Sanity still exists, it’s just not consistently applied.
For instance, consider marriage. It is generally agreed that it ought to be voluntary – that both parties should be mutually consenting. And not just to the initial union, either – but to the union on an ongoing basis. If at any point the union is no longer satisfactory, the couple’s right to part from one another is rarely questioned. This is sane. The idea that they should be forced at gunpoint to stay together is (rightly) regarded by most people as insane.
Yet the same principle is rarely translated over to the realm of politics. We are told as children by our teachers about the “consent of the governed.” But when that consent is withdrawn, why is it that most people recoil from the idea of peaceful separation? Why do most people celebrate the forcible “union” of unwilling partners? How is it different to be told you must accept being lorded over by a certain form of government – or else – vs. being told you must stay with your husband or wife – or else? Is it a function of numbers? That is, because more than just two people are involved, it becomes ok to force some to be bound by others? Is it because of “process”? What makes that any different from a husband declaring he has a piece of paper in his hand that entitles him to “perpetual union” with his unwilling wife? Society, after all, is just intellectual shorthand for all the people in a given area. “Society” does not consent to anything because society does not exist. Only individual people exist – and do – or do not consent.
This right to consent – or not – necessarily implies the right to go our separate ways in peace, if the arrangements are not to the liking of each party to the “contract.” Each of us has an absolute right to demand our free consent before we are bound by anything. And to be unbound when the arrangement is no longer mutually satisfactory. It is a simple, logical argument – based on the same premise as a married couple choosing to part from one another. Yet most people – who agree that an unhappy married couple has a right (each of them) to pursue their own happiness, to leave the “union” if that is their choice – deny that same choice to themselves and everyone else when it comes to consenting to being governed. It is like insisting that before a woman may divorce her husband she must seek and obtain permission from her parents and his – perhaps also from the larger “community.” And that the “community” has a right to veto the woman’s free choice – and compel her to remain, by any means deemed necessary.
Is it not bizarre?
Americans pay homage to free choice – in theory – but increasingly deny it in everyday practice. This is so obvious it ought not to be necessary to mention examples, but: You are not free to hire whom you wish, to sell to whom you wish, to do as as you wish with your own property or your own physical body – even when none of these actions involves harm to the persons or property of others. It is enough that others don’t like whatever it is you’re wanting to do. This gives them the justification – as they see it – to take away your freedom to choose and in its place, compel you to accept the tyranny of others choosing for you. The circle of real free choice grows smaller almost daily in the “land of the free.” You may choose “venti” or “tall” at Starbucks. A Chevy rather than a Ford. But you may not choose to sell people coffee – or cars. Not without permission – and only under certain conditions. You’re not even free to travel without permission.
You have the freedom to do as you are told. To decide whether or not you will obey.
America is a strange land in which wrongs becomes right – ethically permissible – when groups commit them.
Democracy is founded on this idea. The notion that if six out of 10 people get together and vote to take away 30 percent of the property of the four out of ten – and back up their claim with the threat of violent reprisals if the funds are not handed over – this is acceptable. It becomes not-theft. Not-extortion. But how? If it is wrong for one to steal how can the same act (the taking by force of someone else’s property) become right – ethically permissible – when done by several people? It will be claimed that takings-by-force performed by several people – by a majority that votes to do so and uses laws and processes to sanctify the act – transforms the act into something else. You are paying taxes. You are “contributing” to Social Security (or “purchasing” health insurance).
But it is not something else. It is merely called something else – in the same way (and for the same reasons) we prefer to talk about “processing” beef – as opposed to killing a cow.
Slavery, we are told not infrequently, was a horrible wrong. True. But what, precisely, was horrible about it? The assertion of ownership by one person (the master) of another (his slave). The slave was the physical property of his master, which meant the master had the lawful right to control his property – to do with it as he wished and contrary to the wishes of the slave himself. The slave was not at liberty to choose where to live, nor where (or when) to work. He was certainly not free to retain the product of his labors. He needed to obtain permission to marry. The Master allowed the slave to live in a certain cabin, to work at a certain kind of work, to perhaps keep a small garden for his own use. But ultimately, he was not free to do as he wished – and faced physical reprisals that were fully “lawful” if he disobeyed his master.
And what are we allowed to do today? We are allowed to work – under certain terms and condition – the rules laid down by Master. We are allowed to keep a certain portion of the product of our own labors – but Master claims ownership of all of it, in principle if not in actual fact. He may – at at any time – take whatever he wishes. There is no limit – in principle – to the extent of his control over us, to what he may do to us.
Like the slave, we own very little – not even our own bodies. Perhaps we are not whipped for disobedience. But we do face electro-shock (Tasers) and cages if we assert ownership over ourselves. If we disobey in any meaningful way. We certainly do not control our lives. Our lives are controlled by others. And therein lies the subtle genius of those who do control us – who own us. Instead of the all-too-obvious Master in the great house, we have millions of nameless masters – and believe we are free because we are permitted periodically to vote for some of them. But are we any less in their thrall?
Just a few thoughts to consider as we approach the day when we celebrate “our freedoms.”
Throw it in the Woods?
I’ve always like this article: ‘Sanity is Not Statistical . . .’ that’s about what’s considered sane, and what isn’t. The conditions that people accept is mind boggling really.
The Slave State and the Nation State: One and the Same
Since the 1787 the dream of America, has always been a dream of the ruling class to raise a great nation of slaves. It’s not that America has declined, but that it’s become a more perfect union of what it was always meant to be.
A vast realm of captive labor. A shining city on the hill to show all the other lesser enslaved nations what is truly possible, when you raise nation state of laborers who live and die to enrich their rulers.
The constitution was ratified because slaveowners believed they were obtaining something of value. They agreed to the terms because of the clause that gave slave states an explicit guarantee that they lacked under the background legal rules in place in 1787 America.
Madison sold the Constitution to his fellow slave masters in Virginia, by explainin that, despite its linguistic indirection, the language governing “service or labour” was “expressly inserted, to enable owners of slaves to reclaim them.
This is a better security than any that now exists.” He assured them. Without the clause, free states could not only refuse to “deliver up” fleeing slaves but could even formally free them, reported Madison.
“At present, if any slave elopes to any of those states where slaves are free, he becomes emancipated by their laws; for the laws of the states are uncharitable to one another in this respect.”
What is this American notion of human ownership?
Ownership is a condition of possession. If one lives in a nation state, you can be abducted at any time by the police authorities who are the pointy end of all political policies. There is a reason modern policing in America is originally a 19th century artifact of slave patrols powered by the Federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. You will note that this Act was merely an updated treatment of the same act from 1793.
There is no corporate entity in America that can actually lay title to a human being and prevent them from opting out from working and leaving when they wish even though they may lose their jobs.
This is not the case for the government. They have what is virtually a carte blanche capability exercised all the time to officially kidnap people against their will for alleged violations against what is mostly malum prohibitum laws.
These people are taken before levels and legions of government employed bureaucrats who determine the amount of wealth or property surrendered against their will or the opportunity to spend time against their will in the vast political gulag system in America.
Man, I can’t even imagine life back then… Which is really, really sad…
I have no idea how many statist propaganda terms that I don’t even believe, but still accidentally slip into repeating anyway. For instance, I know full well our government is not “We” but I frequently fail to make the distinction because of how I’ve seen people talk since forever.
Or at least, forever as I know it.
I wish I had lived before 9/11.
My question: When do you fight? Can you even win? Does it matter?
David, there are few images that capture things so perfectly. This is one of them:
One of the most important things each of us can do is to acquire the habit of not thinking in collective terms – “we” should and so on. There are only individual people – and so, individual rights. Collectives have no rights. Because they don’t have any existence apart from the individuals that are subsumed under the name of the collective – e.g., “society.”
Denying them – the people who live by violence justified by appeal to some collective – moral sanction (your approval) is the first step. Helping others to see through the sham is the second. If we’re successful and enough people wake up, actual fighting may not even be necessary. That is my great hope.
… rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our own will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual”
— Thomas Jefferson”
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Here is a summary of a challenge that I have sent to a number of illegalizers (clovers) and their enforcement agents regarding the wars that they are currently waging against drug owners, gun owners, and other peaceful humans. The most recent one was sent to a state trooper who is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and now leads a SWAT team that breaks down the doors of Americans who are suspected of possessing drugs and/or guns without government permission, invade and ransack their homes, drag their families into the street at gun point, etc. He was featured and glorified in a recent “48 Hours” TV reality show. I edited out all the parts where I explain to him why he is a criminal, a terrorist, and a traitor to the universal principle of individual liberty and personal responsibility upon which this country was founded.
Hello Trooper Mike C.
There is an honorable way to fight and win all the illegalization wars that are currently being waged against the American people and their freedoms. Everyone will be free to choose a side or not participate.
On one side will be all the enemies of freedom such as drug fighters, gun grabbers, illegalizers, and other prohibitionists who want to use violence (the law) against peaceful people. On the other side will be all those who are willing to fight in order to defend freedom, the universal and Constitutional principle of individual liberty and personal responsibility. One person from each side will meet on the Field of Honor (I suggest pistols at point blank range because no special skills are needed). When that contest is over, another will begin. The war will be over when one side runs out of volunteers.
I predict a quick an easy victory for freedom because requiring the war mongering illegalizers to fight will cause more than ninety nine percent of them to disappear. It would be like turning on a light in a dark room and watching the cockroaches run for cover. Why? Because enemies of freedom are fascist thugs, not honorable people. As you well know, their idea of a fair fight is to employ a dozen government goons in full body armor to point a dozen guns at one head.
Please let me know if you are willing to meet on a level field with a defender of freedom. Perhaps you will agree that honor requires those who publicly advocate war to put up or shut up.
*note: So far, not one of them has volunteered.
Well written, Rick, and right to the point. However, I think you can forget about ever getting a response to your challenge from any of those people you’ve sent it to, especially those in positions of authoritah like the state trooper you mentioned. Such people are so thoroughly conditioned, so thoroughly brainwashed, that they are impervious to logic, reason, and truth. Besides, to acknowledge the obvious truth behind your challenge would destroy everything they’ve ever been conditioned to believe and everything they’ve ever invested their life’s energies in (i.e., their current “jobs”). They’ll probably dismiss your challenge with a “another one of those separatist, anti-government nut jobs again!” type of statement. The only way these people are ever going to “get it” is when the truth stares them down, two inches from their own nose, backed up with heavier firepower pointed at them than they have to point at someone else. By then it will probably be too late.
This is why I’ve reached the point where I don’t even bother preaching the truth to Clovers who have a clear vested interest in the perpetuation of the status quo (e.g., government employees or those who live off of them). I now mostly focus my energies on “little people” who are disaffected but don’t quite understand why. THAT, IME, is the most fertile ground for sowing the seeds of freedom.
Again, I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t continue issuing your challenge, especially since doing so will serve as a great way to get the message out. I’m just saying don’t be disappointed or surprised if no one takes you up on it.
Thanks liberranter — You are so right about those who have a vested interest in the current policies of war and repression. Big paychecks, Cadillac health coverage for them and their families, and million dollar pensions. They don’t care about logic, reason, truth, or morality if it conflicts with their financial interests. As a long time critic of the drug war, it took me years to understand that the drug war is a racket, a one trillion dollar per year armed robbery with one half the loot going to Big Pharma and the other half going to the police-prison-industrial complex. It is their bread and butter. There is a great organization called LEAP. They are all retired LEO’s who speak out against Prohibition wars. Better late than never. Democracy is a joke but it might work a little if tax receivers and their dependents were not allowed to vote.
I am glad that no illegalizer has ever responded to my challenge because it proves that more than 99% of them are are not honorable.
liberranter wrote, “I don’t even bother preaching the truth to Clovers who have a clear vested interest in the perpetuation of the status quo (e.g., government employees or those who live off of them).”
Really? Even if you get good feedback from minor hints?
I helped to turn one of those into an anarchist, it was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. In turn, it was like the Will Smith film where the alien ship got some data in their computer system that acted like a virus, it’s spreading in the depths. If ever you get the opportunity, you should take it, imho.
However; I do see your point, Such people are Usually so thoroughly conditioned, so thoroughly brainwashed, that they are impervious to logic, reason, and truth. Some days I try, and others,…
I’m certainly not averse to engaging the “hard core” Clovers in a discussion on liberty IF they initiate it by asking me questions or asking my opinion. In fact, I’m more than happy to do so. I just don’t “evangelize” to them. The only time they’re generally receptive is if they’re somehow upset at or in some way disillusioned with the status quo and are looking for alternative perspectives (yes, believe it or not, this does occasionally happen). That’s when the perfect opening comes. Other than on those terms, I’ve found it’s usually an exercise in futility.
Yep, when they look at you like you’re speaking Klingon it’s not going to go anywhere good. Just as well save your breath for battles you can make a difference in.
we have no choices for what products to buy. we have only options. those ruling us have eliminated choice and instead give us option 1 or 2 but it is ultimately the same product in a different store name. we are not free to make our own choices. we are not free to buy raw milk for instance. our master took that ”choice ” from us and instead gives us the option of corporate dairy milk laced with toxins added into it. we are not free to ”choose” a car. we only have an ‘option’. the cars are the same with a different label. in the name of environmentalism and emissions all choice was removed and we were left with what the choices to give us. only option 1 or 2. both the same.
we are slaves in fact not just in theory. only difference is people love their masters. love their servitude and will kill, maime or destroy anyone who points out their prison to them. They fight to keep things exactly the same.
see if for what it is…not what you wish it to be.
Last time I spent time in jail it was for being barefoot in a supermarket where I challenged the no shoes policy.
It feels bleak, but I have hope. My wife voted for Obama in 2008. Liberal to the core when I met her. Three days ago she was having a conversation with friends about some goofy policy being debated in Venezuela that would effectively outlaw bottle feeding of infants. The foundation of her argument was to question the authority of anyone other than the individual and the family to dictate how to raise their children and feed them. I almost teared up.
People can be reached. It’s slow and painful, but it can be done. Don’t give up hope. That’s what “they” want.
“If we wear long faces, others will do so too; if we despair, let us not expect that others will hope; or that they will persevere in a contest, from which their leaders shrink. But let not such feelings, let not such language, be ours.”
MS, I want to reinforce what you said. I worked on some old college buddies for a decade and two formerly died in the wool Republicans voted straight Libertarian this last election. I know they have plenty leftovers from republicanism but as long as they vote the way they did, they’ll come around off those too. In fact, they have already made amazing strides for those who were so brainwashed with god and country, an inclusive thing. I didn’t do it alone make no mistake but I was there constantly goading them into defending what the Shrub did. Amazing how they took it up so easily after BO was elected.
I have a friend who over the years sounds nothing like he did in the past. He’s about as libertarian as I could imagine at this point so I know it works for those with ears to hear and an open mind. Others I simply gave up on. They are just as hard hearted and vicious as ever.
The question is how to get someone to apply the principles they use in the areas they care about making their own decisions to the areas where they care more about controlling other people.
I’ve seen people who are perfect on self-ownership, how the state has no business, etc and so forth on one issue but can’t apply it outside that one or few similar issues.
Think this might have something to do with Michael Hasting’s bizarre death?
The scariest thing I’ve read in a while.
Ouch! Very much worth reading — and scary! Thanks for the link.
Bill Jones, forgot to tell you that was a really good link. I’ve only read the first couple pages but what a ton of info I got just from that. I see how a strong wifi could let you take complete control, shut off the brakes, WOT the driver couldn’t affect even turning off the switch key, sent a chill up my spine. BTW, nice dog there. Is he yours?
The dog was mine she died late last year,
Her epitaph was “Much loved by Kids, greatly feared by plumbers.”
I miss her.
Bill, dangit, sorry to hear that. We love our dog(s) like kids, can barely survive their death. What breed was she?
Bill, I read the whole thing and here’s just one thing it said:
Most dramatic were the effects of De-
viceControl packets to the Electronic Brake Control Module
(EBCM)—the full effect of which we had previously not
been able to observe. In particular, we were able to release
the brakes and actually
our driver from braking; no
amount of pressure on the brake pedal was able to activate
The also were able to make the engine increase in rpm. Now this is scary stuff….and we want this because?
Well, I guess it’s time to ramp-up some efforts towards aftermarket ECMs. With a focus on secure. Most of the current market is geared towards racing/performance, not stealth replacements for insecure OEM units.
The tax parasites declared aftermarket ECMs illegal for on-road use, but who can tell? So long as the ECMs respond correctly to the state emissions checks, they’ve gotta open it up to know it’s not an OEM unit. The component testing work I’ve done in the past illustrates many places to insert shutdown code in an ECM. Recently, the OEMs have decided to control fuel pressure via modulating the pump voltage (PWM control). Yes it saves some power. It also puts the fuel pump into the hand of the ECM. Couple that with OnStar (DeathStar) and you have yet another path to perform a remote shutdown. (in addition to ignition control and injector control)
Wanna declare martial law? Issue a shutdown to all connected vehicles. I wonder if they do things differently for law enforcement vehicles? Would be most unfortunate if those could be remotely disabled….. Most unfortunate indeed.
Bill, I read this afternoon another journalist saw Michael go through a red light at high speed and waited for 30 seconds to see what happened and never saw another car going the same way. He thought he was being chased. He might have had a helicopter above him disabling his brakes and speeding up his engine. Too many people forget they have an emergency brake.
Given that the car is a wired network, I don’t think there is much to fear. Physical access is still required. While it can make things far more scary for the person being killed the computerized version works the same as cutting brake lines or other versions of the same murder methods of the past.
The key is getting physical access to the vehicle to set it up and then physical access after the event to cover it up. Automobile crashes being investigated and controlled by government make this very easy for those with government office, power, friends, influence, etc.
Adding a device to the car’s computer network or cutting a brake line. It’s fundamentally the same way of killing someone. It works the same way from start to finish.
In most new/late-model cars, there is no emergency brake. Just a parking brake – often electrically activated. Those that have pull-up brake handles are tensioned so lightly that they cannot stop or even appreciably slow down a car moving at high speed. I test drive new cars every week and can attest to this fact from direct personal experience.
mornin eric. Well shit fire and save matches, what the hell do they put one on them for? Oh, meets some govt. reg I guess. Damn, I live and die by a parking brake. No way will I turn off an engine unless I’m simply forced to. Some money is worth wasting in my view. Something I always do on a vehicle if it has a weak parking brake is to adjust it so i can lock the wheels. I guess if there’s no linkage that would be a bit harder. Back when I was always unloading a trailer on a steep slope I came close to installing a line lock on the front brakes to assist the rear parking brake.
Part of it is packaging; no place left on the center console for a pull-up brake handle. Part of it is marketing. The electric parking brake is a gadget – another little toy for people to be dazzled by.
Problem is, of course, that an electric parking brake is just exactly that – a parking brake. Not an emergency brake. You can’t manual modulate it like you can a pull-up emergency brake with a cable that’s directly controlled by the leverage you exert on the pull handle.
And the cars that do have pull-up handles? The tension is set at the factory such that there is just – barely – enough force applied to hold the car stationary once it’s already stopped. But forget about using these things to slow/stop the car in an emergency. They are essentially useless for that purpose.
eric, another reason to stay with the old stuff. Even though my pickup is about to turn 21, it gives up little to the new ones. When I went off-roading at 90mph and bent the frame, the GM people told me I would have destroyed a new pickup(this was in ’04). They said my pickup had the strongest frame put in a pickup of any year. It is a huge frame, even for a 3500. I’m sure it compromises my high center ability but everything is a trade-off. Yes, I could move the lines up to the top, box it and cut off a couple inches but I have yet to get it high-centered
The entire point of their public schools and TV broadcasts (and Food Pyramid crap) is to keep people stupid, weak, infantile runts so that they have little choice in life but to play “follow the leader”. Stupid people are almost always government loving collectivists because they “think” they will live better at the expense of everyone else. Free hef kar is just that…Other people paying for it.
Like the Frank Zappa song “Got a cheerleader here gonna help with my paper…let her do all the work and maybe latter I’ll rape her…Oh God I am the American dream….”
Collectivists are stupid violent infantile sociopaths…Everyone of them trying to live at the expense of everyone else. What did PJ ORourke call the “Liberal” maggots? Proud Beggars and Sniveling Brats.
Another great article!!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you Dirk
Thanks, Dirk – and welcome to the site!
The 13th Amendment only outlawed PRIVATE slavery. The gunverment claims ownership of us – think income taxes and conscription. They also claim ownership to all property – think property taxes, zoning, “Historical Preservation Districts,” etc.
Yes, instead of outlawing slavery, the 13th nationalized it. It makes clear that slavery is still legal as a punishment for crime. In theory, if you break the law (any law!) you can be punished by being made a slave. At that point, the “gummint” may sell you to whomever it chooses — for whatever term of time it has convicted you. Consider the fact that the average law abiding citizen inadvertently committs three felonies a day.
What is funny, I guess. Is when Marijuana is mentioned as a gateway drug to other drugs. I know otherwise from personal experience. To me, alcohol is the ultimate gateway drug for other things. When I was younger, I drank beer, whiskey and then I usually went on to other things, Marijuana amongst them and other pills. I never did get as far as shooting things in my body, that was just scary.
That being said, I never understood a lot of arguments against Marijuana. Few people I know just went out and grabbed a joint and started smoking it.
An off the wall comment. How can congress write laws and then enforce them when they are in direct conflict with our Constitution ? Is not that what a Constitution is for ? To have an unbreakable set of conditions that cannot be changed ? Look at the spying today. Look at this, that. We may as well us that paper the Constitution is on for toilet paper, that is what it is worth today. With a so-called Supreme Court ruling on anything and everything that is not even mentioned in it. Is not that what the 10th Amendment is for ? To give the states the power ? To run as they seem fit?
What about my right to do as I please as long as I dont harm anyone ? But in today’s world, we have this so-called War On Terrorism ? Whatever that means. Who is a terrorist ? Who isnt ? What defines Terrorism ? Who Defines it? We live in such a sorry state today. Over regulated, over governed, way to much overlistened too. I guess the thought police are for real now.
The problem as I see it is in the rules by which we are forced to live.
From a working person’s standpoint the place has gone to Hell!
The “system” is to ruin everyone financially based on statistics. You work your entire life. You save a certain amount of money. Then you get sick. The “governing rules” allow you a pittance of the money you have saved before Medicaid takes over your care. The rest is stolen from you.
When working, I had insurance. It paid a co-pay of $25 to see a doctor. Now it costs under medicare approximately $110 to see the same doctor. That is the game rules of a communistic society aimed at keeping anyone from keeping their hard earned savings.
In the modern, it never even gets to that. The governing corporations have moved their employment to other cheaper labor in foreign countries. SO a good portion of the working population is now on government welfare. A local company just laid off their workers and farmed the skilled labor out to India. This same company was pro-labor and pro-employee for much of its history. Second and third generation inherited management sees things different than the people that put this business together. They are cut throats. The previous generation was not.
We are in this mess because we have been sleeping. The news media is owned lock stock and barrel. So we no longer even hear of the massive corruption in our society except on the internet and that is fading fast.
I remember a young republican going against a very popular representative in our congress in the 50s. He was a lawyer. He was from the poorer people. But he did his homework. He did what was considered dirty. He brought up the Congressional voting record and turned the election against the popular candidate. He won. He sold out to become Vice President of this Country. He eventually became President in a very trying time and eventually had to resign for corruption in his own ranks. That was Richard Nixon.
We need a whole lot more people questioning the voting records of our Congress.
Until that happens, look out. The worse is yet to come.
You may find web cast link below interesting. It complements the issues you discuss in your article from the perspective of the relationship between Christians and the Government in an increasingly morally relativistic society.
So, are you finally going to out yourself as a full on anarchist/voluntaryist? 🙂
I think I already have!
Indeed you have. I remember back a couple of years ago, when I first found your site, you and I went back and forth for a second on anarchism vs. minarchism. I could see soon after that you would eventually bail on the mythological belief in the legitimacy of the state. I’m really glad, because you are a much better spokesperson than I am.
In times long past, leaders of small communities that sought to do unwell for the rest, were forcibly banished. This tradition became unattainable when such leaders, using trust of their community, slowly engendered more power and control, then favoured such on their own kind, enlarging their hold to the point where revocation of their power had become improbable and dangerous.
The fight must be concentrated on those that favour such a system and, like Germany hence, desperately needs a Nuremberg overhaul.
Love the pic with the blue pill in both hands. Perfectly sums up the meaningless Demo/Repub distraction.
Just a thought, but… Isn’t that the same as the whole War of Northern Aggression, anyway?
Somehow, we got dumbed-down to believing that it’s not acceptable to leave a contract that is no longer useful to you. IE, marriage for life, even if you’re immortal. (Hell, 7 years with the same woman, I’m ready to hang myself, and things are BETTER now than ever before… Used to be, I was ready to commit murder or suicide on days ending in Y, for reasons I won’t list here.)
But the logic is the same: The union is eternal, and you can’t change your mind when the circumstances change. Say, if the North decided now to use ONLY hydroelectric power and tried to force it on the southern US. South has plenty of alternatives, but nope – by Executive Order, all electric grids are to be powered ONLY by hydroelectric power.
Well, why stay part of the Union, then? Fewer problems, too, and fewer supply issues – secession in that sense would be easier.
Want to bet that there’d be another Civil War? And the North would probably do the same dirty pool as last time, at that: Provoke an incident, Blame the “Aggressor”, and then proceed to loot, pillage, rape, murder, steal, and burn anything and everything, until total subjugation is achieved.
“I’m from the government, and I’m here to Help.” 9 most frightening words in the Enlgish language.
I love your comment. I can relate. Just celebrated 20 years of marriage. Often feel the same as you.
That stuff from Tom DiLorenzo et al on Lincoln is really enlightening. I have had a long evolution from clueless to socialist (in college- social work major…go figure) to staunch conservative … to current anarchocapitalist/anarcholibertarian. But it’s lonely at the top. I don’t think mass-sanity is possible.
As I think about it, there is something very appealing about Galt’s Gulch. People are starting such communitites in places like Chile. This is a cop out: but as a married father of 4, the gulch will have to wait, maybe indefinitely.
Libertarianism seems impossible, in reality; a utopia. Even in a ‘Gulch,’ I think lines of demarcation restricting freedom would begin to be drawn. Pure freedom is too transcendent for mere mortals.
Funny you should mention Galt’s Gulch. My daughter recently texted me that she understands how it feels to live in Galt’s Gulch: you’re safe and free but you still hear about your home country being destroyed. Oh — she lives in Shanghai. She also commented recently that it’s liberating to live without feeling like you’re being watched every minute. Not that China is a libertarian paradise, but the fact that the USSA has become even more repressive is a sobering measure of how far gone this country is.
I know it sounds corny, but the “gulch” is in your own head. You’re as free as you wanna be. Of course, having said that, I must confess I live in the Bahamas.
I mostly agree, Mike. If you can free your mind from the illusion that the government has some sort of authority over you, a great deal of freedom is yours already. I “went Galt”, without moving out of the USSA, some years ago. Left a job for one that paid about 1/3 as much but that covered my needs. Still in that job, and have consistently turned down promotions and overtime. Extra money would be nice, but why feed the beast any more than I have to? I live simply and well without frills, while giving the thieves in DC and Richmond as little as possible.
The reason for saying “mostly” agree is that there are certain things you can’t avoid, no matter how free your mind is. For example, I still have to pay the county annual rent for “my” house and “my” car. Some degree of oppression simply can’t be avoided. But I do agree that the gulch is primarily in the mind.
I did exactly the same thing, as part of a deliberate plan to carve out as much autonomy for myself as realistically possible without resorting to living the “van down by the river” lifestyle. I, like you, must also continue to pay annual “rent” to the county to live on the land I paid for in full some 10 years ago. But the amount is small enough that I hardly notice – relative to a mortgage and a monthly house payment. It is liberating to an extent that’s hard to convey to be debt-free. Government is still there, but it’s more in the background. I can, for example, easily choose not to accept work that compromises my principles – for instance, submitting to “drug screening” – or which I find obnoxious, like “diversity training.” I can work on my terms, because I don’t desperately need the money.
I constantly work toward ever-greater degrees of personal independence by acquiring skills and by becoming less dependent on “the system.” That means things like learning how to weld – and raising poultry.
This – the stuff you and I are doing – is a route that’s open to almost anyone.
True – In the future we could battle on forever fighting the ones that inexorably turn up saying that we need an administrating body to help plan our future. Convincing them that it’s been tried and failed miserably, even with vast reams of evidence such as documents and video, is completely lost on those such as Bob and Clover.
I will say that I agree marriage, unless agreed in advance for religious reasons, should be dissolvable, but only with the agreement of BOTH parties, as with any other contract. “No Fault Divorce” lets anyone weasel out with no penalty. That ain’t right.
PHil, no fault divorce lets mutually agreeing people go their own way w/o involving a court except for filing and simple judgement. I have never figured out what they do in Tx. since the state will declare you married if you live together any length of time. I have always wondered what their status changes to when a couple who never married simply split up. It really isn’t clear and the state should not be able to declare any people married who don’t wish to be, even if they live with each other 50 years. It really isn’t the state’s business. When we were young we had two younger friends get married and after 3-4 years decided they wanted to go their different ways. It was mutual agreement. They go to court for an open and shut case but the judge just couldn’t let two cute people split up without him getting in the way. He told them he denied the divorce and wanted them to go to counseling, something they’d have to pay for and come back in six months or a year and tell him they still wanted a divorce. She moved out, got her own place and they continued with life as usual and had to spend more money to go back to court and finally get a divorce. LIke I say, it ain’t the state’s business nor no one else’s.
trust me, even after twenty years,if they don’t want to stay…it’s better that they go…far !
…and the best way to get over it is to say ,”Next”
Everyone has a line he won’t cross over into the realm of freedom. We feel we want to be free. But we sure don’t want the other guy to be free. We need to feel safe from him. Then again, slavery is one way to evade personal responsibility. So, we really don’t want total freedom for us or others.
I live in Utah; a ‘conservative’ state. What does that mean? Well, I used to think it had something to do with ‘fiscal responsibility.’ It certainly does not. Conservatism deals with some social issues but leaves almost totally intact the govt’s ability to take our money and do ‘good ‘ things with it. This does include some domestic items, like schools, etc. But ‘conservatives’ mostly love war; not defensive war, where we fight to stop an invading enemy who’s trying to kill us. No. They love ‘pre-emptive’ war; where we point guns at ‘tax’ payers, take their money and send our boys overseas to bleed and die fighting people who’ve never attacked us. Yeah. They love that. Makes them feel all patriotic. Makes them feel all safe.
But I digress.
Anyway, I was posting a comment on a popular local news website yesterday. The issue was, one of the school districts claims to have need for like 12 new schools. You’d’ve been amazed at all of the creative ideas for how to solve this fiscal problem. There was quite a range. As maybe you’d guess from your own experience, my comment was the only one that suggested that maybe it’s a bad idea for guns to be pointed at us, our money taken and our kids ‘educated’ with the proceeds of what amounts to mugging.
I think there’s an increasingly louder group of us on the internet who are sane, as defined above. And our numbers are increasing. But we amount to a small group of non-biting, non-poisonous ants being ignored by a mentally retarded jolly green giant. We haven’t a chance. We are a nation/world of slaves/sheep who are blithely skipping down the road to immolation.
It’s not enough to decry politics. We must remove political life from our society. That is, we should have no govt.
Honestly, everything the govt does can be done; is being done at some level, in small scale, by the private sector. Seriously, look into it. Check out what people like Murray Rothbard at mises.org have written about it. We’ve been sold a bill of goods- indoctrinated at every level since birth to accept and believe that we need mommies and daddies in govt to ‘take care’ of us…by coercion, compulsion, force, violence and aggression.
Does the govt do anything useful? Maybe. But how were they able to do it? Did they create some kind of value for us and sell it to us? And so we bought it, voluntarily and they used the profits to serve us? No. They pointed guns at us, took our money by force and used it however they wanted. There are no standards of value in govt. They don’t need them. They don’t need to make a profit to stay in business. The only need guns to point at victims and victims who’ll behave like sheep.
It’s us or them. And so far, it’s them. Think about it. If there were a way for you to have unlimited power and money, without having to earn them, you’d protect that way, those means, at all costs.
That’s why there is no ‘proper role of govt.’ There’s just no place, in any society worth preserving, for this kind of inequality. I can’t do any of the things they in govt can do; nor should I be able to do any of it. But neither should they.
Having a govt is like putting great white sharks in a swimming pool and then taking a dip. Why are you surprised you’re being devoured? Are you even aware you’re being devoured? Reminds me of that scene in ‘Finding Nemo.” “Voters/taxpayers are friends, not food.” Sure.
Excellent, Scott – especially as regards “conservatives.” I find them particularly obnoxious because unlike “liberals,” they love to talk about freedom while systematically undermining it at every opportunity.
The only hope for humanity is an awakening to the moral precept that aggressive violence (“first use”) is always wrong, for any reason. That the only ethically acceptable violence is self-defensive violence.
Applied across the board, it would negate all theft-by-proxy and control freak statism. People would be able to live their lives – in liberty – restrained only by the moral precept: Harm none by your actions (and be accountable for it when you do).
Too bad no one writes songs along those lines…
Song? Did you say song? Here’s one I really like.
Took a look down a westbound road,
Right away I made my choice
Headed out to my big two-wheeler,
I was tired of my own voice
Took a bead on the northern plains
And just rolled that power on
Twelve hours out of mackinaw city
Stopped in a bar to have a brew
Met a girl and we had a few drinks
And I told her what I’d decided to do
She looked out the window a long long moment
Then she looked into my eyes
She didn’t have to say a thing,
I knew what she was thinkin’
Roll, roll me away,
Won’t you roll me away tonight
I too am lost, I feel double-crossed
And I’m sick of what’s wrong and what’s right
We never even said a word,
We just walked out and got on that bike
And we rolled
And we rolled clean out of sight
We rolled across the high plains
Deep into the mountains
Felt so good to me
Finally feelin’ free
Somewhere along a high road
The air began to turn cold
She said she missed her home
I headed on alone
Stood alone on a mountain top,
Starin’ out at the great divide
I could go east, I could go west,
It was all up to me to decide
Just then I saw a young hawk flyin’
And my soul began to rise
And pretty soon
My heart was singin’
Roll, roll me away,
I’m gonna roll me away tonight
Gotta keep rollin, gotta keep ridin’,
Keep searchin’ till I find what’s right
And as the sunset faded
I spoke to the faintest first starlight
And I said next time
We’ll get it right
And another by B. Seger
It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago
Janey was lovely she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio playing low
And the secrets that we shared
The mountains that we moved
Caught like a wildfire out of control
‘Til there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove
And I remember what she said to me
How she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh so tight
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then
Against the wind
We were runnin’ against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin’
Against the wind
The years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home
And I guess I lost my way
There were oh so many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worryied about paying or even how much I owed
Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searching
Searching for shelter again and again
Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter sgainst the wind
Well those drifter’s days are past me now
I’ve got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out
Against the wind
I’m still runnin’ against the wind
I’m older now but still runnin’ against the wind
Well I’m older now and still runnin’
Against the wind
Against the wind
Against the wind
I’m still runnin’ against the wind
I’m still runnin’
I’m still runnin’ against the wind
Runnin’ against the wind
Runnin’ against the wind
See the young man run
Watch the young man run
Watch the young man runnin’
He’ll be runnin’ against the wind
Let the cowboys ride
Let the cowboys ride
They’ll be ridin’ against the wind
Against the wind …
They both speak to me of a libertarian view of life.
Classic B.S. (oops, that didn’t come out right).
Seriously, great stuff. Thanks!
One cause of the conservative break with reality is the inability to separate moral opinions from politics/govt.
Something that’s good needn’t be made ‘lawful.’ And something that’s bad needn’t be made unlawful. Your eloquence on the NAP should be explanation enough, but…
I have a lot of sympathy for many items from the conservative point of view. But the leap I’ve made that they seem incapable of making is that, while there are many things, activities in which one might engage, which are bad or stupid, there absolutely should not be any laws against those things. Persuasion, yes. Force, no.
Yes, drugs and drunk driving are bad. But there were already plenty of laws against the aggressive acts that can follow those activities. There was no need to make those types of activities illegal, regardless of where they MAY lead; a subject you’ve addressed admirably on your site.
It’s just that I don’t have much hope that anything will change. Our founders set up a pretty good govt as govts go. But they still set up a govt and gave it powers no one should have, like taxation and regulation.
Having a govt just allows everyone, from citizens to bureaucrats to politicians to live in a fantasy where he’s the boss, even in just a few small ways. And others have to do what he says because he’s smart and, above all, RIGHT. The will to be right leads to all kinds of problems. They’d rather be right than free. This kind of illegitimate power, referred to by Ayn Rand in “Capitalism…” is what everyone desires. And, like all such evil things, it’s just a shortcut; a counterfeit version of our truly spiritual desires: true joy and love. And now I’ve gone and gotten all sappy sounding. But maybe the jist is still there.
Anyway, thanks for your little island of sanity, here.
Scotts, oh so right. For the most evil, those with the least morals, those who would hurt their fellow man for non-crimes, and take it to the greatest extent, will be truly rewarded with the riches of other men.
“One cause of the conservative break with reality is the inability to separate moral opinions from politics/govt.”
Exactly. I’ve dealt with this strange disconnect too many times to recount. One “conservative” I know – a nice lady, basically – fulminates with venom if the subject of arbitrarily illegal drugs comes up. Or gays. She’d have both arbitrarily illegal drug users/makers/sellers and gays phsyically exterminated if it were in her power.
Yet will then complain about “big government.”
I have asked her who is harmed (and specifically, whether she herself is harmed) by the old hippie in the woods (as an example) who grows/sells/smokes pot… or the gay dude down the road, minding his own business. No (sane) answer. Just a profusion of non sequiturs and evasions. I pursue the discussion, asking whether she thinks she should be subject to arrest for having all that beer in her refrigerator. That’s different. Really? How so? Cue profusion of non sequiturs and evasions.
These people are absolute tyrants yet don’t see that they are – which is startling to me as well as depressing.
I have asked: What’s wrong with leaving people alone unless whatever they’re doing (or have done) can be shown to have caused actual harm to another person (or that person’s property)?
You know what comes next… profusion of non sequiturs and evasions.
eric, I’ve known plenty of people who got falling down drunk nearly every day but had a big hissy over someone smoking pot. That’s not really normal for heavy drinkers who know it’s a drug but I have seen it. I know many others who drink with regularity who go bonkers over other drugs, as if there’s a difference in degree. I’ve been stoned and challenged people. Ok, let’s play a game of cards….Fuck you. Ok, let’s run a race…..fuck you…..ok, let me see how you’re superior to me cause you’re drunk and I’m stoned….I’ll whip your ass….well, you are aggressive but I’m game, no?…..Let’s see who can shoot the best…..ok, I hate the sights on this damn gun…let me see it….bam, bam, bam, seems right on to me….I’m gonna whip your ass…..thought we’d already covered that. Why don’t you just go on down the road and hang out with them hippies, hear they have some real good acid, you oughta like that….Ok, thanks for the tip, see you later…..say fuck you to all them fags down there…..will do….knock knock knock….hello….hi, my name’s —– and I just noticed —–‘s car here, wanted to see if he’s still here….hey, sumbitch, get your ass in here…..—– this is my old buddy—–…..glad to meet you…..nice to meet you too…..(somebody across the room)hey, MF, what in hell you doin’?….not much….just looking to party….get your ass in here…..say….Rhonda was just saying how much fun yall had, she’s in the other room….hey, Rhonda…..hey you sweet thing, come here and hug my neck…..is that all?….you know better than that…..damn Rhonda, you’re lookin good….and the music segues from Whole Lotta Love to Patsy singing Blue…and we all gotta go to work Monday morning so we’ll make the best of the week-end and Nobody gets an ass whippin…..glad I wasn’t at the bar where everybody wants to whip my ass….
Eric, this why I so often pound on the point that attempting to reason with such people is futile. To paraphrase Confucius, the only person who attempts to reason with a fool is an even bigger fool. Or, to cite two particularly relevant pieces of Old Testament wisdom that say the same thing:
“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” – Proverbs 23:9 (KJV)
“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” – Proverbs 26:4 (KJV)
I have the same people as you just described at my church.There so hypocritical that they wont even tollerate the smoking and drinking usage.
Wrap them selves in the flag and sing the battle hym of the republic all day.
I get the same reaction, from them when I ask “How many rights did the Marlboro
Man steal from you?Did Joe Camel ever force you to pay for your nieghbors kids
schooling,farm sub,school loans ,amulance services,ect? Did he compell you ever to partake of his prouduct?? Who does?”You know what comes next… profusion of non sequiturs and evasions
Harm none by your actions (and be accountable for it when you do).
Be accountable to whom? without a government, to whom are you accountable? In the Bible, Book of Judges, everyone was accountable to God. If you violated the few rules they had, you were hauled before a judge and if guilty you paid the penalty, up to death. Your neighbors would drag you to the town square where they would throw stones at you until you died. I guess we could shoot you now. Accountable to whom? That’s why libertarianism will also result in a large government with large power centers to be used by the ambitious.
I don’t see why one shouldn’t be accountable to the one they harmed, unless he is murdered, thereby becoming accountable to a next of kin and prescribed judge including jury of one’s peers – under one law:
There must always be a leader or a decider, but posted under vote by the people that can be revoked at any time, with penalties if necessary. Such a system we do not have at present, as is painfully aware. The current “god” you refer to is gubberment, bent on enriching and empowering itself in perpetuity.
Sorry – unless the one HARMED is murdered.
Thanks for an answer. In the book of Judges they did have cities of refuge where a muderer could flee from the kin of the harmed so a type of vengence seemed acceptable. The judge in the city of refuge would mediate. You are so right also about government taking the place of God( 1 Samuel, chapter 8). Wish the churches were as wise as you.
Thanks. I think Christianity had it all pretty well worked out, with the 10 commandments and 7 sins as basic laws. Over time, I believe sloth took over and the people decided to be held accountable to gubberment, rather than each other. This allowed the greedy a foothold which continues to this day.
Further, the original laws such as the Constitution etc., are often wrongly regarded as simply too “old” in this age of “upgrades”. What’s basically forgotten is that the original laws, such as Constitutional and Common Law, paved the way for and are still superior to Statutes. Therefore, any Statute (act of Parliament, Congress) is inferior when in conflict with Constitution and automatically rendered null and void.
That’s what should occur but gubberment tries to get away with it constantly, as is seen when the law is supposed to apply equally to all men, however the powers that be continue their crime wave regardless.
I pretty much agree with what you said here, but am not quite sure how to get from point A to point B, and I’m not always sure what the “Least Bad” option is in a statist world.
I’m with you that the only people who should be punished are aggressors, but who decides? Even if you narrow it down to anarcho-capitalist libertarians, there isn’t an across the board agreement. Its obvious that a pot user is exercising his right to make free choices, but is an abortionist? Or is he murdering an innocent person, and should he therefore be held accountable? Is there an inherent right to immigrate, or do people have a right to control the border to their country? (This would be simpler if all property was private, but it isn’t.) What about children? Is it wrong to use violence (Presumably a relatively soft form thereof) to stop a ten year old from using crack cocaine? To me its obvious enough that if an adult wants to poison his own body in this fashion, he should be permitted, but should a child? If so, how young? Is it wrong for a parent to use “Force” to keep a two year old from running out into the street? If I put a landmine on my yard, am I aggressing against young children that may run onto my yard? They aren’t supposed to be there, but that’s a disproportionate degree of force. (I only mention this bizarre scenario because it actually came up in a conversation recently on another forum and I didn’t know the answer to it.)
And even if we could decide who the aggressors are, how do we decide the punishment? Who decides guilt and innocence? I know you’re an ancap so you can’t say “Government” here. It may happen already, but wouldn’t it just become “Rule by wealth?” What happens if a tyrannical leader starts killing his own people, is it inherently wrong for another country to intervene? (I left most of these as open questions, but to be perfectly clear, my answer is an absolute, unqualified IT IS WRONG on this one, but I also don’t have a wonderful theoretical reason for this. In practice it makes things worse, but that’s a utilitarian consideration, so I’ve honestly had a difficult time answering this one when asked by others.)
So many people have been convinced that we need big government to do things for us that in real life even what someone like Rand Paul wants, let alone what people like us want, is pretty darn far off. For me, I’m a minarchist, I haven’t really gotten to the point where I can agree with anarcho-capitalism yet. I feel like if you don’t guarantee the right to justice to everyone, the wealthy will rule and we’ll just have another massive state again. I do believe, like Ron Paul, and unlike many other libertarians, that the unborn do in fact deserve government protection, since they are human beings with human rights. Frankly, I just think anarchy in the Rothbardian sense would look too much like anarchy in the “Chaotic” sense and I can’t really imagine it working. In the same way I can’t really argue with the points it raises. My ideal tax system would be far, far less than 10%, almost certainly less than 5%, but its still forcibly taking money from people.
Ultimately… I don’t really know the answers. I was a neo-con all of three years ago so I’ve still got time to learn. Fundamentally, I have the same principles that you do. If an adult wants to hire a prostitute or use mind-altering drugs, that’s up to him. I don’t like those choices, I’d speak against them, but it shouldn’t be illegal for him to do what he wants to himself. Giving to the poor should be a voluntary thing. If you want to start a business, zoning laws shouldn’t prevent you from doing so, as long as you aren’t violating anyone else’s rights by what your doing (That kid in New York should absolutely have been allowed to start his hot dog stand rather than being told he couldn’t because it would hurt the business of the local restaurants.) You should be allowed to own an automatic rifle if you want. Exc. But when you get the particulars, it honestly is tricky at times to figure out precisely what aggression IS… Its not always simple.
I’d appreciate any answers. As you may remember I’m pretty new to libertarianism in general so I don’t really know the answers here…
Great questions, Dave. At Man Against The State in the right panel are several links that do quite a good job at explaining the philosophy. Checkout the “Law without Government” links for an idea on how justice could be administered in a stateless society. Think about it this way: Anarchy is a world without rulers, not rules.
“My ideal tax system would be far, far less than 10%, almost certainly less than 5%, but its still forcibly taking money from people.”
Something to consider:
If You Were King – Larken Rose
A libertarian society would neither be a utopia nor would there be a government solution to every problem. That is hard for many people to accept. I think the issue is that most of us have been conditioned since birth to look the government to solve every problem. That really is just an emotional thing. In the real world, the government isn’t all that great of a problem solver. Government solutions tend to be one or more of the following: ineffective, disproportionately expensive, unworkable, or lead to worse problems though the law of unintended consequences (e.g. The War on Drugs).
Consider the scenario of a man who plants a landmine in his front yard. A man who would do such a thing is a nut job. What is the government’s track record of protecting the public from nut jobs? Given the goings on at Fort Hood, Sandyhook and the Boston Marathon, I would say not so great.
How could such a person be dealt with in a libertarian society? First, a libertarian society would not have housing discrimination laws. That means that a homeowner does not have to sell or rent his house to a person with a swastika on his forehead or a person who sports gold teeth and dread locks. It was common practice for a homeowner to carefully screen prospective buyers/ renters before the government went crazy on housing regulations. Second, restrictive covenants would again be legally binding contracts in a libertarian society. Perhaps one of the terms on the covenant forbids landmines. Third, a libertarian society would have freedom of association. Ostracism can be a powerful tool to motivate an undesirable neighbor to sell his house and move.
Agreed. But first we must retrain ourselves to live without it. Hopefully, the never ending scandals from the ShitHouse in Washington will see to that.
Being without government is my idea of a utopian paradise. However, I do not believe a large population could exist peaceably without one.
My reasoning for this is that in the absence of a state sooner or later a number of the people will organize and create a government so that they can subject everyone else to their will. The state must exist to prevent the state; it is absurd but true. That being the case, I believe a libertarian government is the next best option; not perfect, but nothing is.
Perhaps, at some point, sheeple might become civilized and able to function without a state, though I doubt it will happen in the foreseeable future. But stranger things have happened.
Unfortunately, you are probably right. Until the human race evolves – and the ready resort to aggressive violence that now characterizes most people, most of the time is culled from the DNA – people such as us (who “get it” and would be capable of living in a government-free society) will always be in the minority and force to live in an ethically dumbed-down society full of Clovers, designed by and for Clovers.
I’ve been reading this site for several years now, and finally I have to ask. I understand what a “clover” is … but how did the term originate?
So if Ron Paul were elected President, and used the powers of government, however illegitimate those powers may be, to enforce the non-aggression principle as much as he could, but that required a small amount of taxes, without which a more powerful government would emerge anyway, would he be a criminal or a hero, in your view?
How you answer this question would probably tell you how you view minarchists.
If Ron Paul (or anyone like him) were elected, it would mean an unprecedented Awakening had occurred – such that the NAP had become tens of millions of people’s fundamental principle of human action. In that case, dealing with those who continued to commit first-use aggression would be infinitely easier – and required far less often (merely as a result of social pressure).
But, to answer your question directly:
Yes, I’d consider Ron Paul a hero. Especially since the most odious forms of taxation could be done away with entirely. I mean income taxes and taxes on property. Peace-keeping could be financed by excise tariffs on goods made in/imported from non-free countries (I am not a defender of “free trade” that isn’t free trade) or, even better, via proceeds collected from those who violate the NAP. Why shouldn’t those who steal/damage property be made to provide restitution – plus the cost of obtaining said restitution? Peace officers could be paid this way.
Or, a simpler – and entirely non-coercive – solution: In a given community, each individual has the option of paying a subscription to “buy in” to the protection of peace officers – in the same way one pays for the services of a volunteer fire department. Probably, a sufficiency of people within a given community would see the value of having peace officers (not law enforcers) and would gladly pay a small fee toward their support. Especially given they’d no longer be forced to hand over 30-40 percent of their income to the government every year.
I expect this would be more than adequate to pay for legitimate peace-keeping.
In any case, I don’t insist on absolutism or perfection – because that would be as pointless (and stupid) as refusing to exercise unless I get to be the next Mr. Olympia!
David, I don’t believe this is something Ron Paul would address with govt. How do you “enforce” NAP? I remember something a wise man once told me and he said: You can lead a man a lot farther than you can push him. I try to keep this in mind at all times because it’s as much truth as you can find in one statement. Nobody will argue the point. Oh, and I won’t use the word since I said I was through, but SOMEONE might argue it.
Ron Paul has said that while most of what the government does is unconstitutional, you can’t just flip a switch. I think he was alluding the the fact that so many people have become so dependent on the government for so long that they would just starve to death if kicked off the government teat cold turkey. It is like feeding wild squirrels in your yard. If you do it every day, the squirrels will stop caching nuts for winter within a generation. If you stop feeding them in January, many will die. Most intergenerational welfare recipients are like that. The have no job skills. They don’t know how to use an alarm clock or fill out an employment application. Also, private industry would need time to absorb the large influx of unskilled labor.
If Ron Paul was elected and he managed to cut close to half a trillion a year from the federal budget per year and euthanize at least one 3 letter government agency (DEA, FDA, EPA, etc.) I would say that he was very successful. It took at least 6 generations to get into the current mess we are in. It will probably take at least 2 generations to get back out without causing undue discomfort.
I’d be ecstatic just to return to the level of liberty I can recall existed when I was a kid in the ’70s.
For some reason it won’t let me respond directly to the comment you made to me, so I’m replying here instead, but I’m replying to your comment to me.
I’m pretty much in line with what you said below. Tariffs are a relatively non-intrusive method of taxation because they can be avoided. I get that its not ideal, but at least you have a choice. With income tax, the government is asserting ownership over EVERYTHING you produce, while property taxes mean they assert ownership over all land. Both are obscene.
Ideal would indeed to be to punish NAP violators to fund any government that need exist. I’m not sure if that alone would raise enough money, but it should be able to, especially if we get rid of the whole standing army concept, which I’m not a fan of.
Now, I do have a question, and I know we’ve addressed this before, but not in this particular context. You said that you’d be happy to have the freedom we had back in the 1970’s again. Now, I have the misfortune of having been born in 1995, so I honestly don’t even remember the pre-9/11 world (Which makes me very, very sad). That said, considering your comment on what you’d be willing to accept as a starting point, I’m surprised that you don’t support Senator Rand Paul. Occasionally I do get aggravated by his attempts to play the system (He wants to win, which may be a problem in and of itself but the best way to destroy an Empire is on the inside) but ultimately, it looks to me like Rand would roll things back to the way they were more like in the Roaring Twenties. Which still, isn’t perfect but is a heck of a lot better than what we’re used to, which is two people arguing over just how much government we should add.
Admittedly, Rand’s biggest flaw is foreign policy, but even there, he’s better than anyone else in the senate and its not even close.
I did want to ask another question about this though…. I’ve encountered among far more hardline Rand fanatics than me (I’d be in the “Supporter” category but sometimes he just gets it wrong and I do express my frustration when that happens. He ain’t his dad) pointing at Ron Paul’s 99% comment. Have you heard about that particular comment, and how do you interpret it?
(Essentially, Ron Paul said that Rand is “99% the same on issues” as him. Which I don’t think is the case, I think that was an exaggeration on Ron’s part.)
I was a kid in the ’70s – and in high school/college during the ’80s. The atmosphere was very different vs. today, not only the form and structure of things. Where to begin? Well, for openers, the neurotic obsession with “safety” that pervades everything today was nonexistent back then. It wasn’t that people were reckless. They just weren’t neurotic, living their lives (and insisting at gunpoint that others live their lives) on the assumption that danger lurked everywhere and that every action had to be limited/controlled/regulated on that assumption. When our parents took us someplace in the car, we just hopped in the car. No “buckling up for safety” – much less strapping in non-babies like Hannibal Lecter in “safety” seats. Station wagons were common back then, and kids often just rode in the back. The legal drinking age was 18. People talked about soldiers; people in the army. Never “the troops.” Only nutbag Neidermeyer (Animal House) tools talked like that. Ditto “evildoers” and “enemies of freedom.” Maybe in John Birch Society publications – and cracker Pentacostal churches. Nowhere else. If you started talking about “the homeland” in the ’80s, most people would have assumed you were an ex-Nazi (or a Nazi wannabe). The government was held in check by a public that cared about the rule of law. In high school I watched ol’ Flat-top (Reagan) sweat over Iran Contra; he was almost hounded out of office over this (by current standards) triviality – whether he or his minions lied about sending aid to the Nicaraguan rebels. Had it been revealed that RR had asserted authority to have anyone killed he deemed to be a “terrorist” – at his whim, without any judicial process – there would likely have been a criminal trial… of Reagan. Only the Soviets held people in prison without charge or trial.
There were no random “checkpoints.” A cop had to have specific probable cause to bother you (legally) and if he did not, that was sufficient to get most courts to throw out the charges. You could buy fireworks. Real fireworks. You could drive your truck with the shotgun rack – and shotguns – to high school and park it there. If you wanted to fly someplace, you just drove to the airport, walked right up to the counter, bought a ticket (with cash if you felt like it, no ID required) and then walked right to the gate without being questioned or felt up or scanned. You could get to the airport 10 minutes before schedule departure – and make your flight. The only places where you were recorded (audio and video) was prison. If you needed cold meds, you just bought them. You did not have to take a plastic card up to the counter, show ID, sign a form and then be “allowed” your one box. When a cop pulled you over, you could get out of the car and walk over to his car and try to talk your way out of the ticket. Cops did not have buzz cuts. They wore revolvers. They did not wear BDUs. You could pretty much come and go as you pleased. Things were more relaxed and reasonable. There were plenty of unreasonable laws, of course. But you had a lot more room to maneuver – and people (in general) were not the belligerent assholes they are today.
David, It’s not so much Rand himself but after one lives through enough elections a lot of people who compromise to win come and go. Most lose anyway and those who win end up showing the compromise part not the principled part.
Honestly I don’t see real fundamental principled change until your generation is the age I am now. Why? Because of being vested in and/or screwed by the system.
People who are 35-50 now mostly don’t see they will be the most screwed. We will pay a lifetime into the system and it’s going tits up just as its supposed to pay out to us. Trouble is most don’t see it. They don’t do the math. They will emotionally hang on to this system to the bitter end. Everyone over 50 wants their payout. They aren’t going to change a damn thing.
Your generation however, when things get really bad will be able to walk away. You will be where I am now. I can walk away from my losses for freedom. I lose a house worth of money but it would be worth it to get the next 1/4 century of working life free of it. I could make up for it if freed from the burdens. Your generation will get to see that it’s a screw-job in a way that is undeniable and be in a financial position to reject it and just start over.
Ayn Rand (already mentioned in these comments) pointed out years ago, human beings are the only life form on this planet who think in concepts. She noted further that all concepts exist in hierarchies. A good example is the concept “anarchy.” Anarchy means “no government.” Therefore, “anarchy” depends on the concept “government” for its meaning. Given that bit of insight, anarchists must be “eternally vigilant” against government’s reemergence. An awesome task!
Clover “fly paper?” Great blog post and a surefire way to attract clover flies. They hate anyone who dares post against their beloved “social contract,” from which all the leaches blessings flow, and through which we are daily made “more secure” against all those big bad terrists, black sheep, and all other things that haunt the nightmares of sheep.
Too many of us are still too comfortable. The proles will never revolt, and if they did, it would be agitation for more control, and more government. I do not want a revolution with the current Amerikan crowd. It’s going to lead to more tyranny.
Only if those advocating for more control live.
I predict an easy solution to THAT problem…
Oh, that problem will solve itself. This is why I’m not terribly worried about the “Free Shit Army” (FSA) going mob-violent. The FSA consists of people who have never been self-sufficient and who are hermetically incapable of being so. When TS Really HTF, most of these people won’t survive. This is why I predict that certain socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups that make up the majority of the FSA will dwindle radically in number in terms of their current percentage of the population. Most won’t be able to adapt to the new reality once civilization completely collapses and Uncle Sugar Daddy is no longer around to make manna fall from the sky.
That was made abundantly clear during Katrina. The FSA failed to plan ahead and pillaged anything available that wasn’t theirs after the fact and stripped resources that could have been meted out fairly for SURVIVAL, but greed got the better of them. That’s what happens when Clovers get a sense of urgency up their arse but can’t lead or control themselves.
Those that weren’t inclined to do that largely sat around and waited for help from Dubya and died in the process, thanks not only to FSA greed and violence, but the Dubya camp’s inability to act in a timely manner to allocate resources and control the FSA.
Then came the insurance companies that delayed as long as possible to retain their wealth. The fact it takes time to sort lying FSA members from the Dubya’s helped them no end. Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s how I saw it.
“resources that could have been meted out fairly”
Who’s resources, and what is “fair” about the distribution of stolen goods, however it is accomplished?
The first order of business is to stop the theft… Those who produce and OWN resources must be left alone to use them as they see fit.
Let’s say I’m a bit over-reactive or excessively pro-active in my estimation of defense.
The very act of them coming at me is aggression, in my mind. And if they fall into a wood chipper, burn in oil or FAE (Fuel-air explosive), by oxygen deprivation (any means), poison, lead dosage, radiation, or chance act of God – I don’t care. And i’m not willing to be “Careful,” either – should there be collateral damage, c’est la vie.
I WILL differentiate WRT children, and I WILL differentiate between someone running away, when they are running in my direction, from a person or group running AT me with ill intent.
But should I see the FSA running in my direction – I’m inclined to impute ill intent.
Does that make sense?
jean, I guess I didn’t realize they were running at you. Are they armed or is this just a hoard…or an armed hoard? I suppose you really can’t take a survey if they’re running AT you…..but be careful they’re not running away from something and you happen to be in the same direction they need to flee. I’m an old cowhand, know how that herd mentality works. It’s sometimes a lesser of two evils type of thing.
I withdraw my consent.
Now, according to the Mental Health Association, I am insane for saying that. It means I’ve shrugged-off my public school conditioning that “Government is good, therefore more government is better”. And that makes one dangerously insane according to the “rules”.
Funny tho, I feel quite sane. And free.
Funny tho, I feel quite sane. And free.
And you are both. It’s only in Bizarro World, the one in which we now live, where up is down, black is white, evil is good, and poverty is wealth that sanity is sickness and freedom is slavery – and a crime.
Shazaam – “I withdraw my consent.”
Even that is wrong. (no offense intended)
I never gave consent in the first place. No need to withdraw what has never been ceded.
I reassert that I have never consented.
The main problem is people actively choose to be led, rather than be their own leaders. Part of this is an inherent tendency toward collectivism. Maybe it’s just easier for them in their own way, or they’re fundamentally lazy.
It’s like marriage in some countries is controlled by religion. Back in the days of Ye Olde England, the King must be asked for permission to marry. Fornication before such permission was apparently unlawful. Therefore serfs and the general public must hang a sign from their door when “busy” proclaiming Fornication Under Consent of the King, apparently.
This domination over marriage was eventually transferred to the church. That may have been a lucky thing. But once control is given, it becomes increasingly difficult to reclaim it.
The main problem is people actively choose to be led, rather than be their own leaders. Part of this is an inherent tendency toward collectivism. Maybe it’s just easier for them in their own way, or they’re fundamentally lazy.
REVO, that is It EXACTLY. People WANT to be led, coddled, burped, diapered, fed, and sheltered from potential or actual harm. They DON’T WANT freedom – because freedom means being responsible for on’es own actions, one’s own livelihood and well-being, one’sown destiny. Any one of us can step outside of our own front door and, even after a cursory look and listen, know that the prospect of real freedom terrifies most people. The overwhelming majority would rather indulge in Bastiat’s convenient fiction, enforced by majority tyranny, of living at their neighbor’s expense, relying on the collective herd of neighbors to protect them from harm. (Of course it never occurs to such Clovers that since all of their neighbors are equally helpless, shiftless sheeple, there isn’t much chance of them ever coming to their aid when they needs it).
I would like to think that Eric’s SUPERB breakdown of things here would wake up anyone with even a semi-frigid IQ, but I’m not holding my breath. This thread is still in its infancy, but within a few hours I expect our usual Clover trolls to drop by and spew their usual verbal vomitus all over the thread in their trademark pathetic attempts to justify the status quo.
Actually I think the main reason people give up freedom has only to do with the fact that they can blame everyone but themselves for their actions.
I invest in casino stocks, and have spent a fair amount of time watching people flush money down the hole in casinos over the years. Most of them, when asked, will say they’re having fun. Very few would ever think of spending their time going for a short hike up a nearby canyon (in Nevada), or bothering to learn how to send email to their grandkids (or children), or any other high-payoff activities that cost nothing and would be much more fun than throwing chips away or pushing the “spin” button on a slot machine. So their first choice, sitting down at the table, was wrong. Later, when they made the second bad choice, sticking around longer than they should, and they lose everything, the blame game begins. It’s the casino’s fault, it’s daddy’s fault, and ultimately, it’s God’s fault: for making me who I am (a degenerate gambling addict), for making me “unlucky” (unable to understand basic statistics), or whatever.
Contrast that to someone who tries gambling (or better yet, does research ahead of time) and realizes they didn’t build these monstrosities in the desert by paying out a lot of wins. Not only can this person understand that the game is rigged, he can take the same money and put it on the house side of the table instead, and enjoy a hike that costs nothing but time and a little effort.
Both parties have the freedom to gamble if they choose. There will always be the ones who go into the game with blinders, or ignore the statistics and believe they will be the exception. Unfortunately most of them also refuse to take the responsibility for their own actions. And they are the people who end up being suckered in by politicians who promise to fix things for them.
And the same people who must have laws against every single possible vice and laws requiring every last possible piece of ‘safety’ equipment.
Why? Because they don’t know how to choose for themselves, cannot control themselves, and blame someone else for the result.
I like where you are going with this line of thinking. Of all the fallacies into which people get sucked, I think the gambler’s fallacy is the most popular. Most people think they deserve some good from life, so they will sit at the roulette or craps table thinking that the longer they lose the better their chances are to hit it big in the end. But the probabilities never change. Apply that reasoning to government, the institution that history shows usually ends in corruption and despotism, and welcome to the mind of the average American. The probability favors this experiment in republican government ending poorly, but, sadly, most will ride it down in flames, betting it all on red that the next politician will change an unchangeable system.
” ultimately, it’s God’s fault: for making me who I am (a degenerate gambling addict)”
May I say that I love every comment on here including Erics main article title and argument. Each of them so true and that I wish I had the time to comment and praise each and everyone’s briliance on subjects and interests of mine. But what you said about gambling and the above quote is very powerful. I’ve found that anyone who has any clue to statistics cannot enjoy gambling, unless of course they like to tilt the statistics in their favor by say owning the house or by counting cards, etc. I would not enjoy it even then because of the fact that such is immoral because I feel its a zero sum game and more on that later. I feel so sad when I see them gamble as you said thinking the longer they lose the bigger the win will be. Maybe in addition to your excellent points one must also conclude that the zero sum game is so enshrined in the heathen’s head that they cannot possibly see that Godliness and real production and creation are absolutely the win-win sum game. Intelligence in my view is about maximum creation for all involved not about sacrificing a lamb for salvation of another unwilling to pay the price of the law of the harvest. To me all things that are in violation with say the 10 commandments (jewish-christian-muslim) or any other eastern religion taboo of morality is because those things cheat the win-win sum game through lies, deceipt, and corruption such that the gain of one man becomes the loss of another.
God or the intelligence of creation seems to hate this behavior because it destroys the incentive for increasing production for all of his sons (intelligence). And if we are in his image we certainly must be a subset of image of intelligence and free will and creators. We have become a world of users because not only do people think that everything happens by magic (luck, gifts, welfare without sanity of following natural law of good cause and effect) but also they have become tare by sucking like vampires whatever blood remains in the left of the producers (God people) and hence sacrafice the truthfull as lambs expecting such a universe to be please in this conceited behavior.
Again the behavior is nothing new and occasionally the wicked were meted out to prevent the weeds (tare) from completely destroying any order of intelligence and responsiblity left in the creators (4% of god’s listeners of truth and sanity seekers). This alternate game of win-win sum game is foreign to the heathenites both in logic and rationale, everything is a soccer game, football game, swimming competition, and etc where only one man or one team can be the winner and the other always losing. Its a dog eat dog world they believe. Unlike me they do not believe that the world is inherently rich for everyone. Lew Rockwell authors correctly point out that the government is indeed also a zero sum institution and hence why the evil gravitate to its wicked game.
Of course they always say of their tournaments he was a good sport because they lost or that individual took one for the team but tried really hard, but a good sport in my definition is someone who never engages in an enterprise where one man’s esteem comes at smashing another’s worth. Though I do not mean that competition to serve his fellow mankind is an example of a zero sum game neither, as productive competition enables higher production by making all yearn to do better through embracing higher production and truths and learning from productive behaviors (seeing and embracing natural laws of positive outcomes) of their competitors.
Although, I’m not judging say football as a recreation and I do watch some sports and see nothing wrong with it if its not hinged on sacrificing personal esteem, but as a profession I hate seeing grown men acting infantile about a sport that is obviously zero sum waste of time. Hence why I rarely stay with any sport more than seeing one game a year maximum. Gambiling again being the same bent behavior to obssession as all other destructive zero summers.
The ten commandments and other morality laws in my view are about minimizing losses even for people who are too dim witted to try to understand the reason of morality and natural laws. Jesus said it clearly when he said that you have to speak to some in parables because they just don’t get it as boneheads (the last being my interpretation of that statement). On the other hand those in this room but a select few in opposition do get it without having a “human God on earth” to interpret it for them. They understand the causal effects of reaping what they sow and try to align themselves with the intelligence of natural laws and thus God to prevent losses to themselves and others and are rewarded richly in proportion. The latter causing the reprobates to hate like Cain the gifts received and those who receive them. Some of these gifst not always in monetary compensation but in knowledge and spirtual growth and maturity and talents received as blessing by adhering to the natural laws and wanting to embrace truths for truths own sake and reward. Again why I tell you that all of you in this room are very blessed even if some of you are skeptical of such a wonderous and fair God and how blessed you really are.
The reason that so few can actually comprehend because they were not given the competence, abilities, and talents of inherited gift that you all have been given to truly understand beyond a simple parable or a concrete law of morality say the 10 commandments. Then again another instance of your blessedness is that you not only do you understand the cause and effect of destruction and creation but that you also have compassion for those that are in a destructive cycle and want to help your fellow man stop that behavior.
I may not be a saint yet, but I certainly understand that the latter (compassion) being coupled to the first (knowing truth of natural law) is the first step to turning people away from destruction back toward the warmth of reality, truth and sanity of the greater intelligence we are a subset and belong (God) in. Darkness, desolation, and loss are the opposite of sharing in the inheritance of this benovolence and in my opinion no human should ever suffer such fate without first refusing every life line thrown to him a thousand times over. That is our job to our fellow unenlighted and suffering brothers and its a hardest job ever to convince the real boneheads to become fat heads like us instead. Since of course the brain is mostly a lipid I mean this in a most complementing way to us.
Also, statistics is a natural law and to be ignorant in the matter puts one in peril like ignoring the laws of gravity and jumping off a cliff and expecting different results then say the last 100,000 who tried that thinking wrongly that they would fly unassisted by physics of truth. If you know physics and foil these laws using knowledge then that is sufficient not to be tempting the lord in likewise destructive fate. Hence why I believe Yeshua was not insinuating an insult when he said “he knew the way’s of the world” when walking on water. To me a godly person must understand the way’s of the world, to be in alignment with its intelligence and power. I for one do not believe if Jesus walked on water it was by faith alone, but rather because he also knew the ways of the world and something metaphysical beyond as well in the largest intelligence as our father creator. And as proof a child has the most wildest faith in almost all things but cannot walk on water, though I can say that a man that understands deep knowledge of the subject matter and the truth of natural law and faith that follows from understanding he can do that and much more. Here alone physics is enough proof of the concept, but there is much much more in the metaphysical domain of spirituality and our connection to something infinite and eternal is even proven by the spirituality of mathematics, calculators, state machines, functions and constructs. These things not just being representations of physical things but existing despite its phyical manifestation in truth of knowledge and in a world outside of us but also outside this one representation of a world or universe we know. That truth existing beyond the objects we see and even beyond us is basically the whole of all intelligence and existence. As heisenberg shows that the world cannot exist without observation, but the somewhate objective world is proof that the universe is self observing. And our role in that observation is also our massive importance as well as a subset or a son of such intelligence. Humanity is beyond frightfully creation, we are of such impact and power that we can literally destroy our world with a cup full of water and the knowledge and faith that follows. But such power must literally be controlled by natural laws to prevent such destruction. Hence why the more you receive in knowledge of this God the more you are held in contempt of abusing its knowledge and power. To turn away from such beauty and wonderment and receiving such amazing gifts and doing destructive acts would be quite damning. With great knowledge come great responsibility.
In my opinion, If religion and morality and even god as an intelligent and consistent judge and universe have any value then the fact that all of them are either truth, depend on truth, or result in truth must be also be true. Sanity as Eric points out is colloborating and acting on cause and effect by knowing the truth and not “tempting the lord” by doing reprobate rejection of it. Basically, figuring out the logic what the best outcome of the world and not tempting god by doing inverted and illogical behavior expecting good results to be born by deviating to lies and convenience and cheating misconduct that ends in destruction for others. Embracing zero sum games in seriousness is one such rejection of natural law of maxium creation, and the reaping of the sowing will be very bad for participants involved.
Again if you go to Las Vegas understanding the statistics of the house and still are ok with throwing a few dollars to support a light show, then I don’t think a God would be as apt to see that as destructive behavior or a zero sum game. But a reason things are stated in black and whites for the boneheads is because they aren’t gifted or blessed to the advantage most of you in this room. Maybe sainthood is the patience to keep loving and trying to throw lifelines to people unwilling to hear, listen, or save themselves by embracing the goodness of truth and following the cause and effects of betterment. My thoughts is to keep trying and give it in simple parables or key knowledges that they can understand. I love seeing the light bulb turn on when a child understands a powerful concept for the first time. I think any teacher understands what I’m saying and is willing to persevere in teaching even when it seems hopeless.
Purely an observation here. Isn’t “investing” in casino stocks just another form of gambling? Isn’t the series of (possibly) bad choices identical whether at the investment firm or at a slot machine?