Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Need a reason to get back into bed this morning?

It seems that this is happening. A.P. coverage here.

It may mean nothing at all.  Or it may mean this is coming. Who knows!

If it’s the latter, it could all play out a little something like this:

Or this…

On the bright side, this scenario would likely give our commenter “Cynical in California” the chance to try out the anarchy he’s always raving about.

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60 Responses to “Uh-Oh”

  1. #1 |  Cynical In CA | 

    #35 | Elliot | December 31st, 2008 at 3:21 am

    “I can’t recall reading anything by “Cynical in California” in the comments here, so I don’t know exactly what he or she has said about anarchy. I’ll assume, from the other reactions to this article, that “Cynical” is a rational anarchist–one who opposes the use of aggressive force, who recognizes the individual right to property (as opposed to the faux-anarchy communists). I may be barking up the wrong tree for that person, though.”

    Hi Elliott, I will be responding in greater detail to your comment, but I wanted to introduce myself first.

    My name is James, but I go by Cynical in CA here. I live in Orange County, CA, and as such, I must be the only anarchist in a 30-mile radius.

    I have been posting rather voluminously and frequently for the last six months or so, so I must voice a certain disappointment that our paths have not crossed before. I will resolve to double my cathartic output. That ought to make Radley very happy!

    It is uncanny that you were able to deduce my particular strand of anarchism from the comments on this post! It is an achievement on the order of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, having only shadows dancing from firelight to give you the picture of reality. Bravo. There is always more than meets the eye, but that was a good 2-sentence summary.

    Hope to read more of your comments in the future.

  2. #2 |  Cynical In CA | 

    Elliott, I enjoyed reading the rest of your great comment as well. The comparisons you made were spot-on, especially as regards Ron Paul (statist). It remains to be seen what Radley meant in his post, but your reading is one possible interpretation. It’s great to read another anarchist — another voice of sanity.

    Apparently unlike you, I oscillate between having no faith in the morality of man to complete faith, but in the end I don’t think it’s relevant. The organization of society and the premises it is founded on is what’s relevant, and individual sovereignty is the obvious best form of organization from a moral standpoint, the only form of organization that guarantees respect for the individual.

  3. #3 |  Cynical In CA | 

    #38 | Rich J | December 31st, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Elliott wrote: “Those who imagine that everyone would behave like savages are likely projecting their own dark nature.”

    Rich replied: “I translate this to read “If you don’t agree with the anarchist ideal, then you are probably a bad person.” This argument sounds like a form of religion to me. Either believe in our system of thought or be judged to be evil.”

    Cynical butts in:

    I think you made a logical leap there, Rich. Southwestern law professor, author and essayist Butler Shaffer has written much on the subject of every human’s capacity for good and evil acts, for morality and immorality. Anyone who has engaged in honest self-evaluation will admit that this capacity resides in every single human individual. Aside from humans being exceptional survivors, the core attribute of humans is the ability to act, to make decisions based on internal beliefs and external assessments.

    I believe Elliott was pursuing that line of reasoning, not being so shallow as to adopt a “my way or the highway” approach. In reality, it is the statist mind that finds its last refuge in absurd statements like “if you don’t like it here, why don’t you leave?”

    “How does recognizing that people are capable of good and evil taint a person?”

    It does not. It is our very existence that “taints” us. We are all mortal, all weak (prone to sacrificing morality for food), all capable of great deeds and cruel deeds. It is the recognition of this fact that makes adults out of children. It is the devolution of power down to the individual that most logically mitigates against man’s capacity for evil.

  4. #4 |  Cynical In CA | 

    Helmut, I understand your lack of patience with what Elliott wrote, but to put it in context, it can be a bit frustrating for an anarchist when debating statists. Been there myself many times.

    As for why “people don’t buy into anarchism,” you go too far in ascribing ideas to the individuals who promote them — it’s a form of ad hominem. Ideas exist independently of those who promote them. Anarchism as a concept would still exist if no one knew about it. All it takes is that one inquiring mind to reason to it — many have reasoned to it independently.

    Far more accurate to question the anarchist credentials of someone who engages in violence or an emotional defense of anarchism than to create a fiction that somehow the idea of anarchism suffers from such a person. Anarchism has a tremendously bad rep without piling on. And for the record, I believe Elliott understands anarchism.

    As for the Boston Police strike of 1917, and I must read up on the details, the idea that any sudden thrust of a population from one form of chaos (violent structure of statism) to another (complete violent social disorder as in the Boston situation) bears at all on anarchism is completely out of context.

    The current default paradigm is statism. It’s all anyone alive on the planet knows. Eliminating one form of statism in this paradigm can only result in the institution of another form of statism, which is what happened in Boston in 1917. That was not anarchy, it was chaos.

    You know I am pessimistic about anarchism ever being applied in society, but historical examples have no logical bearing on these philosophical arguments due to their statist preconditions.

  5. #5 |  Cynical In CA | 

    Helmut wrote:

    “I just don’t think a rag tag system of private security officers and detectives will be able to deal with all of these problems, let alone major civil disturbances or foreign invasions.”

    We can agree to disagree. Again, for about the millionth time, it is not a matter of whether police forces or armies would exist, it is a question of how society is organized, by violence or voluntarism. The simple and honest answer is not “I just don’t think,” it is “I just don’t know.” You don’t know that anarchism would fail. You don’t. And a guarantee of success is a miserable precondition for any venture. Even planes fall from the sky — people still board them with that knowledge.

    Perhaps the insanity that Elliott waxes eloquently about is the blind adherence to the statist paradigm that is such a well-proven failure! And add to that the knowledge that there is a moral and logical alternative in anarchism! What is a rational mind to make of these facts?

    Which leads me to:

    “But, in a broad sense I am for limited government and enhancing the ability of individuals to run their own lives.”

    My simple questions are: how on Earth does one limit government? Who governs the governors? Who oversees the overseers? Can power ever flow down the chain? By what alchemy?

    Ignoring the first phrase in your sentence above, would not “enhancing the ability of individuals to run their own lives” be about as succinct an endorsement of anarchism as possible?

    You confuse me, Helmut. Set me straight.

  6. #6 |  Cynical In CA | 

    “Look, I feel like I’m feeding the trolls here, but let me just say that if we want to join your anarchy party, we will. The fact that most of us have not does not mean we worship the state, for christ’s sake. It just means that people like you haven’t convinced us. Then again, I don’t think you could convince me that the sky is blue w/ that weak shit.”

    Hopefully, I’m not part of the troll contingent in your mind Helmut. I’m sure I’m not.

    Of course, if you are unpersuaded to anarchism, that is what it is all about. The only way to it is by rational self-contemplation. There should be no other way.

    As an aside, it is interesting that a core belief of many Christians is that there is no way to salvation but through Jesus. So many millions cast off their individuality to collectivize through Jesus. A starker contrast to my preceding paragraph could not be found.

    Well, back to the regular program now. The discussion continues. Hopefully thoughtful individuals like you Helmut will continue to engage other thoughtful individuals as are found on this blog, and we’ll become ever more respectful of each other over time. It’s about the best we humans can do for each other.

    Peace out.

  7. #7 |  Elliot | 

    My name is James, but I go by Cynical in CA here. I live in Orange County, CA, and as such, I must be the only anarchist in a 30-mile radius.

    I happen to be visiting my in-laws in Garden Grove until Saturday. It’s a small world after all. (Yeah, I got that pounded in my head the other day at Disneyland, but my grandson had a blast.) We walked out on the pier at Seal Beach today (it was very hazy and cold), then drove through my wife’s childhood stomping grounds in Huntington Beach. Tomorrow it’s off to LA for some touristy things. I’m hoping to get one last shot at the Long Beach Trader Joe’s before I go.

    I don’t have the time to sit here and do a proper Fisking of the reactions to my comments. It almost certainly would do no good. Anyone arguing that I need to “convert” others (as though a popularity contest has any bearing on individual rights), or who thinks in terms of an anarchist state or “system”, is simply clueless. That’s a long, uphill battle I’m just not interested in fighting today.

  8. #8 |  RWW | 

    If one does not support pure anarchy then they are a “pro-state zealot.”

    If you oppose anarchy zealously, then by definition you are a pro-state zealot. What’s so hard to understand?

    Are you at all familiar with the tone of this blog?

    It is the content, rather than the tone, that is frustrating. Radley spends an awful lot of time documenting the naturally horrific actions of an organization that he nevertheless refuses to disown. It’s like listening to the complaints of a battered wife: I’m sympathetic in the extreme, but cannot understand the continued willing affiliation.

  9. #9 |  Cynical In CA | 

    Welcome to sunny OC, Elliott. Sorry about the weather lately. Our paths will not cross physically anytime soon, but please visit this blog again. It’s been nice exchanging ideas. We’ll wear these statists down over time.

  10. #10 |  Cynical In CA | 

    “Radley spends an awful lot of time documenting the naturally horrific actions of an organization that he nevertheless refuses to disown. It’s like listening to the complaints of a battered wife: I’m sympathetic in the extreme, but cannot understand the continued willing affiliation.”

    RWW, I’ll let you in on a little secret. There’s more money in statism than anarchism. And don’t forget the job security.

    Next question.