So Smash the State, Already!
Thomas L. Knapp
Let me get right to the point: I am not an 'anarcho-capitalist,' nor am I an 'individualist anarchist' or a 'philosophical anarchist' or even, in the way the term tends to be understood, a 'rational anarchist' (although I am both rational and an anarchist). I'm not a 'socialist anarchist' or 'communist anarchist' or an 'anarcho-syndicalist' (although I am both an anarchist and, in some respects,...
Why Support the State?
I've been baffled for a long time as to why support for the State remains so high, despite its obvious inefficiency and waste, not to mention violence and oppression. Certainly this is a complex phenomenon, the individual causes of which cannot be easily disentangled. Ultimately, any State must enjoy support (or at least resigned acceptance) from a large portion of its population in order to...
Famous Preachers or Invertebrate Bootlickers?
Christians have an amazing ability to disengage their intellects. Let me relate an innocuous story in order to illustrate my point.
I recently received a few e-mails about a White House lunch attended by several "famous preachers," including the author Max Lucado. According to Lucado, Bush attributed his strength to the prayers of the American people. Bush also asked for prayers for his wife and...
Shades of Grey (and Blue)
1Some readers have asked me to explain the reference to the 'sea-green banner of liberty.' The sea-green banner was the emblem of the Levellers, the first mass libertarian movement in history. The Levellers came to prominence in the 1640s, during the English Civil War, when ' to their credit ' they found themselves at odds with both King and Cromwell. They had a crucial influence on later...
One Man Against the World
- A great, civilized nation democratically elected a fanatic demagogue, who preached war. Actually, he did not really receive the majority of votes, but, somehow, his ascent to power was arranged nevertheless.
- Soon after assuming power, he manipulated a dramatic incident in order to tighten his grip upon the country and prepare for attack on smaller nations. An immense propaganda machine...
Lizard Brain on Line for the Log Flume
Pyrning in a widening gyre, invoking my ire, began at 42nd street and 3rd and three hours later wound up on 72nd and 1st, finally. First avenue was our destination all along. Every few blocks or so the cops would say 'just a few more blocks then you can turn on to first,' until the whole parade of us ' silly authorities: by prohibiting a march they created one ' wound up on 72nd street, where I...
Federal Register Watch
What freedoms have you lost this week?
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week.
Instructions for subscribing to the Federal...
What About Uncivil Liberties
One of the things that has caught my eye over the last few years is the notion of "civil" liberties. In the beginning, it was just liberties, or libertarianism, or a one-word phrase to describe liberty that was seen. Do you remember "freedom"? I have fond memories of it.
Bushes, Shrubs, and Other Dangerous Tinder
So, . . . . I'm freshly arrived at work the other evening with a nice, positive, philosophical and industrious attitude about being there. For me, achieving this sort of mindset is no small feat and it requires a good deal of mental effort and forced self-discipline. Naturally, I was feeling just a little bit proud of myself for getting there. Then I spied the disturbing image of a pointing and...
Wars are seductive as women in the night. Past midnight in February of 1967 we stood, the platoon and I, on the flight line at El Toro Marine Air Station, gateway to Asia. On the tarmac big jets howled and moaned. The smell of burned jet fuel blew in the Pacific breeze. We felt the exhilaration of being part of something huge moving in the darkness, of going to the action, of leaving the mundane...