Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Podcast! (10 Thoughts Before the Scotland Secession Vote)

1. Here’s a thirty-second promo video of me introducing Lap Gong Leong, who fills in for Gerard Perry in our latest audio podcast.

2. In our actual podcast, Lap not only offers genuine insight about this week’s historic referendum on whether Scotland will be independent from the United Kingdom but also about why those of us who aren’t truly autistic should stop likening ourselves to people like Lap just because we’re nerds/libertarians.

3. Unlike Lap (and Putin!), I tend to think the more secession the better -- on the theory that local government will tend to be slightly more responsive to citizens’ needs than a distant central government -- but it’s not a foolproof formula.

Scotland leaving could have short-term negative effects on the UK and long-term benefits for what is for now the EU, if countries there start getting ideas about resisting the central bureaucracy.

4. Sadly, investors are already fleeing Scotland at the prospect of it being able to do its own, more socialist, thing (do leftists think "How dare they?!" at such moments?).

5. Scots will now be free to do authoritarian stuff like this to each other all day (h/t Josie Appleton and Timandra Harkness).

6. Gavin McInnes portraying his Scottish dad has some...thoughts...on independence...sort of (h/t Jackie Danicki).

7. As for our own nation, don’t expect it to be remembered long after the Progressives finish destroying it: Current AP history guidelines require teaching, for instance, Chief Little Turtle but not Ben Franklin, Students for a Democratic Society but not Eisenhower, the Black Panthers but not MLK. 

And you wonder why conservatives get paranoid about school curricula. 

8. Meanwhile, in Sweden: tell me again how feminists are our natural allies, o wise liberal-leaning free-marketeers?

9. John Carney tweeted a link to a Business Insider piece showing what the whole map of Europe would look like if all the separatist movements got their way. He suggests nationalism is the only antidote to tribalism, globalism being too vast to elicit fellow-feelings. I say violent groupthink in general needs to die, and nationalism, tribalism, government, and various petty criminal gangs are all forms of it.

A rarely-noted double-edged sword of nationalism -- arguably on display in Scotland, Scandinavia, and perhaps the troubled island of Manhattan -- is that the more people think of themselves as a tribal enclave cut off from the rest of the world, the more comfortable they may be with homogenizing, collectivist legislation (Jacob Levy’s book next year will explore some of the centralizing-vs.-devolving tensions in our politics).

I suspect any “us vs. them” thinking, regardless of the geographic size of the “us,” yields more socialistic politics in the long run than would thinking of ourselves as individuals in a fluid world. I don’t think we should waste much more time debating at which level we want to be oppressed, though. End all of that, and say often and explicitly that that’s the goal. 

10. More broadly, I’m increasingly comfortable saying I oppose violence whether organized into liberal governments, conservative governments, minarchist libertarian governments, street gangs, rape gangs, the Mob, the left-anarchist mob with its general assemblies and syndicates, cops, armies, rampaging sports fans, school bullies, labor unions, terrorists, or religious fanatics threatening kids with hellfire. Who needs any of it?

Our main enemy is violence, not just violence at a certain cosmopolitan or local scale. And if violence is evil, keep fighting it, don’t treat certain forms of it as natural or inevitable. Murder is commonplace, but we do not resign ourselves to it, ever. Whether or not Scotland goes it alone, here’s hoping they won’t be governed at all someday.

(And with that, you go watch that video and podcast at the top, and maybe I’ll go pick up Scottish anarchist Grant Morrison’s comic Multiversity: Society of Superheroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World, out today. Imagine if there were a whole different universe for each style of superhero team...)

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