Recent comments

  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 29 weeks 5 days ago Page floppytilleyhat
    If you will bear with me putting a lengthy addendum to my comment, yesterday I received an email from an old army buddy with a long forwarded diatribe against "Obamacare" and its presumed (and very likely) destruction of medical care for those over 76 "...secrets you didn't know about Obamacare's effects upon Medicare..." The idea is that I'm supposed to forward it to 10 people who will forward it to 10 people, and (using math mentality) soon "...everybody will know, and will be free!" (Abe is an ultra right-winger and retired educator) Here's my reply to my friend, Abe: Hey Abe! Nice to hear from you! I was just wondering this morning if I otta send you an email to see how you're getting along. I follow a principle: never, never, ever expect reason, truth, "justice" (more commonly, just-us) sanity or logic to emanate from any group of psychopaths hiding under that brainless abstraction lovingly called "government". Never. Ever. If I do, I shall lead a life of fury and frustration. I have no "rights". I have no "representatives". I make choices. The challenge of anarchy is in developing methods to circumnavigate and sidestep the many lunatics who will gleefully attempt to interfere with the choices I make. If it's going to be, it'll be up to me. I've never used "Medicare", and will never use it. I pay cash (well, federal reserve notes) to a physician I trust -- who is also my girl friend. Then ignore everything she tells me :-). The thieves from whom I steal a few hundred bucks every month always turn around and steal close to a hundred back from me for the "service" (ha ha) they call "Medicare". My thievery from them is what they like me to think of as "Social Security" -- and that I'm not actually stealing it, but am "entitled" to it. Balderdash. Antisocial Insecurity would be truth-telling. I ran across this little 5 minute video this morning while researching another matter. It was truthful, But at the end the producer(s) tried to convince listeners that there is something they can DO about it. Nada. The problem outlined in your email to me amounts to nothing more than the "red line" my friend Dan Sanchez discusses in this 20 minute video. It will not be rectified, sorry to announce. The red line might be moved, but the issue will remain. Abstain from beans is my best advice. More and more individuals are coming to see the fidelity of that idea. A small step, but it is a step. Regards, Sam Spade Mark warned me several years ago that I tend to come on too strong to those merely trying to get their feet wet in liberty, and he's no doubt correct. There are times I simply can't restrain meself :-[ . Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 29 weeks 5 days ago Page floppytilleyhat
    Glad to see you, Dave, posting an essay and posing a controversial quandary. Hope you keep posting. If there is one thing we need, it's new blood and new ideas and more topics of interest. You look to be one capable of contributing some good, spicy stuff! However, this is one reason I reject "libertarian theory". Mama taught me some eons back how to determine "may" from "can": "May" a libertarian (please note lower-case "l") take "money" (however that is defined in an era of generally accepted fiat) from those individuals who hide under that mindless abstraction called "government"? Let's turn that around: Isn't that what the state is all about? Redistribution of wealth??? I'm referring to those psychopaths -- so skillful at hiding theft (or outright robbery) under a euphemism called "tax". As I understand the system, that's the nature of all psychopathic systems called "government". They want "us" to "receive-our-fair-share" So, we may, and we can. It's fundamental. If the question is, "...should we depend upon the psychopathic largess of employees of government?..." I'd say, "no. For your own good, my suggestion is NO!" But back to your essay: "...the rightful owner of that property is the one who decides how it is valued and under what conditions it is justly transferred. So if the owner of wealth believes that government is owed his property, and the government is of the same mind, then in what sense is this taxation theft?..." First, in order to put this into proper non-statist perspective, it is important to understand and accept that "the government" does not exist, nor does "it" have a mind. That's the purveyance of the psychopaths I linked above. Second, setting reification aside: it's one thing for the "rightful owner" to decide what dispensation might be of his own "property" -- but by doing so (docile, "voluntary compliance"), is s/he not also contributing to the harmful endorsement of theft of my property -- and everybody else's property? Let's not forget the "...fair share..." obfuscation. Now, I'm not in fact totally disagreeing with my friend, Mark's comment above. If you can't steal from robbers, who the hell can you steal from, I say. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 29 weeks 5 days ago Page Retta Fontana
    (From Retta's essay): "...I find it an outrage..." Why? I enjoyed Jeff Tucker's take on the efficacy of monopoly government: "...So long as there is government, the only real way to make the economy and society function properly is for government to be corrupt. The best form of government is no government. The second best form of government is corrupt government. But the absolutely worst form of government is that which pretends to be clean and good. That form of government does the most damage of any..." Jeff was paying tribute to an individual -- a former District of Collectivism..., er, Columbia, mayor, Marion Barry -- upon news of his death. You can read the article here: https://tucker.liberty.me/in-praise-of-political-corruption-marion-barry... Sam
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 29 weeks 5 days ago Page floppytilleyhat
    Well said. The more money put back into the hands of the people the state took it from, the better off we all are.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 29 weeks 5 days ago Page Retta Fontana
    A good book for history and context.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 29 weeks 5 days ago Page Retta Fontana
    Paul, Glock27, et al. My take: A few good guns and lots and lots of ammo, spare parts, slings, etc. Like my favorite ATF agent once told me: "An AR-15 without ammo is just a club." True dat. Plan accordingly.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 29 weeks 5 days ago Web link strike
    Yikes! I didn't think I could even be anymore cynical about those rat bastards too. Good pick, Strike.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 29 weeks 5 days ago Web link KenK
    Then there is that old classic from The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/video/diebold-accidentally-leaks-results-of-2008...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 29 weeks 5 days ago Page Retta Fontana
    Well, ammo properly stored (in a cool dry place) lasts a very long time. Just google around for it. Lots of people claim to be shooting ammo from WWII with no problem, and some shoot ammo from the 1930's, which is as long as "smokeless" powder has been available. As to buying guns, your relatives, friends and neighbors may have no use for them at present, but that could always change too. Anyway it was just a suggestion!
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 30 weeks 22 hours ago Page Retta Fontana
    Paul; just a quick note on "Just buy more guns and ammo..." Ammunition is somewhat fragil in that the powder and iginitor will gradually deterioate over time. It is one of my apprehensions with the ammunition I have collected. I have gone to reloading. As for buying more guns there is but one person in my household who can operate a firearm and that is me, so buying more does not help me.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 30 weeks 1 day ago Page Retta Fontana
    I suggest reading James Scott's book, "The Art of Not Being Governed" for more perspective about government enslavement and the peoples' response (to evade it) over the ages. In the meantime just buy more guns and ammo, might come in handy some day and it gives peace of mind. Also, google "destroyed gatsos" for some entertainment.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 30 weeks 1 day ago Page Retta Fontana
    A great one, Retta!  Vermont just became the 4th tax farm (with Oregon, Commiefornia, and W. Virginia) to implement automatic voter registration via the DMV.  I'm trying to collect some more info from the bureau-rats, then new STRticle forthcoming...  :-)
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 30 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Never too late, Paul!  :-)  Hess was middle-aged when he started -- then started a business after that.  Life is no rehearsal.  Gotta go for it!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 30 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Sam, your thoughts are always a pleasure to read.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 30 weeks 1 day ago Page Douglas Herman
    This is tailor-made for a Mencken comment: "Here (in America) the daily panorama of human existence, of private and communal folly, the unending procession of governmental extortions and chicaneries, of commercial brigandages and throat slittings, of theological buffoneeries, of aesthetic ribaldries, of legal swindles and harlotries, of miscellaneous rogueries, villanies, imbecilities, grotesqueries, and extravagances is so inordinately gross and preposterous, so perfectly brought up to the highest conceivable amperage, so steadily enriched with an almost fabulous daring and originality, that only a person born with a petrified diaphram can fail to laugh himself to sleep every night and wake up with all the eager, unflagging expectation of a Sunday-School superintendent touring the Paris peep-shows." I know you like Trump for SNL, but don't overlook the potential of a Clinton presidency. Just think of Bill as First Man. The thought takes one's breath away. No intern will be safe. This is the best presidential campaign ever. It's made even better since I don't care which side wins. Too bad it looks like Trump will have enough delegates for first vote (unless I missed something). A busted R convention was getting me drooling, but sadly that is not to be. The tax thing is adding some fun though.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 30 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Good one. It is one of my regrets that I never took it up. I can do other trades, electrical, plumbing, even built a house, but not being a welder is a definite loss. Now too old to try any more, oh well!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 30 weeks 1 day ago Page Douglas Herman
    "And yet, rather than hold any of these living war criminals to blame, mainstream columnists attack a 19th Century New England naturalist." A good thing, too. It would be worrisome if such a collection of lowlifes actually appreciated Thoreau. I'd have to start questioning Thoreau!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 30 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Note: the title implies there will be follow-ups. That was the original plan but it turned out differently; part 1 is the only part there will be.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 30 weeks 3 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Understood. Editing can be helped, though, by presenting graphics that will more easily fit; any processor will do that, eg FS Resizer.   I've reduced your dozen to a width of 400 pixels or less, in case you want to re-submit them. They are at http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/kevins/ - follow that URL with kp1b.jpg, kp2b.jpg etc. All are .jpg except kp12b.png
  • Kevin M. Patten's picture
    Kevin M. Patten 30 weeks 5 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Yes, it comes up fine on my computer, Jim. Although I didn't think the pictures would turn out that big. I dont have any control over the editing and/or formatting. Apologies. 
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 30 weeks 5 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Musk's real genius has always been finding ways to tap into government largesse.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 30 weeks 6 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    The truth is that modern California is already fascist, and like Germany, Spain, and Italy in the 1930's many people like things this way. Modern day California fascists have lofts in SF or mansions in the Hollywood hills, but those too will end up as graffitti smeared ruins in time.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 30 weeks 6 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Kevin, I don't know how this appears on your screen, but here it's very hard to read for want of some decent editing.   My own To Freedom from Fascism, America! suggests that fascism in this country has even more ancient roots. And that it can be rooted out.   The ruins, though, reminded me of Berchtesgaden. Some very historic buildings were razed to the ground by the victors and left for the forest to overgrow. Excepted, oddly, was the very photogenic Tea House, perched high on an Alp and reached by an elevator built through solid rock.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 30 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    Does anybody grasp the "dominant social theme**" here? Only mainstream "news" is of any value, but "...Zukerberg is monopolizing it!". The hoi polloi should pay no attention to alternative news (or so they want us to think). The cover appears to be a story of how poor discharged reporters "...suspect that Facebook’s eventual goal is to replace its human curators with a robotic one..." The 1% is sure screwing the 99% again! (Divide-and-conquer -- rich vs poor). Participation is waning, and that, too, seems to piss 'em off. I've steered clear of Facebook. Seems hard to find anybody over there desirous or capable of placing two sentences end-to-end to make any logic or sense. Mostly ignorant one-liners, now prevailing all "social networking" sites (unbelievably crass and illiterate insults, back and forth). But I do now and again post links to Bell and other articles. I seldom (almost never) get feedback, but I post 'em nonetheless. A remnant will see them. And, although we've certainly suffered loss of participants here at STR, overall the internet reformation is bringing liberty and freedom to the forefront. Too slow, perhaps, for most of our tastes, but progressing indeed. Now it seems provident to urge everyone to see behind the dominant social themes. And to abstain from beans. Sam **Daily Bell scuttled access to their "glossary", later referred to as "definitions". I suspect they felt folks like I might be plagiarizing, but I'm not sure about that. At least in my case I always linked to their actual definitions, or glossary site. Anyhow, found this definition on another site who apparently WERE plagiarizing (or perhaps I missed the link to DB site).
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 31 weeks 1 day ago
    Race, IQ and Liberty
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Thank you Saul, I'd not thought of that.   I wonder though if it is "less intelligent" to reproduce at a higher rate, if the welfare system pays more, the more babies you have. Perhaps it's street smarts more than IQ.
  • D. Saul Weiner's picture
    D. Saul Weiner 31 weeks 2 days ago
    Race, IQ and Liberty
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    I agree with your analysis here. For the Asians, it may very well be the case that their immigrants to the U.S. are brighter, on average, than the overall population of their country of origin, i.e. that the researchers are not relying upon a representative sample.   There could also be selection issues related to the U.S. black population. If the less intelligent reproduce at a higher rate than the more intelligent, that will tend to reduce the intelligence of the population over time. Now this is a true statement for all groups, but to the extent that there is a higher proportion of the black population living in poverty and that the welfare state has incentivized relatively greater fertility for that population, it may have a disproportionate impact on the U.S. black population. Which is not to suggest that all of those who are living in poverty have less than average intelligence; there are no doubt a great many who do not fit that description.  
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 31 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I'm not saying that there should be an end to a discussion on race (certainly amongst the indoctrinated...I doubt those people read articles on strike-the-root). I just find it interesting that is the first thing you run to. You should be putting this stuff on twitter or facebook (that's where those that need convincing congregate). I am not inconvenienced one bit (or uncomfortable) by being black. I have very little pity for the plight of people who will not take responsibility for anything. I've actually sought out areas to live where I'd be treated as a person and not as a member of a group (whether unintentionally or not those areas have had a shortage of black people...I do not regret those decisions). I've been told by African Americans that I am not black (which I always thought was funny, since I know exactly from which tribe my origins lay). I think they really think it's a construct (or a culture) and not an objective reality. Treating black people, the group, collectively doesn't do any good (certainly not on strike-the-root, you're preaching to the choir). WHO, IMF, UN, EU and the US and a whole slew of alphabet soup already do this with disastrous results. It may take them 200-500 years to get with the intellectual program but the first step will still be to stop propping up low IQ behavior. As an aside I appreciate your statement about the importance of higher-investment parenting and lower violence (I particularly like Stefan Molyneux's views on peaceful parenting and universally preferable behavior).
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 31 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Thank you, Retta!  :-)
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 31 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    I will Ken, thanks, and you're right.  My copy of MOTE is hard bound too, and signed by Hess's son.  His life was very eclectic indeed, and contained multitudes.  :-)
  • rettafontana's picture
    rettafontana 31 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Nice column, Alex!
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 31 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Keep your skills up Alex. A useful trade is a good thing to have. Like an insurance policy and investment combined into one. I have a hard bound copy of Hess's bio. Amazing life he had.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 31 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I concur. And this exchange has inspired me to write today's edition of the Zero Government Blog.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 31 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    There is an enormous amount of data clearly indicating that there are differences in IQ test results among the various races when considering averages of those groups. Further, I'd say that groups with higher intellectual capabilities display a tendency to achieve higher technological advances than groups displaying lower intellectual capabilities, on average. It may even be said that societies achieving a high standard of technological prowess have historically shown a higher propensity to create social infrastructures that are conducive to liberty. Perhaps, if sub-Saharan Africa had been left unmolested to this day, they still would have not have discovered the wheel, developed social norms that value trustworthiness or ended the age-old blight of slavery among themselves. The thing is, it was only a few white people and a few Asians that made these individual discoveries, and then they were shared with others as these ideas were spread. Ideas, it appears, can overcome some of the limitations imposed by nature. Humans can fly, though humans have not evolved wings, because of the mental constructs that men were able to manifest into physical reality using not just intelligence, but also drive, ingenuity, desire, hope, love, confidence and a myriad of other human traits. Most people, of all colors, aren’t smart enough to discover, create or build a functioning communications network using electronic components, but even total morons today have and use phones. So, while I think that intelligence certainly helps humans to more easily achieve a libertarian society, I don’t think that higher intelligence is a prerequisite for this goal. I do think that gumption is, though; yet I don’t know how much genetics plays in the development of that important human trait. Most humans can be taught what they need to know to get along with others and be productive, find joy and lead meaningful lives in spite of historical institutions and social networks erected to perpetuate the authoritarian master-slave relationship as the default. Ignoring our differences in height, weight, color, physical prowess, abilities or intelligence is silly and we should have healthy discussions about anything and everything, but I hesitate to isolate individual traits as precluding social networks from achieving desired goals other than actually having the desire to achieve those goals. In the end, these mental concepts are a function of learned behavior more than genetic evolution, IMHO. Don’t forget: "All you need in this life is a tremendous sex drive and a great ego - Brains don't mean shit." ~ Capt. Tony
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 31 weeks 5 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Good points; well written. I loved this one: "Think of it: The New York Times kills more people than any outbreak of Ebola, Zika or ISIS, by encouraging the dismemberment of this or that Middle East country. And they never apologize for being accessories to war crimes."
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 31 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    You're taking the position that because Paul Bonneau wrote "I'm tired of your shit!" that that's the end?    Paul didn't write one thing about intelligence or IQ in his article.  He wrote, "Why use collective-speak, thinking and talking about races at all?  What good does that do?"  Well, I gave some good reasons for thinking about race.  It's not a construct, it's an observable reality that has consequences.    I imagine it's not comfortable to belong to a racial group that can't get its act together.  Non-blacks are suffering under government just like blacks, yet in Asia, America, Europe, north Africa, etc., people from these areas still manage to create something that approximates civilization. I'm not saying they are of uniform quality.  Blacks tear civilization down wherever they congregate in large numbers.   I think you're right that in free society an area with a lower IQ distribution could still be better off, but getting to that point in the western world would be very difficult from where we are today.  White areas thrive not because of their skin color, but because, in comparision with blacks, white skin is a proxy for higher intelligence, better impuse control, longer time preference, more trust, higher-investment parenting, and lower violence.   
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 31 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    My sense is that universality has aesthetic appeal.  The notion of rational, self-consistent ethics that can be derived from a single principle, self-ownership, is so clean, so beautiful, so perfect that it's difficult to let go.  There's no doubt I was amazed when I first understood Hoppe's argumentation ethics which provided that first step to build the entire logical libertarian edifice.  With considerable reflection and reading, I came to see flaws.    You could use the same ethical system you have if you have universal agreement among the members of your community to recognize the principle of self-ownership.  If Genghis Khan showed up and decided not to be a party to the agreement, though, watch out.  The strong could violate the weak without consequence even if self-ownership were a universal.  That's what I contend is happening now.  It could mean a lot in our minds, but in physical space where consensus reality rules, it doesn't seem to persuade nature to take sides.   This has been an interesting discussion.  I think we've gotten pretty close to the root of our disagreement.        
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 31 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Yes, Will, I did notice you said that about Nature, and agree that the concept of ownership doesn't seem evident among non-human animals.   That's one of the very wonderful things about our species. We have evolved with the ability to reason several orders of magnitude more extensively than our nearest rivals. We have evolved with a sense of right and wrong - a moral sense, again not too evident even in the "higher" animals, and that sense includes the phenomenon of love. The two, I'd argue, go together. A theist would say that Man is a very special creation of God, for those and other reasons, but then he'd have to show what he means by "God" and go on to prove his existence; so I'll stick with the marvel of evolution. Either way, this race is certainly special.   So your argument fails; we are not the same as the rest of nature. We are different, and superior. The horrid consequence of the contrary view is that might would indeed make right, and so ethics would disappear; for example instead of having this civilized discussion you could put a bullet through my head and expect nobody to blame you. (Some, of course, might not...)   It's interesting that sometimes, libertarians are accused of favoring "the law of the jungle" but the reality is exactly the opposite. We alone recognize the SOA - as a universal principle, ie that everyone has ownership rights over his own life, for as long as it lasts; and for exactly that reason we try to practice non-aggression. No jungle dweller even comes close.
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 31 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Wow, has this strayed a little off topic? "Tell me how blacks with average IQs in the 80s in the US (due to the white admixture) and around 68 in sub-Saharan Africa aren't destined to remain an underclass." Remove the crutch of the state and more intelligent people will pass on their genetics (particularly in this era which encourages productivity as a result of abstract thought). "Show me an example where people with those levels of average intelligence have ever developed any significant technology at all." The thing about averages is that it implies the existence of outliers. Booker T. Washington was probably an outlier. I might be. I do not know your definition of significant technology but there have been black inventors. The point of the article (I could always be wrong) is that one should not fight for equal outcomes (which is inherently racist since it implies a belief that the black man cannot succeed on his own) or that one should not wield the weapon of government immigration (both "open" and " walled-off" borders are government programs particularly when refugees can receive so much stolen from their new neighbors). Basically stop meddling governments. Paul Bonneau states how tiring it is to discuss the white man's burden or the genetics of IQ and then Will Grove almost immediately dives into the same tired discussion. Did you read that line? If in the future there exists a free society AND a group of individuals with homogeneously lower IQ, their lives will still be better off with little to no pseudo-altruistic intervention by another group. Individuals in this group will still have the ability to choose to work with (or without) an employer at an agreed upon rate (which will change depending on the market for such work). As an aside. Paul, kudos to you for being able to say the "N" word. If black people can say it, you should too. Perhaps because my formative years were spent outside of the US I've never developed a habit of using it. I take the inverse generally: If white people can't say it, I won't either. Without the force of government an insult is just an insult and can't affect your life in anyway. Add the force of government (like Jim Crow laws, or marriage licensing and certification) and all of a sudden those words can rule your life.
  • Amerikagulag's picture
    Amerikagulag 31 weeks 5 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you can't criticize. - Voltaire
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 31 weeks 6 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
      Has it ever occured to you that if self-ownership is a fact that we would have objective evidence for it in nature?  My point throughout these last several posts has been focused on nature, and I've seen no refutation to the contention that ownership has no meaning in nature outside of mind.   What I see is a failure to distinguish constructs of the mind from observable, consensus reality.   Life acts, that's a biological fact.  Ownership exists only as a concept in mind.  Why conflate the two?  If you have the will to live, yet your body dies due to no fault of anyone else, who violated your property rights?     
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 31 weeks 6 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "ownership arises when there is an agreement"   That would be true between two self-owners; eg, they agree to exchange property. But no, it is not true of the fundamental premise of self-ownership itself, because if arguendo nobody had rights over himself and what he acquired by exchange, he would not be empowered to trade any; the "agreement" would be void.   Hence, in fact, the absurdity of my little illustration from the Collective's overseer; there is no way it could have acquired title over your life. It could have stolen it (just as government does do, in part or whole) but that would have violated your right, not extinguished it.   The SOA is factual because in attempting to refute it explicitly, necessarily one must assume implicitly that it is true - as you just did.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 31 weeks 6 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Sorry - reposted as a reply.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 32 weeks 5 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...nature doesn't acknowledge ownership or rights..." With this I agree -- not that I was asked. It does make good sense. And I now see from whence you are coming, Mr. Groves. And it clears up (for me) the bit of contention Jim and I in the past have had in connection with the term, "rights". From one of your previous comments: "...What is self-ownership but a construct of the human mind?..." Once again, I see your argument, and do not disagree. The world revolves around my belly-button, not yours. My world. Your world revolves around your belly-button, whether you admit it or not. Recognizing that principle can eliminate much strife and discord. All around me are individuals and forces and natural phenomena geared to interfere with my desires (my "choices", in preference to use of the term "rights") at any given time. The challenge of liberty and sovereignty is in recognition of and developing skills needed to circumnavigate and sidestep as many of those forces -- and those individuals -- as possible. Even presuming I live beyond age 100, my time is getting short. I might not get to see a time when the "critical mass" of individuals actually achieve (or even want) sovereignty, in spite of the obvious and overt egregiousness of monopoly state. Therefore, if I wish to be free, I'd better claim sovereignty now. Here. Where I'm "at". Today. The primary barrier to my liberty is me. Sam
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 32 weeks 7 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    So, I assert that nature doesn't acknowledge ownership or rights...and then this?    Death and destruction pay the costs of sustaining the living in any ecosystem.  Nature does not punish beings that take from others, but rather rewards them with sustenance.  Squirrels raid each other's nut caches, lions eat zebras, ants farm aphids, and so on.  Animals may defend what they have from others successfully or unsuccessfully, yet nature seems not to tilt the balance in favor of the so-called property owners.  Humans don't have an exemption from any of this.   The experience of ownership arises when there is an agreement, implicit or explicit, among a group of humans along with mechanisms for enforcment.  Obviously, the arrangements that produce society that values the concept of ownership and property rights is highly conducive to its own success and propagation.  That said, it's not an intrinsic property of being human.  The ability to direct one's action in the face of various alternatives is a property of life, not of this concept of self-ownership.  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 32 weeks 11 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Overnight I heard from the Semiconductor Collective, after they had seen your attempted denial of the self ownership axiom. Not being in STR, of course, the overseer asked me to pass this along:   "Damn right, Will Groves, and a good thing you remembered. You belong to Us, to this Collective; and if ever I get my hands on whoever tried to fill your head with that nonsense about self ownership, there won't be much left of him, I can tell you.   "But - what's this? Did you write it? Something to say you've decided to work half time? Just enough to live comfortably, and in your spare time you make rocking chairs? How DARE you, Will Groves? You don't get to say how much you will work, we do. You don't get to say when you can think, we do. You don't get to say what you can think, we do. You don't get to say what you can make, we do. We OWN you! We own your mind, we own your thoughts, we own your fingers, we own your keyboard, and WE get to say if and when you write articles for Strike the Root or anyone else! We are the Semiconductor Collective; we have the might, so we have the right, and you belong to Us!   "So you're about to get a whipping, boy, and while your back is still bleeding you're going to go right out back into the plantation and pick semiconductors until we say you can stop, and don't you ever again forget it."
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 32 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    On the contrary, making the SOA effective in practice (ie, terminating government) does not require violence. Violence (might) to counter violence, to break its grip, would not be unethical - but it is not necessary. The peaceful way is referenced in my STRticle What Might Have Been and elsewhere.   It is a right everyone has now, but is everywhere being violated; then, the right will be enjoyed in practice as well as theory. Acknowledging that one has that right is what makes one a libertarian.
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 32 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    When I wrote that "I understand how the logic of freedom and voluntaryism follows from self-ownership," I wasn't granting self-ownership as an axiom.  That doesn't mean that you can't derive a fully logical system from that starting point, but there is no reason to believe it is the only possible choice.  The Euclidian and non-Euclidian geometries follow from different postulates and create perfectly self-consistent and logical systems.   What is self-ownership but a construct of the human mind?  Not only can it be denied, it is easy to deny because nature denies it to us.  Ownership is a meaningless concept in nature.  Autonomy is rooted in the ability to defend one's self.  Nature offers no recourse.  Might is right is the law of nature.  Everywhere you look, the spoils go to the victor.  It's as true for humans as for any other species.   Invoking SOA while you suffer under the control of government illustrates that might is the law of nature for humans as much as for any other species.  You're making my argument for me:  You'd be free if you had the physical means to prevent others from taking your freedom.    
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 32 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    No, Will, your closing paragraph spoiled it all. I profoundly disagree.   True enough that "nature" is red in tooth and claw; a fact sufficient on its own to dispose of the theory that it was created by a benevolent god. But human nature has evolved to something finer.   It's not that recognition of the self-ownership axiom (SOA) would be "ideal"; the SOA is an axiom, something undeniable. (If you don't own you, who does; and how did he acquire title?) That's the starting point, from which everything else flows.   That includes rational ethics, because the SOA applies to everyone, hence aggression cannot ethically be initiated against anyone. In human society, therefore, might does not make right.
  • Brian Mast's picture
    Brian Mast 32 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I am thoroughly enjoying this interesting and frank discussion. It occurs to me that some of the opinions being presented here result from tests based upon snapshots in time rather than the real world potential of people of any given human race. DNA research suggests that the entire Human specie originated in Africa. We should therefore make an attempt to research causes of our regional and racial intellectual disparity. My non-professional opinion is that cultures evolved over time which resulted in the gradual implantation of expected limits to the development of every individual childs mental progress. Many parents would have and still do punish "uppity" children. Many parents to this very day refuse to believe that the intellectual discoveries of their adult children surpassed their own knowledge due to the Powdered Butt Syndrome. The development of religious superstition and of hierarchical rulership further exasperated these problems. We Westerners and Caucasians are very far from being immune to irrational cultural and individual beliefs. Many Westerners consider the barbaric murder of people to be civilized so long as it was condoned by the State. We Anarchists in this group are already well aware of this fact as one example among others. I do however wonder how many big "L" libertarians would remain pro-liberty once they learned about the differing Human Sexuality and cultural differences available or differing Age of Consent laws that certain cultures and countries have. Would they aggress against a neighbor who allowed procreational sex between two 13 year old children? Who knows. I believe that our best course of action would be to somehow trigger the removal of the self and the culturally imposed mental limits placed upon the children as well as the adults. Both should be encouraged to study the merits and demerits of Individualism, and Collectivism. I lack the resources to fund such a project and the knowledge to implement it.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 32 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...Did you have an alternative in view? If so, should I duck?..." Of course I was jesting in frustration with my increasing forgetfulness. However, now that I think about it, I'm convinced that our general pursuit of liberty and freedom may indeed keep us all young -- as long as we can sidestep the temptation of becoming frustrated with others. Please forgive the use of the plural first-person "we". Obviously, I cannot speak for anyone other than myself. However, a major stumbling-block I had to overcome early in life was the inclination to allow the behavior of others -- particularly the behaviors of my rapidly increasing covey of children, along with that of their Mother -- to have a debilitating effect upon what tranquillity I had recovered after having been enslaved ("the draft") by the psychopaths of whom Will has referred. And I think the "cross-purposes" you've pointed out (technological vs sociological progress) can also be identified in the collectivism vs individualistic conundrum. And that identification could ease much of the cross-purposes between us all, as I see it, if the collectivist mindset (regarding "society", "freedom", "material prosperity", "...technology ... conducive to human happiness or well-being...", etc etc etc.) could be turned around and examined from the standpoint of individualistic, or human action, perspectives. It might clear up why "...the protection of increasing resources from technological advances..." has not been served well by that group of psychopaths who are hell-bent to impound all the resources stemming from those advances; and who make up the bulwark of the controversy in many of these discussions. Individual liberty and freedom is a scary proposition indeed for apparently 99.99% of people, most of whom have always looked to "Our-Great-Nation" (read: District of Collectivism), made up of that 4% of the population Will referred to, who are psychopathic, to "protect us". Insanity is the social norm. Sam