Good People

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What does it mean to be a “good person”?

One hears the term fairly often. So and so is a good person. Or the plural – they’re good people. But what is meant is rarely defined. It is accepted that we’re all talking about the same thing – but if you look at it a little bit, very often we’re not. Because many of us seem to have a view of goodness that is completely at odds with the concept of goodness as defined by others.

The liberal Democrat, for example, thinks of himself as a good person because he expresses concern for others, typically those less well-off than others. He wants to “help” – but his goodness (as he defines it) does not manifest itself via himself personally helping those he believes are in need. He does not invite the homeless into his home (or even his garage). He invites them into your home.  He does not “give” of his own time – or money. Rather, he demands that others be made to “give” of theirs. Which of course does not strike him as oxymoronic – let alone vicious. This good person will not feel bad about demanding that some be enslaved for the benefit of others – so long as the former are “deserving” (as defined by the good person)  and the latter are “paying their fair share” (again, as defined by the good person).

On the other end of the continuum we find the right-wing Republican – who also views himself as a good person. Often, a good religious person. He is outraged by events like the attack on the Twin Towers (and let’s not forget Building 7, too). The appx. 3,000 people killed in one day must be avenged – by killings tens of thousands of interchangeable brown people  for going on ten years now.

The right-wing good person only hears the cries of some innocents.

Both the liberal and the right-winger share one thing in common – the adoration of random violence. The phraseology is important. It is random violence because the people affected are typically innocent – or at least, they haven’t done anything to warrant a violent assault. The mere fact that you are a Have becomes, in the mind of the left-liberal, sufficient justification for him to send goons with guns to your home in order to force you to hand over some of what you have to the Have-Nots. It is not alleged that you have stolen from the Have-Nots. It is enough that you have – and they have not. The non-having is the justification for the taking. Precisely in the same way that one hungry chicken will snatch a crumb away from another hen who had it first. Redistribution is the moral standard of these good people – goodness defined as he who redistributes the most.

The right-winger, meanwhile, pursues ideologically random violence as opposed to the left-liberal’s economic violence. There are entire categories of Them who must be extirpated – or at the every least, brought to heel – merely by dint of being Them as opposed to Us. The Chimp – apotheosis of this mentality – put it just so: You are either with us (that is, a lockstep follower of The Chimp) or you are against us.

And we all know what happens to those who “are against us.”

Pre-Chimp, right-wing good people were somewhat discomfited by the auto da fe of the Branch Davidians at Waco – but only because the match was struck by a political opponent. Once The Chimp – a good man, as they saw him – held the reigns, actions far worse were routinized. Today, Barry carries on the work. And note: The work is not objected to (in the main) by the very people who did object when the same work was performed by The Chimp. And who no doubt will renew their objections in the event their good man replaces the other side’s bad man next January.

Of course, none of these people are good people. They are in fact bad people. Very bad people indeed. People who live by violence, only directed toward different ends. But do these ends make any difference to their respective victims? Here is a way to separate the wheat from the chaff:

Good people do not have victims.

That is how you shall know them.

A good person is someone who does not want to put you in a cage – or point guns at you – unless you have done something to warrant it. And to a good person, the only thing that warrants such treatment of a fellow human being is maltreatment of another human being. The initiation of force. Absolutely nothing else.Not how much you have relative to what others have; not how you live your life or what you believe or who you are. Nothing – other than force used first.

For all evasive language aside, government is force – nothing more. And force is only applied justly when it is applied against those who have initiated its use. It is an injustice to use force against your neighbor – against your fellow man – to compel him to furnish you (or others) with funds. To force him to “help” you – or anyone else. To compel the conformity of his behavior; to dictate the terms and conditions of his life. To deny him, in even the smallest measure, the right to pursue happiness – as he, not you, defines it. To interfere with him in any way whatsoever – unless he has caused you or some other person an injury. Not before – and not otherwise.

If, that is, you wish to think of yourself as a good person.

Throw it in the Woods? 


  1. I lived on the streets for over 7 years. People change without help if they want to. When I was ready I got my shit together and made something of myself without taking hand outs from anyone other then a student loan. I got a job started earning money and went to School. I became a computer tech. I also went to school and became a Harley Mechanic. I am paying back what I owe and will take no more. I am out of work right now and still don’t ask for handouts. I sell off things that I have accumulated over the years. Until I have nothing left to sell and no more common knowledge then maybe just maybe I will try the handout thing. That is the problem with today’s society. Take from the Haves and give to the Have not’s is the way of thinking. I say fend for yourself and if you cant at all then ask for help from people you know. I think help from who you know is better then from people you do not it is more personal.

    • Dear Wolfy,

      Good for you! Or as the Brits say “Good on you!”

      I’ve never actually been on the streets before, but I once came very close and I didn’t like the feeling at all.

      I was already a libertarian by then, so I knew my dilemma was at least partly caused by the very same counterproductive government measures that were supposedly helping me. The reality was they were seriously narrowing my options for coping as my money ran out.

      For example, overly restrictive government building codes, as opposed to more sensible industry building standards, increased construction costs so much that affordable housing was not available.

      For example, business licensing laws made becoming a street vendor extremely difficult if not impossible.

      The anxiety I experienced was intensified by the knowledge that I was being legally constrained from helping myself.

      I would have figured out some way to survive anyway, had it come to that. But I was angry that my survival was being made artificially harder by the Nanny State.

      • “The anxiety I experienced was intensified by the knowledge that I was being legally constrained from helping myself.

        I would have figured out some way to survive anyway, had it come to that. But I was angry that my survival was being made artificially harder by the Nanny State.”

        I’d like to have a sideline business fixing/restoring old bikes. But I don’t want to be licensed or regulated, pay yet more fees to the Clovers for the privilege of freely exchanging my work for a customer’s freely given money… etc. So, I stick with fixing my own stuff and leave it at that.

        I can have a hobby – but not a business.

        You ought to hear the stories my buddy who owns a car repair shop tells…

        • Dear Eric,

          First they shove us into the water. Then they “rescue” us. Correction, put on a show of rescuing us.

          As often as not, they screw up their Potemkin rescue efforts and we wind up drowning.

          Finally, if we look like we’re about to rescue ourselves, and about to make them look bad, they push our heads under the water.

          Thanks for nothing.

        • Sometimes we can’t even have the hobbies!

          My grandfather wanted a service station business so he built one. And I mean built one, as in one brick on top of another built. physically. Bought some land and built it. Himself. Try doing that today.

          • Dear BrentP,

            “Try doing that today.”

            You can say that again.

            You can’t even build s damned wooden patio deck without the clovers climbing all over you.

  2. Mithrandir, The War Crimes Trials that took place in Nuremberg involving Germans received much more attention than those that took place in Manila involving Japanese.

    Google: Manila War Crimes Trials

  3. Eric–re: the Antelope Valley video.

    This is Agenda 21. They can’t get us to sign it as a treaty, so they’re back-dooring it by pushing it through local governments. They often do it with the honeypot; county officials (like the LA county brownshirts and Eichmanns) know county plans well in advance, and enrich themselves by hassling people off their land. Happens all over.

    Meanwhile the Agenda 21 globalists chuckle with glee, because they’re “rewilding” that land. They want us packed into “planned-opolises” like the movie Brazil, while the Lords are free to cavort in the wild.

    You CAN stop them! Local activism works. We pushed back TSA on Metro buses in Houston simply by showing up to two meetings like the one depicted in that video, and saying “Hell No!” loudly and unwaveringly.

    Those two Reason guys were much too nice. That fat self-satisfied fuck Antonovich knows just what he’s doing. Get 50-100 people to show up at the meeting good and angry; have the ten most eloquent make statements. Get the press involved. Call WeAreChange. Post the videos on YouTube.

    It worked for us. It can work for those people.

    I’m looking for chances here in Texas too. We defeated the TTC (Trans-Texas Corridor), the “NAFTA superhighway” that would have devastated rural communities. People banded together and pushed it back.

    Eric: Agenda 21 is worth its own article, and finding some of the victories to show people how to wage a counter-occupation will help us marshall our forces.

    They’re planning a Ukraine on us. They’re destroying all the family farms; going after Amish dairy farmers, independent pig farmers, fucking home gardens–and it will lead to famine, just as Stalin used to control the Ukraine.

    As Kissinger the pedophile said, “Control the food, control the people.”

    I don’t know if ya’ll feel it as strongly as I do, but we are in a desperate war for our very survival. It’s slow-motion right now, but the strategic emplacements are being taken–food, electricity, water, transportation, weaponry, communications. They’re poisoning us with slow-kill weapons–vaccines, GMO foods, fluoride, radiation.

    It is accelerating at a rate I didn’t think possible. I didn’t think it possible because I almost cannot believe Americans can’t see it–but most of them can’t. They are somnambulists, it’s like they’re dreaming and can’t wake up.

    It’s the most frightening thing I’ve ever seen. I feel like one of the humans in Invasion of the Body Snatchers–they’re all around, they look human, but they’ve been hollowed out.

  4. This is a great analysis of the general layout of most of the US population sadly. Eric another home run. I am going to start referring to you as Eric “Babe Ruth” Peters
    Yours In Liberty

  5. Eric,

    “Hence, I agree – we must (contradictorily) also consider the group – and such things as homogeneity – because they exist and because we therefore have no choice but to deal with them.

    The question of course is – how?”

    I see this question pop up once in a while. I suggest that libertarians or people who are like minded minarchists/anarchists etc, conduct themselves with little regard to them. Try and not let them effect how you behave. Of course the Statists will still steal from you, but you can try and keep that to a minimum as well.

    I hear people say, but libertarian philosophy doesn’t work. I simply reply, “Well it works for me”.

    Step two would be to try and educate those people who have so many myths about libertarians, minarchists and anarchists. If they simply can’t or won’t grasp the concepts you can at least know you tried. (like you do every day)

    • Tom Lehrer was out-f’ing-standing…a tremendous social critic. Thank you for posting this, John. I hadn’t heard these particular songs before. I urge everyone who isn’t familiar with him to check out his videos on youtube…very hilarious stuff

    • Saying it in the negative protects you from maniacs who like crazy things done to them; we should not do things to others if we would not like it done to us. Confucius gets the credit for that one.

    • Calling Bush II Chimp is an insult to Chimpanzees. The criminal referred to as the Chimp has much blood on his hands. Chimp and his fellow Deceivers ought to be hanged for what they have done.

    • Dear Tsybondsalesman,

      Your utter lack of proportionality demeans you, not those who refer to “him,” or is it “Him,” as “The Chimp.”

      Victor’s justice is the only reason The Chimp and Obomber have not been tried for war crimes.

      And your concern is over verbal insults???

      You should be condemning those who refer to “him” as nothing harsher than “The Chimp,” for being too kind toward the mass murderer of tens of thousands of non-combatants.

    • How so?

      This squinty eyed little freak is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people and the rape of what’s left of the Bill of Rights. The sick little bastard appealed to the worst instincts of the people – their fear, their hate.

      And I’m denigrating myself by refusing to refer to him respectfully?

      • A lot of people believe the president deserves respect simply because he is the president. I feel just about the opposite. Anyone who desires that much control over me and the rest of the world had better try damn hard to earn it.

        I think they believe also that he somehow represents “we” so therefore he deserve respect. In other words “we” disrespect ourselves in the process. They forget that many of do not accept that he represents us in anyway.

        Tsybondsalesman, might simply be a person who feels that namecalling in general is poor form.

        • Dear Brad,

          Amen to that.

          For a nauseating example of the exact opposite of our iconoclastic free market anarchist mindset, take a gander at the 1995 rom com “The American President.”

          Directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin, starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening.

          Talk about saccharine worship of naked power. Enough to gag a maggot.

          • Thanks I’ll check it out. Doubt if I will make it through it though.

            I would love to see the “Chimp” and all his cabal tried by the courts and if convicted hung or shot, lethal injection whatever.

            I wouldn’t want him taken out by an assassin though. He would immediately become a martyr to the all mighty god called the Government. The media and the government would also spin his story till all the sheep in the country actually believe he was a saint.

            • If someone can explain the difference in principle between Hitler conniving/engineering aggressive war against Poland as opposed to The Chimp doing the same to Iraq I’d love to hear it.

              Of all the leaders of the Third Reich, I must concede some grudging admiration for the Reichsmarschall. A brutal cynic – but an honest one, if such can be said. He mocked the Allies – and their “victor’s justice.” His statement:

              “Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

              Was as true then as it is now.

          • Dear Eric,

            Madeleine Albright explained it with dazzling eloquence:

            “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”

            What can anyone say after that?

          • Dear Brad,

            Be warned! Not for those with weak stomachs.

            The Chimp? Definitely not assassinated.

            We would never hear the end of “War on Terror” rhetoric.

            • The Chimp – and Barry – ought to be tried for their crimes (including the waging of aggressive war, for which the Allies condemned the leadership of the OKH/OKW as well as Ribbentrop and Goering) as well as for their assaults on the law of the land – the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

              Every time these cretins appear in public people should jeer and turn their backs in contempt. Instead, they fawn like love-struck teenyboppers back in ’63 when The Beatles came to America….

              I harbor particular contempt for “conservatives” – who still venerate The Chimp – and will regard Mittens as the apotheosis of “conservatism” this fall.

          • “What can anyone say after that?”

            The scaffold is ready Mr. Sammons.

            Thank you Bevin, bring ’em on.

        • Amen.

          The bootlicking deference to “the president” is despicable. As Seinfeld might have quipped: Who is this guy? Answer: In modern America, “this guy” is an elected monarch, a czar possessed of autocratic power. Why should I pay respect to such a person?

          To quote an actual “czar” (Kaiser Wilhelm II):

          I shit all over it!

          • Dear Eric,

            It always comes back to psychology. Whenever one seeks the answer to riddle of why statism persists, to TOG’s lament, which I fully empathize with, the answer is always psychology.

            Both individual psychology, and social psychology.

            Nathaniel Branden talked about it a lot, especially after the Great Schism.

            He was convinced that politics is not really that fundamental. Psychology on the other hand, is.

            During one workshop he described psychology as “the technology of ethics.” In other words, psychology is how you get people to become self reliant and all that implies politically.

            I agree.

            That’s why I like the work you do Eric. Much of it is about attitude, about learning to feel differently about government and political power.

            I don’t see political transformation to Market Anarchism really happening, or holding, until a critical mass of humanity undergoes an evolutionary shift in consciousness, to where they are too psychologically evolved, too civilized, to violate the non-aggression axiom.

          • Dear Eric,

            That’s why I mentioned the Black Monolith in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

            You talk about The Chimp. I agree.

            The Chimp really and truly is mired at the evolutionary level of an anthropoid ape.

            And so are his “peers” within the Beltway nomenklatura.

  6. This was an interesting read, and it did resonate with me, but there is an important aspect left out; like a good parent, a good government exists to engender prosperity. This entails not always doing what the child (citizen) might want – even if he managed to secure all the money and land first, it doesn’t mean it ought to remain his indefinitely, to play on all by himself, and only with whom the toddler wishes. We are in this world together, and we are a long way from seeing government as it should be. Too much freedom can be worse, for the whole, than too little, at times. This is, in an all-too-brief nutshell, why China has a leg up on the West. Read some Frank Li for more details on this.

    My bottom line is this; kids need direction, and so do most adults. Unbridled freedom led to the Gilded Age, and has been ushering in an age where capital rules. Socrates, I believe was right to be skeptical of Democracy. A benevolent dictatorship is best, and, I believe, is the form of government among highly evolved beings from other worlds. When the knowledgeable and loving make the rules, the world shall know peace and happiness. Until then, it behooves us all to load up on personal protection.

      • Why not? If I’m wrong, then it shouldn’t be said… but I don’t think I am.

        I’m well aware that my opinion shall be met with much chagrin, as it runs deeply counter to much of our modern meta-cultural ethos, but frankly I’m quite accustomed to that.

        But if you have a moment, could you elaborate on your analogy?

        • Dear Eric X,

          The short answer is that your opinion does not run deeply counter to the “modern meta-cultural ethos.”

          If anything, it is the embodiment of your so-called “modern meta-cultural ethos.”

          The only ideology that runs head up against mainstream political orthodoxy, East or West, is libertarianism, particularly Free Market Anarchism.

          You explicitly call for physical coercion. That places you squarely within the mainstream political orthodoxy.

    • I think I will stay away from this guy and partake in a much more thought-provoking activity, like dropping a deuce

      not even worth the time I typing that…

    • Eric, prosperity exists independent of government. Wealth is created in two ways, through either thrift or increases in productivity. I am yet to see the government that practices thrift, and when you don’t produce a product or service that is demanded by a free market, well there’s no way that you can increase productivity. Government engendering prosperity is an oxymoron.

      Also, I’m not a toddler. I don’t need someone “better and brighter” to take me by the hand and direct my capital for me. Have you never heard about the myriad bankruptcies, ruined credit, and felonious financial behavior of so many of our congressional overlords? With these people in charge of the purse it’s no wonder that the finances of America are in such a shambles.

      Your comment amounts to little more than the age-old excuse for the failure of various forms of collectivism: it just hasn’t been tried properly yet. Well we’re all still waiting with bated breath. Starting to go from purple to blue, I really wish they’d hurry it up.

      • Cheers, guy. I hope you know I mean no disrespect, and I likewise too easily fall prey to my own perspective and prowess. The more I come into my own personal wealth, the more I feel the pull of conservative and libertarian ideologies.

        However, in the centuries to come, we shall be collectively viewed as clever, but unwise beings. Driven by our own narrow self-interest, we have had precious few beacons of light to guide our path. These few have been treated with great indignation by the masses.

        The reason why democracy works so well in our age is because of how narrow our self-interests generally are; as you have said, attempts at collectivist governments have failed miserably, being rife with corruption and apathy – which speaks directly to my main point. By spreading power so much, it becomes more difficult for the few to oppress the many.

        In a similar vein, capitalism works so well because it has grown from our self-interest and ability to function socially. These are deep archetypes.

        As our self-interest grows to encompass more, so shall our societies evolve; and as our societies evolve, so shall the caliber of our leaders.

        • I didn’t take it personally. In fact I think you’re right about many people being little more than children. It’s just my opinion that children learn more and fare better when left to bump their heads and learn from their experiences than when they’re wound in bubble wrap and coddled.

          When you look around at any given democracy, do you really see a diffusion of power? I sure don’t. I see a diabolical tool of control that only requires 50.1% of the rubes be duped to sign on for the sadists to lord over everyone.

          Democracy doesn’t work; it’s just another form of least-common-denominator collectivism. Expansion of suffrage has brought a corresponding decline in standards in just about every country I can think of. If you’re going to have a government, you’re better off letting the productive classes run it. You wouldn’t let a bum sleeping on a bench under a newspaper manage your finances, so why do you want him cancelling out your vote?

          Voluntaryism is what drives society upward. Freedom and prosperity cannot be compelled. Nothing that you’re forced into can possibly be worthwhile. There’s nothing inherent in the power of government that transforms those who pull its levers into omnipotent beings a cut above the rest of us, that makes them into fathers and mothers to guide us children through a perpetual childhood and adolescense. They’re simply men and women, just like we are. They uncannily tend to be power hungry and failures at real life.

          So many famous generals and politicians were obscure nobodies and would have remained so had they not lucked into being “the man in the moment” and wasted so much blood and treasure on the way to becoming “our saviors.” Grant was a drunk and Sherman effed up everything he touched before WBTS came along and they made their names wasting armies needlessly and inventing total war, respectively.

          I could go on and on but if you don’t get the point yet I think you aren’t going to.

    • The rule of the elite can be summed up with the statement that ‘children need direction’.

      Once you agree with that, and we mere mundanes are all ‘children’ of the state well then you have just accepted the premise of the total state. Now all you can do is argue degree.

      Things like, should the age to drive be 17 or 18? Should a person be able to start a business? When?

      Once you accept the parental premise of the state, the state is unfettered. Over time it will impose more and more restrictions. Every time one ‘child’ doesn’t obey there will be new rules for all the ‘children’. Some times the parents will just have an idea on how to better manage the children.

      So it goes, no 32oz soda for you. Daddy government says so.

      • I don’t agree with Eric X at all, but I think he’s making a valid point. 90% of the “adults” I know DO need a parent of some sort. For various reasons, that “parent” has become the state, but I don’t think that is necessarily inevitable. Most people just naturally look to some authority to guide or justify how they are living their life. It might have been a lot easier in the old days to see your grandfather or great-uncle as that authority figure since they had earned that respect. Nowadays, they collect Social Security and defer important decisions for themselves to the state.

        • The state or rather those who influence and operate the institution of the state have been working to make the population ever more childlike for longer than a century now.

          The state usually creates the very problems it then comes in as the solution to. The state grows and grows. Failure only makes the state bigger.

          • Government comes to your door one day, kicks it open, and breaks your legs.

            The next day it comes back through the broken door and gives you a ratty pair of crutches.

            “See?” it says. “Without me, you couldn’t walk.”

            And leaves through the still-broken door.

  7. Is it really all that difficult to determine whether a Thing is good or bad? I really don’t think so. Here’s one of my Keepers:

    “We could relieve ourselves of most of the bewilderment which so unsettles, and distracts us by subjecting each situation to the simple test of right and wrong. Right and wrong as moral principles do not change. They are applicable and reliable determinants whether the situations with which we deal are simple or complicated. There is always a right and wrong to every question which requires a solution.”
    ~ Ezra Taft Benson, The Proper Role of Government

  8. Oh, and also that is why I have been accused of being a libertine, just because I don’t think the state should exist, meaning that good or God doesn’t exist. Somehow mass collective judgments of good and bad are more valid or real than individual judgments.

  9. The ideas of “good” and “bad” people only apply to free individuals in a society that embraces liberty. In a society where people are forced to be good, it actually becomes hard to seperate the good and bad people, the most you can say is that the law breakers are bad and other law abiding people are good. Rather than judging them based on there free choices as individuals, we judge them collectively as law breaker/abider. The state becomes the sole definer of good/bad, rather than individuals freely deciding themselves. Worse is that just because something is legal doesn’t make it good, and vice versatile, people go around looking for the “bad” and declare it must be prohibited. Hop I am clear.

    • when law and justice are no longer equal the “good and bad” with “compliant and noncompliant”

      and in that situation, it is likely “non-compliant” is more synonomos with “good”

      • Well, good and bad are always going to be subjective and difficult to describe, that is why having a truely diverse court system with sovereign courts with differing ideas of good and bad, is actually a good thing. Sentenced to death, appeal to a different court with different ideas.

    • Well said, as countries become packed with more and more laws, they actually become less moral places to live. Societal norms and mores break down because all you have to do is not get arrested.

      Tinsley Grey Sammons made a good distinction in his e-book. There is a big difference between Legal and Lawful.

  10. If business and conservative Congress would work together to make decent better paying jobs(above minumum wage) with some benefits it would alleviate a lot of people on the dole. People with limited incomes can’t afford to buy
    The Presidential condidate closed many profitable factories for financial gain and sent those jobs to China ,,,SOOO…recession
    They caused it now they should fix it
    we are told “BUY AMERICAN ” Tell all the businessmen quit shoving Chinese goods at us. Put our workers to work !

    • The wise words of a dependent anti-liberty statist, that diatribe sums up so much of the problem, the expectation that they can “fix” things.

      The only solution is for them to stop trying to do anything, at all, ever again.

    • I agree 100% that congress can work to create jobs. They simply need to repeal most of their laws and stay out of the way. They need to stop taxing and allow businesses to control their own money so they can re-invest that money to grow their business or to spend it at your business.

      As for minimum wage, it’s not good for the economy so it’s also not good for business. For instance I own an orchard. I could afford to pay you $2 an hour to pick my apples and still turn a profit. However, if I must pay you $6 an hour plus taxes, insurance whatever. Then my apples will go unpicked, because they simply are not worth that much to anyone. So what does a minimum wage do? It takes money from that person who wanted a couple extra bucks, it took the profit from me and it deprived the people who wanted those apples of their next apple pie.

        • Currently they do not “allow” you to make your choices freely they restrain you. As they have the guns they do have the ability to not “allow” or “allow” me to do whatever they choose. I suppose I could have said they should stop restraining you and that would have been better. But’s it’s really just semantics considering the reality of the situation. The reality is that they allow you to do some things and they don’t allow you to do others.

          For instance I am not “allowed” to build so much as a deck on my house without getting a permit. Sickening but true.

    • Actually Tom some of the manufacturing is returning to the USA from both China and Mexico. Much to the chagrin of the labor unions, most of it’s moving to the Southern (read that “right to work”) states because they can compete with foreign countries due to lower taxes and reasonable wage rates. The old mid-west rust belt cannot, because the unions priced workers right out of their jobs and the line workers and laborers still think they should be paid technicians’ and engineers’ wages. An artificially wage inflated system doesn’t and cannot work for long and it hasn’t.

      When congress and businesses “work together” that’s called fascism and it’s what we have right now. If you don’t understand what’s going on, go to
      and to brush up on Austrian (i.e. honest) economics and sound money. It shouldn’t take too much reading for you to figure out how we’ve been screwed by the banksters, big corporations and big government if you have eyes to see and ears to hear. The people who put us into this mess by *working together* are actually going to fix it, they lie about it to stay in power. I strongly suggest you start with Rothbard’s “What Has the Government Done to Our Money.” You can even download it as MP3 files and listen to it on your iPod if you don’t have time to read it (

      The only solution to the mess we’re in is a whole lot less government; much much lower taxes; real free market competition in business; bringing the troops home and sound money. These are the ingredients that made this nation’s productivity and economic growth the envy of the world in the 19th century. The trouble started with the Spanish American War and the onset of US imperialism (actually the War Against Southern Independence laid the foundation). But when the banksters bought out the government in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th Amendment, our goose was in the pot. In 1933 when FDR stole the people’s gold and debased the currency, we were fast on our way to being cooked. By 1964 when the last of the people’s real money was stolen from us (silver coins), you could stick a fork in America, ‘cuz we were done. Abandoning Bretton Woods in 1971 was merely salt and pepper on our goose’s carcass, since the banksters already had our gold and silver was a dead letter due to Gresham’s law.

      Asking the transnational thieves in government to work with the transnational thieves in banking and corporations to *fix* the economy is like asking the school of piranhas to work with the sharks that are eating you to help stop the blood loss. It ain’t gonna happen.

      • Bravo, Boothe. Very well said, and a nice summary of the slow death of America.

        I would add that the first part of Tom’s post, about Congress making jobs, is based on faulty economics. The government cannot create net jobs. Yes, it can create jobs, but only by diverting resources that would otherwise create other jobs that would be more productive. It’s the old “what is seen versus what is unseen” fallacy that Bastiat so brilliantly exposed.

        • Good God this forum just keeps getting better and better.

          Not many places left in America where someone casually tosses out a Bastiat reference!

          • it’s not only that bastiat references are freely tossed but they are also mostly understood. that is impressive.

          • Willy P – I think the reason that Bastiat references, as well as many other concepts that seem *radical* to the average Republicrat or Demoplican, are freely discussed and understood on this site is that many of us are skilled in root cause analysis. In simple terms we’re truth seekers. It goes hand in glove with automotive and motorcycle mechanics. Anyone can tell you that their car or bike won’t run right. The question is why? Take it to a shady dealer or a mechanic with poor diagnostic skills and they may sell you a lot of very expensive parts and labor you don’t need and still not fix the problem. We call that incompetence at best, fraud at worst. The same troubleshooting and repair principles apply to economics and monetary policy.

            Using Austrian theory to evaluate why our economy is on the skids is like using methodical trouble-shooting techniques on a car. Using Keynesian or any other contemporary economic theory misdiagnoses the root causes of the problem and attempts to treat the symptoms not the cause. Pumping fiat money in the form of central bank credit into the economy is kind of like dumping oil treatment into a worn out engine. It may stop the smoking and oil loss for a while, but you won’t get the compression or performance back until you do a complete overhaul. The folks manufacturing and selling the oil treatment will make a killing if they can convince you to keep buying their product. But the damage continues to get worse and sooner or later that vehicle will end up on the side of the road. It’s far cheaper to put in new rings and bearings before you launch a rod through the side of the block.

            The same is true for the fraudulent economic system we currently suffer under. The money pumping Fed and its gun-vernment cronies make a killing selling the public economic oil treatment (quantitative easing) while the engine of productivity runs hot on worn out bearings and eventually leaves us, the producers and consumers stranded on the side of the monetary highway. Those of us that frequent this venue (so graciously provided by Mr. Peters, thank you very much sir!) know that the banksters long ago stole the sturdy old cast iron block flathead V8 (gold, silver and sound banking) that powered our prosperity. They replaced it with an over-revving aluminum block Vega motor (fractional reserve banking) with cheap bearings (fiat money) and weak rings that blow by (inflation). The PTB keep telling us just one more can of Quantitative oil treatment and we’ll be back cruising Prosperity Street.

            Most of us at this site (except Clovers) realize the only thing that will fix this old heap is a new engine, transmission, rear-end, tires and a battery. That’s why many here have already packed food, water, hiking shoes and even a bicycle for the inevitable SHTF conclusion to this trip. The Clovers will be standing on the side of the road with their thumb in the air wondering why there’s a huge oil slick under the car.

            • Boothe,

              Than you, sir, for another superb analogy!

              Viewing “our leaders” as the political equivalent of incompetent mechanics is a most excellent conception. Only it gives them the benefit of the doubt as regards their intentions. Some of them may indeed be well-intentioned ignoramuses – like the inept mechanic who wants to fix your car but just doesn’t know how. But most of them – at the national level, especially – are far worse than merely incompetent. They know exactly what they’re doing – and why.

              Did you see any of the recent coverage of the John Edwards debacle? The guy’s an archetypical sociopath. He lies without compunction, without a hint of guilt. The only thing he cares about is maintaining and advancing his power and his status – at any cost. Nothing – and no one else – matters. These people should terrify the psychologically normal. But the psychologically normal have trouble seeing it. They can’t conceive there are people like that (i.e., sociopaths).

              And that is a fatal weakness.

          • Dear Booth, Willy p,

            Quite right.

            Inquiring minds wanted to know, so they found out.

            It always amazes me how the Sheeple really and truly don’t want to know. I don’t mean too lazy to know. I mean don’t want to know.

            They are terrified something will shake the foundations of their conceptual universe.

            That is why such cretinous aphorisms like “The solution to the problems of democracy, is more democracy” have come about.

          • Eric & Bevin – Thanks! Upon rereading my post from yesterday, I must agree that I didn’t put enough emphasis on the intentional fraud the banksters have foisted upon us all. Oh, I concede that there are those pundits and college professors (probably the majority of them) that have no real understanding of sound money and free market economics. So their positions, though erroneous, I believe are nonetheless genuine and heartfelt; similar to memorized religious dogma that doesn’t hold up under logical analysis. Much like introducing data that is out of range to an ECU in a car, when you challenge these ‘true believers’ with factual economic theory they are unable to process the information, “throw a code” and shut down. Much like your reference to the Terminator’s programming, they can’t be reasoned with.

            But the truly evil men that set up the fractional reserve banking – paper trash money – income tax system knew, and still know, exactly what they’re doing; committing fraud on a grand scale, flagrantly no less. I was attempting to liken this crime to a shady service department, where they tell you they’ve done all this troubleshooting, spent hours on labor, replaced the bearings, oil seals, rings and done a valve job, but merely dumped a can of Quantitative oil treatment in the crankcase. Then they hit you with an enormous bill. If you ask to see the old parts, they show you a dirty master cylinder and a couple of wheel bearings figuring you won’t know the difference. When you come back a month later to complain that the car started smoking again and won’t go over 45 MPH, they do it to you all over again, and again and again, year after year. The difference is we can hunt around and find independent shops and reputable service departments, when it comes to a car or a bike, and take our money there. With the Federal Reserve / IRS racket, there’s no convenient free market alternative available to us. We get stuck with the bill for parts not installed and services not rendered, thereby unjustly enriching the “usual suspects” at everyone’s expense, no matter what.

          • boothe,
            I really like your service center analogy, I will proabbly use it myself sometime in the future.
            The only way I see around it is barter and the black market. The black market is the true free market.

  11. I never trust “libertarians” who act like Islam is just another religion. If someone thinks they are a “libertarian” but cannot see that Islam is the most anti-libertarian religion ever seen in human history, that “libertarian” is a stupid idiot, and not to be trusted. It is not a question of exterminating peoples because they are anti-libertarian like stupid idiots pretend to suppose; but shouldn’t prudence dictate that we accept reality and watch our backs when Muslims are around? Or do beliefs mean nothing? Only to a stupid idiot do beliefs mean nothing.

    • Not to be rude, but why did you feel the need to use both “stupid” and “idiot”? I can understand “ignorant fool” but I can’t see why you would use them both? It’s redundant, have you ever come across a “smart idiot”

    • You sound like someone who has no personal interaction with people of the muslim faith.

      Individuals span the entire run as do people from any other major religion big enough to have groups fighting each other over the details.

      Everything from con-men and control freaks to people who willingly give what they have to strangers.

      Like any large faith, people bend it to what they want. Those that wish to con and control use their faith to do so. Those that believe in giving use their faith to do so. Everything is in the individual.

    • I have no quarrel with the Muslims.

      Who has taken away “our freedoms”? The Muslims? Or was it the government – mostly comprised of “good chrreschun men” like The Chimp – that imposed the TSA and “Homeland” security, obliterated the Fourth Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) and claims the power to “indefinitely detain” and torture anyone it pleases – merely by asserting (note, not proving) they are “terrorists”? Who vitiated the rule of law? Was it “the Muslims”? Or was it the band of thugs in DC?


      Who points guns at me if I don’t “buckle up for safety”?

      Who conducts armed raids on farmers who dare to sell milk to people who freely wish to buy it?


      Who tells me I must pay taxes in perpetuity in order to maintain the fiction that I “own” my land?

      Who forces people to have their kids shot up with various drugs?

      Who locks people in cages if they choose to partake of “drugs” made arbitrarily “illegal”?


      Who tells me – at gunpoint – whom I must do business with and under what conditions?

      Who forcibly takes more than 40 percent of every dollar I earn?

      Who is telling me I must buy a heaf cayuh inssho’ance policy – or else?

      Give me an example – just one – of the Muslims snatching “our freedoms.” Please.
      I await your answer…

    • Ah, you’ve taken the bait, my friend, swallowed it, and the hook is set deep in your guts now.

      The PTB love divide-and-conquer, and the Big Scary Darkie Bearded Muslim Boooooogeyman myth is their second-favorite toy.

      You’ve been hoodwinked. Muslims pose no threat to you at all; no more so…in fact, much, much less…than your supposedly “Christian” neighbors, who right this moment are gearing up to participate in “See Something, Say Something”–and inform on you.

      You see, religion (senseless as it may be) can be used to twist any weak mind; and the type of religion doesn’t matter.

      There are militant Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs.

      But right now, the Christians here are the biggest war-mongers and most successful mass-murderers this century. America has killed, conservatively, a million civilians in Iraq over the last twenty years.

      Add in Afghanistan. Libya. While people here in “Christian” churches pray for “our troops”.

      Now which “religion” is scary and murderous?

      And by the way, how many people have Muslims killed in America in the last ten years*?

      * don’t try quoting the 3,000 dead on 9/11. They weren’t killed by Muslims.

  12. There are no “good” people, just as there are no “bad people”. There is a mixture of good and bad minds. We all experience prejudice, hate, greed, lust, anger, frustration and all other good and bad emotions and experiences. How we react to what others say and do depends on our own upbringing. One of the most important assets that a human being can possess, as a tool, to handle not only the faults of others but our own faults is discipline. A disciplined person will force himself to think, decipher, and consider as many angles as possible before acting or speaking. The more discipline, knowledge, moral virtues and understanding a person is armed with the better his capabilities will be. But discipline is extremely important because you could possess all of the previously mentioned qualities but if you lack discipline, you will not act based on your knowledge, simply because you lack the discipline. That may be one main reason for which so many successful people fail. You read of these people on a daily basis, some are arrested for rape and battery, some for drugs, others for family violence, others for terroristic acts, and others for corruption, hate crimes, and this list is endless. One of our presidents has been deemed guilty of war crimes. Doctors, lawyers, politicians, priests, accountants, government administrators, school principals, teachers, CEO’s, bankers, performers, and the list are endless. When you read of these people you wonder why? Why, when having the “ education”, the “social standing”, and the outstanding financial status, they could stoop so low? One of the very first things that the military tries to instill in a soldier is discipline, but it often fails. Why? It seems that discipline and moral values need to be learned at a very early age, possibly before the age of twelve years. A person’s foundation is possibly developed during those twelve years, and if the foundation is weak then it doesn’t matter what structure you put on it. Unfortunately the number of dysfunctional families keeps not only growing but also getting worse. How can two parents who themselves do not understand the concepts of discipline and moral values teach their children? How can teachers, priests, politicians, and relatives who suffer that same lack of understanding help? Many of them, including parents are in actuality doing and teaching the children “bad” things causing the child to grow into a dysfunctional, undisciplined, uncaring, unscrupulous adult. If a mechanic facing a malfunctioning automobile was to tell you that it was the engine, or the electrical system without a careful inspection of the systems, you would think hard about leaving the auto with him. Yet that’s what we do with humans and human groups. We categorize them and leave it at that, like a “bad’ mechanic. The category is irrelevant white, brown, yellow, black or blue. Nationality, religion, political preferences, financial status, job category, neighborhoods are all irrelevant. All these are manmade descriptions and they all posses the same faults of humans. What will make the difference are the moral virtues, the knowledge, the humane values, and the discipline that give the person the backbone that cement all other virtues into a solid foundation. That doesn’t mean that the foundation is unbreakable, unshakable, or that it won’t bend a little because nothing is perfect and also other things could go wrong. Like an automobile in a crash, it doesn’t matter how well it was built, broken in, or well maintained it will suffer serious damage and may permanently become disabled. A person may encounter a virus in the brain that changes his reasoning, or may suffer some form of extreme mental trauma that alters his clear thinking. It just means that these are the type of people that should be running the government, banks, the military, churches, schools, and corporations because they offer the best possibilities. Instead, we have the people that we have, and may the power have mercy on us.

      • Also, entire pages of polemics without paragraph breaks have extremely negative connotations.

        They evoke images of Xeroxed diatribes penned by doomsday prophets pasted onto telephone poles.

        They suggest that the writer is so lost in his ravings that he lacks the presence of mind to even take a breath and organize his thoughts.

        Disclaimer! This is merely an observation about visual media and viewer perception. It is NOT directed at any individual.

        The last thing we market anarchists want to do is undermine our valuable message with poor presentation.

  13. The NYPD are not good people.

    New York police frequently stop and frisk individuals it considers suspicious. Last year they stopped more than 685,000 people, mostly black and Hispanic young men, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Critics say this often results in discrimination against law-abiding citizens.

    It’s also interesting how a law is only bad if it targets one group more than another. Would the NYCLU be fine with this if they simply targeted all of us equally?

    I see this all the time. Groups that think they have rights, simply because they belong to some group. Gay rights, Black rights, women’s rights, etc.

    Possibly the most outrageous abuse is by states that punish murder differently based on what group of people you chose to target, gays, cops, blacks, etc. Hate crimes. Death penalty because you killed a cop. but if you murder that little old white lady who lives on the corner it’s life with a chance of parole. Now what kind of sense does that make?

    • The idea of “group rights” is something that has been getting in my craw for the last few months, whenever I hear anything about union rights, gay rights, senior citizen rights, students rights, etc… I have been going out of my way to try and squash this. Groups don’t have rights, the individuals who may or may not be part of a group have rights.
      To me this is akin to the destructive SC ruling about “corporations are people”, a group isn’t an individual.
      A group should not be agressed against because you would be agressing against the individuals. If people think groups have rights, then they will likely come to the moronic conclusion that they will only have rights as long as they belong to a group.
      I was firing up the guy waiting his turn at the barbershop last week with that one.
      Individuals freely getting together to form a “group” is great as long as they aren’t practicing agression in any way, but the groupthink, tribal mentality, the idea of “we” and all the other similar machinations end up being so anti-liberty in my opinion even when they start with good/innocent intentions.

      • Only an Individual has Rights. Not only does the Individual have Rights, but s/he is born with all the Rights s/he will ever have. Rights can only be discovered, a Right cannot be created.

        The deliberate violation of a person’s right to his life can even be treated as a capital offense.

        Remember Nuremberg!

        Remember Manila!

        • Pardon my ignorance at the reference: What specifically in Manila? Are you referring to the Fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942?

      • Right on! The whole group rights agenda is necessary for any type of socialist/fascist government. It also plays another important role. Divide and conquer. On the one hand “we” are supposed to support without question the nationalistic agenda. On the other hand “we” are supposed to belong to groups and always associate ourselves as part of a group. If you step outside of that you are not a team player and team players are bad boys and girls and must be punished.

        Team (R) and team (D) are a good example. If you step out and vote third party you are wasting your vote. If heaven forbid you stay home, then you need to shut the fuck up. If you are not on the team, you don’t get to complain about your lack of representation. Forget that team (R) and team (D) don’t represent you, you must pick one or the other. You see, the lessor of two evils isn’t really evil it’s good.

        • It allows politicians to play to groups of people and expect them to be a bloc of votes instead of appealing to people on an individual basis, it allows them to be more “efficient.”

          The whole “voting” thing is more bs, I wrote in RP in ’08 and this year I will not even do that.
          The statement that if you don’t vote you can’t complain is empty, I am not conscenting away my freedom of speech because I decided not to play the corrupted game.

          To those who repeat such cliched sayingss my retort is:
          “I did vote. By not voting I submitted a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the system.”

          • Right on. I don’t vote, but I did support Ron Paul. I know that seems odd. But I supported him, by raffling off a stratocaster. I didn’t do it to get him elected I did it because he was getting the message out.

            I believe that by voting you are giving legitimacy to an institution that is simply not legitimate.

          • I still feel good about all the support I gave Ron Paul. He’s woken up millions of people–and I suspect that was the point of his campaign. He knew they’d never let him win; and if he did, his life was forfeit.

            I’m surprised at Rand’s actions. I understand it could be a strategic move, but I wouldn’t sacrifice principle for strategy. His father never did, and look at what he accomplished!

            Now we can get behind Gary Johnson…if you still care to vote.

            Me, I’m withdrawing my consent.

            I won’t play. I won’t vote. They can all go to hell, and I shall remain (for now) in Texas.

        • Dear Brad,

          “You see, the lesser of two evils isn’t really evil it’s good.”

          You really nailed it here.

          Damnocracy hasn’t been around here on Taiwan that long.

          But already voters have coined expressions like
          喊淚投票 han lei tou piao meaning “casting ballots with tears in one’s eyes.”

          It refers to the feeling of being forced to vote for the lesser of two evils and lying to oneself by saying “Well, maybe he’s not that bad.”

          When the reality is you know perfectly well he is merely the Lite version of the rascal you want tossed out on his ear.

  14. Mr. Peters, if they had a list of best internet posts ever, this piece of yours would have to be on it. and your line, “Good people never have victims,” is simply awesome. Thank you.

  15. Comment About Article

    Another good article. This is a good site. It’s good to see so many good people; saying good things and sharing good ideas. Below this paragraph is a good song; performed by a good guitar player with a good voice. A song listened to by a good number of good boys. If you got a good mind to have yourself a good time, you’ll find a good method to locate a good place. One you can find by cruising around in a good looking car that runs good. Cause when you have the good sense to make good use of your good fortune in finding a good looking good girl; you always keep a good knife you keep good and sharp nearby. That way you can cut loose and say good riddance to the no good inventions like seat belts made by goody goodies and which in reality are good for nothing. Keep up the good work.

    Song Mentioned In Comment
    Sometimes, Having No Particular Place To Go {Like Americans} Can Be a Good Thing.

    Lyrics of Posted Song

    Ridin’ along in my automobile, My baby beside me at the wheel. I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile, My curiosity runnin’ wild. Cruisin’ and playin’ the radio, With no particular place to go. Ridin’ along in my automobile. I’m anxious to tell her the way I feel, So I told her softly and sincere, And she leaned and whispered in my ear. Cuddlin’ more and drivin’ slow, With no particular place to go. No particular place to go, So we parked way out on the Kokomo, The night was young and the moon was bold. So we both decided to take a stroll. Can you imagine the way I felt? I couldn’t unfasten her safety belt! Ridin’ along in my calaboose, Still tryin’ to get her belt unloose. All the way home I held a grudge, But the safety belt, it wouldn’t budge. Cruisin’ and playin’ the radio, With no particular place to go.

    What’s Really For Our Common Good?

    It appears that the tribal notion of the common good serves as the moral justification of every social system and tyranny ever imposed; including our own. The degree to which your society brings you enslavement or freedom corresponds to the degree to which its tribal slogans are either invoked or ignored. It certainly appears to be a good time to cut loose and start over with something else.

    Uhmerrikuh is a collapsing vortex of long gone ideals, the more individual energy spent trying to slow the societal collapse, the worst off it becomes. The best available scenario is to find a place that doesn’t suck more than you can handle or else get outside its perimeter altogether. Either way, avoid the tempest at all costs and refuse to get sucked in and drowned by it all. There’s nothing good about this system whatsoever.

    • Thanks for posting the cool video. I am pretty sure I “need” a ’66 GOAT sitting in my driveway next to my Tran Am……just need to convince my wife of that “need”

  16. Page shows 92 comments currently…reading them all was worth the time.

    Let’s even go the distance to critically look at COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY charity.

    Here is the story we relate:

    In 1970, Warren Buffet went to Africa(or Buford, Wyoming…WHEREVER) and started providing EVERYTHING for the people at no charge to them WHATSOEVER…simply out of his own COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY charity. The people became known as Buffetians and the geographical area as Buffetville.

    Again, repeating for clarity, Buffet voluntarily provides everything…PRIVATE VOLUNTARY CHARITY…

    Now, forty years later the population of Buffetville has risen from 100 to 1000. Buffet gives them everything he has and dies penniless. Who is now responsible for these 1000? Did not his voluntary charity create 900 additional human-beings? How many of these 1000 will starve to death? Who is ultimately responsible for those who starve to death?

    The moral of the story is that EVEN honest-to-goodness good people MUST consider the consequences of their benevolency carefully.

    To wit, nobody…NO-OTHER-HUMAN-BEING…is obligated to surrender-to-them or provide-for-them.

    And what if the Buffetians all consider producing marketable goods and services for voluntary exchange as slavery?

    And what if they decide that looting other villages is easier than producing for themselves?

    And what if you were Buffet’s friend and you knew the Buffetians history and that Warren was personally responsible for their creation…

    And now Buffet’s creations are bent on raping and pillaging…looting and murder?

    And now you are tasked with repelling, destroying, and burying them…instead of being able to spend more time with your family?

    Perhaps Warren should have more fully considered the ramifications of his charity…

    One more for good measure…

    Title: Men, Mice, and Monkeys

    Men may, at their discretion, feed mice.
    Monkeys use gunpoint redistribution to take from men to feed mice.
    Mice reproduce equally well regardless of food origin.
    Sooner or later Men will be required to deal with both Mice and Monkeys.
    It’s all a matter of how many mice and monkeys you ultimately want to deal with.

    Who will the looters loot when looters are all that are left to loot?

    Regardless of when, where, or how…sooner or later things are going to get really, Really, REALLY, ugly.

    Good Luck to the Men, death to the mice and monkeys!

  17. Agreed. Every man has the right to defend himself and his rights. Peroid. It never ceases to boggle my mind that anyone still believes that welfare helps anyone. It just
    keeps poor people poor.

    • It also degrades everyone involved. The recipient becomes a parasite living by force off others. The “giver” becomes a slave – to whatever extent his person and property are now claimed to be the property of others.

      Charity freely given, on the other hand, is a wonderful thing for all involved. The recipient knows he has been helped by people who genuinely want to help him. This fosters gratefulness – as opposed to resentment and entitlement. The giver, meanwhile, has truly given – he has chosen to help someone (or some cause) he regards as worth helping. He has exercised his judgment and used his resources in a way he believes to be beneficial. This is satisfying, rather than sacrificial. It fosters dignity – as opposed to degradation.

  18. Bevin wrote:

    Dear liberranter,

    As a “non-European” thank you for th[e correction fo the definition of “victim” given by kman].

    Bevin: Don’t mention it. Heck, it’s the very least I can do. After all, the article you wrote for LRC six years ago entitled “The Myth of Checks and Balances” is probably the most concise and brilliant piece ever written on that subject, one that I still cite regularly when trying to educate clovers as to why the “American system” is such a complete failure and an obscene joke.

    You really deserve royalties for it! 🙂

    • Dear libberranter,

      Thanks for the generous praise.

      Deeply flattered that fellow champions of liberty consider it worthy of mention.

      Deeply gratified that it may make some modest contribution to our shared struggle against creeping tyranny.

      Re: royalties

      Too bad I no longer believe in copyrights and patents! LOL.

    • Sorry I didn’t read your article, but I think that there never will be checks and balances as long as lawyers occupy the primary positions in more than one branch of government. Their loyalties lie elsewhere and to each other.

  19. “Good” people allow me to live for free off their productive efforts…”Bad” people refuse me.

    Simple as that.

    You people are just mean. Sniff-Sniff.

  20. There are many people in this world that are basically evil, but are convinced that they are good. Then there are other people who are generally good or try to be good, but are often beset by guilt, self-doubt etc. If a person is convinced of their own goodness, it often means they are in denial or have not confronted their own dark side, which is in turn then free to run amok.

    My father was a classic example. He was basically an evil psychopath. But he was convinced that he was a good, righteous, Godly man, unfairly treated by others. Policies like drug prohibition are evil and destructive. And yet their supporters are convinced of the moral imperative of what they are doing, and believe that to do otherwise would be evil.

    It is really unfair that people who are basically evil morons can go through life without a shadow of doubt about their own goodness, while they get to make those who are generally good feel bad.

    • Nicely put!

      “It is really unfair that people who are basically evil morons can go through life without a shadow of doubt about their own goodness, while they get to make those who are generally good feel bad.”

      It’s the way our society is structured that allows this. Early checks and balances have been minimized, opening the gates wider for evil morons to increase and grow.

      Something as simple as single income families, or one parent that works part-time is gone. Most are too focused on making the bills for unnecessary and over the top shit they don’t need.

      I hate to oversimplify, but it’s in our programming these days. Most download, install, run, and take updates of the new operating system very well.

  21. Excellent column, Eric! If I may quibble, I think you have “former” and “latter” mixed up in this sentence:

    This good person will not feel bad about demanding that some be enslaved for the benefit of others – so long as the former are “deserving” (as defined by the good person) and the latter are “paying their fair share” (again, as defined by the good person).

  22. Eric,

    First off I hope you’re feeling really better from the salmonella.

    I don’t think it could have been said better than you said it:

    “The only thing that warrants such treatment of a fellow human being is maltreatment of another human being. The initiation of force. Absolutely nothing else.”

    I agree completely, well done.

    Take care and stay safe,


    • Thanks, Carl!

      I’m firing on all eight again – that plus some coffee resulted in “Good People,” which came to me while I was thinking about the looming debacle – the next presidential (s)election. We’ll hear lots of talk from both sides (of the same coin) about how they’re going to “help” people (some people) do this or get that (at the expense of other people, who aren’t mentioned).

      Neither will talk about supporting the ideas expressed in the country’s founding documents – about the rule of law, or live (and let live).

      We’re picking up speed, I think.

      On a lighter note: The Kawasaki S1 is fully operational after a year’s restoration efforts. It crackled and spat to life on Friday… look for the final installment of the series on the build-up. Should be up (with pictures and hopefully, video with sound) in a day or three….

      • I agree with you guys 99% of the time but I think society benefits from some limited socialism. Very limited.

        Where I come from – Australia – we have a system where we all pay a 1% Medicare tax. For that we have universal health care. It’s far from perfect, but it made me feel pretty good when I met a kid from a simple hard working family who told me he was getting a heart transplant.

        His family were worried about his health, but they didn’t have to worry about how to afford it.

        • Dear John,

          There are so many ways in which this issue can be approached that it’s hard to even know where to begin.

          Let me pick one at random.

          The “limited, very limited” angle.

          To draw an analogy, legalized coercion is has never been, is not now, and will never be “limited, very limited.”

          It is akin to being injected with a weaponized virus. You may have been injected with only a “limited, very limited” number of viruses.

          But once this “limited, very limited” number of viruses is in your body, do you really think it is going to remain “limited, very limited?”

          • The trouble with arguing by analogy is that it’s really tough to figure if the analogy is apt.

            Even if I argue that a healthy person can cope with a certain number of super toxic viruses, nothing is really settled or proven one way or another.

            I believe we should have way fewer laws and the concept of victimless crime is absurd.

            But as members of a complex society, we would be kidding ourselves if we thought we could achieve harmony with absolutely no taxes.

            Even though I never visit a doctor and look after my own health, I don’t object to 1% of my income going to a national medical insurance system that I am only one serious car accident away from benefiting from myself.

            I guess the only way to keep creeping socialism limited is vigilance and engaging people in debate.

            • Hi John,

              Your write:

              “I don’t object to 1% of my income going to a national medical insurance system that I am only one serious car accident away from benefiting from myself.”

              Well, ok – but now you’ve accepted the premise that it’s legitimate for the government to force you – and me and everyone else – to “contribute” to one program that you personally find worthy. So, given that, what argument will you use against the next program that someone else finds worthy? If 1 percent of your income is “not objectionable” – why not 5 percent? Ten?

              Do you see?

              Once the principle is accepted – you’ve lost any basis for preventing further encroachments because you have ceded the moral argument. Everything from that point on comes down to utilitarianism. A losing argument for you, if you believe in freedom. Because you have already given them the most powerful argument – the moral argument. That “society” or the “public” trumps your individual right to not have your property taken in order to further some collective “good.”

              The effective argument is:

              If you wish to set aside some money for health insurance (or whatever) then, by all means – it is your money. It is your life. But no other person has the moral right to force you to give him money for whatever reason. The only thing you owe other people is respect for their rights – to leave them alone as you wish to be left alone.

          • Dear John,

            You wrote:

            “I don’t object to 1% of my income going to a national medical insurance system that I am only one serious car accident away from benefiting from myself.”

            I don’t object you 1%, 10$ or even 100% of your income going into any scheme you approve of.

            You can do anything you want with your own money.

            I object only to MY income going into it.

            And if I object, which I do, and refuse to “participate,” what do you intend to do about it?

            Translation: what do you and others who agree with you intend to do to me?

            Be warned. Your answer will show, not tell, whether you really are “good people.”

          • Dear John,

            Assuming you’re not merely trolling, and really are unfamiliar with what is and is not libertarianism, you may wish to take the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz.”


            This will tell you what you really are politically, based not on someone else’s labels, but on your own professed beliefs.

          • These quizzes are like women posting what they want in an online dating site. The questions are essentially structured such that the answers are going to be pro-freedom because people are not going to say what they really want in public for the most part. They are going to say what they think is the socially acceptable thing.

            For instance let’s structure the same question two ways:

            “Do you favor taxes to prevent people from starving in the streets?”

            “Would you burglarize your neighbor’s home to help the poor?”

            I’ll bet the same people answer yes to first and no to the second.

          • Dear Brent,

            Re: the World’s Smallest Political Quiz

            Many casual acquaintances of mine have actually answered the quiz very truthfully.


            Because they actually believe brute force coercion is justified. In a “limited, very limited” context of course.

            They are not that different from John Haigh, who actually thinks he can be “part utilitarian” [sic] and “part libertarian.”

          • Dear John,

            You write:

            “As I said, I agree with 99% of what you say… ”

            Unfortunately merely saying doesn’t make it so.

            The ugly truth is that you actually DISAGREE with 99% of what libertarians say.

            Because 99% of what libertarians say is all about rejecting flat out precisely what you are saying.

            The proof of this in the fact that you continue to evade my question.

            The question, in case you forgot, is, “What will you and those who agree with you do to me if I do not agree to your 1% “contribution” to compulsory health insurance?

            Will you go to polls and vote for compulsory health insurance? Will you send men in costumes with guns to my house to put me in a cage if I refuse to pay up? If I resist with my own gun, will you have these men in costumes shoot me and kill me?

            Just exactly how are you 99% in agreement with my “everyone leaves everyone else alone” libertarian principles?

          • Sure there are true believers but I am not talking about them. I am talking about the civil rights left-statist or the free-market right statist. Write the quiz well enough and both will come out libertarians.

            Because both of them want a liberty-based public image. They always soften the aggression and promote the selective liberty of their agendas loudly. Then when in power harden the aggression and forget about the liberty.

            We aren’t going to see Obama promising to send police to bust down the doors of people who don’t submit to Obamacare. That’s for later.

            It’s like someone who posts to her dating profile how she wants a nice responsible caring man and then picks the shifty bad boy. It’s what can be said in public while the reality is very different.

          • Dear John,

            The question is not “Did you ever vote?”

            The question is “Do you think it is okay to rob Peter to pay Paul — as long as we all vote on it?”

            So what’s your answer?

          • Dear Brent,

            Re: the World’s Smallest Political Quiz

            The people I’m referring to weren’t True Believers. They were your standard run of the mill Demopublicans and Republicrats.

            They answered truthfully. They put themselves in the other than libertarian sectors of the quiz.

            What can I say? That’s been my experience. Your mileage may differ.

          • Dear John,

            I prefaced a previous response with the statement, “Assuming you are not a troller… ” or words to that effect.

            Trollers have gotten more “sophisticated” in their methods. Libertarians are fully aware of that.

            But libertarians don’t think in terms of winning pissing contests.

            Libertarians think in terms of putting the arguments for individual rights and political liberty out in cyberspace, os as to raise people’s political consciousness.

            Libertarians often have good reason to suspect that a writer is a troller. But they play along anyway.

            They do so because unlike statists, they know their ideas are enormously persuasive.

            They know that an exchange with a troller may educate the public even better than a dialogue with a sincere newbie.

        • “You think” … “society” benefits….

          What if I think otherwise? Why should your “think” become the basis for defending the use of violence against someone who has done you no harm, who merely wishes to live his life in peace?

          Who is “society” Is it you?

          There is no “society” in other than an abstract sense. There are only individual humans – in actual real life – and these individual humans each has the same right to live their individual lives free of coercion. To not be forced at gunpoint to “help” some people – people who claim to represent “society” but in fact only represent themselves and other individuals – individuals who live by force, not free association.

          • I guess I am part utilitarian, part libertarian.

            I can’t imagine any set of circumstances where I would inform on somebody for tax evasion.

            I have never called the cops on anybody in my life, though I could imagine doing so if I had 20 armed thugs trying to break down my door.

            You guys follow the logic of freedom where ever it leads. But do you think you have any chance of ever getting society to join you there? But I do want to thank you for putting your case and pulling the middle towards more individual freedom.

            I am prepared to trade off freedom for utilitarian benefit on a case by case basis.
            When Japan was invading Australia in 1941 I would have paid taxes and possibly even have joined the army rather than taking to the mountains in the hope of maintaining my individual liberty. Though I would never blame anybody who decided to just move to some place safer; if they could find one.

            Changing the topic: think about speed limits, if you are keeping up with traffic, it should not be possible to get a speeding ticket because the citizens as a group had judged that to be a safe speed.

            • Hi John,

              “I guess I am part utilitarian, part libertarian.”

              This is not unlike being just slightly pregnant.

              Either you’re opposed to drawing guns on your fellow human beings for any reason except self-defense – or you’re ok with using violence against people in order to further some utilitarian end. In which case, you’ve abandoned any moral defense against others using force against you, too. And once that door has been opened, well, we end where we are today – with everyone at everyone else’s throat, using the government to force their fellow men to do this or pay for that. The right to be left alone is thus vitiated – and open season declared. Everything is up for grabs – so long as the mob votes for it or it can be justified on the basis of some utilitarian greater good.

              “I am prepared to trade off freedom for utilitarian benefit on a case by case basis.”

              The issue here is simply this: You are free to trade your freedom – but not mine. Or anyone else’s.

              Groupthink is profoundly animalistic. Cattle “think” in terms of groups. Not men.

          • This is the lowest reply button I can find on this thread. I’m replying to Eric’s post two down.

            Eric you pulled the old slightly pregnant trope.

            Then you wrote, “Either you’re opposed to drawing guns on your fellow human beings for any reason except self-defense – or you’re ok with using violence against people in order to further some utilitarian end.” Why allow the out of self-defense?

            Then if we allow the out of self-defense what other exceptions can we find? What about defense of your family or friends? What about the defense of strangers? What about drawing a gun on somebody about to poison the well or set fire to your neighbor’s crops? Are they utilitarian ends?

            I don’t claim to be pure libertarian. In general people who claim to be pure anything tend to be cranks.

            As I said, I agree with 99% of what you say, and I think you say it well. But I’m not big on absolutism, though of course I do accept your right to as absolutist as you wish.

            I also accept your right to avoid any tax and disobey any law that does not directly involve causing suffering or real loss to other people.

          • Eric makes the key point. Once you accept that the government, or should I say those running the institution of government, can take from one and give to another, the argument from that point forward is a matter of degree.

            The moral argument, the argument of taking, is the same be it 1% or 100%. Once the taking is accepted, it’s degree from that point on.

            This is why every year, the receivers of the plunder want more and often get it. It is also why the system eventually collapses. On the radio this morning a guest to the WLS morning talk show stated that 52% of americans now get a government check. It didn’t say it was in excess of the taxes paid so it could include people getting an SS check but pay more than that in taxes on investment income or something. But it gives an idea of where we are at.

            We are progressing towards ever more takers.

          • Part libertarian is about as meaningful as part vegetarian. Libertarianism is based on the non-aggression principle. Either one supports aggression or they reject it. Sounds like you, John, support it.

          • I don’t get you guys.

            You argue that if I am not 100% for you, I am 100% against you. Sounds a bit like George Bush Jnr.

            I have never voted. I figure that would be signing the contract that gives the state some legitimacy to make rules that I should obey.

            I have never called the cops or given any info to the Tax office about anybody else.

            So how am I forcing you to do anything?

            I respect the punishments that agents of the law can mete out, but feel free to ignore any law that I can get away with.

            My only law is do unto others and don’t hurt people.

            But I still end up paying taxes. I feel much better about the 1% that goes to a comprehensive national health system than I do about the taxes that go to sustain the military and the police.

            If that makes me your enemy, it says a lot more about you than it says about me.

          • John Haigh-

            The point is that the welfare state and the warfare state go hand in hand, that’s all. You can’t advocate one and oppose the other; your argument provides justification for both.

            I sympathize with your aversion to the absolutism of libertarianism, because it puts me off also. It’s why I don’t consider myself one. Because they’re right, it’s not something you can partially be. I’m a minarchist, which is universally panned around here as a diet-statist. I disagree with people here about privatized courts and police officers. I don’t think it’s a better idea. I can’t get behind socialized medicine, but you and I likely agree on far more than we disagree. We all should focus on that more, I agree.

            Lot of smart folks around here who have poured a tremendous amount of time into researching these subjects. They don’t give up easily. That’s one of the things I like the most about this site. You have to state an ironclad case or be ready to hear the riot act. Makes us all better I think.

            Sounds like you have much the same outlook on these things as I do: “there’s the way we’d like the world to be, and there’s the way the world is.” All ideology is rigid. None have all the answers.

          • Dear That One Guy,

            It’s not that the “ideology is rigid.”

            it’s that the reality is rigid.

            Libertarians didn’t make the reality. Libertarians merely defer to it.

            One cannot have one’s cake and eat it too.

            One either rejects brute force coercion, or one doesn’t.

            The charge of “absolutism” against anyone who points this out has always struck me as comical.

            If there really are no absolutes, then the proposition “Libertarians (or Market Anarchists) are absolutists!” is also not an absolute, and anyone who insists that it is, is also an absolutist.

          • I never said there are no absolutes. To declare such would be absolutist. What I said is that libertarianism tends to be absolutist and brooks no dissent from the program. This is merely my opinion derived from a number of experiences here and on other sites. If you’re not pure-as-the-driven-snow you might as well be Marx.

            It’s not enough to point out all examples of coercive states around the world and say “we can do better.” I like to believe it’s possible. But what I’ve seen of human interaction doesn’t inspire confidence. What I’ve yet to see is how anarchists expect any theoretical anarchist society to be anything other than a transitory state of being, absent any tangible unifying characteristic. Adherence to the non-aggression axiom is not enough to unify a group of people. I still maintain that an anarchist society that is not also homogenous in some manner cannot survive. How do you maintain such a state of affairs without some manner of force?

            An anarchist society absolutely (there’s that word!) must be made up of like-minded people or won’t make it. Libertarians are a smart group of people that don’t often seem to consider the reality of how the Clover Mind can be expected to participate in such a society. These people are out there. They will want to join when they see how good the getting is, but will need to be excluded in order to keep things running. How can this be done without some manner of pre-emptive force?

            • Morning TOG!

              For purposes of discussion – as a matter of intellectual consistency – I will speak in terms of absolutes. For example, that there is no defensible moral exception to the non-aggression principle other than self-defense. But in terms of everyday-achievable stuff, I will take what I can get. In other words, I won’t refuse “more liberty” if it’s not “perfect liberty.” Better is better than worse, etc.

              But I think you’re right about the overall strategic picture: The weakness of Libertarianism in relation to human society as it exists is that most humans are not individualists and do not intellectually or emotionally share the Libertarian inclination. We are atomized – and arguably, aberrant. Most people are not like us. Libertarianism is not natural for most people. Most people naturally incline to some form of group association – and collectivism. I don’t like it, but there it is. The plain truth of it is all around us. Hence, I agree – we must (contradictorily) also consider the group – and such things as homogeneity – because they exist and because we therefore have no choice but to deal with them.

              The question of course is – how?

              Might be worth a column…

          • Dear John,

            You wrote:

            “If that makes me your enemy, it says a lot more about you than it says about me.”

            I scrolled up and down through the posts several times. just out of curiosity.

            I found the term “enemy” only once. In your post.

            You may want to rethink your observation about how “it says a lot more about you than it says about me.”

            Vegetarians are vegetarians not because carnivores unfairly pin a label on them. Vegetarians are vegetarians because they eat plants but not animals. They define themselves.

            Statists are statists not because libertarians unfairly pin a label on them. Statists are statists because they endorse state sovereignty and reject individual sovereignty. They define themselves.

            “We guys” are not doing anything to you. You are defining yourself.

            If you don’t agree with libertarianism, if you can’t bring yourself to endorse it unreservedly, why would you even want to claim the label “libertarian” anyway?

            Just be proud of being someone who approves of compulsory national health care.

          • Dear That One Guy,

            You’re grossly grossly misapprehending Free Market Anarchism!

            Order is essential. Coercion is not.

            The ways in which non-coercive non-governmental social and economic forces will create order are myriad.

            Don’t ask me to lay it all out. As you surely know, that very demand is a top down statist central planning demand.

            Libertarianism counts on market forces to subtly, spontaneously gel in ways that simply cannot be predicted.

            And… don’t forget, Free Market Anarchism has in fact worked in the past.

            We have empirical evidence that it is practicable. Not merely a priori logic.

          • TOG, there are a number of things that make me nervous about the complete system but I know for one thing, the government system is a monopoly and it doesn’t serve us except to serve us to others. (“It’s a cookbook!” 🙂 )

            Also, hunter gatherer structures for society long since past the limit of their scaling. If humanity is to survive and advance people have to be self governing. And by self, I mean individually. A society run by force is going to self destruct one way or another.

            Even if groups were broken up small enough for hunter-gather systems. The way people pull each other down will still stunt humanity if not do worse than that.

            I don’t know what the answer is, but the last couple thousand years tells us that it is not the state. Only when the state has stepped aside, doing the very minimum or nothing has humanity grown and advanced.

          • You know, the more I get told that I really just don’t get it, given a reading list, cop-outs like don’t ask me to lay it all out. As you surely know, that very demand is a top down statist central planning demand…

            That libertarianism isn’t a panacea for all problems and doesn’t claim to have all the answers…

            The more I hear these things instead of a concrete, point-blank explanation of where I’m going wrong in asserting that an anarchist society requires homogenity, the more I think no libertarian has an answer to this conundrum.

            Groups exist. They’re not simple creations of the state. And they often find themselves at odds. One of the most familiar on this site are Clovers versus the liberty-minded.

            How does an anarchist society fend off the neverending onslaught of the Clover Mentality? I’ve asked once before: if anarchy is zero, minarchy is one, and totalitarianism is ten, and even the most infinitesimal minarchy will eventually end up a totalitarian ten, just why do you folks see such an enormous barrier between zero and one? Why can’t zero become ten as well?

            I think it’s guaranteed to. And this is because it’s men that make government. It doesn’t make itself. And an anarchist society is made up of men, just like a minarchy and just like the most authoritarian state imaginable.

            How does the non-aggressive anarchy remain so without practicing some program of pre-emptive force to exclude the Clover Mentality from gaining power?

            • TOG,

              I agree.

              Until human nature changes – rather, until the nature of all humans changes – I think the very best we can aspire to is a temporary (and limited) reprieve from Clovers and their tool, the state.

              Here’s a thought experiment:

              A new society is founded by 500 people who believe deeply in the non-aggression principle. A society based on free exchange comes into being, one in which the only crime is violation of the non-aggression principle. It will last – at most – for about one generation. Some of the children of the 500 will be Clovers. They will want “change.” They will write and speak and protest. The original 500 will grow old and tired – and die off. The rising generation will replace them – including the Clovers among them. Government will come into existence. It will grow, as the Clovers multiply and their worldview begins to replace the worldview of the original 500.

              This is what happened to America. And to every other more or less liberty-minded human society that has ever existed. The idea survives as long as the vitality of the original cohort that espoused it. Once the original cohort fades away, so also the idea – to be replaced by a new idea.

              In time, this new idea (collectivism) destroys everything – makes nearly everyone miserable – and thus, liberty becomes popular once more.

              And the cycle repeats.

          • Bevin, you quite correctly point out that “If there really are no absolutes, then the proposition ‘Libertarians (or Market Anarchists) are absolutists’ is also not an absolute”. But there is a more fundamental point: the statement that “there are no absolutes” is itself a statement of an absolute, and therefore self contradictory. 😉

          • Bevin and BrentP-

            None of this is to say that I disagree with you guys on principle. I just can’t get past this and it’s a huge wall for me. I’m a bit of a misanthrope and maybe that alone is what keeps me from getting over this. Perhaps it’s more a crisis of a negative outlook. It’s just hard to be positive and have faith while regarding the passing scene…..

          • Dear Brent,

            Mainstream statists often accuse libertarians, particularly free market anarchists, of being utopians who have it all laid out.

            Nothing could be further from the truth.

            The only thing we have all laid out, if one can call it that, is that it is just flat out wrong to initiate force against another individual and physically coerce him to do something against his will.

            Everything else can be worked out.

            That is NOT a cop out. That is the very nature of freedom.

            If Clovers lock an individual in a cage, we know what he will be doing tomorrow. He will be sitting in the cage the Clovers locked him in.

            If libertarians free that individual from the cage. we have no idea what that individual will be doing tomorrow.

            Multiply that by 7 billion and the indeterminacy is even greater.

            But that is the nature and essence of freedom.

          • Dear Mike in Spotsy,

            I hear you.

            Stolen concepts. Ayn Rand.

            As I said, I may be in recovery from Objectivism.

            But I still remember the catechism!

          • Dear That One Guy,

            I was talking about what we know.

            If you want me to speculate, sure, I can do that too.

            Get rid of the Leviathan State with a wave of Harry Potter’s magic want tomorrow. What will the world look like?

            My educated guess?

            A wide variety of different societies will coalesce, based on a wide variety of social and economic, rather than political forces.

            Remember, this is a thought experiment. Politically based statism is magically rendered impossible.

            In the Middle East, Islam will replace the artificial lines drawn by the British to divide and conquer the Arab world.

            In Western Europe, regionalism will replace the politically imposed top down EU. A European Union rooted in shared Western European cultural heritage and economic interests will maintain cohesiveness, but it will be private sector cohesiveness, not the NWO.

            In North America, something similar to Western Europe. Probably the different regions of the former USSA will coalesce along cultural lines.

            In my own homeland, China, regionalism will marginalize the central government in Beijing. This is a relatively easy one. It’s happened before repeatedly in Chinese history.

            Remember, anarchy is NOT chaos. Anarchy is order. Government is chaos.

            Switzerland is very weakly unified at the central level. The real power is in the cantons. Yet Switzerland is the acme of order. No chaos there.

            Social and economic forces are powerful forces in the service of order. But they result in a different order than the political order been forced on us throughout human history.

            Therefore we may be nervous about it. We may wonder, “Will it be enough?” “Won’t it be impotent in the face of a resurgent Leviathan State? Wouldn’t a resurgent Leviathan State with a professional military be so much more disciplined? Wouldn’t its tanks roll right over rag tag free market anarchist militias who can’t agree about anything?”

            Good questions.

            I truly believe the answer to all of them is a resounding no.

          • Dear Bevan,
            OK nobody but me used the word “enemy.” But you wrote, “Will you go to polls and vote for compulsory health insurance? Will you send men in costumes with guns to my house to put me in a cage if I refuse to pay up? If I resist with my own gun, will you have these men in costumes shoot me and kill me?” With the implication that I would even consider doing such things. All of those actions would be the action of an enemy.

            I found most of the comments on my thoughts far from friendly. For example, “Either one supports aggression or they reject it. Sounds like you, John, support it.” wrote lberns1.

            Eric wrote, “Why should your “think” become the basis for defending the use of violence against someone who has done you no harm, who merely wishes to live his life in peace?” Where did I ever defend the use of violence to enforce taxation?

            Bevin wrote, “The question, in case you forgot, is, “What will you and those who agree with you do to me if I do not agree to your 1% “contribution” to compulsory health insurance?” My answer is very simple. I will not, and never have in any way, cooperated with the forced collection of taxes from anybody else. I pay some taxes from fear of punishment. If you can avoid them, congratulations and best wishes.

            OK, I accept that I don’t fit into your definitions of libertarian.

            What I don’t get is this: it seems objectionable to you that I prefer to see the government use the money they steal from me to run a national comprehensive health care program than to see them spend it on cops and armies.

            I don’t think that the government is 100% bad. I was pleased to see the kid from a poor hardworking family get a heart transplant. I do like driving on decent highways. Sure we coulda mighta been able to get these results without government theft (tax). But I am happy that at least some of what they steal is put to good use.

          • Dear John,

            I wrote:

            “Will you go to polls and vote for compulsory health insurance? Will you send men in costumes with guns to my house to put me in a cage if I refuse to pay up? If I resist with my own gun, will you have these men in costumes shoot me and kill me?”

            You wrote:

            “All of those actions would be the action of an enemy.”

            Yes they would be. That’s why I was hoping for an answer, if you were willing to give me one. Voluntarily of course.

            Do I need to point out that they all had question marks after them?

            Do I need to point out that I waited patiently for an answer?

            Do I need to point out that none was forthcoming, until you finally, belated wrote:

            “My answer is very simple. I will not, and never have in any way, cooperated with the forced collection of taxes from anybody else. I pay some taxes from fear of punishment. If you can avoid them, congratulations and best wishes.”

            John, my answer to you is equally simple:

            You are a libertarian when you say the above.

            You are NOT a libertarian when you say you approve of coerced taxation to underwrite compulsory health insurance.

            The problem is you say both. You contradict yourself.

            Bottom line? It’s up to you to decide which you want to be. You are your own master.

            It’s not up to us. We have no say in the matter.

            Remember, libertarians will leave you alone, to do your own thing, in your own time.

            The question is, will you leave them alone, to do their own thing, in their own time?

          • Dear Bevan,

            I think we’re cool.

            You wrote, “The question is, will you leave them alone, to do their own thing, in their own time?” My answer is an unequivocal, “Yes, always, of course.”

            Because I say I prefer to see governments spend tax money on health than on war, doesn’t mean I accept their right to steal taxes in the first place.

            It’s a bit like feeling slightly better if you are robbed by somebody to feed his hungry children than if you are robbed by somebody living the high life who spends it on doing coke in an exclusive night club.

          • Dear John,

            Happy to hear your clarification.

            I’m not sure it’s what I heard you say earlier. But I can honestly say I much prefer what I’m hearing you say now.

            I earnestly hope you will continue examining both the moral and practical arguments for liberty.

            They will show that leaving people alone and not forcing them to “do good” at the point of a gun leads to the best outcome in the long run.

            I hope that you will, of your own free will, conclude that it is better to be a bona fide libertarian and not make exceptions to the non-aggression axiom for “worthy causes.”

          • zero has become ten. Just look at what the US federal government did to the pre-existing populations of north america.

            I think we have enough proof that the state is not the answer. hundreds of millions of people dead. untold amounts of property destroyed. un-calculable loss of forward progress. All because of this institution called the state which empowers the absolute worst in humanity.

            The state is an obsolete institution and a proven failure. The clover mentality which supports this institution is largely a product of the state. It is the state and other institutions which promote the fear and division.

            No state is the unknown. Sadly it never gets tried except when a state takes everyone and everything with it or when inside and outside forces try to impose one.

          • John, you appear to take it as a given that the state will take X from us and has to do something with it. You also apparently take it as a given that only the state can do certain things.

            I don’t believe either of these initial assumptions to be true. The state doesn’t have to take from us, the state doesn’t have to make the roads. The state doesn’t make the sun come up in the morning.

            The state is an institution. Life will go on without it. Roads will be built. Kids will get organ transplants. Why? Because people by and large want these things. The state is but one way to get them, but the state comes with so much bad it is time to find another way.

          • John Haigh writes that he prefers our stolen (tax) money going to “healthcare” vs. warfare. On first blush that does sound preferable. But let’s dig a little deeper: gun-vernment run healthcare leads to higher prices, privacy violations, price controls, rationing and ultimately some unconcerned faceless bureaucrat deciding whether you live or die (much like many other gun-vernment functions). It also creates a class of people both dependent on “legal” drugs and on their fellow countrymen to foot the bill for them. When anything including “healthcare” becomes “free” (i.e. we have prepaid for it under duress), why then would anyone buy the same thing on the open market? Worse yet, the masses will flock to the “free” thing running up demand, creating a shortage and thereby raising prices. This puts that “free” service in a gun-vernment fostered death spiral leading to ever tighter price controls, rationing, shortages and finally collapse of the system. This is somehow “better” than the outright killing of people with military force? At least you can see plainly what is being done when overt imperialistic warfare is the order of the day. Killing people with healthcare and prescription drugs seems a far more insidious crime to me. It is silent warfare conducted under the auspices of looking out for our health and wellbeing. The victims become medical “statistics” lost in the white noise of AMA, CDC and WHO propaganda without so much as a little white marker in a national cemetery to remind us they were here.

        • Then there should be a private insurance that allows you to contribute 1% and be covered. You chose your risks and your protection.

          Likewise you should be able to chose seat belt or no seat belt, helmet or no helmet. But then you have to chose the no seat belt, no helmet coverage to not harm the insurance company.

          I can’t believe I found so many people who can think and converse so adequately without personal attacks. Have all the extremists gone to bed?

          • Hi Smokey,

            We want this board to be a place for intelligent discussion. Disagreement is fine – provided it’s backed up with facts, logic, etc.

            Good to have you with us!

          • Dear smokey,

            “I can’t believe I found so many people who can think and converse so adequately without personal attacks. Have all the extremists gone to bed?”

            Anarchists and borderline anarchists are supposed to be “extremists.”

            At least that’s what establishment hacks assure the public.

            But the irony is that we became anarchists precisely because we had the capacity to think independently.

            We became anarchists precisely because we were confident in our ability to defend our beliefs without resort to ad hominem attacks.

          • Best.

            Eric you’ve created a great site, and the readers have reciprocated by writing the most eloquent and thoughtful posts I’ve seen on any libertarian site.

            Disagreements abound, and frequently come around to peaceful clarifications and conclusions.

            It’s totally amazing and gives me some hope for the future.

            I can’t contribute more to this thread because the absolute core of libertarianism has been explained in 5 different ways. Adding a sixth would just be gratuitous.

            Thanks, to everyone!

          • Eric, (on June 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm)

            I was thinking of why some in gov’t would do thing. Money and control top my list and sure enough at about 6:40 the usual suspects appear.

            I am annoyed. They want to appear as “good guys” “protecting” the community standards and safety of people.

            Their tactics are similar to brown shirts in the 20s and 30s, but at least the brown shirts were more honest about their actions.

          • eric,
            wow, that is one of the truly horrible things going on that is so bad it actually desensitizes a person when they see it.
            That should be a six sigma outlier but really is becoming the norm.
            Is there any place on this Earth where property rights are truly respected?

            • I thought to so, too.

              Things are picking up speed. After November – regardless of the outcome – I expect things to really pick up speed. We don’t have four more years.

              Maybe not even two.

          • Dear Eric,

            “Get ready to get angry:”

            Okay. I’m angry.

            I used to be in architecture. One reason I finally gave up was the government regulation.

            You can’t do this. You can’t do that.

            One of my fantasies was to get a place in the desert and live just like these “desert rats.”

            Start by setting up a Airstream trailer. Then while living in it, slowly build a house similar to “phonehenge.”

            Now this.

            There is no hope. They’ve left us nothing. They’ve left us nowhere to go. We try to get away from them, to live our lives in peace.

            They seek us out. They hound us. They send men in costumes with guns to lock us in cages if we stand up for our right to live our own lives, unmolested.

            Get ready to get angry?

            I’m angry.

            Bury My Heart at Antelope Valley

          • Dear Willy P,

            “Is there any place on this Earth where property rights are truly respected?”

            By sheerest coincidence I happened to catch a documentary on the building of the “Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station” at the geographical south pole.

            The damned gunvermin are already dug in at the most remote spot on the planet.

            Antelope Valley?


          • Dear Eric,

            “Things are picking up speed.”

            I’ve been noticing that. I’m sure we all have.

            Most of us were probably making dire predictions about where the country was headed decades ago.

            I know I was. I was extrapolating based on the past record. Sort of like technical analysis of stock prices. You extend the curve.

            But strangely enough, party of me would secretly wonder, am I exaggerating? Is my model wrong?

            Now that it is not just happening, but picking up speed, part of me says, “I knew it! Dammit, I knew it! Was I right or was I right?”

            But another part of me says, “Holy Mackerel, I can’t believe it’s actually happening!”

  23. They get defensive because to admit any of your points means admitting they got conned.

    Looking into vaccines shows people in this field don’t really know what they are doing. Their knowledge is so little it is scary. Yet we aren’t to be allowed to make our own risk-benefit analysis with facts. Just emotional go along with the herd and conform BS.

    The fact that nobody has ever done an interaction study of all these vaccines in adults let alone small children should be a huge concern. The vaccine schedule has never been proven safe and effective.

    I’ve wandered out of the hassle free zone on this subject myself a number of times. Just stating what I did immediately above is usually enough. Making our own risk-benefit decisions will almost always do it.

    Vaccines are the emotional cross roads of children, safety, fear, and so on. Getting people to thing rationally on it is practically impossible.

    Further complicating matters is that people in the 3rd world often refuse vaccines. So they associate vaccine refusal with backwardness. The interesting twist is that people in the third world have good reason to refuse. The vaccines there have caused all sorts of harm. Harm we are always told was an ‘accident’ of manufacture or contamination. But they weren’t made in the third world, they were made by the same companies that make the vaccines used here and in other 1st world countries. So are they attacking third world populations using vaccines or is their manufacturing slip shod? Could be either. But even to bring this up is leaving the hassle free zone by miles.

    • Hassle free zones is a good term.

      Another interesting point is how they will constantly use the appeal to emotion line for anything they are pushing, but if you mention anecdotal evidence about your own history they are still free to completely dog people in the worst ways. Seriously hating on people who are going through a traumatic event and not even blink an eye.

      I try not to use the appeal to emotion line because I know it’s a logical fallacy. However, I fail to see that given the lack of studies how actual life experience should be discounted.

    • We were taught in medical school that vaccines are safe, effective, and completely necessary.

      It’s just taught as gospel, glossed over, next subject.

      None of that namby-pamby scientific method, double-blind studies, side effect profiles.

      It’s one of the many reasons I left medicine; because so much of what’s practiced is based on orthodoxy, and if you dare become a heretic, the church of medicine excommunicates you.

      There simply are no vaccine safety or effectiveness studies in the modern era. Moreover, there won’t be any–because the vaccine companies have insulated themselves from liability by law for unknown side effects. They’ve cozied up to the State. If your child experiences a seizure shortly after vaccination and stops talking for the next five years, the manufacturer is blameless and you’re left to sue a special government vaccine damages fund.

      The result? They don’t test for side effects.

      2/3 to 3/4 of the recent whooping cough and measles outbreaks occurred in fully vaccinated children. Moreover, vaccinated children suffer a wide variety of immune-linked illnesses–and they’re more vulnerable to other diseases to which they haven’t been vaccinated.

      Andrew Wakefield’s findings that MMR was associated with autism is well supported if you understand the subtle and powerful interplay between gut flora, membrane integrity, and brain function.

      Likewise, it turns out we’ve all been deceived when it comes to dietary fat; saturated fat in the right proportions is GOOD for you!

      • When I was told in a discussion about Wakfield being some sort of con-man preying upon parents of autistic children I went online and found out what he actually did.

        First I found all the reports of the punishments, his career being ruined, and so on. But they weren’t discussing how his research was wrong. There was no discussion of it. Nobody said squat about his findings. They were concentrating on insignificant details of subjects being compensated for their trouble and what not. It was smelling like a witch hunt.

        So further I dug online. In the end I found out what he had done. His study made a suggestion that taking the three vaccines of the MMR shot might be safer if done individually. That’s all. He didn’t attack vaccinations. All he did was suggest doing it a wee bit differently.

        The government/institutional reaction was to destroy his career and ban the individual vaccines that had been in use for decades so parents couldn’t choose them.

        That’s not science. That’s religion.

      • Anecdotally, at least, something seems to be going on.

        It seems that every other child has a potentially life-threatening allergy; the peanut allergy epidemic, for instance. When I was a kid I can’t recall even hearing about someone having an allergy to peanuts.

        Autism: Same thing. Almost unheard of when I was a kid in the ’70s … now it appears to be almost epidemic.

        Maybe it’s just reported more? Maybe it’s occurring more? But if so, why?

        • Eric, it’s actually occurring more. They (the “establishment”) have increased the level of mercury in the vaccines they force upon school children in the past four decades. Mercury is a primary cause of brain damage/lowering of the IQ.

          It’s no accident, nor “unintentional circumstances” either.

          • That’s my sense of it, also.

            I’ve read that the number (and frequency) of vaccines given kids today is more than double what was given to kids born in the ’60s….

        • Autism, the severe kind is way up. But also they are jacking up the numbers.

          Those of us who aren’t social herd animals are also getting declared to be autistic to some degree or another. It is becoming another tool in the idea that everyone who is different is defective and then must be subjected to drugging until they are like everyone else.

          Allergies could be immune system problems related to vaccines. However I think a bigger contributor is not letting kids play in the dirt and do all the things that got them used to the natural world. Sanitized childhood IMO is a big problem in a lot of ways.

    • Cognitive dissonance rears its ugly face quite often when you exit the “HFZ” and instead enter the Free Fire Zone of knee-jerk orthodoxy.

      • Sometimes I wonder why their heads don’t all explode or at least completely freeze up. How can they hold all those contradictory beliefs at the same time? I know from Psychology courses that it does cause emotional trauma, but seriously, how can they not simply shut down?

        I know we all have a ton of Ego defense mechanisms, but come on, eventually some fuze has to blow out.

        I wonder if that isn’t in fact what is happening? Part of their brains simply shuts down and ceases to function. They can still walk and talk and function to a degree, but other than that they are effectively brain dead. They have simply lost the ability to think for themselves.

        It could also be more like a breaker, too much doublethink and it gets tripped. But once in a while the breaker gets reset.

        “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums”

        • I’ve had conversations with these people and one defense mechanism pops up frequently – they just change the subject. Often, with a breezy segue such as “well, I don’t know about that – but it sure is hot today” – or something like that. Others just spout cliches – the catchphrases they’ve been taught to repeat (e.g., “taxes are the price we pay for civilization”). Others just refuse to draw the obvious conclusion – that when they advocate government “helping” someone it must first hurt someone else. They focus on the “help” – but disassociate when it comes to the hurt. This seems to me to be the most typical mindset. And I don’t get how they function, either – once the chain of events has been clearly pointed out to them and they no longer have the excuse that they never really thought it through.

          • “They focus on the “help” – but disassociate when it comes to the hurt. ”

            That’s because they seem to believe that if you were a “good person” it would not hurt! If you are a “good person” you will willingly give when the tax man comes, etc.

            Of course, if you dig a little, you find those who say this always take every tax deduction possible themselves. It’s always “the rich” or someone else who must make that contribution.

            Yes, the cognitive dissonance is truly astounding.

            • Indeed.

              One of the most personally frustrating aspects of redistributionist politics is that it takes away my right to decide who is deserving of my help. I froth with fury when I am standing in line at the supermarket waiting to pay for my stuff and see some SOB (often with kids) ahead of me paying for his steaks and candy and soda with my money. If the “helping” were up to me, this SOB might get some basic staples – for a brief period, so long as he was actively looking for work – and cut off the moment I suspected he wasn’t actively looking for work. Instead, these creatures insolently take our money, given to them by “helping” politicians and others who make a living disposing of the property of others.


  24. Repuslicans and Dumobrats are just tribal apes.
    Anyone who demands tribal loyalty in any form of groups/collectivisms are just un-evolved and violent monkeys.

  25. Today I have been debating people on Huffinpuff about vaccines. These people get so pissed off if you even suggest that you should be allowed to choose to not vaccinate your children. I have a 21 year old son who suffers from autism. Do I know vaccines are the cause? No of course not. However, as a parent I have to consider all possibilities and weigh my choices accordingly. However, this is repugnant to them.

    They get truly upset and downright pissy, insulting and ignorant (call me a conspiracy nut, etc). Especially when I point out that they can’t prove what is causing autism rates to skyrocket.

    I believe that they consider it blasphemous to challenge their God Science. Forget that they don’t understand the science and rely on others to do their thinking. (People who deny that climate change is caused by man are treated the same way) In a way they remind me of preachers who demand that your soul will burn in hell if you don’t bow down.

    It’s also the exact same for those who worship the state. If you question their god you are committing blasphemy.

    If they are so damn sure they are right, why do they get so defensive?

    • The herd mentality exists on Huff-n-Puff, Un-Free-Republic, mis-Wired, and a host of other sites. It’s no different than what I once heard someone say that people buy books not to learn something new so much as they want to reaffirm what they already believe. So, ergo, people run like lemmings to the group that “speaks” to their particular prejudices.

  26. When I think of good people I think of many of my friends that have the live and let live philosophy. All of them have the same idea’s, don’t mess with me and you will have no problems with me. Most of my friends are aged 40’s to 50’s. None of them vote that I know of, none of them have ever called the cops on anyone. All of them will help out in a pinch. A few are religious by birth, but none of them attend church. The rest are atheists, but don’t push that in your face anymore than the religious ones. None of them that I know of take welfare even though they have very different work ethics. Some are content to get by on next to nothing, others are workaholics. Most smoke pot, some just drink beer and some are non-users.

    So in other words what I consider good people are the people who take care of themselves and leave others alone to do the same, but who help others when they can and if they feel like it.

    • I completely agree that we should not infringe upon the rights of others. And I’m not insisting that we have to run around and “help” others. I do disagree with Bevin when he says “leaving people alone is plenty good enough.”

      Let me put it this way….You leave other people alone. And you make damn sure others leave you alone. And then you die.

      That’s not much of a life.

      You “do” get one brownie point for leaving others alone.

      But most of your report card comes back “Incomplete.”

      • I agree Mike; if the entire purpose of life was to do nothing else but leave others alone, it wouldn’t be much of a life. It’s important to contribute to society and a challenge to make the world better than it was when you found it.

        I do that by building things people need. Better ways to communicate in my case. I don’t insist they use my inventions, that takes all the reward out of it. I bring it to the marketplace and wait for people to buy it. If they do, I’m gratified, if not it’s back to the drawing boards. What really galls me is coming up with a solution to somebody’s problem that I can’t even show them because some three letter agency would throw me in a gulag for the rest of my life if I did. The folks who talk about 100 mpg carburators might be smoking the good stuff, but there really are a whole universe of good ideas that are suppressed by our regulatory system.

      • It’s a difficult question. For instance I have a friend who is very aloof. Basically non social except for the exception of a few people, fellow musicians. The guy is loaded, we are talking millions. He lives in a beat up trailer and drives hoopties. He loves beer and always has a full fridge, but if you don’t bring your own you are going thirsty. He had a girlfriend for a while and she even had to bring her own booze. (not kidding)

        However, his company is valuable simply because he is “good people”. He never messes with anyone, he is an amazing guitarist and his IQ is something else, Possibly scary high. He just can’t seem to bring himself to give. It seems with him that everything is weighted, if you help him out he does seem to feel the need to return the favor, but no more than that.

        Still, overall a great guy and definitely “good people”.

        • I kind of stumbled there Brad when you said he was a musician but he just can’t bring himself to give. Perhaps you’re overlooking the obvious?

          • He is a great guy, but he plays for himself. He does not play in my bands and will never play for the entertainment of others. Of course I enjoy playing with him and learning from him, but trust me he does not do it for me. He only consents to play with others if they have something to give back as well. It’s just the way he is, if you can’t teach him something back he will not waste his time. He is one of the most talented guitars I have ever played with and that is saying a lot. But he does not care to entertain anyone but himself.

          • Dear Brad, Scott,

            If I had to choose between a society consisting of people like Brad’s musician acquaintance and bleeding hearts eager to do good with OPM, I would not hesitate for one millisecond to choose the former.

            But of course, those are hardly the only choices.

        • Maybe “giving” isn’t actually a good thing?
          What if to a degree the people who receive charity are actually being harmed?

          • If I saw someone struggling with a big ladder, I would offer to help. If they took the front and went to their work spot, I would feel I did good helping. If they drop their end and say, “Put it over there.” I’d drop my end too. I would not be helping. With vs for.

            I used to say, “You want me to chew your food for you too?” But now I know that some even want to do that.

            I can not lift weights and make you stronger. I can not learn for you. I can not pay for your retirement, or healthcare, or education without loss. I can only show you the doors in life to go through, but I can not go through them for you.

      • Dear Mike,

        I agree with Brad when he write:

        “So in other words what I consider good people are the people who take care of themselves and leave others alone to do the same, but who help others when they can and if they feel like it.”

        The reason I take such a hard line on “leaving others alone is plenty good” is that historically saying that it isn’t enough as led inexorably to “We’re all in this together. No man is an island. Share and share alike. You owe society a debt. Your wealth was not your exclusive achievement… yadda yadda yadda … down the Road to Serfdom.”

        As my friends know, I go well out of my way to do things for others, expecting absolutely nothing in return, except maybe vague, far off karmic payback. Nothing you could put in writing.

        Beware the thin edge of the wedge of altruism/collectivism. Before you know it, it’s a knife edge at your throat.

        • “society” always wants more.

          We don’t have to look very far to see why so many people spend everything almost as soon as they get it. Why they live on credit. To retain wealth is to be a target for everyone else in “society”. What you don’t consume yourself becomes something that others demand you “share”.

          Collective societies end up poor because there’s no reason to build capital. It will just be stolen because there is always someone else in society who needs it.

          We would be far better off with people who simply leave others alone instead of people who want to do good for the people who have not by threatening people who have.

          • Dear BrentP,

            Exactly right.

            In “Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism
            and the Division of Labor,” Murray Rothbard wrote:

            “Allan Holmberg found that the Siriono Indian of Bolivia eats alone at night because, if he eats by day, a crowd gathers around him to stare in envious hatred. The result among the Siriono is that, in reaction to this pervasive pressure, no one will voluntarily share food with anybody.”

            Exhortations to go beyond merely leaving each other alone for the sake of something “more transcendent,” such as “community” have historically led to less than salutary results.

            I’m not saying it has to be that way. Theoretically I know it doesn’t. But as a matter of history, it always has.

            By the way, the article is posted at
            and is well worth reading.

            I read it in pamphlet form many years ago and never forgot it.

            • Consider friendship – the genuine article. Or, family.

              We do things for our friends (and they for us) freely and cheerfully because we want to. Because we like the other person(s) involved and know (or believe) they’d do the same for us.

              We also give the benefit of the proverbial doubt to randoms strangers – as when helping someone change a tire, say – again, because we want to.

              But when we’re forced to – when we’re told we owe someone (or some group) something, then we get resentful. Then anger displaces comity.

              And then, true community is impossible.

              Force except in self-defense ruins everything.

          • Dear Eric,

            Exactly right.

            Even we libertarians occasionally fail to realize how frequently the initiation of force contaminates everything it touches.

            I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to take the old saw “Money is the root of all evil,” or “The love of money is the root of all evil,” as the case may be, and change it to “Force is the root of all evil.”

          • Eric,
            The public schools around here, and I am sure most other places, force high students to perform a certain number of hours of community service in order to graduate.
            One a great way to teach kids to be “good people”…force them to serve others….
            One of about 258 reasons that I home school.

        • Excellent. Same as I do and I believe.

          You are not helping when someone’s hand is in your pocket, their face is in your face, or they have a gun to your head.

          We no longer teach respect, appreciation, or gratitude. We no longer teach independence. We do not teach principles or virtues. We teach collectivism. Our greatest threat is the statist, now the progressive.

          The motive behind the greatest amount of crime is false sympathy.

          Governments should have no connection to charity, except to report on each private organization’s effectiveness.

          I believe soon this will be self correcting. Too bad so much is lost in the reset, but each generation cycle relearns what is not learned from history. To prevent this requires always standing your ground until the lesson is learned.

          Tough love.

        • Is not the problem then that bad people are motivated to control, while good people are not?

          Vote for the most reluctant, like George Washington. Those who seek the nomination should not get it.

          So how do we fix that?

          • “Is not the problem then that bad people are motivated to control, while good people are not?”

            This is a good way to state the problem from another perspective. The urge to control is arguably the root of “bad people.” It takes a moral blind spot to go through life believing you have the right to control others – “for their own good” or otherwise.

      • Dear Mike,

        You can’t be unaware of how easy it is for the Clovers to subtly twist your words to justify “Therefore we must all do more for each other than just leave each other alone.”

        Meaning of course, therefore we must all be COMPELLED to do more for each other than just leave each other alone.

        A non-Clover would never deliberately misinterpret what you said to justify coercive egalitarianism.

        But on the other hand, most non-Clovers are not crotchety old hermits who do nothing beyond leave others alone.

        Clovers have twisted the meaning of “promote the General Welfare” to mean coerced social welfare programs.

        Clovers have twisted the meaning of “a well-regulated militia” to mean the National Guard, when in fact it meant “well-disciplined militia” in 18th century English.

        The danger that they would twist the meaning of “leaving others alone is not enough” is far, far greater. And the repercussions are far, far more serious.

        • Much of the twisting is done to deceive. Perhaps the worst example is the Commerce Clause (Claws).

          Such twisting to deceive is intrinsically criminal.

          • One of the most-used tools in the demagogue’s kit bag is the manipulation of language. Changing the plain meaning of a word to its opposite. Imputing moral legitimacy to the loathsome by stifling any debate before it can even be voiced. Examples: “Progressive” politics; or legislation called things like “Patriot Act.”

            Plain, concise, honest language is the demagogue’s enemy – because to call what they advocate by its true name is the first essential act in countermanding what they advocate.

          • Dear Eric,

            “Plain, concise, honest language is the demagogue’s enemy.”

            Yes! The importance of this cannot be underestimated.

            Years ago, I used to try to write in a more “erudite” style. I would use the highest level abstraction I could summon up when championing individual rights and political liberty.

            Then I began to realize that when I used higher level abstractions than necessary, I was unwittingly setting up the ball so the Clovers could spike it.

            So I switched tactics. I began using the lowest level abstractions, the most concrete, specific, down to earth terms I could possibly think of.

            I did not go so far as to use cracker barrel terms like “Aw shucks.” But you get my meaning.

        • “Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ” – Orwell

            • Mencken wasn’t on a leash; he wrote what he thought. He was an honest man – intellectually speaking. As such, he was a powerful advocate for liberty. He was a “cynic” only in that he saw the truth – saw what was happening to America – and said so,openly.

          • Bevin, I’ve been accused of being too “cynical”. Someone akin to Mencken. Actually that’s something of a compliment to me. The ability to see “shit” for what it is and not pretend it’s shinola.

  27. Very well put Eric.

    Your writing reminds me alot of the late Harry Browne. That’s the highest compliment I can give.

  28. Tinsley Grey Sammons said:

    I rarely us the Constitution. My arguments are mostly philosophical and therefore rooted in the Principles underpinning the Unanimous Declaration. The Declaration is Organic and cannot by amended.

    I’ve often wondered why, if the principles underpinning the Unanimous Declaration that supposedly serve as the basis of the Constitution were so strong and self-evident in and of themselves, the founders didn’t simply adopt them, unadorned, as the founding legal document of the new nation.

    Of course that’s a rhetorical question. Reading Gary North’s Conspiracy in Philadelphia, among other similar documents, puts the question to rest. The founders never had any intention of limiting government or promoting freedom over the long term. TO have codified the the principles of Natural Law would have restrained the power all of them craved and that their successors today are determined to keep at all costs.

    • The Unanimous Declaration says what it says. Whatever moral shortcoming any of the contributors might have had is of no consequence.

      • True, Tinsley, but what does it matter? What so many people fail to recognize is that all their bleating for a long dead and dusty corpse to be brought out of it’s casket with enough hootin’ and hollerin’, voodoo gyrations, about this or that, is a false hope. They expect to resurrect a long dead sense of civil virtue and “shazam” these same people will magically pay attention to this moribund piece of parchment. They won’t! It’s like begging for a return to buggy whips and suspenders.

        • I have to agree, MoT –

          The document is – was – merely an expression of a culture, long gone. It is obvious that a working majority – perhaps a large majority – of Americans are fervent socialists or fascists (or some other variety of authoritarian) but very much not believers in the sovereign individual and its corollary, liberty.

          Things will not change for the better until the percentage of people int he country who believe as we believe grows from the current 3-5 percent or so (maybe) to at least a working majority of 50 percent. I frankly don’t expect such a thing to occur until most of the Baby Boomers die off – for openers. Maybe a lot of my own Gen X generation, too. The future – freedom – will be secured by the currently very young, who will inherit the proverbial bag and thus, will be more interested in “change you can believe in.”

          • Dear Eric,

            Hey, don’t wish all the Baby Boomers an early grave!

            I’m an early Boomer myself. I hope to be around a little longer, fighting the good fight.

            But you are right about change. With few scant exceptions, nobody ever changes. Nobody experiences Pauline, Road to Damascus conversions.

            They merely die off and younger people with new ideas replace them. A la Thomas Kuhn’s “Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”

            How’s that for a “cynical” Menckenesque observation?

          • “I frankly don’t expect such a thing to occur until most of the Baby Boomers die off – for openers. Maybe a lot of my own Gen X generation, too. The future – freedom – will be secured by the currently very young, who will inherit the proverbial bag and thus, will be more interested in “change you can believe in.””

            I’m taking Stefan Molyneux and Larken Rose’s Suggestion of raising little anarchists. My children already understand that the government is nothing more than a thieving gang of thugs, and is therefore a massive fraud being perpetrated on a willing majority of the population who are blind to the chains that bind them.

            A favorite quote of mine (not sure where it originated from):

            “Statism is a disease. The more you reveal the chains that enslave the statist, the more they explain how they need those chains to survive.”

            A couple of podcasts you might be interested in:

            Freedom Feens:

            Bad Quaker:

    • Good point. I’m about two-thirds of the way through “Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788” by Pauline Maier. The Constitution is quite a departure from the Declaration of Independence. I’m finding myself quite disappointed with some of our most prominent founders (e.g., George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson). I think the difference in the documents has to do directly with the different circumstances in which each was written. The DOI was written when the outcome was unclear and all those seeking independence were “in this boat together.” Then it was easy to speak about natural rights for all humans–if they didn’t, the people who carried the muskets into the fields against the British would’ve stayed home. By 1787, plenty of the landed aristocracy (although they didn’t want to be called such) were interested in maintaining themselves and their progeny as the enlightened, educated, wise, and benificent natural leaders of the rest.

  29. “Good people do not have victims”. What an eloquent and concise observation Mr. Peters. You continue to amaze me with your abilities. Keep up the good work, you’re “good people” in my book.


    “And what is well and what is badly – need we ask Lysias, or any other poet or orator, who ever wrote or will write either a political or any other work, in metre or out of metre, poet or prose writer, to teach us this?”

    — Plato, “The Phaedrus”

    • Or perhaps the more contemporary:

      “And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good — Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?”

      – Robert M. Pirsig, “Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

  30. You are defining “good” people in a negative way, based simply on what they do “not” do. That’s fine for a libertarian columnist.

    I would simply note that for many of us, there is a spiritual (not necessarily religious,) dimension to being a good person. That doesn’t conflict with your definition….is in fact, in alignment with it. But it also goes far beyond.

    • Beyond what?

      I have one next-door neighbor with whom I cooperate financially and labor wise on mutually beneficial projects and another who simply minds his own business and does not interfere with mine. I value them both.


    • Hi Mike,

      I don’t disagree – on the spiritual aspect. It’s a wonderful thing to be of assistance to others (as an example) so long as it’s done volitionally and freely. Personal example: I plow our neighbor’s long driveway in the winter, because they’re our friends (and also because they’re older and this kind of thing is hard on them). I do it cheerfully – just as they help us/do things for us when they can in return.

      What destroys such mutualism – goodwill among men – is being compelled to “help.” To be told you owe someone monetary or other assistance – etc.

      That turns normal human bonds of affection into strains of contempt.

    • Dear Mike Pizzo,

      Genuine human rights are by nature “negative rights.”

      I would be very leery of attempting to define either human rights or human virtue (good people) in a more expansive manner.

      The risk of inching out onto a slippery slope of “positive virtues” and “positive rights” is much too great.

      Coercive egalitarians have always maintained that “freedom under capitalism is the freedom to starve.”

      We do not want to let them demagogue that old saw again.

      • “The risk of inching out onto a slippery slope of “positive virtues” and “positive rights” is much too great.”

        Nowhere is there a greater example of refusing to go “inching out onto a slipper slope” than the Founding Documents which count heavily on a healthy Conscience.

        Interestingly both those in favor of a Bill of Rights and those against it in my opinion were right in their assessments. What neither Madison nor Hamilton foresaw was an America ruled by career office holders and a corrupt judiciary.

        • Dear Tinsley,


          That is why, sad to say, “constitutionalism” cannot protect a society’s human rights.

          That is why I went from being a constitutional republican to a market anarchist.

          • I rarely us the Constitution. My arguments are mostly philosophical and therefore rooted in the Principles underpinning the Unanimous Declaration. The Declaration is Organic and cannot by amended.

            The juris doctors and career office holders have befouled the Constitution. Hopefully the Unanimous Declaration will someday be instrumental in giving them what they deserve. I recommend a generous dose of Nuremberg Precedent.

      • Eric, No disagreement here.

        Bevin, I agree with your perspective on “human rights.” But the title of Eric’s post is “Good People.” Just saying that there is more to being a “good person.,” and to life, than a “don’t tread on me” mindset.

    • Dear Mike Pizzo,

      Allow me to make another often neglected point.

      Coercive egalitarians have long demeaned “merely leaving other people alone” as “not enough.”

      Too often defenders of individual rights have allowed them get away with this subtle moral reproach.

      We must not. We must never allow leaving other people alone to be dismissed as “merely.”

      Leaving other people alone is something no civilization on earth has yet to achieve.

      A civilization in which people actually left other people alone would be a major milestone in human evolution. It would be akin to the anthropoid apes in “2001, A Space Odyssey” being transformed into bona fide human beings by the Black Monolith.

      The fact that the coercive egalitarians themselves cannot meet this “not enough” requirement is the best evidence of that.

      No, leaving other people alone is plenty good enough!

      • “merely leaving other people alone” as “not enough.”

        Right. We also have to leave them a loan. Make that a “contribution.” Oh, hell, whatever we earn and then some.

      • AMEN! I will make no effort to stop any Individual who wishes to contribute his own property to charity.

      • I met someone who would fit the description you give of an egalitarian. He’d actually been a parliamentarian for a country I will for now leave unnamed.

        While striking up a conversation, and within that framework, I asked why is it that he and those like him felt the need to “take” from someone to right the wrongs they imagine needed fixing and why not instead leave people alone.

        To this he said to me, “Well, it’s (libertarianism) never successfully been done before so that’s why”. Exactly, I thought. Its never been done before but all the failed socialist and fascist theft, murder, and mayhem has been done over and over again all the while those supporting it never call THAT a failure only they feel it “hadn’t been done right”.

        Now THAT is what I call the definition of insanity and one that statist robots constantly fall back on. All with a straight face no less.

    • Mike Pizzo, I would counter that one who is spiritually good will also be good in what he does and does not do unto others. Remember, you shall know them by their fruits–what they do, how they treat others. Remember also the point the apostle James made, which I’ll paraphrase a bit: those who are spiritually good will necessarily be good in their works and deeds. One who thinks of himself as spiritually good yet ignores the teachings on how to treat others is, in fact, not spiritually good.

    • “Good,” as it relates to human behavior can ONLY be properly defined negatively. Any action a person can take is either “evil” or “not evil.” Any action is “evil” that involves the initiation of coercive force. Within the realm of “not evil,” “good” is merely a matter of opinion and cannot be objectively defined.

      Only the violent authoritarian (redundant?) can, in his own imagination anyhow, define “good” positively, because only the authoritarian seeks to coerce human action.


    “Good people do not have victims.” –Eric Peters

    And that is how I will write it whenever I use it. I will use it often.

    Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

    • Yes, I think that’s a quote for the ages.

      Of course the “good people” who DO leave victims probably are too sociopathically narcissistic to believe that they don’t leave any victims, only “improved” or “satisfied” people.

      • We need to define this “victim” word for purposes of the conversation. I’m sure the illegals and anchor babie, not to mention the nattering hordes of non european gimmegrants that I would gladly ship back to their third world shitholes would consider themselves “victims”
        I may or may not be a “good” person.

        • No, actually, for purposes of this conversation, your definition doesn’t work at all. A victim in this case is anyone –and I do mean anyone, regardless of their nationality, citizenship, or ethnic origin– who finds themselves on the receiving end of an unearned act of coercion or violence from someone else to whom they’ve done nothing to earn it. Nothing more, nothing less. Whether they’re “illegals,” “anchor babies,” or “non-European” has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Liberty and the sanctity of person and property are natural rights of all human beings, regardless of their origin.

          • Dear liberranter,

            As a “non-European” thank you for that.

            Hans Hermann-Hoppe unpacked the confusion surrounding “illegal immigration” quite well:

            The current situation in the United States and in Western Europe has nothing whatsoever to do with “free” immigration. It is forced integration, plain and simple, and forced integration is the predictable outcome of democratic – one-man-one-vote – rule. Abolishing forced integration requires a de-democratization of society, and ultimately the abolition of democracy. More specifically, the authority to admit or exclude should be stripped from the hands of the central government and re-assigned to the states, provinces, cities, towns, villages, residential districts, and ultimately to private property owners and their voluntary associations.

          • Dear liberranter,

            Notice how force, in the form of forced integration, is again the root of evil?

            It’s amazing how simple the world actually is when we earnestly seek clarity and understanding.

            It’s amazing what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive!

        • Really? And what if I were to tell you that these “gimmegrants” as you call them were fleeing the economic disasters created by their own governments; governments that could not possibly be in power were it not for the interference of your government.
          And they would not be getting welfare were it not for the additional interference of your government.
          So in essence the gimmegrants are both victims of your government, and recipients of its largess at the same time. This is a situation that most Americans find themselves in. On the one hand they are victimized by their government, but on the other hand they receive goodies from the government, at someone else’s expense. This is why I agree with Swamprat: Throw team Red and team Blue both into the woods (then hand out a lot of hunting permits with no bag limit).

          • You will always have victims whenever you see people as groups and not as individuals. For both the reds and the blues, this is the problem. We have no right to reward one person because we can put them in a group, or punish another person for the same reason. We should know that this is done so that the powers that be everywhere can divide us and rob us all.

        • You’re not. Victim is a simple term, it requires no convoluted parsing-you are simply trying to rationalize your hatred and advocacy of violence.

          By the way, your disgusting attitude not only imposes force directly upon immigrants, but upon naturally born “Americans” as well. Since your attempting to remove people from “your” country, you are advocating that the government decide, by force, who I can associate with, do business with, or allow into my home.

          How dare you!

    • “First do no harm” So my doctor didn’t cure me, but did me no harm. Is he a good doctor? My mechanic can’t fix my car, but he didn’t break it. Is he a good mechanic?

      If Good is a horizontal line and bad is below and good is above, not making vicitms is only on the line. “First do no harm” is not “Only do no harm.” There must be a positive good or we have done nothing to help each other. A good sports player is not a one-man-team.

      I say there are good people and nice people. Nice people want everyone to like them. They do whatever it takes to be liked. Right or wrong is a lesser consideration. They may even go around the world apologizing for their country.

      Good people do the right thing, whether you like it or not. You can depend upon good people, but they are often grumpy.

      • If your doctor did his best and didn’t leave you with the impression that no-body could fix you when in fact somebody could then yes he is still a good person. Same for the mechanic.

        Tennis, golf, boxing etc.

        Our government officials should go around and apologize, they have done enough evil that it needs to be said. It might even help mend some fences. The problem is that they are not really sorry at least very few of them and they can’t really speak for anyone but themselves anyway.

        • I would describe the doctor and mechanic as “not bad” or on the line. Good would fix it, or find out who can. I would rather have the good doctor.

          I like this. In Spanish, “mal” is bad. And not bad is “no mal”. I try to be normal, except when I can do good.

          • You are judging his charachter by his one action towards you. In that one instance he did nothing to harm you and actually tried to help. Same for both of them. You can bet dollars to donuts that neither of them will stay in business long if they can’t perform their jobs.

            Are you suggesting that there are doctors and mechanichs who stay in business who can fix nothing? If so then I would agree they are bad people. Because at that time they are committing fraud. If you take their money for a service you know you can’t provide you are creating a victim.

            You see it’s all about intent isn’t it? You are claiming that charachter is based on ability rather than intentions. So according to you a man who works his entire life for next to nothing attempting to find a cure for cancer is simply not bad or blah ok whatever. I would suggest that he could very well be “good people” and that his success or failure makes no difference in regard to his charachter.

  32. I remember when I used to visit my father’s house and my little brother (who still lives there at 26) would tell me about his friends I questioned saying “He’s good people.” Then I’d see the “he’s good people” in the news papers up on felony charges.

    • There are too many people to count that are felons and good people both. I consider myself a part of that group. I wouldn’t steal, hurt, lie, etc. So why am I a felon, therefore not a good person in your book? I have lupus. One thing that gives me more relief from it than anything is marijuana. Think about this. In Texas and every other state I know, you can’t grow a pot plant without having a felonious amount. What had I done before doing that? Before being robbed of my farm and my money, I did everything I could for my friends and complete strangers when I deemed they needed help or were asked for help. So where’s the victim? My wife is my victim and I think about that every day. I would and probably will, give my life for her. Where are my other victims?

      • Politically I fall somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. But what you – or anyone else – does with or about drugs is none of my business. Do I think you are nuts? Yes. But all of us have the right to be nuts, provided we don’t “hurt” anyone else. If I came to power it would be a far different nation. Should that happen, both sides of the political spectrum would scream bloody murder. That would force the freeloaders to peck with the rest of us chickens.

        • Excuse me, where do you get off calling this person nuts? Taking a drug to relieve pain is nuts? Are you so indoctrinated by middle school/junior high school health class that you will just mindlessly demonize people seeking relief for a painful disease?

      • In some of cases (mentioned above) drugs were involved, but not the act of doing them. I personally don’t care who does what to themselves. Drug deals and people running in and out of the house at all hours, then wondering if/when the SWAT or DEA is going to show up at the house is a completely different thing. Haven’t been to dad’s house in five years now. My brother has racked up quiet a record since then, so have his friends. They all rotate in and out of big boy university.

      • You are right. Sometimes life is not fair.Our government is crazy with all it’s drug laws.Republicans are worse than Democrats in this regard.In fact they are worse than Democrats in every regard.

        Dr. GKB

      • “There are too many people to count that are felons and good people both.”

        You are only too right! And part of the problem is that the number of “crimes” that have been elevated to the level of felonies is staggering. A felony was at one time reserved only for the most violent and serious of offenses, as it should be. Nowadays there are myriad “crimes”, often with no “victim” (such as drug possesion, etc.), that are felonies. This should not be taken lightly, as being convicted of a felony carries with it the forfeiture of things such as one’s Second Amendment rights, among others. A felony SHOULD bear heavy penalties, but a crime that is considered a felony SHOULD be a heinous crime and in this day it is too often something that should have remained as a misdemeanor, without the legal, societal, and personal ramifications that accompany a felony conviction.

          • The only problem with your view point is that either way the poor and helpless still need our help… how would you propose to help them when mankind so often chooses the darwinian course of only ensuring that they themselves survive and compete against everyone else to ensure they do, often at the detriment of others?

          • Kenneth,
            In the USA the Federal Government takes roughly 20 percent from the people. The state takes roughly 5. Local governments take roughly 2. The US government uses the lions share of that money to fund a global empire and drop bombs on poor brown skinned peoples’ heads. All of that concentrated power hasn’t done a damn thing to change the plight of the poor. That money is used to serve our masters’ interests. And that interest is global power.
            On a different note… Malcolm X believed blacks should look to build their own societies outside of the mainstream US. He wanted to copy the success of Koreans, Chinese, Japanese in America. Keep and build their money and power within their own communities. He didn’t buy into the MLK I have a dream…racial integration nonsense. He thought that it would lead to the best and brightest working for white America and living nice middle class lives while the rest would be left behind in the slums and inner cities. Forced to beg for a sustenance living from the white man. Half a century later whose vision do you see being the reality? Handouts just don’t work. They breed dependency and a sense of helplessness.

          • to Kenneth:


            By actually helping them out. Find poor people and see if you can do something. Band together with others to help the poor. Hell, I bet you could do it with only the money you waste on political contributions

          • Hi Goldhoarder, Partly right. Handouts and bailouts never work. It is only good money after bad. But the government budget is far off from what you said. 60% goes to these handouts, which is 100% + of our taxes. The other 40% makes up all government operations: the entire dept of Defense including wars, education, roads, Ag, parks – the whole thing. If we would cut out the transfers, our economy and jobs would explode by at least 10%. Imagine paying people to work instead of paying them not to. And we would have a surplus instead of debt.

        • There is unrest in the forest,
          There is trouble with the trees,
          For the maples want more sunlight
          And the oaks ignore their pleas.

          Since there is unrest in the forest, I figure that is a better place for teams D&R. 😉

          • @ GoldHoarder

            that 20% paid to .gov, strictly goes to pay the “Federal” Reserve bank ..Interest on the FRN’s “borrowed ”

            The mryiad of other Taxes finances the Actions of .Gov…Exise Tax, Corp. Tax, etc.

          • -Much Love for Geddy, Neil, & Alex from Toronto. I just now listened to it, thanks.

            Here’s another great one that really captures how our business and philanthropic technical endeavours are a vital part of our natural habitat.

            Sadly we still live in the tragic “La Villa Strangiato,” a musician designated place, from which sprang “The Spirit of Radio”

            Begin the day with a friendly voice, A companion unobtrusive Plays that song that’s so elusive And the magic music makes your morning mood.

            Off on your way, hit the open road, There is magic at your fingers For the Spirit ever lingers, Undemanding contact in your happy solitude. Invisible airwaves crackle with life Bright antenna bristle with the energy Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

            All this machinery making modern music Can still be open-hearted. Not so coldly charted, it’s really just a question Of your honesty, yeah, your honesty.

            One likes to believe in the freedom of music, But glittering prizes and endless compromises Shatter the illusion of integrity.

            For the words of the prophets were written on the studio wall, Concert hall And echoes with the sounds of salesmen. Of salesmen. Of salesmen.
            ***end singing***

            -It is fully technically feasible for the AM radio spectrum to have just as many “channels” as does the IP Spectrum of the internet.

            The radio salesman may arguably lessened the sanctity of radio as Geddy tells us, but these pale in comparison to the real radio killers; the government goons who only allow a sparce million dollar a frequency ghost town where a vast millenial world radio village could be erected and then inhabited by us all.

          • Tor,

            I am glad you enjoyed the song. Rush is one of my favorite bands.

            One of the joys have having presets on the radio is to minimize the words of the prophet when music/talk is desired. 😉

          • After 30 + years of research, I believe that all revenue collected by IRS as unlawful Federal Income Taxes goes to the Fed Rsv. It is their commission for using the fiat fed rsv notes aka the US Dollar. Go to (Common Law 1 – 1st choice about Canada).


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