Friday, November 30, 2007

Anarchist Without Objectives

This blog was made specifically for my philosophizing, but I have more to say than philosophizing. So I made another blog where I'll post the more useless stuff, personal updates, rants, jokes, really awesome youtube videos (been on 56k for a month, so I'm behind on that), et cetera. A blog for what most blogs are used for.

The new blog is Anarchist Without Objectives. Yeah, I like using puns in my names.

I'm by no means abandoning this blog, this other one is a complement, not a replacement. At least that's the plan right now.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Positive Feedback, Rivalrous Rates

I tried to make this as short as possible. I'm sure I've gone through a more thorough explanation somewhere else, but this is a short entry because it's really a pretty simple concept that doesn't need elaborate hypothetical situations and such.

Nathyn (a state socialist who trolls the Free Talk Live forums) asks:
"Authoritarianism can cause poverty and inequality (I.E., North Korea and Dalits in India). But what proof do you have that inequality is caused primarily by governments?" [Emphasis mine]
It's just my personal belief that government is the primary cause of inequality. I haven't gone through an exhaustive list of potential causes of inequality trying to estimate the contributions of each factor toward existing inequality, but as I'll show, it seems to be a rational conclusion based on how the state works.

Power has the property of being usable to get more power. And in politics, all power comes at somebody else's expense, for all power one gains in politics, somebody else must lose some power. Anybody who gets some perpetual political power (not the temporary power of elected officials or those who appear to be in charge, but those who can influence said elected officials essentially irrelevant of who the actual individuals are, including after a political revolution, i.e. the rich), will be able to use that power to increase their own political power. For example, a $50,000 bribe that leads to a new regulation that puts enough of the competition out of business that the centralizing effects bring in another $100,000 in capital.

The longer this system is allowed to run, the more centralized the wealth becomes. The richest don't get much power from the poorer anymore, so they go after the next-richest. Whoever wins, they've got more power (i.e. money) for later use against whoever is next-richest. It's easy to "win" power at the expense of those less powerful, but difficult to win at the expense of those more powerful. Those in the middle will find that those below them have little power left to take, and those above them are taking what they themselves have, and so find themselves gradually weakened. At the top, power can be had at almost anybody's expense. So as the time this system has been in place increases, the centralization becomes extremely pronounced.

The system of statism has been running from the beginning of recorded history. My reason for believing that most of the present inequality is a result of politics is that one can predict from this that the inequality caused by politics will be enormous. One also sees that the present inequality is enormous. Lacking knowledge of any other potential causes of such enormous inequality, I'm personally left with the conclusion that most of it is caused by politics.

Politics a positive feedback system with rivalrous feedback rate and inputs. The rivalrous feedback rate alone is sufficient to cause inequality, and rivalrous input is the reason why the poor are so poor. Those in power take both the best feedback rates and the best inputs. Metaphorically, they command the highest interest rates and give out the biggest loans, thus they get the most income and will eventually get the most money.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Strong Libertarianism

Most people are familiar with strong atheism (there's no such thing as god) and weak atheism (I don't believe in any god). The analogous positions are deep anarchism (there is no state) and an anarchistic or radical minarchism (I don't believe that any state is legitimate). As there are already good labels for these positions, it's not my intent to duplicate them with this new word. So when I say "strong libertarian" I don't mean "the state does not exist".

I see two kinds of libertarians on the radical end where I reside. The first kind of libertarian is the more common on the Free Talk Live forums I post at, and Ian Bernard (anarchist cohost of Free Talk Live) is a good example. They follow libertarianism to the letter in politics, then pretty much let it go. They'd defend Microsoft from any claims of "monopoly" or "predatory business practices" without much independent consideration. They'll advocate ostracism as a good way to punish people. They'll ban people who use the term "wage slavery" because they find it offensive. In short, "weak" libertarianism is strictly political libertarianism, not a social libertarianism.

The second is the kind I am. Libertarianism is more than just politics to us "strong libertarians". The principles of libertarianism have applications outside the sphere of "how much government should we have?" It's about more than just leaving other people alone. It's about empowering people with freedom. It's about empowering yourself with freedom. And not just freedom from government either. Freedom from superstition, freedom from ostracism, freedom from tradition, freedom from being guilted into things, freedom from the "tyranny of genes", freedom from bad ideas in general, freedom from whatever holds you back. Freedom from gender, racial, regional, and age-related stereotyping, among other types. Freedom from restricted information. Freedom from deliberate incompatibility. Freedom from DROs that tell you "You can't buy and sell from this person, they're bad!" Freedom from the urge to control others. Freedom from things that interfere with your power to achieve values and virtues.

"Strong libertarianism" pursues empowerment through freedom in every sense possible. Not just the ones that are politically or socially acceptable. Not even just the ones that you think you want to accept. Every sense that you can recognize it, it's about empowerment through freedom in that way.

Strong libertarianism is about making yourself, and making yourself better. It's about empowering thought and action. It's about brutal honesty and openness. It's about eating with your elbows on the table because it is convenient to do so. It's about seeing yourself as the inherently free and powerful being you are.

It's not about whether you're an anarchist or a moderate (not directly, but I imagine it correlates positively with radical libertarianism). Hans-Hermann Hoppe would qualify as an anarchist (barely) but he's nowhere near being a strong libertarian. Many of Hoppe's ideas are exactly the opposite of strong libertarianism, his ideas about immigration being a prime example. Hoppe is a "weak libertarian".

I think the libertarian movement needs more awareness of this distinction.