Recent comments

  • 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).
  • kenfreedomrings's picture
    kenfreedomrings 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Brian, When I refer to force, I am referring to the initiation of force, not defensive action which I don't consider force. It seems you completely miss my point. It may very well be that protection associations will devolve into fiefdom wars. The police force of one protection association comes and arrests or kills me may very well be an initiation of force. You may if you like suggest that then, the protection association has become a govt. Maybe so. But how long has that societal construct survived? I don't know the answer to that question and neither do you. As I work to achieve liberty and move us into the direction we both want, I am on your side, and not the enemy. To not understand that is to believe that anarchism is going to spontaneously erupt from wanton statism into liberty. Not gonna happen. I agree with Thoreau's view that no govt. at all is best when people are ready for it. I'm not convinced that we've reached that point. Ken P.S. 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.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Ken, Out of curiosity. How long have you not been paying income taxes? Have you successfully defended yourself (I assume in court, or some sort of legal process) from the IRS? Or have you just gotten by under the radar (to the IRS, you mention "have gone publicly", but that doesn't indicate whether you've had conflict with the IRS). I started on this journey due to the income tax, and I've spent much time and effort (in the past, not recently) researching different methods to avoid surrendering income tax while staying out of jail (or having assets seized). So far, I've yet to find anything that "works" reliably. But if you've figured something out, I'd really like to learn more. "To suggest that one can devise a system of no force when talking about human beings is delusional." 1) Not all opponents of the state advocate the elimination of force. Most recognize the justness of force when used defensively (a small minority are philosophical pacifists). It is only the initiation of force, aggression, that is truly incompatible with liberty. 2) There have been some compelling theories put forth that economic and social pressure may be effective in minimizing (perhaps never eliminating, though retaliatory force doesn't promise full success either) aggression without the need for retaliatory force. See Stefan Molyneaux's work for an example (among others). A reputation based economy, minus the moral hazard provided by the state, is theoretically possible without denying human nature. Purely out of self-interest, a person may refuse to associate or do business with a known aggressor. An individual unable to trade or engage society in any meaningful way will be at a severe disadvantage, and that is a strong motivation for compliance with peaceful norms. The size of the community may be a factor. The Amish appear to already have a fairly effective (to my knowledge) means of ensuring communal harmony without force. A large, heterogeneous city may be different. 3) Perhaps such theories are flawed. A true market test will reveal as much. And perhaps force-based protection will win out in the market. But to simply assert that such theories are "delusional" is quite arrogant. "The real question is: in which system can we minimize force the most?" The only "system" a libertarian envisions is the non-system of the market. That is the spontaneous order created by the voluntary interactions of people. It is not a system to be planned and imposed, but something that happens as people seek to satisfy their needs and wants through trade with others. "I believe reasonable people can differ on that subject."" Do you really? For as long as you advocate a state (regardless of your motivation), you don't extend the courtesy to those who differ to actually act on their convictions. "Yes, you can disagree with me with words, but only my ideas are to be put into action". You have every right to be uncertain of the results of liberty, but your uncertainty does not give you a property right over me, or my justly acquired property. When you advocate a state (even the mythical "limited" type), you are asserting an ownership claim over those in the territorial jurisdiction of that state. That makes you complicit in slavery and aggression. And yes, that makes you the enemy. The unknown can indeed be frightening. But where, pray-tell, have you ever observed "a minarchistic, very limited government actually held in check by the chains of a constitution" to give you confidence in the familiar? Is not such a government also a theoretical construct, not available for testing any more than statelessness?
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Yes. Nicely put.
  • J3rBear's picture
    J3rBear 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Minarchist libertarians are often people that are on a path to becoming full fledged anarchist libertarians. These things take time to absorbe and internalize. To pick fights with Min-libs for their philosophical shortcomings above all others is somewhat counterproductive. Creating enemy imagery and an "us vs them" divide is not going to help one win any arguments.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    But isn't it true that if you can convince your neighbors to "leave you alone", that is, that government shouldn't be imposed on people, then you've convinced them to be anarchists? "Individual secessionists" (seems to be similar to panarchists) appear to propose this "just leave me alone" position as though it was some sort of easier middle ground. But if enough people to matter actually agreed that you have the right to secede yourself (without forfeiting your property - love it or leave it), they are at that point anarchists and we've won. If government only has jurisdiction over those who actually consent, then it is no longer a state, it is a business. Sexual bondage/S&M clubs are not states. If the customers desire to be treated as torture victims, that doesn't suddenly negate the fact that they are customers (choose that treatment voluntarily). Likewise, if you desire to be treated as a "citizen" by a company providing that service, the fact that the company does not force anyone to be its customer (or forcefully prohibit competition) means it must still compete and at that point, it is anarchy. Liberty and self-reliance are not the same thing, and those who advocate liberty (self-ownership) do not have a single, unified preference on the optimum amount of self-reliance. One can be a hermit, fully self-reliant. Another can join a commune, where all worries of responsibility are delegated to others. As long as these preferences are freely chosen, it is liberty, it is anarchy. Since so many people have been conditioned by the state to fear the responsibility that freedom entails, I think a very profitable venture, at least at first, in a stateless society would be to run a "government business". You sign up with us, and we'll treat you exactly as you were by the state. We'll determine how much of your income to take. We'll regulate what you can eat, watch, do. We'll provide a one-stop place for defense services, arbitration, occasional beatings from our security personnel, etc... It is not the behavior of the state, per se, that makes it criminal. It is the involuntary nature of it. So again, convincing a statist to "allow" individual (not smaller state) secession, is to really convince him to be a voluntaryist.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    That's an interesting point you bring up Glen. Thank you for the response. I'm horrible at grammar, but it does appear to me that the modifier "aggressive" doesn't mean the same as the noun "aggression". The man may indeed be "aggressive" in pursuing a woman. But is it correct to say he committed aggression? That he used aggression? I agree, as a modifier "coercive" can clearly denote wrong. "Coercive business practices" indeed implies wrongdoing, whereas "aggressive business practices" may simply imply ambition and drive. And yet the use or threat of force to compel someone, coercion, is not always wrong (because it can be used defensively). Whereas the INITIATION of force, aggression, is always wrong. Initiation is, to me, the most important distinction. It seems that "coercive" as a modifier can be neutral but mostly implies criminality (a counter-example would be "coercive defense"). "Coercion" as a noun is also context dependent. "Aggressive" as a modifier is neutral, but "aggression" as a noun describes something that is always wrong. In a stateless society, it may be commonplace for private protection agencies to be coercive in their defense of property rights (they will use force, instead of ostracization), since they use coercion instead of persuasion. While the same agencies may be aggressive in competing for customers, if they commit acts of aggression, they are criminal. Language, like value, appears to me to be subjective. The noises and squiggles we use to communicate are only effective when the people communicating agree upon their meaning. So if you're comfortable with opposing "coercion" (as you see it to mean), no harm. However, because there are just examples of "coercion", but never just examples of "aggression", I'm more comfortable with being against all aggression, but I don't condemn coercion on the whole.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I don't see Assange as an enemy, yet. I just think he is a person of interest worth questioning: both his methods and motives. He is at the very least over-rated as promoting individual liberty.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    " ... human beings are born with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, 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. How is the government created? Unanimously? By a majority? How does it fund itself? By taxation, the mandatory payment to government with the threat of violence behind it? But if you call this taxation voluntary, as those who do not wish to pay can simply leave, 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? And if a government participant decides to drop out, can he stay on his own property, or does the government's claim trump his, and he has to leave? In other words, is your definition of government free from coercion and aggression or not? If so, it is not in the category of what most people consider to be government, but of course you are free to call it one if you like. If the definition does include coercion and aggression, then how can it be something other than Statism?
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Thanks, Paul. Good commentary, and an interesting tidbit about the provocateurs. I see what appear to be (although one never knows) provocateurs and propagandists working for Power on the web all the time; they stand out as if framed in neon, whether they are actual paid agents or just warped minds. The Pentagon "lost" $2.3 trillion in the years leading up to 9/11 -- Rumsfeld gave a press conference on this the day before the planes were hijacked (great timing, huh?); I linked to his CBS interview on the subject in my 9/11 column in 2007 -- and it is certain that the Pentagram, and a hundred other agencies and power-centers in the government, have massive off-the-books budgets to do exactly this sort of thing -- infiltrate the enemy (meaning the citizenry), keep tabs on things, slander the opposition, and move the conversation on relevant topics in the direction they'd like it to go. New information: DailyKos has posted "The HB Gary Email That Should Concern Us All", which gives chilling detail on the SEMI-AUTOMATION of such infiltration and propagandizing: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-... -- From the article: "I don't know about you, but this concerns me greatly. It goes far beyond the mere ability for a government stooge, corporation or PR firm to hire people to post on sites like this one. They are talking about creating the illusion of consensus. And consensus is a powerful persuader. What has more effect, one guy saying BP is not at fault? Or 20 people saying it? For the weak minded, the number can make all the difference. "And another thing, this is just one little company of assholes. I can't believe there aren't others doing this already. From oil companies, political campaigns, PR firms, you name it. Public opinion means big bucks. And let's face it, what these guys are talking about is easy."
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I agree with you both. I do understand Paul's stance. But Per's article and his essay are dead on. I agree there is no kinda pregnancy with freedom. Either is you is, or is you ain't. I am a sovereign state. My President is responsible for the rotation of the earth on its axis. And no, I have no religious ax to grind and have no movement into which I could proselytize. I cannot impose my freedom or my sovereignty upon anybody -- least of all my neighbors and/or friends. But they do see my actions. And they know I am free -- as free as a sovereign individual can be living in an occupied area.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Nice comment, and thanks for "Anyone who takes issue with that is a sycophantic goon." -- gave me my first laugh of the day.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Paul: "...Minarchists per se are not the enemy, and statists are not all the same. There are statists who will leave us be, and other statists who won't. The latter are our enemy, no matter what label they use for themselves, and the former are our allies. In fact, even anarchists, who insist the world must be completely free, are our enemies. People will come to accept freedom in their own good time, in their own way, not by having it imposed on them..." ----------------------- Sam's response: Absolutely agreed. 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. http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/Obvious.pdf Like the elephant in the room, The State has always been there. And that is that. I am a sovereign state. I currently live in occupied territory -- occupied by state (and statists and ministatists of the anarchist and libertarian bent). But my President is not in the District of Collectivism...er, Columbia. My President is responsible for the rotation of the earth on its axis. And no, there is no "religion" to which I can attempt to proseltyse you, so don't slam the door just yet. I can't impose my sovereignty upon my family (all of whom I dearly love) and force them to be free. Or my neighbors. Two of my sons are avid, totally involved Ron Paul promoters. I love them both and their families and support them in every way I know as their father. I've met and visited with Dr & Mrs Paul and can testify they are delightful people. But no, I shall not vote for (or against) Ron Paul for "president" or any political office. Last time I voted was 1964 for Barry Goldwater. I agree with Per, and his article provides excellent insights. But I also agree with Paul. I can be free. I don't need your support for me to be free. I truly appreciate both of your well thought out essays and previous articles and all the input and ideas from other of my web friends. You can be free also. And if I can be of inspiration to help you over freedom's hump, I'll sincerely try. I take every opportunity to broadcast the anti-state, anti-war message of freedom to all who wish to hear it (Mark knows me as "George"). But I cannot impose it upon you or anybody else. I am at peace with my neighbors, statists all. It would be nice if you and they would stay outa my face with your desire for rules and laws, and I'll avoid stealing your stuff or intruding upon your person or your property. I'm too old to seduce your wife or your daughter, so rest easy on that score. Samarami
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    That's a thoughtful response, but I don't feel that using both terms -- coercion and/or aggression -- is a problem, and I think "coercion" works better as a modifier in many situations. That's partly because being aggressive is not usually seen as a crime; a man might be aggressive in pursuing a woman, for instance -- which is VERY different from being coercive in that situation. "Aggressive" might be annoying, while "coercive" is literally criminal. Likewise, being aggressive in business is often seen as a good thing, but once again: being coercive is never anything but criminal.
  • mingo's picture
    mingo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    I think Bylund was only hunting for the "friends" who would use the demonstrated threat of violence to impose their wills upon all of us. Anyone who takes issue with that is a sycophantic goon.
  • kenfreedomrings's picture
    kenfreedomrings 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Sophomoric. Let me say that I am on the fence, not because I am a gutless coward. Per, I assume you have stopped paying income taxes and have gone publicly about that as I have. I assume you have done the equivalent of spending 5 years of your life challenging various laws such as the seat belt law, which was just a $25 fine, yet I spent two and a half years fighting it. I am on the fence because I truly don't know if an anarchistic society would bring about more brute force, i.e., Hatfield/McCoy syndrome, than a minarchistic, very limited government actually held in check by the chains of a constitution. To suggest that one can devise a system of no force when talking about human beings is delusional. The real question is: in which system can we minimize force the most? I believe reasonable people can differ on that subject. Ken Prazak
  • Melinda L. Secor's picture
    Melinda L. Secor 3 years 20 weeks ago
    Why You're Not Married
    Web link Sharon Secor
    Well, I thought it was funny too...but of course, since I'm also a Secor, the warped sense of humor thing definitely applies....
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    G'day everyone, Can we all get along? ~ Rodney King As a self-governing Individual Secessionist I say if any of you want a government, large or small, go ahead and have one, enjoy yourself, and as long as you don't try to force that government on me or mine, then we'll "get along" just fine.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Excellent insight about the impact of Rothbard's activism vs. his philosophy BrianDrake. And that mini-statism is an easy way out when compromising one's philosophical principles. I was brought up a statist, became a mini-statist and wound up evolving into an anti-statist. It was mainly Rothbard's and de la Boettie's sound philosophical arguments that got me there. So I try to give my mini-statists friends the benefit of the doubt that they too are heading in the direction of liberty and do not consider them as enemies per se. I also have become less patient with ministatists whom I see as suffering from what Glen and Scott call a "Pathological Obedience to the State" such that perhaps sterner measures of discourse may be needed to help them have breakthrough. I'm getting more and more like John said "Just leave me alone" and consider myself a Sovereign Individual. I am less worried about those who support the state, big and small, as long as they just leave me alone. As Thoreau said, "I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe— "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." One day enough men will be prepared for it, but I'm not holding my breath, or tongue, until then. This has been a great discussion.
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Guest
    Thank you, Cristian. I always come here to try and educate myself as I am by definition functionally illiterate in the ways of our economy. This column helped me understand why our current system Monopoly money is truly bogus. We are taught growing up that we basically want to play Monopoly in order to get ahead, while at the same time the Dungeon Masters at the Fed are playing Dungeons and Dragons, rolling the dice and casting spells on us, or shooting us with arrows on a whim. Oil is a commodity, but it is actually handled by the central bank and governments as a magic potion in a Dungeons and Dragons game. That is it, folks. It is all a game. Games are childish things. It is time to put away childish things.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 20 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    I couldn't have said it better myself, John! No one has ever expanded their movement by hunting for heretics among their friends.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    good comment rickdoogie. I should have read it before writing mine as I now am slightly redundant.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Great article Per. I think there's an important caveat: Minarchists-for-the-moment, genuinely on the path to truth, are indeed fellow travelers that need an extended hand from us to help them make those few (but necessary, and often the hardest) remaining steps towards a coherent philosophy. Minarchist philosophers are the WORST enemy, IMO, and deserve to be outed as the snakes they are. As noted above by others, it is the minarchist philosophers that seem to be the most rabid apologists for the state when it really boils down to it. I have seen the most egregious examples of sliminess by the advocates of "limited government" as they praise "liberty" out of one side of their mouth, while screeching out the other fear and smug prediction about the doomed fate of an imagined dystopia should liberty ever be truly taken seriously. It's sometimes hard to tell which is which (so I start with extending the benefit of the doubt to each person), but the metaphorical "digging in of the heels" is often a good indicator. 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. The behavior and tactics of the hardened minarchist will usually show their true intent. I find such people despicable. Minarchist philosophers are the enemy mostly because they're the evil sirens, luring those who are on their way to truth to an easier path. Siding with the statist-quo is the easy cop out. "The state isn't evil, it's just too big." "Any man (or group of men) having the final say over others isn't slavery, it's simply the necessity of an orderly society." "Turn back, stop here." "No need to look further. Only crazy/utopian anarchists in that direction." 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? So as far as philosophy goes, minarchy is not the brother or even cousin of libertarianism. It's the runt offspring (same family) of the sworn enemy (statism - acceptance of aggression-ism). Minarchy is not a philosophy compatible with the philosophy of liberty. The term "libertarian minarchist" is a contradiction. No one can support liberty and the state (regardless of its desired size - fiat monopoly jurisdiction, the very minimal requirement for a state, inherently involves aggression). As far as tactics go. Yeah, that's a little bit more unclear to most, so such strict "purity" is perhaps not necessary. However, once I read de la Boettie, it seems that the strategy for liberty is pretty clear cut, in the general scheme. The state only exists because it is perceived by enough people differently than other criminal organizations (like street gangs or the mafia). It is not force alone that sustains the state, it is legitimacy. With that in mind, it seems clear that the only true advances for liberty are steps that de-legitimize the state in the minds of the masses. Anything that contributes to the legitimacy of the state works contrary to that goal. To which end does the minarchist philosophy support? I think the answer is clear. I'm not sure if Rothbard's political activism came before or after his realization of de la Boettie's insight. That might be interesting to find out, since I don't see how any political action can be productive in light of this [update; "The Political Thought of Étienne de La Boétie." was written in 1975 - hmmm...]. Of course, the libertarian is happy to see the state decrease. But engaging in the political process only serves to strengthen the idea that the state can be reformed, and that supports the legitimacy of statism. So while Rothbard was ultimately "pure" in his philosophy, perhaps he was flawed in his practice. I certainly don't think he was infallible (nor am I aware of any who make that claim). And in that regard, look at the result of Rothbard's philosophy vs his activism. Looking at the US state now, can one honestly consider Rothbard's political activities as anything but an absolute failure? The state has only continued to metastasize at a rapid pace, showing no notice of the man ever existing. But look at his philosophical impact! Yes, it's small in the grand scheme, but there has been a steady, if not (recently) explosive growth in those who have embraced a coherent philosophy of liberty. Certainly Rothbard alone can't take full credit, but his contributions in pure philosophy seem to have paid off and continue to bear fruit. When/if ever a critical mass of people finally withdraw their consent (more accurately, acceptance) and the state dissolves, it will be Rothbard's philosophy that had a part to play. None of the votes he cast, alliances he made, or political parties he joined/formed will even be remembered.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Isn't it more accurate to use the word "aggression"? It is the non-"aggression" principle, for starters. Out of deference to your semantic tastes, I'd be willing to refer to the NCP in a conversation with you, but I think most abolitionists/anarchists/libertarians/voluntaryists (whew...it's getting to be a chore to write those synonyms out, and I'm not being comprehensive) are more familiar with the NAP. I have never been able to think of (or hear put forth) a justified form of aggression. I have been able to conceive of justified "coercion". For example, if you are on my property, and I ask you to leave, if you refuse, at some point I may be justified in "coercing" you off my property. That is, I may "persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats" (my dictionary's def of "coercion") and be completely justified since you are invading my property, the continued act being a form of aggression against me. Reasoned escalation to the use or threat of violence is coercive, but since it is defensive, it is not unjust. There's not usually such a strong need for nitpicking semantics. But I think in this issue, the easy answer is the consistent use of the word "aggression", which one can always oppose without caveat.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    From STR submissions guidelines, number 2. "STR is a market anarchist site, so please do not submit any columns that promote the political process, a political party, voting, "good government," the Constitution, lobbying "your" Congressman, or technical, legal arguments against the income tax (only moral arguments), or that mention or imply physical threats to government officials." So that should clear that up. Your opinion that it is impossible to make progress by making and spreading principled arguments against government is duly noted. The stupid public cannot be educated. The political process must drive them to virtue through force. I happen to disagree, and I don't mind agreeing to disagree, as it is quite possible you are correct. We'll just have to wait and see. But here you are, contributing to a market anarchist website (apparently unbeknownst to you) and you demean the very spirit of most of the writing that is contained therein. All the archives of columns that reject the Statist assumptions and promote voluntary association are just a collection of worthless musings that have no connection to reality. Mental masturbation. Because these columns do not promote the political process, the only way to get stuff done in this world. I don't have a problem with principled human beings attempting to use the political process as one means of increasing liberty. Personally, this does not interest me, nor do I think it is an effective use of time. Murray and Lysander both thought that voting could be used defensively. They figured that if you're entangled in an inescapable web of coercion, you may as well take what the State gives you and use it to your advantage if possible. But you see, there is a HUGE difference between principled human beings who thoroughly understand the subject of freedom, who will try anything to increase freedom, including trying to influence the hated, violent, and omnipresent institution of government to that end, and a person who believes the ONLY way to move towards freedom is through Machiavellian wheeling and dealing and compromising via government. The former may use politics to increase freedom while the government exists, with the goal being to end the government. The latter relies on politics to increase freedom with the goal of keeping the government in place. The basic incompatibility of government and freedom is ignored, and he refuses to see the logical impossibility of the stated mission. Rothbard's and Spooner's great contributions live on not through what they did in politics to change the system, but in their contributions of thought that continue to undermine the bad meme that is government. Neither man accomplished squat through the political process. And yet it seems your opinion would be that only their political involvement was practical and useful, while all the rest of the volumes they wrote on human freedom was just so much mental masturbation, contributing nothing to furthering the cause. Education is the key. It is the only answer. It is happening all around you. So many people have never been so directly connected with so much information available to them before. There is no precedent. The government meme will not just disappear tomorrow, but that does not mean that it is not steadily losing its credibility. Lose it, don't use it.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "Just because someone is not your staunch ally that doesn't make them an enemy" -- I agree, but I must say you've written some commentary about Assange that seems to take a different view.
  • rickdoogie's picture
    rickdoogie 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Thanks Per. Great job stirring up lots of excellent commentary on the subject. It's a raw nerve, obviously. I agree with your sentiments. Minarchists can be the most rabid defenders of the state, when they are long-time defenders of that wheel-spinning paradigm. I agree with those who say that we shouldn't be openly hostile to those who are "minarchists in motion", taking logical steps in our direction. The trick is finding out who is a die-hard statist minarchist, and who is still moving. Not an easy thing to judge on the fly. But we must continue to insist on our right to opt out of their mini-state. That usually makes them show their true colors. Minarchists who I am acquainted with like to say "I believe in non-coercion", but will continue to say "everyone has to participate to make the minimal state work". They haven't realized the basic principle that "the state is force". Even very intelligent (and very gentle) minarchists seem to have this blind spot in their psyche. I agree with Glenn and others who say we need to keep pointing out the coercion that a minarchist has to advocate in order to hold his logical position. Stir up that cognitive dissonance. Bring to boil. Stir continuously.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I have always been under the impression that STR is open to everyone who is for liberty, even if that means a restrained state or small, constitutional government. Quotes by "minarchists" like the Thomas Jefferson are rotated across the top of the page every week. You quote Rothbard, but Rothbard spent his life working with parties inside "the system". He was a member of the Libertarian Party and he initially supported Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign in 1992. Are you going to throw Rothbard under the bus too?
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    The following episode of South Park should explain why we are not as advanced as we should be. You see, it's all about the Space Benjamins: South Park: Pinewood Derby (Season 13, Episode 6)
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    jd-in-georgia, that is a GREAT comment. My comment below about using "coercion" as a modifier when speaking of the State, or government, or socialism, or the elite (i.e., the ones who use corporatism and other State coercion to achieve their goals) is aimed at exactly what I believe you're talking about when you describe "turning a light on" in people's minds. Hammer it home, everywhere, all the time: COERCION is what we object to; COERCION is literally a crime in human terms (and typically also in the legal code); COERCION is what turns civil society into a fascist nightmare or other tyranny. Focusing on anything else just gets people to waste time on side issues, while making it harder for them to see the main point. Likewise (speaking here not to you, but generally): for god's sake, let's stop using "anarchy" as a descriptor for the movement. Yes, yes, it's accurate and it's THEIR problem that people don't understand the word. Except that isn't really the case, is it: if 98% of the public believes that anarchy = "violence and chaos", then all we are doing is marginalizing ourselves further every time we use the word. We are choosing to fail, and I mean that literally. I want to abolish the use of initiated (i.e., non-defensive) coercion OF ALL TYPES and BY ALL PERSONS AND GROUPS. If that is what you want also, please consider using "abolitionist" and "abolitionism" as (accurate and with positive connotation) descriptors for yourself and for the movement to abolish coercion.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Nice column, Per, and you're making an important point about the non-aggression principle -- although you don't mention it by name. I believe that and other choices in wording impede your message. What is "government"? Well, there is individual self-government -- freedom, in other words. That's the kind of government we want. Auberon Herbert, the classical liberal who wrote the excellent "The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State", advocated a government that did not tax, nor enforce its will on people in any way. Of course, that's not a "government" of any kind that people would recognize, but it does -- in classical liberal fashion -- acknowledge that there are things which need doing. We NEED air traffic control, roads, and garbage collection -- we just don't need to use a coercive mechanism to fund or operate them. I use the word "coercive" as a modifier for that very reason. "Coercive government" is very different from individual self-government. "Coercive socialism" is nothing at all like the voluntary socialism you might find at a monastery or commune. And the "coercive elite" are definitely NOT in the same, RESPECTABLE category as a rich/powerful person who earned or inherited his/her money without coercion and who does not use State coercion to line his/her pockets or to otherwise coerce unearned priviledge or wealth from the people. It is COERCION that is the problem, and until people get clear on this, confusion will reign. I would love to see abolitionists (see my "Call me an Abolitionist, Please" for why I don't use the word "anarchist" http://strike-the-root.com/62/allport/allport4.html ) start to regularly, consistently use the word "coercion" as a modifier whenever talking about the State or those who avail themselves of State coercion to achieve their goals. I don't think anything else gets the message across so clearly.
  • GeoffreyTransom's picture
    GeoffreyTransom 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    It seems to me that Michael (Kleen) was making a reasonable point, but was using the inflammatory language that is now expected in all internet-based interactions. I hate the phrase 'mental masturbation' so much that I hope that I will never be found to have used it, but doubtless I have. Also, you're off-base in your analysis of what happened in Egypt; the people didn't 'ignore' the government - they took concrete action and OPPOSED the government: refusing to observe a curfew is not 'ignoring' government. If hundreds of thousands of Yanks decided to give up their Ritalin/Adderal/OxyContin induced haze and occupy the National Mall in DC, they would not be 'ignoring' the government. Furthermore, as with all operations against an oppressive and brutal regime with its cadres of thugs... it was not entirely non-violent. A lot of media were perplexed as to why the police and Mukhabarat disappeared completely on the 29th of January. Here is a partial explanation: as Anonymous shut down the Egyptian government's web-presences on the 25th and 26th, it also managed to back-door the Ministry of the Interior. It obtained lists of undercover police and Mukhabarat - their names, addresses and telephone numbers. (By the time it was realised that the regime had severely curtalied internet access, the job was already done - so Anonymous stopped DDoS on .eg government sites). From there a small campaign happened on the night of the 27th, where extreme violence was done to several Mukhabarat people and undercover police. Targets were selected on teh basis that they were known (1) unmarried and childless; and (2) violent assholes committed to the regime. Thereafter, in the wee small hours, a few dozen folks made a few hundred of phone calls to the families of about 15% of the people on the rest of the list, telling them what had happened to their comrades and that their identities were compromised. From there, the 'bush telegraph' did the rest. The men who worked for the regime did a cost-benefit analysis regarding their work, and factored in two things: what if the regime fails, given that I am now known to be a collaborator? And lo, 'truancy' (lol...) became a problem for the police and security forces. So all the media falderol about how the Egyptian uprising was entirely non-violent are like the people who watch a swan move - apparently effortlessly - across a lake, oblivious to any action under the water. There is not a single government on earth whose information security is what I would consider satisfactory; this is why the US is so keen to try to convince other despots that it backs, that it can put out any further spot-fires... but about a month ago the US govt had to repatriate 400 people from CIA 'front' companies as a result of a leak that they were told about. The stark reality is that the bad guys (the State) know that this is a game for keeps; they risk being demoted to the same level as senior Church figures were after the success of the Liberty of Conscience movement. Now we might think that such a change only means fewer palaces and less power... but people like Cheney, Blair, Obama and their ilk are prepared to set the whole world ablaze in order to prevent their share of the pie from falling. They would rather that the pie shrank and their share grew, than the reverse. It is all about how they're wired; they gain utility from the gap between themselves and the average, over a much larger range than normal humans (everyone wants to be better off than the average, but there is a diminishing marginal utility for us... but NOT for 'homo cheneyensis').
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    As Albert Einstein so eloquently stated, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result. The great "experiment" started by our founding fathers is coming to an end. Why? Because in practice and in principle it has been tried over and over, long before the inception of the United States, and has always ended in failure. Governments, fiat currencies, and all of the things that make the world go around are doing just that, not unlike the vortex in a toilet sending human waste into oblivion. If only one idea here (like in the movie "Star Trek: First Contact" when Captain Piccard is explaining to Lily, a person from his past, that money, along with hunger and many other nasty things, no longer exist in the future) or one idea there (like the Christians that Gandhi said do not exist would actually start existing) could perhaps turn on lights in all people, regardless of personal beliefs and backgrounds, to facilitate a very real change. That is the day I hope for. It is the day where individuals learn that using competition as a tool to hone cooperation (instead of just competition alone) actually gets all people moving forward, yet each person gets to maintain his or her very own identity. It will take time. It will happen. It takes people like those who immerse themselves into the articles on Strike the Root. It takes people who actually read all sides of an argument. It takes people willing to be pro-active and not re-active. As a species, we have not really changed much over the past few thousand years, if you only look at the DNA. But when we look at some of the technologies that have been around for a relatively short period of time, I hypothesize that we are the only creatures on the planet that can evolve by choice. The time to evolve out of petty politics is at hand. Just my opinion.
  • GeoffreyTransom's picture
    GeoffreyTransom 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I'm in two minds (at least) about Mr Bylund's rejection of minarchists as 'fellow travellers'. Ideological purity is a decent idea, but then you risk shouting and waving your arms in obscure bits of the wilderness. There is the whole 'babies and bathwater' issue... plus, if some larger group gets the stone rolling in the right direction, the hope is that converts flock to the voluntaryist standard, the stone continues to roll (gathering, as the crones say, no moss) all the way to the Final Solution - the genuine Abolition of Slavery. To expect to penetrate the public consciousness endogenously while having a 'correct line' view of one's associations, seems a tad irrational; it puts too great a faith in the power of reasoned argument (and the ability to gain access to the eyeballs of the as-yet-unconverted). Most people are amenable to being bored off their gourds over coffee or beer (people tolerate me banging on about stuff like this all the time), but will not deliberately click a link to be hectored. Personally, I started my university life as a dedicated hater of politicians with zero held opinions about the State except that I hated the people who led it. Public Finance gave me an idea of sensible justifications for a minarchist state; public-goods (and asymmetrical publicness arguments), diminishing marginal utility of money and so forth. Fortunately at the same time I was studying 'Comparative Economic Systems' and saw how, under almost all State configurations, the Party as rent-seeking 'candidate rationer' comes to pervert allocations - so my disdain for politicians was validated. Later that same semester, I read some Rothbard at the behest of Ross Parish - and understood the inherent wrongness of state compulsion starkly for the first time (other readings for Parish's class included Spooner and Nock). I have been voluntaryist ever since - although I quite liked 'Sortition' as a possible intermediate step (which I tried to get called 'Randomocracy' after a paper from the 1980s... but Wikipedia-nazis called that a neologism). ANYTHING to get professional politicians out of the human species (including Assassination politics, if necessary - all violence against State organs is inherently defensive). So anyhow... my 'journey' took place over about ten weeks; from not caring but hating the bullshitters (hat tip to Prof Frankfurter for making the word 'bullshit' academic) to hating the entire State edifice for sound theoretical reasons. In a sense I was very lucky though; since then I have found precious few other 'trained economists' who have had similar exposure to material that I read and enjoyed as an undergrad. The only common ground we share tended to be the mathematical smart-assery of Varian (for micro), Blanchard&Fisher (for macro), Mishkin (for monetary), Caves Frankel & Jones (for Trade)... and the electronic wonderlands of of econometrics and CGE modelling (which are my primary fields of 'expertise', by the way). Look at the news lately; the media cannot get its head around the following ideas - * that Anonymous is leaderless (genuinely); * that the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings did not happen due to some leadership council or other manifestation of an organ of control; * that Wikileaks only has a 'spokesman' because it knew it HAD to in order to get media attention. (I know something about all three organisations, and about how the media has tried to get anyone to say 'I am Anonymous!' or 'I am a Wikileaks insider!' or 'I am one of the folks on Twitter who exchanged DMs with the co-ordinating committee for the Egyptian revolution!'; anyone who put their hand up is a bit-parter who wants their Warholian 15-minutes). If the media can't get their heads around genuinely leaderless orgs, how can one expect the Mass man to do so? That is why outreach - beginning with our minarchist chums - is required. The media were DESPERATE to find ANYONE who could be labelled a 'leader'; all props to Wael Ghonim, but he was just a participant in the majestic wave of public protest in Egypt. Likewise Julian Assange - who should always be referred to as the RELUCTANT public face of Wikileaks. And as for Anonymous? Expect Us.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Logic is mental masturbation. Ethics is mental masturbation. Truth is mental masturbation. If you cannot compromise your principles, you are stroking yourself. Here's a wild idea... I'm picturing it now... a website designed to educate people so they can understand the principles of logic and ethics and truth. If enough people begin to be exposed to these good ideas, then eventually they may become the majority. Maybe the website could be called, I don't know, Strike The Root or something catchy like that. Oh, wait, we already have one like that, but it is populated with losers who get their kicks through fruitless mental masturbation that ultimately will lead nowhere. Teach the people to work within the system to change the system. Yeah, gotta keep the system. Put on your loud plaid suit and oversized political button and get in there and compromise, champ! There's this little country called Egypt, perhaps you've read of something going on over there? It seems that the people's opinion seemed to change rather quickly in regard to their government. Where was the compromise? Did they violently strike down the government? No, they basically ignored it until it left. Perhaps they should have taken your council and compromised their way to a better life over a span of a couple more decades? Now I doubt they will prevent another government from moving in, because as you said, most people still cannot imagine a government-less society, but one of these days in the not-too-distant future, enough people will understand not just that government-less society is possible, they will choose it because they understand WHY it is logical and ethical and proper. This wacky internet thing, through which you and I and others opine, is spreading ideas faster than anything that has ever come before. The good ideas are going to prevail, and the bad ideas will be put aside. You see, we actually are doing something here, even as you epically fail to realize it, and it is going to be much more effective than pulling levers and making deals with sociopaths that promise to limit the body count to 10,000,000 instead of 100,000,000. You see, I don't see that kind of compromise as progressive or as being the realization of anything positive. I find it disgusting and revolting. The State is a killing machine, and I hate the State. http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html So, Michael, please outline the plan you have for your lovely government to pay for education, social security, welfare, infrastructure, or anything else after your bankrupt system has no money that anyone is bound to respect. This was the point of the post previous to yours. And if you don't have a detailed answer, you are just engaging in mental masturbation. And if you do have an answer, it is based on violence. And you are OK with that, it seems. Funk dat.
  • Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's picture
    Plant Immigrati... 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I think alliances with minarchists are valuable for at least three reasons : 1. Many minarchists later become voluntaryists or anarcho-capitalists – ESPECIALLY if they have lots of contact with people who reject the state entirely THROUGH strategic alliances. I know this personally – I once was a minarchist. 2. If such alliances can – at minimum – protect basic freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly etc., we can continue to express our views without [as much] fear of prosecution. 3. The fact is, living in a semi-free society is far more pleasurable than living in a society like North Korea, Cuba or Saudi Arabia. If working with minarchists can help stop us from reaching a state like the poor folks in those countries have I am more than willing to work with them.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    By taking the most extreme position possible and then rejecting any alliance or cooperation with anyone who doesn't agree with you, you are basically condemning your ideology and movement to utter failure. No one has ever succeeded in bringing their political thoughts into realization without some kind of compromise - There are just too many people who disagree with you. The only way a minority has ever held sway over a majority without compromise has been through brute force, and that's out of the picture, obviously. It's one thing to opine on the Internet about your beliefs, but if you make it impossible for you to make any progress toward their realization in the world, then all you're doing is engaging in mental masturbation.
  • D. Saul Weiner's picture
    D. Saul Weiner 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Regarding your comments about the extreme scenario posed and how would a free society ENSURE that such and such a problem would be addressed in a satisfactory manner: I don't think that anarchists should go on the defensive here. In such a challenge, there is an implicit premise that the State can somehow GUARANTEE that it will address all manner of problems indefinitely in the future. But we know that not to be the case. How will the State take care of the old/sick/disabled/children etc. when it has gone bankrupt? How will it take care of us all when it has destroyed the private economy, once and for all? How will it take care of us all when it has destroyed the currency? These are the types of questions we should be asking in response to a challenge like this.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Paul, I had to go back and read through the article again to see how you got the impression that Per wanted to kill anybody and I don't see it. Just because someone is not your staunch ally that doesn't make them an enemy, much less someone that should be killed. Per said that he is "attacked" for taking a stand on a principle that they profess to adhere to, but obviously don't. I have felt the same frustration. That doesn't mean he wants to "impose" anarchy on anybody either. Any libertarian who truly believes in the non-aggression principle and takes it to its logical conclusion, must conclude that the state is by its very nature incompatible with that principle. Having Goldilocks arguments about what size government is "just right" totally misses the point. It is also counter-productive and a waste of time because such a professed libertarian either doesn't truly believe in the non-aggression principle, doesn't understand logic or are too afraid to admit the truth. If people who say they believe in the non-aggression principle still cling to the myth that "we must have a state", then I will continue to try to point out the error of their logic. But if they attack me for it when their cognitive dissonance results in emotional overload, I won't hesitate to call them for their cowardice on it either. Hopefully that will help them get over the hump, but no killing should be necessary. I agree totally that our goal should be to "insist that people let us be, in our own free communities. Nothing more." That doesn't mean we should roll over and let ministatists continue to push their logical inconsistencies and/or cowardly conclusions down our throats when confronted.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    My perception is the reverse. I see quite a few minarchists predicting a breakup of the US. Pretty sure I've heard Ron Paul talk about it. And lots of liberals want this too. I don't think you can throw every statist into this category of "enemy", not even close. And even those who do think that the US should not break up, are often easily shaken off that position, because they've never really considered it, and never realized the advantages that could accrue. Anarchists are not the only ones who hate Washington DC with a passion.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    "The purpose of demoralization as part of ideological subversion is to make your enemy unsure of his own ideology, of his own system of government, and perhaps even to work against them." Um, with a quibble about the word "enemy", isn't this what anarchists are trying to do? Get people to question their ideology, their system of government, and perhaps even to get them to work against it (by escaping their chains)? Just wondering... As to leftist history, here's another interesting one that Rob linked to: http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory205.html
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    If the current US minarchists continue to insist that the entire US land area is "their country" then that is a problem. There will never be any free societies until government organizations relinquish land, since they currently control all of it. Not all minarchists are the same, but I would venture to guess that right now the vast majority aren't willing to shrink "their country's" land area to the limits of the collection of just land titles made up from willing participants.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    So, Per, what is your solution? Kill all the minarchists, as well as all the socialists, conservatives, liberals, and so forth? You are making an implicit assumption here, that the only way to live is either within a completely minarchist state, or a completely anarchist un-state (or completely liberal state, etc.). This simply is not so: http://www.strike-the-root.com/what-is-to-be-done-with-statists Minarchists per se are not the enemy, and statists are not all the same. There are statists who will leave us be, and other statists who won't. The latter are our enemy, no matter what label they use for themselves, and the former are our allies. In fact, even anarchists, who insist the world must be completely free, are our enemies. People will come to accept freedom in their own good time, in their own way, not by having it imposed on them. They will do it when they see anarchism works. But that will never happen if anarchists turn everyone into enemies. Stop whacking our natural allies. It is counterproductive to the cause of freedom. We should insist ONLY that people let us be, in our own free communities. Nothing more.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Wikileaks obviously did not cause these revolutions (straw man) but were a factor: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/01/15 http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/02/wikileaks-exclusive-book-ext... http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11653.shtml http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/08/world/middleeast/201101208... Not that these revolutions are done. Currently they are just up to their old tricks, trying to install another sock-puppet. We'll see if Egyptians fall for it. It may be that the puppet regimes stay in power until the economic situation destroys the Empire. As to Lady Gaga CD's, I'm not an expert on music CD's but one can certainly put an ISO on a CD without closing it for further writing. Puppy Linux even has an option where you can run it from CD and subsequently store further sessions on the same CD: http://puppylinux.com/multi-puppy.htm
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 20 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Bad grammar, bad writing style, great essay. Every cop in America today came of age during the so-called "war on drugs." Every cop in America today joined the force knowing full well that doing so meant becoming a soldier in what is, in fact, a war against the people. And you don't wage war on people to help them or to protect them. You wage war on people to take what they have or destroy it. And that's exactly what they do.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Ron Paul and the minarchism crowd is a nice first step in extracting people from mainstream thought and politics. It should be the beginning of a logical questioning process, not an end or a means to an end (same thing). If the logical process leads to the conclusion that less government is better, then zero government must be the best. This is the big hurdle to overcome, and only some will make it. So yes, those who ultimately end up permanently camped in the Ron Paul zone are not "getting it," but as long as the Ron Paul zone exists, it will be a wake up call and a launching pad for those who ultimately pursue the minarchist meme to its logical conclusion. Those who obstinately stay in RP World and believe it is the end-all are every bit the enemy of freedom as any democrat or republican. Leave them alone and help along those who are open to the next step.
  • JonCatalan's picture
    JonCatalan 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I understand the article's overarching message, but I think it misses some of the benefits of a "union" between libertarian minarchists and libertarian anarchists. Practically speaking, the transition between a statist society and a stateless society will probably not occur within our lifetimes, and more likely than not it will be some sort of progressive transition (not necessarily peaceful, and not necessarily easily to track, but what I mean is that the transition will take time). In the meantime, I am ready to settle for smaller government, even if the eventual end that I strive for is a stateless society. Towards the intermediate end, smaller government, a union with libertarian minarchists is indispensable, because it provides a larger political front by which to express one's ideas. It's also worthy to consider that libertarian minarchists are only one step from accepting anarchism. The anarchist movement today is largely educative, rather than an activist movement. Converting a libertarian anarchist is probably going to be easier than converting a socialist, or a convinced democrat or republican. It makes sense to include minarchists into your circle of friends, thus opening them to a much wider spectrum of ideology and literature. This is why I like the current division of labor developed on the internet. You have online communities (let's say Cato) that are willing to open themselves up to all forms of libertarians, and even moderate Republicans. It opens these people up to a broader range of literature on libertarianism, and it readies them for more radical communities, including Strike the Root and the Mises Institute. The educational process of anarchism is not going to happen "all of a sudden", and the only way you can transition people into a different mindset is by being open to their ideas while feeding them yours. By shutting them out you are shutting out the opportunity to eventually have more people who agree completely with your political framework.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Bravo Per! The list of pathetic excuses given by miniarchists to compromise their libertarian principles does make them "gutless wimps". I can hear the "But, but, buts" ringing in the air already.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 20 weeks ago Page Guest
    Legibus sumptis desinentibus, lege naturae utendum est. The law of nature is superior in obligation to any other. It is binding in all countries and at all times. No human laws are valid if opposed to this, and all which are binding derive their authority either directly or indirectly from it. ~ Institutes of American Law by John Bouvier, 1851, Part I, Title II, No. 9 [The natural] law is the paramount law, and the same law, over all the world, at all times, and for all peoples; and will be the same paramount and only law, at all times, and for all peoples, so long as man shall live upon the earth. ~ Natural Law or the Science of Justice by Lysander Spooner The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all. ~ The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
  • ConradT's picture
    ConradT 3 years 21 weeks ago Page Douglas Herman
    The man who murdered Chandra Levy has been sentenced to sixty years in prison. I found this here: Killer of Chandra Levy sentenced to 60 years In Nov of 2010, Guandique was convicted of the crime though former Congressman Gary Condit was suspected at first because he and Levy were having an affair. The Salvadoran illegal immigrant was already convicted of attacking women in the exact same area at the same time of Levy's disappearance.