*Jacob Hornberger assures us it already has happened here (via Arthur Silber):
"Well, then, where are the mass round-ups, and where are the concentration camps?"
Again, people who ask that type of question are missing the point. The point is not whether Bush is exercising his omnipotent, dictatorial power to the maximum extent. It’s whether he now possesses omnipotent, dictatorial power, power that can be exercised whenever circumstances dictate it — for example, during another major terrorist attack on American soil, when Americans become overly frightened again.
*Our Word is Our Weapon on the Millennium Villages Project. "Bottoms Up: The Millennium Village Project." "Millennium Villages." "More on the Millennium Villages Project."
*Brad Spangler suggests a left-right money crankery fusion, between hippy-dippy LETS systems and the paranoid right's hard money movement.
*Via Ron Bailey at Reason Hit&Run. Rickard Falkvinge of Sweden's Pirate Party (in the contest of the Relakks untraceable internet service, or "darknet") on the non-viability of copyright fascism without the surveillance state:
The only way to enforce today's unbalanced copyright laws is to monitor all private communications over the Internet. Today's copyright regime cannot coexist with an open society that guarantees the right to private communication.
*Tim Kitchens, at Steal This Brand:
The core mutual marketing idea is to design organisations in response to multiple stakeholder interests, and then devise and support processes that can fulfil those complex desires.
Balanced organisations, win:win organisations, sustainable organisations...call them what you will...all the exciting new business models today depend upon restructuring value-chains in more empowering ways to be stakeholder responsive, from the outset.
Mutual Marketers would start an HR strategy by asking ‘what do our ideal employees we want to target want from their career? Now let’s create an organisation to fulfil that aspiration…’
*Kitchens also posts the central principles of mutual marketing. My favorite:
Companies, owned by shareholders seeking short-term profit and delegating authority to self-serving managers, will never act in the interests of their customers. Legally, and morally, they cannot.
The only viable buyer-centric organisational form is the mutual – the buying co-operative, directly owned by its members….
Here, my campaign banner is Mutualism – the particular form of socialist libertarian anarchy esposed by Proudhon.
*Alexander Kjerulf lists the benefits of "low rent living," among which my favorites are:
1: Freedom to leave a bad job
When a job doesn’t make me happy, I can quit without worrying about the money....
5: Freedom to work less hours...
7: Peace of mind
I spend almost zero time and energy worrying about money - it’s just not an issue.
*Thomas Greco reports on a Vermont conference organized by the Schumacher society, Complementary Currencies: Money for Local Living Economies.
*A paper on land rights in Africa, via Our Word is Our Weapon.
*Via Flagrancy to Reason. Title reform in Phnom Penh worked just like De Soto said it would. Newly titled land in urban squatter settlements is selling for up to $ a square meter--a potential gold mine for the destitute folks living there, right? Except for one thing--twenty-odd thousand of the squatters were burned out or otherwise evicted, and resettled elsewhere, and the newly titled prime real estate wound up in the hands of plutocrats.
*"Let Them Have Tractors: New Steps in Bolivia’s Agrarian Reform. Evo Morales Administration Hands Over Land and Equipment to Thousands of Peasant Farmers as the Landowning Right Wing Arms for Battle."
*"Who Killed the Electric Car?" GM and the EV1.
*Reason Hit&Run recently announced a debate, pitting the worthy Tim Carney against someone from the AEI, on whether big business is friend or foe of big government.
*Adem Kupi provides a left-libertarianish quote from Bastiat on the tendency of business, when it participates in government, to conspire against the public. Conversely,
[Competition] is the basis of true communism, of true socialism, and of that equality of wealth and position so much desired in our day...
*And as Kupi also points out, we only wish society was a pyramid.
The difference in effective wealth between a DuPont or Rockefeller and a successful trial lawyer is greater than the difference between that trial lawyer and a homeless bum. Far greater. The power curve looks like a capital J. I feel safe in saying that no one reading this is on the vertical part, or even on the curvy part, most likely. (which starts when you're dealing with multi-millions, I think)
We're almost all proletarians, here. Fighting the upper middle class as a class enemy is pointless.
*While we're on the "we're almost all proletarians" theme, Chris Dillow of Stumbling and Mumbling explains his existential definition of working class:
There's a simple test of whether you're working class or not. It hangs on two questions. Could you lose your job because of a decision by a single person (or small group)? Are you worried by this? If you answer "yes" to both, you're working class - because you're dependent upon your work for a living, and because you lack control over your attachment to work.
A commenter there produced this great quote from E.P. Thompson:
Sociologists who have stopped the time-machine and, with a good deal of huffing and puffing, have gone down to the engine-room to look, tell us that nowhere at all have they been able to locate and classify a class ... Of course they are right, since class is not this or that part of the machine, but the way the machine works once it is set in motion.
*A couple of good anti-vulgar libertarian rants by Lady Aster. First:
A great number of libertarians think of liberty as an ideology for red-blooded natural aristocrats and have an unstated belief that women and non-whites are not inclined to value freedom by nature. I think it's more like women and people of colour are repulsed by the clueless and callous attitude radiated by established libertarian culture. What does it say, gentlemen, when African Americans and women got up and fought two respective social revolutions in the last century and yet don't see any reason to join yours?
If the main message libertarians have for people of colour is 'your situation is the result of natural inequality and white people aren't responsible', then don't be surprised if they tell you to fuck off. You idiots. Why don't you just join welfare statism's central recruiting office?
Support plans for non-state community actions such as (in passim) those of the Los Angeles South Central farmers. Stop acting like anyone who cares deeply about social injustice is about to summon a socialist bogeyman and learn, dammit, to care yourself. Don't sneer down your nose at the culture, experiences, or values of the poor. Listen to them, and assume they will be right about at least some things they know more about than you do. And don't you dare blame them for using a welfare
system to stay alive.
Poor people deal with hateful, indifferent, and manipulative bureaucrats every week. They don't have to be told what the welfare state is like- but Republcans and Democrats alike tell them their choice is between the welfare state and being thrown to the wolves. Show them the market isn't a den of wolves