I found these quotes interesting.
"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order. " --David Rockefeller
"Oil is much too important a commodity to be left in the hands of the Arabs." --Henry Kissinger
We will have a world government whether you like it or not. The only question is whether that government will be achieved by conquest or consent." Jewish Banker Paul Warburg, February 17, 1950, as he testified before the U.S. Senate
All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those toward whom it is directed will understand it... Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. - Adolf Hitler
"I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it."
Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, October 3rd, 2001, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio
"No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
"The great masses of people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one. Especially if it is repeated over and over."
-- Adolph Hitler
If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
-- President G. W. Bush
"I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in '47, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo. "
-- Harry S Truman (1961)
"The interests behind the Bush Administration, such as the CFR, The Trilateral Commission - founded by Brzezinski for David Rockefeller - and the Bilderberger Group, have prepared for and are now moving to implement open world dictatorship within the next five years. They are not fighting against terrorists. They are fighting against citizens." - Dr. Johannes B. Koeppl, Ph.D., former German defense ministry official and advisor to former NATO Secretary General Manfred Werne
"The United States is not nearly so concerned that its acts be kept secret from its intended victims as it is that the American people not know of them." -U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark
"If the New World Order agenda is not realized by the terrorist attacks on America and if American's don't agree to give up their weapons and relinquish their sovereignty to the New World Order, the next attack will be the use of chemical, biological and/or atomic warfare against the American people. The architects of the New World Order will not hesitate to use as a last resort an atomic or hydrogen bomb in a major American city." -Reference Op Ed page of the New York Times 9/24/01
"Once a government resorts to terror against its own population to get what it wants, it must keep using terror against its own population to get what it wants. A government that terrorizes its own people can never stop. If such a government ever lets the fear subside and rational thought return to the populace, that government is finished." -Michael Rivero
"Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government." -- Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderburgers meeting. Unbeknownst to Kissinger, his speech was taped by a Swiss delegate to the meeting
"We need a common enemy to unite us." - Condoleeza Rice, March 2000
Sunday, December 31, 2006
I found these quotes interesting.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
An Army reservist who already served in Afghanistan got himself killed over being deployed to Iraq. From CNN.com:
An Army Reservist despondent about being sent to Iraq was killed by police during a 14-hour standoff that began Christmas night when family members told authorities he was armed and threatening to kill himself.
He threatened to kill himself, but the police did that for him. No dissent among the ranks, soldier!
Honestly, the guy allegedly pointed a gun at a cop, and another cop shot him in response. Looks like his time served in Afghanistan didn't help his aim or reaction time.
I can't blame the guy for not wanting to go. I wouldn't want to go either. This is just insane. I bet the guy was suffering from PTSD. Thanks to Bush, we will have a whole new generation of homeless PTSD vets.
I am willing to bet that as time goes on, more reservists, and maybe even some active duty personnel, will refuse to be redeployed overseas in hostile territory. Who knows what lengths they will go to in order to avoid deployment? So much for "bringing the fight to them," we've got our own cops and soldiers killing each other.
Way to go, Bushie.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Projection is a common defense mechanism. You take the flaws of your own position and pin them on your opponent, while you take the strengths of your opposition and attribute them to yourself. It completely diverts attention, and demands of your opponent to justify something which he may not be able to answer. The most blatant example of this is the Christian insistence that morality cannot exist without religion.
Many belief systems use projection extensively, and statism is no exception. The most blatant method they use is to take a current problem, and pin it on us. Of course, any current problem must be taking place in countries with a state- since right now that's all we have- so to put the blame on our ideology is quite hypocrite! But that doesn't stop them, of course.
A great example of this is global warming. Given its popularity, global warming, in my opinion, deserves to be known as a strong indictment of statism. Why? Because the state is utterly unable to moderate pollution externalities. When industrialization kicks off, a Market Anarchy justice system, or any system with real justice for that matter, would acknowledge that industries are causing damages to their surroundings, and balance this with our right to industry and production, instituting a restitution system which would have led to stronger incentives for clean production and clean cities.
But what we really got was a state which, depending on industry barons to fill its coffers, could not impose justice. The state let pollution become a matter of fact, a right, turns a blind eye to it. And now we have global warming.
"But wait!", pipes up the statist. "Without the state, corporations would be free to pollute all they want!". Projection indeed. Of course, the possibility of having real justice, not the costumed parody of justice we get with the state, does not come to his mind. Why should it? As far as statists are concerned, their theatrics is as good as it gets.
Of course, it also does not occur to them that the state is the biggest polluter of all. In the United States, the biggest polluter is the US Army. In Canada, the Nanticoke power plant, an Ontario state-ran power plant, is the biggest single polluter. Whatever happened to the state being our hero in a shiny clean green armour?
The only thing that is reducing pollution is not the state, it's progress. Air pollution has been going down in the most developed countries simply because they can afford more efficient processes. Pollution, after all, is waste, and waste is unprofitable. Once again, the profit motive does what the state can't do.
Crime is another argument the statists like to use. Without a state, who would stop crime? Well, that kind of premise is ridiculous- the state cannot "stop crime". Police can find criminals after the fact, but not prevent them from striking. A big state can make crime more enticing however, through gun control, forced poverty and other goodies. And isn't it funny that this is exactly what we observe? Funny, that. Of course I'm not saying that the state is the sole factor in crime, far from it (population density is pretty important, for one), but it is certainly one factor.
Another example, which was brought up in my debate with Nikhil Rao, is the idea that people don't want to be free because they keep voting their rights away. As I pointed out in reply, that is an absurd argument because it assumes that humans under a state behave the same as humans who are not under a state:
Of course people cheer the rise of the welfare state. They assume that the state is a permanent fixture, and thus seek to utilize as much of its power as possible to perpetuate their values against those of other people. Social warfare, after all, is the state of any society in a democratic system. And people mistakenly assume that the welfare state is good for their own security. Given this, their behaviour is not surprising at all.
So the next time a statist brings up something from the present as an argument against your position, remember that we live in statist societies. It is THEIR problem!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Part 4: Presenting the Model
After proving anarchy, and answering the basic objections, you need to inspire and inflame your subject's mind by presenting the M.A. model as a superior, and especially more moral, alternative to today's system. You are best able to adapt your subject's context to this model, but there are a few points you should go through regardless of the context:
1. M.A. means everyone is allowed to live the way they want, according to their value system. Everyone has different value systems, and all that statism does is impose the ruling class value system over everyone, creating social warfare. In an M.A., there would be no more need for social warfare because everyone would be free to live the way they want. If you want to live in a commune, that's fine. If you want to be protected by a big corporation because it's cheaper, that's fine. If you want to live in a community in a certain way, then do it.
2. Everyone would contract with an agency, corporation, community, commune, whatever you desire. People would be free to trade for the services they want, and not trade for those they don't want, in the way they want.
3. We can solve our differences like adults. In statism, we delegate the state to threaten and kidnap (arrest) people for us. In an M.A., we have to solve our differences like adults, by settling differences in advance, through arbitration.
4. We can live in incredible prosperity. The smaller the government, the more prosperity we see in a country. The state always crushes the poor, the least powerful, the small businesses (that generate 90% of jobs), in favour of the wealthy, the powerful, the big businesses. The state bans whole markets, creates tremendous crime (War on Drugs), makes others inefficient by monopolies, takes away our constantly inflating paper money. If the state takes away just 2% of the economy a year (a low estimate indeed), that means it takes away half of our prosperity every 35 years. We can't take any chances with our society.
5. We can be happier and safer. Being free to live the way we want means that we can seek our own happiness instead of fighting against everyone else for that freedom. It also means that we are safe in our own freedom. If we take down the ruling class monopoly over the justice and police, we will have real justice, moral justice, efficient justice, and a more moral and efficient police, because they would be accountable to our demand for security and safety.
6. Crimes would still be solved. Whatever agency you are part of would have an incentive to give you a real service, to prevent and solve crimes. But people would get arrested because they break the agreements between us and our agencies, not because they go against the ruling class. I don't care what you do in your own home, as long as you don't attack me. We have to treat each other like adults.
7. M.A. is the only system we have that can effectively lower war, crime, and poverty. People do not want to live in war, crime and poverty, but the state exploits these things in order to maintain its power.
• Currently, the state can do war for its own profit and that of its corporate interests by stealing our money (taxes) to buy weapons and enslaving people (draft). In a M.A., agencies would have to bear the full cost of wars, and would have no reason to. Corporations don't declare war against each other because violence is inefficient.
• Currently, the state is the biggest criminal organization of all, because they are not accountable to anyone. In an M.A., all agencies would be accountable to their customers and to each other.
• Currently, the state uses the welfare class to prop up its legitimacy and power. In an M.A., there would be no reason to keep people in poverty. Even the greediest CEO does not want a market that is too poor to buy his products. Henry Ford paid his employees twice the average at the time so they could afford to buy his cars and be his best customers.
• State violence is win-lose, and it's us, the "common people", who always lose. Prosperity is win-win, especially for us. The least powerful always have the most to win from freedom.
Part 5: Ending the Discussion
How does understanding these things help the situation?
If, by this point, you have not successfully perked the interest of your subject to pursue these topics on his own, it may be helpful to explain the long term vision for the propagation of market anarchy and market anarchist ideas throughout society. Explain to your subject the self-destructive nature of collectivist societies. Explain that as society will be rebuilt, it is essential that the ideas of market anarchy be present, or else society will be restructured around the same false moral concepts. The more people spreading these ideas throughout society, the more they will be used to reconstruct society in a different manner.
Personal freedom in relationships
Broaching this important topic may seem difficult, as many people don't like to reconsider personal relationships which they have held for many years. However difficult, it is essential in order to become an autonomous individual. Personal freedom means taking control of the relationships you participate in on a daily basis. Explain how to look for passive aggressive behaviours, and the invocation of false moral concepts by people in everyday interactions.
This conversation as example of voluntary interaction
Another method which can be used to explain the nature of voluntary relationships is to ask your subject how he has felt throughout his discussion with you. If you have demonstrated your strong positive emotions towards market anarchy, he will be more likely to feel positive as well. He will agree that this conversation was meaningful and beneficial to him.
How do your other relationships feel?
After experiencing the positive feelings of having a mutually beneficial interaction, ask your subject to look at the facts of his other relationships, and determine if they are mutually beneficial. Being honest with one's emotions towards a person is the best way to determine if that person is benefiting you or not. If you think of a person and you don't feel excited to see them or talk with them, then this is probably not someone you should focus your energies on.
A final note
Remember to have fun throughout this process! Choosing to approach someone about the topic of market anarchy is not meant to be laborious, difficult, or painful. Don't be discouraged by negative reactions, of which you will receive plenty. However, in the experience of the authors, you will be pleasantly surprised at how well you will be received by some, especially after a bit of practice doing this.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
as a voluntary, coordinated effort between Andrew Greve, Aaron Kinney,
David Pearson and Francois Tremblay
PDF version of this pamphlet can be downloaded here.)
This pamphlet is a tool to be used by market anarchists in their interactions with collectivists of all sorts. The purpose of the pamphlet is to provide an overarching strategy to aid in performing efficient market anarchist deconversions.
Part 1: Introduction
First, remember that you should always be arguing from morality, as you have the superior moral position, and morality is easier to argue than efficacy. To you, M.A. should not only stand for Market Anarchy, but should also stand for Moral Anarchy, insofar as anarchy is the only moral system of social organization.
There are as many approaches to market anarchy as there are people, so keep an open eye for an "in"- an opportunity for you to start a discussion which will lead to the desired topic of market anarchy. Here are a few ways to look for an "in":
Find a common value
In casual interaction, our values are expressed at almost every corner. Remember, a discussion about market anarchy does not have to focus on social organizational values at all times. If you witness an interaction to which you have the same reaction as your subject, such as witnessing an adult striking a child, this is a great place to start a discussion about values. Another common place to start is to find a government program which your subject finds unfavorable, and express your agreement with his views. A good approach to getting to the root of the issue, which is the immorality of the state, is to ask your subject questions about why he finds such programs unfavorable. For example; if your subject is not fond of the War on Drugs, ask him why.
Is the person you're talking to able to empathize with others? Does he react negatively to instances of coercion? Does he react positively to instances of voluntarism? Don't be afraid to display your strong feelings towards someone else's actions during a discussion. Many times, people are afraid to strongly voice their feelings about a coercive interaction, due to their desire to conform. You can help break this trend in others by expressing yourself to the utmost. Speak up, and show your emotions as you feel necessary. You'll be surprised how easily you can bring out the same emotions in others. Once people see that you aren't afraid to express yourself, they will want to express themselves as well.
Are you treated as an individual with unique interests, needs, and values? Remember that by engaging someone in conversation, that you are beginning a relationship with that person. The type of relationship which will result is to be determined, but be mindful of this person's individuality. Don't treat a potential market anarchist candidate as a total loss the first time he does not understand something. Also take note of this person's consideration of your values. If you are not being treated as you feel you deserve, do not feel an obligation to continue a conversation.
Part 2: The Initial Approach
Asking questions - Why? How?
The most effective way to break down a person's barriers to rational thought is to question his premises. Wait until the collectivist presents a statement, and then challenge its premises with questions. If they posit a false concept, or a non-existent "right," question it. The goal of this questioning is to expose their constructs as having no validity as moral principles or agents.
If a person posits, "[False moral concept X] is good," the best way to expose the hollowness of such a statement is to simply question it. A good response might be, "What exactly do you mean when you say 'America'?"
When the statement, "America is good," is questioned, a typical retort might be the statement, "People in America are good." A good response to this would be would be to continue to question the premises of the statement by asking something such as, "Do you mean all people?"
If a person says, "Everyone has a right to housing," you can ask things like, "Whose house do they have a right to?" or, "How will they get that house?"
If a person says, "Everyone has a right to health care," you can ask, "Does this right include getting health care for free?" or, "Who pays for it?"
A person who is legitimately interested in these topics will admit, sometimes grudgingly, that their original position of "[False moral concept X] is good," doesn't mean as much as they thought it did.
Knowing when to give up!
If your subject is unable to admit that there is no such thing as the "French culture" or "black people" (in terms of moral agency), then your efforts are best spent with someone else. Such a person is merely being unresponsive and wasting your time. Don't play into their game, as you will get nowhere with them in the end. It is pointless to move on to other arguments if your subject is unable to clearly see the meaninglessness of arguing in terms of false moral concepts.
If you successfully challenge the person's premises, and get them to admit that their concepts were false, then you are ready to move on to Section 3.
Part 3: The Big Guns
At this point in the discussion, you have broken down the initial barriers and are about to present substance. This will give the subject something to ask about, or in some cases complain about. Whatever he presents to you, you should have the automatic, knee-jerk, instinctual reaction: check for projections. A projection is when a person presents an objection that in fact applies to his own side. For example:
"Without government, how do we deal with criminals? We'll just be at anyone's mercy!"
At this point in the discussion, you don't have to present how an M.A. answers the criminality problem (as well as redefines it). You will do that when you present the M.A. model. Right now all you need to do is think "projection" and see that it is indeed a projection; the state obviously does not solve crime, more state makes more criminals, and the state itself is the biggest criminal element of all. Also remember that any problem that already exists, exists with the state, and therefore the state cannot be its answer!
Here are three of the many arguments you can use at this point to prove anarchy:
Burden of Proof
Everything you see around you is made by individuals coming together. People talk about the roads as being something the state has to do. That's their big example. But individuals make roads, not states. People have to make a nice flat rock path, they have to lay down asphalt, and they have to roll it all out. People do this--people like you and me. And people can own and administer them. We already have private roads right now and they are in better shape, and give better service, than state roads. Unlike state roads, private roads are accountable to their customers. The state took over and now people believe that we need the state to have roads. But we don't need the state. It's up to the person who believes that to prove it. Until then, anarchy is all we need.
For a principle to be true, it has to apply to everyone equally. Otherwise it's just a personal opinion or a preference, like preferring chocolate ice cream over strawberry ice cream. I like certain kinds of ice creams, and you like others, but I'm immoral if I kill you and you are immoral if you kill me. Well, in the system we live in, the state follows rules different from ours. The police and army are allowed to have guns, but they're allowed to tell us we can't have guns. But everyone can need to defend himself. We're not allowed to steal, but the state is allowed to steal from us with taxes. They don't call it stealing, obviously, but that's what it is. You would never agree to pay taxes if you could choose, at least not to finance the state as it is.
The Geometric Argument
"Imagine you have three people on a desert island, and they are fishing to survive. If two of them decide to beat up the third and take all his fish, is that okay?" "What if they vote and the two vote in favour of taking his fish?" "Okay. What if they are ten on the island, and they decide that one guy should give up his fish to feed some other guys, and if he doesn't they'll beat him up?" "Okay. What if they are a hundred?" "What if they are a thousand people on the island? Is it okay now to beat some of them up and take their fish? Is it morally right?" "What if they are a million?" "Well, that's what the state does today with millions of people. Just because there are more people around does not make it right to steal and jail people for refusing to follow the state's laws.
After explaining an argument or two, the kind of questions you get will help you determine whether your subject is receptive, or if he is still thinking in propaganda terms. If he asks questions like "Then who will build roads?", you can see that the person is actually considering what you're saying, and trying to come to grasp with its implications. But if he asks questions like "But who would take care of the poor?", which betray statist propaganda, you might want to give him some material and get out of the way, unless you have plenty of time. There is little more frustrating than going in circles against a wall of propaganda.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
A new organization devoted to market anarchy has recently started its work: the Center for a Stateless Society. So far it's only a blog, though. Let's hope they build to something great.
Is this the beginning of the end? We are starting to see the bankrupcy at the end of the statist tunnel for "America":
Their basic message is this: If the United States government conducts business as usual over the next few decades, a national debt that is already $8.5 trillion could reach $46 trillion or more, adjusted for inflation. That's almost as much as the total net worth of every person in America— Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and those Google guys included.
A hole that big could paralyze the U.S. economy; according to some projections, just the interest payments on a debt that big would be as much as all the taxes the government collects today.
And every year that nothing is done about it, Walker says, the problem grows by $2 trillion to $3 trillion.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 8, 2006
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Mr. Jose Padilla, and American citizen, was tortured for over 3 and 1/2 years by the US Government, with no charges ever being filed against him, and no recourse to contest anything. This is worse than the torture scene in the movie V for Vendetta.
Below is an excerpt, but be sure to click on the link (here) to read the whole thing. Imagine yourself in his shoes. I did, and it filled me with terror:
All of that was done by the Bush administration to an American citizen detained on U.S. soil -- without any charges ever being brought against him, let alone convicted of any crime. All along, the Bush administration insisted it had the right to abduct and detain U.S. citizens indefinitely and deny them access to any courts or even to any lawyers, to either contest the validity of their detention or the legality of their treatment. That is still the Bush administration's position, and the Congress less than two weeks ago purported to give the President the legal authority to do virtually all of that.
The case of Jose Padilla is one of the most despicable and outright un-American travesties the U.S. Government has perpetrated for a long time. It is impossible to defend that behavior, let alone engage in it, and claim with any legitimacy that one believes in the principles that have defined and guided this country since its founding. But there has been no retreat from this behavior. Quite the contrary. The atrocity known as the Military Commissions Act of 2006 is a huge leap forward to elevating the Padilla treatment from the lawless shadows into full-fledged, officially sanctioned and legally authorized policy of the U.S. Government. The case of Jose Padilla is no longer a sick aberration, but is instead a symbol of the kind of Government we have chosen to have.
The United States Government is a terrorist organization.
Saturday, December 2, 2006
Average GDP per capita in most economically free countries : 23 325 $US
Average GDP per capita in most economically unfree countries : 3 829 $US
(w/purchasing power parity)
(Heritage Foundation, 2002 Index of Economical Freedom)
Average GDP per capita in most economically free states and provinces : 37 268 $US
Average GDP per capita in most economically unfree states and provinces : 21 056 $US
(Fraser Institute and NCPA, 2002 Economic Freedom of North America)
Average waiting times in Canadian hospitals, 1993 : 9.3 weeks
Average waiting times in Canadian hospitals, 2002 : 16.5 weeks
In comparaison, the average waiting time in the UK in 2002 was 9.4 weeks.
(Fraser Institute, annual "Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada" surveys
Health Insight, "Patient waiting targets and bed blocking", January 2002)
Homicide rate in Israel, Switzerland and Austria : 1.2, 1.1, 1.5
(European countries with least restrictive gun laws)
Homicide rates in Luxembourg, Denmark, Germany : 2.1, 5.0, 1.8
(European countries with most restrictive gun laws)
Total homicide rate in United States : 7.3
Homicide rate in United States, excluding gun use : around 2.4 (one-third)
Total homicide rate in Canada : 2.0
(U.N. Demographic Yearbooks, U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice's Vienna Session, Swiss national police)
Improvement in environmental quality indicators since 1980, in US : +18%
Improvement in environmental quality indicators since 1980, in Canada : +17%
Improvement in environmental quality indicators since 1980, in Mexico : 0%
(includes air pollution levels, water pollution levels, waste management, land management, and natural resources)
(Fraser Institute, Environmental Indicators 2002)
Change in unemployment when minimum wage increases by 10% : +2% to +6%
(Richard Burkhauser, Kenneth Couch et David Wittenberg, "Who Minimum Wage Increases Bite: An Analysis Using Monthly Data from the SIPP and CPS", Southern Economic Journal, 2000).
Approximate number of annual deaths due to War on Drugs : 15 000
(6 000 due to drug impurities, 5 000 by homicides and 4 000 due to AIDS and the laws against the financing of syringe exchanges)
Approximate number of new drug prisoners every year : 200 000
Cost of all drug prisoners to society every year : 9 billion dollars
Cost of the War on Drugs every year : 39.2 billion dollars
(Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, DRCNet 07/00, Fraser Institute, Dr. Mary Ruwart, Milton Friedman, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drucker, Dr. Ernest, (1998, Jan./Feb.). Public Health Reports,, "Drug Prohibition and Public Health." U.S. Public Health Service. Vol. 114, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics)
Americans waiting for an organ donation, in 1988 : 16 000
Americans waiting for an organ donation, in 1995 : 75 000
Number of Americans who die on the waiting lists every year : approximately 5 000
Bloodiest tyrants in the 20th Century :
Mao Zedong - communist dictator - 40 million deaths
Adolph Hitler - fascist dictator - 34 million deaths
Josef Stalin - communist dictator - 20 million deaths
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Brooklyn Criminal Court judge John H. Wilson recently published a xenophobic children's book, The Hot House Flowers.
This loony bastard wrote the most inhuman of analogies into his children's book. He equated immigrants with weeds, and natives with pretty flowers. What a wonderful way to teach children that people who look different than you are sub-human!
Anyway, I absolutely love analogies, and I use them all the time. I am quite comfortable with them, and I believe that I can detect and correct a failed analogy more easily than I can tie my shoes. I wrote a book review at Amazon informing the buying public of his failed analogy, and correcting it at the same time in order to make a case for open borders. You can find my review if you click on the customer reviews section after clicking on the link above. I will also repost it here for your convenience:
A failed analogy; We are ALL roses
The analogy in this book is fatally flawed even on the surface. Observe:
Humans are all the same race; the same kind of flower. The different skin colors and body features would analogize to different petal colors of the same flower species, NOT different flower species alltogether.
The different human races would more properly analogize to different color roses (yellow, red, white, etc) rather than a mix of geraniums and dandelions. In this way, we can see that having a garden with many different colored roses is much prettier than a rose garden with only one color. Furthermore, different color roses don’t starve or stunt off the others. Rather, they compliment each other.
I imagine that Mr. Wilson would act like the Queen of Hearts in his own backyard, insisting that all his roses be red, and dishing out harsh penalties for those who would allow white roses in his garden. Would Mr. Wilson employ buckets of red paint or garden shears to attain the uniformity in rose color that he demands? Perhaps a combination of the two? But the Queen of Hearts was well known to be mad in Lewis Carroll's famous tale.
I don’t want a garden where roses of different colors are forbidden. Even the most vibrant red rose petals will bore a person eventually if no other rose color is to be found in the garden.
Finally, we can examine the reason for Mr. Wilson's analogy error. Why does he equate different human races with wholly different species of plants, rather than correctly equating them with mere different variations of the same plant? Because, to Mr. Wilson, those humans who are different to him are not humans at all. To Mr. Wilson, the immigrant humans are sub-human, less than human, and not to be equated in value with his own kind. Mr. Wilson simply MUST equate different humans as a different species alltogether in order to justify his xenophobic sentiments.
When I see different faces, I see different colored roses. They all smell sweet, and they all bloom beautifully. But when Mr. Wilson sees different faces, he sees weeds. To Mr. Wilson, only the red roses are truly roses, every other shade is just a weed.
The answer is simple: Open borders, open gardens, opened eyes, and opened minds.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
For the rabid socialist, I suppose that market anarchy may sound like a nightmare - a world controlled by corporations! Of course, the socialist is the last person who can possibly complain about this, since he seeks a ruling class so powerful that it holds economic power as well. So even if this criticism was true, market anarchists wouldn't be the only guilty party.
The other major problem with this criticism is that most market anarchists don't believe in "corporations". "Corporations" are a legal fiction invented by the ruling class (at least when in control of the law)- historically to promote colonialism and gain revenues from corporate registrations, and nowadays to raise corporate taxes and lower the risks accrued by members of the ruling class.
A corporation, considered as a person, is a fantasy. Only individual human beings can be persons. A corporation as a concept does not exist either. Only individuals and their property compose what we call a "corporation". Therefore this concept must be deconstructed and torn down. To say that "Exxon did this or that" makes no more sense than saying "the United States did this or that".
So we're talking about people. Do people abuse each other? You bet. But this is not a peculiarity of "corporations". True, to a certain extent the legal shield of the "corporation" fantasy does promote some abuse, but apart from that we're just looking at the natural process of human relations.
If you want abuse, look at the state. The state is the greatest source of war, violence, exploitation and abuse there is. When was the last time a "corporation" waged war against another? Raised taxes? Brutalized its customers? Suppressed the selling of life-saving medications? People don't tend to do this to other people, because that makes them sour customers. States have no customers- they have slaves. And that's the whole difference.
No one wants to be controlled by others. But the clearest danger in that respect is a concentration of force. And that is what the state is! That is what we want to eliminate. So next time, before you talk about corporate abuse, talk about state abuse first, and decide where you stand - for people trying to make a buck, or people who'll kill you if you don't surrender all your bucks.
The statists want to pretend that we need to rein in "corporate greed" with "corporate responsibility". "Corporate responsibility" is, like "sustainability", nothing more than a code-word used to suppress progress. Should individuals who actively trade with others be honest and forthright? Of course. Should they be prosecuted for fraud if they lie in the context of such trade? Of course. But does that mean "corporate responsibility" is worth the sound waves it's propagating on? No way.
“Social responsibility” is now a movement, designed and defined to promote narrow political agendas, silence critics, tarnish corporate reputations, give companies leverage against competitors, and make up for power lost at ballot boxes or in union halls. Liberal foundations like Heinz, Pew and Soros help bankroll the movement – and labor bosses use pension funds for campaigns that don’t always serve their members’ best interests.
(...) CSR’s “ethical beacon” is actually more like the bonfires pirates once lit along Ireland’s coast, to lure unsuspecting ships onto the rocks, where they would be plundered and destroyed. (...)
Campaign ExxonMobil employed street theater, shareholder resolutions, kangaroo courts and myriad accusations, in an attempt to force the oil giant to recant its skepticism about global warming and its continued investments in petroleum, rather than “ethical” and “responsible” technologies like solar power that impact vast acreage to produce expensive, unreliable energy.
Paul K. Driessen, "Social responsibility doubletalk"
Until the market anarchic perspective predominates in economics and society, and the notion of "corporation" is defeated, will responsibility ever be fully expressed.
The most ridiculous belief in corporate abuse is the belief that layoffs are evil. Without even getting into economics, that belief doesn't even make any sense ! If you are against corporations, then why would you protest when a big corporation loses power? Wouldn't you want all big corporations to fail? Protesting layoffs makes me think of neo-Nazis who deny the Holocaust. Why deny the only accomplishment you have? If you assume that it is bad, then aren't you assuming that your own values are bad? It's all quite ridiculous.
While there are many different ways of living in society, the fundamental choice is quite simple- either you value freedom and progress, or you value force and hardship. Anyone who argues against trade argues against the former. Unlike state capitalists, however, we should not think that corporations are conductive to freedom or progress- quite the opposite.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
We all know that democracy is nothing more than utilitarian "might makes right" strong-arming. But what if the advocates of "direct democracy" had their way? These bullies believe that the strong majority should ALWAYS have its way against the weak minority, in all circumstances. What kind of circumstances? Well...
* People on a street should be able to vote against a neighbour and kick him out because he does not have the proper skin hue.
* A school board or greedy mall owner should be able to vote off his neighbour and steal his property, and kidnap him if he refuses to leave.
* A population should be able to vote on medications to ban, dooming tens of thousands of people to a painful agonizing death in the process.
* A population should be able to vote on enslaving the poorest and most defenseless amongst its numbers, for an indefinite number of years, with death a strong possibility.
* If most people agree, someone caught with a small quantity of a forbidden substance should be held for ransom, then kidnapped for months on end. This same procedure should be applied to anyone who breaks the arbitrary rules decided by vote. They should be held for ransom (sometimes for millions of dollars), and then, when it is decided that they make a good scapegoat, kidnapped and put in a small room with bars for years and years. People think that this magically makes people more subservient.
* People should be able to vote to steal resources from someone who has a lot, and give it to two people who have less. After all, making two people slightly more happy more than counterbalances stealing from one person, doesn't it? Good of the many, and all that.
* People who sell products that some other people don't like- because of their religion, political affiliation, whatever- should be voted out of their business or their profits whenever the "victimized" faction gets enough support. Their customers, of course, are completely unimportant. Who cares about your values? The majority has spoken.
* People should be able to vote to kill anyone who is determined to be a traitor to the community.
If your "direct democracy" bully cries "but there should be limits!", he is a little too late. Because all of these things are done by the "limited" state, right now!
So much for "limits". Constitutions are just little pieces of paper that grant extra legitimacy. So they just make the problem worse, because they throw even more smoke at people's minds, who believe that their government is justified by the constitution of their country. Who has ever signed a constitution? What happens if you don't agree with it? Blank, blank, blank... are the minds of the statists.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
This is really funny: "How To Argue With A Libertarian." Perhaps the statists should take some lessons!
4. Criticize capitalism by its worst cases. But do not (ever!) compare these to the worst cases of statism.
Example: "The Enron scandal was the product of unfettered profit seeking under capitalism." If a libertarian replies that Stalin's brutality was the product of a statist program, change the subject or claim that your brand of statism precludes such abuses. Better still, try to argue that Stalinism was actually a kind of capitalism.
Thomas Woods makes an excellent point in "Are Capitalists Bamboozling the Poor?" He discusses a fact that never fails to come true in statist propaganda: whatever improvement to the quality of life of the poor brought about by the market, people will oppose it vociferously. Statists hate no one more than the poor.
For lack of a better term I am dubbing it Woods's Law: whenever the private sector introduces an innovation that makes the poor better off than they would have been without it, or that offers benefits or terms that no one else is prepared to offer them, someone — in the name of helping the poor — will call for curbing or abolishing it.
Friday, November 10, 2006
All belief systems are, fundamentally, fairy tales. They believe in magical beings, magical powers, and magical thinking- from the whole Christian nonsense all the way down to the magical spine of the chiropractors or the politico-scientists' belief in the power of numbers over reality.
The statists are no exception to this belief in magic. Their belief in anarchy as a horrible state of affairs betrays their belief in the state as a magical force. They say things of the order of "without government, there would be crime in the streets, and nothing would stop people from killing you and stealing your house!".
Now of course, there are two basic problems with that kind of talk. The first is that people do not magically become evil because there is no more government. I drive the point home by asking them "if there was no more government, would YOU kill me?". Those who do have the courage to answer will say that they wouldn't, but that other people might. It's always other people. It's funny how every time you ask one of those self-righteous ignoramuses, they're always the only moral person on Earth. Maybe they should have moral competitions amongst themselves, so they can decide who is the only moral person once and for all!
But the more important point here is that we already have plenty of crime. The state does not, and cannot, "cure" crime. Nothing can possibly stop someone from killing me if they so desire. And what's worse, we observe that countries with bigger governments have more crime! Now, this is not to say that the state is the only factor in determining the crime rate, but it is one factor. Bigger governments create more criminals simply by virtue of their legislative power and their promotion of social warfare. How does this surprise us, if we understand that fundamentally government is nothing more than a parasitic group of thugs whose main activity is to constantly threaten people to obey their edicts or be met with force?
Statists have this magical fairy tale of a group of thugs that somehow makes everyone else a moral person. Sure, by comparison to a politician I am very moral, but the existence of the state does not make me a moral person. Neither does the arbitrary code of laws of the state. Although behaviour can be guided in a positive or negative direction by structural intervention (which, in the case of the state, is always negative by definition), virtue or vice itself cannot be imposed from above. It is the result of one's character, habits, and capacity to reason.
But it is a common belief of all collectivists- religious, political or otherwise- that morality can somehow be imposed from above, top-down, and that men can be turned into angels by the purifying touch of a monopoly of force. This is a ridiculous belief, hardly worth any attention, and yet people still believe it. It is the same belief that motivates people to push their religion on other people. They firmly believe, without any evidence whatsoever, that only their religion is moral, and that people need to be "civilized" by adopting their religion before all others. This is pure propaganda.
Which of course brings us to the question of "justice". I am always astonished when it is affirmed that we need the state in order to have "justice". Now, look at this scenario. You have a group of thugs, liars and murderers lording it over us, dictating what we can and cannot do, constantly stealing our money, constantly threatening our security and privacy, and somehow we are supposed to believe that only those people can give us "justice"!
Sure, the state criminals have a big interest in stopping OTHER crime syndicates and criminals. Otherwise they would not be a monopoly. Other criminal elements are their competition, just like how religion was competition to the Communists. But that is not "justice"- except in the statist fairy tale.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Bill Christison asks us to reconsider the facts around 9/11:
If something other than an airliner actually did hit the Pentagon on 9/11, and if the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center actually were dropped to the ground by controlled demolitions rather than by anything connected to the hijackings, the untrue stories peddled by The 9/11 Commission Report are clearly susceptible of being turned into major political issues.
He seems pretty reasonable, but I'll let you decide if you agree or disagree with him.
Did you know that studies have found that hybrid cars are less energy efficient than most other cars, including Hummers? Reason Foundation has the lowdown:
Spinella's customer satisfaction surveys show that 62 percent of hybrid owners are dissatisfied with the fuel-economy performance of their cars given what they have paid for them.
This means that when gas prices go up, these people don't rush out to buy more hybrids. "They buy a Chevy Aveo," says Spinella. "It delivers the same fuel economy as a Prius, but at half the price."
Comparing this data, the study concludes that overall hybrids cost more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles. But even more surprising, smaller hybrids' energy costs are greater than many large, non-hybrid SUVs.
For instance, the dust-to-dust energy cost of the bunny-sized Honda Civic hybrid is $3.238 per mile. This is quite a bit more than the $1.949 per mile that the elephantine Hummer costs.
Monday, November 6, 2006
The market anarchist solution to justice is primarily concerned with consumer demand as the drive for accountability, due to the incentive system involved. The general thought in market anarchist circles is that establishing accountability will make everything slowly better and more adapted to people's values. This is, of course, correct, and restoring accountability to the justice system would be a tremendous improvement. We would see less abuse, limit times for trials, much lower costs, and a fairer system all around.
Would market anarchist justice be made too complicated by a multiplicity of codes? Not at all. In fact, since every conflict would ideally be regulated by one single code negotiated by the two agencies involved, the situation would not be much more complicated than what we have today. The only complication would be in cases involving someone who belongs to no agency or who belongs to agency which has not yet been to the negociation table. Procedures would obviously be developed to deal with these specific kinds of cases.
Now I'd like to go beyond what market anarchist theory has to say on the subject, and look at specific implementations of justice.
First, let's look at the vengeance aspect. Statist justice is based on retribution, on inflicting punishment, instead of restoration. People celebrate the punishment of an assumed guilty party, while gaining nothing at all from it except a thirst for vengeance which is really fabricated by the way the state has perverted justice. The state of the same society after the trial is worse than it was before it, inevitably.
Restorative justice (also called conciliatory justice), on the contrary, aims to ensure that society is, if not better off from the whole procedure, at least as good as it was before it. There are three main parts to this idea:
1. Arbitration between the victim and the offender is strongly encouraged, or otherwise consensual methods, with judge or jury-based trials used only when all other methods fail.
2. The offender must compensate for the damages he inflicted to the victim. If financial restitution is not possible, the victim and the offender must agree on an equivalent.
3. Reintegration instead of isolation (jail): Inscribing the process within the context of the greater society, encouraging rehabiliation by reconnecting the offender to the social context instead of isolating him from that context.
That's the first part of the puzzle. Another part of the puzzle is the concept of Informed Consent, which I discussed extensively before. Restorative justice is an excellent concept, although best applied to a smaller scale. Informed Consent, on the other hand, is a more general concept and is applicable at any scale. We already know that agencies would function on the basis of arbitration, i.e. they would choose the courts that would receive their cases in this or that context. But Informed Consent would be the way by which the decision-making process (the actual trial) would take place, involving the arbitrators, experts, and representatives from both parties.
This structure addresses both the enormous power of judges, and the confrontational nature of the system. As a corollary, the issue of wealth becomes less important, as conviction or lack thereof depends no longer on the persuasion and credibility of a lawyer, but rather on a consensus. Even if one party is not present, there will still be arbitrators and experts there to take up some of his side of the story, although obviously they don't have as much interest in defending him as he would himself. It would also give a more impartial, or at least multi-faceted, approach to the truth.
Finally, a form of hierarchical debate could be an excellent tool in doing the ground work for a case- deal with all the procedures that come before it, as well as prepare for the dialogue by setting the agenda and the arguments from all sides on each point.
What about appeals? Well, here's how I think it would happen. There wouldn't be any appeals at first, and people would be dissatisfied with some decisions, especially if there is no mediation or restitution (which would definitely lower the rate of dissatisfaction). The most reliable courts would naturally seek to leverage this reliability advantage over their competition, and would put themselves under an oversight system, and publicize this fact. The oversight system would check all cases brought to that court, and check for technical or judiciary errors. When errors are found, and the guilty party wishes to appeal, it would then nullify the decision of that court and make its own judgment (using whatever process is desired).
This oversight would be a competitive advantage, since all other things being equal a system with appeals is more desirable for consumers than a system without appeals. So more courts would want to have such a system. It might not actually happen like that, but this is a natural scenario. The point is that there are situations where there is an incentive even for the courts themselves to have appeals put in place for their customers. This is something that opponents of Market Anarchy don't seem to understand: as long as there's a demand for something, producers will be interested in providing it.
Friday, November 3, 2006
What is the role of the "justice system" under a state? First, to exclusively enforce the arbitrary code of laws of the ruling class, and reject all others, in short: to maintain the legal monopoly. Second, to give the appearance of justice, that is to say, to condemn someone plausible for a crime, by duplicity if necessary. Third,
to slow down the growth of law down to a manageable level. It's like indoctrination in a cult- you can't give them too much at a time. Once one layer of law is assimilated, you can then continue to the next one. So the "justice system" is a safeguard against unhealthy levels of coercion, permitting the state to cruise gently from layer to layer without being derailed.
Now, the main feature of the system is its centralized authority. In a trial, the judge possesses unquestionable control over the proceedings, although of course he is bound by certain rules and procedures. This is natural, given what we have just seen. A decentralized process wouldn't entail the specific kind of outcomes that are needed for the statist "justice system". It may allow too many laws to stay on the books, or not enough laws, or refuse to prosecute someone against whom insufficient evidence is presented, or even downright reject the legal monopoly's position. The latter does exist in "jury nullification", but only exists because the concept of a jury would otherwise be meaningless, and at least in the US, and US courts do their very best to ignore it.
Another important feature of the system is the concept of a jury. Juries are a vital tool to fulfill its second purpose, which is to say, to minimize people's criticism of the system. By having twelve average Joes give their ignorant stamp of approval to complicated legal cases, the system is ensured that its judgment is acceptable to the general public as well. It does not ensure actual justice to the people involved, but their opinions are irrelevent compared to that of the population at large, who is the actual "consumer" of the system (through the maintenance of legitimacy). So juries are sort of a "market research" process, where the best scapegoats are found.
Of course, the idea that people should be coerced into being part of a jury and expected to judge someone else's coercive acts is insane, and so is the idea that twelve ordinary people are habilitated to render such judgments (especially given the low caliber of people who get past the selection process). The whole concept of it is insane, but within the statist framework it makes perfect sense. After all, the coercion of the state is supposed to be "good", "necessary" coercion in order to counter that of private individuals.
The end result of this process, therefore, is not justice, but rather convenience. It is convenient for the state to have scapegoats and to have a valve mechanism, and it is convenient for the general public to see some people executed or jailed. None of this is based on facts however. The only real use of the system is for the ruling class. This is similar to the socialized "health care system", where the most powerful either get preferential treatment, or go get treated elsewhere. It is always the rest of us who pay dearly for their power.
Let's be honest here. In the system we have today, pretty much anyone who the weight of investigation falls on can be trumped up as guilty, especially if they had cheap representation. Coerced confessions are routine (even on children), railroading investigations is routine, relying heavily on unreliable eyewitness evidence is routine, "lie detectors" and other frauds are routine.
I hope I don't even need to mention the death penalty. In the US, approximately 10% of death row inmates (between 1976 and 2004, 1012 executions and 117 exonerations) are exonerated (and who knows how many more were executed when innocent). 10% of defects would bankrupt most private companies- but for the "justice system", it's business as usual.
To summarize, the five main problems with the system are:
1. Total lack of accountability.
2. The confrontational nature of the system, which puts an emphasis on persuasion instead of facts. Corollary : the wealthy and powerful can manipulate the system better.
3. Judges have a centralized control over the proceedings.
4. The coerciveness and uselessness of jury duty.
5. Vengeance as a motivator.
In the second part, I will discuss the market anarchist/IC solution.
Boy do I have conflicting emotions right now. A jury just found Kent Hovind, a.k.a. Dr. Dino, guilty of 44 counts of tax evasion.
He faces up to 288 years in prison, while his wife faces up to 225 years.
I think Kent Hovind is a moonbat. He is disingenuous, spectacularly stupid, and an all around butt head. However, I don't think he should go to jail for not passively accepting the monetary theft perpetrated by the state.
Kent Hovind is deserving of ridicule. Kent Hovind is deserving of ostracization. Kent Hovind may even be deserving of a banana cream pie to the face. But he is not deserving of prison time merely for not paying taxes.
In fact, I think he should be commended for standing up to the government and not paying taxes. Too bad nobody else will see it that way. Kent Hovind got taken down, which is good, but for wrong and immoral reasons, which is bad. Unfortunately, Kent's defense was extremely weak. His attorneys presented no evidence, and called no witnesses. He attempted to use a religious excuse, something to the effect of,"We are doing God's work and therefore shouldn't have to pay taxes." Looks like the jury didn't but that one.
I may just have to start wearing a "Free Kent!" t-shirt.
Only an entity as evil as the government can make me stand in solidarity with a particularly revolting creationist.
On a side note, not too long ago I was kicked out of jury duty for my political and social views. If I was somehow seated in the jury for this case, I most definitely would have voted not guilty for Hovind. How odd.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
After the defeat of Net Socialism, Café Hayek finds something else to celebrate- the deregulation of broadband and its benefits to us:
The results are in: DSL packages are cheaper, performance speeds are faster, and the number of subscribers is growing more quickly than under open access rules. According to Leichtman Research, for the nine months following deregulation (fourth-quarter results aren't posted), the number of households with DSL increased by 4.6 million -- some 31% above the previous period's growth. Meanwhile, the DSL competitors -- cable modem services -- have added 3.8 million subscribers.
Socialism, we lose. Capitalism, we win!
The UK Telegraph thinks there is a problem with global warming- it stopped in 1998?
Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).
In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Even CNN is saying it: the government is broken.
CNN is showing weeklong series called "Broken Government." I never thought I would see this kind of series title from any major news outlet.
Statism, in all its forms, is simply not performing. And people are starting to realize it. News outlets may even be starting to cash in on that very fact, if this CNN series is any indicator.
UPDATE: The online CNN poll agrees at 92% that the current political system is broken, 2 weeks before the midterm elections.
Since I grew up on science-fiction, I like to compare science-fiction series in moral and political terms. Star Trek and Star Wars, the two heavyweights, are little more than a panegyric for collectivism, anti-intellectualism and altruism through and through (Next Generation, Voyager and the end of A New Hope were particularly cringe-worthy- as well as the fact that every second Star Trek movie seems to be about saving the world). In Star Trek, Roddenberry's vision of an ideal world is that of a communist, or at least socialist, military regime where trade has ostensibly been replaced by goodness of heart. In Star Wars, the Old Republic is a heavily bureaucratic democracy which supports governments of all types, and the separatists (including many corporate entities) are portrayed as puppets of the evil Sith Lords. In Firefly, government is portrayed as an oppressive force and anarchy, while not ideal, is a place where freedom and an individualist way of life can still exist.
Who do we look up to as a society? Soldiers, athletes and actors, the two former being good examples of brute force, and the latter a good example of effete anti-intellectuals. While they do provide tremendous entertainment, and I am not saying that they don't contribute anything in those terms, their lasting contribution to society is negligible. Heavens forbid we admire people who actually do something! The perfect example of a "hero" is Mother Theresa, the weakling par excellence, whose main claims to fame are hobnobbing with fascist dictators and refusing to administer painkillers to her emaciated suffering victims.
True heroes usually face tremendous opposition- which is why they are heroes in the first place. A hero stands up against the problems of the world in his own way, pursuing his values even if it requires him to take risks or fight authority. Heroes are principled people, who are not afraid to speak or act against evil.
Have you ever heard of Ingo Potrykus? I'm pretty sure you haven't. And yet he is a real hero- a German bioengineer whose team developed Golden Rice, a genetically engineered food that could help millions of people, despite the opposition of governments and environmentalist organizations. There are plenty of heroes in this world. I count, for example, people like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, James Randi, the late lamented Harry Browne, and perhaps even an economist like David Friedman. I'm sure you have your own as well.
The root of the perversion of heroism lies in two related areas: first, the collectivist propaganda needed to maintain the legitimacy of the state, and its strong incentive to smear individualism and freedom lovers, and second, the fact that most people who manufacture our culture work in brutally competitive fields unless they benefit from state subsidies, and thus have a natural hatred for capitalism and a natural love for the state. It is, therefore, a natural extension of the hero worship inspired by religious myths.
On a more moral level, the anti-intellectualist mentality, hostile to principles and virtue, is the emotional food of the mob, which revels in hating those who seek intellectual or materialistic pursuits. The scientist, the businessman, the skeptic, the civil rights advocate, and those who use or promote technology are virtually always the enemies. Even when the right people are faulted, they are faulted not for being wrong, but for being too principled.
And I'm afraid that people lack understanding of morality or politics partially because they have been fed this emotionalist, violent, ignorant pap. Where will the counter-revolution come from?
Monday, October 23, 2006
It's always been fashionable to rail against populism. So I don't think I'm surprising anyone when I say that popular culture is complete crap, not even my statist opponents. Everyone thinks they're smarter than everyone else, and I'm no exception. But the main difference between me and my opponents lies in the fact that they decry the morality of the people who write and produce it (because of the socialist hatred of the profit motive, commercialism, and consumerism), and I decry the morality of what is presented to us. And one of my main beefs is the perversion of heroism that we are served day after day.
Why should our statist friends be concerned about the content of the pap they decry? Every day the media bombards us with altruistic and collectivist propaganda. Television shows, movies and books praise the nation, praise the family, praise the sacrifice, and praise those who work to preserve "culture" and "heritage". Individualists and freedom lovers generally appear either as hopeless, cold shells of humanity, or as crackpots trying to defend the worst crimes (just look at pretty much any given episode of Law & Order). And what of heroism!
It's become an infuriating custom to call "anti-hero" any character that is not either a violent unthinking brute or a completely "altruistic" goody two-shoes. The conception of heroism that we have been spoon-fed by the culture-peddlers completely perverts morality. It has been drained of all intelligence or subtlety, which is why "anti-heroes" are much more interesting and morally upright than so-called "heroes".
There are two main types of "heroes"- the unthinking brutes and the altruistic pansies. Your typical action "hero", mowing down crowd after crowd with no inkling of intelligence whatsoever, will be firmly inscribed in the former category. In most other movies, your anti-intellectual ineffectual "hero" will be firmly planted in the latter category. This, I think, mirrors our political dichotomy of "left" and "right", or at least the stereotypes of it. You have your right-wing, warmongering, socially repressive fanatic, and you have your left-wing, pacifist, effete anti-intellectual, the two opposite (and supposed exclusive) ways of seeing the world. Both are completely removed from reality.
And then of course you have your "superheroes", which have both properties at the same time, and thus represent the epitome of inanity, Superman being the paradigmatic example. Superman has had many incarnations and many writers in his long career, but his basic archetype is that of the altruistic brute mixed with anti-intellectualism- little more than a child in tights with almost infinite strength. Writers of "superhero comics" cloak their moral depravity in noble words like "justice" and "freedom", but we all know that what they advocate is the nobility of sacrifice without the weakness necessary for it to be an actual sacrifice ("Jesus", anyone?).
Now, there are "superheroes" that actually need to work for their powers, like Batman. But Batman is called an "anti-hero" and a "vigilante". Why? Because he's actually motivated by his past in his desire to fight arch-criminals, instead of by fiat? How is an action done on the basis of arbitrary moral duty "heroic" and the same action done on the basis of self-interest "vigilantism"?
Personally, my two favourite "anti-heroes"- that is to say, real heroes- are Gregory House (of the show "House, MD") and Malcolm Reynolds (captain of the Serenity). Neither of them has an altruistic bone in his body, and neither could be really called an "action hero". They are individuals with principles, and they will do anything to follow those principles, breaking as many rules as necessary in order to do so. Even though fans of both will do their best to back-pedal and concede that they are "flawed" characters with "questionable morality", I find this attitude a pitiful concession to the perverted heroism that we are supposed to accept, and scorn it at every opportunity.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Marxist theory tells us that society is a struggle between classes. In the statist system, this is technically correct.
Marxist theory tells us that society is a struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This is quite incomplete. Marxists have made it so because they desire to create a new ruling class. In reality, we can see plainly that the bourgeoisie, in Marxist terms, is only an enemy insofar as it can co-opt ruling class power more effectively than the proletariat.
Marxist theory says that, as inequality grows, the proles will revolt against their masters. This is, again, technically correct. History has shown that the greatest inequalities of fortune and power do lead to revolts. This does not, however, validate the Marxist dialectic, because in a relatively capitalistic system inequality of fortune and power is lowered, not heightened. The inequality between a king and a peasant cannot in any way be compared to that of a current average worker and a CEO, and it would be laughable to even suggest it. A CEO may have many orders of magnitude more money than the average person, but lives a life which is comparatively similar to that of the average person. A king possessed almost infinitely more wealth than your average peasant, and lived a life which had no comparison at all with that of a peasant. The spreading of technology due to capitalism, the lower concentration of power (even if the total power is far greater in a democratic state), and the removal of cultural barriers all create a more equal society.
Marxist theory promotes a society where inequality is the greatest possible- where some people have no power, and others control the economic and the social all together. While decrying corporatism constantly, Marxism is in fact nothing more than corporatism taken to its natural conclusion- economic leaders put in power, controlling all aspects of "their" workers' life. Market Anarchy promotes a society where there is no political power, everyone is equal, and everyone can choose how they desire to live.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
My friend Adrian showed me this recent duo of questions from a message board he frequents:
"Answer two questions:
1. What would you kill for?
2. What would you risk yor life for?
If your answers are not the same you really need to look at your ethics."
I guess there is a problem with my ethics, but I don't really see how both answers can be the same. Being ready to kill for something, and "risking your life" for it, are very different levels of value. We risk our lives, or lower slightly our quality of life, for a lot of things, simply because we think it's worth it. If we lived our lives in order to have the least risk of any disease or accident, we would lead extremely boring lives indeed. But I would only kill to protect my own life or that of people I value.
The notion that people really do desire to be enslaved is an incredibly absurd, and yet disturbingly common, canard. Defenders of the state claim that it's okay to be enslaved because that's what most people already want. After all, look at how people vote! They want welfare, socialized medicine, more taxes, they always want to be enslaved more and more! Doesn't that prove that statist enslavement is the natural state of man?
Stefan Molyneux has a great analogy that I trot out especially for this kind of fallacy. He says to imagine a sociologist who comes to a zoo to study the apes there. The sociologist notes that the apes don't move around much and don't seem to leave a certain area, and tries to find an explanation for this strange behaviour. He postulates that the monkeys have a strong tribal instinct, that they are sedentary, that new places scare them, and so on. All this time, he fails to notice that the monkeys simply don't move around because they are in cages!
This is the exact same insanity that afflicts anyone who tries to analyze human behaviour without taking into account the debilitating effect of state threats and coercion on the individual.
Why do people choose enslavement? It is not a natural thing for people to desire to be enslaved. People crave freedom, and this is manifested in most aspects of society, but not in politics. The answer is very simple: people believe that the burden of state coercion is a permanent fixture of society, and they adapt to that situation. More specifically, they try to wrestle as much state power as possible in favour of their values and social policies, before other people do the same. So what we have is basically a Tragedy of the Commons situation as regards to individual rights- either you get your way, or someone else will. Social warfare is the inevitable consequence of any democratic system.
The truth of the matter is, if you take away the cage of state coercion, most people desire to be free. And the best proof of this is to ask a rabid statist the following question:
"Would YOU, personally, like to be free to do X?"
Don't listen to their rationalizations as to why OTHER PEOPLE should not be free to do X. Just ignore them and ask them again:
"Would YOU, personally, like to be free to do X?"
Inevitably the answer will be "yes!". Of course people want to be personally free to do things. They simply do not believe that other people can be trusted- either because they believe their beliefs should be enforced over that of others, or because they believe that other people are inherently evil and not to be trusted (another statist belief which ensures that people will submit to the state as a necessary check over their fellows). And no one trusts anyone else, because they have been taught that other people are not to be trusted.
Statists sometimes argue that we anarchists believe that everyone is good and would "do the right thing". This is, of course, complete nonsense, but they are right in the sense that we think that people are generally decent (if not always doing the right thing) when the threat of the state is removed and they are free to adapt to a new, healthier situation. That is our hope, yes. But we do not depend on this hope to have a market anarchist society. Unlike the statist's utopia, market anarchy does not require a high level of intelligent, decency or morality in order to work. It's natural, it's trade, it always works, even little children can figure it out. It doesn't take a fucking degree in politics.
People don't want to be free? That's like saying that a kidnapping victim doesn't want to be free because he obeys his captors. No, he obeys his captors because he doesn't want to get shot. So... give me a break!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
"Market failure" is another absurd concept being propagated by people who should know better. While I don't deny that such a concept may have some use, we have to examine it the way it is used by the statists. Underlying this statist code-word is the premise that the state must exist in order to correct the failures inherent to free markets.
This is quite an absurd premise, if we understand what the state is. The state is, economically speaking, a coercive agent of resource redistribution. All that it does economically is coercively redistribute resources and prevent other agents from doing the same. These same patterns can be achieved by people working together in a free market. So how can the state effect patterns that the free market cannot?
True, some outcomes are rather less likely- it is highly improbable that every single person in a society would willingly surrender half their income to a mindless coercive bureaucracy- but that's a good thing.
So the term "market failure" should rather be changed to "distributive limits". It is not a market phenomenon, but a phenomenon that affects the distribution of resources under any system.
Let's look at some common examples of "market failure" and how they are nothing more than statist rhetoric.
* Monopolies. I hope I don't even need to explain this one, but just in case: the only viable monopolies are those created by the state. There has never been a purely natural monopoly in the history of the markets. So this should be properly called a "state failure"- like the postal service, socialized health care, Amtrak, etc.
* Lack of information. Yes, it is absolutely true that a lack of adequate information in a market can lead buyers and sellers to make sub-optimal decisions- compared to a scenario of perfect information. But this example fails to include the fact that information is also a product. Once this fact is included, the whole premise of the example (that the lack of information is somehow different from a lack of any other product) disintegrate. This also applies in scenarios with asymmetrical information.
* "Price gouging". There is no such thing as "price gouging", only resources being sold at higher prices than usual due to higher demand. This is called "offer and demand" and is the basic principle behind all exchange of resources. If "price gouging" is a market failure then all such exchanges, whatever the system, are market failures.
It is a concept created by statists in order to justify more government intervention, same as "collusion". They rig the system so you can't win. If you sell your products lower than the competition, it's unfair competition. If you sell your products higher than the competition, it's price gouging. If you sell your products at the same price than the competition, it's collusion.
* Negative externalities, such as pollution. This is actually a similar scenario to that of lack of information, because it relies on ignoring one particular market in order to project the illusion of a "failure". The market, in this case, is justice. Agents who pollute should expect to be forced to redistribute some of their profits to the people affected by their pollution. But this is not what happened with industralization, thanks to a state which depends on big industry for its taxes and support. Now everyone knows how lax the state is regarding pollution. Why should we expect otherwise?
* "Public goods". This is another chimera used to justify the existence of the state. It is based on the idea that there are goods which are used by everyone but which, under a free market, most people would not pay for (free riders). The perennial example of such a good is lighthouses, which also provides us the perfect rebuttal because private lighthouses have existed in the past. They were financed by collecting toll on ships docking at nearby ports. Roads are another example usually given, but private roads already exist! If anything, these two examples prove that "public goods" are pure fantasy.
A more fundamental answer to this supposed problem would be that these "public goods" are still, even when controlled by the state, built, maintained and financed by individuals. As such, there is no reason why a market system cannot reproduce those same conditions.
"Market failure" is a concept used to justify government interference. As such, it is based on ignorance of the facts. Nothing can justify coercive redistribution of resources- which is to say, forcibly taking away from people's self-interested trades. To fight against self-interest is to fight against our common desire for prosperity and progress.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Monday, October 9, 2006
Listen and Burn!
Mondo Diablo Episode 19: Lappy 2000!
Enjoy! -- Hellbound Alleee
Saturday, October 7, 2006
How expensive is war? Apparently not quite as expensive as states make them. Including 100 million from Iran every year, Hezbollah costs about 400 million dollars a year, the cost of a single F/A-22 Raptor. And they are giving a good run to Israel, too. How's that for non-statist efficiency?
We have a new scientific study being touted by the collectivists as proving that colas are bad for you. According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, however, this is yet another statist Big Lie:
Once you filter through the hype, however, the paper (available here from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) offers this conclusion: The more you eat and the less you exercise, the more you'll weigh. Oh, and soda's bad.
One line from the review which has drawn massive media attention is the "discovery" that if the 150 calories found in an average can of soda "are added to the typical US diet without reducing intake from other sources, 1 soda/d could lead to a weight gain of 15 lb or 6.75 kg in 1 y." We're not really sure how to say this, but it doesn't take a Harvard Ph.D to understand that adding 150 calories from anything to your daily diet (without otherwise changing your diet or exercise level) will add pounds to your frame.
Here is a link to the study. Read it for yourself, because they never want you to. When a statist says anything about a scientific study, read it first. Trust statists about science as much as you'd trust a Christian on biology.
Thursday, October 5, 2006
It is a common accusation against individualists that they believe in a "might makes right" mentality. Due to our refusal to believe in their collectivist ideal of supposed security and comfort, we are cruel, unfeeling people who wish nothing but for the weak and incapable to be crushed.
As for most collectivist arguments, this is pure projection. I have yet to meet one market anarchist or atheist who believes in "might makes right". Rather, it is statism and religion which promote a mentality of power over persuasion or reason. In fact, power as justification is inherent in both of their founding narratives. Statists believe that the state must have the power to dominate society in order to enforce a singular value system, and that the state is justified in its worst atrocities because it needs that power. The religious believe that God is justified in its worst atrocities and owns all human beings solely because it has the power to create and destroy life.
And if you think that's a straw man, listen to what Lee Strobel, probably THE most well-known name in Chrisian apologetics, has to say about it :
People assume that what's wrong for us is wrong for God. However, it's wrong for me to take your life, because I didn't make it and I don't own it. For example, it's wrong me to go into your yard and pull up your bushes, cut them down, kill them, transplant them, move them around. I can do that in my yard, because I own the bushes in my yard.
Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith, chapter 4
Both statism and religion are based on belief - belief that government is necessary, and belief in the existence of God. And belief precludes the possibility of persuasion. Persuasion is only possible when we have objective facts to show and explain to the other person. Insofar as belief precludes persuasion, the only way to impart belief is by force - mental (childhood brainwashing, for example) or physical (beating up people who believe otherwise).
The moral premises for both the state and religion are also cut of the same cloth. Statists believe either that singular power makes right (monarchy), that majority power makes right (democracy), that the "common good", as chosen by the ruling class, makes right (fascism), or that "class" power makes right (communism). In no case is there any consideration for the truth. Same for the religious, who believe that whatever God wants is moral, regardless of reality.
Belief in the state and belief in God are predicated on the same premise: that there are some beings that are inherently superior to us in the social order due to their might, and can dictate morality to the rest. There is absolutely no reason for us to consider "God's law" or the "state's law" as anything but an arbitrary construct designed to pursue a specific set of ruling class values (those of the Church and those of the state). They are followed, not because people judge them good, but because of "might".
Look at who rejoices in violence and brutality. Surely the Christian does, when he reads with enthusiasm the Old Testament stories of genocide, or when he rejoices in the future Hellish destination of some of us. Sure, they say that it's all for ends we cannot understand, and that God has his reasons, which is to say that they really believe these things out of their own dark, violent impulses and refuse to acknowledge it, so they pin it on their scapegoat. And surely the statists do, at least those who support state police, the prison system, and war. They always clamour for their "country" to have the most guns, the most bombs, the most planes, and they stand the tallest when they salute the flag. They sure are in love with "might".
In all considerations, one basic fact remains. Both anarchists and atheists desire to free people from collectivist coercion, and to live in a society where people express their personal values. Statists share the religious desire to enforce submission to their collectivist ideals, through force of arms, mental threats, and social engineering. If there are any screaming children, if there are people who believe that might makes right, it is they.