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Libertards / January 24, 2012

Y’all have probably heard of the ancient Sumerian peoples and their penchant for spooky burial rituals and books like the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, which was penned in human blood and has the ability to raise the dead. But did you know they also cared deeply about liberty, freemarkets and private property rights?

Or at least that’s what the Liberty Fund, a libertarian moneybag outfit that bankrolls all sorts of Koch-linked youth-oriented baggertarian propaganda projects, would have you believe. In what must go down as the mother of all cuneiform-malapropisms, the Liberty Fund appropriated a weird looking Sumerian cuneiform symbol as its cult-logo, in what appears to be an attempt to prove that libertarianism is not just an ideology thought up by a bunch of rank 20th century oligarchs, but rather comes from an ancient small government tradition older than even Jesus. It goes back back to the dawn of civilization itself!

If you go onto one of the Liberty Fund’s project websites, the Library for Economics & Liberty, you’ll find this ancient cuneiform symbol at the footer of the home page:

The Liberty Fund-backed website goes on to explain that the significance of the amagi symbol goes deeper than just the word “liberty.” It represents the first popular struggle against big government tyranny:

Lagash was the site of the first recorded social-reform movement. Once considered a relatively free society of farmers, cattle breeders, boatmen, fishermen, merchants, and craftsmen, the Lagashites found that a change in political power had stripped them of their political and economic freedoms and subjected them to heavy taxation and exploitation by wealthy officials.

Sumerian historians believe that at this low point in Lagash’s history, Urukagina became the leader of the Sumerian city-state of Girsu/Lagash and led a popular movement that resulted in the reform of the oppressive legal and governmental structure of Sumeria. … On the tablets of the period is found the first written reference to the concept of liberty (amagi or amargi, literally, “return to the mother”), used in reference to the process of reform…

There’s only problem with Liberty Fund’s lesson in Sumerian history and language: the real meaning of the amagi cuneiform isn’t about abolishing “big government” or abolishing the Fed–nope, it’s about abolishing debts to free citizens from debt slavery. What the history-failures at Liberty Fund hilariously mistranslated was that the term “return to mother” is Sumerian-speak for “jubilee”–as in “debt forgiveness” or “freedom from debt.”

Here’s how David Graeber explains it in his brilliant book Debt: The First 5,000 Years:

Faced with the potential for complete social breakdown, Sumerian and later Babylonian kings periodically announced general amnesties … Such decrees would typically declare all outstanding consumer debt null and void (commercial debts were not affected), return all land to its original owners, and allow all debt-peons to return to their families. Before long, it became more or less a regular habit for kings to make such a declaration on first assuming power, and many were forced to repeat it periodically over the course of their reigns.

In Sumeria, these were called “declarations of freedom”—and it is significant that the Sumerian word amargi, the first recorded word for “freedom” in any known human language, literally means “return to mother”—since this is what freed debt-peons were finally allowed to do.

So in other words, amagi’s not about “freedom” from government interference at all–it’s about welching on your debts and sending Sumerian deadbeats back home to mooch off mommy. “Moochers,” “deadbeats,” “debt welchers”–Now that sounds more like the true face of libertarianism!

Despite the misunderstanding—or maybe because of it—the amagi symbol has become all the rage with baggertarian youngins’ all across the USA, many of whom have been known to get their pasty white hides branded with “deadbeat 4-ever” tats en masse at Koch-sponsored Free State campouts.

So does this make them moocher-bashing moochers? Or maybe closet-freeloader freeloaderphobes?

We’d like to thank Koch operative Peter Eyre for taking the time to maintain an up-to-date bagtard tat page, which includes a big collection of Sumerian deadbeat tats, as well as a nice range of other freemarket groupie ink. Eyre’s got himself branded a “deadbeat” in 2007, back before it was considered cool:

An amagi – one of two tattoos (the other being a quote on my left forearm) I got during a break at the Free State Project’s 2007 Liberty Forum. Months before the conference I researched tattoo shops in the area and had scheduled my session. The amagi appealed to me as the oldest written word/symbol for liberty as it shows these ideas are universal and that rights are not contigent on where one happens to be born but inherent in each individual. Done at Gothic Tattoo in Concord, NH.

Here are a few deabeat tats from Eyre’s ink page:

Sumerian Deadbeat President 2016

Deadbeat #1: This guy’s name is Daryl and he’s running for President 2016…


Deadbeat #2: Nothing says sexy like “deadbeat moocher chick” in Sumerian…


Sumerian Deadbeat 2

Deadbeat #3: Some libertarian dude who thinks wristband tats are macho…


Sumerian Deadbeat: Ass. Professor at Layola

Deadbeat #4: Freeloadin’ Assistant Professor of Economics at Loyola… Totally, brah!

 

Update: The libertarian “moocher-4-life” campaign has made it across the Atlantic. The official journal of the Hayek Society at the London School of Economics is called “ama-gi,” and sports the awesome Sumerian “freedom for deadbeats” cuneiform. Which is a fitting for a man like Hayek. After all, we here at the eXiled were the ones who first outed Freddie von Hayek as a socialized medicine queen, who sucked on America’s Social Security teat with blessings from his patron and master, Charles Koch.

***

Want to know more? Read Yasha Levine’s account of LAPD’s appalling treatment of detained Occupy LA protesters…His other Occupy LA coverage…And LA Weekly’s writeup of his arrest.

Yasha Levine is an editor of The eXiled. You can reach him at levine [at] exiledonline.com.


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83 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. YorkshireRose  |  January 24th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I always wondered about the multitude of misappropriated words from vastly different orthographic systems to our own that are considered cool, before anybody’s really done any research into what the symbols actually mean, and then to have them stamped onto somebody’s arse or shoulder for the rest of time. Must be some other political gaffes re: chosen symbols.

    Wonder how many yoga freaks have “All reactionaries are paper tigers!” tattooed on their backs. Must be a tattooist’s in-joke.

  • 2. gatorade  |  January 24th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    hahahah GOD DAMN

  • 3. John  |  January 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Love your stuff, but “Necromicon ex Mortis” simply can’t be right; it’s ungrammatical Latin. (Mortis is genitive singular of “mors, mortis, f.: death”; the preposition “ex” requires the genitive, not the ablative.)

    Perhaps this should be “Necromicon ex Mortuis” (ablative plural of “mortuus, -a, -um: dead”), which is still bad Latin style (it’s bad style to modify nouns directly with prepositional phrases in the snootiest Latin) but is not a grammatical crime against Latin itself.

  • 4. Mike  |  January 24th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    The word libertarian itself is stolen and used to denote the complete opposite of its’ historical meaning.

    http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/150-years-of-libertarian

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/305097_2313437549536_1057325634_2623959_265884369_n.jpg

  • 5. rebecca  |  January 24th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    hey john, that’s an evil dead / army of darkness reference

    Klaatu barada nikto …!

  • 6. RanDomino  |  January 24th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Come on, you’re quoting David Graeber, you guys are Syndicalists, just admit it.

  • 7. Rebel Alliance  |  January 24th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    This is a thing of beauty. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Although: I have to agree with Mike completely. E.g.

    - “Anarchism: a history of Libertarian ideas and movements” by George Woodcock (published in the ’60s and reissued in the 80s.)
    http://libcom.org/history/anarchism-history-libertarian-ideas-movements-george-woodcock

    - “Facerías: Urban Guerrilla Warfare (1939-1957); The Libertarian Movement’s Struggle Against Francoism in Spain and in Exile”, by Antonio Téllez Solà
    http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/wsts2g

    “Libertarianism” has been coopted in the *USA* as something right-wing, and exported via CATO clones and drones as such abroad.

    However, internationally (e.g. Latin America and Europe), and historically, this was never the case: it is a completely US-centric airbrushing of history, to suit a current mercenary ideology.

    You are unfortunately helping the Empire Strike Back, by adopting their use of this term uncritically.

    It’s like when Americans talk about the World Series of baseball, and there’s only Americans playing, and in America.

    “Let those of us who love liberty trademark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word ‘libertarian…’” said Dean Russell (1955), Foundation for Economic Education – essentially an earlier version of CATO. He was using it, allegedly, in the philosophical sense of having free-will, apparently unaware (sure, commie-foreigners, whatever) that there were lots of people outside the “World Series” zone who had previously been using that, for reasons rather opposite to his own.

    And, there is also Kevin Carson (mutualist.org), who – whatever you might think about his total philosophy or aims (and the people at Mises.org certainly had conniptions – mises.org/journals/jls/20_1/20_1_4.pdf ) – does a stand up job of demolishing the right-wing “vulgar libertarian” arguments (and this is the beautiful bit) using largely their own arguments against them.

    PS: “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
    (Proverbs 22:7)

    … as quoted by a man you may know, Michael Hudson (who wrote “The New Road to Serfdom: An Illustrated Guide to the Coming Real Estate Collapse” for Harpers in 2006, and “The Lost Tradition of Biblical Debt Cancellations” – excellent Christmas stocking filler for your right-wing relatives).

    http://harpers.org/archive/2006/05/0081029
    http://schalkenbach.org/on-line-library/works-by-michael-hudson/

    Also: Yes, I am a complete and utter geek.

    But the Geek Shall Inherit the Earth.

  • 8. Anton  |  January 24th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    No use trying to salvage the term. Noam Chomsky is the only left-libertarian the world knows now days, and very few even know that he describes his political leanings thus. But God, these little brown-shirt libertard fucktards, these little incest-begotten priviliged rebels on their Enid fucking Blyton mission. They remind me of those brave orthodox jews who spit on school-girls and call them whores but consider themselves too pure to join the Israeli army, into which even women face a mandatory draft. No, conversation has no value. Listening to the ‘other’s point of view’ makes no sense when one is faced with sub-human beings. They only deserve contempt and, to be quite frank, they deserve to be… liberared, if ya know what I mean.

  • 9. Jesse  |  January 24th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    @7

    Yeah Kevin Carson is another flavor of Libertarian, but all the Systemists start from the same erroneous premise: that you can design a system that will deliver good results from bad motives. It’s the premise behind the “hidden hand” of Adam Smith and the Checks and Balances theory in the Constitution. This bullshit goes back to Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees. It is a LIE that a selfishness based system can serve the common good and protect children. We’ll NEVER get good results from ANY system unless the people in that system balance selfishness with community spirit. It’s really not that complicated. We don’t need endless debates over the best system design. What we need is for every citizen to maintain a healthy internal balance between the selfish and the unselfish sides. The volunteer firefighter should be the model for the community solidarity we need to demonstrate in our work, in what we invest in, and how we practice common courtesy in daily life.

  • 10. NoPast  |  January 24th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    #8: Here in Continental Europe(and,I presume,everywhere outside the Anglo-Saxon world) Libertarian is still being used as synonym for Libertarian Socialist\left-wing libertarian

    right-wing libertarians are called “neoliberals”

  • 11. darthfader  |  January 24th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    What I’m curious about is the penchant of not-so-attractive but exhibitionist women for libertarianism. I keep running into these insecure blubber-rolled burlesque wannabes with strong feelings for Daddy Paul.

  • 12. Everybody Gets Ice Cream  |  January 24th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    @6. RanDomino | January 24th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “Come on, you’re quoting David Graeber, you guys are Syndicalists, just admit it.”

    Meh, Graeber is mostly a reformist.

    “Graeber proposes debt cancellation (a policy to be implemented by those in power) and not a debt strike (a tactic to be employed by the powerless).” – Joseph Kay

    And don’t even let Wayne Price get started on Graber.

  • 13. darthfader  |  January 24th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    @7

    I disagree completely.

    What we need are systems that properly balance the incurable trait of greed against the incurable trait of envy – which has gotten tons of terrible press lately thanks to dreamer dipshits like Mitt Romney.

    And of course beige liberals run screaming from it, because none of their thinkers can deal with it either as anything but a fundamental challenge to their systems, and deep down, they know they feel it too.

    So greed wins. And envy’s treated as a sin, one where we can’t even speak its name.

    That’s the real problem with these free market fucks: they don’t understand that people are evil in many different ways, and that a system that satisfies feelings of envy is a system that can maintain stability.

  • 14. darthfader  |  January 24th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    @9, Jesse, rather

  • 15. NoPast  |  January 24th, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    #9: I frequently read Carson( He is a neomutualist who believe in that pseudoscience of Austrian economics,basically a strange mixture of Rothbard and Proudhon)

    His historical works are often very good .He coined the pejorative term “vulgar libertarianism,” a phrase that describes the use of a free market rhetoric in defense of corporate capitalism and economic inequality from your standard right-wing libertarians.

    However Carson has ended up adopting a kind of anti-statist reductionism. The overaching theme is that any problem one is concerned with related to the economy can be chalked up to the state, and on the other hand in the absence of the state such problems largely can’t arise in a “true free market”
    but that there may be causes that are more psychological, sociological, cultural, or having to do with institutions other than the state and hence it would be an error to focus solely or too much within the limits of an analyis at the level of the state

  • 16. Everybody Gets Ice Cream  |  January 24th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    @12. Everybody Gets Ice Cream | January 24th, 2012 at 4:23 pm [myself]

    All that said, it’s fucking great that Graeber has published such a timely (maybe even prescient?) book, and that it is impacting the national discourse on the subject. I gotta respect that.

  • 17. dr. luny  |  January 24th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    It sure as hell beats “Thank you cum again”

  • 18. smalz  |  January 24th, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I swear to (your favorite deity here) I am sick unto death of these libertards and their blind worship of money and power. Despite the fact that Randian ideas have been tried and have failed miserably and without exception they continue to believe in/pimp their crap upon anyone who gets within earshot. Every single Ron Paul supporter I talk to is a libertard and they all love to make historical assertions which are inevitably painfully incorrect. But good luck trying to convince them of that. I may just have to punch the next fool that insists that I MUST vote for Ron Paul, defender of Corporate Tyranny.

  • 19. DannyBoy  |  January 24th, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I might actually get one of these tattoos.. for their original meaning. Most pre-classical cultures saw debt amnesty as vital to social stability. Periodically clearing the slate prevented bankers from acquiring too much power, kept citizens from becoming slaves to creditors, and saved families from becoming landless paupers because of the decisions of one dumb heir. The Jews saw Jubilee as so essential they enshrined a 7-year cycle into Davidic law.

    Think of what a Jubilee would have done for US in the subprime crisis. Irresponsible lenders would have been punished and people would have kept their homes. Instead you have thousands of homeless families. Their vacant properties are falling into disrepair and becoming worthless. Everyone loses, even the banks.

    Disregarding the bailouts of course.

    Which is another thing the ethos of Jubilee was there to prevent. Nobody in the ancient world would have dreamed of bailing out those lenders. “You tried usury to rob the people of their lands? You got burned? Good. Fuck you.”

    Here in the modern age, the global finance industry concocted an infantile ponzi scheme to take over the world. Periodic debt amnesty would have kept the James-Bond supervillian games from spilling outside thier playpens.

  • 20. helplesscase  |  January 24th, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Prof Hudson wrote a pamphlet about this a while ago (http://michael-hudson.com/1992/03/the-lost-tradition-of-biblical-debt-cancellations/). It’s where Graeber got his stuff from. The fact that neoliberals have misappropriated this sacred tradition is…man, fuck them.

  • 21. Fake Name  |  January 24th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Someone should give these “libertarians” an education in subtlety. Everything around these guys is “liberty” this and “freedom” that. It’s like a libertard sandwich constantly being forced down your throat.

    I think there is either a lack of thinking among these people and the mental vacuum has to be filled with slogan chanting and wrist tattooing, or this is their attempt at imitating/co-opting the normal youth culture.

    But these kids were never normal…

  • 22. bulfinch  |  January 24th, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    @ 13: I wouldn’t use the word incurable, as it presupposes malady; immutable, yes. Greed and envy are extremes of appetite and desire, respectively, and as you suggest, they are baked in. To the extent that either are evil or sins depends entirely on premise. For example – I am a greedy motherfucker when it comes to resources like my time and energy and covet those who have an abundance of these; I’m not sure whether that qualifies me as evil or not.

    Anyway, focus on greed and envy overlooks other immutable and equally compelling human traits, such as tribalism and obligation, which is what I think Jesse was touching on above and what Polanyi and others long ago cited when decrying the libertarian creed and its attendant fallacies: anthropological evidence has proven that a sense of communal solidarity is more innate to our species and its survival than the idea of markets for the sake of gain — the exact opposite of what Adam Smith proffered.

  • 23. bulfinch  |  January 24th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    @19 the biggest problem with a jubilee today is that so much of the debt and derivatives of the debt has been securitized and sold to pension funds, etc.

  • 24. Fissile  |  January 24th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Lots of good information from both the author and the commentators. Thanks.

  • 25. Cernunnos  |  January 24th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I’m kind of confused…. Graeber is speaking FAVORABLY of debt forgiveness and even ends the book with the suggestion of reintroducing the Jubilee. And it’s pretty clear from the context of this passage that he doesn’t mean “mooching of of mommy” but that debtors reduced to involuntary servitude, cut off from their families, could finally return home.

    I get that you are trying to fashion it into an insult to libertarians using their own world-view, but referring to the subjects of this passage as “Sumerian deadbeats” misses the whole point of the passage, and, indeed, the book itself.

  • 26. Cernunnos  |  January 24th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    @ John & Rebecca

    Indeed, it’s an Evil Dead reference, but what’s more, not only is the word “Necronomicon” itself is a poorly-rendered neologism derived from Greek, not Latin roots. It’s also pretty redundant to have both “necro” and “mortis” in there when “Necronomicon” itself is supposed to mean “Image of the law of the dead” (even though it’s still incorrect). So does adding the incorrect Latin portion make it mean something like “Image of the law of the dead from death”?

    What’s also interesting is that in the H.P. Lovecraft stories where it originated, it wasn’t supposed to be Sumerian, but written in the middle ages by a “mad Arab” and later translated to Greek.

  • 27. Cernunnos  |  January 24th, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Shit, I messed that first sentence up while rephrasing it. Disregard the “not only is” part.

  • 28. Krokodile  |  January 24th, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Are you writing from jail? What other tats are all the rage on the inside? Keep us updated!

  • 29. DannyBoy  |  January 25th, 2012 at 1:58 am

    @23 A nice, high tax on capital gains and a nominal transaction tax on trades should swell Social Security’s coffers nicely.

    Sure, they won’t be buying boats when their private pensions go belly up, but a generous SS cost-of-living increase will ensure those pensioners don’t suffer.

    And with so many private pension funds going under because of the very same crisis, or being raided by the likes of Mitt Romney, the state taking from the rich and giving to the old might be the only real solution to the problem of Boomer solvency.

  • 30. RanDomino  |  January 25th, 2012 at 2:33 am

    @23 The logical conclusion of the Occupy movement’s principles is the Anarchist concept of property- that what you use, you own, regardless of what it may say on some piece of paper somewhere.

  • 31. Kill da Kulaks  |  January 25th, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Trust-fund sockpuppets rule!

  • 32. Jedi Mind Trick  |  January 25th, 2012 at 4:50 am

    This is why when I got my ever trendy beliefs tattoo, it was a plain red star.

    Now people think I’m an Astros fan!

  • 33. Indiana Jones  |  January 25th, 2012 at 6:17 am

    “Freeloader” isn’t quite right. Actually, it means something even less libertarian.

    “ama-gi4″ meant something more like “bankruptcy protection”. The term was sometimes used for Jubilee-style mass debt relief – a royally decreed debt relief for everyone in the kingdom, or just some city or district – but it also meant the relief offered to an individual who had petitioned the ruler for it.

    Alas, Sumerian has no known word for “dick” or “asshole”, just “ze2-ba-am3″, which meant genitalia in general. It’s used as a dirty word in the Song of Shu-Shen, which compares the taste of beer to that of barmaids’ private parts.

  • 34. YorkshireRose  |  January 25th, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Sometimes tastes nice down there.

    Anyway, why would anybody want to tattoo themselves with the assumed symbol of a ramshackle pseudo-cause? Except the countless exposees of this stillborn, cobbled together lump of an ideology that are on the eXiled, I have still to come any closer to actually understanding what the hell it is they honestly want from their movement. I suspect even pointing out something as simple as this to one of its converts, one would be greeted with nothing but a blank stare and a repeating ad infinitum of their always morphing assumptions and pseudo-scientific economic laws – it’s difficult to even know how to begin actually criticising these fuckers without somehow experiencing what #21 has so captivatingly described as being force fed a “libertard sandwich”.
    Team eXiled seems to be on the money by showing how it’s only in the murky, corrupt netherworld which overlaps both supposedly public office and a privileged clique that (at least as far as I can tell) the libertard dream can be fulfilled; wealth, power and living like any of the goons in Randian Scripture. Truth is, no matter how bullshit their symbols and slogans are, it won’t change diddly squat re: gross social and economic inequalities to promote the same fuckers raping whichever country for every penny without the (however limited and currently flawed/corrupted idea of a state and government it is) state and government at least providing minimal protection for the rest of us, even if it’s an umbrella in a hurricane.

  • 35. chuck  |  January 25th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    ugh, if you want to get “freedom” tattooed on yourself why not just get it in English?

  • 36. Trevor  |  January 25th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    So they got tired of misquoting 18th Century slave owners and decided to go all the way back to a culture completley alien to the modern world? That’s an impressive kind of stupid.

    And why the hell do people always fetishize the past? The past didn’t have antibiotics.

  • 37. Sir Hendersson  |  January 25th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    @25 Agreed, the writer could have made a funnier point by pointing out that libertarians are carving the slogans of ancient OWS into their skin.

    Still, just finding this little nugget is worth a drink.

  • 38. Fake name  |  January 25th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I can’t believe libertard sock puppets haven’t got to this post yet. Are they slipping or has the AEC decided to block such comments?

    If it is the latter, please let some through. One needs a few laughs now and then.

    AEC responds: we don’t know why they’re upset either. One thing’s for sure: it can’t be because the eXiled is a “right-to-troll” site–which makes it illegal for troll comments to be published automatically and unimproved. The AEC believes that its “right-to-troll” comment policies promote troll freedom, troll choice and increase general troll liberty.

  • 39. Fake name  |  January 25th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Oh, it’s like the “right to work” policy, except it actually helps the trolls and the community.

  • 40. Zoner  |  January 26th, 2012 at 5:20 am

    You know, amargi would make a pretty good presidential election platform. The subprime crisis is fixed in one fell swoop and then some. Any government officials who won’t go along with it get shitcanned, and any bank or credit card officials who won’t play get, say, eight years in prison (which is actually pretty lenient considering the Babylonians straight up executed the non-compliant). Voters will be lining up to give handjobs to the guy who saved their asses. Also, banks won’t have too much to complain about since people will start getting back into debt the day after debt forgiveness. Since it’s so radical I guess amargi should only be implemented every couple decades like the Babylonians did.

  • 41. Ilona  |  January 26th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    So, that’s why the Sumerian culture was wiped away. It seems being a libertarian doesn’t pay off on the long run.

    Thank you the Almighty eXiled Sumerian Task Force for the heads up!

  • 42. super390  |  January 26th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    #40:

    What you describe may well be the story of Argentina since its last financial collapse. In the chaos workers took over closed factories, debts couldn’t be collected, and everything had to be rebooted. Then it just became boring old capitalism again.

  • 43. CB  |  January 26th, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @9 Jesse
    “We don’t need endless debates over the best system design. What we need is for every citizen to maintain a healthy internal balance between the selfish and the unselfish sides. ”

    Exactly!

    What I find awesome is how everyone agrees that greed and selfishness is an inherent and irreversible character of human beings, but that this is not true of concern for others.

    Which is classic Randian clap-trap, just FYI to all you Libertard-haters. Course that bitch goes even farther and says that altruism is unnatural and evil.

    But the point is — hello, fellow humans, you are members of a highly social species! We evolved to work together, to help each other, even to do things that are detrimental to ourselves, the individual, but benefit the group at large. Which in the long term is beneficial for the genes of those who participate. If screwing over everyone we could was the natural state of things we never would have continued down the path of increasing social organization.

    Of course we’re clever little monkeys and like to cheat the rules when we can. I’m sure as hell not saying greed isn’t a natural emotion in humans! I’m just saying empathy is *too*, and it can be cultivated.

    We can never get rid of greed, but we sure as hell can demonize it, and raise up altruism as a virtue. An *attainable* human virtue. And fuck anyone who says otherwise, whether they’re a libertard or just an antisocial asshat making excuses for their own failings instead of just, you know, accepting and working on them.

  • 44. super390  |  January 26th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    So today’s lesson is:

    Private property systems have ALWAYS polarized wealth to the point of endangering the survival of society, unless there is intervention by government, the environment, or invaders.

    Otherwise, why would the Jubilee be established in multiple ancient civilizations?

    Old Kingdom Egypt didn’t even have these problems because the pharoah owned all the land and paid everyone in grain to do their jobs – a landed aristocracy of his favorites came along later. But since then, there have always been landlords getting richer, and peons getting poorer. In Greece, there was an entire wave of revolutions across the city-states over these problems, leading to many strange schemes to restribute wealth by reassigning clan memberships, etc. It also led to Athenian democracy.

    So what the libertarians are telling us is, follow them and in a generation we will have to threaten them with revolution in order to survive. Spread the word. Right in their faces.

  • 45. Anton  |  January 26th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    In a neo-liberal/libertard world view the so called free markets and the profit motive are the originators of every imaginable boon. While both of them (ie. SOME level of freedom in the market system + the profit motive) obviously play an important role in generating actual global wealth – in the same way in which warfare has always boosted technical innovations – in some sense that is just one of many rubrics under which human co-operation, imagination and drive manifest. The same economic principle that dictates that it’s better for a country or firm to specialize in some particular product works just as beneficially in a stone-age society, say on a hunting trip: one group takes care of the killing, one group chases the pray or manages the dogs or what ever. Libertards often spout phrases like: ‘the free markets have given us antibiotics, computers, space travel…’ With the same logic one could say that a de facto communist hunter-gatherer economic system has given us fire and music, or that a slave-based city-state economy has given us the skill of writing. Newton didn’t come up with his laws because of the British mercantilistic economic system, nor did Einstein’s theories generate from a post-bismarcian welfare-state’s economic policies. Neither of them was primarily propelled by the profit motive. Neither were the peasants of old, doing their corvee. They could’ve done the scything etc sloppily, but they didn’t. They just PREFERED to do their work well, even if that meant no extra financial gain and even if they hated the land-lord’s guts. That’s another human motive, the do-it-well motive. Then there is the do-it-well-to-show-that-other-guy-that-he-sucks motive. Etc.

  • 46. Bradford C.  |  January 26th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Since other posters have brought up Hudson’s recent pamphlet I might as well point out:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/02/debt-slavery-%E2%80%93-why-it-destroyed-rome-why-it-will-destroy-us-unless-it%E2%80%99s-stopped/

    Debt Slavery – Why It Destroyed Rome, Why It Will Destroy Us Unless It’s Stopped

    I also agree with the other posters that this would have worked better as a joke on libertard banksters in general. Being a debt-peon wasn’t a joke, and the last several years should have clearly demonstrated how easy it is to defraud people into slavery through force of law. What’s really funny is that I’m making suggestions about what would be funnier, when I can’t even string two sentences together into a coherent message. Now that’s really funny!

  • 47. Soj  |  January 26th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    What is this book “penned in blood”? The link doesn’t work and I’ve never heard of it.

    http://www.youtube.com/v/7CKer1iM0xQ

  • 48. Save the Oocytes  |  January 26th, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    See comment 25. This article has completely missed the point of Graeber’s work.

  • 49. woritsez  |  January 26th, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    welch.. what’s all this about welsh men then

  • 50. Dimitri Ratz  |  January 26th, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Great article! The lion with the wings would be much more trip tattoo, especially on a girl, as long as she didn’t get it on her neck like that chick in the photo, because aesthetics are important. Great many comments in relation to this article appear to have been written by a retarded 5 year old, and I won’t try to reference each of those with specific #. If they were written by somebody inflected with that and and such an early age it would fill me with great confidence and pride, but in my pessimistic assesment I fear it was done by adults at least in their physical attributes if development of nerve cells is withheld. Israelites 7 year work phase didn’t liberate—PSSSSSSSS. PSSSSSSSS. P’SH…PSSSSSSSSS..That dear readers is the soothing sound of the AEC BRAND TROLLICIDE.

  • 51. Dimitri Ratz  |  January 27th, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Twitching! Ah.. My eyes!!….. The custome of nailing the pigeon on the boss’ door and sprinkling rice was so popular and widely used that it even found it’s way into the old testament and there till this day. Recent study linked more knowledgeable with left-leaning in the States so editing the Newton comment will only hurt the cause of improving people’s lives and hinder their progration into existance of their choosing. Leaving that fate on your conscience. However, the part about the tattoo went through so there is still hope albight small.

  • 52. Anton  |  January 27th, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Why even bother with trollicide? That blowfly is an intellectual kamikaze anyway. Flies like shit, but that fly is flying straight into its own asshole.

  • 53. Anton  |  January 27th, 2012 at 3:21 am

    One more thing : Albeit it might be a hasty assertion – for reasons perhaps not graspable by the wan cognitive skills of person resembling a puckered rectum – I would dare to venture to state that the best way to make one’s self to look really fucking stupid and retarded is to use convoluted sentences with no substance, like some precocious snotty little girl. Fuck all you libertard girls and the thesaurus you rode in on.

  • 54. Sam Kinison  |  January 27th, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Either get a job, or fuck someone who has a job.

  • 55. Dimitri Ratz  |  January 27th, 2012 at 8:05 am

    You are correct. Without the Nietzsche part it is convoluted. Exiled is correct in avoiding into diverging into many directions and solidifying it’s base if it wants money, power and influence, but that leaves only half the national problems solved.

  • 56. Dimitri Ratz  |  January 27th, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Sorry, I’m just into the whole BDSM.

  • 57. Cernunnos  |  January 27th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    @ 47

    As the AEC seems to have informed you, it’s a fictional book from the Evil Dead series, but the is based on another fictional tome called simply the “Necronomicon” or “Al Azif” featured in the stories of H.P. Lovecraft & friends, though it wasn’t Sumerian nor penned in blood in that universe.

  • 58. Bradford C.  |  January 27th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    If the mighty eXile censor didn’t understand my meaning, Debt Peonage would be the rule of the land if libertards had their way. In which case they’d all wish they could return to their mothers regardless. Libertarians aren’t necessarily deadbeats, they are dead-in-the-head. No spark to crackle.

  • 59. Duncan  |  January 27th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    You guys are right, any one who would suggest a jubilee is deserving of all possible disdain…the banks are instruments of good and all effort must be directed towards their continued success…29.99% interest is both reasonable and honorable in light of the fact that the bankers have worked very hard to maneuver their bank into position to borrow money from the Fed at 0%…we should all remember that, in America, each of us has an equal opportunity to start his own bank, and I, the pathetic young, inexperienced grasshopper bottom troll that I am, am going to pretend like these “libertards”–and notice I’m using the word “libertard” here, as if I’m with you guys in hating the libertarians, but really I am a libertard masquerading as an anti-libertard to push libertard view in my trolling–are trying to deprive us of our God-given chance at the big bucks…no one is supposed to notice (and if you notice, you’re a deadbeat commie pinko fag) that the bankers PAY NOTHING for the money that is created at NO INTEREST, making the bankers the actual freeloaders, printing paper money at the xpense of every other user and holder of that currency…if you notice that, you’re a libertard. See this is where I make my switch–first I was saying that libertards are bad, no I’m implying that they’re not so bad because they want to keep the value of your assets–even though I don’t have any assets, and neither does the rest of America. Remember folks: .1 percent richest Americans have more assets than like 80 percent of the population. So…who really cares about asset/currency values? That’s right folks, the oligarchs! Anyway, moving along now…And another thing, we need to keep up the pressure on these fucktard libertards and the best way to do that is to talk and talk about the problems of the “free market” while actually talking about the problems with the manipulated paper money markets…It’s all about the FUCKING FED DUDE. READ RON PAUL’s END THE FED, DUDE! DUDE! DON’T TREAD ON MY RIGHT TO TREAD ON YOUR FIAT MONEY, BRAH! It matters not one iota that Libertarians believe in free enterprise and honest money–honest as in he who controls the gold controls the universe—we have to hammer tyhem (as in the herb) with the blame for the machinations and fraud that has occurred in the paper market as if those instruments are of, for and by the fucktard libertards…keep up the good work, comrades…
    SIGNED [BILLY THE BOTTOM TROLL]

  • 60. Bradford C.  |  January 27th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    People loved their kings because they could offer boons to the countryside (where The People actually lived) through protection from foreigners and usurers. Who now could say with a straight face that they love the state when teenage girls are beaten in order to protect a bank’s inalienable right to fraudulently foreclose on a house? It was all over the second somebody had enough money to buy the police, which has “American Dream” written all over it throughout labor history to the modern day.

    So now we don’t have to face machineguns like our ancestors, but LRADs & tazer batteries. All so some guy living upstate can let his crotch spawn suckle from the teat of a trust fund for the next forty years. Same problem, just different rules of engagement. Ones that “juries of our peers” aren’t sympathetic towards. Only the wrong way around.

    Quoting from \\WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW\\
    “When you talk about the tactic of sleeping in the park, and occupying certain locations, juries don’t like that,” Rothenberg said. “The juries have not been sympathetic at all.”

    So remember kiddos, if you steal people’s homes through legalistic fraud it will take years of dragging through reluctant DAs before anything gets done about it. In fact they may never have to face a jury without significant public pressure. But taking up public space is frowned upon by a jury comprised of We the People.

    Land of the Thieves, home of the Slave

  • 61. Cum  |  January 27th, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Woah freakout

  • 62. Duncan  |  January 28th, 2012 at 10:32 am

    The bottom-feeders are the pathetic neocollectivists standing in town squares across the country chanting “Throw us a bone!! Throw us a bone!!” instead of standing erect and moving forward to build a new economy based on something that works, rather than plotting in the dark to pursue the loser’s path that has been tread by so many has-been mass murderers…what the 1% has managed to accumulate is PAPER, nothing more. That’s why they were able to acquire so much of it, so fast…it’s just paper. I believe in free enterprise and honest money–there isn’t an “ism” for that. I want robust regulations against fraud and trespass (destroying the environment is trespass)…hasn’t been a lot of attention paid to trespass and fraud lately, if there had been, we wouldn’t be here. I am not young and I am not inexperienced, that’s why it pains me to see such hate and vitriol expressed by so many. Wars start with words just like those being bantered about here. I have seen war, you probably haven’t.It’s easy to talk doo-doo from the comfort of your gaming chair with an endless supply of hot pockets and Red Bull as close as the fridge. And it’s just as easy to come home from a protest, feeling like a combat vet. But there is NO RESTRAINT in war, no lawyers, no legislators no TV cameras (inmost places) to stop the carnage. War is generalized suffering, death and destruction. You hate the Libertarians because the Libertarians have pegged you a “looter”, an epithet which fits you like an Under Armour tee shirt. Libertarians despise fraud and theft–the bankstas represent fraud and you represent theft. Once loosed, there is practically no end to the murder that is unleashed at collectivist hands. First they eat the richest 1%, then they work there way down the chain until anyone with any savings or property at all has been eaten. Then the collectivists begin to starve; nobody left to eat, you see. This is precisely what happened in China and Russia and Cambodia, and it’s what you’ve got in mind for my country, and me, and my family. You won’t leave this comment up, of course. Having come from Russia, you know the value of collective hate and censorship. I won’t try irony again. No, straight forward, in-your-face anti-mass murder will be the rule from now on. Have a nice day

  • 63. Cum  |  January 31st, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Hey man there was tons of genocide in Modern Warfare 3, don’t shit on my gaming chair.

  • 64. Whoopdy Do  |  January 31st, 2012 at 4:18 am

    It’s incredible to me how you could write this article, and all these responders make these long-winded replies, when clearly none of you know the first thing about libertarian principles. I’ve never heard a single libertarian espouse freedom from debt. We just object to being handed the bill for your indebtedness. We are Randroids who are too Galtian to imagine taking on your parasitical moocher debts.

    I would say you’ve all been reading too much progressive propaganda, but that would be libertardian of me. This whole site is an anti-libertard propaganda outlet.

    To anybody coming here for a truly brainwashed alternative view, I would advise you to look elsewhere.

  • 65. Whatever  |  January 31st, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Wow. An entire comment section filled with rabid invective against the Evil Other. Who would have thunk it?

  • 66. MQ  |  February 1st, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Agree with comments above like 19, 20, and 25. Debt jubilees are great and a blow for *real* (as opposed to libertarian) freedom. Notice how libertards have screamed about even the smallest government efforts toward mandating debt forgiveness in this crisis, and likewise about strategic defaults / debt strikes by the common folk (but not by businesses, who do it all the time). Not sure why you are depicting it as ‘mooching’. Maybe it’s because I’m one of those humorless liberals people keep talking about. I don’t know… Anyway, debt forgiveness is key to seeing through libertarian BS too because it hits the point where government and private power merge — state enforcement of exploitative debts incurred to private parties.

  • 67. Ilona  |  February 1st, 2012 at 11:37 am

    As I said before: “Finally! Now we’re getting somewhere!”

  • 68. Ilona  |  February 1st, 2012 at 11:45 am

    @ 54. Sam Kinison

    “Either get a job, or fuck someone who has a job.”

    You job much? Just asking. Good fuck? Just asking.

  • 69. Benson  |  February 2nd, 2012 at 10:29 am

    The symbol kind of looks like someone taking an arrow to the knee. The box with the star in the center is actually a broken window, through which the arrow penetrated on its way to the adventurer’s knee.

  • 70. super390  |  February 2nd, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Oh boy! Now we’ve reached the part of this cartoon where the libertard trolls show up claiming that banking is not a part of capitalism.

    Next week, another bunch of right-wing trolls show up and tell us the bankers are evil not because they are capitalists, but because they are Jews.

    You know the rest of the cartoon.

  • 71. CB  |  February 3rd, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @ Whoopdy Doo
    “I’ve never heard a single libertarian espouse freedom from debt.”

    That’s the whole fucking point you idiot — the Sumerian symbol they’re using because they think it represents their ideals actually represents something contrary to their ideals (government cancellation of private debt).

    It’s called “Irony” you nitwit!

  • 72. Duncan  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Libertarians despise fiat currency in all its manifestations. Many of us would happily hit the “reset” button…

  • 73. super390  |  February 7th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Duncan, all the evils of debt serfdom in the ancient societies being discussed here happened under the gold standard. As did the debt serfdom that happened under your sick-fantasy libertarian-paradise 19th century. A non-inflating currency has been the fastest guarantee that peasants will fall into a debt hole they can’t climb out of. That was the normal condition of most people in the civilized world under the gold standard. Pre-1933 America also featured constant bank collapses, stock market collapses, depressions, fraud, and land theft. Don’t you know any history at all?

  • 74. Duncan  |  February 28th, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I never said a word about a gold standard…I said “honest money”…another of those either/or tyrannies that leftists are famous for (either corporate medicine or government medicine, either republican or democrat, either liberal or conservative)…there are other ways to create money besides “either fiat or gold”…I am well aware of the FUBAR financial history of the United States, which started, like, ten seconds after we kicked the Brits out and continues without abatement until today…and I never said a word about the 18th or 19th centuries, nor did I say anything about any sort of vision at all, except perhaps the one where I expressed hope that mass murder could be stopped…that must be your point of contention…maybe it’s you that should read a little, or a lot, of history…maybe you should also spend a little time on Amazon and try to find a thinking cap that will help you break out of that “either capitalist or socialist” tyranny that somebody embedded in your brain…

  • 75. Nick  |  May 9th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I wish you had studied the anthropological facts about the concept of jubilee before you decided to equate it with ‘deadbeat’
    Really, try to get bagjumicated

  • 76. Nestore  |  July 6th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    oh danny boooooooy, the pipes the pipes are call-all-ling ….

  • 77. Nestore  |  July 6th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    someone should come up with the cuneiform spelling of

    “i eat asshole 2 dolla yum yum”

    ..and spoof publish a bunch of “scholarly translations” that claim its says “tax and spend liberal”, or “market solutions” or something like that..and see if we can get these twats to tattoo it across thier foreheads.

  • 78. Ryan Poirier  |  July 13th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Was planning on getting this tattood to myself.. read this… now I definitely am.

    You made absolutely no points at all against the relevance of the tattoo. You cited new information to me actually, and I’m appreciative of the primary sources, but you should go back to school dude.

    Libertarianism is about freedom – slavery is the absolute opposite of freedom! The word was meant about freeing slaves; so how is it not libertarian again?

    Also, why do you call Libertarians moochers? We’re the ones advocating free markets where people can personally manage their own affairs and then either sink or swim.

    I don’t understand your beef with this tattoo because you have no logical beef with it.

    AEC:

    You’re totally right. Yasha Levine is a dumbass, he’s totally wrong, don’t know why we allow him to publish here. You’re making the right decision to get branded with the freedom n liberty tat. Send pic after you’re done to sic@exiledonline.com. Remember, Ryan, you are a fighter for freedom. Don’t be ashamed, no matter what statists like Yasha Levine say.

  • 79. K  |  October 1st, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Freedom in city states ruled by curly-bearded despots who could steal, rape and kill at will; of course.

  • 80. Gurimbom  |  October 19th, 2012 at 4:51 am

    If the debt was to the king/warlords in the Sumerian kingdom, then the sign is pretty fitting for libertarians, freedom of taxes is one of the primary goals. And there are a lot of knee-jerk reactions on here.. If anyone cares, yes, I’m a bagbot who forgot that libertarians want freedom ONLY from government taxes, but not private taxes imposed by corporate warlords.

  • 81. Brad Spangler  |  October 26th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    There’s no inconsistency here. The observation that amagi referred to debt cancellation simply begs the question of the validity of those my debt to the WIFI enabled vibrating spiked buttplug that all amagi tatted libertarians must have inserted at all times. How else would we know Mr. Koch is pleased with us? That’s human history for you!

  • 82. Casey  |  September 13th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Well, if you wipe out individual debt, who would that destroy? The banks who hold the debt and their grip on society via big government. You say potato, I say potato.

  • 83. H  |  October 30th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Only just found this site, and I’m now rather confused. Judging by the comments above, there are at least 70 odd people who know exactly what’s wrong with the world & how to fix it. So, er, why haven’t you?

    Surely no-one could stand up to someone who’s so overwhelmingly correct? Sure, they’d be forced to re-evaluate everything they thought was right, but they would eventually see reason.

    Guess it’s easier to just go to your job every day and convince yourself that you’re not a part of everything you hate because you express your opinions on a website. And I guess it makes life easier to believe that you’d be able to convince everyone of your viewpoints if only they’d just listen, rather than accept you’re just as close-minded and potentially wrong as those you hate.

    But hey, I have plenty of illusions myself (why else would I post this?), far be it for me to knock other people’s.

    I’m just glad that the economy is in such safe hands. After all, the above comments will help to ensure that, right?


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