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Thursday, October 27

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Robert Taylor is the guest editor today.

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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.  
Inferno, Part II of II
tzo 2011-08-15 00:00
Column by tzo.  Exclusive to STR Part II of II   Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, (Midway upon the journey of our life,) Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, (I found myself within a forest dark,) Che la diritta via era smarrita. (For the straightforward pathway had been lost.)   Without realizing it, the citizen has gotten off the path that he intended to take. He looks around...
Strike The Root Can Teach Everybody Something
jd-in-georgia 2011-08-12 00:00
Column by John Shelkop.  Exclusive to STR  On its 10th anniversary, it has been both a joy and an education keeping up with the links and commentary on Strike The Root. One month before thousands of Americans were killed on September 11, 2001, a site filled with links to stories and ideas of a classically liberal slant had begun. I will confess that I did not even know this site...
Inferno, Part I of II
tzo 2011-08-12 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR Quoth Nietzche with regard to the State, “Yes, a hellish artifice has been created here, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honors!”   The State is perhaps better understood in this industrial and technical era as a death-machine. The true ugliness within the guts of this meat grinder is hidden behind a well-crafted...
STR: A Glorious Decade of Radicalism
Per Bylund 2011-08-11 00:00
Column by Per Bylund.  Exclusive to STR  For the five-year anniversary, I wrote a column about the value of a site like Strike The Root. I argued that the main problem to making anarchism an attractive social theory is its lack of guarantees. Rather than basing our worldview on the illusion of a stable and never-changing core to which we can fix and around which we can organize our...
On Striking the Root
Michael Kleen 2011-08-11 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen. Exclusive to STR I am a relative newcomer to Strike The Root, so on this 10th anniversary of the website’s founding, all I have to offer is my own small perspective. I published my first column at STR, Spending Our Way to Ruin, in February 2009. At that time, STR already had quite a following. Chris Lempa, a longtime friend and Friday guest editor for the website,...
About Strike The Root: A Terror and a Wonder
Lawrence M. Ludlow 2011-08-10 00:00
Column by Lawrence M. Ludlow.   Exclusive to STR   I have encountered a range of responses to material that appears on the website Some people dislike the vitriol that rises to the surface of some of the columns. Some say the topics are too specialized. Others complain that an article was of poor quality. All of these criticisms can be partially true at times, but...
A Decade of Striking the Root
Alex R. Knight III 2011-08-10 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   Although for myself personally, it’s been very close to half that long at the time of this writing. My very first STR column, “The Trouble With Star Trek,” appeared on August 22, 2006. It was the first time I came to recognize the immense power of the Internet. I’d only learned of STR’s...
Ten Years and Counting
Emmett Harris 2011-08-09 00:00
Column by Emmett Harris.   Exclusive to STR   Ten years ago the United States government was a poorly restrained leviathan, consuming vast amounts of wealth at home and meddling higgledy-piggledy in the affairs of others around the world. While the size of the state loomed large, the voices sincerely espousing liberty were few and, amid the burning debris of September 11th, they...
Jumping the Gun on Egypt
Michael Kleen 2011-08-08 00:00
Column by Michael Kleen.   Exclusive to STR   For the 79 million people living in Egypt, the protest movement that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in early February was an earth-shattering event, and the enthusiasm of the crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square was echoed by many here in the United States. Now that the dust has settled on the “Egyptian Revolution...
Government Is an Obsolete Idea (and Castro Proves It)
Alex R. Knight III 2011-08-02 00:00
Column by Alex R. Knight III   Exclusive to STR   Fidel Castro is one of the only personages within recent memory--and this was while talking to a host of news reporters back in the 1990s--who repeated the Marxist myth that ideally, Communism would eventually make governments disappear. Of course, when then asked when the world could expect to see the Cuban government disappear,...
Bellum Sacrum
tzo 2013-01-02 07:51
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Once upon a time there lived a businessman named Muhammad who, at the age of 40, had a divine revelation. He then proceeded to pick up some followers, united them under the Constitution of Medina, took over Mecca, destroyed the pagan idols, then conquered and converted most of the Arabian Peninsula to Islam. After he died, the succeeding Caliphates expanded the...
Limits of Indoctrination
Jim Davies 2013-01-07 08:58
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Dr. Gary North is a prolific writer, as shown by his huge archive at LRC; and most of those of his articles I've read are very good. He's particularly perceptive about the future of higher education, as this recent example illustrates. Sometimes he's too long-winded for my taste, and sometimes he seems to me to get it wrong – though the...
What Are You?
Jim Davies 2013-02-04 09:12
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR We are Root Strikers here, because rather than trying to trim the branches of the evil tree of government, we seek a way to destroy its roots. Some want a smaller or minimal government; we want none at all. It's a powerful analogy, a good name. We are also voluntaryists, for we believe every human action should be uncompelled. That's explicit, and...
Six Misconceptions About the NAP
kborer 2013-04-16 08:06
Column by new Root Striker Kris Borer. Exclusive to STR The guiding star of libertarianism is the Non-Aggression Principle. Regardless, in his recent article on, Matt Zwolinski attacks the NAP and Rothbard's deontological approach to ethics. Zwolinski makes many errors, but his major mistake is that he does not know what the NAP is. Small wonder that he cannot navigate the...
The Path Is (The Destination Is the Path) Recommended
tzo 2010-08-17 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR     Voluntaryists are by definition in favor of the elimination of the State. This is all well and good, but who will eliminate it, and by what method? It makes sense that the Voluntaryist himself must actively participate in the process, as those who are not with him are against him and are resistant to the idea of a Stateless society. But by what...
Would You Hurt Me If I Said No to Your Politics?
Marcel Votlucka 2010-01-04 04:00
  Exclusive to STR   “Put down the gun, then we’ll talk.” This is the core morality of both libertarianism and civilization.” ~ Stefan Molyneux     Would you hurt me if I said "no" to your favored politics or policies?   “Of course not!” you say. “I’d never dream of it, this is a democratic country!” But I...
Kids Teaching Kids
Bob Wallace 2010-01-08 04:00
Exclusive to STR   Several years ago I was bamboozled into babysitting one evening for a seven-year-old girl and two boys aged five and three.  Since one of my main purposes in life is to lie on the couch and dream of partially-clad women feeding me grapes (as Bob Hope once said in a movie, "I've had women chase me before, but never when I was awake"), I had to figure out how...
Timing Is Everything
Bill Butler 2010-02-01 04:00
Exclusive to STR Time preference is an economic concept that compares time in relation to an individual’s need for material gratification. Time preference is a comparison, not a measurement. Time preference is immeasurable because it is, by definition, subjective. That is, each individual has a different time preference and each individual’s time preference can change...
The State as Machine
Bob Wallace 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR   "The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies...." ~ Henry David Thoreau   "All machines are amplifiers" ~ Cooper's Law   That's a true saying: Machines are amplifiers, amplifiers of our inherent abilities.  Machines are not moral or immoral; they're amoral.  They can be used for good or...
Monetized Debt
Paul Hein 2010-06-14 03:00
Exclusive to STR   The TV anchor--anchorette?--was interviewing her financial guru, who had just pointed out that the rapid growth of debt, if graphed, would be a virtually vertical line. Nothing like it had ever happened before in American history--at least not in living memory.   “How did we get in this mess?” anchorette asked. “How are we ever going to pay this debt...
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...