Monday, January 21, 2008


This is my "yang" blog, devoted to commentary on the public world in its social, political and material aspects. (My companion "yin" blog, The Swan's Nest, deals with such topics as aesthetics, metaphysics, and spirituality.)

So, what might you expect to find here?

I wear what may seem a colorful coat of confusing and contradictory labels: Left-libertarian, market anarchist, anarcho-capitalist, anti-corporatist, Agorist, Transhumanist, Extropian, environmentalist, individualist, feminist, anti-racist, racial realist, (micro)nationalist, federalist, etc. I regard all such labels as provisional, relative ways of categorizing which can never capture the whole essence of a line of thought, or a way of life.

My overall approach is an evolutionary one. I view global human society, along with our genome and technome, as evolving towards higher and higher levels of extropy -- integrated complexity, quality and excellence. Therefore, I am a long-term optimist. But optimism for the ultimate future does not mean that one must be blind to the problems of the present. Evolution guarantees nothing except that failure will be punished and success rewarded. Human beings, through their free will, are active participants in this process, and as the 21st century moves along, people will, through the growth of knowledge, technology and communication, be taking a more and more conscious role in shaping their own individual and collective evolvement -- for good or ill.

My thesis is that the 10,000 year-long experiment in increasing social centralization, culminating in the last few hundred years with the rise of the nation-state, is coming to a close. Statism, because it is based on coercion or "power-over", the subjection of one will to another, contains inherent inefficiencies. When the regime of centralization has gone as far as it can, it will collapse under its own cracks, as did the Soviet Union in the 1990's. The current milieu of imperialist globalization under the aegis of state governments and multinational corporations represents this system in its late decadence, a bunch of rotten fruit ready to fall from the tree -- yet bearing the seeds of the new for those willing to pluck them. What the next stage of growth will be depends on what we choose now to plant.

As a left-libertarian, I believe that social issues are important; that, while the abolition of the state will go a long way toward dismantling hierarchies of oppressive power, which are largely held in place by the hidden hand of state coercion, attacking the state head-on is not the sole or sufficient approach, for the state itself is dependent upon such unquestioned social hierarchies. The relationship between the state and other structures of oppression is not that of a pyramid but a network of circular feedback loops: a sort of anti-catallaxy in which dispersed, local effects feed into and enable systems of top-down control. The system must be studied at all levels, and the ultimate level is the individual. Ultimately, the state cannot be abolished until people are free in their own minds.

Thus, I see a continuum between philosophical, psychological, social, cultural, and political issues, and my own specialty is exploring the intersections and interstices between different domains, the synthesis of opposite and multiple viewpoints. This is something I probably could not have learned to do in a university, and, unless I were extraordinarily lucky, could not have gained the opportunity to do professionally in an academic setting. So, perhaps I'm fortunate to be a freelance, freethinking autodidact. That's what the Blogosphere is for, isn't it?