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 1 
 on: June 21, 2009, 09:25:02 PM 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by Phoenix
http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2009/06/20/videos-demontrators-shot-in-tehran-streets/

 2 
 on: June 07, 2009, 09:41:33 PM 
Started by Delta - Last post by Phoenix
Any discussion of a Promethean military on my part presupposes a Promethean society, or proto-Promethean society initiative, somewhere in the world, to defend. In which case the principle threat and resistance would seem to be statists whose States have not yet crumbled.

Of course, a Promethean military is a possibility for one proto-PS institution which allows a Promethean society to coalesce, along with other replacement institutions for the State. But the idea of a Promethean military existing by itself doesn't make sense.

 3 
 on: June 07, 2009, 09:36:54 PM 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by Phoenix
Not sure what you're asking here.

Austrian school economics is actually "objective" in that it recognizes that everyone has their subjective interests, desires and values, including the acting agents within any government. Any acting agent. It's subjectivist in that sense, so it involves a subjective theory of value, money, time preference as well.

 4 
 on: June 02, 2009, 06:37:48 AM 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by sabocat
It looks like economics is more exacting than one things, in that it demands the most objective perspective possible.  What would you say this is?

 5 
 on: June 02, 2009, 06:33:24 AM 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by sabocat
I've been hearing stuff exactly like this since... there was a Soviet Union.  Obviously, the people who run this system know all about this.

Reagan and his people talked about this kind of thing all the time.

Why don't they practice it?

What makes them think it will work when it didn't work for the Soviet Union?  Could they be doing it in order to inflict damage on the economy or for some sort of black ops reason?  Sorry to grasp at straws, but all of this seems to be old hat for these guys...

 6 
 on: June 02, 2009, 04:06:15 AM 
Started by Delta - Last post by sabocat
One of the questions is:  assuming there is a threat that would necessitate the creation of a Promethean military - presumably here in North America, since the philosophy originates here - what would it have to face?  Ultra-statist Chinese?  Would it go after the bastards in Myanmar and instate the incarcerated democratic leader?  Would it undermine the Iranian Revolutionary guard?

If not these somewhat idealistic but admittedly adventuristic aims, what threats would prove aggressive toward the Promethean entity/military?

 7 
 on: June 02, 2009, 04:02:39 AM 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by sabocat
I think, frankly, that the only grand motivator will be a collapse, the right series of wrong moves by the State, or some other threat, created or long-coming.  Hate groups coming together, Chinese threat, cabal-inspired tyrannical camps here in America, Alex-Jones-type stuff, whatever.

People are going to need a light under their ass, and that may even be the case with people who have their eyes open.

 8 
 on: May 22, 2009, 01:48:51 AM 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by Phoenix
All my best tactical ideas require a whole lot more people who want to participate than seems to be the case. The next best option seems to be focusing entirely on refining the quality of our understanding of relevant problems, and spreading that understanding around. Awareness and education, in other words, for those who want to learn—first of all, oneself. It would be nice to be more participatory as well, but you simply can't do so without something and somebody to work with. As far as I've observed, willingness to take action of enough people can only be found on very specific issues. For example, libertarians and specific liberties. So, you can cooperate on those issues, even with people who otherwise are of a radically different view. I do that. Yet, not a whole lot of people are willing to sit down and work on the serious and specific business of uprooting the whole statist system, even if they agree it's rotten. Way too many are willing to be distracted by less important issues and fail to build momentum to knock down those pillars; still others are basically afraid of change, even one they want, too afraid to make the changes in their own life to actually mobilize to affect it.

The really unfortunate thing is the absence of support for action on a holistic basis. And you don't solve the real problems without the ability to work with others who understand the need for a new paradigm, what sort of paradigm, and why. (Take those libertarians again, a minority anyway—unfortunately the vast majority of libertarianism is not a robust alternative model, but an objection to or series of critiques of statism, to varying degrees, and that's really the only uniting factor among them. I suspect an deserving alternative simply must go beyond politics as some kind of special realm aside from other personal, social, cultural, scientific and spiritual questions, i.e. it must embrace human philosophy as a whole project, in order to escape the narrowness of psychology in evidence in political philosophy.) As far as the basic  paradigm goes, I feel like everything I can practically do now is in the realm of developing understanding and education. It's time consuming and difficult, and I wish I could do more, but honestly I have no idea what else I can do.

 9 
 on: May 22, 2009, 01:14:20 AM 
Started by Delta - Last post by Phoenix
The most basic guiding insight I made reference to in the post above is that security cannot be treated as a singular exception to expectations about institutions in civil society, such as sovereign individual freedoms of expression, association and contract, respect for life and property, and furthermore the hard-won recognition by humanist economists and other social thinkers that making pacts of exclusive monopoly, and corresponding abrogation or violation of individual freedoms, is in no sense a desirable or necessary policy, and does not become so in any realm, no matter how privileged or traditional, or subject to excuses.* Such exception-making is a very grave error which has justified the State, essentially a massive, jealous monopoly on the "legitimate" force industry and all that can be obtained upon that privilege, and which has exhorted civilization to put up with its depredations for thousands of years. In fact, it is an error responsible for the State as a supposed "institution" of civilization rather than the pure recognition of its true reason for being, i.e. respectable exploitation that at best takes a longer-term and more systematic view of factional enrichment compared to unbridled rapacity. It is also an error which distracts from the State's psychological appeals to fear, baseless collective pride, paranoia, vain hopes, anxiety, vaunting, the resignment of responsibility, the illusion of micromanaged control over both daily inconveniences and dangers, and paradoxically, the thrill of mass surrender to Todestrieb (the death drive) which appears quite mad in retrospect.

(For the clearest possible demonstration of what I mean by applying death drive to a mass-scale, watch the 1982 documentary "The Atomic Cafe." For a more recent example, there was also a sense of apocalyptic wonder among many different people across the statist spectrum during the early days of the Bush TWAT after 9-11.)

In short, exception-making for the gargantuan collective-security industry leads to an institutionalized shortage of exactly that security which is sought, while danger is commodified to the advantage of those who profit themselves through their various attachments to the system, to the terrible disadvantage of the rest.

With all that understood, we arrive at questions of specifics with a much firmer foundation. We ought to understand that incorporating the principles of voluntarism, individualism, and other proven values of civilization will not only improve the influence of security workers (soldiers, police, etc.) among society and as part of society (rather than eroding or destroying civilization through militarism, collectivism, and barbarism), but also contribute to the effectiveness of security workers and their organizations at their stated purpose, i.e. making people more secure, though not the unstated goal of the State, to gain from power. Confusion, or deliberate confusion of the goal of effective security and goals of factions under State power has been the problem. These are not the same thing at all.

What this leads us to is a list of specifications which sounds radical but makes more and more sense the more you courageously explore what it would look like. For example, minimizing collectivism requires a different, individualistic model to replace military hierarchy and units, which I see as a form of coherence or cohesion around leaders. A useful analogy is the way that sailors would sign on with captains with a proven track record, or fail to sign on based on a flagging reputation. Likewise, if soldiers were individually free to follow leaders (or not), that would put an effective break on the incompetence, unreliability and brutality which has plagued so many institutional officer corps. It's really nothing we shouldn't expect and demand; if people who worked at any company in the world were not free to quit from under a boss, we would expect that company to go horribly wrong, and we wouldn't stand for it—not to mention that the "company" in question MUST be patronized by the public for their security needs, no consumer choice whatsoever. There's some exceptionalist hocus-pocus in our inculcated attitudes; if the US Army were just another security firm, like "Blackwater USA" (now Xe) which is basically a corporate extension of the State, it would become obvious that no one should stand for its way of doing business without freedom of choice for employees or customers. But people don't regard it as falling under wider analysis. Meanwhile, many allow themselves to criticize the very existence of Blackwater, which at least pretends to be a private company, and doesn't enslave its employees.

The ability to refuse to obey is also an important check on orders which may be egregious, or on war plans which may be aggressive. In fact, Promethean soldiers shouldn't show up at all, if a self-styled commander decided to make excuses for aggressive actions. They should respond by signing on to someone more responsible. The burden to earn trust, and to justify any seemingly extraordinary action should be put on those who wish to lead, and initiate. In contrast, the current monopolistic State system all rides on a hair trigger, in the hands of whomever holds power. The military at large is not supposed to ask questions, it is expected to obey, no matter what they're told to do, no matter how aggressive, no matter how needless or destructive. Soldiers would be perfectly willing to fight for defense, and I think other members of society would be eager to invest in prudent defense by supporting them. It's aggression and control that require the State system of hierarchy and collectivism. We should have been asking ourselves why soldiers should need to be induced (forced or bribed) to march off to war against their will, all this time. That was a sign of the basic corruption of the type of system of military organization in a State. It's clearly not sensible that anyone should inherit a vast machinery of war compelled to obey, simply because of a number of votes they receive! Warmongering in a civilized society should cause support to melt away, as should disastrous boondoggles, corruption, and unnecessary violence. That is, of course, why statist soldiers are basically glorified janissaries who are not allowed to quit without permission, much less object if they're ordered to slaughter innocents, and no amount of pretense of a "volunteer" army will change that.

Other points to explore include unit articulation, decentralization, fluidity of doctrine, market logistics, individualistic initiative, infiltration tactics, professionalism, militias, and strategic means and ends in accord with Prometheanism.

There's certainly a book in this, or a whole lot of them. Not surprisingly I have been collecting notes (e.g. for the expansions of Fighting Future War series) from time to time with an eye to that. I wish I had more time at present to flesh more of it out, because I really think it's fertile and largely untrodden ground and very critical to explore. There's actually a modest inclusion of some organizational points in my novel, in the meantime.



* The passionate Belgian economist Gustave de Molinari deserves special mention for being the first economist to make a breakthrough of consistency, pointing out that a "defense" monopoly should be examined under the same economic logic as any other; namely, that it is likely to yield an inferior product for a greater cost, as a consequence of curtailing choice, incentive, initiative and competition. At the time, this theoretical arrow pointing towards market anarchism was rejected even by Bastiat, otherwise an eloquent and passionate example of a classical liberal, only to be taken up later by Rothbardians among the Austrian school economists.

 10 
 on: May 19, 2009, 08:21:16 AM 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by sabocat
In my time in the Wobblies, I was made to see that the State has to go more or less all at once.  The idea was to get everyone to simply stop working, buying, participating, via a 'general strike' until the State became irrelevant and shrivelled up.

Since the State has enough people fearful and dependent and unwilling to participate in such a thing, we must make an incisive, permanently-damaging move without the help of the masses.  Clearly, as you show, we can't wait for everybody, or, really, for anybody.  The time just isn't there, and they've shown historically that they're simply never coming.

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