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M@MM for July 2011 — Coming attractions; a real announcement to arrive soon.

Hey y’ALL,

So, this is just a brief note — a sort of placeholder — to mention that July 2011’s new Market Anarchy and Anarchist Classics Series booklets (No. 21 and No. 9, respectively) were finished on time and mailed out to subscribers on July 27. The official announcement has been delayed because the end of July also happened to be the exact time at which I, and with me the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Distro, went on a cross-country move from Las Vegas, Nevada to Auburn, Alabama. L. and I arrived safely in Alabama and we are in the process of getting settled in, but my print shop, the advance copies I’d already prepared, and all the rest of my office are not arriving for about a week. So, in the meantime, here’s a preview of what will soon be up for orders and available to the general public through the Distro website. Enjoy!

Coming Soon to an ALL Distro (Virtually) Near You…

Market Anarchy #21: Market Anarchy vs. Corporate Power

or: “The Attitude of Anarchism Toward Industrial Combinations,” by Benjamin Tucker (1899)

Anarchist Classics Series #9: Problems of Anarchism: Property, Labor & Competition

selected articles by William Bailie (1893)

See you all again when the dust settles….

An official announcement and links for non-subscribers to order the new booklets will be up in about a week.

M@ Mailed Monthly (June 2011): Free Market Public Property and Bomb-Throwing Revolutionary Mutualism

tl;dr. Two beautiful new booklets are available for ordering to-day from the ALL Distro — this month’s Market Anarchy, with an article on truly public property — public property, that is, without state control — and this month’s Anarchist Classic, with a Spencerian-Mutualist take on the Economics of Anarchy, by the insurrectionary mutualist Dyer D. Lum. You can get one free sample copy of either series (or both) to check out, if you’re considering a monthly subscription for individual copies or monthly packs to distribute in the radical space of your choice. Sound good? Contact me for details.

Scatter tracts, like raindrops, over the land….

— William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, March 1831.

To-day, I am happy to announce this month’s two additions to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Artwork & Agitprop Distro. They debuted on Saturday at this year’s Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair, and now, gentle reader, they come to you. Issue #20 (June 2011) of the monthly Market Anarchy Zine Series is a formulation by Roderick Long, on the right to public property in a stateless society. Issue #8 of the Anarchist Classics Zine Series is an edition of Dyer D. Lum’s The Economics of Anarchy, a fascinating Spencerian-Mutualist account of ownership and labor in a free society.

Here we are:

Market Anarchy #20 (Jun’11). Reclaim the Commons!

Public Property Without the State

Roderick T. Long (1998)

An individualist anarchist analysis and defense of rights to public property — not property that belongs to government, but property that belongs to the public — you and me and our neighbors.

Libertarians often assume that a free society will be one in which all (or nearly all) property is private…. To most people, ‘public property’ means ‘government property.’ As an anarchist, I do not advocate government property of any sort. But this is not the only kind of public property. Throughout history, legal doctrine has recognized, alongside property owned by the the public as organized into a state and represented by government officials, an additional category of property owned by the unorganized public. This was property that the public at large was deemed to have a right of access to, but without any presumption that government would be involved in the matter at all. It is public property in this sense that I am defending….

It is true that private property provides a protected sphere of free decision-making – for the property’s owners. But what is the position of those who are not property owners? A system of exclusively private property certainly does not guarantee them ‘a place to stand.’ Far from providing a sphere of independence, a society in which all property is private thus renders the propertyless completely dependent on those who own property…. It is true that users of public property face a somewhat greater risk from their fellow users than users of private property do. By the same token, however, public property allows more freedom. That is why the best option is a society that makes room for both public and private property. Those who place a high value on security, and are willing to put up with burdensome restrictions in order to get it, will be free to patronize private property, while those who seek self-expression, are averse to restrictions, and are willing to put up with more risk from others will likewise be free to patronize public property….

$1.25 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk.

Anarchist Classics #8 (Jun’11). The Economics of Anarchy

A Study of the Industrial Type

Dyer D. Lum (1890)

I have repeatedly been asked to write a brief summary of the aims sought by Anarchists which could be read and discussed in the various clubs that are studying economic questions. With this end in view the following pages are submitted, trusting that they may be a help to those who are earnestly seeking the rationale of the Labor Question….

FREE EXCHANGE … would break the monopoly now possessed by currency, the instrument of exchange, and also could open full use of the possession of land…. Has the workman equal freedom to compete with the employer of labor? … But why not? Because behind the capitalist, as we now find him, privilege lends support which transforms the result of honest industry into a hideous Moloch standing with outstretched arms to receive as sacrificial victims the toilers who have made that capital possible…. Capital itself is man’s best friend, the true social savior that opens the march of progress and that has transformed society from warlike to peaceful pursuits. But under the crucifying hands of legalization, where prerogative mocks at penury, its mission is thwarted and it becomes a ravenous beast…. Reliance upon militant measures, trying to curb indus­ trial discontent by legislative coercion, is reactionary in character. However disguised in twilight mixtures it is the spirit of the old regime seeking to dominate the new; as vain as seeking to check an exhaustless flow of water by damming the stream. The remedy cannot lie in enactments, in the organ­ization of systems, in return to simplicity of structure, for industrial civilization demands plasticity of forms … while organization, on the other hand, ever tends to rigidity….

Dyer Lum was among the most labor-oriented of the American mutualists, working actively as a labor organizer and maintaining close working ties with August Spies, Albert Parsons, and many of the other Chicago Communists — he actually took over publishing The Alarm after Parsons and the other Haymarket martyrs were hanged. Unlike Tucker, who officially rejected any concern with questions of ownership and employment, so long as workers were fully freed from monopolistic constraints on their bargaining power, Lum’s book is a defense of mutual enterprise and worker ownership. But he also explicitly rejects communism and defends private property and free exchange — which Lum approaches with a fascinating appropriation of Herbert Spencer’s distinction between the militant type and the industrial type of society, characterized respectively by violence, domination and rigidity, on the one hand; and peace, productivity, equality and plasticity on the other.[1] Lum is also notable as an insurrectionist — a sort of bomb throwing revolutionary Mutualist. There’s a common, and really grossly mistaken, stereotype that the Collectivist and Communist Anarchists in America were the revolutionaries, and the Individualists and the Mutualists were Philosophical Anarchists who had no immediate plan to overthrow government, and for the time being counseled only education and moral agitation.[2] But this is wrong, as a general thing,[3] and Lum in particular is a huge, obvious counterexample — a defender of revolutionary politics and of the Chicago martyrs, who smuggled the dynmite caps to the imprisoned Louis Lingg. In Economics the issue appears mostly in the background — with the occasional adversions to, e.g., the relationship between Garrison’s agitation and Brown’s insurrection — but it is approached directly in an extended discussion in the final chapter, a Digression on Methods.

$2.00 for 1; $1.50/ea in bulk.

As I’ve mentioned in past months, both the Market Anarchy Zine Series and the new Anarchist Classics Zine Series have become regular monthly publications. One issue in each series is published every month. New issues are normally announced during the first week of each month, and mailed out during the third week of the month. (This month, as you can see, the announcement has been deferred in order to focus on preparing the new issues, and other wares, for the Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair. But we should be returning to our regular schedule in July.) You can order individual copies online or contact me to sign up for a regular subscription, either for personal reading or bulk orders for distributing, tabling, or stocking local infoshops and other radical spaces. If you’re considering subscribing, you can contact me to request a free sample copy for you to check out, compliments of the Distro; then, if you like it, continue the subscription for the rest of the year at the following rates:

Market Anarchy Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$1.50/issue
(= $18/year)
No. of copies ✕ 80¢/issue
(= N ✕ $9.60/year)
Anarchist Classics Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$2.25/issue
(= $27/year)
No. of copies ✕ $1.25/issue
(= N ✕ $15/year)

For details on all your options (including ready-to-print electronic versions, customization with local contact information, and discounts for quarterly shipments), see Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly.

Prices include shipping & handling costs. If you decide not to continue the subscription, the sample issue is yours to keep. Intrigued? Contact me forthwith and we’ll get something worked out.

That’s all for now. Next month, you can look forward to some free-market environmentalism and the long-lost problems of an individualist. Until then—read and enjoy!

See also:

  1. [1] His use of the Spencerian distinction, and especially his opposition of militant rigidity to industrial plasticity is, I think, importantly connected with the common Mutualist emphasis on the character of markets as spaces for social experimentation and discovery; as Lum writes, The remedy cannot lie in enactments, in the organization of systems, in return to simplicity of structure, for industrial civilization demands plasticity of forms which the law of equal freedom alone gives, while organization, on the other hand, ever tends to rigidity….
  2. [2] In another, and even more grossly mistaken oversimplification, it is often claimed that the former, allegedly Communist and revolutionary, kind of Anarchism was mainly or exclusively European, or imported to America by European immigrants, while the latter, allegedly Mutualist and philosophical, was a native American tradition, which allegedly derived from peculiarly American traditions, which had little or nothing to do with the European insurrectionism, and which was fundamentally different because it grew in a different soil. It’s another topic for another day, but for now suffice it to say that this whole attempted dichotomy is a farrago of nonsense, promoted on the one hand by Communists, who intended to discredit Mutualism as conservative, quietist, parochial and outmoded; and by later defenders of Mutualism, especially during the mid-20th century, who attempted to defend the tradition, by dissociating it from the charges of foreignness and violence directed against all forms of Anarchism in an age of red-baiting and nationalism. But the Communists are wrong about Mutualism, and the would-be friends of Mutualism would have done better to push back against belligerently idiotic 100%-Americanism than to try to pander to it. The reality is far more complicated, and Lum is as good a place as any to start if you want to get into it.
  3. [3] Tucker counseled more or less strict adherence to non-violent forms of struggle, like rent strikes and tax resistance. But any observer of the 20th century should be aware that non-violent struggle is not the same thing as non-struggle. In any case, beyond Tucker, American individualists had a wide range of views. The authors of A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery and In Defense of Emma Goldmann and the Right of Appropriation would be very surprised to learn that they were philosophical Anarchists who foreswore any kind of revolutionizing or violence.

M@ Mailed Monthly (May 2011): Ideas and Letters, Natural Liberty and Artificial Scarcity

tl;dr. Two beautiful new booklets are available for ordering to-day from the ALL Distro — this month’s Market Anarchy, with an article on intellectual property and this month’s Anarchist Classic with two letters from Lysander Spooner to Congressman Thomas F. Bayard. You can get one free sample copy of either series (or both) to check out, if you’re considering a monthly subscription for individual copies or monthly packs to distribute in the radical space of your choice. Sound good? Contact me for details.

Scatter tracts, like raindrops, over the land….

— William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, March 1831.

To-day, I am happy to announce that earlier this week I mailed out the first orders of this month’s newest additions to the Alliance of the Libertarian Left Artwork & Agitprop Distro. Issue #19 (May 2011) of the monthly Market Anarchy Zine Series is a tract from Kevin Carson on the authoritarian nature and structural effects of so-called intellectual property rights. Issue #7 of the Anarchist Classics Zine Series is a fine little edition of a pair of letters to a Congressman — Congressman Thomas F. Bayard, the chosen recipient of two memorable letters from Lysander Spooner, Challenging His Right — and That of All the Other So-Called Senators and Representatives in Congress — to Exercise Any Legislative Power Whatever Over the People of the United States in light of natural justice, natural liberty, and the inalienable equality of every individual person.

Market Anarchy #19 (May’11). Intellectual Property is Theft!

How Copyrights & Patents Impede Competition

Kevin Carson (2009)

In Intellectual Property is Theft! Kevin Carson exposes so-called intellectual property as a law-made monopoly, upholding corporate privilege and consolidating economic control at the expense individual ownership of real, tangible property. Copyrights and patents lock in inefficient, privilege-ridden business models based on command and control, and enable corporations to capture outsize profits from the economic rent on innovations. Copying is not theft. But monopoly is.

Real, tangible property rights result from natural scarcity and follow as a matter of course from the attempt to maintain occupancy of physical property that cannot be possessed by more than one person at a time. Intellectual property, on the other hand, creates artificial scarcity that does not naturally exist and can only be enforced by invading real, tangible property and preventing the owner from using it in ways that violate the supposed intellectual property rights of others …. Intellectual property also serves as a bulwark for planned obsolecence and high-overhead production.

Corporations rely on increasingly authoritarian legislation to capture value from propriety information…. Privileged, state-connected economic interests are becoming increasingly dependent on such controls. But unfortunately for them, such controls are becoming increasingly unenforceable thanks to Bittorrent, strong encryption, and proxy servers…. This has profoundly weakened corporate hierarchies in the information and entertainment industries. In this environment, the only thing standing between the old information and media dinosaurs and their total collapse is their so-called intellectual property rights. … Without intellectual property, in any industry where the basic production equipment is widely affordable, and bottom-up networking renders management obsolete, it is likely that self-managed, cooperative production will replace the old managerial hierarchies.

$1.25 for 1; 75¢/ea in bulk.

Anarchist Classics #7 (May’11). Letters to Thomas F. Bayard

in which an Anarchist writes his Congressman, Challenging His Right — and That of All the Other So-Called Senators and Representatives in Congress — to Exercise Any Legislative Power Whatever Over the People of the United States

Lysander Spooner (1882, 1884)

Lysander Spooner’s first and second Letters to Congressman Thomas F. Bayard (D-DE) challenge all government with the standard of natural law and natural liberty. Spooner’s work was widely circulated and admired among the individualist anarchists in the late 19th and early 20th century. Later, the first letter to Bayard was widely reprinted and became incredibly influential in the intellectual revival of individualist anarchism during the 1960s. Whereas the first Letter to Bayard is one of Spooner’s best known works, the Second Letter to Bayard is a lost treasure recovered from the archives, until now very difficult to find in print. Together, they are one of Spooner’s sharpest attacks on the usurpation of legislators and the fraud of the legal Constitutions that are supposed to authorize, and yet somehow also limit, the arbitrary dominion of the State and the men who control it.

No man can delegate, or give to another, any right of arbitrary dominion over himself; for that would be giving himself away as a slave. And this no one can do. Any contract to do so is necessarily an absurd one, and has no validity. To call such a contract a Constitution, or by any other high-sounding name, does not alter its character as an absurd and void contract. No man can delegate, or give to another, any right of arbitrary dominion over a third person; for that would imply a right in the first person, not only to make the third person his slave, but also a right to dispose of him as a slave to still other persons. Any contract to do this is necessarily a criminal one and therefore invalid. To call such a contract a Constitution does not at all lessen its criminality, or add to its validity…

All this pretended delegation of legislative powr — that is, of a power, on the part of the legislators, so-called, to make any laws of their own device, distinct from the law of nature — is therefore an entire falsehood; a falsehood whose only purpose is to cover and hide a pure usurpation, by one body of men, of arbitrary dominion over other men….

$2.00 for 1; $1.50/ea in bulk.

As I’ve mentioned in past months, both the Market Anarchy Zine Series and the new Anarchist Classics Zine Series have become regular monthly publications. One issue in each series is published every month. New issues are announced during the first week of each month, and mailed out during the third week of the month. You can pre-order individual copies or contact me to sign up for a regular subscription, either for personal reading or bulk orders for distributing, tabling, or stocking local infoshops and other radical spaces. If you’re considering subscribing, you can contact me to request a free sample copy for you to check out, compliments of the Distro; then, if you like it, continue the subscription for the rest of the year at the following rates:

Market Anarchy Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$1.50/issue
(= $18/year)
No. of copies ✕ 80¢/issue
(= N ✕ $9.60/year)
Anarchist Classics Zine Series

Delivered each month

Individuals Bulk Distribution Packets
$2.25/issue
(= $27/year)
No. of copies ✕ $1.25/issue
(= N ✕ $15/year)

For details on all your options (including ready-to-print electronic versions, customization with local contact information, and discounts for quarterly shipments), see Market Anarchy Mailed Monthly.

Prices include shipping & handling costs. If you decide not to continue the subscription, the sample issue is yours to keep. Intrigued? Contact me forthwith and we’ll get something worked out.

That’s all for now. Next month, you can look forward to a Market Anarchist defense of the commons, some bomb-throwing revolutionary mutualism, and (I hope?) an appearance by the ALL Distro at the Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair. Until then—read and enjoy!

See also:

The Las Vegas Police Beat: Officer-Involved

  • Officers William Mosher, Joshua Stark, and Thomas Mendiola. Las Vegas Metro Police Department. Last weekend, at the Costco in Summerlin, Erik Scott got into an argument with some workers at the store. A Costco employee noticed that he was carrying a handgun in his waistband, so they freaked out and called the cops, then evacuated the store. Three Las Vegas Metro police officers — William Mosher, Joshua Stark, and Thomas Mendiola — rolled up and waited outside the store. When they saw Scott walking out of the store, they came up behind him and grabbed him on the shoulder and screamed at him to get down. He turned around and obeyed less than instantaneously, so the cops opened fire and stone cold gunned him down in the parking lot. The cops claimed that before they lit him up with 7 shots, Scott had reached for his gun in his waistband. Then, later, they claimed that he refused orders [sic] and instead withdrew a handgun and pointed at them.. Most of the witnesses, including a friend who was standing right next to Scott when the police gunned him down, say that he never did. A few witnesses differ — they say they did see him take out his gun but that he never pointed it at the cops. Metro said that Scott was ripping merchandise apart, kind of going berserk, and that they had received numerous 911 calls for his erratic behavior and reporting he was carrying a gun. Turns out that what actually happened is that another customer saw Scott opening up a box of aluminum water bottles putting some in his cart and some on the floor, in order to find out how many would fit in his cooler; when store security tried to confront him about it, Scott’s voice got elevated. A number of later 911 calls, provoked by the store’s panicky evacuation, recorded parts of the cop’s confrontation with Scott; the police have refused to release the 911 tapes. The Costco has surveillance cameras on the parking lot; the police took the tapes, but claim that they haven’t looked at them yet because of technical issues. The investigation of this police shooting by Las Vegas Metro is, of course, being handled by more police from Las Vegas Metro. There will almost certainly never be any kind of public trial; a coroner’s inquest hasn’t been scheduled, but will probably happen sometime in September. (There has been only 1 Clark County coroner’s inquest in 34 years that ever found any Metro police shooting to be neither justified nor excusable.) Meanwhile, the three cops who gunned down Erik Scott have been given a paid vacation from their jobs. The local newsmedia has been all over this story, mainly because Scott shops in Summerlin and used to be a tank commander in the United States government’s Army. Bill Scott, Erik’s father, has said that he hopes this case will draw attention to how many people Metro has gunned down: There are a lot of people who have been killed in Las Vegas, a lot of them by the police. They didn’t have a voice. This time, quote me: they killed the wrong guy.

  • Officer Bryan Yant. Las Vegas Metro Police Department. For example, one of the people who has been killed in Las Vegas was Trevon Cole, an unarmed man who police shot in the face with an AR-15 assault rifle in the bathroom of his own apartment, while his 9-months-pregnant fiancee, Sequioa Pearce, was forced to get on the ground and watch. Metro was in his apartment because they had forced their way in in an extremely violent late-night raid to serve a drug search warrant. (Trevon Cole was violently seized and killed because he allegedly might have sold marijuana to an undercover narc, a crime which posed no threat at all to any identifiable victim’s rights.) So late at night while Pearce and Cole were relaxing in bed, a gang of police wearing camouflage and masks smashed in their windows and broke down their door, blitzed into the room holding assault rifles on their terrified victims. Trevon Cole was surrounded by a gang of heavily armed, masked men, was obeying their commands to get down, and had put his hands up in the air, but Yant decided he’d seen a furtive movement, so he stone cold shot Trevon Cole in the face at close range in front of his terrified fiancee. Officer Bryan Yant had already gunned down two other people in his career before he showed up to shoot an unarmed man in the face; An inquest jury into Yant’s 2002 fatal shooting found the officer justified in his actions despite a serious discrepancy between his story and evidence at the scene. The shooting will be considered by another Clark County Coroner’s Inquest on August 20. In the meantime, Bryan Yant, who is being investigated to determine whether or not he murdered an unarmed man, is being given a paid vacation from his government job. Meanwhile, his buddies on the force decided to show up at Sequoia Pearce’s mother’s house in order to mau-mau the only surviving witness and toss the house looking for guns and ammo that aren’t there.

  • Officer Luis Norris. Las Vegas Metro Police Department. Another cop working for the local government in Las Vegas opened fire on an unarmed man this past Tuesday, for the crime of taking a shortcut through a residential neighborhood while the cop was Investigatin’. The man appeared on the wall while the cop was talking to a local homeowner about a possible prowler. Of course, all kinds of people live in a residential neighborhood (by definition), and all kinds of people pass through, so a civilized person might take this as a reason to shout What are you doing here? but Officer Luis Norris was packing heat and startled so he whipped out his gun and opened fire on this innocent man, who was not the prowler, was unarmed, had committed no crime, and posed no threat to anything other than the cop’s composure and poise. Thankfully, Officer Luis Norris is a bad shot: he missed the man he was trying to gun down in a moment of irrational panic, so his intended target lived through the night long enough for Authorities to later determine he was not a threat. Since Luis Norris just recklessly endangered the life of an innocent man, but didn’t kill him in the process, there will not even be a coroner’s inquest. Instead, Officer Luis Norris’s has been given a paid vacation from his government job, and eventually, his actions will be reviewed by the department’s use of force board, which may hit him with such serious consequences as a written reprimand or even firing him from his job. In case you were wondering, the process is not open to the public.

Las Vegas Metro is full of heavily-armed, twitchy, terrified cops who are easily startled and ready to open fire on helpless or harmless people at even the most furtive motion. Whether you’re resting in bed with your fiancee on Eastern and Bonanza, or going shopping with your fiancee in Summerlin to celebrate your new life together, or just talking a quiet walk through the neighborhood out at Desert Inn and Sandhill, there is a heavily armed force, patrolling 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, constantly ready to come down on you and gun you down at even a moment’s hesitation to obey their bellowed commands, or the slightest twitch that they don’t understand, or just for startling them. If they shoot at you, or even if they kill you, they will almost certainly never be held accountable for their actions; the worst that’s likely to happen is that they might lose their job, and what’s more likely is that they will be put back onto the streets to continue a long and storied career of killing unarmed people. We are told that we need this heavily armed, omnipresent, domineering, hyperviolent, completely unaccountable paramilitary occupation force constantly in our lives and at our throats in order to stop our community from being overrun by small-time possible neighborhood prowlers, by erratic men who take aluminum water bottles out of their boxes at Costco, and from black men who might maybe be willing to sell a bit of pot to willing customers. We are told that we need this heavily armed, omnipresent, domineering, hyperviolent, completely unaccountable paramilitary occupation force in order to keep us safe. But who will keep us safe from them?

Support your local CopWatch.

See also:

Men In Uniform (Cont’d). Officer James Vernon Clayton, North Las Vegas Police Department, North Las Vegas, Nevada

Trigger warning. Briefly describes the crimes of a male police officer working for the North Las Vegas city government, who, while in uniform, harassed and attempted to sexually assault several women that he forced to pull over.

Officer James Vernon Clayton, North Las Vegas Police Department, North Las Vegas, Nevada.

From Tuesday’s Las Vegas Sun, Officer James Vernon Clayton, a three year veteran ex-cop formerly working for the North Las Vegas Police Department, repeatedly used the power of his badge and gun in order to pull women over, sexually harass the women he was holding captive, pull down his pants and show his dick off to them against their will, used threats of false arrest to grope at least one woman under the excuse of a pat search, and to try to extort sexual favors by threatening them with legal retaliation if they wouldn’t. He did this to at least five women that we know of, while on duty, in uniform, in his police cruiser, and heavily armed. So the boss cops with the North Las Vegas city government gave him a six month paid vacation; then the government prosecutor cut a deal with him so he could plead guilty to five misdemeanors — none of them sex offenses. The government prosecutors wanted this serial sexual predator to spend four months in jail; the government judge accepting this plea decided to give him three years’ probation instead, and told him to pay off the government to the tune of $5,000. The women he harassed, intimidated and coerced[1] will, of course, get nothing.

The government prosecutor had this to say, about the case:

From the onset of this case, what the state found most disturbing is here’s an individual charged with our public safety — we’ve blindly given him our trust to protect community, we’ve given him a badge, and he’s vitiated all of that, including blemishing his department, Chief Deputy District Attorney Stacy Kollins said.

— Quoted by Cara McCoy, Las Vegas Sun (2010-05-18): Ex-officer who sought sexual favors during traffic stops sentenced

Well, sure, except that you ought to speak only for yourself — I never gave Officer James Vernon Clayton a badge or my trust, and neither did much of anyone else outside of the North Las Vegas city government. But that said, perhaps what you ought to learn is that it’s foolish to blindly give your trust to men with guns and uniforms, and dangerous to create an environment in which they wield incredible power over ordinary citizens, with a reliable expectation that even if they get caught, they will never face any serious personal consequences for their violent and abusive actions. Until you figure that out, expect your blind trust to keep getting vitiated, over and over again, by men who use those weapons and that unaccountable power to stalk, harass, and assault the women who they force under their power.

What as at stake here has a lot to do with the individual crimes of three cops, and it’s good to know that the police department is taking that very seriously. But while excoriating these three cops for their personal wickedness, this kind of approach also marginalizes and dismisses any attempt at a serious discussion of the institutional context that made these crimes possible — the fact that each of these three men worked out of the same office on the same shift, the way that policing is organized, the internal culture of their own office and of the police department as a whole, and the way that the so-called criminal justice system gives cops immense power over, and minimal accountability towards, the people that they are professedly trying to protect. It strains belief to claim that when a rape gang is being run out of one shift at a single police station, there’s not something deeply and systematically wrong with that station. If it weren’t for the routine power of well-armed cops in uniform, it would have been much harder for Victor Gonzales, Anthony Munoz, or Raymond Ramos to force their victims into their custody or to credibly threaten them in order to extort sex. If it weren’t for the regime of State violence that late-night patrol officers exercise, as part and parcel of their legal duties, against women in prostitution, it would have been that much harder for Gonzales and Munoz to imagine that they could use their patrol as an opportunity to stalk young women, or to then try to make their victim complicit in the rape by forcing her to pretend that the rape was in fact consensual sex for money. And if it weren’t for the way in which they can all too often rely on buddies in the precinct or elsewhere in the force to back them up, no matter how egregiously violent they may be, it would have been much harder for any of them to believe that they were entitled to, or could get away with, sexually torturing women while on patrol, while in full uniform, using their coercive power as cops.

A serious effort to respond to these crimes doesn’t just require individual blame or personal accountability — although it certainly does require that. It also requires a demand for fundamental institutional and legal reform. If police serve a valuable social function, then they can serve it without paramilitary forms of organization, without special legal privileges to order peaceful people around and force innocent people into custody, and without government entitlements to use all kinds of violence without any accountability to their victims. What we have now is not civil policing, but rather a bunch of heavily armed, violently macho, institutionally privileged gangsters in blue.

— GT 2007-12-21: Rapists on patrol

See also:

  1. [1] Who chose not to speak out at the sentencing hearing, because they were afraid of retaliation from the would-be rapist who the judge then proceeded to turn loose.

Priorities

The government-installed administration at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas says that, what with the current round of massive state budget cuts, and the threat of future cuts one or two years down the line, they don’t have enough money to teach classes in unpopular majors. (Based on recent decisions from administrative committees, UNLV’s — excellent, but small — Women’s Studies program, among others, might just barely manage to escape the axe. For this round of budget cuts.)

But apparently they do have enough money to build a big memorial to dead government soldiers.

Of course they do; it’s a matter of priorities. When the allocation of money for the University is political, it’s always going to favor what’s politically popular over what’s educationally important. And there’s nothing more politically popular than Patriotically Correct monuments to dead government soldiers.

This is, of course, exactly why UNLV should be liberated entirely from government appointments of administration and from the government strings attached to government funding.

Supporters of the Women’s Studies department, and of academics at UNLV broadly, often view the prospect of privatization of the University with horror. I don’t—because if privatization just means turning UNLV over from governmental ownership to non-gvernmental ownership, that could mean a lot of different things. I understand the reaction, if they are thinking of the kind of legislative privateering where the University simply being sold off to the best-connected corporate bidder. What I think is that the University doesn’t belong to the state government in the first place, and so the state government has no right to sell it to anyone; it belongs to the students and the faculty who use it. And privatizing, or if you prefer socializing it, directly into the hands of the campus community is the only just way to dispose of the University.[1] It’s also the best thing that could possibly happen to education at UNLV. As long as a government-imposed administration is in charge of UNLV, UNLV will be about serving the priorities of administrators, and serving the priorities of the government. UNLV will be about learning and teaching when it’s controlled by learners and teachers; the sooner we end the government occupation of campus, the better.

NV out of UNLV!

See also:

  1. [1] Of course, a plan like that — just handing the University for free over to those who work and study in it, with no political strings attached, instead of coming up with some scheme to create a subsidized sale to an bureaucratic efficiency-minded corporate management, with lots of lingering state control over what they can do — is almost certainly something that will never come out of a committee of the state legislature. Or rather, it’s something that will never come out of a legislative committee unless they are forced to it by events on the ground. If it’s going to come about, it’s something much more likely to come about by a strategy of campus organizing, concerted strikes by faculty, staff, and students, and student occupations of buildings and facilities, aimed not at legislative influence in Carson city, but at asserting effective physical and cultural control over the campus. But I see the need for people-power tactics, instead of bureaucratic gamesmanship and legislative lobbying, as an advantage of my proposal. Not a weakness.

The Revolution Will Be On YouTube (Cont’d): Darian Worden, “Libertarians Are Left” at Alternatives Expo

The Alternatives Expo is an agorist confab, marketplace, and series of workshops that’s held in parallel to Liberty Forum. (It’s actually where I spent the majority of time while I was in New Hampshire.) Here’s one of the talks I had the pleasure to attend, from New Jersey ALLy (and all-around rad dude) Darian Worden, talking about libertarianism as a form of radical Leftism:

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 1)

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 2)

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 3)

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 4)

Libertarians Are Left! (Part 5)

The Revolution Will Be On YouTube

As you may know, I gave a talk on March 20th at the Free State Project’s 2010 Liberty Forum in Nashua, New Hampshire:

The Revolution Will Be Made Of People: Anarchy, Direct Action, and Free-Market Social Justice

Freedom is not a conservative idea. It is not a prop for corporate power and the political-economic statist quo. Libertarianism is, in fact, a revolutionary doctrine, which would undermine and overthrow every form of state coercion and authoritarian control. If we want liberty in our lifetimes, the realities of our politics need to live up to the promise our principles — we should be radicals, not reformists; anarchists, not smaller-governmentalists; defenders of real freed markets and private property, not apologists for corporate capitalism, halfway privatization or existing concentrations of wealth. Libertarianism should be a people’s movement and a liberation movement, and we should take our cues not from what’s politically polite, but from what works for a revolutionary people-power movement. Here’s how.

With many thanks to Antonio from blog of bile, here is a recording of the talk and the Q&A session that followed. (Split into 10 minute segments, as per YouTube constraints.) A couple of quick notes before we begin:

  1. Props where props are due. I intended to mention this in the talk, but barrelled through without remembering to. The story that I told at the beginning, about the Spokane Free Speech Fight of 1909-1910 is a story that I first heard through the late, great Utah Phillips, and he got it from FW Herb Edwards, who was there in Spokane working in logging at the time. I told the story just about the way Utah told it (and he says he was telling it just about the way he heard it from Herb Edwards, minus the Norwegian accent). If you want to hear Utah’s version of it, it’s Track 5, Direct Action, on Fellow Workers, the second album he put out in collaboration with Ani DiFranco.

  2. Time constraints forced me to skip over a substantial portion towards the end of the talk, which was largely concerned with methods. If I had it to do over again, I would have spent less time on opening matters and the case against minarchism, and spent more time (as I originally hoped to) talking about why libertarians should not waste time or energy on voting, parties, paper constitutions, nationalist politics, or conservative mythology about Founding Fathers or the stupid slave empire so often passed off as a Republic; and would also have talked about how partisan politics punishes radicalism and rewards compromise (hence, effectively, locking us into the statist quo), whereas direct action politics rewards principle, radicalism, and political courage. Ah well; next time, next time.

Now, on with the show:

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 1 of 9.

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 2 of 9.

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 3

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 4

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 5

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 6

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 7 — Q&A

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 8 — Q&A

The Revolution Will Be Made of People (2010-03-20), Part 9 — Q&A

More left-libertarian material from the Liberty Forum coming soon as I collect it. Expect to hear a bit more from me, and to see and hear from Darian Worden and other ALLies and agorists gathering in the Shire.

Limited-time offer

(Via a private correspondent.)

If you hope to be officially recognized as an enemy of the state of South Carolina (as per South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29), you’d best move quick and make sure you send in your notice that you directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina, or any political division thereof. You may be running out of time.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In South Carolina, any group that plans to overthrow the federal government — or any other government in the U.S. — must register its activities.

It’s the law.

Now some state legislators are looking to repeal it.

State Sen. Larry Martin said Monday the 1951 McCarthy-era statute that’s meant to deter communists is one more thing making South Carolina look bad, since bloggers and talk radio picked up on it last month. A misconception spread that the statute, on the books for nearly six decades, had only recently become law.

[…] His bill to repeal it comes up for debate this week in a Senate panel.

The “subversive activities registration act” requires any group that advocates overthrowing local, state or federal governments to pay $5 and register the group’s name, its leader’s address, beliefs, all members living in South Carolina and check yes or no to the following: “Do you or your organization directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing or overthrowing the government?”

[…] Until February, no one had registered, said Secretary of State Mark Hammond.

Now, about 10 have filed, apparently in jest, as political commentary. Two actually paid the fee, according to his office.

Seanna Adcox, Associated Press (2010-03-01): SC bill would get rid of filing law for terrorists

I’m glad to be one of the 10, but if they think that my letter was meant in jest, then they have certainly misunderstood my intent. I certainly do intend to overthrow the government of South Carolina by means that are against the so-called laws passed by that government. For real. And I really don’t mind if they know it; hence the letter. (If it had any ulterior intent, it was not primarily to make a joke; it was to encourage other people to speak and act like that there’s nothing really wrong with saying that you want to overthrow tyrannical governments. Because there’s not. Tyrannical governments ought to be overthrown.)

In any case: I expect it’s likely that they are going to try to move quickly to save face, and go back to simply presuming popular acquiescence to their rule. If you want to be honored with official recognition as an enemy of the arbitrary governments over the state of South Carolina, the United States of America, and all the local political regiments that they have inflicted without consent on the people of South Carolina, you’d best get those letters sent in quickly, before the opportunity passes.

While we’re on the subject:

Our organization is in fact so dastardly that we have refused to remit the fee, writes someone claiming to represent the Las Vegas-based Alliance of the Libertarian Left.

Seanna Adcox, Associated Press (2010-03-01): SC bill would get rid of filing law for terrorists

Speaking as the someone in question, I’d like to say for the record that the Alliance of the Libertarian Left is not based in Las Vegas. I’m based in Las Vegas, but A.L.L. is all over the place, and has no Politburo and no national or international office to be based anywhere.

Hope this helps.

See also:

Civic duties

In which I write a letter to elected officials.

So by now you may be familiar with South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29, the state law that requires all organizations who directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing, or overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina, or any political division thereof, to register their activities with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Now that I’ve been informed of the law, here are the contents of the letter that I wrote and dropped in the U.S. postal service today, addressed to Mark Hammond, arbitrary Secretary of State over South Carolina.

Secretary of State Mark Hammond
P.O. Box 11350
Columbia, SC 29211

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you today as a member of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left, a subversive organization advocating the duty, the necessity, and the propriety of overthrowing the governments of the United States and of the state of South Carolina by unlawful means – as we advocate the duty, the necessity, and the propriety of overthrowing all forms of government at every level throughout the world. As advocates of the doctrine of Anarchism and the strategy of counter-economics, we specifically reject legalized methods of changing government policy, such as government elections and legislative lobbying, and we advocate the deliberate use of illegal tactics such as civil disobedience, and nonviolent direct action in defiance of unjust laws, as our preferred means of bringing about the dissolution of all government into the economic organism.

Members of the A.L.L., both anonymous and open, operate in many states, including in South Carolina. We are actively engaged in attempts to influence political action in the state of South Carolina – specifically, by aiming to stop any political action at all from being inflicted upon the people of South Carolina. We reside and transact business within the territorial boundaries claimed by the state of South Carolina; we are in your neighborhoods and we are in your business districts. We may even be in your homes; have you checked under the beds and in the closets?

I believe that our doctrines and activities qualify us as an officially recognized subversive organization, as described in South Carolina Code Title 23 Chapter 29.

Please consider this our notice of subversive activities; I would be honored if you would add our organization to your registry of organizations working for the overthrow of government in South Carolina. All government is, after all, nothing more than an absurdity, a usurpation, and a crime, inflicted on the vast majority of peaceful people, without their consent, by the dictation of a select few men who have neither the wisdom, nor the virtue, nor the right to presume to rule over anyone other than themselves. It has always been the most deadly tool of oppressors and exploiters, as the past victims of South Carolina’s government, from the Stono rebels to Denmark Vesey to the 35 victims of the Orangeburg Massacre have known all to well. When belligerence and inhumanity prevail, the peaceful and the humane must find honor in being categorized as the enemies of the prevailing order. Please keep me updated as to the status of our registration. I look forward to hearing back from you as to our official recognition as enemies of your state and its government.

Sincerely,
Charles Johnson

PS. I am told that there is a processing fee in the amount of $5.00 for the registration of a subversive organization. Our organization is in fact so dastardly that we have refused to remit the fee.

All the great governments of the world - those now existing, as well as those that have passed away - have been of this character. They have been mere bands of robbers, who have associated for purposes of plunder, conquest, and the enslavement of their fellow men. And their laws, as they have called them, have been only such agreements as they have found it necessary to enter into, in order to maintain their organizations, and act together in plundering and enslaving others, and in securing to each his agreed share of the spoils. All these laws have had no more real obligation than have the agreements which brigands, bandits, and pirates find it necessary to enter into with each other, for the more successful accomplishment of their crimes, and the more peaceable division of their spoils. – Mr. Lysander Spooner, Natural Law, or the Science of Justice.

I’ll keep you advised as to how the process goes.