Per Bylund's picture
Joined: 2009-08-30
Columns on STR: 63


Per Bylund

Short bio:

Has a passion for justice.


Columns by Per Bylund

The Second Question
Per Bylund 2006-10-29 16:00
Exclusive to STR October 30, 2006 It is quite scary how indoctrinated people get in school nowadays. Asking any normal teenager about politics, he or she will quickly and proudly declare they cherish "democracy." That's just the way it is, it is kind of a trump--say you are for democratic (put whatever you like here) and you win any discussion. Democracy has become a religion, and thus...
The Europeans' George W. Bush
Per Bylund 2006-09-14 15:00
Exclusive to STRA September 15, 2006
Creating a Calculated Revolution--in Your Neighborhood
Per Bylund 2006-09-07 15:00
Exclusive to STRA September 8, 2006 The libertarian strategy for rolling back the State and reestablishing individual liberty and natural rights seems to divide the movement into two main factions. There are those who sincerely believe in slow progress through political means, that the State's powers should be abolished one by one and at a slow pace. And there are those revolutionaries who are...
A Personal Thanks to Strike The Root
Per Bylund 2006-08-23 15:00
Exclusive to STRA August 24, 2006 Yes, I should have done this a long time ago. And when the editor encouraged everybody to write about Strike The Root for its fifth anniversary, I thought this is the time. There is so much I want to say, but I just seem to never get around to saying it. So I missed the chance again. But better late than never, I guess. Here it goes. I've been a market anarchist...
Free Market Thinking: Not Applicable
Per Bylund 2006-06-11 15:00
Exclusive to STR In a world of left and right, libertarians should fit nicely somewhere in-between or ' even better ' in a neither-nor position. But still libertarians tend to identify much more with the right wing in politics rather than with the left wing. How is this so?
Statist Reasoning: Not Me, But Everybody Else
Per Bylund 2006-04-11 15:00
Exclusive to STR Most of us have tried discussing issues considered somewhat radical with a number of average Joes. Such an endeavor usually ends with frustration and a total failure of communication; the statist retreats from reason and logic to feeling when his views are challenged. It seems impossible to break through to these people.
Statist Reasoning: Non-Freedom for Non-Voters
Per Bylund 2006-04-04 15:00
Exclusive to STR Most of us have heard the expression that goes something like: If you don't vote, you have no right to be unhappy with the State, politics, or the political class. The logic is that if you don't vote, you have already given up your right to complain about the effects. The interesting point in this is that one, according to this logic, seems to earn a right to complain from the...
The Right to Shun Voters
Per Bylund 2006-03-22 16:00
Exclusive to STR It is time again. In September this year the state of Sweden will hold democratic elections for parliament. And with that comes enormous media coverage; it seems everything worth reporting on the news is politics, politics, politics. The media can't get enough of this madness; they write column after column, page up and page down telling everybody about propositions for new...
Rejecting Television
Per Bylund 2006-03-14 16:00
Exclusive to STR I don't have a television set. I do own one, but it is in a box somewhere in the attic (I think). When I tell people of this, they usually think I'm crazy: 'How the hell can you do without television?' Well, it's easy, especially with my libertarian convictions and anarchist morality. I haven't missed a moment of TV gawking since I threw the set out. Since you probably share (...
Conspiracy Theory
Per Bylund 2006-03-08 16:00
Exclusive to STR In a free society, there's plenty of room for conspiracy theories. Anyone with a strange idea or a vivid imagination has the full right to spread those thoughts to anyone willing to listen. It might sound pretty strange that obvious idiots should have the right to make idiots out of other people, but that's part of what comes with freedom: Nobody can say what must or must not be...
How to Establish a Government: Lesson 3 - Dealing With Rebellions
Per Bylund 2006-01-19 16:00
Exclusive to STR In lessons one through three we have learned how to create your own empire (lesson one), how to maintain power (lesson two), and how to deal with uprisings and rebellions (lesson three). It is time to evaluate great contemporary and historical rulers and see to what extent they have managed to be true despots. This also gives us a chance to see the real effects of acting as a...
How to Establish a Government: Lesson 1 - The Basics
Per Bylund 2006-01-10 16:00
Exclusive to STR This first lesson on how to become or be a government could also be called How To Trick People Into Eagerly Rejecting Their Right To And Power Over Their Own Lives And Willingly Subject Their Whole Worlds To You. What I will teach you here is simply that: how to make people believe you are actually saving them while destroying their liberty and suffocating everything they are...
Saving the World Through Saving Yourself
Per Bylund 2005-11-14 16:00
Exclusive to STR Libertarians generally find themselves puzzled at how to bring about the free society they envision. It seems almost impossible to bring down the State to its 'minimalist state' form, and even harder to abolish it altogether and secure a state of anarchy. How do we do it? What should our strategy be? Where should we start in our campaign to de-program, de-brainwash, enlighten,...
An Uncivilized Argument for Anarchy
Per Bylund 2005-11-10 16:00
Exclusive to STR One of the questions facing proponents of anarchism is how to deal with criminals when there is no law and no State. The role of the latter can rather easily be fulfilled by arguing for a system of private entrepreneurs or corporations taking on criminals for a fee. But it does not, in the world of the statist, prove the enforcement of the rule of law. Besides, exactly what law...
After the Stone Was Cast
Per Bylund 2005-10-31 16:00
Two thousand years ago, if one believes the Bible, Jesus asked the Pharisees to 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone.' In the biblical story, the stone was not cast since no one was without sin. In the real world, however, sinners will not refrain from throwing stones: in politics the one who first casts the stone is also probably the greatest sinner. 'Attack is the best defense,'...
Katrina and the Battered Statist Syndrome
Per Bylund 2005-09-18 15:00
It has already been shown by other columnists on STR who should bear responsibility (but doesn't) for the disaster in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. This is all a rather unique situation, since columnists worldwide seem to agree that government is responsible, even though most stress it is responsible only for the failure to supply enough help in time. So what we have here is actually a...
Is There a Chance for Freedom?
Per Bylund 2005-09-11 15:00
From time to time one wonders if there is any chance for freedom whatsoever. People just don't want to listen, and they really do not understand the dangers of power. At least not in the sense we do. How come people so eagerly support a leader and so decisively oppose liberty?
We've Fixed the Problem!
Per Bylund 2005-09-08 15:00
When discussing the market vs. politics, we libertarians usually claim the former is voluntary, productive, creative, wealth-creating etc., while the latter is coercive, destructive, uncreative, wealth-destroying. It all seems to fit the ideal model of the world. Who would not agree on voluntary being better than coercive, productive being better than destructive, and so on?
The Significance of a Minute
Per Bylund 2005-06-22 15:00
A minute may seem insignificant; it is but 1/1440 of a day or 1/525,600 of a year. But in politics and public policy, one insignificant minute can mean an enormous difference. This was the case when the hands of millions of clocks and watches in Sweden took the insignificant step from May 31, 11:59 p.m. to June 1, 12:00 a.m. Nine million people went to bed in one world, and woke up in another.
What Is Your Favorite Movie?
Per Bylund 2005-06-06 15:00
Ever had anyone ask you what your favorite movie is? Of course you have. Most people have. It is one of those questions people tend to ask one another just to keep the conversation going. I play that game too'I answer the question in that same manner: to keep the conversation going. When someone asks me about my favorite movie I usually reply Enemy of the State, where Will Smith is the target of...
Freedom Is Never Up
Per Bylund 2005-05-22 15:00
The socialist anarchist movement has realized something we should really take to heart: the idea of decentralization. Even though socialist and communist anarchists tend to favor forceful decentralization in federations of labor unions'and the abolishment of voluntary exchange of services in the marketplace'we should really turn to them: for inspiration and guidance. The lesson they have learned...
Don't Drink German Milk!
Per Bylund 2005-05-18 15:00
The National Food Administration in Sweden today (May 18) issued a warning: don't drink German milk. The NFA is truly worried about the milk's effects on public health. In Sweden , health is a big issue (that's why we have at least three different authorities 'protecting' public health) and consequently it is not only on the news'it is The News of the day. On the hour every hour I get to hear...
Friend or Foe?
Per Bylund 2004-05-25 15:00
I frequently receive a lot of e-mails to my web site Most of them are sent by anarchists with socialist preferences basically claiming I am the most evil man alive, and that I have 'no idea' what anarchism really is. I always respond with a standardized 'why libertarianism is anarchism' e-mail, and usually I never hear from them again. It is obvious these people see me as their...
A Personal Thanks to Strike The Root
Per Bylund 2006-08-23 15:00
Exclusive to STRA August 24, 2006 Yes, I should have done this a long time ago. And when the editor encouraged everybody to write about Strike The Root for its fifth anniversary, I thought this is the time. There is so much I want to say, but I just seem to never get around to saying it. So I missed the chance again. But better late than never, I guess. Here it goes. I've been a market anarchist...
More on Minarchism as Evil
Per Bylund 2011-03-03 03:00
Column by Per Bylund. Exclusive to STR My previous two articles on minarchism versus anarchism [1, 2], and why minarchism is “evil,” have stirred up quite a debate online.[1] This was expected, since minarchists desperately want to see themselves as radical (whereas compared to anarchists they clearly are not) and anarchists almost as desperately seek alliances and ideological kindred...
STR: A Glorious Decade of Radicalism
Per Bylund 2011-08-10 23:00
Column by Per Bylund.  Exclusive to STR  For the five-year anniversary, I wrote a column about the value of a site like Strike The Root. I argued that the main problem to making anarchism an attractive social theory is its lack of guarantees. Rather than basing our worldview on the illusion of a stable and never-changing core to which we can fix and around which we can organize our...
Your Sticker Makes a Lot of Sense Recommended
Per Bylund 2010-11-03 02:00
Column by Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   Election Day means there are a lot of people walking around proudly carrying a sticker on their collar or lapel: “I Voted.” It bothered me at first that they would take pride in such ugly, immoral, and destructive behavior and that they so urgently wanted me to see that they had cast a ballot. I do not particularly like that these...
Legitimacy of the State
Per Bylund 2003-08-31 15:00
Whether the state can be legitimized is a core concern in political philosophy and ideology. If it cannot, what is the alternative?
Hope in the Age of Darkness
Per Bylund 2010-06-29 02:00
By Per Bylund   Exclusive to STR   These are troublesome times: the police state is literally only months away (if not here already), Big Brother already has full control of what everybody’s up to, and governments wage numerous wars while taxing their poor populations to ridiculous degrees. Yet in the midst of all this darkness, after a century of endarkening, there are signs of...
Only Cowards Vote
Per Bylund 2010-01-08 03:00
 Exclusive to STR   The official truth is that voting is a glorious thing, that it may even be a democratic duty. After all, most free countries have a history of bloodshed and war, which was the only way of finally getting rid of terror and oppression to establish Democracy: where we, the people, rule ourselves and there are no kings, lords, or absolute rulers. In such a world, are we...
Reform Sucks. Or Where Do We Go From Here?
Per Bylund 2011-06-29 23:00
Column by Per Bylund. Exclusive to STR I recently participated in an online discussion on gay marriage, an issue that was stated to be “such a sure thing” that my views could be dismissed at the outset. And, I suspect, laughed at. Why? Because, it was argued, government’s opening up the state-enforced institution of marriage to gay couples “decreases” discrimination...
On the 'Rule of Law'
Per Bylund 2010-07-07 02:00
By Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR     Conservatives and libertarians often claim an inherent value in the Rule of Law, a concept that to anarchists may seem a bit strange and, frankly, quite evil. Of course, most of us would accept the notion that predictable, principle-kind laws are much better than arbitrary rulings by a power elite (be it one man or many). Some would even claim...
Who Are the Real Terrorists?
Per Bylund 2010-07-21 02:00
By Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   What is fascinating in this day and age is how the definition of previously well-known concepts mysteriously have changed. I’m not thinking of e.g. the word “defense,” which nowadays seems to have a much broader meaning and includes waging wars, occupying foreign nations, and having permanent military bases in almost 200 foreign...
Rejoinder on Evil Minarchism Recommended
Per Bylund 2011-02-18 03:00
Column by Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   John deLaubenfels responds to my previous column on minarchists being “the enemy.” His response is a case in point. Even though it is surely not his intent, his “quick response” directly supports the thesis of my original column. This is also true with most of the e-mails and comments I have seen by those disagreeing...
Why Minarchists Are the Enemy
Per Bylund 2011-02-16 03:00
Column by Per Bylund.   Exclusive to STR   Libertarians want to roll back government to a much less oppressive size. In this goal, libertarian minarchists and anarchists often stand together and aim for the same goals, at least short term. In a limited sense, this may not be such a stupid idea. After all, pushing back the powers of government is a good thing, is it not?   But what...
North Korea Is Not a Problem – The U.S. Is
Per Bylund 2010-11-23 03:00
Column by Per Bylund. Exclusive to STR News agencies report on another potential nuclear threat from North Korea, which has developed an advanced program for enriching uranium. Granted, nuclear weapons are extremely dangerous – and they are especially dangerous in the hands of nutcases such as Kim Jong-il. However, the media misses the point as they urgently run in the direction pointed out...
Power Corrupts
Per Bylund 2004-03-03 16:00
The history of man is a history of rule or ambition to rule. It is not, as Marx claimed, a history of constant class struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat, even though class struggle may be derived from the fundamental division of society into 'rulers' and 'ruled.' An important part of this history is the continuous 'race to the top' among self-centered power seekers, trying to gather as...