Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Art of Suppression: new book


David Davis

I chanced just now upon this and it’s too good not to flag. The indefatigable Ian B, who comments often here, would I know appreciate the thesis behind this book and has also his own theories about how and why this modern death-cult of prohibition/suppression of individuals’ desires and physical/psychological needs came about.

Pickle a Leftie?


Anger Management…..Or Preserve Wildlife- Pickle A Politically Correct Twit

Guy Leven-Torres

27th September 2011

No doubt none of you will have heard the term ‘Deconstructionism’? It is a pseudo post-Marxist idea that literally strips back society by altering its structure by the use of alternative words, or speech and applying new ones, leading in time to a new society altogether, or even destroying it replaced by a Socialist one. It acts like all Socialist viruses by infiltrating the host body and changing the DNA with replicants of itself. A serious piece of structural social ‘DNA’ replacement took place over the weekend, with hardly a murmur of protest, from the feckless bovine herd that now passes for the British public. Continue reading

Sean Gabb on Multiculturalism


by Sean Gabb
http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2CNEZXYD5LL4A/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Multiculturalism is part of the legitimising ideology of our present ruling class. It serves many functions, which you will find laid out in some detail in my own book Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get it Back. One of the functions, however, goes like this: Continue reading

Richard Blake debates with a reviewer of Συνωμοσίες στη Ρώμη


Here is a link to an interesting debate between Richard Blake and one of his Greek reviewers:

http://akamas.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/richard-blake-%cf%83%cf%85%ce%bd%cf%89%ce%bc%ce%bf%cf%83%ce%af%ce%b5%cf%82-%cf%83%cf%84%ce%b7-%cf%81%cf%8e%ce%bc%ce%b7-%ce%b5%ce%ba%ce%b4%cf%8c%cf%83%ce%b5%ce%b9%cf%82-%cf%83%ce%b5%ce%bb%ce%af%ce%bd/#comment-2467

Emancipate Yourselves from Mental Slavery


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=8375

A reader of one of my previous columns (“Another Stupid Remark from Mitt — But Who’s Counting,” C4SS Sept. 10, 2011 ) published in a local newspaper complained that the Center for a Stateless Society is “a far-left organization that promotes worker radicalism and anarchy.” But characterizing a position as “far-left” or “promoting worker radicalism and anarchy” isn’t the same as answering it on grounds of logic and evidence. Continue reading

Review of Deep Citizenship


by Sean Gabb
http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R3LN47QMZENE41/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

1.0 out of 5 stars Softening us up for the NuLab tyranny,25 Sep 2011
   
This review is from: Deep Citizenship (Hardcover)

Every so often, I gather up a mass of the review copies I have been sent of new books and take them to the nearest charity shop. The book that I am briefly reviewing here has lain unopened on a shelf for about five years. Looking through it, I realise I should have made an effort with it, as it is deserving of some notice. I cannot be bothered to give it a full scale review. But here are my brief thoughts on it. Continue reading

The death of the Euro


David Davis

I can’t find it in my heart to crow about this forthcoming event. Whether it occurs in an orderly way in early November, or later and bringing much worse trouble, it is sad. Sad because neo-Nazis were still allowed to get their hands on the levers of political power and patronage in Europe, and their eager supporters and brown-nosers here too, while our backs were turned. Why nobody handed Monnet, Schumann and Spinelli to Stalin’s resettlement-gooks in 1845, escapes me.

At least the fallout that reaches Britain (and this is a British blog, the main writers are English, and some of us libertarians think nationalism is an important and useful force) will be limited only to several hundreds of billions…

…hundreds of billions of Euros? of Dollars? of Sterling? Kilograms of gold? What difference does it make? It’s rounding errors by that time. When you hear phrases like a “2.6-trillion-Euro bailout fund to ringfence Greece, Ireland and Portugal” so as “not to have to bail out Spain and Italy which are too big to bail out”, you wonder what sort of drunken auction is going on where we can’t see it, and what the buggers are smoking.

And when you hear that “the Footsie has jumped 10 points upon the announcement of the bailout fund, and regained the psychologically important 5,000 level”, you wonder how shallow, uncurious and uncritical your Banks’ analysts actually are, and may always have been.

Look, we did all say that when people said, in all seriousness, things like “THE EURO IS THE ROOF OF THE HOUSE OF EUROPE: THE TASK NOW IS TO BUILD THE FOUNDATIONS” … then either nobody has thought this Reich through as to how to do it without creating international Terror-Police (I think some guys had thought of that but pretended to keep schtumm), or – worse – HAD thought it through, and knew what the outcome would be…but thought the terror-police would be in place, in time.

We are living in “interesting times”. I’m not sure I’m pleased about this at all.

Mr Blake Does It Again!


Συνωμοσίες στη Ρώμη

Συνωμοσίες στη Ρώμη
Κύριος Συγγραφέας: Blake, Richard
Εκδότης: Σελήνη
Ημερομηνία Έκδοσης: 12/2010
Σελίδες: 405
ISBN: 9789608455801 

Σύντομη περιγραφή Περισσότερες πληροφορίες

Το πρώτο μέρος μιας τριλογίας ιστορικών μυθιστορημάτων που διαδραματίζεται στην Βυζαντινή Ευρώπη του 7ου μ.Χ αιώνα, με πρωταγωνιστή το φιλόδοξο νεαρό Έλρικ. Εξορισμένος στην Ρώμη, άθελα του θα βρεθεί αναμεμειγμένος στη σύγκρουση μεταξύ Εκκλησίας, αριστοκρατίας και του αυτοκράτορα της Κωνσταντινούπολης.

The guilty men


by Richard North

There are very few occasions when I disagree with Dellers, but his eulogy of Peter Oborne and Frances Weaver and their “Guilty Men” pamphlet is one such occasion. We then have this ghastly pair in The Spectator grandly declaring:

Very rarely in political history has any faction or movement enjoyed such a complete and crushing victory as the Conservative Eurosceptics. The field is theirs. They were not merely right about the single currency, the greatest economic issue of our age — they were right for the right reasons. They foresaw with lucid, prophetic accuracy exactly how and why the euro would bring with it financial devastation and social collapse.

This is typical “above the line” crap, but it is more than that … it is practically a blood libel. The victory, such as it is, goes to Jimmy Goldsmith and his Referendum Party, and the thousands of candidates and workers who boxed first Hague and then Blair into a corner, getting a commitment to a referendum before the UK could join the euro.

As always, while the Tories sat around their hands in their pockets, the mavericks made the running. The Tories simply went along for the ride. And if you want “guilty men” look to the likes of The Scotsman on 5 October 2004. Then, James Kirkup and Fraser Nelson were writing about Michael Howard and his “best efforts to bury the Tories’ divisive obsession with all things European”.

John Redwood, they said, appeared determined to make opposition to the European Union the party’s first priority. “Above all, we’re going to win by telling people the truth about Brussels and the EU – no to the European constitution, no to giving up the pound”, he was saying.

Cut then to David Cameron, who was at the time about to oversee the writing of the Tory manifesto. He delivered a direct rebuke to the former Welsh secretary. “We don’t win by picking one single issue, whether it’s Europe or anything else, and talking about it incessantly”, said The Boy, described then as “a rising star, tipped by some as a future Tory leader”.

Said Cameron back then in 2004, “If you don’t sound balanced, you won’t seem balanced.” Thus did he say that the Tories had to focus on “schools, hospitals, crime – the things people talk about in the pubs and clubs. We mustn’t go off into wild forays into different areas”.

From there we saw the Tory dictum, “don’t mention Europe”. All the good little Tories, Redwood included, rolled over and obeyed. The EU disappeared from the agenda. They are the guilty men, the men who said nothing while others fought the battle. At least the europhiles had the courage of their convictions. The Tory eurosceptics had neither courage nor convictions.

Now it has become fashionable to be “eurosceptic” and they are all creeping out of the woodwork, with the court jester Oborne singing their praises. So no, this is not a Tory eurosceptic victory – but like Tories everywhere, they’d steal the clothes off your back if it gave them a headline. They are stealing a “victory” won by others.

The autumn’s new libertarian conference


John Say

There’s a new libertarian conference this autumn, hosted by the Liberty League. On Saturday 22 October, at the National Liberal Club in London, the Liberty League has put together a day of speakers and a dinner. For £65, you get the whole thing.

To book visit this webpage.

I hear that it is shortly going to run out of places.

Man bailed over Bramhall ‘intruder’ stab death


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-14968236
by Mark Roussell

I imagine the police would claim that the death of a man is prima facie evidence of a crime having been committed, i.e. they would perceive it as a reasonable cause to assume that murder had occurred. However, whether or not this is a genuinely reasonable or logical assumption surely depends on the circumstances as they appeared to the police at the time. It’s entirely possible the police are aware of critical circumstances that have not been reported that would make an assumption of murder appropriate. Or then again they may just be over-interpreting the law, going that extra politically correct mile, and arresting obviously innocent people who have clearly used “reasonable”, but
lethal, self defence. I wonder which it is.

In my view any defensive action on one’s own property must automatically be assumed to be “reasonable”, even if it results in the death of an intruder. There is no other rational, effective, realistic or ethical interpretation.

The fact that the arrested man has been released on bail seems to suggest that he is not considered by the police to be a risk to others, which in turns seem to me to suggest that he probably should not have been arrested at all. Arresting the probably traumatised victim of a crime is simply not the behaviour we should expect from our police.

As an aside, I’d like to say to anyone who supports the idea of ‘tough policing’ from the likes of Bill Bratton or similar that these supercops seem most unliikely from what I’ve heard to avoid problems such as these, where homeowners are arrested for defending themselves and their property. Indeed, I suspect they would be all the more eager to arrest the homeowners in situations like this as potential criminals! So called tough, no compromises, policing tends to imply even less discrection, even less common sense, even less reasonableness than is exhibited at present. Sure, they might be less politically corrct but they will
replace this with an even greater disinterest in genuine reasonableness(*). They are probably the last people that libertarians should support.

(*) I am willing to believe otherwise if any of these supercops are willing to go on the public record to make it clear that they will always presume in favour of the homeowner in cases like this.

Graphic Designer Wanted


by Kevin Carson

My friend Gary Chartier of LaSierra University has a manuscript anthology of free market anti-capitalist writing in development. Unfortunately the designer working on it at Autonomedia decided to drop out because the book was “an affront to anarchism” and he couldn’t support it. I’ve included everyone in the writing & editing industry who looks like they deal with this kind of stuff. Can anyone recommend someone who’s skilled at cover design, formatting text, etc., who would be a good fit for this?

You can reach Gary at gary.chartier@gmail.com

Spitting in public: a re-appraisal


Michael Winning

The boss down south upbraids and spanks me for not checking my spellcheck thing, so I’ll try. That means, to do better in furture, However today I had occasion to go to Slaidburn to deliver a pedigree boar on loan to a mate. In the main street I passed a youth and his friend, one of whom spat, for no observable reason, with a focussed deliberation which made me think he was doing a sort of ritual act. They were walking along past the “Hark-to-Bounty”, he turned his head right, spat towards the wall, turned it left to “centre” and went on. There were one or two other souls in the rod including women. That made me think too, I’ve never seen a woman spitting in public, have you?

All life I’ve also noticed guys doing it in the gents at the urinal things, which is also public in a way.

The thought comes up that you wonder what this process is for. If it’s something about physiology, why is it not documented and why don’t British primary schools have anything in their lesson plans about it? They cover safe sex for 11-year-olds and how to put a condom on your partner, drugs (OK), drink (not), Henry the Eighth’s wives and the Egyptians and William the Conqueror and the holocaust and other disgusting things like that so why not this and what to do about how to watch where you put your feet? The irony is I have to carry a plastic bag to get up my dog’s shit off the pavement, even when taking a porker to a mate, so what should guys do about their buccal excretions, which are also bodily derived?

I also own a little bronze notice plaque from the London and North Western Railway from about 1880. It says: “Do not spit in the carriages. It is not only offensive to other passengers but is stated by the Medical Profession to be a source of serious disease”.

The advice I want from other libertarians is what they think ought to be done about something you could say is victimless but offensive to sensitive men like me and ours. And is arguably a physical act, not at all like syaing “all immigrants ought to be shot now in public, flogged afterwards and then sent home”, assuming that was really meant. Which is merely a thought expressed. We all agree, that everyone should be free to express thoughts or I thought we did anyway.

The boss says that down his way he sees shcoolboys cycling to school who do the same thing, often not even holding the handlebars which incenses him even more. He thinks it’s the “football culture” because he says that people tell him that footballers spit on the pitch (Ugh! And you might be tackeld and fall in it! Ugh! YUK!)

Is there some sort of cultural degradation going on?

Totalitarian Humanism and Mass Immigration


by Keith Preston
http://attackthesystem.com/?p=10203

This is the full text of my speech at the National Policy Institute Conference on September 10, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Continue reading

The True “Spread the Wealth Philosophy”


By David D’Amato
http://c4ss.org/?p=8301

In a feature on issues in the 2012 campaign for CBS News, Brian Montopoli asks, “Who’s to blame for the wealth divide?” Citing the fact that, according to a Harvard/Duke study last year, “the top 20 percent controlled about 84 percent of the wealth,” Montopoli contends that political “decisions tend to follow the desires of the affluent.” Continue reading

The Limits of Intolerance


by Guy Leven Torres
16th September 2011

Our civilisation is slowly but surely collapsing or rather metamorphosing into something else. Let me repeat again my earlier classifications of types of society- Continue reading

Power to the people


by Richard North
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/09/power-to-people.html

The Mail on Sunday is all over the shop with this story. On the one hand, it is telling us that “a powerful cross-party coalition of MPs plans to put unprecedented pressure on the Government to pull back from Europe – as support grows at Westminster for Britain to leave the EU altogether”. Continue reading

Non Transit Turpia Mundi


by Sean Gabb

I’ve just turned on the wireless, to hear that the euro may be collapsing. I haven’t noticed much shift in the exchange rate with sterling – then again, the pound is probably collapsing as well. No benefit for Mr Blake, then, on his next trip overseas to launch a novel translation. Continue reading

The Legal Rackets Behind the Drug War


by David D’Amato
http://c4ss.org/?p=8336

Last month, the National Drug Intelligence Center at the U.S. Department of Justice released its “National Drug Threat Assessment” for this year. No doubt hoping no one will notice or care, the report itself observes that “[t]he abuse of several major illicit drugs, including heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine, appears to be increasing, especially among the young.”

Nevertheless, the report, like the statistical insanity emanating from the telescreens in Orwell’s 1984, emphatically insists on the overall success of the so-called “War on Drugs.”

It’s easy, maybe even intuitive, to conflate opposing drug use and supporting the War on Drugs. The two positions, at first blush, seem to go hand in hand, forming a logical pair framed by common sense, and condemning something that seemingly no reasonable person would celebrate. After all, there’s no disputing the harmful effects of so many of the drugs that are today illegal, or the deleterious social consequences of the drug trade itself.

The inception and intensification of the War on Drugs have coincided with a full-fledged militarization of municipal police forces, arming them with high tech weaponry and equipment, and witnessing unprecedented levels of police impunity. Documenting the meteoric rise of “no-knock” or “quick-knock” raids, criminal justice scholar Peter B. Kraska argues that SWAT teams and “the military special operations model” are largely no longer employed in “forced reaction situations.”

“[P]olice departments,” his work shows, “are choosing to use an extremely and highly dangerous tactic, not for terrorists or hostage takers but for small-time drug possessors and dealers.” These escalations, transforming America into an Orwellian police state, represent contracts for the implements of repression and murder totaling in the millions.

And the ranks of the imprisoned in America, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world, reflect the determination that characterizes the Drug War. So when the United States’ Gestapo isn’t killing citizens outright, they’re making quite sure that America preserves the oft-cited record of housing one quarter of the globe’s prisoners (even while it has only about one twentieth of its total population).

For the companies that, for example, operate the prisons and transport the prisoners, the Drug War is a cash cow that they never want to stop milking — a godsend in the form of communities devastated by the victimless crimes of prohibition. These huge companies, titans in the world of Washington lobbying like Corrections Corporation of America, do everything in their power — spend as much as they can — to protect their bottom lines from the mere possibility that the federal government might amend the Drug War in any significant way.

The Drug War’s complete and categorical lack of success, then, can be overlooked or ignored because they make sense (or, more accurately, dollars and cents) for America’s corporate-political elite; its failures have very successfully been recast, in Minitrue’s specious Newspeak, as a series of decisive steps toward the chimera of drug-free society.

It’s easy to see, though, that a drug-free United States would ruin the game for the ruling class, for whom public policy is actually, quite serviley formulated. Incidentally, it would also ruin the artificially high prices that the immense drug cartels are today able to charge, the result of a supply constricted by the very fact that drugs are a “black market” commodity, conspicuously outside of legitimate commerce.

Still further, the Drug War provides a convenient, useful justification for furtive military interventions into the domestic affairs of other countries. And if anything motivates the interests mobilized at the capital, it’s imperialism, and anything that makes it easier to account for as a practical matter.

We’ve likely all heard the phrase “there are only so many seats at the table.” Well, for the powerful people at the table, at the nexus where the state’s coercive power meets corporate deep pockets, the class instrument of the War on Drugs is indispensable. Literally billions of dollars are at stake, a fact that we shouldn’t ignore next time we hear the moralistic, anti-drug language that characterizes the overt assault on private life and civil liberties that passes for good public policy.

What’s the big deal about global warming anyway? Why is it bad to have longer growing seasons on more land?


Michael Winning

I just send this. David Friedman needs more exposure on this thing. God knows we could do with a bit more global warimg up here where I live.

REINING IN COPYRIGHT


dj

The EU recently extended its copyright laws for audio recordings. Such recordings are now protected by copyright for 70 years, up from the previous 50-year term. Bizarrely, given the ephemeral nature of fashions in popular music, all recordings produced since 1941 are now in copyright. The campaign to extend copyright had been backed by the ageing singer, Cliff Richard, who stands to benefit financially from the change now that his 1959 number 1 hit Living Doll is back in copyright. Continue reading

Reflections From Airstrip Two


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=8312

During the recent memorial of the September 11 attacks, I heard a lot of discussion by people remembering where they were and how they felt when they first heard news of the attack on the World Trade Center. I remember it very vividly myself. Continue reading

Hate Crime in the Plain Light of Day


by Sean Gabb

I’ve just been told a very un-pc joke. It’s about a drug for depressed lesbians called Tricocagen. Of course, I felt physically sick, and am about to go in search of a police officer so I can do my civic cuty of informing on the sicko-nazi who told it. There are laws in modern England against this kind of hate crime. I only pretended to laugh….

Robert Henderson on the 11th September Bombings – Very, Very Long!


by Robert Henderson

I wrote  ”Oh, we’re on the road to destruction” a year after the 9/11 attacks.  Reading it again nine years later I am struck by how much about the world in 2011 was readily predictable in 2002.   We are still bogged down in Iraq an Afghanistan; liberal internationalists have not not had their thirst for warmongering as the present events in Libya sadly demonstrate; Western societies have become horribly  tainted  with authoritarian laws; Muslims generally have almost certainly become more hostile to Western societies and values and Western elites  failed to grasp the nettles  of mass immigration and multiculturalism  despite offering more nationalistic rhetoric. Continue reading

The 9/11 Cult: Embracing the Glamour of Evil


by Thomas Knapp
http://c4ss.org/?p=8276

Like all religions, the religion of state thrives on rites, rituals and relics, striving to put its god — political government — at the center of human existence. Seldom has this been more apparent than in the run-up to the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001. Continue reading

Sean Gabb Reflects on the 11th September Bombings


http://www.seangabb.co.uk/?q=node/87

Note: Rather than write something new, I’ll put this out again. Was I right or wrong in what I said and predicted? To be sure, we are now both less free and less safe. SIG Continue reading

George Osborne, vulgarian


by David Webb
George Osborne’s lewd and off-target remarked at a GQ event (did he think GQ was a pornographic magazine??) reveal him to be a vulgarian (http://www.tntmagazine.com/tnt-today/archive/2011/09/08/george-osbourne-gq-w-nkers-joke-bombs-at-awards.aspx) . Continue reading

ATS-UK is now live!


Something here, I suppose, to get everyone foaming at the mouth! [SIG]

Check it out!

ATS-UK is a blog founded to promote alternative-anarchism within a UK-specific context. Our intention is to form a coalition of dissident tendencies from across the left/right spectrum united in opposition to the British state.

Alternative-anarchism is a return to anarchism’s core principles: the abandonment and overthrow of states, ruling classes, and empires. While the left-wing cultural politics and countercultural lifestylism of the mainstream anarchist movement in the UK are perfectly assimilable within the alternative-anarchist paradigm, where we diverge from the mainstream is in our choice of focus. The left-anarchists would hold up these cultural tendencies as inextricably linked with the anti-authoritarian struggle, and often categorically reject any anarchist or libertarian tendency that adheres to alternative cultural or economic values. We take a more relativistic perspective, and offer pan-secessionism and voluntary self-determination as a practical resolution of irreconcilable cultural differences. For this reason, we are working towards a synthesis of the scattered anarchist tendencies such as anarcho-collectivism, syndicalism, mutualism, post-structuralism, Green anarchism, primitivism and neo-tribalism from the Left; anarcho-capitalism, anarcho-monarchism, anarcho-feudalism, national-anarchism, tribal-anarchism, paleo-anarchism and Christian anarchism from the Right; and anarchist tendencies that defy left/right categorization such as synthesist anarchism, post-left anarchism, situationism, black anarchism, Islamic anarchism, third wave anarcha-feminism, geoanarchism, libertarian queer anarchism, and queer national-anarchism.

How this applies to the context of the United Kingdom is what this blog will be exploring. We are living in interesting times, as the faux-Oriental proverb goes, and disenfranchisement with the system is growing. The recent nationwide riots are living proof of how chaotic and unstable the national situation has become. Behind this chaos lies the mismanagement and corruption of the British government, and our goal is to provide the disparate tribes of the United Kingdom with viable alternatives of community organisation and self-determination. A nationwide anarchist-led grassroots movement could focus on issues relevant to specific communities: for black communities these could include concerns about police brutality, crime, and social breakdown; Islamic communities, concerns about authoritarian measures perpetrated in the name of counter-terrorism; for traditional white working to lower-middle class communities, concerns about the impact of state-sponsored mass immigration and the PC ideology of the ruling elite. A pluralistic, anarcho-centrist strategy gives alternative-anarchism the edge over partisan movements of the left and right that focus on irresolvable culture-war issues over the struggle against state and corporate power.

The Killing of Baha Mousa


by David Webb

I’m sick of reading of investigations reaching the conclusion our soldiers have been brutal abroad. Do these judges even understand the environment the soldiers are operating in? That if they don’t extract information quickly from detainees, large numbers of lives will be lost? The idea that you should just sit down and have a cup of tea with an Arab detainee and see if he wants to give information makes it impossible to conduct a military operation at all. You need to understand the local culture – and the language they speak is brutality. I person couldn’t care less about the death of Baha Mousa – he must have had some information he was trying not to give as he wouldn’t have been detained in the first place – and I particularly don’t want to see soldiers and officers hauled over the coals for having to operate according to Iraqi standards in Iraq. The
inquiry is a disgrace.

When the Mafia Can’t Compete With the Chamber of Commerce


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/?p=8150

I’ve written frequently on the national regulatory state as a source of monopoly rents to big business. But the true nature of regulation as a naked power grab by incumbent businesses is nowhere more apparent than at the local level. At the lower levels of government, conventional, brick-and-mortar business establishments are heavily involved in using regulatory enforcement to shut down low-cost competition. Continue reading

Er….


by Sean Gabb

Does anyone know how to turn off comments on one particular thread?

Discussing the Holocaust


by Sean Gabb

I’ve just put this up on a thread that the Blogmaster and I had completely and embarrassingly overlooked:

“Right, David Davis and I have been remiss in not having noticed that this thread has been rumbling on for over four years. Neither of us can be bothered to look through all the hundreds and hundreds of comments. However, we have decided to close this thread to further comments just as soon as we can work out how to do so. Our reason is that this blog exists to debate libertarian issues, not whether and to what extent the Holocaust happened. There are other places to debate this, and we are absolutely opposed to any attempts to censor these. But, now we have noticed it, this thread really has to stop. We are in the position of householders who have thrown a party, and find that, long after we thought everyone had gone home, there is a continuing orgy in one of the summer houses. It stretches hospitality rather far, and is likely to get us funny looks from the neighbours.

“Doubtless, it will take us ages to work out how to turn off comments, and we will not delete anything that has been put up. But the time really has come for us to shoo you all off to continue your discussions somewhere else.”

You may all scratch your heads in wonder that we could have spent four years in absolute ignorance of a debate on this blog that has generated 620 comments, some of these thousands of words long. But we are both rather busy, and we have only just looked through the WordPress control panel and ticked the box that makes us aware of all comments posted. We were surprised to find that a very ancient thread was one of the most active areas of this blog.

We take a rather sniffy approach to censorship, and do agree that people should be at perfect liberty to say whatever they like about the Holocaust and Jews and whatever else takes their fancy. But, while we will say this, and will allow debates on this application of the free speech principle, we really don’t see the function of the LA Blog as providing a forum for people to discuss the substantive issues.

We would take the same approach if we found that there had been a long and overlooked discussion about the merits of vegetarianism, or the David Icke claims about lizard space aliens, or the merits of digital as opposed to analogue sound recording. If there is a place for everything on the Internet, it is not always on the LA Blog.

We should have said this four years ago, and we have been most negligent in overlooking all that has been going on under our noses. But, now we have noticed, we will close the thread to further comments, and we shall try to be more observant in future.

 

Flash Mobs and Hi-Caps, by L. Neil Smith


Flash Mobs and Hi-Caps
by L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero-com
http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2011/tle635-20110904-02.html

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Almost all of the various “revolutions” that have been sweeping across and through our civilization today are occurring because of a single new man-made phenomenon: the astonishing rise of lateral communications.

For the most part, this is a wonderful thing. Politicians, well accustomed to eighty centuries of strictly vertical communications, issuing haughty decrees to the masses, and acting arrogantly against the clearly expressed will of their constituents, can be confronted now, practically on a moment’s notice, by thousands of outraged individuals. Not surprisingly, few politicians regard this as a good thing. One has even wished publicly that the Internet had never been invented. Continue reading

Jim Packer Reviews “Terror of Constantinople” by Richard Blake


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Terror-Constantinople-Aelric-Richard-Blake/dp/034095115X/ref=cm_rdp_product
5.0 out of 5 starsHow to write history, 5 Sep 2011
By
Jim Packer

This review is from: The Terror of Constantinople (Aelric) (Paperback)
I first chanced upon the work of Richard Blake a year or so ago when perusing the recent-fiction section of a prestigious Sydney bookshop (yes, there are such things) on the scout for new entrants to the college library where I work. As I was on the final lap a novel of my own on seventh century history (yes, there are such things–and from my point of view, the fewer the better), my subconscious went into overdrive when the novel I found in my hand, lurid cover and all, proclaimed–”610 AD. The bloodthirsty emperor Phocas–” Continue reading

Reply to John Gray on Marxism


by David McDonagh

John Gray [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14764357], like so many who has said that Marx was right after all since 2007, and there eems to be very many of such people in the UK mass media today, tends to say that Marx was also wrong in certain ways. Gray says Marx was right on capitalism but not on communism; which Gray, rightly, says will never ever emerge. He lacks the wit to realise that is tantamount to saying that Marx was wrong overall. Continue reading

Diverse Pigesses


Ninth-Century Muslim Anarchists


Article by Davi Barker.

I came accross an article titled “Ninth-Century Muslim Anarchists” by Patricia Crone, scholar of early Islamic history at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. It came from JSTOR, which is an online archive of academic journals, but it’s behind a $30 pay wall, so email me if you’d like to read my copy. Continue reading

Reforming Pensions


by D.J. Webb

Reforming pensions

Until comparatively recently in this country, it was the assumption of most working-class people that the state would provide for their old age, and this assumption holds true insofar as the welfare state remains in place, although such provision as exists is far from lavish. The worst aspect of the welfare state is that everyone on the PAYE system has been taught that pensions are an entitlement: they have “paid in” for their pension through payment of taxes (including national insurance). Leaving aside the fact that many do not pay anything in, leading a life on welfare, the taxes low-income people pay do not cover the panoply of benefits they receive (pensions, education, healthcare, housing and much else), and as there is no investment of national insurance contributions in a sovereign wealth fund—as Nye Bevan said, “the great secret about the National Insurance fund is that there ain’t no fund”—nothing paid in has been accumulated anywhere to finance anyone’s retirement.  Continue reading

Abolish “planning law” as applied by GramscoStaliNazis


David Davis

Look, I know that using the word GramscoStaliNazi irritates libertarian purists. But you all know, in your hearts, that what we are all up against is these GramscoStaliNazi droids. It does not matter what thet call themselves: “Palestinians”, “People’s Courts”, the “Metropolitan Council’s Cabinet” – whatever. The strategic objective is the same. Even ifthey appear to be “protecting the English Countryside”.

Charles Moore puts up a thoughtful article in today’s Tory-Failigraph. If the Enemy-Class wants to keep the “countryside” as a sort of holiday-theme-park a-la-Cornwall-for-its-teenagers-on-the-British-equivalent-of-Spring-Break, then most new building in it will be forbidden. It must remain as the archetypal “English Countryside Idyll” of farmers in brown smocks going “arr-Arr”, pushing a plough-horse along a single-track-road, and with no mew houses in it for anyone at all. Everything must be either thatched or covered with climbing roses, which miraculously always bloom all the year round, even in winter. And there must be no Tescos anywhere at all.

I refer you to my facebook post about the “English Countryside” here. The main point I made there, and which I want to repeat here, is that such a landscape is the most un-natural, the most managed, and the most highly conserved through continuous population for many centuries, of anything on earth. No system of paddy-fields in South East Asia, even, can compete with it for the depth and length and intricacy of its management and artificiality. therefore there can be no objection to continuing to build new structres in it for new people.

The GramscoStaliNazis are commanding people to say that they think that the “English Countryside” is some sort of Walter-Darré-ish/Baldur-von-Schirach-ish primeval theme park, to which “The People” have a right to be sent (for vacations as directed) and have a right to be commanded to “subsist” in, using “little local shops”, and “organically-grown” “seasonally-available foods” for health and … (whatever other crap they trumpet). The fact is that if only the people live in it who can’t escape (which is the agricultural-poor created on purpose by Blair because he hated them knowing they’d never vote for the bastard) and if nobody else comes in because there are not enough houses except fled ruins (and the cities are dying owing to GramscoStaliNazism being partially applied therein via Soviets and Labour MPs) then their vision will succeed.

The averagely-sampled random Libertarian gathering could turn a rural ruin, created in about 2000AD by the Blair-Foot-Mouth-DEFRA-Stampede, into a modern dwelling-house in about ten days – socialistNazi electrical/window/wiring/plumbing regulations notwitstanding. But I don’t think that the MarxoStaliNazis want a functioning “countryside”: it is a danger to them in that it’d contain non-socialists voters in droves, and to it could flee populations of metropolitan dwellers fleeing the coming planned pogroms of shopkeepers, businesspeople and the bourgeoisie, for which the recent riots were a sort of GramscoStaliNazi Dieppe Raid.

Jock Coats Reviews The Churchill Memorandum


By

This review is from: The Churchill Memorandum (Kindle Edition)

This review is from: The Churchill Memorandum (Kindle Edition)

I finished The Churchill Memorandum at half past one this morning as I was waiting for my Mises Academy lecturer to take to my vid-screen to teach me about Rothbardian factor pricing.. Continue reading

Sean Gabb in The Yorkshire Post


Let’s have real punishments for real crimes,
but leave the rest of us alone
by Sean Gabb
Published in The Yorkshire Post,
on Friday 2 September 2011

THE big test of a criminal justice system is how well it catches and punishes the guilty, while leaving everyone else alone. Our system fails.

Oh, some of last month’s looters got caught, and a few may now be getting their just deserts. Big deal. Authorities who can’t put down a riot are, by definition, no longer the authorities. Speaking generally, the police and courts in this country fail their big test.

Most non-violent thieves don’t get caught. If caught, they might be prosecuted. They might be convicted. They might get a punishment that’s more than a slap on the wrist. It’s all a question of might. Too often, it’s will not. The system soaks up oceans of the taxpayer’s money.

It employs armies of lawyers and probation officers and social workers. And, looking at reoffending rates, it doesn’t punish. It doesn’t deter. It doesn’t reform bad character.

Equally bad, the system goes after people whose acts shouldn’t be seen as criminal – indeed, whose acts were often not criminal until our own time.

Catch a thief and break his nose, and it’s you who get arrested. Smoke the wrong kind of cigarette, and get arrested. Smoke a normal cigarette in most “public” places, and get fined. Speak unkindly of someone whose face is a different colour, or whose God has a different name, and risk up to seven years inside. Turning back to the riots, suggest a criminal act on Facebook, and get four years inside – eight times more, that is, than most are getting for the actual crimes.

This is the system we have, and it emerged over 50 years from a debate between “liberals” and “conservatives” that both have won.

The first believe that criminals – unless guilty of “hate” – are basically good people who need help. The second just want a police state. Welcome to modern Britain!

We live in a country where the only people not scared of the police are those who should be. If we want a criminal justice system that works, we need to get out of this useless debate and go “back to basics.” We need a system that focuses the power of the State like a burning glass focuses the rays of the sun. It needs to put down crime and leave the rest of us to get on with our lives.

What I propose has three elements. First, we need to abolish every “crime” that doesn’t have an identifiable victim. It isn’t the law’s business if people smoke dope, or speak ill of minorities or refuse to do business with them, or if people keep guns at home, or collect books about bomb-making, or if they bribe foreign politicians, or even get involved in plots to kill them. Enforcing these laws leads straight to a police state and soaks up oceans of our money that could and should be spent on catching thieves and violent criminals.

Second, we need to go back to all those old common law rules that used to protect the innocent. We need the right to silence, and peremptory challenge of jurors – we need to stop the drift away from trial by jury. We need the rule against hearsay evidence, and the full presumption of innocence, and the rule against double jeopardy. Cutting down on these protections doesn’t make it easier to punish the guilty. It just enables more miscarriages of justice.

Third, we need to make sure that those found guilty of the remaining crimes are effectively punished. The idea that prison can reform bad character is stupid. People are what they are. If they go wrong, they should be punished in ways that the rest of us think just, and that scare them from reoffending. This may mean having a proper look at whether prison actually works. Until the 1820s, prisons were mostly places where people were detained pending trial. Punishment was usually death or flogging or transportation or a fine. Perhaps these punishments were often too harsh. But does penal servitude always do a better job? I don’t think so.

One alternative is a greater reliance on compensating victims. For example, you’ve burgled me. Well, you’ve cost me £3,000 for lost property, plus £5,000 for the fear and anxiety of a violated home. So you pay me £8,000. If you don’t have the money, you’re set to work on digging the roads or stitching mailbags until you’ve earned it. If you knocked me on the head when I found you in my home, you pay much more – and get a sound beating as well. If a sore back and tired hands don’t mend your ways – and note, it’s ways to be mended, not character – you get it all over again.

Yes, we still do need prisons. By their nature, murderers can’t compensate their victims. But the general idea is to provide real punishments for real crimes. It might cost less money. It might even give rioters something to think about. I doubt the present system does that.

Dr Sean Gabb is director of the Libertarian Alliance.

Richard Blake Public Appearance


CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE

The Crimson Petal and the White

WATERSTONE’S THANET
Tuesday, 4 October 2011, 5:45PM – 6:45PM

Come along and join in a discussion of the classic – a book so good the BBC turned it into a smash hit TV show! Pull up a chair, order yourself a hot chocolate (maybe even a cookie) and join in with the friendly chat; and if you don’t want to talk, then just listen and have a good time.

Joining us this month will be Richard Blake, author of the critically-acclaimed and international best-selling The Blood of Alexandria etc, etc.

Further details: 01843 865 254

Jim Packer Reviews The Churchill Memorandum


British Politics meets South Park, 31 Aug 2011
By Jim PackerSee all my reviews 

This review is from: The Churchill Memorandum (Paperback)

The Churchill MemorandumSideways history is an odd game. After years of watching Margaret Thatcher beaten around the gills by any number of bleeding-heart-artistes from Roger Waters to Salman Rushdie, Sean Gabb, hardly a well-known Thatcher-fan, has turned Michael Foot into Ellsworth Toohey and introduced British politics to the world of SouthPark. Continue reading

Post-Medium Publishing


by Paul Graham
http://www.paulgraham.com/publishing.html

September 2009

Publishers of all types, from news to music, are unhappy that consumers won’t pay for content anymore. At least, that’s how they see it.

In fact consumers never really were paying for content, and publishers weren’t really selling it either. If the content was what they were selling, why has the price of books or music or movies always depended mostly on the format? Why didn’t better content cost more? [
1] Continue reading

What You Can’t Say


by Paul Graham
http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html

January 2004

Have you ever seen an old photo of yourself and been embarrassed at the way you looked? Did we actually dress like that? We did. And we had no idea how silly we looked. It’s the nature of fashion to be invisible, in the same way the movement of the earth is invisible to all of us riding on it. Continue reading