Recent comments

  • mjackso6's picture
    mjackso6 25 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Hein
    I wish I were as confident in the unlicensed driver hypothesis, but I know what.the deal was for my oldest daughter, and I suspect it generalizes out to the majority of young folks these days. State-acredited driver's "education" classes, which the robbery-tax funded public Incarceration system ~doesn't~ pay for (it's about $300-$400 out of mom and dad's pocket) are now mandatory to even.get a learner's permit. Lots of folks can't.afford this, and so a lot of kids end up putting this off or skipping it altogether, sometimes going straight to a license later in life (my daughter was 20 before she got hers), making do with rides from mom and dad or friends until they absolutely ~have~ to drive.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 25 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Hi Sam:  Thanks for your concern.  As for ceasing the authorship of future STRicles here, and voluntaryist pieces on other sites and venues, absolutely not.  As for abandoning Voluntarism as a personal philosophy, HELL no.  And I may even have some limited conversation about the topic with select people from time to time, here and there, when and if the mood strikes me.  But everything else I wrote stands.  
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 25 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Sam: Free at last, free at last thank Sam for all that.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 25 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Sam: Thanks for that.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 25 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Alex: Brilliant summary. At 71, I have not gotten tired, just more pissed off, but you are prophetic in that Americans do want government to come into their lives and make them better off of mine and your back. I can recall a man years ago, working as a janitor at a school, when he said he was tendering his resignation and going on welfare. Why? Because according to his calculations he can make more out of welfare than he can ever achieve as a janitor. This is a growing mold on the minds of so many Americans today. If I bleed over it, they don't give a s--t, they have no concern about me or anyone else What you have expressed here is something I have observed for a lot of years. Most Americans have lost hope and have grown into a sense of helplessness. Note: this is from anecdotal observation as I have no documentation to validate what I say, only my personal experience and exposure over the years that involve conversations on a one to one basis. However, during this course of campaigning I notice a true anger from the American people as they are beginning to wake up to the pathocracy of the federal government and ??representatives??
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 25 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Sam: I note that you are moving to a finer sandpaper getting closer to the polishing finish. From your posts and some PM that have crossed between us you have been the chisel for me by removing some of the rough, old crud built up out of time past. My philosophy now seems to be that of a survivalist along with the ear marks of the -ologies I have read from here and other places. I still cannot manage to make my world revolve around my belly button though. Before it becomes too late I wish to thank you deeply for your words of wisdom, your kind and gentle responses you have provided to me over the passing years. Thanks Sam.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 25 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Short response (gotta get to "work"): This could amount to a definition issue as to the meaning of "movement". I tend to cling to our old and late friend Harry Browne's admonition regarding what he deemed as "The Group Trap". My basic rant is that each and every one of us can be free. Here. Now. Where we're "at". Today. Not that it is not nice to interchange with other like-minded folks for support and encouragement. But where the rubber meets the road is individualism. We could get into all kinds of dickering as to the difference between "rulers", "leaders", "supervisors" et al. And that, too, amounts to individual choice -- not mandated definition. I've even witnessed fights among "libertarians" over whether or not parents "own" their children (one of my rants is that the human family -- totally apart, separate and indistinguishable from "the-animal-kingdom" -- is the only legitimate governing unit). Those, too, can be a topics of dispute between "libertarians". Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 25 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Sam, good post. But why does a "movement imply leadership (rulers, if you will)"?   Granted, that's the norm; but that may be because collectivism runs so deep. It's drilled in to kiddies all through school. Also perhaps because it's easy to confuse a leader (a person whom others choose to follow, recognizing his qualities) and a ruler (one who issues edicts, imposing punishment for disobedience.)   But I don't see any reason why it must be the norm. There can, as you say, be movements of one - millions of them, cooperating for mutual advantage since value is subjective. That is exactly what an an anarchist society is: a marketplace.   In that zero government society, some will no doubt be distinguished by the excellence of their skills in particular fields. Music, business, crafts, professions, and so on. Those will attract more rewards than others; there will be very rich and less rich. But there will be no rulers at all, and I'm not sure that even those folk will be seen as "leaders", except in the sense that Bethoven's Ninth would suffer badly if the orchestra and choir did not follow the conductor's baton.   Slowly, the enormous implications of L K Samuels' In Defense of Chaos are sinking in to my own mind. Belatedly, I added it last week to the set of books recommended for readers of the Zero Government Blog - click on "ZG Book Store" at top-right. Voluntary interactions between millions of sovereign individuals are just what human beings are fitted to have, just as the rest of the natural world operates without imposed order.   Our "movement" is merely a way to get there, and the way I favor doesn't have leaders and would fail if it did; for leaders make it dead easy for the state to decapitate the movement.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 25 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Alex, I hope you haven't taken your bat, your ball, and left the playing field. That's my concern for you. Whether you have or not is your decision. As I see it, your fallacy is in thinking of liberty as a "movement". Movements imply leadership (rulers, if you will). Read a little of AA history and you'll see that there was lots of internal strife until we finally agreed that, in order for us to be effective in sobering up drunks, AA had to be the most libertarian organization in town. There are no dues or fees. Nobody can declare you in, nobody can keep you out. If you cause a ruckus and become combative, a couple big bruisers might sandwich you between them and ease you out the door until you cool off a bit. But that's not AA, that's mutual defense against violence. AA has no "discipline". Unbelievable -- and at the core of a number of squabbles of and by itself -- particularly around the "AA Club" atmosphere of the early days. AA has no involvement with "alcoholism treatment", has no opinion regarding enforced insurance for the treatment of drunks and junkies. A few of us might volunteer to help conduct AA meetings at treatment facility locations and jails. But we have no affiliation with them or their programs. That's merely extending the hand of AA to those who will soon be "on the outs" -- with no place to go and nobody upon whom to lean for support. I do not see personal freedom as a "movement". Well, perhaps it is -- but if so, it is a movement of one: me. Your freedom is your movement, my freedom is mine. I can't change you and you can't change me. Unless either you and/or I wish to be changed. I like that: a movement of one, with me in charge. :-( Each of us can influence the other -- both you and Jim Davies -- and Mark Davis and Paul Bonneau and tons of others -- have greatly influenced me. In fact, I have to say that I am not the same individual as I was before meeting all y'all in cyber space. I've moved from rank collectivism to stark anarchy in a few short years due to the influence of those of you on the web (and through books written by Harry Browne and Robert Ringer and many others). I said "a few short years", but those few short years have morphed into well over fifty years since I fell under the influence of an old and late renegade named Karl Hess during the political campaign of Barry Goldwater in 1964 -- the last time I participated in a political bread-and-circus event, called "election". I can be free. Here. Today. Where I'm "at". "...precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little..." Thanks, Isaiah. Sam
  • kimsandiego's picture
    kimsandiego 26 weeks 1 day ago Page Scarmig
    This is a very interesting post. I agree that the SS system is problematic, and the more people who scale back, the better. That said, I'm confused about your belief that she'll be able to get along alright without one. First, laws require us to pay taxes on earnings, whether self employed or otherwise. So I'm wondering how she can cross that hurdle. Isn't she breaking federal law if she refuses to file a return? Second, anti-terrorism laws now require positive identification for most financial transactions, and if she can't provide a social, she won't be able to have accounts. This would ultimately be to her detriment because she loses investment opportunities. I understand that you are saying it will be her choice whether to jump into those opportunities, but do you also think she can thrive financially without the SSN? I'm curious to hear your thoughts now that a few years have gone by and many other people have chimed in.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 26 weeks 3 days ago Page Hogeye Bill
    I like the way Larken Rose puts it: I introduce people to the idea that there cannot be a ruling class at all. Most people are so stuck in the paradigm of "...who should 'we' elect to office, what form should 'our' government take, what should 'it' do, and what should 'it' control and what should 'it' fund..." The whole discussion rests on the paradigm that there is such a thing as a legitimate ruling class, and then they dicker over the details. Rose declares there isn't such a thing as legitimate ruling class. "It" shouldn't be doing anything -- "it" shouldn't even be there. That's a shock to most people's way of thinking, and it would have been to most of ours for large portions of our lives. To even begin to imagine a world in which there isn't a "ruling class" -- a government -- is unthinkable for most. Are we the remnant??? Or are we the messengers TO the remnant??? Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 26 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Word games fly in the face of liberty. One of the things for which I'll salute Alex is once again bringing up the alcohol quagmire. Had I not been forced by my own behavior to seek a warden ("AA sponsor") I would no doubt have died from my self-inflicted morass some fifty years ago. As it turned out I was forced to understand concepts that would serve me well when the message(s) of personal liberty began to sink in -- starting with my last bread-and-circus event ("U.S. political election") in 1964. As I stated in an earlier comment, it became absolutely necessary for me to come to see clearly that the actions and/or behaviors of others could not dampen my freedom or my liberty. Timely to this little foray in connection with Alex's essay, a new STR friend sent me a link to Delmar England's "Mind and Matters" -- the full presentation. He had painstakingly edited and published it in "Liberty Me" from a copy in "Way Back Machine". Was glad for the link, as I had copied part of it from another site some years back, but only a chapter or so. Per Bylund had told me two or more years ago that England's family was going to try to have it completed, edited and published, but I had rather given up searching for it. I'm now anxious to read it; but have started working to keep my brain and body active (14 mile round-trip bike ride through ice and snow and bitter cold), so will have to do a page or two at a time for now. I'm convinced there are two and two only thought processes: collectivist and individualist. Unless you were born with an anarchist spoon in your mouth you began collectivist. Slowly through time you (and I) assimilated individualist thought patterns. Anarchy. But the world around us inculcates collectivism. Insanity is the social norm. My kids and grandkids and great grandkids and kids-in-law have come to various levels of "anarchy" (and/or lack thereof). My pound of gold through all this is knowing that your governing cannot ruin my freedom. Your guns might -- temporarily. I always believe a man (or woman -- L-ord have mercy!) with a loaded gun. Whether my family, my friends, the world at large, ever accept my philosophy and/or teaching and/or preaching and/or presentations regarding liberty and freedom -- will not incite the natural rage that seems to permeate us old men when frustrated over the acceptance of our life-long tirades. Recovery from alcoholism induces immunity. :-) Sam
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 26 weeks 3 days ago Page Hogeye Bill
    This really is a can of worms full of self-righteous indignation, all around (e.g. Cantwell). Trying to be the arbiter of who is and isn't a libertarian based on this very cloudy issue is counterproductive, at best. I just can't see a "pure" anarchist/libertarian position in the matter; we are simply arguing about problems created by the state and trying to determine which statist policy is closest to our anarchist principles. Supporting forced immigration is not the same as supporting open borders and opposing forced immigration is not the same as opposing open borders. Open borders is not an available option in a state controlled world. Trying to set the libertarian standard on this issue based on personal value judgements put forth as theoretical suppositions, is problematic in itself. Such as, wanting to maintain one's own culture is not xenophobic, just the natural tendency of people everywhere wanting to keep traditions and be around others who talk, think and act the same way they do. As long as the maintenance of one's culture doesn't involve violence or coercion, then what's the problem? People the world over congregate with others like themselves to cooperate, trade and generally socialize; this general tendency is not a bad thing, indeed, it obviously promotes social harmony. This schism between libertarians should be a non-issue because we all agree in theory that no state = no borders; but we do have states, everywhere. So, suggesting that some libertarians are heretics to the cause of liberty because they oppose a state policy being imposed upon them which they find destructive to their way of life and you think that some other state policy comes "closer" to what you perceive to be the theoretically perfect libertarian position, is getting awful close to the proverbial debate over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. IMHO, it’s better to focus on coming together to abolish the state (or survive the collapse of the state) and forego the divisive witch trials.
  • thomaslknapp's picture
    thomaslknapp 26 weeks 4 days ago Page Hogeye Bill
    Nicely done, but I suggest finding a foil other than Cantwell for future pieces of this type, for two reasons: 1) He's just too easy to debunk; and 2) Nobody believes he's a libertarian any more, and not many people ever did.
  • D. Saul Weiner's picture
    D. Saul Weiner 26 weeks 4 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    "It is also becoming clear that it is not a purely anti-tech “Luddite” crowd who distrusts the bill of goods we are being sold by the government and industry about the safety of modern devices." I think that the premise for this statement is a deeply mistaken one. There are very few actual "Luddites" (outside of, say, conservative Amish orders which explicitly eschew certain technologies, for their own reasons). The term is largely a device for smearing people who do not believe that certain technologies are as great as their proponents claim them to be. One sees this smear tactic used often against critics of GMO's and vaccines. These people are supposedly "anti-science". It is complete BS. Such folks have no objections to science or technology per se. But it is a convenient way to denounce opponents as heretics in an age where science and technology have become gods.
  • obolley's picture
    obolley 26 weeks 4 days ago Page Scarmig
    A couple of comments: 1) With the new Affordable Care Act in effect, another way they request the Social Security numbers of your children is through the 1095-C form if you work for a large employer. As far as I can tell, you don't have to give them the number, but they are obligated by law to request it (often several times). In the end, they simply insert the birth dates of your kids in lieu of the SSN on that form, and as far as I can tell, that works fine. 2) I don't feel it is entirely realistic to ignore the financial ramifications of not having a SSN. As you point out in the original article, it ends up costing you $300 - $400 / year - but then seem to diminish that number by saying "a couple of hundred bucks a year". First, perhaps the year you wrote that article, those numbers were more or less the case and obviously it depends on your income. However, considering the current 2015 tax year, each additional exemption you can claim on your federal income tax return is worth $4000, which looking at the tax tables, amounts to almost a $1000 in real dollars per child you could be saving each year. For a family on a fixed income, say with 2 kids, they'd end up saving $2000 / year in taxes. Add to that the additional deductions that one can assume based on medical and educational expenses and the child tax credit, and you will quickly find that a family of four (with 2 kids), can end up saving an additional $1000 for a total of almost $3000 / year in federal income taxes simply by getting their kids the SSN. And with more kids, you get even more savings. The $3000 is just for a typical family. Consider that you can claim these exemptions for a total of 20 years (until your kids are no longer your dependents), that amounts to a savings of almost $60,000 - enough to pay a large chunk of your mortgage (if not all of it) or go into your kids college savings account. That's nothing to sneeze at. I do realize that this is a principled stance one is taking when they don't get their kids a SSN, and since it is entirely voluntary whether or not to get one, one can legally choose not to get one and pay the financial price. However, don't we want what's best for our kids? Don't we want them to grow up and have good jobs and be independent? As things stand, they can't really get a job without a SSN and what parent wants their kid to get by working odd jobs here and there getting paid cash, just to say it can work to earn a living without having a SSN. My point here is that realistically, you are only delaying the inevitable by choosing not get your kids the SSN. You can leave it to them and say it's their choice whether or not to get one when they grow up, but realistically, what choice do they really have? They need it to work - employers will demand it. I realize the system is rotten to its core, but practically, there is no way out, unless the laws are changed. The use of the term voluntary for the SSN is merely symbolic - realistically, you are required to have one to function in today's society. Does anyone see a way out of this conundrum? So, why not just get the number and then enjoy the extra $3000 / year you can have to do whatever you please with. My final point here is that a typical family works hard all year, scraping and saving every dollar it can to make ends meet, and then at the end of the year, it hands over $3000 to the IRS (the IRS, mind you, the arch-enemy of all liberty-loving families) simply because they choose not to get their kids a SSN. There is a certain irony in this position. I would say, perhaps a more realistic position, might be to get your kids the SSN, but just never use it anywhere, never disclose it to anyone - not to schools or educational institutions, etc... That way you minimize the chances of identity theft (a legitimate concern) and you're really not giving it out to anyone, but living without it (except when claiming dependents on your tax return or having them get jobs when they grow up). Thoughts?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 26 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    No question about it, Alex, you are a highly talented writer of horror fiction.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 26 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Jim, I see no contradiction whatsoever in what I wrote.  Yes, the libertarian movement has expanded greatly from where it was 22 years ago -- thanks in large part, I think, to the Internet and the alternative media which has grown up around it.  That said, even such expansion has inflated it to little more than a blip -- well within, in my estimation, that .1% I alluded to.   It is just this side of futility itself to encourage people to make a full-on study of TOLFA, unless you're already speaking to the initiated who don't really need it anyway -- except maybe as a refresher or expansion of existing knowledge -- in which capacity it's probably most useful.  But even the rare person who will deign to do more than skim it, will then fail utterly to "replicate" their experience.  Most people see it as just another website, frankly.  And are more than happy and willing to forget about it, and get back to what they understand as Life As Usual.  That is its profound weakness and its limitation:  The inherent apathy and laziness of humanity.  You might as well endeavor to teach Latin to a herd of cattle.   So my original assessment stands.  I'm done.  Other than continuing to publish here, and a few other perfunctory things that I'd likely do anyway since they don't take me far out of the path of my day to day activities, I'm done.  People aren't going to change the way they do things in my lifetime.  So I'm not going waste the rest of mine trying to convince them to.  And that's all.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 26 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Oh dear!  Perhaps we disagree here and there. Does that make me a snot-nosed brat?   I've heard that infighting such as you describe is common within any "movement" at all. I've seen it in Evangelical circles. It's a great pity, I wish it were otherwise. An anecdote which may amuse you is recorded at my The NH Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Zygotes.   Lines must be drawn, somewhere. I've drawn a few myself. But you're right, some people tend to draw them every time a hat drops.   The fix, though, is surely not to quit in disgust but to set an example (hello, Sam!) of gentlemanly discourse?  In the British parliament for example (which institution I do not of course for a moment endorse) this tendency to squabble is moderated by a few rules. Members must refer to one another as "Honorable Members." And they must not, ever, accuse another Honorable Member of lying!   Churchill famously worked his way around that by accusing an adversary of expressing a "terminological inexactitude."        
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 26 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Alex, you're probably right; there are some things I misunderstand.   In your article, for example, I find in one paragraph "In the 22 years now that I’ve been aware of it and involved, the libertarian movement has grown dramatically." but in another, "The insistence upon having--the demand for–government... is simply too high among 99.9%+ of the population."   Now, in my opinion neither of those is true - but I'm quite certain that both are not. They contradict each other, and you know what Aristotle said about the minds of those who embrace contradictions. So clearly, I must have misunderstood you.   Here'a an alternative view, which seems to me about right: the libertarian movement has been on a plateau for the last three decades. I find that a very sizeable minority - about a third - of the population is discontent with the status quo, and (yes, incoherently) blames government for the ills they perceive. I doubt if that fraction has changed much. And contrary to something else you wrote, I hear that discontent mostly in the NON-intellectual part of society; people who work more with their hands than their heads. And I'm very pleased about that, for that is our primary market.   Now, they certainly stop far short of anarchism - today. Of course! But there is a "hook" there, an area of common ground, a discontent upon which the Acedemy can build. It shows why things have gone awry, working from basic principles. In our various ways, everyone who is now an anarchist, including you and I, went through just such a learning experience; we saw things were fouled up, and then discovered why.   I freely grant that TOLFA is too academic for some (those with unusually low IQs, perhaps) and too primitive for others (professional academics, for example.) It would be good if someone better qualified than me would create two alternative versions, to fit those categories; a TOLFA-lite and a TOLFA-heavy, as it were. But meanwhile, the plain vanilla version fits nicely the great majority of those we know.   Now, you have said you're quitting, and that's very bad news and no, I don't understand that about you either, or not very well. But here's a possibility; I don't know if the cap fits, but wear it if it does. Might it be that you have striven to argue or debate with those you meet, instead of just expressing sympathy and then, when the moment is right, asking whether they might be interested in spending time exploring the freedom alternative?   That is all that Segment 18 requests. To do the argumentation is absolutely not required; it's tiring, and usually unproductive. The Academy itself is designed to undertake that heavy lifting. Your only job is to get a "yes" response to such an invitation, and answer any questions that arise as the student works through it sequentially, step by step.   In other words, it occurs to me that you might have been trying to do much too much, and got exhausted as a result. Little wonder. But if so, the fix is not to quit, but to correct the error.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 26 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Thanks, Sam, for your wishes of "good luck". Read Transition to Liberty and you'll see why not a whole lot is needed. In fact, a short piece I wrote for LRC may do the  job for you: The Fix. That took the example of a cop rather than the head of a department, but something very similar will apply. The key of course is that government "grunts" will quit first, leaving the muckety-mucks with no staff. Then whatever will they do.   In your daughter's case she still has time to enjoy her ill-gotten gains, so that will hardly apply; you'll have advised her, of course, to turn some of those LTNs into gold. Then she'll be able to leave something of value to your grandchildren.   So far I've seen no alternative plan whatever, for terminating the state; TOLFA is the only game in town. Setting examples is praiseworthy, of course, but that doesn't even have the appearance of a strategy. As for waiting for the state to implode or collapse under its own obscene weight, allow me to borrow  your own phrase: good luck with that. There are examples of failed states in history; not one of them led to a free society. Why would it?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 26 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    (re-posted as a reply.)
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 26 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "...Now the sorry truth. It's not going to happen. Not in our time; the time of anyone reading this at date of publication. Not barring a miracle that would make winning Powerball look like winning a coin toss..." If I can't be free -- today -- then I might never become free. And I can't help many others to acquire freedom -- today. I might just as well fold my hands and wait for...wait for....wait! What the hell do I think I'm waiting for??? For one to tell one, then two to tell two, four to recruit four -- and on, and on (the math is beautiful)??? Until there is a great groundswell of folks like my eldest daughter (now eligible to retire with more wealth than I'll ever have, presuming you're measuring "wealth" in terms of federal reserve notes) -- head of an egregious state agency ("department of inspection and appeals") -- for folks like her to come in one morning, turn in her badge and her keys and tell the good folks in the governor's office that she's decided to quit and to go find honest employment??? Good luck. I sort of hope these guys elect Hillery. Or Trump. Or somebody who has the wherewithal to bring this house of cards crashing down -- soon. Maybe Sanders -- or McAfee. "We" need a grand wizard of the Klan who can "...change..."!!! B..b..but maybe "we" should wait...wait until w...we get enough liberty-minded people who can stop "reconstruction" before it begins. Like 2025. Or 2030. I have an advantage -- dotage. My "productive" life appears to be behind me. I don't have a lot to lose by bein' free. Younger folks feeding families and climbing corporate ladders don't have (or don't feel like they have) that latitude. Many of them feel trapped. Incapable of discovering freedom in an unfree world. That's where we come in. I'm talking to you, Alex. I don't want to be a bleeding deacon. I'd far prefer to be an elder statesman (cut "state" from that, please). Because I believe the state as we know it will self-destruct. I have no idea when. How long these lunatics can keep a huge, multi-trillion (what's the figure now -- 28 "trillion"?) "dollar" bubble bouncing along is anybody's guess. Or keep sending boys and girls to die in wars and rumors of even more war. If freedom's to be, it's up to me. And thee. To set the example. Each will set it in her own way -- or his. But set it we must. The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 26 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Jim, I think you've grossly misunderstood me.  You seem to still be approaching the subject of government/statism from the standpoint of: "People don't really want this, they're just a little confused."    However, I've come to see and believe that most people, in our present time, do really want this.  Maybe not quite in its present form, maybe not directed at themselves personally, but oh, they do really want the State.   Society is very sick.  And doesn't want help, however much we might like to offer some.  Thus, it cannot be helped.  So I'm done wasting my time and energies trying, by and large.  Other than, of course, things I'd ordinarily do anyway in the course of day to day life.   TOLFA is a superb idea, but has appeal only to a remnant -- an intellectual minority.  As does most of the rest of voluntarist media.  The average Joe or Jane would rather watch sports, play videogames, and stay inside their own little "mainstream" world.  Nothing we do will change that, I'm afraid.  99% of the population in 2016 are unreachable or as good as.  Even the ones who will listen pretty much forget it all just as soon as the commercial break is over and the game is back on TV.  The rest love government and its monopoly of force.  They laugh at our ideas, and hate us for them on top of it all.   I'm not going to waste what breath I have left wrestling with that anymore.  I don't know what else to say that I haven't already.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 26 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Alex has fought long and passionately for liberty, and if this withdrawal from the battlefield were a temporary thing, we should congratulate and thank him and wish him a well-earned period of R&R, before returning to the front.   But he makes clear that he intends it to be permanent. That will gladden the alleged heart of every statist reading it; for while Alex may quit, they will not. Government will go on waging this war until every last drop of freedom is wrung out of human experience. The assumption that such degree of it as we now enjoy will continue indefinitely is flat naive.   Unless we stop them.   Soon after TOLFA was launched, STR published my Quiet Revolution, to reiterate the simple and non-stressful way in which one-to-one replication will terminate the state. When it first appeared the Editor drew out one key phrase, to act as a "teaser":   "...if every knowledgeable, passionate freedom-seeker reading these words cannot gently persuade one of his 200 or so friends every year to take a free, world-changing course online then really, we don't deserve to be free."   Nothing less will do, and nothing more is needed.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 27 weeks 7 min ago Web link KenK
    We've had jitney rides in metro Detroit for many years. The cops crack down every so often but they always come back. And as with selling loosie cigarettes, ticket scalpers, hair braiders, and other such "offences" the public JDGAF about jitneys. Did you have a bad experience with one?
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 27 weeks 5 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    First off, thank you one and all for all the great, insightful, and in truth, encouraging words and compliments here.  I'm glad I was able to express myself in a way that evidently proved to be so thought-provoking, and resonated so well with so many.  :-)   And Sam, please DO NOT go away.  :-)  Your input is always poetic, welcome, and even -- quite often in fact -- useful.  :-)   Best,   Alex   And P.S. -- Don't worry; there will be more STRticles emanating from my gray matter, to keyboard, to you.  :-)
  • Hugh Akston's picture
    Hugh Akston 27 weeks 8 hours ago Web link KenK
    Uber is to the Taxi industry what Google is to the internet or Amazon to book stores. It has nothing to do with the free market. It is the monopolisation of industry by the centralised fiat money printers. It gives rise to "businesses" that burn cash for years on end in order to capture a market. It is big money being allowed to challenge regulation, when individuals doing the same would be crushed by the state for doing exactly the same.
  • Hugh Akston's picture
    Hugh Akston 27 weeks 8 hours ago Web link KenK
    Uber is to the Taxi industry what Google is to the internet or Amazon to book stores. It has nothing to do with the free market. It is the monopolisation of industry by the centralised fiat money printers. It gives rise to "businesses" that burn cash for years on end in order to capture a market. It is big money being allowed to challenge regulation, when individuals doing the same would be crushed by the state for doing exactly the same.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 27 weeks 9 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    One more thought, and then I'll go away: My mantra over the past several years has been that I can be free. Here. Now. Where I'm "at". And so can you. Sure, it might be a nice dream if some libertarian knight in shining armor were to gallop up and set us all free. If all the Obama's and the Trump's and the Clinton's and the Sander's, et al., -- and all their sycophants -- would resign and get honest work and quit "running" for grand wizard of the klan and this or that "office". If all the sociopathic and dangerously armed thugs in costumes and bristling with battle gear were to simply resign and go home to Mama and the kids. I need to view those lunatics as I view snakes. Except, of course, snakes serve useful purposes. I can wear protective gear to the woods and the swamp. I can look before I reach. I can clear away the brush and detritus where snakes like to lie in wait from the proximity of my living quarters. And I can circumnavigate the beast that once vexed me. He is stupid, pompous, fairly easy to sidestep. Cease "volunteering", secede from his "citizenship". And hope that some day you, my family, neighbors and friends will do the same. S/he can only exist as long as s/he has support from her or his "constituents". And above all, abstain from beans. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 27 weeks 9 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Strange. Now that I'm old, tired of the fight, the thing has begun to come together. Striking realizations loom to the fore. If there is one thing Bill and Dr Bob hammered into my cranium some 55 years ago, it was that I can't wait for others to change in order for me to become free. You can help -- and you do -- indeed you do help. But my freedom is not in the hands of you or anybody else. If freedom's to be, it's up to me. I'm not talking here about drinking -- that constant "slipping" back into alcoholic stupor that seemed to beset me the first 10 or 15 years in the fellowship. Strangely, the book doesn't address drinking and getting drunk all that much. Throughout the AA experience, the emphasis is changing the way I think and the way I behave and the way I react to the thoughts and behaviors of others. In fact the book urges me to step up to the nearest bar, order a drink or two, just to see if AA "...is right for me..." (to borrow from the incessant TV drug commercials). Turns out AA was and is the most libertarian organization in town. Before I even understood the word "libertarian". There's a joke around the meeting halls, "...You can always tell a drunk. But you can't tell him very damned much!..." I remember how angry (and righteous) I became when local judges would "sentence" people to AA, and "require" signatures from chairpersons at meetings. I called one judge after a meeting, and was quite insulting (think I probably had another of my "slips" right afterwords), that he had no more right to sentence people to AA than he did to sentence them to Catechism down at the Catholic Church. The longer I stayed, the more vividly it sank in that nobody is in charge of the show. Nobody has authority to stop judges or alcoholism counselors from telling their victims that they are "required" to attend AA. That's anarchy, my friends. And, the program works (if you work it). Keep up the good essays, Alex. Sam
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 27 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    I simply find that there is too much history established, and mistaken definitions included or attached to some of the terms as voluntarist, anarchist, libertarian and etc., they rank of evil in the minds who hear them and see them, Alice In Wonderland. John Kennedy once said, three days before his assignation "There's a plot in this country to enslave every man, woman, and child. Before I leave this High and Noble Office I intend to expose this plot." Unfortunately he was unable to achieve this goal. What would it have been like if he had exposed the conspiracy. I have experienced this personally when I attempted to affiliate with the ideology of anarchist, when I have made my zombie attacks on Congress, holding out on the idea that if just one of the puppets who reply for the pathocrats stumbling along the waxed halls. The ideologies presented in STR are radical for too busy Americans whom are fighting the fight to pay bills, pay taxes, among the other homages required by the pathocrats. They struggle to make something in their lives, and becoming involved in these philosophies take away what moments they have with family and for personal relaxation from their labors. T.V., beer, sex, chasing after kids activities. They are numbed with life and scourged by government For me, I have come to the conclusion that I subscribe to no one of these ideologies, but rather consider myself a survivalist; I pick and choose what meets my moral and ethical disposition. I make it one day at a time by whatever means necessary. I haven't figured out how to make my navel the center of my universe. I am aware of only one man who has achieved this and I am sure he has to be the freest of free people. The idea of freedom began somewhere around the 15th or 16th century, times when governments dominated the earth. Another Kennedy quote which I find has meaning, and even puzzles me about his is "Let us not seek a Republican answer, or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, but let us accept our own responsibility for the future."
  • mjackso6's picture
    mjackso6 27 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    First off, a nod to Jim Davies, and my sincere hope that he's right, and his TOLFA program is a success. I went through the TOLFA process a couple of years ago myself, but the thing is, in all of the time since then, I've not come across even that crucial one other person to induct. My family is tolerant of my "eccentric ideas", but none of them, despite being intelligent and thoughtful, is remotely ready or interested in giving up the paradigm that they know and have been indoctrinated to since kindergarten. Not to mention, in some cases, the religious dogma that they've been exposed to for even longer. And those are ~family members~... I think what Jim often misses is that some people simply ~aren't~ rational, and that most, rather than give up their treasured ideas to logical arguments will simply dig their heels in and hold on for dear life. Throw on top of that the sociopaths-in-power and their media toadies doing everything they can to keep the flock thinking that they're indispensable, including indoctrination from an earlier age every year; this may not be insurmountable in the long run, but I have a hard time seeing the process as a simple arithmetical progression. Until that happens, I'll keep looking out for that TOLFA recruit, but I'll also be doing my best to fly under the radar, and enjoy as much freedom in this paradigm as I possibly can.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 27 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Great column, Alex. Clear thinking and sleek writing on an important topic. Your timeline to freedom of "sometime after we're all dead, if ever" seems a pretty sure bet, and your response to that seems sensible and healthy. 
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 27 weeks 3 days ago
    On the Border
    Page Mark Davis
    Immigration enthusiasts have made the claim that exotic peoples can provide "leavening" to homogenous cultures. Europeans are getting a dose of that leavening, good and hard, from the Mohammedan hordes now swarming them. 
  • D. Saul Weiner's picture
    D. Saul Weiner 27 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Activism can be a positive thing, but when it translates into endless frustration and a poor quality of life, then it has become counterproductive. Getting others to embrace the full vision might be ideal, but it does not generally work with folks who are in a full-statist mindset. Better to try to change their minds on a single topic, where they can grasp the facts/rationale in a concrete manner. If that happens, then they might be willing to do a deeper dive. Though, truth be told, many people are simply so worried about what other people think that they will not cross certain lines, no matter how (intellectually) compelling the case may be.  
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 27 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    My feelings exactly. After fighting this fight for over 30 years one must eventually come to some hard realizations. The overall trend is toward freedom, but the road twists and turns and is full of potholes. The states of the world will eventually go bankrupt, like they all do, and there will be a major shift toward individual political autonomy due to technology, but the collectivist cult won't go away without a fight, perhaps even a scorched earth end-game.
  • D. Saul Weiner's picture
    D. Saul Weiner 27 weeks 3 days ago
    On the Border
    Page Mark Davis
    Even when the U.S. had basically an open immigration policy, there were certain restrictions in place. I believe that criminals were turned away. This seems reasonable (provided, of course, that we are talking about real crimes here and not State-concocted ones). In principle, turning away people who do not respect our basic standards of conduct is really no different. Imagine if the Free State Project came to fruition and New Hampshire became a (relatively) free, prosperous domain. Suppose further that statists soon flocked there to take advantage of the improved environment, but also wanted to bring their statism with them. Naturally, it would not remain free for very long. This has happened to other states that had been reasonably well-run at one point. Maybe such folks should be allowed work permits to live there, but not be allowed to become citizens of the Free state.  
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 27 weeks 4 days ago
    On the Border
    Page Mark Davis
    Open borders is not an option on the table in a statist world, so debating "open borders" vs. "closed borders" is a futile exercise. We can agree that eliminating the state would eliminate state borders, which is wonderful, but a purely theoretical exercise. In the existing statist "real world", the debate is do you support the state forcing its native population to accept the immigration of groups chosen by agents of the state or not. I'm all for individuals freely moving about without being molested by state border police, but I can still oppose the state imposed policy of bringing in thousands of uninvited people that are hostile to my culture and want to be supported by money stolen from me. Survival should be the primary concern of people today. The state is loosing credibility and the empire is crumbling; these trends will continue. Things will likely get worse before they get better.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 27 weeks 4 days ago
    On the Border
    Page Mark Davis
    Abstaining from beans is the only peaceful form of protest we have left. Withdrawing support for the system is spreading slowly. In the meantime I'll keep whining and complaining in an effort to speed up this trend of withdrawing support.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 27 weeks 6 days ago
    On the Border
    Page Mark Davis
     A "dose of leavening all their own.'' What's that mean?
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 27 weeks 6 days ago
    On the Border
    Page Mark Davis
    Property rights should be no less sacrosanct to libertarians than rights to migrate. No, government has no business enforcing national borders, thereby infringing on migration. Neither does it have any business subsidizing migration, thereby infringing on property and association rights. Government has no business existing at all.    The fact remains, government has subsidized migration. It has forcibly injected hostile and alien cultures into the West. The West is best for a reason. Freedom has civilizational antecedents.   Free people enjoy the right to associate, which necessarily includes the right to disassociate. This means the right to shun outsiders: for good reason, for bad reason, for no reason. In trashing that right, government has created a tragedy of the commons. There's nothing libertarian about that.    Hats off to you, Mark! You've provided left-libertarian Rooters a dose of leavening all their own. 
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 27 weeks 6 days ago
    How To Use a Kubaton
    Web link KenK
    Not everybody can have a firearm with them everywhere they go Glockster. If you hit a squeegee man or rapefugee in the face hard with big ball of keys it may allow you to escape. People who are legally forced to be in sketchy places unarmed is the audience that link was aimed at.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 27 weeks 6 days ago
    How To Use a Kubaton
    Web link KenK
    Glock: The Kubaton is no more effective than a small, pocket held .380 or 9mm. It comes down to training, and when you are in a situation with more than on attacker can you employ it with all the effectiveness it has, just as a firearm. Stress of the situation will hammer you into mistakes unless you train and train, then that is not always enough. That being said, something is better than nothing. The cane is my choice and has been for years, not to exclude my carry.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 27 weeks 6 days ago
    On the Border
    Page Mark Davis
    Mark, I may have missed some points in your narrative, but overall it is an issue which has been scaring me mostly for my children and grandchildren because my life span is drawing nigh. I have been railed against in the past for a support of boarders, and now the results are being made manifest by the European nations in that they are experiencing a psychopathology once doubted would have been believed. Today reflects the Jewish attitude during WWII when the Nazis swooped in upon the Jews and initialized the death camps. For many of them they could not believe it was real, it was a mistake and too many of this nation are being just as blind. I believe boundaries were established long before the United States came into existence, obviously, but even before European states began to emerge, even before the initializing of the Roman empire. It is my view point that the old philosophies must reorganize. Watching the video is a nightmare, one that I have no doubt will come into the boundres of the United States and is a warning to all who hold to the ideology of freedom and liberty will be forced to alter--if not for self, then for family and friends. Are we to permit these parasites to settle in the lands of this nation, suck us dry, demanding goods be paid out to them? Are we to be made defenseless against their tactics of slaughter of infidels? Are the people of this nation to be forced into paying for their housing, clothes, medical treatment? Are Americans to tolerate the rape of women and children, and are the men to be subjugated to watching the heads of their loved ones being removed with a dull sword? I may have missed all the points in your article Mark, but the theme which bore its hydra head was extremism and the results of extremist ideology. Radical Islamist have absolutely no concern for Anarchist, libertarians, voluntarist, or other groups supporting ideologies found on STR. I once called myself one of these names at one time or another, but I have come to see myself more of a survivalist, one who will do what is needed and necessary to assure natural rights and laws are the foundation of this nation. My perspective now is that no one is safe and everyone must in some manner prepare for the coming storm whether from the pathocracy this nation has evolved into or radical Islamic terrorist. Assist me, in a polite manner, on how any of these aforementioned ideologies will bear any fruit in the coming times. The elder philosophers as Bastiat, Lysander and others may inarguably be accurate, but could they have even predicted the mess that has arrived?
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 28 weeks 4 hours ago
    STR Is Famous
    Web link strike
    Pete Eyre and Billyrock!  :-) 
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 28 weeks 6 hours ago
    On the Border
    Page Mark Davis
    Nice to see your writing again, Mark! I've been working, busy, steering clear of forums lately. But this essay works in nicely with one that you wrote here over 11 years ago now. I've quoted it countless times at various comment venues: "Working within the system means to become a part of the system. When you go into the voting booth, the only meaningful significance that your action will have is to show that one more person supports the state". ~Mark Davis From Be Free, by Mark Davis July 10, 2005. http://www.strike-the-root.com/52/davis_m/davis1.html The above published not long after I had finally taken the bait and swallowed the hook of anarchy -- which I'll carry to my grave. No dilutions from pure anarchy make any sense to me any more. "Borders" are but fictitious lines in the sand. There is another quote I submit regularly, written by David Calderwood over at Lew Rockwell six or seven years ago: The state is the central abstraction by which a catastrophically wrong idea is placed into practice. ~David Calderwood http://www.lewrockwell.com/calderwood/calderwood35.1.html There's not a lot any of us can do about the existence of that mindless abstraction we refer to as "the state", or "government" -- other than to whine, gripe and complain (which I submit augments the perceived "power" of those wily psychopaths). Oh, yes -- we can abstain from beans. It might seem a small step. But it is a step. Sam
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 28 weeks 5 days ago Web link KenK
    This article misses the point that if you are attacked today it will not be by a solitary individual, but by two or more persons, and likely carrying a weapon of some form on their person.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 28 weeks 5 days ago Web link KenK
    This guy scares me regarding his attitude of concealed carry and caliber. It is not so much caliber as it is the enormous personal responsibility involved with carry. Having a firearm in your possession and the knowledge of what it means to carry is very important to understand. Shooting a target is not the same as shooting a live person, the dynamics is entirely different and the author failed to stress these highly important facts over cheap grade .22 caliber pistols. The .22 caliber can inflict pain and can kill given the correct shot, all of which you are unlikely to get under a tense, highly volatile situation. I completely disagree with his cheap approach as there are far too many things which can go wrong with a cheap firearm, having said that it is better to have a firearm of some nature rather than to have nothing available. For a young and healthful individual I could be hopeful that they may have the creativity to plan ahead and perform some level of defensive measures. For elderly individuals as myself, I must have something to exceed my physical ability to defend myself. I would never recommend a .22 as a self-defense firearm. A .380 is the minimum. The .380 costs a bit more than a .22, but it is far more effective as its caliber size is nearest to a .38 caliber. In conclusion, for me, it is the mental preparation to defend against an intruder and to have a very clear and knowledgeable base of the laws of my state regarding the use of deadly force. I would be very interested in any comment regarding my position.
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 28 weeks 6 days ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    I take notice that this site is in honor of Thoreau. In that same vein i take a dim view of an attempt to besmirch the first man recorded as having made the discovery that men are free. That may not seem like such a revolutionary discovery. (indeed we now take it for granted,and it can be a point of pride.) The challenge is;If you are honest with yourself,How old where you when you made that realization? Most had to overcome the twelve-year government indoctriNATION camps before they even attempted to act in accordance with the knowledge. THE beginnings are unknown. All over this earth are ruins of civilizations about which we know nothing whatever. These sixty centuries may have been a Dark Age. Perhaps all men once knew that men are free. Our record of this knowledge begins with one man. There is no historical proof that he ever existed. The story holds its self-evident truth. It begins about four thousand years ago. The wars of Kish and Shipurla were then as far past as the wars between Greece and Persia are now. Ur was the center of world-empire, about as old as England now is. Elamites and Arabs were attacking Ur, and Babylon was young in the west. This man traveled from Ur toward the far west, with his father, his wife, and an orphaned nephew. They were shepherds. Their flocks kept them moving always to fresh pastures. When Abraham died very old, his grandsons buried him in what is now Turkey. He had taught his increasing family that men are free. Many gods were then believed to control all things. Gods of water made water flow, gods of air moved the winds, gods whispered in trees, roared in thunder, or with gentle rain watered the crops. These gods required services from men at certain times. The god of fertility must be served in the spring or he would not make seeds sprout. (So we still celebrate May Day.) Gods always controlled every human being. As water could not run nor rain fall nor plants grow, so a man could not think nor feel nor move except as a god controlled him. Fifteen hundred years after Abraham died, a Greek loved a woman only because a god had shot a poisoned arrow into his heart. This little god on our Valentines was real to a Greek. Greeks were as sure that these gods existed, as Americans are sure that electricity exists. The logical Greeks could explain men's acts only by supposing that crazy gods controlled them. In senseless rages, the father of gods roared thunder and flung bolts of lightning. Gods and goddesses foolishly quarreled and, using men as weapons, they made wars. They hung invisible over the battles, snatching the javelin aside or driving it into the enemy's body. Abraham said that none of these gods exist. He said that God is One Creator-and-Judge. God is The Right, he said; Rightness creates the universe and judges men's acts. (As water judges a swimmer's rightness in swimming, God judges rightness in living.) But God does not control any man, Abraham said; a man controls himself, he is free to do good or evil in the sight of God. This observation of reality made little impression on the world at the time. After many adventures, Abraham's numerous descendants went to Egypt for food, during one of the usual famines. It seems that they became a rich and highly privileged class, having a pull at court with a clever kinsman who was reducing the Egyptians to slavery. Generations grew richer and richer, more and more secure, of course making no objection to slavery. (It wasn't their slavery.) Then the old, old, endless repetition occurred once more. A new man came to power, saying (and I quote,) "The children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come on, let us deal justly with them." https://mises.org/library/discovery-freedom