Mar 18, 2014

The Great Flaw of Anarchism [by Prince Jonathan]

  Anarchism is, in its most fundamental concepts, entirely correct. The structure and concept of the State, as it is known today, is nothing more than a vast mechanism for tyranny. It takes away freedom, harms the common good, and commits acts of unjustified violence simply by existing; all of which it attempts to justify using elaborate political theories with deeply flawed foundations. Edan is not statist. I am not statist. To be otherwise is to be fooled. All this I believe and admit freely, yet I am still not an Anarchist. Indeed, both I and the Kingdom are very strongly anti-anarchy. And how, you ask, is this possible? Is that not a paradoxical position? Why do we oppose both the State and its absence?
  Because we recognize the great flaw of Anarchism. We see that it has developed from its perfectly rational basic principles into a greater philosophy that is largely false. Anarchists do not just wish to abolish the State, they wish to abolish all political action, all authority, and the entirety of the social sphere except for economics and the family, and some of them even the latter. This is the absolute height of foolishness, and Edan thus rejects Anarchism, as I shall now explain.
  Man is, as a very wise man once observed, a political animal, and this truth cannot be denied. Throughout all the history of all the world, government and political association has developed amongst civilized men. Furthermore, contrary to the common belief of Anarchism, it has largely done so in a non-aggressive way. After the gradual collapse of the Roman Empire, there was no government in France, Italy, Spain, or Western Germany. This meant that the only people with power in those places were the land owners, and the only material order their employment of tenant workers. Over time, these landowners, these counts and dukes, made deals amongst themselves, refined their feudal (that is, contractual) relationship with their tenants, and appointed some of their number as kings. Although violence and coercion were certainly involved in some times and places, the origin of government in Western Europe was accomplished through nothing more than the ownership of property, which I highly doubt any true anarchist will criticize. Similar origins may be found for much of the government of the ancient world, though, again, coercion is not completely absent from history.
  And, once more contrary to the typical beliefs of libertarians and anarchists, Anarchism has also been found throughout history. Far from being the first authentically new political development in three thousand years, absolute individual freedom with no form of government or authority has been seen in many different times and places. We find examples in the Judges period of Israel, Pre-Islamic Arabia, and Pre-Cromwellian Ireland, to name just a few. It is not necessary here to rely solely on those societies incapable of developing government; anarchy has existed in the world through the Age of Exploration. Indeed, considering the nations that evolved in Southern Africa and Polynesia, it could be argued that even the most technologically primitive societies are capable of forming governments, though most of them abstain. What is interesting here is that all examples of anarchy found historically, no matter what their culture, religion, or level of technology, share a few basic traits: continuous, bloody warfare, the normalization of atrocities, and a lack of any meaningful development in technology or art. Every time it as been implemented, anarchy has had a terrifyingly negative impact on the civilizations it affected. Even the most stable and moral examples, such as Pre-Cromwellian Ireland, were plagued by war and violence.
  Now, these facts alone would not be enough to condone statism. The ends do not justify the means; we cannot use tyranny and violence to end tyranny and violence. It is, as the majority of anarchists observe, utterly irrational. However, it is more than possible to form governments and establish the rule of law without recourse to coercion. A state-like order can be created in a completely permissible way, so why should anarchy be permitted to survive? If a truly lawless condition leads to such horrid things, why do we not agree to create law?
  So we see that Anarchism is disproved by history, but it is not even necessary to resort to that approach. Reason can also be used to show its flaws, and to demonstrate that a moral society is neither anarchy nor the State, but rather a proper, feudal government.
  It is natural for people to turn a blind eye to the errors in their own position. That is simple human nature, and it cannot be totally avoided, only fought. Anarchism, however, suffers from a general naïveté in excess even of that. Possible abuses of its systems and flaws in its concept of legality are ignored utterly, or supposedly defeated with the argument that market forces will eventually lead to their destruction. Even the most legitimate concerns are given no thought, as a rule.
  For example, let us say that there is a particular factory that produces car frames, and, in order to cut costs and run more efficiently, they switch from their existing chrome-coating method to one involving a much more volatile compound. The run-off and pollution from this compound quickly spreads off the lot of property that the factory is built upon, and begins to poison the water supply of a neighbouring residential district. The factory owner has harmed the health of many other people, so is he accountable to pay damages and switch back to the older, safer method? How much money should he pay out? How is that determined? Suppose the people in the district hire one security company to force him to pay out a large sum of money to them, but he claims that he owes much less, and hires a rival company to defend himself. Or suppose that he even claims that he isn't responsible at all. What happens next? Who determines which side is right? If the side that is wrong wins, who can step in to fix it?
  As another problem, is airspace property? Can sections of the sky and upper atmosphere be claimed, bought, and sold? It's an interesting question when there is no central law regulating it, but it is not the problem here. The problem is what happens when there is a dispute. If a road-owning company claims that it owns the air above its property up to the limit of the atmosphere, and a air-liner company holds that airspace cannot be owned because it cannot be worked, who wins the dispute over the first company charging tolls on passing planes? Let's say that the air company refuses to pay the demanded tolls, so the road-owners call in a private security company that agrees with their claims to force the matter, and then the air company calls in their own security that agrees with them. If negotiations fail, a shooting war will result. This is something of an extreme example, but it is entirely possible, and does a good job of illustrating this sort of problem. In a state of true anarchy, serious problems arise because of a lack of authority. Does this not mean that, according to the very laws of success and failure that Anarchism itself upholds as its unique practical advantage, authority will inevitably result? Is it not in the common interest of everyone to not just agree on a standard convention for such matters, but also create some way of solving similar difficulties in the future? And since this authority is so intimately linked to defence and enforcement, doesn't it make sense that it, the police, and the military should be a united organization? We find here the genesis of good government, and, indeed, of all government.
   And so we can see that Anarchism is neither foolish nor evil, but the belief that it can survive for more than a few generations without descending into violence and disruption is most certainly the former. Anarchists are correct in observing that the way things are today is critically flawed, but they fail to see the flaws in their own ideas again and again. Ultimately, they are, as a movement, over-idealistic. Even if they do not consciously realize it, their system is completely reliant on the total or almost-total eradication of human stupidity, selfishness, and disputes.
  In Edan, however, we recognize that such a utopian event is impossible. So we reject the State, then reject Anarchism, and finally establish ourselves to be a voluntary government. We seek to create the authority, stability, and public beneficence of a well-run State, while still maintaining the proper morality and rationality at the heart of Anarchism. Though this may be difficult, it is still worth striving after; and it is an ideal that we will not abandon for as long as the Kingdom survives.

Mar 13, 2014

Reflections on Lent, Politics, Life, and the Kingdom

  Once upon a time there was a question asked by a newspaper. It was "What's wrong with the world?"
  The modern world is a busy, noisy place. People carry phones with them at all times allowing themselves to bombard themselves with multiple forms of messages from around the world as well as music, news, videos, and games. This is so they can focus on what is important to them because the world around them bombards them with music, games, ads, and messages not of their own choosing.
  People are filled with frenetic energy; children study long hours and fill stacks of notebooks with repetitive work, yet knowledge and even their own test scores decline. There are more and more sources of news and information yet each new development is a surprise since no one expected it.
  The election cycle never ends, a constant parade of new names, new faces, new scandals, new "critical" issues, new voices, new experts. yet each election has 'surprises'. And after each election things always get worse, not better.
  Men rush through school with sports and clubs. They rush through their workdays with projects and lunches and travel. Women do the same. They get home to hobbies and entertaining, travel and art, music and decorating. Mothers take their children to art, soccer, math, enrichment, games, dances, and so on in an endless cacophony of activity for themselves and their husbands and their children. Homeschooling mothers take on even more with conferences, plans, meetings, tests and - of course - education.
  Their husbands do the same with hobbies and meetings and day trading and the lawn, lawn, lawn. Friends at the pub, sport, and discussion of politics.
  Why? Why all this energy? At the end of the day everyone is exhausted, yet as much as they complain no appointments are dropped. Why?
  Fear. Fear of reality. The busy, the make-work, the frenetic activity is to escape. Escape from ourselves and the world around us.
  The children are unhappy? You can't blame the mother, she gave them every advantage. The father slaved day and night! It isn't their fault, they worked so hard. The father doesn't get super-rich? The day trading was just a hobby and the small business just couldn't compete because of competition. The wife is cold and distant? well, she just doesn't understand her husband. The wife feels neglected? Maybe if her husband vacuumed more often....
  The modern world fears silence and still. If the reporters and pundits were to shut up for a week or so people would realize that no one really learns anything from them. The bloggers would be forced to admit that they are the fan-dancers of politics - busy fluttering with great energy but, in the end, there is nothing to be seen. Politicians would be forced to admit that they almost never utter a word worth listening to. People would start to realize that the government of, by, and for the people doesn't like the people very much at all.
  Modernism fears silence and still mainly because of one simple truth; in the silence and still we must all admit that we are our own fault.
  When the Times of London ran the article that asked "What's Wrong with the World" G.K. Chesterton replied, simply, "I am."
  That is part of the Church's goal during Lent. To have us all add a little silence and still to our world so we can remember what is wrong with the world. So if you are adding a ton of activities to your Lenten practices I urge you - don't. Take things out; put in silence and still.
  And every day remind yourself - you are your own fault. We are, indeed, responsible for ourselves. And our children. And our marriage. This is easy to forget when a text interrupts candy crush, hard to escape after 20 minutes alone with your thoughts.
  So we should all stop and be silent. Sit, and be still. Unless we are contemplatives, this is more of a leavening to our lives, a depth to our waters. Like the pauses in the Latin Mass; beauty, chant, bells, and song made more beautiful and more profound by stillness and bouts of silence.
  Yes, this matters to the Kingdom, too. Few elections, and all minor ones; important positions are for life; authority is as small, direct, and local as possible; government is as limited and small as possible. The Kingdom of Edan is meant to be as silent and still as possible, like the pauses in the Mass. Love and duty, honor and care all leavened with silence and stillness.
  So sit, and be silent. Take your children to fewer things. Do less and spend more time together in the quiet and the calm. Realize that you are the real you and that you are more in control when you do less.

Mar 11, 2014

Travel Advisory - March 15th through April 15th

  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has compiled the following list of travel advisories:

Should Not Enter (nations or areas on this list are considered of such high danger that the Ministry advises all citizens to avoid travel to, through, or over these places):

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) [tyranny]
Niger [armed conflict and terrorism]
Nigeria [Islamist insurrection]
Somalia [armed conflict and terrorism]
South Sudan [armed conflict]
Syria [active civil war]

High Risk (nations or areas where people face high risk of injury or detention. The Ministry advises against any non-essential travel to these places):

Afghanistan [unrest]
Algeria [unrest, kidnapping]
Central African Republic [unrest]
Democratic Republic of the Congo [unrest]
Gaza [terrorist activity]
Iran [tyranny]
Iraq [unrest]
Lebanon [unrest]
Libya [unrest]
Mali [unrest]
Mauritania [terrorist activity]
Somalia [terrorist activity]
Sudan [unrest]
Tunisia [state of emergency]
the West Bank [terrorist activity]
Yemen [terrorist activity]

Caution (nations or areas with a risk of injury or detention. The Ministry advises caution for all travellers to these places):

Argentina [active protests]
Burundi [terrorist activity]
Columbia [crime]
Cote d'Ivoire [unrest]
El Salvador [crime]
Eritrea [internal restrictions on foreigners]
Honduras [crime, kidnapping]
Mexico [crime, kidnapping]
Pakistan [terrorist activity]
Ukraine [unrest, possible renewal of armed conflict]
Venezuela [crime, protests]

Other (nations or areas the Ministry determined have 'elements of concern to Edanians')
Haiti [lack of infrastructure]

Mar 3, 2014

Europe and North America Abandon Democracy

  Not too long ago Ukraine descended into violence. While the overall story is oft-repeated the details seem elusive on most news sources, so please forgive me as we sum up.


  Ukraine is insolvent: the nation is so deeply in debt that it needs $17 billion USD (almost 10% of Ukraine's annual GDP) to meets its obligations and continue functioning, and it needs this money relatively quickly. It was hoping to receive $20 Bn USD in loans from the European Union so began negotiating a trade deal with the EU that would include such a loan.
  The European Union declined and offered only about $830 million USD in loans and their trade deal required Ukraine to change many internal laws, some of which had no direct bearing on trade.
  Russian then offered $15 Bn USD in loans with a trade agreement that included reducing energy costs to the Ukraine.
  Up against the wall the president of Ukraine was effectively forced to abandon the possibility of a trade deal with the EU and accept a deal with Russia because only Russia was willing to meet Ukraine's needs. This was announced by the Ukrainian government on November 21st, 2013.

  Protests began almost immediately. Some Ukrainian citizens who wish for closer ties to the EU began to gather in Kyiv to protest the trade deal with Russia. By the 24th estimates on the number of protestors ranged as high as 100,000 (although the actual numbers were probably closer to 20,000) and the protestors began breaking police cordons and physically clashing with police. The police responded with tear gas and batons. The protestors began being encouraged and organized by opposition political leaders. The protests also began allowing neo-Nazi groups to take the elad in violence against police forces.
  This is not hyperbole or Godwin's Law - actual self-described neo-Nazi groups led violent attacks on police where isolated groups of police were attacked and their equipment stolen to arm protestors. These protestors, now with riot gear, then continued the escalation of violence.

  Protestors begin assaulting and seizing government buildings, including city hall of the capitol, while continuing violence against police. The protestors used petrol bombs, improvised weapons, and captured firearms to attack police and used arson and burning barricades to distract and repel police. By the middle of January protestors and police were being killed as well as injured.
  At the height of the protests prior to any protestors dying the Ukrainian parliament passed anti-protest laws that sparked greater protests and more violence; the laws were repealed and insttead the government offered to release already-arrested protestors and offer amnesty to other protestors if government buildings were released. This exchange of prisoners for buildings was completed by about the 16th of February. On the 18th the protestors began their assaults on police lines and by the 20th had re-taken all the surrendered buildings and taken others, as well.

  During this same time the opposition leaders, who were still leading the protestors, were negotiating with foreign powers for loans and support for when they has succeeded in seizing control of the government. Aresniy Yatsenyuk met with Angela Merkel in person urgin her to impose sanctions and aid the protestors so help them take over the Ukrainian government.

  The opposition tot he elected government in Kyiv was being reflected in greater Ukraine with the Ukrainian-speaking West seizing most government buildings seized by protestors but the Russian-Speaking eastern and southern fringes marked with pro-government forces aiding police is resisting protestors.

  By February 20th enough members of parliament had fled or defected that the opposition parties gained control of the Ukrainian parliament. The president agrees to early elections, has his powers slashed, and several other changes occur in the next few days. Opposition leader Yulia Tymeshenko is released from prison at the vote of the opposition-controlled parliament. By the 23rd the opposition leader and protest organizer Aresniy Yatsenyuk is made Prime Minister as other opposition leaders are placed in charge of the Ukrainian government.

  As this is occurring protestors in Crimea, which is largely Russian-speaking, are rejecting the new government in Kyiv as illegitimate. The regional parliament in Crimea states that they will vote to decide if they will remain part of Ukraine and armed men seize airfields and government buildings in the Crimea. The brand new government in Kyiv states they will not allow the breakup of Ukraine.

  The new government also beings pleading with Europe and the US for - billions of dollars in loans to prop up the Ukrainian economy.

  The crimean regional parliament asks for help from Russia to aid it in its claims to autonomy. Russia agrees and sends troops too support the new Republic of Crimea.

  We have been continually surprised at the political developments of the last few years where ostensibly Democratic governments in Europe and North America vocally and materially support the violent overthrow of various governments in the world. This may be most surprising in Ukraine.
  Let us be very clear - what occurred in Ukraine is the violent overthrow of the lawfully-elected government by an armed mob led by the losers of the last election. This was not prompted by mass oppression, nor was it triggered by civil rights violations or the illegal grasp for power - the pretext for this armed insurrection was the government's refusal to sign a trade agreement that would have forced Ukraine to modify its internal laws to be advantageous to European nations without giving Ukraine the loans it needed to remain solvent.

  There are already protests in large cities across Ukraine against this new, mob-seated, government by Ukrainians that reject its legitimacy - if more protests arise led by the new opposition what side shal Europe, the BBC, and similar groups take? Will the violent protestors still have the right to change the government via force?

  The last five years have clearly demonstrated through the words and deeds of European and North American political leaders, pundits, and academics that none of them actually believe that Democracy works. What shall they replace it with?