MEMBER

tzo
tzo's picture
Offline
Columnist
Joined: 2009-12-24
Columns on STR: 64
Other (email): 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Country: 
United States

Short bio:

tzo now lives in your head.

RECENT COMMENTS BY tzo

Columns by tzo

There’s the Law, and Then There’s The Law
9.83333
tzo 2011-11-17 01:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!   If this is true, it is a serious fact...
Ethics and Morals and Law, Oh My!
9.25
tzo 2011-11-08 01:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." ~Syme, 1984   Ah, words.   Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge distinguishable from other methods by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.   When we discuss the organization of society, we are in the realm of political philosophy....
Heartless Libertarians Recommended
9.33333
tzo 2011-11-03 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   The specter of the heartless libertarian arises when it is suggested that society could perhaps be better organized without a coercive government at its core. The proponents of this shocking scheme are dismissed as being either blatantly naïve or else accused of being calculating, soulless monsters who don’t want to be bothered with the less...
All Men Are Created Equal
9.75
tzo 2011-09-27 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Near the end of "The Failed Theory of Relativity," I wrote:   "There must be universal objective human values and ethics that are inextricably tied to human existence and grounded in empirical fact that apply to us all. Exploring what some of them may be is beyond the scope of this little essay…."   It is now time to...
Inferno, Part II of II
10
tzo 2011-08-15 00:00
Column by tzo.  Exclusive to STR Part II of II   Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, (Midway upon the journey of our life,) Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, (I found myself within a forest dark,) Che la diritta via era smarrita. (For the straightforward pathway had been lost.)   Without realizing it, the citizen has gotten off the path that he intended to take. He looks around...
Inferno, Part I of II
10
tzo 2011-08-12 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR Quoth Nietzche with regard to the State, “Yes, a hellish artifice has been created here, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honors!”   The State is perhaps better understood in this industrial and technical era as a death-machine. The true ugliness within the guts of this meat grinder is hidden behind a well-crafted...
Caveat
8.33333
tzo 2011-07-19 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Any rational conversation on ethics must begin with the following caveat:   If you, as an individual human being, are interested in creating and maintaining a society based on justice, cooperation, freedom, and equal human rights, then there exists a set of objective, ethical rules that can be discovered. Let’s explore them.   But if...
The Political Doctrine of Primus Inter Pares
9.16667
tzo 2011-07-12 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   I am going to comment here on a particular speech that Tom Woods gave in Los Angeles this past May. Mr. Woods has recently written a book about State nullification, which is a tactic he proposes as a response to Federal Government Gone Wild. I have not read the book or extensively studied all of Mr. Woods’ propositions, and so my critique is of...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part II of II Recommended
10
tzo 2011-06-28 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Part II: Get Real   Reality check: There is little I can do to change society as it is currently configured, and the Constitutionalist must come to grips with the fact that he is in an identical situation. The Voluntaryist is ridiculed for holding a position that hardly anyone understands or is aligned with, but the same may be said of the Ron Paul...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part I of II
9.5
tzo 2011-06-24 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Wow. Lots of buzz lately about Rand and Ron Paul and the Patriot Act. It's got me to thinking...   This is for all the Paul supporters out there who believe that their Constitutional vision of returning the nation to the noble framework laid out by Thee Founding Fathers™ is the end to be attained. This is for all those who are disillusioned, dissatisfied...
The Great Game of Government™
7.75
tzo 2011-06-10 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Imagine you are going to participate in one of those chess games in which actual people occupy each of the 64 stations on a large board. If you agree to play, and you are assigned the role of bishop, then you can move only diagonally. Furthermore, you can only move when and how far the player who controls the army of which you are a part decides....
Zenigma
9
tzo 2011-05-09 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The Voluntaryist Master was addressing a new class of students.   "As a Voluntaryist, your mission will be to educate others about human freedom. But in order to spread the ideas of freedom, you must first become a free person. And in order to become a truly free person, you will need to learn, unlearn and relearn many things. But acquiring...
Metamouse
8.5
tzo 2011-04-07 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Hello, and welcome. I would like to introduce you today to my metamouse, Stanley. Let me tell you a bit about Stanley: Stanley depends upon cheese in order to survive, and he has been, as a rule, very well fed. This is Stanley's home over here, which as you can see, is a maze. If you look closely, you will notice that scattered about on the floor of...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
10
tzo 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...
Genesis
9.57143
tzo 2011-03-23 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The subjects were not happy. The royalty of the land were taking ten percent of all the voluntary exchanges made by the subjects, and then to add insult to injury, the subjects were not even allowed to complain about this injustice for fear of being kidnapped and thrown into a dank prison or perhaps even killed. This overt tyranny was quickly becoming...
The Parable of the Lions and the Slaves
9.14286
tzo 2011-03-07 04:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The nature of lions is to kill, and so it is good that they kill because that ensures lion survival. If an individual lion loses his teeth, that is bad because he can no longer fend for himself. If all lions were to lose their teeth, that would be the end of lions.   Humans put some lions in zoos and feed them meat and get them to reproduce....
Dear American Minarchist Recommended
8.3
tzo 2011-02-02 04:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Dear American Minarchist,   I share your frustration at the course currently being set by the federal government of this nation. It is expanding its power to ever-more dangerous levels, thereby reducing the freedoms that can safely be enjoyed by all the human beings who find themselves within its purview.   Your contention is that the...
Check Your Premises
10
tzo 2011-01-11 04:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Apologists for government, along with uncritical government participants (most citizens), claim that just governments exist by way of a social contract. The idea is that the people voluntarily cede a portion of their freedom to government in exchange for social order secured by the government’s rule of law. The members of government, who are...
Private Universities? Ha!
9.8
tzo 2010-12-08 04:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The State has always needed an opinion-molding class to convince the masses that the institution of government is necessary, proper, and vital in its organization and delivery of essential public services that could not otherwise be provided.   In exchange for the creation and dissemination of such ideological propaganda, the apologist class receives certain...
The G-Word
9.5
tzo 2010-11-23 04:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Is it inaccurate and overly-dramatic to proclaim that government is synonymous with aggression? Sure, government can certainly be aggressive (in the sense of violating the non-aggression principle [NAP]), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything it does is aggressive, does it? Government may be an imperfect work still in progress, but perhaps we will...
Flutter
9.5
tzo 2010-11-19 04:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR A common criticism of natural law, which posits an objective set of rules for ethical human behavior, is the claim that human behavior can never be subject to objective law in the same way that physical objects are subject to objective physical laws, like gravity.   You see, the word “objective” lands us in the realm of science, and science scoffs...
Millions of Petty Tyrants
10
tzo 2010-11-05 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The empirical evidence that power corrupts goes a long way in explaining the inevitable one-way course to tyranny trod by all governments. Having a monopoly on force, corruption within the government monopoly cannot be effectively checked, and growing corruption and its attendant increasing power eventually congeal into absolute power and absolute...
Hail, Ruritania!
10
tzo 2010-10-22 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   So a group of 20 people find themselves stranded on a previously uninhabited, lush, and rather large island that could support perhaps ten times as many people.   There is an abundance of fish, birds, fruit and other edible vegetation, rainwater, and plenty of trees and other raw materials for building shelter and making tools.   The 20 go...
The Failed Theory of Relativity
10
tzo 2010-10-14 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Voluntaryism is, primarily, an ethical philosophy applied to the organization of society. Most of the common modern social organization theories (e.g., “democracy”) focus on organizing society based upon what the majority feels is right and always with an eye toward the utilitarian target that is the greatest good for the greatest number....
Annoying Guy
9
tzo 2010-09-29 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   A play in one act. SCENE: Two people chatting in a coffee shop.   A: Let me ask you something. Are you an ethical person?   B: I would like to think so, yes.   A: Do you use violence to get what you want?   B: No! What do you mean?   A: If you want a new shirt, do you steal it from someone?   B: Of course not.   A:...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part I of II
9.5
tzo 2011-06-24 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Wow. Lots of buzz lately about Rand and Ron Paul and the Patriot Act. It's got me to thinking...   This is for all the Paul supporters out there who believe that their Constitutional vision of returning the nation to the noble framework laid out by Thee Founding Fathers™ is the end to be attained. This is for all those who are disillusioned, dissatisfied...
I Pledge Allegiance, Under God, to the Constitution of Independence
9.5
tzo 2012-08-21 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The citizens of the United States are proud of their nation’s Founding Fathers and the Founding Documents they authored, based on Noble Guiding Principles, firmly grounded in Freedom and Justice For All. God Himself seems to be an ardent admirer, as evidenced by the fact that He hath not yet come forth to dispute having made any of the many endorsements that...
Laissons Faire!
9.5
tzo 2013-04-12 08:04
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Many Voluntaryists expend much energy attempting to convince people that society can operate without a central coercive government organization, and this can be quite exhausting work for what sometimes seems like negligible results. There are also some Voluntaryists who take a slightly different approach: We don’t need to convince anyone of anything except to...
Flutter
9.5
tzo 2010-11-19 04:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR A common criticism of natural law, which posits an objective set of rules for ethical human behavior, is the claim that human behavior can never be subject to objective law in the same way that physical objects are subject to objective physical laws, like gravity.   You see, the word “objective” lands us in the realm of science, and science scoffs...
The G-Word
9.5
tzo 2010-11-23 04:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Is it inaccurate and overly-dramatic to proclaim that government is synonymous with aggression? Sure, government can certainly be aggressive (in the sense of violating the non-aggression principle [NAP]), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything it does is aggressive, does it? Government may be an imperfect work still in progress, but perhaps we will...
Got Money?
9.4
tzo 2010-01-11 04:00
  Exclusive to STR   Your philosophical musings begin at lunch with friends as the bill arrives. The sight of the total on the check sparks a question in your mind: “What exactly is a dollar?"   You throw the query out to your friends, and you receive various responses based on the same vague premises. A dollar measures value, but value is subjective, so the measure is...
Diffusion and Confusion
9.4
tzo 2010-04-04 03:00
Exclusive to STR   So once again someone has sent an airborne explosive device into a building that supposedly housed the “enemy” organization, and innocent people were killed and injured as part of the collateral damage.   And then it is discovered that the attacker had a “manifesto” of sorts that purports to explain the rationale for the strike. The four page...
Heartless Libertarians Recommended
9.33333
tzo 2011-11-03 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   The specter of the heartless libertarian arises when it is suggested that society could perhaps be better organized without a coercive government at its core. The proponents of this shocking scheme are dismissed as being either blatantly naïve or else accused of being calculating, soulless monsters who don’t want to be bothered with the less...
Teach Your Children Well, Part I
9.33333
tzo 2012-11-28 09:07
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Introduction and Disclaimer It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~ Frederick Douglass In previous essays, I have put forth the idea that in today's society, most people have had at least a portion of their rational faculty damaged by the coercive institutions that are in place, and that repairing this damage is difficult, as it is...
Melpomene's Magnum Opus
9.33333
tzo 2013-06-20 07:56
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR It seems fairly easy to feel sorry for Edward Snowden, assuming he is in fact a well-meaning individual who was just doing his job and—seeing that the system was being abused to the detriment of others—bravely called it out and is subsequently being persecuted for his actions. One might—and many do—even venture to label him a hero. But...
The God Slide
9.25
tzo 2012-11-08 01:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Religion is always a fun topic to address, since no one ever really gets fired up about it . . . . While Voluntaryists acknowledge that government is aggressive, unethical, and is often likened to religion in that it is based on superstitious beliefs, it is commonly held that religion is only dangerous when coupled with government force. If people want to believe...
Ethics and Morals and Law, Oh My!
9.25
tzo 2011-11-08 01:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." ~Syme, 1984   Ah, words.   Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge distinguishable from other methods by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.   When we discuss the organization of society, we are in the realm of political philosophy....
The Wonders of the World
9.2
tzo 2012-06-07 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   I will say that the Taj Mahal is a fine and impressive piece of architecture.   It was commissioned by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his third wife, who died during the birth of their fourteenth child.   It obviously wasn’t cheap. Where did the Shah get the money to finance such a project? Well, the Mughal empire accumulated money...
The Political Doctrine of Primus Inter Pares
9.16667
tzo 2011-07-12 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   I am going to comment here on a particular speech that Tom Woods gave in Los Angeles this past May. Mr. Woods has recently written a book about State nullification, which is a tactic he proposes as a response to Federal Government Gone Wild. I have not read the book or extensively studied all of Mr. Woods’ propositions, and so my critique is of...
The Parable of the Lions and the Slaves
9.14286
tzo 2011-03-07 04:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The nature of lions is to kill, and so it is good that they kill because that ensures lion survival. If an individual lion loses his teeth, that is bad because he can no longer fend for himself. If all lions were to lose their teeth, that would be the end of lions.   Humans put some lions in zoos and feed them meat and get them to reproduce....
Valor and Discretion
9.1
tzo 2010-02-01 04:00
Exclusive to STR   Once upon a time I worked a second shift job and regularly walked home from the train station during the later hours of the evening. One night as I was making my way home, a police cruiser pulled up alongside me and the officer asked me where I was headed. I said I was going home, and he then asked me where that might be. I gave him the name of my street, and with that he...
F*** Tibet!
9
tzo 2009-09-27 16:00
Exclusive to STR I begin this essay with the premise that governments everywhere are essentially gangsters with flags who are defined by their monopoly on force over a given area and are dependent upon mystical or intellectual propaganda in order to exist. By using force (violence) as their modus operandi, governments are de facto ethically and morally bankrupt. But hey, it works, so the ends...
The Divine Right of Kings in Sheeple's Clothing
9
tzo 2010-01-21 04:00
  Exclusive to STR   The art of political discourse is the art of deception. Since government is, by definition, an unethical enterprise masquerading as an ethical organization, then whatever comes out of a politician's mouth or pen is necessarily meant to deceive his audience. Whatever the politician proposes is unethical in that it is based on aggression, and so the proper spin must...
The Philosophy of Authority
9
tzo 2010-07-30 03:00
By tzo.   Exclusive to STR   “Authority” is one of those words that is commonly used but less commonly understood. It may be claimed that a person has the authority to decide what to do with his own life and property, and it may also be claimed that a police officer has the authority to arrest a person who has broken the law. How does the concept of authority properly apply...
Annoying Guy
9
tzo 2010-09-29 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   A play in one act. SCENE: Two people chatting in a coffee shop.   A: Let me ask you something. Are you an ethical person?   B: I would like to think so, yes.   A: Do you use violence to get what you want?   B: No! What do you mean?   A: If you want a new shirt, do you steal it from someone?   B: Of course not.   A:...
Foundering in the Morass
9
tzo 2013-04-30 08:28
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR <Voluntaryist decides to troll Statist in order to illustrate the contradictions inherent in government:> Guess what? I own a slave now! It's great! He has to do whatever I say! You should get one, too! What! That's completely illegal! No, he voluntarily signed a contract and now I own him. But the 13th Amendment makes slavery illegal. Period. No...
Zenigma
9
tzo 2011-05-09 00:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The Voluntaryist Master was addressing a new class of students.   "As a Voluntaryist, your mission will be to educate others about human freedom. But in order to spread the ideas of freedom, you must first become a free person. And in order to become a truly free person, you will need to learn, unlearn and relearn many things. But acquiring...
The Curious Species Ordinatio Diutinus
9
tzo 2012-10-24 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Modern governments are perhaps quite naturally thick-headed and self-destructive, destined to clumsily overreach and greedily overindulge until they inevitably collapse. It’s seemingly encoded into their metaphorical DNA. But this is just the natural life cycle of any individual government—to be born; to consume, develop, and grow; and to die. And yet...
You Say You Want a Revolution?
9
tzo 2013-02-12 08:55
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Logical Consistency Warning: Severe mental discomfort may result from any serious consideration of the comparison made in the following essay. Please disregard said comparison as ridiculous in order to restore previous state of mental tranquility. Here is a familiar passage that any self-respecting Patriot recognizes and supports: ". . . that whenever any...
Bumper Stickers
8.85714
tzo 2010-08-10 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR     If there is one message that must continually be broadcast to people in order to improve the quality of life on this planet, it is this: Politics is aggression. Until this simple understanding becomes widespread, we will all continue to bog down in the mud.   Politics is aggression.   Recently while driving I noticed that the car...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
10
tzo 2011-03-30 03:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...
Aristophanes' Law MUST READ
10
tzo 2010-09-24 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Some 2,400 years ago, the Greek playwright Aristophanes put forth an idea in one of his plays that I would like to codify into a law of human behavior. Here are the pertinent lines from his play "The Frogs":   The course our city runs is the same towards men and money. She has true and worthy sons. She has fine new gold and ancient...