4 clever ideas that will change society for the better

Rich

by Rich
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May 24, 2008

Open Source Movement: Typically referring to software, the online open source movement has brought us such gargantuan successes as Linux, Firefox, Gimp, Audacity and much more. In fact, open source software has achieved such a level of popularity that most programs offered by for-profit companies can be substituted with free (often improved) open source versions of the same applications. As impressive as open source software is on its own, it has been suggested that the concept can be extended to other features of society. Government policy can be shaped directly, allowing citizens to introduce and vote on legislation, teachers can share on an international level what has been effective in their profession and fashion curriculum accordingly, journalists and ordinary citizens can share information both nationally and locally while keeping each other honest, and copyrights and patents could be freed letting people improve and manufacture products of every sort in their own communities. This open source mentality has kept the scientific community active and would promote a thriving, nimble culture.

Resources:
List of Open Source Software
The Open Source Movement
The Free Software Story

Microfinancing: The problem with the old way of supporting the third world is that money was used to buy supplies for the poor without promoting survival skills. Microfinancing relies on the “teach a man to fish” principle where donors give money, usually as little as $25, to entrepreneurs in developing countries through a proxy such as Kiva. People from these countries raise grants through this program, start local businesses such as grocery stores, repair shops and construction companies, and are then given an opportunity to generate enough money to pay back their loans. As proof of the effectiveness of this credit system the rate of repayment had just dropped from 100% to 99% only because of internal political conflicts preventing some business owners from paying back their loans. Anyone who says “if it’s too good to be true then it probably is” hasn’t heard of Microfinancing.

Resources:
Kiva
Here On Earth: Gumball Capital

Biomimicry: When it comes down to it Biomimicry steals from Mother Nature’s design and imitates her for a more sustainable society. For example, in nature structures like coral reefs commonly assemble themselves. If we could find a way to duplicate this design technique we could take the components of a solar panel and coat our rooftops with it, allowing these pieces to self-assemble. Janine Benyus is one of the most visible and articulate spokespeople of the movement. According to her, nature accomplishes everything with only a small portion of the periodic table while human beings utilize the entire chart, including toxic chemicals. The trick is to see how we can narrow the kinds of chemicals we use to just those friendly to life. Boat manufacturers can replicate the design of a shark’s skin to clean the bottom of boats and give them better maneuverability and auto manufacturers can use a locust’s internal sensor to prevent collisions. The earth has had hundreds of millions of years to find solutions to some of the most daunting challenges of our age while humanity is only a flash in the pan. Biomimicry is just another humble reminder that nature is the ultimate engineer.


Resources:

Janine Benyus: 12 sustainable design ideas from nature (video)
Biomimcry: Nature as Model, Measure and Mentor
Biomimicry Institute

Sustainable Communities: The power of a small cluster of people determined to change the world should never be undervalued, and sustainable communities are the expression of just that — people who want to reduce their harmful impact on their environment, devising ways to live happily with each other and the earth. Sustainable communities often maintain large gardens which provide for all of its residents so importing fruits and vegetables from large agribusinesses is needless. The commercial district only includes small, locally owned businesses and many people are encouraged to telecommute or work at home. Buildings are powered by solar energy, driving is discouraged, and sewage and rain water are recycled into fertilizer and irrigation respectively. Residents practice cohousing where each member of the community owns a house but also share a “common house” with their neighbors. Here tools and supplies are stored, meals can be cooked and social interaction occurs. These villages already exist (over 400 worldwide) in areas as diverse as Georgia, California and New Zealand. Some of them, like the one in New Zealand, have their own currency. Clean, friendly and environmentally responsible, hopefully it won’t be long before this idea catches fire.

Resources:
How Stuff Works: “How Sustainable Communities Work”
Serenbe
Earthsong Eco-Neighborhood

see

Really Really Free Market – Pasadena, CA (video)

So what is The Freeconomy Community about?

Really Really Free Market – Pasadena, CA (video)

Rich

by Rich

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Dandelion Salad
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May 2, 2008

papacabello

An interview with the founder of the Pasadena Really Really Free Market.

More from Rich:

Resources

Free Culture – Creative Commons

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So what is The Freeconomy Community about?

Extraordinary Times, Intentional Collapse, & Takedown of the U.S.A. by Richard C. Cook

Recession, Suppression and the Class Question

Rich

by Rich

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Mar. 29, 2008

Like many Americans I’m experiencing Bush fatigue. I’m just sick of bitching about the guy. We all know he’s a useless, malevolent douche-slinger, and nobody’s positive why he, Cheney, Condi and the gang haven’t been Saddam-ed themselves as their death toll places them amongst the elite mass killers of the modern era. There’s already been a substantial amount of commentary written about him and his calamitous presidency, and one of the popular themes of this new genre is a range of comparisons to Presidents past. Nixon and Reagan seem to be the two major touchstones, however, I’d like to submit Hoover to the list.

Both executives appeared callous to the needs of the public. Both presided over economic hardship from an icy distance. Both administrations resulted in make-shift shanty towns and tent cities. Hoover used the military to attack homeless Veterans in Washington. Bush leaves veterans on the street to die or in hospital rooms to disintegrate. And I don’t want to say Bush might be a transvestite but he was a cheerleader in high school. When failure becomes this ponderous the only response must be defiance.

On April 1, a small grassroots organization of around 1,000 truckers will be striking against the rising cost of diesel. As one driver stated: “Our federal government is subsidizing railroads, airlines, banks and farmers. Meanwhile, we’re being taxed to death.” (source)

The strike is largely symbolic and is not expected to result in any significant dip in prices. Yet, it does display two exciting features: 1) it circumvents the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the truckers’ trade union, who actually denounces the pending strike for legal reasons, and 2) the event was organized over the internet — the future of resistance.

Now, I can’t let it go unmentioned that this is an election year a time when the fetishized act of voting gets moved to the front of the national conversation. A lot of time and money goes into convincing us that all of our energy needs to be drained into voting, not conservation or community activism, demonstrating or tax resistance. We’re supposed to elect someone to solve our problems with their charming, mega-watt smile. The dirtiest little secret of our age is synergic movements against both business and government, such as striking, trump the suggestion of action, like voting, every time.

With everyone treading water it’s no wonder at least one other group, the West Coast Dockworkers, is planning to strike this summer. As more and more of us are pulled under we’ll see a ground swell of activism. The spirit of resistance might be atrophied from lying coiled beneath the surface, but it won’t take long for more workers to slowdown or stop all together. Like in the 1930s, people recognized their reliance on each other and fought against the police (in some cases, like the Flint, Michigan Sit-Down Strike of 1936, they actually won), launched general strikes which shut down large metropolises like Seattle and San Francisco, and came close to wresting power away from the ownership class until FDR introduced a series of reforms that placated many laborers. And we’ll probably see the same type of actions under an Obama or Clinton presidency. Not that I’m a reformophobe. I want people to live better. But let’s not lose our radical edge. Let’s keep thrusting forward inch by inch, and not settle for what they give us.

Don’t be a Nader Hater by Rich

by Rich
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Feb. 29, 2008

Ralph Nader after the speech - Green Lecture

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

On the day Ralph Nader announced his bid for the White House the subsequent media coverage didn’t examine his policy proposals or his lifelong commitment to consumer protection; they didn’t mention Ralph, the champion of populism, or Ralph, the corporate dragon-slayer. No, all they cared to squawk about was Ralph, the spoiler.

CNN interviewed one of Al Gore’s campaign advisers who suggested we all ignore Nader. So much for John Stuart Mill’s concept of a marketplace of ideas. Many Democrats — that is to say people who vote Democratic — are buying into the notion that this is “the most important election of our lifetime”. No it’s not. A case could be made for the Bush/Kerry 2004 contest, but if you think Clinton, Obama or McCain will introduce any sweeping systemic reforms think again. Continue reading

A humble reminder about the Constitution by Rich

Rich

by Rich

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Jan. 29, 2008

There’s a little “trick” interviewers like to play, most recently Stephen Colbert, on right-wingers advocating the display of the Ten Commandments in public spaces. They ask these nearsighted evangelicals to simply name them. All ten. It’s a fair enough question. If these precepts are literally gospel truth you shouldn’t have too much trouble memorizing them before shopping them around to everyone else. Yet, as Colbert revealed, they can’t do it. The same goes with politicians and the Constitution. If a candidate evokes our Nation’s most esteemed document in an interview or on the campaign trail one of the first questions that should be asked is can you name the Bill of Rights? I doubt if McCain or Romney could. Obama and Clinton probably, although I doubt if they believe in them. I guess that’s the general difference between the two parties in a nutshell. The majority of Democrats pay lip service to the Constitution. The majority of Republicans do not.


Scene_at_the_Signing_of_the_Constitution_of_the_United_States

Originally uploaded by vinyl_word

But this is a new phenomenon, right? If we take a trip in the way-back machine we’d find a true reverence for the Constitution. Or will we? Was Woodrow Wilson worshiping at the feet of the first amendment when he championed the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act? Or did FDR embody personal freedom when he interned the nation’s Japanese-American population (but not Germans or Italians)? How about our third President, John Adams, who, out of paranoia over Irish Immigration and the French Revolution, passed the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798? These are some of the most famous examples, but there are vulgar violations through out history, often committed without remorse.

In fact, the Bill of Rights was a controversial addition to the Constitution in the first place. Alexander Hamilton opposed it saying the Constitution was enough and did not restrict anyone’s freedom. But the people fought for its inclusion. Maybe that’s why those first amendments have been so flexible in the minds of our leaders. The body of the Constitution, which defines governmental powers, inspires a little more obedience. Freedom of speech and assembly are beautiful concepts with pretty words, but when the Constitution grants the Congress the power to tax or to honor voluntary contracts or to suspend habeas corpus these passages by comparison are divine and immutable.

It was in the interest of the Framers — white, land-and-slave-owning rich men — to first liberate themselves from King George then create a solid federal government in order to secure foreign investment. Madison and Monroe, for example, wanted to buy land from the Indians but didn’t possess the start-up capital. No foreign investors, such as France, wanted to take the risk of lending money because no mechanism like a judicial branch existed to ensure the cash would be returned. But the Founders couldn’t do it alone. They needed to acclimate the middle class to their revolution. They needed soldiers and a buffer from the property-less poor who had carried on a protracted campaign of rebellion against our ruling class. Their solution was to include language of liberty, equality and protection.

Even a cursory glance tells you they didn’t mean it. The wealthy doesn’t want equality, especially during the time of the Constitution’s writing. Black men were property, Indians were something less than human and so were women. You couldn’t vote unless you had property which means the interest of renters were rarely represented.

This is why the Constitution provides for a republic and not a democracy. Madison distanced the decision-making powers from the people after looking at how uppity we get when charged exorbitant prices or denied paper money. Madison wrote:

“In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate, therefore, ought to be this body.”

It is obvious who the minority was, and Madison along with many of the Founding Fathers, didn’t have any use for the functions of democracy with its system of discussion, proposal, counter-proposal, decision and dissent. They preferred an electoral college and representation of the remaining number of men who were allowed to participate in the system.It took centuries of blood to enjoy the luxuries of today. The Bill of Rights set the standard and we have yet to achieve its ideals. A great companion to the Constitution is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The language of the Constitution may have been insincere but it remains a terrific destination. Remember, no piece of paper gave you your rights, no matter how many times you’re told just that in the year to come.

See also:
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Einstein and Socialism by Rich + Why Socialism? by Albert Einstein

by Rich
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December 14, 2007

Capitalism isn't working

Image by SusanAstray via Flickr

1949. How young we were then; so innocent, so simple, so monochromatic. Looking back, it appears as though those times are long gone, who could have predicted the mess we’d eventually get ourselves into? Try, one of the smartest men to have ever lived. It will take you about 10-15 minutes to read Einstein’s essay “Why Socialism?” but afterward you’ll see he understood more than theoretical physics, he could editorialize about social organization and modernity. Continue reading

“Stand fast and fight to the last”: The Spanish Anarchist Collectives by Rich

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October 10, 2007

A stock criticism of Anarchism is that it’s just too damn Utopian, a romantic fairytale for academics, a whimsical land of Oz located somewhere between Haight-Ashbury and Sesame Street. But these charges of Anarchism’s impracticality fall apart when one examines the nuts and bolts of the Spanish Anarchist Collectives. It’s no secret that good ideas are hard to suffocate, and this idea had been blossoming in the minds of Spanish workers for decades, one of self-management and self-governance. It wasn’t difficult to look at their environment and imagine how there could be a better world. Property ownership was the only way to gain access to the means of life, and with 67% of the land in the hands of 2% of the population peasant farmers had to labor under the wealthy landowners to survive. In those days, the men who held the deeds made the rules. But the people taught themselves about the transformative potential of solidarity, and acknowledged their ability to create equality through their own collective power. From here the Spanish Anarchists produced a functional bottom up society whose ghost plutocrats worldwide still must confront.

Continue reading

Buried Alive by Rich (book review; Pepe Escobar)

by Rich
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Dandelion Salad
Rich’s blog
October 10, 2007

Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge by Pepe Escobar

Self-deception is one of the necessary features of life during wartime. The smoke-and-mirrors charade of faultless good vs. bottomless evil becomes a tautology and all humanizing nuances of the enemy are discarded to maintain the gruesome volley. When somebody speaks truth to power it’s akin to a surprise gut-punch. Nobody wants to see the receipt to the Emperor’s new clothes – not even the Emperor. However, Pepe Escobar’s pitch perfect “Red Zone Blues” is a sucker-punch we need to our collective, doughy mid-sections. Continue reading

4 questions the media needs to start asking by Rich

Rich

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Why Iraq?

First a shout out to Greenspan’s loose lips, without them journalists would have continued their indefensible silence on the giant turd in the room namely our manifest energy interests in the cradle of civilization. Even with big Al’s feeble back-peddling his initial candor should be acknowledged. However, oil isn’t the only reason we chose to unseat Saddam. The answer to “Why Iraq” is a confluence of factors. Greed. Ignorance. Racism. Oh, how people squirm when someone utters the “R” word. But I submit for your consideration: Would we have as quickly invaded a white, Christian nation? Or would we allow over 1 million European civilians die during an American military occupation? Be it Korea, Vietnam, Panama or Nicaragua, the current war is just an extension of an egregiously racist foreign policy. We feel Western lives hold more value than everyone else. And this approach has more than once doublebacked and hit us where the good Lord split us.

What is the best way to end the occupation?

If you only listen to the two options presented by the mainstream media it looks like we’re jolly well fucked. We’ve got two choices: 1) stay in Iraq until the second coming of Christ or 2) leave Iraq and watch the inevitable genocide ensue. What we need to do is make friends with the neighboring countries like Syria and Iran, who are creeps to be sure, but has that ever stopped us before? Suharto of Indonesia was an unsavory character and we supplied him with arms, or Davalier of Haiti wasn’t exactly a saint but we spirited him away to France when the peasants came for his head. These men were the worst our species can offer who so happened to be BFFs with our country. So why not recruit Ahmadinejad and al-Assad? They’re willing to lend a helping hand. Think about it, none of the surrounding states want to see a renegade Iraq next door endangering their stability. If there’s any trepidation to whether or not we can trust Ahmadinejad, the head of the I.A.E.A., Mohamed ElBaradei, came out as a closeted freedom hater by stating the obvious, that there’s no evidence supporting a “weaponized” Iranian nuclear program. But what does he know, he only heads the International Atomic Energy Agency. He doesn’t realize diplomacy is for wimps, momma’s boys and the French.

What is the best way of defending ourselves?

Thanks to the imprudent policies of Reagan and every president thereafter militant Islamists rose from the margins of Arab society into an influential sect. Legitimized as a defense against American imposition, our incessant bullying makes bin Laden’s message attractive to antagonized, young Muslims. That’s why we need to kiss our military palaces goodbye and exit Iraq immediately. This threat cannot be confronted with a bludgeon, we need to implement laser-like delicacy with police, not military, tactics, punish those who attacked us, not non-combatants. With our spying technology – which can be used lawfully under third party supervision – soft targets could be secured, and the criminals apprehended. The only person I know of on T.V. who’s saying any of this is my president, Mike Gravel. He even broke the taboo and called for a resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Which is smart because what do people like bin Laden say in every third video they release? Free Palestine. Holocaust denial is energized by the conflict as well. If there were to be a tenable, two-state solution extremists around the world would lose a lot of their purchase.

Can America really do that?

American Exceptionalism. This one is untouchable. Ironically, most of our entanglements could be avoided if the press applied this question more often. Fact – America is just another country like Estonian. We shouldn’t be granted entitlements on an international level just because we’re a graceless giant. Does the U.S. have the right to demand a military base in Turkey or Russia? No! Can we dictate who should or shouldn’t have the bomb? No! Should we be able to violate a nation’s sovereignty? No! A little humility goes a long way. While the car bombs we detonate, the democratically elected leaders we depose and the ethnic cleansing we support may go unnoticed or is readily forgotten by us, the victims left in our wake are rarely as forgiving as we are to ourselves.

Anarchy made easy by Rich

Rich


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A young and clever George Orwell knew the significance of a beautiful idea. He left his wife and career in England to fight in the Spanish Civil War in December of 1936, siding with the Anarchists who opposed Hitler-backed Nationalist, Francisco Franco. The upsurge of fascism so frightened the fresh faced idealist that he was willing to die to end it. Orwell recognized the elegance of the Spanish Anarchists’ radically different way of administrating their affairs. As a result of the war, his affection for the new society was inverse to his disgust for totalitarianism, a position that informed his future classics Animal Farm and the prescient 1984.

A society like the Anarchist collectives had never before or since existed, an entirely autonomous community divested of centralized rule. But how would a modern Anarchist system operate? Could there be roads, bridges or sanitation? Who would defend the masses from oppression? If it were sustainable back then would it be more so today?

The Principles of Anarchy: An Introduction

An Anarchist is against all categories of authority. The most obvious being government, but in a free society corporations and organized religion would also be relinquished. Modified versions of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, etc. would be acceptable as long as they were personal expressions of faith and not a component of a larger hierarchic structure such as the Catholic Church. These institutions constrict the freedom of their adherents. It is impossible to move unencumbered while under the thumb of any system which asserts control from aloft. Today’s dominant attitudes of helplessness and disenchantment can be linked to this cultural feature. People elect Representatives to govern while citizens play no direct part in legislation. As bureaucracies grow (because that’s what Capitalism does – it expands) they monopolize the lion’s share of wealth and power. It is the goal of Anarchism to bridge this chasm and place people in charge of themselves.

Under Anarchism all property serves as a public resource, therefore it is false to assume nothing is owned in Anarchistic communities. On the contrary, the public owns everything. This is why it is believed, as proprietors, individuals are more inclined to be dutiful stewards of what belongs to them. A timeless example of this principle in action can be taken from the book of Nehemiah. In it Nehemiah must rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after a vicious attack. He assigns laborers to work on restoring, not the sections of the wall farthest from where they live, but sections of the wall nearest to each worker, ensuring a quick and meritorious result.

The story of Nehemiah and the wall of Jerusalem illustrates the underpinnings of the Anarchist’s view of human nature. Everyone is an egotist at heart, selfish and individualistic. But most people are social animals as well capable of compassion and sympathetic toward sufferers. This is why the laborers Nehemiah placed in charge of the construction of the wall cooperated with each other. They wanted protection. Anarchist collectives would work for the same reason. The members of the collective value nourishment, social relationships and creative expression, and would enter into a social contract without the supervision of government. Unfortunately, there is one fatal flaw in this story. To any self-respecting Anarchist Nehemiah must go.

There’s no business like no business

From the perspective of the Anarchist, Capitalism degrades human potential when greed becomes the engine of society. Profits justify all beastly pursuits: theft, murder, deceit. The only unpardonable sin is losing money. Cities, for example, serve as a surplus of available labor for corporations. The design of a city centers around the needs of businesses, clustering employees and their families around factories, providing the employees with food, clothing and entertainment along with modes of control. The aim of Anarchists would be to abolish these inhibiting conditions.

After wresting authority away from their corporate handlers the workers would go on to erect “syndicates”. Each syndicate would be devoted to a specific aspect of production necessary for the continuance of the community. One syndicate would specialize in chairs another in toilets and another in ceiling fans and so on and so forth. The workers in a particular syndicate would have dominion over the policies in their workplace. Each worker has an equal vote in the direction of their co-operative. For the day-to-day decisions required to run a complex syndicate workers would divide the collective into administrative branches through popular vote. At this point it is up to an individual to persuade their fellow workers of their education and skills in order to be placed in the proper administrative branch.

In keeping with the spirit of self-management the community also deserves a say in how their syndicates operate. That is why all the syndicates would be owned by everyone in a commune. A collection of syndicates is called a confederation. Just how workers determine the best methods of how their syndicate produces, the members of the confederation decide what is produced and how much.

It is important to keep in mind that this is the formula of choice when it comes to any Anarchist commune. Hospitals, schools and the military are all organized in this fashion. The reason for this is simple. When a syndicate’s course is no longer navigated by the workers, but by a tiny elite, it reverts back into a corporation.

A worthy aside, the word “labor” has a different meaning in a free society. Within the current system people compliment machines in an assembly line mentality, but self-facilitating communes would use technology to eliminate dangerous, tedious and undesirable work. The result would be an abundance of leisure time with a few hours of intermittent labor resembling art more than drudgery. Those assembly lines would run themselves leaving the workers to decorate the products at the end. And even in cases like the construction of roads and bridges, the hazardous aspects will be automated and workers, free from bosses and arbitrary deadlines, will take pride in what they produce because it will be for their benefit.

When workers manage themselves it is unlikely they would pollute their streams and sky or maintain an unsafe working environment. Today’s corporations have made these practices apart of their culture. Consumption and competition animates Capitalism but in tomorrow’s society producers and consumers will be one in the same.

Welcome to the neighborhood

For all the praise in reference to “the people” it could be wrongfully assumed Anarchists romanticize the masses. Untrue. Anarchists make no illusions about the gullibility of massive groups of people. It is the multitude who allowed the minority, the wealthy oligarchy of policy-makers, to enslave them in the first place. The answer is to transform the majority into well-educated cells.

Communes are structured in exactly this way. While they will communicate with other communes it is important to reach a balance so as not to become bloated with a large population. When free people are taught outside the restrictions of a repressive society it is difficult to imagine this being a problem. Work in an Anarchist society is voluntary so if someone wants to leave a syndicate, or even a commune, he or she may. The end result being a vibrant culture in a constant state of flux.

But even with each individual expressing him or herself freely without the deterrence of laws a few basic needs will remain. Health care will be just as vital as ever. Hospitals would function in the same way as syndicates. The doctors and nurses would organize, split into administrative branches based on their training and abilities, and be available for public use at any time. Doctors would visit the homes of the handicapped and the elderly who cannot care for themselves. The treatment people receive under this system, it could be said, would be superior because they would be cared for as patients and not customers. Additionally, those who entered into the health care profession would not do so for material gain but because of their passion for the work.

Some criminal element could be expected to dwell inside any commune. Plenty of crime would have been extinguished after the socialization of a community’s resources. Still a fraction of criminals would linger. Prisons have never been a popular solution and embodies everything Anarchists abhor about authoritarian rule. Instead the treatment of a criminal would be based upon their specific crime. He or she may be ostracized from the commune through popular vote or, depending upon the crime, given an opportunity to observe the destructive effects they had on the community. Popular opinion also would be used to pressure an injurious individual. A court system, constructed by the people of the commune and served in by everyone via lottery, would determine the guilt or innocence of an individual as well as his or her punishment. For those who need to be removed from society altogether, such as rapists, child molesters and sociopaths, asylums would be built in order to treat the offender without harm to others.

As for protection, a police force could be built if a commune desired. However, it would not patrol neighborhoods in the traditional sense, instead it would be an on-call service, much like a fire department, for anyone who wished to utilize it. And just like any other syndicate in the commune, the people hold sway over the policies of the police force. So if somebody abuses his or her power they can be immediately dismissed.

Anarchy made easy?

Because there have been so few examples of functional Anarchist societies in history these suggestions cannot be seen as gospel truth. Many of these ideas are taken either from noteworthy Anarchist thinkers or from the Spanish Civil War where they were put into practice. Freedom requires massive amounts of education on a large scale. It took the people of Spain seventy years to prepare for their revolution all the while overcoming illiteracy and a civil war, but with the internet and relative peace (at least here in the United States) the conditions are markedly better to annunciate the message. Isn’t it time to start thinking like George Orwell and recognize the significance of this beautiful idea?

The Perfect Drug: What will end our oil addiction? by Rich

Dandelion Salad

Thanks to Rich On Myspace:

Rich

The Perfect Drug: What will end our oil addiction?

Hydrogen

by Rich

Nobody remembers when Bush said we need to kick our “oil addiction” – not even Bush. But he did say it, and, even if he didn’t mean it, it is true. We’re jonesin’ for a fix and like a crackhead without enough junk we’re hurting others along with ourselves in search for another taste of Texas Tea.

A solution the President offered during that speech was biomass cultivated from switch grass, willow and sugarcane. We are lead to believe corn-based ethanol is the cleanest alternative to fossil fuels, however, if implemented today we’d only be trading one devil for another. Ethanol yields less energy than it takes to produce and would result in catastrophic depletion of American top soil.

So the solution is evident. If not biomass then nuclear power would be the best alternative. Not so. Just think of all the waste left behind, who wants a three-legged baby or radioactive breast milk? No clear-thinking person wants a Three Mile Island or Chernobyl in their backyard. Not even the greatest salesman alive could sell someone on that. And an energy shift big enough to power America would generate massive amounts of waste which wouldn’t be dumped in Trump’s neighborhood. Instead, the unused radioactive material would most likely be buried in primarily Black and Hispanic communities. Never mind the enfeebling diseases to follow, you can still vote by absentee ballot.

image006Now you’re calling me a defeatocrat, aren’t you? I won’t let you have your coal, oil, uranium or your switch grass…what could possibly be left? Hydrogen – that’s what. Although automotive companies are trying to place a monopoly on this technology, there are soon to be relatively inexpensive kits available which have been tested and proven to work in most late model cars. There are two primary components: a tank and a refueling generator. When you store your vehicle you connect the hydride tanks to the refueling generator, Hydrogen is then chemically bonded to the hydride which clings to the hydrogen until it’s heated. When I say cling I’m talking Bruce Lee, kung-fu grip type of clinging. mits4For example, if the tank is cracked open or even split in two none of the hydrogen will escape or explode. The only way to release the chemically bonded hydrogen once absorbed by the hydride is through heat. This makes it even safer than the gas tank you have in your car right now. The waste emitted from a hydrogen fuel system is water vapor and nitrogen oxides. It doesn’t get much cleaner than that. And because the hydrogen fuel system is solar power based the total maintenance cost is much cheaper than filling up every five days and should pay for itself, depending upon your driving habits, within a few years. Here’s some in-depth information on how the hydrogen system works.

Special thanks to Eben for bringing this technology to my attention. Kudos!