Friday, January 27, 2012

Loyalists to the Corporatocracy

You know, Ron Paul’s followers are not party regulars. He’s not a party regular. He really has these very, very impassioned followers. All four of our children are huge Ron Paul followers." -- Suzy Welch

Jack Welch, retired CEO of General Electric, and his wife Suzy, former editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review, have co-authored their first column for Reuters, titled "Ron Paul and the pink slip that could decide the election." During an interview this morning on CNN, Suzy let slip the little truth bomb quoted above, which led to this Tireless Agorist's commentary.

In this excerpt from that column, they demonstrate a superficial awareness of the symptoms of the political malaise infecting the country that leads them, unfortunately, to an incorrect diagnosis of the cure.
"But Paul is not really the GOP’s problem. It’s his followers, perhaps as much as 15 percent of the general electorate, many of them young, vocal and highly energized. Like Paul himself, they’re not exactly party regulars. No, Paul and his followers promise to be a lot like that fired employee who, if “handled” incorrectly at farewell, will make it his life’s work to, if not bring your organization down, at least show you how very wrong you were to cut the cord."
A very astute observation, as far as it goes. Unwisely, however, they go on to analyze the battle between the Republican wing of the political establishment and the movement toward increased personal liberty, with Ron Paul as its chief proponent, as similar to the political battle between Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden four years ago -- leading to this totally erroneous summation:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Largest Libertarian Society in History

While the near-disaster of SOPA and PIPA is still fresh on everyone's mind, it strikes this Tireless Agorist as an ideal opportunity to discuss the largest libertarian society in history. The society that brought the SOPA and PIPA legislation to a halt and that brought you to read this essay. The society of the Internet.

As an agorist, and consequentially a libertarian, one of the things I find most interesting is the myopia among some of the most active members of the Internet society. These are the people who surf effortlessly through the web in pursuit of arcane information, seek out their own voluntary associations among like-minded peers, purchase products from all corners of the globe, and immediately and voluntarily band together to protect their communities from damage or destruction by trolls, spammers and other lowlifes when they sense that the peace is threatened. Such activities are almost second-nature in the more civilized corners of the Net.

Indeed, when these Netizens saw their freedom under attack by a territorial government with no real understanding of the miraculous society they inhabit, they almost immediately swarmed together in an officially uncoordinated but massive protest against the very government that claimed it was working to protect them. And they resoundingly won the battle, if not yet the war.

Yet the same people who defeated the government's attack through voluntary action express doubt about the efficacy, fairness, and capability of the free market and the core concepts of a libertarian society. Immersed daily in the largest, most anonymous, most libertarian society ever to exist, they fail to recognize it for the miracle that it is, or to recognize the compelling forces that make it work.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet Sixteen Circumnavigation

Sixteen-year-old Laura Dekker docked in St. Maarten on Saturday, ending her year-long solo voyage around the world aboard her 38-feet sailboat, "Guppy." Her story first came to international intention in the fall of 2009, after the Dutch Child Welfare Office became involved. A family court decision placed her in shared parental custody with the Council for Child Care, who stopped her departure. Nasty legal battles ensued. Finally, after a year of bitter and expensive legal battles, the Dutch court ended her supervision. She set sail two weeks later. After a shakedown cruise to Gibralter, she sat off on her circumnavigation on August 21, 2010.

Her summation of the state's interference? "They thought it was dangerous. Well, everywhere is dangerous. They don't sail and they don't know what boats are, and they are scared of them."

Wiser words were perhaps never spoken by a 14-year-old.

This was not a non-stop, reckless assault on the oceans of the world. She laid over in the Canary Islands for several weeks to avoid hurricane season, and even flew home for a visit at one point. The trip involved about a year of travel over the 17-month period.

My wife and I were live-aboard sailors for several years, and before health concerns derailed our plans, we intended to spend our retirement in a similar pursuit, albeit on a more leisurely schedule. The accuracy of Laura's summation is even more apparent when one fully understands what such a circumnavigation entails.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

He's Catchin' On, I'm Tellin' Ya!

Ron Paul's 2008 campaign was fundamentally educational. As much as a dedicated core wanted it to be about winning the election, the things it takes to put a candidate in the White House just weren't there. What began as an educational campaign exploded into a movement, with grassroots support far beyond what the official campaign was prepared to utilize.

The official campaign staff were for the most part tackling their first national campaign. Infrastructure had to be hastily built. A ragtag army of volunteers proved more interested in throwing snowballs at Sean Hannity and standing on streetcorners waving signs than in doing the hard work it takes to turn the ship of state in a new and unprecedented direction. Even the advertising had the same overly-hasty, amateurish quality.

No More!

This post title springs from one example of the shortcomings of the 2008 campaign. If you hang with this Tireless Agorist to the end, I'll throw in a viewing, and a comparison to today's campaign, as a reward.