no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Comments on Comments #16

May 20th, 2008

Responding to The Rebellion of the Dead, frequent commenter Francois Tremblay says:

That’s a horrible passage. I can’t believe you like it. Instead of showing how even fatalism cannot fade the vitality of the human spirit, they just give into it. If I knew the day of my death, I wouldn’t try to give into the fatalistic mindset.

What I understood the passage to mean, is that most people live their lives like a sort of walking dead, viz. if people knew in advance when they would die, they would probably live their lives differently. Since we’re all going to die, and this is certain, we should live better, more enjoyable lives. The author supposes that “Daniel” would have done so, and laments the fact that people tend to forget death is a foregone conclusion. Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe 40 years from now; we are all going to die. But despite this inevitability, looking upon the great mass of humanity through time and space, one would hardly come to that conclusion.

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sickr left a comment on Did the Offspring Sell Out?

You’re aware that the Offspring sold out years ago?! There departure from Epitaph records to Sony cemented their deal with the devil, putting out Americana completely solidified it.

I had completely repressed the memory of the “Americana” album. Thanks for clarifying.

Olly generally agrees with sickr, above, but has this to add:

Sounds to me that the song is actually talking about how fucked up a soldier gets — as their own natural morality is subverted to “do as they are told”.

My take is that this is more of a lament for how brainwashed and robotic soldiers come when the government gets their hands on them.

I’ll admit, I thought maybe this was the idea, but I wasn’t sure, which is why I asked if maybe I was missing something. Upon first listen, however, all I could think of was that Three Doors Down tune set to a music video championing the National Guard, which I seem to see every time I go to see a movie. If it was the Offspring’s intent to paint a picture of the soldier qua victim, they could’ve done much better if they had simply covered Metallica’s “Disposable Heroes”

Barking of machinegun fire, does nothing to me now
Sounding of the clock that ticks, get used to it somehow
More a man, more stripes you bare, glory seeker trends
Bodies fill the fields I see
The slaughter never ends

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There are two comments on Where in the World is Kip?, where I correctly identified Kip’s “undisclosed location” as Copenhagen, Denmark. I’ve always wanted to go there. In jest, I asked what my award would be. Kip responds

You win a bottle of Carlsberg, of course! (Or would you prefer Tuborg?)

I’ll err on the side of novelty and take the Tuborg, good sir. Also, Mike says that I win cheese. “Great gobbing piles of cheese, more than you can eat, even.” I love me some Danish blue cheese, soaking in oil. That’s good stuff.

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John of blagnet comments on Smoking: Still Healthier than Fascism #3:

[Smoking bans are] one piece of legislation (coercion) whose immediate effect would make me, personally, very happy, but which I oppose because my sense of morals supersedes my personal comfort.

This is the essence of politics! The majority of people perceive a personal benefit from such legislation, or are indifferent towards the issue at hand. Another great example is gay rights. I know many people who are completely indifferent to the issue of gay rights, because they are not personally affected by it one way or the other.

The world would be a better place, John, if more people shared your sense of morality.

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On Susan LeFevre: Retribution or Rehabilitation, a very popular post, Collette Wunderlich says,

I am living the exact same situation. My husband, Jack Duffy, escaped a Trustee Farm in Michigan in 1983. He left for CA and started a new life under an assumed name. In 2006, the Federal Marshals arrested him and extradited him back to Michigan exactly like Susan. He was told he had to finish out the sentence he left and was given an additional year for the escape. Currently, he is not scheduled to be relesed until December, 2011.

Anything I can do to get this situation out with Susan’s would be greatly appreciated.

A google search of “Jack Duffy” didn’t turn up anything relevant to Collette’s comment, so I’m afraid I can’t do much to publicize his situation, about which I know nothing.

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Kip comments on Susan LeFevre: Comments on Comments #15

“Noting that rehabilitation is the proper role of a penal system”

Not necessarily. Retributivism (”expressing society’s indignation”) and “protection of others” (by isolating criminals) are generally accepted to be legitimate functions of a criminal justice system.

To summarily announce that “the true goal [is] rehabilitation” is totally subjective and conclusory.

Rehabilitation might have a greater emphasis in juvenile detention, to be sure. But that does automatically bootstrap to adult penology.

I should’ve said a proper role of penal systems, not the proper role.

I have no problem with providing for the “protection of others” through some isolatory mechanism, this might be imprisonment or social ostracism, etc. But retribution is a personal function. Society, accordingly, is not capable if indignation, and therefore has no right to express same.

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David (no website) provides his 2 cents on Urban Farming, and argues (as far as I can tell) that people like myself should practice more practical agorism:

Urban farming would be a great idea if it encouraged people to associate on the basis of shared REAL need and learn to produce for themselves what they had previously bought through a corrupt and unfree market.

People don’t just wake up one day and start arguing for things from a natural-rights perspective. But finding out that they are not just hapless victims of some huge system might lead them to start radically questioning the structure of the food system. And that might lead to thinking more generally about their rights.

The dilapidation and dysfunctionality of the food production system might present radicals with exciting opportunities to educate other folks — and not just educate, but ENLIST and INVOLVE in the fundamental activity of producing food for themselves, their families and communities. I see that as exciting.

The people spearheading the urban farming movement might be coming at it from (IYO) the wrong ideological standpoint, but that won’t change unless you (or others who share your philosophy) get involved and make the connections that you believe lie latent in there.

Your points are well received, David! I particularly like the point that “People don’t just wake up one day and start arguing for things from a natural-rights perspective.” This is certainly true! Arguing things from a natural-rights perspective requires that one is capable of independent thinking, and is contrary to the way most people have been conditioned to “think.” That’s kind of the point of this blog, to educate.

I first heard about Urban Farming on one of the local news channels, because they have gardens in Detroit. As an employment perk, I’m allowed to take a paid day off to volunteer or do charitable work. Maybe I’ll till some Detroit soil. One thing that caught my attention in the newscast, was that one of the Urban Farming advocates was essentially saying: “If you see the Urban Farming sign on a garden in Detroit, this means that you can take whatever you need.” (I did not include this opinion in my first post, because I couldn’t find a link and didn’t want to improperly attribute the organization’s mission.)

I suppose that’s fine from a charitable perspective, but encouraging people to end hunger by planting gardens that other people can loot presents a nice little tragedy of the commons. If Urban Farming wants to be a simple charity, that’s great. But if they want to end hunger, they need to empower people to take the power back.

The folks behind Urban farming, in my opinion, have a noble goal in mind: the eradication of hunger. Activists, people who are passionate about a cause, are potential allies to the anarchist/agorist cause. Leveraging activism requires that we educate, that we share our philosophy and worldview with these folks, not to suggest that the ends they seek are wrong per se, only the means by which they hope to achieve them.

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no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics