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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

Liberty: Rooted in Rights
10
Jim Davies 2014-03-31 08:57
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everyone wants to be free, to make his own decisions without interference. That's a no-brainer; if there are any exceptions beyond those unhappily born without the ability to manage for themselves, they are very few. I never met anyone who said “Rule me, please!” Libertarians, however, add one crucial and distinguishing feature to that: We...
Vlad's Oscar
10
Jim Davies 2014-03-24 08:12
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Everything they say, these Pols, is scripted and rehearsed. I find it really, really difficult to tell whether their endless stream of dicta is serious, or just theater. It's always theater, of course, but sometimes it's also truly meant, and that usually means big trouble, but how does one know when they're kidding and when, not? Clearly,...
The Last Days of Government
10
Jim Davies 2014-02-25 09:03
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR At about 7.35 p.m. ET on February 22nd, the NBC News TV reporter grabbed my attention with the following, as well as I can recall it: “Government has disappeared.” and “The are no policemen to be seen. Not even traffic cops.” This, again, was 2014 – not 2027. And it was not a spoof, like the alien invasion one in 1938. The...
Trade Unions
10
Jim Davies 2014-02-24 01:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR On February 14th the UAW took another kick in the teeth; employees of Volkswagen at its plant in Chattanooga voted 712 to 626 not to join. Trade unionists everywhere were buzzing like demented hornets; on The Guardian website I offered a little comfort (“The union lost. Boo-hoo. Get over it. Unions are parasites.”) but, alas, I was heavily...
Rothbard vs. LeFevre
6
Jim Davies 2014-02-17 23:06
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The Complete Libertarian Forum (CLF) is a massive work, and by not hurrying I'm making some slow but satisfying progress. I'm up to October 1973, and at Kindle location 25370 there are some remarks by Murray Rothbard about Robert LeFevre. Apparently this libertarian scholar and apologist wasn't quite to Murray's liking, for I'd seen...
A Monster in the Making
9.8
Jim Davies 2014-02-04 23:16
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last month, I splurged a whole 99 cents on the download of an 89-year-old book. Worth every penny, it's a non-fiction horror story: James Murphy's 1939 English translation of Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf. Its sheer blandness and apparently reasonable, normal prose is what sets it apart, in the light of what arose from it a decade or two later....
Downton Fever
10
Jim Davies 2014-01-21 09:21
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It has struck again; Season Four is upon us, descending like a British influenza. More than six million were infected with Season Two, more than eight million by Season Three; and early reports say the present visitation will lay low over ten million Americans on the next several Sunday evenings. I myself am running a temperature. For the few whose...
Money to Burn
0
Jim Davies 2014-01-09 09:22
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In December, the death occurred of one of Britain's most colorful characters: Ronnie Biggs. He was 84 and had suffered several debilitating strokes. He came to fame in 1963 as a member of a group of 17 professional crooks who held up the transport of used government money, being trained from Glasgow to London for incineration. I've not been able to...
Peace, Spurned
10
Jim Davies 2014-01-02 09:43
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In October 1944, Christian Günther, the Swedish Foreign Minister, relaxed with a group of journalists and casually mentioned a telegram sent to him on June 17th, 1940 by Björn Prytz, then his envoy in London. When the news of his remarks reached London, it threw the then Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, into a tizzy: “It is most...
Progress in 'The Capitalist Tool'
10
Jim Davies 2013-12-24 09:18
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Last week Forbes magazine ran an article by one Peter Reilly, to assess the merits of Irwin Schiff's stand against the alleged income tax, and drawing extensively on remarks made by his son Peter Schiff, the investment advisor. To call the article “fair” would over-rate it, but it did bring that debate to the attention of some highly...
Pessimism
10
Jim Davies 2013-12-19 09:18
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It's very sad, to see so much of it around STR. Several whose fingers fly over the keyboard to make comments seem to think that government is a fixture, here to stay. This is not limited to STR, mind; I enjoy much of the work of Fred Reed on another site, and noticed a fine recent example called Your Papers, Citizen which expertly compared the...
Lawmaking Lunacy
10
Jim Davies 2013-12-12 09:19
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I'd be very scared if confronted by someone armed, and evidently mad or malevolent. The first type might well do me harm, fatally maybe, because he or she wouldn't understand or be responsible for the actions about to be taken. A young child, perhaps, slashing a kitchen knife while playing some martial-arts fantasy he has dreamed up. Or an adult in...
Gold, Paper and Bits
7.5
Jim Davies 2013-12-06 09:22
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Carl Menger's great discovery was that all economic activity consists of everyone's individual, subjective choices. His successors in the Austrian school – Bawerk, von Mises, Rothbard, et al – have amplified that and refined it, but that's the fundamental truth. That is how prices are determined and why products are produced. The...
Iron Felix
10
Jim Davies 2013-12-04 08:42
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR In 1991, while a Communist counter-coup was being repressed in Moscow, jubilant crowds pulled down a statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky which had stood in front of the KGB headquarters building, the Lubyanka. Despite his nickname, it had been made of bronze, lest a Hero of the Revolution turn rusty. Note that it was a spontaneous demolition by plain people, not...
Reality
6.66667
Jim Davies 2013-11-22 09:03
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Better late, it's said, than never. So while I should have taken the opportunity years ago, this month I got around to it and listened to the famous interview of Ayn Rand by Mike Wallace, made for TV in black and white in 1959. You too can see it, on YouTube here (use Ixquick to find Parts 2 and 3.) It lasts 30 minutes, and it's a half hour very...
Letter to a Young Juror
10
Jim Davies 2013-11-18 09:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR (With acknowledgements to C.S. Lewis and Christopher Hitchens.) So, nephew, you've been called to serve on a jury. Congratulations! I was very glad to learn last month that you plan never to vote again, so it's a good idea to get yourself off the voters' list. But meanwhile, you're still on it – hence this opportunity to help some...
What They Owe
10
Jim Davies 2013-11-08 09:09
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR There was a lot of fuss recently about something they call the “debt ceiling.” Supposedly, it's a kind of limit to what the FedGov can borrow. It's all a load of horsefeathers, of course, because whenever they find the limit inconvenient, they will raise it – as they have already done, 95 times in a row. One of the key features of...
Entanglements
10
Jim Davies 2013-10-30 08:20
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR During the latter half of the last century, shopping changed its character, to accommodate the popularity of the inexpensive horseless carriage. Instead of stores being all grouped together near the town center in a manner convenient for customers who arrived on foot, either direct from nearby homes or from the bus depot, the “out of town shopping...
Naysayers
7
Jim Davies 2013-10-24 08:21
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR To protect the guilty, I'll falsify his name as “Naylor,” but last weekend I received a concise email from someone who had read my recent Murray's Missing Plan on STR; for doing which, of course, he is much to be commended. Among other things, he offered three key opinions: Universal re-education won't work, 99% of children are...
Murray's Missing Plan Recommended
9.66667
Jim Davies 2013-10-07 08:37
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR I've been continuing to read the fascinating story of the modern libertarian movement's early years, as told in the Libertarian Forum, edited and often written by Murray Rothbard. It's vast, but very worthwhile – warmly recommended. I've supplemented it recently with a re-read of parts of Justin Raimondo's excellent biography of him...
The Yoke
10
Jim Davies 2013-09-27 07:48
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Recently there was an unusually perceptive comment posted on these pages, that noted the folly of supposing that believers in government can be expected to leave us infidels in peace. There are only two ways of getting what one wants: earning it, or stealing it. Persuade, or compel. This is the great divide, the feature that separates believers from non-...
Socialism
10
Jim Davies 2013-09-19 08:11
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Famously, in 1922 Ludwig von Mises predicted the ultimate failure of socialism, for the good reason that in a planned economy, freely-moving prices are outlawed, while freely-moving prices are the only valid signal of what is wanted, where, when and in what quantity. It took a while – and a dreadful war – but in 1990 he was proven right. The...
Cyprus, v.t.
8.66667
Jim Davies 2013-09-09 07:57
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...
Rights
7.75
Jim Davies 2013-09-03 08:19
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 Thirteenth Year
9
Jim Davies 2013-08-27 07:32
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...
The Suppression of Dissent
10
Jim Davies 2005-10-25 16:00
Exclusive to STR The jury is still out, as I write these words. Its verdict may be in by the time you read them, and there's a blog with the latest news--but that's okay because the point of this article is not to comment on the trial's outcome but to show what government had to do, in order try to silence an influential advocate of freedom. Its conclusion will be that government is wholly unfit...
The Preamble Reconsidered
10
Jim Davies 2006-05-17 16:00
Exclusive to STR The Preamble to the United States Constitution is surely one of the most sublime paragraphs ever written. Before this dissection begins, let's prop it up and admire it in all its glory: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure...
Twenty Twenty-Two
10
Jim Davies 2007-06-14 16:00
Exclusive to STR June 15, 2007 It's just a year since I wrote to suggest how we can get there from here, so I thought you'd like to know that the project is proceeding nicely. In response to that announcement, about as many as I had hoped joined the Academy it introduced, and that one-time boost will bring forward by several years the day that government evaporates; it's still too early to...
Ownership
10
Jim Davies 2007-12-19 17:00
Exclusive to STR December 20, 2007
Constitutional Rule
10
Jim Davies 2007-12-04 17:00
Exclusive to STR November 26, 2007 Imagine the Feds were to obey and be limited by the US Constitution. Would that produce a free society? As a stick with which to defend oneself against government people, the Constitution is a lot better than nothing. They invade your privacy without "probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and...
E-Day
10
Jim Davies 2008-05-26 16:00
Exclusive to STR I'll not tell you the date, but based upon a very few simple and well-grounded assumptions, it will fall in the year 2027. "E-Day" is the day that all government in America will evaporate because, having gained a proper understanding of its nature, nobody will be willing any longer to work for it on any terms; tens of millions will have done what a certain DMV...
Justice
10
Jim Davies 2008-01-23 17:00
Exclusive to STR For the first time ever in recorded human history, in 2027 a major society began righting wrongs and restoring damaged rights. True, I'm being a little unfair to the quite enlightened traditions in Somalia, to settlers of mediaeval Iceland, and to villagers throughout Europe in the same era--who resolved social outrages like theft, homicide and assault by arraigning the perp...
Origins
10
Jim Davies 2009-10-25 17:00
Exclusive to STR  Where and when did government start? It's quite a mystery. Given that human beings are basically harmless creatures, how did it happen that an inherently violent institution arose in human society, whose whole raison d'tre is always to destroy the fundamental human right of self-governance? The question is important not just to satisfy historical understanding, but to...
Vox Dei?
10
Jim Davies 2010-12-26 04:00
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...
To Govern and Enslave
10
Jim Davies 2012-02-07 01:00
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...
The Power of One
10
Jim Davies 2005-11-21 17:00
Exclusive to STR Nobody is better qualified than my friend Per Bylund to propose, as he did in a recent STR article, that we who yearn for liberty "save the world through saving [our]selves." Per is not only a brilliant thinker and prolific author (in two languages!) he founded an anarchist website before many of us got our brains in gear and has engaged in debate there all comers from...
A Dollar in Peril
10
Jim Davies 2008-11-02 17:00
Exclusive to STR One of the nice things about not voting is that one can enjoy a little sport at the expense of those who do. Let me share with you an example or three. A few days before November 4th, I visited a nearby town, and first called at the government postal monopoly for some stamps so that I could write to an innocent friend incarcerated in a government prison. Standing in line, I said...
Breivik's Defense
10
Jim Davies 2012-04-23 00:00
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...
What a Time to Be Alive!
10
Jim Davies 2012-05-08 00:00
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 as an Elections Clerk?
10
Jim Davies 2012-05-18 00:00
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....
Dickens, Reconsidered
10
Jim Davies 2012-06-12 00:00
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...
Newt's Letter
10
Jim Davies 2012-06-20 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Government tries to justify its ubiquitous spying on private correspondence on the back of 9/11. It's just another government lie. The events below took place four years earlier.   Back in 1997, Mr Gingrich was a powerful figure in DC – Speaker of the House. Soon afterwards he swapped wives and was cast into outer darkness for a decade, but recently he ran...
Opinion and Reason
10
Jim Davies 2012-08-20 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR From time to time a market researcher calls me up and asks for a few minutes of my time to answer his or her survey questions. I always answer “Yes, I'll be happy to; what rate are you offering?”   “What was that, again?”   “What are you offering to pay? My opinions, on a range of topics, are highly valuable. So is my...
A Letter to Young Paulians Recommended
10
Jim Davies 2012-09-10 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR You've just been kicked in the teeth, and this is to convey sympathy and comfort, as well as sincere congratulations for what you've done – along with suggestions about what you might best do next.   The way you have been treated by your own Party is a scandal that will long reverberate – and was so stupid even from the Party's perspective...
Free Health Care!
10
Jim Davies 2012-10-12 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR   That was the promise, made by politicos in the England of my youth; health care, they said, is a right, an entitlement. In Churchill's wartime cabinet, William Beveridge, whom I briefly met 15 years later, had designed a scheme by 1945, and it was rushed through and implemented in 1947. The exodus of British doctors to North America began shortly...
'Indians'
10
Jim Davies 2012-10-25 00:00
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR The coming free society will be rational; residents will live on the basis of reality and reason rather than myth. We will recognize government for what it is and therefore reject it on rational grounds; we will think in rational, economic terms predominantly. I can be sure of this, because a free society will not come into being until everyone does think...
Leaving Government Service
10
Jim Davies 2012-11-13 08:03
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Alex Knight's recent fine column The Post Office that Government Built relates the sad case of one of its 600,000 employees who faces a bleak future as that structure is poised for collapse. It might be useful to compare such cases with the similar ones that will take place when government servants quit voluntarily, having learned what freedom and...
Goodness
10
Jim Davies 2012-11-20 08:42
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR It's fairly clear what “evil” is, we know it when we see it. But what is its opposite, goodness? And are human beings basically good, evil, neutral or something else? It's important to understand that, because if for example mankind is marred with a bias towards evil, the case for a restraining government, as Paine and others have...
The Duty to End the State Recommended
10
Jim Davies 2012-11-30 08:53
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR Many reading this already understand the Self-ownership Axiom; that we each own our own lives by right, and hence that all government is an unnatural and ruinous appendage. Among those who do, though, surprisingly there is disagreement over what to do about it. Some hold that resistance by such voluntaryists in the present government-saturated environment...
To See, Yet Not to See
10
Jim Davies 2013-02-11 08:59
Column by Jim Davies. Exclusive to STR All governments everywhere depend for their survival on their victim “citizens” failing to see (that is, to understand) what they are doing. In English, to “see” carries both meanings; we can see what they are up to, yet at the same time fail to grasp its significance. It's an amazing form of blindness, yet it affects nearly...