Recent comments

  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 11 hours 58 min 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 14 hours 8 min 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 18 hours 18 min 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 1 day 13 hours 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 1 day 14 hours 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 1 day 17 hours 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 2 days 2 hours 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 2 days 5 hours 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
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 2 days 12 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I think we are converging, actually.  I agree that contentment and happiness go hand-in-hand.    Though I develop technology, I am a person who sees the downsides that are invisible to most engineers.  There is a large body of literature that discusses how technology is not, in fact, under human control, per se.  For the most part, we don't get the technology that is conducive to human happiness or well-being so much as technology that increases efficiency.  Jacque Ellul's The Technological Society is a damned difficult read but he makes a strong case for this in 400-odd carefully reasoned pages.  There are plenty of others that are more accessible--Ralph Borsodi was an early exponent, but E.F. Schumaker, Ivan Illich, Tom Rolt, and Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) have all had much to add to the discussion.    The issue of technology is not just related to the level of material comfort or production in society, but also to its protection.  If we suppose a region where very little tangible wealth has been accumulated over the centuries, it may not need much in the way of defense.  The people there may lead spiritually-fulfulling lives and be quite happy.  I am well aware of the research that looks at the connections between material prosperity and happiness, so this is not theoretical--it happens.  My point, of course, is that outsiders who might go on the offense usually are enticed by tangible wealth.  An area with little wealth or highly diffused wealth is not a worthwhile target.  This explains Somalia to an extent.   On the other hand, a technological society that develops the means for efficient production will have a lot of concentrated wealth.  Poorer neighboring areas may see the stuff, but they don't see the reasons for the wealth.  It is a ripe target for invasion.   One of the illusions of libertarianism is that because I'm peaceful, and because all my friends are peaceful, why can't all of society be run on a voluntary basis?  Years ago, one of my articles on STR discussed the psychopathic personality.  The essential aspect of the psychopath is the lack of empathy.  You, me, your friends, my friends--we are all empathic.  The psychopath is not, and this dramatically increases his freedom of action simply because he doesn't care about others.  When you take large groups, psychopathic personalities of varying degree account for roughly 4% of the population.  Another 20% of the population is easily manipulated by psychopaths.  And if you look into the literature on this subject, you'll find that they concentrate at the tops of hierarchical structures across society.  Little wonder, then, that we have such a disaster on our hands.   Another reason we have problems is discussed in Kirkpatrick Sale's Human Scale.  Human nature doesn't scale linearly.  Just because we see voluntaryism working for a small group doesn't mean that it will work when scaled up by a factor of 100 or 10,000.  The vast majority of human evolution occurred in small groups.  We're quite effective in communities even a few hundred.   Shunning remains highly effective punishment for groups of that size.  It's difficult for people to misbehave without account.  These forces that counter misbehavior in small groups, however,  become increasingly less effective as the number of individuals increases beyond some threshold.  Consensus decision making is practical in small groups but not in large ones.  The leadership of organizations works well with boards of seven, but not with 30.    The issue of happiness and contentment goes to the heart of why intelligence matters.  The literature that discusses how material wealth and happiness correlate shows that people can be happy at nearly any standard of living.  Dissatisfaction is rooted in disparities of wealth in one's community.  In modern societies, the wealth becomes concentrated in the hands of those who understand the nature of the system or at least some aspect of it.  Wealth accumulation largely reflects intellectual ability, and in the context of many generations, intelligent families will tend to outperform less intelligent ones.  When we see race as a vague proxy for the concept of extended family, I view this as one of the prime reasons we have interracial conflict.  If happiness is the goal, racial groups would be best off to keep separate.   I fully understand how the logic of freedom and voluntaryism follows from self-ownership.  That's not changed.  However, as I've grown older, I see that the nature of human groups is not the same as individuals.  It doesn't mean the logical framework of voluntaryism is wrong, it means that preservation of individual liberties has not been the impetus for the evolution of our biology or consciousness.  Every animal species responds to its environment and takes advantage of opportunity.  That seems to be the real law of nature:  might is right.  It doesn't sit well with my sense of morality, yet I see nothing in nature that suggests it's wrong. Nature doesn't seem to have any problem with violence, yet for most of us, our consciousness does.  That conflict seems like it would be worth investigating further.   In any case, conflicts among humans often arise from disparities of wealth.   Again, nature isn't driven by preserving individual liberties but by taking advantage of one's environment.  Might makes right.  This includes human nature.  Since technological society belongs to the intelligent, it creates wealth disparities.  With wealth comes a necessary loss of freedom because it forces defense of what you have. Your verses from Timothy were repeated by Janis Joplin:  Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.  We'd prefer that all people in society understand, as you wrote, "the vital but simple recognition that every human being has the right of self-ownership."  Yes, absolutely, that would be ideal.  It doesn't mesh with nature's law, though.  Nature obviously doesn't abhor violence.  Freedom in the context of wealth will never be absolute.  Given technological society, propensities rooted in biology still matter, and it's likely that the greatest levels of personal freedom for people of European origin will come by living mainly among others of that derivation.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 2 days 17 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Ah, light is dawning. No, I cannot show you those things; your case is solid. But now I see that we are at cross purposes; you are referring to material progress and technological innovation, while I am referring to freedom, ie a voluntary society. I apologize for not seeing the conflation sooner.   The two are related, certainly. I want my cake and to eat it too. Freedom will, I believe, cause a huge acceleration in discoveries and material prosperity. But they are definitely separate things. The latter depends on drive, initiative and intelligence; the former springs from the vital but simple recognition that every human being has the right of self-ownership.   So a low-IQ society can (and will) become a free one, with large gain in terms of contentment and harmony - but not as much material progress as, say, America will enjoy when government is zeroized here. Which of them will be richer is a subjective choice; I tend to enjoy things and services that come from technology, but also recognize that Paul the Apostle had a point when he wrote to Timothy: 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.   Never mind the godliness, but contentment is a big part of happiness, the pursuit of which is what life is for.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 2 days 17 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Don't get old"   Did you have an alternative in view? If so, should I duck?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 days 8 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    If you say you are destined to be "an underclass", you are correct. If you say you are not destined to be "an underclass", you are also correct. That became my lecture and the backbone of my general thesis as an educator long before I could ever have identified as anarchist. You are responsible to inform yourself as to what you will become. The examples of this mindset are all around me -- far too numerous to quibble and banter about in this little comment. It is obvious you want to believe in statistical destinies. So, you would not be convinced with any isolated example I could provide. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 3 days 10 hours ago Web link Bri_Voluntaryist
    If you read the story's details the functions of the four village LEOs who quit were immediately taken over by Sheriff's deputies, and so the Riever-free community hinted at by the headline is not a reality. On the other hand though, the Deputies can't enforce village laws, and so scofflaws who don't mow their lawns or have too many garage sales or don't register their dogs, or don't recycle properly & etc, are now in a temporary autonomous zone. This is progress though, and the citizens should try and keep it like this for as long as they can.
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 3 days 10 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
     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.    Show me an example where people with those levels of average intelligence have ever developed any significant technology at all.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 days 11 hours ago Page Douglas Herman
    A good piece on the nature of state media. As I posted on another STR thread this morning, Lew Rockwell had a decent take on the same overall topic yesterday. Large segments of the general population are awakening, due to the marked increase of web exposure. Not enough for our taste, perhaps, but a healthy increase from when I was a lad. The Kathryn Schulz's are no longer canon. And it pisses 'em off. I recently came across an article I had bookmarked a couple years back, by a "Sigmund Fraud" at Waking Times. Worth a perusal. If you can't dazzle 'em with breelliance, you gotta baffle 'em with bowl-sheet. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 days 13 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/04/lew-rockwell/celebrate-decline/ Sorry. Don't get old. And "fer" is merely red-neck truckers' language ("it's a fer piece from LA to Frisco"). Will had implied that the only "free" people are "bushmen of the Kalahari"; and, in my insolence, I felt moved to take a jab at him for that. :-( Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 3 days 17 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I missed that, Sam. What's the URL? - and what's "fer"?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 3 days 17 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I can agree with a lot there, Will, notably that it's a bad idea to mix cultures rapidly on a big scale; but your conclusion that "blacks are destined for biological reasons to remain an underclass" is an exception. Humans with black skins are still humans, and humans are self-owning, and self-owning humans, given the chance and the understanding, will form free societies and I will help them where I can.   Our adversaries often tell us "Get thee to Somalia" when we oppose government, and my ZGBlog of that title notes that in that area a rather primitive society has been living rather freely for very many generations. I agree with you that I'd sooner stay in this technologically more comfortable country and work for its liberation, than to learn the language and go join them; but don't let's under-rate their success and contentment - and their courage, in resisting the many attempts to force rule upon them.   Somalians are of course not sub-Saharan Africans, and I'm surprised you name the latter as the cause of discord in European cities like Paris. France has a large number of recent North African immigrants who are indeed a source of trouble - Muslims, 11% of the population now if memory serves, and that culture clash is grim. The same is becoming true elsewhere on that Continent.   But "blacks"? - not so much, I thought. There are some from French West Africa, and in the UK there are quite a lot from the "Pink Bits" of the Caribbean and Africa, but those have assimilated, I believe. In the early part of my chequered career I had a bit to do with black newcomers to London, to help them settle, and while there were race riots in Brixton later on, my impression from subsequent visits is that they have taken jobs and rub along with the natives quite well. Even Muslims from Pakistan have not blended in badly. It's a bit of a shock to me to return to Heathrow and hear black or brown employees speaking with a broad Cockney accent!   Those are no doubt second- or third-gen immigrants; I wrote an anecdote here about first-gen black immigrants to London but they, too, were assimilating okay. "Sociable", "amusing" and "not dumb" were adjectives I used in that 2009 STRticle.   As for immigrant blacks gravitating towards welfare in European cities, you may be right; but that is surely the fault of the welfare magnet. Offer a free lunch, and like as not it will be accepted. Yet the  smart ones are supposed to be the whites in charge.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 days 9 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    As an addendum, Lew Rockwell now and again spews out a good one when he's not supporting Trump for grand wizard, and today's piece hits head-on. A fer piece from Botswana. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 days 11 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...Racial diversity doesn't promote harmony, just the opposite..." Absolutely. Let Walter Williams once again address that more extensively. I see in this interchange the dialectic as to whether government is necessary and deserving of support (not only mine -- but everybody's) , or whether "it" (a brainless abstraction) is not necessary and is deserving of nobody's support. I, for one, choose the latter; and I urge each of you to abstain from beans. Sam
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 4 days 13 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    It doesn't strike me as an accomplishment to have something approaching voluntaryism among small groups of people in the wild.  I suspect there are still bushmen of the Kalahari who are living in freedom today.  Any of us could experience that sort of liberty right now by heading out into the wilderness and trying to eke out a life stripped away of this technological edifice.  I doubt anyone reading this would permanently give up the comforts of technology in return for the unlimited freedom of the wilderness.  That's not why we think about these issues; it's because we see a potential for us to have our cake and eat it too.    When I read your article about the black underclass, I simply wondered, how is it that the blacks from sub-Saharan Africa, whose families never suffered under slavery, who end up living in Paris, say, end up turning white-built suburbs into unruly ghettos that have the same characteristics as the black-majority cities in the US?  Nobody forces these people to move to Europe, to get on welfare, to be unproductive bums, yet  it happens.  The hatred toward the host culture and violence inevitably follows.  Is it any wonder that whites abandon the areas?   And when this happens, whites get blamed for bad black schools as well, as if whites somehow took the potential for black education with them.      We could extend the list of reasons for black failure endlessly.  Occam's razor is an awfully powerful tool, though, and parsimonious theories are far more compelling than lists of reasons that don't directly trace the effect back to the cause.  IQ and innate behaviorial propensities explain why blacks seem to suffer from never-ending failure while other groups tend to overcome.   It's obvious that very few in this world would choose to live in a purely voluntary way if it were at a subsistence level.  In a technologically advanced mixed society, blacks are destined for  biological reasons to remain an underclass.  Racial diversity doesn't promote harmony, just the opposite.  The consequent and overt disparities in wealth, status and achievement split along racial lines will long into the future remain a point of contention and a justification for black violence.      
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 4 days 17 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Seriously, Will, it's a pleasure to read such a well-composed reply, you make your case well.   The nub of where we disagree is, I think, in "you need to have the potential for civilization [before getting to a voluntary society]".   If you mean by "potential for civilization" a latent or actual ability to take responsibility for one's own life and to behave with respect for one's fellow human beings, then yes, you're right. But in that case I strongly believe that such ability is innate in every human; it's part of our nature, be our lifestyle ever so primitive. You're right to say that it has been severely damaged in (eg) inner-city slums, but my America's Underclass shows whom to blame.   If however you mean by it the achievement of high material standards of living, then no I cannot agree. Mankind lived for 80% of our existence in substantially voluntary societies, but in physical conditions terrible even by Haitian standards. The two subjects are separate.
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 5 days 7 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    One of the precepts of life in the US commands us to believe that we are all the same inside, that the only reasons that the races have disparate outcomes in our culture is because of pervasive bias, past and present.  Remove and repair those biases and we would all rise to the same level, at least the story goes.    When you look around the world, though, you see that blacks don't do civilization, at least as those of us in industrialized world understand it.  You don't see people making excuses for the Chinese or Japanese or Koreans.  People don't make excuses for the Portugese or Latvians or Swiss.  To greater or lesser extents, these places are civilized and have joined industrial society.  Sub-Saharan Africa has not and probably cannot except by relying on non-blacks to create and maintain the infrastructure for them.   Every majority black city in the US is a corrupt, crime-ridden nightmare.  Is it just government policy?  Haiti is the blackest country in the western hemisphere and also the most impoverished.  Are they discriminating against themselves? Every city that becomes majority black in the US turns into a slum.  Black STD rates are multiples of the white rates.  Are STDs racist?  Or is something else going on?  Japan got nuked, Germany got firebombed, both countries lost tremendous numbers of young men in the second world war, yet twenty years later, both were economically competing head-on with the US.  Africans, after having at least a hundred years, can't seem to recover from the so-called legacy of slavery, even with active discrimination in their favor with regard to jobs and college admissions.     Certainly education is part of getting to a voluntary society; I can't disagree.  However, you need to have the potential for civilization first.  And in that regard, you understood me correctly: I don't see any evidence that voluntary society in the context of a significant black population is possible.    
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 days 14 hours ago Page Paul Hein
    '...There have been, for many decades, in Jefferson City, men who lived on the wealth of others, which they obtained by trickery, force, or threat of force, against the will of the “contributors.” Those practicing this occupation privately were housed, until recently, in the awesome penitentiary. (Now they’re housed a few miles away.) Those who did it for a “public purpose,” as defined by themselves, pursuant to rules they wrote themselves, were given an awesome palace in which to work, attended by pages and secretaries, and the greatest respect and honor. And for countless generations, the victims of the latter group have found their depredations utterly appropriate and fitting, and the splendor of their offices, somehow, a matter of pride for those plundered victims...' Only a fraction of those "convicted" in white men's "courts" ever used force or threats of force against the will of "contributors". Remember Irwin Schiff? Irwin served a life sentence and died in a place they're calling Fort Wort for merely exposing the men and women living and "working" under those other "awsome palaces" scattered around the world -- the genuine thieves, robbers and muggers. Many of the others merely defrauded people who willingly, without coercion, played parts in their schemes in hopes of gain. The new Ironside Hotel in Jeff City is the most expensive in town. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 days 15 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "If you want a voluntary society, you need people who share your values" - yes, absolutely. That's why, in my view, there is no hope of a voluntary society until there has been a radical revision of values and understanding - a re-education, in fact - of everyone, regardless of race. Not many whites, unfortunately, join us in acknowledging as an axiom that every person has the right of  self-ownership.   But I may have to part company with your final line, for it seems to imply that race has something to do with one's ability to absorb that libertarian re-education. Some intelligence is needed, yes, but I'd have said that an IQ of 85 was ample. Recognition that government is in its nature diametrically opposed to that axiom is almost a no-brainer. And could it not be inferred from what you wrote that voluntaryism is suited not to all human beings (as I would maintain) but only to those of certain racial origins?   To recognize the corollary that we are each responsible for our own survival and success is a bit harder for those whose cultural background over a dozen generations has taught them to work no harder than is necessary to avoid punishment, than for others raised in the "protestant work ethic" - but still, surely, no harder than a "bit."
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 days 7 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I know little or nothing of libertarian orthodoxy, and I must admit my information processing is fuzzy. After all, I'm well into the octogenarian cycle -- the age of perpetual distraction. I can tell you laddies and lassies -- it don't get a whole lot better :-[. In the realm of information processing, I got Paul's two essays (a couple days apart) intermixed in my comments -- thus, I guess "race" became embedded where it didn't belong (or perhaps it's the other way around, I got "panarchy" vs "individualism" intertwined somehow with the "race" thread). So what I get out of your first paragraph, Will, is that there is indeed a herd mentality around and about. I will not disagree with that. Which (sidestepping "race" -- I'll just let your 6 points stand as an arrangement you prefer to believe without question) brings me to collectivism: Regarding collectivism vs individualism, I can report with veracity that the game is heavily weighted in collectivism -- so much so that individualism is difficult to discern. Even among "libertarians" (quotes intended). Few libertarians want to read and/or study such works as the late Delmar England (this, or this). How many times I see "...China is buying up gold..." or "...the state wants (this or that)..." Neither China nor the state exist -- they are brainless abstractions. People exist. If I can't think free, it's going to be a real chore for me to become free. And I don't have a lot of time left to "become free". I'd suggest anybody reading this listen to the first 10 or 15 minutes of this video. G. Edward Griffin is no anarchist. But He does have a handle on separating the wheat from the chaff in libertarian thinking. Anybody who knows me understands what I think about "libertarian theory". The "...anarchist society (I) want..." is for ME to be free. Don't get me wrong -- I'd like for YOU to be free also. But I'm not responsible for your freedom, only mine. So whether you achieve a modicum of liberty and freedom as a result of our interchange on STR will not affect my freedom except to the extent that I consider you (now) to be my "cyber friend", and that does indeed throw an ounce or three of concern upon me. I see this as a place to augment freedom, not argue and bicker over "theory". You may be right about race. You've certainly gathered an apocrypha of statistics to support your stance. But my mantra is that I can be free now. Here. Today. Where I'm "at". I believe that you can be also. However, I am a society of one. I'd like for my kids, my grandkids (#26 due in August), my great grandkids (#6 due in June), and their progeny after I'm gone, to acquire liberty and freedom also. Believe me -- that's my hope and my aspiration (in my messages to them and to you). But I must be free in order to be of much influence. If liberty's to be, it's up to me. Not thee. Sam .
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 6 days 9 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    It's funny how libertarian orthodoxy eventually gets in the way of information processing just like every other orthodoxy.  It might be consistent with libertarianism to treat every person on an individual basis, but society is not a linear system equal to the sum of its parts.  Individuals behave one way, yet groups composed of those individuals exhibit very different behavior.  It's a hugely nonlinear networked system.   Even if we granted that all of us are mixed race to an extent, just because race is a continuum doesn't mean it doesn't exist any more than saying that the colors of the rainbow can't be identified because they also exist on a continuum.  Rude as the comparison may seem, nobody assumes that golden retrievers, fox terriers, and border collies have identical propensities for certain behaviors even though they all come from the same genetic root stock and can interbreed.   Libertarian theory needs to get beyond the dogma that supposes "because individual, therefore society."  That is ignoring reality.  We live in families, in neighborhoods, and extended networks.  In industrial civilization, the functioning largely relies on networks of trust outside of one's family.  The anarchist society you want is the one that is high-trust, high-intelligence, low-violence.  There is no reason at all to assume that the races have equal propensity for this.  There is enormous evidence to the contrary.   When we talk about "the black economist" Walter Williams, this is the sort of exception that proves the rule.  If race doesn't matter, then how does mentioning race add to the discussion?  Nobody mentions race when white people write intelligently.  It's because high intelligence and articulation is so rare among blacks that it's noteworthy.  My sense is that most people who ever mention that they have black friends do so to signal that they aren't racists.  If race doesn't matter, then why point it out?   While I subscribe to libertarian/anarchist logic, I'm of the opinion that race matters. 1.  Pull out your statistics books and try this for yourself.  American blacks have an IQ average of 85, whites about 100.  The standard deviation in both cases is around 15.  Do the math and you'll see that approximately 1 in every 6 blacks has the IQ of the average white. 2.  The average engineer in the US has an IQ around 126.  Only 3 out of 1000 blacks would have an IQ that high, while about 40 out of every 1000 whites would measure at least at that level. 3.  15% of blacks have IQs below 70, while only about 2% of whites would score that low.  4.  Blacks commit about half of all homicides in the US while accounting for only about 13% of the population. 5.  Black males commit 40X more assaults against whites than vise versa. 6.  Sub-Saharan Africans never discovered the wheel, woven cloth, or the plow.  They never domesticated an animal, never created a written language, never had a calendar.  No metallurgy, no length standards, no weight standards.   Like I said in my original comment, you aren't going to have voluntaryism with a significant black population. The existence of exceptional individuals doesn't negate this.  Black failure to achieve isn't a result of disadvantaged circumstances as much as inferior intelligence combined with a high propensity for violence.  It's not that if you had 1000 fox terriers you couldn't find one that could be a good shepherd.  It's that fox terriers don't make good shepherds.    If you want a voluntary society, you need people who share your values.  There is undoubtedly a genetic component to that, and facing that fact head-on, despite the possibly uncomfortable racial realities, ultimately serves that goal much better than putting our heads in the sand and pretending race doesn't matter.                  
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 6 days 12 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Yeah, those Asians had better stop mixing with inferiors like "white" people - we wouldn't want to degrade humanity. Sheesh. No matter how I try to understand it, I find the collectivist mindset incomprehensible.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 6 days 12 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    BTW I should note I actually used the word "nigger" in my title, not "n*gger". I consider the dancing around words similar to what a parent does to get a child to avoid four-letter words - fine for that purpose, but not for conversations among adults. Also it's just more PC for dark brown people to be able to use it, but not light brown people (although using it and other such words for the purpose of belittling others is ugly). A word is just a word; intention is what matters.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 6 days 14 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Or, I should say, remove it from my suspicion that the promulgators are longing to govern, rule, or "lead" folks other than themselves and their families." Well, rejecting that is exactly the point of panarchy. The desire to join one or another "archy" within panarchy is more a tactical consideration than anything. I would probably join the ancap polity even though I don't believe things a lot of ancaps do, just because there is safety in numbers. But joining the "none of the above" polity, or no polity at all, remains an option.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 6 days 14 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    No, I didn't realize that sub forum was available only to members. Dang! Keep in mind that this was just another thought experiment, but even in that context the bottom-up nature of the change envisioned makes oppression of panarchists at least substantially more difficult. But certainly it would not hurt if more people were armed; that always tends to give pause.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 6 days 18 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "attacking me"? - far from it, Brian. As I wrote, your question is good. I showed the answer.
  • Brian Mast's picture
    Brian Mast 1 week 1 hour ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Re: Jim. I'm not sure if you are trying to be humorous or if you are attacking me. Re: Sam, I have no state either, and under the above choices I would select none of the above. I am already quite comfortable being on my own. I've been an Anarchist for well over a decade. You and I have exchanged several messages a few years back Sam. I formerly had zygodactyl as a username and I was and still am a truck driver. I lack the time to get into disputes between Paul and his opposition, but I am considering all of the points that are being made from all anti-statist sides. It would be nice if a good percentage of Statists would convert to anti-statism, but I don't see that happening any time soon unless Jims TOLFA plan works out. My question should not have been so thoughtlessly dismissed. We already know how the media manipulates the news. If a group of punks break into store fronts, the media tells us that anarchists did that. If cops invade a well armed household; that place gets labled as a bunker. The oligarchy will not just stand down as their power and extorted income declines. We should anticipate their responses and take strategic action. These will be necessary considerations as a critical mass adopts either Anarchy or Panarchy. Ignorance is not strength.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 1 week 7 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Brian Mast: "...What will be the reaction of the ruling oligarchy that controls the government be?..." Which "government" -- yours, or mine? I am a sovereign state. I treat your "ruling oligarchy" as I treat rattlesnakes. The psychopaths who hide under the guise of that brainless abstraction exist. I can't deny that. And they can be lethal -- each individually, and especially all collectively. They are all collectivists, and they do work collectively. If I carelessly give them reign to strike me at critical points of my anatomy I can be greatly harmed. Therefore (treating your government with the rattlesnake analogy), I wear tall boots to the woods. I walk slowly, watch where I step and stay alert when and where I reach. You might say that limits my freedom. You would be correct. I do not claim anarchy produces unlimited freedom to do anything I want. And particularly I do not claim anarchy gives me any "rights" to interfere in the freedom of you or anybody else. Anarchy implies that I will behave appropriately in the absence of rulers or oligarchies. I do hope in my lifetime to see millions -- perhaps billions -- of individuals declare sovereignty. That won't happen collectively -- it will be one individual declaration at a time. And they will not need a "Free State Project" or any other collective to bring it about. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 1 week 9 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Think I recently posted here my list of now over 120 "ism's" and "archy's" I've encountered on the web in my scant 15 or 20 years' exposure. So I won't take up space with that today. "Panarchy" is among them. I'm affiliated with none, intend to join none. As I perceive them, each of the 120+ (most reading this could add one or a few more that I've overlooked or missed altogether) seem to have encrypted within them very subtle desires to rule others -- to lead-the-flock-to-freedom. I could be wrong about that. If Paul chooses to offer solid substantiation of my error as regards "Panarchy", I shall be glad to remove it from the list. Or, I should say, remove it from my suspicion that the promulgators are longing to govern, rule, or "lead" folks other than themselves and their families. I'll leave it on the list, since Panarchy is definitely an archy, or archism. I am a sovereign state. Originally I would post that as rather of a tongue-in-cheek declaration. Eventually I came to see that once one achieves full-fledged anarchy s/he is automatically christened "sovereign" (by herself); therefore, a "sovereign state". If I'm wrong about that as pertains to you, I don't mean you. Go your way in peace. I'm not going to fight you over it. Nor will I rattle bones in attempt to get you disfellowshipped from STR because you disagree with me about that or anything else. Same with "rights". I've never declared that you have no rights. I've not declared that I have no rights for that matter ('tho I claim no "rights"). I have said that I ceased using the term some years ago as a part of my disengaging from statist mindset (thanks, Delmar England). I state that I make choices -- and, among my choices has been engaging in the challenge of sidestepping the beast wherever possible. Many there are who will go to extreme lengths to interfere with the choices I make. That's an occupational hazard of the anarchist lifestyle. It's interesting to dream up means by which one can navigate around "...voluntary compliance...". Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 1 week 18 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "What will be the reaction of the ruling oligarchy...?"   Good question, Brian. One nuclear bomb would quite ruin their day.   More at Panarchy is for Losers.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 1 week 18 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Excellent comment, Will - especially that final line.   You mention the amazing athletes from Kenya and the African Horn, so you'll agree that there are many exceptions to the general norms and averages. This week the best article I read was by the very black economist Walter Williams, on the subject of rights - which has confused a number of whites, even a pseudo-libertarian. And nearby there is a fine comment by mishochu, which reveals an IQ a long way above the average.
  • Brian Mast's picture
    Brian Mast 1 week 23 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Hello Paul, That link to the forum only works if you are registered to ZeroGov. I am not sure if you were aware of that. I have long been familiar with Bill Buppert and his website, so I went ahead and registered there as Bman1. I will post the following both here and there in the hopes of maximizing thoughts: I, as an Anarchist, do not oppose trying Panarchy. Looking at it from the bigger picture, a question arises that I haven't yet seen discussed: What will be the reaction of the ruling oligarchy that controls the government be? I am referring to the banksters, Wall Street, the Trilateral Commission, etc. I do not know the answer to that question, but it bears tactical consideration.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 1 week 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Violence, welfare, broken families incentivize lower IQ behavior. Most, if not all, of those incentives emanate from the state..." Absolutely. And, to take that another step down the road: when one can see that the deficit or character defect in question is one that can and "should" (we could write a volume or two on "should") be resolved at the personal and/or the family level, psychopaths hiding under the guise of that brainless abstraction we like to call "government" gallop in to "rescue" the victim (with stolen resources), making it "unnecessary" for her to take personal actions that would bring her "up to speed" (read: "like 'white folks'" -- more about that mentality in a moment). So now they have successfully not only created the victim, but also have brought in the victim mentality to make it quite American. The thing that makes our task as anarchists so challenging is the fact that each of us (I can't speak for you or anybody other than myself -- except, in this case, I think most reading this will agree, so I'm using the first-person plural) -- each of us has been so inundated over so many years with collectivist ideology, that it is difficult to detach reality from superstition. Some of the inoculations are overt (pledges of allegiance, political holidays, et al.) aggrandizing government wars and other heinous machinations of the lunatics who make up the abstraction seen of as state. Many are quite subtle implantations. Racism (racial discrimination) is collectivist. Collectivism and governmentalism are siblings. As I stated in a previous post, each of us is interracial in one way or another. Incest is unhealthy and not recommended by anybody. Impregnating a first or even a second cousin is of questionable health integrity. This is true with the animal kingdom as well as with human kind. So, for a member one group, or "race", to hate or denigrate a member(s) of another group (due to presumed deficits) is the height of collectivist stupidity. The IQ/geneticist "shmexperts" are collectivists through and though. They couldn't take into consideration the non-presence of incentives for increased learning capability if it bit them in the arse. Examples of "blacks" not achieving as a group or collectively engaging in theft are moot -- they have nothing to do with anything. Oh, and I meant to add something about the "like-white-folks" mentality. It's not just "Caucasians" who should try to make it a practice to engage in free thinking. Pulling each other down for being "dark black" as opposed to "light black" or "acting white" is a blight among many Africans that I've known, and it's senseless. How can I be at fault for the tone of my epithelium? I am where I am, and can go where I want to go. (Someone important said that. It must have been me, 'cause I can't google it). Anarchists, if anybody, should see through all this quite clearly. Sam
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 1 week 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Thanks Sam, I vaguely remember that quote but could never repeat it off-hand when needed. The race thing is always funny to me. Leftist friends I have cannot fathom why I (an African man) am against affirmative action (they're also afraid to even talk about race). Sometimes I feel the obligation to correct internet wrongs or change minds (after all, I've been assigned a skin color that gives me some immunity from political correctness). I'll sometimes ask, "Should I check MY white privilege?" That privilege just doesn't exist. To the IQ/genetics discussion: the averages will never rise unless incentives for lower IQ are eliminated. Violence, welfare, broken families incentivize lower IQ behavior. Most, if not all, of those incentives emanate from the state.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 1 week 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Sorry to double-dip, but Harry Browne had an interesting observation in the ongoing razzmatazz of "conservative" vs "liberal" statism: Conservatives vs Liberals Conservatives say government cannot end poverty by force, but they believe government can use force and threats of violence to make people moral. Liberals say government cannot make people moral, but they believe government can use force and threats of violence to end poverty (redistribute wealth). Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other. ~Harry Browne Liberty A-Z p 35
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 1 week 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...Both sides are also in agreement, that the remedy must be done via government..." You hit the nail on the head: "racism", from its very outset, is definitely a GSE (government-sponsored-enterprise). If there were no such superstition as government, there could be no such insanity as racism. Human bigotry, yes. That might always be present in one form or another among a small number, even after people are truly free of government. And it might sometimes manifest as black vs white, (keep in mind that we are all of race-mixed ancestry, unless products of incest); Ukrainians vs Russians (neither actually exist -- borders are but fictitious lines in the sand. People exist -- some living in places they're currently calling "Ukraine" and/or "Russia"). Once government capsizes, I truly hope borders will indeed be erased and totally forgotten. Nationalism is definitely GSE. I was a government ("public" ha ha) educator in what was known as "the segregated south" (before, during and after "integration"). Ask me about GSE's. Jim Crow was a government sponsored enterprise from stem to stern. Many non-African individuals came out of that ignorance with severe guilt over not having revolted and rebelled against those "laws". From them come many of the anarchists among us. Good essay, Paul. Sam
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 1 week 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    The notion of a technologically-advanced society based on voluntary principles is inconceivable in the context of a significant black population.  When people observe in their everyday lives that blacks seem less intelligent and more prone to violence, this isn't unfounded.  There are huge numbers of academic studies showing that blacks have much lower IQs than asians, Jews, and whites.  For instance, use Sci-Hub to read the whole article, or just read the abstract here:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289609001275  Or this one:  http://pss.sagepub.com/content/17/10/921.extract  Or this one:  http://www.amren.com/news/2015/07/new-doj-statistics-on-race-and-violent-crime/   Any white westerner with the average IQ of a sub-saharan african would be labeled mentally handicapped.   When I worked in semiconductor R&D, white engineers were utterly outnumbered by asians and east-Indians.  However, the only black people I'm aware of worked in the security department and in the cafeteria.  Seeing that the management unquestionably selected and promoted people on the basis of achievement, intelligence, productivity, work ethic, and had programs to capture all the "underrepresented" minorities in engineering, including women, it's not that they weren't looking for qualified blacks.     Another curious data point: when I was in graduate school, the only thefts that occurred from our laboratory were performed by the one and only black student in our department, who stole books and sold them to a bookstore.  Unsurprisingly, when it was discovered, the department gave him a pass and those of us who discovered the crime were told a story that began with, "Have you ever heard of a stigma?"   It's funny how nobody seems surprised or outraged that the Olympic 100-yard dash finals are always a competition among people with west-African origins, that the east-Africans dominate marathons, that the NFL is 70% black, or that the NBA is over 70% black.    Simply put, technological society values trustworthy and intelligent people.  Naturally, affirmative action is an illogical absurdity.  If it were discarded wholesale, though, we should not be surprised that the outcomes would strongly skew toward asians, Jews, and whites for all technically-advanced professions.   Nothing I've written here conflicts with individualist principles.  Of course people should be treated on an individual basis.  Race exists, and as the crime statistics show, it's not so much the white "I-hate-niggers" crowd that's doing the violent crime.  That award goes to the blacks.  As ever, diversity is wonderful when it comes to skills and talents, but there's nowhere in the world you can point where racial diversity and societal harmony go together.  The high levels of trust required among the inhabitants of a libertarian society is not consistent in the context of large numbers of people of various races living among each other.    Finally, wishing for mixing with peoples of inferior intelligence is to wish for the decline of humanity.  I can't see much value in that.  
  • rettafontana's picture
    rettafontana 1 week 3 days ago
    Cash Is King
    Page Retta Fontana
    Alex have you seen this? "The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better to Live More" It's a kind of "how to" by Chris Guillebeau. I started reading it on Amazon and it has a lot of practical advice.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 1 week 4 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Some context here: Sanders & wife's yearly income was less than what Hillary got for one single speech, $234k vs. $250k, so I'm not too worried about that particular populist angle. Paying as much tax as possible isn't a virtue, in my opinion, either.
  • rettafontana's picture
    rettafontana 1 week 4 days ago Page Retta Fontana
    That's so kind of you, Jim! Thanks!
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 1 week 4 days ago
    A UK Decsion Point
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Speaking of Brits, today is Patriot's Day, when in 1775 that famous first shot was fired. To mark the occasion I'm announcing a new e-book: How Government Silenced Irwin Schiff; find it here. Any who dislike paying the alleged income tax will want to read it.   Irwin died half a year ago, as noted in the ZGBlog Schiff's Crusade.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 2 weeks 18 hours ago Page Retta Fontana
    In the next edition of A Vision of Liberty, I'll link to this one.  Another super job, Retta.   Jim
  • Bob Sherman's picture
    Bob Sherman 2 weeks 2 days ago
    Cash Is King
    Page Retta Fontana
    Things have less meaning than experiences -> Well put! We all invest too much of our time in working to buy stuff we don't need or won't even remember we've bought 2 years from now.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 2 weeks 3 days ago
    Staying North
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Thank you, Sam, very gracious.