Tuesday, May 23, 2006

i'll be back in june

Sorry for the absense of new stuff lately and for no explanations until now. Things have been been really hectic and bad lately around here, and I have neither the time nor the interest needed to blog.

I'll resume blogging at some point in early June.

Hope things are better for y'all than they are on this end.

Friday, May 05, 2006

cinco de mayo post

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, mis amigos!

I'll be going out tonight to see my friend Laith perform, and Mexican beer will be my drink of choice.

Cinco de Mayo is, of course, more than just a day to get drunk and celebrate Mexican culture. To learn more about the day's historical significance, check out the Cinco de Mayo Wikipedia entry.

On a more serious note, David Reynolds has taken the time to write a Cinco de Mayo post about the current struggle in Mexico between farmers and the government. The following excerpt explains the the plight that these farmers face:
The flower farmers are supported by members of a group known as Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (People’s Front in Defense of the Land or FPDT). The FPDT opposes the government confiscation of communal lands known as ejidos that have provided farms and residential space to the ejidatarios for decades. The ejidos were eliminated by the Mexican government when it signed the NAFTA agreement.

As a result, the Mexican government routinely gives land to transnational corporations to build factories, retail stores, and the like. (It has been rumored the marketplace area where the FPDT-supported flower farmers tried to set up their stalls is slated to become a Wal-Mart.) The indigenous ejidatarios are often forced off the land where they have lived their entire lives, and their livelihoods are destroyed. Their choices are usually either becoming wage slaves for the transnational corporations or seeking lives elsewhere, including sneaking across the border into the United States to seek work.

A violent standoff between the farmers and local, state, and federal authorities began on Wednesday, with the predictable result of police initiating violence and taking control of the town.

The people who live and work on the land are the rightful owners of it, not the government. The government has no right to claim the land as their own and then hand it over to transnational corporations, continuing the accumulation of wealth by force that should be condemned by all friends of liberty.

online pamphlets from the labadie collection

One of the greatest resources for radical literature found anywhere is the Labadie Collection, a special collections library that is part of the University of Michigan library system. There is a project in the works there to digitize all of their anarchist pamphlets and make them available online. Some of them are already available - click here to take a look.

As mentioned on their webpage, the collection of pamphlets currently online represents a very small part of their entire collection. Most seem to be about non-market forms of anarchism, although there should be something of interest for all anarchists. What is unfortunate is that some of the pamphlets can only be viewed by authorized viewers, such as Frank Chodorov's "The Myth of the Post Office."

Here are links to some of the pamphlets that I plan on reading within the next few days:

Stephen Pearl Andrew's "The Labor Dollar"
Henry Bool's "Liberty Without Invasion, Means and End of Progress"
Hubert Bourgin's "Proudhon"
Randolph Bourne's "The State"
Henry Appleton's "What Is Freedom and When Am I Free?"

(a tip o' the blog hat to Mark Dilley)

*UPDATE: It turns out that I won't be reading the Bourgin pamphlet. It's en français. Darn.

Monday, May 01, 2006

may day post

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Today is May 1st, otherwise known as May Day, a day of international labor solidarity. Contrary to the efforts of some to paint the day as a "commie holiday" in support of the USSR and other "communist" countries, the real roots of the holiday predate the horrors of 20th century statist collectivism.

The following links provide some interesting historical commentary on the roots of May Day. While Kevin Carson focuses on the American origin of the modern May Day movement and the role of individualist anarchists in the labor movement of that time, Eugene Plawiuk goes back even further to reveal the day's Pagan origins.

Kevin Carson's " May Day Thoughts: Individualist Anarchism and the Labor Movement"
Eugene Plawiuk's "The Origins and Traditions of May Day"