The Republic of Uzupis

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Have you ever heard of the Republic of Uzupis? It is nestled within the city of Vilnius. Have you heard of Vilnius? It is the capital of Lithuania. Can you point to Lithuania on a map? It is a Baltic country east of Poland, about 500 miles west of Moscow. Continue reading

Vehicle Inspection State Racket

The state of Massachusetts requires that you have your car inspected once a year. It costs about $30 and the state tells you if that protection money is enough to drive around, or if you must pay more for the privilege of using roads you already paid for.

Last year my dad spent $1,200 and dozens of hours to get his car a valid inspection sticker. The problem? A sensor was malfunctioning that made the check engine light continue to come on. He could have driven safely for the rest of the car’s life, but the state of Mass stole his time and his money in the name of safety.

But if the state is so interested in keeping us safe, you might think they would be accountable when they fail to keep us safe. In February I travelled with my sisters down to Florida in a mini-van that had literally been inspected and passed in the 48 hours prior to leaving.

Belts: check. They are safe. Fewer than 200 miles into the trip, the main belt ripped, and we cautiously drove for a couple more hours until repair shops were open. A few hours later we were on the road again.

Tires: check. They are safe. About 45 minutes after continuing our trip, the front left tire blew, for apparently no other reason than it was worn out. The snow banks were so immense that we were only a foot off the highway in the breakdown lane, and so we called AAA rather than risk our lives trying to fix it. We waited for over an hour as tractor trailers blew by just feet from our vehicle, where one twitch of the trucker’s arm would have killed us all.

Even worse than “keeping us safe” by force, is stealing our money under the pretense of keeping us safe. The state lulls us into a false sense of security by pretending they are taking care of things which they are absolutely not. It happens with security, education, and help to the poor; but it also happens with safety inspections, whether in a restaurant, or on our vehicles.

If the state has taken on the responsibility to keep us safe, why are they not accountable when they fail to do so? In essence, we paid the state $30 to make sure our car was safe to drive. So when they said it was safe, yet it was not safe, don’t they owe us something for their failure? This reveals that like so much else, state vehicle inspections are simply a racket to steal more money.

Now suppose there was a business where we could voluntarily have our vehicles inspected for $30 dollars, and if they pass it is like insurance against something going wrong. Then we would be paid based on the failure of the mechanics to find the problems with the belt and the tires. The state is not accountable however. If I made a big deal out of this, the state might end up shutting down the shop that inspected the vehicle, even though the shop probably thought they were being nice and saving us more money in tires, or on addressing a rejection sticker.

In reality, there wasn’t much indication that the belt would go, though we should have looked at the tires and realized they needed to be replaced. It is our personal responsibility to make sure we are safe. We purchase things like AAA as insurance for emergencies; we don’t need the state to get involved.

All the state does is two things: one, take our money, which makes  it harder for us to afford to look after ourselves. Two, convince us not to worry about certain things “because the state is taking care of it”, when in reality, we should be looking after those things ourselves.

Some Classic Anarchist Memes

Sometimes, all it takes is a lighthearted meme to get someone thinking. Please share these!anmeme2

 

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This next one had me laughing out loud. Maybe it was just picturing the mannerisms of the actor from Walking Dead.anmemewalkingdead

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This one might be my favorite. It is the same point I spent over 1,000 words trying to capture.anmemebastia

anmemebastiat

anmemecircle

anmemedictator

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anmememarket

anmemeroads

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Anarchy: without masters.

 

“Under the Gun”: Allowing Discrimination vs. Liking Discrimination

This week on “Under the Gun” we talk about the difference between what a libertarian society would allow, and what a libertarian person would like. I can hear something I disagree with, and still support a person’s right to say it. If a store wants to discriminate against me and say I can’t carry a gun in their store, they have the right to do it! I simply will not give them my business. In a free market, this would not be a problem.

Gun owners are already discriminated against by the government. So why are people okay with discrimination when the government prescribes it? Since the government can use force without consequences, there is no alternative if they discriminate against you. Yet any store that discriminates will simply lose their customers who choose to shop elsewhere.

And that leads us into our discussion about victimless crimes.

Also mentioned:

“Operation Mockingbird”

Taxes and Regulations leading to worse effects.

Targeting specific groups with government agencies.

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have.

Islamic State Just Set Up A Government of which Statist Americans Dream

Reading an article on MSN News about the Islamic State in northern Syria, it became apparent to me: ISIS has set up a classic example of government, and it’s not too bad as governments go! Now I am only half kidding… while there are plenty of negatives to the Islamic State, it would be subjective to call those worse than the atrocities committed in and outside America by the government of the U.S.A.

If you follow this blog, you probably know by now that I see real merit in the possibility of a society organized without government. That is why I want to highlight some similarities between ISIS and the USA. If people think the Islamic State is bad, they should also realize these same negatives exist in various potencies within our own government.

The group famous for its beheadings, crucifixions and mass executions provides electricity and water, pays salaries, controls traffic, and runs nearly everything from bakeries and banks to schools, courts and mosques.

While its merciless battlefield tactics and its imposition of its austere vision of Islamic law have won the group headlines, residents say much of its power lies in its efficient and often deeply pragmatic ability to govern.

Well they may be murdering people… but without them who would keep the electricity on, provide water, build the roads, and teach the children? Same goes for ISIS! Ba-zing! I’ll be here all week.

…even activists opposed to the group described how it had built up a structure similar to a modern government in less than a year under its chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Reuters journalists are unable to visit the area for security reasons.

Well, to be fair, it is probably safer for journalists than St. Louis.

…the group “has restored and restructured all the institutions that are related to services,” including a consumer protection office and the civil judiciary, the resident said.

Was it not Senator Elizabeth Warren who helped to start the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which spies on, sorry, helps us by keeping track of our credit card transactions? And how might the Islamic State be making sure consumers are protected properly?

Prices are also kept low. Traders who manipulate prices are punished, warned and shut down if they are caught again.

The group has also imposed Islamic taxes on wealthy traders and families. “We are only implementing Islam, zakat is an Islamic tax imposed by God,” said a jihadi in Raqqa.

Guys, guys, the tax was imposed by God, okay? And it is just going to effect the super wealthy, because at some point, I think they have earned enough. Also greedy businessmen are not paying their fair share, and are totally gouging the consumers, so they need a government to set prices and make sure no one is being taken advantage of. And honestly, the Islamic State ain’t so bad! Look what they do with the proceeds of their holy taxes:

Fighters receive housing – including in homes confiscated from local non-Sunnis or from government employees who fled the area – as well as about $400 to $600 per month, enough to pay for a basic lifestyle in Syria’s poor northeast.

One fighter said poor families were given money. A widow may receive $100 for herself and for each child she has, he said.

What a coincidence, I was just blogging about how the U.S. confiscates homes from political dissidents and awards them to our fighters! We call it civil asset forfeiture. Who knew we had so much in common with the Islamic State! I’m starting to feel better about them already.

The group has also invested heavily in the next generation by inducting children into their ideology. Primary, secondary and university programs now include more about Islam.

The group also accepts women who want to fight – they are trained about “the real Islam” and the reasons for fighting.

Oh lordy, in America we don’t induct, we simply allow the government to choose what the children will learn and keep them locked up in government institutions for 12 years so that they will fit into society better. But we don’t indoctrinate! But hey at least ISIS does what it does for the children; and in northern Syria there may be a civil war, but at least there’s no war on women!

Reflecting Islamic State’s assertion that it is a government – rather than simply a militant group that happens to govern – Baghdadi has also separated military operations from civilian administration, assigning fighters only as police and soldiers.

Hahaha oh my god, I’m dying over here! “Rather than simply a militant group that happens to govern”. What the hell is the difference? And that is the point I am trying to make here. Men pointing guns at us run America, and men pointing guns at them run the Islamic State. Oh, so they have a slightly different brand of state control? They govern a little different, a little harsher, in methods we are unaccustomed to? Here in America we prefer, “a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand” (Neil Young).

It’s all the same, and when you consent to being governed, you are just as likely to end up with ISIS as you are with the government of the U.S.A. The problem is that we allow a certain group of people to initiate force against innocent civilians, and we say it is okay for the sake of order, for the sake of government. It is never okay to allow aggression by one group of society, whether that unprovoked aggression ends with people beheaded for worshipping the wrong god, or locked in a cage for smoking a joint.

“Statists” “Parasites” and Other Accurate Insults

The following is taken from Larken Rose, on the subject of people considering accurate terms used to describe them as insults. I have posted in the past on the importance of defining words in order to have an informative discussion, and this is of the same vein.

The best kind of “insults” are those which are simply literally accurate descriptions. Most of the time, when it comes to bashing state-worshipers, being blunt and precise is plenty nasty all by itself. For example:

1) “Statist” has become an insult, when all it means is someone who advocates a state. The exact type and flavor of the state is irrelevant. Constitutionalists are statists just as much as fascists are. If you’re not an anarchist, you’re a statist, just based on what the words mean. Yet many who openly condone “government” consider the term “statist” an insult, and insist it doesn’t apply to them (when it obviously does).

2) When I call politicians “parasites,” I’m being literal. A parasite (a tic, a tapeworm, a flea, a leech, etc.) is something that lives by latching onto to something else (a host) and robbing it of its life blood, its resources and energy. Is that not a perfect description of the state: an organism which gets all of its wealth and power by stealing it from the actually productive people?

3) There’s a term for someone who is a hired gun, who inflicts violence on others in exchange for a paycheck. He’s call a “mercenary.” So when I call cops and soldiers “state mercenaries,” I’m being perfectly accurate. The fact that they don’t like the literal description of what they do isn’t my problem.

Statists also don’t like “taxation” being referred to as theft and extortion; but it is. And they don’t like recipients of “government” “benefits” to be identified as recipients of stolen loot; but they are. And they don’t like “political action” being described as the advocacy of violence against one’s neighbors; but it is. And so on, ad infinitum.

Here’s a thought: if LITERALLY and ACCURATELY describing what you advocate and condone sounds like an INSULT, maybe it’s because you’re advocating and condoning irrational, immoral crap. The proper solution is not to bitch at the people pointing that out. The proper solution is to STOP advocating and condoning irrational, immoral crap.