It was a drizzly night that I was ready to return home to New Hampshire for the Thanksgiving break. I spent the entire evening in Baltimore before I caught the bus back. My friend Ross was there. He had been in DC attending a talk by the Institute for Humane Studies (if you know what that organization is), and I had convinced him to travel up to Baltimore for the afternoon to hang out. Before, he was in Auburn, Alabama studying Greek philosophy with Roderick Long. We talked about philosophy, market anarchism, all of those things over Greek pizza. He asked me if I planned to go to Porcfest this year. I responded by saying I wasn't. When he asked me why, I told him I know how out-of-place I know I'd feel if I did go. He encouraged me to be more open and give these new people and their ideas a try. I told him I'd think about it.
I arrived back in "The Shire" the next morning after two three-hour long bus rides and a two hour stop in New York. Aside from the recent call-out of Obama at Manchester Central, nothing much happened in NH between now and the last time I was home. There really isn't much here at all.
Yesterday I went to Nashua with Nick and his friend Jack. Both of them are left-libertarians and agorists (Jack told us how he used to pal around with SEK3 back in the 70's) though Nick's views seem to be far more to the left and far more anti-capitalist. Downtown Nashua is no longer safe to walk around in at night, since it is a mini-police state, but we went down there that evening as it was the site of the Holiday Stroll. One thing which stood out for me was the number of political campaigners. The NH primary is a little over a month away, so it makes sense to see such people flooding the streets. Most noticeable was the group of Ron Paul campaigners with their little signs and balloons. As we walked past them, one of the campaigners reached out to me and asked me if I wanted more freedom, and if so would I vote for Ron Paul. I told him straight-up that I don't want anyone having power over me. As we hurried on by I could hear the kid still shouting all the little slogans at me. I don't feel I need to kiss the ass of a certain politician in order to prove that I love liberty and hate the state's wars, and I don't see why anyone else should have to either. Nick smiled, assuring me that I handled it the right way. He doesn't understand why so-called "anti-statists" resort to voting either. Needless to say, as we kept walking down Main St. we found a plethora of election 2012 pamphlets littered all over the road, mostly for Ron Paul but also some for Perry and Gingrich.
We ended up leaving the stroll and driving Nick down to one of Nashua's many shopping plazas for work. He told us he understands what shit the wage system is now that he's been working in it. Thankfully, the workplace bureaucracy in his workplace isn't nearly as harsh as it is elsewhere. He and Jack talked about the numerous left-libertarian projects they have in mind for later on. For one thing, Nick and his girlfriend are thinking about starting up some kind of cooperative in downtown Nashua as soon as they move to the city permanently and obtain the resources to do so.
After Nick left for work, Jack agreed to drive me back to my parents' place. All along the way I asked him about things we could be doing now to change the system and solve the social problems we see today, especially if our principle is to never use the state. He didn't really seem to know that much. He explained to me that the class system was completely justified, since there will always be a division of labor (meaning, the talented businesspeople will always have more wealth than the untalented people who scrub toilets and sweep the sidewalks) and as such there's no use in trying to "solve" the problem. Instead, he advocated things like the "Basket Brigades" in Manchester-Concord. Though I told him, it's all a band-aid. He didn't seem that receptive, "Things will always be that way." But in this I have to ask, what happens in this society when the toilet scrubbers decide they are sick of the class hierarchy and decide to rebel? Then what will the talented rich do? They'd have to bring the state back in some form to keep the lower classes in control, regardless. I mean, they would have the power to do so, and an incentive. It's a dead-end. Every time you have any kind of social class you will have statism. There's also the fact that if the market acts as a form of direct democracy where people "vote" with their dollars/gold/seashells/whatever then wouldn't you end up seeing the exact same phenomenon of the rich being able to dictate policy? We know that money exists now, class exists now. But that doesn't entail that it will always be that way. We can build a completely new system. If we accept the fact that human society has changed drastically in the past 5000 years, why do we not have an understanding that it can continue to change and evolve into something completely different in the years to come? It seems to me that the whole connotation behind the "there will always be rich and poor people" is one of reluctance to solve or even address the issue. And when it is addressed it's always done through a very oversimplified statement - "the state makes people poor" or "that's just how it will always be". But how can we achieve a stateless society if the class division exists, and thus the rich have the incentive to keep the violent monopoly? Again, it doesn't make any sense.
Maybe I should attend Porcfest this year and ask them these questions?