Eye of Man, Blood of Cylon

Kara Thrace a.k.a. Starbuck More Galactica news! Those folks at Scifi.com are tricksy; check out this hidden Easter egg (or Life Day egg, or whatever the Colonial equivalent is):

Go to this page, click on “Watch a full episode & more,” then scroll down and click on “First Look” to see the first thirteen minutes of the season premiere.

Colonel Tigh seems to be channeling G’kar from Babylon 5 … while Leoben seems to be channeling Kenny from South Park. Also, the scene between Tigh and Cavill echoes the scene between Jammer and Doral in the webisodes.

Conical hat tip to Ain’t It Cool News.


Cylon Kool-aid

Battlestar Galactica In preparation for season 3 of Battlestar Galactica, which starts this Friday, you might want to check out these webisodes, a series of short clips (a couple of minutes each – with one more scheduled for Thursday, I believe) filling us in on what’s been going on between seasons 2 and 3, as the human colonists adjust, or fail to adjust, to the Cylon occupation of New Caprica.

The best bit yet: Doral’s interrogation of Jammer.


Francis Tandy Rides Some More

OK, so I don't have a picture of Francis Tandy I’ve posted three more chapters of Francis Tandy’s Voluntary Socialism (about which see here) in the Molinari Institute’s online library.

Chapter 6 attempts to reconcile the labour theory of value with the principle of marginal utility. (Followers of the Austrian-Mutualist debate, take note.) Chapters 7 and 8 defend a mutualist approach to money, credit, and banking along the lines of Proudhon, Greene, and Tucker.

Coming soon: the Bastiat-Proudhon debate!


Listen to America

Captain America, that is. From the latest issue (Captain America #22, Nov. 2006), here’s a conversation on the Superhuman Registration Act between Captain America (Steve Rogers) and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 (Sharon Carter):

AGENT 13: The rule of law is what this country is founded on.

Captain America CAPTAIN AMERICA: No … it was founded on breaking the law. Because the law was wrong.

AGENT 13: That’s semantics, Steve. You know what I mean.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: It’s not semantics, Sharon. It’s the heart of this issue. The Registration Act is another step toward government control. And, while I love my country, I don’t trust many politicians. Not when they’re having their strings pulled by corporate donors. And not when they’re willing to trade freedom for security.

AGENT 13: Now you’re going to quote Ben Franklin at me? Give me a break.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: How about Thomas Paine? “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” …

AGENT 13: The Registration Act is law. If Captain America doesn’t follow the law, then who does?

CAPTAIN AMERICA: That’s why I can’t.

 


Join the Industrial Revolution!

By the early 19th century it had become common among French social theorists, thanks in part to the work of classical liberals like Jean-Baptiste Say and Benjamin Constant, to view history as a struggle between the “industrious” classes, who made their living by production and trade, and the parasitic and plundering classes, who constituted the ruling classes and made their living by exploiting the industrious producers.

Image from Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS One group of French radicals started a movement called “industrialism,” and advocated an “industrial” society in which this state of affairs would be overturned, and the “government of men” would be replaced by the “administration of things.”. (Herbert Spencer later picked up, though probably indirectly, some of the terminology of this movement in his contrast of industrial with militant societies.)

But the industrial movement soon split into a libertarian, individualist wing (e.g., Charles Comte, Charles Dunoyer, and Augustin Thierry) and an authoritarian, collectivist wing (e.g., Henri de Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte). The two groups did not recognise a mutual antagonism immediately; on the contrary, they wrote for each other’s journals and regarded one another as comrades in a common struggle. Dunoyer and the “bad” Comte were close friends, while Thierry signed himself “Saint-Simon’s adopted son.” In time, however, it became clear that the authoritarian wing saw the triumph of industrial society as a matter of replacing the existing idle ruling class with a new ruling class composed of producers – capitalists, bankers, and workers – who would plan and organise society according to a rational plan. The libertarian wing, by contrast, wished to replace all class oppression (not just a particular class’s oppression) by a system of voluntary relationships. In short, the libertarian industrials sought to do away with coercive hierarchy, while the authoritarian industrials merely sought to change the personnel. (Thus only the libertarian wing of the industrial movement was truly “radical.” And yes, this has something to do with the title of the Molinari Institute’s forthcoming magazine.)

So the two wings broke with one another and went their separate ways, the libertarian wing producing Bastiat and Molinari while the authoritarian wing gave rise to various forms of fascism, syndicalism, and state socialism – depending on whether preeminence in the proposed ruling elite was assigned to capitalists or to workers. (In The Counter-Revolution of Science Hayek documents the merging of Saint-Simonian and Hegelian ideas in Germany.) Marx, Mill, and Proudhon were among the thinkers to be influenced by both wings of the industrial movement (Proudhon’s Bank of the People is what you get when you combine Dunoyer’s radical decentralisation with Saint-Simon’s scheme for having the entire society run by, or as, a central bank), though I would say that the authoritarian strand came to dominate in Marx’s thought while the libertarian strand dominated in Mill’s and Proudhon’s. (Unfortunately, in later years Dunoyer and Thierry grew less radically libertarian; Charles Comte died young and so escaped this fate.)

All this is by way of introduction to three recent items of interest: Libertarian Class Analysis by Sheldon Richman; Saint Simon and the Liberal Origins of the Socialist Critique of Political Economy by Gareth Stedman-Jones; and Agorist Class Theory by Wally Conger. See also Ralph Raico’s Classical Liberal Roots of the Marxist Theory of Classes, to which I’ve previously linked, plus various sources here.

 


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