to understand is that free-market capitalism (to the degree that it exists) directly causes and encourages our present level of innovation in a way that no other economic system ever possibly could. It's not merely incidental or correlational. When people are forced into cut-throat competition to please consumers and constantly improve/invent better and cheaper products, it inevitably raises our standards of living. The people who have benefitted the most from this are the poor, who have access to things that would have been unthinkable for the historical elite.

The pampered anarcho-socialist on YouTube typically sits in a big, comfy room with a high-quality lap-top, web cam, head phones, decent clothing, and a fridge nearby--telling us how vicious capitalism is. How hard life must be for them!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Short, Random Thoughts on the Contradictions of Leftism

Leftists oppose police brutality, authority figures, and the US prison system. But all their taxes, regulations, programs and schemes are ultimately backed by police, authority figures, and prisons.

Leftists support civil liberties (ACLU) and human rights (Amnesty International). But their favored regimes necessarily violate both on a horrifying scale, and have done so all throughout history.

Leftists endorse equality. But they support the State--the most non-egalitarian institution in the history of mankind.

Leftists support science and oppose religion. But they cling to socialism religiously, even though the science of economics has proven it wrong repreatedly.

Leftists support legalized drugs, while at the same time hating tobacco and supporting the FDA.

Leftists hate global warming but support massive transportation subsidies and bail-outs for auto companies.

Leftists hate big corporations and claim they would rule us all in a total free market. But when big corporations are collapsing, they refuse to let them f**king die.

Leftists hate banks, money, and greed, but support the Federal Reserve.

Leftists hate free trade but support immigration.

Leftists hate poverty and nationalism but oppose globalization.

This is fun. Any that I'm missing?

Missouri Fascists Continue To Harass Our Kind

See here.

Dammit, I Can't Do It

I can't abandon the blog. I love it too much. I'll keep posting for the time being.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Final Post

Well folks, it's been fun. For the reasons described in a previous post, I will now be abandoning (and soon deleting) this blog. Big thanks to all who contributed.

Let's finish things off by enjoying a good hard laugh at the crazy Alex Jones.

Why We Fight

Support Our Retarded Troops

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Are The Best Charities To Donate To?

Definitely add this one to the list. From a LRC article by Bill Butler:

The Minneapolis-based Sharing and Caring Hands is a libertarian’s dream charitable organization. Sharing and Caring Hands serves 240,000 meals a year, houses 500 people every night, pays to provide overnight shelter for another 19,000 people per year, provides eye exams and glasses for children and adults and also provides shoes, clothing and emergency funds to those in need. It does all of this without accepting one dime of state, federal or United Way aid. Sharing and Caring Hands has operated for over 20 years. Its founder and CEO, Mary Jo Copeland, was a libertarian before being a libertarian was cool. In addition to rejecting all state and federal aid, Mary Jo does not accept a salary. Mary Jo has heroically and successfully fended off numerous attacks from Minnesota state authorities who claim to dislike her accounting methods (she gives cash to the needy and does not get receipts) but actually are more concerned about what she really represents – perhaps the world’s greatest threat to the socialist Welfare State.

Sounds like she got the same treatment as Food Not Bombs.

What other charities out there deserve our support? There have to be plenty of them. Remember: the more we build up non-state solutions to people's problems, the closer we get to ending the disease called the State.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Has Sanford Been Reading Corktageous?

Last August, I asked whether Obama would be America's Mugabe. After writing the post, I began to wonder if some race-baiting idiot would show up in the comments to accuse me of hating blacks. Preposterous, I thought. Nobody would be that moronic.

Think again! The lefties are now calling Mark Sanford a 'racist' for making the same comparison...a comparison that many of us have made at some point. No matter what you think of Sanford, this is really, really pathetic. The PC police are getting more wacky by the hour.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We're All Terrorists Now

If you haven't seen this yet, it's hysterical.

I have decided to replace the Obama photo with the Gadsden Flag, since it freaks them out. Mua hahahaha.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wow, National Anarchism is Creepy

The eagle on top of the circle-A kind of rubs me the wrong way.

As for the rest..yikes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pulling the Plug?

In response to a post on Anarcho-Mercantilist's blog, I commented:

Are you really in high school? If so, you're far smarter than anyone I went to high school with!

I don't blame you for considering ending your blog. I've recently been wondering how much longer I should keep mine. Sure, I can rail against every new state intervention, but what's the point?

I've done pretty much everything I was hoping to do with it--and far more. If I do pull the plug on it at some point, it'll be because I need a new hobby. I'll remain a libertarian, though.

How about you? Are you going to keep your libertarian views, even if you abandon your participation in the blogosphere?

I really am starting to feel like I need a new hobby. There are only so many "Obama sucks," "social anarchism is stupid," "check out this music video," and "government is bad" posts I can make. I feel like a broken record.

Still, I'm amazed that I kept this blog as long as I have. A few years before I started this blog, I had a non-political personal blog. As my life went to shit, it started to show, and I think I started frightening my (very few) readers. I posted less and less, and eventually not at all.

This blog has been, by my admittedly low standards, successful beyond my wildest dreams. I've found those who comment here to be extremely intelligent, interesting, and decent human beings. I never expected this pissant backwater of a blog to turn into anything or get a single comment. Thank you all so much for your feedback, for adding me to your blogrolls, for submitting my work to Digg and similar websites. Y'all rock. Seriously.

I think I need to spend more time improving my actual life (if that's even humanly possible) and less time on the internet. This doesn't mean I'll completely disappear. I'll still occasionally post snarky comments on libertarian blogs and behave like a child on various forums. But I feel like the longer I have this blog, the harder it'll be for me to give it up. And I have to give it up at some point.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The "Left-Wing" is Anything But

The more articles I read like this, the more disturbed I am.

The Left (increasingly the mainstream Left!) is calling for nationalization.

Most would consider nationalization a leftist stance. But when you think about it, nationalization is anything but leftist. It is an extremely authoritarian act, by which a coercive, hierarchical ruling class begins to exercise brutal control over its subjects. When a State starts nationalizing shit, it's usually a signal to get the hell outta dodge. Nations that start down that road don't remain free for very long.

The statist Left is under the delusion that nationalization means stuff is going into the "hands of the people." As individualist anarchists are well aware, the State does not represent "the people," in any way, shape or form. The State and "the people" are two different classes at war with one another.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why I'm Suspicious of Social Anarchism

I've already posted on why social anarchism is extremely impractical, in the economic sense. But it's also destined to be authoritarian.

Whenever I hear social anarchists describe their preferred institutions, my blood curdles. I am deeply suspicious of all this talk of "democracy," "libertarian municipalism," "delegates," "federation," and most of all, "voting." I do not have one scintilla of trust in any of this "social democracy" gunk, which always somehow manages to be very state-like in practice..

The social anarchists have done little to reassure us that their system would be truly libertarian. Many of them ally with Leninists or Democratic Socialists, and view scum such as Che Guevara as "comrades." A number of them are lean heavily Marxist. Most of them support far greater state control over the economy than what we have now, endorsing socialized health care, public schools, powerful unions, and other statist institutions.

Rarely, if ever, do they condemn state-socialism. Oh sure, they'll pay lip service to opposing it (at least when the Leninists let them off their leashes). But do they? I don't think they do. They certainly don't ever act like they do. They don't seem to oppose government at all, except in the rare instances that it protects individual rights.

The basic problem is that while the "community" may own the means of production in theory, it always amounts to a small group of elites controlling and planning the economy in practice. The reason for this is that it's ludicrous to think that the individual would actually have a "say" under a system specifically designed for collective mob rule. Rothbard was right when he said:

"But more deep than that is the fact that Karl [Hess] after having been an anarcho-capitalist for some time shifted over to become an anarcho-communist or anarcho-syndicalist. I don't really see any basis for collaboration between the two groups, because even if we are both against the existing state, they would very quickly come up with another state. I don't think you can be an anarcho-communist or an anarcho-syndicalist. You know if the commune runs everything, and decides for everything, whether it is a neighborhood commune or a mass country commune – it really does not matter in this case, somebody's got to make the communal decision. You can't tell me that you'll have participatory democracy and that everybody is going to equally participate. There is obviously going to be a small group, the officiating board or the statistical administrative board or whatever they want to call it, whatever it's going to be, it's going to be the same damn group making decisions for everybody. In other words, it's going to be a coercive decision for the collective property. It will be another state again, as far as I can see. So I really can't see any basis for collaboration. That is really part of a broader analysis of the communist versus the individualist position."

The idea that you could organize any kind of significant economy and give every single individual within it an equal say is 100% impossible. There is no way it can be done. Any system that says otherwise is a fraud.

My Night With Bill and Ward

I went to see Bill Ayers and Ward Churchill speak last night. I was going to bring my digital camera to take pictures, but the security was so extreme that I wasn't even sure they would let me bring it in. The security caused the start of the event to be delayed by about one hour, which was ridiculous. I sat toward the front, and was mere yards away from these two media giants.

Unfortunately, I could not stay until the very end, even though I badly wanted to. I had no idea how long the Q&A session (which I've often found one of the most entertaining parts of such presentations) was going to last, and didn't feel like staying to the very end. I was lethargic, dying of thirst, had other work I needed to do, and was also planning to wake up early the next morning to go rock climbing with a friend (she ended up not being able to go, so it wouldn't have mattered anyway).

Still, I was there for the bulk of the presentation, and even a fair chunk of the Q&A at the end. Wish I had been there for the entire thing. Looking back, I should have just stayed instead of leaving.

Overall, I was very impressed--especially with Bill Ayers, who spoke out against the growing prison population, Japanese internment, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, US hegemony, absurd obesity controls by certain public schools, and many other things. He even spoke favorably of Henry David Thoreau! The event reminded me just how much libertarians and radical leftists sometimes have in common.

Ayers came across as a very intelligent, witty, and down-to-earth guy. The statist media condemns him for helping bomb the Pentagon, which is hysterical considering the massive number of atrocities (that actually kill people) the Pentagon facilitates on a day to day basis. As Ayers once put it, "The Pentagon was ground zero for war and conquest, organizing headquarters of a gang of murdering thieves, a colossal stain on the planet, a hated symbol everywhere around the world." Touche!

Ward Churchill didn't speak for that long, but made most of the usual points. The original essay that got him in so much trouble is available online if you wish to read it.

The 911 Truth people were there giving out free DVDs. I think their theories are kind of nutty and lacking evidence, but what the hell? I took one anyway. Who's going to turn down a free DVD?

Fun night. I'm glad I went.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Irrationality of Rationality

At this point, I've decided just to make a "Metal/Punk" tag. These two genres are basically all I listen to, anyway. :)

On a fun note, there is one thing that distinguishes this post from every other post I've ever made. Can anyone tell me what it is? (This is assuming anyone cares.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


This kind of hurts to watch. But to be fair, he's certainly not any worse than the average conservative pundit. In fact, I can see him being a market anarchist by the time he turns 18. :)

Leave It To De Coster

To make mutualism almost sound appealing.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Impossibility Of Any Form Of Planned Economy

The statist Left has long supported a planned economy run by a centralized state. As we're all aware, the project has failed miserably and produced massive tyranny everywhere it's ever been tried, without any exceptions.

The anarchist Left supports a planned economy as well, but with a few tweaks. First, they want it to be more decentralized. (How this is going to work with the "confederation of Communes" or whatever they want is anyone's guess.) They also picture it being "voluntary" and more democratic, with everyone having an opportunity to participate. This, they seem to believe, will iron out the wrinkles in the central-planning slacks.

But this is still basically impossible. Why?

Every single day of our lives, we make numerous, spontaneous economic decisions. In a given day we might choose to fill up with gas, buy a Coke at a vending machine, replace a light bulb, whatever. As anyone with experience in marketing research knows, most people cannot come close to accurately predicting the economic decisions they will make (how much they'll spend and on what), even in the very near future.

Think of all the different things you might buy in just a single trip to the grocery store: eggs, hamburger meat, tooth paste, shoe laces, shampoo, deodorant, aspirin, head phones, whatever. Think of all the different, often far-away places each of these items came from, as well as how they were made and distributed. Then think about all the diferent, far-away places the producers had to buy the materials from, just to produce those items (and so on).

Despite the different origins and producers of each item, they are all just sitting there, immediately available for you to consume at this location, at a second's notice. It is hard to realize just how convenient and efficient all of this is, until it's gone.

When you check out of the grocery store, you don't have to argue with every other stranger shopping there over who deserves to get what, or why. You don't have to defend your choices. You don't have to worry about how many groceries other people are buying, or whether they're freeloading. You rarely have to worry about what you need not being available, because supply and demand are taken into account. Again, the ease and convenience of this is taken for granted by most on the left.

And of course, you don't have to directly haggle with the people who produced each individual good you're buying.

Under a planned economy, even a "voluntary" one, all of this goes out the window, and we're left with an unworkable nightmare.

The complicated, rapidly changing and widespread nature of an entire economy simply cannot be planned, especially not through "voting" or "workers' councils." (Sure, there have been small communes, but most of them have been failures and all of them have had to leech off of the capitalist system for survival.) To think otherwise is utopian and downright religious...certainly not scientific in any sense of the word. Capitalistic businesses exist on every corner of practically every country--we know that they work. Anarcho-leftie societies do not exist anywhere, because they can't possibly sustain any large, free, heterogeneous group of people.

What market anarchists understand is that wishing for a certain society doesn't make it possible. While I don't like quoting Ayn Rand, she was right when she said, "facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears." Socialism and planned economies will always fail miserably, regardless of how many brainy intellectuals, do-gooders, or crackpot theorists wish otherwise. This is a matter of simple science.

The next time you're at the grocery store, be thankful you're not under a planned economy.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Are We "Rich White Teenagers?"

From a comment on a post on Francois' blog:

I would love to see an “anarcho” capitalist rally, a bunch of rich white teenagers and a few rich, white, bourgeois economists.
I’ll check out more of your blog, Francois.

As usual, there are no real arguments here--just ad hominem attacks. And of course, simply putting quotes around the "anarcho" in anarcho-capitalism does not count as an actual argument (though it must be the best they've got at this point). But I had a few comments to make on this, er, comment, since I've heard many similar attacks on us.

1) This post combines multiple instances of racism, ageism, and classism in a single sentence. Not that I really care (a PC nut I am not), but it's quite hypocritical for a leftist.

2) It is extremely ironic that any left-anarchist would accuse anyone else of being a "rich white teenager," considering that virtually all of them fall into this category. According to RevLeft.com, "the average age range of our active users is 16-20." Infoshop.org once conducted a poll showing the average (left) anarchist was about 20 years old--probably rounding upwards. The YouTube crowd only reinforces this stereotype.

However, the real problem with them is not which demographic category they fall under (there is nothing wrong with being rich, white, or a teenager--unless the Democratic Party's entire base is wrong). It's that their arguments stink.

3) We are constantly criticized by the left for not marching around in asinine rallies, chanting and demanding free stuff all day long. But what would they say if we actually did so? Do any of us really believe that we would actually be given "credit" for it? Of course not. They would mock us even more. And if we showed up at a left-wing antiwar rally, who actually thinks we would be accepted or treated with respect? Nobody who isn't extremely naive.

4) As for "bourgeois" (ie, real) economists--how many of them are rich, white teenagers? Thomas Sowell? Walter Williams? Hans Hermann Hoppe? A bunch of loud, suburban teenage punks, all of them.