no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Dynamite: The Story of Class Violence in America

July 19th, 2011

As the old saying goes, “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” and there are few times more desperate for a majority of laborers living hand-to-mouth, than being put out of work en masse. Adamic’s well-researched, but surprisingly easy-to-read Dynamite: The Story of Class Violence In America demonstrates the desperate side of the labor struggle which is rarely, if ever, taught in classrooms.

Dynamite: The Story of Class Violence in AmericaAs strikes and “riots” are often portrayed in the media as unprovoked violence against the employers or scab workers, and haphazard destruction of the employers’ properties, Adamic will not let the reader ignore that in many (most?) cases, it is the the monopolists and the concentrated Big Business who are directly responsible for the opening salvo (i.e., hired thugs to bust the strikes, agents provocateurs, corrupt politicians, etc.). He also notes that while many attempts at labor organizing were demonized and even prosecuted as illegal interference with commerce, etc., the duplicitous nature of the American legal system often ignored equally heinous interference with commerce when done on behalf of organized Big Business.

Dynamite also presents a fairly compelling argument as to why organized laborers believe in a “right” to their jobs, which if you accept it, means that scab laborers would be guilty of violating that right and to some degree deserving of reactions as would any common criminal who violated you otherwise. This was an argument I had not previously encountered, but and it was definitely an “Aha!” kind of moment when I picked up on it.

Adamic is unabashedly anti-capitalist, so his character descriptions tend to favor the champions of labor, and make the enemies of labor seem characteristically repugnant. That said, he keeps a fairly even keel and is not afraid to highlight labors shortcomings, infightings, especially weak leadership, a “We’ll get ours and damn the rest” mentality (which he condemns as a byproduct of capitalism) , failures of the AFL as well as the politicking and racketeering scandals which plagued early labor organizations and it would seem, doomed them for the future.

Although Adamic does not explicitly endorse “dynamite” as a means to achieving labor’s goals, I think he is without a doubt sympathetic to its use; at least under certain desperate circumstances the majority of which cannot be blamed on the working classes.

If you’re a left-leaning libertarian or a big-L libertarian of the American persuasion, or even fancy yourself an “anarcho-capitalist” then this book will definitely give you pause to reconsider some of your positions. Otherwise I’d recommend it for anyone interested in the history of the American labor struggles, or anyone looking for an alternate account of this history.

Dynamite: The Story of Class Violence In America is available via

Fake Anarchists Oppose Immigration

October 29th, 2009

I find it ironic, and just a bit confusing, to see an “anarchist” waxing poetic about national identity; as though anything could be less meaningful in the anarchist lexicon than those f*cking arbitrary delineations of conquest and subjugation drawn on maps by all manner of kings, tyrants, and usurpers.

I’m not going to bother wasting five minutes of my life watching the video linked via the National Anarchist Revolution! blog, primarily because NumbersUSA peddles a lot of borderline-bogus, alarmist, jingoistic “statistics” in support of their arguments.  I’ve taken them to task on this junk-science in the past, and that will suffice for me, thank you very much.

There will always be scarcity, but if it were possible to create a localized superabundance, any decent man, genuinely concerned with the plight of the poorest among us, would wait a little bit longer to get there, so that others could feast at that table, too.

—Immigration: The Good Stuff. 31 May, 2007.

I do not mean to imply that freedom of immigration would solve all of the world’s problems, although I do believe it would go a long way towards achieving that goal.

En français, dessous du pli

Contre le Mythe de Hobbes

February 26th, 2009

[From time to time, I’m going to start blogging in French, just to try and keep a somewhat functional literacy.  I’m already aware that my grammar is horrendous.  It always was.  Deal with it. Google Translator does a good enough job, deal with it.]

Un justification de l’existence des gouvernements, sélon Hobbes, suggères qu’il y aurait toujours les mauvaises gens personnes, motivés par la facilité apparent de gagner par le vol ou la tricherie. (Un variant de thème, tous les gens souffrent des défauts criminels.) À cause de cet element criminel, c’est impossible pour les gens honnêtes de se proteger, ou de prosperer, et en fait, la vie sans gouvernement sera “méchant, sauvage, et bref.”

Permettez-moi d’éxposer cet argument: Les gens sont assez violents, sont incapables à établir la paix, la securité, la communité sans gouvernement, et pour cet raison-ci, ils coopérent parfaitement à établir l’état. Sans l’état, les individuelles sont violents partout! Ensuite, les mêmes personnes sont capables (miraculeusement!) à organiser une institution, un gouvernement, qui soit imperméable aux vices, dont lesquelles la plupart des individuels succomberait. Après ces mêmes individuelles ont crées l’état, ils obéissent les ordres, ils suivent les règles, et ils devont toutes les anges, sauf pour un élement criminel, de proportion miniscule. Incroyable? Je pense que oui. Mais voici la paradoxe de l’état.

Il n’y a qu’une autre possibilité: Les gens qui réussissent à établir l’état, ils sont leurs-mêmes d’esprit mal, ils sont les voleurs et/ou les criminels. Les mauvaises gens, jamais plus d’un proportion miniscule de n’importe quelle population, ils nous ont trompé. Ce qu’ils nous promettent, ce qu’ils nous disent, soient les mensonges. La loi, devient-il sélon Bastiat, un outil d’oppression, ni protèges pas les citoyennes contre les criminels puissants, mais en verité, elle protèges les criminels contre les citoyennes.

Suivant les premises d’Hobbes, la dernière est le plus croyable. D’après tout, ils nous demandent à croire q’un élement violent suffisera à detruire la civilization, l’ordre et la paix. Ce qui est plus convaincant, à mon avis, ce mauvais élement a usurpé presque toutes les droits de nous autres. Pour établir et maintenir un gouvernment, il est absoluement nécessaire d’employer la violence proactive:

Iin every time and place—[governments] have been established, ordained and maintained only through conquest and violent force, or the threat thereof. This can be shown by government’s absolute refusal to permit you to form your own government in a manner other than brute force to which it must, through destruction, submit.

Soit une des deux conditions a contribué à la structure sociale qui s’appelle “gouvernement”. C’est possible que la plupart d’humanité est mauvaise, malheureusement en ce cas, c’est impossible d’établir un gouvernement sans contradiction. Heureusement, cette théorie est réfuté par l’expérience quotidienne.

D’autre manière, c’est possible que la plupart d’humanité n’est pas mauvaise, malheureusement, en ce cas, leur effort a raté à gagner la paix et la securité. Plûtot, l’éxistence des gouvernements a réussit à concentré la puissance, à concentré la capacité de profiter de vol, et à augmenté la capacité d’exploiter les honnêtes gens. Bien sûr, il y a des gens bêtes, les racailles qui vivre par la viol et la crime. Comme anarchiste, on ni permis ni encourages ces personnes, plûtot, on résiste à n’importe quelle système.

Voici la question dont on doit repondre: parce-que on peut exploiter n’importe quelle système, n’est-ce pas désirable, n’est-ce pas préfèrable d’éliminer n’importe quelles systèmes comparables?

Je trouve qu’on doit repondre en affirmative. La vrai problème, c’est pas la crime; toute le monde sait comment répondre aux criminels. La vrai problème, c’est la privilège, par laquelle un criminel ordinaire peut-il profiter des crimes extraordinaires.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics