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tzo
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Joined: 2009-12-24
Columns on STR: 64
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United States

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tzo now lives in your head.

RECENT COMMENTS BY tzo

Columns by tzo

Melpomene's Magnum Opus
9.33333
tzo 2013-06-20 06:56
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR It seems fairly easy to feel sorry for Edward Snowden, assuming he is in fact a well-meaning individual who was just doing his job and—seeing that the system was being abused to the detriment of others—bravely called it out and is subsequently being persecuted for his actions. One might—and many do—even venture to label him a hero. But...
Foundering in the Morass
9
tzo 2013-04-30 07:28
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR <Voluntaryist decides to troll Statist in order to illustrate the contradictions inherent in government:> Guess what? I own a slave now! It's great! He has to do whatever I say! You should get one, too! What! That's completely illegal! No, he voluntarily signed a contract and now I own him. But the 13th Amendment makes slavery illegal. Period. No...
Broken
8.25
tzo 2013-04-24 06:39
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Every day there are people starving to death in many parts of the world as I step out from work and go enjoy my lunch. What am I—some kind of monster? Don’t I realize that: No man is an island,
 Entire of itself.
 Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main.
 If a clod be washed away by the sea,
 Europe is the less.
 As well as if a promontory...
Laissons Faire!
9.5
tzo 2013-04-12 07:04
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Many Voluntaryists expend much energy attempting to convince people that society can operate without a central coercive government organization, and this can be quite exhausting work for what sometimes seems like negligible results. There are also some Voluntaryists who take a slightly different approach: We don’t need to convince anyone of anything except to...
Civilized Society v2.0
9.75
tzo 2013-03-13 06:58
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR As I have written many times, I don’t believe that government is an absolute necessity for creating and maintaining a civilized society. In this essay, however, I would like to throw as many bones as possible to (not at) those who would take up for the loyal opposition. In fact, I will concede here for argument's sake that all the historical and empirical...
Metaphor Mashup
10
tzo 2013-03-05 07:55
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The history books proclaim that Lincoln had to "bend the rules" of the Constitution in order to "save the Union." Apparently having a relatively free nation is merely a luxury to be enjoyed during peacetime, but this system is inherently weak and if stressed, must transform itself into a temporary tyranny in order to survive. In other words,...
You Say You Want a Revolution?
9
tzo 2013-02-12 07:55
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Logical Consistency Warning: Severe mental discomfort may result from any serious consideration of the comparison made in the following essay. Please disregard said comparison as ridiculous in order to restore previous state of mental tranquility. Here is a familiar passage that any self-respecting Patriot recognizes and supports: ". . . that whenever any...
Successful Secession, Failed Revolution
7
tzo 2013-01-23 07:10
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Once upon a time there was a nation divided. The southern region used human beings from Africa as slaves while the northern region did not. Of course the North still benefited financially from the South’s system of involuntary servitude, and so even though only the South utilized slave labor directly, the entire nation condoned it and profited greatly from it...
Bellum Sacrum
8.75
tzo 2013-01-02 06:51
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Once upon a time there lived a businessman named Muhammad who, at the age of 40, had a divine revelation. He then proceeded to pick up some followers, united them under the Constitution of Medina, took over Mecca, destroyed the pagan idols, then conquered and converted most of the Arabian Peninsula to Islam. After he died, the succeeding Caliphates expanded the...
Beware the Swarm
8.5
tzo 2012-12-19 08:09
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR It has been said that government is merely an intangible set of ideas that influence how people interact with one another. It has also been called a belief system analogous to a religion in that it generally has its own creation mythos, a pantheon of idealized superheroes, and a set of superstitions grounded in faith instead of logic. While I don’t disagree...
The Trials Recommended
8.33333
tzo 2012-12-11 07:49
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR To anyone who has seen or read The Reader (a synopsis of the relevant part of the story is here), one of the main questions raised in the story is, "What should be done with Hanna?" Was she responsible for her actions even if she was so thoroughly indoctrinated so as to be completely confused by the charges against her? She asked more than once, while...
Grover and Annie
10
tzo 2012-12-05 07:38
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The scene is a university chemical laboratory. Grover is fretting over his latest experiment, which he cannot get to work. He is attempting to synthesize a material that he has dubbed Libertium, a theoretical substance that could be produced as cheaply as plastic while being stronger than steel. Unfortunately for Grover, the results are not cooperating with the...
Teach Your Children Well, Part II
9.6
tzo 2012-11-29 07:55
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Differentiating A child must see that temporary parental authority is natural and useful and very different from all other forms of non-parental “authority.” A child never sits down and signs papers acknowledging that she grants authority to her parents—it just happens. And if the parents delegate their authority to other adults, that also just...
Teach Your Children Well, Part I
9.33333
tzo 2012-11-28 08:07
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Introduction and Disclaimer It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~ Frederick Douglass In previous essays, I have put forth the idea that in today's society, most people have had at least a portion of their rational faculty damaged by the coercive institutions that are in place, and that repairing this damage is difficult, as it is...
The God Slide
9.25
tzo 2012-11-08 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Religion is always a fun topic to address, since no one ever really gets fired up about it . . . . While Voluntaryists acknowledge that government is aggressive, unethical, and is often likened to religion in that it is based on superstitious beliefs, it is commonly held that religion is only dangerous when coupled with government force. If people want to believe...
The Curious Species Ordinatio Diutinus
9
tzo 2012-10-23 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Modern governments are perhaps quite naturally thick-headed and self-destructive, destined to clumsily overreach and greedily overindulge until they inevitably collapse. It’s seemingly encoded into their metaphorical DNA. But this is just the natural life cycle of any individual government—to be born; to consume, develop, and grow; and to die. And yet...
Slavespeak, Part II
10
tzo 2012-10-14 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Bombs in the Brain The design of Slavespeak is such that its words and terms detonate emotional bombs in the brain that function like controlled directional explosive charges. The use of them reflexively jumps the state of mind directly from a to b without the benefit of rational thought. They are of the category “anti-concepts,” as Ayn Rand called them...
Slavespeak, Part I
9.75
tzo 2012-10-07 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Introduction   An individual will quite naturally assume that he is in control of the language that he uses. He selects the words and phrases he feels are necessary to express himself or to describe people, places, and events in the world around him. He is the ultimate master over this tool that exists to facilitate his communication efforts, just as he...
Getting Down to the Business of Living
9.66667
tzo 2012-09-27 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR At one time or another, we all have wished for some ability or attribute that we don't possess. If I were a foot taller, I could have played in the NBA. And so on.   Some of these wishes can gnaw at a person, but wishing for impossibilities is not living in reality. Sometimes you just have to be thankful for what you have. More importantly, all you can ever do...
Seven Samurai, Times Ten
10
tzo 2012-09-16 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR In Akira Kurosawa's classic film Seven Samurai, a village of farmers must contend with raiding bandits. Not being skilled in or equipped for the martial arts, the farmers are easy prey for the armed thugs on horseback.   Near the beginning of the story, the bandits are about to invade the village when they realize that they did just that not too long ago and...
The State of Freedom
10
tzo 2012-08-30 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Unknown to most Americans, there is a 51st state tucked away amid the Rocky Mountains. It is smallish but there nonetheless, if only in my imagination. Since its admission to the Union 50 years ago, the inhabitants of this State—which is named Freedom—have lived by excepting a rule by which the rest of us abide:   They do not use United States...
I Pledge Allegiance, Under God, to the Constitution of Independence
9.5
tzo 2012-08-20 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The citizens of the United States are proud of their nation’s Founding Fathers and the Founding Documents they authored, based on Noble Guiding Principles, firmly grounded in Freedom and Justice For All. God Himself seems to be an ardent admirer, as evidenced by the fact that He hath not yet come forth to dispute having made any of the many endorsements that...
Magic 'Money'
10
tzo 2012-08-13 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Where does U.S. “money” come from? If you’re not sure, the answer that follows may surprise you a bit.   The process begins with the Treasury Department creating a bond. Treasury bonds represent the Federal government asking for loans. When a Treasury bond is “bought,” what is really happening is that the “buyer” is...
Anarcho-Statists
8.66667
tzo 2012-08-01 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR I am not one to get caught up in labels when it comes to identifying which flavor of non-governmental society one may envision. There are anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, anarcho-socialists, anarcho-communists, anarcho-syndicalists, mutualists, voluntaryists, and a long list of others.   I generally choose to use the term voluntaryist for myself, as it seems...
The Wonders of the World
9.2
tzo 2012-06-06 23:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   I will say that the Taj Mahal is a fine and impressive piece of architecture.   It was commissioned by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his third wife, who died during the birth of their fourteenth child.   It obviously wasn’t cheap. Where did the Shah get the money to finance such a project? Well, the Mughal empire accumulated money...
Aristophanes' Law MUST READ
10
tzo 2010-09-24 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Some 2,400 years ago, the Greek playwright Aristophanes put forth an idea in one of his plays that I would like to codify into a law of human behavior. Here are the pertinent lines from his play "The Frogs":   The course our city runs is the same towards men and money. She has true and worthy sons. She has fine new gold and ancient...
The Failed Theory of Relativity
10
tzo 2010-10-14 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Voluntaryism is, primarily, an ethical philosophy applied to the organization of society. Most of the common modern social organization theories (e.g., “democracy”) focus on organizing society based upon what the majority feels is right and always with an eye toward the utilitarian target that is the greatest good for the greatest number....
Millions of Petty Tyrants
10
tzo 2010-11-05 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The empirical evidence that power corrupts goes a long way in explaining the inevitable one-way course to tyranny trod by all governments. Having a monopoly on force, corruption within the government monopoly cannot be effectively checked, and growing corruption and its attendant increasing power eventually congeal into absolute power and absolute...
Hail, Ruritania!
10
tzo 2010-10-22 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   So a group of 20 people find themselves stranded on a previously uninhabited, lush, and rather large island that could support perhaps ten times as many people.   There is an abundance of fish, birds, fruit and other edible vegetation, rainwater, and plenty of trees and other raw materials for building shelter and making tools.   The 20 go...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
10
tzo 2011-03-30 02:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...
Patriot Pauls and Patriot Acts, Part II of II Recommended
10
tzo 2011-06-27 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Part II: Get Real   Reality check: There is little I can do to change society as it is currently configured, and the Constitutionalist must come to grips with the fact that he is in an identical situation. The Voluntaryist is ridiculed for holding a position that hardly anyone understands or is aligned with, but the same may be said of the Ron Paul...
Inferno, Part I of II
10
tzo 2011-08-11 23:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR Quoth Nietzche with regard to the State, “Yes, a hellish artifice has been created here, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honors!”   The State is perhaps better understood in this industrial and technical era as a death-machine. The true ugliness within the guts of this meat grinder is hidden behind a well-crafted...
Inferno, Part II of II
10
tzo 2011-08-14 23:00
Column by tzo.  Exclusive to STR Part II of II   Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, (Midway upon the journey of our life,) Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, (I found myself within a forest dark,) Che la diritta via era smarrita. (For the straightforward pathway had been lost.)   Without realizing it, the citizen has gotten off the path that he intended to take. He looks around...
Magic 'Money'
10
tzo 2012-08-13 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Where does U.S. “money” come from? If you’re not sure, the answer that follows may surprise you a bit.   The process begins with the Treasury Department creating a bond. Treasury bonds represent the Federal government asking for loans. When a Treasury bond is “bought,” what is really happening is that the “buyer” is...
The State of Freedom
10
tzo 2012-08-30 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Unknown to most Americans, there is a 51st state tucked away amid the Rocky Mountains. It is smallish but there nonetheless, if only in my imagination. Since its admission to the Union 50 years ago, the inhabitants of this State—which is named Freedom—have lived by excepting a rule by which the rest of us abide:   They do not use United States...
Seven Samurai, Times Ten
10
tzo 2012-09-16 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR In Akira Kurosawa's classic film Seven Samurai, a village of farmers must contend with raiding bandits. Not being skilled in or equipped for the martial arts, the farmers are easy prey for the armed thugs on horseback.   Near the beginning of the story, the bandits are about to invade the village when they realize that they did just that not too long ago and...
Slavespeak, Part II
10
tzo 2012-10-14 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Bombs in the Brain The design of Slavespeak is such that its words and terms detonate emotional bombs in the brain that function like controlled directional explosive charges. The use of them reflexively jumps the state of mind directly from a to b without the benefit of rational thought. They are of the category “anti-concepts,” as Ayn Rand called them...
Grover and Annie
10
tzo 2012-12-05 07:38
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The scene is a university chemical laboratory. Grover is fretting over his latest experiment, which he cannot get to work. He is attempting to synthesize a material that he has dubbed Libertium, a theoretical substance that could be produced as cheaply as plastic while being stronger than steel. Unfortunately for Grover, the results are not cooperating with the...
Check Your Premises
10
tzo 2011-01-11 03:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Apologists for government, along with uncritical government participants (most citizens), claim that just governments exist by way of a social contract. The idea is that the people voluntarily cede a portion of their freedom to government in exchange for social order secured by the government’s rule of law. The members of government, who are...
Metaphor Mashup
10
tzo 2013-03-05 07:55
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The history books proclaim that Lincoln had to "bend the rules" of the Constitution in order to "save the Union." Apparently having a relatively free nation is merely a luxury to be enjoyed during peacetime, but this system is inherently weak and if stressed, must transform itself into a temporary tyranny in order to survive. In other words,...
There’s the Law, and Then There’s The Law
9.83333
tzo 2011-11-17 00:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!   If this is true, it is a serious fact...
Private Universities? Ha!
9.8
tzo 2010-12-08 03:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR The State has always needed an opinion-molding class to convince the masses that the institution of government is necessary, proper, and vital in its organization and delivery of essential public services that could not otherwise be provided.   In exchange for the creation and dissemination of such ideological propaganda, the apologist class receives certain...
All Men Are Created Equal
9.75
tzo 2011-09-26 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Near the end of "The Failed Theory of Relativity," I wrote:   "There must be universal objective human values and ethics that are inextricably tied to human existence and grounded in empirical fact that apply to us all. Exploring what some of them may be is beyond the scope of this little essay…."   It is now time to...
Slavespeak, Part I
9.75
tzo 2012-10-07 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Introduction   An individual will quite naturally assume that he is in control of the language that he uses. He selects the words and phrases he feels are necessary to express himself or to describe people, places, and events in the world around him. He is the ultimate master over this tool that exists to facilitate his communication efforts, just as he...
Civilized Society v2.0
9.75
tzo 2013-03-13 06:58
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR As I have written many times, I don’t believe that government is an absolute necessity for creating and maintaining a civilized society. In this essay, however, I would like to throw as many bones as possible to (not at) those who would take up for the loyal opposition. In fact, I will concede here for argument's sake that all the historical and empirical...
Getting Down to the Business of Living
9.66667
tzo 2012-09-27 23:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR At one time or another, we all have wished for some ability or attribute that we don't possess. If I were a foot taller, I could have played in the NBA. And so on.   Some of these wishes can gnaw at a person, but wishing for impossibilities is not living in reality. Sometimes you just have to be thankful for what you have. More importantly, all you can ever do...
Teach Your Children Well, Part II
9.6
tzo 2012-11-29 07:55
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR Differentiating A child must see that temporary parental authority is natural and useful and very different from all other forms of non-parental “authority.” A child never sits down and signs papers acknowledging that she grants authority to her parents—it just happens. And if the parents delegate their authority to other adults, that also just...
Genesis
9.57143
tzo 2011-03-23 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   The subjects were not happy. The royalty of the land were taking ten percent of all the voluntary exchanges made by the subjects, and then to add insult to injury, the subjects were not even allowed to complain about this injustice for fear of being kidnapped and thrown into a dank prison or perhaps even killed. This overt tyranny was quickly becoming...
Suckers!
9.5
tzo 2010-03-15 02:00
Exclusive to STR In a (nearly) parallel universe, portions of recent history are recorded as follows:   late 19th century-1934 Saudi Arabia's currency is called the Petro, and it is backed with oil, such that one barrel of oil equals 20.67 Petros. All taxes and payments to the Saudi government must be made in Petros. World markets utilize the Petro, a way to deal in oil without actually...
The Truth of the Matter
9.5
tzo 2010-07-13 02:00
By tzo.   Exclusive to STR     Freeman finds himself within the borders claimed by a government. This human being decides he does not want to participate in the government organization anymore, so he quits. He then finds a nice plot of "public" property and claims it as his own. He is quickly confronted with a government participant named Citizen, who informs him that the...
Oh, Stanley MUST READ
10
tzo 2011-03-30 02:00
Column by tzo. Exclusive to STR   Stanley Milgram was an American social psychologist best known for his Milgram Experiment, a study conducted in the 1960s.   Dr. Milgram wanted to research the relationship between obedience and authority, and he was at least partly motivated to do so by the events of the Nazi Holocaust. It greatly troubled him that so many supposedly good people could...
Aristophanes' Law MUST READ
10
tzo 2010-09-24 02:00
Column by tzo.   Exclusive to STR   Some 2,400 years ago, the Greek playwright Aristophanes put forth an idea in one of his plays that I would like to codify into a law of human behavior. Here are the pertinent lines from his play "The Frogs":   The course our city runs is the same towards men and money. She has true and worthy sons. She has fine new gold and ancient...