Rights – vs. What Ifs and Mights

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“Rights” – like “freedom” – is one of those terms that means different things to different people. Often, mutually contradictory things. Perhaps the simplest way to identify a right is to ask whether its exercise causes a provable harm to another.

Not “might” harm a theoretical “someone.” (Or – much worse – “I don’t like that” … and therefore you shouldn’t be allowed to do that).

A demonstrable harm  – to an actual person.

If such exists as a result of your actions, then your actions were wrong – because you violated someone’s rights.

Otherwise – if your actions have caused no harm – you have every right to expect to be left free to proceed. And to be left in peace.

Immediately, the objection pops up: Won’t problems arise if people are left free to act as they please? Won’t people abuse the freedom to act – or act stupidly?

Yes – certainly.

Some people will. But that should not become the pretext for abusing the rights of others who have caused no harm.

Group-guilt is bad. Pre-guilt even worse.

Consider: Has taking away everyone’s rights ever prevented those inevitable “some people” from behaving irresponsibly or stupidly? At any time – in any place? This is the question. And the answer – obviously – is: No. Because there will always be irresponsible, stupid  – even evil – people … in any society, under any form of government. A moment’s reflection will confirm the truth of this. Irresponsibility, stupidity – evil, even – cannot be “lawed” out of existence.

But rights can be.

And all-too-often, they are. Not on the basis of actual harm done, either. But on the basis of what if? … and might.

In the absence of speed limits, for example, there will be people who drive beyond their ability to control the car. Some will inevitably wreck. Others – innocents – will be harmed in the process. This is tragic. But erecting speed limits doesn’t prevent – or even significantly reduce – such occurrences. What it does do is take away everyone’s rights before anyone’s rights have actually been violated. It cements the concept of prior restraint into both law and the public consciousness –  such that it becomes acceptable to limit everyone’s freedom because of the possibility that someone might act irresponsibly, or stupidly. In short order everyone finds their freedom of action preemptively fenced in, their lives under the control of others – whose judgment is by no means superior, but who do possess superior force. Force that’s applied in ever-increasing doses in a never-ending quest to get a handle on irresponsibility and stupidity – by assuming everyone is irresponsible and stupid and treating them as such – even when they’re not.

This is how rights – real ones – are put to sleep. On the basis of what if … and someone might.

Meanwhile, crime – actual harm done to actual flesh and blood people – continues on its merry way.  If anything, real crime – with real victims – is enabled because so much in the way of attention and resources is frittered away on non-crimes.

Consider, just for instance, how much police manpower is spent enforcing arbitrary traffic laws. Stalking, stopping and issuing fines to people who haven’t actually harmed anyone. Oh, they might? Well, possibly. But wouldn’t it be more judicious to wait until our hypothetical they actually do harm someone?

As opposed to harming everyone by such things as radar traps and checkpoints?

Which is better: To be free to travel unmolested, but with the knowledge that it’s possible (although not very likely) that you might get hit by a “speeder” or drunk driver? Or to know that you will be ticketed merely for exceeding an arbitrary velocity – or forced to submit to a random stop/interrogation/presentation of your papers because the law has decreed that everyone must be treated as a presumptively drunk driver?

Unfortunately for the cause of liberty in America, a dauntingly large percentage of the population appears to be perfectly willing to live in a society that regards might and what if? as more than sufficient cause to extinguish their rights.

And everyone else’s, too.

The circles grow smaller. Because might and what if? are infinites. Rights – properly understood – finite specifics. They are lines in the sand, beyond which others may not trespass against us. Because we have not trespassed against them. And until we do, we have every right to insist we be left in peace, free to go about our business – exercising our own judgment, to reap the benefits – and accept the consequences. And to resist when this freedom is denied us.

Freedom – respect for human rights – does not mean an end to human suffering. Just less of it. Because irresponsible, stupid – even evil – individuals can only do so much damage. And be held accountable far more easily. Empower the collective to impose itself on millions of individuals – and the potential damage is essentially limitless.

It is the difference between an occasional pile up on the road – and a pile of bodies in a mass grave.

Throw it in the Woods?



  1. Eric,
    I’m about to publish my first edition of a newspaper I’m starting. It is a small community newspaper, but your article has relevance to my reasons for starting it, primarily an out of control HOA. Is there any way I can get permission to reprint your article in my paper? If you need more info, I’d be glad to provide whatever that may be. Thanks!

  2. Jaesun there is no one that I know that has been harmed by the police. Do you know why that is? I will tell you anyway. It is because no one I know has actually harmed anyone. One thing you need to know, if you are not out looking to cause trouble then I would guess that 99.999999% of the time police are not going to give you trouble. Maybe I should have added a few more 9s. If you want to act like a jerk then I would guess they are going to treat you like one.CloverCloverClover

    • Hi Clover,

      Would you watch this 8 min video and give me your thoughts? It’s by Alan Moore, creator of V is for Vendetta, Watchmen, and many other great things.

      To me his work is priceless. He’s an Aquarius of millions of fresh gallons to the parched. Labeling him a neopagan, occultist, ceremonial magician, wizard, vegetarian, or anarchist might dissuade one from learning what a Prometheus he really is.

      Aren’t you more than just a Clover? When you are merely a label, you’re negated. Just another one of those.

      With Warmest Regards,


        • Yes, Mr. Peters!

          Methinks Ayn Rand was a “witch” astride the fastest of brooms as well.

          A Story of a Hasidic Prepper
          ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
          Good Morning, Herr Mueller

          Near the city of Danzig lived a well-to-do Hasidic Rabbi, scion of prominent Hasidic dynasties. Dressed in a tailored black suit, wearing a top hat, and carrying a silver walking cane, the rabbi would take his daily morning stroll, accompanied by his tall, handsome son-in-law.

          During his morning walk it was the rabbi’s custom to greet every man, woman, and child whom he met on his way with a warm smile and a cordial “Good morning.” Over the years the rabbi became acquainted with many of his fellow townspeople this way and would always greet them by their proper title and name.

          Near the outskirts of town, in the fields, he would exchange greetings with Herr Mueller, a Polish Volksdeutsche. “Good morning, Herr Mueller!” the rabbi would hasten to greet the man who worked in the fields. “Good morning, Herr Rabbiner!” would come the response with a good-natured smile.

          Then the war began. The rabbi’s strolls stopped abruptly. Herr Mueller donned an S.S. uniform and disappeared from the fields. The fate of the rabbi was like that of much of the rest of Polish Jewry. He lost his family in the death camp of Treblinka, and, after great suffering, was deported to Auschwitz.

          One day, during a selection at Auschwitz, the rabbi stood on line with hundreds of other Jews awaiting the moment when their fates would be decided, for life or death. Dressed in a striped camp uniform, head and beard shaven and eyes feverish from starvation and disease, the rabbi looked like a walking skeleton.

          “Right! Left, left, left!” The voice in the distance drew nearer. Suddenly the rabbi had a great urge to see the face of the man with the snow-white gloves, small baton, and steely voice who played God and decide who should live and who should die. His lifted his eyes and heard his own voice speaking:

          “Good morning, Herr Mueller!”

          “Good morning, Herr Rabbiner!” responded a human voice beneath the S.S. cap adorned with skull and bones. “What are you doing here?” A faint smile appeared on the rabbi’s lips. The baton moved to the right – to life. The following day, the rabbi was transferred to a safer camp.

          The rabbi, now in his eighties, told this story in his gentle voice, “This is the power of a good-morning greeting. A man must always greet his fellow man.”

    • So Clover, since you are not concerned about being mistreated by cops because nobody you actually know has been so harmed, why are you afraid of terrorists? After all, being harmed by a terrorist is far rarer than being harmed by police. If you have to have everything so personal why is it you are so afraid of things you only hear about or see on TV? All these people who are harmed by cops should be just as much as abstraction to you as those harmed by terrorists.

      Or is your point that people who are harmed by cops deserve it, by the very fact that cops harmed them?

      • Nicely played Brent.

        Unfair though as we both know ‘logic’ is a foreign language to Clover.

        Expect no response, he knows he is busted but like all cowards he will just run and pretend he never saw your post.

      • Clover’s hopeless, Me2.

        Just Submit and Obey… and you’ll be fine.

        Only, even submitting and obeying isn’t enough to avoid a beatdown – or much worse.

        He might ask, for instance, the girl who was cold-cocked by a Philly pig a few weeks back.

        • “Clover’s hopeless, Me2.

          Just Submit and Obey… and you’ll be fine. ”

          Apparently he is.

          That is why the ‘Texas rape’ is so infuriating. There was no resistance from these women, no due process, no drugs, no intoxication and yet for allegedly throwing a ciggy butt out the window they end up with pig digits violating their orifices.

          That fucking pigs gave them a ticket for littering but the real victims will almost certainly never see justice meted out for the rape they endured, despite irrefutable evidence supplied buy the rapists own swine cam.

          I wonder how that bitch-pig would react if this was done to her? In fact, I hope she has the same experience one day, it would server her right.

          I know that is nasty but ‘live by the sword…..’.

          • It’s not “nasty” – it’s a perfectly reasonable reaction to an outrage.

            What those pigs did is beyond inexcusable.

            I’ve said this before… der tag kommt.

            • There is much angst and consternation against prosecutors and grand juries who refuse to bring charges against police officers, even when incontravertible evidence is presented. Even with incontravertible audio and video evidence, prosecutors are loath to prosecute rogue law enforcement personnel.
              Let’s examine the reasons why it is so difficult to prosecute thug cops:
              Most prosecutors are former police officers or have extensive dealings with police departments and have ongoing relationships with police departments in their respective jurisdictions. They are friendly with the judges in their jurisdictions, as well. This, along with “absolute immunity” makes it easy for them to “cover up” police abuses and behavior. Prosecutors cannot be sued for malfeasance…it takes a judge (who prosecutors are friendly with) to bring charges on a rogue prosecutor (which almost never happens).
              In addition, prosecutors guide the actions of grand juries. Prosecutors are not required to introduce any evidence to grand juries, (can and do) easily “whitewash” the actions of rogue cops. On the other hand, prosecutors can (and often do)go after honest citizens who seek justice outside official channels…prosecutors have ultimate power and are not afraid to use it…their immunity sees to that.
              Another aspect to a grand jury’s inability to prosecute bad cops is the fear of retribution…cops drive around all day, have nothing but time, have access to various databases, and can easily get the names and addresses of grand jurors…this, in itself can be a powerful deterrent against grand jurors who “want to do the right thing” and prosecute bad cops. There are many cases of cops parking in front of grand jurors’ residences, following them around, and threaten to issue citations to them, in order to “convince” them to “make the right decision”…the “thin blue line” at its worst…
              The whole system has to change.
              Eliminate absolute and qualified immunity for all public officials. The fear of personal lawsuits would be a powerful deterrent against abuses of the public.
              Grand juries must be superior to the prosecutor; ALL evidence must be presented to grand jurors. Failure to do so must be considered a felony and subject prosecutors to prosecution themselves.
              No police agency can be allowed to investigate itself. Internal affairs departments must be restricted to minor in-house investigations of behavior between cops. All investigations must be handled by outside agencies, preferably at the state level.
              Civilian police review boards must be free of police influence. Members of civilian review boards must have NO ties to police departments. Relatives of police would be prohibited from serving…

          • Yesss! In a darkened court of anarchy, we would all stare & lear menacingly at her as the verdict was read.

            An eye for an eye. A vag for a vag. It is the way the fauntleroy archon masters of this world commands. Let us each put on the glove, master of the uncreated universe, let us each have our Justice!

            And then the overhead lights would come on, we’d all walk away and leave her lying there. We don’t do that.

            A bluff to reach & teach her the error; to untip her inner child vessel before the last drops of soul spill away and she is lost to the collectivist ant hill of the material world forever. A libertarian mitzvah.

      • Clover asked, “If you owned all of our roadways, tell us how you plan to get everyone to drive safely?”

        IF you Really want to know, here ya go, here’s an interview which explains much, but if that’s not enough, “I explain how roads could be privatized by mentioning a few problems which could be overcome. If you’re eager to learn more, please read my book, The Privatization of Roads and Highways” …


        If I thought you’d read it, I’d buy it for you. … It’s that good.

        • Clover emoted.

          “…tell us how you plan to get everyone to drive safely?”

          Notice the loaded terms and assumptions.

          Define “safely.”

          For Clover, “safely” means as Clover deems appropriate. Not “too fast” – as Clover defines it. And so on.

          All this has been explained – and dissected – many times. Clover is a waste of keystrokes, IA.

          He’s either not very bright, or simply a small-minded control freak who emotes in lieu of using whatever brain power nature endowed him with.

          • @Eric – “or simply a small-minded control freak who emotes in lieu of using whatever brain power nature endowed him with” Hmmm. Sounds like most cops to me…

    • I was handcuffed, frisked and put in the back of a police care for talking on my cell phone while driving. I had harmed no one yet I was publicly humuliated and forced to pay $150.

      • Don,

        I am sure it was for your own good. :rolleyes

        Based on 2010 figures there are about 800,000 LEOs in the USA.

        If 99.75% of them are “good” then about 2,000 are “bad”.

        With a code of silence, these 2,000 can cause harm to many many people over the years.

        If 1 LEO can affect 5 people* per week these 2,000 LEO can conservatively affect about 500,000 per year.

        10yrs ≈ 5 million people

        This is one reason that LEOs need to be held to a higher standard. If people can not trust those responsible to uphold the law, it will, imo, undermine the public confidence all LEOs regardless if they are good or bad.

        * it is probably more, but this is just a thought experiment.

        • ‘If 99.75% of them are “good”…..’

          They wouldn’t be cops!

          All cops must be willing to perform daily immoral acts on the people they have sworn to protect.

  3. To Clover:

    I agree with Stephan Molyneux’s comparison of slavery to government. Both are/were immoral institutions and that is reason enough to abolish both.

    Government immorality occurs when it’s errand boys are given the power to initiate force against those who have harmed no one. There are many incidents of their errand boys slamming innocent men and women to the ground. Also tasing, pepper spraying, stomping, and murdering have occurred against people who have not harmed anyone. Errand boys commit these crimes against innocent people with impunity.

    Molyneux makes the point that when slavery was abolished future adjustments in society were not considered and should not be considered when government is abolished.

    RE: Anarchy….. There will always be rules that when not adhered to will bring consequences. This is the part where adjustments in society will take place. Where there is a need there will always be an entrepreneur with a business plan to fill that need. No one knows exactly what, how, or when those changes will occur. IMO contracts will play a large part in effecting anarchy. By signing a contract one agrees to the rules of conduct making enforcement much easier.

    Now, you don’t seem stupid IMO, just closed minded. So let me suggest that you allow yourself to grow by using whatever imagination, foresight, and business acuity you have to answer your own questions. Anyone considering the purchase of highway property will surely have done this prior to bidding. BTW, I can’t imagine any one person owning all US highways.

    Your results will make for a better discussion than your questions.

  4. @Clover – “but it is OK because you did it”. Are talking about Brent of the gov’t? The same gov’t that makes all the stupid traffic laws we’re discussing. Because that’s all those laws are: they laws because the gov’t said so and you blindly accept them for right and wrong with no critical thought whatsoever.

    I would disagree with Eric on one point: actual harm does not need to be done if it is preceeded by a credible threat. If someone points a gun in my face, I’m not going to wait for him to pull the trigger before defending myself.

    But driving is another animal. Hell the whole conecpt is an imperfect, dangerous proposition. One could make the case that just by being on the road, a semi threatens my life because if he hits me going 70 mph, I’m probably not gonna make it out alive but that’s a really big ‘if’ and we can’t punish the truck driver.

    It’s immoral and wrong to punish someone for doing something wrong before they’ve done something wrong.

    • Agreed, Don –

      The tough nut, intellectually, is separating out the subjective might-cause-harms (such as “speeding”) from the objectively harmful (such as pointing a gun at someone).

      Once again, I see force – or the clear implied threat of force – as the separator.

      Clover may feel threatened by a “speeder” – but is the “speeder” actually threatening him? No – not unless said “speeder” is trying to run Clover off the road or hit him (in which case much more than “speeding” comes into play).

      For the right to intervene (that is, for the right to exercise defensive force or impose a punishment to come into play) I think you’d have to able to demonstrate that whatever the action is involves both intent to cause harm as well as inevitably, even necessarily will cause harm.

      “Speeding” – driving a certain velocity – doesn’t fit that description. (Hell, if it did, I’d be responsible for harming people every single day… because I “speed” every single day. Yet I have never harmed anyone – not in 30-plus years of driving.)

      On the other hand, pointing a dangerous weapon at someone (except defensively) does cause harm, even if the weapon is not actually discharged.

      • Eric, I’ll all but guarantee you that our “10 over” Clover “speeds” regularly too; thereby “threatening” others the same way he/she/it accuses others of threatening it. And it probably does a lot of other things that would be construed as “threatening” if it were facing them from the other side of the equation. Everyone has standards and I’d make a bet that our Clover has twice as many as we do, because they’re double standards.

    • CloverDon Coope you say we should not punish someone until they kill someone? How about the terrorist that brings in the parts for a nuclear bomb? Do we just let him build it and then do something when he blows up a half a state? How about a semi that drives 90 mph through a major city? Have you ever heard the explosion from a couple of miles away that takes place when a semi hits other vehicles? I have. How about the guy that points loaded guns at people while he is driving down the roadway? Do we just let him go until he kills someone? Have you ever seen videos of driving in places like India? In many places in India they do not follow any laws. No way in hell would I want to live in a place without any laws! Why is it that even libertarians complain about others breaking laws but it is OK for them to? Many times the laws that they are breaking are more dangerous than the ones that they say that others are making.
      Which laws do you say are bad? Tailgating? Passing in a no passing zone? Running through red lights? Drunken driving? Speeding past other vehicles while weaving through traffic? Tell us which laws if you followed would lead to the downfall of our society and make it far worse?CloverCloverClover

      When it comes down to it I think that libertarians just like to complain and even they can not agree what to complain about.

      You say that it is dangerous to be on the road no matter what so we should have no laws? Driving correctly saves 10s of thousands of lives compared to not driving correctly.
      One last question for you, are you a person that also believes in no security before boarding a plane? Should we just prosecute someone after they blow up a plane? What if they are not alive to prosecute?CloverClover

      • Clover, You might want to look into maximum security prison. I hear they do all sorts of things there based on the what-if’s. Maybe even look into concentration camps, now those themselves are a logical extension of the ‘what if’ mentality you express so poorly.

        Think of how safe you’d be living in a concentration camp. Constant monitoring, guards everywhere, protected from the outside world. You’d love it.

      • There are ways to deal with reckless drivers in an Anarchic society. Without government all roads and property claimed by government are now privately owned. The new owners will surely have rules of their own and the power to restrict travel of those who break the rules, without the use of guns or the threat of jail time.

        If you’re looking for perceived threats look no further than government and it’s errand boy minions who tase, pepper spray, or slam to the ground any innocent person they take a dislike to, who have committed no real crime. Their next victim could be a friend or family member of yours.

        Also false flag attacks, sales of arms to drug cartels, and previous nuclear tests all caused many deaths, and life long injuries and suffering for innocent victims. Government is responsible for all these actual crimes, for which they go unpunished.

        Logically, the greatest threat to humanity is government, not highway speeders or lane changers.

        • CloverCloverJaesun you say our government is dangerous? It seems to me that civilians like you cause 10s of thousands of deaths each year. I have never seen anything done that was dangerous by our government. I see many poor drivers and dozens of accidents each year. Tell me why I should be more fearful of the police rather than a driver like you who feels anything goes?
          You say people that privately own a highway will handle drivers more responsibly. Why is that? What is going to happen to them when they sit in a coffee shop all day with all the money you are paying them while deaths are occurring on their roadways. What difference is it to them who lives or dies? The government’s responsibility is to keep our roadways safe for everyone. Are you saying that a privately owned road owner also has that responsibility? Tell us how they are going to handle that without any type of punishment? Is he just going to hold up a sign saying to slow down? Are any drivers on this site going to follow that besides me? I doubt it. Rather, I know they won’t.CloverClover

        • Dear Jaesun,

          There are ways to deal with reckless drivers in an Anarchic society. Without government all roads and property claimed by government are now privately owned. The new owners will surely have rules of their own and the power to restrict travel of those who break the rules, without the use of guns or the threat of jail time.

          Exactly right.

          It is not really even necessary to speculate about this. Plenty of microcosmic level precedents exist even now.

          Privately owned race tracks. Go kart tracks. Steerable car rides in theme parks. Roadways inside gated communities and privately owned college campuses. Even privately owned toll roads.

          All of these have privately agreed upon and eminently workable rules of the road that ensure social order without government coercion.

          The inability, and worse, unwillingness, of clovers and sheeple to imagine a society not predicated on coercion is a testament to their inability to “think outside the box.”

          • The concept is…one can control the use of and activities of visitors to property he/she owns.

            Enforcement is easily accomplish by the owner who probably develops the procedure to do so before purchasing the property.

            Clover seems to have a closed mind and is oblivious to logical arguments. Property rights are non-existent in clover’s world.

            That type of person is impossible to reach and will victimize anyone trying to help him. By using irrational circular arguments the discussion becomes endless, draining our energy and patience.

          • Jaesun, you forget that I do not see any police on 99% of my trips on the roadway. I see drivers that are doing things they shouldn’t daily and are endangering others. It is obvious without any type of controls people drive like they do in India. Lanes on a roadway there are just recommendations that no one follows.

            You are right though that on race tracks etc the owner is able to have control of the drivers. If someone does something he does not like he just kicks them out and they never can come back. Drivers know this so most of them follow the rules. How is that done on your private roadway? Do they stop you on all entrances and check to see if they should let you on? Should we have that on all of our government controlled roads? If someone does something wrong we just do not let them on. Oh, we do that today already. If people drive poorly enough we take away their license. That is pretty much all we can do because we do not have enough police to stop everyone from entering a roadway. The same would be true for a private roadway unless it was a very limited access.

            If you owned all of our roadways, tell us how you plan to get everyone to drive safely? Who is going to determine what is safe driving? When you see someone driving 70 mph or more with about a half second behind another car and they say it is safe driving then what do you plan on doing to such a person? Do you believe in the libertarian way of putting someone in jail for poor driving after they kill someone when their dangerous style of driving eventually kills someone?

          • Clover,

            Jaesun, you forget that I do not see any police on 99% of my trips on the roadway.

            Yet you survive to tell your tale. How is it possible that one can survive without a LEO present 100% of the time?

            Could it be possible that most people would drive in a manner that does not endanger their well-being?

            I see drivers that are doing things they shouldn’t daily and are endangering others.

            What are some of the things they should not do?

            How are they endangering other people?

            It is obvious without any type of controls people drive like they do in India. Lanes on a roadway there are just recommendations that no one follows.

            If you owned all of our roadways, tell us how you plan to get everyone to drive safely?

            People need to be held responsible for making whole those harmed by their actions.

            I think this could be done though civil litigation and/or insurance.

            If death or injury is the result of their actions, then the responsible people need to be held accountable for their actions.

            I think this could be done though criminal litigation. This might involve prison time for the responsible party.

            Eventually if one is a bad enough driver, their insurance will become too costly or the individual will be unable to get any insurance coverage at any price.

            It may not be perfect, but I do not think your were asking for a perfect system.

  5. Breaking news: NJ passed law requiring children skiing to wear helmets. Nova Scotia passed a law 11.1.02 requiring all skiers to wear helmets or pay $250. Funny how being a busybody backfires, and the restrictions come to your preferred activity sort of like a Karma Bitch Slap.

  6. @Meth – you wrote:


    Sir, you are incandescent today! Have you been swallowing your omega-3′s, selegiline, trace minerals…and avoiding fluoride? Fire in the brain, sir, fire!”

    Would you two like a moment alone? :))

  7. An RT correspondent has recently interviewed NSA whistleblower who explains some of the capabilities of gov’t to spy on the internet. A 12 minute video is posted on

    Question: Is encryption software available that can defeat gov’t spying? Could a website be encrypted for that purpose?

    • I wrote an article on high-security encryption for the Microsoft platform a while back.

      Recently I read about the attempts at brute-force decryption at the new Utah NSA facility, and forwarded it to a friend of mine who’s extremely knowledgeable about encryption.

      We agreed on a couple of points:
      * asymmetric encryption (like that based on factoring large prime products, such as RSA) IS vulnerable to quantum computing, but the current state of quantum computing is pitifully inadequate to the task. The most I’ve heard of is 4 “qubits”; you’d need at least 256 to make a dent in modern asymmetric systems…like the kind that start the encrypted “https” web page conversations. The NSA claims they have 256; but each “qubit” is exponentially harder than the last to maintain in decoherence, so leaping from 4 to 256 made us both shake our heads and say “No. Way.”

      * symmetric encryption like the commonly used “Rijndael” aka “AES” is NOT amenable to quantum computer magic. Plus, it’s quite cheap and easy to increase the number of bits in the key; today’s standard for high security is 256 bits in the key. If you’re worried about a brute-force attack, you can square the amount of time to brute-force simply by doubling the key length to 512–while only doubling the amount of time it takes to use it when you know the key.

      So for now, everyone who knows this stuff that I’ve talked to thinks we’re safe with symmetric encryption, and probably mostly safe with asymmetric.

      And with symmetric, keeping ahead of faster and faster brute-force attacks is just a matter of longer key lengths.

      What scares me MUCH more is that they’ll simply store the encrypted messages and not bother decrypting them. Then, one day when they want a push-button case against you, they’ll not brute-force the crypto itself; they’ll brute force your KEY. And if you’ve made the mistake of choosing a human-readable key–like your password–you’re toast!

      Humans make pitifully weak keys. We choose actual passwords; and they’re much easier to crack than finding a random 256-bit key.

      That’s the real weakness.

      If you want strong crypto, don’t create passwords; create pass-phrases that are at least a whole sentence with weird punctuation. The longer, the better, and not from anything in print.

      • Good pointer on the pass-phrase. I’ll see if I can do that. What I hate about being the “keeper” and maintainer of the tech in this household is that everyone else gets lazy. So what happens if I get hit by the beer truck? Do I leave instructions behind so they, the family, can decrypt and thus get to all the stored info that I’ve kept safe for all these years with passwords/phrases buried in my now non-functioning corpse? How “secure” is that?! And if I leave my familial units something to instruct them, and I know how clueless they are (sad but true), then should the ones I’ve been guarding against come busting down the doors, what was the purpose to begin with? Why the struggle?

      • Addendum. Here again is why I believe moving to a country with fewer “resources” to screw with you is a good thing. They’re too busy doing the typical bottom-feeding corruption gig to have bodies tasked with high-tech cattle herding.

      • Thanks for the info Methyl. I downloaded the utility you wrote but can’t figure out how to activate it. Is there a plug and play version?

  8. I think anything we do should be illegal being born to start. As it sits right now when you are born you owe the feds $100k if you live to be 60 years old, if you work or not, obama care. So being born should be illegal because you MIGHT not pay your birth to death fee.

  9. I think your argument makes sense in some contexts, but if roads were privately managed as they should be I think you’d still see plenty of arbitrary rules, and you might even see some level of speed traps and the like in certain areas where there wasn’t alternative methods of transportation (temporary monopolies lets say).

    Of course in extreme cases I think people would not collect money for them or pay them if they did that, but I don’t think it would automatically get to a level that this kind of thing would be entirely prevented. On the other hand, this should be limited by the business desire to stay around for the long term, so screwing customers in the short term is probably not to their benefit. I still think it’d happen sometimes, but hopefully not as much as some may imagine.

    • It occurs to me that the word “arbitrary” is probably wrong in my post. Obviously those rules would in the long term be subject to market competition, and in that way they would be measured by cost/benefit.

  10. @BrentP – George Carlin said something once on “Politically Incorrect” with Bill Maher: you don’t need a formal conspiracy when these people all went to the same schools, joined the same fraternities, the same secret societies, know the same people.

    Good point.

    • Ah that’s a good point Don.

      I have a super-bright criminal defense lawyer friend, but he calls my idea of a criminal uber-class guiding history the “Intelligent Design theory of global collapse”.

      He hasn’t read nearly as much as I have of the history of the bankster families, the history of the royalty (inbred to a degree unknown even among poodles, and hence total psychopaths), etc.

      But he refuses to believe these things are by design.

      I’ll have to run your argument by him; that at some point, one only has to “seed” the right institutions with your conspiracy, and then momentum takes over and it becomes self-reinforcing.

      The genius of the NWO plans is that it is profitable for the participants to continue their tyranny…

      …right up to the end, when all the low- and mid-level minions get swept away in the same bonfire of destruction.

      • I’ve heard people say time and again, “Oh, there’s no way it’s possible. They’re too stupid.”

        Stupid, eh? I think they’re fricken geniuses, smart as a fox, because they’ve managed to get away with it, profitably, for centuries, while playing this “dummy” card to the true dummies who THINK they’re smarter than the ones pulling off the scam.

        The ones who typically get conned in financial shenanigans are doctors and lawyers. People who have convinced themselves they’re too smart and indispensable to be fooled.

        • @michael–that’s great! I’ll try that phrase on him…may I borrow it?

          “Simple Happenstance of Giant Evil Ponzi Schemes Creation Theory”(tm) 🙂

          @MoT: Yes; there are many geniuses among them. The Galton/Darwin eugenic in-breeding program is illustrative; they generated a large proportion of complete idiots, quite a few stillbirths and gross defects…and a small number of brilliant psychopaths.

          Just as with dog in-breeding, the survivors become increasingly neurotic and vicious.

          When one examines the bloodlines of the “elite”* it’s astonishing how closely related they are. Even their political minions are in-bred; Kerry and Bush, for instance, are distant cousins.

          The “royal” families are inbred to such an extent they bring in “fresh blood” as a matter of open fact…god help brood-mare Kate if she pisses off queen mum!

          Here’s their weakness: psychopaths are impulsive. They’re unimaginative.

          They’re idiot-savants in the art of gaining power, but helpless against their own savage impulses.

          * “elite”–I hate using that word, it’s new-speak because in all the truly desirable human qualities they’re anything but.

          • I hate it too. I try to avoid using it. When I have to in order to get my point across I try to use phrases like ‘so-called’ and ‘self-appointed’ in front of ‘elite’. This gives it a mocking sort of tone I think.

          • MOT- agreed. People who are running tax farms, dominating the globe….seems fairly smart to me.

            meth- ha! I’m anti-IP, so please use and distribute as much as possible, as much as is useful.

            I think it’s fair to note that if somebody is going to bash something… that’s all well and good, but what is the alternative? Secret police organizations dominating the globe out of mere happenstance? Luck? There’s a reason your friend works hard at his job, and doesn’t just go buy a lottery ticket, because he understands the foolishness of playing the odds.

  11. I came to this article from LRC. After perusing the comments I returned to LRC and came across this from Mark Twain: http://lewrockwell.com/orig/twain5.1.1.html. There is much wisdom here. Perhaps instead of trying to convince people that the coat of collectivism is shabby and should be thrown in the woods, we should try to convince them, by way of example, because many of us are monkey see, monkey do creatures, that the coat of freedom is far more hip, far more stylish, more approved by others than the current fashion. After that, it’s simply a matter of adding or subtracting various accessories to keep the coat “now.”

    • That’s true. People often behave in a herd manner and that’s why the “collective” has its sheep herders in power. The trick is convincing enough of the herd to ignore the yammering control dogs because if they don’t they’ll continue to be fleeced or slaughtered.

      • Look at traffic. It annoys the shit out of me that someone will just sit there staring at a red light even though there’s not a car in sight. I feel like an idiot of I do it so for a few years now I’ve been simply looking around to see if there’s a cop, and if not I go. I’ve had a few people follow me at times as well. That makes me feel good.

        Someday I’ll get caught and get a ticket – which I won’t pay – but for now, I’m bound and determined to think for myself even if the gov’t says it’s wrong.

        • I’ve gone through red lights like this in the early morning too, but with the medians all over the place here which make it harder to see I do it much less often than I used to.

  12. For people who read Eric and agree, in general, with him there seems to be a level of “how could anyone think that these laws will make society better?” thinking. What you must understand is that politicians, bureaucrats and social do-gooders think that everyone in society, except them and those that agree with them, is a suicidal killer just waiting to explode. If you remember this the actions of GovCo and its supporters makes perfect, logical sense.

    Also remember, speeding fines are actually Road Use Velocity Taxes…no more, no less.

  13. Here’s a thought to consider: Some people have allowed themselves to be victims and are content with that status because they are either employed by government or receive a benefit from government. These people have decided to remain in the current “sea of shit” and cannot be reached with logical arguments. When we, who are awake and aware, try to reason with the confirmed victims we become victims ourselves, in another sense.

    The solutions will only come from the likes of people who post on this forum and other similar forums! The confirmed victims must be allowed to go their own way. When the NWO crowd are defeated, which is an eventual certainty IMO, the former victims will switch their allegiance to the new paradigm, which will benefit everyone.

    Rehashing all the problems in our society may reach a small percentage of fence sitters, but the confirmed victim is firmly resolve to remain just that. The power has always been with the people. Why else would government spend so much time and effort in usurping the power of the individual. If we utilize our power at the right time we will win.

    • The problem with evolution is the fact that many victims of unconstitutional laws continue to languish in jails and prisons. I suppose that some even die.

      In spite of all the tools available to force change, we are actually governed by public opinion which lags justice by many years.

      I’ve spent enough time in jail to know just how long a day can be.


      • Your response has absolutely nothing to do with evolution.

        Contrary to popular belief evolution is not merely synonymous to adaptation. Instead it is an upward spiral of spiritual growth where higher levels of existence are attained. A physical spiral exists in every strand of human DNA. Also, notice the correlation between spiral and spirit.

        • Evolution as in evolve. If you have a dictionary, use it. If you do not have a dictionary, acquire one and use it often.


          • Some definitions in modern dictionaries are skewed and obscure the true meanings of words. The NWO crowd is perfectly happy with obscurity and confusion in understanding reality. In fact they would like the human race to devolve into idiots misusing pertinent words and agreeing to their sheeple status.

            I choose to understand the proper meaning of words and use them in the proper context.

            Evolution has absolutely nothing to do with politics or jail time.

          • The Rothchilds would view your bleatings with a combination of satisfaction and disdain, but unfortunately you are still scheduled for project abattoir.

  14. Hey Eric,

    I’m curious if you’ve read any of my book that I had sent you a few months back, Hate The Game? You’ve been writing a lot of good philosophical articles lately, and I’ve loved them.

    As for this article, I’ve been thinking about how people are unable to reconcile their basic ideas about life between themselves. A recent example I encountered was with a gay friend of my wife, who (while admitting that the state does restrict his rights) enjoys the protection of the state in the form of anti-discrimination laws. He thinks it’s a good thing, especially for him, that people cannot (at least overtly) discriminate against him because of his sexual preference. And, of course, he said that he wants the ability to associate with whomever he pleases. However, these are two things which are mutually exclusive.

    You cannot have freedom of association (and therefore, freedom of disassociation), and forced association (under the threat of violence from the state) at the same time. They simply cannot exist together.

    People haven’t taken 10 minutes to work out the contradictions in their own opinions….

    therefore, everyone should begin every unprincipled sentence of discussing politics with “When I am dictator….(we’ll do it this way).”

    But if people were willing to be that honest with themselves–and everyone else–they would have already been honest with their own intellectual contradictions.

    Keep up the great articles.

    • Hi Mike,

      I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t – for lack of time. Becky Akers also sent me hers – and, the same. This site occupies much of my available time; our “faux farm,” the remainder. I often wish I had a clone – and I bet Dom (the other half of the dynamic duo here at EPautos) does, too. Sometimes, I miss the days when worked within the system – i.e., had a salaried job – and that job was to produce three columns per week, plus the occasional unsigned editorial. The pace was much more relaxed – and I had free time. But would I go back? No way! It has been – it is – tremendously liberating to be able to “write at will,” about what I want to write about and more, how I want to write about it. Even if it were just car reviews, the freedom of expression I now enjoy is something I value even more than open weekends or holidays free of work. But the big one is being able, in my own small way, to participate in what I believe to be a tsunami of liberty-awareness that is rapidly picking up strength. The thing that thrills me to no end is contemplation of the possibility that I may live to see it wash away the collectivism I have despised my entire life.

      In any event, I have both yours and Becky’s – and one of these days, I promise, I will get to them. I am certain they will both be worth my time!

      Your fellow Clover Buster

      • No worries, Eric, there’s never any pressure at all. You’re doing some fantastic work, and I’m really enjoying the articles you’ve been putting out. I’m looking forward to having a conversation about it, more than anything, so keep up the great work!

      • I’ve tried without success to find Becky’s mailing address. That’s how it is with those who have achieved some degree of success in publishing their opinions.


    • Someone once asked Ludwig Von Mises what he would do to solve the problems of his day.

      We admire your scholarship and prescriptions for societal improvements, they said, but if you were given power, how would you put your principles into action? What is the first thing you would do as ReichChancelor?

      That’s easy, said Mises. The first thing I would do is abdicate.

  15. Here again, when it comes to all these laws, I think we need to ask the timeless question: Cui bono? As a friend of mine would say, the list is long and distinguished: Law enforcement, intelligence agencies, regulatory agencies, big business of all stripes, lawyers, the media, non-profits and NGOs, as well as the criminals themselves all stand to profit from plethoric laws and regulations. Look at it like investing in the stock market: The war on (some) drugs has increased the risk-reward ratio for street drugs to the point that it’s irresistible for many people, even in nations where they behead you if you’re caught dealing. That’s the power of prohibition. Do away with prohibition across the board, quantity and quality would increase, the prices would collapse and the large scale violence would stop. That’s the power of the free market. We can’t have that, now can we?

    Many would call me a kook for suggesting U.S. intelligence agencies import drugs to fund their “black ops” “under the radar” (i.e. without congressional approval). So be it. Surely the significant increase in Afghani poppy production since the gun-vernment sent lots of armed men there, along with increased Heroin use in Amerikan cities is just a coincidence right? Hillary even admitted to a Mexicana reporter that the Marijuana laws will stand because there’s too much money in it. What the hell does that mean? I think we all know. In much the same way that the moonshiners’ and bootleggers’ biggest customers were in the District of Criminals, the “white line highway” runs straight to the beltway to this day. Powder and pills for the gentry; pot, smack and crack for the weed people. Oh yeah, and shit loads of money for the CIA et al, that are in on the scam.

    The recent legalization initiatives in Washington and Colorado will tell you everything you need to know about this “liberal” prez and his couterie: They’re gonna’ sue! Can’t have the unwashed masses raising their own recreational mind altering substances in their back yards! My gawd, what then will become of the liquor tax? Worse yet, if more people smoke dope they might mellow out. They won’t be interested in terrorism, rag-heads or perpetual warfare anymore. What then will become of “our” war profits!? Man…there oughta be a law…

    • Boothe anybody who calls you a “kook” for saying out loud, confidently that the government imports drugs is an idiot.

      It’s time for Americans to stop being so god-damned naive!

      It’s not a theory; it is a confirmed, published FACT that the government imports drugs including cocaine, heroin, and pot. They hate methamphetamine because it’s too distributed; cuts into the profits, you know.

      There are hundreds of mainstream articles detailing the cocaine importation, mostly on the Iran-Contra affair. That “affair” was simply the most prominent, and the first time they were so publicly outed. But the Cocaine Import Agency has a long history of funding itself this way.

      The banks are in on it too; recently they were fined around $100 million for laundering $384 billion. What’s that, 0.003%?

      The whole scam is absolutely out in the open. Ex-DEA agents admit it, a DEA higher up a few years ago (search on youtube) at an East LA community center apologizing for causing the crack epidemic. Mena, Arkansas.

      And what’s more amazing about peoples’ unwillingness to believe this is how OLD this scam is. I mean, for god’s sake, it’s even got a WAR named after it–The Opium War.

      It’s the same families, pulling the same scams, for hundreds of years.

      What we’re seeing today is the culmination of their plans, being played out by their most in-bred psychopathic offspring. If we don’t beat this thing, it is going to be hell.

      • You and Boothe are both spot on. TWOD is the ultimate racket. As always, follow the money. Eventually, it always leads back to the same dangerously in-bred bloodlines whether in the form of monarchies or banksterism.

      • Meth,

        I know you know this, but to broach the topic:

        One of the vilest aspects of the government’s profiteering off the importation/sale of illegal drugs is the deliberate, calculated feralization (my neologism) of what we now call the black underclass. It did not exist as recently as the mid-1960s. Most cities were safe, excepting a few “bad neighborhoods” here and there. And even there, the animalistic state-of-nature so typical today was nonexistent then. Most blacks spoke proper English. Their families were intact. Most strove to better themselves via education and work. They did not behave as savages if you gnomesayin

        Then the urban core of every major city was literally flooded with hard-core, debilitating narcotics. Heroin, cocaine – and then, crack. A drug made especially for mass distribution to poor black people. Tailor made for them. For a purpose. That purpose was severalfold:

        Create a feral underclass of black thuggery; use them to scare the shit out of white people and foster racial friction – both of which serve the interests of the power brokers. Render a large percentage of the black population dependent on government largesse, apathetic and helpless; create a new Proletariat – one that will demand their Lenin. Degrade high culture, music and art by promoting “thug culture” – derived from the foregoing; market it as “cool” to non-black youth. Soon, they will be ready for the same treatment already meted out to blacks – having become just as brain-rotted, violent-minded and nihilistic.

        The savagery of government is literally beyond description.

        • They are in Japan, making sure the Video Consoles they ship degrade and not educate. They’re in Germany making sure we only import toys and leisure items. They’re in LA Metro making sure romance and sexual movies, are about degradation, power, and economic necessity with no humanity whatsoever.
          Radio, TV, News, Social Media, Blogs, they infiltrate everything and keep it within desired parameters by any means. Against guidelines, they’re openly operating in NYC metro. 600k stop and frisks, Muslim school infiltration. No doubt they feralized the jihadists and gave them advanced military gear and training.
          The oceans may teem with drones. The pidgeons may all have micro recorders, =he galaxy has been completely mined. Who can say how big they are and whether it is they who run the UN, IMF, and many other things.

          The inner-cities may soon team with robotic K9 units howling and prowling 24/7, I wouldn’t rule it out. Pre feralization, the American blacks are the most productive, physically capable cohort on the entire earth. We need to flip the scrip and pay the willing ones a real wage. Not crip scrip.

          Slaves were selected for fitness and selectively bred that way as well. They’re a hell of a resource, if we can get them to take the red pill and wake up like we are.

          100.000 visitors squared is 10 billion in force multiplication terms, more than enough to change the world.

        • That is how government rules over people in the USA. It is always looking to create division. The division then expands its power.

          Why people allow themselves to be so easily manipulated I’ll never understand. I cannot comprehend how they do not see it.

        • I agree the gov’t has done any and every egregious thing one can think of – and why wouldn’t they? Who’s gonna stop them?

          But when I hear conspiracies on this scale I hesitate. I think you give the gov’t far, far too much credit.

          I don’t believe they could carry out such a long-term effort of this scope and magnitude. Hell they can’t even sell arms to Iran and funnel money to the contras w/o getting caught.

          Such a devious and sinister plan is far beyond the intellectual capabilities of the trogolodytes in Washington. Especially, considering it had to be carried out over generations of congress, the presidency and the supreme court.

          I have no doubt they are pleased with the outcome, but I can’t believe it was of their own design.

          • It does not come from the clowns in government. It comes from the tax exempt foundations. The think tanks. The policy organizations.

            The foundations that have the money to influence the schools and thus influence very intelligent people, whom it then uses the money to hire into its ranks. These people then write articles, papers, studies, and so on which in turn influence those in elected and unelected government office to proceed with the long term agenda and plans.

            There needs not be a formal conspiracy when one can influence, teach others, that what is desired is right and good. The people so convinced will carry out the agenda all on their own without meeting or oversight. All that is needed is a few people to fund the programs, to through the money drive the curriculum.

            Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and many others don’t have principles or any particular knowledge. They do what gets them ahead. What gets them ahead? Following the agenda. Doing as their advisers say. Where do these advisers come from? The foundations, the think tanks, the insider corporations, the institutions of influence.

            There doesn’t even need to be a formal conspiracy of the so called elite who control these institutions. They simply have a vested and common interest in the status quo, in the same agenda, to drive in the same direction. They can work independently for their own wealth and power and it could look like a conspiracy because they are all served by the same actions.

            They might even have meetings where they talk and discuss what is in their best interests. But no formal need exist for things that benefit them. For instance, we need not conspire, what is in our best interests is the same thing. We discuss the ways upon which to get there, to influence, and so on. This is what I believe the so-called elite does more formally and mostly secretively amongst themselves. However, like us, they write things that are right out in the open for anyone to read.

            That’s how I see it. No coincidences, no detailed well run conspiracies, just a common cause of people manipulating towards an end that serves them.

          • @Don,

            Brent’s reply is right on.

            You might also want to read about the Tavistock Institute in the UK; really nasty little outfit.

            But more to Brent’s point; look at things like the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations). A few thousand of the top–journalists, the owners of newspapers, Fortune 500 CEO’s…and a who’s who of insiders in Washington. Often NOT front-line politicians, but the men behind them–secretaries of state, treasury, defense.

            Even Reagan’s administration was crawling with these lice; something like 2/3 of the top people were CFR members.

            Read Gary Allen’s “None Dare Call it Conspiracy”, or (if you’re really patient) Carroll Quigley’s “Tragedy and Hope”. Both describe this “circles within circles” organization.

            As Brent points out, in the middle and outer circles it’s about mutual benefit and self-propagation.

            The genius lay in societies like the Fabian Socialists over a hundred years ago who set up the inner circles–and their concentric rings we see today…CFR, Bilderberg, Davos, G20, Trilaterals, etc.

        • Eric–

          Absolutely. It could not have been planned and designed better to destroy the blacks.

          Combine that with “welfare”–aka the replacement of the black father with the State as the black woman’s point of allegiance.

          It is precisely what an 1800’s consultant to slave owners advised; beat the hell out of the man in front of the wife. She will then emasculate her male progeny, who’ll be obedient slaves and avoid the beating of the husband that so traumatized the wife.

          The slave owner replaces the husband. The woman is psychologically bound. The young male, neutered.

          Now destroy manufacturing; does anyone here think it’s an accident that American manufacturing is in terminal decline? The government pays subsidies to ship factories overseas! Hell, they told Gibson guitars the raids would stop if they moved their factory to Madagascar.

          Could you have designed a better system to destroy black families?

          The counterpoint is very encouraging, though. Of all the people I talk to, young black men are some of the most politically aware. They are seething with hatred of the government, and many–much more than among white youths–know WHY they should be angry.

          • I watched that Ruppert video. Notice the black crowd cheering? A crowd of ‘normal’ whites would have ridiculed Ruppert. Sadly as a group they (and much of the rest of the people in the USA) still seem to be a clinging to a ‘just the right people’ notion even when having the feeling that there is greater scheme going on.

            The problem of course being there aren’t any ‘just the right people’ to wield that power. Only occasionally someone who will refuse to wield it.

        • Suggestion: Visit nola.com and examine columnist Jarvis DeBerry’s opeds concerning the Drug War.

          I am purgelies.


        • Go to nola.com and examine recent columns by Jarvis DeBerry (A Black columnist with an anti-White agenda.)and also columns by James Varney.

          I’ve posted stuff in the last few days that nola.com would have quickly deleted a few years ago. I probably set the record for posts deleted. I’m sure both johnny-come-lately assholes will make use of my recent posts without ever mentioning my name.

          As I predicted long ago, the Times-Picayune really got its downsized ass kicked by the Internet.



      • Yes! Thanks Michael.

        I’m still looking for the one where the high-up DEA or CIA goon apologizes; it might even be earlier or later in that same meeting.

        Slowly, slowly people are waking up. Their anger when they realize what’s been done to them is going to be magnificent and frightening. It’s coming.

  16. I generally stick with the concept of negative rights vs positive rights with positive rights being bullshit.

    I have the right to do as I please as long as I don’t harm you or your property. (negative right) ie, Driving as fast as you want as long as you don’t harm anyone or their property.

    I do not have the right to force anyone to provide me with any goods or services. (positive rights) ie,Collecting welfare.

    Welfare can’t be a right because to make it work you have to use force against other people and thus you are violating their rights.

    The right to give or take from a charity is a negative right and I’m fine with that. Nobody should ever stop you from giving to or receiving from Charities. Although there are anti-panhandling laws all over the place.

    • Are you familiar with Isaiah Berlin’s essay, “Two Concepts of Liberty”? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Concepts_of_Liberty)

      I must say I found myself less clear on the matter than before I read it. I believe, however, that an honest thinker is always about knowing what he means and trying to devise the best ways to articulate it. It is therefore just a matter of an extra bit of head-scratching, but that leaves one’s arguments stronger afterwards.

      There are structural aspects that impact on negative liberty in practice, i.e. the right not to begin from a disadvantage if that represents a cultivated structure with an arguable purpose – or even a usefulness after the fact for those who would encroach on one’s liberty. All we want is a fair shot, but that does imply starting from a reasonably viable starting-point.

      The point is that these structural aspects can be addressed in the light of negative liberty, rather than as occasions for positive liberty. It gets interesting.

      • A “reasonably viable starting point” must be the beginning: The dynamic interactions between mother and father, and between them and their children—as all political camps have their genesis from starting point, from those interactions and relationships.

        The nuclear family is a manifestation of Natural Law. So, studying and understanding the biological/psychological drives impacting family dynamics help to explain the limitations of liberty within the Matrix (( aka L I F E )).

        Every society has within it a certain number unable to mature beyond the character and capabilities of children—those adults who never grew up, for whatever reason. So, society creates accommodations which lead to restrictions on everyone’s liberty.

        Our libertarian wish to remove those accommodations is understandable, yet may be unreasonable to the point of expressing our own brand of Utopianism; and which wish for unfettered, non-coercive liberty may be a denial of Natural Law–not unlike those parents giving their children an unbriddled liberty inside and outside the household.

        Our anti-authoritarian premise doesn’t work in a household of children—nor in a society of child-like adults.

        My point being this: The rage against the machine must be tempered with real-world understanding and accommodation of the biological/psychological drives – natural laws – which make a Libertarian Utopia here impossible to achieve.

        That’s life; that’s the Matrix.

        Study my two large, scribble-on-the-fly posts at the bottom of this page: http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/contact/#comment-2690
        (( and study Brian Wilson’s much-related piece on the power of EMOTION in politics: http://lewrockwell.com/wilson-brian/wilson-brian43.1.html )) .

        • You wrote: “I keep hoping and praying that the nation will come to its senses.” The majority of Americans overwhelmingly came to their senses.

          There are some 240 million voting age people. Of those about 110 million voted. Only 51 million of those for Obama. The president was elected by 21% of the electorate. The majority of the electorate – about 140 million – voted for “none of the above”.

          Unfortunately, the way the stystem is contrived it wouldn’t matter if nobody voted at all, those in power would find a way to justify selecting their man.

          • Glad someone else noticed the mandate for “none of the above”. Off topic but I heard Obama saying he had a mandate from the people to raise taxes. Seems the real mandate is we the people wanted none of you losers in office, yet there you stand. I guess logic isn’t taught at Harvard, Columbia or in madrasahs, or toney prep schools in Hawaii. It’s almost as if they know what they are doing and are daring the cattle to see their mal intent, which used to be a requirement for a crime to be committed. Using this logic, all politicians are guilty of real crimes. While we the cattle are tried and convicted of arbitrary infractions. Great thread all. I’ve enjoyed the proof of intelligence on the planet.

          • Yet if tens of millions of armed people said “NO” you’d hear the archons in DC exclaim that their opinions were “irrelevant, seditious, and a threat to national security”… i.e. not the way they want things to be. As was said before “If voting changed anything they’d make it illegal”.

          • Dear Don,

            Exactly right.

            If we were to take “champions of democracy” at the their word, if we were to hold them to their ringing declarations about “consent of the governed,” then Obomber would not be “our president.”

            He would only be the president of those 21% of the citizens who actually cast their ballots for him, and who actually designated him as their “agent.”

            But of course, as you rightly note: “the way the stystem is contrived it wouldn’t matter if nobody voted at all, those in power would find a way to justify selecting their man.”

          • Dear Tomas,

            I agree.

            I think Obomber has a mandate to raise taxes on the 21% who voted for him.

            I have no objections whatsoever to him doing just that.

            He can raise taxes on the 21% who voted for him as high as he likes.

    • Give as much of your own money as you wish. I’ll do nothing to stop you. –Paraphrasing Ayn Rand

      Ayn Rand did not consider charity a major virtue. Neither do I.


      • Helping people is cool – when it’s done of one’s own free will – and the recipient is both deserving and appreciative.

        Otherwise – help yourself, buddy!

  17. The state with all its laws encourages irresponsibility. The speed limit is 55mph… so 55mph is ok in dense fog. Government says that’s the limit and it’s ridiculously slow on a sunny day… so people drive 55mph in the fog and wonder why there’s a 100 car pile up. Because one driver slowed to 30mph because he couldn’t see far enough ahead at 55mph but some idiot obeying the sign, conditioned to follow the state’s edicts, rear ended him. Then stopped in the road the next idiot crashed into the first idiot and so on. Sure somewhere in government publications it says the speed limit doesn’t apply in poor conditions… well that’s not what it practices. It practices telling people to obey.

    Did the signs on I294 say to exercise good judgment? No. They said obey speed limit in work zones. It didn’t say do 35mph when the construction crews were six inches from traffic and do 70mph when they weren’t anywhere to be seen. It said obey work zone speed limit of 45mph. Obey. One size fits all.

    The state replaces individual judgment with one-size-fits-all mandates. With policies and procedures. Plastic butter knife in the kid’s lunch? Well that’s a knife and the policy says expulsion. Meanwhile the kid who made a shank out of a toothbrush hasn’t technically violated the rules. But when he uses that shank to defend himself from a bully the school administration encouraged, well then there will be a ban on tooth brushes and dental floss. Why floss? I don’t know, same reason as when Mayor Daley called for a law mandating bicycle helmets because a few crotch rocket riders killed themselves on the Dan Ryan expressway. It just sounds right.

    The whole society has come to reflect the government schools. An absurd collectivist prior restraint model. It can’t be mere coincidence. Everyone begging permission and demanding rules for all when one person misbehaves. Just like a WW2 movie in a POW camp or a Nazi occupied territory. One person misbehaves? Everyone is punished. Monkeys in the pit again perhaps?

    As if a rule ever stopped a criminal. All more rules does is make more criminals. Which of course is the health of the state.

    • I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a fellow a few days ago. We were talking about this very thing, stupid laws and individual responsibility, whereupon I said, “There’s no law, writ or restraining order that’ll stop a bullet”. Liberty begins and ends with YOU not in the State or it’s diktats. So when statists mewl about “privileges” and not rights is when I want to give them a back handed slap to the face to wake them up

    • Yes Brent it is impossible to have enough signs up to tell you what you all do wrong in your driving. That is what the rules of the road are written for. Do you follow it? No! you make up your own rules. Rules that 99% of other people disagree with and rules that endanger others. You say that the guy driving 55 mph in the fog was just following the law? A speed limit sign means the maximum speed not the minimum speed for safety. Where do you come up with your ideas of right and wrong?

      • Nice projection Clover. I follow all the _written_ rules of right of way. You’re the one who makes up new rules like, it’s ok to turn right into the left hand lane and make someone brake because you don’t like the someone. That and countless other oddities of lane usage and right of way you have spewed forth. SUV changes lanes into the side of my car _without_ signaling and you blame me for being there minding my own business in a separate lane. Stop projecting. Troll.

        • Clover also “speeds,” of course. (That is, he – like just about everyone – exceeds the arbitrary velocity restrictions on a regular basis.)

          But when Clover does it, it’s ok.

        • Tell us Brent if someone in front of you uses his turn signal and starts moving into the lane that you are in is it your right of way to speed up, stand on your horn and push him out of the way? Is that your version of right of way laws? Does the person braking multiple laws always have the right of way?

          Is speeding faster than surrounding cars in the right lane and tailgating OK but lack of use of a turn signal not OK? Tell us Brent, what is the difference?

          • Clover, I watched the video and Brent’s absolutely right. And you’re absolutely wrong (as usual).

            The “merging” (if you can call it that) driver pulled slowly into the path of another car, forcing the other driver – who had the right of way – to either brake violently or swerve to get around. And you defend the actions of the “merger.”

            Here’s the deal, oh scrumptious one: If you are unable or unwilling to pull into traffic quickly enough such that the oncoming traffic does not have to brake or swerve to avoid you, then wait until the way is clear enough for your Cloveritic self to merge at your Cloveritic pace.

          • It is of no surprise to me that you think that flipping on a turn signal grants right of way. I doesn’t. The turn signal shows intent. If you don’t have right of way the signal does not change that.

            You’re supposed to determine that it is clear to make your move prior to signaling. Not signal and then expect others to clear the path for you.

          • For one thing Eric, Brent had multiple videos where he was wrong about people turning, changing lanes and merging. There was not just one occurrence. Brent is flat out the worst driver I have ever seen. For one he always has to be passing, on the right lane or left lane or in the same lane as another vehicle. He always brings up that someone else either broke a very minor law or did something that deserves the death penalty like making him take his foot off the gas. No, Brent is not capable of taking his foot off the gas even give over 3 seconds to do so! Instead he either stands on his horn and speeds up and cuts the other driver off by sharing the same lane or he pulls into a no passing zone. Maybe he is very rarely right that another driver should not have done something but Brent’s reaction to such a case is to drive 1000 times worse and more dangerous than the diver he is complaining about. Some day he will get his head smashed in by someone who does not take his shit!

          • CloverTo reply to Brent, you are not supposed to be tailgating and speeding in the first place. If you were driving and following any kind of our laws there would not have been a confrontation. Like I said before, the guy breaking the most laws does not have the right of way. In Germany you would have been fined severely! They frown big time on tailgating and speeding! You would have received many points against you. Like I also said before, in skiing the person coming from behind always has to yield to the person in front.
            Brent, give us a list with the order of priority of laws that should be followed and ones to never follow. I would be interested in seeing the list. Is it only the laws that someone else breaks that matter? Is that the libertarian way? Let me do anything but others have limits?CloverClover

            • Clover, skiing isn’t driving. A car pulling into traffic from a side street (as in the video) must yield to the oncoming traffic as a matter of law as well as common sense and common courtesy – qualities you lack. As King Clover, you expect others to defer to you. That’s not the way it works. And as Brent mentioned, if you tried doing what was done in that video in front of one of your beloved law enforcers, you’d very quickly be disabused of your Cloveritic notion that skiing rules apply on the road.

          • First off Brent, in the first video you were speeding in the right lane and riding in someone’s blind spot at the merge area. Against the law for one and lazy poor driving by you. I do not defend the other driver but say it would never happen if you were driving correctly. It never would have happened to someone who knows how to drive.Clover

            The second truck that entered your lane did nothing wrong except possibly not accelerating fast enough. Even the poorest driver in the US should have been able to let up on the accelerator and there would have been no incident. You were the only one breaking multiple laws.Clover

            I was listening to a football game today in the car and it got me thinking. Most drivers are like the football player that may inadvertently brush or bump another player after the whistle. Brent is like the guy that retaliates and just all out decks the guy. Guys like that who deck other players if caught get penalized 15 yards, may get thrown out of the game and fined big time. Brent should be fined big time and lose his license and possibly thrown in jail. By the way, thanks for the videos demonstrating your poor driving.Clover

          • There’s no “merge” area. There’s two separate lanes. They do not “merge”.

            Under the Illinois vehicle code a driver turning right must stay as close to the right hand edge or curb as practicable. I’ve quoted this to you chapter and verse from the Illinois vehicle code previously. Furthermore proper entering of a roadway does not require those on the roadway to take any evasive action what so ever. This is also coded into the law wrt turning on to a road when safe to do so. Again, I am repeating myself. So, how is turning into the left lane when it is not clear to do so legal?

            The social clover law of course! Where only certain things are demonized and touchy feely malleable social ‘rules’ determine right of way. Still waiting for you to comment on this guy in the red caddy:

            Guess he’s too much like you.

            Here’s a hint for you on priority, right of way and lane discipline are first. You don’t crash if you’re not on a collision course. Duh!

            As too your gladiatorial sport, I really wouldn’t know what happens these days. I haven’t watched or listened to football in any meaningful way since the mid 1980s.

            I don’t think avoiding crashing into people is ‘retaliating’.

          • BrentP: There are some things you just never forget…because they scared the crap out of you. Back in 1981 I was headed west on Racetrack Rd. in Ft. Walton Beach, FL one night (well after dark) on my motorcycle. I was near the high school, approaching an intersection on a green light, running the speed limit in the right lane. Once of Clover’s relatives, a little old blue haired lady in an full size geezer-mobile pulled right out in front of me, cut all the way over into the left lane and ran me up up over the curb and into the median at about 45 MPH. Somehow I managed to keep the bike upright.

            I got back on the road and followed granny Clover “home” (assisted living apartments) and when she got out of the car I confronted her with “What were trying to do back there, kill me?” She responded “I didn’t see you.” I came back with “Oh yeah. Well I’m running an Osram 80/100 headlight, there’s no way in hell you didn’t see me.” Her response was classic Clover “Well Florida has a right turn on red law, ya’ know.” I yelled “Not when there’s oncoming traffic!” so loud she dropped her bag of groceriess and oranges went rolling across the parking lot. I felt kind of bad about scaring her, but I figured she needed a good scare to keep her from killing someboby else and left her to pick up her own bloody oranges. Sheesh, some people…

            • Hey Boothe,

              Been there/done that…

              Back in ’99, I was almost offed by a Clover who turned left in front of me without signaling or even stopping. He just turned. The only reason I’m not roadkill is: I was watching (and have learned to expect people to do this kind of thing)… I was on an agile sport bike… and I had room to maneuver. If there had been another car in the lane next to mine I would have been seriously out of luck that day.

          • Yep. Done the same except I’m bicycling. Following them to their destination on a bicycle is doable more times than not it seems.

            These people have important things to do so they nearly kill me to gain a few seconds on a bicyclist which they then waste fiddling with crap before they get out of the car. The geezers are ones who will at times say they did what they did on purpose and have every right to do so.

            I can imagine how it must be to deal with this nonsense at motorcycle speeds.

          • CloverCloverBrent drivers have more responsibilities on the roadway than to just follow laws. Oh, you do not follow laws or follow responsibilities as a driver. As a driver it is your responsibility to drive so there is no confrontation or accident potential. It is your responsibility not to tailgate, not to drive in someone’s blind spot, not to be passing when you are in the right lane, moving away from the right lane when possible when there is merging vehicles, turn your headlights on under less than ideal conditions so others can see you. Yes there are a lot of responsibilities as a driver to make things safer for everyone. Some are enforced by laws and police when they see it and others are not. They are still responsibilities that you should be following. Not you though! You are too lazy to do the correct and safe thing. Make others look out for you wherever you feel like driving.
            I was driving in to work this morning and left a small town and was out in the country and an SUV just had to pass me and I have no clue why? About a half a mile down the road he was lit up. I made it to work on time driving the speed I was driving. The car that had to get there sooner was I am sure late!

          • In other words, follow the ‘clover law’. A socially malleable set of rules based on intangibles.

            This why clovers are nearly never upset about cops and politicians violating traffic laws. After all they are cops, so it’s ok for them. Maybe if a politician was drunk and getting a blow job from a transvestite hooker while driving and ended up running a red signal and killed a nun then they might get upset. But someone they don’t approve of? Even if that guy is stone cold sober and 100% in compliance with the written law and the nun ran the red light the clover social law will still find a way to hang him.

            There is the essence of clover law. It’s emotional. Based on the social order. Who is who. Who is liked more. Who is disliked. Who is popular, who is not. What their private life is like. What the emotionally drummed up offense of the day is. There’s no real law, because that would mean clovers would have to adjust their own behavior in a logical rational way.

            The crumbling empire in which we live is a testimony to clover law. “Bad” people being bombed, tolerating the war on drugs and all the profits makes for insiders and bailouts and wars and everything else so long as the office holders send out the social security checks and keep the stock market propped up. The feeling social clover law which is nothing but a license to steal and kill for those who can dominate the social order.

            Written law applied to the letter? Never for the clover. “If you have nothing to hide” a favorite of the socially selective nature of the clover law. Just conform. Just be like everyone else. I laugh when one of your kind has the written rules applied to them and it becomes a news story. It’s laughable how they whine about how the law was intended for someone else or how what they supported is now ‘theft’. It’s always different when they get treated to taste of what they support against others.

            Well Clover, your system is going to collapse under it’s own disgusting weight. It’s just a matter of time now. Not if, just when, and how painful it will be and what will come out the other side of it. Might want to repent before its too late.

          • CloverBrent you still have not explained why if someone breaks a minor law or for that matter breaks no laws and endangering no one and it makes you furious. You also get furious when someone starts to run into you because they did not look in their blind spot well enough. You call them lazy. Every drivers class ever taught and all drivers manuals say to stay out of someone’s blind spot. Why is it a major violation for someone else not to be putting out enough effort driving but it is OK for you to put out no effort? Explain that Brent. Clover

            You break dozens of laws but you come up with an excuse why you break laws. You say no one follows them, everyone tailgates, it is up to someone else to look out for your lazy driving. Someone else pulled on the road and slowed you down for a second so it is OK to break all laws after that happens. Are all of these symptoms a sign of some kind of mental problem?Clover

            • Well, Clover, you never explain anything. You emote. Incoherently. To wit:

              “Brent you still have not explained why if someone breaks a minor law or for that matter breaks no laws and endangering no one and it makes you furious”

              I cannot parse this confabulation of incoherence.

          • One of the most obdurate problems is the confused mix of private and public sectors, both in the law and the infrastructure.

            A fully privatized, free market anarchist community would have sensible common law agreements that anyone who chose to live in that community would abide by.

            Sort of like the “rules of the road” at a go kart track or theme park.

            The fact is many of these problems are insoluble under a “mixed economy” type arrangement.

            But the fault belongs to “The Government,” and not sovereign individuals who were prevented by “The Government” from negotiating more sensible and practical arrangements voluntarily, among themselves.

          • No Brent. The problem with our society is you. You have done things 10 times worse than anyone you are complaining about but but it is OK because you did it. Is that the libertarian way? It is your liberty to endanger others? You are too lazy to follow any common sense things that are in the rules of the road. You have still not told us your list of approved laws and laws and that should be thrown out. You have not given us your list of approved lazy driving habits and lazy driving habits that deserve your wrath?CloverCloverCloverClover

            • Clover, a question for you: Has Brent harmed anyone?

              If he hasn’t, then what’s your issue? That he might? Well, so might you, too!

              Might is subjective, general – and theoretical.

              Harm done is actual, real, specific.

              You and your ilk want to impose restrictions on – and punish people for – might. Brent and I and people like us would only demand that people who cause an actual harm be held accountable (civilly and/or criminally). Otherwise, leave them alone.

              Which is the moral course of action, Clover? Using violence against people who haven’t done anything to anyone – but “might” (as felt by such as you)? Or leaving others alone and in peace unless and until they’ve actually done something to someone?

              You’ll counter with Cloveritic emoting about “greater risks,” “society” and all the rest of that tired litany of justifications for controlling other people on the basis of group guilt and prior restraint.

              The problem – one of the many problems – is there’s no end to it. Because anyone might do anything at any time. Your quest for a risk-free society is quixotic as well as tyrannical. It can never be.

              All it can be is suffocating.

          • Yawn. Third rate troll.
            Once again, Where is your evidence of anger? You’re just projecting your own emotions and vindictiveness on me.

            Your trolling tells people so much about you.

            The rest is more of your usual lies and insults. Blah. You’re a broken record.

  18. Great article, as usual. The points you make are spot on. Unbelievable that the sheeple don’t/won’t see the 800 lb. gorilla at the table. The cognitive disonence is astounding and frustrating. It’s fun when I explain the command control matrix to a clover they get a dreamy spaced out look in their eyes as if I was explaining trigonometry to my five year old. The comments are always intellectually stimulating so keep up the good work guys.

    • Do you think it’s cognitive disonence for most or outright conditioned denial? Delusion? Is there a conflict within them or do they really believe it?

      I know there are many who moan and gripe in private about the parking tickets and speeding tickets and taxes and at the same time believe in gov’t spending and foreign wars etc…

      Then there are those who believe that if somone gets a ticket or arrested then they must have deserved it.

      Those are the ones that scare me.

      • Rand (for all her faults) incisively characterized this as the “anti-conceptual mentality.” People who cannot (or will not) discern/apply the principles at stake with regard to any given particular. They’re not stupid so much as not integrated; not able to see connections – and how one thing implies another.

        • I’ve always wondered at that; is it a trick of their indoctrination? Is it a fundamental cognitive deficit?

          How can one NOT deduce that if B follows A, and C is in line, then C will eventually happen as well?

          Or reason by simple analogy?

          How about simply reading history and realizing how systems of manipulation work, and are re-used by tyrants throughout the world?

          It’s as though their minds are compartmentalized and every intrusion into their fantasy reality is “oh well that, but that’s just because blah blah blah for our safety

          It’s a complete disconnect. They’re on the path logically; they’ve examined the precepts; but they can’t go in for the kill…”Ah! I see! If we allow checkpoints for drunks today, tomorrow it will be checkpoints for everyone.”

          What’s the solution? Explaining it differently, in a manner that doesn’t require that leap from Principle to Application, but rather stresses simple historical analogy?

          • Even worse, people who cannot make the simple social, economic and political connections that are all around them, exhibit those connections themselves every day in their own lives but refuse to see it.

            People say things like, profits on business should be limited yet if their boss came and offered them a 100% raise, would they turn it down?

            People say we have to have laws to deter people from doing bad things, but does a law deter you from doing something you wouldn’t do anyway?

            People say that a business must be forced to allow mother’s to breast feed, but would never allow someone to force them to do something they didn’t want in their homes.

            They always conveniently exclude themselves from the analysis which makes it easier – albiet biased – for them to argue.

            These people are in limbo between communism and anarchy. They believe gov’t is a necessary evil, to protect them from evil people. LMAO! Now that’s funny.

      • Thinking people underestimate the psychological damage caused by the terrorist’s public schools, TeeVee programming, and “food pyramid” poisoning. Most people are quite literally mentally retarded children and the political terrorist organizations are their mommy-n-daddy. Their psychotic attachment to political terrorists is a conditioned response…Like an idiot child angrily defending daddy, who gets drunk daily and beats up every man in town, when someone calls daddy a thug.

        • I fear you’re right, DD. Let’s have a school age olympics. One randomly chosen class of each grade from each country.

          They compete in basic menial tasks. Service situations. Harvest. Farm animal husbandry. Assembly. Defect testing. Make it open book access to computers and experts via Skype. Even access to robotic arms and labor saving devices.

          I’d be interested to see how American kids stack up. How they compare to previous generations.

          By agreeing to the sweatshop, child labor taboo, we’ve shot off half of our foot, just like Kunta Kente was once forced to do.

  19. Excellent article, Eric; easily one of your best.

    Prior restraint has an additional side-effect; it deadens its subjecgts. Absent the animating responsibilities of freedom, people diminish. Their aspirations shrink as their degrees of freedom wane. Their sense of duty, honor, courage, and character positively yearn for an outlet increasingly denied them…and hence duty, honor, courage, and character atrophy and shrivel.

    In the course of exercising freedom fully, we learn to think of consequences….not a “ticket”, but real consequences…harm to another, financial loss, loss of reputation.

    In a fully free society:
    I set the speed I drive very carefully; there are no “limits” posted…but if I exceed my capabilities, I’ll be responsible for the outcome. I allocate my risk according to REAL harm–not petty arbitrary enforcement. I won’t get a ticket; I’ll actually hurt myself or someone else if I’m not diligent. Instead of the constant scanning for cop cars, I spend more time scanning for real dangers…and I’m a safer driver for it.

    Sure, I can buy heroin at the corner pharmacy right off the shelf and saunter by the cop at the front with a bag full of it.

    But do I really want to? Nobody will stop me. It’s cheap and legal. Yet look at George; that guy’s ruined himself with it and his wife left him. No, I think I’ll skip that.

    Prior to 1914, that was REAL!

    • Yeah, it was real and there were really less cops even! For all of the talk of the wild wild west it was nowhere as dictatorial as it is today with all of the “security… aka compliance” being rammed down our throats.

  20. “It is the difference between an occasional pile up on the road – and a pile of bodies in a mass grave.”

    My compliments. A very nicely turned phrase….it summarizes your whole point.

    But once again, you’re preaching to the choir. Most of us already agree with you at least 90%. How many ways do you need to tell us that America is like a car that desperately needs a new transmission? We get the point already. 😉

    So how do we replace the transmission?

      • “And the first – the crucial – thing is to wake enough people up.”

        Nice idea but I fear it is completely quixotic. How many people have you actually been able to ‘wake up’? My efforts, and maybe this is just my failing, have amounted to ZERO. I have several bright and ostensibly liberty minded friends yet they still fall for the ‘think of the children’, ‘safety’ and ‘social contract’ B.S.

        Hell, the other day I got into it with the most enlightened of the bunch regarding sobriety road blocks. He would agree that they are a violation of privacy and liberty yet staunchly defended them as ‘good’ as he believes the ‘protect his children from drunk drivers’.

        I think it is hopeless.

        • It’s easy to become depressed – I know. But, consider. This site has grown from nothing to 100,000 visitors each month since it was launched a couple of years back. Other liberty-minded sites have millions of readers. We are making progress. I’ve been a working journalist for 20-plus years now and never have I seen the ideas we cherish reach such a large – and growing – audience of receptive, intelligent people. And keep in mind that it is always an active minority of motivated people who account for any change (good or bad). It has been mentioned before, but it’s worth mentioning again: Not even half the colonists supported independence. Most were loyalists – Clovers. But the active, passionate minority carried the day.

          And can do so again!

          • I am afraid that you have bought into part of your local statists’ propaganda (you’re right about the degree of support). The Loyalists were not simplistically adhering to the government they knew while the rebels were seeking freedom. Rather, the rebels were statists themselves from the get-go, or the useful idiots who were being tricked into helping those. There’s a line that was put into the mouth of Mel Gibson’s character in a film, that was actually taken from a real life Loyalist, about it being better to have one tyrant three thousand miles away than a thousand (Congress) not three miles away. Far from being Cloverish, it shows a deeper and subtler understanding of what was going on and what the rebels were building, knowingly or not: tyranny with more reach and less satiation. Also consider: with less than majority support, just how did the rebels gain enough control to rebel in the first place? In the usual way, through their own coups and terror tactics against those who wouldn’t join them freely, that’s how. By their fruits shall ye know them…

            • Sadly, I have to concede the correctness of your statement. The treatment meted out to Tom Paine – who was serious – is telling. More so the stomping by Washington and the odious Hamilton of the so-called “Whiskey Rebellion,” many of whom had served as cannon fodder for the Continental Army.

              That said, the revolution did serve a valuable purpose in that it delegitimized authoritarian rule in principle. It laid the groundwork for the next step – which we may be taking now.

          • I have noticed a shift is social attitude in so much as people will more openly express their opinions and anger about what the gov’t is doing.

            However, I believe that a depressed economy reaches people much, much faster than any website. I think the change is due more to the economic situation than education.

            Having said that, when the SHTF these people will be looking for answers, something new and different from what got them there in the first place and that’s when liberty minded people will be most influential.

            On the other hand, that’s also how Hitler came to power. LOL!

          • @PM:

            Granted–yes, even many of the revolutionaries planted the seeds of future statism.

            But as Eric says, each swing of the pendulum toward freedom further delegitimizes authority.

            And yes–Whiskey Rebellion. In fact the Constitution itself we so revere today was a coup d’etat against the much better Swiss-like Articles of Confederation. Those essentially made the states Swiss cantons.

            But it’s not a pendulum; it’s more like a Bessel function that oscillates wildly between extremes but gradually converges toward a high number…more freedom.

          • @methylamine (and PMLawrence – hey there, PML; long time no Savage! The Lovely is now at the Bar).

            The ‘damped-oscillator’ analogy is one that I have babbled about since my undergraduate days – at the time we were discussing feminism on campuses, and my theory was that like all fads, it would oscillate around it’s true long-term value (zero) and eventually converge to it. Funnily enough, this was BEFORE I learned about the parametric constraints required for a dynamic “error correction mechanism” equation to have a stable steady state.

            The problem with the Bessel analogy is that generally speaking a Bessel system is designed to converge – whereas **some** political systems have explosive dynamics (like the chart of a Bessel function, reversed – with oscillations becoming wider).

            Error-correction mechanisms are one of the ways that expectations are modelled in econometric time-series models: the ‘representative agent’ partially **corrects the error** that he observes between a realised outcome for a variable, and the model’s (and hence the agent’s) “canonical” long-term relationship for the same variable. The charts for such things look very much like Bessel functions – if and only if some constraints on parameters are satisfied.

            In a simple system with only one error-correction mechanism, it’s easy to show that if the ‘correction’ parameter is greater than one, the system never converges, but explodes (the oscillations around the equilibrium relationship become wider).

            For more complex “distributed lag” ECM models, it’s a bit harder to wrote down the parametric constraints: given that we don’t have LaTeX up in this bitch, it’s too hard to go into much more detail…

            Anyway: long story even longer… the political system relies on forcing an increasing number of subsystems of the economy onto explosive paths, rather than permitting those subsystems to converge. The reason is straightforward: the more localised chaos there is within parts of the political-economic system, the more avenues for “righteous intervention” there will be, and the more the parasite political class will be able to point and show the housewives and SWLGs (scared weird little guys) another bugaboo.

            So it was absolutely understood that interdicting marijuana and cocaine would lead to ‘product escalation’ – crack and meth. Prohibition showed that: if you’re the entrepreneur, you don’t maximise risk-adjusted return by trafficking bootleg BEER – you traffic something with a higher alcohol content. Likewise the demanders – who are also risk-averse – ratcheted up their demand for concentrated product (which is more portable per unit of “drunk”).

            And that’s the point: .gov has a lot of semi-decent policy analysts who clearly lay out the potential adverse consequences of policy, thinking that identifying the ‘bugs’ will give pause to the megalomaniacal parasites who rule us. But it’s seldom the case: the ‘bugs’ are actually ‘features’ as far as the political class is concerned… what they are after is ‘controllable’ chaos – and they always over-estimate their ability to stop things spiralling out of control.

          • @GT–

            Sir, you are incandescent today! Have you been swallowing your omega-3’s, selegiline, trace minerals…and avoiding fluoride? Fire in the brain, sir, fire!

            Again, agreed. I see the overall system oscillating at increasing frequency, with each swing toward liberty shifting the mean toward further liberty…and perhaps each cycle reaches a greater peak/trough, such that the periods of tyranny are worse. Nevertheless, the mean of the system as a whole is shifting over thousands of years toward liberty.

            And the cycles are shorter (frequency greater as noted)–probably due to more rapid information propagation, “tightening the loop” on the feedback/correction system.

            Your description of how the psychopaths use a > 1.0 correction factor to purposely induce over-corrections really resonates with me; I’d never thought of it in quite that way, but it’s spot-on.

            We know their “laws” are perverse; drug prohibition being just one example. Not only do they do the wrong thing, they do exactly the opposite of the right thing (to quote Doug Casey).

            And yes–it’s intentional. It’s a different play on the old trick of using the underclass to frighten the middle class into begging for more government in a positive feedback loop; just so with the escalation of drug potency.

            Does it surprise anyone that street heroin purity has increased from roughly 10% in the 70’s, to over 90% today? All the better to introduce needle-shy teenagers to its seductions via insufflation.

            Snort up kiddies! Uncle Sam needs more prison workers!

        • @Me2:

          Allow me to play devil’s advocate:

          I think it is hopeless.

          Then why continue? There’s nothing left…logically, you should suicide.

          But you don’t, so you don’t believe it’s hopeless.

          Rather, like me, you feel terribly frustrated sometimes because bright people–even friends of yours–don’t believe you, or can’t make the leap from principle to application.

          But often they do; it just takes time. People at work whom I’ve planted seeds with for two or three years gradually “see it”. And as conditions deteriorate, all those seeds you’ve planted will bear fruit.

          It requires patience; but it’s an absolute rule, the “tipping point”–if 10% of the populace holds a belief unshakably, it becomes the majority belief very quickly.

          You won’t change every mind. In fact, you only have to change one out of ten.

          • ” There’s nothing left…logically, you should suicide.”

            If I can’t change someones mind I should kill myself?

            Unless my only reason for living is to convert others (it isn’t) that is pretty idiotic.

          • Ah–I thought you meant it’s hopeless in a general sense!

            My mistake.

            So don’t suicide, please. 🙂

            I’m finding it’s relieving to just let my inner lunatic run free; stop containing it. Talk to everyone you see, everywhere you go, about some aspect of liberty. Whether it’s the growing police state, the TSA, the banksters, the bought politicians, the vaccines, the gmo’s, the wars…there’s some topic that touches every person’s nerve.

            Find that nerve, and pluck it.

            I’ve lost all sense of embarrassment. The thought I bolster myself with is:

            I’m shuffling across the FEMA re-education camp yard. And I’m explaining to the guy next to me that I knew all this was coming, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself talking about it too much “inappropriately”, or making people feel “uncomfortable”.

            People better damn well feel uncomfortable–because if we don’t stop this thing, they’ll be dead. Ask Solzhenitsyn.

          • I think the tipping point is significantly higher than 10% when the objective is the dismantling of parts of the prime matrix of control (currently that’s the State, of course – but for over a thousand stultifying, technology-reversing years, it was the Church).

            My expectations come from the process by which Church hegemony was undermined in the West, whereby western society overthrew a system every bit as oppressive and nonsensical as the “hard-line’ doctrine of folks like the Taliban and the Saudi ‘monarchy’.

            That took four hundred years, when it’s all said and done: it had to have begun **before** Luther and the rise of alternatives to the hegemonic Catholic church-state, so that put’s it starting point before 1517.

            I take it to have ended with the imprisonment of Gott in 1921 – not because the ‘freedom of conscience’ movement won, but solely because the sociopathic megalomaniacal classes decided after 1638 on a different con game – swapping out a Sky Wizard and swapping in the equally-farcical ‘social contract’ and moving to the State as the harvester of excess production.

            I only use the Gott case as the end-point because a more sensible one – say, ending persecution of atheists under ‘blasphemy’ statutes and acceptance of atheists in public office and juries – because those **haven’t happened yet** in most of the West. R v Chief Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, ex parte Choudhury (1991) is instructive, in that it was held that the only reason the defendant was not guilty of blasphemy was that his remarks were not directed at the religion that had the imprimatur of the State (we’re sneaking up on what’s what now). (Also, in several states of the US the State Constitution prohibits atheists from holding public office or being jurors).

            WAY more than 10% of the populace think that there is no such thing as an Invisible Sky Wizard that can be propitiated by foreskins and blood and burning offal. And WAY more than 10% show, by their actions (i.e., not turning up when participation in elecitons is voluntary) that the political system offers them nothing by way of remedy for what ails ’em.

            The key thing that will help modern abolitionists (those who wish an end to slavery to the State) is the speed with which new ideas can be promulgated widely: in Luther’s time it took weeks for information to make its way across Europe: today it takes milliseconds for information to make its way from any connected corner of the globe, to any other. That trillion-fold improvement in information liberty has helped us tangibly, and therate at which it is heling has increased: the speech by Colin Powell at the UNSC in “pre-blog” 2003 would have been torn to shreds within one news cycle these days, as would the “Niger Yellowcake” document (which took WEEKS to expose). Think of how fast the fake ‘Dead bin Laden’ photos were debunked last year, and how easily Nutty-Yahoo’s “Acme Bomb” presentation was excoriated, and how quickly Glenn Greenwald destroyed the “Iran Nuke Graph” that “an unnamed country called Israel” fed to AP the other day.

            Rothbard is more famous today, than he ever was during his lifetime (I read a bunch of Rothbard three years before his death – at the behest of Professor Ross Parish, who is now dead, and to whom I owe my interest in economics).

            In any case, we’re winning… but people’s horizons are so truncated that they expect everything to be done and dusted in one 13-week season, with each week giving us a 2 minute “Previously, on The Quest for Liberty…”

          • @GT:

            Thank you, for a most cogent and intelligent posting!

            And yes–we ARE winning…faster and faster. As you rightly point out, the Reformation spread slowly–horse-speed.

            Today’s Internet Reformation (thanks Daily Bell) is spreading at 70% of c–the speed of light in copper and fiber.

            Agreed, too; I am viscerally enjoying watching Elite memes be torn down within hours of their dissemination. The bin Laden “killing”–what a total farce. Benghazi. Kony 2012. Breitbart’s murder–for it surely was.

            The Elites, if they think another false flag will solve all ills and get the peasants back in line, are in for a very, very nasty surprise.

            We’re watching you, you fuckers!

        • Things got this way because of social manipulation. The only way they’ll be fixed is through social awakening. No other method will work in a sustainable way.

          I spent a lot of years as a kook everywhere I went. Now It’s not everywhere. Of people I know my views are now tolerated from side ‘L’ and side ‘R’. At the very least they now see the importance of liberty for the things they care about. The next step is understanding for the things they don’t. That’s the big step.

          Some people are unreachable though. They’ll have to be left behind.

          • Some people unreachable? Oh, absolutely! They’re, to me, like those out of shape folks in Zombieland who don’t have their “cardio” training. They’re just not gonna make it and probably serve everyone better by becoming edible speed bumps to the oncoming hordes.

            • Some people are unreachable. Our Clover, for example. I’ve tried to exhaustion to spark some intellectual curiosity in him. It’s like trying to get an engine with no distributor to fire.

          • CloverWhen the meaning of liberty is anything goes until you harm someone then there is a major problem. Shooting a gun in public is OK. Driving 150 mph on a city street is OK. Cutting someone off as long as your dangerous driving was able to do it. Passing on the right, tailgating, passing in no passing zones, passing in blind spots is all OK. Driving drunk is OK. You can do whatever you feel like and we will have someone pick you up after something really bad happens. Clover

            I just do not know how we would compensate someone for the loss of life of a family member or relieve someone of years of pain and suffering, Does someone have the answer to that? Clover

            Thanks to the internet we have hundreds of examples of anything goes driving. It often leads to major crashes or someone pulling out their ball bat or gun out of their trunk.

            • Clover… sigh…

              Your assumption – always – is that freedom means violence and chaos. Yet what has ever-increasing control given us? You trot out the people killed as a result of, say, the reckless actions of one individual. How about the tens of millions killed by the reckless actions of government? Each year, there are appx. 45,000 traffic fatalities. Let’s say they’d double (not that they would, but just for the sake of discussion) if your beloved speed limits and so on were disappeared tomorrow. What is that in comparison with the millions of people currently held in prison for non-crimes (such as manufacturing/possessing/using/selling arbitrarily illegal drugs)? Government – your beloved laws – does far more damage, destroys more lives and property, than free individuals ever have. Or ever would.

              Do you know why, Clover? Because free people – in the main – are not interested in destruction. They are self-interested in being responsible. Because in a free society, irresponsible conduct brings real consequences. Your system removes these normal incentives and replaces them with artificial constructs that create disincentives to behave responsibility – which is a function of exercising judgment and common sense. Instead, people are taught (told) to Submit and Obey. They become mindless, passive things – no longer human beings.

              The injury/harm you fixate on (such as a car wreck) blinds you to the far greater, more pervasive injury done to millions of people who have done absolutely nothing to anyone – but who are targeted for prosecution and punishment by you and your ilk on the basis of they might….

              Do you really feel “safer” today – living in a police state where cops may legally strip search anyone they stop for a minor traffic offense (including jaywalking), in which you are forced – at gunpoint – to wear a seatbelt? Oh, that’s right. I forget. You see such things as desirable. Extreme violence is acceptable when the purpose meets with your approval.

          • It’s interesting how the leader of this site’s commenters in arguing for chaos on the roads (Clover) puts forth this spew. Why is someone passing on the right? Because someone like yourself has failed to keep right except to pass. You defend cutting off other drivers consistently and so vehemently I know it’s the lazy ass you drive. With you it’s always some assbackwards socially chaotic interpretation of right of way. Not what is actually written down and orderly.

            You’re a social creature with no real intellect driven by your fears and emotions. You’re a bitter troll and control freak. A griefer of life on planet earth. You not only troll sites like this but it is clearly evident through your words that you do it on the roads as well. You enjoy social game play but ultimately you suck at it and lose to those who are much much better at it than you.

            Here’s a hint for you Clover, your laws don’t stop irresponsible and criminal behavior. They don’t and by definition they cannot. All you do is empower much more ruthless and sociopathic control freaks and griefers than yourself. They play you forwards, backwards and sideways. You’re their little submissive bitch. You and far too many others.

            What is the result of this Clover? Violence. Poverty. Destruction. Look at what your kind’s encouragement has done to places like The Plain of Jars or Iraq or Japan or Germany or countless other places on this planet. You stupid petty power tripping griefers. All you bring to the world is devastation and death. Bomb some *fillintheblank* people because you’re scared or greedy or whatever emotion you wish to indulge vicariously through a sociopathic so-called leadership that plays you for the stupid narrow minded herd animal with blinders on that you are.

            It all starts with the good intentions of people like you and ends up a burning cesspit of poverty and pain. I’ll trade civilized life and dealing with the tiny percentage of natural irresponsibility and criminality that will always exist vs your world that empowers it through subsidy and laziness until criminality is the way of the world. You’re the one who brings chaos to world. Libertarianism brings order. A natural self-sustaining order that comes out of everyone working in their own interests. Not pointing guns at each other as your system demands.

            Be gone troll. Crawl back under your bridge.

          • @BrentP re post ending with: “Be gone troll. Crawl back under your bridge.”

            An outstanding invective! You’re channeling Vin Suprinowycz.

      • There is an almost limitless number of BS websites/forums. This is a good one, but, “actions speak louder than words”. Two entities that are proactive – Fully Informed Jury Association
        http://www.fija.org and The Institute for Justice http://www.ij.org.
        More active participation, and less “at my computer” BS, can accomplish more.

    • If you really have something of value to share and you’re damned good at sharing it, it is better to preach to the choir than not to preach at all.



      Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

  21. I think these laws and this anti-principle will be our undoing. It’s not unlike the 1917 Russian Revolution. A terrible idea that has halted our economic growth and gone on to infect other nations. It’s a counter economic force fed by fiat central banking that overwhelms all normal voluntary transaction.

  22. ” Irresponsibility, stupidity – evil, even – cannot be “lawed” out of existence”

    No law has ever made a law abiding citizen out of a criminal. No criminal in the history of crime has ever had one foot in someone’s window and gone ‘aw shit, I forgot: breaking and entering is against the law’. All it does is figure into his decision making process. The greater the penalty, the greater the payoff has to be, so laws actually give criminals the incentive to committ greater, more heinous crimes in hopes of a greater payoff.

    So what the state is doing is not mitigating the risk of us being harmed at all but in fact creating an element in society that increases the risk – drug cartels for example – of us being harmed while still being susceptable to all the same risks as w/o the laws AND the risk and costs associated with breaking these abusive laws ourselves.

    Furthermmore, it’s economically inefficient since people will now spend money on law avoidence measures like radar detectors, and fighting frivolous tickets in court when those resources could be spent on productive means.

    As usual as with anything when gov’t gets involved: you are no safer, and you are much poorer in terms of your rights and your economics. There are only costs, no benefits.


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