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  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    >>>"Assange is an unabashed statist and internationalist." Bingo. This fact was clear immediately to anyone who bothered to investigate the website of WikiLeaks, where its principals advocated for the UN's doctrines of servility and nanny statism. On the whole, Assange is bad news, and I think that this WikiLeaks business is an unfortunate distraction. The knavery through which governments are established is understood well enough. For example, it's been almost 150 yrs since Spooner targeted the Federalists with withering criticism of their fraud. Further, no adult interested in living in a peaceful world can for long neglect the glaring fact that it's the elites among the statists who are not only responsible for most crime but also who are prepared already for the next great orgies of violence and busy looking for excuses to begin those orgies. So what good long-term purpose is served by WikiLeaks? None, I suspect, but it does help cockroaches like Assange to polish their reputations among the goo-goos who are eager for a caring government of the type that Assange and his allies would just love to establish. In fact, WikiLeak's political goals require coercion and violence just to get to the goal, and more still to maintain their unified global community. It would be better if they were stopped, and if that happens to be by the Americans or some tools of theirs, then so be it. >>>"They barely hide that Google is a CIA front in the process." That was nearly a howler. Fortunately, the skeptic does not have to disprove the theory. Rather, it is the conspiracy theorist who must do all the work himself. That stated, maybe you should get to know some people at, for example, EMC (Network Storage, Data Recovery, and Information Management). Where Google goes, EMC is sure to want to follow. Maybe somebody there knows something about your conspiracy given that the CIA, NSA, whatever, would need to become familiar with their technology or whoever it is that has Google's business.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    None of us were born anarchists. Could I call myself a "borned again" anarchist -- like religionists I remember? It took what it took to get me where I am. I'm 74. I didn't ask for a state ("public school") education, but that's what I got. I didn't ask to be enslaved ("drafted") by state goons and trained to murder, but that's how it worked out. Afterward I gleefully (and grateful to the GI Bill) accepted a state "higher" education and became a state teacher. To cop another religionist phrase, I've since "repented" of all that -- but it didn't happen overnight. In 1964 -- not yet 30 -- I was an avid Barry Goldwater enthusiast, just as the young Ron Paul supporters are of him today. I became so disgruntled with the LBJ crowd and disillusioned with the "white supremacist" types in the political arena I've never registered or voted since. It was the last year for poll tax in Texas. In 1973 Harry Browne wrote "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World". Although old Harry was a ministatist (at least he spelled Libertarian with upper case "L" and ran for "president" -- how mini is that???), he led me on to the path of freedom and sovereignty. Harry taught me to think through ideas previously too risky for me to broach -- just like Ron Paul is providing inspiration for future STR posters today (hopefully including at least two of my seven children). Per, you write good stuff. Don't let anybody slow you down. You are an inspiration to me and many others. But some of your "gentle detractors" also have a message. Listen and sort. Regards, Sam
  • dhowlandjr's picture
    dhowlandjr 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Ignorance and fear are the only enemies, and the only blocks to seeing that all of us who live deep inside need to know that we are free. The one who says freedom has never existed has not freed his or her mind from the statist meme. Or perhaps sometimes we feel we have to sing the statist's song in order to avoid being punished for our free thoughts, which we therefore keep to ourselves. Everything we do, each choice we make to act or not act and in what manner advances or detracts from our own individual liberty and that of our fellow man. Including going undercover/anonymous if that is necessary to survive, I suppose, but be careful because hypocrisy and deceit are not at all healthy, and yet I can think of nothing more honorable than choosing the probability of one's own demise rather than living in a way that one believes to be wrong. On the other hand, I don't want to die, I want to live. How can I prosper in a land where 98% of the wealth available to be exchanged is fruit of the poisoned tree? (I'm referring to my native planet here) How can I be openly in favor of freedom and live free at the same time?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 20 weeks ago Web link Derek Henson
    The Physics of Peeling Paint
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    G'day Glen Allport, An "aggressor" is always the one who makes the first attack. And all forms of the word aggress makes this readily apparent. On the other hand, since coerce, coercion and coercive generally have to do with restraint, "particularly by moral force," they tend toward being defensive words.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    This is a sottish comment, and hatred tends to eat the holder of it. Murder is not a "logical and moral course of action".
  • dhowlandjr's picture
    dhowlandjr 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Hi guys, I really enjoyed all of the discussion. Words can be tricky, but when I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it to mean, no more and no less! (my paraphrase of humpty dumpty, look it up if you want the exact quote). Actually, anarchy is the status quo, in spite of the fact that many free sovereign individuals choose to believe that someone else is responsible for their actions and their life, and thus has the authority to rule over them. There are also many criminals who pretend to believe (and perhaps many others who actually do) that their predations are beneficial, or necessary, or inevitable. On the other hand, while I do not consider myself a statist, how can you have a loving family that does not act as a state in that the parents rule over their children and when necessary will resort to force to protect them from danger. As soon as two reasonable adults disagree about the age of majority (in spite of the fact that I'm over 50, I continued to make a lot of mistakes and came to a lot of erroneous conclusions until just recently, lol!) it seems that a rule may have to be imposed on someone. I wish I knew how to state it more clearly, but in spite of the fact that I wish to rule over no one and none to rule over me I was a child once, and am a parent now, and I am also aware that parents often resort to preemptive force (not allowing a child to leave the yard until competent to cross the street, for example). Most of us agree that we would have to draw a line somewhere, but it's also true that once an arbitrary line has been established, strict adherence to the rule will result in certain cases of injustice. There is also some difficulty in how property rights can be properly applied when most of the property in the world, other than what is still in the hands of the producer, who has resorted to no coercion or taxpaying in its production, could be considered to be unjustly acquired. These issues don't make me any less desirous of freedom, just less sure that I always have the answer. I hope I could be wise enough to make the right choice even if some statist were ordering me to do so, but our distaste for obedience many times could lead us astray? Our desire to allow our children their sovereign freedom could lead to their making choices on their own prematurely that could enslave them much worse than our loving control? It's not quite as easy to draw the line as some would arrogantly assume.
  • RoyceChristian's picture
    RoyceChristian 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Eh, no. Just as I am not going to make common cause with white supremacists to overthrow the State and allow them to establish their own little local authoritarian institutions, I'm not interested in working with defenders of the state to establish their own little jurisdictions. Sorry. Statists, are, in fact and principle, opponents who would suppress any Anarchist movement given the chance because it directly challenges their authority. To repeat the point, "shooting statists" is a misnomer. Statists, like other opponents of liberty must be confronted. Claiming that this implies that they should be "shot", is faulty logic, as has already been stated, aggression and murder are not acceptable if you identify as an Anarchist. No one, anywhere has suggested we shoot our opponents. You contradict yourself with your write: "Your neighbors may be statists, but they are also victims of the state. Let's find a way to live with them, not shoot them, which is what you usually have to do with enemies." and "In fact, you even have done that with statists not inclined to impose on others, which is madness." Statists are authoritarian. Supporters of governments and defenders of authority, by definition, are inclined to and often, actively seek to impose their vision on others.
  • JB's picture
    JB 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Clearly the only logical and moral course of action is to shoot the statists.
  • christ_lemonade's picture
    christ_lemonade 3 years 20 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    Most artists don't make all that much money off record sales as it is. If you want to support them, go see them live!
  • JB's picture
    JB 3 years 20 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    What are we supporting? A populist revolt that has spread like a wildfire to at least eight different regimes in the Middle East and North Africa (Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain and Algeria)? It's not an "anarchist revolution" in any way, but that doesn't mean that I don't admire it like hell, all the same. I hope that the hatred of the people against their so-called leaders only gets worse.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Well said, Paul
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Wow -- BrianDrake, that's a terrific response and analysis. I do often use the phrase "initiated coercion" or "non-defensive coercion" to remind that of course, coercion when necessary in defense is legitimate and indeed is coded into our DNA; I can't think of an animal species that won't fight back if it has to -- other than a few who have lost this instinct while evolving for long periods on islands without predators, for example. When predators are introduced, the native species go extinct pretty darn quick. Your point that "aggression" and "aggresive" often have different meanings is a good one. It seems there isn't a word in English that is perfect in all forms and all sentence structures that exactly describes what we're trying to get across. I do think "coercion, other than in defense" is less likely to cause confusion, because "coercive" and "coercion" are both seen to be crimes -- and again, they ARE crimes both in human terms and in the legal code (here in Oregon, I sat on a jury once at a trial where "coercion" was among the listed offenses of the accused). How would you suggest getting the message across when speaking of government, or the State, or the elite? "Aggressive" isn't necessarily bad, so "aggressive elite" won't have the same punch to some people as "coercive elite." It probably sounds like I'm parsing this thing to death, but as you point out, "Language, like value, appears . . . to be subjective." I've seen this in surprising ways myself. While writing The Paradise Paradigm, someone reading a draft happened to let me know she saw the word "love" in most situations as "sex." I was writing about the need for compassion in a society and she thought I was advocating sex, as in "free love." I was completely surprised by this, and along with other odd (to me) interpretations of things I've written, it has made me cautious when trying to convey even simple concepts, especially when widespread propaganda and/or neurosis might push people to overlook what seems an obvious meaning in favor of something they've been taught or that supports a psychological defense. So I think your point is a good one, and I will consider it in my writing. I do use the phrase "non-aggression principle" often and work to connect that to the fact that coercion is a crime, but I'm not sold on the idea that the word "aggressive" will in all cases be as definitive for people as the word "coercive." The term "aggression" on the other hand is -- I think, anyway -- pretty definite, meaning very few people would see it as anything other than "coercive" and thus criminal.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago
    Gimme Shelter
    Web link strike
    Best rock song ever.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Web link strike
    Jails are for the peons, not the ruling class. Exactly as in Egypt. Why would anyone be surprised at this?
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    That was indeed a thoughtful reply. What you describe sounds like a club, voluntary organization, or dare I say it....business. If it indeed requires 100% consent and does not declare monopoly jurisdiction, it is not a state. Sure, you can call it a "government" if it makes you happy, but what you describe is not minarchy. It is anarchy.
  • Shouston's picture
    Shouston 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Scarmig
    a few years back -- health insurance companies were required to stop using your ss number to identify you. this was -- supposedly -- so that you would not become victim to fraud and identity theft. another thing this did was take out the automatic "i've got your ss number" from the hospitals and doctors. with your ss number, they could turn over to the credit bureau if you didn't pay your bill. that is why they still have a slot for you to put it on the paperwork. i leave it blank - and, yes, i have been asked by more than one receptionist to please put it. i simply say i do not give out my ss number. i had one doctor that had a very large, bold sign up that said if you do not put your ss number on the paperwork, she will not treat you! if i had not been in such poor health, i might have turned her in for that! it was obnoxious -- and she has a radio show in our very large city! i made a very big mistake one time. going through a very rough divorce, one of my x's [let's just call them] girlfriends . . . (ugh) called child protective services on me -- just to further rattle me (did i mention, she used to be my best friend?). anyway -- i cooperated, let them in my home, allowed them to speak to my daughter (big mistake, she looked at me like who are these nuts when they asked some of the dumbest questions). she asked for my ss number and that of my daughter and i -- already shaken -- gave it to her. now, i guess i will have a 'report' -- even though found innocent in cps. i should have NEVER given them that number (or even let them in my house -- they didn't have a search warrant). anyway, i am very, very particular about who i give my number to. banks need it for the same reason. they run a credit check and/or run you through a system that shows whether you have written bad checks, etc. i have given mine to the bank - but now, i think i should not have even done that! about the baby and the ss -- i fell for it as well. in addition to that, i was told that i could not leave without giving my baby a name. huh? i can't leave? some of this is just bs that you don't realize where you stand until you have aged, been around the block, or -- not that we have internet access -- check out on your blackberry. most of forget that we are usually dealing with a minimum wager that is telling us (some of us wtih advanced degrees) what we have to do. at my school district, unless you check otherwise, you give them the right to obtain and study your child's MEDICAL RECORDS!!! i have brought this up to many parents and they don't even recall seeing on the registration papers. when i bring it to their attention or show them, they are dumbfounded! there is no way on earth i would release my child's medical records to the school!! both my children did some commercial and television work and i had to get them a state license to work as a minor and a ss card . . . or did it? now, i wonder. but, of course, both mine have cards . . . and names (one, i had to change later because she was not the sex we were sure of and had no name . . .). with everything becoming so computerized and public, i don't think you can keep your private information private enough. i am not going to hand out my ss number so that the doctor has it to ruin my credit should i become disabled or the like. i wonder -- can companies, such as cell phones, etc. force you to give them your ss number? i know they want to run a credit check, and they should be able to do that with your name and address . . . right? is there a law anywhere stating they can deny service if you don't give them your ss number? if you have bad credit, they hit you with a huge deposit, i guess that is what they would do. however, good for you for standing your ground. i hope i have given some of you something to think about as well. you don't need extra grief -- and as you can see by my post, it's not always about money or debt! good luck!
  • mingo's picture
    mingo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "Um, Per, you seem to be arguing a point that nobody disputes: that minarchists are statists. Yeah, we get that." Via deLaubenfels' column: "It is nothing short of ridiculous to try to dismiss all MLs as statists in disguise, as Mr. Bylund does." "Go up to your statist neighbor and tell him you think he is your enemy. See where it gets you." You assume that by properly identifying an aggressor as an enemy, you can't be tactful in your dealings with that person. Via the column: "no matter our differences, we can live together and respect each other." "Let's find a way to live with them, not shoot them, which is what you usually have to do with enemies." ...what? I've had enemies, but I've never had to discharge a firearm. Via the column: "I disagree with many people, but can still accept them and perhaps even enjoy their company." "We treat people as individuals, not as interchangable members of some fuzzy class." I agree. I only wish minarchists did, as well. To them, I'm not an individual human being with a right to defend myself, but rather a source of revenue to fund their limited State, by which they aggress against me and my property.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    How can you exist in a society without being punched in the nose every day? There are obviously lots of people who would punch you in the nose, given any excuse. Even if we lived in perfect anarchy, we would still face a problem in dealing with free-lance criminals. The answer is, you avoid and/or threaten retaliation for messing with you. And if you have any sense, you don't engage in "conspicuous consumption", which makes you look like a juicy target. There are many millions of people who don't pay taxes, even in the belly of the beast (Empire). There are huge numbers of "non-compliant" homeschoolers. There are very many who carry a gun without asking permission. My point is that it is simply unrealistic to imagine we will get to perfect anarchy by flipping a switch. There will be decades, even centuries of transition. Already the state thugs find it unprofitable or dangerous to enter some areas or mess with some people. Those areas will expand and the number of state thugs will contract, particularly when the dollar crashes and there is no means to pay the enforcers.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Um, Per, you seem to be arguing a point that nobody disputes: that minarchists are statists. Yeah, we get that. My point about taking minarchists and other statists out and shooting them, is not that this should be done. It was a rhetorical device. If you agree that it is impractical and immoral to shoot statists, then there is only one other alternative, and that is finding some way to live with them or near them. Go up to your statist neighbor and tell him you think he is your enemy. See where it gets you. "The real problem is that every minarchist by definition wants to (at some point) force their ideals down my throat..." Yes, that is the real problem. Having turned all statists into enemies, you've now enlarged your problem, because you have given up all areas of commonality which are needed to dissuade him from imposing on you, leaving only armed response or submission as your alternatives. In fact, you even have done that with statists not inclined to impose on others, which is madness. Your neighbors may be statists, but they are also victims of the state. Let's find a way to live with them, not shoot them, which is what you usually have to do with enemies. "...but a long-lasting, all-encompassing alliance with statists is so much more than a bad idea." I didn't see anyone arguing for that. Anyway it is a collectivist notion. We treat people as individuals, not as interchangable members of some fuzzy class.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    The next minarchist that takes the time to respond to these questions in a thorough and thoughtful manner as did Suverans2 will be the first one in my experience. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    "It is nothing short of ridiculous to try to dismiss all MLs as statists in disguise, as Mr. Bylund does." It's right there in the self-applied label. Minarchist. Minimum government. Minimum State. And so you are quite correct—MLs are not Statists in disguise at all—they are in fact self-proclaimed Statists.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    G'day tzo, Great questions. " ... human beings are born with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness [sic], and that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men." Here you will have to define government in order to make your position clear. It seems to me that that quote from the American declaration of secession defines “government” as a “rights security institution”, and nothing more. To quote Frédéric Bastiat, “It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.” ~ http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html “How is the government created?” If we looked at things as they should be, instead of as they have always been, I believe you would have asked your question in this fashion, “How should a de jure (rightful) government be created?” “Government is and ought to be nothing whatever but the united power of the people [its members], organized, not to be an instrument of oppression and mutual plunder among citizens [its members]; but, on the the contrary, to secure to every one [member] his own, and to cause justice and security to reign.” ~ Frédéric Bastiat http://bastiat.org/en/government.html Thus it would be “unanimous”. How does it fund itself? Funding would be the decision of it's members, but most likely it would be funded by “agreed-upon membership dues”. ...with the threat of violence behind it? Not at all, as you wrote, “those who do not wish to pay can simply leave”, and by “leave”, is meant, “leave the group”, i.e. “withdraw from membership in the rights security institution”, not leave their land. ...then how does the government acquire its jurisdiction to begin with? How can it possibly extend beyond the collection of private properties that the voluntary members rightfully own? Most people believe that “jurisdiction” has only to do with territory, but this is not so. As old Noah Webster correctly pointed out, jurisdiction is “the legal power of authority of doing justice in cases of complaint; the power of executing the laws and distributing justice. Jurisdiction, is limited to place or territory, to persons, or to particular subjects.” We should not confuse “distributing justice” with “defense”. Jurisdiction is “the power of executing the laws and distributing justice” among the voluntary members of the rights security institution, and should not be confused with the “the collective...right to lawful defense”. Under the Natural Law every free man has the “individual right to lawful defense” against ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES UPON HIS RIGHTS TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND PROPERTY, and as Frédéric pointed out, a rightful (de jure) government “is [nothing more than] the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense,” against ANYONE, (even non-members), WHO TRESPASSES UPON HIS RIGHTS TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND PROPERTY.
  • kenfreedomrings's picture
    kenfreedomrings 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Excellent, John. I'm glad to see I am not alone here.
  • kenfreedomrings's picture
    kenfreedomrings 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Voluntaryist, yes. One could be a socialist or communist voluntaryist also. I would call myself a libertarian voluntaryist. Alternative systems can certainly develop that would certainly be better than what we have today. But we can't ignore the 8000 pound gorilla. The US and all other nation states will hugely effect what goes on in those alternative systems. So I still care about what goes on in them. And major systems like that--I am not sure are ready for anarchy. And I am still not even convinced that there would not be more initiation of force with protection associations than with a very minimal government, fully understanding all the problems that entails. I guess my point is that there is no utopia. But to get closer to that goal, I think, requires moving the culture and the political environment with various methods considering the circumstances, sometimes radical, other times more gradual. I would venture to guess that most people on this website didn't get here with a flash revelation or axiomatic insight. Heck, some might even have read Milton Friedman first. To call Milton Friedman the enemy is counterproductive, arrogant, stupid, and just plain wrong.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "I believe every individual or groups of individuals have the right to secede. " Then you are an anarchist/voluntaryist. If by secede you truly mean that I may maintain my property and simply opt out of the jurisdiction of your "minimal" state. If you "allow" me to leave, property intact, then whatever system you remain within is no longer a state. It is simply a "government-ish provision company" that you have chosen to remain with as a customer. Thus market anarchy. There is no withering of the state involved. The moment you acknowledge the right to self-secession, you have become an anarchist. Of course, your decision alone affects nothing and the state persists...but I appreciate the thought at least.
  • Guest's picture
    Doc (not verified) 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Although the comment below yours defined the word correctly, I think the term for someone who wants a state, no matter the size, is "statist".
  • kenfreedomrings's picture
    kenfreedomrings 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Let me clarify. I think it is delusional to believe that any system of human action is not going to devolve from time to time into the initiation of force. Not that we shouldn't strive for that. In any system of human action, there will be cases of initiation of force. My point is: I am not convinced that a purely anarchistic system will end up with less initiation of force than in a system of very minimal govt. with a constitution that has better checks and balances than the current one. It doesn't mean that it wouldn't be my ultimate goal. I am just not so self assured about those prospects as evidently everyone else on this website is. Further, my position doesn't not infringe on your ability to form your own anarchistic system. I believe every individual or groups of individuals have the right to secede. Ken
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Only 98%? Wow, I guess we're making progress! :) Civility is a good thing in the battleground of ideas. Mercy is not. Bad ideas have bad consequences and there is never benefit from tolerating them. Over 30 million people have been killed by the American experiment in "limited government"; many millions more maimed, imprisoned or impoverished. This isn't just about calling each other names. A flawed philosophy will always eventually lead to negative results and any attempt to combat aggression with aggression will always lead to aggression (by definition). The minarchist criticism of anarchism as something only existing in theory is also true about minarchism. Has there ever been a sustained "minimal" state? Ever? It's a little annoying to be lectured about being "realistic" by a group who themselves have no empirical evidence in support of their ideal (I'm not conceding there is no empirical support for anarchism, only applying the same level of demand for evidence demanded by minarchists). Likewise, in the quest for converts, I'm not seeing the obvious superiority of one approach over the other. Authentic minarchism isn't exactly a mainstream point of view. Of even this recent Tea Party movement, what percent can honestly be referred to as converts to the minarchist philosophy? Purist support for the US Constitution is hardly support of a minimal state (regulation of commerce and the provision of a post office, for starters, are above and beyond basic protection services) and what percent of the Tea Party are even pure Constitutionalists? There is an acknowledged "Palin/Paul divide" and it is clear the "Palin wing", at least, doesn't count as embracing minarchism. I am solidly convinced (and not alone) that ideas are what shape this world, not force (since the guidance and response to force is determined by ideas). The only chance of "increasing freedom" or actually achieving liberty is to help bring about a paradigm shift in enough people (a critical mass) to make a difference. The problem is that minarchism is not a paradigm shift. It's a nuance within the existing paradigm. It still rests on the premise that aggression is acceptable as a means to an end. There is no principle that restrains aggression once it is accepted as "necessary". Your preferences vs. the preferences others. No logic or "truth" to say who is right or wrong. I watch The Daily Show...daily and always cringe when some "conservative" is on to talk about "limited government". Stewart eviscerates them since there is no principle for limited government and he exposes them very quickly. It becomes clear to all who are watching what an sham standing on the principle of "partial slavery" is. Liberty is a paradigm shift. It is principle. It is a line in the sand. Liberty doesn't hem and haw over what percent of a tax is "just". Theft is wrong. People who advocate theft are evil. Did that hurt someone's feewings? Then they should stop advocating theft. Once they've been called out on it, if they persist, they don't deserve to be coddled. Liberty means I get to choose for me. Not for you. Will I only feel safe if there is a minimal state to protect me? Too bad. I don't get to choose for other people, and all states require that conceit. Squabbling about who the master is, or how he should treat us has been the status quo for thousands of years and the result is that liberty has (with but rare exception) only existed in peoples' minds. Are we insane enough to think the same methods will someday result in something better? I see no evidence that converting the world to minarchism is any more a simple task than converting them to libertarianism. So if you're starting with a monumental task, why would you knowingly embrace an incoherent philosophy? What kind of potency can that ever have? Instead, as I mentioned in another thread, minarchy is the siren's song to prevent people from discovering liberty. Those who are entranced by it may yet be saved, but those who sing it are indeed the enemies of liberty. Of course, how you approach individuals in conversation is an entirely different matter. It is only the entrenched minarchist who I would accuse of being an enemy. Patience and compassion are definitely the order of the day for the person struggling with these concepts, but still willing to try.
  • kenlefeb's picture
    kenlefeb 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Where can I read more about this midnight visitation to the Mukhabarat?
  • Melinda L. Secor's picture
    Melinda L. Secor 3 years 20 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Um no, not Mexico. The town we shop in is more than 100 miles from the border, inside the good ole' USA.....but we do have to go through a Border Patrol checkpoint and be interrogated to go there, EVERY time. Because we live in a police state.
  • kenlefeb's picture
    kenlefeb 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I think there are two different ideas being confused here... (not just by you, Plant, but your comment has a nice little list with numbers!) 1. Evangelism, even "friendship evangelism," is not an alliance. It is a valuable exercise, and it is always worth it when you are able to help others discover the consistency of anarchism. 2. An Alliance implies common goals, which Per quite nicely disputed. I have never met a minarchist who truly wanted to "protect basic freedoms". There is ALWAYS a "but." (Freedom of speech, "but" not to joke about bombs in the airport; freedom to assemble, "but" not if you want to assemble with someone of the same sex in the bedroom; etc., etc.) And they usually forget how much they wanted to "protect" those freedoms when the conversation turns to their political opposition (e.g., Democrats for Republican minarchists). 3. I totally agree that living under relatively tolerant rulers is more enjoyable than living under ruthless tyrants. But, any concessions you might make to game the system in your immediate favor isn't truly an alliance, either. It's a tactic, to gain some relief. To an outside observer, it might look like an alliance, but it's deliberate deceit... and, hopefully, it's disgusting enough to you that you don't forget that it's not an alliance.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    From the article: "The big fear has been that the Mexican nationals would come back into Texas..." Dude, these guys are already INSIDE TEXAS, in Texan jails, and being supported by Texas tax dollars. Sheesh!
  • kenlefeb's picture
    kenlefeb 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "archism" = "statism" an-archism is anti-statism, so min-archism is a synonym for mini-statism.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    This is the odd notion that "only the truth matters, let the chips fall where they may". A very nice position to take - until one finds oneself at the end of a noose. Fact is, people matter too. We have to find some place for ourselves in this world. It's hard to do that when you are going around calling 98% of the human race "enemies". I once had an argument with an objectivist. Like anyone else infected with the "only the truth matters" meme, he was sure he had a direct line to the truth. I did not call him an "enemy" (to my recollection). What I did do, however, is repeatedly ask why he would not let me escape from control in his ideal state. Why did he feel it necessary to coerce me? Why didn't he simply leave me alone? I can't say if he will change his mind due to my tactic, but I'm pretty sure putting him in the category of "enemy" would not have done the job. And at least potentially, that would have been a sub-optimal outcome FOR ME, since I have to live in the same world as that guy. Not to mention, the other observers of the exchange got the message I wanted them to get, rather than being turned off by name calling. I will admit, though, that whacking others can give a little temporary emotional boost to oneself. I suppose that goes on the plus side of the ledger, for what it's worth.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "All too often in our zeal to "promote" anarchy and liberty there is the temptation to argue on the side of those who simply CANNOT IMAGINE total self government....who simply cannot envision the marketplace providing protection from the bad guys & gals at a fraction of the cost of Leviathan....who can't wrap their minds around the idea of marketable services that provide arbitration, conciliation...true justice. The primary reason for that incapability I think is the fact that none of us have never SEEN true freedom. Well, we think we've never seen it." Well said Samarami George! As GHW Bush would say: "It's that vision thing."
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I've never understood the term minarchist, which is misleading and leads to confusion. Are they for minimal anarchism? There is no such thing. They are for a minimal state. The proper term for that position should be ministatist or perhaps minstatist.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    The chains of a Constitution? Parchment makes for a poor defense against bullets. Wouldn't recommend it.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Exactly. They not only have to leave everyone else alone, they cannot arbitrarily carve out a few hundred, or thousand, or million square miles for themselves to the exclusion of everyone else. Again, if you want to call a subset of people who agree to guard the person and property of all those members who agree to voluntarily fund this service a government, fine. I just don't believe any minarchist REALLY agrees to these terms, and that is why they are minarchists, and not voluntaryists. That's why they believe in government, and not voluntaryism. Voluntary government seems as oxymoronic as loving rapist to me, a mashing together of opposites instead of choosing the correct term and losing the other.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I wonder if the response would be a little better if you had titled this: "Why Minarchist Philosophy is the Enemy" Because minarchy is simply a form of statism, and statism the enemy of liberty. As has been written above (by myself and others), those who are simply stuck at minarchism because they don't know better are certainly not enemies. It is the degree of belligerent attachment one demonstrates towards that enemy philosophy, when presented with critique that ultimately determines whether they are a true enemy or not.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "I don't care, as long as anarchists can be free" How is a state a "state" if there exists inside the borders of its jurisdiction people who are not subject to its jurisdiction (even in pretense - obviously one can argue that state operatives are not fully under its jurisdiction)? If the "statists" agree to leave us alone, that implies they give us exemption from the jurisdiction of their state without forcing us to leave. If they really mean this (not the, you have to move in order to be free crowd), they are extending this courtesy to anyone who wants it (unless you mean they only allow Paul and Brian to be left alone, but not everyone who wants it). This means that anyone has the opportunity to ask to be "left alone". Opt out, in other words. A fundamental shift has then happened. The "state" has become voluntary, and is no longer a state. For every person who remains in the "state", that position has now become a chosen one since the alternative option is now "allowed". Now competition exists. The "state" must please its "citizens" or they will increasingly "opt out" and find other arrangements for their protection. Competition is now in play. If I can opt out of the state (be left alone), then the state can no longer dictate how I provide/contract for the services it has monopolized. We are now in full-fledged market anarchism. So any situation where "anarchists can be free" (without emigrating - forfeiting their property) is a situation where EVERYONE can be free. That is anarchism. Even if it's some sort of silly philosophical test to be "left alone" (Executive Order 12345: "Only those identifying as anarchists shall be exempt from state control"), then anyone who wants to be left alone can simply claim to be "an anarchist" and achieve the same result.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 3 years 20 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Do you go over to Mexico to shop? Seems odd. Every time?
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "I don't know the answer to that question and neither do you." That admission doesn't seem consistent with your previous assertion that those who propose a "system" without using force (which, as you define it, is aggression) are "delusional".
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "There are a huge number who would reject abolishing the state while consenting to leave us alone." That is redundant. Consenting to leave us alone IS abolishing the state. A "government" with only jurisdiction over those who consent is not a state. If you can convince people to "leave you alone" (without requiring you forfeit your property - love it or leave it), you have convinced them to be voluntaryists.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "not defensive action which I don't consider force." So using a shotgun to drive you off my land is not force? You can define words however you want, but that seems like an unnecessary personal definition, more likely to confuse than communicate. But fair enough, in talking with you, I'll refer to "defensive action" and "force" as opposites. "But how long has that societal construct survived? I don't know the answer to that question and neither do you." I honestly don't understand the question. What societal construct? "As I work to achieve liberty and move us into the direction we both want, I am on your side, and not the enemy. " That depends on how you define liberty. If you are working for liberty in terms of self-ownership, you are working for the abolition of the state, the prime violator of liberty. Violating my sovereignty, "for my own good" or "out of necessity" (because not enough people are "ready"), is still violating my liberty. You're within your rights to choose for you how to protect yourself. If you deem to choose for me as well, what kind of "liberty" are you proposing? Even if market provision of protection was indeed inadequate, how does that magically give you the right to use force to impose the single solution you prefer (a state) on me? "I'm surprised you would be so bold as to inquire for information on my dealings with the IRS when you consider me an enemy." Really? If nothing else, Sun Tzu admonishes us to know our enemies ("If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself."). ;) Seriously, you threw down the claim that you haven't paid taxes. I'm curious how genuine that claim is (in its sustainability). If you don't want to answer, that's fine. BTW, I'm a Christian (yeah I know, irrational whim worshiper - not necessarily aimed at you, but to many STR commentators). So recognizing you as my enemy means I have to love you. No harm to you.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    People who advocate aggression against you are not your friends.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Exactly. Anarchism boils down to this: "you don't have the right to decide for me." Any government requiring unanimous consent to be instituted is simply a business since the requirement of 100% consent implies the recognition of each person's sovereignty and thus the proposed method of establishing order (government) is in competition with alternatives. Any government not requiring unanimous consent is by definition the imposition of the will of some men onto others. Just how inalienable do you think those rights are? Minarchist libertarians - no such thing. Calling yourself a libertarian means nothing if you don't advocate liberty. "Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken." - Tyler Durden, Fight Club
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    "Creating enemy imagery and an "us vs them" divide is not going to help one win any arguments." Who is creating an enemy? The libertarian that refuses to impose his preferences on others? Or the mini-statist, who says, in essence "I'm not sure how things will work without a state, so until I'm convinced, I advocate everyone be enslaved so that I feel comfortable." The person advocating aggression (the mini-statist) is clearly the one responsible for the necessity of the term enemy. What else do you call someone who advocates violence against you for simply disagreeing (allowing dissent in words, but not in action, is not any form of tolerance)? Per is not "creating" anything. He is simply identifying an already existing antagonism that is the fault of those advocating aggression.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "The truth seeker, while perhaps uncomfortable with the idea of abolishing the state, will at least consider your arguments with some effort at intellectual honesty." Actually, that is asking too much. Far, far too much. Most people would reject this outright, and I do not blame them for doing that. We (mostly) shouldn't be asking people to consider giving up the state. We should ask them to be leaving us alone. There are a huge number who would reject abolishing the state while consenting to leave us alone. "Absolutely, many (most?) of us came through the minarchist path and still made it here. But how many more have turned back from the goal because of the soothing poison of the minarchist philosophers?" And how many were turned back by being labelled "enemies", or asked to consider something that they were simply incapable of grasping at the time? Please note, I (at least) am not talking about compromise. One doesn't have to compromise if one's basic position is "do what you think is right, just don't force me into it". Once can be very uncompromising with that basic foundation of argument.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Well, no. I mean, that is wrong on it's face. Example: I've heard any number of conventional conservatives, when confronted with the mess of the War on Some Drugs, say something like this: "I would never use those drugs, but if someone wants to ruin his life, that's his lookout." The person saying this is clearly not an anarchist, yet he is willing to leave someone alone on this issue. It is merely a logical extension to leave people alone on all issues. He may not want to live in a town where drugs are legal, but he does not think every town should be that way. There is a whole principle here, called "subsidiarity". Subsidiarity is not "freedom everywhere". It is "statism (or lack thereof) tailored to the local crowd". In any conceivable future, for a very long time, there are going to be a lot more statists than anarchists. I don't care, as long as anarchists can be free, and as long as we have means to deter encroachments (which currently exist already).