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Friday, February 11, 2005


Sooner or later I'm going to have to delve into the morass that is anarcho-capitalism. Anyway, here's their symbol, often called the Libertatis Æquilibritas:

I'll give the anarcho-capitalists one thing; they have a fairly comprehensive vision of what their anarchistic society would be like and how it would fit with the modern world. For example, a anarcho-capitalist society could easily accommodate coffee machines. They may be deluded (or just plain confused, like this guy), but they are, to paraphrase Gore Vidal, intelligent people with a plan. In fact, when I consider how deeply embedded corporations are within governments in the West and the considerable power that these corporations wield through military, law enforcement and judicial systems, it seems that an anarcho-capitalist society is more possible (with less bloodshed) and indeed likely than, say, an anarcho-syndicalist one. Doesn't quite mean that it is less desirable or more justified, simply more likely.

While scratching around for the Libertatis Æquilibritas, I also ran across the ama-gi, which the the very ancient Sumerian cuniform for "freedom". In fact, it appears to be the first written representation of the concept of freedom, found on a clay tablet at the city of Lagash (Sumerian civilization consisted of competing city-states, each dominated by a central temple and ruled by religiously divined king). Lagash has the honour of having hosted civilisation's first known successful revolution (+/- 2800BC).

We've been fighting for freedom for damn near five thousand years. In a sense, human civilization has been the story our the species struggle to free itself from itself.

Anyway, it seems that some anarcho-capitalists would like the ama-gi to be their symbol. How can they appropriate it? Might as well use the kanji for freedom, for all the sense it makes. How can one appropriate a language, let alone a dead one?

The ama-gi belongs to us all, as an artifact of our common heritage. Here it is, from wikipedia:

It'd make a great tattoo.



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