A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Agora! Anarchy! Action!’ tag

Government Goons Declare Anarchy Symbol a Hate Symbol

without comments

The City of Hamilton’s bureaucrats have declared that the anarchy symbol is a hate symbol in the same league as the Nazi swastika:

The City of Hamilton has forced a local anarchist group to remove the circle A anarchy symbol from its headquarters, saying it is “hate material” similar to the swastika.

City officials say they’re taking direction from Hamilton police on the issue, but police say that’s not the case.

Since anarchists want to abolish government, I understand why a bunch of government parasites would find the anarchy symbol hateful.

When people bring up the topic of hate speech, I like to point out that hate is a subjective idea. This rankles a lot of people because the topic of hate is often emotionally charged and most individuals seem to believe that hate is an objectively provable thing. They also seem to believe that hate is objectively whatever they believe hate to be.

I don’t consider the anarchy symbol to be a symbol of hate. In fact, I consider symbols of government to be symbols of hate. Am I right? That depends on whom you ask.

What I really want to know now is whether or not I as an anarchist qualify as an oppressed person in Hamilton.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 16th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Encouraging Black Market Alcohol

without comments

Have you heard the news? Prohibitionism is trendy again! It shouldn’t surprise anybody that alcohol has landed in the crosshairs of world governments again. After all, these governments have been waging a multiple decade war against every chemical substance that brings an ounce of joy to people’s lives. The latest strike by neoprohibitionists is Scotland’s decisions to set a minimum legal alcohol price:

It is the first country in the world to implement such a law, with the Scottish government believing its introduction will save lives.
The new legislation sets a 50 pence (approximately 70 cents) minimum price per unit of alcohol. Anyone licensed to serve alcohol in the country — in shops as well as bars and restaurants — will need to follow the new pricing laws.

One unit is 8 grams of alcohol, which in terms of drinks is equal to a 25-milliliter shot of 40% alcohol, such as whiskey, or 76 milliliters of wine at 13%. A standard 175 millileter glass of 14% wine in the UK is 2.4 units. In the United States, a standard drink is 14 grams of alcohol, equal to 148 millilters of table wine.

I can only assume that the politicians who passed this law are actually secret agorists. This law, like all forms of alcohol prohibition before it, will result in more alcohol business going underground.

Anybody who has researched Prohibition in the United States is well aware of the fact that alcohol didn’t cease to exist during that era. Alcohol actually flourish. People made their own bathtub gin, built their own stills, brewed their own beer, opened speakeasies, and found other ways to get the alcohol they desired in spite of the law. A lot of gangsters made a literal fortune from bootlegged alcohol.

People don’t stop consuming alcohol when a bunch of government busybodies decide to ban it or make it prohibitively expensive. If legal alcohol becomes too expensive, people opt for tax-free illegal alcohol instead.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 2nd, 2018 at 10:30 am

Three May Keep a Secret, If Two of Them Are Dead

without comments

Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack wrote, “Three may keep a Secret, if two of them are dead.” This quote rings true time and time again. The most recent example is the legal mess surrounding the now shuttered website Backpage:

Carl Ferrer, the co-founder of Backpage, the notorious and now-shuttered site that once hosted a vast quantity of prostitution-related ads, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges.

[…]

Ferrer agreed, in combined plea deals with both Texas and California authorities, where he faced outstanding charges, that he will shut down Backpage “throughout the world,” will aid authorities in ongoing prosecutions of his co-conspirators, and will make all Backpage data available to authorities.

This outcome is very common in cases involving multiple suspects. The first suspect to offer their services as a snitch against the others is usually handed a sweetheart deal.

Benjamin Franklin’s point should be taken to heart by anybody performing illegal activities. For example, if you’re an agorist who is selling cannabis, you probably don’t want to enter a partnership with another cannabis dealer. You can’t control the actions of another person. Even if you take every precaution to avoid being caught by the authorities, you can’t guarantee that a partner will do the same. And if their mistake causes them to be arrested, there’s a good chance that they’ll offer you up in exchange for a sweetheart deal.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 13th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Agorism’s Greatest Contribution

without comments

When people think of the counter-economic strategy advocated by Samuel Edward Konkin III they usually think about it in terms of toppling the State. While Agorism as a strategy can be useful for wounding the State I think its greatest feature is the establishment of enterprises divorced from the State.

So-called legitimate businesses are more often than not coupled to the State. Consider all of the technology companies that reside in the United States. The rely heavily on the State to defend their intellectual property. Patents and copyrights are an American technology company’s bread and butter. Without the State to subsidize defending their intellectual property, technology companies would find themselves facing an even vaster sea of competition than they already do on the international market.

Above ground agricultural enterprises, likewise, have become dependent on the State. Without the State’s crop and livestock subsidies many agricultural enterprises would likely collapse.

Statism isn’t a permanent condition. There isn’t a single chunk of land on this planet that has been ruled by the same state for all of human history. States come and go and with them the enterprises that rely on them. Agorist enterprises, however, can survive the collapse of states because they were never reliant on states to begin with. If anything, the collapse of a state will benefit an Agorist business.

Agorist enterprises can ensure goods and services continue to be provided when a state inevitably collapses. That is probably a greater overall contribution than its ability to injure states through counter-economics.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 12th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

without comments

There is a belief among statists that laws can prevent undesirable behavior. But statists have been passing laws for thousands of year, which is the same amount of time that other people have been ignoring them. Any law that is found to be inconvenient is ignored or bypassed:

But in an effort to cut down on the drunken mayhem, the town imposed a public drinking ban over the holiday—a law that apparently didn’t stop a few crafty, determined drinkers from setting up their own boozy sanctuary off the coast.

According to the BBC, the group spent Sunday building a makeshift private island off the Coromandel Peninsula, constructed out of sand, seashells, and a few wooden planks. The revelers set it up at low tide, and dragged out a picnic table and a cooler so they could get blasted out on “international waters,” see some fireworks, and stay away from the cops.

Sometimes I think nobody learned from Prohibition. The government of the United States went so far as to amend its constitution to prohibit alcohol throughout the country and yet people continued to manufacturer, trade, and consume alcohol. The United States’ War on (Some) Drugs is yet another example of undesirable laws being ignored. In fact the desire to ignore drug prohibitions is so strong that many individual states have announced that they’re no longer bothering to enforce them for cannabis. And why should they? While cannabis may be illegal people are still using it.

Prohibiting an activity doesn’t make that activity go away. At most it pushes that activity underground. But oftentimes a prohibition is blatantly ignored as is the case with these heroes who went so far as to construct a small sandbar in international waters.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 3rd, 2018 at 10:30 am

Decentralized the Internet

without comments

I’m glad to see that other people are beginning to understand the need to decentralized the Internet:

Net neutrality as a principle of the federal government will soon be dead, but the protections are wildly popular among the American people and are integral to the internet as we know it. Rather than putting such a core tenet of the internet in the hands of politicians, whose whims and interests change with their donors, net neutrality must be protected by a populist revolution in the ownership of internet infrastructure and networks.

In short, we must end our reliance on big telecom monopolies and build decentralized, affordable, locally owned internet infrastructure. The great news is this is currently possible in most parts of the United States.

I’ve been saying this for years. If you want a feature like net neutrality, you have to control the infrastructure. Personally, I’d like to see a decentralized Internet that encrypts all traffic by default for both confidentiality and anonymity purposes. What people are calling net neutrality would be enforced by default on such a network because nobody could see the traffic to throttle or block it. However, it would come at a performance cost (TANSTAAFL).

One thing is certain, begging the Federal Communications Commission Fascist Communications Club (FCC) to enforce net neutrality isn’t a longterm solution as we’re seeing today. Under the Obama administration net neutrality was enforced by the FCC. Under the Trump administration it looks like it won’t be enforced. When the next administration comes into power it could go either way. Begging Congress isn’t any better because what one Congress passes a future Congress can eliminate.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 8th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Being an Agorist is Easier than Ever

without comments

Samuel Edward Konkin III introduced me to the idea that the State can be starved of resources if more economic activity moved into the unregulated black market. However, I always figured entering the black market would require dealing drugs, guns, or some other highly controversial good or service. I never imagined that I could enter the black market by selling household pets:

California could become the first state to outlaw so-called puppy mills with legislation that bans pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits that do not come from rescue organizations or shelters.

Animal rights activists believe that this bill will eliminate “puppy mills” and other breeding operations that often raise animals in inhumane conditions. However, that won’t be the outcome of this bill. What this bill will do is create a black market for household pets. On the upside, this will deprive California of any licensing and tax revenues associated with breeding pets.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 4th, 2017 at 10:00 am

I’m Back

without comments

I’ve returned from AgoraFest. I consider this year to be successful. Although we changed venues for the third time this year’s venue; the Buffalo Ridge Resort in Gary, South Dakota; was probably my favorite. It had more modern facilities than our original location, Villa Maria, and wasn’t as rustic as Turtle Creek Glen, which we used last year.

There were fewer overall presentations and workshops, which was actually a good thing since we didn’t have to deal with schedule conflicts. Obviously my presentations were of the highest quality but the other presentations I attended were also very high quality. Part of the reason the quality of the presentations has increased is because us presenters are finally get somewhat competent at presenting.

I’m glad I prepared for the worst weather since I was tent camping and the first two nights got damned cold and it rained during the last night. If you’re going to camping, be prepared to deal with any type of weather because the weatherman doesn’t know what he’s talking about (it wasn’t supposed to rain at all according to the forecast), especially here in the Upper Midwest.

Even though it’s a lot of work, I’m looking forward to beginning plans for next year. Fortunately, we shouldn’t have to be as rushed since this venue worked out well enough that I expect we’ll just use it again (part of this year’s delay was finding a venue that was more palatable to some of our city dwellers who aren’t used to the “hardships” of camping).

Written by Christopher Burg

September 12th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Posted in Events

Tagged with ,

Going to AgoraFest

without comments

I’ll be celebrating Agorism at AgoraFest for the rest of the week. Blogging will resume next week.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 6th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Agorism

Tagged with ,

Want to Say Whatever You Want? Pursue Entrepreneurship!

without comments

I’m not a fan of bitching for bitching’s sake. When problems arise I like to propose solutions. Since a lot of libertarians have suddenly become aware of the power an employer has over an employee I feel as though the time is right to reiterate something. If an employer can fire and employee for what they’ve said, how can an individual speak their mind? The answer, as agorists known, is entrepreneurship.

Samuel Edward Konkin III periodically discussed wage labor. He gave wage labor credit but also pointed out that there was something even better: entrepreneurship. In his rebuttal to Rothbard’s criticism of agorism, Konkin touched on that very subject. As a wage laborer one is subject to the person paying their wage. As an independent contractor, an entrepreneur, one is subject to themselves. While an independent contractor may gain and lose contracts based on what they’ve said, they don’t find themselves tossed to the street with nothing in hand because they own their own means of production. If they lose one contract, they can seek another and may already have other ongoing contracts that keep them going.

The more aspects of your life you personally control, the more freedom you can enjoy. If you want to enjoy more freedom to say controversial things, pursue entrepreneurship. If you’re your own boss, you don’t have to worry about being terminated over what you’ve said.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 11th, 2017 at 11:00 am