Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pass the meat, please!

I have much respect for vegetarians and vegans, but I am not one myself. In fact, there is no way that I will ever voluntarily become one. I love the taste of meat way too much to even consider it.

I have substantially reduced my red meat intake though since I refuse to buy red meat that is not free range. I may not buy all of the various health scares out there concerning food, but non-free range red meat just seems to be too risky and too filthy for my liking (I've been wanting to use the word filthy in a blog post for some odd reason for the past few days... mission accomplished!). Because of this insistance of mine, I very rarely eat red meat. It's not much of a loss though since I'm more than happy compensating with more chicken and more fish, especially fish.

Two of the blogs on my blogroll feature recent posts about the joys of eating free range meat. Nick Wright expresses his love for free range chicken, while Vache Folle focuses on beef and pork.

Reading those posts sure has made me hungry! At this hour though, the only thing I'll be eating is a glazed donut prior to hittin' the sack for the night.

Schooled by "The Man"

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWhen I think of the word schooled, two things come to mind. The first is the current hip usage of the term common amongst younger folks that refers to being made to look foolish or otherwise defeated on the football field or basketball court. If a wide reciever like Braylon Edwards dekes a defender out, speeds on past him, then outleaps him in order to pull in a highlight reel catch in the end zone, the defender has just been schooled. Likewise, if a defender is unable to prevent someone like Ben Wallace from dunking in his face, then he too has been schooled. Being schooled in this context is clearly not a good thing. It would be wise to avoid such follies as much as possible.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us The second usage of the term schooled that pops into my mind comes from Ivan Illich and his critique of modern institutionalized education. Illich begins his radical treatise Deschooling Society with the following:
Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby "schooled" to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is "schooled" to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.

To extend upon that, a schooled society is essentially one where people are trained to become dependant upon institutions (corporate, governmental, and other) while conforming to a society based on mass consumerism, submission to authority, suspicion of individual initiative and autonomy and support for whatever rationalizations such institutions give for promoting their usually toxic agenda.

There is another common term within the modern street parlance that I wish to bring up at this time: "The Man". The Man is your boss or supervisor. The Man is your school's head administrator. The Man is your parole officer (if you're unfortunate enough to have one). The Man is the cop who has decided to pull you over because you've failed to place an updated sticker on your car's license plate. The Man represents corporate headquarters, your bank, the IRS, the DEA, DMV, ATF, FDA, NSA, or any other acronym that raises your anxiety level. The Man is essentially a representation of any professional or institutional authority that one is presumed to have to bow down and submit to. The Man is clearly not a good thing. It would be wise to avoid his wrath as much as possible.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAll of this leads me to a culmination where street language, social critique, and sports collide to show a glimpse of the way things are. It seems as if in much the same way as defenders wind up getting schooled in the game of hoops or football from time to time, people in this modern world wind up getting schooled in the game of life. The statist school system forces us out onto the court, rigs the game in favor of The Man, and allows The Man to school us all.

The results of all this are two-fold. The Man continues to enjoy the spoils of victory, including champaigne showers, fat bonuses, and the hubristic claim of hegemony over others. Meanwhile, the masses of individuals schooled by The Man continue to be taxed, regulated, regimented, and exploited by a system that is wrecking havoc on ourselves and our planet.

Rather than trying to change the rules of the game, some people believe that the game needs to be scrapped and replaced with a new one, one that'll allow us to have the opportunity to school The Man once and for all. People like Illich paved the way, and I suggest that those who are following in his footsteps and are further exploring such alternatives should be given more attention and support.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Some random thoughts on statist vs. free markets

The following entry is simply about me throwing a few things out there for people to ingest, particularly those who are interested in figuring out what the "libertarian left" represents as opposed to more mainstream libertarians, as well as those who have been suspicious of free market libertarians due to the common perception that ther terms free markets and capitalism are synonymous. Nothing too deep here, just random stuff that I felt like using here that I've sort of thrown together.

What first got my attention was a comment left at this Mises Blog post written by Fred Foldvary. Here's what he wrote:
"Capitalism" is a Marxist propaganda deliberately used by anti-market advocates to confuse the statist status quo with true free markets. The greatest triumph of Marxists was to get pro-market advocates to use the term. It implies to the world that a free market benefits the owners of capital rather than also workers, consumers, and everyone else.

I've been aware for some time now that the term capitalism comes from the Marxist left. This is one of the many reasons why the term does not apply to a free market libertarian such as myself. What further led me to chime in on the subject was a series of posts that I was reminded of while reading Sunni Maravillosa's interesting interview with Chris Sciabarra. Early in the interview, he mentions a couple of blog posts that he wrote earlier in the year called "Capitalism": The Known Reality and "Capitalism" And Other Isms, where he discusses the problems associated with libetarians who promote capitalism without regard for certain historical and cultural realities (the former post is also the only place in the blogosphere where you'll ever encounter my first and last names - freeman is my middle name). While some of these libertarians may often harbor some rather vulgar ideas, others make a more conscious effort to distinguish what they call economic capitalism from state or political capitalism.

That definition of political capitalism that I just linked to desribes the system that is associated with capitalism in general, like it or not. That is why Foldvary seemingly objects to using the term, and I certainly sympathize. I am opposed to such a system just as much as anyone on the left, and I'd like to distance myself and my promotion of free markets from such a system as much as possible. Part of what led me to embrace libertarianism and genuine free enterprise was coming to the realization that big business and big government are essentially fraternal twins joined at the hip through the unnatural force of coerced privledge (fraternal conjoined twins are not natural). Big Business made our current big government statism possible and couldn't exist without it. This unnatural beast really began coming to life during the days of Lincoln, a man whose deeds were mostly done in service of moneyed interests, thus setting a bad precedent for so many future administrations, especially the current Bush administration.

The people whose blogs are aligning to form the Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left not only realize such things, but also have different ideas about what free enterprise represents. Grant Gould is not one of these people, although I've also recently remembered a statement he made awhile back in a comment he made following a cross-posted version of one of Sciabarra's posts. At the end of the comment, he wrote:
I favor liberty and free markets, and their child prosperity. I oppose capitalism and socialism, and their bizarre hybrid, fascism.
What I like about this statement is that it separates those two isms from both liberty and free markets due to the fact that most peoples' knowledge of both systems involves the statist versions of them. But that doesn't mean that neither capitalistic nor socialistic institutions would not exist in a free market. In fact, both types of institutions would likely exist. One of the ways in which agorists distinguish themselves from free market capitalists is as follows (from bk Marcus):
Where anarcho-capitalists see no distinction between capitalism and the free market, agorists make the following 3-part distinction:

innovator, risk-taker, producer -- the strength of a free market
non-statist capitalist:
holders of capital, not necessarily ideologically aware
"relatively drone-like non-innovators"
pro-statist capitalist:
"the main Evil in the political realm"

Then there are the mutualists who advocate a form of free enterprise that could be labeled as "free market socialism", as opposed to state socialism.

The key to a free market is that people would be free to engage in whatever voluntary associations and transactions that they please, whether it be capitalistic or socialistic or something in between. I find that to be one of the beauties of such an environment, and the fact that a growing number of libertarians are leading the way in showing the different alternatives that could exist in a free market while disassociating themselves from the vulgar and the establishement crowds will only help to make libertarian alternatives to the statist insanity seem more appealing.

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Do the iPod shuffle

The latest post over at los amigos de durutti concludes by pointing out the "iPod wars" that have been going on in the audio blogosphere. As Matt explains it:
Its simple: just hit shuffle, list the first 10 songs that come up, then compare to others' lists to see just how lame or hip your iPod library is (on random).

Now that I actually have an iPod, I'm game. Here's what mine just came up with:

1. Son of Suzy Creamcheese - Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
2. Stone Flower (live) - Santana
3. Buchimish - Yuri Yunakov
4. Colonial Mentality - Fela Kuti
5. Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms - Dicky Betts & Vassar Clements
6. After School Special - Jurassic 5
7. Let's Stay Together - Jimmy Smith
8. Confusing Dub - King Tubby
9. Lola & Alice - Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
10. Little Tunnel - Eugene Chadbourne

Friday, August 19, 2005

According to Nature

That is the name of James Leroy Wilson's latest Partial Observer column. There are many good points made in this piece, but the one I'm gonna provide shouldn't really surprise those who actually read my blog:
We hear criticisms of the “free market.” But the free market is not the problem; it doesn’t exist, so how can it be at fault? Much of what is criticized in the market are actually government disbursement of privileges that make it less free in exchange for being more “efficient” for some people. Especially the corporation, a creation of government similar to Frankenstein’s monster. In a free market, there would not be corporations with charters and privileges protected by the government. In a free market, if a company went bankrupt, those who invested in it, would lose their investments and would have to help pay for any liabilities for the company. We do not have that today.

This excerpt, and this column in general, provides a fine example of the type of analysis that is both libertarian and compatible with the concerns of those who lean to the left.

Government intervention in the marketplace is unnatural, it's resulting milieu is unsustainable, and it's ultimately responsible for the harms that lefties are so adept at pointing out while being inept at determining both root causes and appropriate solutions. The non-existant "free market" sure ain't the problem.

The only solutions that'll be effective and ethical are those that involve an enlightened embrace of nature. Wilson reminds us that individuals are free by nature and that the voluntary cooperation that occurs amongst free individuals is a natural course of action. Want to eliminate the Frankenstein's monster known as corporate statism and the destruction it causes? If so, how about turning to nature?

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Adding Insult to Injury

The New London, CT city thugs just aren't satisfied with snatching the property away from many of it's residents. They've knocked some of their rightfully enranged residents to the ground, but aren't satisfied leaving it at that. Their insatiable quest to inflict pain and get paid has led them to charge rent over the past five years for the land they've stolen! From this USA Today story:
Chutzpah is a Yiddish word meaning brazen arrogance. The cliché example is a man who murders his parents and then begs a judge for mercy because he is an orphan.

The city of New London, Conn., deserves a chutzpah award. In 2000, it condemned 15 homes so a developer could build offices, a hotel and convention center. Susette Kelo and her neighbors spent years in a legal battle that culminated in June, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against them.

That was painful enough. But while the homeowners were battling in court, New London was calculating how much "rent" they owe for living in the houses they were fighting to save. (The city's development corporation gained title to the homes when it condemned them, though the owners refused to sell and haven't collected a cent.)

The homeowners could soon be served with eviction notices, which is justified by the court ruling. But the rent is something else. For some, it comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Kelo, whose name is on the landmark case, could owe $57,000. "I'd leave here broke," she told the Fairfield County Weekly. "I could probably get a large-size refrigerator box and live under the bridge."

Savages. All of them.

(hat tip: Presto)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Shaffer on contracts and Iraq

Even when he is merely throwing out a few words in a blog entry as opposed to writing quality essays, Butler Shaffer always brings some invaluable insight to the virtual table. Here's what he had to say earlier today on the subject of an Iraqi constitution:
Every so often a particle of realpolitik truth manages to slip out in the establishment media. In interviewing an alleged "expert," a Fox Snooze anchor asked whether the violent disorder in Iraq would subside once "a constitution is imposed on this country."

"Imposed?" Whatever became of the "social contract" entered into by "we the people?" Perhaps in observing how a new government gets rammed down the throats of Iraqis, myths about the origins and nature of constitutional systems will begin to work their way out of conditioned minds. That the Soviet Union had a constitutional form of government - grounded in the American model - should help to erode this rationale for the violent subjugation of people.

At least the Mafia doesn't pretend that its "contracts" are expressions of the free will of its victims!

Journey through the blogosphere

Here's some great posts and other happenings from my most recent journey through the blogosphere.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Thomas Knapp has made a golden contribution to the blogosphere with the introduction of a webring devoted to the various brands of left-libertarians (Agorists, libertarian Democrats, anti-authoritarian progressives, anarchists, etc.). His brief synopsis of the project can be found here.

Over at Wendy McElroy's blog, co-blogger Brad warns us of the upcoming Microsoft operating system known as Windows Vista. From the looks of it, I'd say that no computer of mine will ever use such bullshit! As Brad put it:
About this time last year, I predicted that there will be two kinds of computer user: the "free" and the "enslaved." Windows Vista is another step along that road. Where do you want to go?

Next up is Vache Folle's recent post titled Political Anabaptism. I may not be Christian and this Anabaptism stuff is new to me, but the tenets that he spells out regarding ways for libertarians to live their lives sounds good to me. Such an approach may not be for everyone, but it should at least get you thinking about the whole notion of change from within that seems more fruitful than the popular quest of trying to change the world.

Karen De Coster has been looking into the work of Raoul Desvernine lately, and it seems as if that research has had some interesting results. Click here to see what she has come across regarding the phraseology and symbols of despotism.

There have been a lot of good posts over at Wally Conger's Out of Step lately dealing with Agorist class theory and it's superiority over Marxist class theory. Before diving into that, he informed readers about a great lecture by Ralph Raico on class theory that is available in mp3 format at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute site. I'd provide a link, but their site appears to be down at the moment (it was that way last weekend too). Bummer.

Anyhoo, Wally's latest post is well worth reading as well, as he provides some thoughts by one Karl (Hess) about another Karl (Marx).

Over at the Mutualist Blog, Kevin Carson revealed to his loyal readers who the real domestic enemy is in the eyes of Leviathan: you (and me)! Be sure to give this post your attention.

Sunni Maravillosa has chimed in once again with more of her insightful suspicions (and personal frustrations) with the modern medical system. An excerpt:
"If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." I don't know if I've got that exactly right, but put that way it fits my thinking about the medical profession these days. A few weeks back, I went to a specialist regarding my breathing problems. She recommended surgery. This despite the fact that my online research showed that other, noninvasive treatment options could be pursued first. Would it surprise anyone here to reveal that her specialty is a surgical one, that she probably thought she'd be doing the surgery on me?

Internists (a general name for MDs who aren't surgeons) follow the same general pattern: they try any number of medications -- typically available only by prescription, thereby ensuring repeat business as one must make appointments at regular intervals to get the valued permission slip again. In some cases, if the nostrums don't work, the person gets passed along to a surgeon to see if cutting will solve the problem. But cutting also creates problems, as I discovered after I had a tonsillectomy.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Finally, I recently discovered another cool audio blog called los amigos de durutti. If you've ever wanted to sample some of the otherworldly sounds of Sun Ra, check out the most recent post over there.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Music: Jerry Garcia

Today happens to be the 10th anniversary of the death of one of my favorite musicians. When most people think of Jerry Garcia, they immediately think of the Grateful Dead, and for good reason considering how legendary of a group the Dead was. Rather than contribute yet another Garcia tribute centered around the Dead to the interweb, I've decided to focus on Garcia's musical legacy outside of the Dead, beginning with the pre-Dead era stuff that I'm sure that most people are completely oblivious to.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usPrior to being Jerry Garcia the psychedelic guitarist, he was known as Jerry Garcia, the up-and-coming banjo player. The banjo is an extremely difficult instrument to play and Garcia mastered it early on in his musical journey. One of the groups that he was apart of in the early 1960s was called the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers. The following two songs come from a performance of theirs at the Boar's Head Coffeehouse in San Carlos, CA on June 11, 1962.

Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers - Little Birdie
Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers - Crow Black Chicken

Even after putting down the banjo and picking up the guitar in order to join the rock world later in the decade, Jerry continued to return to his bluegrass roots at various times during his life. In the early '70s, he was a member of an all-star cast of bluegrass musicians known as Old & In The Way. Jerry played both banjo and guitar for this outfit and was accompanied by David Grisman on mandolin, Vassar Clements on fiddle, Peter Rowan on guitar and John Kahn on bass. Here are a couple of great excerpts from a session of theirs at The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA on March 2, 1973:

Old & In The Way - Going To The Races
Old & In The Way - Old & In The Way Breakdown

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Aside from side projects rooted in bluegrass, Jerry also dabbled with other musical styles that he loved, including jazz, funk and R&B. One of two such groups that he was a part of during the 1970s was known as Legion of Mary. Joined by Merl Saunders on keys and organ, John Kahn on bass, Martin Fierro on sax and Ron Tutt on drums, Legion of Mary was definitely the funkiest band Jerry was ever associated with and gave him the opportunity to experiment with the jazz fusion music that was popular at the time. The first song offered here is an instrumental from an unreleased recording known as "Dick's Gift". The song is called "Finders Keepers", and is some straight up, low down dirty funk! The second song, called "I'll Take A Melody" is from a recording of their show at The Keystone in Berkeley, CA on May 21, 1975.

Legion of Mary - Finders Keepers
Legion of Mary - I'll Take A Melody

Jerry reunited with Merl Saunders and John Kahn in 1979 to form the other jazz group that featured the signature sounds of Jerry's guitar playin'. Known as Reconstruction, this band was often more up-tempo and swingin' than Legion of Mary, kind of like Legion of Mary on speed. The two samples offered below come from their show at The Keystone in Palo Alto, CA on June 22, 1979. The first number is an instrumental cover of the classic Doobie Brothers song "Long Train Running", and the other tune is a cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Strugglin' Man".

Reconstruction - Long Train Running instrumental
Reconstruction - Strugglin' Man

A performance that many Jerry fans and Deadheads are familiar with is one that took place at the Oregon State Prison on May 5, 1982. Featuring Garcia on acoustic guitar and John Kahn on bass, it is a great collection of heart felt songs that I'm sure that the prisoners enjoyed listening to. The sample that I've provided from this performance is a rendition of the Grateful Dead tune called "Ripple", a song with some great and introspective lyrics.

Jerry Garcia - Ripple

Jerry had a close friendship with David Grisman for many years, and the two began performing together again shortly before Jerry's passing. Here's another song from their show at Squaw Valley, CA on August 25, 1991 that I mentioned in my David Grisman post from a couple of months ago. This is another song that was a regular part of the Grateful Dead's repertoire.

Garcia & Grisman - Friend Of The Devil

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Aw, what the hell, I guess I'll post a song by the Grateful Dead too while I'm at it here. This is a song that I've been enjoying a lot lately from their great live double disc album called Europe '72. Jerry's guitar is definitely groovin' heavily on this tune.

ALBUM: Europe '72 (Warner Bros., 1972)
Grateful Dead - Cumberland Blues

If your Jerry Garcia fix is not quite adequate yet, I recommend going over to Diane Warth's great blog called Karmalised, where you'll notice some mp3s for download over on the left margin of the website. One of the songs is a version of "Uncle Sam's Blues" performed by Hot Tuna and the Grateful Dead together.

State Violence and Limited Government

That is the title of yet another fine piece by Anthony Gregory published by LRC.

Here's how it begins:
The American right has long dedicated itself to the promotion of limited government – limited to its key functions of cracking skulls, caging sinners and leveling cities. Helpful to this program of state violence is the fact that most people, left, right, center and libertarian, believe that protecting people’s rights to life, liberty and property against foreign and domestic threats is the one unquestionable purpose of government. People tend to consider organized force a legitimate means to defend the innocent against violent criminals, terrorists, and the like.

Here's how it ends:
It is fine for libertarians to debate the status of the state as either a necessary or an intolerable evil. Merely believing that a state should be confined to protecting life, liberty and property, however, is not enough to be a libertarian. These laudable ends boasted of the state cannot cancel out the evils of the means used. Indeed, this is the principal argument against the welfare statism of the left. Charity and healthcare are not ideas that libertarians oppose. Nor do we object to clean air or water, an educated populace or higher wages for workers. What we reject, for both practical and ethical reasons, is the use of aggressive force against innocents as a means of achieving these ends. In welfare statism, it is not the giving side, but the taking side, with which we have the most problem. Conservatives also advocate the coercive instrument of taxation, but tend to want the money used to fund schemes violent and objectionable in themselves – to lock up drug users and other outcasts, to clobber and abuse prisoners, to bomb cities. The model rightist state might be smaller than the leftist ideal, but it is no less coercive. It is violent in its funding and even more so in its ends. Libertarians must reject the "limited" government of the right as readily as the nanny state of the left. The conservative attachment to state violence is no small issue.

To read all the fine points made in between, click here.

Words of wisdom by Mark Twain

LRC performed a great service yesterday by providing Mark Twain's classic "The War Prayer" for readers to check out. If you haven't read this piece before, I recommend doing so now.

The anti-imperialist Twain wrote more than just that on the subject of war. Here is an excerpt from his book The Mysterious Stranger that I've always been fond of:
"Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race - the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions."

I did not like to hear our race called sheep, and said I did not think they were.

"Still, it is true, lamb," said Satan. "Look at you in war - what mutton you are, and how ridiculous!"

"In war? How?"

"There has never been a just one, never an honorable one - on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful - as usual - will shout for the war. The pulpit will - warily and cautiously - object - at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and here is no necessity for it." Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you willsee this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers - as earlier - but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation - pulpit and all - will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."

I would add modern democracies to that listing in the first sentence of the excerpt, but that's just me.

On a closing note, here is how Twain felt about congresscretins:
"Suppose you are an idiot. And suppose you are a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

John Perry Barlow interview

I recently came across an interesting interview with John Perry Barlow that I thought I'd share here. Barlow is perhaps best known as one of the lyricists for the Grateful Dead, and some of the songs he wrote for them include "Cassidy", "Mexicali Blues" (great tune!), "Looks Like Rain", and "Estimated Prophet".

He's been busy with all sorts of things since his days with the Dead. He has recently been doing some good work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which included penning the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Here's an excerpt:
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Later on, he even chimes in on the subject of a free market. The following comments seem OK to me:
Yeah, I’m a free-marketeer. I believe in free markets, but like the discussion we just had gives evidence, sometimes you have things that look like free markets but aren’t because of artificial reasons. I’m not very happy with the current state of what calls itself free market economy in the world because you’ve got all these grotesque monopolies that are able to gain the system in a way that’s to their advantage by virtue of their power, and that’s not a free market.

But then he says this:
A real free market has some kind of counter-veiling influence from the government to keep a monopoly in check

Say what? A real free market contains ZERO government intervention in the marketplace. Barlow may be knowledgable about a lot of stuff, but he seems to have missed the boat completely when it comes to free markets. Then again, so many other people also fall into this category. It sure can be frustrating.

More on enlightened liberty

Just to let y'all know, I recently accepted an invitation to join Jacob Lyles's Enlightened Liberty blog. I'll be posting stuff there from time to time that deals with the synthesis of libertarian philosophy and Buddhist philosophy.

My first post there deals with a website that I blogged about earlier in the year called What Would Gandhi Do?. He may not have been a Buddhist, but his philosophy has much in common with Buddhism.