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Joined: 2009-12-24
Columns on STR: 77

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RECENT COMMENTS BY Paul Bonneau

Columns by Paul Bonneau

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...
A Freedom Lover's Faustian Bargain
9.66667
Paul Bonneau 2009-12-02 17:00
Exclusive to STR I have read many pro-freedom articles on Strike The Root, but one of the strangest was Jim Davies' piece "Handouts." Somehow, I had a hard time reconciling what I was reading there, with Thoreau's quote at the top of the page. Who'd-a thunk it? That we could hack at the root of evil by profiting from it? I mean, how cool is that? Still, I thought I would try to apply a...
Why People Believe Government Is Here to Help Us Recommended
10
Paul Bonneau 2010-08-27 03:00
By Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR     The tenacity of the meme, that government is here to help us and protect us, is hard to understand. All evidence throughout history points in the opposite direction--that government is here to prey on us, and that if there is anything we need protection from, it is our own governments. Why do people cling to this harmful meme?   A...
Become Dangerous (Part 2)
10
Paul Bonneau 2011-02-14 04:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I thought I’d update the previous article I wrote on this subject. This was prompted by, among other things, an article about “Shooting on a Shoestring" also posted at lewrockwell.com.   The author likes the SKS for a defense carbine. They certainly qualify for shooting on a shoestring, and there is an undeniable utility in a semi-...
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...
Going Unarmed Is an Antisocial Act
10
Paul Bonneau 2014-04-08 08:32
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR All States provide protection. That is the primary justification for their existence. The reality can be a bit more complicated, of course. To be sure, there have been times and places where governments have actually provided protection. George Washington’s army actually provided protection against--well, I guess it was against the government that...
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...
Hooray for the TSA! Recommended
10
Paul Bonneau 2010-11-18 04:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   It’s just funny what a complete cluster-f*ck government can make of something if you simply let them have their way. I suppose that is normal with all parasitic organisms; they could live just fine if they knew when to stop their depredations--but they never do. They literally cannot avoid the self-destructive course.   The latest...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...
Panarchy, Not Anarchy, Is the Answer
10
Paul Bonneau 2013-01-08 08:01
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR It’s not unusual to see here on Strike The Root articles defending or promoting anarchy, particularly the anarcho-capitalist variety. Yay, team! Anarcho-capitalism is a good answer--for anarcho-capitalists. Not so good for, say, communitarians, though; nor for liberals, conservatives, or even anarcho-other-than-capitalists. It’s an answer,...
Barnyard Politics
10
Paul Bonneau 2013-03-20 07:55
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Humans have a strange inclination to build their fundamental political beliefs and institutions on a foundation of lies and fantasies. One would think something so important should have a better connection to reality! Some of these lies and fantasies are: democracy, the republic, representative government, constitutions, government "help," and...
Two Minutes of Hate for the Collectivists
10
Paul Bonneau 2013-07-08 08:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was listening to the interview of Mike Vanderboegh by my friends Michael Dean and Neema Vedadi, and made an initial response on Libertarian Enterprise. Since naming that response “How To Not Be a Collectivist” bothered me a bit (you can detect my uneasiness in that article), I have thought some more about it; here are my cogitations. First I...
The Optimum Level of Violence
10
Paul Bonneau 2013-07-25 07:45
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR A while back, lots of conservatives got excited about something called the Laffer Curve. It’s the notion that stolen government loot will be zero at tax rates of both 0% and 100%, therefore looting is maximized at some rate in between. Not the most earth-shattering realization, I admit, but still, if you read about it, you come off with a strange...
Begging the Masters for Liberty
10
Paul Bonneau 2013-08-02 07:38
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading Judge Napolitano’s article describing the Amash-Conyers amendment attempting to stop wholesale NSA snooping of Americans, and also the letter from Edward Snowden’s father to Obama. One can understand both of these initiatives at three different levels. The first level is a straightforward interpretation: an honest attempt by...
Some Reasons for Libertarians to NOT Reject the Non-Aggression Principle
10
Paul Bonneau 2014-02-12 01:00
Column by Paul Bonneua. Exclusive to STR I just came across Matt Zwolinski’s article, Six Reasons Libertarians Should Reject the Non-Aggression Principle. I think he does point out some problems, but comes to the wrong conclusion. His conclusion: "There comes a point where what you need is not another refinement to the definition of 'aggression' but a radical paradigm shift...
A Critique of 'Against Libertarian Brutalism'
10
Paul Bonneau 2014-03-16 23:18
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Jeffrey Tucker writes a thoughtful (if not concise) article in his Against Libertarian Brutalism, but at the end, one is left unsatisfied. It has the flavor of one big straw man argument, as well as looking like a bit of “divide and conquer,” splitting libertarians unnecessarily into two distinct camps (as if we did not have enough camps...
The Good and the Bad of Constitutionalism
10
Paul Bonneau 2014-08-28 08:31
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR There are many, including myself who, having examined how and by whom and for what purpose the Constitution was used to overthrow the clearly superior Articles of Confederation, tend to throw up our hands at any notion of restoring it. Why bother? Our current police state can be traced directly way back to the 1787 Convention, it seems. However, it might...
The Old Farm Shed
9.875
Paul Bonneau 2011-05-20 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau.   Exclusive to STR   I once owned a small farm that had gone to the weeds. On this farm was a shed, the kind one sees on working farms with one side open and tractors parked inside, or hay bales stacked. For some reason I woke up this morning, thinking about that shed.   When friends came over, we’d be out walking around and they’d invariably say...
Where's My Contract?
9.85714
Paul Bonneau 2011-07-18 00:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Dear Senator Enzi,   I was reading Robert Higgs' article Consent of the Governed? when I suddenly realized that I have misplaced my copy of my Social Contract. You know, the signed agreement between myself and the federal government, allowing the latter to rule me? I have looked everywhere and cannot find it.   Would you please make a copy of...
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...
A Freedom Lover's Faustian Bargain
9.66667
Paul Bonneau 2009-12-02 17:00
Exclusive to STR I have read many pro-freedom articles on Strike The Root, but one of the strangest was Jim Davies' piece "Handouts." Somehow, I had a hard time reconciling what I was reading there, with Thoreau's quote at the top of the page. Who'd-a thunk it? That we could hack at the root of evil by profiting from it? I mean, how cool is that? Still, I thought I would try to apply a...
Comments on 'Liberty in the Tenticular State'
9.66667
Paul Bonneau 2013-06-13 08:13
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was just reading “Liberty in the Tenticular State” by Charles Cooke and had a few comments about how confusing issues get, to people with a rights-based (not to mention Constitutionalist) view of reality. There is a better way. First interesting item in the article was this: “So complete has been the destruction of liberty’s...
An Apostate From the Government Religion Recommended
9.66667
Paul Bonneau 2013-10-23 08:00
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I was reading an article about Roger Williams. The more I learn about him, the more impressed I become. "Roger Williams was not a man out of time. He belonged to the 17th Century and to Puritans in that century. Yet he was also one of the most remarkable men of his or any century. With absolute faith in the literal truth of the Bible and in his...