It’s time for a jihad against Facebook. My friend Chris Sciabarra explains why. Just to be clear, Sciabarra is not calling for a jihad on Facebook; I am. But the time has come, O believers, to bring the wrath of Allah (subhana w’tala) on this social media platform of Satan. Continue reading
I now have a YouTube channel! The first two videos are up:
The long-awaited second issue of the Molinari Review (the Molinari Institute’s interdisciplinary, open-access, libertarian academic journal) is here! Nearly twice the length of the first issue!
(A Kindle copy should be available later this month. In the meantime, the previous issue is available as a free PDF download here.)
So what’s in the new issue? Here’s a rundown: Continue reading
The Molinari Society will be holding its mostly-annual Eastern Symposium in conjunction with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in Philadelphia, 8-11 January 2020. Here’s the schedule info:
Molinari Society symposium:
New Work in Libertarian and Anarchist Thought
G5E. Thursday, 9 January 2020, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, Philadelphia 201 Hotel, 201 N. 17th St., Philadelphia PA 19103, room TBA.
Roderick T. Long (Auburn University)
Zachary Woodman (Western Michigan University), “The Implications of Philosophical Anarchism for National Identity”
Jason Lee Byas (University of Michigan), “What Is Violence?”
William Nava (New York University), “The Causal Case Against Contributing to Public Goods”
Roderick T. Long (Auburn University), “Ayn Rand’s ‘New’ (Posthumous) Critique of Anarchism: A Counter-Critique”
A good thing just arrived by mail – a first edition of Francis Dashwood Tandy’s 1896 free-market anarchist classic Voluntary Socialism, autographed by the author. And for only $25! Usually those go for over $400, even if not autographed. I’ve grossly exploited some online bookseller, and I’m fine with that.
A long-awaited anthology I’m scheduled to appear in (with a couple of pieces on the question “Do We Need Government?”) has now, I hear, been split into two – one volume on metaphysics and epistemology, and the other on ethics, æsthetics, and politics – and in that form (and with a bunch of historical selections deleted) is/are finally slouching toward publication; see the tables of contents here and here. Some old friends are in it/them too, as you’ll see (if you know who my old friends are).
I’m told: “The eText will be coming out in February , with hard copies soon to follow.”
No one should raise the stars and stripes on the 4th. The proper flag to raise on the 4th of July is the black flag of anarchy.
The Fourth of July commemorates the anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence, a document which the anarchist must view with mixed emotions.
The document’s stirring proclamation that “all men are created equal,” with inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that no government is entitled to infringe; its further insistence that all authority must depend on the “consent of the governed,” and that when such authority becomes abusive it is the “right of the people to alter or to abolish it” – all of these are welcome statements of a philosophical outlook which, if logically pursued, leads inexorably to a much wider liberation (an implication clearly grasped at the time by many of the Revolution’s critics).
They started down the shallow trench behind the crest of the hill and in the dark Andre smelt the foulness the defenders of the hill crest had made all through the bracken on that slope. He did not like these people who were like dangerous children; dirty, foul, undisciplined, kind, loving, silly and ignorant but always dangerous because they were armed. He, Andres, was without politics except that he was for the Republic. He had heard these people talk many times and he thought what they said was often beautiful and fine to hear but he did not like them. It is not liberty not to bury the mess one makes, he thought. No animal has more liberty than the cat; but it buries the mess it makes. The cat is the best anarchist. Until they learn from the cat I cannot respect them.
–Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls, ch. 36 (decades before Jordan Peterson)
Readers of this blog know that I’ve been running a series of events on law enforcement issues at Felician. Here’s an event I didn’t run:
12:28 pm: Due to the receipt of an alleged, anonymous threat of a shooting on the Rutherford Campus Residence Halls have been secured. -more
12:29 pm: Police and extra security in place. Classes continue, buses run. We’ll keep you apprised. Carry your ID.
2:28 pm: If you receive any calls from media sources, please refer them to me at my extension that is listed below. If you have additional questions or concerns please contact your dean or Vice President.
9:07 pm: Felician took immediate action in consultation with law enforcement. Classes are in session, campus is open.
Oh, but if we were all toting our Glocks to class, this would have worked out perfectly.
Breaking news of a series of arson attacks on Ahmadi Muslims in the city of Jhelum, Pakistan on grounds of “blasphemy.” From Pakistan’s Dawn:
JHELUM: An enraged mob set a Ahmadi place of worship on fire in Punjab’s Jhelum district on Saturday, following Friday night’s arson attack on a factory.
The place of worship was located in the Kala Gujran area of Jhelum, which was under guard of local police forces.
The mob managed to break through the police cordon which was established to safeguard the Ahmadi places of worship, following Friday night’s unrest.
Police had to resort to baton charging and tear gassing the protesters in order to bring the situation under control, but were unable to do so. The mob resorted to pelting stones at the police personnel.
The incidents were a result of rumours circulated earlier in Jhelum district which levelled blasphemy allegations on the owner and workers of the factory.
According to Pakistan’s Express News (in Urdu), Jhelum is now under control, but it sure took awhile. If you want to see what anarchic mob violence looks like up close–a micro-level picture of the descent from Locke’s State of Nature to the State of War–have a look at this video.
No cops anywhere. No firefighters en route. Just an unbridled mob drunk on theological liquor, screaming their minds out in coarse Punjabi. I understand the language but most of what they’re saying is unintelligible, and even when I can make out the words, I have no idea what they’re talking about until 1:00, when they sound the “takbir,” the equivalent of a hallelujah. Almost two minutes into the video, and they’re still doggedly at it, committing arson in a leisurely fashion, with no fear whatsoever that anyone will stop them. They were right not to feel fear: no one did stop them. As the Dawn story makes clear, when the police came, they arrested the victims.
Last time I was in Pakistan, on my last night there, a bunch of us Khawajas had dinner at the home of a cousin of mine who’s a well known politician in Pakistan, and a qualified defender of Pakistan’s blasphemy law. It was a wonderful send-off for me, but we ended up having a riotous argument about the blasphemy law over biryani and shami kebabs, most of us arguing against the in-principle legitimacy of such a law, but a minority at the table defending it. My politician cousin (and gracious host) agreed that the law had been tragically abused, but insisted that some such law had to be retained in Pakistan, albeit enforced in a narrower and more impartial way. The rest of us argued that the reformist gambit was a lost and pointless cause. I wonder if this event will induce Pakistanis (including Pakistani politicians, and particularly including the ones related to me) to rethink their naive, dogmatic attachment to that cause. Maybe it’s time for some push-back from Pakistan’s American sponsors as well. (While we’re on this subject, how about a little pressure on Pakistan to lift its legalized anathematization of Ahmadis?)
That said, the issue here isn’t just a matter of the blasphemy law but of the rule of law. As far as I’m concerned, the video above is a perfectly accurate depiction of a state of anarchy. I know that anarchists will object to that characterization, but though I’m familiar with the objections, I don’t accept them. The Jhelum attacks are a paradigmatic instance of life under a state that is too weak to uphold the rule of law. The remedy seems obvious: retain the state, but strengthen its commitment to the rule of law. The remedy is not to ratchet back the state and aim (or hope or pray) for some “market-based” solution, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Part of the problem is that it’s not clear what it means, much less how it’s supposed to work.
To complete the thought in the title…
Postscript. Just to give PoT readers a taste of the mentality involved, here’s an exchange in Urdu on YouTube between commentators discussing the YouTube video I inserted above.