Author Archive | Roderick

F. — I.W.

Okay, this story is the exact opposite of the last one. A planeful of passengers willing to sit on the tarmac for eight hours without water or toilet facilities, and a flight crew willing to keep them there, just because American Airlines told them to. Stanley Milgram, call your office!

There will once again be lemon-scented napkins .... To those who wonder why we advocates of “thick libertarianism” or “dialectical libertarianism” keep insisting that the triumph of liberty depends on promoting the right cultural values – look no further. People who bow, sheeplike, to the commands of American Airlines are unlikely candidates to resist the commands of a government or would-be government.

What we need to promote is a culture of disobedience: a culture in which the natural response of passengers held captive on an airplane by bureaucratic incompetence will be to calmly but firmly move to the door, or to the emergency window exits if necessary, and walk away. A culture in which the thought “oh no, I couldn’t disobey the orders of the flight crew!” will be as much the exception as today it is the rule. (And a culture in which no air marshal would dare to respond threateningly to such disobedience, knowing that the other passengers would quickly take him down.)

Such a culture may be tough to achieve, since it requires both independent individual thinking and group solidarity. But that’s the attitude we need to promote and encourage.

Finally: a cheer for the heroic pilot who finally disobeyed orders, pulled in to the gate, and released his passengers from captivity. More like him, please.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what the title of this blog post means, read Eric Frank Russell’s And Then There Were None and/or The Great Explosion.

(And great acclaim goes to the reader who figures out what the graphic is referring to ….)

We the Liver

Howard the Duck Whatever you may think about the ethics of foie gras (my own view is that producing it violates a duty, that producing it nevertheless violates no right, that consuming it violates no duty, and that refraining from consuming it is nevertheless a permissible specification of an imperfect duty – but like I said, never mind), there’s something heartening about the insouciantly defiant attitude of these lawbreakers. They’re not storming the citadel, they’re treating the citadel as irrelevant.

Oh, to see the State’s edicts cheerfully ignored en masse, La Boétie style, on issues more important than foie gras!

In completely unrelated news, this is unwelcome.

Other People Are Not Your Property, But This Button Can Be

ANARCHY button The slogan “Anarchy is the radical notion that other people are not your property” – which as far as I can tell I coined (see here, here, here for the core idea; the rest was borrowed from the more famous slogan “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people”) – is now available from the Molinari Institute not only as a trendy t-shirt but also as a bodacious button.

Although you can’t tell from the picture, the red letters are much brighter and more distinct on the button than on the t-shirt.

Or be doubly cool and wear the anarchy button on your anarchy t-shirt.

For any minarchists who are feeling left out, I see that there’s an outfit on CafePress that sells minarchist paraphernalia, complete with a new minarchy symbol. See? minarchists can look stylish too.

But if you wear one of our anarchist buttons on one of their minarchist t-shirts, you will promptly explode. A is A, man. A isn’t M.

A Question for Anti-Immigration Libertarians

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

I accept the traditional libertarian arguments for open borders. But I’m not going to rehash those arguments here.

Let me try a different tack.

Berlin Wall Libertarian defenders of gun rights like to point out that gun control has often been a precursor to, because an enabler of, democide. When they are asked “do you really think our government poses that sort of danger?” they rightly remind the questioner that relatively benign regimes are sometimes succeeded by rather less nice regimes, who conveniently inherit a disarmed public, or at least a gun-registered public (so they know just where to go to round up the arms), from their predecessors. (Obvious example: the Weimar Republic.)

So here’s a reminder and a question for anti-immigration libertarians, and particularly for those who support the proposed U.S.-Mexican Border Fence.

A wall that can be used to keep people out can also be used to keep people in.

Do we really want to trust the U.S. government – meaning not only the present regime but all future U.S. regimes – with a tool of that nature?

Mitigate the Mythologisers! Execrate the Exploiters!

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

This is no time to go all Wobbly, George Wish you’d been a fly on the wall at last month’s Molinari Society symposium on “Anarchist Perspectives”?

Well, of course you don’t. A fly’s brain is too small to process the event properly. Plus you might have gotten squished against the wall by a stampeding bewilderment of philosophers.

But in any case, Charles Johnson’s comments on Matt MacKenzie’s and Geoff Plauché’s papers are now online. Gaudete igitur.

The Three Rs

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

Three items of interest:

  • Ron Paul, R. A. Wilson, and Theodore RoszakIt looks like Ron Paul is considering running for the Republican nomination. (Conical hat tip to Lew Rockwell.)

    His chances of getting it are, of course, svelter than a nanotube. (It would be hilarious if the Republicans did nominate Paul and then the LP nominated someone like Barr!) But it strikes me as a good publicity move; antiwar liberals of the Jon Stewart variety might relish the chance to draw attention to an antiwar, anti-Bush candidate for the GOP top spot.

  • Robert Anton Wilson has died; see the notices from my two favourite people at Reason. His gleeful conspiracy novels anticipated both Foucault’s Pendulum and The Da Vinci Code, but were a lot more fun. For Wilson’s brief left-libertarian glossary-as-manifesto, see here.
  •  And finally, this great quote from Theodore Roszak’s Voice of the Earth (conical hat tip to David Edwards):

Our complex global economy is built upon millions of small, private acts of psychological surrender, the willingness of people to acquiesce in playing their assigned parts as cogs in the great social machine that encompasses all other machines. They must shape themselves to the prefabricated identities that make efficient coordination possible. … [T]hat capacity for self-enslavement must be broken.

And before you write in, gentle libertarian comrade: no, my quoting that does not mean that I agree with everything that Theodore Roszak ever said, nor does it mean that I’m getting a tattoo of Stalin on my forehead.


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