Search Results for: Nietzsche

VII – Having Faith in Reason

So the great question–the master question that has the potential to undermine all others–needs to be asked. It was a ground-shattering question when posed by Nietzsche, but we have the benefit of nearly two centuries of philosophical and scientific advancement; surely those years haven’t been wasted by pseudo-intellectuals who grasped the enormity of Nietzsche’s thoughts and then discarded them, right?

Of course, this is precisely what the average person has done, and even those who sit between the great and mundane minds have carelessly avoided the question, and it remains assumed in nearly all schools of thought (with the obvious exception being modern liberalism, which is itself so nihilistic that it goes the opposite direction and asserts that emotions are more valuable than reason–except, interestingly, when reason can be used to “substantiate” their emotions by an emotional metric–more on this endless circling of reason and emotion later) that reason is preferred to emotion, that knowledge is preferred to belief, and that evidence is preferred to imagination.

Even this doesn’t take in the full breadth of the ultimate question, however, because it begins with the assumption that knowledge and belief are distinctly different things. In the past, I’ve been guilty of making this assumption, too, and attempted to begin another work with an in-depth explanation of what that difference is. I found that it was necessary, in order to justify citing a difference, to make assumptions that may or may not be valid, and for which their validity cannot be determined. I wrote:

From here, all we can do is ask whether what we perceive is actually real, and that isn’t only an unimportant question but also one that can’t be answered definitively. It’s as useless a question as “Why did the chicken cross the road?” It’s unimportant because what a person perceives is real to the person who perceives it; it has real effects, however minor and however indirect. My lack of respect for extreme skepticism and solipsism stems from the refusal to acknowledge the human element and the assertion that the experiences of sentient beings account for nothing.

This philosophical debate has raged for quite some time, and we don’t appear to be any closer to “solving it” than we were three centuries ago; nor will we ever be. Of the attempts to prove the existence of an objective reality, Moore’s is perhaps the best known. I think it admirable that Moore attempted to prove there is an external reality, but (and without making any comparisons of him and myself) I think this is the wrong path to take. It’s no good to try to prove fallacious a person who would stare at an object and postulate that it is only there by perception and not through an actual physical existence [emphasis added].

In short, I attempted to ignore the question, because it was uncomfortable. It did not challenge merely everything that I believed, but the very basis of those beliefs, threatening to pull my entire worldview out from under me. Instead, I sought to cling to false certainty, discarding the entire idea in just a few paragraphs, rather than face it directly. Instead of asking whether belief and knowledge were actually indistinct, I chose to assert it baldly, and found myself unable to defend that position–so I merely asserted it again and waved away the question out of cowardice. The notion that knowledge was based on reliable evidence and sound reason was a pacifier, the underlying edict of my religion that I dared not challenge, because I considered myself to be striving toward truth, steadily eroding and erasing things that I found to be false; accepting that there was no such thing as “truth” undermined all of that work.

Yet the difference between a theist and an atheist is mostly quantitative. It is commonly said that the theist has no evidence for the existence of a deity beyond the claim itself and agreement with others who have made the claim. While this is true, it rests on the assumption that the theist’s emotional position is less valuable than the atheist’s empirical*. The entire idea is built from the value system that already prefers reason to emotion, and which has no rational justification (only emotional) for doing so. For example, the wannabe philosopher at the YouTube channel “Science, Philosophy, and Theology” stated that there is no way to use reason to validate reason. He’s a fool who plays a philosopher on the Internet, and is quite obviously wrong. Mitch Stokes, I believe, is his name.

There’s no way to objectively demonstrate that we should value reason, but whether we value the result or not, reason is the metric by which reason is judged. Reason is judged primarily in practical terms: reason is valuable because the plane stays in the sky, and the plane stays in the sky because of the methods of reason.

The philosophical question is whether there is any rational reason to care whether the plane stays in the sky. That we should care that this means people don’t regularly die in plane crashes is an emotional position, as is the idea that air travel is useful. The fitting of the word “care” is not by accident–“caring” is an emotional thing. It is our emotions that determine what we “care” about and what we don’t.

Reason is valuable according to the criteria of those who prefer the plane to stay in the sky, because reason is why the plane stays in the sky. But caring about this is justified not by reason, but by emotion. Our search for a reasonable, rather than emotional, justification for concerning ourselves with the reliability of the plane will yield nothing. What we’re really discussing is not reason or rational ways to justify reason; we’re discussing value systems, and those systems that value reason against those that don’t. It’s a sad day when a self-described philosopher overlooks such a glaring fact.

Is there any non-emotional reason that we should value reason? Of course not. Value systems are derived wholesale from emotion, which I’ve seen put many anarchists in the unenviable position of attempting to provide a scientific and rational basis for their allegiance to the NAP. Such a basis doesn’t exist, because they are merely looking for justification of emotions and value systems. One would expect them to know better, but, like everyone else, they’ve succumbed to the dangerous mentality that *their* value system is the One True Value System, and thus they end up looking for justification of this pretense of absolute certainty. Since they cannot directly force their value system onto others (as their value system rejects force), they insidiously search for other methods of surreptitiously forcing it onto others; rather than using force, they attempt to strong-arm people with what they say is “reason,” and almost coercively imply that any “reasonable” person will agree with their One True Value System. It’s a modern way of saying “If you don’t believe in my deity, then you are a heretic.”

I like rock music, but I could provide no rational justification for it, and neither would I be expected to. Yet every value system is a collection of likes and dislikes, which is fine until misguided people attempt to provide “rational” justification for their preferences. I value non-aggression because I like peace and dislike aggression, but there is no rational justification for this.

Obviously, I can no more put forward a rational justification for not wanting you to be attacked than I can put forward for not wanting to listen to Garth Brooks. I can put forward plenty of emotional reasons, but none that are rational–except, of course, that it is only rational that I would value my own emotions and emotional state.

I don’t want you hurt because such would fill me with negative emotions, which I don’t prefer for emotional reasons. It is only rational that I do things that don’t negatively affect me. But it only makes sense for emotional reasons.

While they may have different methods, reason and emotion cannot be truly separated–each one supports the other, or they both fall. Reason’s validity can be demonstrated, but whether its validity is any reason to value it is an emotional assessment.

As I said, many stoop to pseudoscience and weak, half-hearted attempts to objectively demonstrate the value of their value system. These people can usually be beaten back until they say that it’s in an organism’s best long-term interests to be peaceful, which is fine, but there’s still no objective reason that we should presume it’s good for an organism to survive and prosper.

At this point, they invariably fall to doublethink and cognitive dissonance–or, worse, begin simply rephrasing their value systems in the hope that they might stumble upon the magical wording they makes it the One True Value System. They generally become frustrated at their own ineptitude and misattribute their agitation to the person who asked them the question, rather than grow angry with themselves for being unable to answer.

The simple truth (independent of any perspective) is that we just don’t know what methodologies and value systems might lead to a better world, nor can we find any two people who fully agree what a “better world” would look like.

My version of a world not only bears little resemblance to the world we have, but it is impossible, even in theory, to convert our world into that one. I’ve spent decades fleshing out the details of what I’d consider a better world–it contains dragons, magic, elves, and other things. It is a harsh world, as is ours, but in its struggles it provides room for what at least feels to its inhabitants like free will.

In more practical terms, my better world is one of liberty, where the state has been thoroughly defeated and left in the historical halls alongside the gladiatorial arena and the rotary telephone. It is a world where, motivated by self-interest and evolutionary tendencies, individuals act however they will, and reap what consequences follow. It’s a world where the gambler is not protected from the risk of losses while pocketing winnings, a world where the productive are not robbed at gunpoint to be forced to provide sustenance to the parasitic masters, and a world where people refuse freely their own limitations, assumptions, and ignorance.

In fact, there is no better way to learn a person’s value system than to request a comprehensive explanation of what they imagine to be a better world. The American Democrat “progressive” might say that their better world is one where there is no racism, where equality reigns, where socialism has eliminated the rich, and where globalism has defeated the nationalism that had already conquered individualism.

To me, such a world is a nightmarish land of oppression and tyranny; it is something I’d never strive for and would adamantly resist. Although perhaps not all of our values are opposed, our most precious values certainly are–a reasonable conclusion, given that a person will list their most important criteria first.

In truth, our value systems are virtually identical. The actual difference is that the American progressive is deeply confused and is so fixated on particular words that the essences of what those words represent are lost. Of course I advocate equality of all people; this is why I’m an anarchist. If there is a state, then there can never be equality, as one group, no matter how benign or mischievous it is, will enjoy power and prestige allowed to no one who is not part of that select group. However they might want to escape this, if a person is told by others that they cannot do something (particularly when the action doesn’t involve force, violence, or coercion), there is inequality, as the person decreeing what behavior is acceptable obviously has authority over the person whose actions are being restricted.

Whether they are ignorant, confused, or deliberately disingenuous isn’t important, but clearly what they desire–however much they might call it “equality”–is authority and control, things which are antithetical to equality. Even if it’s true that they merely want to use this authority to force everyone else to “be equal to one another,” they will still sit apart and above “everyone else,” as the ones with the authority. It’s not “equality” they desire but a two-tier hierarchy, where there are the rulers and the subjects, and the subjects are all considered equal to one another in the eyes of the rulers–they just aren’t equal to the rulers. And though these deluded fools would insist that they desire “equality,” we have to free our mind from the words and instead deal with the concepts, and if one person has authority over another, however that authority is used and to whatever end it is applied, then there is not equality. They can certainly call this authority-driven two-tier hierarchy whatever they like, but just because they call this social dichotomy “equality” doesn’t make it so–the concept of equality is directly at odds with what they advocate, but they call it “equality” nonetheless. This allows them to easily dupe people who lack the intellectual rigor to question whether the word used represents the concept associated, much as the U.S. “Patriot Act” is antithetical to patriotism.

The most extreme of the nihilist positions (there’s a good deal of variation in western society, ranging from modern liberalism to solipsism) is the one that suggests there is no external, objective reality, and that it is merely the product of our senses. Yet our senses are the product of our organs, which are part of that perceived reality. As long as we reject the notion that a thing cannot be its own cause (we can even except a deity from this statement), it’s a logical absurdity to say that our senses create reality that created our organs which created our senses that create reality that created our organs… So regardless of our limitations of perception, and that we must experience the world subjectively and with senses known to be unreliable, it must be concluded that there must already be there something to perceive.

It is the very nature of values that they are based on emotional feelings rather than empirical data, a statement that must become obvious to those who reflect on it. “Science”–which, for the sake of not being repetitious, I’ll use interchangeably with “rationality” and “reasonableness”–prescribes no values to things. It is neither good nor bad that electromagnetic energy is quantized; it simply is. Assuming there is truth to global warming, science does not suggest that this is a good or bad thing.

Right now I find myself arguing on Quora with someone who is attempting to “change my mind” through emotional appeals (by her own admission), knowing full well that I reject emotional appeals in favor of my valuation of reason; meanwhile, she attempts to put forward a rational justification for her valuation of emotion, and criticizes me as a hypocrite for not having a rational justification for my valuation of reason. Arguing with people like that is so difficult because, like I expressed at the beginning of this article, they have all the pieces; they simply will not turn their ideology against itself. Like the anarchists who suggest that they are Heralds of the One True Value System because they have the elusive rational justification for the NAP that even I’ve attempted to find, while they simultaneously admit that all values are subjective. They simply won’t apply that “all values are subjective” to their idea that “one should value non-violence,” just as the person on Quora won’t apply the idea that values are emotional to her own values. Like the anarchists, she professes to be the Herald of the One True Value System, though her highest value is the emotional sensibilities of others rather than non-aggression.

I’m not even certain of why I write these types of articles. What is the point? What am I trying to accomplish, and why should I care whether it’s accomplished or not? I think the point is to remind us all how little we actually know, and how dependent upon assumptions all of our value systems are, especially since we mask our assumptions and subjective experiences as objective certainties. Yet we aren’t certain of anything. We should all check our egos and remind ourselves that our beliefs–whatever they are, whether one believes we should value the NAP, whether one believes gender is binary, or whether one believes that violence is sometimes acceptable.

* Making the assumption that the atheist’s position is empirically sound, but it doesn’t matter one way or another.

This entry was posted on June 8, 2017, in .

Bill Nye is Anti-Science

When I first noticed that people were using the descriptor “intelligent” not to denote people who seemed to have higher-than-average levels of intelligence, but to mark allies in political agreement, I posted that something was wrong and that it was going to get worse:

Intelligence has become the new deity.

“If you believe what I believe, then you are smart. If you are smart, then you will believe what I believe.”

An outward thing from which a person derives their own net worth–the problem is that the “outward thing” is actually an inward thing. In true Dunning-Kruger fashion, people judge their own intelligence by their own ideas, and since they always believe their own ideas to be correct, they always judge themselves to be intelligent.

I’m sure we’ve all run into this. At some point, someone has surely said something to you that was similar to, “You seem really smart… You should read this” or “… You should watch this video.” It carries with it the most dangerous of subtleties: “If you are actually smart, then you’d agree with me. Maybe you don’t have the information that I have. Here’s that information. If you still don’t agree, then I was wrong about you being smart.”

In fact, I’ve been called an “idiot” probably more than anyone I’ve ever met, and this insult has never been thrown at me in any context other than political disagreement. No one could ever possibly mistake me for an idiot. Whether I’m correct or incorrect is unrelated to that. In reality, if I say something and someone thinks I’m an idiot for it, then the much more likely answer is that they simply didn’t understand what I said in the first place.

Intelligence isn’t a prerequisite of being right, and neither is being right an indicator of intelligence. Some of the greatest minds in human history were wrong about any number of things. Being correct is a factor of knowledge and nothing else. Even someone with an IQ of 250 will be wrong about any number of things, simply because we lack a lot of information, and their unnaturally high IQ will do nothing to prevent them from being wrong.

Once more, it’s all about the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which is one of the most breathtaking psychological breakthroughs in human history. A person judges their own understanding of who is and isn’t intelligent relative to their own intelligence. I pointed out yesterday that we judge value systems relative to our own value systems–all of this is obvious, and the ties to Nietzsche’s philosophy and Austrian economics are equally obvious. We judge the value systems of other cultures by our own value system, and compare them relative to our own; ours are our own, so we like ours, and the more different the other systems are to ours, the more we dislike them. It’s impossible to escape from this, because my love for liberty-oriented value systems forms the basis that I use to assess the value of other systems. It’s also the case with intelligence: my only gauge for assessing other people’s intelligence is my own intelligence.

Several “celebrated scientists” have been exhibiting exactly the behavior that Murray Rothbard and others wrote about. They have become pimps of their scientific credibility in the employ of the state and the status quo. In fact, they have sacrificed their right to call themselves scientists and are about as anti-science as any group of people could be.

These guys.

Modern priests

What is this illustrious word “science?” What does it mean? What does it entail? If it is to be anything more than just a cheap and gaudy rubberstamp that we apply to whatever ideology we happen to believe, then it must have an actual meaning–which, ironically, is a statement that any scientist would agree with. Definitions are important, because they form the basis of the words that we use to understand and communicate the world. A simple Google search gives us:

the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

I can’t help but wonder if that definition makes Stephen Hawking, Bill Nye, and Neili deGrasse Tyson blush and feel ashamed. It should.

Of course, my argument against them is part of the problem, isn’t it? I have no problem recognizing that. In the vein of any actual scientist, I see my own bias and absolutely insane demands of these human beings, that they must apply the scientific method in all areas of their lives, and that they aren’t allowed to deviate from it. In fact, it is I who is accusing them of heresy, isn’t it? They have violated my religion of Science by disgracing its methods, much like a Christian violating Christianity by disgracing the teachings of Christ.

My problem with them is that they should apply the Scientific Method and don’t.

This combines with the masses’ misunderstanding that they do apply the Scientific Method.

In effect, I’m demanding of them what the masses of people think they are already doing. “Surely we can trust Neil Tyson’s statements about art and science funding! He’s a scientist!” Of course, it was not terribly long ago that Neil Tyson asked his many, many Twitter followers if they truly wanted to live in a world without art, framing all of reality as a false dichotomy built on the idea that if the government doesn’t do something, then it can’t be done. The obvious problems with this stupidity don’t need to be pointed out–didn’t I just buy tickets to see a musical concert? The government didn’t buy those tickets.

Bill Nye went on CNN and made the statement that the Constitution authorizes Congress to fund the sciences, and made mention of Article I, Section 8. It’s true that this is the section that enumerates Congressional power, but nothing else that Nye said is remotely true, as the passage that Nye quotes leaves off highly significant data. What do we call a “scientist” who discards a large part of the data because it isn’t convenient to his hypothesis?

“Formerly employed,” perhaps.

“Not a scientist.” Yes, that’s another option.

In fact, the section of the Constitution to which Bill Nye refers explicitly enumerates Congressional power without ambiguity, and the full passage asserts that Congress may promote the arts and sciences by securing patents for the respective authors and inventors. It is authorization to issue patents, not authorization to issue money. There’s no way that Nye could have accidentally read the first part of the sentence and not the second part. This was, we must conclude, an intentional ploy to convince the people who take him at his word as a reliable source that the Constitution authorizes Congress to fund scientific research. In the interest of scientific integrity, I will provide the evidence to support my contention:

Congress shall have the power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

So this is two “celebrated scientists” who have been thoroughly disloyal to the precepts of science–the Scientific Method, the Bible of Science. Since so few people are calling them out on their heresy, allow me to do so:

Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson, you have betrayed your church, and you should both repent and make restitution. This restitution should come in the form of public apologies on no less than six occasions throughout the next six weeks–two in written, two in aural, and two in video form. That shall be your penance.

I may sound like I’m joking, and I am, to a degree. I don’t expect Nye and Tyson to ever back down from their arrogant betrayal of the scientific method and wanton displays of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, much less to ever issue a single apology for the stupid shit they have said. However, I’m serious about my loyalty to the scientific method, to reason, and to evidence, and I’m serious that clearly these three men cannot say the same.

What of Hawking? Well, Hawking has repeatedly waxed at length about the evils of capitalism and how only world government can save us from its oppressive destruction. Never mind that anyone who has taken even a single introductory college-level economics course can attest to the scientific fact that we do not have capitalism anywhere on planet Earth. So I’m calling out Hawking on clearly never studying economics, yet routinely attempting to talk about economics as though he has any idea what in the hell he’s talking about. Clearly, he doesn’t, and any first-year college student could confirm that.

So to these three heretical priests, I say:

Repent! The end is Nye.

What we’re seeing is a more of an revival than a renaissance, as the precepts of science have been tossed in the trash with reckless abandon. What else can we conclude, when “celebrated scientists” make claims that they either know to be false, trusting that the masses will believe them, or are simply too ignorant on the subject to know whether their claim is false at all?

Yet this hasn’t stopped the masses–the precise characteristics which makes them “the masses,” after all, is that they aren’t interested in independently discovering truth and will blindly follow whatever ideology is handed down to them from “trusted authorities”–from swallowing all of it, with Tyson’s demonstrably false, fallacious, and erroneous spiel seeing tens of thousands of retweets by people who have no desire to think the matter through for themselves.

Trust has been placed in these three people, by the masses of people, who, again, are defined “as the masses” precisely by their lack of interest in pursuing these matters intellectually, and these three people have utterly betrayed that trust. Yet the masses don’t know it, do they? No, because the masses aren’t interested in scrutinizing the words of their favorite priests. For the masses, these poisoned, fallacious ideas enter the mind unchallenged, and there they embed themselves; the masses never stop to ponder the false dichotomy that Tyson has proposed, or what credentials Stephen Hawking might have to discuss economics rather than cosmology.

And I’m as qualified to call myself a scientist as Bill Nye.

I haven’t researched this recently, and seem to recall Nye having a Master’s, but maybe not.

In fact, if a “scientist” is someone who liberally applies the scientific method to questions, then I’m infinitely more qualified. Bill Nye has the advantage in that this actor and performer managed to get a kids’ show where he cheaply purchased credibility among the masses and became a trusted authority figure. Indeed, I find myself wondering whether Bill Nye was purposely planted there when we were kids precisely for this purpose–precisely for using him to peddle statism and the status quo once we became adults. It wouldn’t be the most extravagantly dangerous thing the state ever did. After all, they took control of the entire education apparatus and have been using it to manipulate the masses for 60 years. Now those people raised by the state education are adults and in charge, and the idea of dismantling that apparatus is met with knee-jerk angry reactions; the idea is rejected without consideration.

Give me their minds through their formative years, and by the time they’re adults I can have them convinced of anything. I can have them saying it’s okay to kill people who disagree with them, that people of one race deserve to be annihilated or enslaved, that it’s okay to steal things if they want those things… The mind of a child is not critical. By the time they are able to think critically, the ideas I plant will already be firmly in their minds, forming the very lens through which they view the world.

We have rarely been in more danger of a religious sentiment overtaking reason, and Nye, Tyson, Kaku, and Hawking are leading the charge. “Science” isn’t a set of beliefs that one must adhere to or be a heretic. I’ve seen “pro-science” people do the metaphorical equivalent of burning people at the stake for dare challenging one of the items in their set of beliefs, and I’m sure you’ve seen the same. “Science” is a methodology. Anyone who demands that you acquiesce to a set of beliefs and ideas that they have put forward is peddling religion, not science.

If they can’t present evidence, if they can’t present a reasonable argument, and if they can’t prove their position, based on all available evidence, is sound, then they are unworthy of trust. If they ignore huge amounts of information simply because it’s inconvenient to their hypothesis, then they are engaging in cherry-picking, another hallmark of religion, rather than science.

Alt-Right-Del 2

Rik Storey is what I call a diving board.

That is to say: he’s flat, stiff, homogenous, and mostly uninteresting, but he adequately suffices if one wishes to use him to launch oneself to greater heights.

His latest article, not content to simply be wrong and leave it at that, sees him dragging Nietzsche’s name through the dirt, proposing some sort of conflict between Nietzsche and Dawkins’ Gene Machine, while also fundamentally misunderstanding the root cause of what he calls “white genocide.”

Now that we’ve got all the links out of the way, allow me to clear the air: Storey is wrong, and doesn’t grasp what is happening.

In fact, there is a single source of the white guilt that Storey refers to–a condition whose existence I don’t deny, because it’s obvious to anyone who cares to look that a shockingly large number of white liberals spend much of their time denigrating white people–and it is derived wholesale from arrogance.

Pictured: modern liberals and the alt-right taking up the White Man’s Burden to carry the “savage races”

Whereas in the 19th century, White Man’s Burden consisted of the notion that it was the duty of the educated and enlightened white race to take care of the world’s “savage races” (a sentiment expressed clearly in Storey’s idea that white people are “spreading democracy”), in the 21st century… it consists of the idea that it’s white people’s duty to make sacrifices of themselves for the benefit of the “savage races.”

It’s hard to understand how Storey (or anyone, for that matter) misses the obvious strains of Manifest Destiny running unchecked through modern liberalism. Just look up any video along the lines of “What white liberals think of…” and you’ll find countless examples of this playing out in increasingly absurd ways, from the idea that black people can’t work computers to the arrogant notion that black people can’t find a DMV.

Considering such videos usually come from alt-right sources, I’m not even sure what Storey is talking about.

Nothing has changed since the days of Andrew Jackson, which saw a U.S. invasion of the Philippines and widespread slaughter of the indigenous people (for their own good, of course). The obvious similarities between those atrocities and more recent ones–like the spread of “democracy” to Iraq, which entailed more than 100,000 dead civilians (again, for their own good)–shouldn’t necessitate pointing out, and neither should this idea’s representation on the left, which manifests in things like white guilt.

The conceit, naturally, is that black people are too weak, too stupid, and too defenseless to stand against Mighty Whitey, and that if they don’t take up the burden of self-hate, they run the risk of allowing the Omnipotent White Man to rampage over all the non-white people who just don’t stand a chance. The entire basis of the idea that the power of white people must be checked through self-hate and sacrifice is that, if it isn’t checked, then poor, weak black people just don’t stand a chance. Their contention is that the only thing that can stop Mighty Whitey is Mighty Whitey.

And so we end up with positively bizarre statements that paint minorities as helpless, stupid, bumbling straw people who are completely and totally at the mercy of nearby white people, and it is the burden of the educated, liberal white person to take up their defense against the other white people; after all, no one else can do it.

The modern liberal truly believes that Voter ID Laws (I’m not expressing a position on them in any direction) are racist, and will mince no words in stating that this is because minorities are often unable to get to a DMV (black people can’t afford cars, of course, or buses), unable to navigate a GPS menu to even find a nearby DMV, and totally flummoxed by one of them new-fangled compooters anyway, making the whole thing irrelevant. I’d only be moderately surprised to hear a modern white liberal say that they don’t think minorities can spell “ID.”

It’s worth pointing out that these are not my contentions; I don’t believe that crap. I’m not the one walking around college campuses saying that black people don’t know what GPS is and can’t find the DMV. I recognize that bullshit as the ignorant, racist trash that it is, yet it does seem to be the official liberal position, given that their official stance is anti-Voter ID, and the official reason is that they are racist because minorities run the highest chance of not being able to obtain an ID. As a black dude in one such video asked, “Who doesn’t have an ID? What kind of person doesn’t carry an ID?”

When challenged on this, the liberal quickly backpedals and clarifies: “No, we’re talking about minorities in rural, white communities.”

That doesn’t change anything, though. It’s still an expression of the same idea: “The poor, weak black people need to be rescued from the powerful white people.” Changing the location of the imagined travesty and racist fix from a city to the country doesn’t change anything else.

I recently wrote that it’s easy to earn someone’s pity, but it’s much more difficult to earn their respect. In addition, pity and respect are mutually exclusive: if someone pities you, then they can’t respect you, and, if they respect you, then they can’t pity you. This is because pity comes from a place of dominance and supremacy, as anyone familiar with Nietzsche knows: compassion is a luxury afforded to the comfortable.

It’s quite clear that modern liberals take pity upon non-whites, which hails from the same presumed supremacy that gave us Jackson’s Manifest Destiny. Pity is something that only a powerful person can have, and it can only be held toward a weaker person. Any statement of pity carries the connotation that “in this area, I’m better than you.” If I pity Bill Nye for how he’s fallen to liberal propaganda and statism, it stems from the notion that, at least in terms of resistance to propaganda and allegiance to free thought, I am superior to him.

No one pities an equal or a superior, because that isn’t how pity works.

So yes, it’s easy to get someone to pity you: simply convince them that they’re better than you are. Since natural human arrogance probably leads them to believe this anyway, it’s like purposely trying to be struck by rain. The real test of humanity is to not succumb to that arrogance.

Storey rhetorically asks what is driving the “white genocide,” and then postulates his thoughts, which is particularly hilarious given the same underlying tendency drives it as compels his own self-engrandizing image of the Glorious White Race as the Saviors and Bringers of Democracy and Enlightenment ideas. Of course, Storey cultivates this picture with all the self-righteous Quoxotic nobility and grace of the man in Blake’s “The Poisoned Tree,” and the identification of an individual with a “greater” collective serves the same purpose, because the vengeance-seeker in the Romantic’s poem does not view himself as an evil monster but an enforcer of justice and higher cosmic principles that supercede trite, little things like dead people and quaint thoughts of morality. The age old cry of the oppressor, wrapped in a new mask: “What are a few dead or enslaved civilians, compared to the greater good?”

As a person whose skin is definitely white, I hate to say this, but if we’re ever going to smooth over race relations in the United States, many white people are going to have to do something they haven’t yet been willing to do: stop being arrogant. You’re not God’s Gift to Earth. You value enlightenment ideology because you came up with it; enlightenment ideology is the set of values that you use to ascribe value to other value systems. There’s nothing inherently better about your ideology, and you merely think it is because your ideology forms the very basis of the value system you use to determine the relative value of other ideological systems. It is, in essence, the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

This conceit that our values are objectively the One True Value system (which anyone who understands Nietzsche, rather than asininely tossing his name around) is the problem. It simply manifests in two different ways: in Storey’s own alt-right, and in modern liberalism. This extends to my own anarcho-capitalist ideology, as well, and I’ve applied that same lens to it, beginning with the statement that there is no objective reason that non-violence is better than violence, and attempting to reconcile that discrepancy between Nietzscheanism and the NAP.

Storey should be more careful whose name he throws around, especially since his article drips with indications that he has no idea what Nietzsche had to say. If someone wants to rile me, that’s the best way to do it: put silly statements into Nietzsche’s mouth. My own arrogance leads me to want to write “There isn’t a person alive who understands Nietzsche better than I do,” but I don’t actually think that; I will say, though, that if you think there’s a conflict between Nietzsche and any evolutionary thought, then you clearly don’t understand Nietzsche as well as I do. For fuck’s sake, Nietzsche was literally the person who broke ground by writing that compassion is a vice of the strong, and that sympathy for the botched is nihilistic in evolutionary terms–for reasons that are obvious. A species that cultivates weak organisms in its own gene pool corrupts and poisons its own lineage. No, Nietzsche wasn’t proposing racial segregation or eugenics, but the point remains indisputable, and it was Nietzsche who made it. Dawkins came after and explained the science behind it. There’s no conflict between Nietzsche’s statement that ensuring the survival of weak genes in a species undermines that species’ own chances of survival, and Dawkins’ statement that we are all Gene Machines motivated and controlled by genes whose sole function is to procreate within the species rather than the individual. If you think there’s a conflict, then you have grossly misunderstood something.

Which wouldn’t be terribly surprising, honestly, since Storey somehow missed and misunderstood the arrogance that ties his own ideology directly to the “white genocide” that he hates. Notice that Storey and other alt-right people focus their biggest concerns on white self-hate, and they don’t seem to have the slightest bit of care when non-white people hate white people. So North Koreans hate Americans and white people? Meh. Big deal. Oh, no, Syrians hate white people? Whatever shall we do? Oh, Venezuelans call us “White Devil?” Yawn… But when other white people express the sentiment, that is when it gets dangerous. It’s the same idea that motivates liberals: Storey has no fear of all the non-white people in the world hating white people, because he believes, at a deep level, that white people can take them all on. And, to be clear, he’s probably right: an Oceanian war against the rest of the world would probably result in NATO victory (assuming that NATO is drawn on racial lines, which it largely is, but not exclusively so). Regardless, he perceives no real threat from black people who hate white people, or Asians who hate white people; the real threat comes only when white people stand against white people because, just as the liberal believes, he believes that white people are the only ones capable of standing against white people.

I think it’s all nonsense and that only a weak and insecure person would consciously choose to identify with a collective rather than themselves, their own self-worth, and their own accomplishments. I don’t need to identify with white people who came before me, because I’m secure in who I am and don’t need to try to usurp the victories of others (while, naturally, refusing to acknowledge their failures and sins) for myself.

Isn’t it curious how an innate sense of insecurity can lead a person to project such arrogance? It’s rather like the guy with a tiny dick who drives a huge truck and drives around beating up people half his size. Feeling threatened and inadequate, Storey and the alt-right find themselves cowering while also trying to project an image of fierce strength at the bear they imagine to have cornered them. And yet, they simultaneously truly believe in their own strength and grandiosity, such that the basis of what they are arguing is that only people who share their characteristics are even capable of standing toe-to-toe with them.

I think Jim Morrison said it best.

People are strange.

II – Belief & Conclusion

It has long been my contention that there is a difference between a belief and a conclusion, that rationality is superior to irrationality, that reason alone is a valid pathway to truth, and that a belief is drawn from the domain of emotion while a conclusion is drawn from the domain of reason. For our purposes, irrationality is the language of emotion, and reason is the method of logic.

In any honest inquiry into the nature of truth, belief, and conclusion, it must become evident that one is biased toward the notion of rationality; the emotional belief that reason is superior to emotion leaves one not looking for the truth—perceived though it is—but instead looking for ways to substantiate the emotional belief, to rubberstamp it as reasonable, though it must be irrational.

It was Nietzsche who quipped that “There are no facts—only interpretations,” a statement that must stand as true by the very nature of perception and being. Being is subjectivity, and subjectivity is the presence of perception. We are subjective because we perceive, and we are beings because we perceive. These facts that we perceive—they too are filtered through our perspective, as are all things.

Might it be possible that the “goal” must be to limit the impact of that personal perspective, to attempt to define a scope for emotion? This presumes that there is value in rationality—at least more value in reason than one might find in emotion. According to the Working Man’s values, this must be true—the plane, after all, stays in the sky not because of emotional willing it but because of the reason and rationality that went into its creation. If there is value in the plane maintaining its flight, then reason and rationality, as the propellers that have made it airborne, must be superior.

The Syrian child whose city lies wrecked and devastation by bombs dropped by jets might disagree.

Of what inherent value has it been, the invention of aeronautics and aviation, the invention of the 747, and the invention of the nuclear bombs they have delivered? If the value is the sparing of human life, then the invention of aviation–which itself is a longterm consequence of reason applied as science–then reason is inferior. This is an emotional value, of course: the preference that it is better for people to be alive than for people to be dead is derived wholly from emotions such as love, empathy, and compassion.

It would seem to follow that emotional values inherently prefer emotion as a pathway to action; reasonable values inherently prefer rationality as a pathway to action. Neither the belief nor the conclusion is a real thing; there is only the action, motivated by one leaning or the other and the values which coincide with that leaning. They are never separated, though, for the farmer who prefers the invention of aviation because it helps him to care for his crops–a rational position–in the first place wants to care for his crops to feed people–an emotional motivation.

Could they be, perhaps, one and the same? Belief and conclusion, emotion and rationality?

This entry was posted on December 18, 2016, in .

An Open Letter to the People at PropOrNot

There is something to be said about the nobility of detecting and weeding out propaganda, and especially in sharing that information with the rest of the class. I, for example, thoroughly enjoy being on Facebook and seeing a bullshit/fake story shared by someone, because that gives me the opportunity to point out why it’s wrong. There’s a lot of pleasure in that, in seeing someone sharing something that is utterly bullshit, and tearing it down–in knowing that at least some people are out there protected from “fake news” by you.

What PropOrNot is doing, however, is not that. I long for the day that I no longer have to source this Nietzsche quote, but I’m going to assume that the people at PropOrNot legitimately had nothing but the best of intentions when they started–as opposed to assuming that they always meant to be a pro-state propaganda site.

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

See, there’s something very troubling about PropOrNot in that it seems to fixate itself entirely on what it calls “Russian Propaganda.”

First, you have www.lewrockwell.com listed as a propaganda site, and I happen to be–as an anarchist–pretty familiar with Lew Rockwell, and he is the furthest thing from a Russian propagandist, or that flavor-of-the-month label people have been loving to use so often that it has lost all meaning: useful idiot. He’s not the only anarcho-capitalist or libertarian that you targeted, though, is he? No, you’ve also named the Ron Paul Institute. I should inform you that I have been donating to the Foundation for Rational and Economic Education for years, supported Ron Paul heavily in 2012 (of course, the Ron Paul Institute springs from FREE), and know for a fact that Ron Paul, FREE, and the RPI have always been advocates for the American People and our liberty.

Now, this raises an interesting idea, doesn’t it? Advocates of freedom, peace, and prosperity are called, by you, basically enemies of the state, Russian propagandists. What does that say about you, PropOrNot, if known advocates of peace, freedom, and economic prosperity are deemed, in your worldview, to be enemies of the state? It means that you are pitting peace, freedom, and economic prosperity against the state, and you are siding with the state. Ron Paul was an American Representative for nearly 30 years, and you accuse his namesake institute–one in which he has been directly involved in the past–of being a tool of Russian propaganda. This champion of liberty, prosperity, and peace, who actively fought within the confines of the American government for nearly three decades–his institution, you say, is a Russian propagandist tool.

When I first became aware of your website, I laughed when I saw “The List.” Ah, but it rings with such finality, doesn’t it? This is The List, after all! Surely this list will be of tremendous value to us all, and–

What?

The Economic Collapse Blog?

I think it was in 2011 that I became a reader of The Economic Collapse Blog, and I did lose interest in the site because of its constant doom-mongering, much as I have become weary of liberals and their constant doom-mongering, but Russian propagandists? What you must understand, Prop Or Not?, is that many of these websites you cite have roots going too far back for them to be Russian propaganda; they are institutions themselves. If anything, it is the appearance of a new website promising to function as a blacklist for all these “propaganda sites” that should arouse our suspicion and have us skeptical that we may be looking at propaganda. Longevity and age certainly don’t mean a lot, but if you expect me to believe a website that just appeared in 2016 is not propaganda when it states that a website I read regularly in 2011 is propaganda, then you’re going to have to do a lot to convince me of that. You see, I know them. I don’t know you.

In fact, who are you?

You hide behind anonymity like the Russian spies you claim exist, working in the shadows. For all I know, you’re a fat lazy sack of crap eating Hot Pockets because you’re angry that Hillary lost the election.

I think one of the more revealing things about your presence is that you don’t list Breitbart or RonPaul.com on The List. While I understand why you wouldn’t list a quote-unquote “official” website like Breitbart–how could you list them without listing Fox? And if you list Fox, how do you escape from having to list The Guardian?–I find the exclusion of the latter to be of tremendous interest, especially since the website notoriously has nothing to do with the American Congressional official who fought for Americans for three decades, and instead threw in its lot behind Donald Trump–a man who, allegedly, is a useful idiot of these mysterious Russian propagandists who are apparently playing Chess while we play Checkers.

That’s okay. I’m pretty good at chess–rated about 1850.

Isn’t that the contention here? That Donald Trump is the ultimate useful idiot of Russia, now becoming President of the United States as a tool of Russia? Yet you condemn a site that is affiliated with an American Representative with a long track record of fighting for–and only for–the American People, while you appear to ignore a website that repeatedly betrayed that American Congressional Official and threw its weight behind the supposed ultimate puppet of Russia, Donald Trump.

I know what you are doing, PropOrNot, and though I have no power and virtually no sway, I will do everything I can to tear you down.

So what are you really aiming at here?

I think I said it best earlier when I said you were labeling people as “enemies of the state.” I chuckled upon first viewing the list, because I long for the day that I see www.anarchistshemale.com slapped on The List, because you could do nothing to more effectively undermine your own credibility in my eyes–except, perhaps, denouncing the Ron Paul Institute and freaking Lew Rockwell as Russian propagandists.

Because we all know how much Putin loves anarcho-capitalism, right?

That is the crux of your site, though: you are allies of the state apparatus. Alex Jones is a clown and a lunatic even during the best of times, but Russian propaganda? No, certainly not. It is transparent that you have allied yourself with the state apparatus, establishing the “official press” as the Fourth Branch of Government, and you view it as your sacred duty to protect state propaganda while condemning anything that does not help, support, or glorify the apparatus to which you have clearly pledged your loyalty.

Why is CNN not listed? We know for a fact that CNN has manipulated information on two occasions–once where they omitted something that, by itself, would have been a newsworthy item, and once where they actually inverted a speaker’s message–whereas CNN had her sounding as though she was calling for peace, in actuality, the girl was calling for riots and destruction. We know that these things happened, that CNN did this. What is it called, to muddy the facts and edit videos so that they convey the message one wants them to convey, rather than the message that was actually given? Why, we call that “propaganda.”

Mark Dice certainly isn’t the sort of guy I would recommend on most occasions, but I was watching this unfold while he was watching it unfold, and I didn’t save the information; I saved only CNN’s tweet through one of its lesser-known journalists about the “error” they had made.

One hell of a “coincidence,” isn’t it?

CNN gets a pass, though, and why? Because they are unequivocally part of the state apparatus, and Wikileaks–one of the propaganda sites you mention–showed us exactly how close CNN really was to the state apparatus: intimately close, to the extent that Our Lady Hillary was provided the debate questions before the debates. Yet this news source that has provably doctored videos, inverted their messages, lied, sided with the establishment candidate, and provided her information while pretending to be neutral and unbiased is not propaganda? But the people who revealed this corruption are?

I’m not worried for myself, PropOrNot, and, believe it or not, I’m not even worried for you. This war between liberty and the state is not likely to be resolved any time soon–that is, in fact, the reason that I support the Libertarian Party. We’ll be dealing with the state and its loyal apparatus that exists to twist and brainwash the masses for many years to come, and I know I won’t live to see the day that the entire evil system is torn down, with not one brick left on another.

I’ll rest in peace, though, knowing that day is coming, because it is coming. The progressive arc of humanity has been away from the state and toward freedom since the dawn of the state, and it was only the rise of fascism in the 20th century–which, in hindsight, we should have seen coming–that delayed our progress. The war is not over, though. Freedom and liberty will win out, in the end, and on that day that I die I will laugh, dying on the winning side, the pro-humanity and pro-freedom side, secure in the knowledge that you have sold your souls to the devil and that your day of reckoning is coming.

I would say “Repent! The end is nigh!” except that I know the end isn’t nigh.

I know how this game is played, PropOrNot, and I have to think that you don’t–if you did, you wouldn’t cast your lot with the losing side. The stronger this surge of what we’re calling “populism” becomes–this pushback against the institutionalism and the globalism that have usurped the national sovereignty that usurped individual sovereignty, the harder the state apparatus will fight for its survival–using tactics like these to attempt to beat us back into subservient bowing to the state, its promised solutions, and its assured benevolence.

Let us be real for a moment: we the people haven’t seen anything yet. As this war between the little people and the ruling elites heats up, you will bring out every trick in the book: open terrorism, the end of habeus corpus, the shredding of privacy (oops, that already happened), the rise of total fascism and a supreme state that dictates rather than listens. You realize, of course, that we have played this game before–albeit on a smaller scale? What do you think the American Revolution was? The French Revolution?

You have never won, and you will not win this time. The stronger this misguided populist surge becomes, the harder you will fight back to cling to your dominance. The harder your cling to your dominance, the stronger the populist surge will become. You’ve seen it already? You thought half of the UK was against Brexit? That’s true, but what happened when it began looking like the UK courts might attempt to prevent it? Holy hell! Everyone got mad, even the Remain advocates. Because that’s what happens. That’s how it always happens.

On what side of history do you wish to fall? The side of the people, or the side of the rulers?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course. You’ve clearly made your choice.

I’m just making sure you understand the ramifications.

Sincerely,

Aria DiMezzo

Reconciling the NAP & “Reality”

There are three main threads through everything that I write:

  • A rejection of absolutist black & white thinking.
  • Strict adherence to the Non Aggression Principle, to the extent that punishment becomes off-limits in favor of forgiveness and prevention of future crimes.
  • What I now call Nietzscheanism*–that is: morality is a human construct that primarily exists to keep the strong from abusing the weak; it is a luxury of the middle class, one not allowed to the lower class and one that the upper class isn’t held to.

It’s immediately clear, from the second two bullets–the first is only mentioned because it simply is a common thread, but it’s not the point of today’s discussion–that there is a conflict.

Can there be a greater example of middle class morality than the NAP? In fact, I would say that the NAP is the shining bastion of middle class morality–fully swearing off and condemning all force, violence, and coercion and asking that everyone else do it. Obviously, this can only happen in a world where everyone compromises the middle class. This is the crux of anarcho-capitalism, and the reason I insist that Nietzsche would be an AnCap if he lived today, knowing what we know.

nietzscheGoodness, there’s just so much ground to cover to bring my ideology full circle. It’s always difficult to explain to people exactly what I advocate, because it is very much circular, and that makes it hard to pinpoint a beginning. Here, we’ve started from Nietzscheanism and objectivism, and that works, but only if there isn’t a deity. After all, if there is a deity giving some sort of meaning to our existence, then life does matter. So before I could really get anyone on board with Nietzscheanism, I have to get people on board with atheism–Nietzscheanism, after all, is nothing but Applied Atheism. But before I can get anyone on board with atheism, there is a whole lot of groundwork to lay, and it’s groundwork that I’m not going to attempt to lay, because atheism and theism are irrelevant to the larger point. I can be right or wrong about individual pieces regardless of the existence of a deity.

However, I would say that before I could attempt to convince someone that there isn’t a deity, I would have to convince them the value of reason over emotion since, by any measurement, faith is an emotion-based position. We will keep going back and back and back until we arrive right back at subjective value determinations, which lands us right back in the territory of Nietzsche and the Austrian economists. I actually made a few years ago a document–a flow chart, for the most part–where one ideology led to the next, and it was clear by the end of it, after I was able to connect Nietzscheanism back to subjective value determinations–because the essence of Nietzscheanism is that morals are subjective–that I had just created a giant web. I know I still have it somewhere, but I can’t be bothered to find it, and it’s not that important anyway.

Morality, Very Briefly

There is no such thing as “morally good” or “morally bad.” These are values that we prescribe to various acts based on the consequences of those acts, the motive behind those acts, and the circumstances around which that act was committed. This is virtually a tautology at this point, but I will take the time to explain it anyway.

Let’s say that I push you down, causing you to break your arm. I have assaulted you. Everyone would agree that I was morally wrong to do so.

However, let’s say that I push you out of the way of an oncoming train that, for whatever reason, you aren’t aware is coming, and I cause you to break your arm. Suddenly most people would call me a hero and say that I’d saved your life.

In both scenarios, I did exactly the same thing: I pushed you, you fell, and you broke your arm. However, in the first scenario I was just being an aggressive bitch. In the second, I was saving you from being hit by a train. Yet the act itself and the consequence of that act are the same in both scenarios: the act was that I pushed you; the consequence was that you broke your arm.

What changed? In reality, what changed were the imagined consequences of me not pushing you. See, morality, as Henry Hazlitt observed in The Foundations of Morality, arises as a result of imagination, that wonderful characteristic that homo sapien has but so few animals share. It is our ability to imagine that gives rise to morality. Without even realizing it, so gifted are we at doing this, we imagine hypothetical alternative scenarios where I did not push you, and we compare the likeliest result of those scenarios with the reality that transpired. Marvelous creatures, we humans! And, in this way, imagination is literally the cause of morality, as it is precisely what allows us to envision these alternative realities.

In the first example, the most likely hypothetical alternative is that you continue standing unassaulted, and your arm is not broken. You go on about your day without a broken arm. By most criteria, that is certainly a better outcome for you, and since I am the reason you do not get to enjoy that superior outcome, it is determined in a fraction of a second that what I did was morally wrong. We do this innately; I’d almost say that we conceive these hypotheticals instantaneously, and the speed and proficiency are the reasons why we forget that morality is the result of imagination.

In the second example, the most likely hypothetical alternative is that you continue standing unassaulted right up until a train plows into you and utterly destroys you. By most criteria, that is certainly an inferior outcome for you, and since I am the reason that you were spared that inferior outcome, it is determined, perhaps instantaneously, that what I did was morally good.

These value statements themselves, though, are built on a few assumptions:

  • Empathy: This person is generally like me, and I should do unto this person what I would like this person to do for me. In most cases, what I want is much the same as what this person wants.
  • My own preferences: I prefer to not be in pain. I prefer pleasure. I prefer happiness. I prefer to not be sad. I prefer to remain alive.

By combining our own personal preferences with an extension of them onto other people–the very essence of what “empathy” is–we arrive at a criteria by which we assess whether something was good or bad. It’s by no means a perfect system–how could it be, when we are imperfect creatures?

Whenever I think of empathy and the application of my preferences onto others, I recall the time in college that I was behind the desk unplugging my laptop because class was over. While back there, without even asking, I took it upon myself to unplug my neighbor’s laptop, because he was in the process of packing his backpack. It seemed perfectly reasonable to assume that he’d like me to go ahead and unplug his while I was back there. Because I have all the social graces of Dexter, it didn’t occur to me at all to ask if he’d like me to do it; I simply did it. And I immediately learned that his laptop’s battery didn’t work, and that I did a cold shutdown on his laptop. Not a big deal, but something that has always stuck with me about assuming that our preferences automatically apply to others. They don’t. However, generally, they do. I mean, what are the odds that his laptop battery wouldn’t work at all? Under 95% of circumstances, the person would have said, “Oh, cool, thank you!” instead of “Oh, hold… What the hell? Did you unplug me?”

Nietzschean Morality

Nietzsche described good as “the will to power” and happiness as “having power.” From a strictly Darwinian perspective, he’s not wrong. He’s clearly not wrong; he can’t be wrong. However uncomfortable it makes us, he’s right. If our criteria is “survival of the species,” then the only thing that makes sense is to let the powerful do what they can. Do the powerful want to wipe out the weak? Turn them into sex slaves? Install governments throughout the world and use those governments to control the weak? Then they must be allowed to, under this perspective, because we do live in a universe that is trying to kill us, where only the strong survive. It’s a straight line from there to Eugenics, to forced breeding programs to breed the “most capable human.” It’s a sickening path.

Now, to be clear, Nietzsche most certainly did not go that far, and he did not advocate any of that. He was merely arguing that morality is a tool used by the weak to neuter the strong, creating three classes of people in the process: the middle class who were strong and obeyed the morality, the lower class who were weak and therefore didn’t have the luxury, and the upper class who were strong and rejected the morality.

The NAP

With all the above being true, we can see that the moral statement “force, violence, and coercion are unacceptable” is the epitome of Middle Class Morality. For one, this maxim is as close as we can get to a universally applicable morality. Is it true that absolutely no one wants force, violence, and coercion done to them? Certainly not. It’s no longer acceptable to say for some reason, but there are people out there who would genuinely like to be raped, for example. I’ve met a few, and their problem is always the same: they want to be raped without consenting to it, but giving someone permission to rape them is consenting to it, and the odds that a random stranger is going to rape them are not good. Beyond that, if they ran around clearly looking to be raped–wearing excessively revealing clothes and being unnecessarily sensual–it is passively consenting to it. I raise all this to make the point that they don’t want to consent to have it forced on them; they want it genuinely forced on them.

Rumor has it that Angelina Jolie once paid a hitman to kill her. She genuinely wanted someone to do violence to her, assuming it is true–and I don’t care whether or not it is, because there have been enough suicides by cop that it’s provable that some people genuinely want violence done to them. My own mother apparently sought out violent and coercive men. So obviously these things are not going to be universally applicable, because nothing is universally applicable to a species filled with individuals as varied and wild as we are.

Rights

In essence, all rights can be distilled to the following: we have the right to not have force, violence, and coercion used against us unless we consent to it priorily. This statement is all-inclusive. Just as you have that right, as does everyone have that right. This means, then, that you do not have the right to use force, violence, and coercion against someone without their consent. The right to free speech, free religion, free trade, free employment, and free everything else–they all stem from this basic right to not have force, violence, and coercion used against us. They are applications of this maxim to specific issues.

Are these inherent rights? Perhaps and perhaps not. It could be argued you have the right to attempt to stop someone from using force, violence, and coercion against you; in essence, it could be argued that you have the right to try to be strong, and, by being strong, subjugate the weak. It depends upon our subjective values–our criteria for determining morality. If we go with the Darwinian approach, then we arrive at this latter system of rights, where one has the right to do anything they can–this is an underground system of rights, the one that lives in the underbelly’s shadows in society, when certain behaviors are outlawed and black markets thrive.

Because that is, after all, the essence of the black market: a place where the forced middle class morality doesn’t apply because it happens in the shadows. The black market is generally created when the state outlaws something it has no business outlawing**, creating a new dichotomy of the strong and the weak, instead of the trifecta of those who can’t, those who do, and those who don’t. Since middle class morality ceases to apply to anyone, you’re left with only the strong and the weak–the victims and the aggressors.

It follows, then, that if outlawing things leads to the creation of a black market–which we know it does, from indisputable proof and countless examples from the drug war to abortions to ration stamps–that is differentiated from society by the fact that middle class morality doesn’t apply at all and we’re left only with the strong and the weak, then if we outlawed nothing, we would utterly eliminate this black market characterized specifically by the rule of the strong and Darwinian morality.

Application of the NAP Against Nietzscheanism

There are two things that must be done for the NAP to be realized, for middle class morality to be universally applicable–as much as it can be, at least. First, the lower class has to abolished and lifted up into the middle class. So let’s state this loudly and clearly:

No nation other than the United States has come close to eliminating its lower class.

This isn’t a bad thing. We look around the United States and, yes, we have a lower class still, but they aren’t really “lower class,” not in the grand scheme of things. They aren’t poor like the man in Ethiopia who throws out middle class morality to steal food for his family. By an overwhelming degree, the American poor abide middle class morality, though they have no qualms about stealing from the state. Seeing as the state is stealing from everyone, I don’t think it’s fair to condemn them for that one. Besides which, without the state and taxation, they wouldn’t be able to game the system to get “back” finger-quotes-wink-wink ten thousand dollars anyway.

Our “lower class” has electricity, clean water, running water, indoor plumbing, heating, air conditioning, vehicles, iPhones, laptops, steroes, flatscreen TVs, cable/satellite, Internet connections… Our lower class is so high on the totem pole that they’d be considered upper middle class in most parts of the world. This is actually part of the problem, since our lower class, our “poor” have totally lost all perspective on how luxurious their lives are.

To clarify the phrasing, the goal is not to kill off the lower class, not by any means. That’s horrible. No, the goal is to lift up the lower class and bring them into the middle class. Yes, this creates a new middle class, because humans naturally form hierarchies, but none of that matters. The point is that the applicability of middle class morality must be extended to the lower class and, if it is, then it is also true that they are not generally facing the threat of starvation, which is the escape clause that gives them an out from middle class morality in the first place.

Secondly, the upper class must be made to abide middle class morality. Currently, they don’t. I couldn’t even begin to guess how much shit the upper class gets away with in the United States. I’m positive that a solid portion of them engage in child sex tourism and pedophile rings. I’m not referring to the Podesta leaks, but a lifetime of hearing whispers and accusations directed at the upper class. It all may be false, but, in most cases, where there is that much smoke there is usually a fire.

But beyond that, does the upper class get away with theft? Holy crap, absolutely. Not only do they take part in the state and steal from us directly while calling it taxation, but they also use the mechanism of the state to create things like intellectual property and eminent domain, utterly gutting our property rights in the process.

Does the upper class get away with murder? Again, holy crap, yes. The death toll of the 20th century was 160,000,000 from war alone as upper classes in various parts of the world put the lower class to use killing lower class members who were fighting for other upper class groups. They call it “war,” but it is murder.

It’s indisputable that the upper class doesn’t just reject middle class morality; they do so brazenly and openly, in full view of everyone else, and they get away with it by using carefully constructed euphemisms, deceit, and manipulation. There are countless people who will insist that taxes aren’t theft. Except… they are, by any definition of theft. And sending a group of armed people to go kill another group of armed people is unequivocally murder. We cannot allow euphemisms and a refusal to face the truth obscure these basic facts.

Combining

So yes, it is true that we are animals who need to be strong in order to survive, and that our species as a whole must embrace strength and shun weakness. This does not mean a lack of compassion, though, as I’ve explained elsewhere. See, we have mistaken “compassion” as being hardly anything more than getting down in the floor with someone and crying with them. That is fake sympathy; it is empty sympathy.

If you are a herd of gazelle [humans] and are trying to get away from lions [the universe that kills the weak], and you have a loved one who is injured [weak, for whatever reason], then you are doing no one but the lions a favor by laying down with your weak gazelle friend and crying with them. This is empty sympathy. This is virtue signaling. This is nihilistic.

True sympathy leads one to help the other gazelle get up, heal their injuries, become strong themselves, and flee the lion.

We absolutely must have compassion and must be guided to help the weak–it is why we have our middle class morality. It is as close as we can get to “objective morality,” after all. However, if our gazelle friend refuses to get up, if they instead embrace their injury and their victimization, refuse to try to heal, and refuse to try to escape the lion, then we must cut our losses and flee before the lion gets us, too. There is a line between sympathy and nihilism.

Based on observable cause and effect–since it is impossible to speculate too much into our hypothetical alternate realities, and since we lack omniscience and can never know exactly how anything would really have played out if we had acted differently–we know that leaving the gazelle to be eaten by the lion would be bad, and our application of empathy derived from our own personal preferences compels us to help the gazelle. We know with reasonable certainty that the lion would eat the gazelle, and that, if we did not help, we would bear a portion of the blame in that.

We should all be strong; we should all be middle class, with no one enshrined above [through the state] or below [through poverty] anyone else. Now, what is the mechanism that allows that to happen? What mechanism eliminates the state that allows the upper class to escape culpability for their moral violations? Anarchism. What mechanism has provably lifted up virtually the entire population into middle class territory, where the fear of starvation is exceedingly remote? Capitalism.

So how do we create this world of people abiding the NAP, of all people being strong and none being weak?

Anarcho-capitalism.

Boo-ya, bitches.

 

* Thanks to the overwhelming number of angst-ridden ultra-emo millennials who think nihilism means “life sucks and death is cool,” I’ve been left with no choice but to change the label, but that’s fine; Nietzsche wouldn’t have approved of “nihilism” as the label anyway. Of course, these people have never read a word of Nietzsche and don’t fully understand the philosophy, because:

nothing-mattersand they get lost on that second part: nothing matters. They don’t fully apply it, though, or they would realize that it doesn’t matter that nothing matters. That is completely and utterly meaningless.

** Anything they outlaw is something they have no business outlawing.

Ballot Initiatives Are Stupid; The Government Can’t Fix Problems

…because they allow ignorant people to directly voice their opinion, no matter how ignorant they are, and have exactly the same impact on the situation as people who aren’t ignorant. Now, based on what I’ve said so many times about the failures of direct democracy, I need to point this out: an informed and educated person would not vote on a ballot initiative about which they were ignorant. Look, if you put on the ballot an initiative that we would expand fracking, I would gladly abstain from voting, because I know nothing about the issue.

A lot of people wouldn’t abstain. A lot of people would vote “Yes” because “fracking means oil, and oil is good.” A lot of people would vote “no” because “fracking is bad for the environment, and that’s bad.” Well, I’m sorry, but if that’s the extent of my knowledge on the subject then I simply don’t feel qualified in voicing an opinion.

Many people would be surprised by this newfound humility, but it’s not newfound at all. Sure, it often seems like I think I know everything. This is because i tend to discuss subjects that I know about, and I tend to avoid subjects about which I know very little or nothing. I would say that I have studied a wide enough range of subjects to be able to say whether or not I’m ignorant of the subject, and that’s where the Dunning-Kruger Effect kicks in. See, most people have no idea how ignorant they are.

Earlier today, I saw Will Coley, former Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate, say that he doesn’t “believe” in the Big Bang Theory, and he went on to say that the idea was invented by the Catholic Church as a method of explaining Genesis.

Well, no… That’s not true. Science isn’t something to believe in or not believe in; it’s something to accept or to deny. It’s not a matter of belief but a matter of bowing to the facts. It’s far beyond me to get into all the nuances of the Big Bang Theory and the overwhelming amount of evidence that supports it, but a simple Google search will yield a person all the information they need to make an informed opinion. And I will be adamant about this: there is an enormous difference between an informed opinion and an ignorant one. For example, Coley’s remark about the Big Bang being invented by the Catholic Church is wholly incorrect. The person who first proposed the theory was a Jesuit priest, but he was also a physicist, and was most certainly not doing the work of the church. His work, like Galileo’s, was very much at odds with the church.

At any rate, it’s absurd to accept some parts of science while rejecting the rest, at least on issues that haven’t been politicized into oblivion such as global warming. There are politics involved in the Big Bang Theory, or in the Theory of Evolution, and both theories are as airtight as General Relativity. They are widely accepted for a reason, and the DNA evidence alone would be enough, even if there were no fossils whatsoever, to confirm the theory of natural selection and changes over time.

This won’t stop the influx of people who say that evolution suggests “a tornado would tear through a junkyard and create a Boeing 747,” though. It won’t change the mass of people who say that “Yeah, God said ‘Bang!’ and then it happened.” It won’t change the minds of the people who believe the universe is 6,000 to 10,000 years old. C’est la vie. I’m not trying to change minds. If they want to reject the theory of evolution in favor of their religious beliefs, that’s fine, but I would demand that they stop taking antibiotics, vaccines, and other treatments that are products of biology, since modern biology is inseparable from evolutionary theory. I would demand that they stop using their cell phones, the Internet, and their televisions, since all of these things work only because of satellites that orbit the Earth thanks to our understanding of Einstien’s Special and General theories of Relativity, both of which are tied very much to the Big Bang. If you want to argue that the scaffolding doesn’t work, that’s fine–but to be consistent, you must say that the building built from the scaffolding doesn’t work, either.

But most of these people–Coley among them, I would bet–have no idea what evidence supports the Big Bang Theory, but that won’t stop most people from having an opinion on it one way or another. I was stunned a few years ago, when I remarked to my sister that I found the evolution of snakes to be fascinating, and she replied, “You know I don’t believe in evolution, right?”

I was stunned. What do you mean, you don’t believe in evolution? Evolution doesn’t need you to believe in it. Evolution is a reality of life in our universe; accept it or not, but belief has nothing to do with it at this point. The knowledge is there; the information is there. And I will adamantly insist that her rejection of evolution is not in any sense on the same solid ground as my acceptance of evolution. Mine is built from facts, from having read The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype by Richard Dawkins, and biology is still my weakest area. If there was a ballot initiative asking if we should do “some imaginary thing” to purposely “affect evolution in some specific way,” I would readily abstain from such a measure, because I know nothing about it.

I’m Going Somewhere With This

If there was a ballot initiative stating that we would install 8 GB of DDR5 memory into every computer owned by the government, I would gladly vote against the initiative. I can imagine the arguments of everyone in favor of the initiative. “DDR5 is so much faster!” the headlines would go from the pro-upgrade crowd. “It’s common sense, and 8 GB will be a huge upgrade. There’s no reason not to! We’ve run the cost, and we can make it happen for $85,000!”

“Yeah,” I would say, “but probably 97% of the motherboards in use by the state won’t support DDR5. You won’t be able to just pop it in there. If you do somehow make it fit, you’ll fry the RAM, and probably the motherboard. To make this work, you’d have to upgrade all the motherboards, too, which means upgrading CPUs, as well. Since Windows still uses the Hardware Abstraction Layer, you won’t be able to just throw a hard drive into a new motherboard, new CPU, and new RAM–even if the old hard drives are SATA, which I doubt they would be, since they’re probably old and use IDE, which the newer motherboards won’t support–it won’t boot, and you’ll have to do a full backup of all files, reformat onto a new compatible drive, then move the files back over. It’s nowhere near as simple as just slapping two sticks of RAM into a desktop and watching it take off in speed.”

This is because I know technology. I make a living working on technology and making it do the things that I want it to do. In the end, from this ballot initiative–which would almost certainly pass–we’d end up with a ton of RAM sitting wasted in a storage room somewhere while we waited for Motherboard+CPU Initiative to pass. Suddenly an $85,000 price tag became a $1,850,000 price tag.

Dunning-Kruger Effect

We all begin ignorant about a subject–completely ignorant. Through the course of life in western society, we pick up bits of knowledge from all over the place, and we establish a kind of limited knowledge in all sorts of subjects, but that knowledge isn’t always reliable. Like my sister above, who would characterize evolution as “a monkey giving birth to a human.” Anyone who gets their knowledge from her gets bad information, and they may view her as a trusted figure, in which case they wouldn’t question her. Then, years later, when someone came along and contradicted that information, they would already be invested in her and what she told them, and so they’d be much more likely to stick to her explanation of things.

My church told me routinely that this is what evolution was. One year, around the third grade, they actually did one of those stupid skits, where there is a gorilla at the family dinner. “Grandpa,” they called him. It was a full attack on evolution, telling all of our young minds that evolution said that somewhere along the way some gorilla gave birth to a human. These trusted authorities–these people who we had been told to trust and who we did trust–lied right to our faces, perhaps knowingly; at the very least, they perpetuated bullshit that they had been told by an authority figure and never looked into themselves.

As another example, my nephew firmly believes that Jesus lives in the clouds, because that is what they told him at church. We know this one was a lie, because no adult in their right mind believes that Jesus lives in the clouds. For fuck’s sake, we’ve been beyond the clouds. People go beyond the clouds on a daily basis. We know beyond the shadow of any doubt that there is no one living in the clouds or on the clouds. Yet my nephew has been consistently told this by authority figures at his church. When I told him it wasn’t true, showed him pictures of the clouds and the Earth from space, and showed him that no one was living up there, it changed nothing. They’d already won. They planted the idea, and his trust in them kept his mind shackled to that lie. They knowingly lied to my nephew. It was this that caused me to challenge them–a challenge they ignored, by the way.

I told them that I would debate them. The topic? The existence of a god. I told them they could pick any twelve members of their congregation to act as the judges, and that they could enlist up to five people–church members or not–to argue on their side, and that I would debate alone. If I won, then they would refrain from teaching anything spiritual until the children reached 8 years old. If they won, I would attend their church every Sunday for a year. You lie to my nephew and we’re going to have problems. I don’t care if they want him to believe in a god. But I will not let them lie to him to accomplish that.

They ignored my challenge, and I understand why. The similarities to Elijah and the priests of Baal were too much for them to ignore, except… in this scenario, I was Elijah. I didn’t choose 12 as the number by accident, after all. It’s a debate that I couldn’t have won. Convince 12 devout church-goers that their pastor hadn’t made his case that there is a god? I could never have won. However, if they accepted such weighted terms, then they lost from the start, even if I didn’t convince the judges. To show their faith, they would have no choice but to turn the tables and let me pick the 12 judges.

Sorry to digress onto that.

Economics

Another area that I know pretty damned well is economics. I might not be able to calculate the market interest rate based on data you feed to me, but since I have no interest or desire to do such a thing it’s never a skill I’ve bothered to learn. I think the bank providing the loan should do that calculation, not the government.

Recently, Washington voted to increase its minimum wage from $9.47 to $13.50 an hour, the bloody fools.

These people, almost none of whom know anything about economics, voted on a measure to substantially interfere in their state’s economy. This is the reason that democracy is stupid. It gives control of the ship to people who have never navigated a ship, people who don’t know how to read a map, people who don’t know how to hoist a sail, people who have never used a sextant, and people who have no freaking idea what a rudder is or why the sail is triangular. If you came to me on a 17th century ship and asked me if we should turn the sail east or west, I wouldn’t have any freaking idea what to tell you other than “Dude, ask someone who actually knows about it.”

Somewhere along the way, we forgot how freaking ignorant we are. This is where the Dunning-Kruger Effect kicks in, because a person can’t be ignorant while understanding that they’re ignorant. With weak general knowledge on a subject, a person usually thinks they have a pretty good handle on it–enough to vote “Yes” on a measure to raise the minimum wage, a decision that will have enormous ramifications for the state’s economy. Hubris is what it is.

See, in order to know how little you know about a subject, you must know a little bit about that subject. That’s the conundrum. To understand how little you know about physics, you have to understand how deep and complex the subject is.

As exposure to a subject increases, confidence decreases, until one is exposed enough to begin grasping the subject.

As exposure to a subject increases, confidence decreases, until one is exposed enough to begin grasping the subject.

This is why you should always be weary of people who are confident about what they’re saying, especially if they can’t back it up. I’ve backed up my economics statements. Check them out here and here. There’s a huge disparity, though, between the confidence of an expert and the confidence of a layperson. I will never say that I’m absolutely right–about anything. I constantly allow for the possibility that I’m wrong. In the past year, I’ve been wrong several times. My confidence got put to the test recently on Quora, and I was put in a very difficult position of arguing myself against two actual economists, and I’m proud to say that I held my ground–primarily because they weren’t reading the question correctly.

However, anyone who is absolutely convinced that we should raise the Minimum Wage… Ask them why. Their answer will always be the same. “Because… blah blah… cost of living… yada yada… living wage… blah blah…” Basically, it is an emotional appeal. The danger of emotional appeals, though, is that the emotion is used to propose and support one single solution and precludes the possibility that the emotion can be expressed with any other solution. Take for example government welfare.

I think it should all be ended. All of it. “Social safety net?” It’s called family. And, yes, this is from someone who has no family to fall back on. What do I have? Friends. Where my family has horrifically failed me, friends have always come through, particularly my colleague. When my sister kicked me out for being transgender, I had very few places to turn with such short notice. It was my colleague–who I would certainly call “pretty much family”–who found me a place to stay. That opened up an entirely different set of problems, of course, but things happen.

The common reply, of course, is, “So you want people to go homeless and starve to death.”

Um… No? I don’t think I said that. I think that people who care about you should bear the burden of helping you, not random strangers who don’t get a say-so about it. Your mom can kick your ass and make sure you’re getting a job, not sitting around on the couch and watching Ricki Lake. I can’t. The government can’t. Your mom isn’t going to let you sit there for 18 months while you do nothing and bring in no income. The government will let you, because the government can’t really stop you. Is that so bad? That instead of putting a gun to my head and forcing me to “help” you–while you do God only knows what with the “help”–you would have to turn to family and friends? I don’t want you to die, but… I don’t know you. I’ve got my own problems to deal with without adding yours to them.

But their emotion–that sympathy that people shouldn’t go homeless and starve–is tied to their favorite solution: government welfare. Because the emotion is tied to the solution, their minds become warped until they can no longer fathom any other solution appeasing that emotion.

And just like that, their emotion becomes public policy, especially when ballot initiatives are put forward. “People should have a living wage” becomes tied to “the minimum wage should be increased.” To them, that’s the only possible solution without denying people a living wage. So if you’re against an increase in the minimum wage, they have no choice but to conclude that you don’t think people should have a living wage. To them, it’s one and the same: increasing the minimum wage scratches their emotional itch, and they know of no other way to scratch it; they don’t think anything else can scratch it.

To make matters worse, we are dealing with matters where emotion has no role to play. I’m sorry; it simply doesn’t. Just like emotion has no role to play in calculating how much hydrogen we need to launch a rocket into space, so does emotion have nothing to do with economics. You can’t feel your way to the truth; emotions blind and lead astray. This is very much a Nietzschean thing to say, but I have no issue with emotions, and I think they have tremendous value. However, it is imperative that we define a scope for our emotions. We cannot allow our emotions to run unchecked, determining social policy, determining economic policy, and determining governmental policy. They will lead us into disaster, every single time.

Emotion is not a valid pathway to scientific truth.

And it is a scientific truth that you cannot just raise the Minimum Wage and have everything hunky-dory. It will be a disaster. First, only locally owned businesses will put in the effort to increase prices. The locally owned daycares, gas stations, etc. They will raise prices to mitigate the losses.

Disconnect: Greedy Fatcats Making Millions!

The people who advocate raising the Minimum Wage think that there are business owners all throughout the country who are just raking in obscene amounts of money while paying their employees peanuts. While it’s not really your or my business what private contract the employee and employer into it, there’s something to be said about refusing to shop at a place that doesn’t pay its employees fairly. However, it’s simply not the case that business owners are making tons of money and hoarding it while their employees feed on scraps. In most cases with local businesses, owners are still full-time employees working 70+ hours a week and doing everything from management to recruiting to human resources to supervising. Anything that needs to be done that an employee is not explicitly hired to do, the owner has to do. The buck stops with them, after all. It’s a tremendous responsibility and burden, and they deserve ever penny they get for it. If you don’t like it, then open up your own. It’s honestly not that hard or expensive.

So what I would say “most” of these people pictured is that the business owners would simply make less money. Instead of making a salary of $600/week for the 70+ hours of difficult, stressful, exhausting work they do, these people figured they would instead make $400/week and would pay the increased wage out of their own money. But “their own money” doesn’t usually exist, and if you increase their payroll by 33% across the board, you’re going to have a disaster on your hands. I know budgeting–personally and commercially–and an increase of 33% to an expense as major as employee wages will bankrupt you faster than anything else.

So those increased wages aren’t coming out of the profits that are already there, because, in most cases, the profits aren’t big enough to cover a hit like that. Ten employees working 40 hours a week at $9.46 is $3,784.00 in wages. Every week. At $13.50 an hour, it is $5,400 in wages every single week. If the owner is on a $600/week salary, then even if the owner worked for free they wouldn’t be able to make up that difference; they’d still be nearly a thousand dollars short.

So they have a number of choices.

A. Cut Hours

Suddenly they have 280 hours to apportion to their employees each week, instead of the 400 they had. If they can afford $3,784 each week in wages, then this covers 280 hours. The owner has decided here not to fire anyone, so instead everyone has their hours cut from 40 hours a week to 28. This makes them part-time employees and causes them to lose a fair number of benefits in a lot of cases. It certainly lowers the standards at the business, which is very bad if it’s a daycare. There are, on average, 2 employees fewer at work at any given time, so there are fewer employees overseeing the same number of kids.

Probably should have thought this MW increase through before voting on it, huh?

B. Layoffs

This is the other route, and the one people are most likely to take, especially since customers aren’t going to happily eat a 33% increase in their own prices to cover the increased Minimum Wage. We’ll come back to that, though. So with 280 hours allotted, it’s an easy call: three employees have to go. Bye, Felicia. Three people fired from their jobs because of the increase to the Minimum Wage. This will happen quite a lot, since it’s the easiest and quickest solution without pissing off clients and without dealing with complaints of other employees about hours being cut.

Probably should have given it just a little bit of thought before voting to increase the MW, eh?

C. Increase Prices

This is the final route, and the one that is second-most-likely to happen. Indeed, it’s already happening. Just think about it. If the daycare charged $100 per kid before, they have to charge $133 per kid now to cover the additional wages. In fact, they have to charge even more than that, because all of the suppliers that the daycare gets its necessary materials from will likely raise their prices. The bottom line on the business just got a lot higher, and there’s nowhere else for the business owner to get the money.

The Government Should Help With Childcare Costs!

Said one parent:

“I feel the state needs to be helping a little more,” said Larson. “It would be nice if parents didn’t have to spend a majority of their paychecks for childcare.”

You fucking moron.

I can’t be nice about this.

The government should rob everyone else to give me money to pay for the daycare costs that I increased by making the stupid decision to vote yes on increasing the Minimum Wage which caused daycare costs to increase to the point that I couldn’t afford them.

You made this bed. Now lie in it.

Hey, lady! If you don’t want to spend a majority of your paychecks on childcare, how about don’t vote for an increase to the Minimum Wage that will increase your childcare costs? Hm? How about that? Government is not the answer. How many messes do we have to make before we figure that out?

“Oh, we made a mess by using the government to interfere with the economy. Maybe the government can fix the mess by stealing from everyone and giving me their money. And then maybe the government can do something to fix the mess that is caused by stealing from everyone and giving me their money. And then maybe the government can fix the mess that it caused when it tried to fix the mess caused by stealing everyone and giving their money, which was supposed to fix the mess the government caused by interfering with the economy. And then maybe the government can fix the mess that it caused when it tried to fix the mess that it caused when it tried to fix the mess that it caused by stealing from everyone and giving their money, which was supposed to fix the mess the government caused by interfering with the economy. And then maybe…”

I mean, really? How about you just stop?

How about you just stop trying to fix messes with the government and instead take the time to research the messes and think about a solution rationally? You want to know the way out of this mess you’ve made in Washington? It’s not stealing from people without kids to pay for parents who didn’t think shit through. You have no right to steal from other people, and the fact that you’d even suggest that as a possibility is appalling. How dare you claim to be on the side of empathy and morality when you want to rob people as a way of cleaning up a mess that is entirely of your own design?

Abolish the minimum wage.

There’s no other way.

The more you increase it, the more “solutions” from the government you will need to fix the last mess you made, and the more government “solutions” you’ll need to fix the mess the government made when it tried to fix the last mess you made. It’s a neverending cycle of government intervention and screw-ups, with the government getting more power and more control every step of the way without ever making anything better. It only makes things worse. It has never made one solitary thing better.

Except our ability to kill people. I’ve got to give them credit on that. The government has absolutely improved our ability to kill people.

You’re like a madman who had the government burn your house down for you because, for some reason, you thought that having them fill it with gasoline and throw a match in it wouldn’t burn the house down–who the hell knows why, Dunning-Kruger presumably–and now you’re asking the government to come in and use its napalm to put out the fire. That’s the government in a nutshell: using napalm to put out fires.

Summary

Yes, I do think the average person is too stupid to determine what wage all employers should pay their employees. In fact, I’d go further and say that everyone is too stupid to determine what wage all employers should pay their employees. That is a matter that only the employer and the employee can answer, when the employer makes an offer and the employee makes a counter-offer. They’re the only people who know their situations well enough to be able to answer those questions. I certainly think the average person is far too stupid to know whether a minimum wage should be $3 an hour or $13 an hour.

This is why I’m an anarchist: I have a very low opinion of the average person. Not to brag or anything, but I am a card-carrying MENSA member. I’m a pretty smart chick, with an IQ estimated to be between 150 and 172. I think the average person is too dumb to make their own decisions, let alone make the decisions for everyone, and that’s what this entire system of the state allows. It allows some moron in California who doesn’t even know why he dislikes Donald Trump to attempt to impose a Hillary Clinton presidency onto me, out of sheer ignorance and stupidity. You’re goddamned right I have a problem with that.

The solution, though, is what Plato got wrong. Plato envisioned a world governed by the wise, by philosophers. Liberals, it seem, envision the same sort of world, given how they want to curtail democratic processes and impose their ways on everyone, believing themselves to be intellectually superior to everyone who disagrees. They’re all wrong, though. Yes, Plato, too. The solution isn’t a refined government led by people who are wise, because the unwise person has no idea that he is unwise, and will not have a terribly difficult time convincing the unwise that he is wise–see President Elect Donald Trump.

I’m sure we could come up with some sort of new system of government and new electoral process that, for a while, ensures that only the wise are elected. It would ultimately fail, though, and I don’t like the inherent arrogance of it. Moreover, for anyone who is truly wise, the idea of taking power and ruling over others is anathema.

The solution is to keep these people from making decisions that affect freaking everyone. Duh. If you want to open a company and promise your employees a minimum wage of $15/hour, guaranteed 40 hours a week, with a 401K company match and health insurance, then you go right ahead. You and the people who work for you will go out of business very, very quickly, and it will only affect you and the idiots who sign up with you without giving it enough thought. You have every right to do it, though. But if you want to take that horrendously stupid idea and force everyone to do it… Yeah, then there’s a problem.

Don’t force your economically ignorant decisions onto everyone. The ramifications will be enormous.

Abolish the Minimum Wage. Let employers and employees determine how much their labor is worth. It has nothing to do with you. And if you don’t think an employer is reimbursing an employee fairly, then you can do a few things. You can boycott that company, or you can chip in and donate to the employee. Those are your options. Anything beyond that is using the state to order people around like they’re your slave or something and have to do what you say.

So you have a stupid idea one day. It happens. Give the stupid idea a shot. Maybe it will work out. But don’t you dare force everyone to adopt your stupid, unconsidered, asinine idea that is demonstrably going to create more problems and never solve any.

Socialism is Full Wagner On Steroids

Unless you’re one of 500~ people who like the page Shit Kyle Wagner Says, then you’re probably not going to get the reference in the title. If you’re an anarchist, voluntaryist, or libertarian, though, go to that page and enjoy what this self-professed “former anarcho-capitalist who ‘woke up’ and became a libertarian who ‘woke up’ and became a liberty-leaning conservative who still calls himself a libertarian even as he says some of the dumbest shit you’ll ever see” has to say.

I got into a discussion with someone recently about Socialism versus Capitalism, and the argument ultimately sank into emotional territory; after it was all said and done, the question asked of me was this:

There are four million homeless people in Spain and eleven million houses that are empty. This is a waste of resources, and it’s morally wrong.

At first glance, this is not a good argument but a great one, for how can he be incorrect? Is it not clearly a waste of resources for so many houses to go empty while so many people need houses? Is it not obvious that the efficient use of those resources would have produced exactly as many houses are needed and would have left no one homeless? We can address the “morally wrong” statement later; for now, are these things not obvious?

They are, but only at a surface glance–and a limited one that sees only the first ten feet. It is a car driving around at night whose headlights reveal only the next thirty feet of highway, so the driver assumes he can relax and take his hands off the steering wheel, never considering that there is a sharp turn thirty-five feet away. “I can’t see it, so it’s not there!” the driver proclaims. If you’d dispute this assessment, then you should go and read the actual comment chain, where the socialist argues exactly that, saying that because he can’t see the value of x job at thirty-five feet away, it must have no value.

What a strange notion.

Let’s examine, for a moment, what’s happening here. The anonymous socialist–who is almost certainly the same guy who gave a competing answer to the question–is making a valuation judgment on the use of these resources, saying, “They are without value.” Obviously, he is being hyperbolic, and I’m not faulting him for that. What he means is that the job has almost no value; there’s no way he means that the job has absolutely zero value to anyone. If nothing else, the job has value for the person who does that job, so we have to assume that he meant “The job has very little value.”

However, we know that all valuation judgments are subjective. He is deciding that this job has no value based on his internal understanding of what has value and what doesn’t, and his understanding is colored by his own biases and predilections. To see what I mean, let’s look at another value statement.

“Drugs are bad.”

Sure, most people would agree, but why are drugs bad? Well–for a moment putting on the appropriate hat–they are damaging to society and to the individual.

Okay, but why is “damage to the individual” bad? Why is “damage to society” bad?

We’ll find that these questions are actually impossible to answer. We can do this with any value statement. What we find are value statements built on assumed value statements. Drugs are bad because damage to the individual is bad. However, when pressed, when we trace this seemingly-infinite regress back to its source, we are left finding ourselves saying, “Because it just is!” Let’s do another, more controversial one.

“Murderers are bad.”

Again, virtually everyone would agree–as would I–but why are murderers bad? Because killing people is wrong. But why is killing people wrong? Because it’s a violation of their rights? That’s not an answer–it’s rephrasing the assumption. Why is it wrong to violate people’s rights? Again, we are ultimately left with only “Because it just is!”

It’s not a problem that we build our value judgments upon assumptions that are built on assumptions that are built on assumptions. I firmly agree that murderers are bad, and I would certainly say that they’re bad because killing people is wrong because it’s a violation of their rights. The point is that it can’t be demonstrated. It isn’t objective. This value that we’ve set–even if 100% of all people agree with it–is not objective. Murder is no more objectively wrong than homosexuality is objectively wrong. This is what led Nietzsche to his observation that power is good, and that which causes a will to power is good; what is bad is weakness. Strictly speaking, Nietzsche is more right with his valuation judgments than anyone else, but only because his good and evil–a Blue and Orange morality if ever there was one–is built on the notion that survival of the species, ensured through power of the individual, is critical. This, too, is an assumption–Why is it good for the species to survive?–and Nietzsche was well aware of that. However, we’re getting into topics here that aren’t really related enough to warrant this much attention.

In effect, what we have from this socialist are two subjective valuation statements that are being said as though they are objective truths. “The resources are wasted in this manner,” meaning that the value of the resources is higher than the value of how they are presently being used; “this is morally wrong,” meaning that this state of affairs is “bad.”

Not only are these built upon assumptions, but how are these comparisons even made?

As Henry Hazlitt observed in The Foundations of Morality*, what is happening here is that the socialist is comparing an is to an ought. I’ve spoken about this before, how we humans do this constantly, comparing one state of affairs to another, and often one of those hypothetical states of existence is an idealized perfect one. Hazlitt put it best, though–we are looking at what is and comparing it to what ought be.

Obviously, though, we have a problem. Our imagining of what ought be is based on our assumptions of what is good and what is bad, and our assessments of good and bad are built on other assumptions. We might say “The world is in poor shape because people still kill one another, and we shouldn’t.” On the surface, yes–absolutely. However… We are comparing the state of the world as it is to how we think it ought be. So how do we think the world ought be? It ought be free of murder. Why do we think that? Because murder is wrong. Why do we think that? Because a violation of someone’s rights is wrong. Why do we think that? Because it just is.

My contention here isn’t that these subjective value statements derived from various assumptions are wrong. How could I even begin to make such a case? That they are wrong is, itself, a value statement, which is, itself, built on other assumptions. Beyond that, though, I agree–“It just is” wrong to violate someone’s rights. Far from arguing that these assumptions must be discarded, I firmly agree that these assumptions are critical, otherwise we can’t get anything done.

After all, every single day we assume that reality is real. Why do you get out and go to work? Because you assume that you’d really starve to death and really become homeless if you didn’t. Are these assumptions valid? Probably–but we can’t say definitively. Maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe everyone else would, but you’re a magical human being who doesn’t need to actually eat. Can you say you’re not? Have you ever tried? Maybe you’d experience the pains and mental anguish of hunger but would never actually die from it. Can you say this isn’t true? No. Does this mean you should chance it, and sit at home and wait to see if you die of starvation? No–make the assumption that you would starve, and take your ass to work.

I don’t demand that we stop assuming things and that we stop assigning values based on these assumptions.

I’m simply saying that we need to be aware that they are subjective statements built on assumptions, and that not one of us is objectively or demonstrably right about any value statement.

We can see, then, the immediate flaw in the socialist ideology. Not only does it contend that the state can set values correctly, thereby assuming that a thing has objective values and thereby assuming that the state can find them, but it proceeds on that assumption as though it is an objective truth. In fact, I could–and did–make the argument that it would be a waste of resources to give the houses to the four million homeless.

Think about it like this. I have a spare $100, even after I’ve put money into savings. It’s just spare money for me, completely disposable. A hooker comes up to me and tells me that she’s got STDs and is addicted to meth, and that she spent all of her money on meth and now doesn’t have money to buy food. The socialist’s position is that it would be a “waste of resources” and an “inefficient use of resources” if I told her no and kept my money to myself, saving it for another day. “You should give it to the prostitute,” says the socialist, “because she can put it to use buying food.”

The value statements can’t end there, though. What is the value of this woman having food? She will continue going through the streets fucking dudes and probably giving them STDs in the process. This must be included in the assessment of efficiently used resources. Maybe her survival means that she gives birth to a kid who grows up to be the next Stephen Hawking. This must also be included in the assessment. To make any definitive value statement requires omniscience–that is what I’m getting at. We must be able to compare an is to an ought, and we must be able to identify every single variable and every single consequence of the action. This is an impossible task.

Regardless, I don’t see how forcing me to give $100 to a drug-addicted, disease-ridden prostitute is a more efficient use of the money than if I just kept it to be used at a later date. They may be equally efficient, and letting me keep it may be more efficient. We don’t know. We can’t know.

But the socialist claims to.

* A fantastic philosophical work, though I have to confess that Hazlitt is occasionally pretty hard to read. However, if you can get through Nietzsche and things like Thus Spoke Zarathustra**, then Hazlitt shouldn’t be a problem.

** Good luck with that.

The Nihilism of Western Society

Western society is not decadent; it’s nihilistic.

Now, those familiar with me know that I consider myself a nihilist. I am also well aware that Nietzsche–the father of modern nihilism–would be appalled to learn that we call ourselves nihilists. We don’t mean it in the same sense that Nietzsche meant it, and I’m going to get into that momentarily. We mean it in the sense of ultimate objectivity, refusing to allow emotions a place in shaping our knowledge, and a strict separation of emotion from reason. This leads to a lack of attachment and loyalty to existing institutions. We don’t look at the educational institution and say, “Well, it’s bad and could be replaced, but we’ve had this one for so long…” Instead, we stop at “Does it accomplish what we want it to? If not, replace it.”

Nihilists do not advocate arbitrarily destroying socioeconomic institutions just because. We advocate destroying them if they don’t do what we want them to do. This requires objectively looking at them and their results. Nihilism is a constant battle between what we believe and what is, and not everyone is capable of accepting “what is.” Religion is a great example. I have a friend who agrees with me almost completely about religion, and even agrees that people use deities as projections of their own beliefs and opinions. Yet, he still believes that there is a god–in the deist sense. This is an example where he will not accept What Is because of What Ought.

It’s funny that nihilists recognize that every value that we assign to things is subjective, while also striving to be as objective as possible–objective, in this context, meaning “not allowing emotions to alter the value we ascribe.” Nietzsche would absolutely be an anarcho-capitalist if he lived today: Austrian economics is the application of this subjectivity to market values. Nietzsche spoke primarily of assigning moral values, but the principle is the same for market values, too, and he has long been recognized as an enemy of the state. It was Nietzsche, after all, who said:

Everything the state says is a lie, and everything it has, it has stolen.

If there’s anything that you should take away from this preamble, it’s that I understand Nietzsche and I understand what we call Nihilism. I am a nihilist. For the rest of the article, though, I don’t mean “nihilist” in that sense. I mean it in its Nietzschean sense: advocating ideas and opinions that are ultimately self-destructive. This is what Nietzsche meant when he characterized Christianity as nihilistic. From The Antichrist:

What is more harmful than any vice?–Practical sympathy for the botched and the weak–Christianity…

We Americans, too, are increasingly nihilistic, yet it has nothing to do with religion. It does have to do with the same thing that Nietzsche criticized, but I think Nietzsche was wrong here. I don’t think compassion is a problem; in fact, I encourage compassion. I think that we tend to come up with extremely short-sighted, non-functional solutions, propose them, and then tie our compassion to them, so much so that anyone who then disputes our proposed solution is written off as lacking compassion. That’s a bit long-winded and technical, so let me give an example.

I am against welfare. I am adamantly against stealing from one person to give their money to someone else, and this is what constitutes “welfare” in western society. Whether you think it’s just or not is irrelevant; that’s simply what happens. When I tell people that I am against welfare, I am universally met with the response of, “You just want poor people to starve to death?”

Published alongside me in V2: The Voluntary Voice was Matthew Weber, who told a story about his voluntaryist-oriented band played a show, and at one point said some anarchistic stuff. Someone threw a bottle at the drummer and shouted, “Without the state, where would I find housing?”

Without even being conscious of it, they have formed a false dichotomy where the choices are “the state” or “people starve and go homeless.”

Nietzsche wrote from a perspective that was, really, Beyond Good and Evil. He was not concerned with what he called Middle Class Morality–a profound realization in its own right, that the rich don’t abide morality because they don’t have to, and the poor don’t abide it because they don’t have the luxury. Nietzsche realized that morality is a luxury, and it is from here that we proceed, because compassion is also a luxury. The child starving to death surely has no compassion for the robbery of Kim Kardashian. The woman dying of cancer surely has no compassion for a stranger’s flu.

When people begin starving, morality is the first thing to be thrown away, as morality was the force responsible for creating the vacuum in which they went hungry. The man starving to death has no moral difficulty with stealing a loaf of bread. The family going hungry has no moral difficulty using the state to give to others for their own benefit. So, too, is my critique of this theft as immoral a luxury of the middle class–and my morality does not apply to them, because they have discarded it. When thrown with others into a survival trap like in the movie Saw, we would have no moral difficulty in poisoning the doctor to ensure our own survival.

Certainly, I would argue that it is good that we have our Middle Class Morality, and I argue that both the poor and the rich should have to abide it. Many Americans argue that the rich should have to, but leave the poor out of this requirement. We criticize Wells Fargo for stealing, basically, from its customers, yet we give a thumbs up to the poor who use the state to steal. My entire position as an anarchist is that everyone must follow this Middle Class Morality that forbids the use of force, violence, and coercion, and that this mandate must include the rulers–who so often are given a free pass to violate the tenets of our morality.

However, I am not concerned with what the middle class says is right or wrong. Here, as Nietzsche did, we focus our efforts higher than that, and go beyond that; we look instead at survival and the species. There is no one as nihilistic as millennials, and this is a problem that we must address.

Millennials despise people being rewarded for their effort.

Such a sweeping statement! And, obviously, it will not be true of all millennials–I am a millennial. However, it is true of the majority of them.

They embrace an economic system that deliberately does not reward people for their effort. It doesn’t matter how we dress it up. If a person believes that a doctor, an attorney, an engineer, a physicist, a Wal-Mart cashier, and a burger flipper deserve equal wages, then they ipso facto reject the notion that people should be rewarded for their effort.

As I wrote for Cubed3 regarding Star Fox Zero, this extends to most areas of life: millennials simply want to be given stuff, and they legitimately don’t understand why effort should be rewarded. We’re told that we’re entitled if we want the physicist to be rewarded for their years of training and education with a higher wage. We’re told that we’re entitled if we want the doctor to be rewarded for their years of training and education with a higher wage. And, yes, we’re told we’re entitled if we want the effort we put into beating a video game rewarded.

This mentality–that rewarding effort is bad–is the same one that gave us participation trophies, and it becomes nihilistic when we know that the primary reason that people do stuff… is for a reward. Psychology has made this abundantly clear. You don’t punish bad behavior; you reward good behavior. We all want to be rewarded; this is fundamental to being a human being, or a cat or a dog. We are dealing with primal forces that we cannot control here, and we cannot predict the longterm consequences of making sure that Billy, who sat in the grass eating bugs, gets exactly the same trophy as Michael, who hit fourteen homeruns. How hard will Michael work the next year, if he knows his effort won’t be rewarded or even acknowledged?

Donald Trump has been assaulted recently for making more lewd remarks about women, and for remarking on the fact that, when you’re a rich star, women tend to let you do whatever you want. Yes, they clearly do tend to:

This is the world we live in.Notice the words “tend to” here, and remember that we’re not speaking in absolutes. We’re never speaking in absolutes.

If Trump grabbed women who didn’t want to be grabbed, that’s an issue, and we can discuss that, but we can’t pretend like Trump is a monster because he uses his riches and fame to sleep with beautiful women. We hate Trump because he reminded us of what animals we are. He breaks that self-delusion that we are better than that, that we are greater than that, that we are more than animals.

But no. We’re not.

Donald Trump is a wolf who has filled his cave with dead prey, and is standing in front of the cave whistling at lady wolves, “Hey, baby! Look at all the prey that I got! Yeah, I did that. Don’t you want to let me fuck you?”

The greatest amusement to me are the guys who say, “No! I would never use my power and wealth to attempt to sleep with women.”

Yeah, well. Okay.

And that’s why you don’t have power and wealth.

Do you know why every human being does like 99% of the things they do? I’ll give you a hint.

SEX.

It’s not just men; it’s women, too. It’s humans, period. We are sexual creatures. The desire to reproduce is ubiquitous through us–even though we all deal with it in different ways–and it made us all very, very horny. It’s our Middle Class Morality that keeps us from fucking as the cats and dogs do, but it’s a constant battle against ourselves. Regardless of the question, “To get laid” is almost always the answer. Not always, but most of the time. It is an underlying motive for practically everything that humans do.

So why do some men seek riches and fame? To sleep with beautiful women.

This isn’t wrong. It can’t be wrong, because there are plenty of beautiful women who want to sleep with men who are rich and famous. I would guess that the lottery winner there lost his virginity to that woman and that no one slept with him when he wasn’t rich and famous. Suddenly he was, and suddenly found the love of his life.

Imagine that.

There’s a difference, obviously–there’s a large, unidentifiable difference between a woman who would be willing to sleep with a dude because he is rich, and a woman who would be disgusted by the idea. Donald Trump knows damned well that his female campaign manager would never sleep with him, regardless of how much money he has. I’m not defending Trump. I’m pointing out that there are things we have to accept and things we have to discuss, because trying to undo it is nihilistic.

If you take away the financial rewards of effort, then you take away the motivation of people to become rich so that they can have sex with supermodels. Can you imagine the wondrous innovations and technologies we have today because someone wanted to get laid?

Millennials hate the rich because the rich represent that: reward for effort. The rich are evil because they want their effort rewarded, and it’s selfish and entitled to want effort rewarded–but like totes 4 real not selfish and entitled to want to be rewarded without effort.

Millennials hate themselves, and because of this they are inclined to subconsciously adopt ideologies that are nihilistic and that would destroy us.

Millennials hate individual responsibility for the same reason. It’s all tied together. They hate themselves; they hate their own humanity. So they attempt to destroy it by denying that individual responsibility is a good thing, by denying that autonomy is a good thing, by denying that a person wants their effort rewarded, by denying that a person is motivated to put in effort by the rewards it offers. Yet all of these things are reasons our species survives to this day, and reasons that western society has thrived.

Hating these things is a luxury provided to them by the very things they hate.

Why Julian Assange is a Clown

I used to have great admiration for Assange and the valuable service that Wikileaks provides to the world. I first became aware of it when Chelsea Manning provided us with the diplomacy cables, and have followed it since. Much like the people at The Pirate Bay, Assange has made himself an enemy of the system by standing up for what he believes in–for standing against tyranny and corruption. I’m having a hard time remembering it, but it really seems like there was someone else who was swept up in Wikileaks around the time who also had sexual assault charges brought against him. Maybe it’s just Assange. It doesn’t matter.

Like I said, I used to have great admiration for Assange.

I don’t now. Why not?

Quite simply, because I’ve been looking at this for months:

assange-the-clownAssange has been tossing out this line for months. Every few weeks, you can find Assange saying, “I’m about to release some more documents that will totally finish off Hillary!”

I’m not criticizing him because he hopes to “finish off” Hillary and consistently fails to. In fact, that’s something worth admiring: he has set his goal as taking down this titan of American politics. His failure to achieve that goal isn’t a mark against him.

What is a mark against him is that he… just… keeps… fucking… saying it.

Every few weeks, it’s all over Facebook, Assange promising that his “next batch” will finish off Hillary for good. Again, it’s not that he fails to do this that bothers me.

It’s that he’s not releasing the documents that will “finish off Hillary.”

If you had documents that could sink Hillary Clinton’s presidency chances, what would you do? Would it ever occur to you to tell the whole world that you had the documents and were going to release them “some time next week” or “in a few days”? Of course not! You’d simply release them. You wouldn’t talk about releasing them; you would release them.

However, Assange has had these documents for months.

So let’s say, for a moment, that he is right, and that he releases the documents and Hillary drops to zero percent in polls. What should we do? Should we pat him on the back? No! We should ask him why he held them for three months instead of releasing them. We should ask him why he knowingly and intentionally withheld documents of such staggering consequence that they would sink a presidential candidate while repeatedly throwing out bait? For months he has been promising that his “next batch” will finish off Hillary.

So what if he finally succeeds?

Then it will mean the he withheld these documents for months while feeding us largely inconsequential bullshit.

“But maybe he was saving the best for last!” people might say.

Perhaps, but, if that’s the case, then who the fuck does he think he is, to decide what the American People should and shouldn’t know, and when they should know it? Assange has fallen prey to what Nietzsche warned of–he has become exactly what he set out to fight. Now we need someone to hack the documents away from Assange and establish a Wikileaks Wikileakds for all the documents that Assange has decided not to share with us.

At this point, Assange is keeping us on a “Need To Know” basis. What if that last batch of documents had defeated Hillary? Would he indefinitely withhold the ones he is set to release? If he moved forward with his plan to release them, wouldn’t people accuse him of being a misogynist and kicking a dead* whore horse?

So let’s assume that Assange has 100 documents. He’s got more than that, but we’re keeping it simple. He says “I’m about to release documents that will sink Hillary!” and then he releases ten of those documents.

Hillary may or may not be damaged, but she certainly isn’t sunk. He says, “The next batch will totally take her down!” and releases ten more.

Hillary may or may not be damaged, but she certainly isn’t sunk. He says, “The next batch will totally take her down!” and releases ten more.

Finally, he succeeds in taking Hillary down. Why did he withhold these evidently critically significant documents for so long? Because of him, and solely him, in this scenario Hillary’s campaign continued on for some time because he withheld information from us. Countless millions of dollars squandered, months of people’s lives wasted. Is he intentionally drawing it the leaks so that Democrats don’t have a prayer of finding and fielding a replacement candidate before Election Day? If so, what in the fuck does he think gives him the right to manipulate American politics to that degree?

If he has information that could actually sink Hillary’s candidacy, then the only moral thing to do is release it immediately. But he didn’t. He has drawn the process out unnecessarily, rationing out our information to us while making false promises and knowingly withholding what he promises is critical information. Does this not sound exactly like the candidate he is trying to take down?

Of course it does. And that is the problem with Assange.

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Assange is trying to take down a candidate who repeatedly lies and withholds information… by repeatedly lying and withholding information.

“But maybe he was hoping the previous stuff would take her down, and that he wouldn’t have go this far!” someone could argue.

Yes. That’s called information control. The very idea is appalling, that Assange and Wikileaks would withhold the Really Bad Stuff because they hoped that the Pretty Bad Stuff would take her down.

I don’t know what Assange’s motives are, or if he’s trying to keep the Extremely Bad Stuff secret because he hopes the Really Bad Stuff will eliminate her from the election, just as he hoped the Pretty Bad Stuff would. But more than anything, it looks like Assange is simply an attention whore.

He says he does it because he doesn’t want critical information to get lost in information overload. I ask again–what gives him the right? Regardless, it is unacceptable that he might withhold for any amount of time information that could actually sink Hillary’s campaign. The only moral thing to do would be to release that information.

“Well, he has to go through the info and determine what is what,” others would suggest.

Why?

It’s not Assange’s job to screen and filter information. It’s Assange’s job to share information. Assange is not the fucking Gatekeeper of critical information that is relevant to who will be the President of the United States. He simply set himself up as that gatekeeper. Why? For the power? For the attention? We can only speculate about his motives.

But regarding a responsibility to not release information that could be damaging to U.S. national security? Fuck that, and fuck that entire mentality. It would be damaging to the security of Texas State Penitentiary to release to the inmates the information that they’re being fed rat meat and drugged and raped in their sleep. Does that mean the inmates shouldn’t be told? That idea, that national security is a justifiable reason to withhold pertinent and critical information, suggests that we do need a gatekeeper of the information, because we’re too stupid or reckless to handle it. I wholly reject that supposition, as should anyone.

“You can’t handle the truth!”

Oh, well. Share the truth anyway.

Because the truth doesn’t change. In plain sight or concealed, the truth is what it is. My sister can’t handle the truth that there is no god–she’ll openly admit that the only reason she believes is that she is terribly afraid of the idea of non-existence. But hiding from it and pretending it isn’t the case doesn’t change it. And then you end up with shit like this because someone somewhere along the way decided that people couldn’t handle the truth, and so they had to be lied to:

Pictured: People who were lied to.

Pictured: People who were lied to.

If the government is doing something that would damage our national security if it got out that our government is doing it, then our national security needs to be damaged because our government shouldn’t be doing whatever it is in the first place. Give people the information and let freedom take its course.

Assange just wants to stay in the spotlight, and wants to stay relevant. It’s not about preventing information overload, not if he is withholding information that could actually sink Hillary’s candidacy. It’s about attention and his desire to have everyone train their eyes on him. “My next batch will sink her! I mean it this time! Like totes 4 real!”

“Please pay attention to me.”

* In the interest of not committing suicide by shooting myself three times in the back of the head, this is figurative, obviously. No one should inflict violence upon anyone else.