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Joined: 2009-08-30
Columns on STR: 243
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Short bio:

Jim Davies is a retired businessman in New Hampshire who led the development of an on-line school of liberty in 2006, and who wrote A Vision of Liberty" , "Transition to Liberty" and, in 2010, "Denial of Liberty" and "To FREEDOM from Fascism, America!" He started The Zero Government Blog in the same year.
In 2012 Jim launched http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov , to help lead government workers to an honest life.
In 2013 he wrote his fifth book, a concise and rational introduction to the Christian religion called "Which Church (if any)?"

RECENT COMMENTS BY Jim Davies

Columns by Jim Davies

Dickens, Reconsidered
10
Jim Davies 2012-06-11 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Few novels if any can have so profoundly assisted the spread of socialism in the century following 1850 as those of Charles Dickens, for they portrayed vividly the slums in English cities during the Industrial Revolution which enabled Karl Marx, who lived in London with support from his friend Friedrich Engels, to denounce the capitalist system he said had...
Time for Civil Disobedience? Recommended
8.75
Jim Davies 2012-06-04 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Underlying approaches to the great problem of how to rid society of government parasites without violence is the insight of Etienne de la Boëtie:   "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like...
Working Capital
10
Jim Davies 2012-05-28 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR "Capitalism" is another of those words, like "liberal," whose meanings have been twisted by time, use and particularly by government influence, to mean something quite different from, and sometimes opposite to, their original intent. When we see Occupy Wall Street protesters waving banners calling for its downfall, they are referring to...
So You Work as an Elections Clerk?
10
Jim Davies 2012-05-17 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR [Author's Note: Readers who know someone who helps operate elections might usefully refer him or her to this article. Should it become widely read before November, it could have an interesting effect. It's adapted from one of a series at the new web site TinyURL.com/QuitGov, which aims to help government employees lead honest lives....
What a Time to Be Alive!
10
Jim Davies 2012-05-07 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   For ten thousand years, governments have polluted the human race by stealing and squandering the products of our labor, repeatedly creating war and destruction, and choking off initiative and invention. Yet now, in this present era, there is serious hope that these parasites will cease to leech. The root of the problem is, at long last, being...
So You Work for a Prosecutor? Recommended
0
Jim Davies 2012-04-29 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  [Author's Note: Readers who know someone working in a prosecutor's office might usefully refer him or her to this article. It's adapted from one of a series at the new web site TinyURL.com/QuitGov, which aims to help government employees lead honest lives.] Getting bad guys off the street is surely a good and noble objective, a vital task in a...
Breivik's Defense
10
Jim Davies 2012-04-22 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Is Anders Breivik bad, or mad? If his Norwegian judges find him insane, they will lock him up at the King's pleasure with crazies until he proves he loves Big Brother, and that may be forever; but if they find him criminally liable for murdering 77 people last July, he will spend about 20 years in the company of others, about half of whom are probably...
The Gulch, Revisited
7
Jim Davies 2012-04-12 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  Perhaps the most delightful chapter in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is the one describing Dagny Taggart's visit to Galt's Gulch. Exhausted and frustrated by trying to run a railroad in the teeth of bureaucrats and bloodsuckers, she drops in to see what a free society is like--and is given a vision of liberty. If Rand had never...
Help Wanted
10
Jim Davies 2012-03-29 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  The power-crazed psychopaths running government need one thing above all: a supply of employees to do their grunt work. With that, they can survive any crisis, any criticism, any revenue shortfall, any desertion by voters; but without it, they are powerless. Therefore, those wishing to enjoy life without government in practice as well as in theory need...
The God Question
9.14286
Jim Davies 2012-03-18 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Why does it matter, to market anarchists, whether or not God exists? Surely all would be able, in a free society, to believe whatever they wish about religion? That was the thrust of Paul Bonneau's recent article here, and he added that it's counterproductive for the libertarian spokesman to ridicule the religious. His point is well taken. In the...
Two Pillars of the State
8
Jim Davies 2012-03-02 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The Internet is abuzz with execration of the TSA, and deservedly so, but recently Becky Akers reported on one site that the agency now rivals the IRS in the degree to which Americans detest it. That's a very notable achievement, given that it's had a mere one decade instead of ten, to attract such loathing. The report rings true. Only a minority of us fly,...
Abolishing Prisons
8
Jim Davies 2012-02-17 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The words "escape" and "prison" fit together like hands in gloves in the mind of every prisoner, but in that of every warden, the two will never meet; or not on his watch, not if he can help it. So prisons don't have fire escapes. Instead, they are built of materials that will not burn; concrete, steel, brick. They look dull, but they...
To Govern and Enslave
10
Jim Davies 2012-02-07 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  Given the axiom of self-ownership, there's very little difference between those two verbs. To govern someone is to override his own wishes; he wants to do X, but government commands him to do Y. Likewise, to enslave someone is to override his own plans; he wants to be an Econ Professor and columnist, but the slave-owner commands him to pick cotton, and...
1492
9
Jim Davies 2012-01-30 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It's a bit difficult to compress a big slice of human history into a few hundred words, so if I omit some of your favorite details, I hope you'll forgive me.   I pick 1492 as being the pivotal year in that immense saga. One could of course choose from other good candidates: 50,000 years ago when mankind migrated out of Africa to populate the rest of the...
Liberty Stability
9.5
Jim Davies 2012-01-17 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR If I outline the delights of a free society, quite often the listener will say that it's "Utopian." All very nice but not practical, he means, and after clarification he usually agrees that "Utopian" means a status that is not stable; that if it is put into place, it will inevitably collapse. If I have the chance, I'll then continue by...
Where's the State?
8.75
Jim Davies 2012-01-06 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Any phone book has a long list of government offices. So isn't this a silly question? Not really. All those listed items are departments of government, or representatives of the State, or Town etc. Where and what exactly is the state itself? Like the famous Wendy's ad from 1984, we're interested in the core of the matter: Where's the Beef?   If you...
History, Rewritten
0
Jim Davies 2011-12-09 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR As a thought-experiment, I've been trying to imagine how different US history would have been if, at certain alternative times in the past, government had altogether disappeared--if ours had become a truly free society. So let's see how it might have worked out, moving back in time in discrete steps. In each example below, all government in America is...
Ron, Reviewed
8.83333
Jim Davies 2011-11-14 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  It's been a great pleasure to see media mention every day recently of the man who once said in my hearing that the IRS is "the world's largest terrorist organization." The mere possibility that Ron Paul could actually get elected President is enough to make any liberty lover salivate. That he should already have stacked up some straw-poll...
Vox Dei?
10
Jim Davies 2010-12-26 03:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Michael Kleen's Conversation with Vox Day was an unusual article for Strike The Root, but gave a valuable insight into why theists may become good branch-trimming libertarians, but seldom ax-wielding, anarchist root-strikers. I had noticed Mr. Day at the masthead of that highly Statist, conservative publication World Net Daily, with its 24-point...
Acid Test
5.33333
Jim Davies 2010-12-09 03:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The aftermath of the release of the first 1% of the recent second wave of leaks of sensitive government documents is in some ways more fun than reading of the newly uncovered secrets themselves. It has drawn a clear distinction between those who are horrified and those who are delighted; like the acid test for fake gold, this reveals what people really think...
Gropers, Peepers, and What To Do
8
Jim Davies 2010-11-18 03:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   John Pistole, our nation's Groper in Chief, told Margaret Warner on PBS' News Hour on November 16th what a shame it would be if travelers missed their connections at Thanksgiving because more of us than usual elected to "opt-out" of what are becoming known as the TSA's new "porno scanners"--in favor of a highly intrusive pat...
Terms of Association Recommended
9
Jim Davies 2010-10-15 02:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR    An advocate for the US Constitution recently argued on the Peter Mac Show that any group of people in any locality properly has the right to set up an association and to define its terms. He was correct, of course. The terms agreed would relate to who can belong and who, not--and to how decisions of policy and practice shall be made, as...
Malthus' Mistakes
9
Jim Davies 2010-10-08 02:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   The Reverend Thomas Malthus was no dummy. He made a colossal and famous error by predicting at the end of the 18th Century that human population would stop growing for want of food to feed any more people, but he was a serious scholar nonetheless. He was a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge and as well as being an Anglican clergyman was...
To Edit
9.66667
Jim Davies 2010-09-27 02:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Nothing can match the institution of government for sheer malevolence and resultant mayhem, but the modern media come close; the big, established ones that report selected items of news, arranged and analyzed so as powerfully to mold public opinion and thereby help perpetuate the established order. Happily and thanks largely to the Internet and the...
Great Fictions Recommended
9.33333
Jim Davies 2010-09-10 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   Is the state a fiction, a myth? How in either case does it compare to a business company, also sometimes called a fictional entity? Or to a religion?   I'm using "state" not so much to mean a particular political organization like the State of New Hampshire, but more in the sense used by Oppenheimer in The State, or by Bastiat in his...
Politics Don't Cut It
9
Jim Davies 2013-03-27 06:01
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Murray Rothbard never pretended to be infallible, and he wasn't; but when he wrote or spoke on his specialty of economics, he was . . . close enough for government work. I had the chance to hear him speak several times, and have some of his books, and say that he was the most brilliant, prolific and consistent pro-freedom writer of the 20th Century....
The Thirteenth Year
9
Jim Davies 2013-08-27 06:32
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR There's a lot of silly superstitions around, one of which regards the number 13 as unlucky, leading to irrational but septasyllabic triskaidekaphobia. Tall buildings are built with floors numbered up to 12, then 14 and beyond; it must play havoc with the design engineers. According to Shyam Sunder Gupta, in 1993 the prestigious British Medical Journal...
A Deal With Government
9
Jim Davies 2013-01-09 08:04
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR World history was radically changed, in the small Turkish town presently known as Iznik. It affected a vast range of human activities during the last 17 centuries; it housed an event more significant than Rome itself with its claim to dominate Christendom, than Paris with its thousand years of prominence in trade and culture, than Florence or Venice with...
Hold It, Holder
9
Jim Davies 2013-03-12 06:49
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The great danger of criticizing specific things government does or says or fails to do or say is that readers can reasonably infer that if the opposite were done or said, all would be well. In other words, they can infer that the author envisages the possibility of a satisfactory government. I do not, ever, anywhere; for by definition (of “govern...
Ron, Reviewed
8.83333
Jim Davies 2011-11-14 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR  It's been a great pleasure to see media mention every day recently of the man who once said in my hearing that the IRS is "the world's largest terrorist organization." The mere possibility that Ron Paul could actually get elected President is enough to make any liberty lover salivate. That he should already have stacked up some straw-poll...
Government Securities
8.75
Jim Davies 2010-08-02 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Those who lend money to the government participate in a fraud, for all of them know that it has only one way ultimately to pay either interest or principal: by stealing it. So if they ever lose it (and they will, as below) there will be no sympathy from this quarter.   They do the lending by purchasing municipal bonds and Treasury Bills,...
Where's the State?
8.75
Jim Davies 2012-01-06 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Any phone book has a long list of government offices. So isn't this a silly question? Not really. All those listed items are departments of government, or representatives of the State, or Town etc. Where and what exactly is the state itself? Like the famous Wendy's ad from 1984, we're interested in the core of the matter: Where's the Beef?   If you...
Time for Civil Disobedience? Recommended
8.75
Jim Davies 2012-06-04 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Underlying approaches to the great problem of how to rid society of government parasites without violence is the insight of Etienne de la Boëtie:   "Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like...
Limits of Indoctrination
8.75
Jim Davies 2013-01-07 07:58
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Dr. Gary North is a prolific writer, as shown by his huge archive at LRC; and most of those of his articles I've read are very good. He's particularly perceptive about the future of higher education, as this recent example illustrates. Sometimes he's too long-winded for my taste, and sometimes he seems to me to get it wrong – though the...
What Are You?
8.75
Jim Davies 2013-02-04 08:12
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR We are Root Strikers here, because rather than trying to trim the branches of the evil tree of government, we seek a way to destroy its roots. Some want a smaller or minimal government; we want none at all. It's a powerful analogy, a good name. We are also voluntaryists, for we believe every human action should be uncompelled. That's explicit, and...
Porcupines
8.66667
Jim Davies 2010-07-07 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     In June I had the pleasure of visiting PorcFest 2010, a friendly festival of freedom-seekers held in Northern New Hampshire; so far north that, had one traveled much further, one would have entered Her Majesty's jurisdiction. One of her subjects had in fact come south, from his freedomain somewhere near the North Pole, to enhance the Festival;...
Cyprus, v.t.
8.66667
Jim Davies 2013-09-09 06:57
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last month in The Thirteenth Year, I suggested a few dreadful government actions that would make 2013 memorable. I missed one: mea culpa. This was the year in which a minor government in the Mediterranean turned an island into a verb. Its subject is a government, its object is the money someone holds in a bank in its jurisdiction, and its meaning is that the...
Booing the Goose
8.5
Jim Davies 2010-08-17 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   Chapter 8 of my Transition to Liberty shows that I foresee the time--in the mid-2020s, for reasons it explains--when widespread civil disobedience will play a valuable part in hastening the end of the government era. It will be a period when around one in four of the population has learned what liberty means (and what government means) and so is eager...
The Pugsley Plan Recommended
8.5
Jim Davies 2013-01-14 07:46
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Prior to Harry Browne's first run for US President in 1996, his friend John Pugsley wrote him a passionate “open letter” urging him not to. As far as I know, Harry didn't reply, but he did continue his campaign – and repeated it four years later. He got few votes more than the LP normally receives, but his platform and campaign were...
Half Full
8.33333
Jim Davies 2010-01-21 03:00
  Exclusive to STR   I've been re-reading a couple of excellent, recent articles on Strike The Root, each of which in its way predicts a gloomy future.   One is Glen Allport's "Year Ahead" and the other, Tzo's "Got Money?. Glen provides us as usual with a wealth of evidence to prove his point, piling one piece atop another until there can be no doubt of the message...
464 Lost Years Recommended
8.25
Jim Davies 2012-12-10 07:48
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Recently I re-read part of that seminal essay, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude by Etienne de la Boëtie, written in 1548, or 464 years ago. He said that if you want to topple a tyrant, all you need to do is to withdraw support. No violence, no sweat, just stop helping him. Yet 24 years later there was a massacre of Huguenot Protestants, indicating that...
Oslo
8
Jim Davies 2009-12-15 16:00
Exclusive to STR  There's no doubt of it, Obama is one of the world's two best orators of the last hundred years, and his performance at the December 10th ceremony was stellar. Was there a teleprompter? I didn't see him even glance at a set of notes, yet the delivery was flawless. To his credit also is the way his speech addressed head-on an irony of the occasion; here was the world's...
One Cheer for Obama!
8
Jim Davies 2010-06-15 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR     Normally I give politics all the close attention it deserves, which is to say, next to none; but I've been unable to avoid the thick layers of hypocrisy that have been oozing out of the Mexican Gulf since BP's blowout preventer failed to prevent a blowout.   At once, it was plain that an awful tragedy was looming. Not just the tragedies of...
Gropers, Peepers, and What To Do
8
Jim Davies 2010-11-18 03:00
Column by Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   John Pistole, our nation's Groper in Chief, told Margaret Warner on PBS' News Hour on November 16th what a shame it would be if travelers missed their connections at Thanksgiving because more of us than usual elected to "opt-out" of what are becoming known as the TSA's new "porno scanners"--in favor of a highly intrusive pat...
Abolishing Prisons
8
Jim Davies 2012-02-17 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The words "escape" and "prison" fit together like hands in gloves in the mind of every prisoner, but in that of every warden, the two will never meet; or not on his watch, not if he can help it. So prisons don't have fire escapes. Instead, they are built of materials that will not burn; concrete, steel, brick. They look dull, but they...
Free Trade
8
Jim Davies 2013-01-22 08:23
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The Tea Party is confused; no new news there. It has the great virtue of gathering together under one banner a variety of folk displeased with government, but their interests are so diverse as to prohibit a coherent alternative platform. Rather like the electorate as a whole, some want government to do A, while others want it to do Non-A. Unfortunately, I...
Two Pillars of the State
8
Jim Davies 2012-03-02 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The Internet is abuzz with execration of the TSA, and deservedly so, but recently Becky Akers reported on one site that the agency now rivals the IRS in the degree to which Americans detest it. That's a very notable achievement, given that it's had a mere one decade instead of ten, to attract such loathing. The report rings true. Only a minority of us fly,...
Exposed
7.8
Jim Davies 2012-09-17 23:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   Last week, sales of tabloids on the streets of London were boosted by the news that a French magazine had published photos of the Duchess of Cambridge – gasp – topless.   She and her husband the future King were relaxing in a “secluded chateau” for what they reasonably thought was a period of privacy by the pool, but it...
Rights
7.75
Jim Davies 2013-09-03 07:19
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR They mark limits on government power. If you or I have some right or other, it means government is excluded. If we own some property by right, its agents may enter only by permission – or else by force, violating the right. If we have the right to remain silent, its agents may not rightly oblige us to speak. Government really, really doesn't like...
The 'Muslim Menace'
7.6
Jim Davies 2010-09-01 02:00
By Jim Davies.   Exclusive to STR   Is there one, really? Quite a few think so. I wonder how many of them know what Muslims believe. I wonder how many of those know what they believe themselves, and why. Anyway, let's take a look--and if there is one, let's think how such a menace would be handled in a free society. To those kindly concerned that I might be targeted by terrorists...