Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Project: The Sedition Trust


Ever since I first read F. Paul Wilson's An Enemy of the State (and that was many years ago), I've been intrigued by the idea of the "Sedition Trust."

In the novel, the trust is a long-term endowment on the part of the Kyfho ("Keep Your F---ing Hands Off") sect, the purpose of which is to seed the known universe with the ideas of anarchism.

The recent low-key kerfuffle over left-statist columnist Sara Robinson's claim that right-wing statists are engaged in "sedition in slow motion" (you can read my take on that claim at the Center for a Stateless Society) got me thinking about the whole Sedition Trust concept again. I see that I'm not the only one who regrets the non-existence of such a project. Joseph Stromberg voiced a specific iteration of that regret 10 years ago:

There are continuity and discontinuity in the anti-war tradition. Unhappily, no one thought -- two centuries ago -- to set up a Sedition Trust like that in Paul Wilson’s novel, or even a George Washington's Farewell Address Society, to provide continued intellectual leadership for the cause.

Well, it's never too late to address the need, is it? But I'm going to throw some of my own ideas (not necessarily improvements, but divergences at any rate) into the mix.

Instead of a centralized endowment, let's go with a de-centralized collaboration. I'm starting it off with a Facebook page and a "category" tag on this blog. Rather than thinking of those two things as a functional "headquarters," I'm hoping that they'll serve as connection points for interested people to find each other. By all means, feel free to set up your own nodes if you want to be part of this thing -- the whole point is that you don't need anyone's permission. The more distributed the thing is, the harder it will be to shut down.

Instead of a single publishing operation, a formal distribution network, etc., this Sedition Trust will hopefully be composed of multiple ad hoc projects pursued by those who come up with them.

The prototype project I'm thinking of goes something like this:

You notice that there's an event coming up that represents an opportunity for, or a neighborhood that seems primed for, some preaching of the anti-state gospel.

So, you set a goal ("let's distribute 100 copies of Thoreau's Civil Disobedience at the Greater East Armpint, NJ gun show!").

Then you invite others to participate -- perhaps a ChipIn Widget to raise money for the purchase of books, a Facebook event page to get people together for the pass'em out action, etc.

Then you get it done. Then you move on to the next opportunity.

Meanwhile, others are doing similar things in other places.

That's my version of the Sedition Trust. Feel free to join it, or to create your own.

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