Monday 17 March 2014

More Tales from the Persian Kitchen

"At a time of increased military tensions, a project which humanises Iranian people, dispels stereotypes, gives a voice to a people rarely seen or heard in the Western media and promotes cross-cultural understanding could not be more important. Saffron aims to do just this, guiding viewers on a fascinating journey into the hearts (and stomachs) of Iranians today."
Yasmin Khan

Last Year I blogged about Yasmin Khan's project to make a documentary film about Iranian cuisine. At the time, she was raising funds on Kickstarter to film a promo in Iran, which she could then pitch to TV companies. That promo is now here, and it's amazing!  Look for yourself - 

The subtle side of this project is to use cooking as a medium to humanise the people of Iran in the eyes of people here. As I wrote last year, 'getting to know a people is a really good cure for being indifferent as to whether our governments want to kill them or not.' Since then, in Britain we have seen the historic vote against a war with Syria, and a growing knowledge and scepticism of the manipulative role Western governments play in events like the current Ukrainian revolution. So rejoice, for the world is changing!  

A question often asked in the alternative media however, is how to connect with more people?  People whom (perhaps sensibly) have no wish to spend their time looking into the nefarious things that their governments are up to. This project maybe a shining example of such a way, promoting a sense of togetherness and our shared humanity with people across the globe, and thereby lessening the chance of future wars without mentioning politics at all!

Visit Yasmin's website to see more stories of her adventures cooking through Iran, and like her page on facebook to keep updated with her progress - 

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Sunday 16 March 2014

The Revolution will be Voluntary!

Hello Everyone,

I've decided to change the plan regarding the sale of tickets for Professor Gerard Casey's upcoming talk, Libertarian Anarchy. As of now, tickets are scrapped. I am going to attempt to fund the event solely through donations.

Here's why. Just as the minimum wage is a barrier that prevents people from getting jobs, so a minimum charge is a barrier that prevents people coming to events. Obviously I want as many people to attend as possible and therefore it doesn't make sense to me to place obstacles in their way. To me of course, £7 is a great price to hear a lecture on what I believe will be the major emerging political (or apolitical) paradigm of the 21st century. But of course not everyone thinks of anarcho-capitalism this way, most people have either never heard of it, or if they have they may think it's anything between lunacy or a right wing conspiracy to take social welfare away. I understand this, and I want those people to come along and listen first before deciding if this is something they want to contribute towards or not.

There's a great experiment going on in the emerging alternative media at the moment. The question being ask is what is the best way to get valuable information distributed as widely as possible, whilst still keeping the lights turned on? Can information be made open to all, or does economic necessity mean it has to be locked away behind walls? I don't know the answer to this, but I do want to engage in the experiment. If I end up in the black, I'll do more events in the future, if I end up in the red, I might leave it to people who have big organisations behind them. It's all very exciting!

Regarding the costs, I'm personally looking at a bill of at least £350. And that's without getting the event filmed, something I'd really like to have professionally done so it can be seen all over the world. So I would ask that if you do feel it's valuable to have these kind of events on the Isle of Man, please do make a financial contribution on the night.

As this event will now be co-created by all those who put into it, another way to support it is to tell people about it. It's great if people invite their contacts on the facebook event page (link below) and repost the articles there. I'll be drawing up a flyer too, which I'll try and put somewhere anyone can download.

With thanks,

Gerard Casey- Libertarian ANARCHY on the Isle of Man
Saturday 22nd March, 7:30pm, Hydro Hotel Douglas. Event Funded Solely by Donations. For further information email or call Richard on 476370.

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Saturday 15 March 2014

'Let the Poor Starve!' and other Anarchist Observations

“Political theory and political practice are dominated by a myth, the myth of the necessity and the legitimacy of the State.”
Gerard Casey, Libertarian Anarchy. 

One of the most common objections raised to the idea of a stateless society is that government is necessary to look after the poor and the vulnerable, whom without its protection would be dying on the streets! Professor Casey is going to tackle this problem head on in a new lecture he's preparing called 'Let the Poor Starve!', which is an examination of the welfare state. In this context, 'the poor' include the biggest welfare recipients of all, the big banks and corporations (or hotels on the Isle of Man!). He will also examine how a stateless society might come up with creative solutions for caring for the real poor and vulnerable, solutions that don't include the inefficiency and violence of the state.

You can listen to Gerard Casey being interviewed on this and other aspects of anarchism on the Tom Woods Radio Show-

And to give you more of an idea of what to you might expect if you come along to his lecture next Saturday, here are some quotes from his book 'Libertarian Anarchy'

On Drug Prohibition - 

"Some will reject the charge of false Imprisonment or kidnapping that I lay against the state. People are put In gaol, they will say, only if they are convicted of committing a crime; the fact that they are in gaol means they are criminals The state is not only not doing anything wrong In putting them there, it is doing something positively good by protecting us from these miscreants. This objection, of course, draws our attention firmly to the question of which courses of conduct actually constitute crime. While most people will agree that murder, robbery, kidnapping and assault are crimes involving, as they do, gross interference with the lives, liberties and properties of others, it is not entirely clear just what awful deed is being done by Tom, Dick and Harriet when, for example, they smoke pot in the privacy of their rooms and why it should require violent intervention by the state to prevent it." 


“While libertarians may be willing to concede that the use of many chemical substances is individually and socially harmful, they will oppose attempts to proscribe or regulate either drug-taking or drug commerce. This for two reasons The first, principled, reason is that such proscription or regulation is a violation of individual liberty; the second, consequentialist, reason, is that history shows that such attempts at proscription and regulation inevitably make a bad situation worse. Alcohol prohibition of the 1920s was an unqualified disaster and today's so-called war on drugs is no more successful in reducing the incidence of drug-taking. (Isn't It remarkable that whereas in the good old days we used to wage war on countries, nations or states, now we wage war on inanimate objects like drugs and abstract nouns like terrorism?) The 'war on drugs' merely increases the price of drugs to consumers and profits to retailers, corrupts those charged with enforcing the anti-drug laws and ensures that large numbers of people who otherwise would not come to the attention of the police receive a first class criminal training at the public expense in state-run penal facilities. Legal and physical compulsion is not a sound foundation upon which to build the moral character of individuals or a better society.”

On Immigration -

"Immigration? Libertarians, for the most part, will support immigration There's nothing special about the territory of a particular state. If someone Is willing to hire or sponsor an immigrant that should be the end of the matter."

On Bailouts - 

"Bailouts for businesses? Libertarians reject them No one Is entitled to demand that others be forcibly required to support his business, whatever that business may be, whether farming, shoemaking or banking."

On Compulsory School Attendance and Military Conscription - 

"What of compulsory school attendance? Libertarians reject It State- enforced school attendance Is a form of involuntary incarceration that violates the rights of both parents and children. Only the parents or guardians of children and the children when they are old enough to assume responsibility for themselves can make such decisions. What goes for compulsory school attendance goes even more for military conscription. Conscription is sometimes justified on the grounds that we need it to defend our countries. Unless we equate our countries with the states operating in our countries, and putting to one side the obvious point that if there are no states there would be no states to attack or be attacked, the libertarian will argue that conscription is a form of involuntary servitude - more bluntly, a form of slavery - and so is to be rejected on libertarian grounds."

On law and Order - 

“If I can show that justice, law and order can be provided without a state, then the state begins to look like the Wizard of Oz, a small man with a megaphone pulling levers behind a curtain.”

On Society - 

“Much of the inchoate support for the idea of a state results from a conflation of the ideas of state and society. Of course human beings are not Isolated individuals; of course we are born in, live in and can only flourish in society where 'society' denotes the sum of the complex, overlapping system of voluntary relations between individuals. But It IS a gross mistake to conclude from this that because we need society we therefore need the state.”

On Murder - 

“Given that the core function of the state is said to be the preservation of law and order and the protection of life and property, it ss perhaps not irrelevant to note that recent history shows that most killing has been done by one state or another or by some armed group seeking to be the government of a state and to control its coercive apparatus. The number of people killed in the twentieth century in state-sponsored conflicts or state-related victimization is, at a conservative estimate, between 175,000,000 and 180,000,000.”

On Anarchy - 

“The only mode of social organisation that is ethically acceptable is one that respects our liberty, namely, anarchy. Perhaps It may be worthwhile to point out that anarchy is not chaos or disorder or mayhem but the spontaneous order that arises from free and mutually acceptable human interactions, Most human beings for most of human history have lived in a state of anarchy; most of our daily interaction with our family, friends, neighbours and colleagues is framed by anarchy, and anarchy is the only mode of organisation that is consistent with our accepting responsibility for ourselves, our families and our communities in an adult way.”

Gerard Casey- Libertarian ANARCHY on the Isle of Man
Saturday 22nd March, 7:30pm, Hydro Hotel Douglas. Event Funded Solely by Donations. For further information email or call Richard on 476370.

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Wednesday 12 March 2014

George Ought to Help - Government is a Mafia!

For anyone who is interested in Professor Gerard Casey's upcoming talk on Libertarian Anarchy on the Isle of Man, if you want to get a feel for the core essence of the idea, I could do no better than to recommended the following short film, 'George Ought to Help'.  In four minutes it strips away the illusion that the State is anything other than a Mafia type organisation, and demonstrates how it cannot operate without recourse to the most extreme forms of violence.  Finally it poses the question, can we create a world built on voluntary exchanges as opposed to coercive violence? 

Gerard Casey- Libertarian Anarchy
Saturday 22nd March, 7:30pm, Hydro Hotel Douglas. Event Funded Solely by Donations. For further information email or call Richard on 476370.

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Sunday 9 March 2014

Barraco Barner - Or Why Voters Should Be Uninformed!

This ladies name is Gemma Worrall, she has recently achieved world wide fame for misspelling the name of the guy who reads a Teleprompter for the corporate elite in the United States, and confusing him with another guy who does a similar job in the United Kingdom.

Ms. Worrall's intelligence has been called into question as a result of this lapse of judgement, but as the following Learn Liberty video demonstrates, she's actually being entirely rational in not knowing anything about politics, if not in her decision to then tweet about it!

And from now on, on this site, the aforementioned Teleprompter reader will always be referred to as 'Barraco Barner'.  I'm sure he'd prefer it to being called Barack the Bomber or Barry Soetoro or anything like that.

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Thursday 6 March 2014

Libertarian ANARCHY on the Isle of Man

On the Isle of Man complaining about Government seems to be the national sport. Whether it's toilet taxes, hotel bailouts or ridiculous over expenditure on capital projects, we all love a good moan about the Gov. But have you ever considered if the problem is not the individuals running government, but rather the very concept of government itself? Do we really need a government at all? Would society fall into chaos without its guiding hand? Would big corporations end up owning everything? Who would provide essential services? Is a stateless society just a utopian fantasy?

On Saturday 22nd of March Professor Gerard Casey will be visiting the Island to present his case that society does not need government to function and in fact we would be much better off without it. Far from being a utopian fantasy, a stateless society based on voluntary interactions and exchanges would be both more moral and functional than our current system of taxation based on violent coercion, and such a society is achievable any time we choose it.

To quote from Professor Casey's book Libertarian Anarchy -
"States are criminal organizations. All states, not just the obviously totalitarian or repressive ones. I intend this statement to be understood literally and not as some form of rhetorical exaggeration.

The argument is simple. Theft, robbery, kidnapping and murder are all crimes. Those who engage in such activities, whether on their own behalf or on behalf of others are, by definition, criminals. In taxing the people of a country, the state engages in an activity that is morally equivalent to theft or robbery; in putting some people in prison, especially those who are convicted of so-called victimless crimes or when it drafts people into the armed services, the state is guilty of kidnapping or false imprisonment; in engaging in wars that are other than purely defensive or, even if defensive, when the means of defence employed are disproportionate and indiscriminate, the state is guilty of manslaughter or murder.

Anarchy is the position in which the members of a society naturally find themselves when they are not subject to the power of a state."
Gerard Casey 

Gerard Casey is Associate Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin, Ireland, Adjunct Professor at the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, UK, and Adjunct Scholar at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute , Alabama, USA.

The lecture will be highly interactive with audience participation strongly encouraged, so bring your questions criticisms and concerns along.

In the two weeks running up to the event I'll be regularly blogging accessible libertarian anarchist material to help put people in the picture.

Saturday 22nd March, 7:30pm, Hydro Hotel Douglas. Event Funded Solely by Donations. For further information email or call Richard on 476370.

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