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Joined: 2009-12-24
Columns on STR: 75

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RECENT COMMENTS BY Paul Bonneau

Columns by Paul Bonneau

What's So Special About Newtown?
7.6
Paul Bonneau 2012-12-24 08:46
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR By now it seems everything that could be said about Newtown, has already been said--multiple times in some cases. Here’s an attempt to bring something new to the discussion. Why are people horrified? When I sit back and think about this, a few things come to mind. First is the thing that virtually every parent must feel: the dread that they may...
The Privacy Conundrum
0
Paul Bonneau 2012-12-17 09:01
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Michael Rozeff made a very lengthy blog post bemoaning the loss of privacy, here. I sometimes wonder when people go to such lengths to get their point across. Could it be that the arm-waving indicates the position is not really all that well thought out, or that it is internally inconsistent? Aren’t simple truths, well, simple? I should say that I...
Evicting the Statist Within Us
9.25
Paul Bonneau 2012-12-11 09:12
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Himalayan blackberries, Rubus armeniacus, were introduced into America in 1885 as a berry crop, but escaped cultivation and have become a pest plant in the Pacific Northwest particularly. One day I was visiting my parents when I found Dad out doing one of the usual tasks around here, beating back the blackberries. He was calmly, quietly snipping 4-inch...
A War Is Coming? Nah!
10
Paul Bonneau 2012-12-05 07:54
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I remember the day my Dad came home driving one of the earliest Toyota Coronas sold over here, rather than his usual Ford. It was amusing to see this big man in a little car. It was also strange to see him driving a Japanese product since he had fought in Iwo Jima and Okinawa during the war. One might naturally think those awful conflicts would have...
Voting Is Not Irrational
8
Paul Bonneau 2012-10-22 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I just got done reading another article whacking the practice of voting. This one declares that voting is a fool's game. One begins to wonder if this is a productive tack. How many voters are convinced by such arguments? Aren’t we just “preaching to the choir”? Are we hacking at the branches of evil, or striking the root? I have made...
A Proof of Anarchy: The Rulers Themselves
10
Paul Bonneau 2012-10-01 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Day after day we read that cops or other minions of the ruling class never suffer any legal consequences for various and sundry vile actions on their part. No doubt you can find an example today and every day among the Strike The Root articles.   One working definition of government might as well be, “those people for whom the laws do not, in...
It's Not That Bad After All
7.33333
Paul Bonneau 2012-09-25 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was talking to a friend who was worried and depressed about NDAA and “rendition” and that sort of thing. She had been reading a lot on lewrockwell.com (or maybe even prisonplanet.com). It struck me that this normally-happy woman was actually worried, as if she feared imminent arrest.   Imagine you own the most reliable car in the world;...
Dear Naomi...
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2012-08-03 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Dear Naomi Wolf,   I read your article about the Aurora theater shootings.   While I have enjoyed a lot of your work in the past, I must say that I believe you have missed the boat with this one. It seems to run counter to your normal tendencies of questioning government tyranny. It’s also not very realistic.   For one thing, I think...
A Dual-Currency Community
10
Paul Bonneau 2012-07-31 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR When a fiat currency goes into heavy inflation, the tendency of users of that currency is to convert it into something else that has a more stable value, so their holdings don’t evaporate into thin air. People will either buy gold or silver, or convert to another more stable fiat currency, or if those options aren’t available, will simply buy...
The Boston Tea Party: An Attack on Property Rights?
10
Paul Bonneau 2012-07-17 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Here and there I have noticed some strange treatment of the Boston Tea Party among libertarians, a sort of shame that such an event has normally been celebrated in our culture. Were the participants bad people? Should we be ashamed of them?   One example of such treatment is Charles Adams' exposition of early American taxation:   Recently...
Let Us Prove That Anarchy Can't Work
10
Paul Bonneau 2012-07-10 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR In my recent Facebook escapades, this challenge came up: “My longstanding challenge to create a society larger than a commune or a small town that functions well without any government is still open. Create one, and you'll shut me up quick. Until then, I'm going to refer to your notions as ‘unproven theories’ at best, and ‘utter...
Libertarians Are Nothing Special
9.75
Paul Bonneau 2012-06-25 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Libertarians (and anarchists) like to think of themselves as enlightened beings. I get to see a nice cross-section of them on Facebook, many having something like “voluntaryist” as part of their Facebook name. The strange thing though, is that their behavior is almost indistinguishable from anyone else over there.   Yes, they may have at...
Thoughts on Bullying and Respect
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2012-06-14 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR When I was in my teens and twenties, John Wayne used to annoy the Hell out of me. Nowadays I see that that was so because I was ignorant. There was actually a lot I could learn from his movies, and I was thoughtlessly rejecting his message out of hand.   One standard plot element of his films that I found completely implausible was a conflict he would...
CISPA: Should We Care?
8.33333
Paul Bonneau 2012-06-07 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   Yet again the puppet masters have gotten all the puppets jumping about in a frenzy. It makes me wonder whether there is actually reason to get exercised about this bill.   Certainly, the notion that the U.S. government will protect the Internet from attacks is absurd, given that the source of all the most serious attacks (of which CISPA...
Discrimination
8.5
Paul Bonneau 2012-04-24 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  The sign in the window said, “No Firearms Allowed Inside”. First thing that came to my mind was, “Great, now what am I supposed to do? Leave my gun out here lying on the sidewalk?” My next thought was, “I am trying to do business with morons.”   I was in front of the local office of my ISP provider, a company...
Dehumanizing People is Fun
8.85714
Paul Bonneau 2012-03-13 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It is clearly fun to make fun of people. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a popular pastime.   One can imagine why we are prone to this kind of behavior. For example, in the old days, if you wanted to slaughter another tribe and steal their women and take all their stuff, dehumanizing them first was eminently sensible. It erases all inhibitions...
Private Property vs. 'Your Stuff'
8
Paul Bonneau 2012-02-21 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I don’t know what it is about the word “property.” Every time I think about it, the thought seems to include such state baggage as titles, and places to record those titles like county courthouses, and arguments in court over who owns it, and state regulations on transferring it, and even taxes! The latest big fuss over “...
Should Anarchists Be Tolerated?
8
Paul Bonneau 2012-02-10 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  I had earlier addressed the question of tolerance of anarchists, in this article. At some point, it occurred to me to actually ask the question. After all, we have these wonderful forum tools that include polls!   I went to my favorite gun forum, one I recommend, by the way, Oleg Volk’s Gun Rights Media. On a sub-board called “Ethics...
Panarchy, Subsidiarity and Me
10
Paul Bonneau 2012-02-06 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  When I first started writing on this subject (see here, here, and here), I was mostly shooting in the dark. Subsequent reading has yet again proven the old saying, from Ecclesiastes, that there is nothing new under the sun; that what I wrote has been thought of before. This article will attempt to collect and connect these themes.   The first...
The Problem With the 'People Are Idiots' Meme
9.375
Paul Bonneau 2011-12-15 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Claire Wolfe recently wrote a column, People Who Don’t Think. I think she needs to rethink this, heh heh.   I have the utmost respect for Claire. I have some of her books, and she’s influenced me tremendously. However, I believe she may have gone down the wrong path with this idea, which I consider to be both politically and personally...
How to Know When You Have Liberty
8.83333
Paul Bonneau 2011-12-12 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR There seems to be a lot of confusion on this point. Many people believe they are living in a state of liberty, while others don’t think so. How can you know for sure? I have devised a simple test that, I believe, can be used to determine when you have liberty.   I am here following the distinction that some use, between freedom and liberty:...
What Would Free Market Justice Look Like?
9
Paul Bonneau 2011-12-05 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading a chapter of Jim Corbett’s My India, when I ran into an illuminating clue about the range of possible judicial solutions where freedom exists. Most people seem to imagine free market justice working more or less like our current system, just better and cheaper and more fair. But would it actually look anything like that?   To get...
Freedom is Not an Intellectual Pursuit
5
Paul Bonneau 2011-11-30 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Every once in a while, I get tired of arguments around here, trying in some way or other to justify freedom and liberty. One can go overboard with this stuff.   After all, does one need a PhD in Philosophy to understand freedom? Of course not. Everybody already understands it. It’s just doing whatever the Hell you want to do. No justification is...
Tools for Tyrants: Hatred, AKA 'Divide and Conquer'
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2011-11-04 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   The next tool we are going to examine is the tyrant’s use and encouragement of hatred among those he wishes to govern. This is a part of the “divide and conquer” or “divide and rule” strategy.   Of the elements mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the most important are 1) creating or encouraging divisions among...
Tools for Tyrants: Fear
10
Paul Bonneau 2011-10-25 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  It occurred to me that it might be useful to dissect the tools that tyrants use to keep us under their thumbs. Knowing what they are and how they use them can help us defend against them. I don’t know if anyone has systematically gone over this before. If someone knows of such an effort, please comment below.   The first tool (ignoring...
Homeschooling Is Easy!
9.5
Paul Bonneau 2011-09-07 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I was reading Lawrence Ludlow’s excellent series on Voluntarist schooling when I came upon this statement: “For many busy parents, home-schooling is not an option – despite the extraordinary success of home-schooled children. Many parents do not have the time, skills, and resources needed by their children to flourish....
How to Get a Job
9.5
Paul Bonneau 2011-09-12 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR  Most of us have grown up in an era of substantial job growth (funded largely by low interest rate-driven malinvestment, but no need go get into that now). Any fool could make a million. Well, the party is over, and mindsets that might have been workable then, have now become harmful to self-preservation. It’s time to examine this point.  ...
Badges of Our Slavery
9.5
Paul Bonneau 2013-08-19 08:06
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe had to wear a yellow Star of David. The intention was to mark them as inferiors, subhumans, slaves, and to separate them from the rest of the population. Are there other, perhaps less obvious badges of slavery? Do we wear any such, without even being aware of it? We might consider the antebellum American slaves. At that...
An Appeal to NSA Engineers
9.5
Paul Bonneau 2013-09-10 08:17
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I have been discussing with others the Snowden revelations, and an article by industry professional Bruce Schneier came up, which is well worth the read. It brings to mind an event in my own past. I was once a computer hardware designer for a small company that put out state-of-the-art machines for scientific processing, dealing with collecting and...
The Problem With the 'People Are Idiots' Meme
9.375
Paul Bonneau 2011-12-15 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Claire Wolfe recently wrote a column, People Who Don’t Think. I think she needs to rethink this, heh heh.   I have the utmost respect for Claire. I have some of her books, and she’s influenced me tremendously. However, I believe she may have gone down the wrong path with this idea, which I consider to be both politically and personally...
Race Hucksters Bore Me
9.33333
Paul Bonneau 2013-07-18 06:55
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s a wonder how worked up people can get themselves over a little melanin in skin. Most often it is just a joke, but it can become tedious at times. Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not the only race hucksters, although they come immediately to mind when you hear the term. There are armies of race hucksters in government, the folks who have...
Evicting the Statist Within Us
9.25
Paul Bonneau 2012-12-11 09:12
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Himalayan blackberries, Rubus armeniacus, were introduced into America in 1885 as a berry crop, but escaped cultivation and have become a pest plant in the Pacific Northwest particularly. One day I was visiting my parents when I found Dad out doing one of the usual tasks around here, beating back the blackberries. He was calmly, quietly snipping 4-inch...
Tools for Tyrants: Hatred, AKA 'Divide and Conquer'
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2011-11-04 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   The next tool we are going to examine is the tyrant’s use and encouragement of hatred among those he wishes to govern. This is a part of the “divide and conquer” or “divide and rule” strategy.   Of the elements mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the most important are 1) creating or encouraging divisions among...
Thoughts on Bullying and Respect
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2012-06-14 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR When I was in my teens and twenties, John Wayne used to annoy the Hell out of me. Nowadays I see that that was so because I was ignorant. There was actually a lot I could learn from his movies, and I was thoughtlessly rejecting his message out of hand.   One standard plot element of his films that I found completely implausible was a conflict he would...
Dear Naomi...
9.2
Paul Bonneau 2012-08-03 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Dear Naomi Wolf,   I read your article about the Aurora theater shootings.   While I have enjoyed a lot of your work in the past, I must say that I believe you have missed the boat with this one. It seems to run counter to your normal tendencies of questioning government tyranny. It’s also not very realistic.   For one thing, I think...
What Is to Be Done With the Statists?
9
Paul Bonneau 2010-05-10 03:00
Exclusive to STR Have you ever wondered what freedom would look like? The big picture, I mean; not just like what it would be like to smoke some pot without being beat up by thugs.   Strangely enough, any realistic picture of freedom will have to include statists in some respect! It's not like we can take any remaining statists out back and put a bullet in their head; that option, although...
Become Dangerous
9
Paul Bonneau 2010-09-16 03:00
By Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   You know who you are. You're a "philosophical libertarian" or "philosophical anarchist." You might think of yourself as a bit bookish or intellectual. You tend to express yourself through words rather than action.   You have a philosophical agreement, perhaps including some discomfort, with the right to bear arms. You either...
Political Prisoners in America
9
Paul Bonneau 2010-12-13 04:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR One bit of indoctrination I have found it difficult to shake, is the notion that only other countries have political prisoners. Perhaps you have the same mental knee-jerk reaction that I do, when I hear that phrase: people rotting in prisons in Cuba, or some other banana republic run by a military honcho, or Burma, or North Korea. But are such examples...
The Secret Ballot: A Tool For Tyrants
9
Paul Bonneau 2011-05-12 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s funny how human beings can become so attached to a meme, that they can’t even imagine life without it. As the Wikipedia article on the secret ballot puts it, “Today the practice of casting secret ballots is so commonplace that most voters would not consider that any other method might be used.” It is somehow imagined to...
I Don't Have Rights; Nor Do I Want Any
9
Paul Bonneau 2014-03-26 08:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Ever since I can remember, I have questioned. I suppose I am a contrarian. Whenever a herd of people goes off in one direction, that is prima facie evidence that the direction they are going needs to be questioned even more. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect,” as Mark Twain nicely put it....
It's Better to Lose an Election, Than to Win
9
Paul Bonneau 2010-10-08 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I've read lots of articles about the disutility of voting. It's not like there are a shortage of them! Here's my take on it, perhaps a bit different than most (my title refers to winning or losing from the voter's point of view, not the politician's).   At my age, 60, I've seen a lot of elections. Much of my life was spent in frantically...
A Response to 'More on Minarchism as Evil'
9
Paul Bonneau 2011-03-09 04:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.  Exclusive to STR  Responding to Per’s recent column, I will quote a couple of passages:   “...I have argued exclusively that a full-scale alliance (in the sense of an integrated, all-encompassing, and unified movement) is both counterproductive and impossible.”   I have to agree, as far as that goes. But there are a few problems with...
Some Problems With the Farm Analogy
9
Paul Bonneau 2011-03-31 03:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR  Recently, STR linked to a video of “The Story of Your Enslavement”. While I largely agree with his view on this, and while I think his exposition is effective in breaking through all the lies we have used to enslaved ourselves, still there are some points about it that bother me.   What Molyneux is using here, is analogy. Analogy is a...
Don’t Leave Me Alone... Not!
9
Paul Bonneau 2011-05-02 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR   One of the Strike The Root guest editors linked to an article a few days back, Steve Horwitz’ "Don’t Leave Me Alone". This was an opportunity for a little personal edification. One question that arose was, “What is a libertarian?”   Apparently the answer is, “Who the Hell knows?” In other words, it...
Not Enough Enemies? Let’s Create More!
9
Paul Bonneau 2011-09-08 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau Exclusive to STR  I was just reading how anarcho-syndicalists are so bad, that they are even worse than the state.   Wow, that is something else. We have no idea what things are going to come about at this end of empire, what our true enemies will be; but we are already searching for other dragons to slay. The more obscure, the better!   The article, by...
What Would Free Market Justice Look Like?
9
Paul Bonneau 2011-12-05 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading a chapter of Jim Corbett’s My India, when I ran into an illuminating clue about the range of possible judicial solutions where freedom exists. Most people seem to imagine free market justice working more or less like our current system, just better and cheaper and more fair. But would it actually look anything like that?   To get...
Government, a Force of Nature
9
Paul Bonneau 2013-02-21 06:56
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR When I go outside this time of year, I get cold. I compensate by getting a coat on, and then go about my business. This is the standard way of dealing with forces of nature. I don’t spend a lot of time lying in bed wishing it weren’t cold. I have better things to do with my time. Why is government any different? Government is just a gang of...
How Much Do You Value Government?
9
Paul Bonneau 2013-09-16 07:41
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading Mama Liberty’s recent blog post about downsizing government. It occurred to me that it could be determined how much any given individual valued government, by asking them how much they would pay in taxes for it, if taxes really were voluntary. For example, Joe Blow pays a total of $20,000 this year in taxes. If asked what he’d...
MYOB: As Important as NAP?
9
Paul Bonneau 2013-12-27 09:21
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR If you have not yet read Eric Frank Russell’s classic And Then There Were None, it would help understand this article. “MYOB” means “Mind Your Own Business.” Of course, every libertarian and anarchist knows what “NAP” is (although I have always wondered why it has two names, “NAP” and “ZAP,...
The Compromise
9
Paul Bonneau 2014-05-21 08:12
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Why is it that evil proliferates? What mechanism keeps it going? Who is to blame? Why are there so many wars and occupations? Why such huge amounts of theft (“taxes”, fines, fees and “civil forfeiture”)? Why are so many nonviolent people in jail? What keeps the “War on Some Drugs” going? Why does the police state expand...