Recent comments

  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Thanks for highlighting both the cafe and the upcoming event. I lived in SD for years and still have friends and family there, so it's good to know the libertarian streak that has long been embedded in the area is thriving. (Richard Rider, big-L Libertarian who ran a good campaign for San Diego mayor a few years ago, actually managed to get an illegal increase in the CA state sales tax REVERSED via the courts back in the previous millennium). On the idea of a symbol for the movement, I commissioned the one you see above this comment recently. I'm placing it (and several variations, with and without text) in the public domain and would love to see its use spread among those who believe that liberty cannot flourish (or long survive) without a widespread sense of compassion and connection in society. Likewise, love cannot survive without freedom; tyranny is always toxic to love and compassion.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    The religion of objectivism is one of the least intrusive and coercive religions I have ever encountered, then. The gods in charge of it seem far more preocuppied with their own interests than mine. That's okay by me. I also have no problem with the "hell" Rand described. That's what government intervention does. It creates hell on earth: "Murder, chaos, destruction." I'd rather live in a "heaven" like Galt's Gulch, where people build society because they enjoy it. I don't think that's anything like fascism, which is where favored corporations heavily regulated by a government feed us a pretend free market and mollify us. Again, I agree that some of Rand's premises were false, and I enjoyed Ludlow's jab at her writing style (very, very funny), but I'm not getting the connection with fascism.
  • Robert Wallace's picture
    Robert Wallace 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    "This is an easily falsified statement" 'Fraid not. Objectivism is not a philosophy but a religion: Galt's Gulch: Heaven with gods; outside: Hell with demons. What would happen in Rand's fictional Hell? Murder, chaos, destruction.
  • Robert Wallace's picture
    Robert Wallace 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Rand was more of a leftist than a rightist. Her belief in an Oakshottian rationalism, her belief in political messiahs, her attempts to overthrow all tradition, her vicious hatred of all religion...pure leftism. By the way, Objectivism is a religion. Galt's Gulch: Heaven with gods. Outside Galt's Gulch: hell with demons.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    My God. Rand is back! :)
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    I wouldn't say "predestinated." I would say "predisposed." It's about forming habits, which we all do. Sometimes to fix a "bad" habit, one needs to look more closely at what happened in early life, so that one can find out where the internal lying started. I know I taught myself a few whoppers. Perhaps "lying" is too strong a word, because I don't think people intend to lie to themselves, but there is some refusal to look at the truth. "Falsehoods" is perhaps a better word.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    How else was I to interpret a quote that includes "mom’s sloppy butt-wiping techniques"? To point out that the rear end is an erogenous zone is to point out a fact, not to be fixated on it. Actions have consequences, which is where personal responsibility comes in. But death-oriented actions like drug taking, child abusing, vandalizing, and so forth often come from lies that circulate in the mind. Once you get at the heart of these lies, why you believed them for as long as you did, you normally find that you were taught incorrect principles beginning in childhood, whether those principles were intentionally or unintentionally taught. Face up to it as an adult who doesn't need to be afraid of a sometimes profound lack of love in your early life, and you're well on your way towards being more life-oriented. The problem with quotes like the one you originally provided is that those people are (perhaps unwillingly) denigrating a search for the truth concerning what the child lied to himself about. To point out personal responsibility for adult actions is one thing. But the work of Alice Miller, which has been of tremendous benefit to many people including me, focuses on being honest once and for all with what you really thought and felt as child. It's a search for the truth about your own mind. People from truly loving homes seldom have to worry too much about responsibility for the many awful things other people seem capable of doing, because they don't do those sorts of things. The search for greater understanding of where one's mind came from in one's early life is crucially important. My fear is that quotes like the one you provided seem to make fun of research that unfortunately gets too easily lumped into the type of psychoanalysis that asserts we are not responsible for what we do as adults.
  • Guest's picture
    guillermo112 (not verified) 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    I am agree, people are usually predestinated to do some things...
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    @B.R Merrick, Funny, I don't recall saying that "parents are never responsible for anything". Let's put the shoe on the other foot and see how you like it. How calloused of me, of course you are right, YOU are NEVER responsible for YOUR OWN actions, it's always someone else's ( ________________ [just insert your favorite scapegoat]) fault that YOU do the things YOU do. Is it too many spankings that makes a man unnaturally fixated on the "rear end" being an "erogenous zone"? There are several OTHERS, that are far higher on the list of "erogenous zones", too, you know.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    3 things to the above posters. Even though her description of Galt's Gulch is a functional anarchy (no rulers), Rand abhorred what she thought of as "anarchy" and she explicitly embraced the idea of minimal government. HOWEVER, as George H Smith points out "...Rand's principles, if consistently applied, lead necessarily to a repudiation of government on moral grounds". “IN DEFENSE OF RATIONAL ANARCHISM” http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=34.0 And Carrie Burdzinski identifies good reason why SOME Objectivists do not apply these principles. “Objectivist Resistance to Anarchy: A Problem of Concept Formation?” Column by new Root Striker Carrie Burdzinski. http://www.strike-the-root.com/91/burdzinski/burdzinski1.html And Dennis Wilson ties it all together from what Ayn Rand says about the gulch in her letters; Judge Narragansett’s activities in the closing pages of Atlas Shrugged; Galts Oath NAP/ZAP and the L. Neil Smith’s Covenant of Unanimous Consent. The Covenant also satisfies the objections noted by Lysander Spooner and B.R. Merrick. Look for the first five asterisks ***** In: “A personal journey from Objectivist morality to political “anarchy**” http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=10.0 http://tinyurl.com/2dm6kgj ________________________________________ http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2006/tle379-20060806-03.html
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Mr Wall[a]ce's Horrid criticisms of Miss Rand bespeak a serious misunderstanding of her philosophy and how they relate to current economic and political events playing out right now a la Greenspan and Bernanke and bureaucracy VS Mises (minarchist), his students Rothbard, LewRockwell and Walter Block (anarchists) who stood on Mises and Ayn Rand's shoulders. The Ayn Rand Bashing that Bob Wall[a]ce sets himself upon is hardly "original". The Lefties he speaks to have UNsuccessfully tried to smear Ayn Rand as a "socialist" and hippocrite. Is he at the same time conflating Rand with the Lefties that have tried to smear her? It makes no sense. Not the least Mr Wall[a]ce misconstrues libertarian philosophy and Rand's principles. He has plenty of company. But this is sorted out in my post today with links and supporting points.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    I have to agree with Mr. Merrick in so far as Mr. Wallace has intentionally misrepresented the situation in Atlas Shrugged by writing the following sentence in his Tzo-cited artice: "She projects all hate, rage and envy onto them, scapegoats them, and then engages in a sadistic Hitlerian orgy of hate and destruction and kills off nearly everyone outside of Galt's Gulch." This is an easily falsified statement. She does not kill everyone outside of Galt's Gulch. She abandons them. And while it is true that Ms. Rand expanded upon her fiction writings in numerous minarchist essays that contain the seed of statism in their minarchy, it does not help when one falsifies what she actually said. So Mr. Wallace owes his readers a mea culpa for this. I agree that Ms. Rand had a sadly overbearing view, and fortunately Nathanial Brandon and his wife have written extensively and informatively about precisely where she went awry. I think that Mr. Wallace should treat his wooden idol of Ms. Rand (something she shared with her characters) with a bit of humor, which is why I wrote the following satire about her once the excitement of reading Ms. Rand wore off and I began to see her warts: http://www.strike-the-root.com/atlases-at-home-children
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    with all due respect I think you are right. I would add that Bob Wall[a]ce's column covers a lot of ground and at the same time none because he assumes on such a grand scale. And this is only the beginning.
  • Westernerd's picture
    Westernerd 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Very interesting article, Paul, I'm glad you addressed this issue, and that specific article in general. I posted that article two weekends ago because I found it very interesting, as most intra-libertarian ponderings and squabbles tend to be. My gut told me Steve's arguments were mealy-mouthed and actually harmed the arguments in favor of liberty by essentially giving up on the most imporant aspect of libertarian philosophy (the NAP), but there is no way I could do as good as job analyzing Steve's article as you. "But somehow I find it hard to trust folks like Steve, even when (at the moment) he is making some kind of argument for freedom. I suppose it’s just because of comments such as the one he made below his article: “Yes, if coercion actually did improve the lives of poor folks, or if socialism really did bring us a world in which we were all better off and lived wonderful lives, I would support them.” Oh, boy, another world improver; just what we need!" That paragraph really summed it up for me. Good work Paul
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Thanks for the link. It was informative, but I'm still not convinced. The author in the linked article says: "How could she so gleefully rub out the entire world? How could she so cold-bloodedly kill innocent children in the infamous train-tunnel-collapse scene?" I didn't read any glee in what she wrote any more than I would read any other author's "glee" in describing terrible events. Rand only killed innocent children in the sense that they only existed in her mind, and she could do what she wanted with the characters she invented. It didn't seem cold-blooded to me. The jerk demanding that a train, any train, get him to his destination, against all logic and concern, was the cold-blooded killer, and that only unintentionally. It seems to me that Rand's purpose was to show the dire consequences of listening to "parasites." I still do not see anything definitive, from "Atlas Shrugged" or any other writings, where she labeled the entire world as "looters," "parasites" or "sub-humans." I got the impression from the book that those were words reserved for government agents and the businessmen who got into bed with them. Am I wrong?
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Yeah, it's a lot like that "sanitizing" job that happened to Oswald and at Waco and at the WTC site. How convenient that OBL will not be able to give testimony and to name names (of embarrassed allies) and to cite reasons for hating the US Gov-Co operation that has killed between 4 and 5 million people since the end of WW2. Heck, there might be some grand photos of Cheney and his ilk doing air-kisses with OBL in some tent somewhere. I can just see the frightened face of the sheep as Cheney and Dubya do the bedroom-eye thing to the poor sheep's flanks.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    I understand the need to believe that something can somehow make sense of this madness. We want things to have meaning instead of just being some half-assed video sequences of stupid frat-party boys shouting and fist-pumping in NYC and in DC over the death of today's Goldstein. Someone once said that I'm a crypto-Catholic because I like some of the (admittedly few) positive aspects of some members of the Catholic faith.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Exactly what I thought when I read this article. The quote in your second to last paragraph is most telling and you nailed him for it. Well done Paul.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    This is just a little to neat and tidy for my cynical self to buy whole. I can see why the US Thugs would go ahead and shoot him, because a trial would bring up too many inconvenient truths and Osama would likely get acquitted. But why not show his body to everyone so we could verify that Goldstein is really dead? Or wasn’t already dead? The timing of Obama preempting Trump’s TV show to get hero worship face time, and in the process also throw the birther certificate BS off the front page, is just an amazing coincidence.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Well, here is an article by a guy named Bob Wallace that addresses the comment: http://personalitycafe.com/critical-thinking-philosophy/18311-secret-tea...
  • Robert Wallace's picture
    Robert Wallace 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    The article has nohing to do with Alan Greenspan, Murray Rothbard or Ludwig von Mises. The amusing thing about Randroids is the way they throw conniption fits when anyone impugns Rand and her leftist-militant-atheist (they all go together) nonsense. Objectivists in general are ignorant, not only having never heard of Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, but W. H. Mallock, who eviserated socialism before Rand was even born. What is "original" in Rand is not good, and what is good in her is not original.
  • Robert Wallace's picture
    Robert Wallace 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Unfortunately I do not remember where I read Rand's comment about subhumans living in a hell, but I believe it was from Atlas Shrugged.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    "Where was his trial?" No need for grand jury investigations anymore. You'll find grand jury investigations into every other terrorist attack you can think of that in any way involved Americans, but not you-know-what. Apparently, when you're bad-ass enough, even a grand jury isn't necessary. Gosh, he really was that evil, wasn't he?
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    If 9/11 was a crime, and Bin Laden was a suspect, then Yay, we killed the suspect? What if he did nothing? Where was his trial? Ah, that process is reserved for real human beings, not for troglodytes who are dim enough to be born outside of the magic lines. It only took 10 years and a few thousand subhuman lives to get him, which was certainly worth it. Unfortunately, more than just a few real human beings from the US of A died, too. Better keep wiping those animals off the face of the Earth to teach them a lesson about how they need to treat their betters. I almost wish I believed in heaven and hell. "Begging mercies for their sins, Satan laughing spreads his wings."
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    PS: I'm waiting for some sign of intelligence in either NYC or DC, but not holding my breath.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    By the way, I've been asked why I think it is significant that Obama the Bloody uses the word "clear" so often. Here's the answer. When Dubya was Murderer in Chief, he overused adverbs such as "clearly" whenever he was saying something that was a lie or as clear as mud. It's a way to bolster up a weak talking point. He overused other adverbs as well to prop up his claims. Some brilliant genius of style within the Obama regime was hip to that, and what was his/her brilliant solution to making Obama sound un-Dubya (to use Orwellian Newspeak)? Instead of overusing adverbs (ending in "ly"), the new president simply overused adjectives such as "clear" whenever he is saying an unsupportable non sequitur.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Yes, all of the drooling morons and tax-subsidized parasites were crowing last night. It's 3rd-century Rome all over again, eh?
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Watch out, Lawrence. After all, "A man that should call everything by its right name, would hardly pass the streets without being knocked down as a common enemy ," as Lord Halifax pointed out.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    This is a perfect example of how the status quo has abolished cause-and-effect. If "mom's sloppy butt-wiping techniques" have no effect on the child's brain, then a slap across the face means nothing; a spanking on the rear end (an erogenous zone) has no effect; pushing, shoving, threatening, confiscation of property, ignoring, indoctrinating for 12 years, television, junk food; all of it NOT forming habits in tiny minds that have very little information necessary for survival and creating comfort. No, Suverans2, parents are never responsible for anything.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    "How did she end up prototyping a gulch without the need nor the interest nor the inclination of govt that some are hung up on still." That's part of what I got out of the book. I confess to only having read it once, but it was fairly recent. She wasn't driving the minarchy argument home. She was writing about gifted men and women who wanted to be left alone with their volition. The one part of the narrative where I felt that I disagreed strongly was the shrugging judge at the end, changing The Constitution as if doing so was the final requirement for a freedom revolution. That was less than one paragraph out of more than one thousand pages. Babies and bathwater, indeed.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Greetings tzo, You wrote, "Human rights and privileges are conflated in a fuzzy ball of vague ideas." That is so true it hurts!! Human rights - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. Please consider splitting content into sub-articles and using this article for a summary of the key points of the subject. (June 2010) As a direct result of this intentional conflation, this mixing together of different things, natural rights, civil rights, political rights, economic rights, social rights, cultural rights, religious rights, et alii, by those who wish to have dominion over everyone, and everything, on earth, there are some who now believe that men have no rights at all, which was the intended goal of conflating, or should we say, of confusing.
  • Don Stacy's picture
    Don Stacy 3 years 24 weeks ago
    Instead of Politics
    Web link Don Stacy
    Individualist John Frederic Kosanke’s new book Instead of Politics is an intriguing addition to the literature of freedom. Logical economic arguments against a political society and for a free-market society are skillfully presented by the author. Ultimately, the comprehensive nature of the work identifies Kosanke as a noteworthy newcomer to the consequentialist camp of the libertarian movement. Instead of Politics consists of one short introduction and two long sections. Each section is divided into five chapters. Each chapter is subdivided into multiple subchapters. Each subchapter is immediately followed by several cartoons (courtesy of cartoonist Rex F. May). The anti-state cartoons are reminiscent of the cartoons effectively employed in Walter Block’s 1976 libertarian classic Defending the Undefendable. Kosanke’s Introduction quickly relates the purpose of the book: 'So in publishing this booklet, my goal is to expose politics for what it is, set the record straight, and thus permit mankind to see and prevent its own manipulation.' He then depicts his consequentialist method: 'By demonstrating the most elementary market principles, I will put the almighty state before the tribunal and jury of contemporary man.' The author concludes the Introduction with a resolute call for action: 'I will do my part to nudge my fellow bearers of light to join in my quest to forever affix this imposter—this “Caesar”—to his own Appian cross … We will be his slaves no more, for we will no longer grant him the means to compel us.' Section A, “Man versus State,” builds the foundation for a free-market society. Kosanke demonstrates, via empirical evidence, that the civilizing forces of the free-market are incompatible with and contrary to politics. The author proves that the seemingly eternal struggle between man and state is wholly unnecessary. In Section A Chapter 1, “Natural Government,” Kosanke details the self-governing character of an unobstructed market, the nature of money as a medium of exchange, the positive role of technological advancement in the evolution of society, the value of advertising, the necessity of risk for progress, and the importance of non-compulsory insurance. He also explains the inefficiency of monopoly, the danger of a distorted price system, the decivilizing philosophy of the neoLuddites, the futility of regulation, the failure of collectivism to deal with catastrophe, and the deleterious consequences of the centralization of the U.S. banking system. An especially insightful discussion links medical competition to the adoption of healthy lifestyles. In Chapter 2, “The Artifice of Monopoly,” Kosanke explicates the symbiotic relationship between monopolists and states, the reasons states pursue prohibition, the connection between foreign aid and tyranny, how licensing increases prices, and the existence of the market for the elimination of the state. He promotes the abolition of various state evils, particularly anti-trust legislation, transnational subsidies, compulsory licensing, and censorship. A comparison of Marx’s 10 planks for the communist state to current policies of the United States government reminds readers of the danger bureaucratic monopolization poses to civilization. Kosanke utilizes Chapter 3, “The Blackened Market,” to show the immediate negative effects of state legislation. He critiques prohibition, compulsory monopoly legal systems, central economic planning, and utopianism. A review of CIA/DEA involvement in international drug smuggling illustrates the inevitable hypocrisy of prohibition; discerning analysis of contracts, bribery, “fair” prices, and “equilibrium” economics is also supplied. Chapter 4, “The Faces of Tyranny,” is Kosanke’s opportunity to pan “free trade” agreements, price controls, the minimum wage, collectivist unions, and “full” employment. To replace those political policies, Kosanke supports legitimate free trade and price/wage/employment competition. A brief explanation of the difference between discrimination and slavery is illuminating. The highlight of Chapter 5, “The Heart of the Beast,” is the author’s dissection of the mechanics of global statist intellectual monopoly via a comprehensive analysis of disparate conspiracy theories. This chapter also explores free versus central banking, the causes of inflation, economic propaganda, and the interdependencies between finance and media and empire. Kosanke consistently chooses liberty. Section B, “Property and Order,” erects the superstructure of a free-market society. The author demonstrates that property rights create and maintain order. Kosanke proves, via empirical evidence, that the abolition of property rights destroys and corrupts order and must be prevented by rejecting statism. In Section B Chapter 1, “The Nature of Property,” Kosanke praises private security markets, non-state property ownership, population distribution based on cost of living rather than coercion, and the economic law of supply and demand. Conversely, he rebukes zoning, taxation, rent control, and, last but certainly not least, state-induced famine. A short discourse coupling lower property taxes to greater wildlife capacity is worth numerous readings. Chapter 2, “Pollution = Collectivism,” contains a brilliant passage challenging environmentalist dogma. The following sentence is my favorite: 'While it is inevitable that mankind will not be able to prevent the extinction of most existing species, he is their best and only hope.' Additional Kosanke targets include the substitution of criminal law for tort law, state “ownership” of property, “cap and trade” legislation, and federal control of transportation maintenance and improvement. Concepts positively reviewed by the author include conservation, for-profit hunting/game ranges/parks, strict pollution accountability, and user fees. Chapter 3, “The Mysteries of War,” condemns war, reflexive obedience to authority, tribalism, pro-war propaganda, the military draft, and the military-industrial complex. Kosanke exposes the horrifying consequences of statism to all societies by connecting, in my favorite portion of the book, Hitler’s Operation Himmler, Reichstag Fire Decree, and Enabling Act of 1933 to Operation Northwoods to the Milgram experiment to the War on Terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration. Simultaneously, the author recommends skepticism, political heresy, the marketplace of ideas, reason, a “no first strike” military policy, and the abolition of foreign aid as strategies to minimize war. Kosanke urges the adoption of private security, religious freedom, media deregulation, market-based crime prevention, and law reduction in Chapter 4, “The Elements of Security.” He slams, in no particular order, imperialism, democracy, the Federal Communications Commission, prison violence, and “gun control.” A brief examination of state and federal violations of the 4th Amendment confirms that the Founding Fathers were not as “paranoid” about state power as they should have been. In “Escape from Utopia,” the final chapter, Kosanke decimates any remaining justifications for the state by rejecting such philosophical absurdities as the social contract, democracy, elections, crony capitalism, “voluntary” taxation, political “reform,” the political line scale, and collectivism. He also furnishes a fascinating review of modern Japanese fascism, reinforcing the fact that political injustice does not vary with geography or race or nationality. To end his tome, the author posits the following non-political alternatives: individual sovereignty, free trade, free markets, voluntaryism, civil disobedience, tax resistance, Civil Order Pacts, and private security/insurance/arbitration. However, Instead of Politics is not, in my opinion, a work of perfection. My perusal of this opus (admittedly a Rothbardian deontological market anarchist perusal) unearthed three minor flaws. First, Kosanke’s preference to concentrate on cause and effect excludes presentation of a deontological justification for liberty. Second, the decision to provide empirical evidence rather than proselytize prevents the clear identification of the author’s preferred end (minarchism vs. market anarchism). Third, the statement in Section B Chapter 3 that suicide is “the purest form of selflessness” is a controversial idea disputed by many philosophers and bioethicists. In conclusion, John Kosanke’s new book Instead of Politics is a sweeping consequentialist plea for a free-market society. Kosanke expertly delineates the inevitable negative consequences of statism and the inevitable positive consequences of liberty. I recommend the purchase of this pro-freedom work, minor objections notwithstanding, and plan to use the author’s reasoning to fortify my intellect with powerful utilitarian arguments for market anarchism.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Some summing up points that come to “inquiring minds” regarding this thread and article. If Rand is as per Bob Wallace’s piece is a Leftie Proto Fascist and that her Objectivism leads probably to a police state and that she is rigid, and too methodological and therefore made up then what? I pointed out the same could be said for Mises and worse because his writings did not bear the fruit of anarchy till his students grabbed hold and yet most of those students broke away—shrugged-- from the rock of govt and mercantilism and fascism because of Rand and her prototyped Galt’s Gulch which had politics without govt. We are talking about an anarchic group of people AND they were not roughing it Thoreau style. Happily Harry Browne’s “How I Found Freedom in an UNfree World" actually innovated ways to live free and in a gulch OR NOT without group traps, govt trap, morality traps, utopia, Rights and treadmill traps. Whether the model is Mulligan’s (Galts’) Gulch…or seascapes etc And those same students with triple autodidact pedigrees of Rand, Mises and Browne are correcting the IP thicket as we speak. How could that be? The slippery slope of freedom and self rule--anarchy--has produced this. This is a big deal. See Mises.org on IP. This is the outcome OPPOSITE of what Bob supposes and asserts. If there is top down rigid made up “Leftie” thinking going on here it is Bob’s modeling of contradictory assumptions and trying to make something that is not. The Gulch model prototype is self reflecting, innovative and frictionless like. If Rand had to herself Shrug and innoculate herself by writing a book that worked out the kinks then look to that PROTO-TYPE. Not the proto fascist model. Unless you love to waste time... Rand’s peaceful “Atlantis” like legacy with Galt’s mirage force field is apparently still hidden. It is to George Reisman, and L Peikoff. But Harry Browne actually innovated a way of thinking that was influenced by Roarkes interest in TRADING with compatibles and living with such in a gulch or mobile gulch or on the net at Mises.org and lewrockwell.org What good is a baby? This is not a put down. Einstein was a kid once. Find out and re-think the gulch that seems to be in some minds still inutero. If Rand was so rigid? How did she end up prototyping a gulch without the need nor the interest nor the inclination of govt that some are hung up on still. Did she try to make that govt fit. Nope! And she did not re-write all her works. How dare she. She did not have the net. So now who is being rigid here? She read and re-read and wrote Atlas Shrugged to go there--that chapter--with her friends and went to that gulch—Picture Ouray Co--and lived there in her mind. She said that she was uninterested in teaching others. Does she need to insist that anarchic place held her interest most? The digital age has let us move there and communicate and divide and mix and learn. And some of us are free of the "drooling beast". As in literature and economics so in life.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    "If you’re unemployed or addicted to drugs, it’s somebody else’s fault. Laziness and self-indulgence have morphed into one big illness we all caught from mom’s sloppy butt-wiping techniques." ~ Mama Tried, You Failed by Gavin McInnes
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Michael Kleen, Still waiting for your answers to these six questions.
  • Harry Felker's picture
    Harry Felker 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Ok Kids.... First off, in her own words Rand was in Konkinite terms a minarchist, so she did believe in the necessity of a small "government". This extended to protection of physical property and IP, her argument was independent contractors for protection would consistently war, this was Mises' argument as well. Roderick T. Long destroys this logic but that is another thread all together. AtlasAkido is correct in noting Rand NEVER assumed that the "producers" would rise up as ruling elite (ala Marxist Dictatorship of the Proletariat) in response to their oppression. This is where Wallace starts assuming, but again if we examine Wallace's language (use of the term exploitation) I am unsure of the sincerity of his claim. The idea that there was exploitation of the haves over the have nots was precisely what brought about the fascist regime in Italy. tzo, Rand's malfunction was not that he was overly rigid, she became a cult of personality, a victim of her own ideas and the lapdogs who surrounded her and as such stopped thinking. This was by her strict thoughts a "mortal sin" and probably was too busy debating Phil Donahue on daytime TV to realize it.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    "Sir, a secret ballot makes a secret government; and a secret government is a government by conspiracy; in which the people at large can have no rights. And that is the only government we now have. It is the government of which you are a voluntary member and supporter, and yet you claim to be an honest man. If you are an honest man, is not your honesty that of a thoughtless, ignorant man, who merely drifts with the current, instead of exercising any judgement of his own?"
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    "No man can delegate, or give to another, any right of arbitrary dominion over a third person; for that would imply a right in the first person, not only to make the third person his slave, but also a right to dispose of him as a slave to still other persons. Any contract to do this is necessarily a criminal one, and therefore invalid. To call such a contract a "constitution" does not at all lessen its criminality, or add to its validity." ~ Lysander Spooner, excerpted from his letter to [CONGRESSMAN] Thomas F. Baynard, of DELAWARE
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 24 weeks ago
    Misdefining Liberty
    Web link Michael Kleen
    "...through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you..." ~ Peter "When words lose their meaning, people will lose their liberty." ~ Confucius (c.500 B.C.) A Final Word of Caution The language of the law is ever-changing as the courts, Congress, state legislatures, and administrative agencies continue to define, redefine and expand legal words and terms. Furthermore, many legal terms are subject to variations from state to state and again can differ under federal laws. Also the type of legal issue, dispute, or transaction  involved can affect a given definition usage... That means that the entire language of man’s so-called law, often called "legalese[1]", is built upon "shifting sand", and what are we told about the foolish man who built his house upon sand? "...it fell: and great was the fall of it." _____________________________________________________________________________ [1] le·gal·ese (lē′gəl ēz′) - noun - the conventional language of legal forms, documents, etc., involving special vocabulary and formulations, often thought of as abstruse and incomprehensible to the layman Note: It is not only "incomprehensible to the layman", but it is even incomprehensible to your lawmakers, so much so that they can no longer write their own laws.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Perhaps you should read her magnum opus. It illuminates what you are missing. Takes me out of the drawing board to the prototype that can be tested and lived and emulated… Too bad Thoreau had not had "Atlas Shrugged" under his belt. More likely he would not have returned to society. Apparently you have read a small subset of Rand's works but not all...that Bob Wallace complains are too methodological and thus too made up: A is A, A acts according to A (identity causality etc etc. Objectivist Epistemology would be a good second read) Yet Rand did not make the mistake of conflating Marxism with Galt's Gulch nor Laissez faire hands off. Mises of the Austrian school also uses a methodological approach and gave rise to Reed, Rothbard, Tucker, Walter Block, DiLorenzo. http://mises.org/daily/5158/Mises-on-Mind-and-Method They refute Keynes boom bust cycle, the Fed Reserve boondoggle and Abe Lincoln... Unlike Rand, Ludwig Von Mises had no fiction work to prototype what Rand concluded. Which was a private community…..His students took his legacy and brought that to fore. In that regard she trumped even Mises. But if we follow Bob's assertion this means Mises is worse than Rand and thus no different than Marx and Keynes because Rand and Mises hold to limited govt in all of Mises work but not all of Rand’s work. The power of the imagination is more powerful than knowledge. That is not just a saying and Einstein proved that and so did Rand (Atlas Shrugging is a very counter intuitive thing to do)--it is Peaceful self ownership personal secession requiring no govt. If we follow Bob's and your premises: since Mises had still not worked out the limited govt baby in the bath water--that his contribution to boom bust cycle is kaput null and void. And what of the work of his students? Rothbard? Kinsella? Drop by the Mises.org and Lewrockwell.com I think their anarchism has integrated Rand's prototype and Thoreau's return to society. Since he returned to a society steeped in govt compared to Walden pond does that mean that he was not an anarchist? A failed anarchist? I don’t think so. And yet in Rand's prototype community of Atlas Shrugged she drops the insistence of the govt that you harp on because it does NOT WORK and and so we have what? My say so? No. You will know soon enough for yourself. Bob's piece is ridiculous. Jefferson inherited slavery. So what. Einstein worked in a govt patent office. So what. Rand was a cudmudgeon. So what? We now know that Intellectual Property (patents ad copyright) is a monopoly mine field that held back the division of labor society. There is a thread on this blog regarding IP. Kinsella has done incredible work as has McElroy. Neither Rand nor Mises knew of it yet she intuitively started to front load her book incomes. I am going to be visiting that thread pretty soon.. And the spiral continues to…progress one step as at a time. Rand and Mises cleaned out the Augean stables--but if you ever read Atlas Shrugged you will not be in stable but a portal that Thoreau would have approved of... I will leave you with this: Villains in Atlas Shrugged are very much alive and real. http://mises.org/daily/5218/The-Continued-Relevance-of-Rands-Villains Excerpt: For instance, in Atlas Shrugged, the lobbyist Wesley Mouch decries the capitalist Hank Rearden's invention of a wonderful alloy that is stronger than steel. And last week, in the real world, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. took to the house floor to declare that Steve Jobs's iPad was killing jobs. Congress must, according to Jackson, recognize that Apple is driving companies such as Barnes & Noble and Borders out of business, and the company should be stopped in the interests of fairness. Jackson decried Congress for failing to foster "protection for jobs here in America to ensure that the American people are being put to work." It's as if he wanted us to believe the printing press was harmful to the economy because it decreased the demand for scribes. Such a condemnation of a successful business and a demand for protection of failing industries could easily have been lifted directly from Rand's novel.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Rand wrote much more than just Atlas shrugged. I have "The Virtue of Selfishness," "Return of the Primitive," and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal" in front of me. Are you not familiar with her nonfiction writing? She ridiculed the idea of not having government. Bob's article perhaps assumes the reader knows this. Is your position that Ayn Rand was for a voluntaryist/anarchist society that would forego a minimal but coercive central government? I have not read Atlas Shrugged (minus the "Ode to Money" part), and so if that is the only work of Rand one is familiar with then perhaps it gives the impression that she endorsed a stateless society. She did not. If you are interested in more specific references, I could provide them for you. Rand, in my opinion, put forth some great ideas but in the end was overly rigid and did not remain consistent in her arguments, something she did not tolerate from others.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Re tzo: As long as society has a government, then whatever "free markets" that may exist will eventually be captured by that government. Since Rand insisted that government was a necessity to society, then the end result of her ideal society would be a collection of captured markets, or fascism. When I read Ayn Rand I got that she wrote a novel about producers who walked away from Mercantilism / Fascism--they're making a movie about it. Ever heard of Shrugging? And that reality is mimicking that. Witness Steve Winn in Macau etc... I thought "Galt" refused to accept the post of ruling as an Economic Csar and explained why and was UNinterested in convincing controlling and forcing others via govt.... How does that play to your point that Rand "insisted" that govt ruling others is necessary? I do NOT remember there being NO Politics in Rand's Gulch. Was there politicians and police state apparatus in Galt's Gulch? Wanna live like that but figure statism is going creep in because you think Rand insisted on that? "Politics [without govt] is not necessarily force and fraud". How did Rand "insist" that govt is necessary in Galt's Gulch? If people want to talk about a prototype then look to that instead of conflating Marxism with galts' Gulch and Laissez faire. The prototype sits at your feet. Feel free to throw out her contribution... To see the farm is to live it. If she did not spell it out for you in her theory look to her speeches and fiction...and prototype it. But you know this? Or do you? Where in Bob's article did you read the point supporting your premise? By the speed of your post you skipped the links I provided which tells me much...perhaps you drop the Ragnar thing too? References: http://www.lewrockwell.com/holland/holland19.1.html
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    I interpreted the column as saying that as long as society has a government, then whatever "free markets" that may exist will eventually be captured by that government. Since Rand insisted that government was a necessity to society, then the end result of her ideal society would be a collection of captured markets, or fascism. I concur.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 24 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Bob's Proto Fascist posit on Ayn Rand reminds of the following hand sleight: Kinda funny how Greenspan now is " shocked, just shocked" that Ayn Rands ideas don't really work... After all these years of sitting at her feet! ' Yes, the publicity of a man who acquired his "free-market ideology" sitting at the feet of Ayn Rand and steeped in Objectivism is reported over and over by the media.... How "funny" is this? (Pronunciation: (fun'ē), —adj., -ni•er, -ni•est,—n., pl. -nies.3. warranting suspicion; deceitful; underhanded 5. strange; peculiar; odd. And how funny is Bob's piece? Let's see it thru a prism that is being played out right now so that we can get a bead on Bob's points… Yes indeed... For the media to suggest Greenspan did not operate from a "free-market ideology"--Ayn Rand's position--would throw open the QUESTION of why Greenspan blew up the banking and credit systems. It would introduce the possibility that he was prone to act as the large financial institutions would like him to act. It would also reveal the extent to which he – and Bernanke – say and do what Politicians want them to say and do.... The very OPPOSITE of what Rand's ideas stand for. The very things Rand presciently depicted in "Atlas Shrugged": government, companies and media colluding in the name of economic rescue at the expense of the entrepreneur. And Bob's points? Well they "Objectively" appear to be conflations. And they remind of the media. Most recently Julian Assange and Bradley Manning--NOT the "heroic" media--shone a spotlight on the STATE welfare-warfare-media-complex. There is a reason that “Atlas Shrugged” is becoming a Political “Harry Potter”. Ayn Rand SHONE a spotlight on a problem that STILL exists today: Not pre-1989 Soviet communism, but 2011-style State capitalism (Mercantilism / "Fascism")--with its own statist quo media and court appointed historians and its adoring stockholm syndrome patients... Bob Wall[a]ce's article comes across as a sleight of hand indeed: equating free-market "ideology"--Ayn Rand's position--as "Fascism" (the first and original "Proto" no less) and as "Propaganda". References: Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure by Murray N. Rothbard http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard183.html The Flim Flam Man An honest man cannot be cheated.... http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north138.html From Wikileaks releases, it is clear that political and military elites are over-classifying documents in order to protect their own asses. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/mason-a1.1.1.html The FED/chariman claim to stabilize the economy but actually provokes instability like the present Greatest Recession. http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/index.html 10A001: Endless War by Jim Davies, 7/31/2010 http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/10A001.htm 10A106 Victim Sanction by Jim Davies, 12/19/2010 http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/10A106.htm December 23, 2010 Interview With Julian Assange http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/73973.html How and why the press was broken and has never recovered--Tom DiLorenzo on Abraham Lincoln, US Authoritarianism Mercantilism and Manipulated History http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo186.html Amity Shlaes: Ayn Rand’s Atlas Is Shrugging with a Growing Load http://www.theatlasphere.com/metablog/820.php Grovelling at the Fed: Greenspan and Bernanke http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/sheehan-f4.1.1.html Alan Greenspan: Party Boy http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/sheehan-f5.1.1.html The Malicious Myth of the 'Libertarian' Fed http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo171.html
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 25 weeks ago
    U.S. Out Of NATO
    Web link Westernerd
    You got a problem with the French? The American government is in this war because they want to be. Because it is in their interest.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Well said, tzo, well said! I will re-read, once more, those five common-sense-articles you have taken the time to link to your comment. Thank you.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." -- Gerald Ford I think the sick mentality represented by the regulators starts in childhood, perhaps with parents confiscating property that belongs to the child. Children are wont to interpret everything their parents do as loving, because they are terrified (and justly so) at the idea of there not being enough love about. If loving parents confiscate property to teach loving principles to "inferiors," then it's a simple loving, logical progression that other children, when you are no longer one, will benefit from loving confiscation of their property. Therefore, Happy Meals have to go, 'cause just like your loving mother long ago, you now know what's best. And just as tzo pointed out in the comments, it will come back to haunt the confiscators. Reaping, sowing... confiscating, confiscated.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    “… I have long been curious as to how the "VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING MEMBERS" granted a "monopoly on land" that wasn't theirs to begin with?” Just another restatement of the paradox that forms the foundation of "just government." The citizens IN FACT cannot justly delegate the right to monopoly control of 'uge tracts of land because they do not possess this right individually. The citizens IN FACT cannot justly delegate the right to tax because they do not possess this right individually. The citizens IN FACT cannot justly delegate the right to murder because they do not possess this right individually (I forgot the authority to declare war in my list.). The citizens IN FACT cannot justly delegate the right to forcibly coerce anybody to do anything because they do not posses this right individually. The unjust organization that is government (as it currently is implemented around the world) is created by the unjust acts of its citizens. The citizens arrogate to themselves superhuman rights and then foolishly give those rights to a small group to everyone's disadvantage. Why do they do this? Perhaps they like the feeling of power that they get from being a part of such a beast. The citizen is not pitted against the government, he is a part of it. And he is willingly a part when he feels that he has a hand on one of the controls that guide Leviathan. Play by Leviathan's rules, and you, too, can rule. from http://strike-the-root.com/millions-of-petty-tyrants Perhaps they have been taught that ethics is a subjective proposition in their government schools, and so cannot see the injustice of their acts. Since no one wants to admit out loud that they advocate unethical behavior, justifications must be invented. Let’s see…if we say that ethics is purely a subjective proposition, then we can always deem certain actions ethical. Oh, I know! Let’s include instituting a coercive government as being absolutely necessary, hence an ethical action! Yes! Problem solved! from http://strike-the-root.com/failed-theory-of-relativity Perhaps they don't understand that they possess innate authority over their own lives, and the default setting is not in some bureaucrat's hands. Delegated authority is always a voluntary proposition, and it can be withdrawn at any time. It is a privilege bestowed—an extension of a natural right from one individual to another. Assumed authority is thuggery. from http://strike-the-root.com/philosophy-of-authority Or perhaps they do understand the injustice at some level, but they quickly discard it to resolve the cognitive dissonance and preserve the integrity of their own egos. They are, after all, good people. It should come as no great surprise, then, that government can best be understood as an enormous act of mass self-delusionary justification. We must act in an unethical manner in order to be ethical. Therefore we are ethical. from http://strike-the-root.com/aristophanes-law After all is said and done, if government truly is an unethical organization, then let’s not forget that citizens are part of the government. Government is an organization that consists not only of those who are "given the mandate" to assume authority, but also of all the "citizens" who support the imaginary enterprise. The citizen is just as integral a part of the definition of government as is the King, President, Parliament, or whatever other fancy label some of the participating humans choose to affix to themselves. All governments must have citizens in order to exist. from http://strike-the-root.com/theory-of-natural-hierarchy-and-government It all boils down to saying the same thing twenty different ways.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    "Rand divided people into two groups: her perfect John Galtian heroes, and everyone else – whom she described as 'sub-humans' living in 'a hell.'" I believe it is confirmed that Rand was attempting to create perfection with Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, Francisco D'Anconia, and John Galt. That is one of her false premises: looking for perfection. But the above quote -- calling all other people "sub-human" -- is there a citation for that? I don't remember that in "Atlas Shrugged," but it was more than a thousand pages. I also don't remember any effort at all on the part of any of the heroes of the story to "rule" over anyone. They were just exceptionally good at what they did and wanted to be left alone to do it. They never initiated coercion against anyone else. I disagree with a few of Rand's premises, but not to this extent. Is there any more detailed information on Rand wanting these sorts of people to "rule"?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Greetings tzo, Premise A: Government is an organization THAT HAS BEEN GRANTED BY VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING MEMBERS a monopoly on land, force, legislation, enforcement of legislation, and adjudication. I sincerely apologize for detracting from the wonderful logic of your comment, but I have long been curious as to how the "VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING MEMBERS" granted a "monopoly on land" that wasn't theirs to begin with? You may remember this[1], "Claims to land by human beings also cannot be arbitrary. X’s land resources are here for all human beings [all living beings] to utilize in order to survive. A human being may justly claim as much land as he himself can put to use, and no more." [Bracketed info & emphasis added] [1] http:// strike-the-root.com/theory-of-natural-hierarchy-and-government [Remove space, copy and paste link, if you wish to read the article.] Note to the developer; my comment was flagged as spam when I embedded this link.