It's A Wonderful Life

Born of the European mid-winter festivals, the countries of historic Christendom and those they colonised, will celebrate the very nominal birth of their founder today. A large portion of those will engage in truly gluttonous levels of feasting and inebriation, and engage in the ritualised and comercialised exchange of mass produced gifts that carry a hefty price-tag, working on the selfish principle that charity begins at home. A few perhaps, in more private moments, may have thoughts of gratitude at their good fortune in life. But gratitude by itself is not enough; recognition of one's own beneficial circumstances is merely a metaphysical prayer unless combined with an altruistic resolve for transformative justice; the peace, security, and wealth of the few must become the same for the many. With such thoughts in mind, a survey of the sufferings of 2017 and their trajectory is an apt reminder.

Delegative Democracy, Land Value Tax, and Universal Basic Income

I refer to myself as a libertarian social democrat, by which I mean that my views combine elements of libertarian socialist and social democratic thought. My political views fall within the radical republican tradition. A republican is someone who advocates representative democracy and, usually, a constitutional government. A radical republican is someone who tries to carry the principles of republican theory through to their logical conclusion. As such, the radical republican tradition contains a diverse set of members. The radical republican tradition claims members from American founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Thomas Paine to abolitionists and civil rights advocates like Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, and Ulysses S. Grant; but it also includes single-taxers, social democrats, and reformers like Henry George, Eduard Bernstein, Louis Blanc, and Annie Besant; even a large number of libertarian socialists or anarchists, such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Murray Bookchin, and Abdullah Öcalan, fall within the radical republican tradition. Many classical socialists and anarchists were republican insofar as they advocated a form of representative democracy, usually emphasizing elected delegates subject to representative recall and bottom-up confederalism with the local commune (municipality) as the heart of political activity. Personally, I draw inspiration from this whole broad spectrum of radical republican thought. I am not entirely an anarchist insofar as I do not think that absolute "free association" and consensus are either attainable or really desirable. I'm not quite a single-taxer, even though I do advocate land value tax, because I think that additional Pigouvian taxes like carbon tax and pollution tax may be beneficial and just.

The Rise of Australian Far-Right Politics

Milo Yianoppolous has imported his performance politics to our shores. Meanwhile six hundred men on Manus Island are kept out, and pushed into shipping containers with a wall of guards wielding batons.

But Australia can’t possibly be sucked into the chaos that engulfs Donald Trump’s presidency, can it? Nah, we’re the fellas who take it easy and sink piss, not the type who vote to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.

And while we laugh at Youtube compilations of ‘Trump’s stupidest moments’, we ignore that our government keeps 1,351 refugees up in offshore detention centres in countries like Papua New Guinea, whom we pressure to pay for and resettle our refugees on their land.

The 1917 October Revolution

This is the first of a series of articles reviewing this history of the Soviet Union, a state which has been subject to a great deal of political mythology from both its advocates and detractors. However in order to develop a correct political opinion analysis must be based on facts and with a sense of proportionality, and context. These are issues that are often overlooked by political partisans who are under the influence of selection and confirmation biases according to their ideology. Such errors are almost certain (except by luck) if one starts with ideological position and then seeks facts that support their position, and ignores those that don't. Inevitably such approaches will result in terrible errors if their advocates ever achieve power. History should be a resource for learning the benefits of previous actions and preventing the mistakes of failed policies.

It is inevitable that one hundred years are the October Revolution (7 November, New Style) that there has been numerous reviews of that event and all that followed, although perhaps not as one may expect. The relative dearth of public debate of course comes down to the fact that the Soviet Union has not been on the world political map since December 1991. There is now more than an entire generation of people who have no living memory of the country. let alone the context of the country's existence, and memorial rallies in Russia itself were modest. A worthy historical effort was provided by Project 1917 which gives a good account of the revolution combining direct information from historical events in a modern style. From the classics it is hard to go past Leon Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution for being an eye-witness and thorough account, and the eye-witness account of Menshevik Nikolai Sukhanov whose The Russian Revolution was originally published in seven-volumes. It is interesting to note that Sukhanov and Trotsky both share the honour of both being subject to show trails in the Soviet Union, and both were killed by agents of that State only a couple of months apart.

The Etymology of Anarchy

The Greek prefix "a" literally applies the meaning "not". Contextually this can be taken to mean "no", "without", "against", or "in the absence of". The prefix "an" is derivatives of the prefix "a", with the "n" appended for phonetical reasons, the same as we say "an apple" instead of "a apple", because it rolls off the tongue more easily, sounding less stilted.

The literal translation of "archos" is "chief", which depending on the context can be interpreted as "boss", "ruler", "King", "commander" etc. What it doesn't literally translate to is "state" or "government": the word for that is "cracy".

The word anarchy isn't spelled "anarchos" though, which would literally mean "no chiefs", instead it's derived separately from the root "arch" meaning "structure. This is the same root used in words such as "hierARCHYy", "monARCH", and "oligARCHY". Contextually it means "an-ARCHy": "no command structure". Literally it means "no rulers".

Anarchy represents personal sovereignty and the autonomy of the individual. Anarchism is a political theory of how to eliminate command structures from society... Because that's what individual autonomy really is, the absence of an imposed or coercive authority structure. The absence of arbitrary hierarchy. A society organised horizontally instead of vertically, wherever possible and practical.

The Non-Aggression Principle: Failures of Subjective Deontology

It should go without saying that most people are intuitively opposed to violence. In most cases, people would like nothing less than to go about their daily business without interruption. It is from this principle that various "libertarian capitalists" developed an ethical system called "the non-aggression principle", whereby all "aggression" is defined as a unethical. "Aggression" is defined in this context as the initiation of force against persons or property, and allows for protective self-defense under these circumstances. It is explicitly deontological in its orientation, that is, arguing that all aggression, so-defined, is wrong [1]. As an attempt to shore-up the position, similar historical references from classical liberalism are often invoked [2].

There are plentiful arguments against the NAP which will be outlined here. Firstly, is issue of subjective property and personal space assertions. Secondly, there is the issues that arise from a lack of proportionality in the "self-defense" clause. Thirdly, there is consequentialist issues which make the de-ontological approach ethically absurd. In addition to these there are ethical situations which make NAP impossible. In addition to these, there is similar pacifistic approaches which also also subject to similar criticisms and by which comparison is worthwhile. In recognising these issues, an inital sketch of an alternative is posited which incorporates consequentialist and utilitan ethics.

When we say 'technocrat'...

What do we mean when we say the word ‘Technocrat’?

Liberal society - that is to say, ‘liberalism’ divorced from its current political turmoil and only made to carry the weight of its taxonomic origins - is a society in which peoples’ freedoms are maximized to the space that political realities allow for. We take for granted certain realities: That the defense of a state and/or polity must be provided for, that breaches of the social contract must be curtailed and investigated, and that things like economic transactions must be as fair as can be managed.

This means that a great deal of our social expectations rely on the ability to outsource ‘enforcement’ to a higher power. If one is robbed in the street, or if a company fails to live up to its expressed responsibilities in a contract, there are bureaucracies, Systems of Power, to appeal to. We have placed trust in these Systems of Power for the explicit sake of being able to, with a kind of implicit democratic motive, appeal to these bureaucracies to enforce the structures that make liberal society work.

Pansy Division: Some Notes on Certain Petition

by Lev Lafayette and anonymous

On the morning of Friday September 1st, the Isocracy Network initiated a petition on CommunityRun, a website owned by the social activist group "Get Up!". The petition was written by one our members, a medical practioner who wished to remain anonymous, and was launched by the group's president. The petition itself was a request to the Australian Medical Association and in particular, the the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency "to review the registration of Dr Pansy Lai as a Paediatric Medical Practitioner for violation of its code of ethics and violation of the Declaration of Geneva by her participation in the recent 'no' campaign against marriage equality in which she willfully spread misinformation and non-scientific evidence in order to promote the discrimination of LGBTIQ people in Australia".

The petition itself attracted significant media attention. Predictible, The Australian raised the matter of whether it constituted bullying and an attack of free speech. Remarkably the article claimed that "the petition, which received more than 5000 signatures in the first five days"; given that the article was published less than four days after launch, it was quite illustrative of the accuracy of almost everything that comes from that rag. The article also engaged in the hyberbole claiming that the petition was calling for the paediatrians deregistration, indicative of the reporter's extraordinary ignorance of the scope of actions that fall under such a review. Still, yellow journalism desperately needs a readership, and the greater the scandal-mongering the greater the ignorant hordes that gobble up such trash, and so the story was distributed far and wide among many media outlets across the country.

The Reawakening of the Working Class

A presentation by Kosmos Samaras, assistant state secretary of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party, to the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Isocracy Network

Radwan's story : A Syrian Refugee From Aleppo To Finland

Interviewed and written by : Qassem Al-Salamat Edited by: Joanne Roberts

Following my meeting with Amina and after listening to her story, I became more inquisitive to delve deeper into the conditions of the camp and the stories behind the refugees. As the days passed by, I made many friends there and I met many of the displaced refugees.

The circumstances and suffering we shared as refugees became the common denominator for me being able to open side conversations and allowed me to make wonderful friendships with people. I fell in love with them. Even in Syria and before the war I could not find these friendships.Here in the camp and in this situation is where I met the brothers Radwan and Malik.

Radwan was a young man in his twenty's and his younger brother Malik who was 16 years old had an anarchist teenager look about him. Radwan was a friendly young man with a smile always upon his face even in moments of anger and even while screaming at his younger brother's mistakes.

I always noticed some interesting story behind him. He is a refugee who always was consistent and decent with his appearance. The monotony of his clothes and always caring for his hairstyle. Once I even accompanied him to one of the cheap stores on the island of Mytilini, where he wanted to buy a hair dryer. Despite the difficulty of being provided with enough electricity in the camp,he insisted on buying the hair dryer. He was very careful about his appearance, the cleaning of his clothes and he did not care about the dirty camp or the bad conditions surrounding it.


Subscribe to The Isocracy Network RSS