But How Would Roads Get Built?

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Why is it that some people – most people, unfortunately – short-circuit when the idea of roads built by other-than-coercive methods comes up?road 1

McDonald’s doesn’t need to force people to buy Quarter Pounders. Those who want them, buy them. Those who don’t – don’t.

My gym has a membership fee. If you want to use the facilities, you pay the fee. People not interested in using the facilities aren’t forced to buy memberships they don’t want or use.

This is considered reasonable. In fact, most people don’t give it a thought. It’s as automatically natural as taking a breath.

How come they can’t extrapolate that idea – people freely choosing what they want (and don’t want) and being free to make those choices without coercion – to roads?

Authoritarian statists (redundant, I realize) can be counted on to unpack the “roads” straw man argument in defense of their system of collective coercion. That – absent government and its taxes-at-gunpoint (and much else besides, such as eminent domain at gunpoint) we’d all be stuck in the 19th century, unable to get from A to B. Or at least, unable to get from A to B as efficiently as we do on roads built at gunpoint.road pic 2

They might be right (bear with me a moment). Let’s assume that they are right. It still doesn’t make it right to do violence to people. Their argument is a utilitarian argument. The same sort of argument used by Stalin to justify his collective farms. So much more food could be produced (for the state) that way, he claimed.

And it was true.

Of course, millions of small land-holding peasant farmers (the Kulaks) lost everything for the sake of Stalin’s “plans.” So it is with all such plans. There are winners – and losers. Just as there is a winner – and a loser – in a confrontation between a street mugger and his unarmed victim. The mugger is “better off.” But the fact remains he violated his victim’s rights to get that $20.

It is the same with regard to government roads. No matter how sparkly the asphalt glistens, nor how gracefully laid out the road, if it was done by doing violence then it was not done right.

I live near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a gorgeous road cut through the mountains that runs from the Shenandoah through the Blue Ridge in Virginia all the way down to North Carolina. It was built on the destroyed lives of American kulaks – rural Southern mountain folks.  To make way for the road, America’s Mussolini – Franklin Delano Roosevelt – had federal troops forcibly remove these rustics from what they thought was their land. Whole communities were excised. You can still view the sad remains of what were once people’s homes  . . . or so they believed until the fed’s shock army advised them otherwise.roads 3

Does the scenic beauty – the usefulness – of the Parkway wash away the horror visited upon those poor people? Of course it does not. We – most of us – simply blank it out. We enjoy the road. Just as we enjoy the land seized from the Indians and revere the likes of Andrew Jackson – an earlier tyrant who force-marched another group of kulaks off the land they once imagined (silly Indians!) to be theirs.

But, could roads exist without wholesale evacuations and gross violations of property rights – all of it backed up by bayonets and bullets?


We know they could – because they did (and do).

Most of the roads in my area (a rural part of SW Virginia) pre-date the government’s involvement. They were built without coercion or taxes. By rural folks – farmers – on a cooperative and mutually agreeable basis. These old farm roads have since been paved over – co-opted by the government – but the fact remains the were originally laid down without government involvement.roads 4

Are they “better” now?  Wider, straighter – and paved? Certainly. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have been made wider, straighter – and nicely paved over – without coercion. Somehow, people improve private homes, private buildings – and so on – without shoving guns under other people’s chins. Is it preposterous to imagine that roads might be built and maintained without shoving guns under people’s chins?

It has been done.

Consider toll roads – and private roads through private communities.  This is not abstract, conjecture, “what if.” Such privately built, privately funded and administered and maintained roads exist. They are paved (typically, better paved than government roads) and “modern.”road 5

We have working prototypes of how it might be done – without violence. Scratch that. How it has been done – without violence.

And, it scales.

Just as other voluntary, peaceful exchanges – such as the selling and buying of hamburgers or of gym memberships – scale. McDonald’s began as a single burger joint in California. Gold’s Gym was once singular, too. Both are now nationwide. Neither relies on extortion to fund operations. They exist – and expand – based on the free give-and-take of millions of people.

There is no reason roads could not be built and operated on the same principle.

They might not be the same kinds of roads as government roads – but what a boon that would be. Think of it. Rather than one-size-fits-all (and least common denominator-based) government roads, we might have unlimited speed, privately built American Autobahnen. You assume the risk – and liability – for your driving. No government goons criminalizing conduct that caused no harm to anyone. But how would they get built? The same way that other projects get built in the free market. But how would their owners get paid? The same way – in principle – that other privately owned establishments obtain payment. Perhaps it would be via toll entrances. Perhaps by user fees obtained via automatic debit (such as “EZPass” – but on a privately-run basis).road 4

The bottom  line is it’s a red herring, a straw man argument, that roads – modern roads – could not exist were it not for coercive government. It’s as ridiculous as claiming that nationwide fast food joints and gyms would never have arisen were it not for government.

Conjure the voice of Morpheus from the Matrix. Open your mind, Neo. Millions upon millions of free individuals freely interacting are capable of limitless creation. Coercion necessarily stifles and stomps creation. It creates a few winners – and many losers.

Which side do you want to be on?

Which pill – the blue or the red – do you want to take?

Throw it in the Woods? 


    • A nice example of how the roads can be built without government.

      I wonder what is meant by “No Turning Space”? Looking on the net it seems that it applies to roads that are so narrow that it is not possible for one to make a U-turn.

    • Dear helot,

      Man, this is great!

      Thanks so much for sharing it!

      If clovers were rational, this would shut them up for good. But they aren’t so sad to say, they will continue to turn a blind eye to clear examples of free market roads such as these and prattle on about “But who will build the roads? Boo hoo.”

    • Dear helot,

      This brief article on the Alaskan free market ice roads is so good I’m going to be citing it constantly, maybe ad nauseum!

  1. WOW. I am new here and it took very little reading to find out who the local tool shed is.

    I would say there are 3 times the average person interacts with the government:
    1. Jury “Duty”
    2. Traffic Stop
    3. Taxes

    Who, and I really mean it, Who looks forward to dealing with slavery, armed thugs and theft?

    When was the last time you got a Jury summons and said “Yes! I will get $12 a day to figure out if this guy is guilty.” Or when was the last time you looked in your rear-view mirror, saw a cop and said “Yes! I am not just being protected, I am being escorted.” And finally, when was the last time you got your pay check and saw the deductions (or any kind of taxes) and said “Yes! I am so glad to give this money to someone else.”

    If you really did you are quixotic.

    • Hi Sirirb,

      You’re in for a treat – not.

      Clover is the apotheosis of busybody, know-it-all-at-gunpoint government-worship. He is a “little Stalin” – same impulses, only much less intelligent. He wants to control everyone; get them to live their lives as he thinks their lives ought to be lived. To force others to pay for his “wants.”

      He’s a piece of work…

  2. Eric,

    Paring down the government is not impossible but it is very difficult. We need a once-in-a-generation leader and committed supporters, and decades at least. I think more people now realize the welfare/warfare state has pretty much exhausted available resources. We can either collapse like other empires or revert to founding American principles.

    My brother has an Icelandic friend who described the establishment of a Parliament (Althing) in 930 AD. They had a pretty good run of relative liberty. Now it is another hopeless welfare state. Still, there is hope in that it once existed.

    Moving to outer space sounds great but I don’t have the $billions to spare.

    • Agreed, Patrick.

      The cynic in me, however, can’t suppress the nagging thought that (per Heinlein) this planet has already passed the event horizon, in terms of human liberty. That the effective impossibility of divorcing from the collectivists (they will not leave us alone, ever) combined with the effective impossibility of a viable defensive retreat (as per colonial era America) means it’s Game Over for us and our generation, perhaps many generations to come.

      It may well be that the worst case scenario happens – and humanity is conducted, via Cloverism, backward rather than forward. This is in fact already well under way. Consider: The average person is probably more ignorant today of basic scientific and mathematical principles – even general knowledge – than the average person was say 40 years ago. More dangerous, perhaps, they are utterly ignorant of history, bereft of any conscious philosophy (they exist “day to day” and hold an implicit utilitarianism; “whatever works” – arbitrarily defined) and highly emotional. They are easily led and misled. Political discourse in this country especially is at the level of a not-bright elementary school kid. Banal slogans disguising ever-accreting collectivism.

      On a purely technical level, we’re treading backward in a number of ways – notwithstanding the advance of technology.

      It takes longer to fly from LA to New York than it did in 1970.

      Commercial supersonic flight is a dead letter.

      So is human space travel – an even deader letter. Low earth orbit is the best anyone has done since 1974. And this country can’t even do that anymore.

      Highway speeds are about what they were in 1970, notwithstanding that almost any modern car (1990-present) is fully capable of cruising safely and without strain at 100 MPH or even faster.

      Infrastructure is crumbling.

      The “grid” is under-capacity and relies predominantly on coal to produce electricity. In 2014.

      Life expectancy is declining.

      Real income (buying power) is less today for the average person than it was 40 years ago.

      There are numerous sign posts along this road we’re traveling. And I fear the terminus may be a new AD 476. A collapse of this “new Rome” and a return to a new Dark Ages.

      I think it could happen, as inconceivable as it sounds to us as it probably sounded to the Romans of Marcus Aurelius’ time. (And we’re way past the “Marcus Aurelius” point in our history. Romulus Augustus is more like it.)

      The empire is corrupt, depraved. It’s powerful still, but so rotten at its core that it will not take much to topple the tree.

      And when that happens, what will happen next?

      How many people even know (per Brent) what a transistor is/does? How an internal combustion engine actually works? Let alone the serious stuff.

      Probably two-thirds of the human beings alive today are – would be – utterly helpless if the matrix of technology they do not understand but utterly depend on were to break down. And then, driven by panic and want, they’d become savage – having no ethical principles to restrain them.

      That’s the future I see.

      • eric, I’m re-reading an old book, Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat for President. The entire planet he’s trying to emancipate is an exact copy of what we’ve had too long. Unfortunately, the people of this country anyway, aren’t scared enough to dare for change. I have no idea what it will take but the results we’d like to see I can’t imagine happening in a non-violent way…..or at least non-violence from start to finish. The old saw about who controls the vote is right on.

        Saturation of the minds of those most pliable by TPTB is mind-boggling for people like us. I work with a bunch of people young enough to be totally taken in by all of it. They watch television so I go to the neighbor’s RV every night and help them wrench on their trucks even though I’m dead on my feet. I can not tolerate tv in any manner, simply makes me ill.

        • Jim diGriz for PRES!
          HELL YES!!!!!

          Hard to find those books. Easy reads, often funny. Wish I was still up to that IQ. 😉 Life wears the gears down.
          The Rat… Well, I don’t remember, so I can’t ruin the ending for you. 😉

          But I always felt there were life lessons there.
          Especially about the rest of humanity, the “huddled masses” that wish to remain huddled, swathed in their own ignorance, intolerance, and violence, in a herd-like miasma of “others.”
          When did we decide to revere “E Pluribus Unum” to the point it reversed?

  3. I have thought about having an American Autobahn built from east to west. No speed limit and traffic enforcement done by private police. Just imagine no more speeding tickets. There would be a toll to pay for this and I think it would be adequately funded.

  4. Dear Everyone,

    Excellent article on roads under anarchism, by fellow anarchists over at The Dollar Vigilante.

    But Who Will Neglect The Roads?
    [Editor’s Note: The following post is by TDV Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Berwick]
    Those who believe in a need for government for certain roles in society almost always bring up the roads.



  5. Great points by many of the posters. I especially agre with Bevin that the current system is not going to make a libertarian society happen. The entire rotten edifice will need to be torn down and rebuilt.
    Responding to the replies to my original post – I did not mean that humans are literally ripping out each others throats a la lions in the Serengeti (although much of the news from Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and the more benighted neighborhoods of the US would cause me to disagree) but that even if a large enough group were to choose to live by the NAP, someone within or outside it would try to take advantage of the rest and impose their will on the group. I am just not that sanguine about human nature. By the way, these are just questions to which I don’t have answers, and not an endorsement of the current Statist system.

    • What’s needed – my fantasy – is to endow each person with an invulnerability shield rendering aggressive violence impossible and so pointless.

      Then we could have a Libertarian society!

  6. Here is an interesting idea…

    Viral Video: The Mind-Boggling Possibilities of ‘Solar Roadways’ Are Pretty Exciting, Even If You Don’t Buy Into Climate Change

    If people really wanted this, it would happen in a free market. Imposed by government, it would simply be another disaster like the wind farms.

    • Cool vid, Mama!

      Solar Roadways is an Indiegogo campaign currently funded at $2 million by 45,000 people. The campaign ends June 20th.

      Solar Roadways Indiegogo main page

      Scott Brusaw of Sagle, Idaho is an electrical engineer (MSEE) and Julie Brusaw is a counselor (MA LCPC LMFT) in private practice. Scott has worked in the engineering field for over 25 years and his main fields of expertise are in hardware, firmware, and software.

      We started working on our project in 2006. It’s been quite a journey taking our concept from a dream to where we are today wrapping up our second contract with the Federal Highway Administration and walking on our first solar parking lot prototype!

      We’ll use the money from this campaign to hire an initial team of engineers to help us make a few needed tweaks in our product and streamline our process so that we could go from prototype to production.

      Please send us your resumes. Our immediate need is for the following: Mechanical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer (Production Specialist), Materials Engineer, and Environmental Engineer. Experience in solar, renewable energy or hydrology a bonus. We also need an experienced CFO.

      Photos of the Solar Roadways Project

  7. Ah, yes, the cooperative community road of yore: Suuure, it was voluntary. Uh, huh. It has been my experience, in almost any collective endeavor, even with widespread support, you get a few people, maybe even just one or two, who dig in their heels and refuse to cooperate. What do you think happened to some of those farmers in their cooperative community? Why, I wonder if their gun-toting neighbors, who greatly outnumbered the naysayer, threatened to, oh, shoot up their homestead or burn their crops and outbuildings? Nah…that probably never, ever happened in the completely free market of, oh, the Wild West, where legend and stories are replete of monied private interests trying to run settlers off of their land.

    • Ah yes, the famous “legend and stories” of the wild west.. as opposed to actual history, of course. My father was born in 1886, and raised in the Black Hills of what was then the Dakota Territories. His “stories” were likely a true picture of what went on there.

      Would a free society have zero risk and aggression? Of course not. One could, however, defend oneself and family/community from such. Today’s greatest risk creator and aggressor is the government too many still think is there to protect them. And, unfortunately, that government violence has been around a very long time and was operative even in the “wild west.” Those who ran settlers off their land were usually supported BY the local government, at least not offering any opposition. The land grabbers were not any kind of free market advocates, that’s for sure.

      As for the holdout in the cooperative community… why in the world do you think the people there would resort to aggression and violence? Those who were not interested in cooperation would likely be bought out by the rest. They might well be shunned generally if they refused to sell. There are a great many possible solutions besides violence. And non-voluntary government of any kind is not among them.

    • So, your answer is . . . organized, official (government) violence?

      I agree it would be more efficient.

      An individual, a handful of people acting together as a gang – they can commit mayhem. But government can commit mass murder on an epic scale.

      Is that what you prefer?

    • How’s the current system working out? We’ve got less than half the people paying nearly all of the taxes. Much of the rest not only doesn’t pay much of anything in taxes the taxes on the other half are, what’s left after theft by the government office holders, their owners, corporate welfare, and military industrial complex goes to them.

      So I think that tiny percentage of free loaders for the roads would be a vast improvement over the status quo.

  8. A few of my friends where talking about this the other day (with the talk of tolling all the miles on all interstates). Most of them of course didn’t know that the local toll road (Indiana Toll Road) was originally bankrolled by the private sector and was under construction before the interstate system was created(it was nationalized when Eisenhower signed it into law, just before it opened to traffic, so it never operated privately). Interestingly enough, it was leased to a private operator a few years ago($3.8 billion for 75 years). They are currently losing money on it. So these things go in cycles……..

    People also forget that most mass transit systems were created by and operated by the private sector, until the government took that over (often ripping off the owners of them). Most now serve fewer areas and of course a lot less people then when run privately earlier in the 20th century. And all of them lose money, in some cases huge sums of money.

    I used to sell real estate, (until the bubble burst), and I would have people who would come to me hating the idea of gated communities, until of course, they saw them. There are no potholes, are far cleaner, snowplowing happens faster and are generally more well run then any government agency outside their gates (I love them too, in my town alone, there is 25 miles of roads my taxes don’t have to pay for, but they pay for mine). Its funny when people complain about not being able to drive on those private roads, I always say, you want to pay more taxes to drive on roads, when it comes down to it, you won’t end up using much?

    But there is a clue to how privately built roads would be like. In my area, which is growing, the towns don’t have the money to build roads in new subdivisions. The developers have to pay for and build their own roads, sewers etc. The cost of course is rolled into the price of the buildable lots, which makes them more expensive then other areas of the country. When they are finished with the subdivision the roads etc are turned over to the towns for maintenance.

    All that really would have to change is to not turn over the roads to the government and increase the HOA fees and do it yourself. You don’t have to install gates. So the costs aren’t just on motorists, but on property owners who benefit from increased property value. It would then be up to the individual subdivisions how much or little they want to spend to maintain themselves.

    It would actually allow a wider array of communities. If one subdivision wanted curbs, sidewalks, bike trails, fancy streetlights, big parks they could have them as long as they could write a check. If the next one wants a simple one lane wide gravel road without much else, they could do that too. Most of course would be somewhere in the middle but all would be free to do what they want. That is very unlike today where there are minimums. There is a market here for very basic large lot subdivisions here, but they won’t happen again because they aren’t allowed anymore.

  9. Not disagreeing at all, especially concerning the NAP. There is no greater adherent to the NAP than me.

    However, questions arise so I am throwing them out for discussion.

    One, who gets to buy the land that the roads are built on? And two, who is the seller – and by what authority does the seller have to claim ownership of the land in the first place?

    • skunkbear,

      I would guess the person (or group of people) that amassed enough money (or other equivalent goods) to purchase the land and then build on the land.

      It has been said that possession is 9/10ths of the law. The seller would be the individual that possesses the land.

      What happens if the land owner refuses to sell his land?
      No Parking Hare

      • MITHRANDIR, first, thanks for the bugs bunny cartoon! I have not seen that in years.

        Second, the question of who gets to buy the land is asked to suggest that not everyone will have the ability to buy the land and build the roads. The freedom of movement can be limited for those who cannot afford the tolls.

        Now I am in no way supporting the current system or talking about any “equality justice” nonsense. I am noodling out loud that private gate keepers could be as bad as government gate keepers. I would certainly take the risk with the former than stick with the latter but it is something to be considered.

        • skunkbear,

          Glad you enjoyed the clip. I enjoy many of these older cartoons much more (in general) than the cartoons of today.

          I think you bring a valid concern: (ie what happens if one is locked out of a road regardless of the reason (cost or other))

          I have no answer.

          In NYC metro area, if one wishes to cross the Hudson River (or Arthur Kill) into NYC, then one must pay $13 (car cash toll, but it can be more) to cross.

          If you are unable or unwilling to pay the toll then you are not permitted to cross. (It is possible to cross by bus or train, but I am not sure of the cost involved for these modes of travel.)

    • Dear skunkbear,

      Even many resolute libertarians make an innocent but serious mistake when contemplating a free society totally consistent with the NAP.

      They change only one or more variables and assume everything else would remain the same. In other words, they try to fit a piece from a future libertarian jigsaw puzzle into an existing statist jigsaw puzzle.

      That will not work.

      The libertarian jigsaw puzzle piece will not fit into the existing statist jigsaw puzzle. It is part of a larger libertarian jigsaw puzzle. The pieces fit together in an entirely different way.

      The libertarian jigsaw piece WILL WORK, but only as part of a larger libertarian jigsaw puzzle. To make the libertarian jigsaw piece work, one must first throw the existing statist jigsaw puzzle out in its entirety, and replace it with a whole new libertarian jigsaw puzzle. One cannot replace one or two pieces at random.

        • Dear c dub,

          It happened to be something I was wrestling with myself.

          I’ve been meaning to write an article for Lew Rockwell on that premise but haven’t gotten around to it.

          Anyway, I think the principle is clear enough.

      • BEVIN, I agree completely. Your jigsaw puzzle analogy is excellent. The society we have now cannot be a part – in any way – of a NAP based society. They are mutually exclusive.

        Even though I ask my questions out of a philosophical nature, as with most things the devil is in the details.

        BTW, I do not consider myself a Libertarian even though I admire the Libertarian ideals.

        • Skunkbear – Good for you! I am an individual; not part of any group. Once you come to that conclusion and stick to your guns, it makes it bloody hard for “them” to categorize you. If the CAL (clovers at large) can’t hang a tag on you, they don’t know what to do with you and it sends them into a tizzy. Back when the Common Core of Learning was a local Virginia initiative, I took my wife and son (about 10 y.o. at the time) to the Virginia Dept. of Education on a fact finding mission. At every bureaucrat’s desk, the question was “What group are you with?” I would respond “We aren’t with a group. We are concerned Virginians that want to learn more about Common Core.”

          They didn’t know what to do with us. They shuffled us from one desk to the next until we ended up at the assistant to the Secretary of Education’s cubicle. This poor woman was visibly shaken by our presence, gave us information that was marked “Not for public distribution”, explained the whole scam…er…scheme to us and when I asked her, informed us that her daughters went to private school! When it came right down to it (i.e. her daughter’s education and safety) she wasn’t part of the group either. She just lied about it in public.

          No Skunkbear, I’m not a Libertarian nor am I a libertarian, nor anarchist, nor constitutionalist, nor “big ender” nor “little ender” (read Gullivers Travels if that escapes you). I am me and only me; unique just like everyone else. I am the sum of my life experience and what wisdom I have been able to accumulate along the way. A fine lady I once knew, who also happened to be very wealthy and consequently somewhat enslaved by her position, finally figured it out near the end of her life. Anne had a vanity plate put on her car that read “2B ME.” Amen! Screw the group; without individuals there is no group. My hope for everyone is that they fully grok* that simple truth before they check out of here.

          *If you’ve never read “Stranger in a Strange Land” I suggest you do so. Heinlein “got it.”

          • BOOTHE, agreed, more people need to realize that they are indeed individuals and that is all they need to be.

            I refuse to belong to any clubs or organizations and I do not define myself by my job or anything else except for the ideals I hold. And I am always testing those ideals to see if they hold up; it took years to refine them but they still hold true.

            Others have recommended “Stranger in a Strange Land” to me before but I was hesitant to read it. I read Heinlein’s Starship Troopers because it was also highly recommended by liberty minded people. Truthfully, I was shocked that it was found to be so favorable by Libertarian minded folks. But since Heinlein is a fine writer worthy of a second read I will add Stranger to my reading list.

        • “the society we…”

          the greasers-socs against the socs-socs (“soshez” – short for “socials”); tribal warfare. sock it to me/thee, baby.


          “nothing gold can stay” (swap o & d for a & t…)


          “galt, a surname, meaning, in gaelic, a stranger or travelled person.”

          siasl…the unedited version. 60,000 “extra” words. H’s actual book. that’s the one to get.

        • Dear sb,

          Sorry I didn’t see your reply.

          Yes! We need shorthand imagery that gets our message across without long winded explanations. We live in an age of short attention spans. If we can’t put it on a bumper sticker, people tune you out.

          Sad but true.

      • statists actually claim libertarianism doesn’t work by leaving the statist system except for the libertarian topic of the day. Of course one piece can’t work inside a statist power system. The current system was built one block at a time to destroy and prevent libertarian methods.

    • I couldn’t agree more with regards to NAP as well skunkbear. And your second question has always been one of mine as well.

      Do people just make a claim to land, basically like how they did when Europeans first arrived here? That was certainly done via force and violence and certainly not in line with the NAP. How much can a person claim? Do you we just take into consideration basically how land is doled up now as a starting point? And if we take into consideration how that land was obtained in the first place that’s certainly not a very ethical starting point. These are certainly gray areas (at least to me). Maybe it’s the last remaining bits of statist thinking I’ve yet to shed. Or more correctly put, unable to break free from? I’m sure someone smarter than me has the answers regarding that. I don’t know.

      This does not mean I advocate our current statist system. Far from it. It’s how I ended up here after all :). And statism has certainly run it’s course (Anyone else notice that “statism” is not in the lexicon for the operating system of this site? The spell check feature doesn’t even recognize it (I understand this is out of Eric and Dom’s control). Sad and another reminder of how far gone we are. Anyway…).

      Just to be clear, I classify as a libertarian/anarchist/volutaryist, whatever label one wants to put on me. And not having answers to such questions does not advocate keeping the current system in lieu of anarchy. Far from it. A very good quote I read recently was from a gentleman on a Skype chat I participate in called the No State Project. It was the following…..

      “If we’re ruling anarchy out based on failure in hypothetical, unrealistic scenarios, we should certainly rule out government based on failure in viscerally-experienced, real scenarios.”

      I thought that summed up things quite succinctly.

      And by the way, have I mentioned I love this place? Because I do. I’m new here but I’m glad I happened upon it. I appreciate and highly value the discussion that takes place here. Thanks for taking me in. Carry on.

      • C DUB, nice post. I too am always asking questions, as that is how I was taught to think. And sometimes it is the questions of basic assumptions that never get asked. The questions of land ownership have been in my mind for dozens of years.

        And welcome to this site, the adult table of the internet.

    • Hi Skunk,

      The land ownership issue is ethically interesting. Obviously, the Indians were defrauded of pretty much the entire country as they were – so far as can be determined – the original owners. But – like slavery – too much time has passed, the original victims (and perpetrators) are long dead. The victims can’t be made whole – and it’s wrong to hold people accountable who had nothing to do with the victimizing. So I think we have to start with where we are: You own a piece of land if you bought it fair and square.

      So, I own my acreage. I could decide to build a road through it – and allow right-of-way to my neighbors. Or, perhaps I and my neighbors agree that it would be convenient to construct a road through/adjacent to all of our properties, which we all could use. So we agree to “lease” – or sell outright – the necessary strip of land, contract right-of-ways (and so on).

      This is pretty much how it’s done (and been done) in the rural areas of the country for generations. I see no reason why it could not “scale” to the county/state level…. Granted, we might not have superhighways, coast to coast (per James Brown) if everything were done on a Libertarian basis. But no one knows that – and the ingenuity of the free market has proved itself superior to the lack thereof of statism. And even if we didn’t have superhighways, coast to coast – I’d much rather have liberty.

      Wouldn’t you?

      • ERIC, “And even if we didn’t have superhighways, coast to coast – I’d much rather have liberty.

        Wouldn’t you?”

        Oh hell yeah!

        The interstate has been a blessing and a curse. To analyze it would be to open up another discussion altogether.

        ” You own a piece of land if you bought it fair and square. ”

        I fully agree with that sentiment (who would not? – OK, libs). But this is the heart of my second question: by what authority does one have to claim he/she owns the land being sold in the first place? Especially the government.

        I base my philosophy on land ownership largely on the writings of Wendell Berry. It comes down to this: the man who tills the land is the man who owns the land. Governments do not own any land no matter what any judicial backed bureaucrat says.

        It is like in the days of serfdom. “I am Lord Asshat. I am the owner of this manor because the King doth betrothed me a deed to this land. I will, in my generosity, allow you starving peasants to work the land and feed your families with the ten percent of the crop yield I do not confiscate from your harvest. And I further declare that none of you serfs are permitted to use the King’s highway even though it was built by your forced labor.”

      • The Indians would have “taken” the land from someone else. NA Indians only go back 15,000 years. The Indians just happened to be there when Caucasians arrived. Mankind has been around for 10,000,000 years. There were many owners of the land before the Indians. Land ownership is not guaranteed, and to claim we “took” the land from the Indians is not necessarily correct.

        • Understanding the debate

          The chronology of migration models is currently divided into two general approaches.[5][6] The first is the short chronology theory, with the first movement beyond Alaska into the New World occurring no earlier than 15,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants.[7][8] The second belief is the long chronology theory, which proposes that the first group of people entered the hemisphere at a much earlier date, possibly 21,000–40,000 years ago,[9][10] with a much later mass secondary wave of immigrants.[11][12][13]

          & it goes on….

          maybe the real fly in the succession of occupiers ointment, tho, is the good ship lollipop concept of ownership itself. real property titles/rights, & markets in them. vs territorialism: “yours” is whatever you can defend, or take.

          the “red” tribes were territorial. the “white” tribes came in & drove the red tribes out, & made it “legal” (pieces of paper on file at the courthouse). the “red, white & blue” tribe came in & converted the “white” tribe’s holdings into a subdivided reservation of sharecroppers.

          ownership? where?

          • The first group was proven, a researcher found two old women at the tip of Argentina and DNA tested them. Essentially the first groups just got pushed further and further south until they pretty much ceased to exist. These two women were the last of their groups as I recall and they are probably both gone now.

        • Modern man has supposedly been around for 200-300 thousand years. More than enough time for my ideas of the advancement and loss and advancement and loss…

  10. I’m not so sure toll roads are a big improvement, at least where I live. The local leaders decided it would be a great idea to build rail transportation, financed in large part by special extra tolls charged on the Dulles Toll Road and Greenway. Now the tolls are so high, forget about using that ashtray full of quarters. Paper money is needed or worse, an electronic toll collecting device attached to a credit card or bank account. The obvious solution is to avoid these toll roads. Of course the tolls are then further increased to make up for the shortfall. If one must use these roads the traffic is much lighter these days.

    Getting government out of the roads business means eliminating state government for the most part. Road builders pay off the politicians so there is little chance a private roads movement will arise. A zombie apocalypse will be needed to bring about private roads.

    Our Constitution recognized the value of private property but also allowed for lawful seizures, with just compensation, for the obvious case where a single landholder obstructed a road, or pipeline, canal, etc. Is it possible to eliminate all police powers in a society?

    • Hi Patrick,

      “Our Constitution recognized the value of private property but also allowed for lawful seizures, with just compensation..”

      “Just” compensation? According to whom? Lawful seizures are merely theft under color of law. Theft is theft.

      “Is it possible to eliminate all police powers in a society?”

      It is possible to reject – as a matter of ethics – the use of aggressive violence. Any “police power” that involves assaulting people who’ve harmed no one else is an ethical affront.

      No victim – no crime.


      • Eric,

        As a Libertarian from the 1970s I appreciate your point of view. And I appreciate your columns.

        Call a taking a theft and there is truth in that characterization. It can also be defined as a legitimate taking for vital common projects, such as the reservoir or the canal. The means and limitations should be defined by democratic agreement before the cases arise. The key is to limit takings as much as possible, and to try to ensure just compensation as far as possible. There will always be imperfect resolutions of these things.

        Limited government is achievable and the best we can realistically hope for. We have to recognize ourselves as we actually are and we are not perfectable creatures. The French revolutionaries, Marxists, socialists, anarchists and other utopians believed in perfectable men. They left rivers of blood and gore.

        If we could return to a society where the federal and state governments combined take no more than 10% of the common production, we would be in a far better situation. People are alive today who lived under this more limited government. It can’t be impossible to achieve. If we got to that point, I would then be interested to shrink the governments some more. This would go a long way toward marginalizing the abusive use of police powers. There would be no budgets for militarized police with armored assault vehicles, even though these potentially ruthless people would still live among us.

        An apostate libertarian.

        • Hi Patrick,

          Define “legitimate” and “vital” . . .

          According to whom?

          You write:

          “The means and limitations should be defined by democratic agreement..”

          Which comes down to: The individual has no rights – only whatever temporary and conditional privileges those in power allow.

          You assert:

          “Limited government is achievable and the best we can realistically hope for. ”

          Yes, it is achievable. It’s not the best I can realistically hope for.

          You continue:

          “If we could return to a society where the federal and state governments combined take no more than 10% of the common production, we would be in a far better situation. ”

          Certainly. But it would simply push the “re-set” button. We’d soon be right back where we are – because the principle had been accepted that it’s ok to steal people’s things for one (or several) reasons. Therefore, it is ok to steal from people for pretty much any reason.

          I refuse to accept that non-aggression is impractical. Most of us already live our day-to-day lives on this basis. Do you personally do violence (or threaten to) in order to get others to give you things or do as you say?

          I don’t.

          The fact is, most people understand at a very basic level that aggressive violence is wrong when they do it. The key thing is waking them up to the reality that it does not magically become right when someome else (or a group or an institution) does it on their behalf.

          Make them confront the flesh and blood, the agony and gore. Most will recoil. A few psychopaths will not, of course – but they can be dealt with via other means.

          I will not give up.

          I hope you won’t, either!

          • Hi Eric,

            Legitimate is “according to law; lawful…”
            Vital is “of or pertaining to life…necessary to the existence, continuance, or well-being of something…”

            These concepts vary according to the times and communities. If Apaches are raiding farms and slaughtering the inhabitants, the remaining farmers might agree that every man must be armed and participate in monitoring the movements of the raiders and eradicating them. No raiding Apaches, no need for arms or militia.

            If the community agrees that certain actions are vital and legitimate, and that others are prohibited, I think it is proper for these rules to be enforced so long as there are fair and representative means for making rules. Certain freedoms should be inviolate regardless of what a majority wishes to rule, thus a Bill of Rights. So, one can’t sacrifice one’s children in religious rituals, even if one prefers to do so. Sisters and brothers are discouraged from marrying and having children, for obvious reasons. An accused potential criminal should be allowed to confront their accusers…

            Nonaggression is the principle by which most of us live. Some individuals know what they do is wrong but they do it anyway. If everyone was perfect we wouldn’t need laws. We are “fallen angels”, and that’s as good a way to describe mankind as any other.

            If one agrees that evil exists then one must have some means to cope with it while preserving most liberties to do what one pleases. We all agree liberty is the ideal. We agree that certain behaviors should be discouraged. Frankly I think we have few disagreements here, maybe some questions of degree.

  11. For all that SCOTUS re-defined “use” as “benefit”, the concept of eminent domain is in the Constitution.

    Mama Liberty, if we’d kept our population down below 50 million or thereabouts (maybe less), winding roads wouldn’t be much of a problem. And alternatives to cars and roads? How many folks do you want to see starve? ‘Cause that’s what would happen without our smelly, polluting transport.

    Dunno ’bout right/wrong. Sure, I prefer private sector doings, but until recent years the public/private mix worked pretty well.

    • spooner: No Treason No. VI: The Constitution of No Authority

      “without” is an assumption in support of a false dichotomy (“without ed we’d be…fill in the blank). post hoc ergo propter hoc. bastiat’s brokeback mountain road fallacy.

      means constrained by each individual’s inherency is the high, human, road; ends justifying means is the highwayman’s road…& this “freeway” admits of no constraints…all the way to cormac mccarthy’s road.

      proper roadbeds should be among the chips that land as they may after bouncing off individual landowners’ property rights. reality’s the other way around, tho, & a life spent tilting at shouldmills is not noble – its yesbull (saying yes to, believing in, one’s own bull). physician heal thyselfdeception, first.

      don & the boys, again:

      They went rushin’ down that freeway,
      messed around and got lost
      They didn’t care they were just dyin’ to get off
      And it was life in the fast lane

    • Desert, you might try to pry your eyes open, just a tad. I didn’t sign or agree to that “constitution.” I will never agree to theft and coercion of any kind. That “constitution” has no legitimate authority. As for limiting the population… how do you propose to do so? By what authority? Who gets to decide who lives and dies?

      As for transportation, it’s a real shame you seem to think that what we have is all we could have.

      The possibilities are pretty endless, for people who are free to explore and build alternatives. Steam and internal combustion engines replaced animal and people power, starting an explosion of improved living conditions for everyone. Freedom provided the cradle for the invention of air ships – a whole new dimension of both travel and cargo transfer came about. Sadly, this explosion of innovation and universal prosperity got bogged down the last few decades with government nonsense, including the wholesale destruction of both wealth and human beings in all of the insane “wars.”

      Left free to create and learn, humans would even have thriving colonies on the moon and, probably, other planets by this time. The only thing people actually need to overcome poverty and starvation – to thrive, prosper and improve their lives – is freedom. Freedom to act, to build, to dream and to learn.

      You might explore the meaning and ramifications of right/wrong a little more. That seems like a serious thing to simply shrug off.

      • MamaLiberty, I read Desertrat’s post and I don’t think he was implying we need to eliminate 267 million Americans; merely that if there were that many less drivers then winding paved cow paths, like I grew with in rural Virginia, wouldn’t be a problem because we’d probably still be living at a much more leisurely pace. The fact is, whether we like it or not, the existing interstate highway system is already in place at our expense. It’s highly unlikely that existing and (for the most part) serviceable infrastructure will be demolished, the land returned to its native state, our stolen property returned to us and a “reset” would occur to establish Spoonerian ‘let the chips fall where they may’ private roads. About the best we can realistically hope for is to figure out how to make the folks that use these roads pay for them themselves and to leave those of us alone who don’t use them. That would be a marvelous feat in itself.

        With respect to the Constitution: I didn’t sign it either nor agree to it. But the de facto dictators that have been mismanaging “public affairs” here for the last couple of centuries tout it as “The Supreme Law of the Land.” Now if that’s the case, they need to have their feet held to the fire every time they violate “their” law. One of the most glaring errors in the document is “Congress shall have the power to.” A better (not perfect, only better) statement would have been “Congress shall be strictly limited to the following functions.” But the money and power hungry usurpers of the day wanted to make absolutely sure there was a grant of power, the arguments of the Anti-Federalists notwithstanding.

        But I digress. “They” claim it’s the law, so “they” need to be pressured to live by it every step of the way. Much like the kids on the UC campus shouting “Shame on you, shame on you!” in the face of militarized cop-thugs pepper spraying completely peaceful students in the face. Shame them and remind the neighbors to shame them for their stealing and murdering. The alternative won’t happen today, it will be messy if it does happen and will just consolidate power in a smaller more lawless group than the one we have now I fear.

        Will continually reminding “them” of their own law and their lawless behavior make “them” back down? If enough of us do it, it will. We will gain ground. But just holding onto some high minded ideal and waiting for a mass mind magic teleportation to suddenly take us from this evil war-mongering fascist oligarchy into a golden world of anarchic opportunity and adventure isn’t going to get it done.

        I do think Desertrat’s a bit misguided on the public – private sector working pretty well though. It has always favored the well connected few at the expense of the rest of us. The continual consolidation of wealth and power in the hands of the few over the lifespan of this nation has been relentless. Rolling things back to let’s say the 1950s puts us right back at the start of the cold war, the clear emergence of the military-industrial complex and full fledged fiat money. No real improvement there. Hmmm. How about 1860? The start of mass murder the likes of which this nation had never seen cheered on by the masses, along with slavery fully enshrined in law. And so on and so forth on back through time.

        Until the hearts and minds of most people change to revere the NAP and understand how well mutual cooperation absent violence works, things will stay the same. You’re gonna have a hard time convincing that 300 lb. cookie disposal in the chips aisle in Walmart riding a smart cart and paying for her junk food with stolen money from a SNAP card, that she isn’t “entitled” to part of our paychecks. Don’t forget that she’s out there in the tens of millions now. You also aren’t going to convince the bureaucratic functionaries that they don’t deserve their 6 figure salaries and worse 6 figure retirement at age 55. The only way to do this is to convince congress to cut the funding or, we can wait for the inevitable collapse. My question is, when the whole house of credit cards caves in, who’s going to be standing by to pick up the pieces? You? Me? Honestly, how much political power does a nurse or an I&C tech with their conscience and compassion intact really wield?

        We either keep reminding “them” (i.e. congress, the senate, the town council, the mayor) that they’re doing wrong and they need to stop or we’re doing nothing. Like I said before, we need to take a step beyond Pro Libertate or CopBlock and build a national registry of the foot soldiers’ names, addresses and personal information. That will pull the PTB’s teeth. Otherwise the best we can hope for is that our chains hang on us lightly.

  12. Absent the power of eminent domain, the highway, railroad and pipeline systems would not at all be what we see today–regardless of the source of funding.

    Any unwilling seller could cause a detour. Forget a steady cruise of 70mph on an Interstate, e.g., in a fairly straight line from Point A to Point B. Or on a toll road. Imagine a trip where every two or five miles you had to turn away from your course for two or six miles because a property owner refused to sell–at any price.

    I know of a south Texas landowning family which does not allow deer hunting except by family members, in spite of the income they forego from leasing. They also do not allow leasing for oil drilling, even though they are surrounded by productive fields. They seriously object to strangers on their property.

    Prior to WW II, to drive from Corpus Christi to Brownsville meant first going west to Alice; then south to McAllen and then east to Brownsville. US 77 did not exist, as it traverses the King Ranch and the Klebergs had a lot of political stroke.

    Publicly built highways, paid for solely by the taxes on transportation fuel, worked well for a good many years. Degradation of the buying power of our currency and diversion of the trust funds began the serious screw-ups we see today. As far as quality of construction, graft and corruption have always been part of human nature.

    So we muddle along, as we always have. Not all good, but not all bad. What we do know as fact is that enlargements and improvements in transportation systems leads to more economic activity–for good or ill.

    • That’s might be true, Desert – but even if so, does it justify eminent domain? Once you open that door – accept in principle that your property may be legally taken at gunpoint by others based on what amounts to “the public good” or some other utilitarian argument, you have fatally undermined ownership as such. It is no longer a question of – is it his? It is now a question of “we need it more” – or some such. You are now at the mercy of whatever utilitarian argument a thug – or a thug’s representative – can gin up. There will always be “needy” people. We want “efficient” roads. Etc.

      Open that door, and you end up where we find ourselves today – completely insecure in our persons and effects (property). Allowed conditional and temporary use only. We truly own nothing beyond the clothes we wear – and even those could – in principle – be taken (or taxed).

      Can coercive collectivism accelerate economic development (to some extent)? Certainly.

      But that’s not the issue.

      The issue is – is it right. Or is it wrong?

      • Oh, the pity of it all! “Desert” might have to zig and zag a bit instead of a 200 mile straight shot. I weep….

        But really, how many excellent alternatives to cars and roads, or trains and buses, might have been developed without the thuggery and theft? How many OTHER viable choices might we have by now?

        And yes, the issue is always and only: Is it right or is it wrong? Aggression is wrong. Theft is wrong, using the property of one person – stolen at gunpoint – to convenience another is wrong. And it matters not how “limited” that theft might be.

    • @Desertrat – I am reminded of a true case of freedom to make your own decision and have to live with the results, which is how it should be.

      The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s dept. was going to build a new Sheriff’s station in the city of Lomita on land the county owned. They made offers to the nearby neighbors to sell their homes to the county, and all but one did. One guy thought he had found the mother load and held out for 4X the value of his home. The county said no way and built a police station in his back yard, with an entry & exit driveway running down either side of his house. 24 hours a day he got police protection & noise. I see (Goog maps) that he must have subsequently sold, as the property is now a vacant lot.

  13. The trouble with toll roads is that they are not built by investors, who then put tolls on them. They are built at the point of a gun by taxing everyone, then are “sold” by the government to investors. So the government gets paid twice, and the taxpayer has to pay twice. Once to build it, and then to drive on it. The only correct answer to the problem is anarchy.

  14. Eric,

    You forgot one extremely cogent fact:

    The pre-Interstate highway system WAS built privately by ‘Auto’ clubs. Local and State governments simply took them over at some point.

  15. How do you know cars were going to be the ultimate outcome? You like cars therefore it was meant to be as opposed to the street car or buses? Suppose the free market prefers high-density cities and mass transit in a way that the individual car is expensive and private highways likewise?

    • Gil,
      This is easy to answer: Street Cars, Busses, and Trains and Planes all run on a SCHEDULE. Meaning, you need to be where that conveyance will be, When it will be there.

      Cars were MUCH easier, simpler, and ready when you wanted them. Which is why you used to have horse-drawn “cabs” – Hacks. Taxis are not a recent phenomenon, which is part of why the language has been so debased. (“Driver” as a job description is now “driving” a car… MEaning has been lost.)

      Add in that so many people came back from war used to driving, and looking for work, then wanting to spend the money earned…? There was a market, there was a “need for jobs,” and there was a feeling of hope, an optimism, sorely lacking since at LEAST the mid-80s. Given the 60s and 70s, I’d wager long before then – but as a child in the 80s, I didn’t know any better.
      Look at a few other things, too – lots of MONEY, a very wealthy society in the post-war boom. This goes to market, too. There was money to be spent on things OTHER than mere survival. Discretionary income was a fairly new thing in the late 40s, especially following the rationing of the war. And people who had faced death, watched people die next to them… Why save money? Tomorrow you’ll die… Takes a little time for that to wear off.

      Last, you have people looking to cut expenses, and get away from the cities. (The two go together.) Suburbs are a new thing – they’re being built, in fact. Add in the Baby Boom… See where this is going?
      You have: Stressed, returning-to-peace-time vets; marrying, getting jobs, earning more than they did before, while the roads are expanding, and everyone is looking through rose-colored glasses (optimistic); escaping the cities is possible as the suburbs are built, which in turn makes for a glut on the housing market – prices go down due to supply; jobs are easily found, and pay well – a man working 40 hours a week in a blue-collar role can feed a family of four on HIS SALARY ALONE; woman is moving out of the house, too, seeking her own jobs and getting more education (means more disposable income, and pay at a higher level than possible before).
      Worse, Each step enables each other step.
      So – the men came back able to drive.
      That means a market for cars and roads. Federal Interstate program is born; men go to work in the car factories; woman has been working during the war, and she and he both have small nest-eggs (he couldn’t buy; she had little reason to buy; there were fewer consumer goods, as well.)
      Now, roads are useless if the go nowhere. But you need to occupy the ex-soldiers, or you’ll have civil unrest. Bored warriors are bad for peaceful societies. But there were fewer of them, too, so women had less choice (higher competition, ups market value of man in the sexual market place.)
      A Provider was adequate (and since he’d been to war, he was a Protector, too.) Also, note a high emerging standard of living on lower-level work types. She was THRILLED…. Period.
      Society grew, government mis-appropriated funds (more and more frequently), and economies of scale and location started to form. People would work in New York, for example, and commute from New Jersey. George Washington Bridge, for example. Lincoln tunnel. Commuter rails as well, though rail was well past its hey-dey already. (Hey-dey of Rail was the Age of Steam, like the big 2-8-8-0 articulated engines. Diesel killed the age of steam, being more effective – but less romantic by far.)

      So more and more, convenience becomes a big deal.
      Get in the car and go.
      Cheaper (especially before the regulatory and insurance SHTF.) Ready when you are. Easy to care for.
      Like a horse for a cowboy, essentially – you can see in the movies of the time, how things worked. The close bond between the engineer and the engine (The General, Buster Keaton – Older, but still good. You can see it in the modern engineers, though – it’s not LOST, just lessened.) Boat captains, too. (“Captain goes down with the ship.”) And the love the young man had for his car (and speed.) “Grease,” for example?

      As counterpoint: Who do the Police use cars? Why not walk? Or take the bus?

      Convenience, again. Get from Point A to Point B when needed.
      Ambulances, same story.

      Cars (And motorcycles, for same reason) are a big deal. Like guns, they represent masculinity, power, in our referenced timeframe. That’s why we’re so peeved by what is happening to cars, when Daddy Government comes in and flexes his muscles and DICTATES what we MUST BUY. And then makes us pay for the privilege, and the privilege of Daddy Government enforcing Daddy Government’s rules, and the support structures (e.g., Prisons), and the privileges of warrantless searches, and checkpoints, and more and more legislation (usually arranged, and published, in such ways that dissenting voices cannot be heard.) For example: Gun law public hearing, for Boston Area: In LEXINGTON, MA. Lexington is not on a transit line. The meeting is during business hours – 10 AM – 2 PM. Which means people need to take a day off work. And it was posted in a local newspaper, not “The Boston Sun” or some major publication. So it MET all the criteria of law… But who can actually go? The unemployed locals (Democrat shills, likely, and paid to promote the laws, regardless of what the law is); the old, who are mentally ossified, and don’t understand the issues (My parents come to mind, being 70+ – mentally addled running on emotions, IE, Liberals wetting their diapers – and both my parents are conservatives, but at that age, there’s so little difference… They see all of us who are younger as irresponsible children, only THEY have the Wisdom to do Right…); and those who have a specific axe to grind (usually promoting legislation – Pro-gun-Ban groups, etc.) And Mommies who are SAHM (Stay-at-Home Moms), and just want to protect their little darlings… Even though Junior is 27 and should probably be out of diapers by now…. Let alone out of Mommy’s house. Note again, Mommy will ALWAYS see you as “Her Little Baby.” Doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 55. And it’s part of Mommy’s nature to need to be needed – and if you’re ever an adult, you “don’t need her any more.”…

      Those of us who want to be left alone? WE HAVE TO WORK. We don’t get government assistance, we’re STARVING TO DEATH here trying to make ends meet. The welath and hard work ethic of the past? Meaningless. Work your @$$ off and get ignored – and if you stop busting your ass, people only notice YOUR work isn’t as good as it used to be. No worries about the shmucks who were slacking in the first place. (And this is in IT – unions make it worse! You can be FIRED for showing hustle or initiative in union environments!) As to wages? The dollar’s been devalued, the wages are essentially STAGNANT in dollar quantity, COL increase (if it exists) doesn’t even keep up with inflation, and now the woman MUST work to make ends meet.
      No wonder cars are merely appliances, now, even BEFORE all the “Safety” shit that gets slammed into them, that REMOVES the fun of driving. And the COST versus the benefits? Mass Transportation is mediocre, but less costly – so becoming more convenient, when one balanaces (1) driving to work, and associated costs, vs. (2) mass transport at whatever costs are involved – including convenience.

      I know I’m taking too long, but – (1) involves gas, insurance, title, purchase costs, excise taxes in MA, parking costs at the destination, parking costs for home, repairs and inspections, and now roadside sobriety and rape sites. All for some convenience.
      (2) involves a flat cost, a worthless schedule (You have to be there before the vehicle will be; then you can wait until they get around to arriving), and more and more frequently – warrantless searches. They haven’t YET gotten to randomized body-cavity searches. But they can’t keep to their own schedule, nor operate within budget, nor maintain their vehicles, nor ensure your safety (while they deny you the right to defend yourself.)

      #2 is winning, for the moment, in many places. But a lot of us realize we’re going back to a form of serfdom, as Costs of Living are too high to even take a sick day.
      Guns, cars, soon motorcycles – and have you read the regulations on BICYCLES yet? How you MUST have a helmet, and a reflective vest, and a front and rear light…? Soon it’ll be body armor, too (mandated for inline skating, I shit you not.)

      When is enough too much already?
      I’m ACTIVELY calling out the shmucks online.

      Soon it’ll be impossible to NOT do more than shout.

      Question is, will it already be too late?

      They will be able to tag us like cattle soon enough – we’ll need a “smart ID” for online activity, and we’ll be implanted with RFID to make sure we are who we say we are. To track out mileage, speed, habits. To limit our communication. To ensure we register for the correct government programs. To compare our calorie intake, make sure we only eat our fair share… Best way to ensure that is to monitor out food bills, best done via non-cash transactions (IE, only via electronic payment.)

      Don’t think this is impossible – there is ALWAYS a down side to new technology, and government’s only purpose is to CONTROL and EXTRACT MONEY from you. It’s the Ex-Wife who has a never-ending Support clause in the divorce agreement – when you didn’t even agree to the MARRIAGE, let alone a Divorce. (She gets the goodies, you get the bills.)

      It needs to end. The flock needs to be taught the hard lessons again. It happens every few generations. Problem is, we’ve divorced action from reaction, action from consequence, for the most disposable and least-disciplined in our midst; yet we allow them to vote and abuse the system, as if they were productive members of society.
      Meantime, the Productive try to stay ahead of the curve…. But it’s becoming impossible, as the tidal wave of “WANT DAT!”s steals more and more from us.

      Sooner or later, the damn will break – that fury will be unleashed. And when it is, it will not know direction, or targets, or even “Friend or Foe.” It will only know destruction.

      MGTOW. Men are LEAVING the country, realizing it’s not the USA they were born into. The Social Contract they tacitly agreed to has been shredded. Yet people like you demand that simply accept the new, INVASIVE version: “We’ll fuck your ass, you keep smiling and producing, and when you’re dead, we’ll just find a new host.” It’s PARASITISIM. And now it’s blatant. The options are fight it (and likely die doing so), Or leave. Most right now are leaving, and accepting an ALREADY fascist/socialist contract elsewhere (Australia, for example).
      But even that is getting more difficult….

      Soon there won’t BE a choice any more.

      All about cars and guns, right? Bitter clingers come in all types, right?
      But you could keep a lot of Clovers in a bottle, no problem.
      And even more in a Cube Farm….

    • BTW, Gil: WHAT free market? When you have to pay $2,000 a month in expenses for a car, all on government mandates?

      THINK for once. If you squash a water bottle, you’ve deformed it. It no longer holds as much water.
      Same with the market. Deforming the market, then calling it a “free” market, is NOT a free market. It violates the very definition.

  16. Very interesting and thought provoking articles on this site. Thanks for the good work.
    I have been thinking a lot about libertarianism, and while all the points made by Eric and most of the posters here are valid, I am afraid we do not live in a free world. Humans, like all animals, covet what is not theirs, and the more aggressive and stronger among us inevitably rule over the rest. It is the same among lions, chimps, elephants and the rest of the animal kingdom. e.g. if the US had not built a strong nuclear and conventional arsenal after WW2, the Soviets would quite likely have taken over Europe and the Middle East, choking off America’s access to oil and leaving the country isolated.

    • Whoa, your comment started out really good at first, Escher.
      Of course we do not live in a free world. That is the basis.

      You know what a ‘basis’ is, right, Escher?

      You might say, ” Humans, like all animals, covet what is not theirs, and the more aggressive and stronger among us inevitably rule over the rest.”

      But oh boy, you leave out the bit about self-interest. Why is that? Do you not understand how powerful that is? Or, are you saying ‘The Golden Rule’ is bullshit and people have no self-interest? It seems that way. As if you think people are not able to distinguish right from wrong, any more than any other animal while willfully ignoring their own best interest?

      Anyway, it appears as though you’ve been totally blindsided and bamboozled by shit-talkers into thinking that, “if the US had not built a strong nuclear and conventional arsenal after WW2, the Soviets would quite likely have taken over Europe and the Middle East, choking off America’s access to oil and leaving the country isolated.”

      Are you locked into the thinking of the game of Risk? As if people and countries are pawns and nothing but statistics on a gooberment chart, and that the gooberment has your best interests at heart? [Pardon me while I laugh at your nativity, I know I shouldn’t]

      All the while reality is this, contrary to those who think life is nothing more than a game of Risk:

      For one: in case you hadn’t noticed, ‘The Soviet’ is firmly in control of the unitedstate. Or did you Not notice the Fascist nature of the gooberment Lording it over you?

      Fort two: oil fracking technology has been around since before that time. Ever wonder why it wasn’t utilized until just now?

      For three: have you seriously studied the agreements between Stalin and FDR? Nukes had nothing to do with containment.

      For four: it seems like you’re not aware of how the bankers and the globalist played Hitler and his enemies, just as they do today in any war gaming. There’s a lot online about that. I suggest you look it up. …Or (as it seems) remain ignorant, it’s your choice.

      • I’ve never seen a bunch of kids ripping each others throats out like wildebeasts on the Serengeti, I don’t think that’s what human nature is at all.

        In any group, a hierarchy is established, a pecking order of some kind. Sometimes with violence, sometimes without. Humans of all ages should be allowed to do their own things. Myob. But not much time is devoted to this infighting, in the grand scheme of things.

        Mostly, spontaneous order, trade, and exchange are what humans engage in. Yes, we will fight to maintain our rank. But mostly, we want to cooperate, and gain from others. Engage in adventures. Play and enjoy life. Learn and experience new things with others who are like us.

        We are not each others enemy. It is those who control us and corral us and train us and breed us who are our common enemy.

        Everyone doesn’t have to earn a living

        The Market Can Save Lives

        • “I’ve never seen a bunch of kids ripping each others throats out like wildebeasts on the Serengeti, I don’t think that’s what human nature is at all.”

          I may Never forget that post. So true.

        • never seen, so can’t be? we didn’t go to the same schools.

          Your problem is you’ve lived your whole life thinking there are rules…& there aren’t. it’s a red tide, lester….

          colubrids slapping some colour of law blindness over the red is all it takes (& all it ever took)…boomslangs & chaingangs, boom shakalaka – boom shakalaka….

      • Escher girls – women of impossible dimensions

        women are: 1 sex objects 2 people 3 heads of households and broods 4 actresses in the world…

        men are: 1 actors in the world 2 people 3 patriarchs and captains of enterprises 4 actors in the world…

        This is a spontaneous orders superimposed and simultaneous. It is not cognitive dissonance. It is not reducible to dogmatic monisms

        • different escher. & levon calls his child jesus ’cause he likes the name….

          mc’s stuff looks like dogmatic monism to you?

  17. But Eric, think of how poorly designed and maintained a private road system built by the locals would be. And there may be corruption and secret graft in hiring the company that does shoddy work with substandard materials that don’t hold up. Oh wait…never mind.

  18. I wonder, do defenders of public roads feel the same way about sidewalks?
    For city-dwellers, the gunverment comes in and says, “See this strip of land on your property? It Must have perfectly flat concrete on it! Any deviations and you will be fined! If you don’t pay, “we the people” (cough) will take everything you have!” After all, how else would people get around if this were not so? I mean, who owns the land? And, why is it different from public streets?

    And, why don’t “they” enforce sidewalks in the countryside? Why is it only in the city?
    Does this mean people are Only able to walk in the city?
    Not too mention: why are pedestrians prohibited from walking alongside the Interstate hyway system? It’s a danger too great and therefore they must pay for it but cannot use it to travel upon? How do the clovers of the world square that in their gooberment-ever-loving minds?

  19. I just finished reading Rothbard’s ‘For a New Liberty.’ He pointed out the NYC’s subway system was built by multiple, competing private businesses over 100 years ago (and was taken over by the city in the ’40s). And, he pointed out that the railroad system was built by private entities after the Civil War, and were the force in standardizing the 50 odd timezones then existent down to today’s four timezones.

    Private enterprise built wonderful things in the past, and can do so again, if left unfettered.

    P.S. — neat development: the Chinese just announced that they have a working prototype of an 1,800 MPH train (conspiracy theory nuts like me believe that they bought the design from The Pentagon, which operates such a system today, servicing DUMBs). That, combined with deep underground tunneling machines, will make for a wonderful interstate and intercontinental travel system.

    • “will make for a wonderful interstate and intercontinental travel system.”

      Well, you take the train if it works for you. I’m holding out for a flying car. 🙂 Developing more individual flying machines would seem to be a great deal more cost effective (and fun!) than massive tunnels and trains or even interstate roads. But then, it is 80 miles to a small city (25,000 pop) from here, and once a year when I go there I see few other cars on the freeway. I suspect we’d never support a private enterprise train like that in the west – not even the left coast. Not enough people!

        • Well, it is quite possible that we won’t LET “them” do that. You seem to think that there is no choice. As long as you and so many others grant “them” that authority, of course they will.

          So stop believing that “they” have that authority!

          • Amen sister! Out here they tax you on livestock. Well guess what, I’m not “farming”, I don’t have a “business” and I don’t have any “stock.” I have a few feathered and wooly pets and if times get tight I might just eat one or two of them. But taxing me on “livestock”? I don’t have any so I don’t think so. When they try to tell me I do, as Eric so aptly put it, I’m going off the rez.

  20. So I’m not to pay taxes but tolls? Communities are going to maintain roads and I get the thrill of using my EZPass to pad their bankroll? What if I want to go for a drive but hit one toll after another……like New Jersey the “land of tolls”. Sorry Eric but taxation is not all bad when its done right and fair minded.

    EZPass left pocket or taxation to build roads right pocket….hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhaahhahaha

    • But Joe – what is “fair minded” (and “right”) taxation? According to whose definition? Do you get to decide what “right” and “fair minded” taxes are – and then threaten me with violence if I disagree with your definition and simply wish to be left out of it?

      By what right?

      • Not by what “right.” By what authority? All rights spring from authority… the legitimate authority each individual has over his own life and property. Unless the individual exercises his/her legitimate ownership of life, there are no “rights.”

        You have a “right” to live, to defend yourself… but it is only valid if you perform the actions required to carry it out… to actually do the work to survive and defend yourself and others. Otherwise you are a slave or dead, and the “rights” mean nothing. Nobody is going to give it to you.

      • Eric, I agree that current taxation levels and its inequality are nothing more then slavery. With that said your article will not (in my opinion) solve anything if “the roads” are to be repaired with local tolls. Left pocket, right pocket….maybe my back pockets but still mandates a pocket. My solution is a flat rate per person of say $1,000 USC per year. No other taxes are permitted…for anything. Have 4 people in your house you pay $4,000 per year and so on. An elderly person residing alone, children gone…$1,000 a year. No person can evade this, no privileges and no need for the IRS! If the government cant survive on that then tighten THEIR belts. I’m so sick of this double-triple taxation with the gubbermint devaluing our currency as further insult.

          • Regardless “who” provides the service …..services must be paid for. Taxes or tolls are good as long as they are kept reasonable. When I work I expect to get paid……its that simple.

            • Taxes and tolls are “good” as long as they are not coercive.

              If I don’t want “x” and don’t use “x” then I don’t owe anyone squat.

          • Well JoePA as long as you are working doing something someone else wants done AND is willing to pay for great. But when you expect me to pay for something I don’t won’t done and wouldn’t pay for voluntarily…well now we have a problem, don’t we?

          • Achtung! “Services Must be paid for”!
            No matter if you asked for them, or not!
            “No person can evade this”!
            “No privileges for you”!
            Such is the life of a subject, a slave.
            Can’t afford to pay the tax?! Too bad, off with your head… or, off to the gulag!
            Have four persons in your household and you cannot afford to pay the tax?! Too bad, everything will be taken from you! Off to the Gulag with you!
            An old person, and you cannot afford the tax?! Too bad, everything will be taken from you! Off to the Gulag with you!
            No person can evade this!
            No privileges for you!

            The empire is everything! The empire is the supreme being!

            Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato!

            But with a toll, there is a choice.
            I can avoid a toll.
            I can hitch a ride.
            I can find another way.
            One thing is for sure, a toll is not the left pocket, while a tax is the right pocket.
            A toll is a choice, a tax is not.

          • CloverEric you are a total joke. You say that “Taxes and tolls are “good” as long as they are not coercive.” You would never pay for anything or donate for anything if you had the choice. Eric I know your kind. You would be a freeloader if you had your choice. You are all talk about paying your own way for everything but if there was a donation jar along the road to pay for your local road then it would be empty when you drove by.

            • Clover,

              “You would never pay for anything or donate for anything if you had the choice.”

              You mean like the house I paid for? The cars I’ve paid for? The food I eat? The tools I own? The everything I own? Unlike you, I paid for these things without taking from others at gunpoint.

              You see, Clover, I prefer to pay for the things I want and need. Not the things you want and need.

              And that’s what you object to. People freely picking and choosing what they want. You being powerless to force them to “fund” things.

              I get by just fine without you, Clover.

              But you and yours cannot exist without people like me.

            • Clover,

              Why not put our cards on the table? I’ve done nothing but pay my own way – and paid plenty of taxes along the way – for my entire adult life. Not once have I ever been on the dole, the recipient of other people’s money taken from them by violence.

              How about you, Clover?

              I’d be willing to bet (real money – and unlike you, I don’t welsh) you are now or once were a tax-feeder of some kind. A government bureaucrat. A “public” employee. Perhaps a cop. Possibly a recipient of “agricultural subsidies.” Regardless, we know for a fact that you support being on the dole – taking other people’s property to “fund” that which you consider important but not important enough to pay for yourself.

              That’s not a “total joke,” Clover.

              It’s a sick tragedy.

        • So, a “a little” theft, robbery, murder and assault are ok with you? Who defines how much is “reasonable?” How is aggression ever “reasonable?”

          If someone is giving you stolen goods, you are not being “paid,” you are being bribed.

  21. For a cogent, ahead-of-its-time sci-fi treatment of libertarianism, read Eric Frank Russell’s novella “The Great Explosion,” in particular the last fourth of it when the Terrans encounter the freedom-loving people of planet K22g (pg. 42). This is a delightful read, and there’s no big loss if you jump ahead to that point for that is where Russell deals with NAP, and freedom. F: IW.


    • I have a copy of that – they’re hard to find since it’s been out of print for decades. The language seems pretty dated now – late 1950’s, early 60’s hip. But it makes good points. If I’m not mistaken, it was banned from some school libraries because of it’s anti-authoritarian stance.

      • Not surprising. The last section of that is pure dynamite to antigands, as Russell terms them. It’s a great read and a true litmus – I’ve passed this link to many friends and the ones who are attached to the collectivist system think its anathema. Fun to watch their reactions. True libertarian thinkers instantly “get it,” though.

  22. The truth is MikeFromWichita, there are “societies” that work on a mutually cooperative basis. A good example would be gated communities, with their own roads, commons, even gyms and swimming pools. No one forces people to buy into these “societies” and pay an HOA fee; they do it of their own free will. They follow rules and contribute to what they believe to be the common weal voluntarily. And they vote with their money and their feet if they don’t like it. With the coercive force of government that is clearly not the case.

    I don’t have the option of taking the money that is coercively stolen from me to go into one big pool for roads statewide and redirecting it to be used for the road in front of my house. No, some faceless state functionary decides where the bulk of that money will be spent. I see huge road projects in metro areas that I helped pay for, that I will seldom if ever use, while the roads in my vicinity are deteriorating rapidly. And even if I were able to get my neighbors together to fund repaving the road we live on, the DOT would not let us do that.

    You made the comment in a previous post that you would essentially “blackball” me with a hiring manager, because (presumably based on my comments you’ve read here) that I don’t follow rules that I don’t agree with. That’s as absurd as it is untrue, but… I do voluntarily follow rules all the time that I ‘agree to’ not necessarily that I ‘agree with.’ Before I hire into a job, I ask for a copy of their employee policy manual, sick leave and vacation policies, union contract, etc. Then I base my decision on whether or not to hire in around not just the money or the benefits, but as to whether I agree to the rules. That is not the case with government; you follow their rules OR ELSE! If you get caught doing otherwise, even though you have not actually violated anyone else’s rights or done any them harm you can end up caged or dead.

    We don’t have the option of agreeing to these rules, we are born under them. And in this country, at one time, enough of the populace understood the principles of individual sovereignty and Liberty, that for the most part, the central government was expected to and moreover was required by law to leave us alone. The U.S. Constitution, well known to be “The Supreme Law of the Land”, and more particularly the Bill of Rights, was set up to ensure that minimal government interference in private matters was the order of the day. But by the “powers that be” routinely ignoring or redefining the the plain language of that document, the people running this government are actually engaged in lawlessness; not those of us that can read and who understand when crimes are being committed against us regardless of the perpetrators’ robes, medallions and titles.

    There is plenty of historical evidence and jurisprudence that backs up the notion that “laws” that violate the Constitution are no laws at all; yours, clover’s and gil’s ignorant ruminations to the contrary notwithstanding. And contrary to your assumptions, I do indeed agree to certain “Natural Laws” as well: Do not steal, do not bear false witness against your neighbor, do not commit murder, do not covet your neighbor’s wife and or property, don not worship rocks, sticks, statuary and drawings, honor your parents, and understand there can only be one true Universal Deity that encompasses all things and we are all a part of “Him” and, that are expected to love one another and do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It has been my experience that if you live voluntarily under these “Laws” and keep them in mind on a daily basis, you will have very few problems in your life, at least by comparison to those who do not.

    The real problem is that the state has overstepped its Constitutional bounds of protecting private property, providing a navy (and by extension now, an Air Force), making sure we have a militia ready to defend the country (not a standing army shaking down the neighbors for natural resources and geo-political hegemony) and “regulating” inter-state commerce (i.e. making sure imposts, excises, etc. are uniform or “regular”) and very little else. By carefully examining the “laws” they’ve passed and the “regulations” they’ve promulgated, if you were honest with yourself, you would understand that this is the real “lawlessness” in this country. It’s not someone (even clover) that violates a “speed limit” (because even just “five over” is “breaking the law”) or doesn’t want to be forced to pay for a road in St. Louis that they may never use.

    You want to see why this country has become a such a mess, with ever burgeoning “public debt”, inflated currency, a police / surveillance Panopticon and an empire that makes Rome look like a bunch of Campfire Girls? Well look in the mirror Mr. Rules & Regulations. You let it happen just like your predecessors and what’s worse is, you apparently like it this way. But that doesn’t change the fact that even though those of us that seek true individual Liberty are seemingly in the minority, the Bill of Rights was put in place to protect those of us in the minority from the lying, thieving, murderous and covetous hive mind of the majority. So when it comes right down to it Mike, when you denigrate those of us that really do understand what once made this a greater nation than it is now, in other words a lot more individual Liberty and lot less central government, you are poking a stick in the eye of the “Law” itself; the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, itself. Lay over there under your shade tree and chew on that cud for a while like the compliant little sheeple you show yourself to be.

    • ………and in those gated communities your NAP really really does not get much application. Drive down those winding streets at reckless speed (a speed defined by the Community NOT you), discharge a firearm into the air even if no one got hit, try to run a ‘risky business’ like oh say a chicken ranch out of your basement or even just annoy enough folks and you will be expelled from the territory- by a bum’s rush of hands on your person if necessary. In truth a covenant for a gated community is in fact a government. A territory the size of a State or Nation could be governed in that manner- mutual consent of the Citizens. I expect though that the typical hardcore type here would STILL be dissatisfied as likely their free spirits would get them escorted to the nearest boundary and solemnly advised to never ever return.

      • MFW

        A HOA is a governing body. To live in a community with a HOA an individual needs to accept the terms of the HOA. Otherwise the individual is free to live elsewhere that does not have a HOA or find a HOA with agreeable terms and/or conditions.

        Most people do not choose the government they live under.

        • I am well aware how an HOA works. The point is most here would see a HOA style of governing as a threat to their unlimited ‘right’ to come/go do EXACTLY as they please without a peep out of anyone else. I would be fine with an HOA style of government but folks like Eric would I expect get rather pissy about being physically compelled to stop trespassing.

          • Mike,

            What in the world makes you say that? You seem to have no understanding at all of the concept, private property. You have every right to set down whatever rules you wish on your property. But you have no right whatsoever to impose your rules on me when I am not on your property.

            I have no objection to any voluntary arrangement. HOAs are voluntary. They cannot force me to do anything – unless I “buy in.” So long as I have the option of not buying in, I am free to live elsewhere – and free from their HOA rules.

            As an aside, I find your choice of words interesting – to wit:

            “… a threat to their unlimited ‘right’ to come/go do EXACTLY as they please ”

            And what, pray, is wrong with any person being free to come and go exactly as they please? Or, for that matter, to do exactly as they please – provided they harm no one else in the process?

            Your statement suggests a strong desire to control others – violently. And reveals great anger toward those who prefer not to be controlled.

          • uncle milty (sam’s brother), friedman was one of the feckless, but he is associated with “free to choose”: to be (a hoa), or not to be (a hoa) – that is the question…& the other question is: who shall answer the question? the potential hoa, or the pimp?

          • CloverYes Eric you are right in that you can live elsewhere and not live under certain rules a community sets up. Before you were born there was Federal taxes. Before you were born there was state taxes where you live. Before you bought your property there was property taxes on your property. When are you leaving? You said that if you do not like what the rules are in a particular place you said you had the choice to never move there. Tell me why you are living where you are?

            • ” Before you were born there was Federal taxes. Before you were born there was state taxes where you live. Before you bought your property there was property taxes on your property. When are you leaving?”

              So, Clover’s (illiterate) argument amounts to: If “x” existed “before you were born” then it must be accepted as both proper and unchangeable.

              I wonder whether Clover can make Play Doh with this? Or shall I help her?

          • Clover, before you were born there was slavery. Would be acceptable for someone to capture you forcefully and sell you into slavery? That’s how things were for many before you were born.

          • Dear MIW,


            Whether you meant to or not, you just confirmed what Free Market Anarchists have been arguing all along.

            Voluntary membership in a private organization can ensure social order far better than involuntary slavery by a government.

      • Except one big difference, it’s voluntary. One knows the rules going in and once in actually has a _direct_ say in the changes and knows where to find board members. It’s small enough to be held accountable and controllable.

        Now let’s take government. Even for a town in my area I’m one of tens of thousands and it just goes up by factors of ten for state reps, then more for the federal government, etc. In other words, I have no say unless I can get thousands to participate with me. The banker bailout got congress critters called heavily with ‘no’ and ‘hell no’ and it still passed. Anyone who thinks we still have any sort of accountable government is delusional.

        Furthermore, ‘love it or leave it’ isn’t exactly easy. The federal government has basically made it so americans have an excessively difficult time doing any banking overseas. Not to mention the taxation. This forces an expensive process of renouncing citizenship just to be able to live elsewhere.

        HOA’s are also in competition. One can literally buy a home under a different HOA or no HOA mere yards away. This is reflected in home values too.

      • Mike,

        You leave out the critical element – the voluntary consent of each individual in the community. No one is forced to live in an HOA community – and any homeowner in the community may leave at any time and without having to ask permission first.

        With government, you have no say. Your consent is a fiction.

        There is a stranger called a congressman who claims to “represent” me. I have never met this man, much less agreed to give him proxy power to make decisions about my life that I am thereby bound to accept. This man has simply arrogated unto himself the power to control and direct my life – and has the effrontery to tell me I’ve “consented” because I am allowed to periodically vote for or against his continuation in office.

        Do you believe you are ethically obligated to abide by terms of a contract you never agreed to?

        • “Do you believe you are ethically obligated to abide by terms of a contract you never agreed to? ”

          Nope, I don’t.

          I do believe that you and those like you should be permitted to renounce the USA, the several States and their corporate subdivisions. No fees, no taking of your private property. Your 40 acres is your own little kingdom. BUT………..IMHO you should NOT be permitted to reenter the territory of the USA without its permission and without first paying any/all required entry/exit fees in advance. Any services from the USA or the several States- cash in advance. Entering the USA without permission would make you any enemy combatant……aka drone fodder.

      • MikeFromWichita – Although the other posters covered things as well or better than I could have, there are a couple of other points you need to consider. HOA agreements or covenants are merely contracts. And everyone who buys into a gated community with an HOA and deed covenants expressly acknowledges that they will be bound by that agreement. They have a choice and it typically works because the community is small and the individuals do have a voice.

        You appear to be under the false impression that a system like this could work scaled up to the state and or national level. The larger an organization gets, governmental, corporate or non-profit, the more opportunity there is for corruption and power mongering; the less opportunity for individuals to change that. Even back when the federal government was more or less constrained by some pretense of following the Constitution, we still had graft and corruption. This is much easier to identify and root out at the local level than it is even at the state level. It’s even that much easier to see at the “village” or in this case the gated community level, than at the city level. The bigger an organization, the easier it is for the real rule breakers to hide their behavior.

        What it comes down to Mike is this; if a thing is wrong when a common individual, a mundane, does it, then that thing is wrong for the leader of a group to do. Now, if you have a crooked board member presiding over the HOA, pretty soon the residents will figure it out and oust him or her. If you have a crooked mayor presiding over a town of 10,000 people it will be less likely to happen, but still may be achievable. But when you have 435 people people legislating for and one person presiding over a country of 317 million people, who quite literally wield the power of having millions of functionaries dependent upon them for their livelihood, you have no say whatsoever in what the powers that be and “their” group (i.e. government) can and will do to you and your property whether you consent or not. About the only time one of them is ever set outside the city gates for the wolves to devour is when they run afoul of their fellow tax feeders. Screwing the public typically results in the perpetrators getting a free pass (witness Jon Corzine and MF Global as merely one glaring example).

        Mike, governance starts at the individual level with the Non Aggression Principle; governing one’s self. Small groups can typically use social pressure to enforce this. But the larger the governing body, the more likely it will be for those “in charge” to violate that principle for their own gain (and the connected few, their cronies) because they know they can do so with impunity. That’s what we have going on right now in this country and the only way to fix it is to dismantle and de-fund the central government (as a start) and return most (and eventually) all power to the local and individual levels.

        You imply that we are so rebellious, recalcitrant and unmanageable that you figure none of the regulars here could live in a gated community with strict covenants. I’d say that for those of us that can’t or won’t, we probably already don’t live somewhere like that; others very well may if they agree with the other residents and covenants. That’s called mutual cooperation and freedom of association. You also alluded that you doubt I could follow rules I don’t agree with. I can put the lie to that assertion based on multiple decades of successfully functioning in bureaucratic organizations for my livelihood (right down to a “Good Conduct” medal and “Longevity Service” award). As I previously explained, I can easily follow rules I “agree to.” What I cannot do (and cannot abide in the likes of you) is moral relativism; breaking rules you have agreed to for expediency’s sake; whether you are in charge or not.

        The one and only time I have ever been “fired” (I was officially “laid off” so I couldn’t sue) was because I refused to violate the ethics statement that employer made me sign as a condition of employment (i.e. a rule I not only agreed to but put my signature on and believed in). The engineering manager told me to lie to upper management about the progress of a project I took over when I was hired (actually an attempt to defy the laws of physics, but I didn’t know that at the time). I would not violate “their” rule. Instead, I stuck my neck out, based on their “open door policy”, to let upper management know what the locals were up to. I foolishly believed corporate management needed accurate information to base sound business decisions on; it was “their” rule. The fact was, they didn’t want the truth anymore than they wanted to clean up puke; apparently no more than you and your ilk do. The truth just isn’t real popular is it Mike? And by the way, I warned them that if they kept running that plant the way they were, it would end up in Mexico. Would you like to take a guess where that plant is now? Usted habla Espanol?

        You make a lot of erroneous assumptions about the folks here. Most of us are idealistic in one way or another. And I would assert that most of us probably follow the rules we “agree to”, not merely the one’s we “agree with.” And when it comes to the monopoly on the use of force we call government, they are the ones who do all manner of things that violate the rules of natural law and common decency. If you can’t or won’t stand up and call it for what it is, then you’re the one with the problem, because here in the U.S., like it or not, we have a founding document, the Constitution, that spells out the basic rules for this country. If you don’t like that then you need to get off your ass and try to change it. But otherwise I expect you, and every one of my fellow countrymen, to abide by the “Supreme Law of the Land; just leave the rest of us alone until we’ve done demonstrable harm to someone else. If you can’t mind your own business, keep your collective hand out of my pocket and tend to your own affairs then you’re the rule breaker not me buster.

  23. Gosh, Mike… it must be so wonderful to know everything and have it all figured out…

    Fortunately, for the rest of us, you are barking up the wrong tree.

    Cooperation among individuals, in peaceful trade and for mutual benefit are the NORM almost everywhere in the world, else we would all be starving wretches dying like flies – as is so often the case where “government” and the all knowing “rulers” have managed to overwhelm that norm. Nigeria is a really good example just now. The horror there is not because of a lack of government, but the destruction by the prevailing powers that be of individual freedom and the peaceful interaction that is the norm, even there. And every “government” in history has done the same thing, to one extent or another.

    The idea that peace and prosperity in freedom is not possible because no “government” dominated land mass has been officially run that way… You’ve got the cart before the horse. “Society” is merely a group of individuals, not an entity in itself. But the good old “wild west” is probably the best example of a large area where individual freedom and responsibility were necessarily the imperative as people worked together and strove to survive in a hostile environment. As “government” moved in and gained “control,” the people lost much of their freedom – as happens anywhere some presume to rule others. The tragedy is that this was allowed, and far too many people swallowed it as a good thing.

    Perfect? No, of course not. Utopia is not an option. But, of course, you are not prepared to accept any of that. I’m sorry for you.

  24. Truth is Eric that beyond the .01% of the population who share your views there is no market for a world built around NAP as you define it. IF your ideas were the least bit workable in the real world there would be at least one society somewhere sometime which tried to apply them and as it turns out there simply isn’t such a society. But hey keep baying at the moon- it entertains.

    • Sallust, the Roman ( Gaius Sallustius Crispus) , succinctly captures the nub of the problem: ” Few men desire freedom, the greater part desire just masters.”

      Namque pauci libertatem, pars magna iustos dominos volunt.

    • Mike,

      Let’s accept your premise for the sake of argument; that “most people” prefer things this way. Does that make it right?

      You can deploy euphemisms, rationalizations and double-talk all day long. At the end of the day, theft is theft. Aggressive violence is aggressive violence.

      You’re on one side of the ethical fence or the other.

      I concede that I and those who hold the views I hold are in the minority. It doesn’t mean the majority’s in the right.

      • Eric, look around you… are the MAJORITY of the people committing aggressive violence against each other? Don’t MOST people go about their business without committing murder, rape and theft? Don’t most people agree to work together when the opportunity presents itself, and leave others to do their own thing for the most part? How many of your neighbors truly prefer things the way they are today?

        Who is committing the greatest share of the violence, theft and other obvious wrongs… the ordinary people in our neighborhoods? Not in mine. I don’t know any ordinary people who think aggression itself is a good thing.

        The problem is that that majority has been convinced – just like Mike here – for centuries that they can’t live in peace without “government,” that some people actually do have some legitimate authority to rob, beat and murder them – even while they believe this power/authority is being abused. That’s insane, of course, and recent history demonstrates that quite a few people are starting to question that legitimacy, and a few are beginning to act on it.

        We do live in “interesting times.”

      • CloverTell me Eric would you prefer to have the majority decide on something or the minority? If you are going out to eat with a group in a vehicle would you go where one person wants to go or where all the rest want to go? Do we need to make out country a dictatorship under the rule of Eric?

        • Clover – really?

          After all these years, after literally hundreds of posts carefully explaining it?

          I prefer to decide for myself. Not for you. And not you for me.

          I wish to be the dictator of my own life, yes. But nor yours. Not anyone else’s.

        • PS: If I choose to go out with a group; I would probably defer to their wishes regarding the restaurant – assuming the majority wanted Thai food, say, rather than ribs.

          But, did you notice the fallacy in your “argument”?

          You try to equate a bunch of people choosing to go out to dinner – and each person freely accepting what the majority wants, as far as the choice of restaurant – and your coercive politics, in which the individual is not free to elect not to go out for “dinner” with the group, in which the group forces the individual to go out for “dinner” – and eat what they tell him to (or else) and force him to pay for it, too.

          Can you really not grasp the distinction? No, it’s not possible. Because it’s been explained to you at length numerous times. A 9-year-old would comprehend the difference by now. You’re not very bright, but you’re not that stupid, either.

          As is your pattern, Clover, you’re simply dishonest. You can’t or won’t argue the merits of a thing. Instead, you resort to dissembling, evasions and deliberate distortions.

          Which is typical of your kind.

          • Editor’s Note: He’s baaaaack:

            Finally Eric you get it. You say that you choose to not go along with the group. You choose to not go along with the rules and laws set up hundreds of years before you were even born. Eric you have the right to not go along with the group and leave the country. It is working for the rest of us very well.

            When are you leaving?Clover

      • Dear Eric,

        There he goes again. No matter how many times others sort out the difference between the iron laws of nature and the artificial laws of man, Mike in Wichita never gets it.

        The bottom line is that the assumptions held my mankind can and have changed dramatically, as history clearly records.

        The current “consensus reality” that “government is indispensable and valuable” is lamentable. It is the CW. It is PC. Nobody disputes that.

        But since it is not an iron law of nature, such as the three laws of thermodynamics, it can change.

        As many young millennials who flocked to Ron Paul but have embraced market anarchism prove, it is changing as we argue back and forth.

        Mike in Wichita suffers from a laughable inability to imagine anything different from what he is accustomed to. He equates his intellectual lassitude for tough minded realism. He flatters himself.

        • RE: “Mike in Wichita suffers from a laughable inability to imagine anything different from what he is accustomed to.”

          People Do Not like change.

          Most people, it seems?

          In the factories they teach that change is good. That people should embrace change and seek it out. Why is it that those same people refuse to do the same outside the factory setting?

          I guess their Pavlovian conditioning is more firmly set than I can imagine?

          Jump! Pet! You stoopid dawg! Bark and ignore that strange man behind the curtain!

        • CloverBevin I would be very interested in you explaining your view on how things would work in the USA without any government? If there was mass confusion tomorrow and all governments shut down for years, explain how you would live the next 10 years? Give us more than it will just happen and there will be a party every day. Explain how our roads would work as far as building and maintenance. Explain how you plan on stopping bad guys who steal and hurt others. If you have a cell phone, explain how companies like AT&T are given their bandwidth. Explain how your city water will work and if you give it to a company to run then how do you prevent price gouging with the monopoly that they have? Bevin you have a lot of explaining to do on how the world of Bevin is going to work and what it is like. I am waiting. Yes Bevin your world will work just fine if you live in the country and never have to leave your property. It will work just fine If you want to go back and live in the cave man days when no one else is around. Is that what you really want?

          • The “party,” Clover, will be the elimination of systemic, organized violence made “legal”from human interactions. Certainly, there would still be violence. But it would not be done under color of law – as a matter of routine – against which one could not (legally) defend oneself.

            This concept is utterly foreign to you, isn’t it? Or, abhorrent – because it would mean your lust to control and dominate others, to force them to do what you want them to, would be stifled. No longer could you vote to have your neighbor’s life controlled by armed men, or to take his property to “help” some purpose you consider worthwhile (but believe others should be forced to pay for). Instead, you’d have to try to control – and rob – them yourself. And they’d be free to fight back. And that notion alarms you, doesn’t it?

            Every argument you trot out, Clover, is an ends-justifies-the-means/utilitarian argument. You have no ethical argument.

            Because there is none.

            Doing violence to others who’ve not harmed you or anyone else is an abomination – the true Original Sin. It’s the evil from which everything else flows.

            Try to think about it, Clover. I realize it’s hard – but try. Imagine a society in which people were free to do as they liked, to simply lives their lives and be left alone an din peace – provided they caused no harm to others along the way. In which the ultimate taboo was aggressive violence. In which those do resorted to it to settle disputes or achieve their ends were treated as pariahs, beyond the pale of decency.

            It might not be as organized (as regimented) as this society, Clover. But it would be vastly more humane – because it would be fundamentally peaceful. Live – and let live. Interact, do business with others only on the basis of mutually agreed, voluntary consent.

            That’s my vision, Clover.

            PS: I’d respect you more if you weren’t a physical coward, a poltroon. If you at least had the guts to confront people openly, to simply take their things (and hurt them, if they resisted) like any common thug. Unfortunately, your sort of thuggery – violence done at second and third-hand, by proxies such as the ballot box and bureaucracy – is commonplace. That’s your system. In which flaccid wurms such as yourself can get others to act violently on your behalf, such that you can pretend you’re simply a “good Republican” (or “good Democrat”).

            You’re a wretch, Clover.

          • First let’s make one thing perfectly clear.

            Clover has absolutely no interest whatsoever in solutions to societal problems that do not require robbing people of their money and calling it “taxation.”

            Regulars here have answered Clover’s questions over and over again, to absolutely no effect. Clover simply refuses to read them. He totally ignores them. So why should anyone continue to play his game?

            Therefore my response is addressed to third parties who are genuinely interested in seeking solutions to societal needs that do not require armed robbery by tax collectors.

            Start by watching these two videos.

            If Not For Government

            But What Will Be Done About…?

            • Morning, Bevin!

              You’re exactly right. It’s not that Clover can’t imagine a society not based on organized violence. It’s that he can’t abide the idea of a society not based on organized violence. His world would crumble. He’d have to be content to live his own life as he wished – as opposed to forcing others to live their lives as he wishes them to be lived. He’d be driven to paroxysms of fury by the thought of others electing not to “support the troops” (or “the schools”) … of people choosing to buy cars without air bags, to skip insurance if they felt it cost too much… and so on.

              Clover is bent on uplifting (as he sees it) at gunpoint. He is an archetype. A “yankee.” The reason so many other people around the world have come to loathe America – and, unfortunately, Americans.

          • Clover – Without government or more particularly, central government, the transnational thieving banksters would go out of business, since counterfeiting (i.e. printing worthless fiat currency / ones & zeroes in electronic accounts) would be punished by the market; not allowed by their cronies. People would be free to trade in real money or any other medium of exchange that became popular. Alternative forms of “banking” would emerge and competition would strangle the “old guard.” People would be free to trade in Liberty Dollars if they wanted and send their snail mail with a private carrier is they so choose. The economy along with general prosperity would immediately start to improve because the taxation / inflation theft would stop.

            Property / personal protection and contract enforcement would be handled by competing insurance companies and private security firms. Think The Hartford insurance company, as in boiler standards and inspection criteria or Wells Fargo and Pinkerton in physical security. You’d still have to pay for the service, but only if you wanted it and you could decide who your provider would be. People would still be free to organize under contract and I suspect many would do so. You’d have numerous “gated communities” with their own sets of decentralized rules. Those areas that offered what more people wanted would thrive.

            Those which were more restrictive and oppressive wouldn’t do as well and would ultimately fail. In most cases responsibility for physical security as well as retirement and healthcare would rest on the individual, family or local community. You just might have to carry a gun Clover, but you’d be free to do so. With more armed folks walking around, one would necessarily have to be more polite (i.e. mugging would be a lot more dangerous for the perp). And since their livelihood would depend on taking care of their customers, not some appointed bureaucrats’ careers, “private police” would not be interested in doing anything other than protecting their customers from real physical crime. Corruption would be dealt with by firing them.

            Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint would come to mutual agreed upon terms without the FCC for bandwidth. Much like IEEE, SAE, ASE, ISA and other trade groups have established standards and protocols for their respective industries without government intervention. City governments do indeed have a monopoly not only on water, but sewer and often natural gas and electricity as well. Many do charge higher prices than their private sector counterparts and use the laws and bureaucracy to ensure that their competitors’ prices stay high through regulations that are expensive to comply with, but add no value to the product or service.

            Without government intervention, there would be few if any “bird choppers” (i.e. industrial windmills) and solar farms because they are not cost effective. We would have had abundant, safe and inexpensive nuclear generation by now which would supplant “dirty” coal as the primary means of producing electricity. Transmission rights of way would be purchased in the same manner that James J. Hill purchased the rail beds for the Great Northern. Roads would be run by competing road construction and maintenance companies. They would enforce their own rules and pay their own way, from the county gravel roads all the way up to the interstate highway system (which incidentally was built for military mobilization during the cold war, not for the convenience of the public). At the county level, independent contractors would compete for each section’s or township’s business. Some roads would be better than others; nothing would change for the worse, since it’s already that way under the government monopoly / crony system.

            As far as stopping bad guys goes, right now the cops seldom prevent crime; they are merely crime historians. They come to the scene after the fact, take notes, snap photos and file a report. As in the case of my neighbor’s loss of property out of his shop building, the deputy advised him that his air compressor, welder and saw were probably in a pawn shop over in Kansas or Oklahoma, there was nothing they could do. One of my former coworkers lost several cows to “rustlers”; same thing, they took your cattle, they’re probably in Arkansas by now, sorry, nothing we can do. The insurance company took care of it (with a deductible of course) in both cases. All the cops did were to confirm the same things an insurance adjuster would have except we had to subsidize those police reports. Where were the cops Clover? When a serial rapists broke into my house, my (ex) wife shot him. She called the cops alright; they arrived 50 minutes later. A volunteer (i.e. unpaid, private sector) EMT was on the scene in less than 10 minutes. I could have expected similar results from “posse” members or “militia”, but it would have still been too late if she hadn’t been armed.

            And when I provided the state police investigator with a pair of hemostats I used for jewelry work to extract the bullets from the wall, he immediately became more concerned about their potential use as a “roach clip” than he was about removing the bullets. The state police didn’t even come equipped to do their job; but they’d have sure as hell locked up the victim’s husband (me) for evading the liquor tax (because that’s really all the war on drugs is about) if they could have. So even with your gun-vernment provided police (i.e. paid for with money stolen from me) standing by, we were still ultimately responsible for taking care of ourselves when crunch time hit. At least with private security, I have the option of not paying for it if I don’t want to. But I have no choice but to pay for the police, like it or not, effective or not.

            What it comes down to is this clover. An anarcho-capitalistic region would work pretty much the same way things do now. Just without a small group of legally sanctioned thugs spying on the rest of us, tasing, beating, shooting, stealing and oppressing us. Oh, did I mention there would be no empire and hence no entangling alliances and perpetual war? Some of it would be messy because humans are involved. But when you look at the track record in terms of human tragedy, property damage and lost productivity that has been wrought by this supposedly superior form of government, private sector solutions wouldn’t do any worse and would have the incentives of competition and self-interest inspiring them to do so much better.

          • Dear Eric,


            1. It is either possible for a society to arrive at solutions to problems without brute force coercion, through voluntary negotiations.


            2. It is impossible for a society to arrive at solutions to problems without brute force coercion, through voluntary negotiations.

            This is a simple either/or proposition. One of the two has to be true. The other has to be false.

            Clovers begin with the latter premise, and flat out refuse to even try to seek voluntary solutions to problems. They don’t want voluntary solutions. They don’t want to negotiate with others. They want to unilaterally reach conclusions about what the solutions ought to be on their own, then ram them down others’ throats, against others’ will.

            Ralph Nader is the archetype of this sort of personality.

          • Nice links Bevin. You want to get rid of government and have lynch mobs out doing the enforcement? Tell me Bevin I thought you called the government a group of thugs. Now you want to multiply that a thousand fold. You say that AT&T and Version are just going to agree how much control each can have? Is that how Apple and Samsung are going to handle things? Clover

            OK Bevin, let us say you are a farmer and you just bought some property to farm. There are poles set up that everyone has used for years for what you should be farming. You decide to farm 100 yards on the other side of the pole into what others had been farming. You know that you cannot make a living without that extra 100 yards of ground so you tell your neighbor to go F—k himself. How is that going to be settled? The one with the biggest gun wins?

            Bevin you say that we all may need to carry guns to settle things but at least we are free to do so? Bevin my family members have lived for centuries without the need to carry guns and now you say that they probably will have to now? Tell me how that is an improvement in our society? I would like to hear that one. Bevin I for one do not want to move our society backwards and make things worse. I have a very nice living right now and you want me to move to a bunker with a few hundred guns? Just leave the country. We do not need your new society.Clover

            • Clover, you mention lynch mobs – small groups of people dispensing arbitrary justice. Not pleasant or desirable, certainly. But the damage that can be inflicted by small groups of people is as nothing compared with the mechanized, organized mayhem performed by government. How many innocent people have been slaughtered to date by the U.S. government, Clover? Let’s take but one of many cases in point, the federal war of aggression against the South. 618,222 men died in the Civil War, 360,222 from the North and 258,000 from the South. This does not include “collateral damage” – civilians. Nor does it take into account the wholesale destruction of the South; of the economic life of an entire region, the effects of which still linger to this day.

              Can you cite a single example of anything comparable performed by private citizens acting outside “the law”?

              You’ll eruct, “that’s ancient history!” – which is both untrue and irrelevant. But let’s consider the situation today. The government currently cages appx. 2.4 million people; a large percentage of them for “crimes” that had no victim. Is it worse to be lynched – and dead – or left to rot in prison for 30 years over some arbitrary “crime” confected by people wearing special outfits with self-conferred titles of authority?

              Can a lynch mob launch a mechanized war of aggression against a country and people in another part of the world and slaughter 100,00-plus of them, as the U.S. government has done in Iraq?

              Well, Clover?

              Tens of millions of decent, peaceful, hardworking people live under the constant threat of being assaulted by armed goons, thrown in cages, their lives ruined, possibly ended – if they do not “obey the law.” Your law.

              How is this better than “lynch mob justice,” Clover?

              So, yes, I’d rather have petty squabbles between individuals – most of which would be settled without resort to violence, by the way – as opposed to your system of pervasive, inescapable violence on a mass-production scale.

          • As predicted, clover confirms what we already knew about his prejudicial mindset.

            Clover refuses to even entertain the possibility of a society without brute force coercion.

            His point of departure is always that people cannot possibly cooperate peacefully, but must always behave like rival mafia families!

            Of course clover ignores the fact that the percentage of people in society that actually behave like mafia families is infinitesimal.

            But as Ayn Rand used to say, clover “blanks out” the inconvenient reality of peaceful, voluntary cooperation.

            • Morning, Bevin!

              Others have observed (and I agree) that Clover is projecting. He’s a narcissist and probable sociopath who bases his own actions on manipulation and violence, who would “run amok” were he not restrained from doing so by “The Law” – and assumes everyone else is just like him.

              In fact, such defective psychological types are a small minority of the population; most studies peg the figure at 5 percent or less.

              Most people, left to their own devices, would not commit murder, assault – or even steal. “The Law” is irrelevant. And – interestingly – it is also irrelevant to the psychopathic personalities, who do their dark deeds regardless. So what good is “The Law”?

              Answer? Not much.

              Its main function ends up being to enshrine and codify control (and punishment) of actions (and non-actions) that are not ethical breaches of any kind whatsoever. People are gulled into conflating obvious ethical wrongs such as beating someone up with selling someone pot. After all, both are contrary to “The Law” – and “The Law” is the shining manifestation of all that’s right and righteous.


          • Dear Eric,

            Exactly right.

            In fact, what does the establishment of an entity that claims a monopoly on the use of brute force do?

            Why it provides an ever so convenient framework for the psychopathic 5% of clovers to indulge their darkest impulses under the rubric of “law and order.”

            Far from making things better, it only makes things worse.

            Any one who has any doubt about this need only read Pro Libertate, Cop Block, and Police State USA for their daily dose of ugly reality. Clover cops getting away with first degree murder as the goonvermin “justice system” grants them “sovereign immunity.”

            I’ll take anarchy to goonvermin monopolies on “justice” any day. At least under anarchy one is not prevented from legally shooting back.

            Example: The Deacons for Defense

            “The Deacons for Defense and Justice was an armed self-defense African-American civil rights organization in the U.S. Southern states during the 1960s. Historically, the organization practiced self-defense methods in the face of racist oppression that was carried out under the Jim Crow Laws by local/state government officials and racist vigilantes. Many times the Deacons are not written about or cited[citation needed] when speaking of the Civil Rights Movement because[citation needed] their agenda of self-defense – in this case, using violence, if necessary — did not fit the image of strict non-violence that leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. espoused. “

          • Dear Eric,

            “Most people, left to their own devices, would not commit murder, assault – or even steal. “The Law” is irrelevant. ”

            Quite right.

            I assume everyone has seen videos of flash robberies on YouTube?


            They are shocking for two reasons.

            One. Because they show how the clover philosophy of “entitlements” has perverted morality in today’s Amerika, and helped the looters rationalize their conduct.

            Two. Because they show how easily people could loot almost any store if they wanted to. But here is the really important point, it shows that this normally does NOT happen because most people are not clovers, and are constrained by their own internal ethics and morality.

          • Clover – Here a couple of points to consider. You and your ancestors not having to carry guns would not change in an armed society. If you live in the United States you already enjoy the benefit of an armed society whether you choose to accept the reality of that statement or not. Now if you live in one of the gun free crime zones such as New York, California, Massachusetts or the like, then you are more likely to experience violent crime. Of course dealing with it at the time will be more difficult for you if you abide by “the law” and remain unarmed. But it’s your choice to live in a victim disarmament area, so I have little sympathy for you. I would also show you utter disdain if your house or car burned and you did not have a fire extinguisher on hand.

            The few remaining freedoms we enjoy in this ever burgeoning police state are the result of private firearms ownership, not a standing army and not having cops on a beat. If you will recall, the fateful incident that occurred on April 19, 1775 was due to the “DHS” of the day (the Red Coats) attempting to disarm the militia (i.e. the shop keepers, farmers and tradesmen; all civilians Clover) in Massachusetts. The very reason for the 2nd Amendment is to ensure that our Creator Endowed right to be armed, which existed prior to and independently from any piece of paper, shall not be violated in any way, shape or form! If you don’t like that then you are the one who needs to move. I understand that private firearms ownership is forbidden in North Korea; try living there.

            Now, with respect to farm land there have been disputes in the past that were settled the hard way. Range wars, water rights wars and feuds over property lines are nothing new. In fact the most egregious examples of encroaching on the neighbors at the grandest scale are almost invariably perpetrated by government itself. From the annexation of various weaker countries by their stronger neighbors, right down to the failure of the federal government to hand over the land, as required by law, when the former territories became the western states, government itself is the biggest property rights violator of all time. Try not paying “your” property taxes and see what happens with that house and land that you “own” at the hands of those sworn to uphold the Constitution. It won’t be pretty and it ain’t your land.

            On the other hand, the current place I live had known encroachments when I “bought” it. I discussed this with the adjoining land owner and he told me whenever we wanted to move the fence to compensate, just go ahead and do it. That gentleman’s agreement was seven years ago. It wouldn’t have been worth it to move the fence 17 feet, so I asked him if he would sell me an additional 1/4 acre off his pasture, which he agreed to. I hired a surveyor to come out and mark the new corners. We are completing the transaction in a mutually agreeable fashion without anyone coercing or threatening either of us. The only gun-vernment involvement in the transaction will be to file the deed at the court house and steal a little more of my money every year and a little less of his. No feud clover. No range war. No problem. Explain that.

          • Boothe you say if you do not pay your property taxes the government will come out and get you? When you bought your property was there not property taxes on that before you bought it. When you bought it did you not know it was your responsibility to pay taxes on it or you would have to leave? That sounds like it is not the government problem but your problem of wanting to change the rules.Clover

            The fact is that I am a thousand times more likely to be injured by another person than I am by my government. I and 100s of millions of others like how things work in our society. They are like I am in that they would think it is a severe downgrade of our country if we would have to start carrying guns to protect ourselves from the lynch mobs that Eric is hoping for. Yes Eric the civil war was decades before the oldest person in the USA was born. I figure the possibilities of that happening again in my lifetime is near zero unless we go towards your new non-government of lynch mobs. I do not have a problem with the people being in jail that are there now. It is a safer and better society for everyone else. I have no problem with a guy going to jail if he has been stopped for DUI multiple times. When he is in jail there is zero chance that he will crash into one of my family members.

          • Actually Clover you are eleven times more likely to be shot by a cop in America than you are to be shot by an armed citizen. You are eight times more likely to be shot by a cop than you are to be the victim of a terrorist attack. And we already know you like things the way they are; you are 100% Mr. Status Quo. You and a people like you are sick. You come up with unfounded numbers like “100s of millions” through anal extraction because you are mentally defective. What more can I say.

            Only a true sadistic psychopath would hope to perpetuate a system that imprisons people for ingesting a weed that grows wild all over the planet. Or lock them up for thought crimes (i.e. “conspiracy” which is all too often the result of entrapment). But worse you would perpetuate the police / surveillance state that goes hand in glove with that at the expense of our Liberty. Only someone like you could rationalize that since property taxes were levied against a piece of property before someone else bought it, that it negates the act being naked theft. Worse yet, that theft is based on the value of something you supposedly “own” (since you are the one paying for it), property ownership is a right, and rights can’t lawfully be taxed under this system. So somehow prior unlawful conduct by the state excuses the state for sending rough men with guns, paid for with your stolen property, to threaten you with pain of death if you refuse to hand over the loot? Your rationale escapes me.

            As far as carrying guns goes, no one will force you to; they don’t now. You just don’t have any right to tell the rest of us that we can’t. That’s the de jure law of the land; the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Now if you go around acting like an asshole, you may very well have to fear your fellow countrymen. Do you do that Clover? Is that why you fear the 2nd Amendment? Is that why you fear Liberty and the right to free association? Are you afraid of being shunned or shot by your fellow countrymen? I’m not. The answer is simple: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But if you apply the same coercive mindset to your day to day relationships and driving habits that you display here, you have every reason to be afraid.

          • Boothe I do not know where you get your so called facts but you are a stupid idiot to believe such things. I am thousands of times more likely to be killed by one of your so called gun carrying idiots. Boothe I have no problem with you bearing arms as long as they are in your home. I will just never come to your home. There has been a lot in the news lately about gun carrying idiots putting on demonstrations in restaurants with their semi-automatic high powered rifles. The restaurants told them to never come in again. You say it is your right to carry into a restaurant though? You know if you are right and it is your right to carry weapons into a restaurant it is also the right of millions of people not to go to those restaurants with those gun carrying automatics. People will take their children and eat in their bunkers rather than be subjected to your stupidity. Tell me what that would do to your restaurants? If your stupidity starts to take over then there will be an amendment created to ban all guns at least in public. Your second amendment was written in a different time. Amendments can be changed and they will be changed if your stupidity continues.Clover

          • Clover’s Second Amendment:
            “”I have no problem with you bearing arms as long as they are in your home. I will just never come to your home.”

            As written and passed in 1789:
            Amendment II (2): Right to bear arms
            A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

            Dam, I always knew they did not get the wording of that one right. Clover, you have outdone yourself.

          • @Bevin – Just a guess, but I think clover is afraid of guns and their owners and wants a “law” to protect him from that kind of person. Kinda like those pesky German Shepard owners, you never know when they will go off. So they are best kept inside the house all the time. Barney the “I love you” purple dinosaur agrees.

          • Dear Gary,

            I for one, have always felt far safer at the target range where everyone is carrying a gun and theoretically could shoot and kill me in the blink of an eye.

            Interesting how that is a true paradox. It seems counter-intuitive, but it actually makes hard common sense.

            I feel least safe at something like an inauguration, where trigger happy Praetorian Guards for our nominal “public servants” actual slave masters are itching to off me if I so much as sneeze wrong.

            • “Bevin and Boothe, tell me how carrying weapons is a good thing.”

              Ok, Clover. Clearly, cops should not be allowed to carry weapons, either.


          • Dear Boothe,

            Thanks for the links.

            I was already familiar with the gun research, but it was nice to have it all summed up in one place.

          • Thanks Bevin. That’s one of the best (and well supported) summaries I’ve seen on the web. Of course Clover will dispel it with his magic wand (a bull turd on a stick) of “there are millions of studies that prove that guns kill people” or some other unsupported response. There Clover, I saved you the trouble. But I doubt he can refute the second link! 😉

          • Boothe I am thousands of times more likely to be killed by one of your so called gun carrying idiots than I am by the police. Boothe I have no problem with you bearing arms as long as they are in your home. I will just never come to your home. There has been a lot in the news lately about gun carrying idiots putting on demonstrations in restaurants with their semi-automatic high powered rifles. The restaurants told them to never come in again. You say it is your right to carry into a restaurant though? You know if you are right and it is your right to carry weapons into a restaurant it is also the right of 100s of millions of people not to go to those restaurants with those gun carrying idiots. People will take their children and eat in their bunkers rather than be subjected to your stupidity. Tell me what that would do to your restaurants? If your stupidity starts to take over then there will be an amendment created to ban all guns at least in public. Your second amendment was written in a different time. Amendments can be changed and they will be changed if your stupidity continues.
            Tell me where are your statistics and studies of people carrying guns in public? The fact is there are a few percent of people in our society that have anger problems. I have met a few of them and by some of the statements here there are a high percentage on this site. Having guns in public with people with anger issues is a bad thing. The same is true for people with anger issues owning guns in their home. Many times people get shot. They call that domestic disputes and I am sure these are not included in your statistics. What happens is exactly the kind of thing that happened in a movie theater in Florida where there was a disagreement and a guy was shot. It never would have happened if he was not carrying at the time in public. If the police see a guy with multiple guns in a crime area of a major city then you just want them to watch the guy walk down the street and start shooting. Clover
            I have seen news videos of countries where people carry high powered guns in public right down the street. I do not want to live in a country like that and I very much doubt if any of our ancestors did either.

          • Clover – You probably already go out to eat with numerous people that are armed in the restaurant you’re in and you don’t even know it. They don’t shoot you or anyone else. Just because you don’t know, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. You also don’t “know” that you’re being exposed to radiation on a daily basis either, because you can’t see, taste it, feel it or smell it. But let me assure you, ionizing radiation is a part of our lives whether you care to acknowledge it or not. So are people who keep (i.e. have in their homes) and bear (i.e. carry with them in public) arms (e.g. knives, guns, swords, knucks, slappers, kubotans, crossbows, clubs, chains and even tire irons) are all around you, but as long as you don’t know it doesn’t bother you. There are invertebrates that are probably more aware of reality than you are.

            Let me point out to you that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t specify “firearms” or “guns”. The 2nd Amendment protects my right to walk down the street with a broad sword, long bow or halberd if I so choose. As long as I don’t threaten you (for no reason), it’s really none of your bloody business, now is it?

            As far as your asinine assertion the you are “thousands of times more likely” to be killed by a “so called gun carrying” idiot (good point on “so called” Clover, because carrying a gun denotes wisdom not idiocy), show me a scientifically controlled study, just one, to back that up. You won’t because you can’t.

            The fact is, you are far safer in an armed society, where good people are routinely armed, than you are in a gun free crime zone. In Vermont you are free to carry a concealed weapon anywhere anytime. They have the second lowest crime rate in the nation. Explain that. I’ll save you the trouble: crime rates are lower where the criminals fear their potential victims. Two plus two always equals four Clover; not some number you extract from your rectum.

            As far as your example in the Florida theater shooting goes, the shooter was a highly trained retired cop who was responsible for setting up a SWAT team. So what did he do? Well he did what he was trained to do when a mere mundane would not submit and obey; he shot him! But he forgot that he was a broken toy (i.e. no longer an active duty cop) and the regime would no longer be obliged to support his criminal behavior (remember clover, you’re only as good as you are for the day, once you’re no longer useful they’ll hang you out to dry). Your previous ruminations about how he’d been off the force so long are ludicrous.

            And you’ve really been blathering on about changing the 2nd Amendment here of late. Ha-ha! My “it’s the law assertion” really chaps your ass doesn’t it? Well Clover, it is the Supreme Law of the Land (Ozy – no worship intended by capitalizing, just emphasizing the point for Mr. Statist Law & Order here). And if you think you and your pathetic ilk have the horsepower to repeal it, go for it big boy! We’ll see how that works for you. Even if you did, that wouldn’t negate our inherent right to self defense and by extension the right to possess the means to do so). By the way, you just inspired me to send more money to the NRA and GOA. How do you like them apples? You’re a hoot I tell ya’. Keep up the good work. I really enjoy a battle of the wits against an unarmed opponent.

          • Clover demands to know

            “Bevin and Boothe, tell me how carrying weapons is a good thing. ”

            The following is not for clover. He never gives any honest consideration to counterarguments. He simply shines them on. That’s why responding to him is utterly pointless. The following is for the benefit of undecided third parties.

            “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
            – Thomas Jefferson (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria)

            In fact many high profile gun banners realize this. That’s why when gun rights champions offered to post signs on their front lawns saying that their homes were “proudly gun free,” they refused. They knew it amounted to a “Rob me!” declaration.

            Gun control advocates refuse to place ‘gun free zone’ signs in their own front yards
            Saturday, February 09, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes


          • You’re right Clover, carrying guns is a bad thing. We need to make every federal building, state building and courthouse completely and totally “gun free.” Seriously. If the government is so bent on convincing the rest of us to give up our guns because carrying a gun (or any other arm) is bad, then they need to lead by example. They can start by disarming all the cops, U.S. Marshals, sheriffs, deputies, FBI-ICE-ATF-DEA-IRS-CIA-NSA-etc. agents, park rangers, game wardens, soldiers and dog catchers. No armed security guards allowed at VA hospitals, social security offices, IRS offices or the like. Total disarmament starts in the house of the PTB. How about that Clover? If it’s good for the goose it’s good for the gander. Don’t you agree? Then and only then would I even entertain the thought that the rest of us should disarm…no,not really. Ha-ha! Fooled you! But based on the 170,000,000+ victims of democide in the 20th century alone, I still think total government disarmament is a wonderful idea!

      • Dear Eric,

        In fact MIW is wrong!

        Several societies have successfully tried free market anarchism in the past. See below.

        Unfortunately they were overrun by surrounding statist neighbors which extinguished what they achieved.

        So in fact we know free market anarchism has worked. It is not “utopian.”

        Actually, conventional government is the system that is utopian. It is the system that is theoretically supposed to work, but doesn’t and never will.

        Medieval Iceland and the Absence of Government
        Mises Daily: Wednesday, December 25, 2002 by Thomas Whiston

        Stateless Societies: Ancient Ireland
        December 30, 2012 by PeaceRequiresAnarchy 6 Comments
        By Joseph R. Peden

        • NB:

          Medieval Iceland was closer to the ideal than Medieval Ireland.

          But Medieval Ireland did exhibit key features of free market anarchism. It was not pure. But it provides valuable indicators of what is possible without government as we know it.

        • I read, with great interest, those who yearn for anarcho-capitalism and stateless societies. The string of comments on Eric’s article has continued for a couple of weeks. It is encouraging to see so much interest in liberty.

          Unfortunately the nation state arose long ago and seems to be all but hardwired in human nature. On D-day American churches opened at 4:00 A.M. and were packed. The liberty bell was rung. Germans fervently prayed for Nazi victory. Canadians are proud of their differences from US citizens and they are moved by the sight of the Queen of England. Nobody becomes misty eyed and patriotic when contemplating a North American free trade arrangement. Those who lived without the nation state did so because they were on the fringes of civilization. That doesn’t make the nation state a good thing. It is just a fact of life not likely to dissolve in any of our lifetimes. I’d bet the nation state is still with use in 500 years.

          We had a pretty good deal with the founding of this country and the Constitution. It wasn’t perfect but it was a clear-headed effort at securing liberty and limiting government. Abraham Lincoln dealt a fatal wound to constitutional government and it deteriorated for 150+ years. Nevertheless the essentials are there and it could be resurrected if we returned to first principles. It is part of our history. Ancient Icelandic and Irish governments are not. We are historical, racial and emotional beings in addition to being economic actors.

          How do we get from here to greater liberty? A government like that in the early 19th Century would be an amazing improvement. There is more good than bad in our first principles. Government existed but was only an occasional nuisance. How could a libertarian object to a government that has almost no influence in his life? American style liberty is plausibly achievable. We had it. I’m afraid medieval Icelandic governance would be impossible to achieve for Americans but maybe there is hope for Icelanders.

          • The founding fathers argued over a long summer to forge the documents that we have today. Even then it was not unanimous and they knew full well that forces would be at work to tear it down from the start.

            People are easily led by forces with an agenda whether they know it or not. Witness the moral of the story & movie Wolf of Wall St. Those holding power will retain that power at all costs and have for hundreds of years using obfuscation, fear and planted opposition party misdirection as a tactic. To think for yourself is hard and time consuming, both of which are in short supply in theses days of instant packaged solutions. Unfortunately most of the offered solutions do not come any firm long range moral and philosophical base and are destined to fail, leading right back into the existing power’s hands.

            It will take a major overhaul of this country’s way of thinking to return to a free state of existence, and that can only happen, if it does at all, “at the bottom” as any recovering alcoholic knows.

          • Hi Patrick,

            Absolutely. I try to live by that slogan about not letting the perfect become the enemy of the good. I’d be extremely happy to dial back the clock, liberty-wise, to 1960. We’d still have income taxes, of course. But we would not have the nanny state – and we’d have (mostly) free association. The difference in everyday liberty – just being able to go about your business, for the most part – was huge.

            I tend to agree with one of my favorite writers – Robert Heinlein – that statism and population density are like electricity and magnetism: Intertwined. The more people you have in a given area, the more government there will be. A critical mass of Clovers will clamor for it – and support it. There is probably no way to avoid this inexorable outgrowth of growth itself, without taking steps that are themselves at odds with the whole live – and let live – ideal.

            The only realistic long-term solution that I see is migration. Off this earth. Liberty flourished in colonial-era North America because there was nothing to prevent it. The people who left Europe were – for the most part – independent minded. And those who were not didn’t have the inescapable organized force available to them which is ubiquitous today. A man could simply walk off into the woods and it was certain he’d be free of government. Free to do as he liked. Of course, he was less “safe” and “secure” than a modern suburban man. But that’s a trade-off many of us would probably happily accept.

            So, like Heinlein, I believe we’re stuck – and face increasing rather than attenuating Cloverism – until the FTL (faster than light) drive is invented and it becomes possible for people who want to be left alone to leave this rock for a new one, not yet infested with people.

    • Hey Mike, let me respectfully disagree with you on a 67% level — but first speak on the 33% agreement.

      You may very well be correct. After all, men have only imperfectly managed to differentiate themselves from the other animals on this planet. For example, I cannot imagine a society of gorillas who would live according to the NAP. Some would, but there would always be a silverback who claimed more than a fair share. Maybe humans have more gorilla in them than they wish to admit, and fall short of the ethical standards of NAP.

      As for my disagreement, the plain fact is, that just because it has not been done so far, that does not make something impossible — or even unlikely. An example: No one has ever made a practical 100 terabyte thumb drive. Therefore (to paraphrase your words) “IF the 100 terabyte idea were the least bit workable in the real world there would be at least one society somewhere sometime which tried to create it and as it turns out there simply isn’t such a society.” Obviously wrong…We can see where changes in technology make such a drive a near inevitability, given time.

      So, the question becomes, regardless of what has happened in the past, is human society mutable enough that we MIGHT embrace large scale the NAP? Maybe. We got rid of the Divine Right of Kings. We got rid of theocracies. We got rid of chattel slavery. We ARE making some progress, ethically speaking. Maybe we will get rid of coercive government.

      • “We got rid of the Divine Right of Kings. We got rid of theocracies. We got rid of chattel slavery. “……………….REALLY??? ALL of those exist everywhere in the world including the good old USA under slightly more PC labels.

        The problem with the NAP as the guiding principle of a society is the willingness of proponents to routinely place others at risk. While that does not excuse the current stasiocracy in the USA it does make obvious that those of us who wish a clean orderly risk minimizing social environment will always need to band together to place limits on the reckless. That the reckless feel put upon is their problem.

        • Mike,

          The fact that slavery for instance, hasn’t been entirely extinguished doesn’t obviate the fact that it is in decline and nearly extinguished. That most people consider it an outrage.

          We can hope the same for coercive collectivism.

          You bemoan “risk” (and “reckless”) . . . but define it. You can’t. It is a generalization; a hypothetical. Something might happen. Doesn’t mean it will – or that “x” is in fact either “risky” or “reckless.” You may believe/feel that it is. As with regard to driving faster than a certain speed. But I might believe/feel differently. Which of us is right?

          I agree that – sometimes – bad things do happen. But in most cases, most of the time, they don’t. “Speeding” being a good – because obvious – example. Millions of people “speed” every day. Yet most of those millions do so without ever causing injury or harm to anyone or anything.

          Guns provide another good example. Most people who own/carry guns never cause harm to anyone or anything. Is it right to punish them because a literal handful of people (other people) have caused harm – or because “someone” might cause harm?

          What happens when you make “risk” – a subjective/generalized assertion – the basis for controlling other people? There is no end to it. No objective way to limit it. We get to where we are today – a society in which almost everything we do is monitored/restricted/controlled/punished… on the basis of might entail risk.

          The Libertarian approach is better because it limits interference in people’s lives based on what they as individuals have actually done. Not might do. If I harm you, you have a right to defend yourself – and to be made whole. But your not liking what I do doesn’t give you the right to do me violence.

          Doesn’t that seem fair – right – to you?

          And doesn’t it seem unfair – and wrong – to subject anyone to violent interposition when that individual hasn’t done a damned thing to cause harm to anyone? Isn’t that the essence of tyranny?

          Per Jefferson: I’d rather have mostly theoretical risk and very real liberty than the fiction of “safety” and very real everyday tyranny.

        • Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~ helen keller

          deaf & blind, but not dumb.

          The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all … The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands—the ownership and control of their livelihoods—are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.

          or perfect in her understanding of antisocial power/control dynamics (she thought socialism was the way to rectify above…).

          the tragedy of the commons is the commons. “commonalizing” rationalizations/justifications about “banding together to place limits”– aka “preemptive” aggressive force & trespass – in misguided, uncomprehending, quavering efforts at becoming “too big to fail” eventually, albeit far too slowly, in terms of the avg lifespan (multiples of generations are swallowed up by these gaping maws) become too big to succeed. the internal contradiction meteor finally comes, the dinosaurs depart, & the process starts all over again. note, tho, banding together to deconstruct commons & preemptive limits, even without resorting to force, is the same mentality, obverse/reverse of the same fundamental coin. “paradigm shifters” can hear the over-revved engine, could use, want, another gear, but there ain’t any more gears; this is all there is.

          but, the feckless always greatly outnumber the “reckless”. proselytizing missionaries cannot & will not convert these heathen; indeed, as far as the feckless tribes are concerned, helen, per her signature quote above, is a heathen exemplar. helene, greek, “torch or corposant”; hell, german, “light”; “boxing helena”, a grotesque “romantic drama thriller”, but a perfect metaphor. we’re all in the cave, but for every one looking at the firelight, there are 99 permanently fixated on the shadows on the walls.

          Some of the “cow towns” of the old west, such as Wichita and Dodge City, also had their own versions of gun control; the “dead-line.” Cross that line carrying a gun and you could wind up dead.


          Guns were obviously widespread on the frontier. Out in the untamed wilderness, you needed a gun to be safe from bandits, natives, and wildlife. In the cities and towns of the West, however, the law often prohibited people from toting their guns around. A visitor arriving in Wichita, Kansas in 1873, the heart of the Wild West era, would have seen signs declaring, “Leave Your Revolvers At Police Headquarters, and Get a Check.”


          The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. reminds of who is john galt, & where did he go, doesn’t it?

    • Mike,
      The reason there is no society as described by Eric is because governments enforce monopolies on things like road building. They take people’s money, at gun point, and then build roads with it. There is no society where people are left with the opportunity to do things like building roads privately, at least in the modern world. As Eric correctly points out, however, such a society did exist in early America, and people did build those roads.

      • “govs enforce”

        the single action analogy is that “guns kill people”.

        “gov” may be more conceptual than, but is just as inanimate as, “gun”. it is wielded – it does not “do”. it is used to do to.

        which is to say founding fathers everywhere are filicidal. & that the surviving kiddies who revere their paul-paw apostles despite them having done in their siblings, are stockholm syndromees….


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