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  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    "And correspondingly, a waste of time.   "And I'm quite done with it.   "Just parting food for thought.   "Be damned with you.   "Rest assured I'll be ignoring the promised 'great deal more to come' ... 'And with that, I'm done.'"   These five are not very consequential when compared to the big lie, but all of them are solemn resolves of Alexander Knight III as recorded in this very thread above, and all the first four have been reversed. He has continued to "waste" his time, is not at all "done with it", has by no means "parted" with the matter, and evidently mistrusts whatever deity to whom he uttered his imprecation to damn me.   He will not have to wait long for the first instalment of the "more to come", and we shall all see clearly whether or not is "assurance" to "ignore it" and be "done" is, or is not, worth a red cent.                
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 43 weeks 5 days ago
    Growing Up
    Page Mark Davis
    Paul, I apologize for not seeing this sooner. Parenting is certainly not easy, and instilling obedience using threats is a phenomenal time saver; and busy young parents must learn on the fly. Thus, I do see the monumental task of overcoming most, if not all, existing human cultural norms for parenting. But we seem to be heading in the right direction and I believe that society may soon be able to formally grasp the need for this fundamental change. The best way to teach good behavior is to demonstrate it by providing examples of how to face up to life, make good choices and take responsibility for that life and those choices. Making obedience the focus of childhood learning leads to what we have. Making responsibility the focus of childhood learning leads to what I believe is something better. This process will take some time, no doubt; but I hope for sooner rather than later.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 43 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Well you certainly disagree with Rob's judgment, insist on railing against activities here incessantly, and there are plenty of other Voluntaryist forums, so what other conclusion might one draw?  I just think you're angry that anyone has the "temerity" to disagree with you, and call your cards.   Quarrel into an echo chamber all you want, call me wrong -- all meaningless gestures.  You can never provide any evidence for your position, and hence, the rest is just blowing off steam impotently.   Rest assured I'll be ignoring the promised "great deal more to come."  There's no benefit in it, or this discussion.  I'm doing you too big of a favor already by providing you with what little audience you have left.  And with that, I'm done.   Have fun.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Quite right, 1776 was a big fraud; like all known violent revolutions it was the only the replacement of one government by another. What I meant by a new world-view was that for the first time, I think, the crafters deliberately replaced a monarchy by a form of democracy; no big deal to anarchists, but quite a significant advance for the time.   Quite right too about the apparent dwindling of STR participants, though I don't know the visitor statistics. I wonder why, though, you should place any blame for that upon me? The last time I wrote an STRticle was in March 2014, two and a half years ago. At that point I quit, because the Editor declined to expel Paul Bonneau, after he had so outrageously denied the primary foundation of anarchist thought. Paul and I harmoniously agreed, you may possibly recall, that STR did not have room for us both. So, if I'm in any way to blame for the decline, it was not by my presence but by my absence. The true cause lies elsewhere.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    "a forum whose views he disagrees with"   Wrong, Alex, yet again. Exraordinary, how one writer can be so wrong, so often (as well as so personally offensive.) I have no disagreement at all with STR. Its stated purpose, and basis of belief, is admirable. My quarrel is only with writers like you and Paul, who explicitly deny that basis.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Yes Sam, you "should" oppose me and Paul Bonneau (both a government plant and communist) -- because Jim Davies says you should.   And remember that part of Jim's continuing goal is to get us (Paul and myself) both expelled from a website from which he has already chosen to partially remove himself -- though of course not fully, like any normal person would do with respect to a forum whose views he disagrees with.  No, he's chosen to stay, determined to be a rather amusing circus-like irritant who is taken less and less seriously all the time -- but where he can continue to make a pathetic display of ego and perceived self-importance.  And as for his aforementioned stated goal of convincing STR's owner to engage in outright censorship, there's a common expression these days which fits most aptly:  "Good luck with that."  :-D   However, "...there is a great deal more to come," yet, evidently!  Might some of it eventually produce concrete evidence of "rights?"  One would hope so, with the abundant volume of bloviation already expelled, and so promised in the future.   However, I'll hold to the final sentence of my essay above, with respect to the ultimate disposition of that question.  :-D
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    The "crafting" that occurred in the sacred (Gregorian) "1776" appears to have amounted to a mere reinstatement or reshuffling of a more egregious and metastatic situation that had been in place to begin with. With large numbers of destroyed lives, injuries and deaths concomitant with the origins of states everywhere throughout history. "...please try to get used to it. It's not going away, and there is a great deal more to come..." There appear to be dwindling numbers of participants here. I strongly suspect that has to do with combative "teachings" that have been incoming, along with judgemental strikes emanating from your world view. But I'll try. Can't say I won't make that effort. To get used to it, I mean. I can't guarantee you won't be preaching to an increasingly empty choir presbytery. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    "I don't introduce world view(s)" - glad to read that. There are quite enough already. Glad, also, that you come close to defining a free thinker as one who questions prevailing ones. I agree.   Questions ideally get answers, and if a prevailing world view provides sound ones, it ought to go on prevailing. Would you go along with that? - that only when the answers are deficient is it appropriate to craft a new one. That famously happened hereabouts in 1776.   In our smaller society, Rand and Rothbard particularly, in the third quarter of the 1900s, prominently did so again. They had much in common, though not everything. Rothbard most elegantly nailed the newly-discovered axiom of the right of self-ownership, so that became the standard way to recognize libertarian, or anarcho-capitalist, philosophy. As noted above, the widely used NAP was derived from it.   Now, when someone like Bonneau or Knight flatly denies that fundemental axiom, I shall oppose them. So should you. If they do so from within a supposedly anarchist group like STR and pretend still to be anarchists, I shall oppose them the more vigorously and accuse them roundly of being  hypocritical, and shall call for their expulsion from that group. Please note that "vigorously" is not the same as "vicious" or "aggressive." If it is "didactic" - if I am attempting to teach something that is demonstrably true yet is being denied, and if for some reason you don't like that, please try to get used to it. It's not going away, and there is a great deal more to come.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 6 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Well, that may not be too hard. The Far East was East because to reach it Westwards involved braving the storms of Cape Horn, whereas to go East meant only to round the Cape of Good Hope. Clearly, good hope beats horns any day - no dilemmas - and the North West Passage (it lies to your North East) was not yet open, due to Global Warming not having then been invented. As for the Panama Canal, the idea that some Damn Yankee should speak softly, carry a big stick and cause it to be dug was just the stuff of fairy tales. What was a Yankee, anyway?  
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    (to continue): 'Tell us more about what you mean by a "free thinker."' Didactic -- which is how you've been coming off of late, Jim. Which could explain how you've gotten yourself into such combative squabbles -- such as the "rights" thing generally, and specifically your hostility toward our friend, Mr. Bonneau. My closest "answer" (if it would improve my grade-point :-]) would be your multiple-choice (b) above. With the possible exception of the tail-end, "...to introduce an improved world view..." I don't introduce world view(s). However, if by that phrase you're referring to my sharing with you and others here and at other forums the way I see myself achieving liberty, then so-be-it. And, since the world revolves around my belly-button (my world), perhaps the phrase fits me closer than I'd care to admit. "...in virtually all of your many comments in this forum you tell us rather emphatically what you think a libertarian should be? - including this one?..." Beg to differ. Well, if you were to leave out the authoritarian "should", perhaps you're close. I have absolutely no "authority" to delineate who on this forum "...fits the title..." I see the word, libertarian, as describing an individual who believes in liberty. If you've stumbled across STR and stuck around to post essays and comments, you fit. You might still be in the inquisition stage, but stick around. You'll help me as much as I can help you. We'll both stand a good chance of learning. Hopefully, one of the vital lessons each of us might learn is how to stay out of vicious and aggressive written attacks. Sam
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 43 weeks 6 days ago Page Douglas Herman
      Jimbo -  Yes Indeedy! And WHY, pray tell, as we Brits would say, is the so-called "Far East" actually WEST?  I can look out over the Pacific Ocean and see Japan (on a map or Google Earth) and it sort of looks way west. Must be some kind of programming going on as you have surmised.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Ya know Jim -- I get the feeling that what you're looking for nowadays is "back-to-the-wall" sorts of argumentation. I'm such a marvelous debater that I'll keep your back to the wall. Thus, I win through (what I perceive to be) your loss. I ain't a-fallin'. That's a lose-lose mindset. As Mishochu has stated above: "...In any case, I think it's important to say that I do like and enjoy Jim Davies' work. I hope others follow it. I'd like to think I've already done so in my life..." I'll second Mishochu -- you've written good stuff that I maintain in my library of excellent web material for reference when attempting to put my thoughts to an issue or topic. I often reference articles you've written in my comments here and abroad. So none of us are denigrating you (or Bastiat, or Spooner, or von Mises, or Rothbard, or Rand, or Friedman, or Hayek, or Hazlitt, or Samuels or any of the many others). That's poppycock. "...In your view is being free just a feeling, or does the mind get involved?..." As I replied to Mark Davis' comment above regarding the concept that our common goal is the freeing of people's minds: "It occurs to me that the body will writhe in slavery until the mind becomes free". There are actions I can take today for my personal liberty -- one of which is to recognize that there are things over which I have absolutely no control. Yours or Mishochu's or Mark's opinions and/or attitudes would fall into that category -- to a certain degree. The fact that we're all here interchanging with each other (in respectful, civil web conversation) might imply that each of us has some effect upon the other. Hopefully for the better. My compooter's slowing down, so that will have to hold me for now. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    So, Sam, was all that intellectual stuff over which Bastiat, Spooner, von Mises, Rothbard, Rand, Friedman, Hayek, Hazlitt, Samuels and many others wrestled with just a waste of time? In your view is being free just a feeling, or does the mind get involved?   Tell us more about what you mean by a "free thinker." Is he (a) someone free to believe and advocate anything whatever, including the view that there is and ought to be a class of rulers in any society that governs the rest of it, or is he (b) someone whose mind breaks free of whatever may be the prevailing orthodoxy and uses reason to introduce an improved world view? Or is there perhaps a third meaning in your use of the phrase?   I notice you say you "don't know what a libertarian should be". Really? Wouldn't it be fair to say that in virtually all of your many comments in this forum you tell us rather emphatically what you think a libertarian should be? - including this one?   You mention the NAP, and as it happens that's the first proposition I met when first I met the LP back in 1980. It made a whole heap of sense to me, and delineated the LP from all other political parties without any fixed principle at all, and I gladly signed up. Much later on, I wondered about its source. Was it just plucked out of thin air, as a nice way for people to relate to each other, or did it have some kind of intellectual foundation? The answer is, of course, that it derives from the self-ownership axiom, the right to run ones' own life. The very subject of this exchange, and the very thing, if I read you right, that you intend to continue to do.  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    re-posted as a reply. Sorry, again.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 6 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    It is, indeed, quite odd!  New Yorkers call Chicago the "North West", and there's even an airline named that way, which nonetheless flies North East among other directions. And Maine is often called "Down East", even though if one holds the map in the conventional way it's definitely "up". And did you, whilst dwelling in the City of Angels, refer to yourself as a "Midwesterner" while facing East?   Perhaps there's a conspiracy at work, to confuse us all.
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    In any case, I think it's important to say that I do like and enjoy Jim Davies' work. I hope others follow it. I'd like to think I've already done so in my life. I am, however, an impatient bugger and would prefer to experience corporeal freedoms (not just mental ones) while this corpus is still living, breathing and ambulatory.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Rather than join the foray I'll make a general comment. First, this essay was probably inappropriate. But "libertarians" can be the fightingest, scrappiestness, surlyist claimers of "freedom-for-all" types imaginable. So perhaps the essay is appropriate after all. The nature of liberty is freedom. Freedom implies that few of us are going to agree altogether in lock-step with some doctrinal idea of what a "libertarian" is, or must be. It's not in the cards. Not for free-thinkers, it isn't. So scrapping with each other and making the laughingly dumb accusations that so-and-so "...is not libertarian..." is beyond the pale. But, it's probably natural. Many of us feel like we've discovered an entirely new proposition, this "freedom" thing; since we've always been under the gun of psychopaths who make up "state". It's new stuff -- and I secretly want to be in charge. I want to go down in history as having "discovered" and "promulgated" freedom. Fair enough. Wanting a feeling of importance is normal as rain. Like the alcoholic who must give up managing and controlling if s/he ever wants to achieve sanity; the libertarian would do well (I think) to do the same. I don't know what "a libertarian" should be. There's talk around the forums about the idea that a libertarian must sign some agreement to abide by a rather nebulous "NAP" or s/he cannot be truly libertarian. Something about a contract of mutual consent, or some such. I've never "signed". I can be free. Here. Today. Where I'm "at". So can you. I think. Sam
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 43 weeks 6 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Jim, You are so right that sometimes I wonder about myself. Not northern England at all, but simply north of London. But then, while living in southern California years ago, as a transplanted Mid Westerner, I found it curious that local Los Angelenos called Anywhere north of Santa Barbara or Monterey, "Northern" California. To me, the northern part of that state started hundreds of miles north, or at least north of San Francisco Bay, in Marin County.     
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 43 weeks 6 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Thank you Alex. Loved hearing about your treasure hunts. I found the smokers bow, or captains chair as we Americans often call it, at a thrift store years ago. The trio of others surprised me, an amateur sleuth, as to the Who and Why and How. I'm probably the old veteran in the chairs now but I try not to spill my beer.   
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    You seem to have a great many ideas about what others "need" to do in order to fulfill your particular vision of perfection.  How very libertarian.   The only thing I've explicitly rejected here is the notion that you possess the keys to the kingdom, and that any and all disagreement with you is both heresy and apostasy.   Hypocrisy?  That's you projecting onto others.  In fact, I wouldn't even make vague reference to that word, were I you.  It leaves you wide open.  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 6 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Mishocu needs a great deal less correction than you do, Alex. Yes, he needs to focus his mind on the rational basis for libertarianism and then make a decision about whether or not to accept it;  but he is at present honest enough to admit that he is not one. You, on the other hand, even while explicitly rejecting the most central feature of libertarian theory, have miserably failed to acknowledge that you have reneged on your previous commitment and become a turncoat. That's despicable hypocrisy.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 44 weeks 7 hours ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Well evidently, mishochu, you "needed" to be "corrected" too.  After all, anyone who disagrees with Jim Davies does, of course, and anyone who disagrees with that...well, they're just "irrational" and everyone needs to be "protected" from them.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 10 hours ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    The "correction" pointed out an error concerning the very heart of libertarianism, so I'm certainly glad to have had the opportunity to do so.   Naturally, as a non-libertarian you might not realize how important it is. I again suggest getting down to some seious homework, mishochu.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 44 weeks 23 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    From a state that started as a secular republic, the U.S. gov has morphed into an elected-tyrant form of democracy, a variant of old fashioned mob rule. Lefts and rights are fine with fascism as long as it's THEIR preferred fascist tyrant at the top running it.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 44 weeks 1 day ago Web link Westernerd
    "Faith" is indeed the correct word. Government is faith-based (backed by firearms). Once a critical number of folks (perhaps recent Trump and former Ron Paul voters for starters) come to grasp that, popular support organized religion and for government will collapse. The ideal of "Separation-of-Church-and-State" is/was a pipe dream. They are inseparable, because both are mindless abstractions engendered in the brains of "the governed". They are two incestuously-entwined ideals. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 44 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Mishochu, I'm glad to have been alcoholic, however you wish to define chronic drunkenness (as long as we're ragging over definitions). Many alcoholics refuse to accept the nature of their condition, and carry it into insanity and death. In order to be restored to a modicum of sanity it became necessary for me to grasp and internalize the reality that I cannot change you, or any other human being -- only myself. The harder I try, the deeper s/he will likely entrench herself into what I perceive to be her error. And the deeper will become my frustration (and my need for another drink to "...lighten myself up..."). I always enjoy your sagacious comments. Sam
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 44 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Ha, he couldn't even refrain from "correcting" the guy who suggested lightening up.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 1 day ago Page Douglas Herman
    Nice tale, Doug. Small correction: High Wycombe is not in "Northern England." It's in the "home counties" - those close to London - about 30 miles NW of the city center. Or centre.   The chair may have been bought first in Yorkshire, but if so would have had quite a trip, for that county is indeed in the North of the country.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Glad you jumped in, Mark, with a little humor too as Sam remarked.   Unfortunately I think you're mistaken about the angels/pinhead model. This dispute goes to the very heart of what a libertarian is, of the world-view itself. I will be showing how and why in my ZGBlog next week.   You're right though about it being a pity the disagreement has descended to personal epithets. For my part I've tried to minimize them, but observe that Alex has thrown them around like confetti. You may care to read the exchange again and count the number of ad-hominem insults and let us know the score. Today I see that Alex's latest is that he wishes damnation upon me.   I certainly wish damnation on his poisonous ideas, but have no such personal animosity. He is, or was until recently, a  very genial fellow.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 44 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    "...Lighten up guys, life is too short..." Indeed. Leave it to you, Mark, to inject logic, wisdom and a touch of humor into an unnecessary and alarming squabble between "libertarians". You and I have seen more than a few forum disputes over this and claptrap such as "do parents own their children?" or "does a man own his wife -- and she her husband?" etc etc. I like your concept that our common goal is the freeing of people's minds. It occurs to me that the body will writhe in slavery until the mind becomes free. I've said for decades that the human family is the only legitimate governing unit. All other claims to "jurisdiction" are from coercive interlopers backed by loaded guns. Knowing you over the web as I have, I'd conclude that you and Mrs. Davis have been superb parents. And, presuming some or all of your children to have reached adulthood, they also are or will be outstanding parents. Sam
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 44 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    This is a classic "How many angels can dance on the head of pin?" type debate that turns off many would-be libertarians. Believing in the concrete nature of rights vs. understanding that rights are but a conceptual label matters little as long as we agree on how valuable this tool can be in building a free society. Either method of conveying the idea of rights can appeal to people with different understandings and belief systems such that which is right or wrong becomes of dubious value to the common goal of freeing people’s minds. I'm profoundly disappointed in how personal this spat has become. Lighten up guys, life is too short.   By the way, I do not own my body – my wife does. I conveyed title via a marriage contract about 30 years ago and couldn’t be happier as a love slave. Of course, I still do pretty much whatever I want as long as it doesn’t hurt her. So there is a bit of a grey area there between control, power and influence in the matter that we must all reconcile in our minds in order to make sense of the world.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 44 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    For all of your "rational" hyperbole about "liberty," you love your role as policeman, don't you?  From stabbing vigorous accusatory fingers at statements made in mere passing, to actually viewing yourself as a "protector" of what others might happen to read, see, or hear.   You are not only an absolute hypocrite, but a very sick person with an utterly warped mentality and sense of self-importance, as well.   Be damned with you.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 44 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Doug:  My late mother -- who just passed in April of this year -- was a lifelong antiques dealer, and would've related instantly to this piece.  Many were the times both of us, or just she alone, rummaged through "trash" left by the roadside that was in actuality valuable history.  Reflect for a moment, sadly, on how much of this stuff is never rescued, and ends up being destroyed forever in dump fires and landfills.   Beyond that, finish this novel!  Jen's ability reminds me of Stephen King's The Dead Zone.  Great stuff!  :-) 
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    So as I suspected but did not say, "I'm quite done with it" which you wrote here only yesterday, was a terminological inexactitude.   No emotion involved on my part, Alex. Just a cool resolve to try to protect any and all who will read and reflect, from the poison you are spreading. There are some good people on STR, but some may need help to recognize it. If that inconveniences you, splendid.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    (Re-posted as a reply. Sorry.)
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 44 weeks 3 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    I'm not really interested in your emotional reactions, any more than I am in your feeble attempts to defend the indefensible. Except perhaps as a sideshow -- but even that's getting tired.  And I have far better and more productive things to do with my time.   The only thing remaining which may or may not interest you is that there are any number of frequenters and habitues of this site who are earnestly wondering -- given your stated positions -- why you continue to stick around here.  They may not have made this explicitly known to you, for whatever reasons (perhaps they felt it wasn't worth their own time), but I assure you that -- unlike "rights" -- they exist, and in numbers that might be quite surprising to you, at that.   Just parting food for thought.  If reality still has any place in your echo-chamber world whatsoever.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 3 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    I am by no means "done with it." The nonsense you have embraced during the last year or two is pure poison to the cause of human liberty, and I shall denounce it at every opportunity. I've been at pains to suggest you are not the prime culprit but have been misled; now, I'm not so sure.   The nasty ad-hominem remarks with which you have peppered all your entries in this thread I will not dignify by rebutting - but will note that they are there; four, I see, in your most recent post alone. The poison appears to have affected your character as well as your mind. You used to be an agreeable, friendly and courteous companion. Not any longer.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 3 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    I asked that you "review [what I'd explained] and tell me explicitly of any flaw you find in the reasoning above. If none, I hope you will join us" but I notice you didn't do that. No matter, of course, there's no obligation. But please excuse me from responding further until you do.   I should however have added that if and when you are interested to consider becoming a libertarian, please make use of The On Line Freedom Academy. It begins with a useful Entrance Questionnaire so you can estimate how much work you'll face, and continues with a short account of the Benefits of so doing. Hence, you can get a quick idea of costs & benefits. Then comes a key page, How to Get the Best out of the Academy. Don't hurry over that one. It emphasizes the value of taking time to study well, as much as may be needed.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 44 weeks 3 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    It is only a "reality" inside the walls of your own thick skull, and no place besides.   Even were it so, however -- if you could actually "own" what you already are -- it would make precisely zero difference with respect to "rights":  Those are determined by the constraints placed on us by others, and shift perpetually from culture, time, and place.  That's not ideology.  It's reality.  And you seem to be utterly determined to not understand the difference. So be it.   I might also make mention here of the nature of "ownership."  Unlike "rights," we can, most often, find an objective basis for that, though in practice we usually don't.  We operate under a kind of unspoken assumption that someone's claim to property is legitimate -- even though were we to research such down to the last detail, we might find otherwise.  But we typically don't.  Not only because it's entirely impractical in the course of day to day business, but because we implicitly understand that the alternative is perpetual war, bloodshed, and chaos.  Thus we opt for the easier road, in the name of expediency.  Even things like sales receipts, deeds, etc. only get us so far.  At some point, in the vast majority of cases, we find ourselves operating on "good faith."   In short, it's one thing to claim ownership of something.  It's another to prove it unquestionably.  The self, again, presents a special case:  We don't own ourselves, and nor does anyone else.  We are ourselves.  Ownership applies to objects, and arguably animals, perhaps.  But not and never people.  Except in your universe, where opinions become solid absolutes, without a single shred of hard evidence, and in total denial of the way society operates, on top of all else.   Lastly, my question about "anarchist libertarians" was obviously a rhetorical one -- but in typical pedagogical fashion, you answered it still -- and quite condescendingly.  No surprise there.  As is typical, you delight in treating everyone you speak to as if they were a child; it feeds your god-complex.     And I'm quite done with it.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 3 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    It may amuse you, Alex, to "feel" that persons are not owned (by themselves or someone else) but that is the reality. Either you have the right to make your own decisions, or you don't. It's binary, and no amount of ridicule on your part will alter that fact. When last replying I posed you a question: "since you evidently deny [that you have the right of self ownership], you would tell us who is, now, your owner and how he or she acquired title". You did not answer it. That failure is reprehensible.   Having so failed, you've no business expecting replies from me to yours, but I'll attempt one even so, in the interests of courtesy. You ask whether or not all libertarians are anarchist.   Logically, yes; the underlying axiom of both descriptors is the self-ownership right. If a person denies that, he is neither. However I'm reluctant to discourage someone who may have recently encountered libertarians and has got as far as accepting the "NAP" - he agrees it's a good idea not to aggress, and so (say) joins the LP, but hasn't had time to figure out whence the NAP derives.        
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 44 weeks 4 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Kind of like 9/11.  Actually, no:  Just like.
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 44 weeks 4 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    I am not a libertarian because they don't go far enough. That doesn't mean I lack their tendencies. Stating the "doctrine of individual rights" is religious does not also mean that believing in the state is not religious (the two beliefs can coexist, as it does in the present day). Some group may not have the "right" to rule over others, presently, they have the ability. Just because you prove your own agency or formulate your own thought doesn't mean the state won't accept simply the fruit of your labor. The thugs will just say, "We didn't get his mind. Very well, we'll get his children's mind on the next go round, and get him to pay for it." You seem to have this "with us or against us" mentality. I hope you do win believers, lots of them, the more the merrier. I wish more people would believe like you do. It is from that level of understanding that I may convince them to go further, beyond just believing...to being. You intend to proselytize. I intend to evade. In the end, I hope your converts do what's in their best interest.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 44 weeks 4 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    For someone who ostensibly places a premium on rationality, you continue to fail miserably in that regard.   "Anarchist libertarians?"  Are there any other kind?   And I also think it's amusing how you feel we must either "own" ourselves...or then someone else must.  It's evidently beyond your powers of comprehension -- such as they are -- to consider that life and existence merely are.  They contain no inherent precepts.     Until someone craving intellectual recognition comes along, that is; someone both incredibly narcissistic and incapable of handling the idea that human existence doesn't just neatly fit into pre-ordained slots in some imaginary glass carousel he has constructed in his own inflated mind.  Someone whose crude outlook consists only of "owners" and "owned."   But keep going:  You've made yourself into even more of a laughing stock here than you know.  It's fun to watch you sink even deeper into the chasm you've constructed.  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 4 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Very illuminating, mishochu. You admit then that you are "not a libertarian per se" and that solves a major puzzle for me; I had assumed that anyone who takes the time to write comments in the STR forum was a professing libertarian. So at least you are consistent; you reject the doctrine of individual rights, and you make no claim to be a libertarian. The two go together; those two things are true of the vast majority of the population, alas.  So you're no hypocrite, unlike some. Good.   You're also correct in saying that a religion may have a reasoned component, but not "evidence". That's my understanding too, though I'd put it slightly differently and wonder if you might agree: religions begin with a premise that is by no means impossible to rebut (eg, that a God exists) and then may build a doctrinal superstructure on top of that premise in quite a well-reasoned manner. That's certainly true of Christianity.   Incidentally it's for that reason that governments are a kind of religion; the premise is that some group has the right (and/or need) to rule others. If that premise were sound, the rest may follow quite reasonably. But it's not.   In contrast, the premise underlying anarchism is absolutely sound, for it cannot be refuted. That's where at present you and I disagree, for you say "There isn't much *evidence* suggesting that the right [of self-ownership] exists." Any premise ("evidence") is irrefutable and so becomes an axiom if, while attempting its rebuttal explicitly, it becomes necessary to assume it implicitly; and such is the case here. In the very act of trying to prove I have no self-ownership right, I would have to express thoughts and opinions and reasoning that were my own, the product of my own mind. But, oops! it's not my own mind, and therefore the task is impossible. I'd have to assume the premise is correct, in order to try to prove it incorrect. Additionally as already mentioned, the impossible question remains: if I don't own myself, who does and how did he acquire title? - for if nobody has the right to own himself, he clearly is unqualified to take any kind of decision, or execute any kind of contract or even decree, that would make him the owner of someone else.   That is the axiom ("evidence") beneath the right of self ownership, and so is the principle distinguishing libertarians from all others. Please review it and tell me explicitly of any flaw you find in the reasoning above. If none, I hope you will join us.
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 44 weeks 4 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Should I continue? It is a little fun triggering you, I'll admit. First, a religious belief can be based on reason[ing], but not evidence. I don't think there's a genuinely honest apologetic who claims evidence for their faith. I actually would rather the vast number of people in the world *believed* their fellow man had first the right to own his own body, and all the rights one could conclude from there (like how one may defend it, what compensation is acceptable for that body's labor, with whom that body may or may not associate, what substances could be put into that body, etc.). Alas, like you said, the reality "in which we presently exist" suggests that these people do not believe that his neighbor owns his whole body. There isn't much *evidence* suggesting that the right exists. That's what makes it religious. Would I rather have faith in rights? Yes, but I'll be *honest* with myself that it is my faith (and apparently not anyone else's). I'm not a libertarian per se, the closest label I have come across to which I want to attach myself is crypto-anarchist (the capitalistic nature of which should be implied). The reason is, though I believe in my right to own my own body, that body (and its activities) must remain hidden in order to be as free as possible. Perhaps when popular *opinion* regards self-ownership as absolute I'll come out of the woodwork but I'll teach my progeny how to remain hidden (even in plain sight) if needs be.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 44 weeks 4 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Totally dishonest crap from the French state. Every one of the ring leaqders of the Bataclan Massacre were known to the police and intelligence services and yet they still were able to do what they did.  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 4 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Thank you, Alex, for spotting my error. You're quite right; I used the wrong phrase. The fact "that individuals do have the inherent, inalienable, sovereign right to own and operate their own lives" is not a view, an opinion among several, but an objective fact that is undeniable. Mea culpa; I have in this very exchange made that point several times so I was foolish in that one instance to call it a mere perception.   Those who deny it, however, are clearly not anarchist libertarians and are not rational in this respect. Alex, apparently you do now deny it. That saddens me a great deal. I posed the question to mishochu, and await his response. Perhaps meanwhile since you evidently deny it, you would tell us who is, now, your owner and how he or she acquired title.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 44 weeks 4 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Notice, misochu, how in order to rescue his position from the inevitable jaws of reason, Davies claims a "right" to life -- rather than simply accepting life as something that merely is, and no more.  He cannot conceive of life as just being.  No, it can only be defined within his terms, as something up for grabs, something requiring ownership:  You either assert forcefully your "right" to it...or someone will snatch it away from you at the nearest available opportunity.  That really says more about him personally than it does about the nature of reality.  Things must be within his control.  Otherwise, of course, none of it is "rational." And we just can't have that, can we?   Note also that even as he presumes to speak for an entire category of people -- "Anarchist libertarians hold the opposite view" -- he still openly admits that it is indeed just a view.  An opinion.  Nothing more.   His entire "argument," as it were, amounts to little more than a plea for everyone to agree with him.  A plea for recognition of an opinion.  And a pathetic one at that. One which can supply zero evidence.  In short, a ridiculous flexing of the ego.   And correspondingly, a waste of time.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 44 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    Thank you. I still have some trouble understanding its relevance to Alex's blog. Whom do you have in mind, who might be engaging in non-thiestic religious activity? Are there Buddhists nearby?   So I'll go out on a limb, and take a guess - based on your two first words, "Great stuff", apparently referring to that blog. I'm guessing that you regard a belief in rights as a religious belief. Yes?   If so, you could hardly be more wrong - if we can agree that a religious belief is one based not on reason but on faith; a widely accepted definition. Alex' position is that rights don't exist because none can be "seen on the street" and because they are abstract "concepts", while mine is that every person does have the right to live and to own his or her own life, as an attribute as real as a wide variety of other concepts such as conscience, love, goodness, justice, right, wrong, mathematics, philosophy, economics, language musical and writing abilities, and imagination; all of which are mere concepts but all of which are entirely real and demonstrable by rational observation of their results and all of which were mentioned in the ZGBlog which Alex attempted to discredit. No naked faith at all is needed, to acknowledge the reality of any of them; and the same is true of rights.   True ones, as I noted, all derive from the basic self ownership right (and we're not discussing government "permission slips" which are alleged privileges, not rights at all even though government people use the same word) and that right is inherent in human nature. As I noted, it must logically be so because no alternative exists; if you do not have the right to your own life, who does and how did he get it?   We can extend that reasoning a little. If arguendo you do not have the right of self-ownership, you certainly have no right to hold or express an opinion; and yet you did so! You wrote "Great stuff". Right or (as in this case) wrong, that's an opinion, and if someone else has the right to control what you do and say, you've no business expressing it. You're a mere instrument, in the hands of some other party, like a keyboard. Can a keyboard express its own opinion? The notion is absurd.   The alternative is a world much like the one in which we presently exist; life is lived by premission of those with the biggest weapons. Justice is what the ruler says it is. Good and evil are what he says there are. He asserts a "right to rule", but on the stated premise he can have no such right; he does so purely on the basis of force. Absent rights, there are only "opinions", as Alex said. Thus, if an opinion is popular in some society, it prevails; if the culture holds that Jews are sub-humans like rodents or that blacks are mere three fifths of human beings, that's the way it is and there is no objective, rational standard to which to hold its rulers accountable.   Anarchist libertarians hold the opposite view; that individuals do have the inherent, inalienable, sovereign right to own and operate their own lives and that any who impede or deny that right are interlopers who must be overcome - as peacefully as possible. Are you a libertarian, mishochu?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 44 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    Given that "democracy" is that gambit utilized for ongoing belief and participation of the hoi polloi by the group of psychopaths hiding under the mantle of "the state", my answer would definitely have to be "no". Democracy was/is a stroke of genius. Sam