Archive for the ‘libertarian’ Category

Lies cause weakness

March 18, 2018

American culture, if there is such a thing, is weak and pitiful from decades (or more) of telling lies. And from glossing over lies that are told. Lies always cause weakness.

But the lies are understandable in a way.

Lies feel safe and cozy. Especially when they are told and retold. When the lies bring you together and make you feel a part of a community you have a special place to fit in.

Truth is often lonely and painful. I know.

I wish I could tell the lies and feel accepted and warm. But it wouldn’t change the truth. I wish I could say that cops are good guys, that taxation is the price of a civilized society, and that it’s good to support government because God tells me to in Romans 13. I wish I could believe in “authority” and that it is for my own good and the good of the children. I wish I could believe government schools are “public” centers of education. That citizenship is a wonderful thing. Those are comforting lies because of the beliefs of those around me. Telling those lies to myself and others would help me fit in and feel welcomed. But they are still lies.

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Three topics big deal to libertarians

March 14, 2018

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 14, 2018)

There are three topics which come up frequently in libertarian writings: guns, drugs, and national borders. The reason is those three areas are where the people of America seem willing to let government do the most damage to Rightful Liberty, just to punish other people.

All three are hot buttons for almost everyone, with people on each side screaming at those on the other…read the rest

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Libertarianism means respect

March 4, 2018

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 31, 2018)

I am not libertarian because I expect to get anything from it.  Well, that’s not completely true.  I should say I am not libertarian because I expect to get anything from you because of it. I don’t even necessarily expect civilized behavior from others.

Respect for life, liberty, and property– without excuses– is the hallmark of both libertarianism and civilization. I expect civilized behavior only from other libertarians, and not even all of them manage to deliver. After all, they are still only human.

I am libertarian because I don’t have any desire to own you, nor do I wish to be owned. I am libertarian because I recognize your life and the products of your life– your property– are yours, alone, to use as you wish, as long as you don’t violate anyone else. I am libertarian because I expect to be treated as I treat you, while exercising the right to defend myself and others against any who refuse to cooperate.

I don’t want something for nothing. I’m not libertarian because I hate roads, parks, libraries, and food safety. I am libertarian because I know my appreciation for something doesn’t justify forcing you to pay for it against your will. I am perfectly willing to pay for what I use– however, I want to be able to choose the provider I buy the service from, and I want to be able to opt out of things I have no use for, such as police. Monopolies never serve customers’ needs adequately, and never survive long without government favoritism. I prefer free enterprise, liberated markets, competition, and options over mandatory “one-size-fits-all” monopolies.

One precious thing I get from being libertarian is freedom from the stress of trying to control your life. You do your thing, and as long as you don’t try to stop me from doing mine, and you violate no one, we’ll have no problem.

Unfortunately, the non-libertarian crowd seems to find this civilized compromise unacceptable. They can’t abide something so mature and respectful; based on mutual consent.

It doesn’t change how I’ll live, though. I won’t call for anyone’s life, liberty, and property to be violated simply because they can’t respect mine. I support self-defense for anyone being violated for any reason, and I hope the bullies learn about actions and consequences before it’s too late.  Someone has to take the first step toward maturity when dealing with others. Let’s take the step together.

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The Little Engine that could, but chose not to

February 20, 2018

There once was a Little Engine.
It wasn’t the biggest or the strongest engine, but it was a good little engine. It loved being useful and it loved helping when it could. This didn’t pay well, and the Little Engine often ran short of fuel.
The Little Engine was told about a job for which a train was needed. A job that paid well. A job that was said to be helpful; hauling government troops and their equipment over a steep mountain to their next destination.
It wouldn’t be an easy job but would push the Little Engine to its limits.
All its friends encouraged the Little Engine to do what they knew it was capable of. They knew it could get that job hauling troops over the mountain, even though the mountain was very steep, and usually only much more powerful engines did the job. They knew the Little Engine had heart, and a reserve of strength. The engine’s friends kept saying “We know you can do it! It’s a respectable job; supporting the troops! It pays well! You can do it! You can do it!
But the little engine knew that the troops were armed government employees, used to impose the opinions of political bullies on others, by breaking things and killing people in places they have no right to be. The little engine knew that the troops were paid by a type of theft called “taxation”, and that the pay for hauling the troops over the mountain would be obtained the same way.
The Little Engine had ethics and principles.
The Little Engine knew it could, but knew it shouldn’t.
The Little Engine refused the job and was shut down by the federal government for being a suspected terrorist sympathizer.

The End.

Paraphrased from Jurrasic Park‘s Dr. Ian Malcolm:
Humans were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

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Umbridges galore

February 19, 2018
Dolores Umbridge-
famous fictional pecksniff

There is no difference between those who use their distaste for some forms of consensual sex, drugs, or “immigrants” [sic]– and their drive to “protect the culture” or morals from those things by way of government or “laws“– and those who do the same thing with guns. None.

The “cost to society” excuse is a handy tool for both types of anti-liberty bigot to use against rights they don’t like.

It’s just a game of justifying being a control freak.

And I see it a lot. One type of statist wants to protect society from some liberties, while other statists want to protect society from the other liberties. Until there is no liberty left– and the moralizing bullies still will never be content. It’s never enough for them.

I realize they believe they are protecting fragile order from the chaos of people just “doing whatever they want, with no regard to consequences“. They’ll admit as much. The problem is “just doing whatever they want, with no regard to consequences” applies identically to the control freaks and anti-liberty bigots. They are what they rail against. Too much order is as deadly as too much chaos.

Liberty is never up to their approval. Thank goodness!

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Substituting passion for reason (abortion)

February 17, 2018

I’ve said in the past that I don’t “like” abortion, but I’m not passionate about the issue. People who are passionate about it make me uncomfortable, and anytime I write about it I know I’m inviting passionate people to descend upon me. Thus I don’t mention it often.

I do not believe a zygote has rights– you can’t violate it. I believe a full-term baby does have rights, even though it isn’t capable of exercising many of them yet. I believe those things as strongly as I believe gravity is a real force which I can depend on to be consistent, but I can’t think of a way to prove it so I can’t be 100% positive.

That means I believe somewhere along the path from zygote to blastula to embryo to fetus to baby, this living tissue- the zygote into the future, undergoing continual cell division- becomes a human. Not just human tissue or a unique human genetic thing, but A Human with human rights no one has the right to violate. And I don’t know how to know where that happens so my position would be to err on the side of assuming rights earlier rather than later.

I do absolutely believe pregnant women have every human right.

It seems to me that rights could probably be said to correlate to nervous system function in some way. Yes, I know this opens the door to debating how functional a human’s brain must be before I would say they have rights. And, like all the rest of this, I don’t know.

This lack of knowing is why I can’t be passionate about it. It’s why I’m not going to go hard against others for their opinion, whichever way they believe. I’m not going to argue very hard for my opinion on the topic. Because, no matter how passionate you are on either side, it is an opinion (not based on enough facts) you are passionate about. You don’t know, even if you believe you do. No one does. It depends on subjective definitions and assumptions. It leads to absurd declarations from both sides when passion gets involved.

And, usually, it leads to calls to make something “illegal”. I don’t believe it’s ever right to get government or its “laws” involved in anything.

If you are passionate about the topic, on either side, do what you feel you must. Just don’t expect much support or attention from me.

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Dawkins’ religious error

February 16, 2018

And I’ll go further than that, since I was severely limited by Twitter’s character count. Here’s the link to the tweet, in case you’re interested.

Taking away someone’s “Comfort Blanky” is also something you have no right to do. For the same reason you have no right to take someone’s gun, house, car, money, or any other property. You have no right to violate the property rights of others. Period. It’s a right that can’t exist. Not seeing this is a blind spot caused by religious belief.

I’m sorry if you are offended that I said “thoughts and prayers” are useless. I know that’s not quite true– at the minimum they make people feel better when there’s nothing real they can do about a bad situation. And, they can let a hurting person know (if they are informed about them) that someone cares and wishes they could help. I’m unconvinced about any usefulness beyond that, but would love to be proved wrong But I needed some common ground with Dawkins here.

I know Dawkins is famous for his atheism, but you and I know he isn’t an atheist because he still believes in The State due to his superstitious belief in “authority” (new link, hope it works now). You can’t be an atheist, by definition, if you believe in any gods whatsoever and believe in any religion. Statism is not only a religion, it’s the most popular religion on the planet by a wide margin.

I already see people agreeing with Dawkins because they don’t understand rights in the slightest, and one guy even believes someone once took away my “right” to own slaves- a right that can’t exist any more than a right to steal can exist. People are dumb. I am an abolitionist. I know slavery is always wrong, no matter how you dress it up. It is a violation of life, liberty, and property. Anti-liberty bigots (and theft advocates) are the ethical equivalent to slavers. No, that’s not quite right. Statists ARE slavers.

Religious beliefs can make you advocate atrocities if you refuse to think critically. Don’t make Dawkins’ error.

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It’s not what they claim it is

February 15, 2018

Libertarianism is not about what many of its enemies pretend it is about. It is not about being “anti-government”. What it is about is the recognition that no one has the right to initiate force or violate private property. In other words, no one has the right to archate. That’s it, period.

If it isn’t about not having the right to archate, it might still be compatible with libertarianism, but it isn’t central to libertarianism. A statist or other archator might hold the same position.

If it tries to excuse or justify archation in any way, it is not compatible with libertarianism, no matter who is advocating it.

Many “libertarian, but” folk make this mistake.

What is unfortunate for the government extremists is the fact that this totally discredits government*. Government does everything it does by initiating force and by violating private property rights. If it didn’t do those things it would cease to exist as government. It might be something else– an organization perhaps– but it wouldn’t be what most people have come to define as “government”.

Being anti-government is a result of consistent libertarianism, not a cause.

Government isn’t the only excuse bullies use to archate. Not by a long shot. But it is the main excuse accepted as justification by most of your family, friends, and neighbors. And that’s why it tends to be a focus.

You don’t have to spend your time pointing out that rape is wrong, and that there can’t be a “right to commit rape”, because just about everyone is aware of the fact– they’ll agree with you.

But, since almost everyone around you believes governing is OK, when in truth it is an act identical in its evil to rape, this is where you’ll end up disagreeing with the statists, and this disagreement is what they’ll remember longest. They’ll come away believing you are only “anti-government“, not against all archation. It won’t even matter how many times you point out the truth.

It’s sad, but I am not really sure how to avoid it as long as most people suffer from the mental illness of embracing government.

*Yes, yes, I know. Government is imaginary. People commit evil, not the imaginary club known as “government”. Yet, that is how those who are out there committing evil think of themselves, and it is this thought pattern which makes them see their evil acts as somehow “OK”. I think it’s useful to approach their delusion from all directions.

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Even best president* no role model

February 11, 2018

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 10, 2018.
*Their words, not mine! I don’t write the headlines.)

When Ronald Reagan began his first successful run for president, I wasn’t quite old enough to vote. I liked what he said and I put a Reagan campaign sticker on my car.

During his first term, I felt Reagan did a good job as president, and I voted for him in the next election. Then he did something unforgivable: he colluded with Congress to further regulate guns.

This was one of the main reasons I had never supported the other side. Gun laws were a non-negotiable betrayal in my book. Being young and naive, I hadn’t educated myself about Reagan’s anti-gun history in California. I just took people’s word that he was on the side of less government power and meddling. He said the right things, but failed to live up to them.

It was a rude shock; one I have never forgotten.

I reluctantly supported Republicans for several more years, but kept noticing they acted just like the guys I was counting on them to stop as soon as they got into office. Continually infringing on gun ownership and other matters of individual rights.

I began to notice other troubling things. I value liberty– the ability to exercise the rights all humans possess. Even the politicians who claimed to be on my side were scared of liberty. They wanted it in a box, carefully monitored. They understood it was the natural enemy of government. They kept stabbing me in the back as soon as it was convenient. The politicians I didn’t support never even pretended to be on my side.

What was a man to do?

I grew up. I stopped looking to politicians as role models or moral examples. I came to realize they were concerned with getting elected, and frequently with imposing an agenda they and their supporters wanted, whether it was good for people or not. Anti-liberty laws are never good for people, even when people foolishly believe they are.

Beyond that I came to realize the politician doesn’t matter because the system is rigged to destroy individual liberty. Government is part of the problem, not the solution. You can’t fix it by electing a different person to a position which shouldn’t exist, to do things no one has a right to do. The problem is too deep. The solution is individual responsibility, not politics.

The realization was very liberating. It was also just the beginning of freeing myself. I should be grateful to Ronald Reagan for the betrayal which first opened my eyes.

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Hans-Herman is lying

February 11, 2018

“Real libertarians – in contrast to left-libertarian fakes – must study and take account of real people and real human history in order to design a libertarian strategy of social change, and even the most cursory study in this regard – indeed, little more than common sense – yields results completely opposite from those proposed by libertarian fakes.” ~ Hans-Herman Hoppe

Sorry Hans, but if you are advocating something which violates the ZAP, you are not a “real libertarian” by definition no matter what sort of name calling you engage in. No matter what you believe your “study” has shown you. If your advocated violation hinges on allowing (employees of) the State to violate the ZAP then you are lying and advocating statism. 
Your dishonest use of the term “left” is very telling in this regard– because by this you seem to be hinting you are a “right libertarian”, while libertarians are neither.
It has nothing to do with a “strategy” or “social change”– those things are a distant third to ethics and principles if you are libertarian. 
If you don’t strenuously follow the ZAP, and if you support the State, then just be honest about it and stop soiling the name “libertarian” by association. It doesn’t matter to me how famous you may be, or how many followers hang on your every word which they believe gives credence to their anti-liberty bigotry– if you are claiming your position is “libertarian” you are lying. You, Mr. Hoppe, are the fake “libertarian”.

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