Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"I will not kiss your fucking flag"

Today happens to be Flag Day. What better way to celebrate such a fucking pathetic event as this than by showing off some quality desecrations of the USSA flag. The Continental Op, posting at Red Harvest, is showcasing some of his fine work with the flag. Here are my two favorites from his collection:

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(click on images to enlarge them)

A wise and salty pig once passed along some insight to me about how flags and other such symbols can have a strange effect on people that can even lead to collectivist thinking if people aren't careful. While it is definitely some good advice to be careful with such symbolism, I'm gonna provide images of a couple of flags that I appreciate.

As much as I like this first one, I'm weary of displaying it too much since some people have perverted it by linking it to defense of neoconservative warfare. It's too bad that such people cling to this flag so much since I really dig the design of it.
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And here's the other one:
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4 Comments:

Blogger Wally Conger said...

Hmm. I can't say I've ever seen the Gadsden flag used as a symbol for "neoconservative warfare." I don't even see how it could be interpreted satisfactorily for that use. Curious. Ah well...I fly it on July 4th and get nothing but gripes from the neighbors.

10:03 AM  
Blogger freeman said...

It was just a couple of isolated incidents, but still...

I suppose the whole "don't tread on me" could be used by some people to mean that terrorists should not tread on us. There definitely is no satisfactory interpretation for such usage though, since plenty of people are being treaded on via Bush'ist foreign policy.

If you're going to fly a flag on July 4th, that definitely sounds like a good one to use.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Ozarks Nick said...

What in the world is a Libertarian Leftist?

7:19 PM  
Blogger freeman said...

Well, the name "Movement of the Libertarian Left" was coined by Samuel Edward Konkin III, so I'll let his own words do the explaining. Here is an excerpt from an interview with him:

Q: People who describe themselves, as Libertarians often don't want to be associated with left-wing. Leftists look at Libertarians with unwillingness. Where did you get the idea to call your organization the Movement of Libertarian Left?

SEK3 - Rothbard decided that we (the original LP radical caucus, who left the LP as the New Libertarian Alliance, and then promptly went Underground to build the Counter-Economy) were, using Marxist terminology, the Ultra-Left Adventurists and Left Sectarians. Some who remained close to him called me the Trotsky of the Movement. So it became natural to refer to us as the Libertarian Left in that context.

Secondly, we interested in continuing Rothbard's 1960-69 alliance with the anti-nuke, then anti-war New Left, so when we decided to project a presence aboveground again, it made sense to use a label that would appeal to those remnants.

Thirdly, we didn't want NLA members who were building successful counter-economic enterprises to feel compelled to return to anti-political activism so we made it clear it was a different group who were willing to soil themselves working with non-agorists.

Finally, I had been reading for years the politics of Europe, Australia and Asia, and in 1978 I was fascinated with a group in France.

Recall that in France then there were two large parliamentary alliances, and, unlike American political coalitions, these were highly ideological. But in the Union of the Left AND the Center-Right alliance, there were members of the once-dominant party of France known as the Radicals. They had a largely free-market position on economics, though in neither coalition was even an old laissez-faire liberal position dominant. The Radical Partie proper remained allied with the Gaullists and Independent Republicans of Giscard d'Estaing, but there "left wing" had split off and joined the Union de Gauche as "The Movement of the Radicals of the Left" (literal translation of Mouvement des radicaux de gauche, or MRG). I liked the sound and implication of that so, with a slight bow to English grammar, our new aboveground activist group, to join forces with the "old" New Left to fight the imminent War in Central America, became the Movement of the Libertarian Left, or MLL.

Q: What are the main differences between left-libertarianism/agorism and anarcho-capitalism?

SEK3 - There are several ways of looking at this, from a theoretical view, from a strategic view, with left jargon, with right terminology, etc., but it's a fair question.

In theory, those calling themselves anarcho-capitalists (I believe Jarrett Wollstein, in his defection from Objectivism, coined the term back in early 1968) do not differ drastically from agorists; both claim to want anarchy (statelessness, and we pretty much agree on the definition of the State as a monopoly of legitimized coercion, borrowed from Rand and reinforced by Rothbard). But the moment we apply the ideology to the real world (as the Marxoids say, "Actually Existing Capitalism") we diverge on several points immediately.

First and foremost, agorists stress the Entrepreneur, see non-statist Capitalists (in the sense of holders of capital, not necessary ideologically aware) as relatively neutral drone-like non-innovators, and pro-statist Capitalists as the main Evil in the political realm. Hence our favorable outlook toward "conspiracy theory" fans, even when we think they're misled or confused. As for the Workers and Peasants, we find them an embarrassing relic from a previous Age at best and look forward to the day that they will die out from lack of market demand (hence my phrase, deliberately tweaking the Marxoids, "liquidation of the Proletariat"). One can sum that up in the vulgar phrase, "If the State had been abolished a century ago, we'd all have robots and summer homes in the Asteroid belt."

The "Anarcho-capitalists" tend to conflate the Innovator (Entrepreneur) and Capitalist, much as the Marxoids and cruder collectivists do. (It's interesting that the gradual victory of Austrian Economics, particularly in Europe, has led to some New Leftists at least to take our claim seriously that the Capitalist and Entrepreneur are very different classes requiring different analyses, and attempt to grapple with the problem [from their point of view] that creates for them.)

Agorists are strict Rothbardians, and, I would argue in this case, even more Rothbardian than Rothbard, who still had some of the older confusion in his thinking. But he was Misesian, and Mises made the original distinction between Innovators/Arbitrageurs and Capital-holders (i.e., mortgage-holders, coupon-clippers, financiers, worthless heirs, landlords, etc.). With the Market largely moving to the 'net, it is becoming ever-more pure entrepreneurial, leaving the brick 'n' mortar "capitalist" behind.

But it is dealing with current politics and current defence where Agorists most strongly differ from "anarcho-capitalists." A-caps generally (and they have lots of individual variation) believe in involvement with existing political parties (libertarian, Republican, even Democrat and Socialist, such as the Canadian NDP), and, in the extreme case, even support the Pentagon and U.S. Defense complex to fight communism (I wonder what their excuse is now?) until we somehow get to abolishing the State. Agorists, as you have undoubtedly picked up, are revolutionary; we don't see the market triumphing without the collapse of the State and its ruling caste, and, as I point out in New Libertarian Manifesto, historically, they just don't go without unleashing senseless violence on the usually peaceful revolutionaries who then defend themseelves.


Additionally, as a former leftist myself, I appreciate attempts by libertarians to reach out to the left and dispel the myth that libertarianism is nothing but radical conservatism and that libertarians are Republicans who smoke dope or whatever. With the right-wing being increasingly ravaged by neoconservatism and religious fundamentalism, I think it makes more sense to reach out to the left.

While I generally don't like to consider myself to be left-wing or right-wing, I do find myself agreeing the most with those libertarians who associate themselves with the ideas of people like Konkin, Murray Rothbard, Karl Hess, and even Benjamin Tucker.

9:13 PM  

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