Smash the Anti-State!

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I'm really sorry I missed this.

On Monday, July 28, SDS, backed by activists from both Potomac Earth First and Roadblock Earth First, staged the "Funk I-69" protest, treating the CATO institute, an office of I-69's surveyor, and the dual target(I-69 and ICC) Washington Post they way SDS normally treats military recruiters.

The first target on the menu was the neoliberal Cato Institue, one of the thinktanks responsable for NAFTA. I-69 is being built as one of several "NAFTA superhighways."

The glass-enclosed lobby of CATO was stormed by protesters before the cops were able to respond, sparking a pushing and shoving match, but no injuries.

You'll remember the "Funk the [bad thing]" people from this.

NEXT: Hair-Razing Ordeal

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  1. Good for them. Maybe they can next target another faux-free market think tank, the Reason Foundation, for its shilling on behalf of “privatized” prisons (http://www.reason.org/corrections/).

  2. Motherfunkers.

  3. Whenever I see the word “neoliberal” my brain shuts down.

  4. I don’t care if they’re protesting the American Nazi Party, what they did was trespassing and a blatantly unjustified violation of property rights.

  5. The SDS is still around?

  6. This video from the “article” explains a lot. I don’t think there is any in the crowd above 15 years old (at least intellectually).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FppTZRtd_ps

  7. Andy Craig-

    So they trespassed. BFD. They can pay for the cost to replace the glass. Let’s not overplay the “violation” of CATO’s “property rights”. Let’s not be so dramatic.

  8. libertymike —

    Word.

    On all the rest, I’m confused. I think I’ll go lie down and read Snow Crash till my head clears.

  9. BTW-

    Didn’t many here along with the MSM dismiss RP as a crackpot for expressing his concenns about the superhighway?

  10. So those cosmotarians at CATO don’t pack heaters?
    They should be wary of “storming” a land surveyors office, those guys pack big knives.

  11. It’s not that the kids in the video are all under 15, it’s that they are all skinny, short and frail because they vegans.

  12. I’m not overplaying anything. Regardless of how horrific CATO might or might not be (I have mixed feelings about free trade agreements myself), storming their building and breaking their windows isn’t justified. If I came to your house and did that, I suspect it would take somewhat more than simply offering to pay the damages to mollify you.

    And the ability of everyone to freely disagree should be the primary concern to any libertarian looking at this event. Whatever complaints the group may have had is secondary (and in light of their actions, I’m much less inclined to give the matter any thought). I would, and have, said the same thing when it’s libertarians or Ron Paul supporters doing the protesting.

  13. because they ARE vegans…

    Damn beer, making me grammar bad.

  14. Elemenope-

    Do you think I am being unfair for downplaying the actions of the protesters? The intent of my prior post was to put their actions in some perspective.

  15. Thanks, I needed the schadenfreude.

  16. I am soo confused. Is CATO neo-liberal or neo-conservative?

  17. Andy Craig-

    You are right. If they came to my house or office, some of the trespassing terrorists would be get acquainted with Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson. Heller says I could do that, right? Afterwards, I would not want to hear anybody whining about the poor protesters.

    Seriously, of course they were wrong. However, I am generally going to be much more pissed off when it is some cop or social worker who invades the private property of another “under the color of law” as any libertarian should.

  18. As for CATO and NAFTA and NAU, we should keep in mind that free trade and these agreements are not one in the same.

  19. “Is CATO neo-liberal or neo-conservative?”

    The Kochotopus has so many names.

  20. mike-

    Fair enough, though I think who’s doing the violating is an irrelevant factor in the moral equation.

    I agree we shouldn’t be locking any one up and throwing away the key because of this, but it’s important to keep in mind that the ends don’t justify the means. You can’t violate CATO’s property rights because you dislike what they’re doing any more than you can violate my property rights because you don’t like the fact that I smoke pot.

  21. I hadn’t seen that. It’s interesting that these pinko-leaning anarchist types are all in favor of government health care. Plus I love the guy (Mr. Marx) with the “Palestinian scarf” you can imagine how he must abhor bloodshed. The end of his interview is almost a word-for-word rendition of the “Life of Brian” “What did the Romans ever do for us”? bit.
    These guys just basically hate western civilization, and whatever cuts it down a notch, communism, socialism, anarchism, faux-libertarianism, anti-zionism, maoism, you name it, they’re for it.

  22. I’m actually more amused that this story is on a purportedly “anarchist” website. True anarchists would have more in common with libertarians than any other political group in the U.S.

  23. SuperMike beat me to it.

  24. As for the “NAFTA Superhighway”, it has already been built. Expansion of some portions may be in order.

  25. Andy Craig-

    Yes, who owns the common area glass is not relevant to the moral question. Honestly, I would have posted the same comment if you had singled out the Washington Post and had not mentioned CATO. Sure, I am more than a little troubled by some of what CATO has advocated, but, big picture, CATO has done far more good than the Post.

  26. Didn’t many here along with the MSM dismiss RP as a crackpot for expressing his concenns about the superhighway?

    Uh… yes?

    Is there any reason to take any of it back?

    As for CATO and NAFTA and NAU, we should keep in mind that free trade and these agreements are not one in the same.

    True. But we should also keep in mind that the politically likely alternative to these agreements is protectionism, not free trade.

  27. Is this SDS the Students for a Democratic Society, from the 60s?

    Seriously?

    This is like a historical re-enactment.

  28. SuperMike-

    Sure, many of the protesters may be pinko types who want even more socialized medicine than we have now. Does that mean they hate western civilization? Please connect the dots. I can’t because I keep coming back to the fact that soicalized medicine is the norm for western civilization and has been for quite some time. Come to think of it, western civilization and the white man have given us socialism, the income tax, atomic weapons and the income tax-not things in which one should take pride.

  29. I’ve been getting a lot of junk mail from Cato lately — so I have no sympathy. 🙂

  30. MikeP-

    NAFTA is protectionism, that is the point.

  31. SuperMike-

    There’s nothing wrong with anti-zionism. Its a damn good thing.

  32. Is this SDS the Students for a Democratic Society, from the 60s?

    Seriously?

    This is like a historical re-enactment.

    Yep. That’s why I got all woozy.

    libertymike —

    On the subject of downplaying the breaking of glass, it is my personal belief that pretty much everyone is waaaaay too uptight, especially about their stuff. Yes, it’s wrong, and we have mechanisms of civil recompense that should be utilized to make the victims whole or whatever, but beyond that it’s just attachment rearing it’s many-faced head.

    And what is attachment, kids? Suffering. That’s right, boys and girls.

    Either way, I don’t think it particularly wise to think less (or more!) of their arguments or proposals simply because they sought to break a window. That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

  33. What is wrong with atomic weapons?

  34. I would like to use this post for some learning time. Cato is not an acronym, so it’s not CATO. It’s Cato, after the Roman guy.

  35. So there are people in this world that will take the time out of their day to protest some concrete getting beefed up, eh?

    And people say I have no life….


  36. On the subject of downplaying the breaking of glass, it is my personal belief that pretty much everyone is waaaaay too uptight, especially about their stuff.

    Everybody oughta just mellow out…..

  37. R. Totale,

    I think that the confusion comes from the RAND Institute and NATO. I’ve seen that mistake, and made it myself.

  38. The odds are anyone calling him- or herself an anarchist is really a Marxist. “Anarchist” just sounds cooler.

  39. R.Totale,

    My communist ex-g/f gave me a CATO coffee mug. There are no lowercase letters on it.

  40. R. Totale-

    And “reason” when referring to the magazine is a proper noun.

  41. Marcvs | July 31, 2008, 7:04pm | #
    I’m actually more amused that this story is on a purportedly “anarchist” website. True anarchists would have more in common with libertarians than any other political group in the U.S.

    They use “anarchism” as a tool to gain power, not as an end to freedom.

  42. So they trespassed. BFD. They can pay for the cost to replace the glass. Let’s not overplay the “violation” of CATO’s “property rights”. Let’s not be so dramatic.

    Wow. I think libertymike needs to go by just plain “mike” from now on… Property rights, even of those you disagree with, are essential if anyone is going to have any liberty.

  43. NAFTA is protectionism, that is the point.

    So before NAFTA the border flowed with milk and honey?

  44. Libertymike, Elemenope

    Funny how “property rights” are so unimportant when they’re not yours.

    When a mob smashes in your living room window, you be sure to not whine about it.

  45. Mike cares about liberty — but only the liberties of those whom he likes.

    And he’s far from the only one with that disease.

  46. wow to think the neo-hippies are trying to revive the Socialist Dumbasses Society. Now I really can’t wait for the Denver convention.

  47. Colin-

    For some, no doubt. However, over the years, I could not tell you how many times I have heard people call me an anarchist and only those a few fries short of a happy meal would think of me as a marxist. In essence, many people think that they have the ultimate rebuttal or put down by trotting out the anarchist card.

  48. On the subject of downplaying the breaking of glass, it is my personal belief that pretty much everyone is waaaaay too uptight, especially about their stuff.

    Come on, did I get phished into a Dem Underground comment section masquerading as Reason?

  49. I meant when people call themselves “anarchists.”

  50. Occam, there are days are wonder that myself.

  51. libertymike,
    many people think that they have the ultimate rebuttal or put down by trotting out the anarchist card.

    Uh . . based on my own experience with self described anarchists, I’d see it’s pretty nasty putdown, if not quite “ultimate”.

  52. True anarchists would have more in common with libertarians than any other political group in the U.S.

    That may be true superficially, but the gap between anarchism and libertarianism is much wider than the gap between mainstream conservatism and libertarianism, or even mainstream liberalism. The existence or non-existence of a state is the fundamental question of politics, and we differ greatly on it from anarchists (obviously).

  53. Colin-7:37

    You have no basis to make such a statement. Did I assert that I do not care about Cato’s property rights? Just because I made the point that we should not play the role of drama queen relative to the actions of the protesters, does not mean that I only care about the liberties of people I like.

    Logic. Same for you, Matthew.

  54. Libertarians rarely, if ever, actually call themselves “anarchist” though, even if they are (Rothbardian anarcho-capitalists, usually). Whenever you see a bunch of self-proclaimed “anarchists”, chances are they’re some of the most authoritarian “anarchists” you’ll ever meet. See: Noam Chomsky.

    Alan Moore is the only prominent anarchist I can think of who doesn’t fit that mold.

  55. I comment on the protest here. That post describes how SDS and friends could have an actual impact rather than doing stupid things like storming a lobby.

    See the other posts in that category for more on the NAFTASuperhighway and related issues.

  56. Did I assert that I do not care about Cato’s property rights?

    Yes, at 6:31 —

    So they trespassed. BFD. They can pay for the cost to replace the glass. Let’s not overplay the “violation” of CATO’s “property rights”. Let’s not be so dramatic.

  57. Occam-

    I wouldn’t say that. To begin with, there are a lot of capitalism-loving, pro-free market libertarian anarchists. Also, the American individualist anarchist tradition in the form of Henry David Thoreau and Lysander Spooner has had a huge influence on libertarian thought. In fact, pretty much the only way to draw a line from the Whig/Jeffersonian/classical liberal tradition that libertarians (rightfully) love to claim to modern libertarianism is through such classically liberal anarchists in the 19th Century.

  58. Also,

    The Institute is named for Cato’s Letters, a series of libertarian pamphlets that helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution.

    The authors dubbed themselves Cato after the Roman dude.

  59. OLS-

    I think that’s something we can all agree on. Regardless of whether or not it was morally acceptable, there’s no denying that it accomplished nothing.

  60. Matthew-

    Did you understand my post? Don’t you agree that there are lots of people who conflate anarchism with a state of affairs where there is no income tax, no drug laws, no nanny state, no social security, no trillion dollar military, etc?

    But, let’s have some fun-what was responsible for several hundred million murders in the 20th century?

    (a) The state; or

    (b) Anarchy

  61. I enjoyed this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wK1B53zUY0&feature=related

    People sitting in trees to “protest” a road.

    it’s almost like a Brass Eye episode = you can’t even read their banners. you just giggle at how ineffectual and narcissistic it is and how seriously they take themselves.

    We will sit in these trees as long as necessary

  62. The existence or non-existence of a state is the fundamental question of politics, and we differ greatly on it from anarchists (obviously).

    There are two stripes of anarchist. They can be described respectively as individualist or collectivist, capitalist or socialist, propertarian or nonpropertarian.

    As a general rule, a collective of anarchists roaming the streets can be assumed to be collectivist, socialist, nonpropertarian anarchists.

    But the other kind of anarchists are a not insignificant subset of libertarians. And while they may be annoyed that some libertarians don’t know that, they won’t break your windows over it.

  63. If the state was a computer, libertarians would want to get rid of all the souped up hardware and software that slows the system down while retaining all the power of the bare motherboard and CPU, while anarchists would just want to smash the whole thing to bits. Imagine trying to get two people with those diverse goals to cooperate on disassembling a computer, and you see why libertarians and anarchists don’t tend to get along.

  64. Occam-

    You’re falling into the fallacy of the “one, true, libertarianism”. There is no such thing, and free-market anarchists were calling themselves “libertarians” long before the term came into use to describe more broadly people who want to reduce government power over both the economy and personal affairs.

  65. Occam’s toothbrush-

    No. Are you against logic? Where in that statement did I say I do not care about Cato’s property rights? I said we should not not overplay the situation-readers of english will understand that statement does not mean that I do not care about their property rights.

    Good thing you are not on the bench. I would hate to think of your interpretive philosophy having the force of law.

  66. Mike, you clearly belittled the rights of Cato, clearly tinged by your dislike of them.

    And NAFTA is not protectionism, what would replace it is protectionism.

  67. Also, that’s a poor analogy since both sides agree 100% on which direction we should be moving in- less government. Anarchist libertarians not getting along with minarchist libertarians is like a 400 lb. man not wanting to go on a diet because he’s not sure if he wants to end up weighing 150 or 200 pounds.

  68. libertymike | July 31, 2008, 7:46pm | #

    Colin-7:37

    You have no basis to make such a statement. Did I assert that I do not care about Cato’s property rights? Just because I made the point that we should not play the role of drama queen relative to the actions of the protesters

    Drama Queen… relative to a gang of idiotic teenagers smashing up your shit? Whats the “cool” organization supposed to do again? Be like, “wow, these people have an interesting point …”

    These people make lonewackos black-hole of rationality seem more convincing. And he’s the most useless person I’ve ever experienced in my life. Its make a person just bored to tears with how fucking retarded most ‘activists’ are.

  69. mike,

    Very Clintonesque. You are quite correct that you did not explicitly say, “I, libertymike, of sound mind and body, hereby declare that I do not respect Cato’s property rights.” However, the fact that you put “property rights” in scare quotes, along with saying “big fucking deal” in response to the violation of those rights, shows quite clearly the degree to which you hold property rights in esteem.

  70. Occam’s toothbrush,

    Libertarian anarchists as a rule are evolutionary, not revolutionary. They would not break your hypothetical computer to bits. Rather, they would take it apart starting with the most harmful parts, then continuing to the less helpful parts. And then as people realized that they no longer needed or even used the computer, they would simply ignore it. Someone sometime later would say, “Oh, is this still on?” and unplug it.

  71. By Occam’s logic, if one asserts that zionism has been a disaster for humanity, then one is a jew hater.

  72. libertymike | July 31, 2008, 8:05pm | #

    By Occam’s logic, if one asserts that zionism has been a disaster for humanity, then one is a jew hater.

    No, you’re an actual DRAMA QUEEN though. The hyperbole isnt actually revealing of any deep insights into global affairs. It’s a fucking reductive cartoonish characterization of facts that makes you seem like a twit.

    You could just have said, “I think X is bad”, and then, “and here’s why”, and people wouldnt call you those nasty bad names though.

    Or maybe they would, if you didnt actually make any sense. But its an opportunity.

  73. Libertymike, Elemenope

    Funny how “property rights” are so unimportant when they’re not yours.

    When a mob smashes in your living room window, you be sure to not whine about it.

    And Matthew joins the ranks of the indignant oblivious.

    I love property *rights*. Love ’em! My point was a little more humanistic (no wonder you didn’t get it!)…we can choose whether to press for our rights to be respected (or not) in any given circumstance in which a violation occurs. We can even choose to prioritize other things. Insisting upon the fullness of rights to be respected in all circumstances often turns a person into a douche, and being a douche ultimately interferes with other enjoyable aspects of life.

    For example: I love my family and friends and cats a great deal. I think that that love is more important than any right I might conceivably exercise. That love would probably continue to exist even if I had no civil rights to speak of. That love might not continue to exist if I acted like a total douchebag. Sometimes one must be a douchebag to address certain grievances of rights. Thus, rights are less important than love.

    It’s all about personal choice, man…

    I choose not to rant and rave like a maniac if a friend of mine accidentally breaks a pen or CD that I lent them. Someone else in my place who is more concerned with the value of that property over the value of that friendship may act differently. My observation is simply the the world would be more pleasant if some of the more intense indignants eased up a little, unless and until something *important* comes along. Otherwise, how are the bystanders supposed to tell the difference?

  74. It certainly means, Mike, that one is a Zionist hater. Why does a Zionist have any less (or more) innate rights than a Palestinian?

    Why, because you hate them, that’s why.

  75. Andy Craig,

    OK, for clarity perhaps I should replace “libertarians” with “minarchists”.

    I think the computer example is still good; both people in that analogy want “less computer”. The point is, from a pragmatic standpoint, the series of events that is conducive to utterly destroying the state is almost certainly not the same chain of events that leads to a minimization of the state without weakening its ability to perform its core duties of protecting rights.

    Remember how, in the early 20th century, the communists opposed the socialists’ efforts to implement labor laws because they thought it would make a full communist revolution less likely? The same, I think, is true of anarchists and minarchists.

  76. Would it have been okay, Elemonope, if a crazed mob did the same thing to Obama’s headquarters?

    All you’d call for is for them pay for the glass? Really?

  77. Colin-

    I do not dislike Cato. I have contributed to the organization in the past. Not lately, for sure. Furthermore, as I said to Andy Craig, I would have posted the same thing if he had mentioned the Post. I was reacting to what I thought was Andy’s overreaction or overemphasis.

    Hell, some here have jumped ugly on me for being too over the top when it comes to a state actor breaking down the doors of a family which is not the subject of the search or arrest warrant.

  78. The same, I think, is true of anarchists and minarchists.

    You think wrong.

    Libertarian anarchists and minarchists differ only on the margin. And it is the far margin!

  79. Gilmore-

    I am not the one throwing around the f-bombs. The use of such usually indicates a lack of intellectual development.

  80. LMNOP,

    You should be happy that those douches are more concerned for their rights than you are. If everyone stood idly by when their rights were trampled, those rights would never be respected.

  81. mike,

    What does the “F” in BFD (which you posted earlier) stand for?

  82. Colin-

    Because one recognizes that zionism has been a disaster for humanity does not mean that one hates zionism. Did I claim that Zionists should have less rights than Palestinians? Show me.

  83. Occam wins the thread!

  84. Libertarian anarchists as a rule are evolutionary, not revolutionary.

    That may be so, but there is nothing in their philosophy that causes that to be true. If their goal became close enough to become achievable, rather than a conversation starter in a philosophy club, I wouldn’t trust that to remain the case.

  85. “The point is, from a pragmatic standpoint, the series of events that is conducive to utterly destroying the state is almost certainly not the same chain of events that leads to a minimization of the state without weakening its ability to perform its core duties of protecting rights.”

    I disagree. Unlike your computer scenario, with the state no one is even close to capable of getting at the core functions- police, courts, etc. No matter how you go about dismantling the state, that’s always going to be the last thing you get to, whether you intend to destroy it also or not. In the meantime, anarchists are more than happy to assist in dismantling all the other functions of the state that minarchists agree should go.

    When abolishing the state becomes a realistic possibility, then anarchists and minarchists can start picking fights. Until then, it’s arguing over a moot point.

  86. Wish I hade been there. I go to CATO’s lunch speaker series all the time.

    Since I am anarchist myself I would have been happy to introduce those Nazi storm troopers heads to some of the nice bricks from the sidewalk.

  87. Occam-

    Brett Favre, Dude.

  88. Show you? Why don’t you just re-read what you just wrote.

    Saying that Zionists have been a “disaster for humanity” doesn’t mean you hate Zionists? Huh?

  89. Andy Craig,

    That’s not how the Russian Revolution, or the French Revolution, or indeed any successful revolution I can think of went. Do you think the Bolsheviks started by replacing a couple of postmasters in Siberia with Bolsheviks, and gradually worked their way up to the Kremlin? No, they went right for the jugular, and once the head was destroyed the body followed.

    That’s a far better recipe for a complete destruction of the state than gradualism.

  90. Occam-

    Did you consider the USSR to be short for Russia?

  91. libertymike | July 31, 2008, 8:18pm | #

    Gilmore-

    I am not the one throwing around the f-bombs. The use of such usually indicates a lack of intellectual development.

    yes, that, and also being vapid and wordy to no effect, your highness.

  92. libertymike,
    Sure, there was a lot of state-sponsored murder in the 20th century, but anarchy’s racked up some pretty respectable totals too. Especially when you consider how much better organized big totalitarian regimes are compared with the stuff that goes on places where government doesn’t function.

    Big state democides: Nazi Germany, USSR, Communist China, Imperial Japan, Belgian Congo.

    Anarchic mass killings: post-colonial Congo (Maybe goes in the other category if you think a bunch of guys with AK-47s constitute a state), Rwanda, much of what went down in southeast Asia. (Although there was certainly state-sponsored killing there, as well) Let’s not forget the partition of India. (1 million dead right there) Since the Palestinians don’t have a state, any mass killing they’re allowed to do will be non-state as well.

    I’m sorry, but those “anarchists” sound much more like supporters of Pol Pot’s “kill everyone that ever worked for the man” philosophy than libertarians. I’m not saying that the people in the video are bloodthirsty themselves, just that their impulses have led to some pretty bloody places.

  93. It’s anarchy in here!

  94. “Brett Favre Dude”?

    Talk about a drama queen.

  95. Colin-

    Slave holding in America was a disaster for humanity. Agree? THomas Jefferson was a slave holder. I do not hate Mr. Jefferson. Do you follow? Or do you have a particular sensitivity towards those who are zionists?

  96. LibertyMike,

    I’m strongly in the “anarcho-capitalism is a myth” group personally. It’s right up there with “communism is a great idea in theory”.

  97. Occam-

    When the armed libertarian revolution gets under way, let me know.

  98. This is a private residence, man

  99. SuperMike-

    The bottomeline though is that the total number of dead at the hand of the state geometrically dwarfs the number of dead attributable to anarchy. You did not really contest that reality.

    Don’t forget the democracies. Killers. Look at the United States, England, France, etc.

  100. To paraphrase:

    So they trespassed. BFD. They can pay for the cost to replace the glass grass. Let’s not overplay the “violation” of CATO’s the Palestinian subjects of what used to be the Ottoman empire’s “property rights”. Let’s not be so dramatic.

    How’s that “a disaster for humanity” exactly? It’s certainly not a big deal when compared to all the state murder you asked about earlier. It’ll really become a disaster if Israel is overcome.

  101. FlyoverCountry-

    Yes, but who gives the Pack a better chance at bringing Mr. Lombardi’s trophy back to Titletown? Brett Favre or Aaron Rogers?

  102. libertymike

    Only because anarchy never lasts. A better measure would be comparing deaths at the hands of non-state actors vs. state actors. I would think the non-state actors are going to come out ahead.

  103. But you do hate slavery, don’t you? And you certainly wouldn’t say that someone has the right to own another, correct?

    You’ve proven my point.

    And it’s you that has the sensitivity about Zionists. You felt compelled to bring up the subject numerous times here, even though it isn’t remotely relevant to the thread. I was just showing how you’re for the liberty of some, but not all.

  104. I don’t think the Lombardi trophy is going to Valdosta, Georgia anytime soon.

  105. Occam’s toothbrush,

    The philosophy of libertarian anarchists is libertarianism. That is, their goal is a libertarian society. They simply believe that the state is not necessary for a libertarian society and may in fact inevitably preclude a libertarian society because it is a perceived legitimate vehicle around which the power hungry will always gather.

    Anarchists and minarchists would follow the same path until we were at minarchy. Then the actual differences would appear. I assure you that if the state proves necessary at that time for a functioning libertarian society, the vast majority libertarian anarchists will become minarchists. It is, after all, liberty they seek — not the end of the state in and of itself.

    And by bringing up the French and Russian Revolutions, you clearly have already forgotten that libertarian anarchists are evolutionary, not revolutionary.

    The model of the American Revolution is much closer. There was precious little about the American Revolution that was actually revolutionary: It was simply a change of the highest level of government. Local governments remained the same. Property rights remained the same. The calendar, to take a silly example from the French Revolution, remained the same.

  106. libertymike,

    Favre, but not much of a chance either way. Did you see him against the Giants? He’s not a young man anymore.

  107. By the way, libertymike…

    I assure you that the people who showed up at Cato the other day would not replace NAFTA with free trade. To them, NAFTA is too free, not a purported free trade agreement that is n-1 pages too long.

  108. I didn’t contest your point in that manner because I think you’re comparing apples and oranges. Practically everything done under the protection of or at the behest of a reasonably strong state is orders of magnitude bigger than that done under anarchic conditions. Whether it’s spaceflight, miles of railroad track laid, median life expectancy, or mass murder, all the real achievements have been in places with functioning government. Anarchy is simply not conductive to getting anything done. Mass murder is actually exceptional in that it’s the one category where anarchy isn’t as disadvantaged as it is in all the others.

  109. SuperMike-

    I care about your property rights-including your right to keep every euro you earn, inherit or otherwise obtain without fraud or coercion. This means that I detest the fact that the gvt is stealing from you in order to give it to Israel.

    Did the Cato protesters kill anybody? Did they bulldoze entire villages and rape women and children while they were at it? Do the protesters have a lobbying/pressure group demanding that a foreign countruy’s treasury be looted in their behalf? Do the protesters have other lobbying/pressure/advocacy groups seeking in their behalf, laws that would criminalize those who criticized them?

  110. MikeP,

    I chose the French and Russian revolutions because they represent successful uprootings of previously existing governments. But to go with your American Revolution example, what was the relationship like between Revolutionaries and those who thought taxation without representation was unjust but didn’t think it warranted a break with the UK? That’s the analogue of the minarchist/anarchist relationship in our day.

  111. libertymike | July 31, 2008, 8:38pm | #

    SuperMike-

    The bottomeline though is that the total number of dead at the hand of the state geometrically dwarfs the number of dead attributable to anarchy. You did not really contest that reality.

    Don’t forget the democracies. Killers. Look at the United States, England, France, etc.

    Because as we all know, there have been plenty of officially anarchic large scale mass movements that provide a useful contrast to… well, all of human history.

    Also, Bigfoot has killed far fewer children than common housepets. FACT

  112. No, it’s not an analogue, because no one has yet reached the point of wanting to shoot people.

  113. And just because you know a few libertarian anarchists who are evolutionary doesn’t mean all possible libertarian anarchists must be so. Indeed, a successful libertarian anarchist would almost certainly be revolutionary, because the most likely path from here to anarchy sure doesn’t go through minarchy first.

  114. Andy Craig,

    You obviously haven’t read the comment threads for Randy Balko’s articles…

  115. Would it have been okay, Elemonope, if a crazed mob did the same thing to Obama’s headquarters?

    All you’d call for is for them pay for the glass? Really?

    Is this like, really, too abstract for everyone?

    Come on, now, follow along.

    Dude has rights. Another dude infringes upon first dude’s rights. First dude can then choose to either ignore or enforce a claim on second dude.

    Everyone makes that choice differently, and for different reasons. An ornery sonbitch would undoubtedly shoot kids on his lawn with salt-shot. A laid-back dude would invite the kids in for a lemonade. I imagine (call me crazy) that there is an amazingly generous spectrum of possible actions between the two.

    Would I be OK if crazed mobsters smashed Obama’s Campaign Headquarters windows? I’d say rather that my feelings on the matter would be quite beside the point. You’d have to ask Obama (and his campaign) that question. My only point was that the way in which people habitually respond to such infringements tells you a great deal about the person, and that also those reactions (in the aggregate) are a large if not the largest determinant in how nice or shitty the world is to live in.

    A few people lack acquaintance with a principle called “proportionality”. It is these people in particular that I was criticizing in passing. It’s a not uncommon disease, and it’s fucking rampant around here. Everyone wants to be “Property Man” the superhero, and utterly exclude the notion that there are other important things in this world.

  116. What Radley Balko writes about is usually enraging enough to bring out the bomb-throwing anarchist in me, too.

  117. MikeP-

    Of course, you are right. I hope that you don’t mistake my original post to Andy Craig as some kind of support for the philosophical raison d’etre of most of the protesters-I mean I am taking for granted, for argument’s sake, that a high percentage of them are pinko leaning, (as someone earlier stated) wanting free health care and a big, bad gvt. to impose green living on the big, bad, evil corporations.

    I am an unabashed individualist. I prefer not to commune with commies.

  118. I chose the French and Russian revolutions because they represent successful uprootings of previously existing governments.

    But a libertarian anarchist would not consider an uprooting of a previously existing government that produced a less libertarian society successful. Their goal is a libertarian society, not the end of the state.

    what was the relationship like between Revolutionaries and those who thought taxation without representation was unjust but didn’t think it warranted a break with the UK? That’s the analogue of the minarchist/anarchist relationship in our day.

    Except for the fact that the revolution versus reform debate was being decided and acted upon right then. It will take decades of libertarian evolution before society is in any shape to get rid of the state.

    Also, I would point out that there wasn’t the bloodbath after the American Revolution that you saw after the French or Russian. The two groups you bring up were more alike than different — like libertarian anarchists and minarchists.

  119. Indeed, a successful libertarian anarchist would almost certainly be revolutionary, because the most likely path from here to anarchy sure doesn’t go through minarchy first.

    Oh, but they believe it does. I should also point out that, since you obviously don’t know much about them, you probably don’t know what they almost certainly would be.

    I suggest you read up on libertarian anarchism. A good intro is David Friedman’s The Machinery of Freedom.

  120. Elemenope-9:03

    Your best post, ever. Well, the best I have read. I confess, I have been that “Property Man” myself.

    As for proportionality, I submit that there is a difference between this rabble breaking Cato’s glass and police and DEA breaking into a home because they have received a “tip” from a “reliable” informant that there might be some MJ only to find no dope after they have caused thousands of dollars in damage and have pointed a gun to the heads of the home’s occupants.

  121. The problem with NAFTA is that it didn’t go far enough. Yes it’s protectionist, but not nearly as protectionist as its predecessor. We used to have a turd sandwich for a trade policy, now we have a PBJ that smells funky. It ain’t perfect, but I know what I would rather eat.

    Instead of kvetching about how horrible NAFTA is, all the Ron Paul supporters should be proclaiming that it was a successful experiment to prove we can get rid of ALL trade restrictions.

  122. Did the Cato protesters kill anybody? Did they bulldoze entire villages and rape women and children while they were at it?

    No, but that one hippie did say he wanted us all to be living in teepees. Just because he hasn’t thought through what it would take to get me to live in a teepee, doesn’t mean that I haven’t. Even the Palestinians don’t have to live in f’in teepees!

    Do the protesters have other lobbying/pressure/advocacy groups seeking in their behalf, laws that would criminalize those who criticized them?

    Listen, the hippie is either at your throat or at your feet. The SDS doesn’t give a damn about the rights of the rest of us to go about our business if it’s something they disapprove of. (like capitalism)

  123. Gilmore-

    “officially anarchic large scale”? You jest, da?

  124. libertymike —

    y, ty. Incidentally, my S.O. thinks I’m Property Man Incarnate. When we were arguing last I said that taxation was an act of violence by the state and she looked at me like I had turned fuchsia. Then again, she actually *is* one of ’em durned lib’rels.

    The notion that if you don’t pay your taxes men with guns appear to take you away didn’t find purchase, for some reason.

    I am an unabashed individualist. I prefer not to commune with commies.

    I, too, am an unabashed individualist, but I sometimes hang with the commies because, ironically, they often have the best products available. (Tie-dyed shirts and really good weed…)

  125. Would I be OK if crazed mobsters smashed Obama’s Campaign Headquarters windows? I’d say rather that my feelings on the matter would be quite beside the point. You’d have to ask Obama (and his campaign) that question.

    So, if I break into someone’s house, beat them up, and steal all their stuff, but they choose not to press charges, then no one should opine that what I did was wrong?

    I would say that’s moral relativism, but it’s not even that sensible. It’s more like what you’d find floating in the toilet a few hours after you ate a moral relativism sandwich.

  126. SuperMIke-

    Again, the protesters ain’t my cup of tea party. Speaking of which…..

  127. libertymike | July 31, 2008, 9:21pm | #

    Gilmore-

    “officially anarchic large scale”? You jest, da?

    Either you’re insinuating the soviets are your example, or trying to avoid saying you dont actually have one?

  128. MikeP,

    I’ve read MoF, but I have no illusions that Friedman or his ilk are anything but utter failures when it comes to advancing their philosophy. That goes for Spooner as well.

    Marx had very specific ideas about how a Marxist society would come about, but it was through a completely different sequence of events that it actually did happen.

  129. libertymike reminds me of the my time volunteering at a mental hospital during my religious phase. The schizophrenics would say the most wacky, off the wall shit and if you tried to reason with them they would say you were stupid and just didn’t understand anything.

    In particular, he reminds me of the guy who always carried a frisbee everywhere he went in the hospital, and would hold onto it for dear life if you ever tried to take it away, but then every once in a while would throw it at you for no reason. Good times.

  130. As far as the property-man proportionality thing. I think it might be unwise to dismiss the salt-shot thing as crazy or uncool. Why should a bunch of (admittedly skinny) toughs be allowed to bust up what is basically a font of ideas?

    Apparently the New York Times had a gatling gun on the roof at one point to prevent a bunch of toughs from busting it up.

    I think the Obama campaign analogy is a pretty good one: If Obama’s ideological opponents busted up his office, there’d be fully-justified outrage. If you try to intimidate libertarians or right-wingers, everybody foolishly dismisses it as a robin-hood thing.

  131. So, if I break into someone’s house, beat them up, and steal all their stuff, but they choose not to press charges, then no one should opine that what I did was wrong?

    Of course people should opine! Minding other people’s business is what keeps the whole of human society humming along, if you will allow the tautology.

    I was drawing a fuzzy line between people who drop a glass, break it and say “ah well, I’ll have to get another glass” and those who say “JESUS MOTHERFUCKING HELLA CHRIST ON A CRACKER THE WORLD’S COMING TO A MOTHERFUCKING END!”. One of those guys, I would *opine*, has attachment issues with that glass.

    If instead of breaking it their own stupid and/or clumsy selves the agent of destruction was another person, it changes little about the actual destruction involved. In a fit of pique one may berate the friend or stranger who knocked over your cup, but unless the cup has *special sentimental value* (e.g. caught the blood of Christ Hisownself and was borne to it’s present owner upon the notes of an Elvis ballad), at the end of the day it’s just a cup.

    The question then becomes, is it worth it to you, to the other person, and to society in general to make a thing out of the “cup situation”. It’s a moral question; has very little to do with politics or rights. How much does the cup mean to you?

    Likewise, CATO, or Cato, or whatever capitalization is preferred, is a non-profit with resources such that a front window to them is analogous to a juice glass to you; perhaps a little more, perhaps a little less. Now, the question for C[ATO]ato becomes whether other things are more important than the property interest. They have to weigh things like, for example, free publicity generated by the incident, and the character that the publicity will take depending upon their reaction.

    p.s. I am very *not* a relativist.

    p.p.s. Relatively speaking, of course.

  132. Hell, forget about whether Cato’s property rights were violated. The window smashing is physical intimidation — that’s a much more visceral and direct violation of one’s rights.

  133. Elemenope-

    On the tax issue, you may recall last week that I made the statement that if the magical Libertarian leprechaun appeared before me and granted me one liberty wish, I would choose to abolish the income tax. IMO, ending the income tax is far more important than ballot access, affirmative action, ending the drug war, etc. I know that you understand that because I think that starving the beast should have a higher priority than say, ending don’t ask/don’t tell (that was the thread) does not mean that I must “hate” homosexuals.

    Speaking of communing with commies, one of my army buddies used to love to chant the following:

    If I die at the Russian front,
    I’m gonna die with a commie….

  134. The schizophrenics would say the most wacky, off the wall shit and if you tried to reason with them they would say you were stupid and just didn’t understand anything.

    Yes. My brother’s been severely schizophrenic for years, and there is a resemblance to the M.O. of many true-believers

  135. NAFTA is protectionism like light beer is alcoholism.

  136. If instead of breaking it their own stupid and/or clumsy selves the agent of destruction was another person, it changes little about the actual destruction involved.

    That’s sort of missing the point! It’s not the broken glass, it’s the intimidation. (as the other Mike pointed out) That’s like saying that it’d be the same if:

    1. You hit a deer, smashing up the front and windshield of your new Corvette.

    2. Walter Sobcheck uses a crowbar to smash it up while screaming about how it’s you getting your just desserts.

    I guess in sort of a Buddhist way, it is the same, but it’s not morally or legally the same.

  137. In particular, he reminds me of the guy who always carried a frisbee everywhere he went in the hospital, and would hold onto it for dear life if you ever tried to take it away, but then every once in a while would throw it at you for no reason.

    It’s actually quite rational, he was simply exercising his right to keep and bear arms.

  138. Gilmore-

    The Soviets? Come on. The USSR was the poster boy of state brutality and mass murder.

    Do you think that humanity is better served by more or less government? Do you attribute all of humanity’s great achievements to the existence of the state? I ask because I do not want to assume that I know your position. For me, history has proven that (1) the existence of a warfare/welfare state with a monopoly on the administration of justice is not a prerequisite to a healthy, prosperous state of affairs and (2) humanity’s greatest progress has taken place in spite of the state.

  139. I guess in sort of a Buddhist way, it is the same…

    Now you are speaking my language!

    And Walter Sobchak is Exhibit A of my point. He was in high dudgeon and about what? Money that didn’t even really exist. In the process of “teaching” Little Larry what happens when you sodomize strangers impolitely, he fucked himself in the ass, because his (morally sanctioned) wrath had an all-too-human kink in its execution: he erred in his target.

    If the Dude had decided that the rug really wasn’t that important, and that he could find an equivalent one with room-tying properties of sufficient potency, Donnie would undoubtedly still be alive. Was the rug worth Donnie? And that case even had intimidation and assault!

  140. Well, i’ll say this much, libertymike definitely isn’t taking his positions out of any self-interest. The federal govt doesn’t take income tax out of mental disability payments.

    SuperMike @ 9:54

    exactly. Heck, if I’m sitting at a bus stop drinking a bottle of soda, and some creep comes over, grabs it out of my hand and dumps it on the ground in front of me, I’m gonna brawl, and not because I’m attached to sugar water.

  141. Gilmore-

    Take the difference between the protesters who broke Cato’s glass and the police who committ thousands of dollars of damage while breaking into the home of those who are believed to have pot on the premises and pointing guns at the occupants. What taxes civilization more? What retards civilization more? What continues to pose a much freater threat to our safety?

    In reality, when the state has a monopoly on the administration of justice, you get much closer to “anarchy” than students “taking” over campus buildings or the rabble that broke Cato’s glass.

  142. It’s interesting, Elemonope, that — according to you — Obama should get to decide if it were his windows when you decided for Cato that it was no big deal when it was theirs.

  143. Occam-

    How about if its a cop? Do you have the stones to teach the parasite a lesson?

  144. Mike, why is it either or? Why can’t we rebuke both?

  145. Occam-

    As for my second amendment advocacy, I am acting out of self interest as I have always regarded its language as admitting of no exceptions-even for mental disability patients.

  146. libertymike,

    Unfortunately, here in the U.S., the police are well-armed. No matter how crooked they are, it’s very difficult to engage them in a physical altercation without running the risk of a very serious escalation. Chances that they’d show up at any sort of public transit facility are vanishingly slim, though.

  147. Colin-

    Its not either or. You read things that aren’t there. But, one is much worse than the other by definition. Its always worse when its done under the color of law-with all of the guns and intimidation, etc.

  148. Colin-

    The thief that accosts you and demands your wallet is not as bad as the state demanding half your paycheck at the point of a gun.

    The former does not justify his theft on the basis of some socialist do gooder totalitarian clap trap whereas the latter does.

  149. Colin —

    Either you are being willfully distortionary, or you are simply a very careless reader.

    Even. Simpler.

    1. It is Cato’s opinion that matters as to what Cato should do in response an attack on its property.

    1b. Cato’s choice reflects something about Cato.

    2. If Obama’s campaign headquarters were analogously attacked, it would likewise be Obama and his Team’s opinion that is dispositive.

    2b. If Obama’s Campaign were to make a choice following such an incident, that choice would undoubtedly also reflect upon the deeper character of Obama’s Campaign.

    *I* at no time *decided* for Cato that it’s woes were no big deal. What I simply pointed out that objectively the property loss at issue would by measurable but minute to its owner, and that that proportion should inform how the reaction is to be understood. You know, *Marginal Value* and *Marginal Cost*. Important concepts, I think. My opinion does not matter in the long run to Cato, which will make whatever decision it wills. It does, however, inform my opinion about Cato, my opinions about protesters, and dozens of other things to a lesser extent.

    I shared those opinions because this is a *message board* upon which such things are discussed.

    Have you caught on YET?

  150. Why didn’t anything like this happen when I was an intern there? Damn! The intern room is one step from the lobby and I’m sure we would have been able to push them out, or at least contain them until the Cato Running Dogs reinforcement made it down from the upper floors 😉

  151. Mike, why is it either or? Why can’t we rebuke both?

    Colin, I’m trying to figure out if your question was for me. You may not realize what it’s like having an extremely common name like Mike, but it means, for example, that it’s completely useless to use your real name when ordering food in a restaurant.

  152. Anyways, in case you were asking me. Equally rebuke property right infringement AND physical intimidation all you like. The former may lead you into a lengthy discussion like the one on this thread, because property rights are an abstract, invented idea. The latter will get you agreement from all but the most uncivilized brutes; the idea that being bullied is a bad thing is something most folks get on a basic emotional level.

  153. I was talking to libertymike. Sorry for the confusion.

  154. Wait, just wait a minute. Is this the same libertymike who, when first joining this forum, had the “FREEDOM!” rhetoric cranked up so loud that my ears would bleed? Whose posts almost read as a parody of libertarians?

    Neato.

  155. Elemenope, perhaps you should re-read everything you wrote. Perhaps you are a careless writer.

    Because you were clearly expressing the view earlier on that this was no big deal, and that everyone was way too upset about their “stuff,” as you eloquently put it.

    By the way, proportionality is when someone else’s “stuff” is destroyed.

    Caught on YET?

  156. Good lord this thread is hard to follow. I’m not even sure what’s being debated if anything. I say “screw commies, go cato” to add my 2 cents.

  157. Matt Welch is officially a daddy!

    http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/2008/07/these-two-kids-are-now-parents.htm

    He’ll surely give up all of those crazy libertarian ideas now.

  158. “The thief that accosts you and demands your wallet is not as bad as the state demanding half your paycheck at the point of a gun.”

    I see them as the same. The reason they steal from me is irrelevant.

  159. I don’t know if he’ll give up all libertarian ideas, but something tells me he won’t get too upset over free public education. 🙂

  160. Colin,

    Arrest them. Fine them. Laugh at them for the idiot ideas. Move on.

    Not a big deal.

    A big deal is when they firebomb the building and three people die.

    Describing a trivial incident as a “blatantly unjustified violation of property rights” (this quote being the root of the whole debate on this thread) is an example of unjustifiable excess rhetoric. Why is that so hard to accept?

    Call them “stupid hooligans” and move on to a debate about their stupid ideas. Dwelling on their trivial act of vandalism is pointless.

  161. You mean Bureaucrash wasn’t there to “turn it around” on ’em? Damn!!!

  162. Because you were clearly expressing the view earlier on that this was no big deal, and that everyone was way too upset about their “stuff,” as you eloquently put it.

    By the way, proportionality is when someone else’s “stuff” is destroyed.

    Caught on YET?

    You have a hard time distinguishing between that which is my opinion and that which you believe that I believe ought to be be the universal truth.

    That seems to be an incurable problem.

    If you read, heck, not even that carefully, I came in with an *opinion*: i.e. generally speaking, people are way too uptight about their ownership stake in material objects. Then I followed up with an analogy of relative worth, namely:

    dude : juice glass :: CATO : window

    Which I indicated that believed was more or less accurate. I could be wrong about that. It’s just *my opinion*.

    I also indicated that my opinions and beliefs in such a matter should *not* be dispositive or influential…that the only opinion that really mattered was the aggrieved party. I said that a few times, in fact.

    And yet you still insist that I’m trying to make decisions or implying I ought to make or believe that I should make such decisions for others.

    You act as if to believe in freedom one must shed all of one’s own beliefs and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD never express a personal opinion about a private matter.

    In my opinion, that’s fucking stupid.

    p.s. It’s not like I’ve never been a victim of property crime. And, yeah, I was about as chill about that (and my stuff) as I am being accused of wanting to be with other people’s stuff. Believe it, if you wish, or not.

  163. My point hasn’t been that this was such a horrible incident, but the double standards applied.

    My first post here was laughing it off as well.

  164. Colin,

    Ranking a violation of liberty as trivial is not an act of finding the violation wholly unworthy of a reprimand of some sort. It’s simply an act of prioritization.

    I don’t see either LMNOP or libertymike claiming that society should turn a blind eye to trivial violations.

    Now, if I’ve read you wrong, and you’re claiming that a double standard is being applied because the actor involved in the trivial violation was a non-state actor, that’s a different debate. And in that debate, I think the double standard is worthy. State actors who participate in trivial rights violations are more likely to get away with it, because they are actors of the State. Thus, their violations are more worthy of scrutiny.

  165. I was claiming that a double standard was applied because of the victim, someone who’s not well liked across the political spectrum, including many libertarians.

  166. LM, LMNOP,

    I’ll godwin myself:

    Imagine if instead of just one place, these goons got together and smashed the windows of all of the folks they didn’t like — all in one night. Now what would we call that? Hmmm. Maybe the Germans have a good word for it, they seem to have one for everything, you sitzpinklers.

  167. Colin-

    We just beg to differ on the two thieves. I submit that there is a profound moral difference. The state actor who steals need not fear resistance from his victim nor need he fear any third party coming to the rescue of his victim.

    Do you not see the hypocrisy element? Does that not matter to you?

  168. I think people know of SDS.

    They know they crossed Cato.

    Now they must know what happens after that. They must know that business is still running.

  169. I see neither a profound moral difference nor any hypocrisy. All I see is I’ve been robbed either way.

    You should worry far more that most people don’t see state theft as theft at all.

  170. It’s a late comment, but allow me to comment on the main topic instead of whatever the fuck the thread seems to have turned into.

    SDS= filthy retarded hippies, a parody of themselves. Definitely not how one would expect such a group to behave, right?

    Anyway, Cato has done some good things in the past, but how is Interstate 69, specifically that Texas Corridor Highway part of it, anywhere near a legitimate function of government that libertarians would support. As I understand, that is the thing Ron Paul referred to as the NAFTA super highway, which is a real proposal in the works. Eminent domain and misuse of tax money are some of these two organizations’ key issues, yet they defend a project of such a rediculous scope.

    NAFTA is no where near free trade. Free trade ought to be an unwritten rule. We don’t even have domestic free trade.

    I remember that article a few months back that was a circle jerk praising of the Texas highway.

    Drink. Motherfuckers.

  171. Many of the comments were libertarian. If they were SDS members, Id say SDS has attracted much smarter folks then they did 40 some years ago.

  172. Sort of off-topic, but this was more than a bit creepy, even for Manitoba:

    Witnesses: Canada bus passenger beheads seat mate

  173. On another thread, the brilliant new sockpuppet “Colonel_Angus” says to me Once again ThemWetbacks are the most god damn important thing to be worrying about.

    On this thread, “socks” (as I’ll call the new addition) says the NAFTASuperhighway is a real proposal and doesn’t like it.

    From the second comment, one might think “socks” would be able to figure out why I discuss both topics and why I realize they’re connected. Obviously, “socks” doesn’t have enough gray matter to do that.

  174. …but breaking the windows will help the economy.

    They were just looking for some economic ‘stimulus’.

  175. This thread had much promise.
    But it fell woefully short of expectations.

  176. I remember when I lived at GW near the World Bank. Anti-globalization protestors trashed the neighborhood, including the university. They just like overturning garbage cans and spray painting. They aren’t too particular about their targets.

  177. I’m talking about the end of all life as we know it. For the past several days I’ve been… noticing a steep rise in the number of hippies coming to town.

    At first I thought maybe it was just a coincidence. Then I saw this… Three new drum circles have sprouted up here, here, and here. They’re all growing in diameter, at a rate of two hippies per hour. What this means… is that the hippies are conglomerating. They’er thriving, if you will. I think that they’re setting up for a… . hippie music festival.

  178. I am sorry you missed the fact that there has been a break in the story of the anthrax conspiracy.

  179. Hippies hate death metal. Hippies hate Slayer.

  180. I’m completely baffled as to why any libertarian would have a problem with beefing up the highway system to facilitate more trade.

  181. The SDS is still around?

    Yea, just check with the Obama family of Chicago.

  182. R C Dean | August 1, 2008, 9:45am | #

    I’m completely baffled as to why any libertarian would have a problem with beefing up the highway system to facilitate more trade.

    Ya that used to be my view, but when I saw that even mentioning that the highway was being beefed up and their were lots of documents from quasi-governemntal think tanks talking about it in the context of Regionalization, The SPP and the North American Union made the MSM and high ranking politicians of both parties march in lockstep to chants of “conspiracy theory” I began to question what the hell they were trying to hide.

    Knowing that these people actually despise free trade(given their history of regulating and taxing trade at every possible opportunity). I began to see that I should be against pretty much anything certain people are for…if there is more demand for michigan products in canada then somebody will invest the appropriate amount of capital to build better transport facilities…we don’t need the feds getting involved…just stay out of the way.

  183. In the article about the protest posted on indymedia, there’s this brilliant gem of a comment:

    “….I am so sad that I had to miss this…f***ing summer school”

  184. if there is more demand for michigan products in canada then somebody will invest the appropriate amount of capital to build better transport facilities…we don’t need the feds getting involved

    Well, serious transport infrastructure is pretty much impossible to build without the feds. And why on earth would anyone invest tens or hundreds of billions of their own money in a new interstate highway system, when we’ve got a perfectly good one already sitting there, just needing some upgrades?

  185. R C Dean ….”serious transport infrastructure is pretty much impossible to build without the feds”

    you fail. I work with private companies everyday planning for and building serious, multi-billion dollar transportation infrastructure. Natural gas pipelines, LNG liquifaction plants, re-gas facilities all over the world, super tankers etc.

    This is living proof that serious transport infrastructure does not have be done by the government. It also proves you are ignorant on the topic.

    Your willful ignorance on the topic makes it pointless to even try and explain the theoretical reasons that existing government corporate welfare for serious transport is unneccessary.

  186. now take back your communist remarks RC Dean…admit that corporate welfare is not the only way to get serious transportation done.

  187. I can understand a ignorant SOB like yourself not knowing about billion dollar gas pipeline projects getting built with capital from private bond and equity issuances….however when your on hear proclaiming that corporate welfare on transport is THE ONLY POSSIBLE WAY to get things from point A to B efficiently and anyone who says differently is not a libertarian or is a xenophobe or a conspiracy nut….it it it is just maddening.

  188. Gabe,

    I suspect the as yet unstated point is that Michigan to Canada crosses an international border. Which really should not stop a private concern from building a road, of course, but the feds have pretty much locked up that segment of infrastructure construction.

    I agree with you that private concerns should take the lead, but we are temporarily (I hope) stuck with the Feds and States owning most of the roads.

  189. Gabe, when you respond to your own posts repeatedly and continually attack a person simply because he disagrees with you, it pretty much ends the conversation.

    And gets you added to my kill file!

  190. Someone has a kill file besides me?

    Refreshing.

  191. I work with private companies everyday planning for and building serious, multi-billion dollar transportation infrastructure. Natural gas pipelines, LNG liquifaction plants, re-gas facilities all over the world, super tankers etc.

    Good point, Gabe. Got it the first time. I should have been more specific, and said “serious surface transportation infrastructure.” I mean, we are talking about roads, here.

    My question about how realistic it is for any private entity to build a parallel interstate highway network stands.

  192. Oh, and Gabe, I’m sure you’re aware that cross-country pipelines rely on eminent domain for some of their easement acquisitions. So you can get off your high horse even for the kinds of projects you have worked on – the pipelines, at least, are built using the powers of the state.

  193. Guy and Marcvs can go fuck themselves…if only so I can get on their kill lists.

  194. Anyway, Cato has done some good things in the past, but how is Interstate 69, specifically that Texas Corridor Highway part of it, anywhere near a legitimate function of government that libertarians would support.

    I’m still not clear on what Cato is doing for the I-69 project. Are they performing surveying? Offering their legal teams to help with eminent domain takings? Suggesting what formulation of macadam to use?

    Or do they simply believe that trade policies that are more free are better than those that are less free? The horror.

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