Recent comments

  • trajanslovechild's picture
    trajanslovechild 3 years 35 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Hi Tzo, Thank you for the response, but I just think your ideals are just government by another name. I am a libertarian, but I believe there needs to be a framework of government. Anarchism will only lead to more crime (especially organized), factions will battle that think they are just in disputes, since there is no final judge of decisions. The rich will control much more than they do now, especially in the area of education. I used to teach at a low income school, and most of the parents were worse off than the children. Countries like the US will turn into Renaissance Italy where city states protected themselves, and there will be crime families that run everything from necessities to luxury items. And, I have not even added the cultural, language, and religious aspects of difference that would hard to overcome. Do you think fundamentalist Muslims would like your ideals or their leaders even listen to you? You have great idealism, but I just do not think your philosophy is based in reality. Thank you. -Steve
  • trajanslovechild's picture
    trajanslovechild 3 years 35 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Again with the word play. Yes, Trajan was a Roman Emperor, but you don't have to dissect my name like Glenn Beck on a chalk board. I do not work for MoveOn.org, and I didn't go to Obama's church. My Master's thesis was on Trajan's invasion and colonization of Dacia. I proved why he was able to successfully invade Dacia, while other commanders previous to him could not. Trajan expanded the empire to its furthest reaches of the time by reaching the Persian Gulf and he died on campaign. Many Roman historians consider him the Roman Alexander. He is not my "hero," but I do respect him as a leader and military commander, since I spent a year studying him. Look, I appreciate your idealism, but I do not think your ideals are practical or realistic. You would have to have a society of philosophers to achieve your goals, and a majority of the people on earth are barely literate. It is one thing to overthrow a government, but another to improve the system.
  • trajanslovechild's picture
    trajanslovechild 3 years 35 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    So, basically you want your fantasy country to be Poland in 1939? Nice.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    According to the bio at the bottom of the nauseating op-ed, "Richard A. Falkenrath, a principal of the Chertoff Group, a risk-management consultancy, is a former deputy commissioner for counterterrorism for the New York Police Department and deputy homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush." Strange that they left out the final sentence: "He is also a complete d*ck." A very nice, succinct retort at Reason, I might add.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    I may not be able to "RIGHTFULLY defend" my life if I "do not have a 'just claim' to it," but I can certainly VOLITIONALLY defend it, which is the most likely, logical reaction.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    "Every individual, unless he forfeits it, has a natural right, i.e. a "just claim" to his own life, liberty and lawfully acquired property, (and no one else's)." ~ Suverans2 This is why "natural" rights are sometimes referred to as "inalienable" or "unalienable", the individual cannot be alienated from, i.e. dispossessed of, his natural rights by the laws of men. 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 Only you can forfeit your own natural rights, by not recognizing and respecting the natural rights of others. "Attack another’s [natural] rights and you destroy your own." ~ John Jay Chapman
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    I posted a lot of quotes merely to demonstrate that at least one other individual, here at STR, and all the authors of those quotes, must know that "rights" exist. "Volition, however, is provable and existent." ~ B.R. Merrick volition noun: the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention will noun: the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention You may believe that volition, or will, is "provable and existent", however, you may have a very difficult time doing so with those individuals who believe in predestination. For example, do you believe that every individual makes a "conscious choice" to be homosexual, or is it predestined, (at least in some cases)? Yes, B.R. Merrick, I most certainly agree that artificial entities have no rights, but what you question, in the first half of that "main point", is whether rights, i.e. just claims, exist. Loss of natural rights is death. You cannot even RIGHTFULLY defend your life if you do not have a "just claim" to it.
  • Guest's picture
    jrtorsa (not verified) 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    Do you believe this is the way out?
  • dobropet's picture
    dobropet 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    I disagree, I know several illegal immigrants that are taking subsidies from government(food stamps etc.), and that's just around my block. Most of which have expensive cars to tote their upteen children to government run(taxpayer funded) school. There may be a majority working for a living as the article states yet that does not account for the entire population of illegals in the U.S. Other factors come into play when addressing illegal immigration, not just work status. What about the "war on drugs" moniker that helps cartel members sell illegal substances to American citizens(which of course is only the governments attempt to demonize those who use them)? Would they not be considered illegal immigration workers? What of the cities that offer free drivers licenses to illegal immigrants? Doesn't our tax dollars fund those services expected of the state and local authorities? If contract employers hire those men willing to work at a cheaper rate than their legal counterparts, what incentive exists to ensure they are paying taxes like most American citizens? I've worked for atleast 3 different contractors and none of them inquired about the taxes I owed to the I.R.S. as they paid in cash to not only me but those who couldn't even speak english. How do you hire someone who can't even speak english, who quite possibly is illegal, and takes the work at a lower rate and not correlate that he is KNOWINGLY being paid less? If he knows he's getting less money for his work then he understands what the rate should be, and that he should be getting more, which could allow him to expose his employer to scrutiny by the B.B.B. or the I.R.S.(or la raza for that matter)? No, illegals don't come here for the welfare our government dishes out to what it perceives as the underpriviledged, they come here for the freedoms we enjoy in spite of the welfare state we provide, hoping their efforts do not go unheeded which eventually leads to the welfare state.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    He probably didn't curse him because he's a reverend. They're like that. I doubt the show's producers would have been able to get away with it if the guest had been an ordinary survivor. The lack of empathy in the world is staggering. That instrument, television, is a drug. The damage it does is permanent. There is currently just as much empathetic lack for a war that has murdered more than a million. Just turn that thing off, everybody. You don't need it.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 35 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Hi Steve, Anarchy is a general term that means 'without government.' What is government? An organization that depends upon forcibly extracting money (taxation) for its existence. I subscribe to the idea of voluntaryism, wherein all transactions between people are voluntary. This necessarily excludes the existence of government, so is a brand of anarchy. I do not say that force is bad, I say that aggression is bad. Force is necessary to defend oneself against aggression. You have to understand the distinction between the two words, and not to conflate them. Aggression is initiating force (unjustly) and defense is retaliatory force set against an aggressor. Since the former always will exist, the latter is also necessary. But they are quite different. If my company agrees to police your neighborhood for a fee, we have voluntarily come to this agreement. You are the customer, I am the service provider. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the service, you can terminate the agreement. You can then contract someone else, or decide to do the job yourself. Contrast this with government service, where taxes are extracted up front under threat of violence, an aggressive act, and then service is forced upon the 'customer' whether he wants it or not. The customer is not free to contract another service provider, because the government claims a monopoly on that service. This is what I mean when I say that politics is aggression. Your cow example misuses the word aggression. Attempting to get your cow back is not aggressive, but defensive. Society can have just as sharp a set of teeth as a government when it comes to legal and judicial services. Legal and judicial services traditionally arise in society independent of government, so this is not just theoretical. It is historical fact. Those who wish to ignore the law are simply denied the protection of the law. Anyone in society can do whatever they want to the 'outlaw' and the outlaw has no legal recourse within that society. This tends to discourage people from ignoring society's laws, as it puts a big target on his back. So once again, of course there has to be repercussions for aggressive behavior. Pacifism is not a part of my argument. How are laws decided? Human reason. Like I said, we've been there, and done that. It is not controversial. The violence you witnessed in Colombia was very much due to the Colombian government. Why do governments supposedly exist? To defend their citizens. That is why they are there. What is the Colombian government's excuse for not being able to do the one thing it was designed to do, protect its citizens? They disallow the citizenry to freely possess firearms (expensive, and permits required) and then they fail to protect them? Fail, fail, fail. Your Communist example is yet another example of government slaughter. The government killed all those people, who else? Governments killed some 200 million people in the last century. This is their expertise. Is government necessary for national defense? Look at the U.S. military against Vietnam and Afghanistan. Now imagine 300 million gun owners protecting their property and families against a hapless invading army. And why couldn't a government-less society possess nuclear arms? Look, I don't deny that the logistics of changing over from a government system to a voluntary system is daunting. Lots of very complex issues. There are no blueprints, because no one can plan a free market. Many people have written many pages on the subject, and it does not seem as impossible as it at first sounds. I will post a few links here if you are interested in reading more, because an internet thread cannot hope to cover all the details. It's a big subject. If you are interested in researching more, great. http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Anarchy_and_Eff_Law/Anarchy_and_E... http://www.google.com/books?id=nft4e62nicsC&lpg=PP1&dq=anarchy+and+the+l... http://attackthesystem.com/dealing-with-crime-in-a-free-society/ http://mises.org/daily/4147 http://mises.org/daily/2265 http://mises.org/daily/1356 http://libertariannation.org/a/f61l1.html DROs http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/molyneux1.html http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/molyneux2.html http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/molyneux3.html tzo
  • gallego71's picture
    gallego71 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    WOW!! That is the most uncaring thing ever done! I'm surprised the rev. did not curse him.
  • gallego71's picture
    gallego71 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    The majority of illegal immigrants come here to work. To earn money so they can send it to their families back in their country. Its quite true that i have not met an illegal who is taking government subsidies. Though i have seen many American born who are taking government subsidies even though they can work its just that they dont want to
  • golefevre's picture
    golefevre 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    Down is up, losing is winning and reality be damned. Why does Kobe beef fetch such a high price over the ground chuck at Walmart? Why do many think grass-fed beef TASTES better than factory-made beef? We desperately need another age of reason. I am glad for advancement in the sciences and in agriculture, but group think mentalities that are maintained by bullying and monopoly tactics inhibit healthy thinking and time-tested ideas.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 35 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    A state now built on MONSANTO GMO corn, at that.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 35 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    "Don't rely on semantics. Here is another definition, since you like those and quotes: "a forceful action or procedure, especially when intended to dominate or master."" ~ trajanslovechild [Emphasis added] Hm-m-m-m, I thought de jure "Governments [were supposed to be] instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed", to defend their consenting members' natural rights, not to aggress against them with the intent to "dominate and master" them. Oh, and yes, I have heard of a "counter-attack", but isn't that by definition, the "second" attack, i.e. defensive? counter-attack –noun 1. an attack made as an offset or reply to another attack. 2. Military . an attack by a ground combat unit to drive back an enemy attack. ~ Dictionary.com
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 35 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    "That is a preferable form of aggression, since if no laws existed, I would take the problem into my own hands, and go to his house with a shotgun to get my cow back. That would be a greater form of aggression than the police stopping by to tell him he needs to return my cow." ~ trajanslovechild Let's see now, (a) you with a shotgun or (b) the police "stopping by" with a shotgun, a handgun, handcuffs, mace, night stick and equally heavily armed back-up. Hm-m-m-m-m, tough decision here. LOL I'm curious to ask, though, why couldn't you first try just "stopping by to tell him to return [your] cow"? Oh, and by the way, there "existed", long antecedent to the governments of men, a natural law which forbids the unlawful taking of a man's justly acquired property.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 35 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    You have still not given me a clear example of how a government-less society can dish out punishments and defend itself without using aggression. ~ trajanslovechild trajanslovechild, I was not trying to be aggressive, i.e. launch an "unprovoked attack, I was merely showing you that you might want to choose another word, say "force" for example, in the above quoted sentence. aggression 1610s, "unprovoked attack," noun of action from verb aggress "to approach, to start an argument" (1570s), from Fr. aggresser, from L.L. aggressare, freq. of L. aggredi (pp. aggressus) "to approach, attack," from ad- "to" + gradi (pp. gressus) "to step," from gradus "a step" ~ Online Etymology Dictionary p.s. Wasn't Trajan the Roman general turned Emperor who wanted to aggress against the whole of Mesopotamia? Is he your hero-of-sorts, trajanslovechild?
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    "That is a preferable form of aggression, since if no laws existed, I would take the problem into my own hands, and go to his house with a shotgun to get my cow back. That would be a greater form of aggression than the police stopping by to tell him he needs to return my cow." Not really. You are concentrating on the one event, and ignoring the much more broadspread aggression (taxes) that maintain the police in the first place. Anyway, it is not "aggression" if he stole your cow first. Folks here use aggression to mean "initiation of violence". You would be using retaliatory violence, which is morally permissible. Right now, there are government techniques to reduce rustling activity (e.g. brand inspection). There are also new techniques available to prove ownership better than the old-fashioned brands (e.g. RFID tags). It's reasonable to assume even anarchist ranchers would want to prevent rustling and would put together a voluntary system or modify the existing one, and would pay to do so. You probably wouldn't have to go to somebody's house with a shotgun; or if you did you'd be backed up by your compatriots in the anti-rustling society. The problem is not the existence of anti-rustling measures, it is the anti-voluntary nature of the current system.
  • trajanslovechild's picture
    trajanslovechild 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Don't rely on semantics. Here is another definition, since you like those and quotes: "a forceful action or procedure, especially when intended to dominate or master." The rules of a society are an attempt to dominate and/or master the people to obey the norms by a threat of aggression? If you don't want to answer the question, just say so. In men, aggression is built into our DNA by a combination of testosterone and areas of the brain. Have you ever heard of a counter-attack? You cannot have a victory without one if you are fighting a war of defense. It is an act of hostility. You don't think that punishment is a form of aggression? Punishment is the threat of aggression towards an individual.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    AGGRESS'ION, n. The first attack, or act of hostility; the first act of injury... ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language As we can see "aggression" is not for punishment or defense, it is the initiation of force.
  • trajanslovechild's picture
    trajanslovechild 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Hi tzo, Thank you for the response. How about you give me a clear definition of your version of anarchy. There are several definitions like, 'absence of law' to 'a lack of government, but people obey a social code.' You say, "Anarchy has everything to do with organizing society without coercion." If you have ever had to organize any large group in your life, you will know that is difficult, and that sounds like a Utopian ideal to me. There is always someone that will disagree. Later you write, "It does not mean there would be no law, no order, no force used against aggressors, and to leap to such a conclusion is to not understand the subject." So, there would be anarchy, but there would still be laws, order, and force (which you say is bad under a government) under that form of governance. That sounds like a contradiction to me. You are right, I don't understand. That does not sound like anarchy to me, that sound like a political movement. You want the best of both worlds. Maybe you need to call it something besides anarchy, since that is such a loaded term. Tell me, who would enforce these laws if everyone has individual liberty? I think that is a noble ideal, because I believe that every man should be free to use his talents to make a life for himself without the intrusion of the government and without hefty taxes to punish a person for being successful. So, I will give you an example. Say, if a man steals my cow, I can go to this "society" to ask for my cow back. They go to the man, and ask for the cow, and he refuses. In an anarchical form of society, as you say, they have a voice, but does this "society" have teeth? What kind of aggression will they use to get my cow back and enforce the standards of this society? Because I guarantee you I will get my cow back, one way or another. In this case, I think a governmental system would actually stop a violent end by asking for the cow back, or he would have to go to jail and pay a fine. That is a preferable form of aggression, since if no laws existed, I would take the problem into my own hands, and go to his house with a shotgun to get my cow back. That would be a greater form of aggression than the police stopping by to tell him he needs to return my cow. If you let a man steal your cow without a repercussion, where will he stop? What happened if you were mugged, who would you call to be the aggressor in your defense? You may deny it all you want, but it still has the sheen of a Utopian society. By your definition, anarchy is a political system, just under another name. In the case of defense of the society, how would it defend itself against a more organized state that is aggressive? What form of aggression would this imaginary society use to defend themselves? You know you cannot defend yourself without using one form of aggression or another. The violence I witnessed was not due to the Colombian government, it was due to the Marxist guerrillas (FARC) that controlled those parts Colombia. In the border regions between the FARC and government controlled areas, anarchy reigned, and guess what, those people moved to the government side of the border. The FARC and cartels joined forces after 1989 to make their own thugocracy, and their mission was to depose the government so they could make another Cuba, and we know how successful that experiment worked. Granted, the Colombian government is not the best in the world, but they also do not slaughter whole villages with machetes or kidnap and decapitate the children of soldiers like the FARC does. You have still not given me a clear example of how a government-less society can dish out punishments and defend itself without using aggression. The Communists thought they had a great idea by making everyone an equal, but look how it turned out. Communist states have murdered many more millions of people than Hitler ever dreamed about. An ideal is not the problem, human nature is the problem. Thank you. -Steve.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Another MUST READ comment from tzo, and I also agree with a lot of what Paul says. Government is the manifestation of the problem. The source of the problem, as I see it, is the DESIRE to use coercion, whether systematically or not. Where does it come from, and how do I rid myself of it? This is what happens when an individual wins the revolution in his own mind. If he succeeds, he can tell others, and watch the peaceful revolution for freedom take shape again and again. It's marvelous.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    You've posted a lot of quotes, but I still don't see where rights exist separate from natural phenomena. I have volition, and I have observed that I do not appreciate its being violated by another, that death commences when I am separated from it. I understand what you mean when you say "rights," but explaining it and giving me quotes, whether from STR or not, does not prove its existence. Volition, however, is provable and existent. Surely, you agree that states, counties, and towns have no rights. That was my main point. I am disappointed in Lew Rockwell's comment.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 36 weeks ago Page Jakub Bozydar W...
    Libertarians believe the only egalitarianism there should be, is in our legal relationship with the state. But that pre-supposes there should be a state! I don't need the state. I don't need equality, of any sort. I just need to be left alone.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 36 weeks ago Page tzo
    I did not say "you don't really own any property", I said "you don't really own any property that you cannot defend against theft." What I'm saying is that it's meaningless to talk about owning something if you cannot hold it. Theft of course just means taking something from someone who does not relinquish it willingly. If you can hold it, that is if any theft attempt is unsuccessful, you own it. If you can't hold it, if a theft attempt is successful, then you don't own it, not in any meaningful way. Might as well give up any ownership fantasies in that case. Guy steals your car and takes it to a chop shop? You no longer own it. Government steals your house through eminent domain? You no longer own it.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    I think it might be a bit misleading to blame everything on government. Certainly there are some areas where what we think of government is nonexistent, yet there are still gangs with strongmen and his soldiers running the show. I'd rather look at it from the other angle. That there have always been gangs of violent people preying on the producers and the less violent. Most places the largest gang is institutionalized and has a veneer of legitimacy as government, but they are still gangs. Now, the problem is that these gangs have power. They can force people to do things. The power is the problem, or at any rate, the disparity of power. Another problem is brainwashing, keeping the peons down by telling them they have to believe in the divine right of kings, or whatever its modern manifestation is. Get rid of the brainwashing and the disparity of power, and things start to look different. People are learning from the internet, not from controlled media and government schools. Homeschooling is flourishing. So the brainwashing is going away. Newspapers are failing everywhere. People now can have just as much power as government thugs do, too. Just go down to the gun store and buy a battle rifle along with a couple thousand rounds of ammo. The more people who do this, the worse it looks for the government gang, because we far outnumber them. Why did predators first appear on this earth? Because there were prey for them to exploit. How to get around this fact of life? Stop being prey.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Hi Steve, Let's start by defining aggression as unjustly imposing force, or violence, against someone. I agree with you that we will never be rid of the people who aggress against others, and none of my thoughts include a Utopian future where there is no violence and we all have ponies and lollipops and everyone is friends. Anarchy has nothing to do with Utopia. Anarchy has everything to do with organizing society without coercion. It does not mean there would be no law, no order, no force used against aggressors, and to leap to such a conclusion is to not understand the subject. Society is one concept, and government is another. Societies can perform all the functions that governments currently perform, and more efficiently at that, and they can accomplish all this without resorting to coercion. The Common Law and the Law Merchant were not created by government, they were created by society. No one had to pay a single penny in taxes in order for these structures to be built. We all want a peaceful society. We also know that there will always be some who are violent. Obviously, these people must be dealt with. To claim that anarchists imagine these people will not exist is a slightly bewildering claim. But why the automatic leap to a group that must be given a monopoly on the use of force that is funded through coercion (taxes)? We want peace, so we must use coercion to achieve it? And if people are so scummy so as not to be able to organize themselves peacefully, then you are going to award a small number of these vile creatures all the guns? Does that really make sense? Because if you want a sociopath's eyes to light up, just tell him he can earn a living taking other people's money and telling them what they have to do. Those jobs will quickly be filled with all the bottom of the barrel folks you wish to be protected from. As soon as you establish a government, you are on a one way path to totalitarianism. You will populate the offices with the worst sorts of people who will simply expand the grip they have on their power over society. It has never worked any other way in all of human history. No government will ever 'go on a diet.' The U.S. instituted the most hands-off type of minimalist government ever attempted, and here we are. The toothpaste ain't going back into the tube. So to me, the belief in some sort of minimum governmental structure that stays minimal is analogous to believing in Utopias and other such fantasy lands. All the bad stuff you have seen in your travels is due to governments being in charge. Every place you have ever been has been under the authority of a government. All the Colombian evil you may have witnessed is because of the Colombian government. They are in charge and are responsible. You say you have seen some places that have little or no government and the people suffer. It is the government itself, not the lack of it, that makes those people suffer. You mentioned Nazi Germany. What better case against government can possibly exist? The only reason there was a WW2 was because a bunch of States threw a bunch of soldiers at each other. Those German 'historically rational brains' fell into lockstep with what their government told them and many of them 'just did their jobs' to great effect. Who else but a government can organize such large scale mindless horror? Our gummint edukayshun makes it seem automatic that a government has to run a society and to think otherwise is just plain silly. Of course they teach this, otherwise there wouldn't be any gummint skools if we didn't really believe it. If you decide to do your own research into the subject, you may just discover that there are actual alternatives to coercion, and that you cannot achieve peace through aggression. Your objections to anarchy thus far have been based on the false assumptions that anarchy equals Utopia, and that a government-less society would have no way to deal with aggressors. You will have to come up with something more substantial, I believe, to make your case. Thanks, tzo
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    "If anything called rights truly exists..." ~ B.R. Merrick RIGHT, n. ...5. Just claim; legal title; ownership; the legal power of exclusive possession and enjoyment. Every individual, unless he forfeits[1] it, has a natural right, i.e. a "just claim" to his own life, liberty and lawfully acquired property, (and no one else's). If you don't have a "just claim" to your life, liberty and lawfully acquired property then there can be no such thing as murder, slavery and theft, for you. How difficult can this be to understand? [1] FOR'FEIT, v.t. for'fit. [Low L. forisfacere, from L. foris, out or abroad, and facio, to make.] To lose or render confiscable, by some fault, offense or crime... ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language "Attack another’s rights and you destroy your own." ~ John Jay Chapman
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    trajanslovechild is correct, that the overthrow of a governmental system will lead to the creation of another. Humans made government and all other systems of coercion. They do this out of deep-seated hurt and fear, and also out of habit. I am not an anarchist because I believe it will happen; it won't. I am an anarchist because the revolution has been won. I've said it before and I'll say it again. There must be three criteria: 1. It must be peaceful. 2. It must be individual, with no mass movement to join. 3. It must lack a charismatic leader. I am an anarchist because it is logical and life-oriented. It matters little to me that I live in a world of death-oriented individuals. The revolution is won because my mind has been changed. trajanslovechild is correct that it is easy to think this way, living in relatively peaceful, prosperous, present-day America. But I do not believe this is because of our political system. It happens when humanity has greater access to knowledge and technology, free market principles (upon which America used to be based), and greater understanding of humanity, things severely lacking in the Third World.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    We don't pay the police to protect themselves; we pay them to protect us. ALL of us, guilty, innocent, perpetrator and victim. Any officer who scares this easily should find a different line of work.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    I understand what you mean, but I would say loss of volition is death, as volition is inseparable from individuality, and since coercion leads directly to this loss, I equate it with death. (And I know that the words are not synonymous.)
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    "I know that you probably realized this after making the post." No, I did not. Thank you for correcting me. I feel like an ass, but it's a good feeling, trust me. :)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bankers on Trial
    Page Jim Davies
    "...ladies and gentlemen, in your capacities as voters--and I know you are voters, for you wouldn't be here if you hadn't registered to vote--you elected representatives to determine how the government, which you have said you want, should be funded..." ~ Jim Davies And like the term "taxpayer", one is a "voter", whether he chooses to vote or not, if he has the members-only privilege of voting.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bankers on Trial
    Page Jim Davies
    "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you've heard it alleged that my clients are like gangsters, engaged in a Mafia-like criminal conspiracy of almost unimaginable scope. Now, it is a fundamental principle of American fairness that an act is criminal only if it violates a law. It may be that my clients have acted unethically; but they are not charged with unethical conduct, they are charged with illegal conduct. Yet the prosecution has failed to identify one single law that they have broken!" Therein lies the difference between "legal" and "lawful". Thank you, Jim Davies.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Loss of natural rights is death.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    Here are some of the quotes from Strike to Root concerning rights. "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments: rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws...." ~ John Adams "Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can." ~ Samuel Adams "The use of 'religion' as an excuse to repress the freedom of expression and to deny human rights is not confined to any country or time." ~ Margaret Atwood "Liberty is the soul's right to breathe and, when it cannot take a long breath, laws are girdled too tight." ~ Henry Ward Beecher "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature." ~ Benjamin Franklin “There is a sacred realm of privacy for every man and woman where he makes his choices and decisions-a realm of his own essential rights and liberties into which the law, generally speaking, must not intrude.” ~ Geoffrey Fisher "The spirit of liberty is not merely, as multitudes imagine, a jealousy of our own particular rights, but a respect for the rights of others, and an unwillingness that any man, whether high or low, should be wronged and trampled under foot." ~ William Ellery Channing "Attack another’s rights and you destroy your own." ~ John Jay Chapman "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become prey to the active.  The conditions upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime...." ~ John Philpot Curran "Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist.  That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants.  It is the right which they first of all strike down." ~ Frederick Douglass "It is easy to make light of insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties when invoked on behalf of the unworthy.  History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end." ~ Felix Frankfurter Reprint Rights from Strike the Root http://strike-the-root.com/republish.html It is precisely because we have a “right”, i.e. a “just claim”, to certain things, that makes it “wrong” to take them. ~ Suverans2
  • Puck's picture
    Puck 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bankers on Trial
    Page Jim Davies
    I've read many of Jim Davies essays--there are so many good ones--but this is among his best. Scintillating, if such a word could apply to such a thing.
  • trajanslovechild's picture
    trajanslovechild 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    You missed my point. You manage to get things that you want within the framework of a governmental political system, that you claim is "aggression." I find it hard to believe that you can achieve these material possessions without the support of a political system (that was created to stop irrational and violent behavior). I have lived in countries where there is little to no government, and when food, water, and other essentials are held by the strong, things are much less civilized, which lead to corruption and violence. I do not have to rely on philosophy from a comfortable chair, since I have seen this with my own eyes while I was in the army stationed in shit holes around the world where they did not have the education to wax philosophical about their plight. Let's leave the third World. Look at Germany in the 20th century. They are one of the most educated nations in the Western World with plenty of historical brain power. Look at the atrocities the "rational," educated Germans committed against people across Europe. Rationality is the norm when the lights are on, and the supermarkets are full of food. Rationality takes a vacation when things get desperate, and men become animals. I am not throwing up my hands; I am just using my own common sense and experiences (which is lacking in the academic world) to know what is real and what is academic. I know what you are talking about, and it is a fallacy that is made by people that have never lived without a safety net. Tell me; what is the alternative? Living in anarchy? Yes, there would be no aggression under a system of anarchy, right? I just don't feel like living in fantasy land. Thank you. -Steve.
  • J3rBear's picture
    J3rBear 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Aggression may be common but it is not all encompassing to human nature as you insist it is. I manage to get by day after day purely on voluntary interactions with my fellow humans. I did not use agression to get my girlfriend, my job, my friends, my home, my motorcycle, etc, etc. If we have the capacity to live generally peacefully with each other, then that is something worth striving for. Saying that humans are just naturally violent and then throwing up your hands in the air is a cop-out. What makes humans different is that we have the capacity for rationality, embrace that and you'll have a better understanding of what we're talking about here.
  • trajanslovechild's picture
    trajanslovechild 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Instead of "politics is aggression," how about we just say, "humans are aggression." It would boil the argument down to the marrow. In my mind, there will be aggression, and there always was aggression with or without government. There would be no politics without humans to fill the bureaucratic slots of governance. Even if there was anarchy, there would be aggression, since anarchy is a survival of the fittest mentality. Stronger people would take away food, water, or land away from those that are weak...as it has been since the beginning of time. It is not as if politics disappeared, we would go back to some mythical time of the 'noble savage' that never existed in the first place. Is government too large and obstructionist? Of course, and it increases in size by the day with every law that is shoveled through the court system. The great leviathan of government needs to be put on a starvation diet. But, without any form of politics, there would still be aggression, and it would no place to raise a child. Humans are social creatures, and we have a sense of need to belong to something. We call it politics, some call it a clan or a tribe. Either way, humans will be killing humans. Even if a Utopian society arose (which it never will...just look at the historical evidence), and humans were kind and traded without governance, there would be a strong group of governed people that would covet this Utopia and take it away easily because they are organized and governed through politics. There is no such thing as knowing life without aggression. There are different forms of severity of course. One of the soccer moms you mentioned, would be appalled at the level of violence I witnessed in Colombia as a soldier, but the same soccer mom would be willing to dish out violence to anyone that harmed her child (without the use of a machete). It is nice to dream of a world without violence, but politics is not the root of all evil. Aggression is a universally human disease. Thank you. -Steve
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    Truman is not on the dime. FDR is on the dime. I know that you probably realized this after making the post. In either case, both did a good job on doing their part to both start and end the involvment of America in World War II. Of course by 'good job' I speak sarcastically. Was American involvment in this war inevitable? I think it's a safe bet to say yes but on the same token (or in this case dime) we metaphorically started the war by jumping out of a moving plane without a parachute and ended it by cutting off a head to cure a headache. Some people think this type of weapon could still be of use. It makes me sick to think that people are still having babies in this world on the brink of destruction. After our use of these WMDs, the US and the USSR got into a multi megaton pissing contest for nearly 45 years. People thought that after the Iron Curtain fell, we would not have to worry about that threat. Personally, I have a problem with that kind of laxity considering the amount of deadly technology combined with the numerous untrustworthy governments in the, uh, civilized world. I finally got around to reading Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' and albeit a very hideous distopian vision, it is far from being a totally impossible vision of the future. Everybody hug your kids tonight! And peace be with you, Mr. Merrick. Only time will tell if people are willing to open their own eyes.
  • J3rBear's picture
    J3rBear 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    Great little column. Very succinct and clear. So where can I get my "politics is aggression" sticker?
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    In the original post, Rockwell said: "Some black-robed occupier in California may not overturn a popular vote against gay marriage..." I would ask, can some black-robed occupier in California overtun a popular vote against n*ggers if he finds it unconstitutional? Is there something sacrosanct about popular opinion to be found within libertarian ideology? He goes on to say: "Unfortunately, in the American system, there are only states rights. This was a mistake. There should also be town rights, county rights, etc. as Jefferson noted." If anything called rights truly exists, perhaps someone could educate me how states, towns, counties, etc. can have them? And at the top of LRC it still says "Anti-state." I wonder.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Robert Kaercher
    Not only does it make me ask, "Why is this man's visage on the goddamned dime?", but it also makes me ask, "Why did it not bother me for so many years that this man's visage is on the goddamned dime?"
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bumper Stickers
    Page tzo
    "Politics is aggression." And coercion is death. Works for me. And spot on about soccer moms, whom I collectively refer to as HYSTERICAL soccer moms.
  • golefevre's picture
    golefevre 3 years 36 weeks ago
    Bankers on Trial
    Page Jim Davies
    Your essay is a keen argument with a very fair perspective of both sides of the sword. Thank you for addressing the morality of fractional-reserve banking. As a drone sitting in a "Money & Banking" class some (ahem) decades ago in college, it never occurred to me that the tale of money creation, from goldsmiths up to our current "federal" system was not ethical. Like many others who were fed the "science" of Keynesian economics and fractional-reserve banking, I now understand that most of this "education" was complete bunk. The capital owner, be the capital gold or what have you, never consents to have his capital lent (at least not in way that isn't buried in fine print). There is at most a bailment agreement between the banker and the capital owner. When the banker diverts the owner's property without the consent of the owner, this is a crime of conversion. The capital owner should have the final say about how said capital is used and if they are taking the risk of indirectly lending it to someone in need of same capital, there should be consent among all three parties. The capital owner should be justly compensated in a way that is dictated by the market, not an oligarchy. If we had banks that operated on this type of agreement between customers (capital owners) and borrowers, they'd quickly outstrip "traditional" banking. The closest structure we've ever had to this type of voluntary financial system is a credit union. Like most competition that threatens oligarchy, it was quickly regulated and assimilated. In our age of instant communication, there is no reason why such VOLUNTARY forms of money and credit cannot exist other than the great force that can be brought to bear upon alternatives by the "federal" systems. Paypal was a recent "money" innovation that comes to mind and I truly do believe it WAS a great innovation because one only need consider how quickly it was assimilated by the bankers. In my opinion, those of us who are of like mind on this subject should promote alternative currencies as a partial solution, particularly as reserve banking seems unsustainable (understatement). Lew Rockwell says that such a move to alternatives will happen organically and I tend to agree. Presently we work on the "bigger fool" theory as we quickly trade Federal Reserve Notes for goods and services. The nominal (ha!) return on saving these notes is prima facie evidence of a complete lack of faith in these instruments. We can, I think, reclaim capital markets that exist for voluntary exchange by first having alternative currencies to the monetized (and non-collectable) debt we are now forced to use.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 36 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    According to this source (http://tinyurl.com/2b5n23c), the U.S. currently has over 5,000,000 so-called "laws" on the books, wonder if that would be considered "more numerous"? ;) As President Ronald Reagan said, “I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.”
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 36 weeks ago Page Tony Pivetta
    Unfookingbelievable!!
  • trajanslovechild's picture
    trajanslovechild 3 years 36 weeks ago Page Tony Pivetta
    Hi Guys, Thank you for the response. I agree with you Tony, that I do not want to waste one red cent on protecting places like South Korea, Japan, Germany, or any other country that can support their own military. I think our nation finds itself in this position because of the Cold War. After WW II, England and other nations did not have the economy or material to compete with the Soviet Union once they started seizing territory in Eastern Europe. The Soviets, and other Communist/Marxist nations did not make it secret that their intentions were to rule the world and make the globe into a "workers paradise" (a.k.a. everyone is poor). The US stood up to the Soviets, and our military spending is one of the reasons why the Soviet economy and empire collapsed. We were left at the top of the mountain, and Europe was able to build up their non-producing welfare states because they relied on the US to protect them. Those in Europe that were not happy about the situation were actually the ones to blame. If it were not for Europe's tribal wars of the 20th century, I do not think we would be in the position we are in today. On a side note: I have been to Normandy, and those people did enjoy that we "liberated" them from a true totalitarian government. Since our nation decided to involve it's citizens in WW II, we were thrust to the top of the heap. If I had to choose between a US or Soviet empire winning, I would choose the US for of empire. I think history propelled our nation to where we are today. I guess totalitarianism was a poor word to choose describing the Roman Empire, since the word is a 20th century invention. My point was to say that the Roman period of history was too diverse to compare to the US. Thank you for the definitions, but you will have to admit that totalitarian governments usually have a "strong man" that rules over a group of false senators. The word was invented to describe men like Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin. I am not sure that the military destroys the US economy. The military is expensive, but pork barrel spending, bail outs, and corruption makes military spending seem inconsequential. It takes many men and women with minimal education, gives them training and skills that they can use in civilian life, and pays for an education afterward. Many well disciplined, ward working, and educated people leave the military and enter civilian life. These people substantially contribute to the American economy. When you compare veterans to civilians, we are better educated, more productive, and have a much lower crime rate. If you read the last part of my original response, you will see that I am not that cynical. I do believe that there is a chance that our government can change, but I do not see any examples of this today. If there is an example of a truly "libertarian" country that exists today, I would like to know where it is. But, there is not one as far as I can see, and that is why I do think it is inevitable for governments to waste money. I am just looking at the evidence available today. Everyone promises great things, just look at our last election. But, once a certain party gets in power (no matter who), the promises are forgotten. I do not believe that any exchange of ideas is useless since it exercises our mental abilities, but our discussion is purely academic since we do not hold sway over policies as individuals. If there was a concealed-carry law in every state and city, you would not have to worry about someone (already on welfare) holding you up. Welfare makes slaves out of those that depend on the state, which is a bigger strain on the state than the military. I think the biggest problem in the US is our education system that does not really "teach" anything. Our high school graduates leave with a diploma at the age of 18, and do not have anything in the way of skills to compete in the workforce. Most students do not know their history or rights and not everyone was meant to go to college. So, our trades are being lost. I wonder how the education system would work under a truly "libertarian" government? I do not see a change, since those with the means will get the better education in the end. Talk to you later! -Steve