Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Interview on North Shore Community Radio

North shore of Lake Superior, that is. Last week I was in Grand Marais, Minnesota, just across the border from Thunder Bay, Ontario, where I taught a couple of seminars and gave a talk at the North House Folk School, which is a very cool place. While there, I went over to WTIP 90.7FM, the local radio station, for an interview. Buck, who interviewed me, asked good questions. Please have a listen.

13 comments :

Stanislav Datskovskiy said...

Download link, for those who have Flash disabled.

Robin Datta said...

The link to the mp3 file on the WTIP page does not work. (iPhone 5, IOS 6).

Stanislav Datskovskiy said...

Robin Datta,

Click on the "download" link from my previous comment, the iPhone will play as it loads. (Tested on iphone 4.)

Publius said...

North House is an amazing resource for learning traditional skills, including boat-building, post & beam contruction, blacksmithing, etc. They are the real deal.

MoonShadow said...

Dmitri, I love you man. You were one of the guys that convinced me to buy woodlands and move my family, but sometimes you say things that are so wrong it actually causes me intestinal pain. The "free market" is not a government scheme, it's the sum total effects of economic laws, not government edicts. Granted, the US economy doesn't really resemble a true "free market" anymore, but it's not forgotten. If you want to see a true free market; look at at a yard sale, farmers' market, or the illegal drug trade. A return to a true free market is the *ONLY* credible path through this coming storm, just as you mention that it was in Russia during the 90's, but didn't know that you were describing the rebirth of a free market! A true free market develops it's *own* rules, just like the organized crime bosses in Russia. Google is your friend here, search for the term "Praxeology".

kollapsnik said...

The "free market" is a government scheme that makes the most of a period of growth, while resources are plentiful. (Of course, it is never free; the well-connected always win.) After that it fails, or develops into a criminal market characterized by violence and slavery. The "free market" rests on the idea of private property, which is a religious concept, enshrined in the 10th commandment. None of these are things found in nature (human or otherwise) but are a form of human insanity.

Michael Petro said...

Good talk, really enjoyed it.

"Living within other peoples' means" is perfect.

Kevin Frost said...

Greetings once again from Tassie;

Dimity: After listening to the interview I wanted to commend your assertion to the effect that the free market is a political determination and not an existential fact of life or something sprung ready made out of a state of nature, as American’s tend to think.

Moonbeam, if your having trouble with the intellectual digestion, maybe try some Alka Seltzer, or something of the sort. But keep at it. This is an issue we’re all going to have to deal with by the by. Sounds like you’ve been reading too much Austrian literature. Well, I have to say that these von Mises people give me a stomach ache to, them and their Anglo marginalist cousins can really get the gut churning in decidedly unwholesome ways. What you need is a change of diet. For starters, as a cleansing measure, I’d recommend a weekly dose of Kropotkin. Beyond that, you might consider trying to make some connection with the peoples who’ve long been living in the country we stole a couple of centuries ago. It’s pretty late in the day and you might not be able to find what you need, but it’s worth looking. Do you know who Oren Lyon is? He’s an old man now but I think he’s still alive. There’s a few youtube vids of him. It’s been said that mother nature does not speak in a voice that we can easily understand, so that’s why she gives birth to men like Oren. You should listen, and take it from there.

But if we’re going to reason from anthropological ideal types then I’d say that ideas such as property find their origins in tribal proprieties. Particularly land, that is country, is owned to the degree that it can be defended, and/or recognised as such by neighbouring peoples. This is what matters. Beyond that the question concerns the proprieties of specific families and clans vis a vis the people altogether, which in our Anglo tradition is termed ‘the commons’. Please note how ‘individuals’ don’t enter into the matter. That comes much later according to the anthropological story.

The ‘much later’ is to do with modern life, social life mediated by state sovereignty. Both persons and property are actual to the degree that they are recognised as such by the political authorities. Private property is a political program entailing legislative enactments, year in and year out (property is nine tenths of the law), land registry bureaus, a police force, judicial apparatus, an incarceration system and an increasingly topheavy managerial class of very wealthy people. This is just for starters; it goes on and on. But that’s the point. It’s a program, ongoing hands-on government to make it work. Again, nature has nothing to do with it.

I think what Dimity’s trying to say, if I understand him correctly, is that what we regard as our property rights proceed directly from an institutional ensemble, here termed state/society, and this is precisely what’s collapsing at present. Thus in the foreseeable future we are very likely to be in a situation where our right to possess things will be contingent on the well being of our neighbours, our community, the people who enable us to live, as distinct from starving to death, which is the likely outcome of persisting in our notions of ‘natural’ individuality (a la Locke). Again, this kind of thinking doesn’t come easily to Americans and it’s true that (secularised) religion has a lot to do with this, quite a bit.

Returning to the point, the critical reflection on ‘the rights of persons and property’ (Locke’s formula) is maybe the leading issue to illuminate regarding the serious need to learn how to think differently, to become otherwise, to recover, as we may, what it takes to cultivate and sustain real human relationships, the kind we need and can’t live without.

Thank you again, Kevin Frost

MoonShadow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kollapsnik said...

Just to make it clear, this blog is primarily a publishing medium. This makes it difficult to publish comments that appear contain errors of fact.

Kevin said...

Kevin Frost wrote,

"...this kind of thinking doesn't come easily to Americans..."

Well I'm American and it comes like a breath of fresh oxygen to me. I've been more or less compelled to listen to that Milton Friedman "free market" horseshit since 1979, and I find it even less convincing now than I did then, which is saying something. Thanks Dmitry for pointing out that this culture's fetish for private property is a religious notion based in the Tenth Commandment, it's an excellent data point that never crossed my mind. I shan't forget it.

forrest said...

Of at least two prominent 'Michael Hudson's, the economist at michael-hudson.com has an occasional piece on the history of economic theory. The idea of a 'free market', he says, was traditionally one of a market relatively free from counterproductive costs -- rent being the prime example. One didn't want a society's production diverted into paying off idle people for the use of resources they (or their bandit ancestors) had monopolized, as in post-feudal Europe. Modern propagandists tweaked the concept to apply to freedom from taxes & governmental constraints, which by now has come to include having no operative restraints against fraud, criminal negligence with poisons & explosives, or destructive manipulation of the system by private parties. The original program of ridding the system of parasitic elements seems to have been abandoned -- and the resources they're charging for have grown to include fictitious assets -- even bets on the viability of of other fictitious assets... "Fictitious"? -- There are institutions called 'clearing houses', through which banks transfer the net balance-due between them each day. The daily cash flow through these places is consistently over 1000 times the actual output of the 'real economy' (ie real goods & services, everything outside the financial, insurance, & real-estate sector.)

What the government doesn't control -- someone else will. & controlling that government? -- a boring task which seems to inevitably fall into the hands of people one would prefer to keep locked up. (Much to be said for collapse...)

Lucas Durand said...

kollapsnik,
Very disapointed I didn't realize you would be in Grand Marais - I am just outside Thunder Bay and would have made the trip to catch your seminars.

I guess there is very small chance you'll be revisting this remote area in the future?