Recent comments

  • Per Bylund's picture
    Per Bylund 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Thanks to both Paul and tzo for your comments and clear thinking. Let me tell you, most people have not actually commented on the argument but made several attempts at misrepresenting what I write or go into discussing particular policies or situations. This is an argument built entirely on principle - the principle of Liberty - and has nothing to do with practical concerns. Some of the responses misunderstanding the point have been made here: http://blog.mises.org/17493/equality-under-the-laws/ But most of them were of course not made in public where they can be scrutinized.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I especially like the last three paragraphs, which draws the distinction between libertarians and Libertarians, which are actually two completely different animals.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Extortion/Bribery
    Page Paul Hein
    I believe the law of unintended consequences as applied to government applies to the voters who attempt to use politics to help themselves. Walmart doesn't pay enough taxes. They should pay more, not me. So I vote on Proposition 999 and make it so. Then Walmart raises prices to absorb the tax hike. So who's really paying the extra tax? I drive a lot, and I have the chance to vote on Proposition 888 to decrease the gas tax. It passes. The government responds by raising property taxes and some people end up losing their homes as a result. This includes a family who voted against the gas tax cut because dad walks to work. I win, he loses. I keep a few extra dollars in my pocket and he loses his house. Ah, nothing like slave-on-slave violence. With the government gun in your hands, you inevitably shoot yourself or your neighbor in the foot. Put the gun down.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    I'm not sure how incremental change can be implemented. Does someone have some concrete examples of political action that can be or has been launched that increases freedom? Tax cuts? That just means some other tax will have to increase to cover the shortfall, or more dollars will need to be printed, or more credit will need to be extended. With fiat currency, the money will come into existence somehow. The government does not need to tax dollar number one from the population in order to remain operational. They make the stuff. Most people, according to a good number of polls, objected to the new health care legislation. Did that stop it from passing? Perhaps most people want the troops out of the Middle East. Were the bailouts supported by the masses? The citizenry has just about zero control over anything, it seems to me. But again, if anyone has some concrete examples of incrementalism toward freedom in action that actually cannot be end-arounded, I'd be interested in hearing about them. And if Ron Paul were to become president and cut back government even a fraction of what he would like, the backlash from the entitled citizenry (teachers, post office, military, etc.) who would lose their goodies would pretty much end the political libertarian movement for good. You can't get elected if you aren't popular, and no one wants to give up what they have if they can at all help it. Many bleat about wanting a smaller, Constitutional government, but few of them will actually give up any government goodies to get there. So as far as concrete actions instead of vague ideological slogans go, "...Rothbard never bothered to explain what those means would be, especially in the face of the millions of people who depend upon and support the State." Now the incrementalist has the opportunity and platform here to explain his means to the end of freedom in the face of millions of people who depend upon and support the State. What might be concrete step number one?
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I agree. This is lesbians and gays in the wild state, seeing the heteros living on the plantation, saying "We want to be slaves just like them!" If taxes are less for married couples, maybe the correct response is to make your living in untaxable income, or just live with the extra theft as a cost of freedom. If inheritance rights are less convenient, maybe joint ownership of items is the correct response. And so forth. It's like homeschooling. Some homeschoolers eagerly respond when the state offers programs for homeschoolers. Other, wiser ones, reject any government help and remain independent. Read about the "Wild and Free Pigs of the Okeefenokee Swamp": http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/790.html
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    "...there are still those who insist that they can blink their ideal society or government into existence" Who says this? Nobody I ever heard or read. I think this is known as a "straw man". :-) "Rothbard’s example of the politician who abandoned his principles is entirely anecdotal." So Lord Acton was wrong? Power does not corrupt? "The success of socialism in the United States, such as it is, is an argument for incrementalism, not against it." I don't see what the dispute is. Freedom can clearly be (and usually is) lost incrementally, but it can also be lost all at once. Freedom can clearly be gained incrementally (typically when individuals move away from tyranny), and also all at once via revolution or secession. It's not an "either-or". As to slavery, are you suggesting the South was not entitled to secede, because that was not incremental? How about the states seceding from Britain? Clearly, secession can be done well or poorly; many factors count toward its success (e.g. the South should not have attacked Ft. Sumter). "How could the State be immediately abolished without a violent backlash?" If the states started ignoring the federal government en masse. There are many ways. "Newton’s third law of motion is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and that is just as true when applied to political or social change." False analogy; physics is not politics. Here is a data point for you, Michael. I created and ran the Wyoming Liberty Index (wyominglibertyindex.info) for several years. Every year, in a state chosen because it had the best chance to be made free through incremental change, there were about 4 times as many laws passed harming liberty, as there were helping it. Free State Wyoming (freestatewyoming.org) was created to attract freedom-lovers to Wyoming; its results are extremely modest, certainly not enough to turn around the legislative attack on liberty. Wyoming is about the best chance for incrementalism to work in the country (with the possible exception of New Hampshire), yet incrementalism is not working there. Soon, all that will be left is more radical change. You'd better polish up your shooting skills. Or at least, start reading Gandhi (who was also not an incrementalist).
  • dhowlandjr's picture
    dhowlandjr 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Extortion/Bribery
    Page Paul Hein
    ALL voting under the current system is violence, though and if you vote for the politician who promises to reduce your taxes, or to not raise them, you're still implying that you accept the idea of taxation in general, and of some politician having the right to take as much as he wants of what you produce away from you to use however he or she pleases, including to kill, lock up or steal from you and your neighbors. It doesn't seem to me to be an effective method of self defense. Kind of like walking up to the biggest, meanest bully and offerring him a nickel not to beat you up today. You'd better have that nickel every day from now on. More likely than defending yourself you're setting yourself up for long-term increased enslavement, and more likely than not the price is going to continue to rise. The price you must pay so that your enslavement can continue. Don't stop paying it, for crying out loud, you've got that self-defense excuse!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Rothbard quoted above: “To really pursue the goal of liberty, the libertarian must desire it attained by the most effective and speediest means available,”... I came to see years ago how to do that: declare myself sovereign. Now -- immediately. And no, I did not go into any of the white man's bureaus to "file" paperwork with him or anybody else. (http://lewrockwell.com/nestmann/nestmann29.1.html) Blasphemy! The chicken farmer does not go to the fox den to ask permission to free himself from foxdom so as to protect his crop from harm. He simply begins to build the bulwark of defense, as did I. Did that change my "relationship" with the white man? No it didn't -- not from his prospective anyway. He still looks upon me as a "citizen" (read: subservient subject). I can often use his supercilious ignorance to my own advantage, however; and I began to look at him for the gangster he was -- far more infectious than the robber who tries to hold me up at gunpoint. At least he knows what he is. Not so the government gangster. All too often the thrust of arguments on "libertarian" websites and forums is, "how can we change society" or "how do we make an effective 'libertarian nation'". We don't. I have. Mine. I am a sovereign state. I'm 75. Too old to go tryin' to change you or anybody else. Of course I'm writing here and you're reading what I'm writing, so you might say I'm attempting to persuade you to do or not do a thing. But we all know I'm preachin' to the choir here -- we're pretty much all in general agreement at STR. And I'm not trying to disagree with you, Michael, sofar as "incrementalism" goes. I sort of gently sided with those asking Tso to go a little easy on the minarchists or ministatists (while in full agreement with his premise). Mainly because I did not come out of my mama's womb an anarchist, and there are quite likely not a few "tea partiers" and the like who will be solid STR folks in a year or so. For me it was a slow, painful process, fraught with a lot of what they're now calling "cognitive dissonance". Last time I voted was 1964, for Barry Goldwater. Prior to that I had been an ultra liberal (NEA, TSEA -- the Texas version of a teachers' union); a John Bircher type "conservative" -- you name it, I've landed there at one time or another. So I've been about as incremental as they come. But I am what and where I am. And I hope to grow from here and not get fallow just because I'm in my dotage. Off topic, I just had my 23rd grandchild this morning (a boy), #24 due in August. I won't announce my great grandchildren. They make me look old. Sam
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Great column, Michael. And I think you've actually described the most effective approach while you were discussing Rothbard and socialism -- incrementalists got the changes made, one at a time, by pushing bite-size changes the public could first warm up to and then accept as policy, while the revolutionaries who advocated immediate and total change kept the ultimate goal in play and in enough of the public mind to insure that each incremental "success" led to the NEXT increment instead of being seen as an end it itself.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    A great comment, Paul, and an idea worthy of spreading around -- if only because it shows up the "We gotcha and you can't leave" mentality of the State for the criminal behavior that it is.
  • mingo's picture
    mingo 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Good column, but I still feel that any coherent, incrementalist movement would ultimately pose a threat to absolute liberty. For one, the means of shifting government would require—at least of those directly involved—an association with the current, unjust government. This isn't an impediment of practicality, but it would form an ethical barrier for anyone who would feel compelled to actually guide such a movement toward Statelessness. Anyone available for this would either be compelled to commit a moral infraction, or would themselves be committed to a reduction, rather than eventual elimination of, the State. Also, especially when considering the above, there's the risk of accidentally establishing a palatable, minimal State. If the idea of "good government" were to gain ground, the liberty movement would face even greater impediments to total future success.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    "Persuasive means do not lead to the same ends as do coercive means." This is why I can't be a minarchist. The premise is not life-oriented. This article, however, is.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Extortion/Bribery
    Page Paul Hein
    Well, there's nothing wrong with self-interest. And there is not necessarily anything wrong with voting in self-interest; the last voting I did was to try to vote down a tax hike. I don't call that bribery or extortion; I call it self-defense. Of course you can argue that voting doesn't work or that it sanctions the existing system, or that SOME voting looks like extortion, and I'd have to agree. But imagining ALL voting is extortion is not going to fly.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    There is too much generalization in this article for my taste. For example: "...the Constitutionalist is compelled to use force to shape society into the Constitutional mold." Well, no. The Constitutionalist is not so compelled. It would take only a minor adjustment to the constitutional model, that of letting people be who prefer to opt out, to remove all force from it. And many individuals who happen to be Constitutionalists would be willing to make such a change. In fact changing the Constitution is a favorite mental pastime of most constitutionalists, because they are well aware that people in government ignore it with impunity (which makes them want to add some teeth to it, to use against those in government). If they can go along with modifying it that way, why not on modifying it to allow opt-outs? In fact, there must even be big government fans, communists, etc who wouldn't mind the notion of opting out, as I've mentioned before. We have to be willing to co-exist in some fashion with such people. It's a much easier task to convince others to let you be, than it is to convince them to drop their world-view entirely and adopt yours. It's not a good tactic to divide ourselves from others. Better to find what common ground we can, and work to enlarge it.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    While I find most of your post here plausible, I doubt this one: "Hitler was not interested in any territory outside of Germanophone bits of the Sudetenland and the Danzig corridor... until the inbred syphilitic catamite warmonger Churchill began agitating for war." So Churchill controlled Hitler's actions? Merely by agitating, he got Hitler to grab the rest of western Czechoslovakia, past the Sudetenland? I rather doubt it. Hitler controlled Hitler. It was his own idea to divide up Czechoslovakia and Poland between Germany and Russia. If you think otherwise, I'd like to see some citations...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    "anyone with an IQ above about 60 sees the word 'law' FAR too often in the key documents of the Revolutionary (French and US) periods." We have a perspective that they lacked (250 years of non-working constitutional government), so I wouldn't be too hard on them. Great quote about the character of law, by the way. I have put it in my quotes file. As to the OP, I really like the analogy of dancing around the volcano. Except for the notion of rights themselves, which is also a bit of dancing around the volcano. Rights are just a meme, a religious belief: http://strike-the-root.com/life-without-rights Or, paraphrasing that Mexican fellow in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre", We don't need no stinking rights! Finally, Geoffrey writes, "Targeted, extreme ultraviolence is the answer - Ghandians are simply wrong. " While your story here is extremely interesting to me, and I'd like to see some more about it if possible (will google OpEgypt), I think it is wrong to dismiss Gandhi. Let's not forget he managed a greater end for India, the eviction of the British Empire, than has been managed in Egypt so far.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    I agree, although I would say that sudden changes would (not could) spark violent reaction from statists - I see it as a foregone conclusion. You see what means they use now to stay in power, imagine what they would do if that power was REALLY threatened.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    I like the idea of incrementalism, but I interpret it as a personal transformation. How can I incrementally improve my own life separate from all systems of coercion? I would also agree that sudden changes could spark violent reaction from statists. The revolution I envision happening (someday) to humanity would seem much more gradual and personal.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 2 weeks ago Page R. K. Blacksher
    "Needless to say, the conservative 'defenders of traditional marriage' are incredibly foolish. They seek to protect the 'sanctity of marriage' by expanding the role of the state in controlling and regulating marriage. Frankly, I can think of no better way of completely undermining marriage and the family." Nor can I. Gay marriage will have little effect on an institution that has been made comatose by the state, and by the state's embrace of feminist/misandrist policies. Now men can be wrenched from their children without being able to pay the exhorbitant fees necessary to defend themselves. Family courts are owned by feminists and misandrists. Now these same nasty sorts are coming after gays. We should be far more careful about what we wish for. Brilliant and informative article. I'll be digging into this for more writing in the future.
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Violent Video Games
    Web link Michael Dunn
    I disagree; I think it's fine for kids to play "violent" video games. The tendency to learn to fight is built into each of us, and it's good to give it a release that doesn't harm any actual living creatures, I think. It's similar to pornography: there's good evidence that when it's available, people resort to sexual crimes less, not more, as some would claim. However, the bottom line is that I agree with you, "that's between me and my child, not the state."
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    Another terrific column, Tzo. And it's worth saying that we've HAD a minarchy, right here in River City and the rest of the USA. We KNOW how minarchy turns out over the long run, because we're living in the result. I'm still in the camp that believes Ron Paul does more good than harm, partly because I know so many voluntaryists (me, for one) who came to that position by way of either Paul or some other minarchist. For most people, the road from statism is long and like all journeys it has to start SOMEWHERE. But that doesn't mean I disagree with your points about the ultimate wrongness and stupidity of the coercive state, regardless of size or rationale: you are exactly right and you've written an excellent description of why institutionalizing initiated (non-defensive) coercion in a body of any size is morally wrong and impossible to restrain.
  • Guest's picture
    Temujin (not verified) 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    tremendous.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    You're right on, Alex! A gangster is a gangster is a gangster. Actually, Adolf Hitler was a relatively "good" gang leader ("politician") if you consider the fact he and his ardent followers raised the German economy from abject ruin after the first "holocaust" to a relatively productive (albeit waring) environment. But alas: all monopolistic, parasitic gangs ("my country" [gag]) always end up murdering, pillaging and destroying the very territory they deign to rule. Neither Hitler nor Obama nor Bushes nor Clinton's have been exceptions to that rule. Abstain from beans. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/lefevre2.html Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    Mighty fine follow-up, Tzo. When I read your work I'm reminded of a line from one of our old friend Jim Davies' essays: "...No government anywhere, at any time, has ever brought net benefit to any society, and there is no desirable function that any government performs that could not be performed better, or less expensively, by free people operating on a voluntary basis for profit or for charity..." ~Jim Davies http://www.takelifeback.com/tdaw/
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Food Stamps
    Web link Michael Dunn
    It's important to understand Natural News folks truly believe state gangsters are capable of serving a socially useful purpose. When dealing with people like this it's hard to respond. Like arguing with dem's or pub's. No win. Congrats to the guy who sold the soda pop. At least he and his customers were honest. Not so with the real welfare fraudsters (the ones who hand out the stolen funds). Sam
  • helio's picture
    helio 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    Great article, and I want to add something. Those of us who hold the view that participating in politricks is a violation of the non-aggression principle should keep one thing in mind, however. Be kind and respectful to minarchists since they are more likely to become voluntaryists. I was once a minarchist, but no longer. The difference? A further years worth of reading and the positive encouragement from the many 'noble' voluntaryists on the web, such as Tzo. As Sun Tzu said, "Victorious warriors win first, and then go to war while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." I have minarchist friends and I have learned that the best strategy is to be silent until they bring up a topic that can be used to demonstrate how minarchism fails. Rather than starting arguments, I wait till they step into a contradiction, and then calmly show them a way out. Always be mindful that to them, the state is their parent and family and we all know what happens when you insult someone's momma. Only they can convince themselves that momma don't love them. Statism's contradictions are its weakness and imbalance and when a statist takes an unbalanced position, throw them like the anarcho-aikido master you are.
  • golefevre's picture
    golefevre 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    The only way to win is never to play the game. That's why I can't understand how people like Roderick Long, Tom Woods and others can so incredulously dismiss these points about voting, telling us participation in politics would be defensive. If a principle is sound and rooted in reason, it is never worth giving up.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    Tzo, thanks for the follow-up on part 1! Excellent as usual!
  • Scott Lazarowitz's picture
    Scott Lazarowitz 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    You said it in a nutshell: "But if Ron Paul can “fix stuff” because as an elected individual he wields so much power that he can transform the nation, then the next evil person to take that power can undo everything, and more. This is a reasonable way to organize society?"
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Food Stamps
    Web link Michael Dunn
    I'm not against government per se; but I do believe that no government is preferable to the one we have now. Who gets to decide, etc. is a rhetorical question -- of course, the same monsters who decide what drugs we may or may not use will be the ones deciding what we may or may not eat. What I'd like to know is why an article promoting more interference in priovate lives ever ended up here in the first place. Poverty as we know it in the US today, was created by our so-called "leaders." I get that. And I get that the black market is the free market exerting itself. I also get that the "Arab Spring" didn't arise because people yearned for democracy, it arose because people were hungry. Trading in food stamps is one way the poor have left to survive.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "Consent must be individual and explicit in order to be valid. It’s that simple, and that true." ~ Alex R. Knight III G'day Alex R. Knight III, are you a citizen of the United States or any of the several States that have subjected their collective membership to the dominion of the United States government? Check Yes or No, and Sign here______________________.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "... the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes." ~  Prime Minister of England, Benjamin Disraeli (during reign of Queen Victoria) Coningsby, by Disraeli; Longmans Co., 1881, page 252
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 3 years 2 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Minus out the drug offenders and PBSP is chock full of people that need to be locked up. My heart don't bleed for those pricks.
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    I agree with your thesis, and, like you, don't vote and consider voting pointless at best and immoral at worst. I do want to disagree slightly, however, and cut people who voted for Obama a little more slack than you do. Obama promised many wonderful things and reneged on every promise. Should those who voted for him have foreseen this? I suppose that informed would-be voters WOULD foresee his turn-around, but I admit to being slightly surprised at how complete it has been. He praised whistleblowers, for example; who could have predicted that once in office, he'd go after them with a vengeance never before seen in the U.S.? Ultimately, all of this reinforces your point. Obama and his minions are illegitimate. Neither you nor I nor millions of others agreed to be pushed around by his thugs. Where he was born is irrelevant.
  • GeoffreyTransom's picture
    GeoffreyTransom 3 years 2 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    The "ignorant of one's own ignorance" thingy is now called the "Dunning-Kruger Effect" (the original paper is here - http://bit.ly/k4kyhO ) I also take issue with this - "The estimate of war deaths in the 20th Century range from 177 million to 200 million people, almost all of them due to those two ideologies" (the 'two ideologies' being Nazism and Communism, for those who read comments in email). The deaths attributed to both Nazism and Communism in WWII were, in reality, due more to the reaction of the (waning) Great Powers' reaction to the regime in Germany. France and Britain did not like the Hitler government, and were keen to foment conflict. Yes, naughty old Adolf tried to annex bits of Poland and Czechoslovakia - but the notion that Britain and France were 'obliged' to go to war as a result of either annexation are risible. Given how badly the same ploy worked in 1914, it is lamentable that anyone would have thought it would fare better in 1939 - but at the end of the day, perhaps it makes sense: war is about enriching one's cronies who own the arms manufactories and financiers, n'est-ce pas? The deaths in WWII - almost to a man - were entirely avoidable. There is little evidence that even the unpleasantness experienced by 'internal enemies' (e.g., Jews - whose transnational hierarchy declared 'war' on Germany in 1933) would have reached the heights it did, had the war not been started by France and Britain. After all, the Americans interned all their Japanese (without regard as to whether they were actively working for the Emperor) without incident: deplorable and racist though it was, internment per se does not indicate a predilection for genocide. As a kratoclast (a word I think I made up - it means "one who wants to break State power"), I am an enemy of ALL States - so I am certainly no fan of Naughty Old Adolf or his regime (even though they had spiffy uniforms and were quite popular at the time). But history is not a cartoon, and as Pat Buchanan has noted, Hitler was not interested in any territory outside of Germanophone bits of the Sudetenland and the Danzig corridor... until the inbred syphilitic catamite warmonger Churchill began agitating for war. Imagine for an instant, a world in which German-speakers in the Sudetenland and Danzig were reintegrated into Germany: where England and France simply reneged on their defence pacts with Poland and Czechoslovakia. Would there have been mass deaths in camps? Given that the overwhelming majority of internees were from regions captured as a result of being forced into war (not a single 'death camp' exists in areas not liberated by the Soviets), my conjecture is 'No'. And of course the 3-4 million dead in South East Asia were not 'caused' by Communism - they were caused by the US refusing to permit the Vietnamese to experiment with Communism. Had the US kept its nose out, Communism would have failed in Viet Nam due to its inability to furnish growing material prosperity. In summary: all those deaths were caused by the combination of hubris and insouciance on the part of the political class REGARDLESS of specific ideology. Same with all the deaths in the First World War, and all the deaths in Viet Nam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and anywhere else that the downtrodden are sent to kill each other on behalf of the scum who seek to rule.
  • GregL's picture
    GregL 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Openwatch
    Web link Jad Davis
    Great tool for surreptitiously documenting interactions with authorities.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 2 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Everything about the so-called "war on drugs", including its much-lamented "failure", is a lie. The prohibition of drugs has its roots in racism. It is, and always has been, a tool of oppression. The reason to end the war isn't that it has failed. The reason to end it is that is has succeeded, far beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 2 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    The author loses me at "murderous drug trade." The link between "illegal drugs" and violence isn't the word "drug." The link is "illegal." Trying to stop the cartels without legalizing drugs is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a mortal wound; mopping up blood while nations bleed. Our government, our so-called "leaders", have the power, right now, to STOP the violence in Mexico. They won't do it, because it's America's collective, insane fear of "drugs" and "drug dealers" that maintains the status quo.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Goodbye, Number Five
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Oh, for cryin' out loud, "the Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights[sic]" doesn't apply to 14th Amendment citizens, those who have "subjected themselves to the dominion[1] of [the United States] government"! Furthermore, it is not "the Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights", it's the Fifth Amendment (Amendment V) to the United States Constitution. ________________________________________________________________________________________ [1] Dominion. Generally accepted definition of "dominion" is perfect control in right of ownership. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 486 [Emphasis added]
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Food Stamps
    Web link Michael Dunn
    G'day rita, So, if you see a man in need of food and you offer him a 'handout', you think that there is something wrong with you telling him what he may and may buy not with that 'handout'? Also, if it was only YOUR 'sweat' that was paying for that 'handout', then you could certainly say, "go ahead and buy anything you like with it", and "it's okay to resell that stuff at half price if you want to, so you can buy booze or drugs with it", but you see, rita, it isn't only YOUR 'sweat' that is paying for it. In a collectivist society the 'sweat' to pay for that 'handout' comes from the collective, i.e. all the individuals that voluntarily choose to be members of that collective, so you, alone, don't get to decide how that 'handout' will be regulated. "...who gets to decide, and who gets to enforce, and what are you going to do with people who violate?" Your "representative", called "your government", gets to decide all those things, rita. "I'm not an anarchist, not yet..." Wow, rita!! If, after all your chosen rulers have apparently done to you, and after hanging out here at STR for over a year, you are still "not yet" an anarchist, I can't help but wonder what it's going to take. By the way, you might be interested in knowing, the opposite of anarchist or anti-archist, i.e. one who is against having a ruler, is pro-archist, one who is in favor of having a ruler. So, if you're "not yet" an anarchist...
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    Well, I think there is another option besides fighting and running, and that is to stay put and figure out how to put personal freedom into action for yourself. If you work a typical job that requires SSN, then you will be on IRS radar. So perhaps you pay taxes to avoid attention. In the real world of today, that is a tradeoff for living in society. But your day to day activities can be pretty government-free. Step one is to forget about participating. Don't worry about who is running for what under some platform with such and such promises. Just eliminating this static from your brain eventually clears your head and makes you feel better. If you can interact with others who are like-minded, then all the better. If you can disconnect from the typical employment chains, even better. If you can't, don't worry about it. Life cannot be perfect, and even if it looks miles away from perfect, you cannot worry about what you cannot change. I address this a bit in Part II of this article, arriving soon. I am a bit embarrassed to admit I haven't read it, but Harry Browne's How I found Freedom in an Unfree World http://www.amazon.com/How-Found-Freedom-Unfree-World/dp/0965603679 probably helps one adjust his mind and actions to peacefully coexist with less-than-ideal surroundings. A pdf of it is here: http://www.4shared.com/document/HiMYLb9x/Harry_Browne_-_How_I_Found_Fre.... From the prologue: *** Freedom is the opportunity to live your life as you want to live it. The freedom you seek is already available to you, but it has gone unnoticed.  There probably are two basic reasons you haven’t taken advantage of that freedom. 1. One reason is that you’re unaware of the many alternatives available to you. 2. The second reason you’re not free is because you’ve probably accepted without challenge certain assumptions that restrict your freedom. *** It is perfectly natural to feel a bit adrift after cutting your mind loose from the old government tether. That anxiety dissipates over time. Now you just have to figure out how to apply what you know to your own life. Don't worry that the world, or the US, or whatever state or county you live in may never reflect the principles of a free society. Your existence is defined by the people and places that surround you. You have a measure of control over that, and so figure out a way to carve out a little slice of good life for yourself and your family and friends. These little pockets will eventually connect up, but for right now you are one of the little sparks that has to help light the big fire.
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 3 years 2 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    They are getting better at the killings. http://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/?p=562
  • Melinda L. Secor's picture
    Melinda L. Secor 3 years 2 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    HA HA....I wasn't advocating for the monkeys with that link....I found the parallel between captive chimps, higher rates of mental illness and what is happening in our own society a tad amusing in a dark sort of way....spiraling rates of mental illness in people as we are regulated, policed and micromanaged from cradle to grave....
  • GregL's picture
    GregL 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    Geoffrey, Thanks for a very interesting post. One of the difficulties of implementing "Liberty Pools" is the lack of an efficient way of anonymously transferring money. I was wondering how you think the advent of bitcoin possibly coupled with Tor (see Silk Road) might impact this in the future.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 2 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Oh, dear -- free the monkeys. Then you can use the extra cages for human beings, because God forbid you ever stop caging human beings.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 2 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Welcome to OUR world, Mayor -- the world of the people you step on every day.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 2 weeks ago
    Food Stamps
    Web link Michael Dunn
    I'm not an anarchist, not yet, although I can sure see it from here -- but here's the thing -- if you're going to give handouts, give handouts. If you can't help, stay the f**k away. One thing none of us, and the poor in particular, need, is more regulation. You can buy this, but not that -- who gets to decide, and who gets to enforce, and what are you going to do with people who violate?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    Hi GeoffreyTransom, My 'First Axiom of Political Power' is simply this: "Any person who desires political power, should be kept from political power at all costs." EXACTLY right, (with no reference to Black's Law Dictionary)!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 2 weeks ago Page tzo
    We tend to toss the word "law" around as though there is only one law, one set of rules. Here is a partial list found under the heading "LAW" in Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. 2. Municipal law... Municipal or civil laws... 3. Law of nature... 4. Laws of animal nature... 5. Laws of vegetation... 6. Physical laws, or laws of nature... 7. Laws of nations... 8. Moral law... 9. Ecclesiastical law... 10. Written law... 11. Unwritten or common law... 12. By-law... 13. Mosaic law... 14. Ceremonial law... 21. Law martial, or martial law... 22. Marine laws... 23. Commercial law, law-merchant... 26. ...Civil law, criminal law... Laws of honor. I believe that "true laws" are discoverable, provable, and unchangeable, all the rest are the arbitrary and capricious laws created by men, "the congealed shit left over after a bunch of career parasites are finished taking bribes; when they get around to the serious business of politics, which is simply forcing people to obey their whims" (Quote by GeoffreyTransom).
  • DanClore's picture
    DanClore 3 years 2 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    I dislike the way this article equates lack of an effective central government with lack of government -- Somalia has been overflowing with competing governments, from the warlords that divided the country into a patchwork of fiefdoms, to the Islamic Courts Union that provided a loose federation of regional authorities, to the US/UN/AU-backed Transitional National Government, to the Ethiopian military that invaded and occupied the country, to al-Shabaab, the extreme Islamist wing of the ICU that has seized power in most of the country now, as interventions from outside resulted in the opposite of their intended result. Anyway, I've followed the story closely enough over the years to know that warlords in particular favored the growth of the telecommunications industry, because that meant more remittances from expatriots, and hence more money for them to leech from their subjects.