A Terrible Blogger is Born!

November 11, 2007

absit iniuria verbis; absit invidia

Filed under: Uncategorized — rmangum @ 6:51 pm

ebbogospelsstmark“Let injury by words be absent; let ill will be absent.” In other words, dear friends, I mean no offense. I welcome all intelligent and civil comments.

Much of this blog will be devoted to exploring philosophical anarchism. There are two basic schools of anarchism: left anarchism (called “communist”, “socialist”, or just “social” anarchism) and right anarchism (“individualist” anarchism or “anarcho-capitalism”), which are something of a mirror image of left and right statism. The current center is a statist center. I am interested in ideas which find an enlightened center between left and right, but moving the center away from the State to a point I like to call “Mere Anarchy”. The phrase is derived from Yeats, (but with a positive connotation rather than his negative one) and is used as he did in his poem “The Second Coming” to connote the older meaning of the word mere, meaning “pure”. Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard once called himself a “right-wing liberal”, while novelist Norman Mailer professed to be a “left-conservative”. I am interested in such hybrids, while refraining to identify with any particular one.

Secondly, I am interested, not in shifting, but rather expanding the focus into the cultural realm. There is a wealth of resources on libertarianism and anarchy on the web, (indeed, the internet may be the only place where anarchy may have not only a strong but even dominant voice) most of it dealing in terms of political economy. I learn more about politics and economics every day, but my first love is the humanities. My overarching concern is the question: “What is the culture of mere anarchy?”

Is this a bit much for a simple little blog? No doubt, but what the hell, it should be fun anyway.


  1. you are entertaining as hell sir, wonderin if you could write anything about your views on

    peoples preternatural hate for corporations
    nature of value (personal and economical)
    easier ways to explain free market economics to skeptics
    there will be blood

    oh yes also Libertatia

    Comment by CL — March 31, 2010 @ 12:21 am | Reply

    • Thank you for praising me at a time when I thought nobody was reading! Your questions could each make a good post in themselves, but I’ll briefly address them here:

      1) I don’t think people in general have a “preternatural hate for corporations” any more than they do for governments. A certain class of educated liberals do, but they are a minority. The main problem with this view is not that its wrong about corporations in the majority of instances, but how incomplete (and self-serving in the case of progressive-professoriat crusaders) their account of how the evils ascribed to corporations tend to come about, namely through structural incentives encouraged by and for the State. The example of this phenomenon par excellence is a movie called “The Corporation” which attributes all evil in the world to corporations while pretending that such an entity as the State not only has no hand in the matter but seems not even to exist. They even manage to maintain this absurd view while discussing patents! I also love how in these progressive-muckraking docs, whenever they’re talking about “greed” they show in the background clips of money being mass-produced! Well, gee, I wonder who’s responsible for that? And how one can be a critic of “consumerism” and support Keynesian policies, which operate on the idea that the public can never consume enough, is beyond me.

      2) All value is subjective. The Austrians are absolutely correct in this. Anything else is either determinist or mystical. Recently, Kevin Carson has argued that one can retain the labor theory of value under subjective rather than objective premises, and that in a free market you would see the realization of the old socialist goal of cost being the limit of price. I’m intrigued if not entirely convinced by this, though I think a free market would be far more beneficial to the worker and consumer than our current corporatist mess.

      3) A libertarian should view pacifism like Christians view those who take vows of celibacy or silence: respectable, but clearly not for everybody.

      4) It should be emphasized above all else that the free market helps the average person. Many left-libertarians will say “the worst off”, but this is a mistake. Potentially a liberal welfare state will help the worst off more, or those perceived as such, at the expense of the great middle class. The worst off have their patrons, while the average American is a “forgotten man” even or especially if she is a woman. The general point is that libertarianism is a people’s movement, not a front for bazillionaires, is paramount. It’s not just that libertarianism needs to be repackaged as a people’s movement, but that it ought to become one. (Note well that I’m against faux-populism or proletariat solidarity!) But what I’m saying here is not easy, so I guess it doesn’t answer the question. I think that people of average intelligence and common sense can understand the principles of the market better than those with the wrong education about economics.

      5) “There Will Be Blood” is one of the great movies of the decade. This has nothing to do with politics.

      6) Libertatia looks like a blast!

      Comment by rmangum — March 31, 2010 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  2. If only more than 43 people could hear this.

    Comment by Yolanda Burrows — May 27, 2010 @ 1:02 am | Reply

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