Clover’s Grampa

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It’s easy to get hung up on what’s legal vs. illegal.positive law pic 3

Clovers are completely hung up on it.

And this may be – probably is – calculated, deliberate. The desired object. A very clever trick, to keep the minds of people occupied on the irrelevant and the pointless. Kind of like the false choice presented by the duopoly – Democrat vs. Republican. Heads or tails, left or right – the same side wins, regardless.

The government side.

The people going at one another on either side of this false divide get nowhere because they’re arguing about non-essentials. What government will do. Not whether government ought to be doing it.

Or doing anything, for that matter.

This keeps them busy – emotionally invested – but harmlessly diverted.

You know, like the fuuuuhhhhhhttttball cult that’s addled at least two-thirds of the male population.

Just what’s wanted … from a certain perspective.

This may not be coincidence.positive lead pic

Similarly, this business of legal vs. illegal.

It’s another false – but extremely useful – paradigm.

First articulated by an ur Clover by the name of Jeremy Bentham, it is the idea that right and wrong are mere legalisms. Whatever authority decrees – nominally, for the sake of “the greatest good for the greatest number,” as Benthamites put it – constitutes the sum total of “the law.” The “greater good” being defined, of course, by Benthamites – and imposed by force on everyone. Benthamites take the view that there are no such things as rights – especially not individual or natural ones.

Bentham himself dismissed them as “nonsense on stilts.”

But what’s truly nonsensical is the notion that groups have rights – while individuals lack them. Groups, after all, have no existence in reality. They are constructs – rhetorical devices – and very dangerous ones at that. Does the group speak? Or do anointed (usually, by themselves) individuals speak “on behalf” of the group?ur Clover pic

This is the origin of “we” ought to do this (or not do that).

Or else.

But the most pernicious aspect of the legal positivism espoused by Bentham and worshipped by today’s Clovers is the dismissal of moral right and moral wrong. It is the mechanism by which they end-run the non-aggression principle. If individuals don’t have the moral right to be left alone, to not be violently assaulted for the “greater good” (or their “own good,” as defined by Clovers) then they – the Clovers – may do just as they please to anyone, provide they sheep dip it in legalism. Simply pass a law or hold a vote and – presto! – it is required that everyone obey, the moral rightness or wrongness of the required submission being beside the point.

Let’s consider a basic example, the case of a “speeder” pulled over by a cop.

From a natural rights/Libertarian perspective, a “speeder” hasn’t committed a moral wrong – because he hasn’t harmed anyone; there is no victim left in his wake.

But the cop who pulls the “speeder” over (euphemism check; what he’s doing is forcibly waylaying a morally innocent person at gunpoint; he is not asking his victim to please pull over for a remonstrative chat; he is demanding the target submit and obey . . . or else) has committed a moral offense.positive law 4

He – the cop – ought to feel shame, guilt. But of course, does not. Because he’s been trained – check that, conditioned – to view enforcement of the law – whatever the law is, because it is the law – as morally acceptable, even though doing so frequently entails doing violence to people who’ve done nothing to harm anyone.

 

The cop (and Clovers) maybe never heard about the Benthamites-in-brown who were hanged after being convicted at Nuremburg in the aftermath of World War II. Many of these German Benthamites were high level government officials and enforcers. They had titles, wore special costumes, had badges – and so on.

No one accused them of acting outside the (positive) law. Indeed, their defense was that they were merely following orders issued by duly constituted authority – positive law. And it was absolutely true. But the Nazis were hanged nonetheless, because the people of that fast-fading time still at least peripherally understood that the mere fact of something being “legal” in no way makes it necessarily right. And the equally important flip side:nuremburg 1

Egregious wrongs are often performed under color of law.

That understanding is now exceedingly uncommon. In part, because of the lawyerly pettifoggery that makes “the law” inscrutable, incomprehensible … and divorced from any guiding moral principle. The question in court – and by the side of the road – is no longer: Did this person do something wrong (i.e., did he cause harm)?

It is merely the Benthamite query : Did he violate “the law”?

According to this standard, the Nazis hanged at Nuremburg were innocent and should have been freed. Because they were acting under color of law – and merely enforced the law. They were acting on behalf of the group – for the sake of the “greater good,” as the group’s anointed leaders saw it. Whether the law was right – and the group’s leaders wrong  – doesn’t compute to a legal positivist.positive law 5

Obey. It’s “the law.”

Period.

Here it is, direct from the horse’s mouth:

“The fact that a policy would be just, wise, efficient, or prudent is never sufficient reason for thinking that it is actually the law, and the fact that it is unjust, unwise, inefficient or imprudent is never sufficient reason for doubting it. According to positivism, law is a matter of what has been posited (ordered, decided, practiced, tolerated, etc.)”.

Italics added.

From this issues the amoral, impenetrable ukase we suffer under today. From the IRS code to the code enforcement in your suburban neighborhood. Not only is the law morally indifferent and arbitrary, it is also unintelligible by any definable, fixed standard. There is nothing beyond it being “the law”  to decide whether something is or isn’t permissible or punishable. Well, nothing beyond what the Benthamite Clovers decree – and are capable of imposing by force.

Legitimate law – natural law, based on the idea of each individual having an equal right to be left unmolested – does not require a law degree or formal training to parse. There is no “greatest good” – subjectively defined and imposed by force.

Is there a victim? Yes – or no.

If there is no victim, there is no crime. The individual must be left in peace. The “greatest good” is for each of us to define for ourselves – but not our right to impose upon others.

key pic

The details can be fleshed out, but the principle is elegantly simple – as all things of genuine genius usually seem to be.

Any person of average intelligence can understand the concept of “harm done” or not done and if not sociopathic, eschews doing harm, feels moral guilt when he causes harm  – and a compulsion to make it right if he has caused harm.

No Talmudic parsing is needed. Something is – or it ain’t.

And each of us has our own uniques ideas about what’s good – and isn’t. So long as we’re not harming anyone as we pursue these individualized goods, we’re acting morally. As distinct from the Benthamite Clovers, for whom “morality” issues from the barrel of a gun.

That line Shakespeare wrote in Henry VI – first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers –  was a kind of primal scream in protest against the doctrines of legal positivism.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if, rather than “the law,” what mattered was whether anyone was actually harmed? If innocence of having caused harm was an absolute defense against legal/official harassment – as opposed to the reams of inscrutable/impenetrable and morally obtuse “statutes” and “decisions” and “precedents” intelligible only to the secular priesthood of lawyerdom?

Ol’ Bill was on to something.

Throw it in the Woods? 

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63 COMMENTS

  1. “State” – White Lyin’

    State just a moment before your governing will die
    Cause I must know the reason why we say goodbye
    State just a moment and tell me why
    ’cause I can show you governing that you won’t deny

    State and show your governing like it was before
    Cause I won’t let that feeling walk out through the door
    Yeah state just a moment and try once more
    Cause babe I need to serve you like I did before

    So if you go away I know that I will follow
    Cause there’s a place inside my heart that tells me
    Hold out, hold out, hold out

    State – state
    I never had a chance to love you
    State – state
    If only our love could show you
    State – state
    I never wanna be without you
    State – state
    No I never had a chance to love you
    Now I only wanna say I love you
    One more time
    State…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxQAmaZ7dRk

  2. Great article; one of your absolute best. I am always shocked how people assume that the law is equivalent to right and wrong. Even those who get caught in the jaws of the law and think they are treated unfairly seldom emerge with the epiphany that the real problem is the law itself and the state that enforces the law.

  3. @roland

    What do you think most of us are doing day in and day out. Here in my neck, there’s at least two or three “fantasy devices” operating at full bamboozle at any given time.

    Right now I’ve got a smart phone tracking NOAA doppler radar. There’s a movie on. There’s a few here playing personal games on devices and sending texts, videos, and etc. to various friends scattered far and wide. And showing each other what’s on each of their individual devices. There’s nothing real and material whatsoever.

    There’s some vague discussions of some making of dinner. I won’t even get into what passes for food these days, as long as someone else makes it, I’ll just eat it and be grateful to not have had to waste my time.

    All of the sudden microwaves, and electrically heated ceramic burners are the way food is heated. Who decided this, what are we losing by doing this?

    You take away all the fantastical make believe, there isn’t a whole lot left to talk about. At least where I live.

    I’m fairly thin skinned, so I don’t want to bring up anything that’s going to get a negative response, and then I’m going to be pissed of at people who aren’t even really there. There just unknown senders of IP packets I’m never going to meet.

    I don’t think I’m the only one. We all have our inner clover demons and ways of hiding from the sad wussified realities of the vast American Queergarden.

    The problem with mamba is no one has the slightest clue what he means by “the wild west.” As best I understand this construct, there’s nearly an infinite variety of descriptions of what it was like.

    Cybersoup’s Wild West
    http://www.thewildwest.org/

    Sorry, Hollywood brain droppings is a lot of my steady diet these days. I wish me and the neighbors was all working on a special EMP device that only disables govt tech, but its sadly not the case.

    A million ways to die in the west funniest scenes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnfVL66bsQ8

    • Tor, down here in the SW, things have always been “going on” as far as the govt is concerned. It’s so sparsely settled(many counties, 1.5 people per square mile)they just do whatever they want. I had to take a break from some bs dealing with the OKC bombing. I swear, I can’t take another idiot telling me the twin towers really damaged WTC 7 so bad they “pulled’ it over with some tracked machines. Puke. I was trying to unload the brakes on a trailer last week cause my POS tractor doesn’t make enough air pressure so I attacked the situation with a dozer. I attached a 1/2” chaine(and that’s a big ass chain)to the rear of the trailer and tried to drag the entire rig backward(only 8 wheels are locked, the other ten are free). I stood that dozer on it’s nose and broke that chain without significantly moving that truck, 34,000 lbs. So tell me, how the hell do a few tracked shovels pull(with puny cables)over a 47 story building? It ain’t happening. Those machines aren’t even made for pulling, just to sit and hold the hydraulic arms so it can dig. How many machines are we speaking of “pulling” down WTC 7 That building has huge steel girders anchored 100 feet into the ground. So how do some machines(give me a number, any number and I’ll prove it bullshit)”pull” that building down? They don’t. I work with this equipment every friggin day. i can grab a rock with a trackhoe and stand that sumbitch on it’s nose and not even budge that rock. So multiply that by all those anchors a hundred feet into the ground and a 47 story building and you pull it all down how? It won’t wash, never has, never will. But we get Clover and Gil who suck that shit up cause they’re dumbasses, pure and simple.

        • Has anyone tried test-collapsing similar materials with burning jet fuel and the weakening effects of airplane impacts?

          I’m confused why Russia or Iran doesn’t do this to a model, and if it makes the US look ridiculous, milk it for all of its considerable propaganda value.

          The most likely explanation, is there is a worldwide system of disinformation and property restrictions that doesn’t let simple tests like this happen.

          Where’s the modern day architect Mike Brady when you really need him?

          Brady vs. Duggan
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36wLG0VUPXg

          What really happened to WTC7 ?
          http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/cutter.html

          “I remember getting a call from the, errr, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, ‘We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.’ And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.”

          – Larry Silverstein, the controller of the destroyed WTC complex

  4. Another excellent article Eric.

    At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is natural law and its companion common law in my life. Jefferson and the small committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence got it right when they referenced the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. Thankfully, it is still in the written law books.

    It has taken many generations and a concerted effort by men and women in high places to largely eliminate any understanding of the unwritten, common law, that underpinned America at the beginning. You can still find evidence of that law, even in written law today in the “savings to suitors clause” in the Judiciary Act of 1789 now codified at 28 USC 1333:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/1333

    Look carefully at the notes to see that they removed the words “common law” and replaced it with words “any other remedy” using the specious argument that those words are more expressive of the original intent of the law. I call BS.

    Americans, and even “U.S. Citizens”, can of course access the common law because it is still there, but not until we understand the nature of the “Court” we are in and who directs the Court. Natural law gives guidance in that area for those willing to look. We are all equal, there is no “King” or “Queen” and no group, no matter the costume their members wear, can claim automatic authority over others who want to be left alone to live their lives in peace.

  5. Dear Eric,

    Thanks for another great article.

    As you point out, Jeremy Bentham famously quipped that natural rights theory is “nonsense on stilts”. However, it seems to me, that utilitarianism is “nonsense on steroids”. If you poke a utilitarian hard enough, they will invariably trot out a “natural rights” defense of their “utilitarian” position.

    Consider the “principle” of “the greatest good for the greatest number”, espoused by utilitarians. On strictly utilitarian grounds, how is this principle justified? Why not, “the greatest benefit to the most gifted? On what utilitarian ground is the second formulation less valid than the first?

    Even if we accept the “validity” of the idea that the “greatest good for the greatest number” is admirable, what does it mean? As I suggested above, what if forcefully conferring benefits to the “most gifted” is a plausible way of creating the “greatest good for the greatest number”? Why not “compassionately” enslave the mentally inferior? Why not force children to undergo intelligence tests, and remove those considered incapable of anything above menial labor from their parents. Would it not be better to raise these children to “help society” by providing the menial labor best suited to the intellectually inferior?

    Why not go further and mandate that all people deemed intellectually deficient be forcefully sterilized? Or, require that the mentally deficient breed only amongst themselves in order to provide a “worker” class for their betters?

    All of these horrifying ideas are entirely consistent with the utilitarian “principle” of the “greatest good for the greatest number” (and have been promoted in the past by “progressive utilitarians”, eugenics, anyone?). When pressed, a modern utilitarian may object that slavery and forced sterilization violate “basic human rights”. But, this objection is an appeal to “natural rights”.

    Utilitarianism, if understood as being concerned with the best ways to achieve desirable social ends, but tethered by the prohibition against rights violations, is an entirely valid and useful concept. The market anarchist David Friedman persuasively argues that truly free markets are best suited to achieve this goal. However, he does not recognize the logical necessity of natural rights. In this, I think he is mistaken. Those who seek power over others will never accept that “leaving everyone alone” is the best way to achieve prosperity and peace. They will always use “utilitarian” arguments to justify their use of force. They will never allow the “market experiment” (that would likely prove Friedman’s contention correct) to occur.

    In short, “utilitarianism” is a recipe for totalitarianism. The “law”, untethered from natural rights, will always be used to advance the interests of the elite. Those who revere the “law”, as created and enforced by those in power, without thought to the “justness” of the “law” validate the current trend towards totalitarianism.

    Kind Regards,
    Jeremy

  6. … com’on now — you guys jump all over Mamba for citing Hollywood fiction as argumentative evidence for his position … but then are enthralled with equally fictional “Deliverance” movie to bolster your own views.

    The fantasies of Hollywood screenwriters should have zero weight/presence here in rational discussion– it’s just noise.

    • Hi Roland,

      Mamba has a history of Cloverific dissembling, hence the stomping he received.

      I see nothing wrong with referencing a movie or a book’s plot/characters to make a point. But Mamba’s point was a non sequitur. The old West was not “wild” (a place of chaos and ubiquitous violence). Hence, Mamba’s attempt to equate such “wildness” with a Libertarian society was fundamentally dishonest.

    • Dear Roland,

      A little clarification is definitely needed, since you are clearly mistaken about what some of us are saying.

      Hollywood films are most assuredly accurate indicators of the zeitgeist, or “spirit of the times.” For example, 1950s movies such as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” were definitely indicators of the 1950s McCarthyite “Red Scare.” Post-9/11 era “zombie apocalypse” movies and TV series such as “The Walking Dead” are definitely indicators of widespread anxiety about impending social chaos.

      Put more simply, Hollywood films are accurate indicators of how people FEEL. They are not necessarily accurate indicators of what reality IS.

      No one here is saying that “Hollywood films are accurate accounts of history.” As far as I am aware, no one here has made that assertion. I know that I for one would never make such assertion. I hope that distinction is clear.

      The 1950s era depiction of “The Wild West” was grossly inaccurate. Respected historians have proven that based on solid evidence.

      Of course that does not mean that the way life is depicted in Hollywood films is ALWAYS inaccurate. Sometimes it is accurate. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. One has to take them on a case by case basis.

    • My better-half is afraid of that film.

      Even the title scares her.

      I think a lot of (most) people born after 1970 are the same.

      I wonder about the, ‘why’.

      Would you care to take the time to spell out the reason Why The film “Deliverance” addressed the “But it’s the law!” objection nicely?

      Maybe then I’d know why some people are afraid of it?

      It might also answer why a lot of people are afraid of anarchy?

      If not, I understand.

      • Dear helot,

        Speaking for myself only of course, I interpreted “Deliverance” as an affirmation that “The Law” is not the highest consideration. It is not the be all and end all. It is not the final word.

        The Burt Reynolds “survivalist” character had it right. Natural law and common law trump any kangaroo court ruling by some government. That’s why the decision not to report what happened was both moral and practical — as I saw it.

        • Morning, Bevin!

          I agree. The character who kept whining about “the law” was a typical Clover. Burt’s character saved the lives of his friends; put down a vicious animal on two legs. Justice was served, according to natural law.

          • Dear Eric,

            That movie, released in 1972, based on James Dickey’s novel, published in 1970, was actually quite prophetic.

            It anticipated the current WROL survivalist zeitgeist. It offered early glimpse at what it might take to survive after the SHTF. Lewis with his bow, was a precursor of Daryl with his crossbow in “The Walking Dead.”

            A key scene:

            Lewis: Machines are gonna fail. And the system’s gonna fail. Then…

            Ed: And then what?

            Lewis: Then survival. Who has the ability to survive. That’s the game: survive.

            Ed: And you can’t wait for it to happen, can you? You can’t wait for it. Well, the system’s done all right by me.

            Lewis: Oh, yeah. You got a nice job. Got a nice house… nice wife… nice kid.

            Ed: You make that sound… rather shitty, Lewis.

            Lewis: Why do you go on these trips with me, Ed?

            Ed: I Iike my Iife, Lewis.

            Lewis: Yeah, but why do you go on these trips with me?

            Ed: You know, sometimes I wonder about that.

        • I think maybe, this is important to mention about half-way into the film:

          “The Burt Reynolds “survivalist” character had it right. Natural law and common law trump any kangaroo court ruling by some government.”

          …Sometimes I wonder if that’s the reason he’s always played these shitty bits since then, to demean his character, to make what his character(s) stood for, to be… shit?

          Thanks for the input.

      • Hi Helot,

        Rape is horrendous, but males being raped strikes a particular cord… with men especially.

        That scene was perhaps too-realistic for many people’s comfort.

        Especially for 1970.

  7. Eric, it would be wonderful if people were civilized to one another but they are not. People do not change and if you look back in time regardless 1800s,1700s, 1600s and so on you’ll note people act the same. They grant powers to a group of people with the idea that these people are “good”. These “people” grow in power and begin a campaign to control, murder and steal from the very people they were given power from. They control the courts and the verdicts. Nuremburg trials were nothing more than a sham show trial on the losers. Had the “Allies” lost the war the same thing would have happened to us, why?….because people are the same and we committed and currently still committing the same atrocities. To the winner go the spoils and so far the statists are winning this sad game.

    • I think there are degrees of being civilized to one another and being uncivilized.

      If the standard for “civilized” is the nonaggression principle, most people follow that in their personal lives. The real question is “why”? Would people deal more aggressively with each other if they were “allowed” to? I suspect some would and most wouldn’t.

      But ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Right now we have a system of legalized aggression, and that needs to come crumbling down.

      And I get more and more sick of it, just reading about it.

      • David, one thing here. I’ve seen it happen over a few decades so I think I have somewhat of a grasp of what’s happened. Diet. Yep, the crap everybody eats and calls food. That, and govt. propaganda, plus schools drugging all the boys, has led to an emasculation of the male in this country. I work in the patch every day and it ain’t nothin like it was 45-50 years ago. Back then people literally worked their asses off and if you couldn’t swing a 16 lb. sledge for an hour or two trying to unstick a mudpump or something equally as tough, you’d have to go to the house. But that didn’t often happen. Guys just manned up and got some muscle and took the rough with the gravy. That doesn’t exist any longer. No fights, no big arguments or people just picking up a 300 lb whatever and chunking it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating violence but when the testosterone is high, these things happen…….except they don’t any longer and most of the guys are really overweight Now we have a machine to do every thing except wipe your butt and I’m sure the bosses have those. The only time I see somebody busting ass, sweating and digging, hammering, etc. is the illegals that are hired just for that purpose. Say what you want about illegal immigration, but at least these guys will WORK and not be pussies and whine about everything. I was shoving my big rig around the other day with a dozer trying to get the trailer brakes to unlock since the tractor has a bad air compressor, POS it is, and I was getting nowhere. Suddenly I had a “moment”. That damned dozer had no cab, no a/c or any other amenity. I almost revolted because I was so revolted everybody thinks of this as completely unacceptable. A couple days earlier I was on a sky crane in the early am and was glad it was sorta cool since the heat of the afternoon and that big diesel right behind you is not conducive to being comfortable. We’ve lost our way, via govt. I work with people so fat they can’t get out of their own way. But all worked out fine since I ended my week in Volvo, our little mascot truck, hauling a load of concrete culverts with the a/c on and all was right with the world……until I was the last in line at a road construction, you know, one of those line up and wait for traffic to flow against you and then finally tail everyone and go the other way. Only I was basking in the glorified air of a/c when a “new” driver(they’re desperate, more than even I could guess)ran up my ass when I was stopped. he narrowly didn’t climb up the dovetail lowboy dropdeck trailer I was hauling concrete culverts on and only hit my trailer with his, at quite a speed. The back of the cab hit my seat so hard it propelled me into the steering wheel and fucked up my vision. The other driver was wandering around with no focus in his eyes. I don’t know what he was doing, on or otherwise, but he wasn’t with the rest of us. He had passed over many big rumble strips and had 3/4 M of signs warning of stopping for construction. Needless to say, I’ve been off work(nice, no money)since but everybody’s been really nice to me after I was ejected from the Er with a script for pain meds(I didn’t use it). So nice I haven’t heard a word. At least back in the day, no matter what kind of badass you worked with, they’d be there, Johnny on the spot, asking about you, bringing you beer and everything else you might want or need. No more. They just slink off and keep out of sight since the DPS might get them next. Yep, I have legal bills now. What did I do? I didn’t wear a gotdamned seat belt and never will in a big rig, the kiss of death. Well, the state is getting theirs and so is my lawyer………..mf’s……….I have no use for this country any longer. Girls are men and men are girls and it’s all govt. mandated.

  8. Glad to see an article ridiculing ol’ Bentham — surely the worst of all enlightenment philosophers, non-Rousseau division, and not frequently enough pilloried. That picture of his body in the museum: did you know that somebody once stole his head? Not near early enough, if you ask me.

  9. Just curious…do you like the Wild West lifestyle? (as portrayed in culture at least, I don’t feel like getting into recorded history and details because someone else surely will for me)

    Reason I ask? Simple:

    -Unrestricted guns for everyone, and almost everyone carried one openly.
    -Minimal government structure and interference in all ways.
    -Local law enforcement a joke…basically the keeper of the jail cell keys only.
    -Laws very loose on everything, as long as you weren’t hurting or stealing.
    -People looked out for each other, and dealt with their troubles without involving the police at all half the time. (see “law enforcement a joke” above)

    It seems to match your vision of a good society on paper.

    So…was it? Do you consider the wild west a model to strive for? A polite society, with everyone happy and violence to a minimal, or was it named WILD for a reason and we moved on?

    • Why are you asking me to compare reality to a fictional construct of Hollywood?

      The “wild” West was in fact extremely pacific compared with modern society. Violent crime was much lower – and when it was committed, it was dealt with far more effectively. As a result, people – decent people – were safer than they are today. Moreover, they did not have to fear assault by alphabet lettered, acronymed government goon squads. People were free to live in peace.

      • Oh I only mentioned “fictionalized western” because I’m not a historian, and don’t really care to educate myself on the realities of that culture, so it was convenient, and as I said, I knew others (like you) would correct the history for me anyway. Just saving time, that’s all.

        So, back to the point, you believe that the culture of the “wild west” is one that we should return to.

        Then why do you think people moved on from it if it was working so well? Didn’t the armed citizens resist the gouvernment intrusions and the like? Assuming they did, why did they not win? Assuming they did not, why didn’t they try? (I don’t know one way or another, but odds are someone here does)

        • As annoying and impossible as it is to argue with clover about muh roads.

          Your non-premise is somehow worse. Your claim that WE’LL correct the reality of the old west time story backdrop is surreal icing on the debate cake you plan on both having and eating.

          Before that happens, please explain why STATISTS demand that every plot line involve government barging in and saving the day. When clearly this has never been the case in the real world anywhere at any time.

          And after you make that nugget of wisdom shine. Tell me how it is that you give credit to a single person for the actions of millions of individual human beings. Hitler killed the Jews you say. Care to elaborate on that. Surely there’s more to it.

          You said the government is always a representative of the people. So doesn’t that mean the German people chose Hitler as their representative and when he killed millions of Jews he did it in their name?

          Anyway, we’ll just fill in the blanks. Guess your argument and then debate our guess, which somehow saves you time. QED EIEIO. Old MacDonald didn’t have his farm, we all had it as a community asset.

          Wouldn’t want you inconvenienced. I’m at a loss to see how this offers a means to hold a coherent debate. But then I’m a selfish road
          hating Wild West-opheliac.

          Ummm…. congrats…. you win… I guess?

          – I don’t really care to educate myself on the realities of the clover intellectual culture, so it’s convenient, to mock clovers (like you) with a rehash of your own idiocies for me anyway. As above, I too am just saving time, that’s all.

        • Mamba,

          Your premise is silly. Why would I argue – pro or con – about a fictionalized depiction? Especially one that’s pejorative on its face?

          The inference you make is that it’s “wild” (i.e., somehow dangerous, bad, threatening) for people to be armed, for their to be less rather than more government controlling everyone.

          Check your premises – and use more honest language in the future – and I’ll be happy to have a straightforward discussion with you.

          • eric, the west was wild…..in that it wasn’t dominated by politicians that rode hard over everybody else with their hired killers. I know you know this so it would be redundant for me to continue. The real Beauty of the west was that it was wild, in that, it was not encumbered by laws and lawlessness. The Great Liar did his best, for his keepers, to “tame” the west…..god help us. And tame the indigenous population he did, i.e., via genocide. I would loved to have lived in that era. No, the ER isn’t just around the corner but the beauty of the world is everywhere you look. That is the “wild” west.

            I was speaking with my neighbor one day and he said he couldn’t go the libertarian thing. I asked him why. Who do you want to rob? He looked at me funny. He doesn’t get it but I hope I planted a seed.

            I got my first ride in an ambulance last week……and my last while I’m still able to NOT ride in one. If they haul my carcass in one, then they can just bill themselves.

        • Your construction “why do you think people moved on from it if it was working so well?” is extremely weird. Would you ask the victim of a mugging why he moved on from a non-mugged state? Perhaps ask an amputee why he moved on from having all his limbs? “People” simply are not a homogeneous class, contra what you learned in the government schools.

          *Some* people moved on from it because they stood to gain an awful lot — namely, those who wanted to seize power over other people. Other people moved on from it not by choice, but because psychopaths in Washington literally forced them to. Or do you sincerely believe that some bizarre fairy-tale “consensus” one day emerged that, gee, our lives would be better if criminals on the east coast took 40% of our property and threatened to lock us in boxes for harmless conduct that offends their heads?

        • Your ignorance of history notwithstanding, what you fail to recognize is that the free-living, free-thinking people who homesteaded and built up the “Wild” West did so without the guidance of big government. This should be proof enough that government “guidance” is mostly unnecessary. It was only when these free people succeeded that the statist elements came in.

          That’s the problem with statists. Once they’ve ruined the municipalities that they currently infect, they move on to brighter pastures and proceed to ruin the free lives of their new victims. These sociopaths are always on the hunt for more fat, ripe chickens to be plucked.

          As Eric tirelessly points out, there is no place where liberty-minded people can ever flourish unfettered.

          • Thanks for the back-up, JRO!

            It’s interesting to note that even Clovers generally live their day-to-day lives according to Libertarian ethics. I mean, they don’t themselves beat people up or threaten to and regard stealing on the individual level as a wrong, regardless of “the law.”

            Yet they cannot imagine a society based on such principles.

          • JRO, you’re right on the money. In some states the Great Liar could never tame, such as Texas, people may be a hundred miles from an ER. Do they want to change that? Oh, some statists and clovers do but for the most part, we embrace that lifestyle. When I’m standing on a very high spot and glass the countryside(I do this on rare breaks while I’m working), I love the looks of all that country, wild animals and my deceased kinfolk, the indigenous people of this land. I am a white folk but I can sure see how others might want to kill those who look like me.

            In many respects, it still is the wild west and we’d have it no other way. Last week I got a high speed ride in an ambulance(and I find it hard to believe seriously injured people ever survive that trip)that took about an hour. I was only bunged up from the driver of a big rig running over my big rig. I was lucky in that I had a load of culverts and the inclined plane parts that are merely ramps with holes in them on a dropdeck lowboy dovetail trailer and at the last second(literally)the driver avoided climbing my trailer and crushing my cab with his with a fast turn. He did total my trailer and sent my rig 20 feet down the highway with my brakes on, gouging out pavement and knocking me into the windshield via the back of the cab hitting my seat so hard. Would I rather live in a place where the ER is just blocks away, across town? Not a chance in hell. This is wild country, the wild west if you like. My neighbor was attacked by a hog a couple years ago with rabies. I narrowly avoided being eaten by a wild hog many years ago only because my 6 month old pit bull grabbed the hog, I heard the noise and flipped my AR backward(good old handgrips), shot the hog and saved myself and freaked out my dog(a rifle shot a few inches from your face is never good, man nor beast nor dog), So what did we do? Hauled the hogs to the house, butchered them and ate well for months. Buck, the dog, learned to kill hogs(he was actually bred from hog dogs). When we have a cattle episode or just need to round them up, would we wish to simply snap our fingers and have them in a pen or go rout them all out and herd them up? There are many things that were and are wild about the west but people really weren’t the “wild” bunch as depicted in Hollywood. It was basically anything anyone could do for anybody that allowed everyone to survive as well as they did. Hollywood, what a bunch of, literally, horseshit. But clovers and others eat that crap up.

            And BTW, all the old movie people who weren’t stars were basically just western people who grew up where people helped each other and did whatever it was they had to do to survive, make a living. it wasn’t difficult to find guys who’d just grown up doing mostly the things(not violence to others)they simply did to make a living and stay alive. Riding horses, working cattle and shooting well were just those things they grew up doing. I recall a good friend and I would get roused out of bed early am by his dad(water in the face if you lagged), listening to Eric Clapton and various others while getting ready to round up cattle. Yeah, we were mavericks, but then, everybody then fell into that category. It’s still that way to this day to a great extent. So the wild west is still fairly wild(without the indigenous Indian problem)to this day. It’s just that people all over the world are unaware of it.

  10. …nice EP post; some heavy intellectual stuff there, like “Legal Positivism”.

    American law (& government) is now such a huge, corrupt mess that the situation seems hopeless for those who can discern what’s happening. The Clovers are personally overwhelmed by it all and find comfort in the habitual-obedience mode of daily living — Do-What You are Told is at least a simple, understandable structure for day to day life.

    This societal cancer of the American legal system is an interesting topic with endless branches. How about the validity of “Administrative Law” that now dominates Federal rule.
    (… or maybe folks should just toss in their favorite ‘lawyer-joke’ occasionally)

  11. Good article Eric. I remember reading of Bentham some years ago. What a self-righteous pig he was, believing that no man should have any rights.

    I’m glad he’s dead but his ideals live on through the laws of Admiralty.

    Every time I’m pulled over by the cops I ask: “So.. who’s the victim of your allegations?”. The cops erroneously always parrot “The State”.

    They never listen properly, as I’m the victim of their allegations. Their embarrassment once they realise their mistake is hilarious.

    “So who owns the State? Oh yeah, Queen Elizabeth apparently. Have her on the stand next week and I’ll ask her if she even knew of my alleged harm to her”.

    This works well in Canada too.

    In your case I’d say: “Fine. Have every one in the state ready to be on the stand and prove they were harmed by what you allege I did to them”.

    Their jurisdiction of Admiralty law is a choice. They know you come under common law but expect you to be ignorant of that.

    Hamilton v DPP: “It is an ancient principle of Common Law that a person that is not under arrest has no obligation to stop for police or answer their questions and there is no statute that removes that. The conferring of such a power on a police officer would be a substantial detraction from the fundamental freedoms which have been guaranteed to the citizen by the common law for centuries.” – Dec 25 2011 Victorian Supreme Court.

    Coaklan v Waugh 1957 “The common law does not require a citizen to identify oneself or to carry identification of any sort”.

    Keep these in your glove box and hand them out to either people pulled over or for your own benefit. U.S. and Australian rulings/precedents can be used in either country. More here: http://www.lawfulpath.com/ref/DLbrief.shtml

    • Although I like a good legal dodge for screwing up the State, the common law dodge has played out, sorry. Common law is the default, Revolution, not the overriding rule.

      If any statute contridicts older common law, the statute overrides it. Trying a common law defense in the face of written statutes will get you convicted. Period.

      And that old fringe on the flag equals Admiralty Court horsecrap has been ruled against in federal court repeatedly. Trying to use it will get your case blown up by Stare Decisis.

      These common law defenses are merely the White Man’s Ghost dance. It will not keep you out of jail.

      • Dear Kris,

        You are right.

        We must never forget that the leviathan state’s veneer of legitimacy is utterly fraudulent. Any conventional monopolistic government is nothing more than a gang of thugs with masterful PR.

        Any belief that they give a rat’s ass about the “justice” or “fairness” is naive delusion. Their “courts of law” are not neutral and impartial. Judges are akin to referees who belong to an opposing ball team. When push comes to shove, they are going to rule in favor of their team.

        And guess what? If you’re a mere mundane, you’re not on it.

        Common law. Statutory law. Makes no difference. They simply make it up as they go along.

    • “Their jurisdiction of Admiralty law is a choice.”

      Yes it is. We have lots of choices but most have little knowledge.

  12. Back before Nixon federalized speed limits with his 55 mph BS, Nevada had no speed limits except in some urban settings. Peace officers had the discretion to decide if you were going too fast for conditions and ticket you. If you fought the ticket, they had to defend their judgment in court. It’s hugely ironic to me that given more discretion, they were far less arbitrary and much less likely to hassle you. Even for those that were pulled over, there were far more verbal warnings given than now.

    • Actually, discretion is going away again.
      In NJ, they’ve made a database of offenses. Should you be pulled over once in a day, you MIGHT get a warning (depending on quotas and likelihood of fighting it, I suppose.)
      Get pulled over later in the day for the same offense, the officer MUST write a ticket.

      Ticket quotas and “bonuses” are, in and of themselves, negative incentives to good police. Like asset forfeiture, they put the incentive on the confiscation or “taxation” side, instead of on the “innocent until proven guilty” side.

      We ought to incentivize good behavior by police…. At all costs. Maybe discussing matters with them at their homes, off-duty…?

  13. There is also a concept in criminal justice that USED to be practiced here, but is no more. Mens rea, meaning that without the INTENT to commit a crime, there is no crime. That does not mean there is no responsibility, just no crime to prosecute.
    Of course there is also the common fiction that the persecuting [sic] attorney is representing either the people (as a collective) or the state. Neither ‘the people’ nor the State is the victim of any real crime.

    • RE: Mens rea. I overheard a very old man talking to a bank teller today. He apologized to the teller for something he didn’t understand while saying he was a bit shaken up. He explained how a woman had just banged her car door on the rear door of his SUV. The old man got out of his SUV to see what the commotion was and noticed the woman was getting back into her car to leave. He saw the rear door handle of his SUV had been damaged or scratched up and told the woman, “Where are you going? You damaged my car.”

      The woman went into a tizzy, likely put on her ‘mean face’ and tried to turn the tables on him by arrogantly replying, “If you keep talking to me I’ll call the police and tell them you’re harassing me!”

      I imagine this surprised the old man quite a bit and I’ll bet she said a few other choice things to him. He probably had visions of being cuffed and stuffed… and having to explain things.
      The woman’s accusation trumped his actual damage.

      I think he didn’t do or say anything else to her, and she just left.

      It struck me then how much clover-types also see cops as The Mafia, their very own personal mafia ready to be used like a club. Rightly or wrongly.

      • Yep, very true. I’m getting more and more frustrated at the average person who just blindly supports law enforcement. Incidentally, just before I saw this article I told someone in an online discussion that her argument that “the law is the law” resembled that of the Nazis. She thought I was attacking her because she was a Jew. She didn’t get the obvious reference to Nuremberg.

        • How sad that a Jew – of all people – doesn’t see the danger of that position (“the law is the law”)…. crikey!

          • Eric, et al,

            It does not surprise me at all that many Jews do not understand the irony of their position. In implementing the “never again” position many Jews follow the extreme right-wing approach of the Likud “party” which simply switches the victims but follows the underlying ideas of the Nationalsozialismus movement. I have attempted to discuss issues with some of my Jewish friends and they are willfully ignorant of facts. In all fairness, this is not a universal blind spot with Jews but it’s not uncommon either. So, what would be the proper Yiddish term for a Jewish clover?
            In a similar vein, is there anyone more intolerant, hypocritical and/or bigoted than a self-righteous left-winger? I mean, other than an intolerant, hypocritical, bigoted, self-righteous right-winger.

          • Indeed. Her family was law enforcement as well, which I know always plays a role. I don’t know where I’d be mentally right now were a cop instead of a pastor. I can’t stand the very idea of US cops, and every story I read I get more and more aggravated.

            • Ditto, David.

              When I was about your age, I gave brief thought to being a cop. The idea of going after criminals – you know, people who’ve harmed others – has a certain appeal. Unfortunately, cops spend a great deal of time going after people who’ve harmed no one…

          • Sorry, in that last post I meant to write “I don’t know where I’d be mentally right now were my dad a cop instead of a pastor.”

          • Eric, were you a libertarian when you were 19? Was that related to your reasoning for deciding not to become a cop? Or did you decide not to for some other reason and are now glad you did?

            I took a law enforcement class in 11th grade. The teacher was a retired cop, and a decent guy. But of course, you were taught that whatever the law is, you had to enforce it. No references or memories of nuremberg…

            I wasn’t actually looking to be a cop, I was looking to be a prosecutor. Which, for similar reasons as you. Of course, a big part of it was my propensity for debate, but I was thinking about the prospect of putting murderers and other criminals away. The idea of ruining someone’s life over pot, or something to that effect, really didn’t come to mind at the time.

            The question, I guess, is are there people who are actually cops who think they are doing exactly that? (Punishing the bad guys.) I bet that there are. And there are certainly a lot of non-cops who think cops do that. In fact, its not even 100% false. Sometimes they do punish the bad guys. But far more often, as you say, they bully the peaceful. And a big part of the problem is the utilitarianism. A lot of people will justify the cops who take the job and enforce “the law”, on the grounds that you might use them to if someone in your family was murdered, or something extreme like that. The problem, of course, is the monopoly. I don’t “get” to hire a group that will arrest people who try to kill me or steal from me but leave drug users and “speeders” alone. And I don’t get to choose not to pay.

            Its a mess and there’s so much utilitarianism and so much ignorance. I have no idea how to combat it in the mind of a person who isn’t already open minded.

            • I’ve been instinctively anti-authoritarian for as long as I can remember. That more so than conscious Libertarianism kept me out of the military as well as the cop shop. (I really like airplanes and when I was a teenager, thought very seriously about pursuing a career as a pilot.) I became a conscious Libertarian during my college years, as I fleshed out the ethics of non-aggression and came to the realization that to be consistent one cannot make exceptions and everything else kind of devolved from that.

              One incident in particular really brought the matter home, though.

              I grew pot when I was a college student. Not to sell; just for personal use and for the personal use of my friends. Well, I got “busted” – and because they caught me with 97 plants (about a foot high, each) I was charged with felony possession with intent to distribute. I faced serious time in prison. It could have destroyed my life. Over a got-damned buncha plants! It was ridiculous – but the viciousness of it was made very personal. Though I “got off” with a misdemeanor that was made to disappear after a year of “good behavior,” I knew that not only could my life have been ruined, the lives of countless thousands of others not-so-lucky are and continue to be destroyed over this victimless “crime” and other such “crimes.”

              It’s despicable – and it appalls me that anyone with empathy or a mind in his head could have anything whatsoever to do with it.

          • I too had an innate understanding from a very early age of the concept of anti-authoritarianism. I wasn’t a bad kid that just wanted to cause trouble. I just didn’t think anyone had the right to tell me what to do. I remember rejecting church very young. Not the lessons, but the worship. My dad and I still to this day don’t get along well because, as Elvis said, “I was born standing up and talking back”.

            I find it amazing that I went full circle in my life from libertarian, to statist, and back to libertarian. Ah life.

          • I’m with you, Eric. I’m growing more and more disillusioned with it as well.

            I’ve somewhat disliked cops ever since I started seriously posting here (I think I posted a couple comments several years ago) but I’m really starting to resent them of late. And I haven’t even really personally interacted with them, reading stories on the news is enough.

            They all seem to look out for each other. And make war on us…

            One thing that I really don’t understand is how (at least seemingly) one of the most decent people I know, a family man who cares for his family and a faithful atendee at our church, was able to get a job as a police captain….

  14. Under ‘Common Law’ it is understood that the purpose of a jury is to judge the law as well as the facts. We need fewer sheeple, willing to accept whatever the judge and prosecutor say, and more MEN willing to practice Jury Nullification.
    At least until such time as the gunverment self-destructs.

  15. Sorry, but I can’t resist piling on…

    “Sure, I made this farm destroy perfectly good eggs that people have been eating for thousands of years. But why wouldn’t I? It’s the LAW! And since I got my degree from establishment central – Georgetown – I’m in the right because it’s the LAW! and because, LAW! What else would I do? After all, my middle name is Clover! Hee Hee!”

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