Category Archives: Anarchism

Caveat Emptor, Again

I’d accuse Jim of stealing my title, but I stole it from someone else.

Stonekettle Station on Facebook

You must hold this administration, every administration, accountable. Every Congressman. Every Senator. Every general. Every CEO who takes taxpayer money. Every political party. Every media outlet. Every journalist. Ask the questions and demand the answers. Never stop. Show up for every election, no matter how minor. Educate yourself on the candidates and the issues before the election. – StonekettleStation, Caveat Emptor

Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station was referencing the subject of the Orange Hate-Monkey‘s (OHM) military plans when he titled his piece Caveat Emptor. The OHM is selling us a military vision in his usual huckster fashion. The most glorious military you’ve ever seen. Anyone who believes this to be true is as dumb as the people wiring their account info to 419 scammers thinking they’re going to win big. Pretty much just as Jim tells the story.

When I used the title Caveat EmptorI was speaking to the selling of the OHM’s alter ego, Trump the businessman, Trump the deal-maker and fixer. Caveat Emptor, buyer beware. You are being sold a bill of goods. You are being taken. Guard your wallet. The OHM is none of those things. The OHM is a money launderer, serial philanderer, and a thief, not necessarily in that order.


When I get a quotable snippet from one of Jim’s articles, I tend to post it all over the place so as to do him a favor and drive traffic to his website. Since I can’t afford to pay him for what he writes, the least I can do is promote him where he isn’t already being promoted. I posted the above quote to Google’s idea of a social platform, Google+ as well as a few other places, but I only got replies on G+, and what I got in response came out of the anarchist/voluntaryist wings of the political spectrum, a commandment to vote harder.

I recognized the flavor of this attack almost immediately. Voting is useless. Voting doesn’t fix anything. Ah, we’re dealing with a libertarian here. I have little to no patience with libertarians, having quit that cult not so long ago. I don’t participate in government (as the snippet demands) to achieve anything specific for me personally. My personal goals are not what voting achieves. This is a core problem with libertarianism specifically and individualism generally. Voting isn’t about me and it isn’t about you or anyone else specifically. This is true of most life experience, but try explaining this fact to a libertarian or anarchist. It’ll go right over their heads.

But that isn’t to say that voting and government as a structure haven’t achieved measurable good. General goods have been achieved and the list is nearly endless. Longer even than the evils that government has created through it’s existence. It is always that way with the tools we create. The evil comes with the good.

The elderly no longer have to die penniless and alone. The sick now have places to go to be cared for. The poor have the beginnings of structure that could end their poverty if used properly. Libertarians will say these goods were achieved by use of force because they don’t understand the nature of money, the meaning of money, etc.but they insist on force being applied to them before yielding so that they can say told you so. I know because I’ve seen this done many times over the years. That is the definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You libertarians and anarchists, you crazy right-wing ammosexuals, you are not any deader when the cops shoot you for armed resistance than the dead black guy who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. What you are buying with your money is death, exactly like funding a military is buying death. The trick, just in case you are wondering, is to outlive the other guy, which means you are failing to understand what you are buying if you end up dead in the process. Caveat Emptor. There’s some good advice offered gratis. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

How Not to Define Government

This image popped up in my Facebook news feed some years back. I can’t even find the originating image for it, it has been that long ago and had so little impact. I had several thoughts at the time which I lined out as bullet points. A rather lengthy breakdown for what is a five-minute throw-away joke image for Facebook.

Still. I know there are thousands, possibly even millions that would laugh at that joke. I in my previous libertarian persona would have probably accepted it as wryly humorous fact, which is precisely why I took the time to break down the many heuristical errors present in just thinking the observation true enough to be funny.

Not satisfied with wasting an hour or two breaking down a meaningless joke image once and filing it away, I have now spent even more time writing a lengthy post about it, proving the tagline of this blog is accurate.

As to the offered definition of government itself. You can believe any fool thing you want including that gravity doesn’t exist because it is a theory. I wouldn’t suggest jumping off buildings if you do, even though Douglas Adams describes learning to fly as throwing yourself at the ground and missing. Never mistake a joke for something that is true or actually possible. The image is a joke, it just isn’t a funny joke.

Government cannot actually defy science because government cannot change the laws of nature. That is why pi remains an irrational number most accurately described as 355/113 even though several governments have mistakenly believed they could change it. Math is always going to be math and 2+2=4 is true for every instance of reality as we know it. Do not throw the word quantum at me as a counter-argument because I will know that you are stupid if you do.

Economics really isn’t a science in much the same way and for the same reason that psychology is only vaguely a science. Both are in part human constructs held as beliefs within human minds. Therefore “laws of economics” are more rules of thumb than actual laws.

In short, even if there are laws of economics, we haven’t been observing them for long enough to know what they actually are. And given the vagaries of human behavior and the mercurial nature of states, people and institutions, the notion that there’s some grand mechanistic, master system that explains all and predicts everything is at best a comforting fiction and at worst a straitjacket that precludes creativity, forestalls innovation and destroys dynamism.

Referencing “the laws of economics” as a way to refute arguments or criticize ideas has the patina of clarity and certainty. The reality is that referencing such laws is simply another way to justify beliefs and inclinations. I may agree that the war on drugs is flawed, but not because it violates “laws of economics,” but rather because it fails in most of its basic goals. The test of whether government spending or central bank easing is good policy should be whether they succeed in ameliorating the problems of stagnant growth and high unemployment, not on what the “laws of economics” erroneously say about certain future outcomes.

The Atlantic, The Laws of Economics Don’t Exist

As an example, one can continue to print money without limit so long as the money isn’t allowed to collect anywhere in a volume large enough to break the system. People will continue to use and spend money blithely believing whatever they want to believe about the system they are part of so long as the system continues. That is the beauty of the human animal and its selective cognition machine that we call a brain. We only tend to notice structures when they fail,  and then we marvel at the complexity of the system that functioned so well we never noticed it until it was gone.

If It Bleeds, It Leads. Same as It Ever Was

For the last year and a half the media have fawned all over His Electoral Highness Donald J. Trump. They can’t stop talking about him. They can’t be kept from giving him airtime to talk about himself. Aside from Trump himself, his biggest fans are the media who think that what this lame duck of a leader says means anything at all. Because of the media’s fawning, I have been forced to spend the last two years ignoring everything Donald Trump says with their generous gift of free airtime. I ignore everything he says because listening to him is what he wants us to do. I ignore him because attempting to make sense of what he says makes me feel ill. I ignore him because listening to him demonstrably makes you dumber; the media being a prime example of people made stupid by the sound of Donald Trump’s voice.

The media’s free gift of airtime helped give him the momentum to take the electoral college if not the popular vote; and now they ask, why is America so divided? If anyone should know the answer to this question it should be the media, but I wouldn’t look to them to give you a truthful answer. Division is what they want. It sells. Conflict and violence always lead the news. The division they are trying to illustrate here is largely a matter of perception. The division is almost entirely of the media’s making, their policy of going with taglines that hype the separation, the division, the conflict,

There’s nothing new about simmering hostility between a President and the press. As Richard Nixon once stated, “The President should treat the press just as fairly as the press treats him.” 

In March of 1974, the Nixon presidency was lurching toward destruction by Watergate, and there was an ongoing tension between the President and the CBS White House correspondent:

President Nixon: “Are you running for something?”Dan Rather: “No, sir, Mr. President, are you?”

Norm Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was then, and remains now, a student of our political system and our media:

“We would watch network news shows and we would sit there and we would have basically a common set of facts that would emerge from them,” he said. “As we’ve moved to the new media world, the more you’ve got this cacophony of voices, the more you cut through it by, basically, shock value. And that’s why people now are driven not by their own attachment to their own parties; they’re driven by a hatred for those on the other side.” 

CBS News, The great divide: Politics in the Age of Trump

Much like Nixon ushered in the end of the Republican party that elected him, Trump signals the ultimate end of Reaganism and Reaganomics. There will be no possibility of doubt remaining as to the bankruptcy of Reagan’s policies by the time Trump is drummed out of office; policies which have held sway since Reagan was president. The question the media should be asking is, will the Democrats find themselves and their new direction, or will they waste their resurgence as they did with the Carter years? Let me unpack these observations for you.

The eight years of Clinton were not liberal years. The most damning thing to be said about Clinton is that he was and is Republican lite, conservative-ish. He ended welfare in the US because the conservatives demanded that he do it. Because it was something that Reagan promised and compromising with Reagan Democrats was how Bill Clinton got into office. Over and over again he proved that he wasn’t liberal in any real sense of the word. He was a conservative from the old Southern wing of Democratic conservatives who just happened to have married well. Without Hillary’s influence I am convinced he would have been even harder on the poor, even more militaristic than he was. Weirdly, I doubt that would have kept Republicans from manufacturing a scandal in their attempts to remove him.

Barack Obama was pretty close to liberal but still enacted conservative policies because conservative policies were the only ones that the conservatives in the congress he was saddled with would vaguely go for. Obamacare was and is Romneycare. That is why Romney had such a hard time dissing the ACA, because it was his idea offered by a Democratic president and he knew it. Obama was the deporter-in-Chief because, again, that is what conservatives wanted him to do. He was tough on immigration because he hoped it would win points with the other side of the aisle. Only in his last two years did he realize that Republicans would never work with him and so he spent those years ruling by executive order. The Republicans didn’t refuse to work for him because he was black if we are to take them at their word. they didn’t refuse because he was liberal because his policies prove otherwise. They refused to work with him because he was a Democrat.

The sin that Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are all guilty of is the sin of being members of the Democratic party. If they had been Republicans they would have been deemed typical centrists willing to make deals in order to get the government’s work done. It is deal making that the new conservatives hate. They are convinced that there is a true conservative ideology and all they have to do is adhere to it. Never mind that no two conservatives can agree on what conservatism is aside from prosperity gospel Jesus, a completely different kind of Jesus than that socialist hippy Jesus of the seventies. That is religion masquerading as ideology which is all conservatism has left to appeal to, the shadow of religion that Reagan rode to power on.

None of this has anything to do with real ideology beyond the ghost of Reagan that even Reaganite priests can’t quote because Reagan was more liberal than the country is now. The ghost of Reagan and his trickle-down Reaganomics is why the tax rates on the wealthiest people in the US remain low. Anyone making more than a million dollars a year should be taxed at the confiscatory rate of 99% just as the progressive tax rates did during the post-war era. During the times when the middle class grew and the poor were not quite so desperate. Back when Jesus was a socialist hippy. They should be taxed at this extreme rate because they don’t spend more when they have more, so it benefits society not one bit to allow them to keep their incredible wealth.

The subject of monetary policy is too lengthy to get into here, but in the end upper income tax rates were lowered because the increased wealth was supposed to generate more benefits for the rest of us, and the reality we live in has demonstrably proven that the opposite is true. Ergo, some form of income cap has to be reinstituted. Either a scale requiring all boats be raised when the wealthy get paid more, or confiscatory taxes on pay greater than the scale would dictate.

So here we are at the tail-end of the Reagan era, just waiting for the Reagan Democrats to bleep their last heartbeat on the heart monitor they are strapped to before we can get on with progress. It has to be those people because they are the only ones left watching TV, getting their news from TV and from radio. Those are the people who went out and voted for Trump. Those are the people who in their political ignorance voted Republican not realizing that Republicans and conservatives ran everything in the country aside from the presidency already. Politically ignorant people who don’t understand that the president’s job isn’t to fix the country, that is the job of the congress. A job the congress is supposed to achieve through legislation and funding and programs to keep the myriad systems this country depends on running.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, conservatives have swallowed the anarchist notion that government doesn’t work. Republicans have echoed this falsehood because their base believes it, never questioning why they want to elect people to do jobs that they believe don’t need to be done. So it falls to the Democrats to make proposals for government that will work. It falls to them to prove that the poor can get a fair shake in this new America, that the wealthy don’t always get their way. Falls to the Democrats to propose the kinds of changes that populists on both sides of the aisle wanted and would get behind, because the Republicans and conservatives are too scared of socialism to even go someplace where government just might work. If the Democrats can do this, it will be the end of the Republicans for at least a generation.

What I don’t understand is how the media can’t see this happening? Why do they see fractiousness and faction rather than seeing what is really going on? The politically informed vs. the politically ignorant that gave us the current administration? Why can’t they see that they are Donald Trump’s biggest fans? Perhaps they can’t see it because they too are caught in a previous age. The age of the gate keeper and the top-down adminstrator. The feudal society of corporate America, what is fast becoming a corporate globalism. The history of dictators and their five year plans that never worked out. They are soon to be as irrelevant as the Reagan Democrats who will be cashing their last Social Security checks soon. Checking out as movers and shakers and left behind as the world starts dancing to a different beat.

The media and Reagan Democrats will be as baffled by the next election as they were by the last one, because they think the narrative is one they set, and not one that we the people decide.

Ideally There Would Be No Idealists; the Sovereign Version

Crazy shit of the moment I stumbled across on a BBS I frequent;

Jim Sanders, 45 of Mulberry, Indiana says that he is a “sovereign man,” who is not subject to the laws of Indiana and or his local governments, That’s why — after amassing over $900 dollars in fines for traffic violations and refusing to pay – his driver’s license got suspended. With no license, he says that his “only legal mode of travel is walking,” apparently making an exception for the law that requires a driver’s license.

Apparently he never talked to one of them, or he’d know (well, think. Believe. Something) that you don’t carry a drivers license, don’t buy a car with a title, don’t put tags on your car, etc. You just continue to drive without all that and when the cop stops you, you talk his ears off about all this kooky stuff until he lets you go before he breaks and shoots you.

This is one of those wacky but true stories. The kind of thing I only share when I’m enjoying my preferred spirits.

This whole “Sovereign Citizen” thing was making the rounds right about the time I bailed on the LP (at least  one prominent leader of the Texas LP, at the time, was into this) You never could nail down exactly what the system was, but it was purportedly to do with admiralty law, and yellow fringed flags, and your name in all caps on legal documents. You had the right to drive common vehicles without a license, because you didn’t have to have a license to ride a horse or drive a wagon; consequently all those laws didn’t really apply and so you could just ignore them PROVIDED your car wasn’t titled by and purchased from the state. So you had to buy a car from outside the country, essentially. Then what you get is a transfer deed (or some such) not the official title. You can drive that car without a license. So they claim.

Weirdly the cops never had heard of any of this when they stopped you, and these guys were always having to recover their vehicles from impound.

The tax- and fine-free driving was just one of the perks. You also could skip out on property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, etc. If you aren’t a subject of the federal government, then none of that stuff applies to you. Just as weirdly, the counties will still repossess your property for not paying taxes, no matter how many different ways you try to explain your exemption to them.

The article jogged my memory about the Sovereign Citizen movement, something I’d heard recently on a podcast or news show. Something to the effect that Sovereign Citizen is a known White Supremacist tactic/ideology (ah, the wonders of the internet) Low and behold, when I look on the SPLC website, I find this;

The strange subculture of the sovereign citizens movement, whose adherents hold truly bizarre, complex antigovernment beliefs, has been growing at a fast pace since the late 2000s. Sovereigns believe that they — not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials — get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and they don’t think they should have to pay taxes. Sovereigns are clogging up the courts with indecipherable filings and when cornered, many of them lash out in rage, frustration and, in the most extreme cases, acts of deadly violence, usually directed against government officials. In May 2010, for example, a father-son team of sovereigns murdered two police officers with an assault rifle when they were pulled over on the interstate while traveling through West Memphis, Ark. 

The movement is rooted in racism and anti-Semitism, though most sovereigns, many of whom are African American, are unaware of their beliefs’ origins. In the early 1980s, the sovereign citizens movement mostly attracted white supremacists and anti-Semites, mainly because sovereign theories originated in groups that saw Jews as working behind the scenes to manipulate financial institutions and control the government. Most early sovereigns, and some of those who are still on the scene, believed that being white was a prerequisite to becoming a sovereign citizen. They argued that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed citizenship to African Americans and everyone else born on U.S. soil, also made black Americans permanently subject to federal and state governments, unlike themselves. 

The Sovereign Belief System
The contemporary sovereign belief system is based on a decades-old conspiracy theory. At some point in history, sovereigns believe, the American government set up by the founding fathers — with a legal system the sovereigns refer to as “common law” — was secretly replaced by a new government system based on admiralty law, the law of the sea and international commerce. Under common law, or so they believe, the sovereigns would be free men. Under admiralty law, they are slaves, and secret government forces have a vested interest in keeping them that way. Some sovereigns believe this perfidious change occurred during the Civil War, while others blame the events of 1933, when the U.S. abandoned the gold standard. Either way, they stake their lives and livelihoods on the idea that judges around the country know all about this hidden government takeover but are denying the sovereigns’ motions and filings out of treasonous loyalty to hidden and malevolent government forces

I have never, NEVER been happier to be divorced of the LP than I am right as this minute. I think I’ll have another glass.

I also found this tidbit;

I don’t want to appear flippant, because the interviewer references a police shooting incident (actually, it’s the one before last, because the last one was the two crazies kicked out of the Bundy Ranch group) but I swear I’ve listened to about 10 guys ramble on like that for hours on the subject.



A small “l” libertarian acquaintance of mine took me to task for the observation of “many leaders” of the Texas LP following this ideology.  I had to admit that I could name only one, so I revised the blog entry.  Still, it bears mentioning that the LP (like the Republicans, and the Democrats) is informed by an even larger group of hangers on, like-minded individuals who won’t join the party per se, but feel that the party can benefit from their insight on the ideology; consequently there were many others who felt that the LP was on a fool’s errand, attempting to alter government.  That the true purpose of anarchists was to end government and assert the rights of sovereign individuals. 
The idea that anyone can be sovereign or should expect to be considered sovereign is laughable; this is entirely aside from having the ultimate authority on what you personally will do or not do, will continue to exist or not. Sovereign is a completely different approach to the subject of authority.

ZAP Doesn’t Include Firearms and Killer Pets

This one is for Dylan Boswell, the shortest term facebook friend I’ve had so far. 

I find it interesting that someone promoting the Zero Aggression Principle would have need of a weapon designed to kill people.  It takes professional grade tolerance for contradiction to not see the hypocrisy in those two positions held together. How can you not be the aggressor while killing someone?  You can wave your hands in any flim-flam manner you wish, but no amount of hand waving will change the fact that you are alive and the other person is dead at your hand.  That is aggression, plain and simple.  It’s excusable in certain circumstances, but you don’t get to kill people (outside of war) just because you want to.

So yes, owning a gun that carries the appearance of one designed to kill people signals the potential of aggression (openly carrying any weapon signals this to some extent) Ask the Somalis, the Afghanis, the Iraqis if they felt threatened when approached by people carrying those weapons.

…and yes, you are stupid for owning a Pit Bull. That breed of dog was carefully bred for aggression against other dogs, a stronger bite and stronger physic.  As a dog owner whose dogs have been attacked by free-wandering Pit Bulls, more than once, I have very little sympathy for the cries of how gentle Pit Bulls are. They were made into weapons, to fight in a sport that mercifully (soon will) no longer exist. I’m not certain that the breed has a reason to continue to exist.

Facebook Status backdated to the blog. 

The Anarchist Fallacy

I have never been an anarchist. I find anarchists to be some of the most delusional (and generally harmless) people around. Humans have always adhered to some form of tribal authority, and work best in groups aligned on a common goal. An individual can survive, but it cannot thrive without the group and its greater than the sum of its parts compiled results. To suggest that we can simply do away with governments and tribal authority and replace it with nothing is to ignore reality; and the solutions offered by anarchists as a replacement don’t look any better to me than current government.

When you pull that trigger on a trespasser, just remember, you are government doing violence on someone who has explicitly chosen to disregard your conceptualization of property and rights. You are applying force to someone who, specifically, has not agreed to be bound by your conceptualization of where your rights end and his begin. It is an application of your personal self-government on another person.

As far as the tax argument goes; utilizing services paid for in advance through taxes, without paying taxes, is also theft. Fire, police, emergency services, roads, etc. all require investment in advance in order for them to be available when needed. The populations of the various nations have clearly stated their desire for these services to be provided; and to the extent that the actual costs of these services are accurately levied as taxes, those taxes are not theft but the actual cost of living in the society that you were born into or chose to migrate to. It’s called the social contract; and no, you aren’t required to sign it in order for it to be in force.

Attempting to live in the society and not utilize the labor of others, not utilize the services paid for by others, is an exercise in futility. So many thousands of man-hours go into the computer systems that run the internet; are you certain that every person who contributed to this conversations ability to exist was voluntarily employed, fully compensated, and wants for nothing further that should be his right to ask? How then can you say that you owe nothing to society? That the bills government asks you to pay are completely unwarranted theft?

A BBS comment of mine harvested from somewhere on the internet.

Voting Irregularities & Anarchist Newspeak

Voting Irregularities, as in ‘Errors’ Transposing Votes and Diebold Machines Removed Votes From Obama and Paul a link sent to me by a fellow Ron Paul supporter, outlining outright vote counting misconduct, and touching on the already well understood failings of the Diebold voting machines.

This is a major issue, unless of course you’re an Anarchist who just wants government to go away.

Newspeak (the language of engsoc in 1984) is a language that is crafted in such a way as to make it impossible to think wrong thoughts, because the words will no longer exist to express them. Anarchists are engaged in crafting their own version of Newspeak these days, redefining words like Power and Government to meet specific goals.

Don’t believe me? Here’s an example:

power and liberty are opposites; wherever the former appears, the latter disappears.

Power is, in fact, the only way to secure liberty. Individual will, inalienable rights, individual’s power. Not recognizing power unless it’s power relegated to state authority is redefining what power is.

Government exists, and will always exist, because self-government is still government. Unless, of course, you are an anarchist; in which case, state and government are interchangeable concepts, and all government must be abolished (and yet somehow this won’t result in chaos, even though governing oneself would presumably also be a no-no) as the evil that it is.

Another Quote:

Libertarians engaging in a political campaign to have someone elected have from my point of view given up their claim on liberty; they are no longer striving for liberty as number one, but are working to give someone power to liberate them.

More Newspeak. The elections will take place whether libertarians participate in them or not (what about the LP? They exist only to participate politically. I guess none of them are libertarian at all in this anarchist’s opinion) Taking part in politics is the only way to secure one’s liberty (politics, after all, being nothing more than the art and science of government) and any candidate with a proven track record like Ron Paul’s is going to be an improvement over any of the other candidates who might get the nomination.

There is this mistaken belief amongst many of the Voluntaryists and Anarchists out there that the state will simply cease to exist once enough of the population refuses to participate. I have no idea why they hold this belief. It’s quite apparent through simple observation that the average world state requires nothing of it’s citizens except tribute…

…which it will take by force, whether force is required or not. Given that, I’ll work to limit government in any way that I can personally, including supporting a candidate in a party that I do not claim as my own.

It’s better than the alternative. Doing nothing.

Anarchists Object to Ron Paul

Fishing through my gMail garbage the other day, I came across a post that one of my anarchist antagonists had forwarded to a list that I used to run. It contained a link to an article written by Per Bylund, an anarchist that I’ve had occasion to spar with in the past.

Apparently Mr. Bylund has a problem with Ron Paul. I think that’s a major selling point in Dr. Paul’s favor, myself. Here’s a quote from the piece, located here:

The major problem lies in the effect Ron Paul has on the people already identifying with or being part of the libertarian movement. Many libertarians seem to have set their libertarian projects aside in order to work for Ron Paul. They not only work for his presidential campaign, but seem to adopt his views – even anti-libertarian views such as Paul’s stand on abortion and increased border control. Arguing Ron Paul’s case to the general public as well as to the members of the GOP, they take a few steps toward statism (while the opposite would be both better and more honest, considering their libertarian values) – and come to believe in it.

Calling a minarchist a statist as he does in the article, is an insult to anyone who understands the basic principle “power abhors a vacuum”. As I noted previously Mr. Bylund is engaged in propagandizing, and radically oversimplifies what it means to be libertarian, and what libertarians believe. I’m not going to bother going over all that again. Suffice it to say, Methinks [he] doth protest too much.

The Anarchist segment of the ‘libertarian movement’ has been whining about the influx of new people virtually since the name libertarian was coined; and they will continue to whine every time someone dares to make progress, gains popularity, and attracts new people to the ‘movement’. They’d like to impose a litmus test on all new members, just to make sure their views are libertarian enough, before they can call themselves libertarian (am I the only one who sees the irony in this?) and some of them would be quite happy to keep their quiet little debating society to themselves.

For my part, I welcome anyone who wants to make room for freedom in this country again. I’m glad that the Anarchists have a problem with Ron Paul. I hope they get mad, take their toys, and go home. Maybe they’ll finally give up their stranglehold on the Libertarian Party (loosely affiliated with libertarianism in general) and let it have the breathing room necessary to effect the kind of change that Ron Paul had to go outside of the LP to accomplish. Which is the saddest statement of all.

Calling Ron Paul a statist is putting him under the same label as Hitlery (most likely our next president. The press has already nominated her) and her openly socialist agenda. It’s laughable, like most anarchist theory is.

Who’s a Libertarian?

A post I circulated during the mini-tempest concerning the speaker at the 2004 Libertarian convention. This was the beginning of my dissatisfaction with sharing air with Anarchists.


The tempest in a teapot concerning Boortz speaking at the National Conference isn’t about Boortz; It isn’t even about war vs. antiwar. If you go back and read all of T.L. Knapp’s “Life of the Party” series, it becomes plainly clear that the issue goes much deeper than that. It’s why the “Boot Boortz” camp have the audacity to suggest that those in agreement with Boortz should “…be shown the door”.

The issue ladies and gentlemen is this: is gov’t necessary or not? Does the structure we call gov’t serve a legitimate function in a truly libertarian society; or is each individual capable of governing themselves sufficiently to render gov’t as we know it useless? Let me explain why IMO, this is what is being argued about.

Libertarians don’t agree on whether or not gov’t should exist. On the one hand you have those who believe that gov’t is not necessary, and they offer suggestions for it’s eventual replacement by voluntary structures. Generally those that offer these types of arguments are known as ‘anarchists’. On the other hand you have Objectivists, and others who believe that gov’t serves a vital albiet limited function, and it should be maintained in some minimal fashion so as to preserve liberty. The label that has been generally applied to these types is ‘minarchist’. Not everyone accepts the above labels, and the current LP membership includes views, like those of Constitutionalists, that don’t fit in either camp.

The anarchist/minarchist schism has existed within the party nearly since it’s inception. There have been various attempts to settle disputes between the factions, none of them very successful. The most successful was the “Dallas Accord” in which the libertarians of the time agreed that they would not discuss whether or not gov’t was necessary, and focus on the more important issue of personal liberty. The agreement has worked until recently.

So, what’s changed? 9/11, that is what has changed. The foriegn policy blunders that the federal gov’t has committed for the last hundred years have come home to roost with a vengence. The ‘terrorists’ have declared war on us, and we are under threat. We are now faced with a situation that must be dealt with, and all of the effective options involve the use of gov’t power. The problem is this: If you acknowledge that gov’t has a reason to exist, then that reason will most likely include defensive measures designed to secure us from the agressive actions of others. No matter how you slice it, 9/11 comes under “attacks against the territory of the United States”, and we have the obligation to make sure that any more threats of that type are dealt with, and the guilty parties that conspired to conduct the attacks are hunted down and exterminated.

To further extend the logic chain, one can extrapolate several strategic reasons for a large ground force in the area that the attackers called home (the Middle East) and the benefit of soundly defeating the ‘biggest bully on the block’. Whether you agree with the strategy or not, it makes sense from a military standpoint… If you acknowledge that gov’t has a reason to exist.

However, if you don’t believe that gov’t should exist, then any action of the gov’t is damnable from the outset; and any action which benefits the gov’t directly (such as a war) is the worst kind of evil imaginable, and therefore must be denounced in the strongest possible terms.

…and that ladies and gentlemen is why the disagreement over Boortz speaking has taken on a life of it’s own. He has had the audacity to apply logic to the situation and determine from his own perspective that the threat posed by the ‘terrorists’ is sufficient to require actions against other countries. …and to further determine that the largest most vocal segment of the antiwar movement are also anti-american. To add insult to injury he speaks his mind about his beliefs to an audience of thousands, and categorizes himself a libertarian. As others have pointed out, on every other issue other than the war, Boortz is solidly libertarian. But because of this one issue, his belief that gov’t has a reason to exist, he can’t be a libertarian.

Now the anarchists are regretting ever ‘letting’ non-anarchists into their club; and some of them would like to institute a purity test so that the membership can be limited to those who profess correct beliefs. To hell with them. This is the reason why everyone who has an interest in furthering the LP NEEDS to go to the convention and actively participate in the sessions. The core of the party has been controlled by too few for too long. If we are going to succeed in changing the policies of the current gov’t, we are going to have to include more people, and gain influence. You don’t do that by kicking out those you disagree with.

For my part, I wouldn’t mind if they asked Rush Limbaugh to speak at the convention; it might make for some interesting conversation. It doesn’t even offend me when Bill Maher calls himself a ‘libertarian’. He just makes himself look like a fool to those who know better. To take exception to Neal Boortz speaking at the convention is more than a waste of time; it is the equivalent of picking the scab off of a festering sore. It will only delay the time it takes for the underlying disagreements to recede into the background where they belong…

-RAnthony

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most
intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
– Charles Darwin

Voting is not an Act of Violence

One of the members of a list I’m on is an example of the more vocal anti-voting Anarcho-Capitalist friends that I spoke of in The Vote. He’s rather fond of finding an article that addresses something he objects to, and throwing the file at his opponents as if the file will speak for itself.

Consequently, after posting The Vote to the list, I get the article Is Voting an Act of Violence? in HTML format, clipped right off the web page as a reply. Not one to waste such an opportunity, I decided to address the problems with the article both on the list, and to the author himself. So, with no further exposition, here are the salient points I wish to dissect.


Carl Watner wrote:

Each person, by voting, sanctions the violence used by agents of the State. The link in the chain of responsibility for that violence surrounds each voter when he pulls down the lever in the voting booth.

This point (which is the summary point of the entire article) can be easily shown to be in error. Casting a ballot for write in candidates that you make up on the spot results in a vote for a candidate that cannot hold the office; it is essentially a vote for none of the above. There is no chain of violence attached to such a vote. Casting a ballot for Libertarian candidates is casting a vote for those who have renounced violence as a method of political gain. There is no chain of violence attached to this vote either. Casting no votes for all propositions that expend tax dollars, or that criminalize behaviors not formally criminal (such as smoking and gay marriage) also carry no “chain of violence”.

Walking in to the voting booth and casting a blank ballot removes the requirement to pull the lever for anyone, at all. It also removes any associated endorsement of violence.

As for the resulting argument concerning funding the election itself; the election will occur anyway. It’s no different than putting a bullet in the head of a burglar who enters your house in the night. The election occurs, your opinion is warranted. Give them your opinion, even if that opinion isn’t one they want to hear. Unless you are a pacifist, there shouldn’t be a problem with responding in kind in a situation such as this.

Carl Watner goes on to say:

Voting is an act of presumptive violence because each voter assumes the right to appoint a political guardian over other human beings. No individual voter or even a majority of voters have such a right. If they claim to possess such a right, let them clearly explain where that right comes from and how it squares with the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal, [and] that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable “Rights” of “Life, Liberty,” and Property.

This is actually the easy part to address. A person can choose not to vote, not to participate, and that is their prerogative. It would be an act of violence to force someone to choose his own master, or who he is going to associate with. So voting is and should be voluntary.

In the same vein, a person can choose not to self-govern, and for that reason some form of external governance will always be needed as a fall back position. For those people who will not govern themselves, there will be a government that can be applied to them, for the protection of those who can and do self-govern.

If there is going to be a government, someone must be selected (in some form or fashion) to enforce laws on those individuals not willing to respect other’s Life, Liberty and Property. The selection process is currently democratic in nature; ergo, you have to vote. And until there is some other way to select government for our own defense (a government in line with the founders intentions) voting is an act of self-defense; which can involve violence when it is required.

To object to violence done by one’s own hand in self-defense is to render oneself the slave anyone who is willing to do violence to get his way. If this is what you are objecting to, then I gladly distance myself from your opinion.