Zeno Izen for President 2012… my agenda: “The Plan”

Hi, my name is Zeno Izen and I am running for President of the United States of America.  I have developed a simple plan to restore freedom, peace and prosperity to America.  Here is that plan:

Step 1:  Every U.S. citizen with a Social Security number will receive, by U.S. Postal mail, an unactivated plastic debit card.  The details of the accounts that these cards will access are a technical matter that will be worked out before this plan is implemented.

Step 2:  Citizens will have a short period of time to activate these debit cards, and the accounts that they access.

Step 3:  At an appointed moment, which may or may not be revealed in advance, each citizen’s account will be credited with a sum of money.  The amount of money is a technical detail that will be worked out before this plan is implemented.  Hypothetically, the amount is mostly irrelevant, though it will need to be significant enough to qualify as a windfall for the average citizen.  Numbers between $10,000 and $100,000 are probable.

Step 4:  The U.S. federal government will cede power to the States, and declare itself dissolved.

Step 5:  A period of adjustment will ensue.

See, I'm practically a centrist.

The benefits of this plan will be many.  The velocity of money, and the vitality of the economy will increase dramatically as citizens will be motivated to spend what money they have as soon as possible before its value drops to zero.  All sides of political debate will be satisfied by this plan as well, as redistributionists on the left will be directly compensated and minarchists on the right will see their domestic agenda implemented in full.

At the same time, the results of this plan will be unpredictable to the degree that manipulators of the economy, along with entrenched totalitarian interests, will not be able to fully retain their power.  Prices and currencies will swing to extremes as the results of this plan ripple across the globe.  Innovators and small time players will find themselves knee deep in opportunities, which will disrupt society and make resources newly available in the fairest way possible:  according to wit and competitivity.

My plan will initiate a new global golden era based on merit and voluntary association.  This is what everyone wants, perhaps excluding those deeply invested in the status quo.

So vote for me for President of the U.S. or whatever other office you want.  I ain’t on the ballot and my budget is zero, but I’ve got a slogan and it is thus:

“Vote for Zeno Izen motherfuckers!  He’s got the Plan!”

Odd magazine covers

Every Friday I will upload scans and photos of items in my collectibles inventory.  Many of these items will be listed for sale at http://www.bonanza.com/booths/zenoizen

I’ve got lots of oddball magazines in my collection.  Here are the covers of some of them.  (And let’s see how terribly I can lay them out, too.)

The great Harvard Lampoon
Heckler's Tales. Good stories about a guy's adventures as a chronic heckler.
Riverwurst Comics
Inside Joke... get it? Me either.
The Partisan. Newspaper of the ever popular Peace and Freedom Party.
Snuff It, tool of the globalist depopulation agenda

10 protest-sign slogans scientifically designed to change the world

You know, a good slogan can change the world.  And since these Wall Street protests have been said to have no clear message, this may be a rare opportunity to inject some distilled wisdom into the minds of the masses.

Not just any slogan will do.  There is a subtle art to creating the cyanide-tipped word bullets that get seriously complex messages over noisy channels in short time.  This is the kind of thing you want to leave to certified experts such as myself.

What follows are some slogans that I have developed using a variety of tools and principles developed from my extensive study of linguistics, public relations, poetry, rhetoric, hypnosis, psychology and a great variety of other subjects.  This is top grade verbal technology.  Don’t mess with it, just use it.  It’s powerful and it works.

Now, when you put one of these slogans on your sign, you want to make sure your writing is clear and sense can be made of it from a hundred yards or more.  You don’t want to just scribble the words on a flap of cardboard and call it good.  And if you make your sign and it turns out to be sloppy, do it over.

Remember, most modern people are used to slick graphics designed by trained professionals.  You don’t want your sign to be entirely perfect.  A little folksy amateurism will actually serve your purposes better.  But sheer half-assedness will discredit you immediately.  There’s a sweet spot.  Try to find it.

So then, here you go, ten protest sign slogans scientifically designed to change the world:

1.  UTOPIAN projects ALWAYS create HELL
2.  Banks + Govt = Misery
3.  TOO FUCKED TO BAIL
4.  Are you a producer or a thief?
5.  Central Banks – Central Terror
6.  Recriminalize Fraud
7.  Goldman Sachs has a gambling problem
8.  Free money hurts the poor
9.  Reset America
10.  Defenestrate Oligarchical Collectivism

and as a bonus, one all purpose slogan for all places and all times:

11.  RULED BY NONE

Inspiration for the Real Man

The haters, man, the haters.  I fucking HATE them.  To begin with, they’re collectivists.  They can’t stand individualism or anything else that reminds them that they are dependent on the herd.  As soon as a real man steps forward and takes a risk, the haters SWARM upon him, trying to pull him back into the herd or if not that, kill him outright.

Mix it up, bitches!

In the long run it’s these haters, these collectivists, these weak-willed man-children that slow humanity down.

I know you don’t want to be that guy.  But I’ll admit it’s not easy to be an individual, to walk boldly into the future, taking the lead, swallowing fear in order to make something real out of this fleeting existence.

With that in mind, I’d like to share a couple of things that I’ve found inspirational lately. Firstly is the famous quote by the great American saint of Brass Balls, Teddy Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Secondly is this fantastic post from J.W. Black of the blog Fortune Favors Boldness:

“Well I’m shouting bullshit; I’m raising the flag of Bold Action.  Fuck excusing yourself from life’s challenges, from its hardships…from its bounties and rewards.  The things that are difficult and uncomfortable are the things you should be doing.  Healthy diets, two jobs, clocking over time at work AND the gym, gambling a year’s savings on an entrepreneurial pursuit, educating yourself, cancelling your cable and your world of warcraft account to reduce distractions – ACTION.  Think ACTION.  Don’t shrink from the challenge; assault it with the bayonet of your whole being.”

Black flag bake sale! Agorism vs. Marxism, place your bets.

We're all living in the Illuminatus! Trilogy now.

Very weird…

I was thinking about writing a post about agorism, when by improbable coincidence a couple of related chunks turned up in my media consumption.

Firstly, the always fun Dave Emory covers seasteading and Patri Friedman in episode #744 of his For The Record radio program.  This chunk of media doesn’t relate directly to agorism, but seasteading is a concept out of what you might call SciFi Libertarianism, which is the same ground as has spawned agorism.  Making the connection more resonant is the fact that Patri Friedman runs a PUA blog.

(PUA, if you don’t know, stands for Pick Up Artist.  The PUA community/industry is an outgrowth of a new, loosely associating Social Tactics movement that claims to have good advice about convincing women to have sex with you.  More often than not, though, things labeled PUA are rackets for breaking cash off of sexually frustrated men.  Recession-proof, that.)

The reason why Patri Friedman’s activity as a Pickup Artist is resonant is complicated.  You may want to break out your Illuminati! deck to follow along.  These PUA guys are the hucksters of the Social Tactics movement, separating out Game–the sexy part–and repackaging it for resale at inflated prices.

(Game, as with Social Tactics in general, is available for free.  All you need to do is figure out the right books to read and get them from the library.  Meanwhile, you get out there and talk to people.  It’s all really no more than a more self-conscious method of Growing the Fuck Up.  You know, put down the controller and get involved in life.)

The thing about Game, though, is that it becomes political because it must consider feminism.  Feminism is a constant specter for players because feminism wants to make bad Game illegal–literally.  Good Game is invisible.  Bad Game is harassment, or so it would be if feminists succeed.  This means that any player’s game must be flawless %100 of the time. Otherwise he’s a harasser.

The place where Game butts up against feminism is quite a busy one.  There you’ll find a rich array of men who question the wisdom of feminism’s mission and premises.  And out of this grows an increasing suspicion of leftism, Marxism, postmodernism, multiculturalism and… governmental social programs.  So then, a minarchist, if not completely anarcho-capitalist sensibility pairs very well with the study of Game, and especially well for the PUAs who have decided to turn Game into a business (as shady as it may be).

While agorism doesn’t require anarcho-capitalism theory–any illiterate thug can become an agorist–anarcho-capitalism does provide a theory to support agorism.  And here is where criticism of Patri Friedman gets weird for me.  To some degree, Friedman and myself are fellow travelers.  I think seasteading is a brilliant idea, and I’ve written mediocre science fiction exploring the topic.  Also, I study Social Tactics.  For a long time I’ve been frustrated on a handful of fronts, not just with women, but in earning a living, excercising my creative impulses, and keeping the Other People from fucking up my day to day.  Being kind of nerdy I’ve turned to reading to see if I can’t find some insight that could help me break through.  After an excruciatingly long time I’ve come to realize that it’s eye contact and conversations that determine our lives, and that social competence is the most important skill.  Meanwhile, the unfolding of history has made me realize that I can rely on neither government welfare nor corporate employment to take me where I want to go.  The only way I’m going to fund my adventures in this life is through my own entrepeneurial spirit.  Hence agorism.  Because agorism is the methodology of the proletariat capitalist in the belly of the corporate plutocracy.

So Friedman and I have similar views on some things.  The difference is that he’s a high roller and associates with people like Peter Theil a major investor in Facebook.  Facebook is of course a data mining operation for the government.  There is no arguing against this fact, because at the very least these two statements are undeniable: 1.  Facebook has lots of data about lots of people.  2.  Facebook will comply with practically any subpoena.

So, we’ve rounded the corner of our ass and our elbow looms on the horizon.  The point is that my interest in agorism, not to mention a few other ideas I carry around, have been linked to fascism.  That is, after all, Emory’s greater premise–that the Third Reich did not collapse after WWII but went underground, and that it is now making a gradual comeback.

Secondly, idle web surfing lead me to this sentence at The Exiled:

“I did a brief check on what sort of “libertarian anarchists” were at Hunter College in the early 1970s, and discovered this: some libertarian hack named J. Neil Schulman waxing nostalgic about his libertarian youth, including some forgettable “libertarian anarchist” lectures at Hunter College in the early 1970s.”

Interesting.  Schulman is the author of the 1979 novel Alongside Night, the preeminent work of literary agorist illustration.  In the tradition of Moore’s Utopia, Skinner’s Walden Two or Ayn Rand’s novels, the book paints a fictional picture of what well-developed agorism looks like.  The book is more than 30 years old, but Schulman is still alive and active publishing a blog at http://jneilschulman.rationalreview.com/

As part of a longer pastoral that excortiates libertarianism as a faux-radical movement that plays to the needs of the existing hegemonies to the degree that the FBI has consciously passed on infiltrating it, the Exiled article portrays Schulman as an establishment stooge with a–oh no!–pro-gun point of view.  The piece is idealogical but written well enough to give a thoughtful person pause.

Fortunately, though, Schulman actually comments on this Exiled article, resulting in a dialectical clash that spills over to his own blog.  The comments section of Schulman’s blog entry becomes an excellent back and forth addressing differences between Marxist and market anarchisms.

Yeah, it’s a big convoluted mess.  I’m relieved, though, because I’ve been reading about agorism for a few weeks now and finding myself comfortable with the practical aspects of it–counter-economics and so on.  As the agorist story goes, capitalists have consolidated their wealth and power all these years by hamstringing the little guy via governmental regulation.  This seems true enough in the United States.  International corporations can operate the different facets of their businesses anywhere in the world, according to profitability.  Labor costs and taxation are the clearest examples of this.  For years manufacturing has thrived in countries with the weakest labor laws.  Meanwhile, income has been streamed to nations with the lowest tax rates and stashed in the countries with the most discrete banks.  Middle-class Americans, though, can’t usually skirt the law by changing locations.  (And I’ll skip the opportunity to point out how these facts contribute to the lack of productive growth in the United States.)

The agorist solution to this is to ignore the law and operate under the radar.  Agorism in action, called counter-economics, includes black market and grey market business.  A meth lab is counter-economical, but so is a bake sale.  While these are radically different types of operations, they are the same in that they are motivated by a desire for cash income, and not by a desire for political change.  Agorism gives sub-market business a political underpinning and provides points of solidarity for those who want them.

It’s a heartening set of ideas for hustlers of all types, but it’s also viable and relevant.  Claims that agorists collaborate unknowingly with the establishment are launched from confused minds.