Recent comments

  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    My fault for not communicating more clearly. I used the less-committal term "seems to be" (a lost cause) because it appears that way to me, but I wouldn't claim that definitively. What I meant, was that you can only have a discussion/argument with a mind that is capable of communicating with you. Lecturing a rock, or your dog on the virtues of liberty is not going to get you anywhere. Likewise, if, after repeated attempts to communicate the very simple difference between hitting someone, and saying "don't hit me you jerk", the other person refuses or is incapable of understanding... it seems to be futile to continue. Is it really wise to continue on to the more nuanced principles of property theory with someone who thinks it is "hypocritical" to use a tone they don't prefer to denounce initiated violence? By lost cause, I don't mean (though it could be legitimately read this way, so I take the blame for poor communication) for the rest of eternity. Maybe just for the time being. Just like your kids. Trying to explain morality to your infant is.... a lost cause. Give him a few years to develop and then revisit the subject. Why waste time arguing (discussing ideas; argue doesn't have to imply anger or unpleasant tone) with someone who cannot, or will not grasp simple concepts? That was my only point. Certainly not a dogma. Tried to imply that by saying "seems to be", as that's at each individual's discretion. "if your in the 'not worth talking to them crowd'" Now that I've explained my poor wording in the comment you replied to, I can definitely say I'm not in that crowd. Nor have I seen anyone commenting here take that position. The debate on whether minarchists are "enemies" has nothing to do with whether we talk to them or not. There are many reasons why people would still see value in talking to their enemies (such as the desire to convert them to friends).
  • Gwardion's picture
    Gwardion 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    No, it is logic. Point 1) We live on a world we share with a lot of people, whether you like it or not. Point 2) Those people have opinions, whether you like it or not. Point 3) A lot of those people with opinions are willing to use force to make them happen. If there is a large segment of that population which you feel are not worth talking to (and identify as an enemy), but still have the power to trespass against you, and you refuse to be trespassed against without response, where does that leave us in light of the first three conditions? No speaking, but we have an inherent conflict that wont go way means eventual violence, one way or the other. Either initiated by them or by us in response to what we would consider aggression or trespass. So, you can call it a strawman, but most people consider it straight forward completely reasonable logic. Different sides of a life and death conflict that refuse to talk to each other will result in violence, and will more then likely lead to exactly the opposite of what we want.
  • Gwardion's picture
    Gwardion 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Wow, great insight, I will stop trying to raise my kids by repeatedly correcting them, as they are a lost cause. Heck, everyone that doesn't see things the same way I do about something after I spent years studying a subject (or I just made up my mind in my head), I will just toss them out on their heads. Wow, you just took a huge load off my life of responsibility. See how I did that? This is the issue, we have a lot of militant anarchist morons that seem to think all human beings are stuck in a stasis thought field and that even talking to them about it seems to be a worthless exercise. I find most of these idiots are new converts, and as usual no fanatic like a new convert. Once a child molesting alcoholic becomes a born again Christian, all the sudden everyone else is completely retarded for not seeing the truth of Christ as clearly as they do. It seems as if all these Guy Fawkes wanna bes forget they weren't the origination of anarchist thought or action, but by god they can tell who has to be tossed out and who is worth talking to. Self-centered little narcissist does not equal enlightened anarchist. We either decide it IS worth the attempt to correct those we find are in error, or we just take it. That's it, and if your in the "not worth talking to them crowd" you are part of the problem not part of the solution.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    G'day BrianDrake and tzo, A "government" with only jurisdiction over those who consent is not a state. The first is a de jure (rightful) "government", having jurisdiction[1] only over those who consent to be members, the second, "a state", is a de facto "government", "existing in fact [without] lawful authority". It is without lawful authority because it is claiming jurisdiction[2] over a TERRITORY, and EVERYONE inhabiting it, whether they consent to being members or not. I might consider giving my consent to the former, I adamantly refuse to give my consent to the latter. “How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it." ~ Henry David Thoreau "Define your terms, you will permit me again to say, or we shall never understand one another...” ~ Voltaire [1] JURISDIC'TION, n. [L. jurisdictio; jus, juris, law, and dictio, from dico, to pronounce.] 1. The legal power or authority of doing justice in cases of complaint; the power of executing the laws and distributing justice. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language Note: Notice that Noah said, "the power of EXECUTING the laws", and not the power of CREATING the laws. [2] JURISDIC'TION, n. 2. Power of governing or legislating. 3. The power or right of exercising authority. ~ Ibid. Note: Those who are on their toes may have noticed that Noah said, "power OR right" at definition #3. The first (power [only]) is de facto, without consent; the second (right) is de jure, with consent.
  • dhowlandjr's picture
    dhowlandjr 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Hello BrianDrake and other fellow freedom lovers. Brian I don't really disagree with any of the points you make, and certainly wouldn't want to prove them wrong. I also think Paul's points in the article are very valid. Should minarchists (or statists in general) be labelled as our enemies? Haven't they labelled anarchists as their enemies? Haven't they even gone so far as to make the idea of anarchy (or non-rule) seem ridiculous, impossible, and chaotic to the point that the dictionary defines it that way, and most of us grow up believing in it? The fact that most of us were statist to some degree for most of our lives has no effect on the principle. Once again the difference seems to devolve to the meaning of the words we use. And yes, to the degree that they give greater importance to the rules of the state than to the human beings affected by them, our children, parents, brothers, sisters and most of the people with whom we interact on a daily basis are our enemies (in the sense that at least theoretically, they wish to perpetuate what is harming us). On the other hand, enemy could be considered a statist term in itself. Are voluntaryists really "fighting" the state? Or does fighting over it convert it to a war between two states (or wannabe states)? A truly free perspective doesn't allow us to consider other human beings our enemies. They're just other self-interested beings who have been convinced through years of indoctrination and abuse that their abusers are their friends, protectors, benefactors, etc. If the term enemy implies conflict, then I think that those who have enemies are necessarily statist. Belligerent anarchism to me is an oxymoron. Patient questions that if gone unanswered reveal the hypocrisy of those who advocate authoritarian controls can be much more effective than direct attacks and accusations. It's simply impossible to impose a voluntaryist (or anarchistic, or simply correct) viewpoint on others. We all have it, it's a basic part of our nature and our survival mechanism, and the degree to which we suppress and ignore it is the degree to which we allow or cause our own enslavement. And I think we're all still doing it to some degree, but let's try to stop. We ourselves are the enemy, everytime we allow ourselves to do less than what's possible or more than what's effective in the achievement of our goals.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    About my comment that is quoted in the article; my claim was that if you could convince your neighbors to leave you alone, you would have convinced them to be voluntaryists. The condition is "convince them to leave you alone". Desiring to leave you alone in all areas except one does not satisfy this condition. Nor was the condition "if they reach electoral stalemate and are unable to do anything but leave you alone". So the examples in your article do not in any way address my statement. It may indeed be a "strange [line] of argument" and it may be incorrect. But you've done nothing to actually address it or attempt to correct it.
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "That is, three statists could not impose the state on you, even though you did nothing at all!" Actually, yes they did. The existence of a ballot to decide those issues was the imposition. 4 property owners 3 want to join communally to democratically decide the rules. 4th property owner declines their offer, "I'll decide the rules for my own property, thank you." The other 3 leave him alone, vote, and abide by the election results. No state. But the moment the 3 refuse to allow the 4th to decline their offer, and instead hold the election anyway, with the expressed intent to enforce the results on the 4th owner's property as well, they have, by their action, formed a state. They have extended jurisdiction of their monopoly of decision making by fiat. The fact that they can't "pass" any of their rules does not change the fact they fully intended to enforce any rules voted on; imposing them on the 4th, unwilling owner. Of course, if the 4th agrees to the election, then there's no problem. It seemed unclear in your example, because even "real anarchists" can make voluntary arrangements with others that include the agreement to abide by democratic decisions. Do you really find it convincing that their failure (to pass their own preferred rule) negates their intent? If I shoot at you, but miss, am I still "friendly" towards you? Or would you not be accurate in describing me as your enemy, just not a very effective one (thankfully for you)? If I lunge at you with a sword, intent on severing your hand, am I not an "assailant" because I have no designs towards your feet? I'm perplexed by your assertion that those who advocate a state for a single-issue (but are ambivalent on all others) don't truly qualify. How many ideas must a person advocate imposed on me before they're accurately described as supporting a state (a "statist" in other words)? 4? 5? 15 and 3/5? That people are ok with the idea (and many passionately advocate) that outside will be imposed on me by threat of violence makes them my enemy, whether that will is actually imposed on me or not. Also, let's be clear, THEY make themselves my enemy by advocating, or tolerating threats against me. It's not my fault for this enmity. If you piss on me and call it rain, don't expect me to call it that as well. Recognizing a fact (people who seek to harm me, or support those who do, have set themselves against me) does not dictate the response. We can "love our enemies", for one. Or if you aren't of that persuasion, you can still seek to convert your enemies to friends simply out of self-interest (which is fine) since they outnumber you. Identifying your enemies, and calling them that to their faces, are not necessarily the same. That we recognize advocates of the state as enemies is no proof that is how we interact with them.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 years 10 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Good observation, dhowlandjr. I live in a world not of my making. Well, I should qualify that: the world revolves around MY belly-button, not yours! My world. The factor that helps me to be free is my knowledge that YOUR world revolves around YOUR belly-button -- whether you admit it or not. If you and I disagree it's not because I'm bad or even disagreeable. It's because your experiences, strengths and hopes have led you to see the thing differently. [But you're wrong! -- naw, just kidding :-)]. I can and must take certain responsibility for the condition of my world (or how I perceive my world and how I react to it). I am a sovereign state. I so declared myself shortly after reading Harry Browne's "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" in the mid 70's. That simply means I'm self-governing. I did not go up to a "state" or a "court" house and voluntarily file some "legal" document with employees of state. No sir ree, Bob! There will be a number of pogroms designed to prove to me that I cannot govern myself -- that I must pledge allegiance to a flag and be a part of a state right here in the-land-of-the-free-and-the-home-of-the-brave -- that I should be grateful for all these marvelous "benefits" delivered by parasites of state. And that I should vote. A major life challenge is to work my way around those who truly believe they have a "social contract" to rule me. Freedom is not free. They will rob me and they will try to enslave me by appearing to "require" me to sign this or some other document "under penalty of perjury" (and without "due process") to reveal stuff they have no need to know about my person or my property. My goal is to remain free in spite of their machinations. It is possible and it is preferred. Yes, you can. Sam
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    On the principle of how to actually deal with people, I don't think there's really the disagreement that you accuse. I have never started a conversation with someone by calling them an "enemy" or "evil", and I have very rarely concluded a conversation in that manner. We (you and I) completely agree that such a tactic would immediately close the minds of most people. There is, however, a difference between "calling" someone an enemy, and simply recognizing them as such. It's EXACTLY like "The Matrix" (damn, I love that movie even though I've outgrown my kung fu phase). Morpheus tells Neo that even though they're trying to rescue the humans, as long as the humans are part of the system, they are also the enemy because they will fight to preserve the system (and are potential "possession-targets" for agents). I've yet to read a good attempt, in these discussions, at refuting the accuracy of the statement that minarchy, and those who promote it, are the enemy. Rather, the dispute seems to be over the usefulness or effectiveness of the statement. Example: "calling everyone who you rely on "evil" and an "enemy" isn't going to get you very far." If the debate is on how to "get very far", you may have a point. But that's irrelevant to the discussion on whether the statement itself is true. Is Per recommending we go around calling those who advocate (or even just perceive as legitimate) monopoly government "enemy" to their face? I see no proof anyone is suggesting such a course (the threads got long, so it's possible someone said it, but certainly the majority did not). But the assertion remains, while people advocate, or even passively accept aggression against others, they ARE the enemy of their fellow men. Are they all potentially redeemable? We certainly hope so, and many of us work towards that end. Through persuasion, relationship, compassion, example, etc... But until they are redeemed from that destructive philosophy, they are indeed the "enemy". Recognizing this requires no purpose for those who see truth as an end in itself. But many of us are also convinced it is highly beneficial for advocates of liberty to clearly see this distinction, to inform their tactics and strengthen their perception. Sun Tzu stuff. One might argue that writing a publicly accessible article calling "minarchists the enemy" is the same as calling someone of that philosophic persuasion an "enemy" to their face. It is certainly possible that someone may read Per's article (or any number of others here on STR) and take immediate offense; retarding, or even halting their path towards embrace of liberty. But the same reasoning could, taken to conclusion, exclude writing ANYTHING critical or controversial. We can't say war is destructive because that might offend soldiers, who we want to ultimately persuade to lay down their weapons. We can't write that taxation is theft, because that would alienate IRS agents (and their families/friends). Even advocating "liberty" frankly in public is an offense to those who seek to dominate and control others. STR has always appeared to me to be more "hardcore" than many other, well known libertarian (market anarchist/voluntaryis...blah blah blah) sites. It's a place where people speak their mind and present ideas without apology. This is useful for the building up of those already "in the club". But yeah, I don't think it's the best place to send someone unfamiliar with these ideas. In that regard, though it is not perfect, LewRockwell.com seems to be better suited for that. I think Lew fully understands the tactic of slowly winning over your enemies, so while there is the occasional "hardcore" article on his front page, there is usually a good mix of more "mainstream" articles to make the conservative (and even sometimes the liberal) visitor feel more comfortable while they're gradually introduced to new ideas. Some of us see a need for a place of "pure" philosophy. No holds barred, no punches pulled. That's what I consider STR (to some degree). "Our team" (philosophically) needs a place to learn, grow, challenge ideas, engage. Is the solution to take such discussion exclusively private? I'm not convinced so (cuz I probably won't be invited ;P ).
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Do you try to guilt, shame, and bludgeon statists with your words? If so, do you see how that could be seen as hypocritical?" If it is seen as hypocritical, it is done so in error. "Bludgeoning" with your words is not an act of aggression (in the context we're speaking of). Physical bludgeoning (not done in defense) is. Not arguing that an abrasive conversation style won't probably be received poorly, obscuring the message. But anyone who confuses physical violence with being "rude" (especially when the "rudeness" is in response to the advocacy of aggression) is not logical. Anyone who persists in such a perception (meaning they reject correction, even when given gently), seems to be a lost cause.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Björn, I think you're probably correct insofar as "labels" are concerned. We can all get hopelessly tangled up in labels and fall short of nailing issues. If we can untangle the obfuscation we might discover none of us on this site are truly that far apart in what we believe -- what we'd like to see result from our writing and our preaching and our shouting. John Hasnas had a treatise on "The Obviousness of Anarchism" some years back that helps sort out the thinking: http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/Obvious.pdf On the 2nd page (this link is to a pdf of one chapter of his book "Anarchism/Minarchism" so this might be page #112) he states: "...I am presenting an argument for anarchy in the true sense of the term; that is, a society without government, not a society without governance. There is no such thing as a society without governance. A society with no mechanism for bringing order to human existence is oxymoronic; it is not “society” at all. "One way to bring order to society is to invest some people with the exclusive power to create and coercively enforce rules which all members of society must follow; that is, to create a government. Another way to bring order to society is to allow people to follow rules that spontaneously evolve through human interaction with no guiding intelligence and may be enforced by diverse agencies. This chapter presents an argument for the latter approach; that is, for a spontaneously ordered rather than a centrally planned society..." ****** In our milieu it stretches the imagination of the staunchest of us anarchists to consider a truly free marketplace that generates agencies for conciliation and arbitration and title solidarity. "Have gun, will travel" sorts of justice (few of you are old enough to remember that early TV show, and I don't remember the name of the show or the actors). We've had statism so subtly and assiduously pressed upon us over such long periods of time we have difficulty seeing around the trees to the woods. Sam
  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Wow, my comment spawned an entire STR article! Woohoo! I'm flattered. Edited to add: What's it take to getting full article writing creds here? Publishing an "Exclusive to STR" article carries so much more weight than simply replying in the comments.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Reading so much verbiage devoted to attacking minarchism, gives me the impression you think I am arguing FOR minarchism. In case I haven't been clear enough, I will say again, I think minarchism is a mistake. I oppose it. "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." Have you seen anyone walking down the street singing "minarchism is great"? :-) Let's stick to reality, rather than flights of fancy. And no, 98% of the human race are not my enemies. Thinking so is self-defeating, paralyzing. They are merely mistaken, and can either be persuaded toward the truth, or at least toward minding their own business. Except some smaller percentage who really are enemies (essentially the ruling class and other associated parasites). But it appears we are saying the same thing here.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Also, even though this is apparently easy to forget on the Internet, 99.9% of us live in a "state". We support the state by paying taxes, whether voluntarily or not. We pay taxes to the state every time we buy something at the store. Most of our friends and relatives are "statists." Most of us probably got an education thanks to the state. All anarchists, unless they live in the woods somewhere, are anarchists in theory, but "statists" in fact. It's important to understand that there is a difference between rhetoric and reality - and in reality, calling everyone who you rely on "evil" and an "enemy" isn't going to get you very far. It was very gracious of Per to qualify his argument with a second article, but I really think we should take a much more pragmatic approach.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "minarchism is often a way-station on the road to abolitionism and that minarchists such as Paul and Browne do useful and sometimes powerful work for liberty." Glen, are you talking about me? Where did you get the idea I'm a minarchist? :-) I've thought of myself as an anarchist for a long time. Show me where I am mistaken in that.
  • J3rBear's picture
    J3rBear 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Well said Paul. There are few things human beings like less than being labeled, pigeon-holed, and stereotyped. There are many people out there that incorrectly see the state as necessary. This does not automatically make them an "enemy". I was a statist once, as were most of you at one point as well I assume. I would never have come around to the ideas of voluntaryism if some one got up in my face pointing fingers telling me how evil my statist beliefs were. The art of persuasion is often a delicate thing. Also one that considers coercion to be immoral should consider how the way they speak reflects on their stated beliefs. Do you try to guilt, shame, and bludgeon statists with your words? If so, do you see how that could be seen as hypocritical?
  • mingo's picture
    mingo 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Yeah, guess what, we can’t just go out and find people with the word “statist” tattooed on their heads, and shoot them." You guys are still using that straw man? Please.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Well, for the record, that was about as funny as ex-lax in a diarrhea ward.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    G'day BrianDrake, "...convincing a statist to "allow" individual (not smaller state) secession, is to really convince him to be a voluntaryist." I feel the need to expand on that part of your comment, just a bit. Not exactly sure why you put the word "allow" within quotation marks, but, for the purpose of clarity, statists do not have my consent to "disallow" me from seceding from their corporation. Oh, sure, they can say that they don't "allow" individual secession, they can even back up that criminal abridgment of my natural right to liberty with force, but that does not make my withdrawal from membership in their corporation any the less real. A pirates et latronibus capti libera permanent. Dig.49. 15. 19. 2. - Those captured by pirates and robbers remain free. That is true, because I still have a "just claim" to my life, liberty and possessions. A pirates et latronibus capta dominium non mutant. Things taken or captured by pirates and robbers do not change ownership. Bynk. Bk. 1, c. 17; 1 Kent, Comm. 108, 184. No right to the spoil vests in the piratical captors; no right is derivable from them to any recaptors in prejudice of the original owners. 2 Wood. Lect. 428. And, if and when I have the physical power to do so, I may lawfully (rightfully) reclaim my "things", one of which is my liberty.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Samarami, that is a great, great comment. You are absolutely right that -- since we all were born into a Statist society and have been immersed in Statist propaganda from Day One, that seeing the truth and moving towards abolitionism is a PROCESS, a path, a journey of discovery and growth. Minarchists are moving in the right direction, and some will continue on to the abolitionist view and some won't. We need to be firm about the importance of abolishing ALL FORMS AND TYPES of initiated, non-defensive coercion (or aggression) while encouraging minarchists to continue their journey. Alliances with minarchists can definitely help the cause of freedom as long as we remain clear and firm on the importance of the endpoint: abolishing all non-defensive coercion, no matter how the coercion is dressed up or what clever names and rationales might be used for it. I particularly liked your last paragraph, Sam, which shows a warm connection to others regardless of whether they think exactly as you do, and an appreciation of the positive elements in someone's argument even if you disagree with it. Not every argument HAS positive elements -- we can all think of many examples, I'm sure -- but you are right that Per's strong "anarchist only" viewpoint is useful -- it hammers home the importance of eliminating all structures that initiate coercion -- even if you personally believe, as I do, that minarchism is often a way-station on the road to abolitionism and that minarchists such as Paul and Browne do useful and sometimes powerful work for liberty.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 years 10 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Please don't fraud the fraudsters.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 years 10 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Cons hate it when cons con the cons. Gads!
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 4 years 10 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    "4,000 juvenile convictions issued by [Mark] Ciavarella [61]" and "racketeering for taking a $1 million kickback from the builder of the for-profit lockups" Shocking! Let's file this story under "Public-Private Partnerships" and add a cross-reference in the file, "Moral Hazards". Now, why does the story seem so similar to the recent story about the U.S. Army posting a notice at FedBizOpps.gov for rapid-fire rubber bullets, (13--40mm, Non-Lethal: Blunt Trauma, Linked, XM1044)? See http://strike-the-root.com/army-wants-rapid-fire-rubber-bullets-for-crow... . That one was pretty easy to figure out. Some crony capitalists want taxpayers to finance R&D and other overhead costs. Later, the XM1044s can be sold to tyrants and goon squads elsewhere in the world at a lower price while keeping the business profitable for the crony capitalists, who are probably flagwavers, no? So what public-private partnership will be next to betray a few more of its secrets? How about TASER International, Inc.? A clue: TASER Conference and Master Instructor School begins on May 16, 2011 at the Glendale Renaissance Hotel & Spa, Glendale, Arizona. "The TASER Conference on Monday, May 16, will be a day of presentations from leading medical researchers, use of force experts, law enforcement professionals, and keynote address with NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT from TASER International founders, Rick and Tom Smith. The conference is open to all law enforcement, military and professional security personnel." Use "TASTASA" when making your reservation with Marriott International, Inc.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Rapists with a Badge
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Here's an interesting paragraph from that report: ------------- General responses to police misconduct on a judicial/criminal justice level appear unchanged with no corresponding fluctuation to the increase in general misconduct rates which demonstrates a possible bias built into the justice system which continues to limit prosecutorial effectiveness against law enforcement officers charged with criminal wrongdoing. This appears to correspond to a previous study performed by the NPMSRP showing a large disparity in conviction and incarceration rates between law enforcement officers and the general public. -------------
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Ooops! This was not a comment, it was a reply to one of BrianDrakes' comments. And it ended up in this position anyway.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    G'day BrianDrake, Let me begin by pointing out that the majority of people do not perceive anarchy the way that some of you do. Here is what most individuals believe an anarch to be. So I personally avoid that label like the plague. I am not "one who excites revolt, or promotes disorder". I do not believe "there is no law"; my law is the law of nature, which according to John Bouvier's Institutes of American Law is "is superior in obligation to any other". I am not one of those who "do what they please with impunity", an utterly ridiculous notion, IMO; and I am not in favor of "political confusion", I am simply self-governing and therefore have no need to be governed. As to "panarchy", I've not yet read Panarchy by Paul Émile de Puydt, so I cannot comment on their similarity. However, I do agree with what David M. Hart is reputed to have said about panarchy, "Governments would become political churches, only having jurisdiction over their congregations who had elected to become members." You wrote: 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? Not at all, I have merely convinced my neighbors [including the local police] that I am self-governing, and they can, and do, therefore, "leave me alone". As one local rancher put it to the local gendarme, (when we first arrived in this area), "He's honest, he works hard and he doesn't cause trouble. What more do you want from a man?" ...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. Your statement there would be correct except for your addition of, "they are at that point anarchists". No, BrianDrake, they are voluntary members of a man-made government. If I leave a statist alone does that mean that I have consented to become a statist? Not hardly!! If government only has jurisdiction over those who actually consent, then it is no longer a state, it is a business. According to Frédéric Bastiat's definition of the word "government", “It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.” If you wish to call that "a business", [which is generally thought of as something you enter into for a profit], you are certainly free to do so. 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. Well now, point one, is correct "liberty and self-reliance are not the same thing", in fact, at this point, I can see no relationship whatsoever. Point two, "and those who advocate liberty (self-ownership) do not have a single, unified preference on the optimum amount of self-reliance". Since we apparently agree that "liberty and self-reliance are not the same thing", what does it matter? Point number three, "One can be a hermit, fully self-reliant." Doubtful, because man is a social animal, but regardless of that, what does being "fully self-reliant" have to do with being self-governing? Point four, "Another can join a commune, where all worries of responsibility are delegated to others." I think that would have made much more sense had you perhaps said, "all worries of responsibility are shared by the voluntary members," or something of the sort, but again, I must ask, what does this have to do with being self-governing? And, point number five, "As long as these preferences are freely chosen, it is liberty, it is anarchy." You are apparently stating that "liberty" and "anarchy" are synonymous. If so, I would point out that natural liberty is not anarchy, i.e. "Want of government; a state of society, when there is no law or supreme power, or when the laws are not efficient, and individuals do what they please with impunity; political confusion". "Natural liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men." Buriamaqui, c. 3, § 15; 1 Bl. Comm. 125 – A Dictionary of the Law (Black’s 1st c. 1891), pg. 716 [Emphasis added] It is not the behavior of the state, per se, that makes it criminal. It is, in fact, "the behavior of the state, per se, that makes it criminal," (as though "the state" was a sentient being). Things are not criminal, behaviors are criminal. And, "To join or support one that,' (in my opinion), 'would itself do injustice, would be criminal", which is why I have opted out. It is the involuntary nature of it. This is sure to piss some people off, but they should be honest with themselves. It is a convenient excuse for those individuals who are simply unwilling to secede, because they perceive that life without the state would be too difficult and dangerous. I fully understand this and do not think ill of them for making this choice, just as I hope they do not think ill of me for choosing to withdraw my consent to be a member of their political organization, which leads us to your last point. ...convincing a statist to "allow" individual (not smaller state) secession, is to really convince him to be a voluntaryist. Agreed, which is what I, (and Paul, apparently), are trying to do here.
  • Björn's picture
    Björn 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Guest
    Good. It is an efficient way to argue, to pin point the specific illusions which actually exist in peoples minds. More formally systematic ways to structure arguments, tend to loose peoples attention. This "dependence on foreign oli" myth is very funny to me! They produce cheap oil, and we only benefit from them doing so. It's the cheapness that causes us to import it, not the import that causes high prices (or whatever they seem to mean). And while the oil price is of importance to the US economy, it is very much more important to the Saudi or Russian economies, so if a "dependence" exists, it is reversed.
  • Björn's picture
    Björn 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    There's no principled difference between anarchism and minarchism, it's just a matter of semantics! Anarchists too think that it's right to use force in response to an attack. The reasonable way to do this is with everyones equality under the law, public trials, proportional punishments and so on along the principles of justice which have evolved over thousands of years. If you call this a "state" or if you call it something else, doesn't change what it is. I don't want a "state" per se, but I want a justice system which protects negative rights, and they tend to be called "state". Any "state" activity which hurts someones negative rights is not minarchism, it's socialism. What's important to me is how force is used, not how organisations are labeled.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Web link Derek Henson
    These are meant for us, of course. They obviously don't give a rip about loss of life in other countries. They should make new recruiting videos showing Americans being mowed down with rubber bullets, and then arrested and thrown in the Gulag. Army Proud!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "You assume that by properly identifying an aggressor as an enemy, you can't be tactful in your dealings with that person." Tact? I am not talking about buying a gallon of milk from an Obama supporter. Almost anyone can manage that. I am saying that if you classify everyone other than anarchists as an enemy, rather than mistaken, or hoodwinked, or propagandized (for example), you naturally will cut off any but the most trivial possible relationship with him, including the notion of persuasion. "Respect each other"? The original column was entitled, "Why Minarchists Are The Enemy". Strange way of showing respect. The other problem with making 98% of the population your "enemy" is that it trivializes the notion of "enemy". It makes it life easy for those who truly are enemies (most powerful people in Washington DC, for example). No, my neighbor is not another Dick Cheney! I simply reject the notion that all statists want to oppress and control everyone. They certainly want themselves and their associates and neighbors, everyone in their immediate vicinity, to be oppressed and controlled. That does not imply they care about someone in another town or state - or that they couldn't be convinced not to care in return for getting their own preferred variety of statism locally. These people are not enemies. They are our natural allies, and we will need their help if we are ever to have the chance to establish free states or communities for ourselves.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I think JB was making a joke. :-)
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 4 years 10 weeks ago Web link Derek Henson
    "More effectively quell violent protests without loss of life"? So the protests would be even more violent with full metal jackets on those bullets. Thanks for the confession, you Army goons.
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 4 years 10 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 4 years 10 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 4 years 10 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 4 years 10 weeks ago Web link Derek Henson
    The Physics of Peeling Paint
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 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 4 years 10 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 4 years 10 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 4 years 10 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 4 years 10 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 4 years 11 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 4 years 11 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 4 years 11 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Well said, Paul
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 11 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 4 years 11 weeks ago
    Gimme Shelter
    Web link strike
    Best rock song ever.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 11 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 4 years 11 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 4 years 11 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 4 years 11 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.