Apr 272015
 
Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series - Previous in series         
Button to End Government

The Happiness of Society Is the End of Government

Q) If there were a button you could press that would immediately end government would you do so?

A) This is a fairly common thought experiment amongst anarchists, voluntaryists, libertarians, and freedom lovers in general. Literally hundreds of hours a year are spent debating and discussing the wisdom of this question, with (as usual) as many viewpoints as there are participants in the discussion (if not more). But I’ve yet to hear such a discussion that really addresses the issue in a rational or “realistic” manner (with realistic in quotes simply because one has to accept the reality of such a button in the first place).

What’s missing from these discussions is the specifics of what the button would actually do. Because my answer (and many others I believe) will vary greatly based on the definition of terms. There are two terms in particular that need to be pinned down in this case: “government” and “end”.
Continue reading »

Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series - Previous in series        
Jan 082014
 

USConstitution It amazes me how often I hear people calling themselves Liberty activists referring to some action by the government being “Constitutional” or “Unconstitutional” as if this has some relevance to freedom.  The United States Constitution has nothing to do with a free society.  It is merely a set of rules that the government is required to follow.  And even at that it is an incredibly flawed document.

So many people seem to believe that the Constitution “grants”, “protects”, or “defends” our rights when a simple reading of the Constitution itself shows that it doesn’t aspire to any such lofty goals, with a single exception.  The only time the word “right” appears in the Constitution is in Article I, Section 8 in regards to intellectual property: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;“.

Of course, I have no doubt your immediate response to my last paragraph is to point to the Bill of Rights.  But no rights are granted there either.  Continue reading »

Jun 172011
 
Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series - Previous in series         Next in series
Ask An Anarchist

Ask An Anarchist

Welcome back to Ask An Anarchist. The ongoing series where I respond to questions about anarchist philosophy.

Q) As an anarchist/voluntaryist/[other term for anti-government person] should I vote?

A) Short answer: you should do whatever feels right to you.  As an anarchist myself, I’m not in the business of telling other people what they should or should not do.

The long answer is, as usual, a bit more complex…

Many anarchists have come to the conclusion that voting itself is either immoral or just plain evil.  Many of these believe that voting is condoning the action of the state.  Some claim that every vote is, in and of itself, an act of violence because you’re either voting for someone else to use the violence of the state to force their will on others, or directly enacting laws that will be enforced with the violence of the state.  I have some questions for those who hold this belief…. Continue reading »

Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series - Previous in series        Next in series
Mar 192011
 
Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series - Previous in series         Next in series

Ask An Anarchist

Ask An Anarchist

Welcome back to Ask An Anarchist. The ongoing series where I respond to questions about anarchist philosophy.

Q) So some small town somewhere started to fine all of their prisoners to pay for the prisons instead of taxes. Say you make 8 dollars an hour at your job then you get put in jail and pay 16 to 20 dollars a day every day you are in jail.
I think this is good because the “criminal” pays for the jails instead of everyone paying for it.
It’s a bad idea for a lot of reasons though. For one, people can’t pay if they can’t work. Also it gives police a reason to put you in jail for 30 days instead of just a ticket. What do you think?

A) This is not nearly as unusual as you might think, and you quickly recognized the largest problems with it yourself. Continue reading »

Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series - Previous in series        Next in series
Dec 052010
 

Pump Up The Volume - Christian Slater

Like many in my generation, my impressions of Pirate Radio were largely formed in 1990 when Christian Slater starred as “Hard Harry” in Pump up the Volume. Unfortunately, Jeff Pearson’s Pirate Radio USAcouldn’t be much farther away from Pump Up The Volume if it had been a documentary about ice cubes rather than one, supposedly, covering the pirate radio movement in America.

Here’s how Pearson describes his film…

Pirate Radio USA is a feature length documentary about the underground world of unlicensed radio in the USA, where people play what they want and say what they want-unless the FCC catches them. On the way see the rise of Big Media, the growth of Indy Media to encounter it, and witness their showdown over the truth during the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle. DJ’s Him and Her, from their live Pirate Radio USA Studio, take you on a rock -n-roll journey inside rogue radio stations across the country to see why Americans defy Federal Law to free the radio airwaves. Seize the Airwaves!

Sound interesting?  I thought so to … until I actually spent an hour and a half watching DJ Him and DJ Her share their tale of failing to keep one pirate station after another on the air.  Continue reading »