Maybe Napoleon Was Right…

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Napoleon believed in liberty – just not for most people.

Most people, he reportedly said, are herd-cattle not capable of living as individuals in society without the external restraint of authority to keep them from abusing one another. Most men, in other words, are only kept at bay – kept from committing acts of violence and fraud – by the threat of violence in return.

Not by self-restraint; not because they are morally enlightened.

The prod – and only the prod.

In his own way, the dapper dictator was a Libertarian. A cynical one, perhaps – but also probably accurate in his estimation of the masses of humanity.

I’d go further. I doubt most people even desire liberty.

Not really.

Most people, no matter where they fall on the political continuum, are quite happily habituated to the omnipresence of government – to omnipresent control in exchange (supposedly) for “safety.”

How many people out there would be willing to forgo any claim to a government check for anything – “retirement,” “health care,” “unemployment compensation” – in return for the liberty to provide for themselves, successfully or not? No, wait, let’s go deeper. To agree with the statement that no one is entitled to take money from anyone else for any purpose, without their consent?

I doubt the answer is one out of 100. Maybe not even that.

Clear majorities support the emerging police state – the universal monitoring, the mass frisks.

Democrats – that is, left-leaning statists – are of course a lost cause. There’s no point even trying to speak with the “we needs” and “society oughts.” Even in the abstract, they’re not for liberty; they’ve embraced communal responsibility. “We” are all in this together – even though some of us might prefer to go our own way, make our decisions – and just be left alone.

Which of course, we won’t be.

It is interesting to note in this connection the odd fact that left-liberal statists are deemed – and deem themselves – “caring” (that is, humanistic) people while anyone who objects to their schemes of violent control – to their talk of  “helping” some people with other people’s money, taken at the point of a gun – is regarded as “selfish” and “mean-spirited.”

But it is conservatives – Republicans – who are the most depressing. Because they claim to love liberty – the abstract conception of it, at least. But down in the mud, they’re as or even more statist than the left-liberal Democrats they claim to oppose.

For example: Try and find a Republican who will support the elimination of taxes on real estate – so that people can really own their homes and land. Instead he will talk about “our children’s future” and the importance of having “good schools” – paid for with the liberty of  home and land “owners” who are in fact feudal serfs permitted temporary and conditional use of the county’s property so long as the annual property tax is paid. It is as hard to find a Republican who will say that it is the responsibility of parents to provide for the education of their children – not the parents’ neighbors – as it is to find a purple Brontosaurus in Central Park. The Republican conception of property rights – and thus, of human rights – is as crippled from the get-go as the left-liberal Democrat conception of them. 

It has been observed – correctly – that every major point of the Communist Manifesto is now a given – an accepted part of our everyday lives – from a “heavy progressive or graduated income tax” to the “centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.”

But it’s worse than that; we’ve also got all the major elements of Mussolini-style fascism – which really ought to be called corporatism – firmly in place, too. The racial-nationalism stuff most people associate with the term (fascism) is a bogey. The part that matters – and the part we have – is the marriage of state with corporate power; the creation of de facto (and even de jure) industrial combines that use government power to suck vast riches into the clutches of (for example) the “defense” industry, big finance – and so on – with the government enjoying vast regulatory power (in practice, control and micromanagement of individuals) as its payoff in return.

Most Republicans and conservatives are – at best – limited statists. They want government, too. Just directed in the way they think proper. Which means they are just as eager to put a gun to your head or otherwise threaten you with violence to provide funds for “x” or obey “y.” Which makes them fundamentally no different than the Democrats.

Which is why we find government – Cloverism – everywhere.

There is no escape, either. No way out.

Not until it becomes possible to escape this Earth and try again on some other Earth, as far away from this one as relativistic physics can take us.

But even then, I am not optimistic. The dormant seeds of Cloverism will probably accompany the intrepid travelers, ready to sprout to life once more in fresh, momentarily virgin soil. Just as happened here in North America. Liberty – not perfect, but not too far from it – survived on this continent only very briefly before Cloverism came alive once more, re-establishing itself with even greater vigor.

This is the real tragedy of the human condition; not just the lust to control but the desire – the need – to be controlled.

Napoleon understood this – and he acted accordingly.

Throw it in the Woods?   


  1. Napoleon’s words come a little closer to Hobbes than Rothbard but I do see your point. Keeping men from harming one another is not necessarily a bad idea but method is everything in that regard. Establishing penalties in advance for fraud or the initiation of force against others is preferable to the creation of a all powerful Leviathan state which claims deliverance from a state of nature (or national threats) as one of its more important ends. Napoleon was unique in that he claimed to be using his Leviathan for liberation – might for right so to speak. One wonders, however, why Napoleon would even bother going to all the trouble if those recently liberated would soon use the opportunity to harm others. That’s man’s nature, right? That’s what men do at the first available opportunity, right? In truth, he was never really liberating anyone in any meaningful sense but only substituting his own rule for another that may have been slightly better or worse while diverting tax revenues for his own purposes. At first even the British press fell for his lies but eventually saw through them. His noble justifications for wars of aggression proved to be mostly b.s. and Europeans everywhere grew to despise the little emperor as a major annoyance. No doubt, a lot more cheering than crying took place when it became generally known that he had finally met his political end of the road at Waterloo.

    • Yes, but I do think he was correct in his assessment of humanity; the history of humanity makes the case for him. Liberty is rarely found because it’s rare to find men who believe in it – either the powerful or the weak. For every Jefferson or Ron Paul there are thirty George Bushes; for every one of us – people here who would practice non-aggression, deal with one another on the basis of voluntary cooperation, etc. – there are probably thousands if not millions who believe in “democracy,” or much worse.

      On simple intelligence – the bell curve – we’re screwed. Millions upon millions of people with IQs well under 100 who are probably not even capable of understanding the concept of the non-aggression principle. And then there are the plenty-smart ones who do understand it – and spend their lives undermining it because they believe in power.

      The only solution – and it’s a damn-near impossible one – is to somehow separate “us” from “them” – and then (perhaps harder) maintain that.

      I welcome any ideas…

      • Agreed. I’ve read The Bell Curve. Since the 1960s government has gone all out to grow a segment of the population incapable of comprehending much of anything. It’s scary enough to take the wind out of the sails of even the best arguments being offered for a brighter national future. And the intellectuals? I’m afraid that they’re mostly pro-state authoritarians. They only differ in regard to their preferences for location of the next war of aggression and which part of the economy should next be sprinkled with fiat tax dollars (fairy dust) to produce economic miracles. We do seem to be severely screwed.

        • The effort to dumb people down, condition them, started with the government schools (copying the Prussian system). I feel it was what helped get WW1 off the ground and by WW2 the american public was very well conditioned by the government schools.

          It’s only gotten worse since. The conditioned responses to freedom arguments are so uniform, so repetitive its clear that it is a conditioned response. It also matches what I was taught in the government schools. Some people try to be different but their thought is stuck within the boundaries formed in the government school experience.

          Furthermore, the opportunities in this society are often limited to what I call the good-at-school people. The institutionalized people. The people that can play the institution well but can’t do much else. Creative people rarely can get through the government and societal barriers to any kind of role that can change things. At best they can find an unregulated niche to produce in (Founders of Apple for instance). Once the regulations come, then it becomes who can play the institutions best.

  2. Gil, you’ve been corrected multiple times yet insist on the government school ideas of libertarian. They are false. They taught you that libertarianism = chaos / do anything you want to keep your thoughts in the box. To keep you scared of freedom and obeying them. Their gravy train derails when the cloverite masses see the truth of their slavery and/or serfdom.

    What is happening in London has nothing to do with libertarianism and everything to do with statism. The ruling class cuts people off economically while engaging in criminal behavior. Thus when the stress releases people get all smashy and grabby. They will get their own plunder. Not to mention how masses of people on welfare are used by the ruling class to keep the middle class compliant and in favor of growing the state. This is as old as the Roman Empire, but the ignorant masses fall for it time and time again.

    There’s no revolution of any kind going on. It’s just another manipulation of the social order by the ruling class for their own benefit.

  3. This idiot doesn’t know the differnce between seal team six (now properley known as NAVDEVGRU) and a tactical seal team doing standard missions. Trust me on this one. Team six is NOT running missions backing up rangers in hot villages in the stan. Maybe if there was a HIGH value target there and then it would be six’s primary mission with others in backup posture.

    • Kman we’re in the matrix brother. Is Alex Jones full of Schumer? Probably. Could he even be a strawman as some have theorized? Does our government lie to us? Sure, the lied to me the whole time I was in and ever since I got out; that’s a given. Is our government populated with a large number of sociopathic narcissists, sycophants, opportunists and thugs? No doubt about it. Would they kill some of us to avoid embarassment and public outrage? Would they send men in shoot and burn 83 civilians when a publicity stunt turned bad in Waco? How about supplying “inert” explosives to a bunch of terrorists and stand back while they blew a hole in the floor of the world trade center? They’ve done all this and more. They know they can get away with it. Dom may be a conspiracy theorist and Alex Jones may be a Company plant, but make no mistake; the movers and shakers in D.C. (District of Criminals) don’t really care who gets hurt as long as it ain’t them. The men running this show wouldn’t piss on any one of us if we were on fire. Check out what Paul Craig Roberts found out from OBL’s next door neighbor over at LRC:

  4. Clovers never cease to amaze me. The concept of self defense as well as voluntary mutual defense (defense meaning just that, not a euphemism for let’s get together and take our neighbors’ stuff) seems to escape every clover. Gil is a truly amazing archtypical clover specimen (and I mean that in the truly inquisitive scientific sense). I find it difficult to believe that he (she, it?) can’t comprehend the simple idea that any use of aggressive force is wrong. But apparently coercion is perfectly acceptable as long as the actors are state sanctioned and uniformed.

    I must pay the county and state that I live in rent on “my” house so I can live in it and on “my” vehicles so that I may use them to travel or the powers that be will take “my” license plates and auction “my” house off out from under me. If I dare continue to travel in an “unlicensed” vehicle or attempt to live in the house I paid for, that they auctioned off, they will send men with guns to remove and detain me. If I “resist” (i.e. defend myself and my property), they will use lethal force against me. Some free country, huh?

    If I were to get together with some of my friends, decide that Gil owed us part of his property merely for the privilege living nearby and we took it by threat of force, he would undoubtedly consider that a crime (as would most of us). But when state actors in uniform do it, it’s somehow acceptable? Talk about cognitive dissonance!

    I think the crux of the matter is this: Clovers want government to be generous with other people’s money because they have no generosity of their own and believe no one else does either. Clovers want government to protect them because they lack the self control required to responsibly possess the means to defend themselves (or at least the ability to avoid emotional confrontations with others that could result in violence) and believe the rest of us are also like them. Clovers want government to educate their children because they are incapable of doing so themselves and see us in the same light. From what I can tell, most clovers suffer from serious character deficiencies, they subconsciously know this and impute their flaws to the rest of us. Clovers should set a powerful negative example for the rest of us: Do not judge other people based on what’s in your own heart!

    • The idea you have to pay the government is based on the idea that the governmetn ultimately owns the land your house is built upon. The State Government and Federal Government were founded before you arrived yet you think you have right to negate that because you think it’s an illegitimate organisation? Alternatively, I also believe there something to said about “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” – because there government rules, statutes and Constitution Amendment are wrong that doesn’t imply government is wrong, period.


      • So, let’s see. You consider institutions erected before you were born as inviolable and sacrosanct? That we have some obligation to be bound by a supposed “social contract” that not only never existed but which, even if we grant your premise, was entered into by people who died before we were born? I can’t think of a more Medieval – and Cloverian – article of government worship than that!

        Look: All authoritarians know that it is essential (for them) to destroy the concept of land ownership specifically. To make the very concept of a freeman (an old term not currently in use) impossible. A freeman was someone beholden to none; who owned his land and home. This idea was reflected in the concept of allodial titles to land, which of course no longer exist. The reason being that authoritarians don’t like the idea of someone being absolutely independent of them; able to live on their own land, without having to earn “income” (that is, to be a worker ant, in perpetuity) to pay for the privilege of remaining on their land. Do you see?

        Of course not. You’re a Clover!

        No Clovers

        • Quite frankly yes in the same way you don’t claim ownership of a rental home just because you think the landlord is a prat. Migrants when choosing a country agreed to the system otherwise they would choose another country so unless you’re a Native American you can blame your ancestors. However to truly own your land fully means you ruler of a sovereign nation. Yet suppose a group of people setting up some tents, a chook shed and a veggie patch in your backyard and claiming to have homesteaded it and thus own it outright and the courts agree partly because “possession is 9/10th of the law” and their modifications are more productive than your who did nothing but occassionally water and mow it? You would instead argue as a sovereign ruler its your land and immigrants can’t just barge in and pretend they own the place just because they modified it.


          • So, the state (government) is our landlord… and you, as a Clover, think that’s the natural order of things. The Cloverian mind (such as it is) in action!

            Next up: “Migrants when choosing a country agreed to the system otherwise they would choose another country so unless you’re a Native American you can blame your ancestors.”

            So (again) children, descendants, are legally obligated to accept conditions accepted by their ancestors. More Cloverian brilliance!

            Notice, too, your typically Cloverite package dealing: No individuals (and individual actions). Just an amorphous collective. “Migrants” (no differences among them; just “migrants”). “Native Americans” – who individually came from other places, too.

            Then: “However to truly own your land fully means you ruler of a sovereign nation.”

            No, Aussie Clover. It simply means your paid-for home and land are yours, free of liens and encumbrances to the state.

            It is amazing the way a Clover can pretzel-ize any rational discussion with non sequiturs, emoting and exaggerations.

            No Clovers

          • Legally obliged to follow the laws? Hell yes unless you want to a noble outlaw. Some people were willing to go to prison than be sent the Vietnam War. They know the risk and took it. Most countries like the U.S. have systems to where people can try to change laws legally so you might say you’re better than had your ancestors chosen an outright dictator where questioning means you’ll disappear. Then again if you were to invite me to your home and I show utter disregard for your views and rules you’d kick to the kerb. Simple.

            Yes fully outright owning your land makes you the ruler of a nation state. You lord over it and any people who want to live on your land and if they don’t like your terms then they leave or face your retribution. No government equals the private landowners now rule over land. Many people might find renting land is better than ownership just like houses nowadays. Then again you also take the risk of fending imperialist nations. It’s a lot like comparing being employed versus owning a business.


            • Wow. The Eichman Defense. “Legally obliged to follow the laws? Hell yes…” Too bad it didn’t work for him, eh?

              Like most Clovers, you equate “the law” with morally right. To you, if something’s the law, it must be right… because it’s the law! This may be the defining characteristic of a true Clover.

              For my own part, I follow the “no cop, no stop” code. If a law is stupid, unjust or simply not within the rightful purvue of the government, then I ignore and evade that law to the extent possible. So, with regard to your very poor example of the draft, it is moral to evade/disobey to the extent one can. And to put a finer point on it, it is immoral to Submit to and Obey such laws.

              On land: Once again, more Cloverism. Owning land free and clear does not entitle the owner to commit murder, assault or theft. I’m not sure whether you’re just not very bright (like most Clovers) or trying to deliberately delegitimize property rights by implying that acceptance of property rights means you accept giving carte blanche to the owner to abuse others. Now, a land owner has every moral right to deny others use of his land. To evict squatters and so forth. But that’s not what the issue is and I suspect you know it.

              No Clovers

          • After I wiped the vomit from my mouth induced by the raw Statism you so proudly espouse, I decided I just HAD to respond.

            First you conflate piracy with purchase; the squatters didn’t buy the land. I suppose you’re analogizing the American Indian tragedy, and in most cases there I’d agree with you…displacing them from their land was wrong, but that’s not the conversation for now.

            A rental home is just that, and the contract is between consensual private parties. How you equate that with property tax is beyond me; or not, because you perhaps reveal yourself as a Marxist after all? Disenfranchisement of man from real property is after all a core tenet.

            Would you have us return to feudalism? Indeed today we’re suffering neo-feudalism; you own nothing of real value except your clothes, furniture, and sundries. Not your house, your land, your car and other vehicles, your boat. Even your money and stocks are subject to third-party risks; just wait until the State starts stealing your retirement accounts–it will happen, they cannot resist the $10 trillion floating around out there.

            All this is desirable to you? The taste of your master’s boot so delicious you’d like to keep licking it forever?

            Lastly, Americans once had allodial title, by clear law in several states and by tradition elsewhere in the early 1800’s. Until recently, Nevada and Texas still had provisions to own land in allodium.

          • Eric:

            Are you going for the German who hid Jews in his basement during Nazi Germany defence? Yes it was illegal when the Nazis ruled. Yes if the German was caught he’d be in deep trouble yet such a person breaks the law and take risks of being caught but finds it’s worth it. If you want to break laws because you find them immoral then that’s your choice but don’t pretend that punishments don’t exist or that “I don’t like the laws” will hold up in court.

            On the other hand, who would stop a sovereign owner committing without creating an international incident? Saddam did terrible things but that didn’t justify the U.S. intervening, right? After all, if a property owner still has to face laws then he’s not really the property owner is he? And who gets to decide what such laws are? The U.N.?


            Actually what was wrong with strict “feudalism” and Libertarian values? The lords owned the land and rented it out the peasants for after which the lords pretty much left the peasants alone. That’s sounds much like a private landowning system to me.

            You forget that the firstcomers who had allodial land rights could almost operate as sovereign rulers over their patch but what happens to the latecomers and all the choice farming land is used up? They have to find landowners to work for and follow their rules. In other words, something that’s rather like feudalism.


            • Aussie Clover: Are you serious? No, I am not “going for” the German who hid Jews during WW II – or anyone else who ignores, evades or violates stupid, evil laws. I applaud such people.

              Is there a potential cost involved when one evades/ignores/disobeys “the law”? Certainly. What’s your point? That one should Submit and Obey and like it?

              Keep in mind, Aussie Clover, that it’s often the people who resist Cloverism and refuse to obey “the law” who are ultimately vindicated.

              Next: You conflate a sovereign nation with an individual landowner. Bizarre. And – you (again) dodge the original point: Owning land does not give the landowner the right to do whatever he wishes to other people – because there’s no such thing as a right to violate the rights of others. That means he (the landowner) doesn’t have the right to just kill someone (or beat them up) merely by dint of their being on his land. However, he does have the right to defend his property (and his life) if threatened with violence first. So, if a squatter refuses to remove himself from the land (as an example) the landowner has every right to physically remove the squatter – and if the squatter physically resists, the owner has the right to use force to do so. As the situation escalates (as a result of the offender’s actions), the owner has the moral (and should be legal) right to escalate in response. So if the squatter threatens the owner, say, then the owner has the right to respond. And so on. This is a very simple concept; it amazes me that you don’t get it.

              And: “Pretty much left the peasant alone?” You mean except when he (the Lord) wasn’t exercising his (cough) right of “first night,” having his thugs beat the shit out of the peasants at the first hint of disobedience and forcing them to hand over most of what they produced, leaving them just enough to subsist on, while also micromanaging their lives and denying them any real liberty or freedom of action? In other words, you mean like it is today?

              You live in a country that has already stripped people of the right to defend themselves against violent predators – so your comments are not surprising.

              No Clovers

          • So your proof of how hard the peasants had it come from the movie “Braveheart”? There no historical proof whatsoever that the notion a lord could have sex with a newly married peasant woman was ever acted upon.

            On the other hand you confuse moral right with ability. Many people have the ability to commit crimes and do even though they don’t have the moral right to do so. Then again equating a private landowner with a sovereign nation is much the same as when a Libertarian equating a robber with a government – it’s both a matter of scale.

            • So now you’re going to posit that being a Medieval serf was a not-so-bad thing? To be a rightless peon, chattel property of the local feudal Lord? Only a Clover….

              No Clovers

          • Gil–I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re that particular brand of Clover who’s bright enough and has read enough excerpts to argue against logical positions…but has no real convictions or principles of his own.

            When cornered, you’ll squid-like throw out a cloud of straw men and non-sequiturs, eventually retracing your steps to contradict yourself later.

            As far as I can tell, you’re quite happy as a serf. Yet there must be some glimmer of hope left, because you try to tear down arguments for liberty as though to deny to yourself that such a thing as liberty is possible. For, if it is, your situation would seem intolerable.

            I’ve embraced the intolerability and I’m working to change it for myself and family first, and hopefully for others through patient education.

          • Well eric what you suppose life was going to be different 500 or so years ago if people owned their land and didn’t have to answer to anyone? In reality you’d still be working the land while being subject to filth and disease. It’s no different if you were expecting me to choosing between living on frontier land in the 1800s where no government can reach me or nowadays in modern society. Like I’d really choose being a “free” farmer over today’s living standards.


            • No myth, Aussie Clover – because regardless of the verbiage, the fact is a member of the aristocracy in Medieval times could have his way with any peasant, without fear of consequence. Peasants had no legal standing, no rights a Lord was bound to respect. So he could fuck them out of their liberty and money as well as fuck them literally.

              And that’s da Troof and de Facts – as your fellow Clover might style it.

              No Clovers

          • So? A landlord who’s slow to do any maintenance whatsoever yet is quick to expect the rent and will kick anyone to the kerb who doesn’t pay the rent is a-okay to Libertarian. If he can coerce a woman to having sex with him or she gets ejected hasn’t broken any Libertarian standards either. Heck, he’s a hero to Walter Block.


            • Your comments have degenerated to the outright moronic, Aussie Clover.

              First: If there is a contract between a landlord and a tenant then there is a legally binding obligation on both parties, as specified under the terms of the contract. If one party fails to live up to the terms of the contract, then that party has the right to pursue whatever legal remedy is appropriate. This has nothing to do with the question of legal ownership of the property, or the right of the owner to kick out a tenant who has not paid his rent. It’s just incredible the way Clovers conflate the irrelevant with the relevant.

              As to the rest: Libertarians loathe coercion; it is their most basic moral principle. Yet you continue to assert the opposite.

              No Clovers

          • It’s not coercion per se but a seller’s market or a buyer’s market depending on the day. If there’s a rental shortage then the rent goes up while the quality goes down because if a person there’ll be many aspiring to fill one vacancy hence it wouldn’t be wrong for a landlord to see what the “market” will bear.


          • Filth and disease… The state didn’t get rid of filth and disease, people did. The state is just fine with you and everyone else that’s not wealthy and politically important living in filth if they thought they could get away with not providing those services that they effectively took over.

            Look at what’s happening now? What are governments looking to cut world wide. It isn’t their military spending. It isn’t the stuff the state wants. Never the stuff, the costs, they want to impose on us. It’s the OBLIGATIONS and SERVICES that people want which they aim to cut. And of course not give up their monopoly on them.

          • Gil, a free market corrects out of balance conditions very quickly. Why? There’s money to be made. If prices are high new landlords appear willing to rent their properties. Free markets do not tolerate mistreatment of customers. This is why bad business gets the government involved, so they can mistreat and cheat customers. To give the customers no recourse because the government prevents people entering the market. People who would better serve customers.

  5. Eric, you’re spending far too much time on Gil–although your answering him does serve the purpose of baiting him into revealing more and more of his creepy mindset. (Every time I hear the name “Gil” I think of Bill Murray’s pet fish in What About Bob?–that’s a little cheap, I know, but it brings a smile to my face :-)) Anyway, I just wanted to pass the comment on to your website that I posted on it at the LRC website:

    Phenomenal. What’re you doing writing about cars? I’ve read lots of car magazines. They’re not written by guys like you.

    BTW, for those readers who are not familiar with Lew Rockwell’s website, it’s also phenomenal. Truly an education in itself.

    Keep up the yeoman work, Eric.

    A final postscript–re Gil: When I was first reading his remarks–the sentence structure and phraseology–I said to myself, this guy’s not a native English speaker. (I taught English overseas for several years, and so I thought I was seeing more of what I was wading through then.) Then I learn he’s an Aussie! LOL. I don’t think he’s typical, though.

    • Hi David. Eric has thought about completely blocking the clovers like Gil from the site, but we’ve decided to keep them around. Why? I’m still not 100% sure. I guess it’s kind of good to know the inner workings of the dip shits we’re up against!

      • Dom, clovers are kind of like two drunken bar sluts fighting over a worn out old biker: not really anyone you want to closely associate with, but quite a bit of fun to watch at the time. But seriously, you need to know your enemy and I suspect that’s why Eric lets them troll here (in addition to the entertainment value).

        • That’s it, exactly!

          I just wish that (like watching the sluts fight over the biker) we could walk away from Clovers when we’re tired of watching…

    • That’s a good point David, I should heed it as well and stop letting Gil bait me into replying…Pearls before swine etc.

      I think Eric has summed it up with his latter post: HOW to divorce the Clovers?

      I’ve been factoring that equation for twenty years, and I’ve concluded full freedom requires new physical frontiers. We had that discussion elsewhere on epautos; it’s a recurrent theme in sci-fi with good reason. It seems to be the only way for independent-minded people to strike out on their own and prosper in locales not dominated by the small-minded, bitchy little cretins who want to interfere–for your own good, of course.

      But until we start colonizing space properly, we’re stuck here.

      There are several communities starting up or in place already that echo Galt’s Gulch in nature; La Estancia Cafayate in Argentina, started by Doug Casey. I believe Simon Black of is planning another Gulch in Chile. If you’re quite wealthy I suppose Monaco offers a refuge–perhaps not a libertarian hideout but surely a lower concentration of Clovers. Iceland certainly isn’t libertarian, but they’re homogeneous, educated, and told the banksters to go fuck themselves in no uncertain terms–a big bonus in my book.

      The “Redoubt”–Montana, Wyoming, Idaho–by sheer paucity of people offers respite, but ay carumba they’re cold!

      From what I understand there’s a good bit of the old live-and-let-live laissez-faire in daily interactions in South America, and healthy dose of disdain for statist machinations. I guess it’s logical for people who’ve seen the malfeasance of the state first-hand and watched it collapse under the weight of its own stupidity. On the other hand, I just finished reading The Modern Survival Manual by Fernando Aguirre. It’s a chronicle of surviving the Argentinian collapse of 2001, and it’s not pretty.

      Does anyone else have experience in Central/South America or elsewhere with a lower Clover quotient?

      • Methylamine–I spent many years living in Montana before landing here in Washington state. I spend a good part of my time planning/plotting/scheming to get back somehow. The culture is (was?) so live-and-let-live. That may be changing, though. The homogeneity of this culture is making itself felt even there. I read an article about a young high-achiever at Columbia Falls High who was expelled from school because she forgot and left her hunting rifle in the trunk of her car. She even came forward and told authorities, but they expelled her anyway. I wrote an outraged letter to them expressing my contempt for any Montanan who would be so cowardly as to abide by the letter of the Federal law in this matter (simply to keep their Fed funds coming in, I presume). The administration relented a day or so later, and with a big show of magnanimity allowed her back in school on some sort of probation–provided she walk the straight and narrow henceforth. Of course, the public schools are the leading wedge in any community of what Eric terms Cloverism. Public (Prussian) schools ought to be abolished in the “land of the free”.
        BTW–I was guilty of piling on in the case of Gil with my snide remarks toward him. My apologies, Gil.

        • David–Amen to abolishing the Prussian school system!

          Sad to hear about Montana; though it’s a damn sight better than most! I hear that chattering noise of a thousand Californian locusts denuding Montana.

          What the hell is wrong with Californians? They’ve completely wrecked their once beautiful and prosperous state; like locusts, they’ve taken wing and have ruined Oregon, and are ruining Washington, now Texas, and now I hear Montana.

      • While new frontiers offer freedom, not everyone who loves or desires freedom is well suited to live on the frontier.

        I doubt any colony of freedom minded people can thrive and be lasting in countries like those mentioned. I can see how when it is small that it is largely ignored, but once it prospers, the thugs are already in place to take everything. Plus those doing it to the USA are aiming to ruin commerce world wide. Isolated locations might not fare all that well once the supplies stop and they can no longer support the populations that live there.

        Lastly, running is forever.

        • Same dilemma for us.

          I have one possible “out” (expat option) but it’s also far from ideal. But such an alternative – life – may be far superior to the other alternative if things really do go off the deep end here. And I think there is a good possibility that they may.

          It has been noted by others that the last time America experienced a massive economic crisis, a large portion of the affected population was still capable of self-sufficiency. They could (and did) literally “go back to the farm.” Where will the millions of unemployed/desperate (and criminal) people go tomorrow when their jobs/life savings (and in the case of the parasites, their foo’ stamps) just disappear?

          It is a sobering prospect.

          I’ve already done all I can (I think) realistically do to shield us from what may be coming. We live in a very rural area (less exposed to mobs of cretins; more defensible) and have the capacity to be at least partially self-sufficient, or more sufficient (by a long shot) than we would be in a suburban development.

          But what happens when the government declares martial law, sends trucks (and armed thugs) around to force people to leave their homes and be “placed” in some government camp… “for their own protection”?

          I just don’t know….

          • If it comes down to forced relocation and internment, I’ll have to follow my fellow Virginian, Patrick Henry: “give me Libery or give me death”. There are far worse fates than departing the flesh and most of them are perpetrated on people by their own government. But you can be sure of one thing, when they start rounding up “domestic terrorists” (i.e. anyone who publicly dares to disagree with the regime), you can bet your arse that the clover next door will draw the blinds and turn up the TV. Afterall, clover is just another term for “statist”, are they know that if you just keep your head down and your mouth shut, you’ll continue to get your beer, cable TV and government check. Why would you want more than that?

  6. As the great philosopher Meat Loaf once sang, “You took the words right ouuta my mouth.” I have kept these thoughts, more or less, to myself and keep waiting for “The Rising.” Sadly, I am a dreamer and incurable romantic.
    Any objective observer of America and its state would have to agree with you.
    God bless,
    Jim Panyard
    Palmyra, PA

    • Meatloaf rocks!


      I’ve been trying to reason with Clovers (my term for government worshippers) for decades; there’s just no reaching them. It is like a religious mania. My goal now is to come up with a realistic method of “divorce.” I think this is The Question we need to come up with an answer to.

      PS: I am also a fan of Leonard Read’s (per your note) having come across his work as teenager many years ago. It is tragic that he is a virtual unknown today – especially among “conservatives.”

  7. Gil your quote:

    In virtually all countries many people lost out to a much more powerful and numerous invaders despites [sic*] most of them being armed.

    Simply untrue; how’s that working for the US in Afghanistan? How did it work out for the British, or the Soviets, there? How about Iraq? Vietnam? And Switzerland, where the Nazi dared not go? No, a well-armed and free populace is a general’s worst nightmare. We have subjugated neither Iraq nor Afghanistan; the globalists absolutely HATE the Pashtuns, they’ve never beaten them into submission.

    Somehow you included North America in the list of countries that have been successfully invaded–perhaps if you count the original European settling displacing the Indians, but that’s another straw man considering the technological gap. There is literally no power on earth that could invade the continental US and hold it today–even if the US military were to stand down. As Yamamoto said, “there’s a rifle behind every blade of grass”. Now, if the invaders were perceived as liberators, they might stand a chance! I would humorously suggest Switzerland or Monaco take the roll; “Americans! Fight with us (or stand by and watch) while we remove your government!” Followed by sounds of jubilation 🙂

    * If you switch to Firefox, it will spell-check your posts for you! I turn it off for the mental exercise but sometimes it’s useful.

  8. Gil I don’t know where to begin with you quasi-arguments, because there’s just no substance. It’s like trying to stitch together a feather boa–I can’t find a solid point to link to another. I think you’re trying to work your way through the list of debating fallacies one chapter per post!

    Once again: libertarians believe in non-aggression; but we are vigorously in favor of self-defense. Aggression involves starting the fight; defense happens as a response. ?Claro?

    So the straw-man of reasoning with a burglar–dumb. The “might-makes-right” implications–right out.

    I’m not sure if you’re purposely obtuse. It could be–and I hate to cast aspersions but then I’m a primate and we do tend to fling things–that you’re intellectually incapable of running with this discussion. There’s no shame in that, but the appropriate stance in that case is to stand by and learn from it.

    I’m impressed you’ve read Rothbard; have you really read him or just seen out-of-context quotes?

    One mistake people frequently make about libertarianism is linking it with libertinism or outright amorality: it is anything but the case. Libertarians I know are highly moral people; more so in fact than the churchgoers I used to know before abandoning Christianity. It’s simply that libertarians don’t want to force their morality on anyone else, they just want to be left to practice their morality undisturbed and enjoy peaceful, voluntary commerce with all.

  9. How many people out there would be willing to forgo any claim to a government check for anything – “retirement,” “health care,” “unemployment compensation” – in return for the liberty to provide for themselves, successfully or not?

    But that’s not what most people would face, in its true form. Very few people at all would forego such claims that they had already built up in return for the liberty to fend for themselves with what they had left after they had already been mulcted to build up the claims – quite sensibly. A lot more – even if not very many – would go for the honest version, foregoing paying for and building up the claims in return for the chance to go it alone using all their resources. Even young people these days wouldn’t be offered that, what with student debts and all, and it’s a lot worse even for the middle aged, let alone those on the verge of retiring and qualifying to call in their claims. For worn out slaves, emancipation meant being turned out to starve; the fact that they would have been better off if they had been free all along didn’t mean that was good. Practically, you only get true freedom from unfreedom by following a sound transition to it.

    Liberty – not perfect, but not too far from it – survived on this continent [North America, not this continent where I am] only very briefly before Cloverism came alive once more, re-establishing itself with even greater vigor.

    It didn’t even do that, since the only kind that ever did survive was the pseudo kind that denied it to others – Loyalists who got expropriated, exiled and/or massacred; American Indians, even of the “civilised tribes; slaves; and so on and on. (Reasons for doing all those things, say to Loyalists on the grounds that they were destroying liberty themselves, may or may not be tactically sound, but they can’t be morally valid as they would mean two wrongs making a right, and even if they were morally valid they wouldn’t mean that liberty was not being breached.)

    • The problem with giving up on claims to “services” from the state (via other taxpayers) is that the government has highly distorted the conditions to make it unworkable for most.

      Ideally we would buy catastrophic health insurance (or save) for our old age when we are young and medical services would be cheap on the free market and get cheaper every year (like everything else the free market provides). This would work well and it would be easy to opt out of government old age medical coverage. But the government has a monopoly on health coverage for those over 65, so it’s not offered. The AMA, FDA, etc and so on have acted to inflate prices for medical care. Because of these conditions it is impossible for most people to opt out.

      Social security is a little easier to opt out of because all people need to understand is that money is gone. The government spent it bombs and other military consumption. But the loss of that money will still make a serious impact on people’s ability to break free. But as I said, it’s already gone… so letting go is easier because at least it stops future costs.

      Most people are stuck in the system until it fails and I am sure those behind these systems fully understood that is what would happen. Most representatives that voted for them didn’t, but those who did the actual crafting, those nameless people in some foundation or think tank or lobbying group did.

      This is why the Ron Paul plan is the sensible one. End the war machine. End unconstitutional federal departments that people are not dependent on. Restore free markets and slowly wind down the dependency programs.

  10. I would suggest to you that an old Chinese proverb comes to mind: “He who feeds China is King.”
    Government is based on finding ways and means to feed the people.
    Yes, the majority of people are followers not leaders. This is well known. I suggest the way people are controlled is a paycheck. Whoever employees them controls their wages thus their food, clothing, and a place to live.
    The rest is history. Ideals are just that. Bull.
    The greatest scam of all time is Social Security and Pensions. It is a scam because as we get older, insurance statistics will tell you we all get sick and we all die.
    Yet, you do not see anyone suggesting that we get rid of them. Why, because they feed the people. Fat people do not think about getting rid of the hand that feeds them.
    It is a scam because after many years of hard work, most people are set adrift into Social Security. Any money they earned during their work lives is absorbed by medical expenses. Eventually a lot of them go broke and are put in warehouses called nursing homes to waste away. Medicaid kicks in when you are broke(They have stolen all your savings). That is where most of the money for nursing homes eventually comes from.
    The theory is to return all the money to the common pool. However the theory does not account for millionaires and billionaires absorbing most of the ready monopoly money on the board. So the government has to pump additional money into the system to keep the board running smoothly. Mostly they print more money.
    The lazy people realized a long time ago that there is no connection between work and money acquired. Thus the huge salaries of people at the top. Thus the huge fines put out by banks on customers for slipping up on their accounting of funds. Thus the huge lawyer fees at the closing of a house.
    The lazy people have gotten more aggressive as time goes on. They are stealing more money from the working class than ever before in history.
    Real Estate taxes are just one of many ways to steal from the public.
    You want an absolutely fair tax. You are not going to see it in my lifetime.
    What you are going to see is confiscation of all funds upon your death. That will be justified to pay the huge bills run up by the government.
    You want to pin just who are the lazy people. Just figure out who gains money by not working. That includes whole professions set up out there. Banks are probably the worst. But lawyers are not too far behind them.
    There is an old law of nature, that allows 15% of the people to gain a living without working for it. When it goes beyond 20% there is an accounting and 5-10% of the lazy people have to go to work. Well that is what is happening now. Only the lazy people have screwed up the system to the point where 25% unemployment is highly likely. I speak of our US Congress. By the way, I understand most of them are lawyers by profession before entering the Congress.
    Napoleon was right about the herd. Most people do not want to involve themselves. They simply want to have a living in the comfort zone.
    I suggest a complete overhaul is well overdue in the rules we live by. If you want to live in a comfortable zone we have to go back to rules that worked.

  11. Thank you for the great article. It’s good to see a libertarian write something realistic, something that recognizes that we will never be free and it is futile to keep trying. Most libertarians write about how we can change the world and if we keep working at it, we can someday be free. It’s as if they live in Fantasy Land.

    We will never be free, because we must live in the same world as other people, the great majority of whom don’t want to be free. And because these people have no desire for freedom, we are their slaves.

    • Hi Wayne,

      Thanks for the kind words!

      The question is one of damage control: How do we realistically contain what I call Clovers (the herd-cattle minded) and keep the outright thugs (those who lust to control/dominate others, inside and outside of “the law”) at bay?

      Part of the answer, I’ve concluded, has to do with intelligence (more properly, lack thereof). The typical Clover is just not very bright; this becomes obvious from speaking with them or reading what they write (which is almost always grammatically infantile as well as laden with emoting, hysterics and non sequiturs).

      I think you have to have a certain level level of intelligence just to be able to think conceptually, which is an essential prerequisite to genuine thought as distinct from repetitive emoting and rote regurgitation.

      This rules out probably 60-70 percent of humanity right off the top.

      Among the remainder, you have a large number of people who fully comprehend the nature of things – and game the system accordingly, to maximize their own profit or power. These are the amoral not-quite-sociopath types who comprise the Apparat Class – those who administer the system; the lawyers, corporate leaders, etc. Then you have the outright sociopaths – the political class. These are people who not only have an aggressive desire to control and dominate, they’re utterly indifferent to the reality of the mass suffering they directly cause. The quote attributed to Stalin – “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic” – embodies their mindset.

      Identifying what we are up against is at least a beginning….

    • Wayne, and Eric, even though I’m as cynical as anyone and often very skeptical about prospects for freedom in future generations, this idea that we can never be free is sheer nonsense. All one needs to do to be free is to withdraw consent to be “governed”. If enough people can be persuaded to do this (and we do not need more than 5% of the working population, I assure you), by refusing to pay taxes, and the entire corrupt edifice will come tumbling down. The US is on the verge; when the economy collapses, which we will help to accomplish, freedom will be ours for the taking.

      • The problem is that the first few to withdraw consent to that level end up penniless and imprisoned (or dead).

        So, who goes first in hope that a critical mass will follow?

        • Arguably, this has already happened. Unfortunately, the result was the destruction of the individuals – followed by their excoriation (and deification of government thugs who performed the act).
          A good example was the fellow who was first set up by government thugs (they sent a guy to practically beg him to provide a shotgun with a barrel length shorter than legally permissible, which he eventually did) then literally shot his wife and teenaged son to death after the guy missed his court date on the original trumped-up charge.

          This is a famous example, but there are many others I suspect.

          I remember another infamous one that took place when I was an editorial writer at The Washington Times. It happened in Texas. Do you remember? As we – the members of the editorial page staff – stood watching the live coverage on the office TV, one of my colleagues remarked, as the place went up in flames, that it was an action worthy of Jurgen Stroop. Only in this case it was Janet and Billy.

          It will take an awakening first, before such actions are recognized for what they are – and incite the appropriate response.

  12. Sadly, I basically agree with your very insightful article. The major political parties are both “big government” parties, with just 2 kinds of “flavors”.

    I’m hopeful that more Americans can recognize this problem & replace one of the major parties with a new “small government” party.

    If not, things will only get worse & voters will have no real choice.

  13. Uh huh. So instead the standard political axis of far-left to far-right views and replace with Libertarian Political Axis you start at “total freedom” and finish at “total government”. So what is “total freedom”? You do whatever you want and if other people find your behaviour offensive then it’s up to them to muster what force they have and try to stop you. Whoever has the most force get to make enforce rules over others. Uh oh! Wait a tick! That’s pretty much the same thing as “total government” – a group has total power and can control everyone else.

    Actually your space pioneer reminds when I first why laws are needed – a person on their own can do whatever they want whereas two or more people have to come up to some sort of agreement.

    How government arises can come from three scenarios (that I can think of):

    1. A powerful gang strolls into a village and takes ownerships via force (and the version Libertarians prefer as the origin of the “State”).

    2. A village of first-comers found a community and form a social contract and start a local government thus they agreed to the contract but their descendant are going to the contract forced on them.

    3. Private landowners rent out land to aspiring tenants while charging them rent. If there’s new real option to the landowners and they together effectively become a local monopoly then they effectively become a local government.

    In all cases a government is formed thus the Iron Law of Oligarchy holds true always.


    • You make the predictable – common – mistake (or is it deliberate?) of conflating the Libertarian idea with “do anything you please” – which is of course both untrue and silly. The starting point of Libertarian philosophy is: Using force against others (for whatever reason) is unacceptable. How you and other Clovers can turn that into “do what you please” never ceases to amaze me. Libertarians are probably the most opposed to theft, rape, murder, fraud (you know, actual crimes) people you will ever find. On the other hand, we are also the most opposed to manufactured “offenses” (everything from the criminalization of personal lifestyle choices to blanket “pre-crime” measures such as sobriety checkpoints and the TSA) people you’ll ever find, too.

      Where we differ from Clovers is we are willing to accept the risk that comes with liberty while you Clovers always prefer “safety” and “security” over liberty – even when “safety” and “security” are abstract hypotheticals and the deprivation of liberty is very real.

      No Clovers

      • Philosophy? I’m talking of reality. Libertarians advocate no government and that people privately pay for their own defence against individual criminals as well outright marauding gangs. You say anyone shouldn’t use force against others – but when they do AND they are considerably powerful that a pistol isn’t enough? I’m sure Libertarians suppose many small peaceful tribes and villages were swept away by imperialist forces over the millennia. Heck, you view the U.S. Government as a powerful band of marauders so what can you do about it? Not much because they’re too powerful and don’t care for Libertarian philosophy? Aw, too bad.


        • Aussie Clover, you really ought to take the time to do some reading – and learning – before you spout off about things that you’re clearly ignorant of. Libertarians are not anarchists.

          Defensive violence is morally acceptable; laws based on that principle are moral. Hence, enforcement of moral laws is moral. That is, laws against thievery, physical violence against persons and so on.

          What Libertarians oppose are laws – and government – that (for example) threaten Joe with violence if he does not “contribute” funds to “help” Adam educate/feed/house his children. Or laws that try to force Joe to wear a seat belt (or eat his veggies) or buy insurance. Etc. Libertarians believe such life choices ought to up to the individual – and engaged in on (or not) on a voluntary/cooperative basis. If, for example, you wish to give to a charity, or to buy insurance, wonderful. Do so. But do not use the violence of government to force others to do so.

          Libertarians also believe each individual ought to be responsible for the bad consequences (if any) of making poor decisions. So, for example, if you chose not to put aside money for the future/make provisions for your old age, that is entirely your problem, the problem of your relatives and the problem of any charity that wished to assist you. It does not impose an obligation – backed up by threat of violence – on others, who don’t even know you and had nothing to do with your decisions – that they be compelled to “help” you in your old age.


          That’s the nature of the difference.

          No Clovers

          • While not all libertarians are anarchist, I am a libertarian-anarchist. I reject aggression and in my opinion there is no bigger aggressor than the state.

            I have no problem with the defensive use of force, so I am no pacifist. But I can’t condone imposing sanctions on those such as myself for merely opposing the coercive funding of the state. Eric has on numerous occasions talked about how the state will use violence against the peaceful protesting of laws by civilians. I don’t know if Eric considers himself to be an anarchist, but I would be surprised if he condoned the imprisonment of peaceful men and women who had moral objections against funding the state. If defensive force is moral, then using force against those who have not aggressed against you or anyone else seems unreasonable and immoral.

            As a libertarian-anarchist, I am, nor will I ever be, an enemy of Eric or any man that chooses to live a peaceful life. I am much less of a danger to society than many of the various statists and clovers that take up valuable space and air.

            “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” -Barry Goldwater

            • Hi Ed,

              This is probably the most challenging question facing Libertarians; that is, are any taxes (for any reason) legitimate? Can any government whatsoever be legitimate?

              In the abstract, in an ideal world – one in which every person chose – to the best of their ability – to behave morally, that is, to not initiate the use of force, to behave honestly, to have no interest in dominating or controlling others, etc. – government would not be needed, hence taxes would not be necessary.

              But human history is pretty compelling in terms of telling us that such people are today, always have been – and probably always will be – a minority, at best. There will always be Clovers – and people ready to use Clovers to build their own power. These people will be with us “at home” (within our own community) and without – in foreign countries.

              Hence, I accept the need for the mechanisms (and people) to enforce the rule of law within – and national defense without. Which means, I accept the concept of paying taxes to finance such – although not personal income taxes, which are antithetical to a free society. Legitimate police work and national defense can be financed via user fees, taxes on corporations and tariffs. In a sense, such taxes would be voluntary as far as the individual is concerned since no individual would be threatened with violence if he or she did not pay them. To me, this is a reasonable – and realistic – premise for a free, Libertarian-based society and nation.

              Your thoughts?

          • How about this: Stalin & Mao didn’t hurt Americans or most of the world’s population. Therefore: would it have been right for the U.S. and Allies (at the time when both were at the height of their power) to go war to depose these two individuals and their cronies? The Libertarian answer is: no. Taxes are theft, government knows least and, at the end of the day, it’s up to the victims to fund their own defence and if they can’t then tough luck. In both cases ten of millions of people weren’t private strong enough therefore they perished. Darwinism in action? In both cases the bad guys won and produced descendants while the good guys lost and their family line extinguished. So much for the theory that if the bad guys aggress against the good guys the good guys will be able to successfully defend themselves.


            • So, we should have started a nuclear war with the Soviet Union and Communist China – so as to be true to our (well, some of our) Libertarian ideals – and as a result precipitated the deaths of literally hundreds of millions of people? Your argument (such as it is) is just plain weird.

              You always go off on bizarre tangents full of hysteria, ridiculous exaggerations and emotional outbursts that have little or nothing to do with how individuals ought to behave toward one another – the thing that concerns Libertarians.

              As far as Soviet Russia: What happened there was a tragedy; the Clovers took over. In China, too.

              Now you want to see the Clovers take over here as well.

              No Clovers

          • I recognize that clovers will always exist, and have always existed. It is for this reason that I cannot in good conscience give clovers the power of coercive monopoly government. If one were to look at the United States and its Constitution as the most libertarian of all government documents, we see that its plain language limiting government powers has absolutely failed to do what it was intended.

            This is, in my opinion the crux of the matter. Can man limit the power of clovers once said power has been ceded to coercive monopoly government? I believe that history as well as a thorough examination of human psychology indicates otherwise.

            Would I except a severe limitation in state power from its current state? Absolutely. But even if the state were to be solely limited to the areas of the nightwatchman state, I would still object. If the rate of criminality were to be cut in half or even by 99%, I expect that you would still object to that remaining. This is my feeling toward coercive monopoly government.

            I am not a utopian nor a utilitarian. While I am an anarchist, I am not an advocate of anarchy. What this means is that I simply find all aggression to be illegitimate. This is a personal view, akin to that of pacifists. I do not expect others to share my values or practice them. I have simply rejected what I consider to be evil and unnecessary for me to live my life. Nothing more.

            I am not afraid of the consequences of my beliefs. I live according to them everyday and find them to be quite practical. I assume you find much the same. The only thing that prevents a free society from emerging is that clovers refuse to leave us alone.

            Clovers are the true danger. Clovers are the scourge of the human race. We will never be free as long as cloverism is left to run amok. Those of us, like you and me, only have peace and prosperity to look forward to. Clovers live off of death and human suffering.

            • Good stuff, Ed.

              I’m with you in spirit, too. And also in fact, to the extent it’s possible.

              Clovers are the oxidization of human society; the solvent that undoes natural human goodwill. But I would not characterize most of them as overtly evil in the sense of being aware that they and the things they advocate create enmity, empower the genuinely bad people (more on this below) and so on. They – most of them – honestly believe they are doing the right thing. I have come to the conclusion that they are either:

              * Not very bright. The majority of human beings have IQs of 100 or less; such people are probably not capable of living in a voluntary society premised on liberty and the rights of the individual.

              * Utterly brainwashed (thanks, government schools).

              * Some combination of both.

              Then there are the genuinely bad people – direct criminals (thieves, thugs, etc.) and indirect ones (politicians, members of the “inner party,” the Apparatchiks, etc.) who know perfectly well what they are doing. These people use the Clovers; the guise may be different (socialism, fascism; Democrats or Republicans – etc.) but the essential method – and goal – is always the same.

              So the question is, how can we best limit (if not eliminate) the baleful effects of these two categories of people?

          • By your reasoning you should have no moral qualms about shooting a traffic cop between the eyes after he pulls you over. Is he some average joe jost doing his job? No, he is a member of one most dangerous, despicable gangs in history so killing him would be one of the most pious acts of self defence ever. If enough people starting doing that and cops fear enforcing “clover” laws and if politicians who try to pass “clover” laws start winding up dead too then they’ll both will consider a new line of employment. But would you dare to become an outlaw to the government and a hero to Libertarians? If not, why not? You say want to live free but reality bites in and you choose safety instead.


            • No, Aussie Clover- by my reasoning, I should only be pulled over by a cop for some legitimate reason, such as erratic driving or failure to control my vehicle. If I am pulled over for some other reason, such as a manufactured “offense” like a seatbelt violation, then I should be able to ask why, even argue about it, without running the risk of being assaulted by the cop for doing so. As usual, you turn things upside down, exaggerating hysterically in typical Clover fashion. I write an article decrying excessive force, needless escalation of violence – and you come up with “shooting a traffic cop between the eyes.” The Clover thought process is fascinating!

              No Clovers

          • So suppose you see a news report where cops are getting beat or even killed and suddenly the cops don’t want to enforce that area any more? Would you feel bad for those cops? Would you those who commit those actions are thugs or heroes? You didn’t mind it when methyl quoted Solzhenitsyn about trying to repel the marauders before it’s too little too late. So much for you believe in “retaliatory force” that Libertarians go on about.


            • This is such a jumbled mess I hardly know where to begin. You conflate the reasonable (anger over use of excessive/inappropriate force) with the unreasonable (all cops are thugs; let’s shoot all cops).

              No, wait, the insane.

              There are legitimate laws (such as those making it a criminal offense to steal, or commit assault) and so enforcement of such laws is legitimate – and the people doing the enforcing are doing a necessary, even noble service. I have no problem with cops as such. I do have a problem with the metastacizing police state and increasingly thuggish law enforcement. I might have words with a cop who pestered me over a nonsense “offense” such as a seabelt law violation; that ought to be something a citizen can do in a (cough) free society without fear of being physically assaulted. You’re the only one talking about using lethal violence out of all proportion to the incident at hand – precisely what I have been arguing against all along.

              No Clovers

          • Aw shucks, down below you admit to methyl that a cop is a member of the most dangerous gang roaming the streets. Yet you advocate non-violence? Out wonderful kindness or plain concern for your personal safety? So why would want to carry a pistol around? To make a big bulge in your pants?


            • You really can’t reason, can you? Plain English escapes you?

              The original article (and my subsequent posts) was all about decrying excessive force as well as unjustified escalation of force such; you somehow transmute this into “let’s shoot cops in the head.” Only a Clover could do such a thing.

              And: I carry a gun because I know that I am ultimately responsible for my safety and the safety of my family. There is a saying: When seconds count, a cop is just minutes away.

              I suppose you also think it’s a sign of dementia or some such to keep a fire extinguisher in your home.

              No Clovers

          • I’m with Ed. The belief that just a small amount of taxation and government coercion is okay is the minarchist’s huge mistake, as the minarchist Founders discovered soon after the ink on the Constitution was dry. I don’t mean this as a harsh criticism, because most libertarians are well-meaning minarchists, but it’s time for y’all to fact up to reality and understand Jefferson’s warning that government and tyranny inevitably grow and bring cause for violent revolution. Jefferson should have been an anarchist; then he might have realized that only anarchy (better expressed as voluntarist, noncoercive self-government) can free us of tyranny, once and for all.

          • Seriously, you’re quick to point out that people do get beat up for talking back to a cop when they’re charging someone with a trivial offence. So can’t these people defend themselves from getting beat up from within a inch of their life? One minute you say people should fight back then you say people really shouldn’t.

            • Try real hard, now Aussie Clover:

              There is a progression of events, each event warranting a certain response. You should be able to argue with a cop; not yell or abuse him – but certainly argue. That should not warrant a physical assault, ever, because there is no “threat to officer safety” (the current police state excuse). The cop should be man enough – and liberty-minded enough – to accept that people being hassled over penny ante “offenses” are not going to like it. Failure to cow and cringe and badge-lick is not pretext for a physical assault – or at least, ought not to be.

              Now, let’s consider another scenario – one drawn from an actual event:

              A no-knock warrant goes bad; the cops enter the wrong house, unannounced, in the middle of the night. The startled homeowner – jarred out of his sleep by the sound of his front door being kicked in – grabs his pistol and fires at the hooded man running into his bedroom. Legitimate self defense? Absolutely. But in our gone-crazy country, the innocent man acting in what he thought (for obvious reasons) to be defense of his life against a home invasion becomes the criminal charged with killing the cop who broke into his home.


              But these distinctions are lost on you, I realize… because you’re a Clover.

              No Clovers

            • You’re incorrigible, Aussie Clover.

              Why do you continue to conflate thug violence (gratuitous violence, the initiation of the use of force) with Libertarians, who oppose the foregoing as a basic tenet of their politics?

              No Clovers

          • If the State is the epitome of systematic aggression then to oppose it with violence is the height of self-defence. The riot was started because a cop killed a citizen. Would you prefer the American method of turning away and pretending nothing happened? Strange how Libertarian, just like you, want change but don’t want to violence nor politics yet expect something to happen. Or you complain the people don’t fight back they’re sheeple yet when they do they’re thugs.


            • Sorry, Aussie Clover. That’s another straw man argument. You once again try to conflate one thing with another (and its opposite). Police unjustly kill citizen does not equal license to randomly assault cops in general, much less random people who just happen to be nearby. Only a Clover would try to suggest that a Libertarian would riot, destroy innocent people’s property and assault total strangers as “retribution” (an excuse, really) for some act of police violence.

              Squeeze real hard and one of these days you might be able to come up with a reasoned argument.

              No Clovers

          • Gil, what is happening in London is the result of the state.

            Riots are like earthquakes. Over years and years energy builds up in fault line in the earth from the stress of two plates trying to move relative to one another and being unable to do so. Then all of a sudden, the energy is released and the plates move relatively rapidly. That’s an earthquake.

            Over years and years the injustice of the state builds up. The stress and energy builds up. Then with one particular injustice the energy is released and you have a riot. But a riot is composed of people, individuals, so there are varying reasons for what each does. Some are criminals taking advantage of the situation. Some are misguided because over the years the state has always tried to lay the blame on anything or anyone but itself. Because they are misguided they choose the wrong targets. Other people go after those who have allied themselves with the state. Some people just like to break stuff. But the catalyst and cause is the state.

            Libertarian society would be an unlikely place for a riot. First not only respect of property rights being a key part of that society, there wouldn’t be any build up of stress to release. People would be free to seek their fortunes, eat what they want, smoke what they want, etc and so on. They wouldn’t be imposed upon, artificially limited, boxed in, etc and so on. There wouldn’t be this entitlement mentality either. The idea that someone owes a person something just because. Another contributing factor to riots is the entitlement mentality.

            Libertarian society would simply not produce the conditions for riots.

            These aren’t remarkable insights I’m making, at least I don’t think they are. Our rulers or at least those our nominal rulers are purchased by, understand that their policies and manipulations of the economy lead to riots. They want the riots to convince people like yourself, “clovers”, that more government power is required, more consolidation of wealth and power in their hands. They gain. The people lose. And the clovers cheer it on.

          • Eric:

            What’s the matter? Do you want to distance yourself from the rioters for fear you might violate the 1st Amendment by directly advocating violence? The rioters are doing what many Libertarians have wished – they’re now fighting the State than being passive victims and suddenly you want out of the proverbial kitchen? Once again you want change but a chance that requires no effort nor discomfort.


            So you’re agreeing with me? The State has pushed people too far and it’s time the Brits enacted a Libertarian system and then the rioting will stop? After all, the U.K. is a “clover” system just like the U.S. If the U.K. enacts more “statist” measure then that should only lead to more riots until there’s positive change to the system or it fails completely.


            • What’s the matter, Clover, is that I do not advocate, support or defend mindless violence – which is what those maggots in London are doing. They are not fighting the state. They are looting and destroying. They just needed an excuse – like the homegrown maggots we have who riot over things like St. Rodney or a basseball game.

              No Clovers

        • “So the question is, how can we best limit (if not eliminate) the baleful effects of these two categories of people?”

          This is the eternal question. To be honest I don’t think it can be done. The struggle between human liberty and human slavery is one that will never be won by those on the side of liberty. Clovers appeal to human emotion such as fear and hatred. Lovers of liberty try to appeal to mans reason and sense of justice.

          I understand that not all clovers are closet sociopaths, but essentially function as such. I am not trying to berate or belittle them. Nor am I trying to say that many of their fears are unjustified. I just believe that they fear the wrong thing: the individual. While it is possible for any man or woman to do great harm to others, it takes a particular institution to harm society at large.

          I have read many of the post by others on how libertarians want people to do anything they want, as if that is what our objections to criminality suggests. Libertarians simply recognize that more good can be done when individuals are allowed the freedom and the resources that result from that freedom, to do what they can in the pursuit of their individual values.

          Libertarians do not disagree with the ends sought by those who express concern for the poor or less fortunate. We only disagree with the means used to bring about those ends. Libertarians acknowledge that the world will never be as we want it, but it could be better if the resources that are appropriated by the state are used by the individual men and women who produced them.

          As I am sure you know, the state produces nothing (except maybe mass graveyards) and can only take that which has already been produced. Libertarians want to guide that production into further production, increasing the wealth of ourselves as well as those around us. This is our means to create the world in which we and or clover brethren want to live.

          I don’t know how to convince others that our methods are the most efficient to bring about our collectively desired ends.

          • @Ed & Eric,
            I’m really enjoying this conversation, minus the occasional clover outburst being interspersed…”but what about the CHIIIIllldreeen” etc.

            Ed you hit a great point:

            While it is possible for any man or woman to do great harm to others, it takes a particular institution to harm society at large.

            THAT is why I’m an agorist–or more simply, an anarcho-capitalist. The State is the most lethal invention known to man; it has killed over 160 million people in the last century, and that does not include war deaths. No number of serial killers and “roving gangs of marauders” (the Clover boogeyman invoked to support statist arguments) could possibly amass such a slaughter.

            When it’s not slaughtering people–usually its own citizens, for being bad cattle–it’s making their lives miserable with anything from onerous frank enslavement to the niggling, irritating crap we deal with every day. Endless poking, prodding, questioning, fining, taxing, licensing, registering, stamping, imploring, commanding, inspecting, adjudicating…it’s exhausting when it’s not lethal.

            Gil manages to touch on something he may have read about private security; he mangles it to be sure, but let’s address it.
            Private security in an anarchist system works out quite nicely. In fact, such a system was in practice in medieval Iceland. In a modern system, each person would belong to a security co-op or subscribe to a security service. Courts, too, would be private–as the highly successful arbitration system is today. Rating agencies, much like credit ratings, would maintain each person’s “kudos” rating.

            Aggress against someone in a minor way, and the respective agencies kick into gear. Does the party at fault admit it? No trouble, the restitution is determined by arbitration. Does the guilty party refuse to pay? Their rating is dinged. Eventually, their rating is so low that no-one will do business with them, no insurance agency will cover them, no security company will take them as a client, and no arbitrator will take their case–they’re too risky. They have been shunned Until they clean up their act, they’re a pariah…very similar to the anarchic village-elder systems in India.

            Now if the aggressor is violent and has caused harm, the security companies swing into action. You can imagine scenarios similar to the minor case above, but with security companies involved and possibly incarceration.

            There are horror scenarios associated with private security companies apprehending individuals, but with all the interlocking reputation rating agencies, the liability involved, and the fear of shunning for the security company, the outcome would equilibrate very favorably. Certainly, the overall level of justice, fairness, and freedom would far exceed the sorry police state we accept today!

            Getting back to Ed’s point: by having such systems of private, interlocking and mutually respectful security, arbitration, and ratings agencies, we would never again have to hand a monopoly on violence and coercion to the loathsome beast, the State. No entity would have a right to aggress without provocation, and potentially coercive entities would be kept small and controllable.

          • No meth and Eric – because you are Libertarians you both miss out the Libertarian tenet: not forcing “positive” duties onto others. However, arguing no one should initiate force and fraud against others is to force such a duty onto others. Libertarians might as well complain that a religious community always breaks these rules because religions are concerned with vices as much they are with crime.

            On the other hand, in Libertopia you are only as safe as you can defend youself as well how much money you have to spend on a private security force. Considering bodyguards are a preserve of the wealthy should tell you something. In reality, if you are a member of a small PDA and you and they are attacked by a much larger force? You and the employees of the PDA are either dead or enslaved. Switzerland has never been seriously invaded? Well most of Europe has been, and North America, and South America, and Asia, Africa, Australia, etc. In virtually all countries many people lost out to a much more powerful and numerous invaders despites most of them being armed.


            • Uh…err… hmmm. Let’s see now. Declining to use force against your (peaceful, minding his own business) fellow man and expecting that he conduct himself the same way in return imposes an infringement – some sort of negative obligation – on him? Are you trying to say that Libertarian ideals are an affront to the right to steal, beat people up and so on?

              Very interesting!

              On the rest: I have not been physically attacked or threatened with violence by an individual in more than 20 years. But the government threatens me with violence literally every day of my life. The government takes my money at gunpoint, sends its agents to harass me, deprives me of liberty in countless ways, every single day. It is more of a direct, immediate and everyday threat to me than “the terrorists” – and much more so than any single individual could ever be.

              Against an individual – even a gang of them – I have at least a chance of fighting back. And more fundamentally, I still have the legal right to try.

              Against government I have no chance – and if I fight back in any way I will be branded a “criminal” for so doing – even if “fighting back” amounts to nothing more than declining to Submit and Obey.

              No Clovers

          • So you reckoned you got it figured out meth? This reminds me of Gandhi’s “non-violence” policy only working on the British Empire because they felt they had a some sort of reputation to uphold. Had Gandhi being doing the same thing when the Mongolians reached India centuries earlier he would be forgotten and his skull would one of many stacked into a pyramid.


            • Aussie Clover – you’ve conceded the essential point, even if you don’t see that you have. Ghandi’s policy worked because he appealed to the British sense of morality – using their own shame against them. In other words, if you can reach people’s reason, you can make them see the immorality of domineering, coercive violence.

              Your problem is that you want to perpetuate human unconsciousness – to keep people deaf, dumb and stupid. Happy Clover-cattle doing as their Betters direct.

              No Clovers

          • Morning, Ed!

            I’m clapping along with Methyl in re your excellent observation that “While it is possible for any man or woman to do great harm to others, it takes a particular institution to harm society at large.” This is a point that needs to be repeated constantly. The truth of it is obvious, yet it’s something most people don’t see. “Our government” is not like that, some will say. “We” are a force for good. And yet, even the worst individual serial killers only have the capacity to end a few dozens of lives. What is a Ted Bundy compared with a Stalin or Pol Pot? (Or even George W. Bush or B. Obama?) Wielding the power of the state, a Stalin can kill tens of millions at the stroke of a pen. An American president can – and does – threaten millions with violence every day. Etc.

            All of this should be as clear as the fact that rattlesnakes are dangerous and water is wet – but enlightening the Clover-Cattle out there may be an impossibility. I wish I could be more optimistic.

            I just don’t see it happening.

          • As I pointed out – some people don’t have a reputation to uphold. The British Empire did, the Mongolian Empire didn’t. Likewise how many people who have criminal records and don’t care? If you find a burglar sneaking around your house are you going to discuss Libertarian philosophy or are you going to bail him up with a pistol? Chances are he’ll listen to you if you engage in the latter.


            • And your point is… ?

              This says nothing about the issue at hand: The Libertarian principle of non-aggression. The fact that bad/evil/Cloverite people chose to ignore it – and choose instead to use force to get what they want – says nothing about the morality or validity of the concept. It no more delegitimizes it than does the fact that some people steal means it’s pointless to have laws against stealing, or to object to thievery.

              Try again, Aussie Clover.

              No Clovers

          • Gee, Eric, ever known when a fight is broken up both sides claim “the other aggressed and I was merely defending myself”? Well, that’s pretty much all fights – each side felt they were in the right. Furthermore, it has been said if all conflict were between an obvious good and an obvious evil then life would be easier.

            Then again, Libertarians have found that history’s good guys are really the bad guys. The Axis powers were merely defending themselves as either from the effects of WW1 or from Allied embargoes. The Southere U.S. states were perfectly blamelses on every front – even the firing on Fort Sumner was a defensive strike. And so forth.


            • Aussie Clover, you must be a product of government skools!

              What is your point? A fistfight in which each combatant claims the other started it somehow obviates the morality of the non-aggression principle? Or is it that there is no possibility of determining who is actually the aggressor? Hmm. So if someone caught stealing says they didn do nuffins then I guess we can’t do anything about that, either. And more, we should just forget about the idea that stealing is wrong.

              Then you go off an another wild tangential jag about the War of Northern Aggression, WWI and II – jumbling them together, making (again) completely exaggerated or outright false assertions as straw man props to (try) to impugn what I and others have written here. Example: No one here ever wrote anything even remotely like “The Southere U.S. states were perfectly blamelses on every front.” What I and others did write was that the war was not about slavery, much less “helping” black people. Your purpose, as always, is to – in effect – throw some shit onto the fan, hope it hits something – then argue that the paint on the wall was really white rather than yellow.

              No Clovers

    • @Gil,

      Libertarian Party| Maximum Freedom, Minimum Government.
      (According to their website)

      Libertarians prefer a diamond instead of a linear left/right line.

      I think that government arises from people needing to find a way to live with each others and the world around them. Different people develop different types of government as seen from world history.

      In history most forms of government has been a variation of an Autocracy (the rule of one). Some of been oppressive, some enlightened and the rest somewhere in between.

      In my opinion:
      Without law, you have rule of might makes right.
      This could be good or bad depending on who has the might and makes the rules.

      I think that a government which is oppressive through the use of many laws and force is not much different (to an individual) from the local gang demanding protection money. Your life is not fun in either case.

      I think (in a simplistic way) the best government is one that generally leaves people alone provided that they are not harming/defrauding others. The government is there to help, through the law, redress wrongs committed by other people/entities. Government needs to be able to defend the country against foreign attacks.

      Of course there is the problem of deciding what is the best form of government.

      • //Libertarians prefer a diamond instead of a linear left/right line.//

        that should be:
        Libertarians prefer a diamond instead of a linear left/right line when describing the political spectrum.
        The Nolan Chart is the name of this diamond.

    • There is no social contract. Contracts are voluntary.
      Government comes about in two, maybe three ways:

      1) A criminal gang takes power and calls themselves government. This gang works to then take as much from the people for themselves as possible.

      2) People create an institution to manage common business. This institution is called government. It then attracts and becomes infested with criminals who unite together in taking as much from the people for themselves as possible.

      3) Various control freaks grab control of institutions that people belong to, such as churches. The control freaks then use these institutions to establish a government. The control freaks who aren’t criminal, that is ones that think they are doing their bad works for the common good, are eventually driven out and replaced with criminals. This creates an institution of criminals who then take as much from the people for themselves as possible.

      The criminal gangs of various territories eventually go to war with each other as they are never satisfied with what they have taken. They always want more. Usually that is at least the underlying case. It’s usually sold to the masses as some noble intervention or twisted into self defense. The masses fall for it either way.

      Essentially government, at best, is not a sustainable system for human society. If human civilization is to survive people will need to evolve to govern themselves. Otherwise this civilization will be wrecked through war and humans, if some live, will need to start over. Some how I doubt that this will be the first time it has happened.

      • Well-said, Brent.

        Has anyone ever been asked for their consent by the government?

        Oh sure. We get to vote. Clovers equate voting with consent. Which is like saying a condemned man who is told he may select either hanging or the firing squad has a choice.

        • Of course no one chooses where and to whom they’re born. Murray Rothbard took that to its fullest and simply stated that parents can abandon their children – even if it means to their deaths. To force parents to take care of their children is slavery. There’s a lot to be said we didn’t sign the Social Contract but our ancestors did.


          • The flimsiness of your argument manifests in the straw man examples you like to put forward. First, people who willingly abandon their own children are few and far between; but it’s so typically Cloverish to trot something like that out as if it were common – and use that as the basis of an argument. Second, those who do have committed a moral crime – not being responsible for the children they produced through their own voluntary choice – and Libertarians do not support moral crimes.

            As far as the “social contract” – bullshit. I doubt you or anyone else can point to an actual, real-life human being ancestor who was offered a “contract” let alone consented to one. And in any case, neither you nor I nor any other person is bound by any contract signed by another person,

            Try again, Aussie Clover.

            No Clovers

          • Gil, you are sounding as if you are advocating for a caste system. That is people are held to the decisions of their ancestors. Where children grow up to replace their parents. Grandfather works as a bricklayer, so will his son and grandson. Static society held in place with violence. Everyone bound to their roles. After all it’s a social contract and if you let people choose their own roles society falls apart eh?

            As I stated before, human society needs to evolve or it will destroy itself. People ruling themselves and not others is where we must go if we are to survive as a technological species. Will it be perfect? Probably not, but it will be a hell of a lot less self destructive than the current state of affairs.

      • Brent number (1) applies to the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha gang of criminal thugs and marauders who installed themselves as the “royalty” of England. They then perpetuate and embellish the various myths of royalty to keep their new-won slaves apathetic, or even pathetically laudatory!

        I lost about twenty pounds during the “royal” wedding. Every flourish and fawning made me vomit; how can people LIKE being slaves?

        • That’s not what happened, in England (and Wales). There, they were invited in, to head off a Stuart restoration (see my other recent comment).

          In Scotland, however, it was more mixed, with them basically coming in to support one side of a simmering and occasionally flaring up civil war (so, to one side, they were invaders). And, if Ireland hadn’t been subdued just before, they would have definitely have come in as invaders there.

    • There’s an even more common category of rulers forming: locals accepting or even inviting in roughs of their own choice (or growing their own, as in ancient Israel), to keep worse ones at bay. It’s a sort of Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven scenario, only done on a continuing basis on a retainer and not as a one off, ad hoc arrangement.

      • PM, this is much like the medieval Iceland I spoke of before. But it’s not a bad thing all in all; it does come to equilibrium. There are some great game theory ideas on this! The beauty of a semi-stable equilibrium of private “gangs” (I prefer to call them private security companies) is that none get too large, and they are voluntary–unlike our present Lords and Masters.

        They’re also much more cost effective.

        It’s when they become institutionalized that the danger starts, or worse when they’re co-opted by a larger group…i.e. the federal government’s railroading of state and local government, which were the “smaller gangs” protecting us from marauders.

  14. “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” Frederic Bastiat, 1848

    Collectivism I think must be an exploitation of the human beings’ pre-programming for hunter-gather society. Collectivism works well for hunter-gatherers. They are in small groups, conditions are rough, they must pull together and share to survive. But they are in small groups so slackers and parasites are easily detected and dealt with. Collectivism does not scale. In a large society collectivist instinct may then be exploited through the political institutions for power, wealth, and/or just to be a lazy good for nothing.

    In my cynical times I do feel that people deserve everything they get, that they are not evolved enough to deserve liberty. Then my moral code kicks in and stops any further thought along those lines. When I read things from the great libertarian minds and then something out of minds of the ruling class and mix in my own cynical thoughts I can see the understanding of human behavior, of the great masses. The difference is the moral code. Libertarian minds have a sense of right and wrong, the ruling class minds have a me first, f-k you view of things or at best one where they should play god for everyone’s own good.

    What is so sick about the whole thing is that the masses fall for the manipulations of people who want to exploit and/or control them time and time again while seeing those who oppose war, exploitation, and so on as being selfish and worse. Every time they fall for the guy who dangles “free candy” in front of them and ignore their own long term best interests… well getting in the free candy van rarely turns out well, earning one’s own candy (and vehicle) usually does.

    • Our Clover is the archetype of the problem; he cannot be reasoned with because he cannot reason. He’s not evil, per se. He’s just not intelligent/aware enough to grasp the evil of what he embraces. It (probably) never occurs to him, for example, to threaten people with violence yet he routinely does just that via proxies such as “the government,” “police,” “the law” and so on.

      There are millions of such people out there.

      • The real problem is that someone always rules. The anarcho-communists berate anarcho-capitalists for stealing the term “anarchism” because anarchism in its purest form means no one rules. Instead an-coms rightfully accuse an-caps of merely substituting public rule with private rule. After all, if there’s nothing stopping Americans from changing residence from one State to anpther (other than ordinary moving costs) then the U.S. is already close to Libetarian standards – you can’t chose the Federal laws but you choose the State laws by choosing to live in which State you want. Since New Hampshire and Texas come the closest to the Libertarian ideal then all Libertarians should already be living there.


        • Gil, I’ve come to the conclusion that you just can’t grasp the concepts or purposely twist them. I am leaning towards the former in your case but I’ve encountered people who do the later. Simplistic definitions do not work. And no, someone doesn’t always have to rule. You’re just thinking from inside the box. The state always aims to box in our thinking, to make us believe that it is required. It’s not.

          The states of the USA were supposed to be firewalls against tyranny. However that essentially ended in the 1860s. It did continue to some degree to the early 20th century. Then senators went to direct election. Now the federal government did not have to respect state governments at all.

          The federal government uses a variety of tools to keep states compliant. But if those don’t work it just goes in and enforces its laws regardless of what state government says about it.

          Furthermore, to move to some of the freer states one has to consider job prospects. I decided against such an opportunity myself because it meant being far away from family, moving to a city where there was essentially one employer for my skills (the one I was called for) and being far away from the access to the non mainstream stuff which I’ve become accustomed too. Not to mention the climate not being something I’d enjoy. The point I am trying to make is that there is a lot to consider in moving from one US state to another than what amount to minor differences in freedom as things become more and more centralized.

          • I don’t know why the State Government are supposed to be different from the Federal Government other than size. In other words, if voters decided the Federal Government is be disbanded and the State Government become nations then Libertarians have simply lost one government for another.


            • A remote, centralized authority is even less subject to limits on control (and less responsive to the concerns of “the people” because “the people” is nothing more than a vast abstraction at that point).

              Local government can be abusive, too. But at least in that case your enemy is more manageable.

              No Clovers

          • I disagree, the closer and smaller the rulers are the more likely they are to be sharp and determined. It’s akin to a small business owner who’s more likely to know his business inside and out than the large business owner because the small business owner doesn’t have the resources to let inefficiencies slip in. Or the small army that can defeat a larger army because the small army can’t afford large losses and must be proficient in strategies and tactics (Alexander vs. Darius?).

          • Small government nearby is far easier to manage than big government far away. What was important to the american system was keeping tyranny in check. When the state governments chose the senators the senators were beholden to governor and others of his state. Were senators chosen in corrupt ways? sure, but a corrupt senator still had to do the state’s bidding because that is where his bread was buttered. So when the federal government acted to impose upon the states he would vote against it. What was important wasn’t that there was one government or another but that the state governments and the federal government were in constant political conflict.

            Political conflict preserves freedom because nothing or little gets done that takes freedom away.

            Now senators are elected. They are beholden to an abstract mass called “voters” who except for a very small minority don’t really pay attention to what senators do. Those people in state governments did pay attention. CLOSE attention. The senator was their boy in DC and they would make sure he voted the way they wanted. Not foreign business interests, not national corporations, not corporations in other states, not foundations, the state government with all its local corruption.

            It’s a more difficult system to game which is why it was done away with.

          • BrentP, you’re absolutely right about state appointed vs. elected senators. The are so many voters per U.S. senator that you’re voice is scarcely heard when you write to them and one vote certainly doesn’t scare them. We need to go back to the original system for all the reasons you listed (this is a Republic, not a democracy after all). The problem with the federal government is the same problem we had with GM and Chrysler but no one seemed to grasp: not too big to fail, but too big to succeed!

            • Yep.

              The direct election of senators was another change done to undermine what had been intended – and it was done (as always) in the name of “democracy.” (At the time, it was argued that it was elitist and undemocratic to have senators chosen by the state legislatures.)

              Notice that you almost never hear anyone – especially a politician – speak of a “republic” nowadays. It’s always “democracy.” Spreadin’ it,making the world safe for it.

              Democracy may turn out to be the most effective form of tyranny and mass control ever devised by the mind of man – because unlike all the other systems, it gives the illusion of consent, which keeps the sheep docile and accepting.

        • But Gil an-caps don’t practice coercive law-enforcement. In the purest agorist/an-cap systems the arbitration, rating, and security agencies are all purely voluntary. There is no coercion; you’re simply shunned if you’re incorrigible.

          I don’t understand why this is a stumbling block for you; saying an-coms rightfully critique an-caps on this point is, as BrentP says, either willfully ignorant or flatly disingenuous.

          I’m stunned that someone who seems as familiar with the various flavors of libertarianism, not just libertarianism itself, is unable to process the logic…um, logically. How is it you’re obviously well-read yet obstinately wrong?

          • All you supposed is just theory, if people comply and don’t “game” the system. Then again private landowners have obligatory authority – they can shoot dead a trespasser without reprucussions. Still I don’t see why a violent criminal only has to fear shunning considering he’s hardly going to volunteer to be hung.


            • It just can’t be possible for anyone to be this dense…

              Yeah. Libertarians believe a landowner is entitled to shoot trespassers dead without repercussions. Because as we all know, Libertarians are violent people who believe in using force against others without repercussions…. . er. uhh…. wait a second.

              You have it backwards again, as usual.

              No Clovers

      • Have you read Notes on Democracy by Mencken? Particularly the contrasts between what he calls the superior man and the inferior (clovers)?

        • Yup – in fact, I have numerous Mencken books, by him and about him. Including Chrestomathy (which is excellent). The Sage of Baltimore is one of my favorites!


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