Archive for August 2016

Five Differences Between the Alt-Right and Libertarianism | Jeffrey A. Tucker   Leave a comment

To the cheers of alt-righters everywhere, those angry lords of the green frog meme who hurl edgy un-PC insults at everyone to their left, the Democratic nominee has put them on the map at long last.

Found on FEE – Source: Five Differences Between the Alt-Right and Libertarianism | Jeffrey A. Tucker

Well, Hillary Clinton has gone and done it.

To the cheers of alt-righters everywhere, those angry lords of the green frog meme who hurl edgy un-PC insults at everyone to their left, the Democratic nominee has put them on the map at long last. Specifically, she accused Donald Trump of encouraging and giving voice to their dark and dangerous worldview.

Let’s leave aside the question of whether we are talking about an emergent brown-shirted takeover of American political culture, or perhaps merely a few thousand sock-puppet social media accounts adept at mischievous trolling on Twitter. The key issue is that more than a few alt-rightists claim some relationship to libertarianism, at least at their intellectual dawning until they begin to shed their libertarianism later on.

What are the differences in outlook between alt-right ideology and libertarianism?

1. The Driving Force of History

Every ideology has a theory of history, some sense of a driving theme that causes episodic movements from one stage to another. Such a theory helps us make sense of the past, present, and future. The libertarian theme of history is beautifully articulated by Murray Rothbard:

My own basic perspective on the history of man…is to place central importance on the great conflict which is eternally waged between Liberty and Power… I see the liberty of the individual not only as a great moral good in itself (or, with Lord Acton, as the highest political good), but also as the necessary condition for the flowering of all the other goods that mankind cherishes: moral virtue, civilization, the arts and sciences, economic prosperity. Out of liberty, then, stem the glories of civilized life.

There it is: liberty vs. power. Liberty unleashes human energy and builds civilization. Anything that interferes with the progress of liberty impedes the progress of humanity. One crowds out the other. The political (or anti-political) goal is clear: diminish power (which means reducing unjust violence) and enhance liberty.

Frédéric Bastiat described the free society as characterized by a “harmony of interests.”What is the alt-right theory of history? The movement inherits a long and dreary tradition of thought from Friedrich Hegel to Thomas Carlyle to Oswald Spengler to Madison Grantto Othmar Spann to Giovanni Gentile to Trump’s speeches. This tradition sees something else going on in history: not liberty vs. power, but something like a more meta struggle that concerns impersonal collectives of tribe, race, community, great men, and so on.

Whereas libertarianism speaks of individual choice, alt-right theory draws attention to collectives on the move. It imagines that despite appearances, we all default in our thinking back to some more fundamental instinct about our identity as a people, which is either being shored up by a more intense consciousness or eroded by a deracination and dispossession from what defines us. To criticize this as racist is often true but superficial. What’s really going on here is the depersonalization of history itself: the principle that we are all being buffeted about by Olympian historical forces beyond our control as mere individuals. It takes something mighty and ominous like a great leader, an embodiment of one of these great forces, to make a dent in history’s narrative.

2. Harmony vs. Conflict

A related issue concerns our capacity to get along with each other. Frédéric Bastiat described the free society as characterized by a “harmony of interests.” In order to overcome the state of nature, we gradually discover the capacity to find value in each other. The division of labor is the great fact of human community: the labor of each of us becomes more productive in cooperation with others, and this is even, or rather especially, true given the unequal distribution of talents, intelligence, and skills, and differences over religion, belief systems, race, language, and so on.

And truly, this is a beautiful thing to discover. The libertarian marvels at the cooperation we see in a construction project, an office building, a restaurant, a factory, a shopping mall, to say nothing of a city, a country, or a planet. The harmony of interests doesn’t mean that everyone gets along perfectly, but rather than we inhabit institutions that incentivize progress through ever more cooperative behavior. As the liberals of old say, we believe that the “brotherhood of man” is possible.

The libertarian believes that the best and most wonderful social outcomes are not those planned, structured, and anticipated, but rather the opposite.To the alt-right mind, this all seems ridiculous. Sure, shopping is fine. But what actually characterizes human association is deep-rooted conflict. The races are secretly at war, intellectually and genetically. There is an ongoing and perpetual conflict between the sexes. People of different religions must fight and always will, until one wins. Nations fight for a reason: the struggle is real.

Some argue that war is what defines us and even gives life meaning, and, in that sense, is glorious and celebratory. For this reason, all nations must aspire toward homogeneity in stock, religion, and so on, and, as for the sexes, there must be dominance, because cooperation is an illusion.

Maybe you notice a certain commonality with the left here. In the 19th century, the Marxists whipped themselves up in a frenzy about the allegedly inherent conflict between labor and capital. Their successors fret incessantly about race, ethnicity, ability, gender, and so on, pushing Marxian conflict theory into ever more exotic realms. Ludwig von Mises captured this parallel brilliantly when he wrote, “Nationalist ideology divides society vertically; the socialist ideology divides society horizontally.” Here, as with many other areas, the far right and far left are strangely aligned.

3. Designed vs. Spontaneous Order

The libertarian believes that the best and most wonderful social outcomes are not those planned, structured, and anticipated, but rather the opposite. Society is the result of millions and billions of small acts of rational self interest that are channelled into an undesigned, unplanned, and unanticipated order that cannot be conceived by a single mind. The knowledge that is required to put together a functioning social order is conveyed through institutions: prices, manners, mores, habits, and traditions that no one can consciously will into existence. There must be a process in place, and stable rules governing that process, that permit such institutions to evolve, always in deference to the immutable laws of economics.

Again, the alt-right mind finds all of this uninspired and uninspiring. Society in their conception is built by the will of great thinkers and great leaders with unconstrained visions of what can be. What we see out there operating in society is a result of someone’s intentional and conscious planning from the top down.

If we cannot find the source, or if the source is somehow hiding, we imagine that it must be some shadowy group out there that is manipulating outcomes – and hence the alt-right’s obsession with conspiracy theory. The course of history is designed by someone, so “we” might as well engage in the great struggle to seize the controls – and hence the alt-right obsession with politics as a contact sport.

Oh, and, by the way, economics is a dismal science.

4. Trade and Migration

The libertarian celebrates the profound changes in the world from the late Middle Ages to the age of laissez faire, because we observed how commercial society broke down the barriers of class, race, and social isolation, bringing rights and dignity to ever more people.Of course the classical liberals fought for free trade and free migration of peoples, seeing national borders as arbitrary lines on a map that mercifully restrain the power of the state but otherwise inhibit the progress of prosperity and civilization. To think globally is not a bad thing, but a sign of enlightenment. Protectionism is nothing but a tax on consumers that inhibits industrial productivity and sets nations at odds with each other. The market process is a worldwide phenomenon that indicates an expansion of the division of labor, which means a progressive capacity of people to enhance their standard of living and ennoble their lives.

The alt-right is universally opposed to free trade and free migration. You can always tell a writer is dabbling in alt-right thought (or neoreactionary or Dark Enlightenment or outright fascism) if he or she has an intense focus on international trade as inherently bad or fraudulent or regrettable in some sense. To them, a nation must be strong enough to thrive as an independent unit, an economic sovereignty unto itself.

Today, the alt-right has a particular beef with trade deals, not because they are unnecessarily complex or bureaucratic (which are good reasons to doubt their merit) but because of their meritorious capacity to facilitate international cooperation. And it is the same with immigration. Beginning at some point in the late 19th century, migration came to be seen as a profound threat to national identity, which invariably means racial identity.

5. Emancipation and Progress

The libertarian celebrates the profound changes in the world from the late Middle Ages to the age of laissez faire, because we observed how commercial society broke down the barriers of class, race, and social isolation, bringing rights and dignity to ever more people. Slavery was ended. Women were emancipated, as marriage evolved from conquest and dominance into a free relationship of partnership and consent. This is all a wonderful thing, because rights are universal, which is to say, they rightly belong to everyone equally. Anything that interferes with people’s choices holds them back and hobbles the progress of prosperity, peace, and human flourishing. This perspective necessarily makes the libertarian optimistic about humanity’s potential.

The alt-right mind can’t bear this point of view, and regards it all as naive. What appears to be progress is actually loss: loss of culture, identity, and mission. They look back to what they imagine to be a golden age when elites ruled and peons obeyed. And thus we see the source of their romantic attachment to authority as the source of order, and the longing for authoritarian political rule. As for universal rights, forget it. Rights are granted by political communities and are completely contingent on culture. The ancients universally believed that some were born to serve and some to rule, and the alt-right embraces this perspective. Here again, identity is everything and the loss of identity is the greatest crime against self anyone can imagine.

Conclusion

The alt-right knows exactly who its enemies are, and the libertarians are among them.To be sure, as many commentators have pointed out, both libertarians and alt-rightist are deeply suspicious of democracy. This was not always the case. In the 19th century, the classical liberals generally had a favorable view of democracy, believing it to be the political analogy to choice in the marketplace. But here they imagined states that were local, rules that were fixed and clear, and democracy as a check on power. As states became huge, as power became total, and as rules became subject to pressure-group politics, the libertarianism’s attitude toward democracy shifted.

In contrast, the alt-right’s opposition to democracy traces to its loathing of the masses generally and its overarching suspicion of anything that smacks of equality. In other words, they tend to hate democracy for all the wrong reasons. This similarity is historically contingent and largely superficial given the vast differences that separate the two worldviews. Does society contain within itself the capacity for self management or not? That is the question.

None of this will stop the mainstream media from lumping us all together, given that we share a dread of what has become of the left in politics today.

But make no mistake: the alt-right knows exactly who its enemies are, and the libertarians are among them.

Posted August 30, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Liberty

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1st Taste Treat of “Objects in View”   7 comments

This week’s topic is an excerpt from our writing, which happens to coincide with the upcoming publication of Objects in View.

Check out my fellow authors as well.

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Prologue

Objects in View Front CoverWe were going along living life. There was nothing extraordinary about that day. We were drinking mochas, commuting on interstates, talking on cell phones, eating in restaurants, chatting on the Internet, making money and spending ourselves into debt. In a million parks across the nation, women tickled their babies’ toes and men tossed the Frisbee for their dogs. We were all tied up in the latest reality show or political drama, downloading our personal playlist from the Internet, and ordering baubles from afar. The President was talking on television that night and a lot of us were gathered around to absorb his latest lies.

And, then, suddenly, it all ended. There was no warning. The life we knew just ended. In the days that followed we learned the details – the number of people dead, the number of cities decimated, the millions of connections that were severed, destabilizing the fragile network of our society. That devastation did not touch us because we were rural, but what followed would transform our lives in unexpected ways.

Front Cover LAWKI no windowThe coming days would redefine who we were. We’d stop being afraid of the paper tigers the elites used to distract us and start concentrating on the very real dangers that had been lurking all around us.

But first, we had to learn that rescue was not coming and that we needed to save ourselves.                                     JT Delaney

 

Objects in View is on pre-order right now. You can reserve it and also pick up the first book in the series Life As We Knew It on 99 cent sale TODAY ONLY.

 

If the world as you knew it suddenly spun out of your control, what would you do and where would you go?

Posted August 29, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Stay Tuned for the Blog Hop   Leave a comment

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We’re posting excerpts of our books this week.

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Posted August 28, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Cottonpatch Wisdom   1 comment

Alaska has a really pretty invasive weed called bird vetch that will grow pretty much anywhere and strangle just about every other plant.

The thing is, it’s very pretty and delicate-looking, so people don’t recognize the problem until it’s too late.

Image result for image of bird vetchI had never encountered it in all my years in Alaska until about 12 years ago when I decided to plant a wildflower/perennial meadow along the road next to my house. The former owners had neglected this area because it was outside of the fence, and I didn’t want to work very hard at it, so I raked up the couple of years worth of leaves, mixed my perennial/wildflower seeds with top soil and hand-broadcast the results.

For the first couple of years, I had fireweed, yarrow, bluebells, lupine, and many others, plus wild rose and raspberries that had already spread through the fence from our yard and just needed to be uncovered.

Every summer, I would renew with another broadcast of seeds. Occasional “volunteers” would join the party and mostly were welcome. Dandelions seemed intimidated, oddly enough.

There was this pretty purple vine that joined the party and at first, I didn’t think any of it. I had heard of wild sweet pea and I figured it might be that. That year, the fireweed didn’t bloom. Well, fireweed likes old burn areas and my citified meadow didn’t really see a lot of flames, so …. The next summer, I saw a lot more of the pretty purple vine. So, one day, I walked around to the outside of the fence to pick raspberries and realized that the tendrils of the pretty vine were wrapped around several yarrow stalks, choking the life out of them and that some of the raspberry plants hadn’t produced because they were being covered by this vine.

Image result for image of bird vetchResearch showed that this bird vetch does not play well with others. I burned my meadow and started all over again, but the next year, I still had vetch coming up. I started hand-pulling it so that I could keep my meadow and I’m still doing it, every Sunday during the summers.

I like to do it after church on Sunday because it’s a quiet time for contemplation of the sermon. Lately, our pastor has been preaching from Hosea, the Old Testament prophet who married a harlot and reaped the consequences, but kept his covenant with her, even buying her back from a slave brothel.

Hosea’s marriage was a metaphor for Israel’s relationship with God and it could just as easily be a metaphor for our relationship with Christ.

If you ever wonder why truly faithful Christians flee sexual immorality, the answer is found in Hosea with some cross-reference with the New Testament. Jesus said the church (Christians) would be the bride of Christ. He would take, love, adore and protect her and she would wander away and cheat on Him. He would go find her in the brothel she had sold herself to and bring her back because He had made a covenant with her.

So when I’m out there in the sun or the rain, pulling vetch up by its roots, I have these lessons clicking around in my head. And last week, I thought about how vetch is a lot like sin. It’s going to crop up in your life because mankind bent his own nature when he disobeyed God about that stupid fruit. We are incapable of walking with God and accepting His love without any bumps in the road. We wander. He never does. And because we wander, sins (which are anything that stands between us and God) will crop up. Often sin will look pretty and it may even seem similar to things that are desireable, just as vetch looks a lot like jacob’s ladder.

Image result for image of jacob's ladder flowerWe have to stay on top of vetch and sin. Just like vetch, we can’t let sin flower or produce seeds because sin also has long roots that burrow all over the place and push through where we least expect them. Our bodies breed corruption today just as vetch binds nitrogen and therefore out-competes the plants we would prefer. We want to do what is right. We want to serve Jesus. We fail to do what is right and we all too often spit in God’s face in our haste to do what feels good.

Image result for image of bowing before jesusVetch seeds will stay in the soil and able to spout for six years, meaning that if you turn your back on it for a summer (or even two weeks), it will sow the seeds of corruption for years to come. Sin in the same way. When we encourage it or even pretend it doesn’t exist, we allow it to spout from seeds that might lay dormant for decades.

That’s hard to do because often sin seems so attractive. It doesn’t look harmful. Look how pretty and delicate and purple it is. But it destroys everything around it if you let it gain a foothold.

If we want to be a beautiful bouquet to  God, we must stay vigilant and weed out the pretty vines that will drag us astray and strangle our beauty.

Socialism in Bolivia Works … Not   Leave a comment

I owe this story to Josh Bennett over at Patriot’s Lament.

Image result for image of bolivian miner protestTwo years ago, Bolivia was being hailed as a socialist dream. Bolivian President Evo Morales had recently won re-election by a huge margin. His previous eight years in office had weakened property rights in the country, using frequent nationalizations and demonizing capitalism. According to the Globalist in 2014, Bolivia’s socialism had produced its best growth in decades.

Of course, that neatly ignored the increase in commodities prices over those years which filled the coffers of the government while the miners (you know, the people who do the actual work of extracting the wealth) were living hand-to-mouth.

Morales claimed that nationalism was good for the environment and better for the people while he balanced the government books on their backs. That’s how socialism works — take money from the people who do the actual work, take away their freedom to decide their own lives, fund programs that provide government jobs and then take credit for the hard work of those you are raping. That’s how socialism works.

But it doesn’t work well forever. It might look good for a while, but inevitably the price of oil drops and the State of Alaska can’t pay its bills and starts to demand taxes from the citizens. Oops! I digress ….

With the downturn in commodities prices, the Bolivian miners began to feel the squeeze and now they are demanding greater freedom to pursue their own interests. These people are digging in the dirt with picks and shovels and socialism isn’t cutting it for them. They want liberty to negotiate with the larger mining companies who have the capital to buy better equipment. More minerals extracted from the ground means a better standard of living for these miners.

I don’t condone the miners killing of the Bolivian Interior Minister, but I understand the anger that it driving their violent protests. Socialism cannot function when the people demand to benefit from the produce of their labor. These miners insisting that the government allow capitalism to return puts the lie to the belief that socialism is better fo the poor. It’s better for the government elites. I’m sure President Morales lives a very fine life, as befitting a former coca grower. Meanwhile, the miners are starving and they recognize that the capitalists can provide the means to betterment of their lives which socialism has failed to do.

Understand that the United States of America is not a capitalist country. We are a socialist country. You can prove that to yourself if you like. Just pause and think about it. Bernie Sanders made a good case that we are already a socialist country. He pointed out that Social Security was called “socialist” when FDR proposed it. The minimum wage was considered a radical intrusion into the market, otherwise known as “socialism.” Unemployment insurance, abolishing child labor, the 40-hour work week, collective bargaining, strong banking regulations, deposit insurance and jobs programs were all described as “socialist.” Sanders pointed out that these programs “have become the fabric of our nation and the foundation of the middle class.”

Historical analysis has shown that the New Deal extended the Depression all the way through 1945 and it only really broke its stranglehold on the economy when Congress voted to ease the socialism. The American middle class grew and thrived in the second half of the 19th century, a long time before the New Deal.

Americans in FDR’s time opposed any socialism, so FDR didn’t call his programs what they really were. Instead, he tricked the voters with rhetorical manipulation. He imposed orthodox 19th-century democratic socialism on the United States while couching it as “fair play”.

Marx did not invent socialism. He espoused one version of socialism in the 19th century. It failed, mainly because by the time his theories got out into the publish, it was already becoming clear that he’d been wrong. Ownership of capital was becoming more broad-spread. The working classes were not starving in greater numbers as capital was concentrating in fewer hands. Instead, they were experiencing improved standards of living.

Eduard Bernstein and other socialists departed from Marx at that point and became “democratic socialists”. They shifted the focus away from revolution to using democratic institutions to regulate capitalists in ways Bernstein thought would benefit workers — thus promising government pensions, minimum wages, state regulations of working hours, etc.

This form of socialism without the gun gained popularity in western Europe, especially among the elites in Britian, who became the Fabian Socialists. It took decades to jump the pond to the United States, but the New Deal propaganda worked because many people who support socialism imagine that they are opposed to it.

Pew Research surveyed Americans about which government programs should be cut. Huge majorities opposed any cuts to Medicare or Social Security. The popularity of these programs extends across all political parties. But wait, these same people claim to oppose socialism. They rationalize their support for these programs with the argument that they “paid in” to some trust fund, but the Social Security trust fund was never fully funded and it was emptied by Bill Clinton to pretend to balance the deficit. Social Security is nothing more than taking the property of current wage earners and redistributing it to beneficiaries. In the 25 years I worked in the private sector, my employers and I paid into Social Security approximately 3 1/2 years worth of benefits at current benefits. Someone else will be paying the additional 10-20 years worth of benefits I am likely to draw (I had a great aunt who lived to be 106, so ….) Now I work for the State of Alaska where we are exempt from payroll taxes. Our central retirement program follows the same percentage and employer match, but it is invested. And even with the volatility in the market, it’s growing. If things continue this way, my personal retirement funds will pay for those 10-20 years of addition pensions. Social Security is predicted to go into the red and to be completely dependent upon the general fund the same year I reach legal retirement age.

 

Back to the subject ….

In America, though, where “socialism” is a bad word, this sort of thing isn’t socialism. We call it “compassionate conservatism” or or the social support safety net. Majorities of Americans also like poverty relief programs like Medicaid and housing assistance, so its not surprising that a large portion of the federal budget goes to these programs:

Source: Office of Management and Budget, Table 5.1

Socialism isn’t just cash transfer payment (that’s where some people are taxed on their income so that others can receive benefits they didn’t earn). It’s also largely about government regulation. The New Deal wrought a revolution by taking a largely unregulated economic system and imposing a massive amount of new regulation on property owners in the form of laws related to wages, labor, prices, and more. This sort of regulation is far more damaging than mere cash transfers since it directly impedes the creation of wealth before it can even be redistributed.

Image result for image of clinton trumpSo, here we are — about to elect another president and both of the two main-party candidates are socialists who are in bed with corporate America. You cannot argue that Clinton is not in bed with Wall Street. Her wealth and most of her campaign came from her Wall Street supporters. Why do you think they’re backing her? Do you think it’s because she’s going to regulate them and make them behave?

How naive are you? She’s the definition of a corporately-backed politician. You can be assured that she has promised her backers that they will like what comes out of the White House if she wins the Oval Office. And they will. That is the the definition of socialism – the means of production controlled by the government.

Then there’s Donald Trump who is the definition of a crony capitalist, which is just another term for “socialist”. Donald Trump has, in the past, used government regulations, imminent domain and government funding programs to build his businesses. This is just another step in the process. When the means of production grabs the reins of government, it’s still socialism.

Two shades of the same tyranny. We’re not that different from Bolivia, except we had a century of robust capitalism in the 19th century that has given us the banked wealth to skate for decades while slowly strangling the capitalist goose that laid a golden egg.

That halcyon existence is running out of gas. We can’t continue to do what we’ve done in the past, opting for socialists in the White House time after time after time, and expect different results. We might have four more years to get our heads out of the sand, but my gut says we don’t have eight more years. We can’t sustain another $10-20 trillion in debt without wrecking the economy. We shouldn’t seek to burden the Millennials with taking care of the entitled old people when Social Security goes bankrupt.

I’m 11 years away from legal retirement. I don’t worry about myself. I have two personal retirements that are doing okay — they could have been better invested by my former employers who controlled those funds for 15 years, but my current employer’s investment portfolios are doing well. My husband has an IBEW pension that will continue until I die. My offspring know that if they take care of me, I’ll take care of them — they’ll get a house and a free housekeeper in my retirement years. And that’s as much as I want to burden Millennials for my retirement — a reciprocal agreement with the two humans I supported for two decades.

But, yeah, I worry about the retirees who staked their future on the socialism called Social Security and Medicare. We are in so much trouble, folks!

Image result for image of venezuela socialism failI find so many parallels between Bolivia and us. Yeah, we’re 1st world and they’re 3rd world. We’ve ceded our resource development to the government so it can “manage” environmental concerns. Our capital companies are in bed with the government for their own survival. The government is $20 trillion in debt, but there is also a deep amount of debt in the private sector. States like Alaska were doing great a few years ago — a socialist dream, Alaska! — but now with the fall of commodities prices, those governments are struggling and the only “solution” on offer is taxing the people. I work for the State of Alaska and I’m saying this is a horrible idea. We the people cannot afford extra money coming out of our income. And if oil prices don’t rebound, at some point, we will be facing a 30% state income tax in order to support our current government. Obviously, something has to give because socialism never works out in the long run.

Bolivia is roiled by violence as socialism fails. People in Venezuela are starving. What happens to us when our socialism fails?

 

Adopt A Highway   Leave a comment

Image result for image of a gravel roadMy friend Mila sent this to me via email and it was intriguing enough that I researched it. Mila lives here in Alaska, but she was born in the Ukraine. Her husband Alex is from Russia. They escaped the USSR about two years before perastroika, so they know a thing or two about risking all for the chance at freedom. Maybe someday they will let me interview them.

Anyway … back to the subject at hand

 

The Moscow Times:

“Smugglers have transformed the gravel track in the Smolensk region in order to help their heavy goods vehicles traveling on the route, said Alexander Laznenko from the Smolensk region border agency. The criminal groups have widened and raised the road and added additional turning points, he said.

The road, which connects Moscow to the Belarussian capital of Minsk, is known to be used by smugglers wishing to avoid official customs posts and is now under official surveillance.

A convoy of trucks was recently stopped on the road carrying 175 tons of sanctioned Polish fruit worth 13 million rubles ($200,000). The produce was subsequently destroyed, TASS reported.

Local border guards, customs and police officers have checked over 73,000 vehicles entering Russia from Belarus this year, Laznenko said, claiming that the number of heavy goods vehicles crossing the border from Belarus has increased dramatically in the last year, he said.”

 

So, as I work on the 3rd book in Transformation Project (yeah, that’s right, I’m working on it even though the 2nd book is more than a month from launch), I’ve been asking myself these questions, trying to see beyond my marginally statist myopia.

Who will build the roads if the government doesn’t?

Apparently criminals will, if they need to and it benefits their own interests. And, catch what they’re bringing in — fruit.

Image result for image of truckload of fruitOh, the horrors of black marketing! Someone might get addicted to bananas.

The smugglers adopted a gravel road from Moscow to Minsk, raised it, widened it and added turning points. The secret project increased traffic and prompted a government takeover, complete with customs abuses.

So, let’s just take a pause and think about this. A company builds roads. By the way, the government does not build roads. The government gives money to companies to build roads. So the government goes away (or at least stops being able to fund roads) and the company does what?

Well, the statist answer is that they would go bankrupt because no roads would be built. The capitalist solution would be that they either build the road themselves and recoup the cost through tolls or they contract with the people who need to road to get their goods to market and build the road on their behalf.

See! No government needed! Just enlightened self-interest and a dump truck and grader.

Dear Regressives: Crackdown Is Not an Effective Way to Deal with Dissent | T.J. Brown   Leave a comment

While I know private companies have every right to do this, I still propose that they shouldn’t.

Source: Dear Regressives: Crackdown Is Not an Effective Way to Deal with Dissent | T.J. Brown

Image result for image of free speechOver the last several years, the far cultural authoritarian left – termed today as the regressive left – has been launching a militaristic online campaign against free speech; one that aims to make the web into an ideological safe space. And, as with any war, whether physical or digital, the victim count is growing more and more each day.

Today’s headline casualty? Leslie Jones.

What Actually Happened

As any competent social media user under the age of 79 knows, you never feed the trolls.Like most Millennials, I spent about 60% of the day yesterday scrolling through Twitter. Eventually, I saw it: Leslie Jones’ nudes as the number one trending topic in the United States.

Immediately, a single word popped into my head as I contemplated the motivations behind this act: Milo. For those who don’t know, in the month of July, conservative media personality Milo Yiannopoulos became the first person ever to be permanently banned from Twitter. Not “Your account is gone and you have to start all over” banned, but “You as an individual can never use this platform again” banned.

Milo has had run-ins with the Twitter police before, most notably when he had his verification badge removed after jokingly pretending to be a Buzzfeed employee. In this most recent event, Milo exchanged a single tweet with Leslie Jones as she was battling a wave of trolls online after her Ghostbusters release. Granted, his tweet was provoking and catty, per Milo’s reputation, but it was in compliance with Twitter’s terms of service.

But because Leslie continued feeding the trolls (never feed the trolls), she attracted even more harassment which caused even more of a scene for the website. This embarassed Twitter, and led to their need to make an example of this situation to prove to the world they were on the side of safe space advocates. So they banned Milo.

Deleted tweets & temporary suspensions are common, but never banning. It shocked Milo’s 300,000+ fans, including yours truly, that he was indefinitely evicted from his most domineering platform. It also made Milo into a martyr for the libertarian/conservative/classical liberal sphere of the internet. And as with any martyr, some supporters will seek revenge against their martyr’s antagonist. This would unfortunately become to be Leslie Jones.

The Regressive Left’s Role in Endangering Leslie

Remember, the outcome via free markets will always yield better results than that of central planning and authoritarian regulation.Through perhaps her own volition, Leslie made herself into a target for harassment the second she showed emotional vulnerability to her trolls. I don’t intend to victim-blame her for the disgusting, hateful criticism regarding her movie or the recent photo leak, which, again, is indefensible. But as any competent social media user under the age of 79 knows, you never feed the trolls.

That’s why the block button exists. You would think a professional comedian would be more aware of this fact than anyone, but I digress. Whether she bared conscious responsibility or not, her approach to criticism was directly correlated to the harassment she received. And in a way, it’s kind of ironic.

With her calls for rescue and intervention by Twitter, I theorize that the company and her SJW allies actually made her online experience less safe than it otherwise would have been had Twitter simply left its internal marketplace free to take its spontaneous course and allow the situation to resolve itself. Remember, the outcome via free markets will always yield better results than that of central planning and authoritarian regulation.

The regressive left claims to be interested in making the internet a safe space for minorities, but in the end, through their obsession to control speech and interaction, they made the situation ten times worse than before. They’re facilitating the rise of political conflict online. And this isn’t just limited to Milo Yiannopoulos: several additional examples have surfaced both before and after this particular event.

In 2009, Mozilla’s CEO was forced to resign after pressure surfaced from the left to oust him for his political opinions on gay marriage. Granted the CEO is no less culturally authoritarian, seeing as he contributed money to promoting a government act to ban gay marriage in California, but that’s not to say the left is any more libertarian.

Free Speech

In the end, it was a major declaration against free speech. Particularly free right-wing speech. Not the legislative writing backed by the constitution, mind you, but rather the philosophical principle backed by morals and ethics.

Backtrack to 2015, when the war on gamers was at its peak, known as #GamerGate. In the midst of trying to free this entertainment genre of problematic content, the left managed to get video games removed from shelves or outright banned. Notable examples were Dead or Alive xtreme 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5. Oh, and just so progressives can know how much of an influence they had, the misogynistic Islamic theocratic patriarchs of Saudi Arabia agree with you about combatting problematic sexual indecency. Hence their banning of Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Fast forward to “current year” to witness the onslaught of censorship in full swing, which many have had the unfortunate pleasure of experiencing first hand. Multiple individual libertarian-leaning personalities and commentators have been targeted. Reputable names like Lauren Southern, Blaire White, Liberty Memes, Milo Yiannopolus, Gregory Alan Elliott, and not-so-famous names like Peyton Smith,Anarchyball, and so many other individual or collective outlets for what has been deemed “politically incorrect” commentary have been directly influenced by these censorships.

Ignoring the examples of actual physical assault, doxing threats and social media harassment (arguably sometimes more severe than that of Leslie Jones), these people have been on the receiving end of attempted censorship efforts from far-left camps like AntiFa, Intersectional Feminism, BlackLivesMatter, and so on.

This war on ideas is about to boil over.

The Free Market Has Had Enough

With fierce attack comes fierce resistance. A new generation of online pioneers are seeking to remove the monopoly on ideology the left currently holds in mainstream academia, entertainment, news, and social media. Prepared to launch swift defensive strategies when confronted with the threat of censorship. But since many of these organizations are in the ideological pocket of Big Leftism, dissenters can’t rely on conventional methods of fair internal resolutions.

As a result, we’re seeing the creation of voluntary cyber militias, prepared to defend their fellow free speech advocates during this crusade of so-called social justice. News outlets like Breitbart, Drudge, Rubin Report, and Rebel Media, as well as a frontline division of non-media individual parties, are all protecting each other, raising awareness of unfair censorship and redirecting the pressure onto the companies and their bias representatives.

While I know private companies have every right to do this, I still propose that they shouldn’t.But with black market vigilante defense comes more impassioned and negligent defensive actions – including the latest shameful example of Leslie Jones’ private photos being hacked and leaked as a humiliation attack.

None of us who support the free exchange of ideas should support this kind of silencing. But at the same time, it’s time for companies and the greater authoritarian left to realize their ideological Ecclesiocracy is not making the internet a safer place. And by failing to provide users a trustworthy avenue for impartial enforcement of regulations, they have created cells of betrayed consumers who are determined to seek justice through primarily cooperative, though unfortunately sometimes disgraceful, tactics.

Get Authoritarianism out of Social Media

If you’re really interested in making the internet a safer place for users, and a more respectful place of discourse, consider cultural liberty. We’ve seen the effects that ideological authoritarians have had on our governmental system, fighting to arbitrarily enforce what they think is right. Ask yourself, do you honestly want to see that system duplicated in one of the most populated, innovative, and arguably anarchic industries of the Information Age?

While I know private companies have every right to do this, I still propose that they shouldn’t; not only because I’m a genuine free speech absolutist, but also because I care about the safety and comfort of all individuals – even those like Leslie Jones who would be just fine with silencing me.

Posted August 26, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Liberty

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