Front page date

Thursday, October 27

Guest Editor

STR needs to raise about $7,000 more to upgrade from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8.  We rarely ask for donations, but now we really need your help.  Please donate.

Robert Taylor is the guest editor today.

WANTED: New guest editors for Saturdays and Sundays.  If you're interested, please email me.

Syndicate content

photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in Boston. So naturally, the people were having none of that. Of course one of the first things the...
Original article To understand the marketplace, it is not necessary to believe in the existence of a selfish, profit-maximizing human.    
Original article War, what is it good for? In America, the answer is that, much of the time, you’ll probably never know what it’s good for – or, in some cases, even notice that we’re at war. 
Original article Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law. Say hello to America’s shadow government. A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.  
Original article Not unlike the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—where private military contractors fed, trained, equipped, and protected U.S. military forces “on the ground” in unprecedented numbers—an escalation of hired security forces in a hot spot like Syria would likely boost the presence of U.S. “boots” without causing the political heartburn of putting more actual soldiers and Marines in harm’s way.
Original article If this election season does not cure you of voting at any level in a statists enterprise, you have been paralyzed from the neck up in a skiing accident. When you pull that lever, it is a declaration of war on your neighbor. Use this time to tend to your preps.
Original article In the middle and later decades of the eighteenth century arguments began to be made questioning the Mercantilist conception of society and the economy. Two leading centers for this change in ideas were France and Scotland. These ideas undermined the rationales for government regulation and control of economic activities in society. In its place there arose a conception and vision of a free society based on individual liberty, free trade, and market-based and directed prosperity. 
Original article Financial systems, like economies generally, are organic entities. They must be allowed to flourish in a natural way.  Financial innovations will, no doubt, lead to occasional troubles even absent government interference. But those troubles will in turn sponsor further innovations aimed at correcting them. Over time, a stable and highly efficient system tends to develop. 
Original article People imagine that they own themselves and that they are free. But don’t tell that tale to the tax men. They know who really owns you.    
Original article The government’s decision to centralize doesn’t imply a solution to the infinite information problem. It only reveals the state’s presumptuousness.
Original article Social network loosening community standards for newsworthy events instead.  
Original article A recent Wikileaks dump reveals, for the first time, the precise financial flows between the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band’s firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family’s private business endeavors.  
Original article Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have the smoking gun email irrefutably proving not only did President Barack Obama know about Hillary Clinton’s non-government-issued email account, he used it in correspondence with her.    
Original article Snowden tweeted this week, saying that "no matter your opinion" of the site or the founder, "censorship is never the answer."   
Original article Officially, of course, the national bird of the United States is that half-a-peace-sign that Philadelphia sports fans like to hold up at opposing teams. But unofficially, the film "National Bird" has it right: the national bird is a killer drone.  
The Free Lunch
Paul Hein 2012-03-21 00:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR  If you watch political commentators on television, you won’t have to watch very long before the subject of the national debt is introduced. That, in itself, is interesting, because the national debt has been around for a very long time indeed. Evidently it has reached such proportions today that it cannot be ignored, and the pundits are wringing...
The God Question
Jim Davies 2012-03-19 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Why does it matter, to market anarchists, whether or not God exists? Surely all would be able, in a free society, to believe whatever they wish about religion? That was the thrust of Paul Bonneau's recent article here, and he added that it's counterproductive for the libertarian spokesman to ridicule the religious. His point is well taken. In the...
Dehumanizing People is Fun
Paul Bonneau 2012-03-13 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It is clearly fun to make fun of people. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a popular pastime.   One can imagine why we are prone to this kind of behavior. For example, in the old days, if you wanted to slaughter another tribe and steal their women and take all their stuff, dehumanizing them first was eminently sensible. It erases all inhibitions...
Milking Cubans
Emiliano Antunez 2012-03-09 01:00
Column by Emiliano Antunez. Exclusive to STR A former resident of Hialeah, Florida today finds himself in the less hospitable surroundings of a Cuban prison for the unspeakable crime of running a successful farm on the island gulag. Among other things, Juan Carlos Rodriguez allegedly produced too much milk and overpaid his employees, because apparently the last thing a workers' paradise needs is...
Psychology Rules Again!
Paul Hein 2012-03-09 01:00
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR Readers of STR are no doubt familiar with George Washington’s characterization of government as force, not reason. (Has any president since ever acknowledged that?) In our time, we can find plenty of examples of government achieving its goals with violence, and I’m thinking not only of the federal government, but even local government. Just search...
The Difference Between a Leader and a Master
JGVibes 2012-03-09 01:00
Column by JGVibes. What is the difference between a leader and master? These are two different terms which imply two different types of relationships that exist between human beings. The key element that separates these two types of people is the element of force; masters will use force and intimidation on others so their commands will be obeyed, while leaders will naturally gain admiration...
All My Heroes Died Broke, Broken, Not Beaten
Douglas Herman 2012-03-08 01:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR  “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.” ~ Ernest Hemingway   Recently I...
Government Is Not Civilization, It Is Slavery
JGVibes 2012-03-05 01:00
Column by JGVibes. Exclusive to STR  One of the most pervasive misconceptions in our culture is the idea that “government” has anything to do with the structure or organization that we see in our society. This is one of the primary reasons why people have such a difficult time considering the very real possibility of a world without the organization known as “...
The Great Stagecoach Robbery Recommended
David Calderwood 2012-03-02 01:00
Column by new Root Striker David Calderwood.  Exclusive to STR  It’s Political Season and the airwaves are stuffed with Great Plans from Great Men, full of promises to Fix This and Fix That. I guess the goal is, “He who makes the Most Believable Promises Wins.”   Bah.   Does anyone else share my sense that I’m a passenger on a stagecoach that is being...
Two Pillars of the State
Jim Davies 2012-03-02 01:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The Internet is abuzz with execration of the TSA, and deservedly so, but recently Becky Akers reported on one site that the agency now rivals the IRS in the degree to which Americans detest it. That's a very notable achievement, given that it's had a mere one decade instead of ten, to attract such loathing. The report rings true. Only a minority of us fly,...
Eliminating Waste, Fraud and Abuse
R. K. Blacksher 2011-03-25 03:00
Column by R.K. Blacksher. Exclusive to STR  There has been a lot of political grandstanding lately about the need to eliminate "waste, fraud, and abuse." The U.S. government’s official “economic stimulus” website has a page where people can report instances of “waste, fraud, and abuse.” There are similar “waste, fraud, and abuse” hotlines...
Libertarianism Pure and Simple
Jakub Bozydar W... 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski. Exclusive to STR I noticed that several of my libertarian friends have recently been following quite keenly the development of the blog called “Bleeding Heart Libertarians.” I must confess that I found the name itself somewhat off-putting, since I associate the “bleeding heart” slogan with sanctimonious whiners, expert at being loudly...
Some Problems With the Farm Analogy
Paul Bonneau 2011-03-31 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR  Recently, STR linked to a video of “The Story of Your Enslavement”. While I largely agree with his view on this, and while I think his exposition is effective in breaking through all the lies we have used to enslaved ourselves, still there are some points about it that bother me.   What Molyneux is using here, is analogy. Analogy is a...
Happy Meals in the Crosshairs
Michael Kleen 2011-04-26 03:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   Back in November 2010, the City of San Francisco effectively banned Happy Meals by requiring any meals that included toys to meet strict nutritional guidelines. The ordinance was criticized and lampooned by many, including the Daily Show. Now, the self-appointed protectors of consumer health are at it again. This time, Monet Parham, a mother...
Don’t Leave Me Alone... Not!
Paul Bonneau 2011-05-02 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   One of the Strike The Root guest editors linked to an article a few days back, Steve Horwitz’ "Don’t Leave Me Alone". This was an opportunity for a little personal edification. One question that arose was, “What is a libertarian?”   Apparently the answer is, “Who the Hell knows?” In other words, it...
Koros to Hubris to Ate to Nemesis
Bob Wallace 2011-05-04 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR “The fear of humiliation appears to be one of the most powerful motivators in individual and collective human behavior.” ~ Donald Klein There is no light on human nature more pitiless and perceptive and accurate than mythology. Through hundreds if not thousands of years all the dross was burned away, leaving some very acute observations...
tzo 2011-05-09 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The Voluntaryist Master was addressing a new class of students.   "As a Voluntaryist, your mission will be to educate others about human freedom. But in order to spread the ideas of freedom, you must first become a free person. And in order to become a truly free person, you will need to learn, unlearn and relearn many things. But acquiring...
The Secret Ballot: A Tool For Tyrants
Paul Bonneau 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s funny how human beings can become so attached to a meme, that they can’t even imagine life without it. As the Wikipedia article on the secret ballot puts it, “Today the practice of casting secret ballots is so commonplace that most voters would not consider that any other method might be used.” It is somehow imagined to...
Nietzsche on the Origin of the State
Michael Kleen 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR   In the mind of 19th Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the growth of the State (Staat) was one of the most alarming developments of the modern world. Where others saw the promise of a new democratic age in which “the people” ruled, Nietzsche saw a “cold monster” that was, in reality, destructive of creative and...
The Narcissism of Politics
Bob Wallace 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR “Nowhere are prejudices more mistaken for truth, passion for reason, and invective for documentation than in politics.  This is a realm, peopled only by villains or heroes, in which everything is black or white and gray is a forbidden color.”  ~ John Mason Brown, Through These Men (1956)   I sometimes entertain...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 09:13
Column by D. Saul Weiner. Exclusive to STR There are a lot of heated exchanges going on right now in social media related to vaccination. Many people have become convinced that parents who do not vaccinate are jeopardizing the health of others and that vaccines for children should be mandated. Politicians who are expected to run for president in 2016 are starting to weigh in on the topic and some...
'Obamacare Nightmare Edition' of Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom MUST READ
Glen Allport 2013-10-30 08:02
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Introduction for this 2013 Edition As I write this – October 28, 2013, more than four years after the column below was posted (here with minor edits; see the original at this link if you wish) – NBC News is reporting that the Obama administration “knew millions could not keep their health insurance" under Obamacare, and has known...
An Armed March on Washington? MUST READ
Alex R. Knight III 2013-05-07 06:52
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Perhaps never before have I encountered a proposal within Liberty Movement circles that has generated more controversy faster and further than Adam Kokesh’s planned July 4th march on Washington, District of Criminals, in which he states that himself and the other participants “will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to...
The Orwellian Paradigm--Killing You, For Your Own Safety MUST READ
fmoghul 2013-04-10 08:12
Column by Faisal Moghul. Exclusive to STR Almost 30 years ago, cultural critic Neil Postman argued in Amusing Ourselves to Death that television’s gradual replacement of the printing press has created a dumbed-down culture driven by mindless entertainment. In this context, Postman claimed that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World correctly foresaw our dystopian future, as opposed to George...
Frameworks, Virtual Reality and Civil Society: A Manifesto for the Doctrine of Love and Freedom MUST READ
Glen Allport 2012-12-06 08:44
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Perhaps I should say this paradigm shift is resuming. The healthier incoming paradigm is a modern, more accurate, better-supported, and better-understood version of one that began the shift towards a free, healthy, and prosperous world more than three centuries ago and which informed the creation of the United States itself: Classical Liberalism. - 1...
Timeline of a World-Killing Paradigm Shift MUST READ
Glen Allport 2012-05-14 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Part 3 of "Could the Non-Aggression Principle Stop the Sixth Great Extinction?"   Part One of this series discussed the Non-Aggression principle, calling it "the libertarian half of the Golden Rule" (compassion being the other half) and describing the function of aggression in creating not only tyranny and war but also...
Terrorist Alert: Government Extremists Threaten Americans MUST READ
Glen Allport 2012-03-26 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Question: are you more terrified by Muslim extremists, by "domestic terrorists" – or by your own government? Which group is more likely to assault you? To kill you? To unjustly imprison and even torture you?   The U.S. federal government has ALREADY:   Built and is staffing a huge gulag of concentration camps [...
The State Is a Firing Squad MUST READ
JGVibes 2012-02-17 01:00
Column by JGVibes.   Exclusive to STR   Although the common perception of human nature is very negative, the truth is that most people who aren’t mentally ill have a very difficult time committing acts of violence. Usually it takes a sizeable payment and a fair amount of manipulation to convince someone to act violently, and even then a tremendous amount of guilt typically...
How the 1% Took America's Wealth--and How to Get It Back MUST READ
Glen Allport 2011-12-01 01:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR  - 1 - Plundering Wealth vs Producing Wealth   In recent decades, the rich have gathered an increasing share of the total wealth in the United States. As this wealth disparity grows and especially as large numbers of the formerly middle class fall into poverty and even into homelessness, this flow of wealth from main street (from anyone not...
'Anarchy or Minarchy' Is Only Half the Question, Part 2 MUST READ
Glen Allport 2011-04-13 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR  This is Part 2 of a response to a column by Wesley Messamore. Last week's Part One of this column discussed the following:   ·      Minarchy: Lighting a Match to the Fuse of Tyranny ·      Anarchy: By Itself, Yang without Yin ·      The Missing Key...