Recent comments

  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    As The Washington Post remarks on GMOs [genetically modified organisms], "You can't recall them the way you can a car or a plastic toy. They're out there for good. And no one knows what their full impact will be."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "That men should take up arms and spend their lives and fortunes, not to maintain their rights, but to maintain they have not rights, is an entirely new species of discovery..." ~ Thomas Paine
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Debt Madness
    Page Mark Davis
    This is a good essay, Mark. It covers well the economic interrelationship between production and consumption. You give good links to further enhance the reader's understanding, and you expose "fractional reserve" for what it is. You quote Claude Frédéric Bastiat and his vision of plunder -- all debt is plunder except (as you point out) that which individuals incur with the full intent and capability to repay as agreed. All government debt is plunder pure and simple. Sam
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Greeting, Rootsters! Welcome to my company! Is a great honor, I assure you. I am stranger here, eager to learn your fascinating primitive customs and rituals! I become stranger and stranger as you get to know me, ha! We shall be great friends, have breakfast together! Suvie, you shall be the first breakfast. “Rights” are a concept describing and sanctioning a person’s freedom of action in a particular context. (Quoth St. Ayn, more or less.) I am perfectly happy to speak of “moral rights” in the context of a particular moral code. “Legal rights,” “contractual rights,” and “property rights” are also meaningful, in their appropriate contexts. What I do object to is the use of “natural rights” (or human rights, god-given or inalienable rights) outside of any defined moral context. Those of us who accept the non-aggression principle as a moral good mean one thing when we speak of “our rights,” but people whose guiding moral principle is “obedience to authority” – and there are a LOT of them – mean something else entirely. In their eyes, it is “right” to “obey the law” and absurd to think one could have “a right” to “break the law.” And if “the law” sanctions a violation of something you believe to be your “natural right,” so much the worse for you. Likewise people with religiously-defined moral codes may believe that “right” means doing whatever God prescribed, in the Holy Book of their choice, and they believe that they have “a right” to do so. And no doubt devout Environmentalists believe they have “a right” to do whatever they think will scratch some troublesome itch on Mother Nature’s backside. Context! You wrote: “Rights are not weapons of force with which to defend one's life, liberty and property, they are what justify, i.e. make just, one's use of force in defending his/her life, liberty and property.” I absolutely agree. My point is that ideas about what constitutes “right” or “justice” are not universally agreed-upon. It happens that you and I most likely agree about what constitutes “justice,” and “morally right.” I would have no trouble recognizing and respecting the principles you name your “natural rights.” I call them moral rights, derived from our shared ethical principles, i.e. the Non-aggression principle. But out there in Real Peopleland, the game is played by other rules. You may not like that fact, nor do I, but, our preferences are not the law of the land, or even the “natural law” of the land. Out there, people believe all sorts of absurd things to be “their rights.” You prefer your own definition, of course, and would clearly like to proclaim yourself the universal arbiter of unquestionable truth and official definer of “proper” definitions. You apparently have lackeys among the Rootsers who are willing to cede you that title. Nups, I don’t think tzo. Rootsters! Where’s the chicks?
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    HA! When HELL is full the dead shall walk!!! Here is the real story of Marco Polo and the zombie. I was traveling to Xanadu to meet with the Great Khan with my faithful guide. We had just passed through the city of Kan-Chau and night was descending upon us. We decided to set up our tents and rest the night, for we could not make it to the next town, Etzina. We built a small fire to keep warm and went to sleep. A few hours later, we were awakened by a rustling and moaning in the bushes. I sent my guide to see what sort of animal was in distress. It was a man! He had been injured and was bleeding from wounds on his arms that looked as if he had been mauled by an animal. His clothes were torn and stained red with his blood. The man fell unconscious when my guide helped him over to our fire. We cleaned and bound his wounds while he slept. We waited until morning to see if he would awaken, but he did not. He had expired over night. We said a prayer for him. Then we commenced to dig a shallow grave to save the unfortunate man from eternal damnation. Midway through our digging, we heard a moan. Had we mistaken this man for a corpse? I would have sworn to the Great Khan himself that the man had been dead. My guide bent over the man to check on him. Suddenly, the man took the guide by the shoulders and tore out his neck with his teeth. As I stood horrified, the man continued to devour my guide as the lifeblood poured over his face. In a panic, I looked around for a weapon. I took my sword from my pack and stabbed the man in the chest. He barely looked up from the guide, exhibiting not even discomfort from the mortal wound. I stared in disbelief, not knowing what to do. I freed my blade from the monster and decapitated it with one swift stroke. His body stopped moving, but the head still bit and snarled at me. I buried the corpses and hurriedly left, wanting to get as far away from the horrific scene as possible. I took the monster’s head with me as a gift for the great Khan as a sign of my loyalty. I wrapped it up in many layers of cloth. When I arrived at Etzina, I purchased a glass jar to carry the monster’s still animated head in. After a long and arduous journey, I presented this to the great Khan. He was very pleased with it and left it on display for all to see. http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Survival-Guide-Complete-Protection/dp/14000...
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Your mastery of the English language clears up the subject once again.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    I knew that it wouldn't be a problem for brother. Thanks for weighing in.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, Meaning no disrespect, but it is obvious, after reading your contribution, that you have no idea on Earth what a "right" is, and therefore cannot possibly know what its purpose is. So, let's start at the beginning, with what a "right" is, and, what it is not. A "right" is a "an interest or title in an object of property; a just and legal claim to hold, use or enjoy it, or to convey or donate it, as he may please[1]", plain and simple. All living beings have a "right" to their own life, liberty and property, which means they have a "just and legal claim" to these things. Rights are not weapons of force with which to defend one's life, liberty and property, they are what justify, i.e. make just, one's use of force in defending his/her life, liberty and property. As an example, if you steal Paul's automobile, you will not be "justified" in trying to defend your possession of it, because you do not have a "right" to it, i.e. you do not have a "just and legal claim" to it. And, you will not find any honest men who will assist you in defending your possession of it, because you do not have the "right" to possess it without Paul's consent. Paul, on the other hand, will be "justified" in using whatever force is necessary to regain his property, because he does have a "right" to it, i.e. a "just and legal claim" to that automobile. And, he, hopefully, will readily find honest men, should he need them, who will assist him in taking it back, because they know he has a "right" to it, that is to say, he has a "just and legal claim" to it. Are we on the same page, so far, Dabooda? Or, do you, (and apparently B.R. Merrick and Paul), still deny that you have a "just and legal claim" to your life, liberty and justly acquired property? [1] Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1324
  • ard1984's picture
    ard1984 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    We'd all be zombie food while the political system debated the civil rights of zombies.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    ROFLMAO I love it...and I haven't even read the article yet! But, "seriously", doesn't it make you wonder how a democratic/progressive/collectivist/communitarianist/socialist/communist society would handle that "real-life", (would that be a "real-death"), situation?
  • ard1984's picture
    ard1984 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    I particularly liked Michaelangelo's take on the Zombie Apocalypse. Haha! That was more amusing than I thought it'd be.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    ...and humans.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, If you take the time to carefully analyze and intelligently answer Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's very logical questions, i.e. "...how is this aggression if we do not have a concept such as “property rights”? What, exactly, am I aggressing against?", it will take you a giant step in the "right" direction. [Pun intended] It's really all about "property rights", that is to say, "a just claim" to one's property, (and no one else's without his consent), and a man's life and liberty are just as much his "property" as all his tangible (touchable) possessions are. What we have all seemingly forgotten is that, because they are our "property", we have the prerogative to "convey or donate [our life and/or liberty], as [we] may please." In other words, you have the right to "subject yourself to the dominion of a government".
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    That's okay GeofferyTransom, a higher percentage than that don't even know what an "angel" actually is, "a messenger". AN'GEL, n. [L. angelus; Gr. a messenger, to tell or announce.] 1. Literally, a messenger; one employed to communicate news or information from one person to another at a distance. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Yeah, Dabooda, and while your there be sure to read all the comments as well.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day B.R. Merrick, Empathy???? Sympathy, would be the discovery channel, i.e. I know how you would feel, if such-and-such were done to you, because I know how I would feel if it was done to me. It is understanding what you do not want done to you, against your will/without your consent, that brings to light to you what you should not do to other men against their will/without their individual consent. This is how natural rights are discovered.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    I second the "Yeps", tzo.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Mark Davis, I'm here, brother, and I have weighed in. And, by the way, I don't think defining what rights are is problematic at all. A "right" is a "just claim".
  • GeoffreyTransom's picture
    GeoffreyTransom 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    In response to the author's point >>"What are we to put in place of belief in rights? The ethics of non-aggression, peaceful voluntarism, and free trade." Tzo wrote >"The ethics of non-aggression, peaceful voluntarism, and free trade are Santa Claus." I think the point that the author was trying to make is that notions of 'rights' (which I happen to believe in) are taken as an underlying rationale for voluntaryism, but should not be; that is, that it's mistaken to view the proscription against doing unmerited harm to another's property as something that stems from the existence of his/her/its rights. In contrast, the author offers "non-aggression, peaceful voluntarism, and free trade" as a set of behaviours which, when observed widely, will result in a society in which unmerited harm to others will be minimised. It's a 'stocks vs flows' idea; we may or may not have a stock of 'rights' - and whether we have them or not, they may be meaningless if we are not able to prevent them from being infringed. However we can - with probability 1 - participate in ongoing activities that embody values which will result in a reduction in unmerited harm to third parties. I'm one of the 'rights exist ex nihilo' types, but life shows clearly that vermin like Cheney, Obama, Blair and all those who live in palaces at our expense, have no qualms about using the machinery of oppression to take whatever they can whenever they feel like. Likewise, they have no trouble finding corrupt vermin like Yoo, Bybee, Scalia and so forth to give a pseudo-intellectual fig-leaf to their rapine... and of course they have their sturmabteilung at the bottom - scum like Lon Horiuchi who will kill women and children for their masters. So as the author opined - the existence or otherwise of my 'right' to not be interfered with is not even an interesting philosophical discussion in a world where Obama can decide I'm on his 'extrajudicial assassination' list, and send some tard like Horiuchi to mess up my life with a .50cal and a warrant signed by the likes of Gonzales, Roberts or Alito... or disappear me into the American Gulag wherein I can be tortured to death and some subhuman scumbag like Yoo will write an essay about how that's just jim-dandy and Constitutional and all legal-like. As to the idea that defence of one's rights is tantamount to 'defending a fantasy' (as Mark Davis opined); History shows us that people defend delusions and fantasies all the time - from the most idiotic blather about some jealous, stupid, genocidal Sky Wizard, all the way through to primitive stupidity about 'nation' and 'volk'. In fact one of the precursors (arguably a necessary condition) for atrocity is a group who can be made to believe something absurd. We have gotten past the stage where we behave ourselves because of a fear of Hell, and where we think that the beauty of a sunset is down to God (at least that's the case in the developed world - not in the US where 68% of people think that angels exist in real life). The next big idea that people need to internalise is the old idea of 'gains from trade' - that voluntary trade results in two winners; that obtaining one's desires through contract is efficient (as is truth: that's the only reason to value it above alternatives). To me, the author seemed to be making a perfectly sensible point about the pointlessness of being surprised that there is a subset of humanity who choose - quite deliberately - to attempt to live by parasitic means, and that they routinely do unmerited harm to us in the process. To re-frame Diderot for the 21st century: "Man will be free when the last politician is bludgeoned to death with the severed arm of the last police sniper."
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "... Or perhaps misunderstood and misused?" Yeps.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    So if a group of people organize a society and agree that everyone is entitled to live without being aggressed against, what do you call that concept? Right is a commonly accepted term, but you can call them "natural constraints" or whatever you want. The point is that we must have a term for this concept to even discuss it. Defining what rights are can be problematic, but mostly a matter of semantics. Freedom, liberty, love and hate are abstract concepts that are even more difficult to define. Do you consider the abstract concepts that these terms represent to be fantasies too? Of course the way some people may interpret these terms (falsely) can be considered fantasy. Does that make them useless terms? Or perhaps misunderstood and misused? Where are you Suverans2?
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "I don't know anybody that considers the concept of rights to be equivalent to some kind of force-field." In my opinion, most people think this way. Proof: They act surprised or outraged when government or some individual tramples a "right". In fact they act surprised or outraged when someone even questions a "positive right", which wouldn't be the case if people thought of rights the way you do. Also, the whole notion of a government protecting rights, while commonly held, is utterly ridiculous and just proves people have no logical concept of rights. "So what am I defending? A fantasy?" People who don't believe rights exist, or that they are not a useful concept, don't even talk about defending them, since they don't have any to defend. They just act according to their will (within natural constraints, if they have any sense), and get around obstructions to that action however they may.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Guest
    Word. It will be interesting to see how the Chinese handle their first recession when their current real estate boom crashes. I'm guessing they will blame it on the USA, with good reason. They may want to foreclose on us (stop buying T-bills).
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    This seems like a long, repetitive strawman argument to me because I don't know anybody that considers the concept of rights to be equivalent to some kind of force-field. As Tzo so succinctly pointed out, right is a term used to describe an abstract concept. What I consider a very useful abstract concept, like the number 7. I appreciate the intention of "keeping it real", as they say, but how do we discuss or even ponder the potential ramifications of, say, non-aggression, without abstract terms to form a philosophy with? Abstract concepts need not be fantasies like Santa Claus. Santa Claus was created and is generally understood to be a fantasy. The term right evolved as a universally accepted term to describe a concept where people organize social behavior based on commonly accepted parameters. Just because someone violates or doesn't recognize my right to not be aggressed against, doesn't mean that the concept doesn't exist. It does mean, as you accurately pointed out, that I must be ready and willing to defend my rights. So what am I defending? A fantasy? So the term does seem to have some usefulness. Still, I did like the article. Keep at it.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    I totally agree, Tzo, I couldn't have said it better myself! Although I will say that I thought this column was well written and a good inaugural contribution.
  • Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's picture
    Plant Immigrati... 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Tzo, very well said. Peace, liberty, freedom, these too are all abstract.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "What are we to put in place of belief in rights? The ethics of non-aggression, peaceful voluntarism, and free trade." The ethics of non-aggression, peaceful voluntarism, and free trade are Santa Claus. So it's turtles, all the way down. How about just considering rights as what the ethics of non-aggression, peaceful voluntarism, and free trade logically define? This set of empirical norms is how the human race continues to exist. They have been discovered, and are not analogous to Santa Claus. Yes, they are abstract. You can't touch or see them. But then, so is the number 7. But these types of abstract concepts map onto existence in a useful manner, and are eminently practical. They can be used to make useful models to explain the world around us. The numbers do not exist in reality, but only through the ability of the human mind to create abstractions. Same with rights. Same with Santa. The difference comes in their usefulness in describing reality.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    "Government can only do two things: It can beat people up and kill them. Or it can threaten to do so. When it seems to be doing something else - for example, handing out money or, say, surplus cheese - what's actually going on is that something has been taken away from one set of individuals by deadly force or the threat of deadly force, a hefty middleman's fee deducted, and whatever is left thrown to peasants delighted to receive stolen goods." -- L. Neil Smith
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    How did people deal with this issue before they thought they had rights? It's pretty easy, actually. You don't have to have a PhD to figure it out. Dabooda has the correct fix on reality: "There is only one force in human affairs. That is the force of individual will. Freedom is a choice, not a right." Excellent first article, by the way! See also my article, "Life Without Rights": http://www.strike-the-root.com/life-without-rights
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Maybe it doesn't need to be called "agression," if that word no longer has any meaning absent "property rights." I would think all you would have to do is ask yourself, "What kind of thug does this to another person?" Humans possess empathy, which is a natural phenomenon. The mere mention of someone's house being bulldozed, absent any conception of "natural rights," is enough to make me angry. I call it agression, and perhaps agression, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, perhaps not. "Your choice to carry a gun or to avoid dark alleys will be of infinitely more use to you than your 'right' not to be mugged." This is the crux of the matter. I see this article as another affirmation of our common humanity, as a reminder of how little we need systems of coercion to prevent future bulldozings. Most people would never bulldoze, and once they wake up, perhaps, as is now happening with sudden ferocity across the Middle East, they will realize their full potential as members of the human race and put a stop to the bulldozing, agression, or violation of "natural rights," however one wishes to phrase it. It all comes down to the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you wish to be treated. Never bulldozing another individual's house goes without saying, if the Golden Rule is practiced. This rule is not based on "natural rights," but empathy. I'm sure Suverans2 will be stopping by, and I'm sure things will get a lot more interesting then. :)
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Actually, most people are simultaneously statists and anarchists. They both advocate the state, and advocate against it. It's been noted over and over again that the average Joe, in his daily life, acts as an anarchist. This problem exists not only for terms like "anarchist" and "statist", but also "conservative", "liberal", "libertarian", etc. All almost meaningless. A pencil is a pencil, a car is a car, a rifle is a rifle. But a "conservative"? Good luck!
  • Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's picture
    Plant Immigrati... 3 years 27 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    This is an interesting article. It is valuable to question long held ideas. But I do have a question. In the absence of the concept of natural rights of one kind or another, how would one define “aggression”? For example, if whilst you were away from home I knocked down your home and built a bypass through it with my yellow bulldozer, how is this aggression if we do not have a concept such as “property rights”? What, exactly, am I aggressing against?
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    People should be aware that children sentenced to adult prisons spend almost all their time in solitary confinement. By the time they turn 18, they're not fit for anything BUT life in prison. In some civilized nations, solitary confinement, even for adults, is considered torture. In fact, if you or I treated a dog the way these monsters treat our children, WE'D be in prison.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Right now, somewhere in America, a gang of jack-booted, ski-masked, heavily-armed police thugs are kicking in someone's door and sticking their hands in someone's private places. All across this great country, thousands, tens of thousands of us are being forced, at gunpoint, to urinate in front of strangers. For decades, the vast majority of Americans have not just tolerated, but supported, the raping of suspected drug users by government agents. To keep you safe from people who never, ever, posed any threat. Now YOUR bodies are being invaded. And I'm supposed to be outraged on your behalf? Why, because you're an elected official? I would laugh, but I'm way too angry.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences." ~ Harry S. Truman Well, it's raining here, so you are stuck with me. Before saying "there is no such thing as a statist", or before we start accusing others of being "statists", mini-, midi-, maxi-, or anywhere in between, perhaps we should heed Voltaire's warning. "Define your terms, you will permit me again to say, or we shall never understand one another..." Definition of STATIST : an advocate of statism ~ Merriam-Webster's 2011 Online Dictionary, 11th Edition Definition of ADVOCATE 1 : one that pleads the cause of [statism]; specifically : one that pleads the cause of [statism] before [strike-the-rooters] 2 : one that defends or maintains [statism] 3 : one that supports or promotes the interests of [statism] ~ Ibid. [Definition adapted for this particular topic.] Definition of STATISM : concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry ~ Ibid. Now that we know there is such a thing a "statist", let's look around to see if there are any of these dad-blamed "statists" here at Strike-the-Root, and proceed from there. Show of hands, please, are there any here who "advocate...concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government". Now, we just have to sit back and wait for the hands to go up. [Whistling "Dixie"[1] whilst I wait for the hands to start flyin' up and wavin'.] [1] "Whistling 'Dixie'" is a slang expression meaning "[engaging] in unrealistically rosy fantasizing".
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    As we near the end of Black History Month, I find it ironic that while focusing on the strides toward racial equality that the government claims to promote, there is no question that children are being educated (or rather conditioned) into the cult of the state, where the state rules supreme. If you think that you have freedom, look at these aerial photos of a prison and a high school and tell me that we have not reached true equality, if only by ensuring that we willingly fund governments that systematically process the populations of prisons and schools the exact same way. Image of Pelican Bay Supermax Prison Image of Auburn High School We may as well tell our kids to look forward to building license plates as inmates of a prison, or working in a cubicle as an employee of a cold, corporate-statist system that truly looks at the vast majority of its citizenry as slaves. This current two party monopoly running our country see this as a win-win because the poor will not get poorer and the rich will not get richer. It only matters that the state promotes the collective-hive mentality that it does so well. Go to work collating the financial report or stamping out a license plate... then return to your cubicle or return to your cell, respectively. It is a tragedy that the kids of today will have only the choice to either sell their soul to the state, or have it taken from them.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    G'day Michael Kleen, If, as you claim, "...99.9% of us live in a "state"", where do the remaining .1% of us, who are not consenting members (citizens/subjects) of the fictional "state", live? All taxes are voluntary. If one voluntary chooses to be, or remain, a member (citizen/subject) of the “state”, one is a “taxpayer”, i.e. “one is subject to a tax on income”. If one voluntarily chooses to buy something at the store, which must pay a “sales tax”, because it and its owner(s) is/are voluntarily in bed (incorporated) with the “state”, then the store owner generally passes that cost on to the voluntary purchaser of his goods. Most of our friends and relatives are members (citizens/subjects) of the “state”, which is why “most of us probably got an education[sic] thanks to the state[sic]”. (Actually, any thanks for our INDOCTRINATION should go to the MEN and WOMEN who are who are members (citizens/subjects) of “the state” who pay “property taxes”, if I understand your system correctly.) But, what does that have to do with being a “statist” or “mini-statist”? Why, for goodness sakes, do you believe that an “anarchist”, which I define as, one who does not consent to be ruled by “the state”, has to “live in the woods somewhere” or he/she is a “statist”, which, according to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 11th Edition, is “an advocate of statism”? That is one heck of a stretch, in my opinion, Michael Kleen! Your point in all of this, if I am not mistaken, is to satisfy, in your mind, that you just don't have any choice but to be a member (citizen/subject) of a “state”. That's all well and good for you, Michael Kleen, but, hopefully, you won't mind if those of us who DO NOT CONSENT to be members (citizens/subjects) of “the state”, strongly disagree with that premise.
  • Guest's picture
    michale (not verified) 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Guest
    best root strike by far. right to the core of what makes this system unbearable- central banking
  • Guest's picture
    fewgewee3 (not verified) 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Guest
    so well written. this should definitely take first prize
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    I'm no fan of public education, but where are the parents of these children? How can you NOT notice that your kid can't read?
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Headlines here are calling this woman a "border activist." To me, border activists are the people who risk jail time by providing water to immigrants in the desert. But I guess that if people who hate freedom can call themselves "Minutemen" and "Patriots," they can call themselves anything they want. But if you want to get away with murder, call yourself a "peace officer."
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 27 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Very powerful article. And being written in 1969, it doesn't even begin to address the armed guards, surveillance cameras, lockdowns, strip searches, random drug tests, visits from drug dogs and "zero-tolerance" policies that constitute a major part of today's public education. My kids used to complain that their schools "looked like prisons." In the ten years between my youngest child and my oldest grandchild, however, the schools have actually BECOME mini-penal institutions. And not one kid in 100 could tell you where Vietnam is.
  • Guest's picture
    antistater (not verified) 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Marcel Votlucka
    This article is well written. We should all stand up against those that are raping us a dollar at a time. Great article. This writer should be a winner, where do I vote?
  • Guest's picture
    henry57 (not verified) 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Marcel Votlucka
    Wow! This article is amazing! This guy should win the contest!
  • New World Chaos's picture
    New World Chaos 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Will Groves
    It is even worse than this: the psychopaths have a (non-supernatural) hive mind called Satan. Long ago, perhaps shortly after the first states emerged, evil reached a critical mass of interconnectedness and became self-aware. Whenever one act of evil or corruption inspires another, that is one of Satan's synapses firing. Wherever the system seems designed to give psychopaths a route to power, profit and Darwinian advantage, that is Satan tilling his fields. When power corrupts one who was genuinely good, that is Satan assimilating a soul. (Using Satan's methods means channeling Satan, and he always finds a way to pervert good intentions). Whenever a spectacularly byzantine plot like 9/11 actually works, that is because it was planned by a hive mind that is far smarter than any individual human. When a lie is so clever and comes from so many directions that almost everyone believes it, that is Satan's Matrix at work. There is no individual psychopath at the top. The Rothschilds/Illuminati probably know what they are a part of, but most people (even presidents) are unwitting stooges. Misguided do-gooder control freaks are the worst, because they are willfully blind to the truth. Most non-psychopathic leftists, bureaucrats, cops, and Christians fall into this category. Satan's neural pathways have metastasized even beyond good people's minds and are now expressed in the financial system, law, and bureaucratic structures. Anyone who suppresses his sense of moral outrage because "The Law is the Law" is listening to Satan. Anyone who votes for greater state power as a defence against Satan's poverty and false flags is channeling Satan. Anyone who uses fiat currency or pays a loan is giving Satan power and influence. This includes me. One solution is to withdraw our consent and burn down the whole rotten system. Satan is 100% parasitic. Everything he has, we have given him (usually willingly). Another solution is to create a hive mind of our own, one with much faster reflexes. I think this is ultimately what the internet will become. Imagine 100 million vigilantes and hackers from 4chan and Anonymous, all with telepathic internet implants, peer-to-peer wireless and automated face recognition software!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    dhowlandjr, posted on February 21, 2011: "...It's simply impossible to impose a voluntaryist (or anarchistic, or simply correct) viewpoint on others. We all have it, it's a basic part of our nature and our survival mechanism, and the degree to which we suppress and ignore it is the degree to which we allow or cause our own enslavement...." Sam replies: Your comment, as I see it, is the solution to the debate. Do you ever wonder, dhowlandjr, if anybody is listening??? The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "But the moment the 3 refuse to allow the 4th to decline their offer, and instead hold the election anyway, with the expressed intent to enforce the results on the 4th owner's property as well, they have, by their action, formed a state. They have extended jurisdiction of their monopoly of decision making by fiat. The fact that they can't "pass" any of their rules does not change the fact they fully intended to enforce any rules voted on; imposing them on the 4th, unwilling owner." "Formed a state"? Or at least recognized its existence? Yes. Oh, you were thinking we could become free by convincing the three to give up the state. Good luck on that. Let me know when you've convinced everyone in a state to not have a state. I will be happy to move there. Getting back to the planet Earth, though, I'm thinking there may have to be a few intermediate steps before we get to that happy condition. I'm less interested in theoretical objections such as you raise, and more in things like "How can I stay out of jail?" "How can I keep the money I make?" That sort of thing. That, and demonstrating to statists (many of whom will be interested) that a free community actually can exist, and prosper. Oh, and I'm not only so easy-going as to accept a legislative or electoral recognition of my community's freedom. Hell, I'll even not mind it if the ruling class outlaws us completely - as long as they are too scared to actually come in and do a Waco on us, for fear we will retaliate in kind. In this world, it is good to keep one's standards low. Their leaving us alone may be grudging (and I'm certain it will be at first), but that's good enough for me.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Rob has a page about submitting articles, just follow the directions there. I can't guarantee he'll take yours though. ;-)
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Don't forget that one of the ruling class's primary tools is "divide and conquer". Calling virtually everybody our enemy just plays into that fact, makes us easy to conquer.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 27 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Is Per recommending we go around calling those who advocate (or even just perceive as legitimate) monopoly government "enemy" to their face? I see no proof anyone is suggesting such a course" Well, he did entitle his article with exactly that! You don't think minarchists come around here at all? It's not as if it was a quiet conversation, for private consumption only, between two anarchists. "But the assertion remains, while people advocate, or even passively accept aggression against others, they ARE the enemy of their fellow men." "Passively accept"? That's a pretty positivist view of anarchy if you ask me. No one has any obligation to protect me from aggression, but me. No one becomes my enemy if he refrains from that. I thought anachists believed that no one owes them anything. "Advocate"? Yeah, if they understand what they are advocating. Note, the government takes great pains, through government schooling and propaganda, to ensure the average Joe does NOT understand what statism boils down to. Government could not exist without euphemism. "We can't write that taxation is theft, because that would alienate IRS agents (and their families/friends)." Oh, heaven forbid we should bother an IRS agent! I mean, here is a person who clearly IS an enemy, and you are suggesting I am saying we should not annoy even those who are enemies? Sorry if you got that impression, but I am not saying that at all. "It's a place where people speak their mind and present ideas without apology." I don't argue this because I think it unnecessarily hurts people's feelings (although it does that), or because it is a tactical mistake (although it is that too), but because it is wrong. Minarchists and even other statists are not per se our enemies. We can be free in a world, outnumbered by statists, as long as they see fit to leave us alone (which many are willing to do).