Recent comments

  • BrianDrake's picture
    BrianDrake 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Isn't it more accurate to use the word "aggression"? It is the non-"aggression" principle, for starters. Out of deference to your semantic tastes, I'd be willing to refer to the NCP in a conversation with you, but I think most abolitionists/anarchists/libertarians/voluntaryists (whew...it's getting to be a chore to write those synonyms out, and I'm not being comprehensive) are more familiar with the NAP. I have never been able to think of (or hear put forth) a justified form of aggression. I have been able to conceive of justified "coercion". For example, if you are on my property, and I ask you to leave, if you refuse, at some point I may be justified in "coercing" you off my property. That is, I may "persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats" (my dictionary's def of "coercion") and be completely justified since you are invading my property, the continued act being a form of aggression against me. Reasoned escalation to the use or threat of violence is coercive, but since it is defensive, it is not unjust. There's not usually such a strong need for nitpicking semantics. But I think in this issue, the easy answer is the consistent use of the word "aggression", which one can always oppose without caveat.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    From STR submissions guidelines, number 2. "STR is a market anarchist site, so please do not submit any columns that promote the political process, a political party, voting, "good government," the Constitution, lobbying "your" Congressman, or technical, legal arguments against the income tax (only moral arguments), or that mention or imply physical threats to government officials." So that should clear that up. Your opinion that it is impossible to make progress by making and spreading principled arguments against government is duly noted. The stupid public cannot be educated. The political process must drive them to virtue through force. I happen to disagree, and I don't mind agreeing to disagree, as it is quite possible you are correct. We'll just have to wait and see. But here you are, contributing to a market anarchist website (apparently unbeknownst to you) and you demean the very spirit of most of the writing that is contained therein. All the archives of columns that reject the Statist assumptions and promote voluntary association are just a collection of worthless musings that have no connection to reality. Mental masturbation. Because these columns do not promote the political process, the only way to get stuff done in this world. I don't have a problem with principled human beings attempting to use the political process as one means of increasing liberty. Personally, this does not interest me, nor do I think it is an effective use of time. Murray and Lysander both thought that voting could be used defensively. They figured that if you're entangled in an inescapable web of coercion, you may as well take what the State gives you and use it to your advantage if possible. But you see, there is a HUGE difference between principled human beings who thoroughly understand the subject of freedom, who will try anything to increase freedom, including trying to influence the hated, violent, and omnipresent institution of government to that end, and a person who believes the ONLY way to move towards freedom is through Machiavellian wheeling and dealing and compromising via government. The former may use politics to increase freedom while the government exists, with the goal being to end the government. The latter relies on politics to increase freedom with the goal of keeping the government in place. The basic incompatibility of government and freedom is ignored, and he refuses to see the logical impossibility of the stated mission. Rothbard's and Spooner's great contributions live on not through what they did in politics to change the system, but in their contributions of thought that continue to undermine the bad meme that is government. Neither man accomplished squat through the political process. And yet it seems your opinion would be that only their political involvement was practical and useful, while all the rest of the volumes they wrote on human freedom was just so much mental masturbation, contributing nothing to furthering the cause. Education is the key. It is the only answer. It is happening all around you. So many people have never been so directly connected with so much information available to them before. There is no precedent. The government meme will not just disappear tomorrow, but that does not mean that it is not steadily losing its credibility. Lose it, don't use it.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "Just because someone is not your staunch ally that doesn't make them an enemy" -- I agree, but I must say you've written some commentary about Assange that seems to take a different view.
  • rickdoogie's picture
    rickdoogie 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Thanks Per. Great job stirring up lots of excellent commentary on the subject. It's a raw nerve, obviously. I agree with your sentiments. Minarchists can be the most rabid defenders of the state, when they are long-time defenders of that wheel-spinning paradigm. I agree with those who say that we shouldn't be openly hostile to those who are "minarchists in motion", taking logical steps in our direction. The trick is finding out who is a die-hard statist minarchist, and who is still moving. Not an easy thing to judge on the fly. But we must continue to insist on our right to opt out of their mini-state. That usually makes them show their true colors. Minarchists who I am acquainted with like to say "I believe in non-coercion", but will continue to say "everyone has to participate to make the minimal state work". They haven't realized the basic principle that "the state is force". Even very intelligent (and very gentle) minarchists seem to have this blind spot in their psyche. I agree with Glenn and others who say we need to keep pointing out the coercion that a minarchist has to advocate in order to hold his logical position. Stir up that cognitive dissonance. Bring to boil. Stir continuously.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I have always been under the impression that STR is open to everyone who is for liberty, even if that means a restrained state or small, constitutional government. Quotes by "minarchists" like the Thomas Jefferson are rotated across the top of the page every week. You quote Rothbard, but Rothbard spent his life working with parties inside "the system". He was a member of the Libertarian Party and he initially supported Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign in 1992. Are you going to throw Rothbard under the bus too?
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    The following episode of South Park should explain why we are not as advanced as we should be. You see, it's all about the Space Benjamins: South Park: Pinewood Derby (Season 13, Episode 6)
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    jd-in-georgia, that is a GREAT comment. My comment below about using "coercion" as a modifier when speaking of the State, or government, or socialism, or the elite (i.e., the ones who use corporatism and other State coercion to achieve their goals) is aimed at exactly what I believe you're talking about when you describe "turning a light on" in people's minds. Hammer it home, everywhere, all the time: COERCION is what we object to; COERCION is literally a crime in human terms (and typically also in the legal code); COERCION is what turns civil society into a fascist nightmare or other tyranny. Focusing on anything else just gets people to waste time on side issues, while making it harder for them to see the main point. Likewise (speaking here not to you, but generally): for god's sake, let's stop using "anarchy" as a descriptor for the movement. Yes, yes, it's accurate and it's THEIR problem that people don't understand the word. Except that isn't really the case, is it: if 98% of the public believes that anarchy = "violence and chaos", then all we are doing is marginalizing ourselves further every time we use the word. We are choosing to fail, and I mean that literally. I want to abolish the use of initiated (i.e., non-defensive) coercion OF ALL TYPES and BY ALL PERSONS AND GROUPS. If that is what you want also, please consider using "abolitionist" and "abolitionism" as (accurate and with positive connotation) descriptors for yourself and for the movement to abolish coercion.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Nice column, Per, and you're making an important point about the non-aggression principle -- although you don't mention it by name. I believe that and other choices in wording impede your message. What is "government"? Well, there is individual self-government -- freedom, in other words. That's the kind of government we want. Auberon Herbert, the classical liberal who wrote the excellent "The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State", advocated a government that did not tax, nor enforce its will on people in any way. Of course, that's not a "government" of any kind that people would recognize, but it does -- in classical liberal fashion -- acknowledge that there are things which need doing. We NEED air traffic control, roads, and garbage collection -- we just don't need to use a coercive mechanism to fund or operate them. I use the word "coercive" as a modifier for that very reason. "Coercive government" is very different from individual self-government. "Coercive socialism" is nothing at all like the voluntary socialism you might find at a monastery or commune. And the "coercive elite" are definitely NOT in the same, RESPECTABLE category as a rich/powerful person who earned or inherited his/her money without coercion and who does not use State coercion to line his/her pockets or to otherwise coerce unearned priviledge or wealth from the people. It is COERCION that is the problem, and until people get clear on this, confusion will reign. I would love to see abolitionists (see my "Call me an Abolitionist, Please" for why I don't use the word "anarchist" http://strike-the-root.com/62/allport/allport4.html ) start to regularly, consistently use the word "coercion" as a modifier whenever talking about the State or those who avail themselves of State coercion to achieve their goals. I don't think anything else gets the message across so clearly.
  • GeoffreyTransom's picture
    GeoffreyTransom 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    It seems to me that Michael (Kleen) was making a reasonable point, but was using the inflammatory language that is now expected in all internet-based interactions. I hate the phrase 'mental masturbation' so much that I hope that I will never be found to have used it, but doubtless I have. Also, you're off-base in your analysis of what happened in Egypt; the people didn't 'ignore' the government - they took concrete action and OPPOSED the government: refusing to observe a curfew is not 'ignoring' government. If hundreds of thousands of Yanks decided to give up their Ritalin/Adderal/OxyContin induced haze and occupy the National Mall in DC, they would not be 'ignoring' the government. Furthermore, as with all operations against an oppressive and brutal regime with its cadres of thugs... it was not entirely non-violent. A lot of media were perplexed as to why the police and Mukhabarat disappeared completely on the 29th of January. Here is a partial explanation: as Anonymous shut down the Egyptian government's web-presences on the 25th and 26th, it also managed to back-door the Ministry of the Interior. It obtained lists of undercover police and Mukhabarat - their names, addresses and telephone numbers. (By the time it was realised that the regime had severely curtalied internet access, the job was already done - so Anonymous stopped DDoS on .eg government sites). From there a small campaign happened on the night of the 27th, where extreme violence was done to several Mukhabarat people and undercover police. Targets were selected on teh basis that they were known (1) unmarried and childless; and (2) violent assholes committed to the regime. Thereafter, in the wee small hours, a few dozen folks made a few hundred of phone calls to the families of about 15% of the people on the rest of the list, telling them what had happened to their comrades and that their identities were compromised. From there, the 'bush telegraph' did the rest. The men who worked for the regime did a cost-benefit analysis regarding their work, and factored in two things: what if the regime fails, given that I am now known to be a collaborator? And lo, 'truancy' (lol...) became a problem for the police and security forces. So all the media falderol about how the Egyptian uprising was entirely non-violent are like the people who watch a swan move - apparently effortlessly - across a lake, oblivious to any action under the water. There is not a single government on earth whose information security is what I would consider satisfactory; this is why the US is so keen to try to convince other despots that it backs, that it can put out any further spot-fires... but about a month ago the US govt had to repatriate 400 people from CIA 'front' companies as a result of a leak that they were told about. The stark reality is that the bad guys (the State) know that this is a game for keeps; they risk being demoted to the same level as senior Church figures were after the success of the Liberty of Conscience movement. Now we might think that such a change only means fewer palaces and less power... but people like Cheney, Blair, Obama and their ilk are prepared to set the whole world ablaze in order to prevent their share of the pie from falling. They would rather that the pie shrank and their share grew, than the reverse. It is all about how they're wired; they gain utility from the gap between themselves and the average, over a much larger range than normal humans (everyone wants to be better off than the average, but there is a diminishing marginal utility for us... but NOT for 'homo cheneyensis').
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    As Albert Einstein so eloquently stated, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result. The great "experiment" started by our founding fathers is coming to an end. Why? Because in practice and in principle it has been tried over and over, long before the inception of the United States, and has always ended in failure. Governments, fiat currencies, and all of the things that make the world go around are doing just that, not unlike the vortex in a toilet sending human waste into oblivion. If only one idea here (like in the movie "Star Trek: First Contact" when Captain Piccard is explaining to Lily, a person from his past, that money, along with hunger and many other nasty things, no longer exist in the future) or one idea there (like the Christians that Gandhi said do not exist would actually start existing) could perhaps turn on lights in all people, regardless of personal beliefs and backgrounds, to facilitate a very real change. That is the day I hope for. It is the day where individuals learn that using competition as a tool to hone cooperation (instead of just competition alone) actually gets all people moving forward, yet each person gets to maintain his or her very own identity. It will take time. It will happen. It takes people like those who immerse themselves into the articles on Strike the Root. It takes people who actually read all sides of an argument. It takes people willing to be pro-active and not re-active. As a species, we have not really changed much over the past few thousand years, if you only look at the DNA. But when we look at some of the technologies that have been around for a relatively short period of time, I hypothesize that we are the only creatures on the planet that can evolve by choice. The time to evolve out of petty politics is at hand. Just my opinion.
  • GeoffreyTransom's picture
    GeoffreyTransom 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I'm in two minds (at least) about Mr Bylund's rejection of minarchists as 'fellow travellers'. Ideological purity is a decent idea, but then you risk shouting and waving your arms in obscure bits of the wilderness. There is the whole 'babies and bathwater' issue... plus, if some larger group gets the stone rolling in the right direction, the hope is that converts flock to the voluntaryist standard, the stone continues to roll (gathering, as the crones say, no moss) all the way to the Final Solution - the genuine Abolition of Slavery. To expect to penetrate the public consciousness endogenously while having a 'correct line' view of one's associations, seems a tad irrational; it puts too great a faith in the power of reasoned argument (and the ability to gain access to the eyeballs of the as-yet-unconverted). Most people are amenable to being bored off their gourds over coffee or beer (people tolerate me banging on about stuff like this all the time), but will not deliberately click a link to be hectored. Personally, I started my university life as a dedicated hater of politicians with zero held opinions about the State except that I hated the people who led it. Public Finance gave me an idea of sensible justifications for a minarchist state; public-goods (and asymmetrical publicness arguments), diminishing marginal utility of money and so forth. Fortunately at the same time I was studying 'Comparative Economic Systems' and saw how, under almost all State configurations, the Party as rent-seeking 'candidate rationer' comes to pervert allocations - so my disdain for politicians was validated. Later that same semester, I read some Rothbard at the behest of Ross Parish - and understood the inherent wrongness of state compulsion starkly for the first time (other readings for Parish's class included Spooner and Nock). I have been voluntaryist ever since - although I quite liked 'Sortition' as a possible intermediate step (which I tried to get called 'Randomocracy' after a paper from the 1980s... but Wikipedia-nazis called that a neologism). ANYTHING to get professional politicians out of the human species (including Assassination politics, if necessary - all violence against State organs is inherently defensive). So anyhow... my 'journey' took place over about ten weeks; from not caring but hating the bullshitters (hat tip to Prof Frankfurter for making the word 'bullshit' academic) to hating the entire State edifice for sound theoretical reasons. In a sense I was very lucky though; since then I have found precious few other 'trained economists' who have had similar exposure to material that I read and enjoyed as an undergrad. The only common ground we share tended to be the mathematical smart-assery of Varian (for micro), Blanchard&Fisher (for macro), Mishkin (for monetary), Caves Frankel & Jones (for Trade)... and the electronic wonderlands of of econometrics and CGE modelling (which are my primary fields of 'expertise', by the way). Look at the news lately; the media cannot get its head around the following ideas - * that Anonymous is leaderless (genuinely); * that the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings did not happen due to some leadership council or other manifestation of an organ of control; * that Wikileaks only has a 'spokesman' because it knew it HAD to in order to get media attention. (I know something about all three organisations, and about how the media has tried to get anyone to say 'I am Anonymous!' or 'I am a Wikileaks insider!' or 'I am one of the folks on Twitter who exchanged DMs with the co-ordinating committee for the Egyptian revolution!'; anyone who put their hand up is a bit-parter who wants their Warholian 15-minutes). If the media can't get their heads around genuinely leaderless orgs, how can one expect the Mass man to do so? That is why outreach - beginning with our minarchist chums - is required. The media were DESPERATE to find ANYONE who could be labelled a 'leader'; all props to Wael Ghonim, but he was just a participant in the majestic wave of public protest in Egypt. Likewise Julian Assange - who should always be referred to as the RELUCTANT public face of Wikileaks. And as for Anonymous? Expect Us.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Logic is mental masturbation. Ethics is mental masturbation. Truth is mental masturbation. If you cannot compromise your principles, you are stroking yourself. Here's a wild idea... I'm picturing it now... a website designed to educate people so they can understand the principles of logic and ethics and truth. If enough people begin to be exposed to these good ideas, then eventually they may become the majority. Maybe the website could be called, I don't know, Strike The Root or something catchy like that. Oh, wait, we already have one like that, but it is populated with losers who get their kicks through fruitless mental masturbation that ultimately will lead nowhere. Teach the people to work within the system to change the system. Yeah, gotta keep the system. Put on your loud plaid suit and oversized political button and get in there and compromise, champ! There's this little country called Egypt, perhaps you've read of something going on over there? It seems that the people's opinion seemed to change rather quickly in regard to their government. Where was the compromise? Did they violently strike down the government? No, they basically ignored it until it left. Perhaps they should have taken your council and compromised their way to a better life over a span of a couple more decades? Now I doubt they will prevent another government from moving in, because as you said, most people still cannot imagine a government-less society, but one of these days in the not-too-distant future, enough people will understand not just that government-less society is possible, they will choose it because they understand WHY it is logical and ethical and proper. This wacky internet thing, through which you and I and others opine, is spreading ideas faster than anything that has ever come before. The good ideas are going to prevail, and the bad ideas will be put aside. You see, we actually are doing something here, even as you epically fail to realize it, and it is going to be much more effective than pulling levers and making deals with sociopaths that promise to limit the body count to 10,000,000 instead of 100,000,000. You see, I don't see that kind of compromise as progressive or as being the realization of anything positive. I find it disgusting and revolting. The State is a killing machine, and I hate the State. http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html So, Michael, please outline the plan you have for your lovely government to pay for education, social security, welfare, infrastructure, or anything else after your bankrupt system has no money that anyone is bound to respect. This was the point of the post previous to yours. And if you don't have a detailed answer, you are just engaging in mental masturbation. And if you do have an answer, it is based on violence. And you are OK with that, it seems. Funk dat.
  • Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's picture
    Plant Immigrati... 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I think alliances with minarchists are valuable for at least three reasons : 1. Many minarchists later become voluntaryists or anarcho-capitalists – ESPECIALLY if they have lots of contact with people who reject the state entirely THROUGH strategic alliances. I know this personally – I once was a minarchist. 2. If such alliances can – at minimum – protect basic freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly etc., we can continue to express our views without [as much] fear of prosecution. 3. The fact is, living in a semi-free society is far more pleasurable than living in a society like North Korea, Cuba or Saudi Arabia. If working with minarchists can help stop us from reaching a state like the poor folks in those countries have I am more than willing to work with them.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    By taking the most extreme position possible and then rejecting any alliance or cooperation with anyone who doesn't agree with you, you are basically condemning your ideology and movement to utter failure. No one has ever succeeded in bringing their political thoughts into realization without some kind of compromise - There are just too many people who disagree with you. The only way a minority has ever held sway over a majority without compromise has been through brute force, and that's out of the picture, obviously. It's one thing to opine on the Internet about your beliefs, but if you make it impossible for you to make any progress toward their realization in the world, then all you're doing is engaging in mental masturbation.
  • D. Saul Weiner's picture
    D. Saul Weiner 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Regarding your comments about the extreme scenario posed and how would a free society ENSURE that such and such a problem would be addressed in a satisfactory manner: I don't think that anarchists should go on the defensive here. In such a challenge, there is an implicit premise that the State can somehow GUARANTEE that it will address all manner of problems indefinitely in the future. But we know that not to be the case. How will the State take care of the old/sick/disabled/children etc. when it has gone bankrupt? How will it take care of us all when it has destroyed the private economy, once and for all? How will it take care of us all when it has destroyed the currency? These are the types of questions we should be asking in response to a challenge like this.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Paul, I had to go back and read through the article again to see how you got the impression that Per wanted to kill anybody and I don't see it. Just because someone is not your staunch ally that doesn't make them an enemy, much less someone that should be killed. Per said that he is "attacked" for taking a stand on a principle that they profess to adhere to, but obviously don't. I have felt the same frustration. That doesn't mean he wants to "impose" anarchy on anybody either. Any libertarian who truly believes in the non-aggression principle and takes it to its logical conclusion, must conclude that the state is by its very nature incompatible with that principle. Having Goldilocks arguments about what size government is "just right" totally misses the point. It is also counter-productive and a waste of time because such a professed libertarian either doesn't truly believe in the non-aggression principle, doesn't understand logic or are too afraid to admit the truth. If people who say they believe in the non-aggression principle still cling to the myth that "we must have a state", then I will continue to try to point out the error of their logic. But if they attack me for it when their cognitive dissonance results in emotional overload, I won't hesitate to call them for their cowardice on it either. Hopefully that will help them get over the hump, but no killing should be necessary. I agree totally that our goal should be to "insist that people let us be, in our own free communities. Nothing more." That doesn't mean we should roll over and let ministatists continue to push their logical inconsistencies and/or cowardly conclusions down our throats when confronted.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    My perception is the reverse. I see quite a few minarchists predicting a breakup of the US. Pretty sure I've heard Ron Paul talk about it. And lots of liberals want this too. I don't think you can throw every statist into this category of "enemy", not even close. And even those who do think that the US should not break up, are often easily shaken off that position, because they've never really considered it, and never realized the advantages that could accrue. Anarchists are not the only ones who hate Washington DC with a passion.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    "The purpose of demoralization as part of ideological subversion is to make your enemy unsure of his own ideology, of his own system of government, and perhaps even to work against them." Um, with a quibble about the word "enemy", isn't this what anarchists are trying to do? Get people to question their ideology, their system of government, and perhaps even to get them to work against it (by escaping their chains)? Just wondering... As to leftist history, here's another interesting one that Rob linked to: http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory205.html
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    If the current US minarchists continue to insist that the entire US land area is "their country" then that is a problem. There will never be any free societies until government organizations relinquish land, since they currently control all of it. Not all minarchists are the same, but I would venture to guess that right now the vast majority aren't willing to shrink "their country's" land area to the limits of the collection of just land titles made up from willing participants.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    So, Per, what is your solution? Kill all the minarchists, as well as all the socialists, conservatives, liberals, and so forth? You are making an implicit assumption here, that the only way to live is either within a completely minarchist state, or a completely anarchist un-state (or completely liberal state, etc.). This simply is not so: http://www.strike-the-root.com/what-is-to-be-done-with-statists Minarchists per se are not the enemy, and statists are not all the same. There are statists who will leave us be, and other statists who won't. The latter are our enemy, no matter what label they use for themselves, and the former are our allies. In fact, even anarchists, who insist the world must be completely free, are our enemies. People will come to accept freedom in their own good time, in their own way, not by having it imposed on them. They will do it when they see anarchism works. But that will never happen if anarchists turn everyone into enemies. Stop whacking our natural allies. It is counterproductive to the cause of freedom. We should insist ONLY that people let us be, in our own free communities. Nothing more.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Wikileaks obviously did not cause these revolutions (straw man) but were a factor: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/01/15 http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/02/wikileaks-exclusive-book-ext... http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11653.shtml http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/08/world/middleeast/201101208... Not that these revolutions are done. Currently they are just up to their old tricks, trying to install another sock-puppet. We'll see if Egyptians fall for it. It may be that the puppet regimes stay in power until the economic situation destroys the Empire. As to Lady Gaga CD's, I'm not an expert on music CD's but one can certainly put an ISO on a CD without closing it for further writing. Puppy Linux even has an option where you can run it from CD and subsequently store further sessions on the same CD: http://puppylinux.com/multi-puppy.htm
  • rita's picture
    rita 4 years 10 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Bad grammar, bad writing style, great essay. Every cop in America today came of age during the so-called "war on drugs." Every cop in America today joined the force knowing full well that doing so meant becoming a soldier in what is, in fact, a war against the people. And you don't wage war on people to help them or to protect them. You wage war on people to take what they have or destroy it. And that's exactly what they do.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Ron Paul and the minarchism crowd is a nice first step in extracting people from mainstream thought and politics. It should be the beginning of a logical questioning process, not an end or a means to an end (same thing). If the logical process leads to the conclusion that less government is better, then zero government must be the best. This is the big hurdle to overcome, and only some will make it. So yes, those who ultimately end up permanently camped in the Ron Paul zone are not "getting it," but as long as the Ron Paul zone exists, it will be a wake up call and a launching pad for those who ultimately pursue the minarchist meme to its logical conclusion. Those who obstinately stay in RP World and believe it is the end-all are every bit the enemy of freedom as any democrat or republican. Leave them alone and help along those who are open to the next step.
  • JonCatalan's picture
    JonCatalan 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I understand the article's overarching message, but I think it misses some of the benefits of a "union" between libertarian minarchists and libertarian anarchists. Practically speaking, the transition between a statist society and a stateless society will probably not occur within our lifetimes, and more likely than not it will be some sort of progressive transition (not necessarily peaceful, and not necessarily easily to track, but what I mean is that the transition will take time). In the meantime, I am ready to settle for smaller government, even if the eventual end that I strive for is a stateless society. Towards the intermediate end, smaller government, a union with libertarian minarchists is indispensable, because it provides a larger political front by which to express one's ideas. It's also worthy to consider that libertarian minarchists are only one step from accepting anarchism. The anarchist movement today is largely educative, rather than an activist movement. Converting a libertarian anarchist is probably going to be easier than converting a socialist, or a convinced democrat or republican. It makes sense to include minarchists into your circle of friends, thus opening them to a much wider spectrum of ideology and literature. This is why I like the current division of labor developed on the internet. You have online communities (let's say Cato) that are willing to open themselves up to all forms of libertarians, and even moderate Republicans. It opens these people up to a broader range of literature on libertarianism, and it readies them for more radical communities, including Strike the Root and the Mises Institute. The educational process of anarchism is not going to happen "all of a sudden", and the only way you can transition people into a different mindset is by being open to their ideas while feeding them yours. By shutting them out you are shutting out the opportunity to eventually have more people who agree completely with your political framework.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Bravo Per! The list of pathetic excuses given by miniarchists to compromise their libertarian principles does make them "gutless wimps". I can hear the "But, but, buts" ringing in the air already.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Guest
    Legibus sumptis desinentibus, lege naturae utendum est. The law of nature is superior in obligation to any other. It is binding in all countries and at all times. No human laws are valid if opposed to this, and all which are binding derive their authority either directly or indirectly from it. ~ Institutes of American Law by John Bouvier, 1851, Part I, Title II, No. 9 [The natural] law is the paramount law, and the same law, over all the world, at all times, and for all peoples; and will be the same paramount and only law, at all times, and for all peoples, so long as man shall live upon the earth. ~ Natural Law or the Science of Justice by Lysander Spooner The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all. ~ The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
  • ConradT's picture
    ConradT 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Douglas Herman
    The man who murdered Chandra Levy has been sentenced to sixty years in prison. I found this here: Killer of Chandra Levy sentenced to 60 years In Nov of 2010, Guandique was convicted of the crime though former Congressman Gary Condit was suspected at first because he and Levy were having an affair. The Salvadoran illegal immigrant was already convicted of attacking women in the exact same area at the same time of Levy's disappearance.
  • Stratispho's picture
    Stratispho 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul, the only thing I would add is that the 12 gauge is a little more common if ammo becomes scarce, and with the knoxx recoil reduction stocks it's not an issue and the Mrs. can shoot a 12 gauge just fine. These stocks can be found for roughly $120 FRN's and are a simple install for anyone with a screwdriver. Another good article, keep em coming.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Guest
    Good observation, usc, which brings up the question, "Where does government end and banking begin?" If the government controls all functional aspects of banking, are they two distinct entities or merely government masquerading as private enterprise? The US also has "central health," wherein all doctors must go to government-approved education centers and earn government-approved degrees based on government-approved curricula. As is the case in banking, the central authority, the government, mandates how the profession operates. So where does government end and healthcare begin? Since healthcare cannot exist independent of government regulation, isn't all healthcare government-run? And education? And health insurance? When these government systems inevitably break down, the politicians throw the blame at the "private institutions," and no one sees that the government ARE the "private institutions." And of course the solution is more governmental control, in a valiant attempt to reign in the cowboys and provide safety and stability to society.
  • usc's picture
    usc 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Guest
    However accurate you are in your analysis, you are missing one crucial point...Government sets the laws along with the Central Bank. In the case of the U.S., Government and the Federal Reserve sets the regulations on how all banks and lenders are to conduct business. As an employee of a Bank I can tell you that nothing, nothing is done at a local, regional or even national bank that isn't in line with Government regulation. In the case of this recession and economic quagmire, it is at it's core a response to regulation. It is not "banking" that is responsible...it isn't even Central Banking...it is Government Banking. Banks are forced to lend money at a higher risk. Banks are not allowed to make decisions on who or under what conditions they can lend money under. The Government sets those rules and Banks must follow or...not be Banks. So, in the end, however we share the consequences of the risk of Banking...the greater risk is leaving it up to the Government and those who can manipulate the Government to decide what those regulations are. The Free Market is not in control...and neither is the "greedy" banker. usc
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    I wouldn't want to force anything on anyone. Everyone should be free to do as he pleases on his own property or on the property of others who give permission. Which brings us directly to the nub of the gist, and that is the determination of private property. When individuals own land they put to use and no more, then have at it. Whoever wishes to enslave himself on the private property of a group of consenting adults has my blessing. In this situation, of course, if he changed his mind and his captors refused to release him, they would then be subject to other human beings coming to the aid and self-defense of the involuntarily-restrained person. So even though these groups acting on their own private property may call themselves government and claim superhuman rights, they could not exercise those rights against any human being who decided to ignore them. Just because someone is on your private property, that does not give you the right to murder them "because you are a sovereign standing within your own kingdom." So I still have a hard time using the word "government" within the context of a truly free society. Without the assumption of superhuman sovereignty (government), it all boils down to the fact that human beings are not allowed to aggress against each other, and when this happens it is right and just for other human beings to intervene and prevent or stop that aggression. If I sign a contract saying I will pay taxes for the rest of my natural life to a "voluntary government," and then I change my mind one year later, the contract is broken—as in it is over. I have stolen nothing from anyone. “Breach of promise” is not a case of theft. I, as well as my property, return to my jurisdiction—I rescind the given authority and reclaim it—independent of whatever "government" I had previously participated in. This is such a different circumstance than what is understood today when we talk of government that, again, I can't see using that word to describe completely voluntary social interactions. But it's just a word, and so as long as all the caveats are heeded, I can get along with using it as well, I guess. Let's call it "asterisk government," or government*.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    I clearly stated above what I want WikiLeaks, not just Assange to do: release all the info like was done in the Climate Gate e-mail data dump so that the world can see what's in them, not just what Assange decides to show us through the NY Times. Ellsworth had no other option but newspapers and TV, there was no internet. What raised my ire Glen was the idea that anyone who questions this Great Man has a Pathological Obediance to the State when Assange apparently does himself. He is not an anarchist at all. These low level (not even Top Secret) e-mails between low-level bureaucrats have been oversold in the media based on potential with little substance to show for it. Why is that? Further, I could care less about his personal life. My concern is that he is seen as promoting anarchy when he has made it clear that he is not and will not. He is an authoritarian who believes in the state system, but wants regime change around the world with an eye towards creating more integrated state systems, i.e. world government. Perhaps the following exchange in an excellent interview with David Frost can make this clear to you: ----------------------- Frost: Do you think of yourself- when you see references to yourself as anarchic, or an anarchist, is that an accurate description of what you are? Assange: No, it’s not at all an accurate description. Frost: Why not? Assange: That’s not what we do. We’re an organization that goes about and has a long record all over the world of exposing abuses, by exposing concrete documentation, proof of bad behavior. That’s not anarchy. That’s what people do when they’re civil, is that they engage in organized activity that promotes justice. Frost: So therefore it’s — in that sense you’re not anarchic because you’re actually, you’re in favor of authority if it’s doing the right thing. Assange: Correct. Correct. ----------------------------------------------- So authorities, like the state, are just fine as long as Mr. Assange likes what they are doing. This, again, turns the perception of the root problem (tyranny limiting liberty) into one of personnel, and away from the realization that it is the inherently corrupt authoritarian state system. This does not promote liberty. In the long run we will end up with a more powerful authoritarian state if the current system is purged and tweaked, but not eliminated. I can appreciate that he is undermining the credibility of the state, mostly its agents, while he seeks justice by revealing truths about the misdeeds of pawns. I just wouldn't get to excited about him leading or even inciting a cultural revolution against the state. He may even end up being one of its most popular promoters after some highly publicized "reforms" that he can take credit for, either overtly or covertly. Basically I support what he is doing, even if too limited, but am skeptical where he is going and what good will come of it. We shall see.
  • Scott Lazarowitz's picture
    Scott Lazarowitz 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Guest
    "Common people might be less informed than their bankers about the technicalities of financial instruments and investment strategies, but they can read a bottom line. They can also compare bottom lines and abandon their agent if they feel other people might take better care of their money." One can apply that passage to the context of our federal government in general, as well. The public in general may not be informed as to the process of how the Federal Reserve works, and how legislation is manipulated by lawyers to benefit themselves and bureaucrats' cronies, but they can read a bottom line, and they know when they are being screwed. Everything we hear coming out of Washington is one reason after another to "abandon our agent" (the federal government, including its central bank), allow competing currencies, decentralize the banks, outlaw fractional reserve banking, enforce sound private contracts and throw fraudsters in jail, and return to freedom under the Rule of Law.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    G'day tzo, Here's the 6-billion-dollar-question, my friend, how many of Earth's inhabitants want "no government"? And, what will you do with all those individuals who don't want " no government", not to mention those who need to be governed (i.e. those individuals who need to be restrained from trespassing on other men's natural rights)? It is my opinion, that it is an individual decision whether or not to be a member of a political association, and therefore it is just as bad forcing "no government" on those individuals who want a government as it is forcing a government on self-governing individuals who want "no [external] government".
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    G'day tzo, "Yes, the democracy cancer is better than the communism cancer in that it consumes its host more slowly." Which gives you a little more time to accomplish this... "With no government, then government murders would equal zero."
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Manning (allegedly) did what Daniel Ellsberg did, but using today's tech which made it MUCH quicker and easier to do. WL is doing what the NY Times and others did with Ellsberg's material (the Pentagon Papers). Why this should be a problem for anyone in the freedom movement is hard to understand. It's always possible that some of the info WL distributes will be crafted by the elite as a psy-op -- and you can say exactly the same about ANY source of news, of any type, that will ever exist. Paul's comment (below) is the perfect, and I must say obvious, response to that: "Wikileaks (and its competitors) should be taken exactly like every other source of information on the internet. Get the information, try to find other sources to verify or disprove it, and use your knowledge of human nature to judge where the truth really lies." The biggest, most glaring flaw in the argument -- made only within the freedom movement, of course -- that WL is a psy-op, is this: Mubarak and so many other corrupt, vile, torturing dictators being affected by the current unrest were/are bought and paid-for stooges for Israel and the CIA and the oil companies and so on ALREADY. All the frantic activity on the part of Israel and the West regarding the unrest is designed to ensure that either A) the current dictators [the Saudi's, for instance] STAY in power or that any new regime that replaces a current stooge regime will be as compliant and corrupt as the regime being torn down. The complicated "psy-op" arguments sound a lot like the complicated rationales for the Federal Reserve: obscure the truth with a thicket of complex and irrelevant BS, and maybe that truth will be overlooked. Here's the truth as I see it: a significant amount of the material from WL shows the elite to be criminals, to be psychopaths, to be corrupt, and to NOT have the best interests of the masses in mind. Everything else is beside the point. I don't know what Assange is like as a person and I do not believe most of what I read about him, but in fact it doesn't matter. Maybe he's kinky in bed or cruel to puppies. So what. For certain, some of his views aren't the same as mine. He's human, so expecting him not to be flawed would be stupid. But I DO know this: the material he's helping bring to light is waking millions of people up to the corruption and cruelty of governments -- their own and others around the world. WL is exposing the coercive elite for what they really are, and showing governments for the psychopathic coercive SYSTEMS that THEY are, although that last will take longer to sink in for most people. If seeing the elite, and their tool of the coercive State, exposed in this way bothers you -- well, as I say in the column, then I have to wonder what you ARE hoping for. [Edit] -- That's an actual question, not an accusation. Do you not see, or appreciate, the way in which WL is getting people to re-evaluate the coercive State and the character of those drawn to Power? What would you prefer to see from WL that you aren't seeing now?
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Tunisia and Egyption Revolution was caused by WL? I did not read that particular W-leak,Care to share? When an american puppet out lives his usefulness, or no longer is conTROLLable,they take em out.(iam confident you can name a few.)Other times he knows to much or (and this is hard to say without laughing)is unsavory.TPTB topple governments for practise,and forment revolutions for fun. In central and south america it is almost a continuous thing. They practice every scenario possible,gleaning information to perfect their game.The bonus is it costs them nothing but stolen,monopoly money. Plus it reaps the benifit of that countries resources and further subjugates the local serfs.Seems like with every revolution the chains get tighter. They have a slogan for this also, Order out of Chaos. Apparently we need to get over to Egypt ,mach schnell, and protect american interests..... Their is only one law for two types,For those it fails to protect,and For those it fails to restrain. I agree with you about the ruling class never held accountable,but you did not have to go back half a century to make that point.Frinstance the Bush torture memos.Torture is a crime against God,a crime against humanity,against the constitution,and against statutes.Even military men/women were jailed, but the administration is insulated.Plus no heads rolled for the 911 insider job. Wait, i had an overinflated idea of the competence of people in the government and the military.You are right, 911 was done by a goat-herder hiding in a cave in A-stan. (and we can trust a Pfc with super sensitive files,that can be downloaded on his lady gaga cd. Is that not the story?)
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    How about the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and all the other unrest in the US government's Mideast client states? As to imprisoning the bastards, that usually doesn't happen. Why? Because the law does not apply to the ruling class. Only in rare circumstances (e.g. invasion of Germany and subsequent Nuremberg trials) do the rulers suffer any consequences. Note, no one paid any price for the firebombing of Dresden: http://www.rense.com/general19/flame.htm The reason it doesn't happen is that the ruling class support each other (e.g. Idi Amin ends up in Saudi Arabia), and they accumulate huge sums from bankrupting their countries. Money buys immunity. So it is a bit much to whack Wikipedia for this lack. But let's see what happens to Mubarak. There is always hope. As to your comment about Manning, you have a vastly overinflated notion of the competence of people in the government and the military.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    I just received my copy of "Death by Government" a couple of days ago. I haven't dug into it too much yet. There is no doubt that communism is the fast track to mass death, while democracy is a bit more tempered in that respect and is certainly the lesser of the two evils. I believe the author concludes that the world needs to spread democracy and eliminate communism in order to make the world a better place. Is it really better to kill 10,000,000 instead of 100,000,000? Do quantities really matter? If so, isn't zero the best? Why not strive for zero? With no government, then government murders would equal zero. The murders that did occur would be attributable to individual human beings, who could then be dealt with. Yes, the democracy cancer is better than the communism cancer in that it consumes its host more slowly. If that is the best scenario one can envision, then he is missing the obvious. But the real world requires government to slit throats, it is claimed, just a few million here and there according to democratic ritual, in order for us to get up, have our coffee, and go to work. Time to change the real world, then. At the very least, it should not be rationalized as being something other than what it is. It should not be justified as better than some worse alternative. Even communism is better than other types of totalitarian government. So why can't we be just happy with that? That's good enough, isn't it? 100,000,000 is better than 1,000,000,000, right?
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    I certainly agree that Palin, O'Reilly and that crowd are as you describe. But they appear to be pawns in a larger game that serves to give Assange more street cred. I've heard the drip-drip reasoning and the "responsible journalist" angle for only releasing such a small amount of information. So which is it: Assange is for open sources for sensitive state secrets or is he a self-appointed gatekeeper working in league with established Big Media organs? I'm familiar with the stories on Israeli plans in Gaza and their connections to Mubaraks inner circle. Do you really consider that new information much less damaging? At this rate, we may get to see half the e-mails in about 20 years. The half that don't endanger anyone, of course. As for Manning, all we know is what the CIA/Pentagon have told us. Is how he got the info to Assange on a cd that hard for them figure out? Maybe. Assange is an unabashed statist and internationalist. You may believe he is just being super careful, but that's not very hero-like, much less the renegade he is being presented as, is it? Obviously he has done some good work undermining nationalist agendas, which is why Palin, et al see him as a traitor; but to what end? Observation of events as they unfold can be misleading as to where these events may lead, especially when seen in the context of a chaotic world with bumbling, fumbling elite and their stumbling Keystone Cop agents. I give the elite a little more credit than that as things are rarely as they seem. It certainly works in their favor to be so portrayed. Existing national political/financial/industrial institutions are crumbling around the world. The elite have been planning for this for over a century. I'm sure when you profit from unsustainable mercantilist models, that a contingency plan is at the very least prudent. They have plans for international political/financial/industrial institutions ready to go in order to consolidate their positions when the old institutions fall. Now that the Global Warming/Carbon Credit scheme has been set back, the UN/IMF/World Bank international currency will likely be the first step. Nobody has control over future events, but some have more influence than is generally believed, much less understood. By influencing actors on both sides of a conflict, it becomes easier to manage the outcomes of these conflicts. This is what is happening in Egypt and why Democracy is a constant theme. The CIA props up Mubarak while at the same time they train the "activists" to overthrow him. They barely hide that Google is a CIA front in the process (do a little homework on this before dismissing it too as a "conspiracy theory"). That Assange could be an integral part in elite plans is not much of a stretch, though I'm not willing to rest so assured that I know the "truth" in such matters. In short, I hope Assange will eventually not only release the large amount of information he supposedly has, but inspire more leakers to step forward in the future. That is how this method of truth telling can continue to have an impact, not drip-dripping old information. Better yet is other alternative sites popping up to provide access for leakers that won't be controlled by a self-imposed gatekeeper working with the MSM. At the very least, I'm not ready to drink the Kool-Aid and join the cult of Assange hero worshipers just because he appears to be "the enemy of my enemy". We shall see what role Assange will play in the new international political institutions that are being set up, but it is clear that "power to the people" is not on his agenda.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    G'day Michael Kleen, "Theoretically, I am opposed to most [?] forms of statism, especially in the modern sense." ~ Michael Kleen "Theoretically" = in "theory", but not in "practice"; that's the way virtually all anarchists are, it would seem. "I believe in anarchy [no ruler]...but it can't really be done." You want to talk about "demoralization", Michael Kleen, what do you suppose most, if not all, of these same people tell an individual secessionist? "Well, you can claim to be an "individual secessionist" if you want, but it can't really be done." Translation: If my government doesn't legally recognize it, it's not real. Well, I've got news for "you [figuratively] and the horse [the government] you rode in on", "I am who and what I say I am, not who and not what you and those in your government say I am." It's ironic, when you think about it, I am a "nonperson", "someone who a government says does not exist". The irony is that I could rewrite that definition from Macmillan Dictionary to read, "someone who anarchists, libertarians and their governments say does not exist", and it would still be accurate. Sad commentary, really, but we [my natural law wife and I] refuse to be “demoralized” by it.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    G'day, once again, Michael Kleen, Yes, that word has been co-opted since Noah created it, it would seem. The original was based on the word "moral", while the new word is apparently based on the word "morale".
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    Excellent, Darkcrusade, excellent!! Here's a link to it, if anyone wants it.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    "Let not any be alarmed, therefore, at the promulgation of the foregoing doctrine. There are many changes yet to be passed through before it can begin to exercise much influence. Probably a long time will elapse before the right to ignore the state will be generally admitted, even in theory. It will be still longer before it receives legislative recognition. And even then there will be plenty of checks upon the premature exercise of it. A sharp experience will sufficiently instruct those who may too soon abandon legal protection. While, in the majority of men, there is such a love of tried arrangements and so great a dread of experiments that they will probably not act upon this right until long after it is safe to do so." ~ Excerpted from The Right to Ignore the State by Herbert Spencer
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    HOW MANY DID COMMUNIST REGIMES MURDER? DEATH BY GOVERNMENT
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Is this not the old recipe of; problem + reaction = solution? Problem, Truth is escaping to the drooling masses. Reaction, Psychos must impose their will(pass a 'law'). Solution= Internet killswitch. I admit i have not been following the WL like i would if i thought it legit. Why is george Soros &c supporting it? Plus it wouldn't have been 30seconds before someone was standing over Priviate Bradley's workstation,looking over his shoulder as these downloads are monitored real-time. If Julian Assange had released any information that was not thoroughly veted,he would have been suicided but quick. Of course i could be mistaken,as that has happened once before. Another question is;What damage has the WL done? Have the leaks caused any military/politician to be charged/imprisioned? If yes,than that would lend great weight to the legitimacy. IMHO
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    Hmmm.Reminds me that- The lesser of two evils is still evil. Plus ,history is written by the victors. Grateful Slave by Paine's Torch I am a grateful slave. My master is a good man. He gives me food, shelter, work and other things. All he requires in return is that I obey him. I am told he has the power to control my life. I look up to him, and wish that I were so powerful. My master must understand the world better than I, because he was chosen by many others for his respected position. I sometimes complain, but fear I cannot live without his help. He is a good man. My master protects my money from theft, before and after he takes half of it. Before taking his half, he says only he can protect my money. After taking it, he says it is still mine. When he spends my money, he says I own the things he has bought. I don't understand this, but I believe him. He is a good man. I need my master for protection, because others would hurt me. Or, they would take my money and use it for themselves. My master is better than them: When my master takes my money, I still own it. The things he buys are mine. I cannot sell them, or decide how they are used, but they are mine. My master tells me so, and I believe him. He is a good man. My master provides free education for my children. He teaches them to respect and obey him and all future masters they will have. He says they are being taught well; learning things they will need to know in the future. I believe him. He is a good man. My master cares about other masters, who don't have good slaves. He makes me contribute to their support. I don't understand why slaves must work for more than one master, but my master says it is necessary. I believe him. He is a good man. Other slaves ask my master for some of my money. Since he is good to them as he is to me, he agrees. This means he must take more of my money; but he says this is good for me. I ask my master why it would not be better to let each of us keep our own money. He says it is because he knows what is best for each of us. We believe him. He is a good man. My master tells me: Evil masters in other places are not as good as he; they threaten our comfortable lifestyle and peace. So, he sends my children to fight the slaves of evil masters. I mourn their deaths, but my master says it is necessary. He gives me medals for their sacrifice, and I believe him. He is a good man. Good masters sometimes have to kill evil masters, and their slaves. This is necessary to preserve our way of life; to show others that our version of slavery is the best. I asked my master: Why do evil masters' slaves have to be killed, along with their evil master? He said: "Because they carry out his evil deeds." "Besides, they could never learn our system; they have been indoctrinated to believe that only their master is good." My master knows what is best. He protects me and my children. He is a good man. My master lets me vote for a new master, every few years. I cannot vote to have no master, but he generously lets me choose between two candidates he has selected. I eagerly wait until election day, since voting allows me to forget that I am a slave. Until then, my current master tells me what to do. I accept this. It has always been so, and I would not change tradition. My master is a good man. At the last election, about half the slaves were allowed to vote. The other half had broken rules set by the master, or were not thought by him to be fit. Those who break the rules should know better than to disobey! Those not considered fit should gratefully accept the master chosen for them by others. It is right, because we have always done it this way. My master is a good man. There were two candidates. One received a majority of the vote - about one-fourth of the slave population. I asked why the new master can rule over all the slaves, if he only received votes from one-fourth of them? My master said: "Because some wise masters long ago did it that way." "Besides, you are the slaves; and we are the master." I did not understand his answer, but I believed him. My master knows what is best for me. He is a good man. Some slaves have evil masters. They take more than half of their slaves' money and are chosen by only one-tenth, rather than one-fourth, of their slaves. My master says they are different from him. I believe him. He is a good man. I asked if I could ever become a master, instead of a slave. My master said, "Yes, anything is possible." "But first you must pledge allegiance to your present master, and promise not to abandon the system that made you a slave." I am encouraged by this possibility. My master is a good man. He tells me slaves are the real masters, because they can vote for their masters. I do not understand this, but I believe him. He is a good man; who lives for no other purpose than to make his slaves happy. I asked if I could be neither a master nor a slave. My master said, "No, you must be one or the other." "There are not other choices." I believe him. He knows best. He is a good man. I asked my master how our system is different, from those evil masters. He said: "In our system, masters work for the slaves." No longer confused, I am beginning to accept his logic. Now I see it! Slaves are in control of their masters, because they can choose new masters every few years. When the masters appear to control the slaves in between elections, it is all a grand delusion! In reality, they are carrying out the slaves' desires. For if this were not so, they would not have been chosen in the last election. How clear it is to me now! I shall never doubt the system again. My master is a good man.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    Well, the goal of striking the root is to subvert all governmental ideologies by remoralizing the populace. Choosing the lesser of two government ideology evils is such a vote-y thing to do. You can find my arguments against minarchism, which is the type of government I assume you theoretically support, sprinkled throughout this website. Your choices, Michael, in the real world include making change, and standing for what's right and voicing that position because it is right. Red scare articles are a bit dated and off-point, but for what it's worth, I could care less if the commie bastards overrun the capitalist pig dogs. Whoever willingly hitches their wagon to a government ideology deserves the Calvin and Hobbes finish to their wagon ride.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 10 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    (This is a reply to jd-in-georgia, but it got detached from his comment when I edited this to add the Greenwald link below). Yes, knowledge is power -- although there are other kinds of power, which knowledge cannot always overcome, unfortunately. But you are absolutely right that this is about the power of information, and in particular about allowing more of the truth out into the world. As to conspiracies: a coercive elite -- not a single club or anything, but certainly a group using the meme of "government" as a tool, directly and indirectly -- ALREADY runs the world; WL is simply making it harder to hide the fact that this meme is a lie, and that by sanctioning organized coercion, the system behaves psychopathically and attracts psychopaths (and others with little empathy) into power. The nature of the coercive state leads governments around the world to do things their citizens strongly oppose, whether it's trillion-dollar giveaways to the banks (90% of Americans oppose them, if emails to congress are any indication), aggressive foreign wars, or blatant, shocking, and disgusting (not to mention counter-productive) torture of people who are sometimes just shepards who were sold to the US by locals who wanted the reward money, just to name three. When you start looking, nearly everything the government does is opposed to the people's interests. Even if it's something people want done (like safety nets and social security), the government turns it into a Ponzi scheme, wastes whatever isn't stolen, and the end result is what we see all around us: an epic disaster, even in something that might well have worked if handled honestly. Much of this is outright illegal, even under our own laws, so if the folks responsible ever get HELD responsible, they go to prison. They have every reason to fight something like WL -- and since a conspiracy is just two or more people working together to do something, it is a near-impossibility that there is no conspiracy against Assange and WL. In any case the conspiracy is out in the open, with members of congress, shills in the media, Sara Palin, talk radio hosts, television commentators, and others openly calling for everything up to and including assassination to stop WL from darkening the world with (shudder) the truth. It's a national security issue! See also http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/02/11/campaigns/i... -- today's column by Glenn Greenwald, "The leaked campaign to attack WikiLeaks and its supporters."
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 4 years 10 weeks ago
    Demoralization
    Page Michael Kleen
    Theoretically, I am opposed to most forms of statism, especially in the modern sense. But given my choices in the real world, I would much rather live in a capitalist state than a communist one, thanks