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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Friday, December 09, 2005

What Government Schooling Hath Wrought

A while back, I posted a link to this ham-fisted NPR liberal attempt at commentary on small government conservatism. It was remarkably tone-deaf and oblivious to nuance, coming as it did from the representative of a "reality-based community" which prides itself on seeing the world in shades of gray.

You put in power a conservative movement whose attitude toward government was expressed as: "To get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

You voted for President Bush, who approvingly quoted Reagan's phrase, "The most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

Well, they weakened the government, and the government is not there to help.

So get your jaw off the floor.

You cashed your tax rebate check, didn't you? You got what you voted for.

And what's happening in New Orleans is exactly what you voted for.

Now Rad Geek links to another exercise in what passes for critical thought among goo-goos. If you don't want to bother clicking, Rad Geek provides the gist of it:

Did you know …

1. … that Christian anarchism (think William Lloyd Garrison or Leo Tolstoy) is just like anti-abortion terrorism and Christian Reconstructionism?

2. … that if you, personally, don’t mind “chipping in” for “public roads, schools and sewer systems,” that constitutes a knock-down refutation of the anarcho-capitalist complaint against taxation?

3. … that anti-capitalist anarchists are in fact Maoists who want a “do-over” of Bolshevik totalitarianism?

4. … that dismantling the right of habeas corpus is, in fact, a step towards anarchism?

5. … that Republican legislators and lobbyists who occasionally express “contempt for government” are, in fact, paradigm cases of anarchists?...

Here, at least, is something that anarchists of all sects, organizations, and creeds can come together on: Lisa Jones is a know-nothing blowhard.

A like-minded nitwit resurfaces periodically in the comment threads at Undernews. A couple of months ago, some idiot wrote that the main danger to the Green Party was "infiltration" by "libertarians." I responded with the following:

Well, I'm glad the Green Party is being "infiltrated" by left-libertarians. It might dilute the effect of the statist watermelons who infiltrated the libertarian, decentralist green movement of Ralph Borsodi and other old-timers. It makes sense to first eliminate the existing state interventions on behalf of big business that cause so many of our economic and environmental problems, instead of proposing new layers of state intervention to correct them.There is great potential for building a libertarian-green alliance around an agenda of shifting taxes from the products of human labor to unearned wealth (i.e., a tax on the unimproved site value of land), and taxing bads instead of goods (severance taxes for mining companies, heavy civil damages for polluters, cost-based pricing of transportation infrastructure, etc.).Most of the environmental problems we face today are caused by state intervention in the market, with government subsidies enabling big business to externalize the costs of pollution and resource consumption on other people. If these costs were fully internalized in price, the market would punish corporate freeloaders.

He (she?) came back at me with this irrational spew:

it is beyond naive to believe that the Libertarian party will ever abandon its close embrace of business and money. most of the environmental problems we face to day are the results of intervention by a government already dominated leaders sympathetic to the Libertarian movement. the Federal Reserve is headed by one of Rand's closest associates. the Supreme Court boasts three justices aligned with the very Libertarian influence Federalist Society. we have experienced a twenty five year assault from within against the various agencies created to protect our society and environment--the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the EEOC being a classic illustration.
Libertarians represent the greatest threat to the to the idea that was once the United States of America.

The Federalist Society? Libertarian??!! Those Kool-Aid drinkers of executive supremacy and the national security state, who'd like to consign the Fourth Amendment to the dustbin of history? That Federalist Society? And who said anything about the Libertarian Party?

My adversary, after following a link to my blog provided by another commenter, made the first of an increasingly bizarre series of essays at confederate-baiting. What set him off, apparently, was the Lew Rockwell and Mises Institue links in my sidebar, which he seemed to have thought were sufficient to pigeonhole me:

longings for the freedoms of the old south? there is a lot of that kind of talk in the northwest corner of Arkansas. resentment of carpet bagging Yankees who mucked the whole thing up still festers... the anarchist wing of the Libertarian party plays off of those sentiments. sure enough, we have before us links to the usual suspects, including Mises and Lew Rockwell.

the Federalist Society doesn't go far enough for you. Kevin, how do you feel about the League of the South? what are your thoughts regarding Abraham Lincoln? do you agree that Martin Luther King was a champion of an important movement and a great man? cheers and happy dreams

My responses to these shibboleths: a negative view of the League of the South, and the kind of neo-Confederate apologetics associated with Lew Rockwell.Com and the Kennedy brothers, but a favorable view of the right of secession; a negative view of Lincoln; a moderately positive view of Martin Luther King (coupled with a more unambiguously positive view of Robert Williams, H. Rap Brown, and Malcolm X). I also pointed out that I had links to the I.W.W., Counterpunch, and Monthly Review in my sidebar, but he didn't see fit to catechise me on my views of anarcho-syndicalism or the disruptive influence of Luxembourg and Pannekoek in the Comintern.

This wasn't good enough, apparently. My anonymous critic, his mind completely derailed, resorted to increasingly nutty ad hominems with every new comment, coupled with repeated demands that other critics of his views in the comment thread also respond to his original ideological litmus test. He also threw in this inane anecdote, apparently attaching some great significance to it:

from the Orson Welles 1955 film, Mr. Arkadin, comes a parable i wish to share with my friends of green and every other color:

"Now I am going to tell you about a scorpion. This scorpion wanted to cross a river, so he asked the frog to carry him. 'No', said the frog. 'No, thank you. If I let you on my back you may sting me, and the sting of the scorpion is death.' 'Now, where,' asked the scorpion, 'is the logic of that?' (for scorpions always try to be logical). 'If I sting you, you will die, and I will drown.' So the frog was convinced, and allowed the scorpion on his back. But just in the middle of the river he felt a terrible pain and realized that, after all, the scorpion had stung him. 'Logic' cried the dying frog as he started under, bearing the scorpion down with him. 'There is no logic in this!' 'I know', said the scorpion, 'but I can not help it---it is my character.'
Let's drink to character..."

My favorite non sequitur, though, was a link to a Morris Dees list of hate groups in Northwest Arkansas, as evidence of my guilt by geographical association.

Finally, I'd had enough, and blew my stack:

Well, Anonymous, you've got me dead to rights! I live in the same area where some hate groups are located. And on my blog, I quote some people who said some other bad things that I DIDN'T quote. And I link to a number of sites that include some bad stuff along with the good--any link on my blogroll MUST constitute an uncritical blanket endorsement! So there you have it--my blog MUST have a hidden racist, neoconfederate agenda!

Of course, since my links range from the paleo-libertarians at Mises.Org and LRC to the libertarian communists at Red and Black Notes, they don't agree with each other. But maybe that's just pretense; maybe the Wobs and the anarcho-commies are really closet racists: they appear on the same blogroll as Lew Rockwell, after all, and are linked on a blog by a guy who lives in the same area as some hate groups are located! Q.E.D.

You shithead.

BTW, your quoting a group affiliated with Morris Dees must mean you implicitly endorse statutory rape. I expect you to denounce kiddie porn immediately (as if we could believe any denial coming from the likes of you, who probably live in the same area as some pedophile)!

Again, you are a shithead. And a cowardly shithead, to boot, since (unlike me) you don't post under your own name or stand accountable for anything you've written online in the past.

Of course, now that I'd made the mistake of revealing that he'd got under my skin, he immediately took the opportunity to assume a stance of smug moral superiority:

such venom.
what more be said?
i propose a toast---
To character!

i rest my case.
cheers and happy dreams
---amicus di verdi

Even angrier, I told the trollish character assassin just what I thought of his idea of "character":

If "character" means slander and guilt by association, all probably disingenuous, from someone hiding behind cover of anonymity, you can have it. I've learned from observing smarmy Republican ward-heelers that those who talk most about "character" usually have the least of it.

It was to no avail, though. That previous barb of his was a Parthian shot.

But a bad penny always turns up. Just this week, the same rancid little turd floated to the top of the septic tank again:

"Why aren't we devoting our energies to the difficult task of building a progressive third party and not tearing ourselves apart?"

answer: Anarchist Libertarian infiltration

their purpose is to tear down and destroy progressive consensus, not to build it up.

(He also felt compelled to drag out that idiotic parable about the scorpion, by the way.)

The comment thread's still up over there, if anyone wants to contribute.

Although most of this type aren't as sociopathic or dishonest as the last example, he's fairly typical of their average level of critical thinking.

Oh, and here's another one: Not long after the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, a caller on a C-SPAN call-in segment made a fairly bland and mainstream Republican statement (therefore almost certainly backed by little or no intellectual consistency--but never mind) of the concepts of delegated and reserved powers in the Tenth Amendment. The next caller, or maybe the one after that, was so upset that her voice shook with emotion. She was, obviously, either in tears or quite close to it. "I'm so upset I can hardly talk. That man sounded like, like, one of those militia people!"


Blogger b-psycho said...

Sometimes when I see people online say really stupid things like that I like to imagine that they're repulsive shutins that have been hunkered at their computer for weeks without pause & perpetually reek of pork rinds, cigarettes, & their own sweat from vigorously stroking themselves, and after having gotten a bit of satisfaction from launching their idiotic tirade suddenly have an urge to walk outside -- where a car immediately jumps the curb & plows into them, killing them instantly.

But you may actually like human beings, so eh, whatever works for ya...

December 09, 2005 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say the prospects for liberty are pretty good!

- Josh

December 10, 2005 5:36 AM  
Blogger Wally Conger said...

Hey, Kevin, I can't even begin to explain how much I enjoyed this post. I've had so many similar online run-ins over the years -- one right after the 1995 OK bombing, in fact -- that it's always good to know I'm not the only guy out here dealing with 'em.

December 11, 2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger buermann said...

That is an amusing exchange. Everyone to two boxes, and to two boxes every one.

December 11, 2005 8:56 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Thanks, everybody. Brian, it helps me to imagine spending about three days taking them apart with a pair of bolt-cutters.

December 11, 2005 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I put a few thoughts here. They didn't involve killing the other guy, but we Greens are just like that.

December 12, 2005 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some interesting comments, Esteban. I didn't mean to suggest that the Greens were so taken over by statists that they had to be "infiltrated" from outside--although I may have inadvertently given that impression. Only that if left-libertarians WERE infiltrating the Greens, as the guy said, they were just stealing the movement back fair and square. If anything, it's the warmed-over social democrats who infiltrated a fundamentally left-libertarian movement.

--Kevin Carson, via public computer

December 12, 2005 7:12 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

BTW, esteban, the guy I got into it with posted anonymously. If you don't mind saying, who is this "Jeremy," and how do you know it was him?

December 13, 2005 8:48 AM  

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