The Bureaucratization of Airport Security

Column by Alex Schroeder.

Exclusive to STR

A recent flight to a sunny Caribbean island unfortunately required interaction with our friends at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). While having my privacy invaded by these inconsiderate bureaucratic underlings, I began to contemplate precisely why airport security is so unpleasant and why it becomes more so subsequent to new security breaches. The irksomeness of the TSA experience may indeed be partially attributable to the respective personalities of its workforce. However, I believe it should primarily be viewed as merely another manifestation of how bureaucracies in general function to the citizenry’s detriment. 
Let’s start with a brief thought experiment. What would happen if the security guards at your favorite nightclub, due to recent violent incidents therein, henceforth decided to be more thorough when searching those wishing to be admitted? Most would probably go along with it, assuming the potential customers did not feel their privacy and dignity was being disrespected. But what would happen if the searches became so meticulous that the patrons began to feel they weren’t being treated considerately, as security protocol had warped into a humiliating ordeal? Further, what would we expect to happen if despite these increasingly draconian procedures, violence in the nightclub remained a growing problem?
The answers to these questions are obvious. It would not be long at all before the club’s customer base began migrating away and searching for new, friendlier, and safer establishments to drink, dance, and engage in associated shenanigans. It is even conceivable that if security at the old club was found to be irredeemably insulting, it could go out of business. Widespread discontent with said procedures may even trigger competition on this front among other nightclubs. That is, the market mechanism would function, in the same manner it always does, to satisfy the needs and desires of potential customers. Clubs would have a strong financial incentive to innovate and adopt a security protocol that effectively maximized safety within the business while simultaneously minimizing the vexatiousness of the security screening.
Again, this is probably not a profound revelation to anyone, including those who support the socialization (i.e., bureaucratization) of airport security by the TSA. The benefits of the dynamics of the market are incontestable when articulated effectively. To contrast bureaucratic dynamics with market dynamics, let’s explore what has occurred in recent history with airport security.
I can recall as a youngster the good days when traveling by plane was not such an unpleasant experience. Before September 11th, 2001, friends and family could accompany a traveler to the gate and wait with him or her until it was time to board. Upon arrival, the traveler could expect to see his or her relatives, friends, or significant other waiting by the gate when he or she disembarked. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Just to briefly illustrate, here is a simple timeline that touches on some of the major changes in airport security:
12-2001: Shoes must be removed from randomly selected passengers after attempted bombing by Richard Reid (a.k.a. the shoe bomber); since 8-2006 all travelers must remove their shoes
9-2006: Strict restrictions are implemented regarding how much liquids, creams, and gels can be brought abroad after an attempted terrorist attack involving the use of liquids
12-2009: full-body scanners become commonplace after a Nigerian man attempted to blow up a plane bound for Detroit
10-2010: more invasive “patdown” procedures are adopted by the TSA
These are only a few of the more memorable ways in which our airport security experience has evolved. But I think that a general pattern is apparent to the astute observer. The bureaucratic security apparatus becomes more invasive and draconian with each breach of security. That is, when security fails and acts of violence either occur or are diverted at the last minute, the very entity that did not do its job is given more authority, resources, and power, along with the green light from the ruling class to disregard our privacy and dignity to a blatantly unprecedented extent theretofore.
What is the solution? The solution is the privatization of security so the market mechanism can function to both ensure our safety and respect our rights. I have continually said that allowing each airline the authority to have its own security screening would be a good idea, certainly a monumental improvement over the status quo. Perhaps giving each airport authority over security would also work. I do not know, nor have I ever claimed to know, exactly how the free market would function to simultaneously provide for the security needs and uphold the privacy rights of air travelers. Would it work? Simply ask yourself whether you would fly with an airline (or to/from and airport) whose security protocol failed. Ask yourself whether you would tolerate humiliating and disrespectful screenings when a competitor had a reputation for courtesy, friendliness, and efficiency. The answer is self-evident when framed in those terms, yet we have been indoctrinated with the notion that only unimportant exchanges should be left to the market, whereas matters of life and death are rightly the responsibility of the omnipotent State.
I am by no means naïve enough to suggest that a failure of private security will not be met with a flurry of attacks from the ruling class, the sycophantic media, and the influential intellectuals (read socialists). Such an incident would indubitably be blamed on the profit motive and the supposedly inherent problems of the market. Of course, failures of the current socialized security apparatus are only met with more calls for greater power and money for the very organization that should rightly be put out of business. There is a double standard, and there always will be, so long as our society is inclined towards socialism to the degree ours is.
The prospects for reforming the system in the manner I suggest are without question quite dim, particularly when one considers the fact that so many among the political elite are not subject to the same procedures as those they disdainfully refer to as the “common people.” But we have a weapon they do not: the confidence and certainty of knowing that our position, not theirs, is morally right and consistent with the principles of a free society.


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Alex Schroeder's picture
Columns on STR: 11




Jim Davies's picture

A good one, Alex; competing screening systems would bring vast improvement.

Might we not take it further? - "allowing each airline the authority..." is just to restore to the airline what was stolen in the first place. Why not "allow" each airline to decide whether or not to welcome armed passengers? - if even a minority had carried handguns aboard on 9/11, there would have been no "9/11." Some might even offer boarding passengers the loan of a handgun along with headphones... no malefactor would even dream about hijacking such a prickly target.

But we can take the idea further yet. These various ways of combating "terrorism" all assume that terrorism is there, that some people want to commit murder-suicide with an airplane. Why do they? - because they have a motive, obviously. Where did that motive originate? - in some action of the FedGov; for 9/11, its relentless support for the State of Israel, which profoundly offends many Muslims. "Terrorism" can be ended by removing the motive.

We can chat with our fellow passenger by reminding him that we just went through the tiresome dragnet of TSA screening because the Feds have a foreign policy. "But you can't have a government without a foreign policy!" - precisely :-)

WhiteIndian's picture

--"...the market mechanism would function, in the same manner it always does..."

No, it doesn't.

Faith in "government" is surpassed in this country only by faith in "God" and faith in "The Invisible Hand."

Economists base their political program on a belief called “Pareto optimality.” “Pareto optimality” is not scientific because it is not defined in a way that can be falsified. In other words, “Pareto optimality” is a belief like “Christ died for our sins” is a belief — neither can be falsified. Economists proselytize for their religious beliefs like Christian missionaries proselytize for theirs.

The belief that “Pareto optimality” actually occurs in the real world is the linchpin of economics. If one accepts that “Pareto optimality” is true in the real world, in then contemporary economic models are true by definition.

~Jay Hanson

“The neoclassical school is the dominant (and probably the numerically largest) school in contemporary economics. For neoclassical economists, microeconomic theory (i.e., welfare economics) underlies every theoretical subfield of specialization and every theoretical, practical, and policy-oriented conclusion at which they arrive. All of their costbenefit analyses, their demonstrations of the universal gains from foreign trade, their notions of market efficiency that are encountered in every branch of applied economics, as well as their notion of rational prices, have absolutely no meaning whatsoever other than that manifested in their faith that a free-enterprise, competitive market system will tend toward a Pareto optimal situation. Without a Pareto optimal situation in effect, these phrases and notions cannot be defended. In fact, in the absence of an optimal situation, these phrases have no meaning whatsoever. They are given meaning only when the neoclassical economists first posit the existence of a Pareto optimum; then, by definition, all exchangers are said to gain, resources are said to be ‘efficiently allocated,’ prices are said to be ‘rational’ and therefore conducive to making accurate assessments—on utilitarian grounds—of the social costs and social benefits of various government projects. Utilitarian neoclassical welfare economics pervades and dominates nearly all neoclassical analyses on all theoretical and practical matters.”

— HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT: A CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE, Third Edition, E. K. Hunt & Mark Lautzenheiser, 2011

Jim Davies's picture

"--'..the market mechanism would function, in the same manner it always does...'

"No, it doesn't. "

Yes, it does.

What Hunt, Lautzenheiser and a host of other tax-feeding, parasitic, pseudo-intellectuals wholly fail to grasp is that value is subjective.

Were it objective, of course a market could not function; hardly any exchanges would occur. The fact that they do occur, by the billion every day, proves conclusively that value is subjective. For some odd reason, I value the pleasure of writing this rebuttal more than I value relaxing on the couch. For more obvious reasons, I value the salmon I had for lunch on Sunday more than the five legal tender notes I gave for it in exchange.

The market certainly does work - provided it's allowed to. "Government" is well defined as "that which forcibly prohibits a market" and so all we see today is a complicated, messy mix; some aspects of market behavior, much non-market activity, all of which violates the self-ownership axiom and so is destructive of human welfare.

The fact that markets work is not a matter of "faith", but of observation and reason.

AtlasAikido's picture

So this what you know who is doing here. It all makes sense now: In recent years and months, both Austrian economics and libertarianism have received increased attention and criticism. The more recent attention is probably in part due to Ron Paul’s visibility and his publicizing both types of ideas.

I suppose it’s a good sign that they are no longer ignoring us. Now they feel compelled to respond. But it would be nice if they didn’t misrepresent and distort our views. But since both libertarianism and Austrian economics are sound and grounded in reason and reality, I guess that’s all that left to them. Otherwise they’d have to concede defeat. And truth and justice have never really been the raison d’êtres of the mainstream power class, have they?

the attacks on Austrian economics come from both “left” economics (Keynes, Krugman), since its teachings undermine their arguments for statist central planning; and from “right” economics (monetarists, Milton Friedman), as it shows how unscientific and confused is their scientism and monism and physics-aping methodology.

The attacks on libertarianism likewise come from left and right and other mainstreamer/academic statists. For examples:...

WhiteIndian's picture

No need for paranoid conspiracy theory, Atlas; I've been a libertarian for years, until I started checking my premises.

BTW, the city-Statist system of privation property to restrict the free movement of Non-state families from foraging is central planning, no matter how much you deny it. Unless you call divvying up the pillaged Land from the Trail of tears amongst the grasping agricultural city-Statist thieves and genocidalists a "free market." Oh right, you do.

So you're just as much of a dishonest agricultural city-Statist as Krugman, whitewashing the aggression necessary for your political ideology.

But the blood still soaks through your whitewash job, Atlas.

Paul's picture

"What is the solution? The solution is the privatization of security so the market mechanism can function to both ensure our safety and respect our rights."

Sorry, that's not a solution. That's you wishing other people would fix it for you. Now we are back to lobbying the ruling class to be reasonable. Good luck with that. Why in the world would the ruling class give up on TSA? They have precisely zero incentive to do so. TSA is extremely valuable to them.

A solution is something that fixes a problem. Right now. That solution is available: stop using airlines.

As to TSA extending into the business of roadblocks and so forth, where there is no longer any alternative that will allow travellers to avoid their predations - well, I expect war will result. And then we will be rid of TSA for good.

WhiteIndian's picture

Rebellion, a r3VOLution, a "war for freedom" may be inevitable, but it will result in "Meet the New Boss, Same Old Boss." I guarantee it.

AtlasAikido's picture

If there is violence before the light then the struggle will have to be begun again. But the internet revolution/reformation and Ron Paul have made that moot. At the same time there are no guarantees that enough light has spread. How could there be? (Rhetorical)

WhiteIndian's picture

Yours is a thinly-secularized modern Salvationist rhetoric.

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." ~Jesus [verse 17, chapter 2, The Jefferson Bible]

On Salvationism movements, the following excerpt is enlightening:

Signs of distress: 1400-0 B.C.E.

But new signs of distress appeared in this period that were far more relevant to our purpose here tonight. For the first time in history, people were beginning to suspect that something fundamentally wrong was going on here. For the first time in history, people were beginning to feel empty, were beginning to feel that their lives were not amounting to enough, were beginning to wonder if this is all there is to life, were beginning to hanker after something vaguely more. For the first time in history, people began listening to religious teachers who promised them salvation.

It’s impossible to overstate the novelty of this idea of salvation. Religion had been around in our culture for thousands of years, of course, but it had never been about salvation as we understand it...

Judaism, Brahmanism, Hinduism, Shintoism, and Buddhism all came into being during this period and had no existence before it. Quite suddenly, after six thousand years of totalitarian agriculture and civilization building, the people of our culture — East and West, twins of a single birth — were beginning to wonder if their lives made sense, were beginning to perceive a void in themselves that economic success and civil esteem could not fill, were beginning to imagine that something was profoundly, even innately, wrong with them.

Signs of distress: 0-1200 C.E.

...The human condition is what it is, and no amount of effort on your part will change that; it’s not within your power to save your people, your friends, your parents, your children, or your spouse, but there is one person (and only one) you can save, and that’s you. Nobody can save you but you, and there’s nobody you can save but yourself. You can carry the word to others and they can carry the word to you, but it never comes down to anything but this, whether it’s Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, or Islam: Nobody can save you but you, and there’s nobody you can save but yourself. Salvation is of course the most wonderful thing you can achieve in your life — and you not only don’t have to share it, it isn’t even possible to share it.

As far as these religions have it worked out, if you fail of salvation, then your failure is complete, whether others succeed or not. On the other hand, if you find salvation, then your success is complete again, whether others succeed or not. Ultimately, as these religions have it, if you’re saved, then literally nothing else in the entire universe matters. Your salvation is what matters. Nothing else not even my salvation (except of course, to me).

This was a new vision of what counts in the world. Forget the boiling, forget the pain. Nothing matters but you and your salvation...

by Daniel Quinn
Excerpt from the book, “The Story of B”

AtlasAikido's picture

The Long answer: ~There was NO Internet Reformation in the data--Signs of distress: 1400-0 B.C.E. And Signs of distress: 0-1200 C.E--you supply nor a Ron Paul nor an awakened population. The data factors have changed.

The Austrian School/Libertarians are not as blind as you presume and conflate with Communist true believers.

~Ron Paul foresaw that the wars would be accompanied by the growth of military and police powers along with the erosion of our civil liberties. ~Having studied central banking and applied the insights of great economist like Mises, Ron Paul has described both in advance and in detail the cycle of bubbles and busts *the Federal Reserve* has plagued us with.

The short answer: ~If you are stating that it makes more sense to let a fascist system collapse instead of letting it revive and re-live as mini-statism then that is a different matter. If the population has not seen enough of the light such as ideas in Market For Liberty by Tannehill or The Austrian School/Libertarians or the Most Dangerous Superstition by l. Rose then the struggle will have to be begun again anyway.

Shortest answer: Much rides on the education part and to what extent individuals are free in their thinking. As best as I can tell. But even that is too much outside my control. I can only fall back to Harry Browne and the Covenant of Unanimous Consent--What I control myself.

WhiteIndian's picture

Ah, the Internets as personal Savior. Can't be saved without accepting a dial-up connection to God. I'd be even holier with a T3 line to discover Ron Paul's plan for my life. And I'll be careful to not fall for the Calvinist-Communist heresy, one must be pure Arminian-Austrian to be accepted into the Pearly Gates of Libertopia.

And I'm encouraged to read the good words of approved Scriptures. And accept the Invisible Hand's carefully worded Covenant of Unanimous Christos with his Chosen Ones.

Whew! Ya know, I've heard this logos spiel before:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ~John 1:1

AtlasAikido's picture

Actually with Ron Paul in office the issue of "if population has not seen enough of the light such as ideas in Market For Liberty by Tannehill or The Austrian School/Libertarians or the Most Dangerous Superstition by l. Rose or Jim Davies works then the struggle will have to be begun again" *will likely be rendered moot*

Indeed much rides on the education part AND to what extent individuals are free in their thinking and this would likely quickly reach critical mass with Ron Paul in office.

But again even that is too much outside my control. I can only fall back to Harry Browne and the Covenant of Unanimous Consent--What I control myself. (I agree with Sam's cogent point).

WhiteIndian's picture

you said • "much rides on the education part"

That's what the sacred pederast the Apostle Paul thought. If you haven't read Philemon 1:9-11, you won't know what I meant by the antecedent to "apostle." You're not much different to Paul.

you said • "quickly reach critical mass"

Schnell! Schnell! English subtitles: "Quickly! Quickly!" I got that from a black and white movie made in, quite strangely, 1993. (Starring Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley.)

You said • "I can only fall back to Harry Browne and the Covenant of Unanimous Consent--What I control myself."

Trust in HayZeus. Or start thinking outside of MisesGospel, etal. Just for the weekend.


AtlasAikido's picture

By your definition you are here to show up and stick it to The Austrian School and Libertarianism, Rand, Mises etc whilst furthering your cause but you are ACTUALLY wasting your resources. When they should be spent saving the 800,000 children that will indeed die unnecessarily this year (apparently/perhaps since the 60's you have been unaware of this).

Multiply that out. If you are so concerned about Rand justifying/being a conveyor belt of genocide and apparently NOT the POLS and their Lincoln like Mercantilism agenda with Sherman and Grant like armies genocide of races I would think that this should be something YOU would want to do something about by your own We-ism teachings!

A worthy cause. 800,000 children that won't die this year if you start trolling the powers that be. And the data is empirically valid regarding the issues! DDT is safe! And you would be making people aware of the situation. And you would be taking on the Politicians cut from the very same cloth of those that took out your brothers and which the Austrian School and Libertarianism are showing up for what they are--sociopaths. See

AtlasAikido's picture

As Paul eloquently states: stop using airlines. This is as libertarian Harry Browne points out something called self-rule, self-control (anarchy): A Direct Alternative that does not need one to wait for the UNFREE to become free.

BTW funny how the very same that criticize the growth of the Box Trap prison that it lives in, has EVIDENTLY freed itself from the very "libertarianism" that set me and others free--such as Harry Browne's.

WhiteIndian's picture

Freedom of Non-Movement? LOL! Now free yourself of oxymorons.

"You are now free to not move about the country" just isn't the best jingle to sell your ideology in the free market of ideas to, say, a traveling salesman.

AtlasAikido's picture

To those who claim "WE" can *never* be free and yet EVIDENTLY freed itself from the so-called "blood soaked whitewashing" of UNFREE "libertarianism". A walking reductio ad absurdem indeed!

AtlasAikido's picture

"Freedom of Movement" is a classic measure of freedom. Sounds like "libertarianism" to me, yet you've "been a libertarian for years, until [you] started checking your premises". Must be more "muddying" of the water on your part. Oh well....tis the ways of a self professed Randoid.

AtlasAikido's picture

How can "WE" *never* be free when you EVIDENTLY freed yourself from the so-called *"blood soaked whitewashing" of UNFREE "libertarianism"*? By merely "checking [your] premises'. Absurdity indeed!

WhiteIndian's picture

Libertarianism is an unfree bait-and-switch swindle. While holding forth the bait of liberty and freedom, it mostly promotes agricultural city-Statism, while claiming it can somehow tame the Statism part. It can't.

Yours isn't the only swindle out there. Communism does exactly the same thing: promotes agricultural city-Statism, while claiming it can somehow tame the Statism part. It can't either.

AtlasAikido's picture

I believe I covered a summary of the issues here with a brief long, short and shortest answer...

WhiteIndian's picture

"I believe." Yeah, I know.

AtlasAikido's picture

Not as in belief that is unreasoning "faith"/"dogma" but as in logical understanding....

Substitute "Believe" with "As best as I can tell"...

"Yeah you know" I get that...

WhiteIndian's picture

It's not logical to accept as "axiomatic" premises that have been debunked by empirical data.

Yet you evade observation, and hide behind your silly denouncement of Positivism. I'm no positivist; but neither do I reject science and sensory experience.

When you make a claim in the realm of the observable, and declare something about the observable as "axiomatic," and your axiom is weighted in the balance and found wanting, you should be willing to check your premises.

AtlasAikido's picture

There was a context that led to the statements made. The thread addressed those issues. Someone here took unction to the word "belief". I explained such from a personal perspective.

Again, I am not discounting science and sensory experience. I am questioning as does the Austrian School the silliness of apeing physics like methodology in the social sciences.

If I remember Jack Welsh tried to do the same by using a very scientific parts manufacturing defect methodology on human beings and manage them more efficiently like empirical parts data.

It was highly destructive of innovation and individual work ownership. (The only way it could survive, like a cancer was to infect other companies and bring them down to par obsolescence). It was sold as the most scientific way to achieve QUALITY (*The empirical data said so*!). Gee who doesn't want quality?

Eventually workers had to quit cheat or wait out their time to retirement but these blue chip companies ended up with the equivalents of the very best 20th Century buggy whips and the highest quality slide rulers not to mention less deep pockets...

The issue is and always will be: Do You Own Yourself? by Butler Shaffer

For those actually interested "On Reclaiming Self-Ownership" without waiting for the rest of the world and every living thing...

I am certainly not discounting science and observation nor empirical information...Property" is not simply some social invention, like Emily Post’s guide to etiquette, but a way of describing conditions that are essential to all living things. Every living thing must occupy space and consume energy from outside itself if it is to survive, and it must do so to the exclusion of all other living things on the planet. I didn’t dream this up. My thinking was not consulted before the life system developed. The world was *observed* operating on the property principle when I arrived and, like the rest of us, I had to work out my answers to that most fundamental, pragmatic of all social questions: who gets to make decisions about what?

The essence of "ownership" is to be found in control: who gets to be the ultimate decision maker about people and "things" in the world?....The Covenant Of Unanimous Consent is about controlling oneself in inter-relationships and Harry Browne's Freedom in Unfreeworld supports that.

...Indeed all of our social problems are the direct consequence of a general failure to respect the inviolability of one another’s property interests!

To Suverans2 point, posted on January 20, 2012 Great quote: "How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?" ~ Walter E. Williams

I would add: "How does something moral, when done privately, become immoral when it is done collectively?" Look at GE's defect methodology Quality initiative and you will find lots of Science Empiricism--like Keynes and Krugman--and companies such as Kodak...being taken out by folks working out of their garages unrestricted by the wrong discipline as their guiding principle. Turns out unrestricted innovation at the worker level--as the Austrian School has shown time and again--is more important than the so-called back ward fitting of empirical science of "quality" in the social sciences and economics)


WhiteIndian's picture

You hold a contradiction:

• I am not discounting science and sensory experience.
• I am questioning as does the Austrian School the silliness of apeing physics like methodology in the social sciences.

Pick one. Hint: Observation isn't silly. Austrian school is silly.

Time's up. Humans are just as observable as any other animal specie.

P.S. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

AtlasAikido's picture

Getting off its moral high horse and preaching to issues and attributing to this site things that have nothing to do with this site --which is free market--is really an attempt "to have its agenda and make us eat it" AND at the expense of a valid application of its very own empirical data and teachings! Talk about being turned around!

See links for tie back comments:

"Times up" indeed. And that "observation" including links, IS hardly "silly", it IS gut wrenchingly TRAGIC: Every second it wastes here with irrelevant non-sequtiers is a second gone that it could have been doing something that actually *IS a proper use of empirical science* findings regarding DDT AND failing to act on that is the cause 3200 children dying a day since the 1960's!!

WhiteIndian's picture

Moral high horse; you recognize who holds the moral high ground. Ride on, gambol about plain and forest, gathering and hunting.

If you don't think you'd fall off. Otherwise, you're pretty worthless. Hate to bring meritocracy into it, but you ain't offering much but preacher's words.

Feel as worthless as a welfare mother now, Atlas?

You don't think they're worth anything. (In egalitarian Non-State society, there's a place to fit for everybody. Just like anthropologists observe amongst the few Non-State societies untrammeled by city-Statists like you.)

Samarami's picture


    Libertarianism is an unfree bait-and-switch swindle.

As I so often respond (to ignorance): "That's a heavy load to carry!"


WhiteIndian's picture

"Liberty" is the bait; the aggression necessary to maintain the agricultural city-Statist system of privation property and whatever it takes to keep wealth and power flowing up the hierarchical pyramid to higher, tighter, and righter hands is the core of libertarianism.

As John Scalzi brilliantly quips:

Libertarians secretly worried that ultimately someone will figure out the whole of their political philosophy boils down to “Get Off My Property.” News flash: This is not really a big secret to the rest of us.

I Hate Your Politics
March 22, 2002

Don't feel picked-on, he skewers all politics. As I've said before, all agricultural city-Statism (civilization) politics are nearly equally horrid solutions to living in a man-made prison.

Samarami's picture

Indian's quote from "Signs of distress: 0-1200 C.E."

    ...The human condition is what it is, and no amount of effort on your part will change that; it’s not within your power to save your people, your friends, your parents, your children, or your spouse, but there is one person (and only one) you can save, and that’s you. Nobody can save you but you, and there’s nobody you can save but yourself. You can carry the word to others and they can carry the word to you, but it never comes down to anything but this, whether it’s Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, or Islam: Nobody can save you but you, and there’s nobody you can save but yourself. Salvation is of course the most wonderful thing you can achieve in your life — and you not only don’t have to share it, it isn’t even possible to share it...

This, I believe, is absolutely dead-on. "..If it's going to be, it's up to me..." I am here, and it is now. Nothing I can do today about the fact the white man massacred the existing nomadic natives here. Well, there is: I can resolve to only accept yours or anybody else's "doctrine" after I've examined and made personal assessment as to veracity. And after that I want to remain flexible and open to your opinions even when they differ drastically with mine.

I might have some disagreement with the author's last phrase, " isn't even possible to share it..." Depending upon how s/he meant this (and as Atlas stated this was written centuries prior to internet and our access to mass communication), I'd say STR is one of many, many internet sites available to share our feelings and our strengths and our hopes. If it weren't, neither you nor I would be here.

As Jim Davies so eloquently stated above, I'm at this moment making the free-market choice of tapping out this response in lieu of relaxing on the couch. And I'm making one more free-market choice: I'm sincerely trying to share my personal observations without engaging in pissin' matches with any of you. Mama cautioned me about that over 70 years ago (especially about the futility of pissin' matches with skunks).

I agree wholeheartedly with Paul's comment:

    A solution is something that fixes a problem. Right now. That solution is available: stop using airlines.

So comes the rebuttal: "..But that's NOT freedom!..." OK. You win. There will always be elements to restrict my freedom. I'm not free to walk alone late at night in certain parts of the city -- not without risk of getting myself shot or beat up and my valuables stolen. I'm not free to have all the luxuries you have (without willingness to work my ass off -- and at 76 time is running out).

But I can be free to enjoy what I do have: 24 grandkids, over half of them homeschooled; a modest but adequate home in a nice old neighborhood of folks who respect and look out for each other. My house has been in our family for 100 years, and I'm sure my neighbors look askance at my "liberty" as somewhat odd.

But thanks to Indian and a few others I've seen the advantage of removing the "ism" from my liberty.

I am free. You can be free also.

Yes, you can.


AtlasAikido's picture

Someone here IS by all definitions *actually wasting* their talents and barking up the wrong tree attributing to this free market site non-sequiters (amongst other things).

According its very own proselytizing regarding scientific empirical data: Here is a REAL TRAGEDY that it should be working on given its beliefs--see threads--instead of mis-allocating its science training that ape Keynes, Krugman, Friedman, monism and positivists and thereby serving politicians.

There are 800,000 unnecessary dead children every year not counting adults and deformed children since the late 60's. DDT Ban & Malaria: An Unnecessary Tragedy, INDEED!!

In 1948, Dr. Paul H. Muller of Switzerland was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine because of the medical importance of DDT. In Sri Lanka in 1948, before using DDT, there were 2.8 million cases of malaria. By 1963, because of the use of DDT, there were ONLY 17 (SEVENTEEN) CASES OF MALARIA!! DDT has never harmed a single human being. Humans can and have eaten DDT with no ill effects. *But politicians, in spite of empirical and scientific proof of its safety and benefits*, banned it in the mid 1960s. By 1969, cases in Sri Lanka reach 2.5 million again.

Related comment:

WhiteIndian's picture

It's your dear leader who justifies Genocide.

And 800,000 children dying a year from starvation. To feed and clothe the hierarchical elite capitalist elite.

You'll deny guilt; psychopaths to that sort of thing.

AtlasAikido's picture

This is a free market site! Trying to re-enforce what amounts to the Statist Economic agendas of Keynes, Krugman, Friedman and positivists, sanctions emboldens and feeds politicians and their witnessed destruction--as pointed out in Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and Mises, Thoreau's works!

The truth is that there was NO resistance developed to DDT—at least not by insects. However, *politicians* AND trolls are remarkably adept at developing resistance to truth and to the suffering of the *HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS* of new malaria victims created by *political bans* on the use of DDT.

Harker's article has a side column featuring *Regina Rabinovich*. She writes:

* "Pharmaceutical and biotech companies have little incentive to develop products against malaria, a classic example of market failure. This is tragic in the light of findings that the development of a preventive vaccine is technically feasible."
She completely ignores the historic role of DDT's near eradication of malaria, and her statement itself is an example of the *failure of the politically motivated and government funded education system*, NOT OF THE FREE MARKET where she and trolls attempt to place the blame. Instead it is "a classic example of" *political meddling in a free market*—and at a horrendous cost in human lives *which even exceeds that of wars between governments during the 20th Century*. Emphasis added.

When considering the number of human deaths involved, her blackout of the role of DDT is obscene!!

The troll ignores the role of Thoreau, Mises, Rand, The Austrian School and Libertarianism as it pertains to the Free Market AND attempts to dis-credit this agorist/anarchist site with statist equivalent non-sequiters just like Regina Rabinovich!

It--the troll--could do something that is properly the purview of its scientific empirical data training as pointed out in the above prior posts. But it is happier ignoring these facts and placing blame where it does not belong just like Regina Rabinovich.

WhiteIndian's picture

Yours is an agricultural city-statism (civilization) agenda, not mine.

I don't ignore any facts. If you have any, name them.

Suverans2's picture

"The central tenet of primitivism, anarcho-primitivism and anti-civilisationism is the abolition of technology." ~

One doesn't have to score in the 98th percentile or higher, (thank goodness), to realize that it's not "technology", or even "agricultural city-statism (civilization)", that is the cause of all Mankind's/Earth's woes. It is "knowledge"!! It is "knowledge" that brought man out of the stone-aged hunter/gather lifestyle; it is "knowledge" that brought us "technology" and "agricultural city-statism (civilization)"!

It is, therefore, "knowledge" that should be vehemently, mercilessly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly, attacked, for without "knowledge" there would be no "technology" and no "agricultural city-statism (civilization).

I perceive that those who make up the ruling elite are doing their part to crush "knowledge". This is called "dumbing down*". But, you "primitivists" need to do your part.

"DOWN WITH KNOWLEDGE!!!" ...should be your new mantra. Repeat it loudly and endlessly, and endlessly, and endlessly, and endlessly, and endlessly, and endlessly, and endlessly...on everyone else's websites...because, if you were to start your own website, virtually no one would visit it.

*Definition: Dumbing down is a term used to refer to the hiding of natural intellectual abililities. [See, it's already working. This definer misspelled "abilities".]

WhiteIndian's picture

The State itself is a technology ("a system of organization" [wiki]) which is necessary to orchestrating agricultural city-Statism (civilization.) It took much knowledge and thinking of "Big Men" (emergent elite) to create it.

Oops, you didn't think of that, did ya? You're against the foundational Mass Society organization technology underlying all civilization.

AtlasAikido's picture

The free market is organized by individual people voluntarily without compulsion acting in their own self-best interest. That is what humans do. There is no system. A grocery store is not run using the State's command control coercion nor need it! Nor need any other field!

--There is *No We*: Challenge the Premise.--

There Is a difference between those who seek to build a system, and those who only seek to build! If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.~ Thomas Pynchon

I don't discount that the troll vanished and arrived here from Troll Island--drivel intact--at about the same time attention and criticism of Ron Paul, Austrian economics and libertarians surfaced.

Suverans2's picture

Here, for your entertainment is a more humorous look at "dumbing down".

WhiteIndian's picture

I'm neither a primitivist nor a techno-utopian. I think both positions are simple-minded..

Ran Prieur

Not all primitivists are against technology in and of itself; only some. Many primitivists hold a view that technology is ambiguous. Technology is found among all “primitive” peoples to one extent or another, so obviously there is some sustainable level of techology.

5 Common Objections to Primitivism, and Why They’re Wrong
Jason Godesky | 26 October 2005

AtlasAikido's picture

Like Regina Rabinovich the troll blames the remnant free market and ignores "knowledge" (see Suverans2 post) the very same that led us to life saving technology (such as DDT) and city-agriculture (that sustains us)!

Like Regina Rabinovich it--the troll--could be using its *scientific empirical "knowledge"* and so-called "Randroid" expertise trolling those actually responsible for this tragedy but it is happier ignoring the facts and smearing this free market site. Ignoring what has been going on since the late 60's AND that DDT has been *scientifically and empirically* proven as safe for humans.

From the time she--Regina Rabonovich--majored in "anthropology"-- at the University of Iowa, she wanted to be a change agent yet the points addressed in the post above were ignored. Much like the troll response: "I don't ignore any facts. If you have any, name them". Indeed the facts have been named and indeed the facts are being ignored.

Make no mistake dear reader what we have here is the equivalent to Regina Rabinovich
Make no mistake here what we have here is a troll = Tribal Primitivism
Make no mistake here what we have here is another Rachel Carlson...

* Rachel Carson's fable about the alleged dangers of pesticides, the 1962 book, Silent Spring, became a classic of the environmental movement despite the fact that it was a work of fiction. The book had a powerful influence, however, and governments throughout the world banned DDT and other pesticides beginning in the early 1970s. This ban has led to the death of literally millions of people in the Third World from malaria. *It has also caused numerous crop disasters as voracious insects that were once killed off with DDT are no longer, and substitutes are often unaffordable in Third World countries*. Emphasis Added.

In 1970, shortly before DDT was banned, the National Academy of Sciences determined that DDT had saved 500 million lives over the previous three decades by eradicating malaria-carrying mosquitoes. DDT was banned by the U.S. government in the early 1970s despite the fact that no science was presented that it had the effects that Carson and the environmental movement claimed it had.

Even if the National Academy of Sciences estimate of lives saved by DDT is off by a multiple of two, Rachel Carson and her crusade against the pesticide would still be responsible for more human deaths than most of the worst tyrants in world history. [4]

We are told that we have not provided any facts worthy of consideration. We are overruled by a troll. And it commands us to cleave to its backward looking field of study and backward thinking ways.

WhiteIndian's picture

You lie again, Atlas. DDT was never banned for Malaria prevention, and is still used for it today. Check your premises.

AtlasAikido's picture

~DDT was banned according to the very same source cited,

"The book's publication[--Rachel Carson's Silent Spring--] was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement, and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to DDT being banned in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for *agricultural use worldwide* under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day..."

~Spraying isolated areas does not cut it!

Laws banning widespread spraying is hardly the same as widespread spraying. It is not hard to figure out that limited spraying (vector control) allows unaffected mosquitoes to swarm in. Duh!

~DDT was limited and its use curtailed for unscientific reasons (as it relates to Resistance and Safety)

[Alleged] Resistance and the harm both to humans and the environment led many governments to restrict or curtail the use of DDT [even] in vector control *as well as agriculture*. Obviously Vector control is not working for mosquito borne malaria as malaria has increased enormously since the 1970 ban.


~Scientifically proven safety and efficacy of DDT.

In 1948, Dr. Paul H. Muller of Switzerland was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine because of the medical importance of DDT. In Sri Lanka in 1948, before using DDT, there were 2.8 million cases of malaria. By 1963, because of the widespread spraying usage of DDT, there were ONLY 17 (SEVENTEEN) CASES OF MALARIA!! DDT has never harmed a single human being. *Humans can and have eaten DDT with no ill effects*. But politicians, in spite of empirical and scientific proof of its safety and benefits*, banned it in the mid 1960s. By 1969, cases in Sri Lanka reach 2.5 million again.

~Wide spread spraying works!

Of what good is "vector" control when a person walks out of the controlled area and into or thru an agricultural / city area where malaria mosquitoes thrive? Simple physics say that the vector control area was overwhelmed by the surrounding untreated agricultural area. If I put my fist in a pale of water then pull it out, how big is the hole, and how long does it last?

~How important is a human life?

It makes sense to hold fast to the scientific method and the free market. That an evidenced troll is lecturing that banning and limited usage (vector control) instituted by Government citing Rachel Carson's Silent Spring IS the same as the documented actual solution--widespread spraying of DDT AND its proven safety to human--tells me that it knows little of this issue nor science other than to obfuscate the obvious. Which it has been doing since it got here.

WhiteIndian's picture

Atlas, you compound your lies. You stated that many have died from malaria because of a DDT ban.

• In reality, DDT was never banned for use against malaria.
• In reality, DDT is still being used worldwide today.

One thing I've been learning from you is that reality matters little to your type. The hatred of those who actually observe reality was my first hint. I suppose you must think the propaganda you believe above is somehow "axiomatic" and can't be fact-checked.

AtlasAikido's picture

Regarding the so-called harmlessness of "lying" trolls...I'd like to thank Dr Ron Paul for bringing this to me attention when he responded to Billy O'Reilly and called him out on his knavish ways. And my thanks to Suverans2 Regarding The Sad Truths of Internet trolls now *amplified*:

...#11. It is hardly "easier to think" and explore ideas and trade with others if one has a "troll or vandal" around...It is "submissive"--amongst other things--if one continues to give such by conceding the moral high ground...Laughing at this is of course an option. Feel free to do so as long as that makes sense.

#12. Who--once enlightened--would accept let alone entertain the notion that a "troll or vandal" "provides documented evidence that YOU hold contradictions, and that encourages YOU to check your premises". Indeed you do if you let him/her have its way with you....Laughing at this is of course an option as long as that makes sense.

#13. "If one wants to strike-at-the-root of increased violence, it can be traced back to one thing DOMESTICATION" ~ This coming from a troll to his victims is how *funny* to you dear reader?

#14. Some trolls exhibit the above and when their statements and persona *reflect the politically motivated and government funded education system* backed by tin badges and guns such as cops, universal soldiers and other government agents, they become extremely dangerous.

This website summarizes some of the common features of descriptions of the behavior of sociopaths and their power trips.

I do not see Regina Rabonovich, nor Rachel Carson nor equivalent agendas (Keynes, Krugman, Friedman, Positivists) as harmless! It would be laughable if not so tragic. I do not underestimate the power of words and ideas thanks to Ayn Rand and Frederick Mann: Slavespeak

The University of Iowa pulled down the article that the post above addresses and Bill and Melinda Gates continue to shed tears and fund massive grants to organizations to find a cure while IGNORING the *empirical scientific evidence* of DDT. Much like witnessing a troll using its *empirical scientific evidence* to trying to find a cure for the Free Market, 'Knowledge" and this site. And meanwhile 800,000 children continue to die every year. The equivalent of 7 jumbo jets filled with children crashing every day.

painkilleraz's picture

In the end what is most unfortunate is that free men engaged regularly in ridiculous jousting over contrary views for the sake of ego promotion.

In one line disease,infections, and medicine can be explained in the west with the following.

The state cannot save anyone, and can only hinder what may truly work through useless legislation and temporary albeit horrific bandaids.

AtlasAikido's picture

I got a little criticism from the media types on this site and I really worry a lot about that! LOL

Thanks for letting me know where you stand. I suspected as much given your odd postings to a troll on your threads Gak! It was a bit of a let down to read the rugged individualism articles you write and then to watch you telling a troll what great points it was making. But I let it go then (not now)...

AtlasAikido's picture

Slave-mentality can consist of any of these elements:

* A strong orientation of "I'm right; you (and practically everything and everybody else) are wrong.
* A compulsion or obsession to blame others and things or factors outside yourself.
* A belief that the world in general is unfair.
* A belief that "society" or the world owes you what you need.
* The belief that because of "government," "its laws," etc. you can't be free.
* An emphasis on changing or "fighting" factors outside yourself ("the system," "the ruling class," "big-daddy-government," etc.).
* Submission to real or imagined "external authorities."

WhiteIndian's picture

"Its" is an objectification, dehumanization, degradation, technique used by abusers and tyrants to demean the worth of the human life of whomever they do not like.

It's clear that Suverans2's cheap talk about "natural rights" is a mere debate convenience.