Recent comments

  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day "Lackey", Well, break out the white lightening (pronounced lite'nin) and let's have a party, my friend, there's now, apparently, two of us that this makes sense to.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "If offense was taken, I do apologize." ~ Dabooda, posted on March 05, 2011 “The philosophy of liberty is based on the principle of self-ownership”, i.e. the right, or “just claim”, to one's own life. This is NOT a mere “definitional quibble”!! But I will trouble you no longer on the subject, because I have lost interest in your sophistic arguments. And, if offense is taken, I extend to you an apology equal to the one you have given me.
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "Our rights proceed from the moral code we accept", claimed Dabooda in a comment added on February 27. Not true. " 'Rights' do not exist" at all, or so claimed Dabooda in his own essay. They are Santa Claus. Maybe unicorns, too. But if Dabooda clings to the claim that "our rights proceed...", then it must be true that Dabooda is playing a wordgame called equivocation. What he really means is this: "My entitlements proceed from the moral code that I accept, and these entitlements may be changed by me at will, for the power of choice exists. Furthermore, I am free to act with respect for the individual preferences of others,....or to act without respect. Of course, this would be true even if individuals had rights in the traditional sense. But there is no such force as a natural right that will reward virtuous action, or punish evil. There is only one force in human affairs. That is the force of my individual will. If you dare to challenge it, so be it. May the mightiest will prevail." So every human is to be his or her own Elohim who harbors the sense of entitlement that is harbored by any spoiled child. Now, Dabooda pretends to oppose "various authoritarian moral systems", but he prescribes a system certain to warm the hearts of tyrants and their sycophants. And why shouldn't it? They already enjoy power and might and so are positioned very well to prevail in the contest of wills that must result from Dabooda's subjectivistic system. So what can be the conclusion of Dabooda's moral code but the intoxification of power among those who adhere to Dabooda's moral code and who acquire the might to "act without respect" for the preferences and choices of others?
  • rickdoogie's picture
    rickdoogie 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Per, thanks for clearly stating the principle, "we cannot have a unified movement spanning both proponents and opponents of this monstrosity." The real issue that defines this entire debate is the clear line that anarchists draw between legitimate, moral use of immediate defensive force vs. illegitimate, immoral use of force for various other social purposes. Minarchists do not see this delineation, they do not accept it, they do not allow it. In my experience, they throw fog around the issue whenever they debate the merits of their mini-state. They muddy the issue for themselves and every other liberty lover who is seeking to strike the root. No matter that most anarchists have previously been minarchists, and that most of us have come to anarchism via the minarchist path. I'll gladly urge minarchists to keep evolving their anti-statism, but I'm also very aware that a small "minarchist" government acts as a springboard to the very worst totalitarian state. A small government allows the market enough freedom that the state can quietly feed on massive amounts of tax revenue at very low tax-rates, eventually releasing all of that energy in an explosive expansion of state power. Greece, Rome, United States, - what other giant Leviathon states began with a nearly idyllic "minarchist" state?
  • dogismyth's picture
    dogismyth 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Yeah it was Issa and Grassley...known zionist supporters. Schapiro is also a zionist. More dog and pony. More good cop bad cop. More nonsensical actions by the hollow windbags on Wall Street and politician.
  • dogismyth's picture
    dogismyth 3 years 37 weeks ago
    In Defense of Apathy
    Page R. K. Blacksher
    Thank you for this post. I would mostly agree that doing nothing, i.e., ignoring, is one of the better solutions when dealing with this government. Of course, at some point in time, we will have to deal with the government, or certainly those hidden by the veil. This is inevitable since a world run by a fascist regime and appointed dictators will continue on without revolt from the people. People like L in LA do not like simple approaches or simple words that all can understand. We live in an egotistical society especially in America. I am better than you, and you are better than someone else...but not me! Political activism deals with the same thing...egotism. Political activism is largely constructed around issues that really are non-issues, thus the objective of activism leads to further dividing of people against a single heroic cause. One such cause might be holding the US government and its official (past and present) accountable for the illegal and contrived war upon Iraq whereupon millions of innocent lives have been destroyed. Its all fact now. There is no debate because such a debate would be exceptionally convincing that illegalities and crimes against humanity were committed. But, nevertheless, nothing happens. Why? Because it's not that simple! Well....that's what they want you to believe! And so the bombardment of propaganda, lies, fraud, treasonous behavior and cover-ups ensue so that enough folks can be convinced otherwise, or at the very least to confuse them. That's living in a complicated world. FYI - The world is not complicated! It's really very simple and prone to pragmatic solutions. The moral majority is still a minority. Until that changes, nothing changes. When your life changes, then your thought processes change also. And you begin to formulate more progessive beliefs about yourself, your life and humanity. Unfortunately, we need many more to experience a change in their life. And the change will not likely be welcomed but it will be through-provoking. And that's good. Because people need to re-think a whole lot of things about what has happen to our world and why it is this way. Civil disobediance is one outlet for letting off steam....for letting those in power know that you have changed your mind. It is a way of saying..."I stand for other things". It is a way of getting attention, and a way to instill fear into those that have done wrong on such a maniacal level. Anger is better than apathy. I know that all too well. Anger is energy. Fear is also energy. Both are better than apathy because of one simple thing....motivation.
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    * Suverans2, I'm sorry, but I've lost interest in your definitional quibbles. As we've both noted, the word "right" has about a gazillion different definitions. Your notion that only "a just claim" is the fundamental and proper one is sounding more and more like an evangelist's sermon about his One True God. i know that sounds insulting, and let me say that I do not intend to belittle your intelligence or your rationality. I do respect both. I just mean that you seem to have a fixation that I do not share, and I'm tired of it. Anything else you'd like to talk about? * I explained my defensive attitude toward the comments on this article; I didn't apologize for it. If you don't like it, my regrets. * I brought Rand into the conversation to help explain how I derive the idea of "rights" from fundamental moral premises -- which happens to be the same derivation Rand used. You proceeded to offer another quote from "Man's Rights" supporting your position; fair enough. Rand is now a legitimate part of the discussion, since we both seem to be familiar with her work on ethics and rights. My point about her not being an anarchist is a relevant tangent because her idea an objective ethics is quite similar to your own. (I won't say "identical" because I haven't read The Virtue of Selfishness in the last twenty years and no longer have a copy of it to refresh my memory.) Anyway, my point about her being a statist was intended to suggest that she suffered from what Harry Browne called "The Dictator Syndrome", a belief that she possessed a universally true vision of morality, ethics and rights which could righteously be imposed on all of mankind via the institution of government. She had to believe her own idea of "proper government" had a foundation in an objective system of ethics, else it would clearly amount to imposing an arbitrary, unjust rule over all mankind. It then occurred to me to wonder -- what is even the ultimate POINT of trying to craft an objective ethics? Men have free will, so even if you or I can come up with an ethical system totally in tune with objective reality, will all people everywhere adopt it for their own? Clearly not. We are not philosopher kings, let alone gods to coercively impose our will on others. If we possess integrity, we will each personally adopt the most rational moral standard we can conceive, and may try to persuade others to likewise adopt it. But will we try to impose it on others by force? By government? Rand was fine with that. I'm not. What about you? See, if you take away the idea that we need a government to impose and enforce ONE ethical system on all humanity, and allow competing private systems of justice to develop, the most rational system will eventually prove its superiority over all others in the free market for justice. Or so I believe. Trying to impose ONE system on the world, on the other hand, NO MATTER HOW RATIONAL AND OBJECTIVE YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE, is much more likely to lead to absolute tyranny and widespread injustice. (Which is another reason why you should read Larken Rose's book; he delves into this precise subject in depth, and brilliantly.)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, I am of the opinion that it may be someone else who is confused. In your sentence, "One has A (moral) right to do what IS (morally) right," I believe you will find that moral is an adjective[1] describing the noun[2] right, and morally is an adverb[3] describing the adjective right. What I've been trying to point out, to you, and others here, is the fundamental definition of "right" as a noun, i.e. a "just claim". I don't have a "problem" with your formulation, Dabooda, other than, as earlier stated, "the cart is before the horse", in my opinion. It is "rights", i.e. "just claims", that determine what is moral, what is ethical, and what is just. Without this critical foundational stone, "relativity" reigns supreme, which is, in truth, what has "been given a fair trial over the last several centuries, and it doesn't work". It is evidently I who need to apologize, since you point out that it was apparently only I who thought your verbiage a bit rude. Ah, so anyone who challenges "the children of your mind" are "hyenas". How dare I challenge "superior arguments"?! What was I thinking?! I extend to you an apology equal to the one you have given me. Whether Ayn Rand was an anarchist or not, adds no value whatsoever to this conversation, and remember, it was you who brought her up, not me. Oh, and by the way, you inadvertently forgot to answer this question [slightly reworded for clarity]: If we define a "right" [noun] as a "just claim"[4], would you still say "Rights are Santa Clause", i.e. that ""Rights" do not exist"? If so, we may want to end this discussion right here, since we will seemingly be at an impasse. Thank you for your very kind offer to send me a copy of The Most Dangerous Superstition, but that won't be necessary. ______________________________________________________________________ [1] In grammar, a word used with a noun, to express a quality of the thing named, or something attributed to it, or to limit or define it, or to specify or describe a thing, as distinct from something else. [2] In grammar, a name; that sound or combination of sounds by which a thing is called, whether material or immaterial. [See Name.] [3] In grammar, a word used for describing a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a whole sentence. Adverbs in English often consist of an adjective with “-ly” added, for example “quickly,” “mainly,” and “cheerfully [or, as in this case, "morally"]. [4] Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, found at noun definitions 5, 6, 7 and 10
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Derek Henson
    "Daley cited Obama plans to improve education, upgrade infrastructure, increase trade, cut business taxes and eliminate unnecessary regulations." "Unnecessary"? Few things are so humorous as a member of the political class openly confessing their crimes while talking out of both sides of the mouth, too. Tax revolt in 2012 and 2013. May Robin Hood be reapppointed.
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    * Sorry to have confused you, Suverans2. I was giving a definition of "right" as an adjective, synonymous with "moral," also as an adjective. You spent a lot of time on misunderstanding me. * Please restate your problem with my formulation: Morality >> Ethics >> Justice >> Rights. I'm not understanding your argument. Note the definitions I used way back in my reply to tzo's second comment. In YOUR opinion, which concepts subsume the others? [Note: has it occurred to anyone responsible for the design and upkeep of the STR website, how nice it would be, to be able to link to a specific comment? Check out the Daily Paul website for an example worth emulating; it does this beautifully.] * I was not intentionally being rude to tzo in saying "fancy collective noun" -- I did not expect that he would take offense for any slight to a collectivist idea. And I don't believe he did. He has subsequently revised his statement, quite properly, and I respect him for it. If offense was taken, I do apologize. * I have been deliberately refraining from comment on tzo's "Failed Theory of Relativity," and plan to continue doing so. I've read it, and agreed with little of it, for reasons that should be apparent by now. * Your feeling that I am trying to establish a pecking order is likely a result of my unforgivable presumption in presenting superior arguments. (Quoth Robert Heinlein: "When the fox gnaws, smile.") Strike that; I'm just messing with you. Actually, there is more than a little truth in what you say. But recall whose article we are discussing here. My ego is involved. When you write a comparable essay of your own, you will understand the true joys of watching the children of your mind being eaten by hyenas. See if you don't get defensive. * Ayn Rand, alas, was not an anarchist. She believed that men need governments to protect their rights for them, never mind that governments have always been the greatest violators of all rights, natural and otherwise, by many orders of magnitude. To justify the monopoly of power to be given to the rulers, she theorized an "objective" morality and "objective" ethics into being, which she claimed could be justly applied to all men, regardless of their personal beliefs about morality and justice. I could write pages on this subject, but Larken Rose has already done a bang-up job in The Most Dangerous Superstition. (Suverans2, if you want a copy,but can't get it in Australia, let me know. I can send you one.)
  • von's picture
    von 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I agree with Per on principle, however I think Michael is more realistic. I've approached literally thousands of people over the years with the anarchist message, only to be dismissed or rejected on my first attempts. It's highly unlikely (IMHO) that your going to persuade people to do a 180 paradigm shift immediately by being so blunt, even if it is accurate/true. My experience is that the vast majority of people have been immersed in a life-long government forced indoctrination (and don't even know it) and breaking that spell may take some time and effort. Some get it sooner than others. Mass mythologies don't always go down easy. ;^) Regards
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    Keep in mind that Romans 13, which was, in my opinion, intentionally mistranslated, was supposedly written by the same man who said, "All things lawful are mine, but all things are not expedient. All things lawful are mine, and I will not be controlled/governed/ruled by any"; and "You are bought with a price; be not you the servants of men"; and "... having stripped the rulers and the authorities, he [JESUS (sic)] made a show of them in public, triumphing over them in it."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, I'll 'prolly' be labeled a "tzo lackey" for this observation, but "human life", in my opinion, is not a "fancy collective noun". And stating things in a rude manner, like that, does nothing to "establish [your] bona fides as a worthy Rootster". It feels more like you are trying to establish a "pecking order", with you at the top. "Worthy rootsters", in my opinion, treat each other with respect, until disrespected. p.s. By the way, have you read tzo's Failed Theory of Relativity yet. It is well worth the read. "(Runs "Objective Ethics" flag up flagpole once again and salutes it)"
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day once more Dabooda, Let us try this. Here is another sentence excerpted from Ayn's essay entitled Man's Rights. "There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life." Substitute, first, "moral", then "just claim" for the second appearance of "right" in that sentence, and it may help clarify the matter. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s moral to his own life. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s just claim to his own life. As we can all plainly see the only way that first sentence can make sense is to use "moral claim", which, for all intensive purposes, is identical to "just claim".
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, Read your sentence with your "synonyms" inserted and you will see that it is nonsensical, "One has A moral to do what IS morally." You used (moral) as an adjective and (morally) is an adverb. "Defining "a right" as a "just claim" is fine, as far as it goes." "As far as it goes?" It is our "just claim", (read that "right"), to life, liberty and property that makes it morally wrong when someone takes any of them without our consent. Your list (Morality >> Ethics >> Justice >> Rights) puts the cart before the horse. THE SCIENCE OF JUSTICE Section I. The science of mine and thine ["just claim"] --- the science of justice --- is the science of all human rights; of all a man's rights of person and property; of all his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ________________________________________________________________________________ "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property ["just claim"] existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." ~ The Law by Frédéric Bastiat ________________________________________________________________________________ “Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.” Excerpted from Man's Rights by Ayn Rand
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    Scott, you might enjoy the essay, The Mystery of Fascism by David Ramsay Steele. It was published by the Libertarian Alliance, http://www.libertarian.co.uk/, and is a crash course in Mussolini's movement. It also unearths the roots of Fascism in the extreme left. The author, an Englishman, argues that it began as a revision of Marxism and that the Fascists eventually stopped thinking of the theirselves as socialists. In fact, Steele was once a socialist. After being mugged by reality, he went on to help found the LA and to write From Marx to Mises, which was reviewed favorably in an essay published in The Freeman. . . . Obama Derangement Syndrome. ODS. Odious. Good one.
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    * Existence does not imply purpose. Your argument amounts to: "people exist, therefore their purpose is to exist." Come on, tzo, does that make any sense? "Purpose" presupposes an entity capable of choosing from among different alternatives. Individual people can and do choose different purposes for themselves besides simple "existence." You're rapidly approaching the black hole of solipsism. * You compare mankind to a cloud of gas atoms, and use Boyle's Law as an analogue to an objective system of ethics. I see only hot air here. When each molecule may consciously choose its own direction, we'll talk about your analogy further. * I did not say human beings chose their moral codes randomly or arbitrarily. They absolutely do not. The function of morality is to guide each individual in making the choices presented to him by the real and objective world -- and objective reality is not kind to those who try to adopt random or arbitrary behaviors. * You are correct: I will not eat you in order to win this argument, because the consequences do outweigh the benefits: I fear a tzomachache. * Things that necessarily happen only inside an individual mind are by definition subjective phenomena. Morality, for example. Observations about the outside world and real behaviors are statements of objective facts -- or lies. You decide which of my statements is which. * I haven't heard the story of the turtles. Enlighten me, please?
  • wkmac's picture
    wkmac 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    Enjoyed the piece Scott. The comparison of Bush/Obama to fascist/socialist and then visa versa was both funny yet excellent analysis. I've come to see what we call socialism today as more an offshoot of rightist political structure with it's authoritarianist approach than the soft hand approach of classical socialism of the 19th century that was of the left which is of the same air space also shared with Classical liberalism, libertarianism and anarchism of it's various stripe. All 4 shared a common foe in pure statism in all it's many manifestations. Stalin and Hitler although alleged enemies of opposites were in fact tyrants joined at the hip when one looks at true end results. One could just as easily look at the bloody hands of Mao, Lincoln, Wilson, Churchhill, Roosevelt, Truman and JFK/LBJ/Nixon and see the same thing over and over again. One could also say the same of Bush and Obama or for that matter Clinton, Bush 1, Reagan, Carter. yada, yada, yada! Once we realize this, the spectrum becomes much clearer and statism and non-statism are seen in their true clarity making the road we need to travel a lot more obvious. Thanks again for a good roadmap!
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    A note on that spam filter: I've had several problems with it myself. I tried to post a link to the web address of Ed Griffin's essay "The Chasm: Two Ethics That Divide the Western World," and the spam filter nailed me. It's a big pdf file that takes a minute or two to load, so I guess that makes it "suspicious." Try taking the links out of the next post you have trouble with; that will likely solve the problem. Defining "a right" as a "just claim" is fine, as far as it goes. However, "justice" is a derivative of some specific moral system, not the other way around. Morality >> Ethics >> Justice >> Rights. Look again at the list of definitions you linked. The very first definition is "conformity to the will of God." That should be a clue: without a defined moral standard, you can have no agreement on what IS "right," no agreement on what constitutes "justice," and no agreement on what "rights" men ought to have. You are correct that i define "right" as synonymous with "moral." Further, I can and do define "rights" that way: One has A (moral) right to do what IS (morally) right. But such "right" and "rights" are meaningful only in a particular defined moral context. If you recall, this is the same derivation of "rights" that Ayn Rand used in The Virtue of Selfishness(I believe in the essay "Man's Rights.")
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    Francois Tremblay wrote, "[b]ut the accusation that Anarchism, or any other radical system, cannot scale up is nonsensical. The federative model, in which groups send representants to a higher-level group, which itself sends representants to a higher-level group, and so on, is very much scalable. THIS IS a popular form of generalized Anarchist organization, but only one of many." I added the emphasis for "THIS IS", though not for "Anarchist". [ahem] One should wonder if the highest level of Tremblay's "federative model" would be a world government. And would the highest level be dominated by a Stalin or a committee of Stalins? Whatever the correct answers, Tremblay is a collectivist, a statist, a socialist, and a disingenuous knave, as betrayed by Tremblay hisself. Also, he imagines that "both modes [cooperation and competition] of operation are scalable without limits." Here, too, he needs a reality check. The number of people is finite, the amount of work that they can do is finite, and the amount of matter, though theoretically infinite, is finite for all practical purposes. In fact, the resources at hand are so limited that a price system has developed to ration distribution and usage of much of those resources. I write "much" b/c other means, too, are used. For example, there are the communized lands of the the USA's national park system. Furthermore, experience shows that "the federative model" tends toward a Stalin or a committee of Stalins, so freedom to cooperate would be very limited in Tremblay's socialistic paradise. So, no, it's not the case that "both modes...are scalable without limits". In fact, neither mode is scalable without limits. Worse still, it seems that he thinks there cannot be both cooperation and competition at the same time, as there would be in capitalism uncontaminated by socialism. Since Tremblay is a despiser of private property and capitalism, it stands to reason that his use of “competition” is a red herring and that "cooperation" and "federative model" are code for absolute despotism, which is exactly what you can expect if Tremblay achieves his goal, "Anarchism".
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    OK "The objective purpose of every individual human life is to survive and thrive." I meant no collectivity. Every living person is living proof of the objectivity of this statement. Every action you take is purposeful, not random. And what is the purpose of each and every action you take? To further your own survival and prosperity. Are there many choices to make at every moment? Yep. Will you always make the best decision? Nope. You may make mistakes, and if the mistakes are serious enough we will no longer see you here among us. Interacting with other human beings is a part of this equation. You will not eat me in order to win this argument, because the consequences outweigh the benefit. This is logic. This is reason. Yes, any individual unit may make irrational or accidentally bad decisions and cause his own downfall. If you truly believe that the human race (yes, collectively) has stuck around and will continue to stick around because each individual is completely random and illogical in his actions, then that is a bizarre thought. Wolves are pack animals. Some will go off on their own. They may do well, maybe not. The fact remains that wolves are pack animals and if they are to continue to survive on the planet, they will, as a whole, continue to act in the manner that allows them to thrive. Humans are rational animals. Some act irrationally, often to great advantage for themselves. The fact remains that humans are rational animals and if we are to continue to survive on the planet, we will, as a whole, continue to act rationally in order to allow ourselves to prosper. Natural law is a statistical phenomenon, like Boyle's law. It is quite accurate about the collection of atoms in a contained gas, but says very little about the specific actions of each individual atom. And yet the statistical "overall" behavior of the atoms describes the entire collection that makes up the contained gas. Is Boyle's law objective or subjective? You say, "You can choose your own purpose. You can't choose mine. Or anyone else's. That's an objective fact." It is interesting that you can magically choose which of your subjective opinions get promoted to objective fact. I guess you are free to do so, as long as you acknowledge that all your declarations of objective fact are, in objective fact, your subjective opinion. So it's still turtles, all the way down. Sorry for the mess I just made on your keyboard.
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Your root error: "The objective purpose of human life is to survive and thrive." Ain't no "human life" around, friend tzo, nor any "human race" -- just us plain folks. Individuals. Each and every one of us perfectly free to choose and pursue our own "purpose." The existence of words and concepts which describe large numbers of people does not obviate the fact that only individuals actually, physically, exist -- all the fancy collective nouns are tools of thought or figures of speech, and nothing more. As I said, some moral standards and ethical behaviors are more conducive to healthy, prosperous life than are others. But I cannot impose my own preferences in this regard on others. If they choose to regard the purpose of their lives as carrying out the commandments of some imaginary Super Spook, or following the orders of some megalomaniacal human Authority -- free will allows them to do so. You can choose your own purpose. You can't choose mine. Or anyone else's. That's an objective fact. (Dabooda belches, thinks: "now tzo is in my . . . stomach," smiles benignly at a small dog saluting a nearby flagpole with a lifted leg.)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, "Define your terms, you will permit me again to say, or we shall never understand one another...” ~ Voltaire If we define a "right" as a "just claim"[1], would you still say "Rights are Santa Clause", i.e. there's no such thing as "just claims"? I think you, and perhaps many others, may be defining "right" as, "That which is just, morally good, legal, proper, or fitting," and therein lies our apparent disagreement. We cannot, however, define a "right" or "rights" that way; as can be plainly seen, it simply doesn't fit. [1] Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, found at noun definitions 5, 6, 7 and 10
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "Coercion is the method of cannibals, looters, thugs and megalomaniacs, and the fruit of its operations is widespread misery, poverty, and war. Trade and voluntary charitable works, on the other hand, lead to peace, goodwill to man, and prosperity." This is either an objective fact, or you are stating an opinion. If the latter, you may as well sit and type "Vanilla is the best flavor for ice cream" all day. Is the quoted paragraph nothing more than an insipid inanity? Knowledge, the knowing of objective facts, is hierarchical. It begins with axiomatic propositions and builds its way up in a logical chain. Concepts that are not chained to the axiomatic floor are not knowledge. I hold that the quoted paragraph is not just your opinion, but is fact. It is no more mysterious than claiming that plants that have sufficient light and water will prosper more than those that are deprived of such essentials. One condition is good (as far as plants are concerned) and the other is bad. There is nothing subjective about it—the reason plants exist is to grow. Fact. Things that aid this purpose are good. Fact. Things that thwart this purpose are bad. Fact. The objective purpose of human life is to survive and thrive. That is why we are here. In this context, actions are objectively good or bad in how they relate to the objective purpose of human life. Jumping off high cliffs is objectively bad. Pushing others off of high cliffs is objectively bad. If plunging to death were not bad, it would either be good, leading to the end of the human race, or it would be neutral, and we should expect half the population, at any given time, to take the plunge. Sure, I am using an extreme example. But if the logic holds, it should be able to be applied universally to *discover* what is good and bad for human survival. The NAP is probably the simplest, universally applicable way to express the logical manner in which human beings should interact with one another in order to ensure their survival and prosperity, which are the objective purposes of human life. There are ways to define good and bad to make them objective. There are ways to define good and bad to make them subjective. If you do not wish to use good and bad objectively, then we will invent other words that will cover the concepts. (Runs "Objective Ethics" flag up flagpole once again and salutes it)
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    Military socialism, indeed. It's one of my favorite terms, and it needs to be rubbed up the noses of rightwing conservatives as much as the leftwing ones. So, would anyone care to wager if Mr. Leave Us Alone Coalition, Grover Norquist, can be persuaded to adopt the term and to use it correctly, that is, with hostility to military socialism?
  • JoshuaPettigrew's picture
    JoshuaPettigrew 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    What I don't understand is that if they can know for sure (for that matter can they?) they are losing x amount of dollars to fraud, then why can't they just stop those payments. Is this just statistical analysis?
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 37 weeks ago
    In Defense of Apathy
    Page R. K. Blacksher
    Liberal in LA, It sounds like you need to write your own article as opposed to criticizing what appears to be a purposely simple and straightforward essay. The opening paragraph clearly set up what he wanted to express and the questions he wanted to answer: "Does political activism ever produce desirable results? Are the people who are entirely apathetic about politics more rational than the people who spend large portions of their lives attending rallies, watching cable news, and writing letters to their representatives?" I also thought Mr. Blacksher clearly answered no and no. I too prefer the bubba at the sports bar and the airhead watching American Idol who could care less about politicians and voting to the uber-activist, in your face, get out the vote statist any day. Simple point to get. By the way, these apathetic people by definition do not want to be engaged. As for the line "Ignoring the state is perhaps the best way to destroy it." Isn't ignoring someone the same as "refusal to submit"? It reminds me of Étienne de La Boétie when he said: "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces." You obviously have well thought out positions and are a good writer. I look forward to reading one of your articles in the near future.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, This, "Government" is a religion by Larken Rose, is GREAT! Thanks! It reminded me of something Roderick T. Long once wrote. "…in modern society, with its religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity, it would be much harder for any single group to demand allegiance — except for the state, which remains the one universally accepted god."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    G'day rita, You would pay, and pay double, to insure that the government schools [indoctrination centers] stay open?????????
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    If I thought for one minute that paying sales tax on my online purchases would insure that schools, libraries and rest areas would stay open or that the needy would receve health care, I would gladly pay up. Double. But I'll be damned if I will willingly contribute another cent to be squandered, as the rest of my taxes are squandered, on guns and walls and prisons.
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Morality is always and in every case subjective. That's the only way it can work, because the only place morality exists or has any significance is inside an individual mind. It is subjective by nature, as each individual must choose his own moral code, by and for himself, from among the many options open to his knowledge and imagination. "Subjective" morality is not the same thing as "arbitrary," or "fantasy"; or "anything goes!" Subjectivity means only that each individual must choose the manner in which he will relate himself (i.e. his subjective self) to a very objective real world. (Yes, I know I'm trying to make the same point in several different ways; you don't seem to "get" this, so I'm trying to clear out the fog.) Morality is not a decorative, optional accessory on a human being like a hood ornament on a car; it is every bit as essential to human life as a heart or a brain. The function of morality is to give each individual a personal guide to making the urgent and real choices on which his life, liberty, relationships and happiness all depend. It is true that people are free to adopt any moral standard they choose. They are not, however, free to escape the consequences of their choice, or the consequences of the actions they take in service of their chosen moral standard. They are not free to escape objective reality. Per your example, if you kill someone on a whim, his friends and neighbors are going to judge whether or not to allow you to continue breathing according to their subjective moral standards. Would YOU like to have a crazed murderer roaming YOUR neighborhood? Or would you hunt him down like any other dangerous vermin? Expect his neighbors to react the same way. Actions have consequences, and morality is not an intellectual parlor game. And therein lies the reason that one might prefer one moral standard to another: some moral standards lead to war, suffering, poverty, tyranny and death, while others lead to peaceful coexistence, liberty and prosperity. Hardcore masochists are a self-limiting subset of humanity, as their enjoyment of suffering usually leads to their early death. Most people would rather live peaceful and pleasant lives than violent, poverty-stricken existences. And THAT is the great hope for humanity -- not in any universal burst of enlightenment, but in the simple preference for comfort and pleasure over pain and poverty. Recall the three ethical principles I listed in my previous reply to you. Trade, emotion and force are our only options for dealing with other people. "Government" is the social system based on the ethics of force. Virtually everything a government does is done coercively, at the expense and to the detriment of the peaceful and productive members of society. And the logic of such a society is for coercive elements to grow at the expense of the voluntary elements, until the supply of willing victims is milked dry. And Atlas shrugs. Coercion is the method of cannibals, looters, thugs and megalomaniacs, and the fruit of its operations is widespread misery, poverty, and war. Trade and voluntary charitable works, on the other hand, lead to peace, goodwill to man, and prosperity. If enough people can be cured of the superstition that we need a "government" to protect us from evil men, we may have a chance to get rid of the most evil men of all: those who name themselves "government." Without millions of willing slaves ready to carry out their evil works in the name of "patriotism" or "obeying the law," they would find themselves limited to the evil they can personally carry out. And at that point it will be easy to shoot the bastards.
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago
    In Defense of Apathy
    Page R. K. Blacksher
    The author confounds political apathy with political inactivism as becomes clear during the transition to activism in the 2nd paragraph. In fact the root of "apathy" appears only four times, counting the title. Not what'd I'd expect from an essay titled "In Defense of Apathy". But there's a world of difference between apathy and inactivism, as the author nevertheless suggested, and the contrast between the title and the advocacy for inactivism in the body of the essay isn't humorous. "What I am criticizing", he wrote, "is the naïve belief that it is possible to reform the state by 'getting involved' in the political process and electing 'better people.'" Well, there's no ground for objection to that. Even if there weren't centuries of experience to entail the criticism, we would have theoretical objections to statism that can yield the same conclusion. (Granted, the statists would plug their ears under such circumstances.) Yet this essay purports to be against caring. He also wrote that "I would, of course, prefer it if people would spend some of their free time reading websites like Strike The Root and engaging in civil disobedience." I, too, but why prefer that they have any emotional or cognitive interest in STR, FEE, LvMI, LRC, lysanderspooner.org, etc.? Remember, the author is defending apathy, or so the title asserts. How to fix? A few suggestions: (1) The essay should have been titled In Defense of Inactivism. Coldhearted review and criticism by an editor might have produced just that little tweak, and the provocativeness might attract more attention from the goo-goos. (2) Give a concise defintion of apathy. The topic belongs in the essay in spite of the fact that discouraging activism is the goal. Inactivism is good; apathy is bad, esp. when almost everyone is apathetic or statist. (3) The apathetic person who is having a beer is exactly the person to engage, for that person has probably the intuition, or more, that there's nothing you can do to make government good. Indeed, fat, dumb, and happy ought not be scorned merely for being uninterested. However, if his rational ignorance, so called, is rooted in deliberate connivance, as when turning a blind eye to the fact that most team sports are reliant upon statism, then a pox be upon him. An outstanding example is that new stadium in which the recent Superbowl was played. Sure enough, immediately before the game there was not only an orgy of nationalism but also cheeleading for the cult of service. Now, when has it ever been true that sports fans tend to be neither quick to rationalize subsidizing their favorite team's stadium nor unsympathetic to nationalism? (4) Delete the last sentence, "Ignoring the state is perhaps the best way to destroy it." It's utterly implausible to suppose that a person is going to disdain submission to statists without first having an interest in what the statists, esp. their leaders, are doing. Yet refusal to submit is necessary to neutralize statism, and to have the required interest is to be not apathetic. In fact, if no statists were now acting in concert with one another, would you expect that your ignorance of their plans would hamper them? Furthermore, ignoring the state is no better way to disperse statists than it is to disperse a gang of punks in a bad part of town who invariably tend to look for opportunities in other people's neighborhoods, as I have learned while living in both Detroit and Chicago. Punks are emboldened when people turns a blind eye, and the statist punk is no different in this respect. (5) Neglect not the fact you are trying to destroy a culture and way of life that is at least a few hundred years old. Worse, it's been comingled with three, popular theocratic cults, each of which is statist and each of which is more than a thousand years old. One of these cults may be as much as 3,000 years old. And then there's Plato, not to mention naive reverence for ancient Rome, for Cicero, and so on. Need I mention relativism, subjectivism, and postmodernism, too? Like it or not, what's needed are vigorous, beneficial new plants that can both crowd out these noxious weeds and resist colonization by any similar plant. Aversion to acknowledging this fact often gets anarchists whining, but their whining won't eradicate carpets of weeds. Other opportunities for improvements should start to leap off the page, and once fixed, we'll have ourselves a nice little introduction to antistatism fit for any beginner, even a small child just learning to read.
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet... I am also put off by members of the armed forces having to pay state income tax for their home state of record (for states that have income tax) even though they may spend an entire tax year without even setting foot in their so-called home state because they have been deployed to a questionable war in a third world country. Dude. Weak.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Where do I sign up? After all, taxation (at least "income" taxation) is based upon "voluntary compliance"...is it not??? I mean, sort of like stopping at stop signs??? You know the drill. Sam
  • dhowlandjr's picture
    dhowlandjr 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    I think I'm going to be sick. Just kidding, I guess we have to have a sense of humor, but who do they think listens to this?
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Suverans2, a good day to you also. Since this was my first-ever posting on STR, I thought it necessary to establish my bona fides as a worthy Rootster: I picked you out as the most aggressive of the bunch, and gave you a fistful of sound argument mixed with deliberate mockery. Consider it a verbal rap on the knuckles for taking a supercilious and patronizing tone with me, "no offense intended." You annoyed me. I bite. Your response was gratifying, and actually fulfilled my "silly threat" to have you for breakfast. You lost face; I gained it. In the future, we shall both keep the non-aggression principle firmly in mind, hm? I don't disagree with anything you've written here about "entitlements." I was simply commenting on the subject you raised, in a general way, not on any belief you personally expressed. Do you see a disagreement between our positions in something I've written on the subject?
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 3 years 37 weeks ago
    In Defense of Apathy
    Page R. K. Blacksher
    Well done. Apathy is often underrated as an allie of anarchists. They surely don't hurt anybody else.
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Per, you nailed down a painful truth with the blunt assertion, "we are not brothers and not even cousins in the political family tree." Indeed, and every person is either a statist or not a statist. There is no middle ground whatever between the two positions, just as there's no middle ground between being pregnant and not pregnant or between 'A' and 'not A'. However, I cringed when I read the claim that "most of the time we can stand shoulder to shoulder with socialist anarchists as well." Why cringe? Because I've never met or heard of any such thing as a socialist who is not a statist of the worst kind. The socialist anarchist, so called, differs from Marxists and Leninists in terms of the means through which he would establish the paradise of propertylessness, but he is nonetheless a statist. His system can't work without authoritarianism to direct what will be done with the matter used to produce consumer goods. So that person is neither brother nor cousin. Take Francois Tremblay, for example. "Libertarian Socialism", he informs his readers, "is an Anarchist position, basically, socialism through equality instead of hierarchies." Francois is counted among "socialist anarchists". A moment's reflection about what he wrote at his blog reveals that his Anarchism is a form of statism that should be established by means other than electoral democracy. He also means that while while working to establish the communistic paradise, socialists should pose as antistatists. That business about equality is just dreamy mush. I'd much rather stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Pat Buchanan, and while doing so he wouldn't pretend to be anything other than what he is. Now, I wouldn't mind standing next to a socialist anarchist, so called, in a literal sense, as when objecting to some neocon's demands for war against the Iranians, but Pat Buchanan, too, will oppose that war. But to stand next to a socialist anarchist in a figurative sense? Sorry, but no. Most of the time the socialist is wrong, wrong, wrong, as you noted, and so perverse is its darkened thinking that little good can come from such interaction. In Tremblay's case, the darkened thinking includes sympathy for the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Again I'd prefer Pitchfork Pat's company any day. Part of the trouble here is linguistic. The word anarchist in socialist anarchist indicates a very different concept than when anarchist is used in market anarchist, and this difference exists before the adjectives are added. These two creatures are simply not two different kinds of a single more fundamental type of anarchist. The former objects to some regimes but not necessarily to all of them; the latter opposes all regimes whatever their stripe. The former craves a system that must have a central authority to manage land and the things extracted from it while at the same time prohibiting personal property in producers' goods; the latter abhors any such central authority. The former is a statist, and the latter, not. So the former is not an anarchist. In fact, the term socialist anarchist has a redundancy, for the concept of socialism is already indicated with the word anarchist as it is used in that phrase. Likewise, market in market anarchist is redundant. It would be better to abandon these adjectives altogether. When referring to knaves like Tremblay, just say "socialist" when the context is clear and "socialist who poses as an anarchist" when the context is not so clear.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    So if one person kills another on a whim, it is neither right nor wrong. Your subjective opinion may be that it is wrong, but mine may be that it is right. Since both are subjective, they are objectively worthless. However, if more people have subjective opinions that the killing is wrong, then we call it wrong. If it turns out that the victim was some poor bastard in Nazi Germany or in Stalinist Russia, then the killing was right. But not anymore. Justice has absolutely zero grounding in objective reality, and is subject to the whim of public opinion. And public opinion is purely subjective, with absolutely no relationship to objective fact. Human reason is a superfluous human feature that can shed no light on the matter. Everyone since Hume knows you cannot derive an "ought" from an "is." To me, this seems a poor and inadequate description of reality. I wrote some about it here: http://strike-the-root.com/failed-theory-of-relativity and I have been collecting up various books, articles, arguments, threads and such, but until I can point to a cohesive argument of my own that resides in one place and covers all this material, I can only say at this point that I disagree with ethical relativism. I believe there is a set of objective ethics, and that oughts naturally flow from ises (How does one pluralize "is?"). I just cannot put any stock into the idea that justice is a completely subjective concept. Posit a human society that is completely neutral toward or actively encourages random murder. Then posit a group of wolves that live in trees and eat berries. There is an objective reason why these things do not, and have not ever occurred. The argument for objective ethics must involve a careful, step by step examination of reality and clearly-defined, objective definitions of words, especially value words like "good" and "bad" in order for the case to be made. I'm gonna take a whack at it someday.
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Sure, you have the moral right to consent to your own governance. You just don't have the right to consent to mine. But as long as your governance depends on your own continuing voluntary consent, it's actually not "governing" at all. The crux of the matter will come when you decide to withdraw your consent, but your master declines to release you from service. That's when the real "governing" will start. People give such consent in a limited way all the time when they accept employment. You agree to follow "the boss's" orders and obey his rules. But what happens when the boss unilaterally decides to change the terms of your employment, or gives you an order you are not willing to follow? You quit the job. But suppose the boss says, "I do not allow you to quit. If you stop working for me, I will hunt you down and lock you in a cage, and shoot you dead if you resist." Now you learn what "governing" is really about. And of course, this is EXACTLY what real governments do. They arrogate to themselves the right to unilaterally change the "laws" they expect their subjects to obey, and they enforce those "laws" at gunpoint. I suspect you might enjoy Larken's book even more than I did; he does support the idea of natural rights in it. Funny thing, though: he and I have discussed that subject, including my "Rights Are Santa Claus" essay, and he pretty much agrees with me that they're bogus. Same thing happened when I sent it to G. Edward Griffin (Must Read: "The Chasm: Two Ethics That Divide the Western World," which begins on Page 9 of the pdf -- Google it) -- Ed said he just couldn't "sell" a philosophy of liberty that didn't utilize "natural rights." I wonder how many other stalwart defenders of "natural rights" actually believe what they're saying, and how many are simply pandering to a popular superstition that supports their agenda. And a good day to you too.
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    (1) The objection, "coming from one narrow, uncompromising view", is an attempted poisoning of a well with inexpensive innuendo, but 'tis no substantive criticism whatever. (2) "My disagreement has always been with its practical application." What is "practical application" when you are the one digging in your heels, like any obstructionist, and refusing to budge? (3) "I believe that the way you frame your argument..." Ok, reframe it. Then we will see if you understood it, much less read it. (4) "... makes it impossible for you to ever see any progress toward your goals". The first goal is to persuade statists, all statists, that they are wrong, but you are plugging your ears while at the same time playing the false friend with "I won't argue...". Now, read "[t]his does not mean that anarchists and minarchists should refrain from cooperating on issues, and I have been very clear on this throughout my articles." (5) Be mindful of your split infinitive. The marker, "to", must precede immediately its verb, which in English is usually the 1st person singluar. An infintive, however, is a noun, as in "to be is to take a firm stand." Take a look at Per's essay, for example. He didn't split a single one, and English isn't even his mother tongue.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    jd-in-georgia: "...I know this sounds weird and maybe irrelevant to some of my fellow Root Strikers..." Sam: I'm Israelite (NOT "Israeli" or "Jewish"), and know well the Book from which you quote. Turns out it still remains an all-time best seller hands down in the Western World. It's sold in dozens (perhaps even hundreds by now) of variations of versions and translations and renditioning (generally to benefit the dogma of the specific guru at the head of the particular "religion" publishing it). But the Book has become so sullied by the thousands and thousands of religions laying claim to It that many anarchists and libertarians have seen no other option than to reject it out-of hand. Classic Orwellian obfuscation. The Book is a call to anarchy. It is about government -- from stem to stern. Its subject matter is at the heart and core of the debates we have surrounding libertarianism, liberty, mini-anarchism, etc. Its ascribed Inspirer at the very outset is reported to have given the first created human beings a set of Laws (later inscribed as a contract with their progenitors upon two tablets of stone) and told to avoid the temptation to develop their own ideas of "knowledge of good and evil". "You can have government Of The Creator, By The Creator, and For the people!" Along came the first recorded politician, incorrectly and poorly translated "serpent" in many renditions. He, and later his offspring until right here, right now, was able to convince them, "...G-d lied! You can have government of the people, by the people, for the people...!" And so we have The State. And Debate. And misunderstanding of just how "mini" is mini-statism. Sam
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    I propose that the US military execute one American citizen for each "collateral damage" war death that occurs, just to be fair. Make sure you register your family for the lottery drawings.
  • Possum Living's picture
    Possum Living 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Wow, this guy makes absolutely no attempt to hide his bias, does he? "Never mind the economists, most of whom say an economic death spiral is exactly the worst possible time for government to cut spending." Yeah, and never mind the fact that if you only ask Keynesian "economists", any time is the worst possible time for cuts on government spending. By this statement, Rall ignores the very existence of Austrian-school economists, who have been saying all along that taxation and government spending is the cause of the economic death spiral. “GE is so good at avoiding taxes that some people consider its tax department to be the best in the world, even better than any law firm’s,” reports the Times‘ David Leonhardt. “One common strategy is maximizing the amount of profit that is officially earned in countries with low tax rates.” Exactly. And bravo for GE. People are always complaining that corporations are shutting plants down and outsourcing goods and services. I wonder why that is? Appropriate a larger percentage of their profits, and see what happens. France has been finding this out for several years now, although they haven't learned anything from it either.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Per, as usual I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in this and your previous great essays on the subject. I'll repeat: you are an inspiration to me and countless others on our journeys to sovereignty and freedom. You are absolutely correct that this is perhaps among the very most important subjects with which we as freedom advocates should harmonize. You have done excellent work in bringing this to the table for rigorous discussion. There is NO SUCH THING as "smaller government". The State, by its very nature, can NEVER be "downsized" (not by all the Ron Paul's in Texas, bless his mini-statist heart). Mini-statism is like mini-pregnancy. A "Libertarian" political party is an oxymoron at best, an absurdity on down the scale. The problem that often tarnishes anarchism debates is that each proponent if she's not careful will want to argue from a position of enforcement: "...how are 'we' going to impose liberty and freedom upon ALL???..." "How will 'our stateless society' deal with crime and property and boundary disputes???..." In my 74 years I've finally developed an appropriate response: anarchy works just fine. For me. But that's because I'm free -- a sovereign state. And I didn't even have to move up to New Hampshire (or is it Vermont?). I believe you can be sovereign also. But that might take a while, depending upon "whom you is". Sam
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 37 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    "But that’s just the beginning. Wealthy individuals are nothing next to America’s money-sucking corporations", Ted Rall wrote about a wealth tax on individuals. Now, why would a lefty stop there when complaining about corporations? It's no secret that everyone of Rall's malevolent ilk thinks that corporatist capitalism is an organized crime racket that's sponsored and subsidized by government. In fact, their belief is correct, even if the motivation and reasoning that got them to the conclusion are faulty. So does Ted Rall call for abolition of the racket and, in the meantime, reduction of dependency upon it? Well, no. So, what Rall really means when he hollers for taxing the rich and their corporate businesses is just this: "I, Ted Rall, want my cut of the fruits of crime that is organized by government." The fact that Ted is a bleeding hearted do-gooder, a Robin Hoodlum, who would redistribute the loot to alleged victims can be no objection here. Rall wants his cut of the action, and that's that. Yet he has a PR problem. Solution? Appoint government as his favorite charitable foundation, both to collect from the donors and to pay the hungry tapeworms. Then, to make a living from it, publish a lot of fluff in which he calls for perpetuation and extension of the clever racket. Somehow, this has managed to remind me of Walter Block's recent rationalization of Ayn Rand's taxfeeding parasitism. Note Walter's claim that "of course, she never came within a million miles of doing any such thing" as "ever contribut[ing] money to the semi-socialist-fascist government". So Ayn Rand, alleged victim of moochers and looters, never paid taxes yet availed herself of wealth redistributed by moochers and looters. Ted Rall and Ayn Rand make for strange bedfellows, yet bedfellows they are nonetheless.
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Greetings, Per. This is the point. This is the perspective. I don't know when or if people will move past the idea that we must "institute" government. However, the idea that we could pull it off as a species needs to get out there. Anarchy must be a good idea because no energy or money (taken from the masses) whatsoever is spent by the government to explore the notion that government in itself may not be necessary after all. As a budding Christian Anarchist/Free Market Anarchist, I often find myself going back to scriptures when I witness the political turmoil happening all over the world. I am only going to say that what I believe works for me. I am not here to recruit, proselytize, or preach. Yet, whether one believes in God or not, in 1st Samuel, Chapter 8:6-18, most people can see that the Baron Acton quote on "Absolute Power" is found right there. The idea that we can go back to a time with no "king" (by king I mean government), is not impossible. For me anyway, this political dilemma found in the Old Testament is shown to be resolved in the New Testament. The kingdom of the God I am seeking is within me (as found in Luke 17:21). I know this sounds weird and maybe irrelevant to some of my fellow Root Strikers, but is not this what real freedom is all about? On an individual basis, do we not look inside ourselves when we need answers to the really big questions? May it be good, that whatever it is that drives us to be part of the solution to this worldly governmental quagmire so that we (me and you... not a president, king, parliament, congress or prime minister) can do unto our neighbor as we would have them unto us. Do we really need a government to do this for us? Are we that inept as a species? I don't think so.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 37 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I won't argue with the logical consistency of your argument. If you take all your premises to be true, your conclusion makes sense. So you're presenting a perfectly sound argument coming from one narrow, uncompromising view. My disagreement has always been with its practical application. I believe that the way you frame your argument actually makes it impossible for you to ever see any progress toward your goals.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day again Dabooda, Just beginning to read the two excerpts you posted on the Daily Paul and wish to ask a question. Larken, evidently wrote, "Since these two -- consent and governing -- are opposites, the concept of "consent of the governed" is a contradiction." Does this mean that an I do not have the right to "consent", for only me, to be "governed" by another? If so, who says I don't have that right? Gotta go to work, now. Have a great day. Suverans2
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 37 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, Good to see that you are apparently through with the name-calling, e.g. calling those who happen to agree with me on a particular point, "lackeys", and me "Suvie". That, and what appeared to me to be a silly threat, "Suvie, you shall be the first breakfast", are what prompted that "chick" to salute you. You wrote: "...nor does it create an obligation (i.e. an entitlement) on anyone else to defend my supposed [sic] "right" for me." A definition of ENTITLEMENT 1 a : the state or condition of being entitled : right ~ Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition Strange, but I don't recall ever saying that because you have a "just claim" to your life, liberty and justly acquired property that it "creates an obligation on anyone else to defend your 'right'", only that you are rightfully "entitled" to defend it. If you are a murderer you are not rightfully "entitled" to defend your life, notwithstanding you may try, which is why rational men will not assist you in your defense. Please, show me where I might have even inferred such a thing. Perhaps you think it was here? 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. But that certainly doesn't sound obligatory to me, does it to you?