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Isocracy Newsletter #2, October 28, 2009

"Ask the powerful five questions. (1) What power have you got? (2) Where did you get it from? (3) In whose interest do you excersise it? (4) To whom are you accountable? (5) How can we get rid of you? Only democracy gives us that right. That is why no-one with power likes democracy. And that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it - including you and me, here and now"
Tony Benn, 2005

Kevin Carson Interview

Kevin Carson, an American political theorist and a contemporary leader in discussions concerning mutualism and author of three extremely important books on co-operation, mutualism and capitalism (Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, and The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand) has been interviewed on for The Isocracy Network website and is currently composing a response. Describing his politics as being "the outer fringes of both free market libertarianism and socialism", he certainly will find a welcoming audience among our group - which is why he's been asked several difficult questions.

The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand is available in html format ( and Studies in Mutualist Political Economy and Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective are both available as PDF files ( and

The Equal Rights Warship

One of the core concepts of Isocracy derives from an earlier notion (albeit with an ugly name) that of isonomia, the idea of equality before the law. From this principle one derives equal rights and from that, our contemporary example of equal rule. An excellent and short article on the concept is availabe from J.R. Lucas, fellow of Merton College, Oxford University ( But who would imagine that such a concept was made into a gunboat? Well, a steamship was purchased in 1864 during the American Civil War and named U.S.S. Isonomia. With 85 crew it was armed with 1 3-pounder Parrot rifle and 2 24-pounder howitzers. Engaged in barricade duty off the coast of Florida it captured the British ship, George Douthwaite. After the civil war it became a merchant steamship with equally charming name City of Providence, before it was sold to foreign interests in 1867.

Bank Abuses Protests, Global Capitalism To "Collapse"?

On the third and final day of the American Banker's Association in Chicago, some 5,000 protestors from the Service Employees Union and various community groups against foreclosures (see Inside the meeting AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka warned members that the banks must work for the country - not the other way around: "Your job is to be stewards of our savings-to put and keep working families in homes, to lend the money companies need to create jobs. And you have failed. You've turned the American economy into your own private casino, gambling away our financial future with our money, driving us to the brink of a second Great Depression, then sticking out your hand for taxpayers to bail you out... we didn't put you back in business so you could pile money and lobbyists into Capitol Hill to fight the financial reform we so desperately need-while we're losing jobs, losing our homes, losing our retirement savings, losing it all-because you treated the money we worked so hard to earn like Monopoly money."

Meanwhile in New Zealand a "Bad Banks" campaign has been initiated ( by Socialist Worker. This comes from recent comments from market analysts and advocates such as "The future will be a total disaster, with a collapse of our capitalistic system as we know it today", "Capitalism is near the tipping point, unprepared for a catastrophe, set up for collapse and rapid decline" and "There is a high probability of a crisis and collapse by 2012. The 'Great Depression 2' is dead ahead. Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing you can do to hide from this unfolding reality or prevent the rush of the historical imperative." Keep in mind that these quote are from "ardent, intelligent and reputable defenders of capitalism" ( Maybe this time their predictions are finally accurate?

Financial Crisis Analysed

The Search Foundation (Australia) has organised a one-day conference on the Global Economic Crisis: Perspectives, Impacts & Implications for Saturday November 7 at the Federation of Education Unions. Speakers include Kenneth Davidson from The Age, John Hickson from Arena Journal, Julius Roe National President of the AMWU, Kelly O'Shannasy, CEO, Environment Victoria, Louise Connor, Victorian Secretary, Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance and others.

RSVP by Wednesday, November 4 to

Refugee Rights in Australia

Amnesty International has began a campaign for refugee rights in Australia following the latest political and media storm with the arrival of Tamils fleeing war-torn Sri Lanka. Although refugees make up less than four per cent of people who come to Australia seeking asylum there is always a reactionary media barrage complaining about such arrivals, despite them excersising their right to asylum under international law.

Amnesty is calling for the government to ensure that all asylum seekers have access to assistance from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), access to a fair and timely process for determining their status through the UNHCR, and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention.

Formal Isocracy Network Groups in Sydney and Melbourne?

There have been requests for the Isocracy Network to establish formal face-to-face groups in two Australian locations (Sydney and Melbourne). Further information will be announced in coming issues of the newsletter on how this proceeds; if anyone from other locations wishes to establish such organisations please drop us a line.