Libertarian and mainstream circles alike have been buzzing incessantly about an unclaimed, teardrop shaped parcel of land between Croatia and Serbia called Siga. Czech politician Vít Jedlička calls it Liberland, and has the flag to prove it. The media reaction has been the usual cabinet-of-curiosities approach it applies to anything whacky a political outsider does in his spare time. If you’re the kind of person who has his middle name on Facebook set to “Voluntaryist”, you’re probably hyped about this. I mean, they put Murray Rothbard’s face on the money, for crying out loud. And I don’t blame you; Liberland has received (and this estimate is theirs) millions of citizenship requests, many from places like Saudi Arabia, one nation among many in dire need of a regime change.
On what can we blame the sudden rise to popularity of social justice? If I’m judging the political leanings of this site’s dozen of readers correctly, you probably spend some time complaining about the loud, the offended, and the vitriolic subculture we call social justice warriors; I’m guilty of the same. But can we explain its appropriation by the mainstream from a completely neutral, etic point of view? Probably not: My distaste for the culture is likely too ingrained in my head for me to study it in a way that doesn’t paint it as malicious. That being said, I will damn well try.
There you go, stock photos of angry women. Now relax and keep reading.
Many people on the capital-R Right talk about the Frankfurt School, and indeed it would be foolish of me to not reference the interplay between bourgeois academia and their ironic endorsement of Marxist cultural analysis in a discussion of social justice. But high-minded and cushy philosophical and social theories seldom permeate popular culture except indirectly. The average person has not heard of Gramsci or Horkheimer or whoever else you want to namedrop, and indeed the archetypal “SJW” encountered online is either not a leftist, or is simply bad at being one. Critical theory is, in theory, critical of how “””capitalist””” institutions affect culture, and as a die-hard capitalist, I must say that corporate media, and the PR and marketing wings of many a large business, has had a field day with social justice, to which it poses no threat. Continue reading
My personal interest in politics and government policy was kick-started several years ago after learning about how the minimum wage prices low-skilled and new entrants out of the work force. After 3 years and several hundred résumé applications, it was clear to me that there simply were not enough jobs available for all the people seeking employment. While there are a constellation of factors affecting job availability in any given location, it is fair to say the minimum wage plays a very significant role in restricting the amount of employees a business can afford and therefore chooses to hire.
It has now been over a decade since libertarian Santa Claus, Walter Block, published the essay, “Toward A Libertarian Theory Of Inalienability: A Critique of Rothbard, Barnett, Smith, Gordon, Kinsella, and Epstein”. In this work, he critiqued standard Lockean notions of inalienable rights such that the Founding Fathers of our glorious American empire only paid lip service to in adopting the Constitution; a document giving them the authority to alienate the hell out of those rights. Unlike Locke and Rothbard (may peace be upon him), the good professor Block believes that the right to the self is, in fact, alienable, in the sense that ownership of the self can be voluntarily traded away. This is said to carry the very controversial implication of permissiveness toward what has been called “voluntary slavery”.
The idea of voluntary slavery is not novel; in fact, it’s a crucial part of much of leftist folklore- the indefinite subjugation of an individual based on the exchange of his body (and soul, maaaaan!) to a mustache-twirling capitalist for the sale of some necessary good. This being the case, the enemies of property are utterly delighted by the indignation they can treat themselves and their comrades to, in reading this essay. Left-libertarians in particular use this debate to feed their outrage about how propertarians stole their label from some anti-Semites who didn’t like paying rent Like anything else, this issue can also be combined with certain libertarian stances on the rights of children, invariably producing a Dickensian carnival of horrors in the minds of communists everywhere.
You bought his poster from Hot Topic and hung it lovingly opposite your bed so his smiling face could be the first you see every morning. You watch all his speeches, and pause to unzip your skinny jeans, but only when your parents won’t be home for a while. You’ve been lured in by the bad boy image he’s built for himself, but let’s face it, conservatives: Vladimir Putin will never fuck you.
Now I understand that consistency in their support of foreign politicians may be too much to ask of America’s populist center-right. That being said, I implore you to reconsider your involvement in the Putin fandom. I get why you like him: he’s a strong leader who demands results and gets them. He doesn’t like queers or Islamic terrorists, and is willing to send out the big guns to chase them off. Look, here’s a picture of him riding a bear! Epic meme!
I wish Putin was my dad!
The last month here in the great Land Down Under has not exactly been the most pleasant one. For one, the senate recently passed new data retention laws, which now means that ISPs are legally required to hold on to metadata for up to two years, coming as no surprise, since Labor has had similar legislation previously, legislation which I have only heard discussed in political and IT circles for its ramifications on civil liberties being flushed down the loo. You’d think there would be more concern than there is. However, it seems concern lies more with insularity bullshit than anything else.
Shit’s still gotta be put in.