MEMBER

Jim Davies's picture
Offline
Columnist
Joined: 2009-08-30
Columns on STR: 243
Other (email): 

GENERAL INFORMATION

This member hasn't provided any details.

Short bio:

Jim Davies is a retired businessman in New Hampshire who led the development of an on-line school of liberty in 2006, and who wrote A Vision of Liberty" , "Transition to Liberty" and, in 2010, "Denial of Liberty" and "To FREEDOM from Fascism, America!" He started The Zero Government Blog in the same year.
In 2012 Jim launched http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov , to help lead government workers to an honest life.
In 2013 he wrote his fifth book, a concise and rational introduction to the Christian religion called "Which Church (if any)?"

RECENT COMMENTS BY Jim Davies

Columns by Jim Davies

A Deal With Government
9
Jim Davies 2013-01-09 08:04
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR World history was radically changed, in the small Turkish town presently known as Iznik. It affected a vast range of human activities during the last 17 centuries; it housed an event more significant than Rome itself with its claim to dominate Christendom, than Paris with its thousand years of prominence in trade and culture, than Florence or Venice with...
Limits of Indoctrination
8.75
Jim Davies 2013-01-07 07:58
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Dr. Gary North is a prolific writer, as shown by his huge archive at LRC; and most of those of his articles I've read are very good. He's particularly perceptive about the future of higher education, as this recent example illustrates. Sometimes he's too long-winded for my taste, and sometimes he seems to me to get it wrong – though the...
What a Century!
9
Jim Davies 2012-12-19 07:54
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It was the best and the worst century in human history, and it ends this month. The previous one closed in 1912, a year best remembered for the sinking of the Titanic--a story that has been skillfully tuned to incite distrust of business and reliance on governments. It's a fable, which I demolish here. But the fable served as a prélude to what...
464 Lost Years Recommended
8.25
Jim Davies 2012-12-10 07:48
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Recently I re-read part of that seminal essay, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude by Etienne de la Boëtie, written in 1548, or 464 years ago. He said that if you want to topple a tyrant, all you need to do is to withdraw support. No violence, no sweat, just stop helping him. Yet 24 years later there was a massacre of Huguenot Protestants, indicating that...
The Invisible Export
10
Jim Davies 2012-12-04 07:59
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR One of the hottest exports from America, to judge from the vacuous rhetoric of the recent election campaigns, is that of jobs. This time it wasn't so much Ross Perot's ”giant sucking sound” from Mexico, but the unprincipled greed of the bargain-producers in China who were the main culprits. Today I found a whole fountain pen for less...
The Duty to End the State Recommended
10
Jim Davies 2012-11-30 07:53
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Many reading this already understand the Self-ownership Axiom; that we each own our own lives by right, and hence that all government is an unnatural and ruinous appendage. Among those who do, though, surprisingly there is disagreement over what to do about it. Some hold that resistance by such voluntaryists in the present government-saturated environment...
Goodness
10
Jim Davies 2012-11-20 07:42
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It's fairly clear what “evil” is, we know it when we see it. But what is its opposite, goodness? And are human beings basically good, evil, neutral or something else? It's important to understand that, because if for example mankind is marred with a bias towards evil, the case for a restraining government, as Paine and others have...
Leaving Government Service
10
Jim Davies 2012-11-13 07:03
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Alex Knight's recent fine column The Post Office that Government Built relates the sad case of one of its 600,000 employees who faces a bleak future as that structure is poised for collapse. It might be useful to compare such cases with the similar ones that will take place when government servants quit voluntarily, having learned what freedom and...
Owning Land
0
Jim Davies 2012-11-06 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR As far as I know, there is no sound and comprehensive theory of the right way to allocate control (or ownership) of the Earth's 150 million square kilometers of land among its seven billion human inhabitants. Since conventional theorists are not even looking in the right haystack, it falls to libertarian ones to make the attempt, and some fairly good...
'Indians'
10
Jim Davies 2012-10-24 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The coming free society will be rational; residents will live on the basis of reality and reason rather than myth. We will recognize government for what it is and therefore reject it on rational grounds; we will think in rational, economic terms predominantly. I can be sure of this, because a free society will not come into being until everyone does think...
St. Abe Recommended
0
Jim Davies 2012-10-22 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR When the Church of Rome has in mind to elevate one of its heroes or heroines to the status of sainthood, it follows a certain procedure – one element of which is to hear the opinion of an advocatus diaboli – a devil's advocate. His job is to reason against the proposed canonization, so reducing the probability of error. That task fell in...
Free Health Care!
10
Jim Davies 2012-10-11 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   That was the promise, made by politicos in the England of my youth; health care, they said, is a right, an entitlement. In Churchill's wartime cabinet, William Beveridge, whom I briefly met 15 years later, had designed a scheme by 1945, and it was rushed through and implemented in 1947. The exodus of British doctors to North America began shortly...
Coal Or Wind?
0
Jim Davies 2012-10-04 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR On October 3rd I admit it; curious to see which was the more convincing actor, I did waste ten minutes watching the opening of the Presidential Debate Charade. I saw Obamney say twice, with slightly different words, that they loved the middle class. So they should; that's the segment of society from which government derives most of its loot.   Before...
Pandora's 47%
0
Jim Davies 2012-09-30 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Mother Jones has done us all a favor, and not just Obama as intended, by publishing Mitt Romney's remark that 47% of the electorate is unlikely to vote for him because that many are all drawing government favors and would not want them reduced.   That's because he opened up the subject, never normally discussed on campaign trails, of who benefits from...
Abortion
9.5
Jim Davies 2012-09-23 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   Last month I wrote Opinion and Reason to encourage clear, rational thinking: i.e., to begin with a premise, progress from it in logical steps, and only then to arrive at a conclusion. This sits in contrast to the much more usual method of reaching any opinion: to begin with a prejudice (a “pre-judgment”) and then perhaps look around for...
Exposed
7.8
Jim Davies 2012-09-17 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   Last week, sales of tabloids on the streets of London were boosted by the news that a French magazine had published photos of the Duchess of Cambridge – gasp – topless.   She and her husband the future King were relaxing in a “secluded chateau” for what they reasonably thought was a period of privacy by the pool, but it...
A Letter to Young Paulians Recommended
10
Jim Davies 2012-09-09 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR You've just been kicked in the teeth, and this is to convey sympathy and comfort, as well as sincere congratulations for what you've done – along with suggestions about what you might best do next.   The way you have been treated by your own Party is a scandal that will long reverberate – and was so stupid even from the Party's perspective...
MinGovia
9
Jim Davies 2012-08-26 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   There's a theory that holds that a government is okay provided that the people in its domain agree for it to exist and rule, and I thank David Eagle for my title, though the reasoning and conclusions are my own.   The theory seems to have two forms: One is the familiar "Constitutionalist" position that says that America was just fine...
Opinion and Reason
10
Jim Davies 2012-08-19 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR From time to time a market researcher calls me up and asks for a few minutes of my time to answer his or her survey questions. I always answer “Yes, I'll be happy to; what rate are you offering?”   “What was that, again?”   “What are you offering to pay? My opinions, on a range of topics, are highly valuable. So is my...
Compassion in a Free Society
10
Jim Davies 2012-08-08 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. One of the ugliest things said about freedom advocates is that in a society without government, large numbers of poor people would be trampled underfoot. Critics say that if all were free selfishly to pursue our own ends, many would be left behind, to suffer and starve. That such a society would be harsh, uncaring, divisive, mean. That it's necessary to have a government, to...
Love and Respect
0
Jim Davies 2012-08-02 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   A few weeks ago my Tolstoy: Close, but No Cigar suggested from a reading of his monumental War and Peace that the novelist Leo Tolstoy was almost, but not quite, a market anarchist; and among the comments that followed its publication there were a couple that suggested some further reading about this amazing man. I thank Sir William Blackstone and...
Lament for a Flask of Gin
0
Jim Davies 2012-07-17 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   This summer, a government agent stole from me a bottle of gin at Logan Airport.   By "stole," I mean that he removed it from my possession without leave. That's the usual way that word is understood. Federal, State and local governments steal far more from each of us than that, every day – but somehow this tangible proof, this...
Tolstoy: Close, But No Cigar
9.66667
Jim Davies 2012-07-13 05:39
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I'd heard somewhere that Leo Tolstoy was an anarchist, so reckoned it was high time I read War and Peace. Thanks to gutenberg.org, I was able to download both that and Anna Karenina and enjoy the pair of them on vacation rainy days. Having done so, I must dismiss the rumor; he was an extraordinary author and thinker, and upset Establishment clerics and...
Very Special People
9.16667
Jim Davies 2012-07-08 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I've tried, but have not been able to agree with Paul Bonneau's recent article Libertarians Are Nothing Special. Quite the contrary, I think libertarians are extraordinarily special.   Many of us begin by taking an interest in the political scene, and vote for a libertarian candidate in some election. That's a mistaken strategy, yes, but as a starting...
Newt's Letter
10
Jim Davies 2012-06-19 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Government tries to justify its ubiquitous spying on private correspondence on the back of 9/11. It's just another government lie. The events below took place four years earlier.   Back in 1997, Mr Gingrich was a powerful figure in DC – Speaker of the House. Soon afterwards he swapped wives and was cast into outer darkness for a decade, but recently he ran...
Marriage
10
Jim Davies 2013-03-28 05:52
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The nation is breathless, as I write, awaiting news from the Supreme Court about what marriage is. Crowds attend its building, working themselves up into a tizzy and a froth, for inside its lobby is engraved the arrogant and outrageous claim:   IT IS EMPHATICALLY THE PROVINCE AND DUTY OF THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT TO SAY WHAT THE LAW IS ~ directly...
Chuck's Tummy
10
Jim Davies 2013-05-13 07:02
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Having undergone surgery this year following a stomach ache, that's a condition I will not wish upon anyone; but if stomachs do have to malfunction somewhere, the inside of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is one of the least inappropriate places--and he confirmed, last week, that the inner turmoil has already begun: 'the ramifications of make-your-own...
Socialism
10
Jim Davies 2013-09-19 07:11
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Famously, in 1922 Ludwig von Mises predicted the ultimate failure of socialism, for the good reason that in a planned economy, freely-moving prices are outlawed, while freely-moving prices are the only valid signal of what is wanted, where, when and in what quantity. It took a while – and a dreadful war – but in 1990 he was proven right. The...
Entanglements
10
Jim Davies 2013-10-30 07:20
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR During the latter half of the last century, shopping changed its character, to accommodate the popularity of the inexpensive horseless carriage. Instead of stores being all grouped together near the town center in a manner convenient for customers who arrived on foot, either direct from nearby homes or from the bus depot, the “out of town shopping...
Iron Felix
10
Jim Davies 2013-12-04 07:42
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In 1991, while a Communist counter-coup was being repressed in Moscow, jubilant crowds pulled down a statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky which had stood in front of the KGB headquarters building, the Lubyanka. Despite his nickname, it had been made of bronze, lest a Hero of the Revolution turn rusty. Note that it was a spontaneous demolition by plain people, not...
Vlad's Oscar
10
Jim Davies 2014-03-24 07:12
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everything they say, these Pols, is scripted and rehearsed. I find it really, really difficult to tell whether their endless stream of dicta is serious, or just theater. It's always theater, of course, but sometimes it's also truly meant, and that usually means big trouble, but how does one know when they're kidding and when, not? Clearly,...
A Monster in the Making
9.8
Jim Davies 2014-02-04 22:16
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last month, I splurged a whole 99 cents on the download of an 89-year-old book. Worth every penny, it's a non-fiction horror story: James Murphy's 1939 English translation of Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf. Its sheer blandness and apparently reasonable, normal prose is what sets it apart, in the light of what arose from it a decade or two later....
To Edit
9.66667
Jim Davies 2010-09-27 02:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Nothing can match the institution of government for sheer malevolence and resultant mayhem, but the modern media come close; the big, established ones that report selected items of news, arranged and analyzed so as powerfully to mold public opinion and thereby help perpetuate the established order. Happily and thanks largely to the Internet and the...
Tolstoy: Close, But No Cigar
9.66667
Jim Davies 2012-07-13 05:39
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I'd heard somewhere that Leo Tolstoy was an anarchist, so reckoned it was high time I read War and Peace. Thanks to gutenberg.org, I was able to download both that and Anna Karenina and enjoy the pair of them on vacation rainy days. Having done so, I must dismiss the rumor; he was an extraordinary author and thinker, and upset Establishment clerics and...
Murray's Missing Plan Recommended
9.66667
Jim Davies 2013-10-07 07:37
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I've been continuing to read the fascinating story of the modern libertarian movement's early years, as told in the Libertarian Forum, edited and often written by Murray Rothbard. It's vast, but very worthwhile – warmly recommended. I've supplemented it recently with a re-read of parts of Justin Raimondo's excellent biography of him...
Liberty Stability
9.5
Jim Davies 2012-01-17 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR If I outline the delights of a free society, quite often the listener will say that it's "Utopian." All very nice but not practical, he means, and after clarification he usually agrees that "Utopian" means a status that is not stable; that if it is put into place, it will inevitably collapse. If I have the chance, I'll then continue by...
Abortion
9.5
Jim Davies 2012-09-23 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   Last month I wrote Opinion and Reason to encourage clear, rational thinking: i.e., to begin with a premise, progress from it in logical steps, and only then to arrive at a conclusion. This sits in contrast to the much more usual method of reaching any opinion: to begin with a prejudice (a “pre-judgment”) and then perhaps look around for...
Creeds
9.5
Jim Davies 2013-02-19 07:59
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Faith: what a person believes, regardless of fact, evidence, proof or reason; it's powerful stuff. It can cause him to surrender his life, and to rob others of theirs, all the while retaining a strong sense of virtue, of doing the right thing. My first-ever face to face encounter with the Infernal Robbery Syndicate was an audit in Connecticut with a...
Bank Robbers
9.5
Jim Davies 2013-04-08 06:47
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR There are people who rob banks, and banks that rob people. This is about the latter. Our friendly Main Street banker is a robber; in two ways now, and with a third in preparation. Way #1 applies directly and terribly, but to only a few of his customers, and until he strikes, it's fairly well hidden. Some years ago I opened a bank account, and eventually...
Divides
9.4
Jim Davies 2013-04-26 07:46
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Below is a photograph of a happy cop. He's happy because at the end of a trying day, his team accomplished its mission; a suspected murderer had been arrested. He's also happy because behind him, a crowd of local residents, whom he thinks he “protects and serves,” is applauding him and his comrades for a job well done. That doesn...
Great Fictions Recommended
9.33333
Jim Davies 2010-09-10 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   Is the state a fiction, a myth? How in either case does it compare to a business company, also sometimes called a fictional entity? Or to a religion?   I'm using "state" not so much to mean a particular political organization like the State of New Hampshire, but more in the sense used by Oppenheimer in The State, or by Bastiat in his...
Bankers on Trial
9.25
Jim Davies 2010-08-10 02:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Several of my friends insert the two letters "st" in the middle of the word, to express the view that bankers make up a large, organized criminal class. Here, I'll follow the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty, and check some of the evidence, but meanwhile leave those letters out.   At root, a bank...
Very Special People
9.16667
Jim Davies 2012-07-08 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I've tried, but have not been able to agree with Paul Bonneau's recent article Libertarians Are Nothing Special. Quite the contrary, I think libertarians are extraordinarily special.   Many of us begin by taking an interest in the political scene, and vote for a libertarian candidate in some election. That's a mistaken strategy, yes, but as a starting...
The God Question
9.14286
Jim Davies 2012-03-18 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Why does it matter, to market anarchists, whether or not God exists? Surely all would be able, in a free society, to believe whatever they wish about religion? That was the thrust of Paul Bonneau's recent article here, and he added that it's counterproductive for the libertarian spokesman to ridicule the religious. His point is well taken. In the...
A Lion in Daniel's Den
9
Jim Davies 2010-07-19 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     The abrupt termination of the distinguished, six-decade career of Helen Thomas, after she expressed her opinion about Jews on May 27th, has something fishy about it. There are layers of deception to be uncovered, and since nobody else has removed them, I will make the attempt. You read it here first.   Until that day, there had been no...
Malthus' Mistakes
9
Jim Davies 2010-10-08 02:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   The Reverend Thomas Malthus was no dummy. He made a colossal and famous error by predicting at the end of the 18th Century that human population would stop growing for want of food to feed any more people, but he was a serious scholar nonetheless. He was a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge and as well as being an Anglican clergyman was...
Terms of Association Recommended
9
Jim Davies 2010-10-15 02:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR    An advocate for the US Constitution recently argued on the Peter Mac Show that any group of people in any locality properly has the right to set up an association and to define its terms. He was correct, of course. The terms agreed would relate to who can belong and who, not--and to how decisions of policy and practice shall be made, as...
1492
9
Jim Davies 2012-01-30 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It's a bit difficult to compress a big slice of human history into a few hundred words, so if I omit some of your favorite details, I hope you'll forgive me.   I pick 1492 as being the pivotal year in that immense saga. One could of course choose from other good candidates: 50,000 years ago when mankind migrated out of Africa to populate the rest of the...
MinGovia
9
Jim Davies 2012-08-26 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   There's a theory that holds that a government is okay provided that the people in its domain agree for it to exist and rule, and I thank David Eagle for my title, though the reasoning and conclusions are my own.   The theory seems to have two forms: One is the familiar "Constitutionalist" position that says that America was just fine...
What a Century!
9
Jim Davies 2012-12-19 07:54
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It was the best and the worst century in human history, and it ends this month. The previous one closed in 1912, a year best remembered for the sinking of the Titanic--a story that has been skillfully tuned to incite distrust of business and reliance on governments. It's a fable, which I demolish here. But the fable served as a prélude to what...