Aren’t anarchists terrorists?
Aren’t statists terrorists? Well, some of the them are; in fact, the overwhelming majority of non-governmental groups who murder and destroy property for political aims believe that government ought to exist (and that they ought to run it). And just as the existence of such statist terrorists is a poor argument for anarchism, the existence of anarchist terrorists is a poor argument against anarchism. For any idea whatever, there will always be those who advocate advancing it by violence.
It is however true that around the turn of the century, a certain segment of anarchists advocated what they called “propaganda by the deed.” Several heads of state were assassinated by anarchists, along with businessmen, industrialists, stock-brokers, and so on. One of the most famous instances was when the young Alexander Berkman tried to murder the steel industrialist Henry Frick. During this era, the left-anarchists were divided as to the permissibility of terrorism; but of course many strongly opposed it. And individualist anarchists such as Benjamin Tucker almost always saw terrorist activities as both counter-productive and immoral when innocents were injured (as they often were).
The basic argument of the advocates of “propaganda by the deed” was that anarchist terrorism would provoke governments — even avowedly liberal and democratic governments — to resort to increasingly harsh measures to restore order. As governments’ ruthlessness increased, their “true colours” would appear for all to see, leading to more immediate results than mere education and theorising. As E.V. Zenker notes in his Anarchism: A Criticism and History of the Anarchist Theory, a number of Western governments were driven to adopt anti-terrorist laws as a result of anarchist terrorism. (Zenker goes on to note that Great Britain remained true to its liberal heritage by refusing to punish individuals merely for espousing anarchist ideas.) But as one might expect, contrary to the terrorists’ hopes, it was the reputation of anarchism — peaceful and violent alike — which suffered rather than the reputation of the state.
What is anarchism? What beliefs do anarchists share?
Anarchism is defined by The American Heritage College Dictionary as “The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are unnecessary, oppressive, and undesirable and should be abolished.” Anarchism is a negative; it holds that one thing, namely government, is bad and should be abolished. Aside from this defining tenet, it would be difficult to list any belief that all anarchists hold. Just as atheists might support or oppose any viewpoint consistent with the non-existence of God, anarchists might and indeed do hold the entire range of viewpoints consistent with the non-existence of the state.
As might be expected, different groups of anarchists are constantly trying to define anarchists with different views out of existence, just as many Christians say that their sect is the only “true” Christianity and many socialists say that their socialism is the only “true” socialism.
Could jury nullification have saved a pro-marijuana activist from an 81-year prison sentence for selling pot?
Rich Paul of Keene, New Hampshire, is planning on appealing to the New Hampshire Supreme Court on the grounds that the judge misled the jury on what nullification is in his trial for selling marijuana to an undercover Drug Task Force informant. According to Free Keene’s coverage of the trial, judge John C. Kissinger emphasized that the jury had to follow the law as he explained it and didn’t mention jury nullification. Kissinger’s instructions to the jury were different than the ones given to the jury in the case of Doug Darrell, a 59-year-old Rastafarian woodworker who was acquitted of marijuana-growing charges thanks to jury nullification.
Paul, who essentially admitted that he sold marijuana to an FBI informant, had refused plea-bargain deals (including one that would have let him walk away with no jail time) because he wanted to stand up for his principles—weed is basically harmless and you should be allowed to smoke it and sell it to your friends. “Somebody had to stand up and say that this is wrong, and I thought I might as well be that guy,” he said in an email to VICE two days before the jury found him guilty. “I took the risk and now we’ll find out whether I bet my life well.”
some background on jury nullification:
Confusion about the legality of jury nullification is natural—essentially, it’s legal only because jurors can’t get punished for whatever verdict they reach. In the 90s, a juror from Colorado named Laura Kriho was charged with contempt of court for voting to acquit a 19-year-old charged with possession of meth and supposedly lying about her anti–drug war beliefs during the jury selection process, in what a lot of people read as an assault on the doctrine of nullification. Since then, though, the idea has become more mainstream—in 2010, the New York Times reported on prospective jurors in Missoula, Montana, voicing their concerns about sending an admitted weed dealer to prison, which led to the charges being dropped, and the mayor of San Diego recently said he supported nullification in a case involving a man running a medical-marijuana dispensary (legal under state law) who got arrested by the Feds.
In the past, juries in the South have used nullification to acquit whites accused of hate crimes against blacks, so the doctrine does have some nasty history behind it. A common critique, as expressed by the Straight Dope in a 2009 blog post on nullification, is, “If you want to change the law, do it at the ballot box, not in the jury room.” But change at the ballot box is complicated in 2013’s America. Even when states legalize marijuana, the federal government’s agencies can still crack down on people using and selling a legal (or semilegal) substance. Juries are supposed to represent the conscience of the community—is it so far-fetched to believe that many communities would find laws that send nonviolent criminals to prison for years repugnant? And shouldn’t they have some clearly defined mechanism for stopping that from happening?
Justice is not cheap in America so a fundraiser has started to help hire a lawyer for Rich Paul’s appeal. You can donate to his cause here
This map shows where Soviet citizens, who were required to have a detailed itinerary approved before obtaining a visa, could and could not go during their time in the United States. Most ports, coastlines, and weapons facilities were off-limits, as were industrial centers and several cities in the Jim Crow South.
These restrictions mirrored Soviet constraints on American travel to the USSR. Both the United States and the Soviet Union had closely controlled the movement of all foreign visitors since World War II. A 1952 law in the U.S. barred the admission of all Communists, and therefore of Soviet citizens. (An exception was made for government officials.)
» via Slate
Coast To Coast AM - April 24 2013 Conspiracies and JFK Assassination MRC2CAM.com (by C2CAMDAILY2)
George Noory interviews Richard Belzer, best known for his part on Law and Order: SVU. It is about his new book about all the related conspiracy theories related to JFK. Along with other related political conspiracy theories.
12 yr Girl Discovers ALL U.S. Presidents Except One Related to One British King (by SurvivalWithBushcraf)
A bit strange to me. One of my ancestors is John Adams and I am also a distant cousin to the Bushes. Sent some shutters down my spine.