So slavery is the solution…?

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This guy wins the award for worst human being of the past week. How do the clovers and flakes not see his idea for what it is, national slavery?

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    • Dear Tor,

      I keep telling my acquaintances in the political mainstream that so-called “limited government” is a dangerous thing.

      It is predicated upon a fundamental moral defect. It purports to establish order, but does so by committing an intolerable moral outrage from the outset.

      It violates the Non-Aggression Axiom. This violation lays the groundwork for a system rooted in physical coercion against the non-aggressive individual “for the greater good.”

      Democracies and even constitutional republics, sad to say, eventually carry this principle to its logical conclusion.

      The long term concrete consequences of this morally defective idea? Thugs dressed in costumes carrying badges and guns brutalize unarmed women who were merely engaged in free trade on the open marketplace.

      Her “crime” was a victimless crime. In other words, it was not a crime at all.

      • The State has guns, and men to use them. Yet if fails to control an enterprising minority of black marketeers or other counter-economists. Even more so, it will fail to control a rebellious majority.

        The State must be defeated in each person’s mind. Once you personally reject its hold over you, you are as free as your intellegence, as your willingness to take risks, and as your allies can keep you.

        It is in today’s hard money Russia, or grey market China, that one finds some of the staunchest Capitalists anywhere. You would be hard pressed to find any capable man there who gives even an ounce of credence to the UN, to China’s five year plan, or to Putin’s Russian Orthodox Church Fascism.

        • Dear Tor,

          “The State must be defeated in each person’s mind.”


          Like others here, I’ve wrestled with the root cause of statism for years, nay decades. Just what precisely made it possible?

          The answer of course is what you just mentioned. Too many individuals have bought into the Myth of the State. Too many individuals perceive “The Government” as something real and senior to the individual.

          The fact is, “The Government” is a virtual reality construct, sustained from moment to moment in the minds of billions of mainstream sheeple, who reify it by believing in it. Stop believing it, and it vanishes, instantly. Something akin to this happened with the Warsaw Pact in the early 90s.

          Every individual must see through the Myth of the State, inside his or her own head. He or she must take the red pill.

          The only reality there is, is the planet and six billion human beings. not one of which has the right to physically coerce anyone else into doing or not doing anything, for any reason.

          Forming a gang with other individuals and calling it “The Government” most assuredly does not confer upon one the right to physically coerce others.

          Only when a critical mass of individuals is clear enough in their own heads, and resolute enough in their own hearts, to affirm this simple truth, will mankind finally experience genuine freedom.

          • Hi Bevin. It’s so good to see you again.

            You are so correct in saying, “Too many individuals have bought into the Myth of the State. Too many individuals perceive ‘The Government’ as something real and senior to the individual.” That is what Rand called the Sanction of the Victim. It was one of her greatest insights. It was the very thought that led me to reject the false premises that I had previously accepted and pointed me in the direction of the journey that has brought me to be a confirmed anarcho-capitalist.

          • Dear Mike,

            Good to talk to you!

            I dove into other also worthwhile but non-political activities.

            So true. Funny though how you, I, and many others eventually took Rand’s admonition to “Check your premises” to its logical conclusion and wound up as free market anarchists/voluntaryists.

            Rand herself never managed to overcome that final mental hurdle separating minarchism from anarchism, even though it was staring her in the face.

            I recently received a message from the producers of “Atlas Shrugged.” It included a quote pertaining to Galt’s Gulch:

            “We are not a state here, not a society of any kind – we’re just a voluntary association of men held together by nothing but every man’s self-interest. They say that it’s hard for men to agree. You’d be surprised how easy it is – when both parties hold as their moral absolute that neither exists for the sake of the other and that reason is their only means of trade.”
            – Midas Mulligan

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds awfully like free market anarchism to me!

            I guess Rand was like Moses, destined to lead others to the Promised Land, but to be denied entry herself.

          • Great tete-a-tete between you guys, Mike and Bevin!

            I’d forgotten Ayn Rand’s finer points, especially “check your premises” and “sanction of the victim”.

            And Bevin–very poetic, the analogy of Rand to Moses! Indeed, how fascinating that she didn’t see it.

            And what a devastating flaw…because just look at today’s Ayn Rand institute–breathlessly promoting war in the Middle East!

            Philosophy is such a non-linear system. The smallest mistake in initial conditions–Rand’s slight minarchism–and in just a few decades compounding errors lead to an explosion of wrongness.

            When all this is said and done, when we’ve had our 1776…REMEMBER THE ZAP! Because if we forget the Zero Aggression Principle, we’ll be right back where we started in a century.

            In fact it seems that the freer the beginning, the more horribly tyrannical the ending.

          • Dear methylamine,

            Thanks! It’s truly a joy to share these insights with individuals who actually “get it.”

            One becomes so accustomed to talking to brick walls, that when someone actually agree and offers a well-reasoned justification for agreement, it comes as a shock!

            You are so right about the irony. Someone else mentioned that earlier. Can’t remember who. He said the thing that irked him to no end was how America’s initial freedom paradoxically generated the very wealth that makes today’s Amerika/USSA police state/global hegemon so damned oppressive.

            You’re right. The tiniest defect in an otherwise magnificent system paradoxically makes it even more destructive in the long run.

            How very sad that is.

          • What excellent points, Bevin and Methyl. You are both so awesome that I feel humble to be in the company of your intellects.

            I have long thought that Rand’s inability to follow her premises to their logical conclusion was based on psychological factors. She came of age in a collectivist society and, despite her best efforts, never managed to completely exorcise its demons from her thinking.

            Despite her shortcomings, Rand did point millions of people in the right direction…if only they would think for themselves. Unfortunately, the ARI and other Randian groups seem to discourage independent thought.

            • I read a great deal of Rand during my college years. In my opinion, she went off-track when she insisted on a dogmatic – almost religious – adherence to her notions of “Aristotelian identity” when it came to people’s personal decisions (and lives). That everyone had to conform to a “rational” way of living. But that is a code for robots, not human beings. Is it “rational” to pour time and money into an old Kawasaki two-stroke motorcycle? It’s objectively inferior to a modern bike. Rand would have condemned me for this – as she condemned her followers for liking music she didn’t think was “rational” or which manifested an “anti-life” view (as she defined it). Crazy stuff!

              As far as I can recall, she never identified the NAP – the foundation of everything as far as a truly moral (and human) society is concerned.

          • Dear Mike,

            Thanks for the generous compliments.

            Truth be told, I’ve never considered myself a great intellect.

            I think the reason I am able to detect logical fallacies is ingenuousness rather than ingeniousness.

            in·gen·u·ous ( n-j n y – s). adj. 1. Lacking in cunning, guile, or worldliness; artless. 2. Openly straightforward or frank; candid.

            I tend to take declarations of idealism literally. I tend to assume people mean what they say, and say what they mean.

            As a result, when they contradict themselves, I tend to catch it rather quickly.

            It’s the “Emperor’s New Clothes” phenomenon.

            I just hope that I will live to see free market anarchism, i.e., genuine liberty, germinate and take root before I die.

  1. @The Foreigner – Whoa dude. You paint some pretty broad brush strokes even with your particulates. You mix the collective with the individual in an attempt to make some logic, which is illogical.

    You talk about China as if it’s a single entity (collective), not the sum of the individuals which is incorrect.

    And how about you go ask some Japanese families how they liked the Japanese govt and the U.S. govt using taxation to pay for their respective militarys. The Japanese tax funded military started the war in the Pacific and the U.S. tax funded military ended it, horribly. I’m sure the Japanese people were fans of both.

    • Dear Don,

      Well said indeed.

      Classic “Fallacy of the Ambiguous Collective” syndrome.

      As one online source puts it:

      The use of a collective term without any meaningful delimitation of the elements it subsumes. “We” “you” “they” and “the people” are the most widely used examples. This fallacy is especially devastating in the realm of political discussion, where its use renders impossible the task of discriminating among distinctly different groups of people.

      On this charge, The Foreigner is a chronic and habitual offender.

      For example, he talked about how “Taiwan” has the right to buy weapons from US arms dealers.

      Who the [email protected]#$ is “Taiwan?” Does it include the tens of thousands of individual Taiwanese who have taken to the streets repeatedly over the years to oppose arms purchases by the government on Taiwan?

      This issue was thrashed out at length on this forum a while back in connection with the term “We.”

  2. Bevin Chu was an columnist. Most likely, Pravda mirrored his column without payment or permission. Even if Bevin gave permission, got paid, so what?

    The Foreigners’ neocon stalking threads make no sense. I welcome some posts of substance about why we should build a huge American military base there. It would make more sense than Rammstein does, a warmonger could argue. We could also open Alaska and Hawaii to Taiwan’s citizens.

    If we’re going to play “Risk” let’s at least play to win instead of subsidizing a technology transfer for a few Militarty Industrial fat cats Gibs Muhs presents

    • Dear Tor,

      Quite correct.

      I penned my articles for three sources. One: Two: My own blog, The China Desk. Three:

      Other sources, including Pravda, have reposted my articles. Usually without asking me first. But I don’t object. Why should I? The whole point of writing them was to have them read.

      Besides, as free market anarchist Roderick Long has pointed out, copyrights and patents are illegitimate infringements on natural rights and individual liberty. Royalties are called “royalties” for a reason. A very bad reason.

      Re: national defense vs. global hegemony

      Back during the Cold War, it was easy for neo-con warhawks to hide among Old Right and libertarian champions of national defense. The Soviet Union and international Communism were a real threat.

      But the end of the Cold War pulled the sheep’s clothing off the wolf’s back. With the collapse of the Warsaw Pact government, our “leaders” knew they had to promise us a “peace dividend.”

      We never got it of course. But it made the dramatic distinction between the two camps abundantly clear.

  3. @Eric – the govt using our money to profit is something I don’t think many people understand. Most believe that the govt uses tax dollars for them to build roads or deliver the mail or whatever. I’m sure most do not understand that the govt uses tax money to pay defense contractors to build things that the govt then sells.

    My father being retired military and going on the Air Force Base with him regularly I see the base exchange store where they offer military reduced prices on food, clothing, furniture, cars etc… So in this case they are using our tax money for retail sales as well.

    • Yup –

      And “conservatives” who favor a “robust defense” are just as guilty of coercive collectivism as the “liberals” they denounce. But they’re too dumb to appreciate this. That they have accepted the same premise – and so have no basis for objecting when the coercive collectivism is directed at something they happen to not approve of.

      “Welfare queens!” screech Tea Party people… But don’t touch my Social Security! And support the troops!

  4. @Methylamine. I’ve been learning more about “syphilis”(treponema pallidum) thanks for the suggesting the topic. We all have a cousin of this organism in us, just like we all had chicken pox(herpes zoster)

    Turns out our mouths have “syphilis'” cousin in our mouths, treponema denticola.

    The state scientists say it is a criminal spirochete, causing tooth, root, and gum tissue destruction. Their verdict is of course there must be a war on tooth decay, for it is an evil pestilent insect terrorist as is everything outside the state.

    Also, I realize I’m far outside the conversational orbits here, like some kind of KBO (kuiper belt object), but thats where and how I like to roll sometimes.

    I also prefer to limit my public asset profile for now, which leaves out cars and bikes.

    I am also on lockdown from further prepping, on orders of my DEO (domestic executive officer).

    I greatly your comments and all of the back and forth that goes on here.

    It is greatly enlightening to research all the topics I see discussed vicariously.

  5. The solution isn’t slavery. It’s very simple, similar to the method for successfully…

    Giving A Cat A Pill In 16 Easy Steps

    1. Sit on the sofa. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your elbow as though you were going to give a bottle to a baby. Talk softly to it. With your right hand, position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. Be patient. When you have opened the cats mouth, place the pill inside. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow. Drop pill into mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.

    2. Pick the pill up off the floor and go get the cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat the above process, this time while sitting on the floor in kitchen. Wrap your arm around cat as before, drop pill in mouth. Let go of cat, noticing the direction it runs.

    3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away. Go find the cat and bring it back into the kitchen. Take a new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten. Drop pill into mouth.

    4. Pry claws from back legs out of your arm. Go get the cat, pick up half-dissolved pill from floor and drop it into garbage can and try again.

    5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of closet. Call spouse from backyard. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into its mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.

    6. Retrieve cat from curtain rod, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set them to one side for gluing later.

    7. Get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

    8. Check label to make sure pill is not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

    9. Retrieve cat from your neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force cat’s mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.

    10. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check your health records for the date of your last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

    11. Call fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take another pill from foil wrap.

    12. Tie cat’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, force cat’s mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by a large piece of filet steak. Hold head vertically and pour one cup of water down throat to wash pill down.

    13. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order a new table.

    14. Get last pill from bottle. Go into bathroom and get a fluffy towel. Stay in the bathroom with the cat, and close the door.
    Sit on bathroom floor, wrap towel around the cat, leaving only his head exposed. Cradle cat in the crook of your arm, and pick up pill off of counter.

    15. Retrieve cat from top of shower door. Make mental note that cats are able to jump 5 feet straight up in the air for future reference. Wrap towel around cat a little tighter, making sure its paws can’t come out this time. With fingers at either side of its jaw, pry it open and pop the pill into mouth. Quickly close the cat’s mouth. Sit on floor with cat in your lap, stroking it under the chin and talking gently to it for at least a half hour, while the pill dissolves. Unwrap towel, open bathroom door. Wash off scratches in warm soapy water, comb your hair, and go find something to occupy your time for the next 7 hours.

    16. Arrange for animal control to retrieve cat and call your local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters available.

  6. Dear Bevin, He is very good and I liked the article. (yes I have read most of his stuff on LRC)

    “to live the centered life; to live with integrity; without contradiction between your ideas and your actions”. (Leonard Read)

    I think this is possibly the most important aspect of all. This is why when people say that libertarians live in fantasy land I just laugh. I don’t have to live in your land. I can live in my own and ask you to join me.

    As for Ron Paul. He has helped bring the message of liberty to so many people and I’m sure he has changed their lives for the better. I do worry that in a way he was used. By that I mean that he gave the hopeless hope and that kept some of us off of their backs. However, I think they actually miscalculated. They let him sow the seed. So who used who?

    I often think of the term inspirational. The Latin root is a bit confused. However, it generally means to “breath into”. Sometimes it’s used to say “god” breathed into us an idea. I don’t believe Ron Paul is “God” but I do know he has been inspirational to many. Once again, who used who?

    We have all seen the signs stating “Ron cured my apathy”. Mine was cured years before and I’m betting so was yours. I do however believe he has worked wonders on the new generation.

    • Dear Brad,

      I was pretty sure you did.

      I agree. As the great Mahatma Gandhi put it,”We must become the change we want to see.”

      Or as the not as great, but still dead on Reverend Ike put it,”The best thing you can do for the poor is not to be one of them,” and by extension “The best thing you can do for the sheeple is not to be one of them.”

      The more of us who take the red pill, the more of us who stop believing the Big Lie of “democracy,” the fewer “batteries” the Matrix will have to extract energy from, and the stronger the revolution will become.

      We must never underestimate the significance of our own individual transformation.

      Re: when I took the red pill.

      I was always on the verge of taking it. I was a Classical Liberal in college. I read the British Classical Liberals and the French Physiocrats and ate what they had to say up.

      Later after graduating, I read Ayn Rand, learned about small “l” and large “L” libertarianism, and Ron Paul.

      More recently, I read about Iceland and real world instances of free market anarchism working, and I broke from Ayn Rand’s Objectivist minarchism to free market anarchism.

      I’ve been deeply encouraged also by the fact that even Murray Rothbard credited the Chinese with inventing anarchism. China has historically risen and fell cyclically. Each dynasty has begun free, then undergone the same course that the USSA has.

      But I believe that although the pendulum does swing both ways, the pendulum is also sitting on a raft carried by the currents of history toward greater freedom.

      • Bevin writes:

        “As the great Mahatma Gandhi put it,”We must become the change we want to see.”

        And as the great Buckaroo Banzai said, “No matter where you go, there you are.”

        In the article you mention, Schaffer says “Even the case for superintending regulatory systems is now understood to be little more than a cover for industry-desired cartelism.” I’ve noticed this trend too, even in some of the more die hard (and successful) members of the establishment. Granted they’re outliers, but it’s gratifying. Still they have concerns. One was articulated along these lines; we have agreed upon rules about driving on one side of the road or the other, what does it matter if these rules are made by DOT? We need them or we’ll run into each other, or; there’s a reason westbound aircraft fly at odd altitudes and eastbound even; it reduces the chance of collision. Without international agreements and the FAA flying would be a more exciting proposition.

        There are some purely practical reasons to organize on a large scale and these reasons will tend to pull society towards what we now call “government” and “regulation”. Shaffer proposes we can say “I don’t know” in answer to these questions and implies a rich diversity of independent solutions is a good thing, however I find the argument impractical in some cases and I doubt I’m alone or that my sense of that situation stems from ignorance. There are points of contact necessitating co-operation by large groups and they inevitably draw us towards organization– government by any other name.

        This is why I think the balance between order and chaos is inevitable and dynamic; total anarchy is just as unobtainable and dysfunctional as total order. Perhaps, rather than honoring the Chinese for inventing anarchism, we should pay more attention to their invention of taoism.

        • Dear Scott,

          Here I think a critical distinction must be made, otherwise we could really be heading toward disaster.

          Perhaps the greatest obstacle to the acceptance of market anarchism is the fear that total chaos will ensue.

          The reason for that fear is centuries, nay millennia, of every culture on earth falsely equating order with government.

          Even market anarchists still harbor that terror deep within their hearts, and guts.

          It’s symbolized by Cypher’s desire to reconnect himself to the Matrix.

          I’m not about to prove that anarchy=order and government=chaos in a single message board post. That’s not possible. It’s too big a task. It’s going to take time and space. Lots of time and lots of space.

          I’m merely going to suggest that we consider the possibility that the most disastrous mistake we who are seeking genuine freedom could possibly make would be to backslide into statism because we suddenly got cold feet and thought that “Hold on, hold on, maybe anarchism could lead to total chaos and total disaster.”

          I want to suggest here, not prove, but merely suggest, that THE EXACT OPPOSITE will happen.

          We will have the most orderly, smoothly running society humanity has ever known. Virtually everything will run like clockwork.

          The allegedly efficiency of the AutoBahn and Mussolini’s trains running on time will pale in comparison.

          Just think about it. Think about how the creative forces unleashed by the lifting of statism could, cancel that, WILL make what I suggest come true.

          • Dear Bevin –

            I gave it a shot, wrote several drafts, then had to concede this is a subject too large for a blog post.

            I hope you’ll appreciate that what you wrote made me think even though I may not be able to articulate the thought. Perhaps someday soon I will be able to return the favor.

          • Dear Scott,


            It’s hardly necessary to attempt to sort it all out in a hurry.

            After all, this is an issue that has bedeviled mankind since the beginning of recorded history.

            You and I aren’t going to solve it overnight.

            I wasn’t challenging you to work out either a rebuttal or a solution. I was merely suggesting that we need not and ought not leap to the conclusion that “On second thought, anarchism won’t work, can’t work, and we’re going to have to go back to the same old, same old.”

            I don’t believe it, and am totally convinced that far more thought needs to be invested in thinking about how it could work.

            After all, we’ve given statism several thousand years of time to work itself out.

            We only gave Iceland 300 years. From what we know, it worked pretty well.

            That’s all I’m asserting for the time being. I intend to work on it myself.

        • Hi Scott,

          The sort of organization you describe is probably both inevitable – and even necessary. My main issue – the issue I think probably most liberty-minded people have – is not with that sort of thing but rather with things such as direct (income) and property taxes, victimless crime laws, laws abrogating free association, wealth transfers (individual as well as “corporate”), evisceration of free speech, the right to be left in peace unless one has done something to positively suggest a crime (one involving a victim) has been committed – etc.

          I – and probably most people here – would be ecstatic if a constitutionally limited government could be restored. If we – as peaceful people – could simply go about our lives – work at our chosen professions without being micromanaged, keep the fruits of our own labors, own our land (really own it), raise our families, pursue happiness – without being hassled, regulated and taxed to death at every turn.

          Perfect? Of course not? Likely to become “big government” inevitably because of the contradiction of granting government even the slightest legitimacy? Probably.

          But vastly preferably to the police state we suffer today.

          And perhaps, if we could somehow restore minarchism, the next step would be that much closer.

          In any event, I don’t think it serves our cause – the defense of liberty – to argue among ourselves over the absolute ideal (no government at all) vs. the pretty damn good (a government that leaves us alone for the most part and occupies itself almost entirely with keeping the peace internally).

          • Hey Eric –

            I have to confess I’m an engineer at heart and I also spent a lot of time designing systems, some were pretty complicated. I’m drawn towards the practical side of things and I need to be able to answer criticisms when I say things like “we don’t need government or rules”. I understand self organizing systems, in fact I’m a long time student of John J. Hopfield’s work and I can prove, given the right initial conditions, simple autonomous systems can evolve complex behaviors like intelligence. I’ve done it so I know it’s true.

            But the thing is, simple systems evolve towards organization, which is why we call them self organizing. In my opinion what we have now is a system that’s been frozen into a spin glass and needs to be re-heated, then annealed properly before it will be functionally ordered. It’s an analogy from thermodynamics I think works to describe the behavior of a suddenly “crashed” and bankrupt economy.

            I agree with you completely on the subject of taxes, property and micromanagement. Micromanagement is probably my biggest beef. It’s one thing to have to pay property taxes and quite another to have the people collecting them tell you what you can and can’t do with the property they’re taxing you on. Both piss me off but the later absolutely infuriates me.

            Can there be a be a completely free society? I don’t know but it’s clear to me that there can be one “freer” than what we have right now. If the Taoists are right, the pendulum has swung a bit too far in the direction of “order” and “control”; if nature takes its expected course a correction is on the horizon and it’s probably going to happen whether we like it or not.

            • For me the issue is not organization per se. It is whether the organization is based on mutual consent – or force.

              Organization is essential to life. Nothing would get done otherwise – I think that much is obvious. Going a step further, organization can be – is – objectively beneficial, as in the examples you mentioned. And more, do not (at least not necessarily) involve the violation of anyone’s human rights.

              For instance, having courts of law to deal with civil disputes – and criminal prosecutions. Probably such things will always be necessary so long as human nature is as it is. And it is arguably a great benefit to all peaceful people to have in place a system for the maintenance of peaceful order.

              None of these kinds of things are the problem.

              The type of organization we (well, which I) decry is the control-freak authoritarian sort of organization that cannot abide leaving individuals free to organize and govern their own lives; which is suffused with unctuous moralizing about private matters that are properly speaking none of its concern. Which criminalizes might rather than actually did. Which makes responsibility corporate rather than individual. Which, in sum, simply will not leave people alone – even when those people are not causing anyone any harm, have incurred no personal obligation to anyone else – and owe no one else anything, properly speaking, other than goodwill and respect for their rights as human beings.

          • @ Eric: “For me the issue is not organization per se. It is whether the organization is based on mutual consent – or force.”

            Bingo! Government is necessary, in the sense that people must govern their affairs in a world with other people in it. Despite the current confusion of thought (reinforced by generations of indoctrination), government does not equal “the state”. The state is force, pure and simple, and inevitably grows more and more powerful. In the absence of the state, people find ways to govern their lives through peaceful agreements.

            Thanks to Albert Jay Nock for pointing out the distinction between government and the state in “Our Enemy, the State”. Thanks also to Murray Rothbard for explaining in beautiful detail how mutual cooperation would work if we didn’t have the state, in his brilliant “For a New Liberty”.

          • Dear Eric, et al,

            I second that.

            Even though I don’t believe minarchism is sustainable, I would happily settle for Ron Paul minarchism over what we have right now, and certainly over what is coming down the pike.

            Re: Individualist Anarchism and social order, consider once again what Murray Rothbard had to say:

            Two centuries later, Lao Tzu’s great follower Chuang Tzu (369—c.286 BC) built on the master’s ideas of laissez-faire to push them to their logical conclusion: individualist anarchism. Chuang Tzu, who wrote in allegorical parables, was the first anarchist in the history of human thought. Chuang Tzu’s fame spread far and wide throughout China.

            Chuang Tzu reiterated and embellished Lao Tzu’s devotion to laissez-faire and opposition to state rule: “There has been such a thing as letting mankind alone; there has never been such a thing as governing mankind [with success].” Chuang Tzu was also the first to work out the idea of “spontaneous order,” independently discovered by Proudhon in the nineteenth century, and developed by F.A. von Hayek of the Austrian School in the twentieth. Thus, Chuang Tzu: “Good order results spontaneously when things are let alone.”

            Chuang Tzu concluded, the world “does simply not need governing; in fact it should not be governed.”


            To clarify, there is no contradiction between what Zhuangzi/Chuang Tzu said and what Albert Jay Nock said.

            Any apparent confusion is merely the result of difference in how such terms as “government” and “the state” are defined.

          • @Bevin–

            The Chinese invention of libertarianism is fascinating to me.

            Would you be so kind as to spare me hours of fruitless Googling on misspelled Chinese names, and perhaps share some links and/or books so I can delve further?

          • Dear methylamine,

            I’m an architect, not a historian. Therefore I’m not an expert on Chinese history. I’ve merely done a bit of reading on the subject, and connected some of the dots.

            There are a several fascinating articles at on the topic however. That’s certainly a good starting point.

            The Ancient Chinese Libertarian Tradition
            Mises Daily: Monday, December 05, 2005 by Murray N. Rothbard

            Traditional China and Anarchism
            Mises Daily: Monday, April 19, 2010 by Murray Rubinstein

            It all began, as usual, with the Greeks
            Mises Daily: Saturday, February 11, 2006 by Murray N. Rothbard
            1.10 Taoism in Ancient China

            Leanings toward anarchism in early Confucianism (PDF format) by philosopher Roderick Long.

            I myself penned an angry rebuttal to “champions of democracy” who have adopted a “more civilized that thou” attitude toward China and the Chinese in an article entitled:

            Chinese Liberalism vs. Western Authoritarianism
            Bevin Chu
            September 7, 2007

            Hope that helps.

            It’s a huge topic. Much work remains to be done.

            • Morning Bevin!

              I have no idea – I just approved it. It’s some weirdness with the spam settings. Dom is looking into it. We have to deal with a massive volume of “new users” who are trying to spread the Good News! about Viagra! Buy Now!

          • Dear methylamine,

            I’m an architect, not a historian. Therefore I’m not an expert on Chinese history. I’ve merely done a bit of reading on the subject, and connected some of the dots.

            There are a several fascinating articles at on the topic however. That’s certainly a good starting point.

            The Ancient Chinese Libertarian Tradition
            Mises Daily: Monday, December 05, 2005 by Murray N. Rothbard

            Traditional China and Anarchism
            Mises Daily: Monday, April 19, 2010 by Murray Rubinstein

            It all began, as usual, with the Greeks
            Mises Daily: Saturday, February 11, 2006 by Murray N. Rothbard
            1.10 Taoism in Ancient China

            Leanings toward anarchism in early Confucianism (PDF format) by philosopher Roderick Long.

            I myself penned an angry rebuttal to “champions of democracy” who have adopted a “more civilized that thou” attitude toward China and the Chinese in an article entitled:

            Chinese Liberalism vs. Western Authoritarianism
            Bevin Chu
            September 7, 2007

            Hope that helps.

            It’s a huge topic. Much work remains to be done.

          • Dear Eric,

            For a while there was a rash of ads for, how can I put this delicately, the linear extension of certain parts of the male anatomy?

            Thank god that wave is over!

        • Eric,

          Imagine a constitutionally limited government has just been created. One which promises and delivers everything you’ve listed as being important, but with one exception. You won’t get one item from your wish list, but rather give up all hope of obtaining it forever. Which one of the following would you forgo, in order to enjoy all the other items? I choose to pay all taxes and submit fully to number 6 only.

          1. Being a peaceful person. You cannot be compelled to fight any kind of war or embargo against any other people, whether foreign or domestic. This means both just and unjust wars. If America is attacked, her citizens would need to defend her on their own dime, if they so choose. The war on terror, drugs, drunk driving, teen pregnancy, copyright violators, and all the rest would vanish overnight.

          If you don’t choose this option, each person will be an automatic draftee into the national army. Our new nation will require you to fight for the exact same warmongering campaigns it currently fights, no one escapes service. You may even be forced to go on raw milk farm raids, or storm homes where there’s been offlabel use of prescription medicine.

          2. Being allowed to simply go about your life. All state intervention ceases. There are now no regulations. You’re on your own with highways and land management. You’ll have to deal with welfare families and retirees on your own. You don’t enjoy any special police powers or monopoly use of force. If your kids start chewing on coca leaves and run away to join the army and start their own family at nine years of age, that’s your problem, or blessing, depending on your belief system. You’re completely on your own.

          If you don’t choose this, you will fully submit to all collective rules now in place. You must wear your seat belt and follow the food pyramid. Detectors will be everywhere, and no one will drink alcohol until they’re 21. You’ll have to wear your seatbelt all the time or the car won’t work, unless you move to New Hampshire.

          3. Being allowed to choose any profession, with no restriction or micromanagement whatsoever. Keep the fruits of our own

          labors, no tax on income whatsoever. Make as much or as little as you want, doing anything peaceful you imagine. Go to work on a marijuana farm, or start your own medical center. You might only earn $1 a day in pay, whatever the market will bear is what you will get.

          If you don’t choose this, your profession will be assigned to you. Your every process will be completely predetermined, and you’ll have to submit a central labor report every day to the state. Your pay is whatever the general government decrees it to be, you have no say.

          4. Own your land completely. If you want to build an amusement park, raise some zebras, or whatever, now you can. No one else has any say about what you do with your land, and you can’t control your neighbors. All unused public land is available for purchase, you can sell your land to anyone in the world you want to.

          If you don’t choose this, you’re land will be used in whatever manner the planning committees deem appropriate. You will be a servant and steward for your land, making sure it is used in the way the authorities deem appropriate.

          5 Raise your families in anyway you see fit. If you or your neighbor want to be part of family with three dads and no mothers,

          no problem. If you believe in having your daughter bear her first child at the onset of fertility, and then have one every 10 months until menopause, that’s your right and obligation to accomplish.

          If you don’t choose this, you’ll be more controlled than the Chinese. If they say one child, no child, or 10 children, that’s how many you’ll have to have. The new state will control every aspect of how your children are educated and raised.

          6. Being able to live tax free. You won’t be forced to contribute anything to the government at all. Even if the state is so impoverished that Canada is able to invade and seize power, that’s not your problem. No one has to pay anything unless they want to. The state is just a charity and social compact, you choose to contribute to it or not, its your choice.

          If you don’t choose this, you’ll owe your share of taxes now in place, and they won’t we be scaled for low earners. 7/12ths of the fruits of your labor will go straight to the government, with no evasion possible. Its possible you’ll get nothing back for your payments whatsoever.

  7. You can’t have liberty and conscription. It’s literally impossible.

    I hear this same crap all the time. It’s complete hogwash. The draft is slavery of the worst kind, because it involves war. Furthermore the argument that the elite will never go is true, but actually beside the point. The fact is that any type of conscription for war or peaceful “service” is simply the exact opposite of liberty.

    This is my idea. If they want to wage a war even in defense, then make all of it voluntary, that includes paying for it. Bust out your checkbook, pick up your rifle, strap on your boots and ruck then take your happy ass off to war. If not then shut the fuck up! (one more reason the FED has to go). As for national defense, same thing, if people won’t voluntarily fork over the cash then the hell with it. I do believe people would fork over enough to keep some nuclear subs and ICBMs, what more do we need?

    • Dear Brad,

      Back in 2002 I wrote an article entitled “The Neocon Chicken Hawk:
      Profiles in Courage.”

      In it I offered “A Modest Proposal” with three provisions, as a disincentive to go to war.

      A Modest Proposal

      “Wouldn’t it be great if wars could be settled by the assholes who start them?”
      — Kevin Costner, in “The Postman” (1997, directed by Kevin Costner, written by David Brin, Eric Roth)

      Provision One: Any American President / Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces who demands and subsequently receives an official Declaration of War from Congress, shall be required to fight in that war. Not from a swivel chair in Washington, not from some field office in the rear, but leading one’s troops in combat, on the front lines, the way America’s first and greatest president, General George Washington did at Valley Forge, the way Alexander of Macedon, Hannibal Barca, Julius Caesar, Hua Mulan, Richard the Lion-hearted, Genghis Khan, Jeanne D’Arc, and Napoleon Bonaparte did. You want an empire? Be prepared to lead the charge. You want war? Be prepared to take the point. You want glory? No guts, no glory.

      But then who will “run the country” while the Commander in Chief is away at the front? The vice president, of course. (Don’t laugh. Neocons, being Mussolini style corporativists who demand “energetic government,” don’t know about Laozi’s “wu wei” and Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand.” They actually think a country is “run” by its chief executive.) What happens if the president is KIA? The vice president will take his place at the front, and the Speaker of the House will assume the office of president pro tem. Presidential succession, you know? Unless of course the vice president is smarter than the president and negotiates an armistice or signs a peace treaty, in which case he shall no longer be required to serve in combat.

      Provision Two: Any congressman or senator who votes for war, shall be required to fight in that war, under the same terms as for the president, in combat, on the front lines. Who will fill in for him at home? The candidate in the previous election with the next most votes shall assume his duties in the interim, until such time as the “patriotic,” pro war congressman or senator is honorably discharged and returns from the front. Returning congressmen and senators wounded in combat shall of course be eligible for all veterans’ benefits, including occupational therapy at VA hospitals. Returning congressmen and senators KIA shall be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

      Provision Three: The financial cost of any war fought on foreign soil, not in the direct defense of the American homeland, i.e., the 50 states, territories and possessions, shall be underwritten entirely by those citizens who voted in favor of that war in a public referendum. American citizens who vote against such wars shall be exempt from taxes levied for such wars.

      In case I failed to make myself clear, in case anyone imagined otherwise, everything I said applies equally to every government on earth, not just the United States. If peace-loving citizens of every nation on earth, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, were to require the civilian Chicken Hawks among them to personally fight the wars they provoked, the human race would be at peace faster than you can say “4F.”

      • Great article, I agree. Neo-con chicken hawks might very well be the worst ever. Although I don’t see much difference in any of the chicken hawk, keyboard warriors, REMFs, etc. As for putting the chicken hawks on the front line. Hell ya! They might actually learn a thing or two. Not that it stopped HW from starting wars, but if you notice he did use overwhelming power rather than sacrifice the lives of soldiers. I still consider him a criminal though. But I guess, if you’re going to step in the crap it’s better to do it with boots on than slippers. (I just made that line up, lol)

        I also wanted to comment regarding your reference to Carl Jung, from the other day. He was a very interesting guy. Definitely a genius, possibly mental and he just might have been well ahead of his time. It does seem likely that his ideas regarding archetypes and the collective unconscious are valid. Much like the instincts that all other animals have. Could they simply be genetic fingerprints that we all have? Are they at the beck and call of all of us if only we could tap into them? Does it take stress or is there another way?

        One other thing, do you know of Eric Pepin? Another interesting guy, that I chat with once in a while. He sends me all his stuff free. (well not the trip to India, that I don’t plan on taking) In fact I have never sent him a dime, but his stuff is interesting and fun.

        • Dear Brad,


          The “Draft the chickenhawks!” ploy was mere rhetoric to shame them and to expose their cowardice and hypocrisy, as I’m sure you know.

          The real solution, as always, is freedom for all. But sometimes it’s useful, and cathartic, to call the clovers on their shit by rubbing their noses in it.

          Jung was a genius. I’m hardly the only libertarian to invoke him. Butler Shaffer, a brilliant law professor and free market anarchist who contributes to LRC, also cites him constantly. I’m sure you’ve come across his articles too. Check out his archives at LRC. He’s one of the best contributors to LRC.

          I used to be confused by Jung’s concepts. Part of it was deliberate obfuscation by some Jungian snobs.

          But actually films such as “The Matrix,” in particular Morpheus’s “Franciso D’Anconia/John Galt” speech to Neo, make the underlying ideas quite clear.

        • Dear Brad,

          Pepin looks good. Will check it out.

          His site also quotes Morpheus in The Matrix.

          “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream, Neo? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?”
          — Morpheus to Neo, in “The Matrix”

          The Wachowski Brothers were heavily into Eastern Mysticism. The Morpheus speech and the concept of the Matrix derives from the Chinese Daoist/anarchist philosopher Zhuangzi, also spelled Chuang Tse.

          “Once upon a time I, Chuang Tsu, dreamed I was a butterfly flying happily here and there, enjoying life without knowing who I was. Suddenly I woke up and I was indeed Chuang Tsu. Did Chuang Tsu dream he was a butterfly, or did the butterfly dream he was Chuang Tsu?”
          — Zhuang Zi, translated by Thomas Cleary

          Zhuang Zi and his butterfly dream is universally known among Chinese.

          • Good stuff Bevin. I had my first concept of Solipsism as a child. This was well before I became a psychonaut who attempted to complete the endole ring using various shortcuts at the same time. I had help from the Bear and Shulgin. I kicked in that door many times, with a combination of every single thing I could try at once. However, it always seemed to slip away. Days of knowledge followed by a feeling of loss. I gave up the shortcuts years ago and now I’m on the slow path.

          • Dear Brad,

            Contemplating this stuff is truly fascinating, however one chooses to get there.

            And speak of the devil, Butler Shaffer just posted an article at LRC addressing the very issue many of us here were talking about — whether working within the system will ever get us anywhere.

            Where Do We Go From Here

            Shaffer’s conclusion?

            “My experiences and inquiries keep me convinced that trying to dismantle political thinking from within the system is both a futile and contradictory undertaking.”

          • @Brad–“I kicked in that door many times.”

            Excellent–Shulgin was my shaman too…and his chemistry was spot-on 🙂

            But as you say, it’s a fleeting glimpse. The hard way seems the only way to achieve and maintain the numinous.

            That said, I don’t regret a moment my forays into the psychedelics–both the indoles and the phenethylamines. Those experiences allow you to see that human nature is NOT innately evil as the Judeo-Christian ethic preaches; it can be very rich and empathetic.

            Seems to me that getting that ongoing sense of empathy and connectedness requires day by day mindfulness…

      • The solutions you propose are very good; underlying the fundamental causes of war. The people who START wars are the ones who don’t have any skin in the game; contrary to the foolish general’s reasoning.

        • Dear Michael,


          it’s a classic case of “moral hazard.” It hold true in every area of human activity.

          Whenever the people who benefit from something — anything — need not bear the cost of that something, moral hazard will rear its ugly head.

          It’s true for medical care and it’s true for military defense.

      • Bevin, your article was brilliant. I do have to ask, though: why include territories and possessions in Provision Three? Shouldn’t we be rid of them, lest the republic become an empire? Other than that, I am 100% with you.

        As a related thought, George S. Boutwell, founder of the Anti-Imperialist League said around the year 1900: “Every ambitious would-be empire clarions it abroad that she is conquering the world to bring it peace, security and freedom, and is sacrificing her sons only for the most noble and humanitarian purposes. That is a lie, and it is an ancient lie, yet generations still rise and believe it!” Boutwell went on: “If America ever does seek Empire, and most nations do, then planned reforms in our domestic life will be abandoned, States Rights will be abolished—in order to impose a centralized government upon us for the purpose of internal repudiation of freedom, and adventures abroad. The American Dream will then die—on battlefields all over the world—and a nation conceived in liberty will destroy liberty for Americans and impose tyranny on subject nations.” Sounds like he foresaw the US of the 21st century pretty clearly.

        • Dear Mike,

          Thanks! You are very generous.

          I included the territories and possessions as a sop to some of the readership of the online website I was writing for at the time.

          Alas, it was for naught. The website refused to publish it for fear of offending the more right oriented libertarian readers.

          The editor considered it too incendiary at the time. I suspect he might consider it too mild now, ten years later!

          Anyway, that “creative difference” led me to set up my own blog and only submit selected articles to other websites, such as LRC. Lew, to his credit, published almost all of the articles I submitted to him.

          For a while I got burned out on politics, and stopped writing altogether. I only recently began venting again, so far merely as another reader of Eric’s excellent website.

          I have an article in mind on how to promote “creeping anarchism” from within the existing system that LRC might be interested in. But haven’t gotten around to writing it yet.

          Boutwell certainly nailed it, didn’t he? Amazing how far a person can see if they know how to connect the dots.

      • Bevin, I just left the American Conservative blog where I commented on this very thing to someone else in response to Phil Giraldis article. I’ve said for years that those pimping for war must personally have their life or the lives of their children on the front lines in direct combat, and that means all of them, for the duration, or else it’s all a lie. Because if they truly believe it was necessary then they need to lead by example. I would also make it so the states would go back to selecting whomever they feel should represent them in Congress for the duration of conflict. And, there again, only those who agree with the conflict and voted for it, will pay for it. You want it? You pay for it! And no conscription. Purely voluntary. Because you don’t need to conscript anyone when there is a TRUE threat on your shores and not on the other side of the planet.

    • The ruling class operates various foundations. I am sure foundation work will qualify towards the requirement.

      Thus children of those of the ruling class can go to work for one of these foundations and further the ruling classes objectives while meeting the requirements. Meanwhile the children of everyone else will also serve the ruling class’s interests (over their own) in some personally harmful way.

  8. the idea of conscription, imo, might be the idea that is the most polar opposite to freedom and liberty. if you can’t refuse that, then there can be no argument that your body is your propery.
    the idea that someone else can force you to take up arms to kill someone who has not violated your rights adn imprison you if you chooose to decline is repulsive.
    One politician who used to bring it up on a semi-regular basis was Charlie Rangel, what a POS he is.
    What was unique about this article was that it wasn’t jsut military service, it was to literally have young people be the butlers for the elites.
    And it makes me wonder if that isn’t the plan anyway, the holders of the bulk of teh college debt are the govt and I have read that the outstanding college loan debt is close to 1 trillion. That is a lot of debt slaves and chauffeurs for senators.

    • Dear Harry,

      “the idea of conscription, imo, might be the idea that is the most polar opposite to freedom and liberty.”

      Damned straight!

      To insist that in order to defend their freedom, individuals must be enslaved, is Orwell plus Kafka.

      A more self-contradictory, absurd on the face of it notion cannot be imagined.

      • “A more self-contradictory, absurd on the face of it notion cannot be imagined.”

        Aww, now this Uncle Com is just being modest.

        Because, ‘Beijing Bev’ Chu advocates stripping Taiwanese of their right to purchase weapons from the U.S…so that they’ll be easily enslaved by the Chinese Communist Party.

        Chu’s opposition to involuntary servitude tends to be rather selective. For, in the case of the Taiwanese, he really does believe that Slavery Is The Solution.

        • Hi Foreigner,

          IIRC, Bevin was objecting to American taxpayers being forced to pay taxes to provide arms to anyone – a position I wholeheartedly agree with. Taxation is theft. But it’s particularly egregious when a person is compelled to provide funds which will be used to commit acts of aggression, whether here in the US or someplace else. I wish liberty-seekers the world over well. But I do not and cannot countenance sticking a gun under the chin of my neighbor (or he, mine) in order to compel us to “help” anyone’s cause.

          • No gun is being pressed into either your face or neighbor’s.

            The Taiwanese BUY the weapons from the U.S. Which means the American taxpayer pays nothing for those weapons. (The U.S. government hasn’t gifted Taiwan weapons since the ’50s or ’60s.)

            What Chu wishes to do is stop two consenting parties from engaging in voluntary trade. (Actually, make that multiple consenting parties, since the suppliers are various American weapons firms).

            When law enforcement prevents a child from selling lemonade to customers on her front lawn, libertarians rightly protest. To maintain logical consistency, they should protest equally loudly when Bevin Chu demands American weapons firms stop selling weapons to people who wish to defend themselves from Communist aggression.

            • Uh… yeah.

              I’ll remember that in a few weeks when I send my next quarterly tax payment in.

              You do see that it’s not Joe Smith – with Joe Smith’s money – buying whatever it is… don’t you? It is Joe Smith being forced (along with millions of other Joe Smiths) to hand over his money to be spent on whatever the mafia that calls itself “government” decides to spend it on.

          • Ah. Allow me to amend the first sentence of my last comment, then:

            No gun is being pressed into either your face or your neighbor’s…with regard to sales of U.S. weapons to Taiwan.

            Joe Smith’s taxpayer dollars are not used to purchase or subsidize weapons for Taiwan. When Taiwan became a middle-income country (sometime in the late 60’s, I think), it was required to pick up the entire tab for its own defense. (And rightfully so.)

            • Foreigner –

              How so?

              The entire “defense” industry – all the weapons and armaments it produces – are paid for with monies taken by force from taxpayers. No one can opt out (well, they can… but not without consequences).

              I don’t give a hoot if you want to design and build a weapons system (or rifle or whatever) on your nickle – and then sell it to whomever wishes to buy it (using their nickle). That would be your right – and theirs.

              But that’s not what happens, is it?

              The government demands every worker pay taxes – or else. These stolen monies are then used to fund such things as the development of weapons systems, airplanes, guns and so on. Then, the items are sold to another party. But the proceeds aren’t given back to the people whose money was stolen in the first place. And even if it were, it would not make it right. No more so than if I come to your house, stick a gun in your face, force you to give me money, then “invest” it in some thing or other – and later on give you back your “seed money.”

              Theft is theft.

              And taxation – for whatever purpose – is theft.

          • The American government only allows Taiwan to buy weapons that are near the end of their production cycle. Which means that the R&D money that went into them originally represents a sunk cost.

            Let me use a real world example (with some not-so-real numbers). The Taiwanese are currently trying to buy F-16 C/Ds from the U.S. government. F-16 C/Ds came into production in 1987. Since I don’t have the figures in front of me, I`ll just pull a number out of the hat and say that the government portion of the R&D bill came to $100 billion.

            That $100 billion was a flat cost. It’s the same whether only 1 F-16 C/D got built or 1000. And it’s also a sunk cost — the money was spent 30 years ago.

            Now, you can complain that that $100 billion was funded by theft…but that’s just crying over spilled milk. The only question before us is: what to do now?

            I argue that the best option is to sell the Taiwanese those planes and recover some taxpayer money (and yes, there is a premium added onto arms exports to help recoup government-spent R&D money). Such a policy benefits the American taxpayer, and it keeps the Taiwanese out of Communist clutches as well.

            The other option is to cut off your nose to spite your face by refusing to sell them F-16 C/Ds, and let the American taxpayer take the haircut on those sunk R&D costs.

            The latter policy is a terrible one for America and Taiwan — but a great one for Communist China. Perhaps that is why Bevin Chu favors it so.

            • “recover some taxpayer money.”

              Great! When will my check arrive?

              Jokes aside – because none of this is funny – the fundamental issue is whether it’s right for this entity called “government” to shove guns under people’s chins in order to extract their money to fund such things. Any things.

              I reject the concept of taxation as immoral because taxation is theft. One is forced to give up money or face violent retribution. How is this different in its essentials from a street mugging? Answer – it isn’t.

              You can tick off all sorts of justifications for this theft. Various “greater goods” – as you (or some other person) defines them. This does not change the nature of the thing. No matter how fine-sounding the object, if it entails violating my rights, your rights – anyone’s rights – it is wrong.

              But it is especially wrong when the things being bought with stolen funds are items to be used to kill (or intimidate) people. The victim-taxpayer becomes an unwilling party to murder.

              I, for one, want no part of funding fighter planes (or spitballs) or anything I haven’t elected, of my own free will, to provide funds for.

          • Dear Eric,

            I haven’t actively commented for some time because I’ve been preoccupied with other interests that are non-political in nature. But I have been “lurking” and scanning some of the catchier threads.

            Is it just me, or did this out of the blue ad hominem attack against me, an isolated individual commenter, strike anyone else as bizarre?

            Is it not understood that the threads are supposed to be about the political topics you call everyones’ attention to, and not about the individuals who post comments?

            I’m pretty sure that you and our other free market anarchist comrades in arms at Eric Peters Auto know where I stand — squarely behind Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist principles.

            As far as The Foreigner’s allegation that I want to “stop two consenting parties from engaging in voluntary trade,” do I really need to rebut that?

            Libertarian opponents of the Welfare/Warfare State know only too well that international arms deals are the farthest thing from “voluntary trade” between “two consenting parties.”

            International arms deals are transactions brokered by gubmints on both sides. Taxpayers on both sides are forced to subsidize sweetheart deals between the Military Industrial Complexes in both countries.

            The Foreigner’s attempt to pretend that international arms deals are just like one gun owner selling an M-16 to another at a gun show, is an unfunny joke.

            Especially given US Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent “Fast and Furious” false flag operation to “stop two consenting parties from engaging in voluntary trade” in weapons.

            I could unpack this and other hidden fallacies in The Foreigner’s “rebuttal” one by one.

            But is it really necessary, given the intellectual clarity evinced by the free market anarchist regulars on this forum?

            I think not.

            • Hi Bevin,

              I was hoping you’d chime in – although it’s unfortunate it took the likes of Foreigner, et al to provoke you.

              Today was one for the record books. In addition to Foreigner we were treated to Steve and his veneration of Hitler. I suppose it’s inevitable that such crop up – but my apologies to all for the unpleasantness.

          • Dear Eric,

            I was going to let it slide, but seeing you and other old friends respond made it hard for me to remain aloof.

            Thanks to you and to all for that and for earlier remarks about vicious personal attacks as opposed to forthright intellectual debate.

            Much appreciated. As usual, genuine concern for fairness and justice.

            No need to apologize for The Foreigner’s ad hominem attacks against me.

            As the growing strength of hardcore libertarianism over the past decade shows, it is superior ideas that will ultimately prevail in the end, not personal attacks.

            The Ron Paul Revolution is merely the beginning. Hardcore libertarianism, including free market anarchism, is becoming less and less “fringe” and more and more mainstream.

          • End of life cycle is irrelevant in the case of government product. Productive sector terms and principles don’t work when government is doing it. Everything with government is a ‘sunk cost’. None of it can be recovered for the taxpayer. It’s gone. When everything is a sunk cost the term becomes useless.

            Plus for most weapons systems, vehicles, etc the government pays huge costs for development on tiny numbers of units. It’s absurd.

            If the government were in anyway like the productive sector it would be able to capitalize on those tooling costs for next generation equipment and it would use its equipment much longer. But it is not productive sector, it is plunder sector. To effectively plunder the tax payers there have to be all new things that need huge development budgets and so forth.

            So when Taiwan can buy hardware just before it goes out of production it benefits in subsidy by not paying tooling amortized over the units, which it would in a market situation. It also benefits in getting the hardware years sooner that it would have without the plunderers needing to move on to the newest thing to keep the plunder flowing.

          • First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on your blog policy prohibiting commenters from personal attacks. It has a very civilizing effect — imagine my surprise when I discovered Bevin could write more than 2 paragraphs without calling someone a “quisling” or a “fellow-traveler” or a “fascist” or any of the other epithets of which he is so fond.

            Second, I’d like to express personal sympathy to you regarding the commenter who apparently venerated Adolf Hitler. I, too, despise Nazism and Communism. (Although it must be said, I am perfectly willing to pay taxes to deter, contain or defeat these monstrous ideologies, and to supply arms to potential victims of Nazi or Communist aggression.)

            Third, I can tell you despise theft, so I’ll leave you with a little story about a grand larceny that once took place.

            It took place several decades back, when Japan invaded China. In order to help defeat the Japanese militarists, FDR sent American taxpayer dollars to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of China.

            After the war was won, America sent even MORE taxpayer money to the Chinese Nationalist Party, in an effort to prevent a Chinese Communist takeover.

            Eventually, Harry Truman pulled the plug because he realized that the KMT was robbing America blind. Money that should have been spent fighting Japanese militarists and Chinese Communists instead wound up in the pockets of the KMT aristocracy.

            We’re not talking understandable amounts of petty pilferage here. We’re talking 25% of America’s total aid budget to China.

            Oh, wait, but here’s the kicker: you know what a lot of those sleazy, criminally-corrupt KMT officials did after the war?

            They came to America. And bought up Manhattan real-estate. From the lucre earned by the blood and the sweat of hard-working American farmers and factory workers.

            Just a little something for you to think about, next time you see a picture of the Manhattan skyline.

            And when you pay your next quarterly tax statement…

            • Hi Foreigner,

              Thanks – and, I don’t dispute the essence of the points you’ve made. I simply point out that the root problem is “funding” any such enterprise. No good can come of it because it is immoral from the get-go. Theft isn’t justified by the ends. Theft is theft. The violent taking of someone’s else’s property – which involves the taking of their liberty.

              A “taxpayer” is a slave. Quibbling about the degree of slavery does not change the nature of the thing.

          • BrentP–

            Don’t take my word for it (regarding recovery of military R&D costs). Here’s a U.S. GAO report on the subject:

            “…the Department of Defense (DOD) recovered $181 million in nonrecurring costs on foreign military sales in fiscal year (FY) 1994

            So apparently, recovery of military R&D upon export both can & DOES happen.

          • $181 million… hahahahahaa! Laughable.

            Spend trillions. Recover $181 million.

            I’d be fired if I did that with my projects. In the productive sector we spend thousands and “recover” millions or spend millions and “recover” tens or hundreds of millions and so on and so forth.

            $181 million, what’s that? 5 seconds of spending?

            Another thing that is laughable about the military-industrial-complex is how the US federal government pays for product development even if it never amounts to anything or runs over on cost.

            In the productive sector we have what is known as ‘risk’. We pay for product development and then hope to make more than what it cost selling the product. If we go over on cost or the project dead ends then it’s more time to recover the expenses or it’s just a loss. But the military industrial complex makes a profit just on the development even if they never produce a single production unit.

            And the real laughable thing is that the US federal government gives these other countries tax payer funds which then those other countries use to buy the weapons. In the productive sector we can’t pay customers to buy our products. Won’t last long doing that.

            The M-I-C is not a market business sector in any shape or form. Period.

          • Dear Brent,

            Not to mention the fact that on the receiving end, Republic of China taxpayers are being forced to foot the bill for obsolescent military hardware nearing the end of their useful life cycle.

            This, we are assured, is so that Lockheed Martin can recoup its costs “at no expense to US taxpayers.”

            Leave aside whether this is true for the moment, and consider the poor taxpayers on the receiving end of these lucrative arms deals.

            Apparently the neo-con warfare statists’ tender concern for fiscal responsibility evaporates when the hapless taxpayers hold different colored passports.

            • Morning, Bevin!

              And, to take this a little farther…. if it weren’t for government, none of this would be “necessary” in the first place. Why does the US (and China and other nation-states) have massed armies, nuclear weapons, fleets of ships bristling with firepower, air forces and so on? No individual could fund such things, or even one of them. Only organized force – government – can steal the billions needed to confect such things. Take away that power and the whole thing scales down. Individuals can attack one another, they can even band together into mobs. But without the organized terror that is government, organized mass slaughter is simply not possible.

          • Dear Eric,

            “Take away that power and the whole thing scales down… without the organized terror that is government, organized mass slaughter is simply not possible.”

            Exactamundo! I could not agree more. That is why the masthead at The China Desk, my political blog, reads “無為而治 世界大同 . individual sovereignty universal harmony.”

            The Chinese characters are translated rather loosely. Translated more literally they say “rule by doing nothing, global harmony.”

            “Rule by doing nothing” is of course Daoist philosopher Laozi’s famous addage. It is the Chinese precursor to Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” or the French Physiocrats’ “laissez faire.”

            Free Market Anarchism would nip warfare statism, militarism, colonialism, imperialism, hegemonism in the bud.

            Without sounding too much like Rodney King, Free Market Anarchism truly would enable us all to just get along.

          • “Taxpayers on both sides are forced to subsidize sweetheart deals between the Military Industrial Complexes in both countries.”

            Cool. Allow me to work through this using Aristotelian logic. I’ll try to be scrupulously fair:

            1) All taxation is immoral.
            2) Nations pay for their defense with taxation.
            3) Therefore, it is immoral for nations to pay for their defense using taxation.

            I trust I’m not missing anything here? If so, I’ll particularize the argument:

            1) All taxation is immoral.
            2) Taiwan pays for its defense from Communist China with taxation.
            3) Therefore, it is immoral for Taiwan to pay for its defense from Communist China using taxation.

            Still with me? ‘Cause now it’s gonna get good:

            1) All taxation is immoral.
            2) In the 1940s, China attempted to pay for its defense from Imperial Japan with taxation.
            3) It was immoral for China to pay for its defense from Imperial Japan using taxation.

            Go on and tell THAT to any of the families of the Chinese who were used for Japanese bayonet practice. No, no, really.

            Good luck with that whole hearts and minds-thing.

            At any rate, it also follows (from your own argument) that Chiang Kai-shek was nothing more than a tyrannical thief who stole money from the Chinese to pay for a war that they never wanted. Is that something we can all agree on?

            Yet another reason to tear down that obscene temple to Chiang in downtown Taipei, I guess.

            Tear it down, sell off the land, and give the proceeds back to the Taiwanese taxpayers (who were forced against their will into paying for its construction).

          • The Foreigner seems to think that Chiang Kai-shek is some sort of sacred icon to me. He seems to think that if he can show that he had feet of clay, I will be cut to the quick.

            I can’t tell you how funny that strikes me. I am literally “LOL.”

            He just doesn’t get it. We free market anarchists are hardcore. We are deadly serious about ridding ourselves of ALL conventional monopolistic governments.

            He is apparently projecting his own outdated concepts of “patriotism” onto free market anarchists. He doesn’t seem to realize we are no longer burdened by such emotional baggage.

            ALL conventional monopolistic governments are nothing more than brigands writ large.

            As free market anarchist investment adviser Jeff Berwick put it so aptly, conventional nation states are nothing more than “tax farms.” So-called “citizens”
            are nothing more than milk cows. Passports are nothing more than slave cards.

            Some conventional monopolistic governments are indeed worse than others. But none of them are “good.”

            Anyone who follows has surely detected the accelerating pace toward free market anarchist radicalization. The articles are becoming more and more hardcore. Few contributors talk about “restoring the constitution” any more. They talk about rejecting the state outright.

            I myself am part of that free market anarchist political current. My own articles over the years reflect that growing disillusionment with “limited government.”

            As LRC columnist Butler Shaffer recently put it:

            I propose that we respond to our alleged obligations to the state – duties we never agreed to in the first place – in the same manner by which we would treat our hypothetical car dealer in the marketplace: to walk away and take our business elsewhere! Whatever goods or services we desire in our lives, and which we have been conditioned to believe can only be provided by the state, can be found in the willingness of our neighbors to freely and genuinely contract with us in ways that do not depend upon predation, restraint, or violence. It is time for us to discover the peaceful and creative nature of a society grounded in a voluntary “meeting of the minds” of free men and women!

            Amen to that.

          • @The Foreigner:

            On you points (1), (2), and (3) applied variously but beginning with the axiomatic “taxation is immoral”–

            Yep, that’s right! Brilliantly applied in the general and particular; commentary notwithstanding.

            Y’see, I like Switzerland’s model–you know, the one that’s worked to prevent invasion since just before 1300 and worked right on through the Nazi threats to march through.

            Incidentally, a model on which our Founders based their concept of national defense–a model now almost completely forgotten. Never forget Admiral Yamamoto’s reluctance to invade America–

            “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

            Now let’s examine this through a libertarian lens; and begin with the libertarian uber-directive ZAP–zero aggression principle.

            Or, in your terms, “taxation is immoral”.

            I won’t pay taxes. Hence I’m responsible for my own defense. I have ample disposable income, because I’m not robbed for half my income–and everything I buy costs roughly a third as much, being unshackled from taxation and regulation.

            Guess what? I’m well-armed and used to taking care of myself…shockingly similar to the situation in America up to roughly the 50’s.

            NOW try invading this hypothetical country; can’t be done.

            And I accomplished this without taxation.

            Because the FLIP SIDE of this–national defense by taxation–is inevitably wars of aggression, a rent-seeking military-industrial complex, exploratory wars of imperialism. In other words, precisely what we have today.

          • Dear Methylamine,

            Re: defense of a nation’s homeland.

            You took the words out of my mouth.

            One of my biggest laments about China, one that I’ve voiced before on this forum, is gun control, correction, victim disarmament.

            Both the ROC on Taiwan, and the PRC on the mainland, ban guns.

            I’ve often ranted to other Chinese that if China had a “gun culture” like America in 1937, the Rape of Nanking would never have happened.

            The population of China during the WWII years was approximately 500 million. Imagine what would have happened to the invading Japanese Imperial Army as they entered Nanking, which was then the nation’s capital.

            They would have been stopped dead, the way the Russians stopped the Nazis dead in Stalingrad, as depicted in the film, “Enemy at the Gates.”

  9. “Imagine the savings — in blood, tears and national treasure — if we had thought twice about whether we really wanted to invade Iraq.”

    Did anyone even think once? This guy seems to think folks in the US voted to invade Iraq. We didn’t. It just happened.

    The author suggests that paying kids slave wages and housing them in barracks is the best solution to the problem of government janitors making $106,329 per year. I have another idea, don’t pay the janitor that much to begin with. What’s he figure is going to happen to the uy making the huge salary with benefits when he’s replaced by a 19 year old kid? Unless they fire him there’s no cost savings. What’s wrong with just cutting to the chase?

    “And libertarians who object to a draft could opt out. Those who declined to help Uncle Sam would in return pledge to ask nothing from him — no Medicare, no subsidized college loans and no mortgage guarantees. Those who want minimal government can have it. ”

    How does this work? Do folks who opt out get to not pay FICA, SSI or income taxes? Sure, I’d take that deal, but I seriously doubt that’s what he’s proposing. It sounds more like “put in your time or we’ll tax the snot out of you anyway, then give you nothing in return”. What a plan!

    The guy’s a loon. “Political non-starter”. Hah!

      • Well Bevin, it was hardly an exhaustive hatchet job but the fellow said so many stupid things I was overwhelmed.

        The sheer gall of proposing we can fix the bloated budget by pressing unemployed teenagers into government service is obscene. It never occurs to them the kids can’t find jobs because they’ve drained every productive ounce of capital out of the system to pay janitors $100K a year to begin with. Then they act like keeping the janitors and hiring more cheap help to do the work is going to fix it! It’s maddening, but even worse, lots of people read crap like this and say “well now that’s a good idea!”

        Makes me want too tear out my hair and yell “Wubba! Wubba! Wubba!” at the top of my lungs.

        • Dear methylamine,

          The part I liked was:

          How does this work? Do folks who opt out get to not pay FICA, SSI or income taxes? Sure, I’d take that deal…

          Never in a million years.

          • Dear methylamine, Scott,

            Right. As I scrolled up and down, responding to several fellow libertarians in rapid order, I lost track of whose name I was typing.

            I like to personalize my replies. But doing so runs a slight risk of accidentally typing in the wrong name!

            Sorry about that!

          • It’s OK. I had this vivid dream once that I was methylamine, then I woke up. Now I don’t know if I’m really…

          • Dear Scott,


            Count on radical libertarians to have the conceptual clarity and quickness of wit to connect all the dots and crack wise like that!

    • Yeah, those who want minimal government don’t get to have it, because he’s just making an emotional argument in attempt to preempt legitimate arguments to his nonsensical rant. If people could get out of paying for government services they weren’t using (his definition of minimal government), then tons of people would opt out. But then theyd have nobody to fund it for everyone else….and where would all the government largess come from then?

      Will never happen, it’s just posturing.

  10. I’m a 20 yr Army guy who saw the transition to an all volunteer force first hand. NO WAY any competent military professional wants to go back to that quagmire of disciplinary actions and incompetence.
    That having been said I wouldn’t join todays army for any amount of pay or benefits. I’m in such total disagreement over the senseless wars anddirection the country is going. What Role the army might play in our civilian future is chilling.


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