Saturday, March 5, 2011

Anarchy and Disunion

I think the funniest quote from last night’s David Friedman talk may have been “I think seasteading is an idea that will not work,” a claim met with groans of amusement and disappointment from the audience – and quickly followed, I should say, by some positive thoughts from Friedman about that particular project of his son Patri (building new nations at sea), as well as the fledgling new generation of Friedmans that Patri has been producing. 

(It would be odd and surprising – to Patri as well – if 7 billion people started living in boats, but there’s something to be said for putting a little added pressure on land-based governments with some floating offshore corporations and a few rich expatriates.  Galt’s Galleon, if you will.)

For the moment, it’s the politicians who seem to be in hiding, though, at least in and around Wisconsin, and if we could convince all politicians to join them, that would certainly solve some problems.  Alas, it now appears we have to wait two weeks for public sector layoffs in that state, just as we have to wait nearly two weeks for the federal government partial-shutdown (if it happens at all).  All good-hearted people hate unions, and the day after our anarchist discussion at Lolita, it’s worth reflecting on how institutionalized unions have become compared to the days, a century ago, when many were more closely affiliated with anarcho-syndicalists (who envisioned local worker control of every firm) than with government. 

It’s been a long time since American unions were being fended off with machine guns instead of fatter contracts created through government-mandated contractual negotiations – the former being horrible, obviously, but the latter a violation of freedom of contract whether the union is literally public-sector or merely an entity with which businesses are regulatorily forced to make deals.  In a true market, you should no more have to hire union members than you should have to hire nudists, suspected vandals, or Mafia members. 

Resisting the fiscal parasitism of the Wisconsin unions is certainly not fascism, as so many leftists seem to think – if anything, Hitler and Mussolini wanted to turn their whole economies into public-sector unions.  If we must indulge in childish visions of make-believe fascism, better it should be this photo of Hugo Weaving as Captain America’s archenemy, the Red Skull.  Now, that’s what real fake fascism looks like. 

In other news, after I asked the other day if anyone was reading this blog, I got two comments about one on Facebook and one from the very author about whom I was writing in that blog entry.  I’d call that very mixed signals, but it’s better than silence.  I will continue.

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