Even libertarians, who decry “coercion” by government, spend an inordinate amount of their energy criticizing taxation while often ignoring or minimizing the use and abuse of military force as well as infringements of human rights and civil liberties at home and abroad. The primary liberty which concerns both them and more mainstream neoliberals is the freedom to own and exercise private property rights in as expansive a manner as possible. It can be reasonably asserted that most libertarians are “propertarians”, focused primarily on real and imagined threats to the private ownership of property. “Freedom” becomes an ideological excuse for personal acquisitiveness and greed.
Yes, this may be true in some or most (not all) cases.
Though, as you point out early in this article, pervasive corruption of political-economic schools of thought makes it tricky to correctly assign names and labels. A free, participatory society -- much like what the term "libertarianism" purports to describe -- resembles in no way the abusive, extractive, coercive rule by monopolist money-power elites (acting under the rubric of "neo-liberalism" or whatever) that is identified and righteously condemned in this article.
International Organization for a Participatory Society
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The following is my response to the second part of a lengthy post titled "Like a Wasting Disease, Neoliberals, Libertarians & the Right are Eating Away Society’s Connective Tissue" found on New Economic Perspectives. The initial italicized portion is a citation from the article:
Posted by pete v at Thursday, May 30, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Published on June 2, 1976 in the Boston Globe
Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?
by Howard Zinn
Memorial Day will be celebrated as usual, by high-speed collisions of automobiles and bodies strewn on highways and the sound of ambulance sirens throughout the land.
It will also be celebrated by the display of flags, the sound of bugles and drums, by parades and speeches and unthinking applause.
It will be celebrated by giant corporations, which make guns, bombs, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and an endless assortment of military junk and which await the $100 billion in contracts to be approved soon by Congress and the President.
There was a young woman in New Hampshire who refused to allow her husband, killed in Vietnam, to be given a military burial. She rejected the hollow ceremony ordered by those who sent him and 50,000 others to their deaths. Her courage should be cherished on Memorial Day. There were the B52 pilots who refused to fly those last vicious raids of Nixon's and Kissinger's war. Have any of the great universities, so quick to give honorary degrees to God-knows-whom, thought to honor those men at this Commencement time, on this Memorial Day?
No politician who voted funds for war, no business contractor for the military, no general who ordered young men into battle, no FBI man who spied on anti-war activities, should be invited to public ceremonies on this sacred day. Let the dead of past wars he honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again.
"The shell had his number on it. The blood ran into the ground...Where his chest ought to have been they pinned the Congressional Medal, the DSC, the Medaille Militaire, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the Italian gold medal, The Vitutea Militara sent by Queen Marie of Rumania. All the Washingtonians brought flowers .. Woodrow Wilson brought a bouquet of poppies."
Those are the concluding lines of John Dos Passos angry novel 1919. Let us honor him on Memorial Day.
And also Thoreau, who went to jail to protest the Mexican War.
And Mark Twain, who denounced our war against the Filipinos at the turn of the century.
And I.F. Stone, who virtually alone among newspaper editors exposed the fraud and brutality of the Korean War.
Let us honor Martin Luther King, who refused the enticements of the White House, and the cautions of associates, and thundered against the war in Vietnam.
Memorial Day should be a day for putting flowers on graves and planting trees. Also, for destroying the weapons of death that endanger us more than they protect us, that waste our resources and threaten our children and grandchildren.
On Memorial Day we should take note that, in the name of "defense," our taxes have been used to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on a helicopter assault ship called "the biggest floating lemon," which was accepted by the Navy although it had over 2,000 major defects at the time of its trial cruise.
Meanwhile, there is such a shortage of housing that millions live in dilapidated sections of our cities and millions more are forced to pay high rents or high interest rates on their mortgages. There's 90 billion for the B1 bomber, but people don't have money to pay hospital bills.
We must be practical, say those whose practicality has consisted of a war every generation. We mustn't deplete our defenses. Say those who have depleted our youth, stolen our resources. In the end, it is living people, not corpses, creative energy, not destructive rage, which are our only real defense, not just against other governments trying to kill us, but against our own, also trying to kill us.
Let us not set out, this Memorial Day, on the same old drunken ride to death.
Posted by pete v at Monday, May 27, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
From zen pencils:
Sophie Scholl (1921-1943) was a German activist who is famous for speaking out against the Nazi regime. Scholl was a member of a protest group called The White Rose, which was formed by her brother Hans, and some of his university friends. The group mainly consisted of students in their early twenties who were fed up with the totalitarian rule of the government. The Nazis controlled every aspect of society – the media, police, military, judiciary system, communication system, all levels of education and all cultural and religious institutions. The White Rose distributed leaflets urging their fellow Germans to oppose the regime through non-violent resistance.
On 22nd February 1943, after the release of the sixth White Rose leaflet, Sophie, Hans and fellow member Christoph Probst were arrested by the Gestapo and convicted of treason. They were executed that same day by guillotine. Sophie was 21 years old.
Posted by pete v at Tuesday, May 21, 2013