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Anarchist Out-Reach, An Idea

During the past few years an interesting DIY mutual aid phenomenon has popped up. You may have one in your neighborhood, a tiny free library consisting of basically an outdoor cupboard with shelves for books. People leave books and others borrow or keep them. (Hopefully, more borrowing than keeping, but if someone loves a book so much they wish to keep it, fine by me.) With the decline in the number of book shops and the public library seemingly concentrating more on “best sellers” rather than keeping a large permanent stock, the little libraries are helping to fill those gaps. According to the web site, http://littlefreelibrary.org/ (SORRY, ONCE MORE THE HYPERLINK NOT WORKING, THE IDIOTS) there are 15,000 of these libraries world wide. But that includes only the libraries that have contacted the organization. For example, my city is credited with only a single little library, when I know of at least 4 others. So there may be more like 50 or 60,000!

Now here is a great opportunity to get people acquainted with anarchist ideas. Select some basic, introductory book on anarchism and leave it at your neighborhood little library. Some suggestions – Colin Ward's “Anarchy in Action”, Kropotkin's “Fields, Factories and Workshops”. Whatever... but they should be geared towards people who have no idea, or worse, the wrong ideas, about anarchism. Essentially, stuff too esoteric, weird or resonating with sectarian infighting should be completely avoided. Since these libraries often take pamphlets and periodicals, those too may be left, but with the same proviso as the books. Whatever you do, don't overdo it. People will get annoyed if you cram the shelves with anarchist materials. No one likes to have ideas shoved down their throats. A couple of books is enough. Monitor the library to see that the books are being borrowed. If it is plain that someone has taken them permanently, then replace them. If you have an anarchist group in your town, acquiring basic anarchist books and stocking the little libraries could be one of you activities. If your neighborhood doesn't have a little library, the group could take it on as a task to create one. I have no idea how many people actually use these libraries, but suppose it was only two hundred in the course of a year, with say 5 libraries in town, you have a potential readership of a thousand people, the vast majority of whom you would otherwise never be in contact with.

The BRICS Bank and US Global Empire

And you wondered why the US Corporate State is attacking Russia? http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/29/the-future-of-the-brics-development-bank/ Sorry but the hyperlink function is no longer working - typically designed by idiots

ISIS – Made in the USA

Kevin Carson hits the nail on the head - as he always does - and exposes the role the US state and its British satrap played in creating the islamo-fascist terrorist group, ISIS. See http://c4ss.org/content/29482

Flight MH-17

Amid all the hate-mongering by the media about Flight MH-17, it is a relief to read an objective report. For anyone naive enough to believe the mass media, remember the lies that led up to the US attacking Iraq.
See http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2014/07/fact-free-zone.html#more

The FBI can spy on you through your laptop.

Or so says Gizmodo. Also, I love the comments section:

I am amused by people today who are all OMG THEY’RE SNOOPING. Anyone who lived through the J. Edgar Hoover years has heard it all before. Just because they didn’t have today’s technology doesn’t mean they weren’t doing exactly the same thing. When I was in college everyone assumed their phones were tapped and none of us said ANYTHING that might attract attention from the FBI on the phone.

Well gee.


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The Craftsman Bungalow



No style is better suited to the environment of the Pacific North West as the craftsman house. This concept of house design grew out of the arts and crafts movement initiated by the libertarian socialist William Morrisin the late 19thCentury. The idea was to build solid, tasteful houses of local materials that fit into the environment.
 
Fit in they did. Constructed of lumber and stone, they had steeply pitched roofs and wide eves for the rain. Deep verandahs on the front and sides provided natural air conditioning in the summer and an outdoor room in the mild but wet months. The houses were placed near the street and with the front porch made for easy communications with passers-by and thus helped stimulate community. The slight set-back meant for a large back yard on an otherwise small lot.
 
Most of the craftsman bungalows were one and a half stories high, allowing for upstairs bedrooms. Such compactness once again allowed for a smaller lot. It also meant that construction costs were cheaper than a sprawling one story structure. An extra four feet of wall costs far less than an 20 feet of roof and concrete foundation. Since heat travels up, these bedrooms cost less for heating. The problem of hot rooms in the summer could be offset by window placement and awnings.
 
The more expensive craftsman are truly a joy to the eye. Stained and beveled glass above the windows and the front door. Oak doors, wainscotting, stonework and stone fireplaces were common. This is a style that was never ostentatious, phony or tawdry, unlike some of the houses that came later. If the owners were trying to send a message to passers-by, it was one of good taste, modesty and decency.
 
Craftsman were built roughly 1905-1930, though I have seen houses dating from the 1940s still influenced by them. This perfect West Coast style was replaced by the idiocies of fashion and design disconnected from theenvironmental and social necessities. First came the ersatzSouthern California Spanish style of flat roofs and pseudo adobe. So perfect for our rainy weather. Then the phony ranch house, sprawling across the enormous lot, now needed. Today, the hideous, vinyl-clad, three car McMansion, a true monument to bad taste, bad planning and poor construction.
 
The depths of this idiocy wereplumbed with the “leaky condo crisis” here in BC. The building regulations were set for dry Manitoba and not the wet coast. Naturally the condos leaked. Thanks to the criminality of corporate law, those responsible for this travesty were never held to account and the poor devils who purchased condos had to cough up for the highly expensive repairs.
 
The change in house style mirrorsperverse socio-economic change. From solidity and modesty to trashy, disposable show off. This represents the corporatization of society, something largely absent in 1905. Alienation is at the core of corporate domination, so it should be of no surprise to you that the front porch had to go and the houses were deeply set back to eliminate communication. The sprawling house needs a bigger lot and so the cost was driven up. The garage, at one time hidden in the back lane, is moved to the front and it its latest manifestation, the snout house, obscures the dwelling completely. Neighborhoods begin to look like industrial parks. This shouldn't surprise you, given that the corporatist mentality is essentially totalitarian.

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Craftsman

Why you shouldn’t have children.

Don’t Tell Me I’ll Change My Mind, a rare childfree/antinatalist blog, asks three powerful questions to potential parents.

1. Are you okay with being responsible for giving life to someone who is a violent or immoral person, whose inexistence would have been better for humanity?
2. Are you okay with being responsible for giving life to someone who will face excruciating suffering at the hands of a violent or immoral person? And deal with ongoing suffering that interferes with their ability to function well for years after it is over?
3. Are you okay with being responsible for giving life to someone who may live a miserable existence a lot of the time as a result of uncontrollable/incurable physical or mental illnesses that horribly affect their quality of life?

If not, then you shouldn’t reproduce. Because numerous under-reported statistics on violence, suffering, and illness show that all three are high probabilities when a human is created. Sometimes a human fits into more than one of those categories.


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I don’t want to live on this planet any more.

Where are the extinction-level meteors when you need them?


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A short description of the porn industry.

From Gender Agnostic, a description of the porn industry and what it’s really all about.

Now let’s say that this unregulated, free-market industry has the following statistic:

The average life expectancy of workers in this industry is 36.2 years.

That’s less than half of what the average American lifespan is (78.6 years).

Now, let’s say that within this industry, a full 66% of workers have communicable diseases that can substantially lower the quality of life, and roughly 1 in 10 have a disease that is, ultimately, a death sentence (HIV).

Now let’s say that there are no mandatory checks and balances in place to ensure that these diseases don’t spread through the working population; only volunteer screenings happening at intermittent times—and are all at a cost to the worker. We also know that 70% of these infections occur in women (typically women in age ranges of 18-26), a rate 10x higher than in the general population.

Now, let’s say that this was an industry that basically re-writes your brain; it affects how you view others and yourself.

Now, let’s call the industry what it is.

It’s porn.


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A little lexicon: childfree, antinatalist, efilist.

Antinatalism and childfreedom are two related ideologies which are seeing some development on the Internet and in the media. However, there seems to be some confusion as to the difference between the two ideologies.

As I’ve discussed before, antinatalism is an ethical position: as a principle, it states that procreation (that is to say, acts which bring about procreation) is wrong. A person can be an antinatalist and yet have had children in the past. The arguments used to justify antinatalism are ethical and logical in nature, and are not personal in nature.

Childfreedom, on the other hand, is a desire, the desire to have no children. This desire is necessarily frustrated if one already has a child, so a person cannot have children and be childfree. But on the other hand, one can be childfree and believe that procreation is a great thing, or that life is innately positive. In those cases, the decision to not have children is purely personal.

In practice, childfree people usually have both universal and personal reasons to not procreate. However, these universal reasons are also generally conditional, like “there are enough people on this planet” type arguments (presumably if there wasn’t enough people on this planet, it would be worth it to have children).

Efilism is a word made of the reverse of “life” and the suffix -ism. It was coined by Gary Mosher to designate his own personal ideology, which is more extensive than the rejection of procreation, as Gary advocates for the extinction of all sentient life. Efilism therefore incorporates both ethical principles (that procreation is bad) and values (the value of a world without sentient life).

In a similar fashion to the Non-Identity Problem, I imagine some may object that “a world without sentient life” cannot be a value because there would be no one left to value it.

But this is, like the Non-Identity Problem, a misunderstanding of what is being discussed. When we talk about valuing suicide, we are not saying the person will be alive to value their suicide; we are saying that the person prefers a state where they cease to exist. Likewise, one may prefer a state where the world contains no sentient life, while not being able to actually co-exist with it. We can also prefer completely imaginary states (such as a state where square-circles exist), in which case the value is simply pointless. But valuing a world without sentient life is not pointless, in that it enables us to make value-judgments about real things (e.g. anything that creates new life is undesirable).

I don’t want to communicate the impression that childfreedom, antinatalism and efilism exist on some gradient from moderate to extreme or anything like that. They are not the same kinds of things; childfreedom is a desire, antinatalism is an ethical principle, and efilism is one person’s ideology. A person can be childfree but not antinatalist or efilist, or antinatalist but not childfree or efilist. An efilist must be antinatalist, obviously.

There are also people who believe in population degrowth as public policy. There is no popular term for this as far as I know, and the term “degrowth” by itself denotes economic degrowth specifically.

Population degrowth is sometimes portrayed as a “reasonable” alternative to antinatalism. Actually it is not an alternative to antinatalism but rather a statement of public policy. An antinatalist may very well believe that it would be better on the whole to not restrict reproduction in any way (Benatar grapples with some of these defenses in Better Never To Have Been chapter 4).

Population degrowth is not on a gradient with antinatalism and natalism. Arguments for or against population degrowth show little overlap with arguments for antinatalism or natalism, although they may share a great deal with individual arguments for one’s childfreedom. In that way, one can argue that population degrowth is closer to being an extension of childfreedom, although a childfree person may be against population degrowth and vice-versa.

Frankly I am tired of people who say they are for population degrowth and who present this position as more “reasonable,” by which they really mean, “likely to be accepted by others.” I don’t give a shit what is more or less likely to be accepted by other people. The truth is the truth regardless of how likely it is to be accepted, and it’s our job to find it. So far none of these “reasonable” people have been successful in making any sort of cogent argument against antinatalism, let alone debunk any part of it. It may be “reasonable,” but it’s not the truth.

The “reasonable” position on the other side, the natalist side, is the “life is great” propaganda coming from a wide variety of people. These people tend to be anti-suicide and pro-nature, although they reject the Quiverfull claim that one should have as many children as possible. They laugh at such people and, if they were aware of antinatalism, would probably consider themselves a “middle ground.”

But there cannot be any “middle ground” between antinatalism and natalism. The question “is it acceptable to harm others without their consent” can only be answered “yes” or “no.” The question “is it justified to bring a human being into existence” can only be answered “yes” or “no.” The question “do you have the right to decide for another human being whether the world is good enough for them to come into existence” can only be answered “yes” or “no.” I don’t really see how there’s any middle ground possible here. Either procreation as an act is not wrong or it is wrong.


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