The Libertarian Standard

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The obvious is often the hardest to understand  . . .  and to accept.

For example, the very strange idea that we are “safer” the more our liberties are infringed upon. If so, then inmates in solitary confinement are safest of all.

It’s absurd, obviously. And yet this idea – the fundamental idea – is accepted by what seems to be a working majority of the populace. Which suggests either an incapacity to reason or a general lowering of intelligence.

Possibly both.

The “safety” (and “security”) argument is based on an obvious logical contradiction: How can one be “safe” or “secure” when there is no limit to what government may do to anyone, so long as it is asserted that whatever is done is necessary to keep everyone “safe”?

It amounts to a lettre de chachet, for those up on their French history – the history of the Bourbon absolute monarchy in particular. The lettre empowered its holder with arbitrary power to do whatever to whomever. Just because. No burden of proof, no presentation of evidence subject to cross-examination; most of all, no presumption of innocence – and certainly no restraint of punishment prior to guilt established by due process of law.

Sound familiar?

We find ourselves living in a security state – not a free one. There is literally nothing – in principle and almost in fact – that the government may not do to us, or order us not to do. Always in the name of “keeping us safe.” Or for reasons of “security.” We are subject to punishment for affronting statutes; for what a supposed “someone” might do that could (so it is asserted) result in harm.

There is no end to it. No line in the sand beyond which the government’s boots may not tread.

The Bill of Rights – not the Constitution – was supposed to prevent all that from happening. Its inclusion was insisted upon by George Mason and others as the condition for their reluctant support of the Constitution – which by the way was doctored up in secret conclave by a handful of the colonial elite, to suit their purposes. Men such as Mason suspected, rightly, that the Constitution was crafted specifically to endow the federal government with the germ cell of arbitrary and unlimited power.

The Constitution is itself a lettre.

People who opposed the ratification of the Constitution were called Antifederalists. They generally feared that the Constitution gave too much power to the national government, and most favored a system more like the Articles of Confederation, which gave greater control to the states. Many Antifederalists insisted that the Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution before they would support ratifying the document. Antifederalists in Virginia put up a fierce resistance to the Constitution. Fearing that the document had no Bill of Rights, George Mason refused to support it. Patrick Henry refused even to attend the Constitutional Convention, stating I smell a rat.

Terms such as “necessary and proper” and “general welfare” – Says whom? By what standard? – were not chosen for their clarity but rather for their open-ended opacity.

By lawyers.

Who specialize in the use and misuse of words. Who knew exactly what they were doing. Who agreed to include – to tack on – the Bill only reluctantly, as a sop to the suspicious like Mason and his fellow Virginian, Patrick Henry.

It was a temporary reprieve – like a patch installed on a leaky roof.

What the Bill’s authors tried to articulate but failed to get locked down was the Libertarian moral principle that liberty trumps safety and security. That risk – the possibility of harm – is preferable to the certainty of it, expressed in the form of endless prohibitions, infringements and punishments, imposed on everyone by the government.

This idea freaks most people out because they have been conditioned to a constant state of fearfulness of omnipresent dangers, most of them imaginary. In order to cow their servile deference to authority.

The actual dangers are, however, minimal and diffuse – and ineradicable. Risk cannot be avoided; “security” and “safety” never made absolute  – even if such a cloistered and suffocating thing were desirable and pursued by well-meaning tyrants.

Who never mean well.

A free society accepts risk as the price of liberty – without exception or qualification.

Anything less and you venture down the road of punishing mights. And since anyone might do  . . . anything, you’ve established the justification for doing anything to prevent them from doing it.

Lettres de cachet.

When harm actually caused is the standard, when you can point to a victim rather than a paragraph in a law book, action can be taken to remedy the situation without assaulting liberty.

You have, first of all, individualized the act. A specific person has caused a specific harm. He – and no one else – is held accountable. No one else’s liberties are infringed or threatened by holding a specific individual accountable for whatever harm they’ve caused. The principle tramples on the opposite (carte blanche) principle expressed by the lettres – including the one imposed on the population by the Federalists in 1787.

You also have a moral basis for the use of force. Which – morally speaking – can only be used defensively, in response to the use of force by another party. Someone strikes you; you defend yourself. But you are not permitted (morally) to strike them first.

The same principle – like all moral principles – scales. If a thing is wrong (or right) for an individual to do then it is just as wrong for more than one individual to do, or for groups of them to do.

And what is government but other individuals, gathered into a group?

No matter how loudly some may squeal or feel uncomfortable about something, if no one has been hurt, there is no harm done and therefore prosecution/punishment cannot be morally justified.

This requires the acceptance of risk, certainly.

The odd thing is that so many people can’t see the certainty of harm when they give over to government the power to rule them in order – supposedly – to keep them “safe” and “secure.”

It is the “safety” of the formaldehyde jar; the security of an 8×12 cell with truncheon-wielding guards outside your gate.

As Hamilton and his heirs intended.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Why is America in this condition? Some blame Soros. Some blame the Jews.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DIBbm7eUIAE3TXT.jpg:large

    Why are the Jews so worried about the free speech found here. Maybe it’s because of fear of upsetting the current situation they have created for themselves.

    Why is it so hard to live and let where Jews are concerned?

    Every normal Western Nation has an underclass that does all it’s dirty work. Maybe some of the dirty work gets farmed out if another country will do things good enough and a lot cheaper. But Westerners remain willing to have a robust class structure with plenty of people at the bottom willing to do whatever it takes no questions asked.

    The Jew on the other hand is always looking to shirk the unpleasant and low status work. He tricks one group after another into doing the unpleasant things for him while he remains a feeble hands off pansy that doesn’t even know how to do the difficult grimy things that need to be done to provide a clean civilized world for the society at large.

    The longer some goyim are kept in chains to shoulder the Jew’s burdens, the more resentful they become.

    Sooner or later the goyim always rises up against the unreasonable Jew and smites him and casts the oppressive Jews out for their lands for all eternity.

    Western humans are not like other cattle. Maybe they never ascend to the level of the elite dainty Jew, but they do ascend enough to get angry about the unfair arrangement and shrug the Jew off their back when it finally gets to be too much.

    Jews are nothing but an advanced race of welfare queens. They never want to do any honest and difficult work. They’d rather sponge off somebody else. They’re so smart they’ve outsmarted themselves over and over again. If they keep it up much longer, they’re going to go run out of people to exploit.

  2. The Nobel Lie.

    Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    People are fucking stupid.

    It’s going on 2000 years since that phrase was penned. Yet the volk still clamor for more guards.

    Today people cry and whine that the guards are abusing them, but the solution they seek – more guards, better guards, body cams, more laws, and of course an increase to the dole – is the tried and true solution.

    Fucking stupid people.

    But keep it up Eric, as you preach to the choir, another despondent soul will pass by and you might just get his last synapse to fire.

    In the meantime, the good news is all ISO compliant car manufacturers will be offering a $5.00 rebate to anyone who gets the Intestinator installed at the dealership at time of purchase.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=reOqUdzJd9U

  3. Great article eric, wish I’d penned it myself.
    I elaborated on what you wrote, then erased it since it added nothing……great article.

      • Dear Eric,

        “… force… can only be used defensively, in response to the use of force by another party. Someone strikes you; you defend yourself. But you are not permitted morally to strike them first.”

        Dead on, both domestically and internationally, as I have noted elsewhere.

        Internationally, the USG has obdurately refused to affirm a “No First Use” nuclear policy. Instead, it clings to a “preventive nuclear strike” policy, as in, “North Korea might launch a nuclear strike against us, therefore we must reserve the right to launch first”.

        Some Americans on the so-called “right” will say “Hell yeah!” to such a policy by “our” government.

        But this is the exact same logic that “our” government invokes whenever some hero cop murders an innocent American in cold blood, then claims “I feared for my life”. When the victim hails from the so-called “right”, it becomes a Twilight Zone moment.

        Cue eery Twilight Zone theme music.

        NB: What’s really ironic about the No First Use (NFU) policy, is that it was the creation of “Communist China” back in 1964, when it first acquired a nuclear capability. It has reaffirmed this policy repeatedly over the decades, and urged the US to sign bilateral NFU agreements with it, and multilateral NFU agreements with the other nuclear powers, including US allies. The US has obdurately refused to do either.

        • Good morning, Bevin!

          I’ve been invited to be on InfoWars today (11:30 eastern) and will hopefully have a chance to discuss this article and the ideas presented. As I see it, the chief obstacle in the way of a human society is studied avoidance of discussion of the one thing that renders any society based on it inhuman: coercion.

          If we could break through that barrier, all else becomes possible.

          • Dear Eric,

            Infowars!

            Way to go, Eric!

            I realize Alex Jones is controversial among libertarians. But that doesn’t matter. Appearing on a podium with someone doesn’t imply unconditional endorsement. All sorts of people appear on all sorts of shows without sharing the same ideology.

            What counts is exposure, a bully pulpit to get the word out.

            Break a leg, as they say on Broadway.

          • Here is some general advice on how to make viewers like you, laugh at your jokes, and listen to your stories I’ve adapted from something I found somewhere…

            Part A) DELIVERY

            1. COMMITMENT

            You have to be totally COMMITTED to your jokes and analyses.

            You’re bragging, really. You know you have something you’ve polished so frequently over the years. Years and years have gone into this stories. And you know they haven’t seen it. It’s almost like you’re saying, ‘Wait till you get a load of me.’”

            Don’t just pander for a laugh, or to get phony agreement about things you know everyone is with you on, especially in the beginning. GREAT comedy and storytelling is art.

            You’ve worked hard and you know it. This transcends the cliches and usual preachings to the choirs. People won’t always know that what you have to offer is valuable to them. Until you show it.

            You have to build rapport with the audience. They sense the commitment. They sense they are in for the ride.

            2. BUILD UP CAPITAL

            Audiences are terrifying. And often they don’t know you.

            They have to like you. Johnny Carson has said that this is the most important skill for a public speaker.

            Likeability.

            Watch your videos back and see if you are naturally likeable to the audience.

            Being likeable is how you build up capital so now you can take chances, propose ideas they have never heard of, build rapport with each person listening to you, and perform the magic trick of transmitting what you see in your head, into the heads of all the listeners.

            You may not realize this was such an important skill at first.

            Your results won’t be optimal until you realize how important this is.

            3. MOVE

            Whenever you’re talking, use movement. You should be acting out your jokes and stories.

            When you’re talking about Big Brother, point to the sky, then everyone’s eyes will move up. They’re with you. They’re in the story. you need to keep their attention during setting things up because there’s a lull. This is true even if you aren’t on camera. People will know.

            You can’t just tell your joke. Or tell your story. Or tell your idea. Ideas, jokes, stories are three dimensional.

            Take your jokes and ideas and turn them from a premise into a three dimensional world we are suddenly all living in.

            Part B) WRITING

            4. OBSERVE THE ABSURD

            One thing you’re great as is recognizing the absurd. You should always have you eye open, in all fields. Not just in the fields you’re an expert in.

            One thing about great storytellers and comedians. They observe everything out of the ordinary.

            Seinfeld once said that a regular person goes into Bar Mitzvah and says, “nice buffet”. A storyteller or comedian will go in and say, “why is there pork?”

            Maybe work in something about OJ as an example. I read somewhere that OJ Simpson made $2.7 million while he was in prison. The premise doesn’t have to be funny. Just quirky.

            The punchline is the same one you’ve been using for all of these years. Statism is beyond absurd. How can it be taxpayers paid for his room and board all these years, yet he earned $2.7 million to put in his pocket.

            5. PERSISTENCE AND DEPRESSION

            You have to be able to draw out or compress time as the situation demands.

            You have to deal with the anxiety, and not let the audience know it’s there.

            Sometimes there’s the fear of performing. It’s hard. But once you say, “This is too hard”, that’s when you have to do it to get better. And improvement never ends.

            It’s easy to show how depressing everything is, and then just leave it there. The greatest comes when you discuss solutions that can be found to overcome all this police state insanity.

            You have to keep dissecting. You have to get deeper into the toolkit. How can we rebuild ourselves to be even stronger and more hero resistant?

            6. GO OFF ON TANGENTS

            Sometimes you’re a few minutes into a topic. And the best thing to do is take the audience away from the story.

            Or they’ll lose interest.

            You have to set the scene. Make some on the fly observations about Alex Jones or whoever you’re talking to.
            “I’ve always felt uncomfortable with the omelette station,” he told me. I never thought about it before.

            Hidden truths surround us. Ghosts in a conversation. But saying them brings the discomfort into comfort. Makes the scary…funny. Or possible. Or gives us a new way of looking at things.

            “The FCC must hate us,” you could say.

            The tangent diverts your attention away from the main plot. It adds depth to the story.

            7. BE SPECIFIC

            The best stories have moments of exactness. Words don’t tell a story. Details tell a story.

            You know all your experience what generates the greatest interest.

            Micro-skills.

            8. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MEMORY LOSS

            Sometimes its fun to use language that you forgot you knew.

            Bring up things we’ve all experienced but forgotten. Remember when we did this in the 70s and the 80s. People love to be reminded of things they once knew, but have forgotten.

            9. PUT THE LINES TOGETHER

            What you’re trying to do is put together as many memorable quotes and funny observations as close together as possible.

            Your audience shouldn’t have to wait long to feel like they’ve learned something when they watch or listen to you.
            “I want to say the AMC Gremlin was introduced in April of 1971… So I will.”

            It’s a cliche, you use a cliche to make fun of cliches.

            You make everyone take a second look at some statement everyone says, but no one realizes they’re saying.

            10. SUBTRACT SELF-KNOWLEDGE

            The American Absurdity gets more and more ridiculous with each line. You know the story too well. But you should seem like your enduring struggles and challenges in understanding just like the rest of us.

            You should cross that invisible line where you’re no longer aware. Where you become part of the story.

            Everyone in the audience begins to see there’s no real solution or true understanding to be found. There is only Eric.

            Your audience won’t believe how ridiculous the premise of America really is, and they won’t believe how ridiculous Eric is, that he makes a living off of discussing the absurd premise..

            Adding knowledge makes you a hero. Subtracting knowledge makes for great storytelling and comedy.

  4. Without the internal combustion engine and electricity the people who take credit for our prosperity would be dead in 6 months, mostly due to their own incompetence and lack of useful skills.

  5. Ah, the good ole days when you could have a public duel and shoot the bastard dead. Hamilton got his, and the current-day tyrants will eventually get theirs.

    BTW, where is that liberal ass-wipe Ralph Nader hiding out with the Tesla claiming more lives and property damage than the Corvair ever did, and in way less time??

  6. Of course there was a rat. The gathering was for fixing the articles, not for a replacement. But a replacement is what we got.

    Though there really wasn’t anything wrong with the Articles, at least for the majority of the common folks. Likely would have prevented many problems over the years, including most of todays major issues. Wouldn’t have been a “civil” war for example. My guess, the looseness of the articles would have made “leaving” moot.

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