Archive | July 3, 2010

Seeing Like a State

I was just watching part of a Congressional presentation on C-Span honouring the slaves who built the u.s. capitol – not by making restitution to their heirs, of course, but by setting up some sort of plaque. What especially bugged me was the speakers’ continual references to expressing “thanks” and “gratitude” for the slaves’ “sacrifices” and “contributions.” If I take your wallet at gunpoint, it would be rather a euphemism to call your handing it over a sacrifice, and what I owe you is not gratitude. (Of course the language of sacrifice and gratitude is also used in connection with conscript soldiers shipped off to die in lands they’ve never heard of.)

Anarchist’s Crossing

Miller's Crossing

Two great anarchist quotes from Miller’s Crossing:

It’s getting so a businessman can’t expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can’t trust a fix, what can you trust? For a good return, you gotta go betting on chance – and then you’re back with anarchy, right back in the jungle.

Which is incidentally a perfect illustration of why big business has never been a fan of the free market.

You don’t hold elected office in this town. You run it because people think you do. They stop thinking it, you stop running it.

The point applies to elected officials too, of course.

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