Tag Archive | coercion

Corporate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

As part of the “moving to Keene, New Hampshire” process, which you can speed up by buying my ebook for $2.99 or the paperback for $7.49, I’ve also been seeking a job there, since that will speed up the process far more than anything else. After receiving a series of promising emails, I found myself conducting a phone interview, at the end of which the person said, “Thank you, sir.”

Now, this is a bit more serious than “RAWR DID YOU JUST ASSUME MY GENDER?” I’ve of course applied to the job as myself; one of the primary reasons for moving, actually, is that I’m transsexual, although I know that, realistically, I need vocal surgery and minor cosmetic surgery. Despite my best efforts, and use of very expensive vocal training regimens, I’ve met with no success (though I have become a much better singer, so good that I’m considering picking music back up) in feminizing my voice. Hell, eating large amounts of Hostess mini donuts is doing nothing to help me gain weight, either, which is badly needed.

So I was faced with a problem. Realistically, I know that it can create problems in a service-driven industry. Whether the employer has an issue with it or not, clients might, and individual businesses can never be compelled to continue using one vendor or another. It’s why I continue to work as a male: the clients would unanimously fire me here. Will that problem exist in New Hampshire?

Because I can’t expect the employer to risk losing clients by having an employee who makes them uncomfortable. And my voice is clearly still so off that I was called a “sir,” though I’m not surprised by that. There’s a huge mental block there that I’ll get into some other time. Realistically, I know that I need to continue working as a male until I’ve made the money (which shouldn’t be much of an issue in NH) to afford the needed surgeries. Until then, it has the potential to create issues with clients.

But what about once I’ve had those surgeries? Being a male to them one day and female the next is likely to create even more issues.

“Thank you, sir.”

Motherfucker.

How to handle this delicate issue when the vast majority of potential employers will simply refuse to discuss it in any meaningful sense, for fear of saying the wrong thing and inviting myriad lawsuits?

Yet it had to be discussed: “Thank you, sir.”

I know the SJWs out there would contend, “At most, you should have corrected him and requested he refer to you as ‘ma’am,'” and, yeah, perhaps. But that doesn’t sit well with me, and never has. It’s disingenuous and dishonest. And it invites even more problems. Following that correction, they’d certainly have googled me (honestly, I’m surprised they haven’t already). And I don’t know, but I imagine reservations would be extremely high about hiring someone who felt they had the right to be treated as a female despite not conforming sufficiently to gender expectations.

I unambiguously take the stance that being considered a female is something that I have to earn, not something to which I am entitled. Other people have expectations of female and male, and their expectations are as valid as anyone else’s. Since I’m the one who wants to be considered female, the onus falls to me to conform to their expectations, not to make them conform to mine in full disregard of their own. And this served as proof that I haven’t achieved that. Hey, no biggie–it means I have more work to do, which I already knew anyway.

But how to handle the matter now?

It immediately became clear to me that I should have sent my resume as a male, but I didn’t. Again, that’s the primary reason for the move, so I didn’t think twice about it; when I applied for a job, I did it as Aria. It just seemed normal and natural to me, not worthy of second guessing. But even if I had, I’m transitioning, and the day is inevitable (and not as far away as it used to be) that the male persona is forever put to rest. There is an entirely different, and heightened, degree of difficulty transitioning in a single job–being a male (albeit unusual) to the employer and clients one day, and a female the next. It’s actually easier to be a non-passable (I’ll not apologize for that phrase) female one day, and a more passable one the next. People are already prepared for it at that point, are already getting used to it, and it’s much less jarring.

So, ultimately, I think I made the right choice: apply as a female and tough it out, unpassable in several critical regards, and, in time, get those issues handled (cosmetic surgery is likely limited to brow bone decreases, so it’s not major and shouldn’t be expensive). With many of the employers clients being government agencies, it’s actually not terribly likely to be a problem for clients. But there is still a problem at hand:

“Thank you, sir.”

Merely mentioning my gender identity could be enough to cost me the job, for exactly the same reason that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell existed in the military; it immediately creates the danger of legal action. By mentioning it, I’d put them instantly into a No Win situation. Either they don’t hire, and then there’s the threat of lawsuit on the basis that they didn’t hire me because of my gender identity, or they do hire me simply to avoid the risk of that lawsuit. Of course, I’m an anarchist. Government is a weapon, not a tool. I didn’t sue a realty company who let their dog bite me twice in a service call, and that was the most solid lawsuit most people have ever heard. But I don’t think that’s right. But while I know there’s no chance I’m trying to bait them, a la Dale Gribble in King of the Hill applying as a waiter to Hooters, there’s no possible way they could know that. A company I’ve worked with for seven years asked me to put in writing that I would not seek any legal action, after all–the threat is very real, too real, and cannot be discounted. I know it exists, and they know it exists. Though I’d never, ever use such a vile weapon to force others into certain actions, they have no way of knowing my principled stance against such things, nor any reason to believe such claims. Yet there it was.

“Thank you, sir.”

In their zeal for anti-discrimination protections, liberals have created Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Even mentioning this disparity between my birth sex and my gender, the mention of which became necessary (as I don’t think anyone would dispute), violates that policy and places everyone into a minefield that is impossible to navigate. Say the wrong thing, bam. Lawsuit. Don’t hire me, bam. Lawsuit. Don’t respond, bam. Lawsuit. Suggest clients may have an issue with it, bam. Lawsuit.

I need them to be open an honest about whether it could impair client relationships, but they can’t be. Even if it would cost them half their clients, they simply can’t tell me so. They have to lose those clients with a smile on their face, resenting me all the while, because I’m protected by the violence of government action. They can’t fire me, because then, however roundabout, they’d be firing me for being transsexual. Nor can they use fear of that for reason not to hire me, for the same reason.

Yet it’s completely true. No amount of denial will change that, and no amount of good feelings would change my I.T. company in Mississippi going under because I worked as a female. All the liberal protestations that “gender identity shouldn’t matter” won’t make it not matter. It will matter. It does matter. And we can work on that, sure, but we can’t outlaw it, not as we’ve done, because that closes off honest communication. That conservative woman to whom it matters is as right as the liberal man to whom it doesn’t. Now, though, that woman simply can’t discuss it, and we can’t talk to her. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell reigns. She must grit her teeth and act with secret motives to avoid lawsuits and government bludgeoning. If she doesn’t want to work with a transsexual person, she has to keep that to herself, and fire them over something else. The issue goes unaddressed, and she continues unreached and unpersuaded.

“Thank you, sir.”

The reality is simply that it matters to some people, whether it matters to the potential employers or not, and we all know that. A client needs to give no reason for firing a vendor. They simply stop calling, and start calling someone else.

“Thank you, sir.”

But I can’t mention it, can I? At most I can inform them that I prefer to be referred to as a female. No further explanation, no consideration of their wants and needs, and no recognition of the fact that, you know, I share this planet with seven billion other people, many of whom disagree with me about various things. We have to deny the existence of those people. We have to deny reality itself, and behave as though x is true when we know very well that x is false.

So what did I do?

I laid it out in an email that friends criticised as being overly long. But they don’t understand. This is a matter that I live. It’s tertiary to them; they’re spectators. I live and breathe it, and I know it’s a sensitive and delicate issue, not to mention that bringing it up at all places everyone involved into a minefield where the slightest misstep, as far as they knew, was a legal explosion.

And even despite my lengthy email (it wasn’t really that long–three paragraphs, which I consider damned good for an issue of this complexity and sensitivity), they asked for clarification on a few things.

Because I expressed a willingness to work as a male. Though I don’t like it, I recognize that it may be the path of least resistance for them, and that’s a fair compromise, I think. Maybe they could still employ me post-transition, and maybe they couldn’t; we could cross that bridge later. But I recognize that being a non-passable female could create problems for them, and could harm their business. It’s WRONG to demand them unilaterally take that risk.

But they can’t even admit that it could create problems. Whether it would or wouldn’t, they can’t admit it, nor can they openly factor it into the decision of whether to hire me. Would it be a factor? Who can say? Rest assured, it wouldn’t be their personal issue with transsexualism, but their recognition that clients may have an issue with it. Therefore, hiring me would not be good for their company, because it wouldn’t be good for their client relationships, because their clients may have problems with it.

Nothing can be done about that, because they aren’t allowed to say, “Okay, yes, we think it’s prudent that you work as a male for the time being.”

They aren’t allowed to say that.

I’d rather work as a female, but I’m aware that stepping stones are a thing, and we must sometimes be uncomfortable today to secure comfort tomorrow. It’s why I’m a capitalist. That notion of investing in the future–it’s exactly the same here. Working as a male for a strong, vibrant, well-paying, successful firm in New Hampshire is an investment in my future, and one that I don’t mind making, although I’d rather avoid it. Working as a male for six months there while I save up the money for vocal and cosmetic surgery is a small price to pay considering the rewards–a much better job, a much better area, freedom to be me…

But I can’t make the decision. Government and liberals have made the decision for me. I’ll work as a female, because they can’t tell me otherwise. The only way I could make a choice at all would be if I chose to work as a male. I can’t choose to work as a female now; working as a female now would be a product of government coercion, not my personal choices. And yet, without them being able to admit even the existence of potential problems, contacting them and telling them to consider me a male by another name would be construed as flaky, uncertain, and unstable; it would be far more damaging to my employment prospects than anything else.

“Thank you, sir.”

When they replied, it predictably contained mention of Equal Opportunity Employment, and the assurance that being transgender (I went with transgender because, generally, it’s more palatable) would not factor into their decision. Upon reading it, inwardly I sighed. I know enough to know that my email was very clear in those regards, but the gauntlet was tossed back to me: “Are you saying you wish to delay the interviewing process until you’re finished transitioning?”

Motherfucker.

Thank you, sir.

No, and they knew I wasn’t saying that. And I know they knew I wasn’t saying that, and they know I know that they knew I wasn’t saying that. They were more cleverly saying that they’d have nothing to do with it, that they would under no circumstances say “Don’t transition yet, then, if you feel it could create problems.” Instead they were saying, “We have no comment.”

Because they’re not allowed to comment, regardless of the reality in New Hampshire. Is it as big a deal there as it is here? I don’t know. If it is, they can’t admit it, and we can’t address that problem together. They airlifted themselves right out of that minefield, but the mines remain there. If it could be a potential issue for clients, that’s something that, at most, they’d have to discuss among themselves in secret, or keep to themselves entirely.

Instead of working through the problem together, if there is a problem, then they’ll simply not hire me, and will give any number of other reasons for that. Because they aren’t allowed to state the reason, if that’s the case, and so we can’t compromise to deal with it.

It’s not “Thank you, sir.”

It’s “Thank you, liberals,” said with a deep-seated, resentful anger for creating an environment where potential pitfalls and issues can’t be discussed openly and honestly.

 

Debate on the Nature & Scope of Self-Defense

Friday night, I debated with Matt Kuehnel of “Dankertarians,” who run the website https://dankertarians.com. I don’t really follow the site or the page, but I think they make memes or something. I’m not entirely sure. Matt is a hard-left leaning libertarian of the anarchist persuasion and calls himself a Libertarian Socialist. From my reading of Libertarian Socialism, it’s basically anarcho-communism by a different name. C’est la vie, it’s not important.

After we’d each been cross-examined, we featured Will Coley of Muslims 4 Liberty to talk about his MALIC center project, where he is opening a mosque and interfaith place of worship in Keene, New Hampshire to serve the community there. As a fun bonus, it is opening within five miles of where now felon Chris Cantwell lives. The project has been funded well, but it could use your support, and not just to make a Nazi cry by having a mosque open up in his backyard; even as an atheist, I’m fully on-board with the project. You can find it here, and I hope that you can throw $5 his direction.

I took basically the position that you’ve heard me describe before: there are limits to what is and isn’t self-defense–objective criteria by which we determine an act was self-defense. This is critically important, because saying “I was defending myself” is not just an excuse for one’s own actions; it’s an accusation of criminal behavior. In order for me to be “defending myself,” the person attacking me must be guilty of a crime–assault, battery, etc. Yet this person has the right to be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty (socially or legally–as I reminded Matt several times throughout the debate, we’re not talking about law as much as we are social custom and what is right). If my claim of self-defense is to hold up, I must prove beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt that the person against whom I defended myself was guilty of a crime. This often gets lost in the self-defense debate, but there’s never just one person: both sides are prosecutor and defendant, and both must be presumed innocent.

Anyway, all that said, I was really rusty, and it showed. I haven’t formally debated anyone in years. And after all the bitching about formality, wouldn’t you know it? It was I who cross-examined someone when I shouldn’t have. Anyway, the debate weighs in at just over an hour, and we take questions at the end, so I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for watching.

This is me.

In case you’d like a sound track while you listen:

Anyway, earlier today I discussed with someone the various kinds of programming that people are hit with from the day they’re born–religious, advertising, and so on–and it was a pretty good conversation. At one point in the discussion, I was asked “Why?” and I replied that the state–government–is one of the biggest programming/brainwashing elements out there. It is the most institutionalized, the least questioned and least challenged, the most dominant, and the most powerful. Anyone who spends any significant amount of time introspectively wondering whether their responses to various stimuli have been pre-programmed by external influences will eventually turn their attention to the state.

Honestly, I think I could hear her eyes roll when I mentioned the state.

In the modern west, there are three primary factors that go into our conditioning–and yes, we’ve all been conditioned. I’ve talked about this countless times. Here, I talked about how we’ve been conditioned like Pavlov’s dog to associate nudity with sex. Here I discussed how we’re conditioned to place value–particularly, the value of “important”–in arbitrary things and, more importantly, to identify so strongly with that value that we use it as the basis for other assessments. It’s not a subject that I shy away from.

We’ve been conditioned to think of humans as boys and girls, black and white, and countless other divisive categories that serve no purpose than to separate us from one another and to slice the world up into groups of Us and Them. In this article, I explicitly discussed the fact that labels are useful only for communication–instead of saying to you “I have breasts and curves, long hair, I wear makeup, and I wear women’s clothes, but I have a penis” I simply say “I’m a shemale.” It’s about conveyance and communication, these labels. I even did a video on the subject–one I’m not particularly proud of, honestly–titled “Be an Individual.”

Groupthink is a serious problem, and it has its roots in conformity, which is another subject that I discuss fairly often–often enough that it has its own Category. The desire to conform and fit in binds so many people to be things they don’t want to be, and to do things they don’t want to do, because the act of standing up against the group and saying, “No! I’m going to just do me!” takes a tremendous amount of courage, because the path is riddled with fear. Fear of loneliness that comes with not being part of the group. Fear of rejection that comes when the group brands you as a heretic. Fear of stepping off the conventional path and into the darkness, to let go of the person you were following and begin feeling your own way out of Thesseus’s labyrinth.

Those three things are religion, advertising, and the state.

On the first, religion is certainly doing the least programming these days, and the days of its control of the population are waning. In the past, a person’s worldview and outlook were informed almost entirely from their religious beliefs; today, a person’s religious beliefs are informed almost entirely from their worldview and outlook. There are still plenty–like the people in my family, for example–who take their cues largely from the religious programming pushed onto them by their parents, who themselves had it pushed onto them by their own parents, who themselves had it pushed onto them by their own parents, ad infinitum.

That’s generally how things work. Each generation simply follows in the footsteps of the preceding generation, carrying on its trends, its ideas, and its practices. We look to the past as a guide and an anchor, using it to assure ourselves that we are on the right path, even as one thing after the other goes wrong. Even though that path has led to not one but two World Wars, the slaughter of Native Americans, the Holocaust, neverending wars, the destruction of the planet, widespread hatred, and so many other things, we remain on that path, never questioning whether we should get off it.

Painfully, someone has forgotten who I am. I don’t know how, but that is why I’m writing this–to state it once more, firmly and clearly. Here on Quora, someone asked if the next generation was going to be a Cupcake Generation, and I pointed out the same thing there: the next generation will be pretty much exactly like the preceding ones.

The most common thing is that a generation merely continues along whatever path the preceding generation placed it on, and that looks to be exactly what our generation is going to do—not just for tradition’s sake, but because we appear to actively fear change. We are terrified of everything and everyone, and the only thing that gives us solace is the knowledge that the state is there, protecting us from the bogeymen.

I am an anarchist, and of the mind that we do need to tear down everything. Every single existent human institution, and rebuild from scratch. We will not, however. We will continue traipsing merrily this path of destruction and self-destruction once our parents die and can no longer carry us down it.

The state isn’t merely one cog in the wheel of programming that we’re hit with our entire lives. It’s not some distant thing that can be safely and easily ignored as a factor in human behavior; it is the biggest source of programming that we have in the world today. And if the state isn’t directly controlling our minds through the education system, lies, manipulation, and coercion, then it’s relying on popular entertainment to do it–like with the film The Purge, where very few people questioned the premise. “Of course, there would be a lot of murder if murder wasn’t illegal for one day!” people thought, taking the premise and running with it.

But the premise is wrong, because it isn’t legality that stays people’s hands; it’s morality. We don’t kill each other for the reason that we think it’s morally wrong, not because we don’t want to be punished. Yet that idea is there. No one ever had to explicitly state it. The government didn’t have to write into a textbook that there would be widespread murder and rape if the government didn’t make them illegal, but that idea is in people’s heads, isn’t it? In fact, though, a lot of history and civics textbooks in high school do make the allegation that the government is what keeps these things from existing. In actuality, though, the government is a murderous, thieving rape gang. It is nothing else, and it is nothing more than that. It has simply used its power and the comfort of centuries of tradition to program us to accept it as inevitable and, in more modern times, actually a positive thing.

So, too, are we swimming in a sea of advertisements. I have no idea how an ordinary person manages to use the Internet–I’ve rarely seen anything in such a state of disrepair. My Verizon Galaxy S7 isn’t as flexible as my Sprint S5, so I’ve not been able to tailor the experience as much as I’d like, and the result is that I’m pretty much running stock Chrome as one of my primary web browsers. The experience is horrendous! Even a common news page has five or six ads, sometimes breaking up the text, and sometimes covering up the text. Hell, rare is the website that lets me visit it without prompting me for my email address to sign up for its newsletter. And if it doesn’t fill the screen with an ad that is going to count down for 5 seconds before I can close out of it, then it’s certainly going to shove them into my face while I’m trying to read. This isn’t just a problem on the Internet, though.

The television show M*A*S*H, which incidentally is one of my favorite shows, has episodes that are 25 to 27 minutes long. To accommodate this, channels that run the series today chop out entire scenes to make it fit in the 23 minutes of programming expected of modern shows. Even though you’ve paid money to enter and watch a movie, you will still be served ads. They’ll come over whatever music app you’re using, they’ll come over the radio, and you’ll drive by them on your way to work. They’re everywhere, constantly programming us. Billions and billions of dollars go into researching how best to make you think what they want you to think. It’s not an accident that Starbucks has the reputation it has, or that Apple has the reputation it has. They know how to program us.

Years ago, a bass player in one of my bands told me about a new vehicle he purchased that beeped incessantly any time the car was cranked but the driver’s seatbelt wasn’t fastened. After a few weeks of this, he was in the habit of fastening his seatbelt before even cranking the car. It’s a habit that he continues to this day. He was programmed by his car to fasten his seatbelt. And this sort of thing happens all around us all the time. Even being able to recognize it only minimizes its impact on us; there is a constant battle for our minds, with everyone and everything trying to define things for us, trying to tell us what to assume, and trying to tell us how to act, how to think, how to feel, and how to respond.

The state has convinced us that nations are real, that borders are real, that our enemies are real, that war is necessary, that it is necessary, that it must take money from us, that it must rule us, that it must spy on us, that it must keep secrets, that it must tell us how to leave, and that it must protect us from ourselves. I recently described it as an Imaginary World, like how my father is looking forward to all the good things that are going to result from a Trump presidency. As I said then: “What is he talking about?”

Trump’s presidency is likely to have no effect whatsoever on his life one way or another. Your life is proceeding exactly as it was two years ago, and so is everyone else’s. Nothing has changed, and nothing is going to change. But people like my father–indeed, most Americans–live in this fantasy world, where Trump is either about to make everything better or about to destroy everything. They are fixated firmly on imaginary things. There are some places where this imaginary world created by politicians and rulers overlaps with our real world–like when I was arrested–but those are still rare occurrences. They are less rare as the leviathan state grows, which is why the United States currently has the highest percentage of the population in prison throughout the entire world.

The state, its role, and its power structures remain the same, though. The wars continue. The death continues. The slavery continues. The rape, the kidnapping, the brutality… it all continues, unchecked, because people are fixated on those imaginary worlds where things are either about to improve or about to totally collapse. And it is here that denial and cognitive dissonance take over. No matter how much things don’t change, and no matter how nothing ever changes one way or another, it never gets noticed and pointed out by the average person. The average person isn’t saying “Well, shit, nothing changed when we went form Bush to Obama, did it?”

But it didn’t.

Everything went on exactly as it had been going on, exactly as our parents had done, as our grandparents had done, and as our great grandparents had done. Because we’ve been programmed not to look. We’ve been programmed to not acknowledge the emperor’s nudity, and we’ve been programmed to convince ourselves that the emperor isn’t naked, so whenever anyone dares point out that the Emperor’s schlong is hanging out, we are conditioned to adamantly deny it, saying patently absurd and demonstrably false things like, “No, we withdrew from Iraq in 2011!”

I’ve met far more good Christians than I have bad ones. While I don’t believe in anything supernatural, I also don’t care to challenge anyone who does, because most people aren’t out there using their belief in the supernatural as an excuse to do terrible things. Some people are, like Steven Anderson, but most aren’t. Neither is advertising causing a great deal of suffering in the world, although materialism is–and I’ve spoken frequently against materialism.

By an enormous margin, the one thing doing the most harm in the world is the state, the programmed belief that we need a state, and the conditioned response to anarchism that the state protects us from evil in the world. The state has racked up a body count that the Christian Devil would envy–war-related deaths only, something like 120,000,000,000 people were killed by the state last century, and so far we’re on schedule to surpass that. Bombs are maiming and murdering innocent people because of the state. People are being robbed of their livelihoods by the state. People are being kidnapped and held against their will by the state.

The state is the most evil thing in existence. These groups of psychopathic, barbaric, murderous amoral, thieving rapists have conquered the entire planet and used their control of the world to convince virtually every ling person that we need those psychopathic, barbaric, murderous, amoral, thieving rapists to be in charge, because if they weren’t in charge, then we might end up with psychopathic, barbaric, murderous, amoral, thieving rapists in charge.

People should be free to explore themselves and reality, but that’s not just an esoteric idea, a meaningless platitude for dropping labels and blurring lines between genders or whatever social convention a person might want to break. People should be free not just in thought but in deed, because we are the culmination of our experiences, and we are the actors who create our next experiences. Control of our actions is control of us. Being free to explore the dark labyrinth of the human psyche, as Joseph Campbell observed people have been doing and relaying to us in the form of mythology for thousands of years, is only half the battle. After slaying the minotaur, Thesseus then undertakes the most difficult challenge yet: returning and sharing the revelation.

Brace Yourselves. A Trump or Clinton is Coming.

brace-yourselves-2I actually had a dream last night that Donald Trump won the election. One could even call it a nightmare with some justification, because the resultant riots were disastrous. To deal with the widespread violence, Obama declared a National State of Emergency, and those were the circumstances when Trump assumed office: ones that would make Hitler laugh giddily and do the Dr. Evil pinky thing.

Don’t get me wrong. Hillary would be just as bad, if for different reasons. We’d wake up in January to see news reports of how Hillary drone-bombed the Ecuadorian Embassy in London–“Why not? We bomb places in all sorts of countries without a declaration of war. London shouldn’t have been harboring him if they didn’t want to get bombed.”–and completed a decades-long plan to attack Russia. Race relations in the country continue to worsen, LGBT communities continue grabbing power while screaming about how oppressed they are, and flagrant misandry goes ignored while even the most subtle forms of misogyny are ripped to pieces.

Most of this isn’t going to change no matter who is elected President. We could elect McAfee/Weiss* and it wouldn’t change any of these underlying issues. Black Lives Matter isn’t going anywhere. Just half an hour ago, I read an article about how Social Justice Warriors on Twitter flipped out when they saw “a KKK sign” at the World Series. It went down like this.

SJW: “Why is there a KKK sign at the World Series? RACISM!”

Reasonable person: “There isn’t. In baseball, a ‘k’ means ‘strike-out,’ and they hang one each time the pitcher strikes out someone.”

SJW: “Wow, okay, thanks for mansplaining.”

But I don’t really mean to get into all that. We have a lot of problems here in the United States, and they’re not going to disappear overnight. The best outcome would be that we elect someone like McAfee/Weiss, who get the state out of our way and let us work things out. Because things are going to have to be worked out; there’s zero dispute about that. The only question is whether we will solve our problems, or whether we will decide that we are absolutely, totally, objectively right, and thereby use the state to solve our problems in the way that we want.

One thing is certain, though. Tuesday night, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be elected the next President of the United States. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t vote third party. In fact, it means that you should.

At best, these two horrible human beings each have about 40% support. That means that, no matter what happens, sixty percent of Americans are going to be upset. So I would humbly ask everyone…

Can we stop being selfish assholes for a minute? For three days. Please?

Consider that significant majority of Americans who are going to be extremely and negatively impacted by your presidential choice. Consider doing something bizarre–something you may never have truly done before–and allow, just for a moment, for the possibility that you might be wrong, and that other people matter, too. Ask yourself what kind of person would do something if they knew as a certainty that 60% of all the other people in the nation were going to be deeply bothered and upset–rightfully so. Ask yourself why you think it’s okay to do that to 60% of all the people you share a country with, and then look elsewhere–ask yourself if there might be some other way for everyone to be moderately happy.

No one will get what they want, but everyone will get what they need.

trump-or-hillaryTake a moment to consider the vast majority of Americans who would say that a Trump presidency is the absolute last thing they want; take a moment to consider the vast majority of Americans who would say that a Clinton presidency is the absolute last thing they want. Consider all those other people.

There are 150% as many people against your presidential choice as there are for your presidential choice. You are outnumbered. Democratic-style governments only work when people act with a modicum of selflessness, consider the interests of other people, and accept that they don’t really have the right to make a decision and drag the majority along with it.

I understand that you’re terrified of a Hillary presidency. So is at least 20% of the population that does not support Trump, and they are just as scared of a Trump presidency as you are of a Hillary one. They have managed to conquer their fear, saying, “No! We will not be extorted and coerced into supporting this terrible candidate because you somehow managed to find someone who is even worse! We will vote for peace, for love, and for compassion, not from fear, terror, and rage.”  Put aside the fear. Put down the bullet that is your vote and shake the other people’s hands. It’s the only way that we can even start to work out the real, underlying issues in the United States.

I understand that you’re terrified of a Trump presidency. So is at least 20% of the population that does not support Hillary, and they are just as scared of a Hillary presidency as you are of a Trump one. They have managed to conquer their fear, saying, “No! We will not be extorted and coerced into supporting this terrible candidate because you somehow managed to find someone who is even worse! We will vote for peace, for love, and for compassion, not from fear, terror, and rage.”  Put aside the fear. Put down the bullet that is your vote and shake the other people’s hands. It’s the only way that we can even start to work out the real, underlying issues in the United States.

So I implore you. Allow for the possibility that you may not be right. Allow for the possibility that those 60% of Americans telling you that you are wrong are, in fact, correct–but so are you. Everyone is a bit right. Consider their wants, needs, and desires, and then ask yourself: “Mightn’t there be a better way?”

Indeed, there is. Vote third party.

* I realized the other day that I hadn’t given Weiss fair treatment in my articles, hardly ever even mentioning him, but the McAfee ticket was never “the McAfee ticket.” It was the McAfee/Weiss ticket. Of course, the LNC nominates its President and Vice President separately, but I don’t think the Libertarian Party should have “official candidates.” I think that, from the point of view of the Libertarian Party and the LNC, anyone who says they are a Libertarian candidate is a Libertarian candidate; we need to stop having one “official” one. Let the best libertarian win–not at the LNC with a small delegation but with libertarians across the country who will vote for the one they think is best. There is no reason that the LP should have one single, official candidate, especially not after several instances of the official candidate not really qualifying as a libertarian.

Scan the QR Code

Anarchists & Voluntaryists Continue Their Circle Jerk

I am more frustrated than I should be by how fucking common it is that anarchists and voluntayrists (it exists among libertarians, too, but not in numbers nearly as high, though it seems to represent a majority of A/Vs) basically speak in tongues trying to make their points. I am going to build off what I wrote before, and explaining why it’s such a problem.

anarchistsActually, the funny thing about that little thing I wrote above is that… those are pretty much exactly the right words to convey what I was trying to get across. By obsessing over grammatical structure, they are confusing obedience with knowledge, and they are hiding weakness behind linguistic parlor tricks. I am proud to make arguments for anarchism without resorting to such nonsense. I would suggest that if you cannot make the argument for voluntaryism or anarchism without saying something like:

Bezboznik’s argument for taking this route, in a manner of speaking, was multifaceted, in stating that it would lead to a reduction in congestion since there would be “no free riders”; that it would lead to less crime, citing private roads that are rarely utilized by comparing them to public roads utilized by nearly everyone; that it would hold road owners to more responsibility for maintaining both order on, and sustentation of the roads compared to that of government monopolies, a free market point I won’t refute; that it will encourage construction of infrastructure, which goes without saying; and that it will encourage small business, which brings me to the alternative that will later be discussed.

… then you, to be perfectly frank, have no business writing in the first place. That’s okay–writing is not your strong suit. Not everyone is good at everything. Writing, however, is about communicating via the written word. That is all it’s about. That is why it exists, and that is why people do it: to communicate via the written word. Throwing out such needlessly pretentious writing is the equivalent of being the world’s best guitar player while being totally unable to improvise a solo or to write music that comes from the heart. Music, of course, is the language of emotion, and the goal of music is to communicate emotion. All of the technique in the world will not let someone do this:

Not to brag, but did you hear that? Just saying–no death metal guitar player could have conveyed that.

My problem with emotions is that I can’t communicate them otherwise. Emotions don’t translate well into words; that is what my old moniker “I/E” was about. Language is handled by an entirely different part of the brain than that which handles emotion, and there is literally a translation between the two. “Love” as a word doesn’t even start to convey the emotion. “Despair” as a word doesn’t even start to convey the emotion. It is a translation of the emotion, a very weak attempt at communication. Music, however, speaks directly to that same part of the brain that deals in emotion, bypassing the language translation altogether.

My journey with writing is actually a funny one. From 18 to about 23, I read a lot of 18th and 19th century writers. Of them, Benjamin Franklin was my favorite, and I desperately attempted to emulate his style. My first semester in college had me doing that, and I received perfect scores on my essays. In fact, the professor commented that I had a “very mature style!” She included the exclamation point. I wish that I still had the essay that I’m thinking of, but it has long been gone.

One day while reading one of Franklin’s works, I paused on a sentence and remarked aloud, “That is the worst sentence I have ever read.”

I read it again, and then again. I went to the preceding sentence, and found that it was just as terrible. Shocked, I went through what was then a large library and pulled the collections I had, searching them for Franklin’s writings, and going through them quickly. All I found was terrible writing, though. This person that I had spent years successfully emulating… was a terrible writer. He used one hundred words to say something that could have been said in ten. Brevity is still a huge problem for me; you can imagine how bad I was back then.

I turned to my other idol of the period. This idol had a wildly different writing style–one that I didn’t like nearly as much, though I loved what this other person had to say. This other person was Thomas Paine, who stands in my mind as one of the most talented writers who ever lived. In fact, compare his The Rights of Man to Mary Shelley’s A Vindication of the Rights of Men, and you’ll see basically the Thomas Paine / Benjamin Franklin divide clearly, though Shelley was much better than Franklin.

I am more frustrated than I should be by how fucking common…

… is what I say today. Back then, I probably would have said:

Only after considerable ponderance have I determined that the source of my ire is the ubiquity, and the mundanity which so often accompanies the familiar, of…

To me, it’s just about saying what I mean to say. It wasn’t always this way. Sometimes, this does produce some pretentious stuff, like when I said:

It’s clearly meant to screen out people who don’t confuse pretentiousness with intellectualism. People above a certain threshold of intellect will recognize this for the codswallop of trite inanities that it is, while people below a certain threshold will not even understand it. There is a narrow place between those two thresholds, where there exist people who can be dazzled by the spectacle, much in the same way that people are enraptured by the antics of stage magicians.

The above is more pretentious than I would like, but it says exactly what I meant to say.

Generally speaking, Rule 1 of writing anything is that the first word you think of to use is the right word to use. If you go to the second word, because it’s a synonym, a bit of it gets lost, and if you proceed to the third or fourth–or use a thesaurus, you piece of shit–then the original meaning is often lost entirely. Think about words like colors. If I wanted to describe a color to you, I could say that it’s blue.

blue“Ew!” I might think quietly. “‘Blue’ is such a short and boring word. It’s mundane. No one will be impressed if I describe the man’s shirt as ‘blue,’ so he needs a better color than that. People will read it and think, ‘Oh, he’s wearing a blue shirt… How fascinating… not!’ like it’s the nineties and they think Wayne’s World is still cool. And I do not want to be associated with Wayne’s World! Oh, my god, I just started a sentence with ‘and!’ Argh! What is happening to me? I can’t keep–this is terrible writing! Blue! I need a synonym for blue! <Opens Google> Aha! Azure! Perfect!”

So the shirt is azure now:

azureOh. But… those aren’t the same color, are they? They’re not even close. If you were filling out a police report and they asked you what color shirt he was wearing, and you said “azure” they may very well leave your perp alone because he’s wearing a blue shirt, and not an azure one. “Yeah, ‘azure’ is a step in the wrong direction. How about cerulean? That’s a four syllable word, for fuck’s sake! Oh, my god, I just wrote ‘fuck!’ Do I turn myself into the Grammar Nazis, or will they come find me? Cerulean, though… That’s four syllables! I can’t pass that up. It’s too perfect!”

ceruleanCerulean is certainly closer than “azure,” but we’re still pretty far from what we meant, if what we meant was “blue.” Now we’ve mixed in some grey and given it a sort of purple tint. Or violent tint? Maybe we added a slight dash of magenta to it.

Whatever we did, we didn’t simply say what we meant.

We looked around for a fancy synonym that was close to what we meant, willing to trade off accuracy to our meaning for a four-syllable word.

When we’re dealing with the color of someone’s shirt in a short story, it’s probably irrelevant whether the shirt was blue, cerulean, azure, sapphire, or some other shade. However, here in the real world of political ideologies and social constructs, we’re not dealing with things as trivial as the hue of a shirt; we’re discussing changing the very shape of the world and human society. This deserves clean and effective communication, not pretentious diatribe.

As I remarked previously, not very many people will be fooled by these linguistic magician tricks. For one, some people are too stupid or uneducated to know the meanings of the words being used. I only had to go to the second post of a Voluntaryist / Anarchist group I’m in to find this… “gem”:

I will posit that freedom is good, and free markets as part of that system are also good. Free markets (let’s call it laissez-faire capitalism, not the crony capitalism in which business and government work hand in hand to gain influence and wealth at the expense of taxpayers) are both moral and utilitarian as seen empirically and have been the engine behind which the serf, slave, and farm hand (just to name three subsets of common laborers) have managed to escape the grinding poverty that divided us into a very thin but extremely wealthy upper class, and a very fat, but extremely poor subsistence hunter, gather, farmer.

Now, every now and then, I posit things. Not very often, though.

“Laissez-faire capitalism” and free markets aren’t synonymous, because there’s fascist interventionism even in Reaganomics, but I’ll let it slide. Anyway, let’s take a look at it:

  • posit
  • “moral and utilitarian as seen empirically”
  • “have the engine behind which the serf, slave, and farmhand…”
  • “three subsets of common laborers”
  • “but extremely poor subsistence hunter, gather, farmer.”

Now, pretentiousness aside, what did the paragraph actually say? “I think freedom and free markets are good, because they helped us escape poverty.”

Look how many words this guy took to convey that simple idea. Is his gargantuan sentence of tangents and unnecessary explanations stronger or more effective than mine? No. In neither case did he explain how the free market helped us to escape poverty; he only speculated that it did. His statement and mine have precisely the same meanings; his simply is horrifically inaccurate in conveying that meaning from his head to yours. There’s a lot of bullshit you have to cut through first. You have to cut out the entire parenthetical phrase, but not just because it’s meaningless and irrelevant–it’s also wrong. “…influence and wealth” is also redundant, for obvious reasons. “…as seen empirically” is of no value to anyone when you’re offering an opinion, which you are clearly doing when you “posit” something. Did you just say that free markets lifted the slave out of poverty? I don’t even know where to start with that. They are not subsets of common laborers; common is a subset of laborer, and the examples you gave are instances of that subset. The last statement is also mostly meaningless, as the free market had very little to do with the rise of technology; abundance gave rise to technology, and this abundance also gave rise to the free market–again, for obvious reasons. If you have an abundance of grain, it’s in your best interests to trade it to someone who has an abundance of chickens. Boom, the free market is born.

Now, I’m nitpicking this guy’s paragraph. I confess to that. I don’t consider myself a Grammar Nazi, though, because there are only two types of people that I turn this ire onto: Grammar Nazis and pretentious writers. Yes, if you’re going to be a Grammar Nazi on someone, then you’d better make goddamned sure that your grammar is impeccable, because I will rip it apart. So, too, if you write pretentiously, you’d better be certain that it’s flawless. Here, for instance, “behind which” is incorrect, because it should be “through which.”

The important thing to take away, however, is that his entire paragraph can be reduced to a single sentence, and it’s pretty much the first sentence he wrote. This is a common mistake that people make; they lead with a brief summary of their idea, and then spend the paragraph repeating that idea, rather than expanding on it. We can see that his is repetition, not expansion, because it adds literally nothing to the conversation that isn’t conveyed in “I think freedom and free markets are good, because they helped us escape poverty.”

Moving on, though, let’s see how many more posts I have to go before I find something horrifically superfluous.

Ooh! Here’s someone’s Steemit post!

I hate this. People write on Steemit and share their stuff to the page often, and I don’t think that’s right, because they’re trying to make money directly from it. Buy a domain name or join WordPress. Join WordPress, build a following, and then buy a domain name. I’m not wildly popular, but I have enough readers to justify the whopping $10/month it costs me to maintain www.anarchistshemale.com. I’m not just some random person writing and making videos; I’m the Anarchist Shemale. Anyway. I haven’t even looked at the post yet; I’ve only opened it. It’s a Christian case for spanking. In an Anarchist / Voluntaryist Closed Group. While you let that sink in, I’ll be looking for a juicy bit of nonsense.

Christ, himself has referenced Proverbs and yet, his reaction to the boy possessed by demons, who more than likely engaged in baneful activity to acquire such spirits, was not a beating rod or a suggestion to his parents that he be spanked.

The article was really short, mostly about a few Bible verses, and didn’t really have anything to say. That was the only really pretentious bit I found.

I’m the last person to criticize someone for not editing, because I don’t edit 15% of the things I write, but I do know how to edit. I always re-read my articles… after I publish them… and fix glaring typos and sentence problems. Because I intentionally don’t write pretentiously, I don’t ordinarily have a problem with sentence structure. I’m convinced that I would catch a sentence like that before publishing, though… Good god.

Christ has personally referenced Proverbs, yet his reaction to the boy who is possessed by demons (and was more than likely engaged in baneful activity to acquire such spirits) was not a beating or a command that the parents spank the child.

There are several issues with the first iteration. No comma is needed after Christ, obviously, and should come after “and,” rather than “yet.” There are way too many commas for a sentence of this length, so the phrase about “baneful activity” needs to be separated by parentheses or a dash. There is nothing wrong with using a dash. I’ve been through college level writing. It is accepted in formal writing. I wouldn’t recommend using them in every single sentence, but the dash is a great way to avoid using a semi-colon, or to separate out a part of the sentence that would otherwise go in parentheses. Here, I chose parentheses because of the “and.”

“…was not a beating rod or a suggestion to his parents that he be spanked.”

I’ll be honest: I can’t identify exactly what it is about this section that is sloppy. “…that he be spanked” is obviously not good, because “be spanked” is much weaker than “spank.” It’s passive, at least. I arbitrarily changed “suggestion” to “command” to make the statement more powerful, but “suggestion” could have been left. “Rod” was removed entirely because it confused the flow of the sentence for modern readers. Honestly, when was the last time you heard anyone talk of a “beating rod?” Probably only just now? It’s antiquated as fuck. We could change it to “…was not a belt or command that the parents spank the child.” and it would be a tad stronger.

The final section breaks the parallel structure, too.

Negative > Predicate Noun

Negative (Implied) > Possessed Predicate Noun > Possessor > Verb recipient > Passive Predicate Verb

I’m not enough of a grammar expert to know what a “possessed predicate noun” would actually be called “technically,” but it doesn’t matter. We can see that there is no parallel structure. There isn’t a parallel structure to mine, either, so maybe it’s just the passive verb that makes it so bad.

Parallelism is actually broken quite a lot by people who aren’t writers. I don’t mean anything arrogant by saying that I’m a writer. In fact, I’ve never made any judgment about the quality of my writing. I am, however, a writer, because I trained to be a writer. From the time I was about 13 years old, when we got our Compaq 386, until today, I have trained to be a writer. I have read tons about writing. As I once remarked to someone, “I’ve written more words than you’ve read, and I’ve read more words than you’ve said.”

What I mean by parallelism is this:

We are going to the store, to the cafe, and then watch the football game.

Putting aside that this example actually begs to be made parallel and is a shitty example, the parallel way would be:

We are going to the store, to the cafe, and then to watch the football game.

I’m going to one more example–another Steemit article. Because of course it is.

SCORE!

Omg.

Brace yourself.

[The United States Armed Forces has] been used against the anti-socialist neocons since the end of the Bush era, but never seemed to serve as a caveat for antiwar and noninterventionist libertarians—in fact, it’s a talking point that is foolproof in attracting converts—but there have yet to be proposed any free market solutions to a program that is arguably essential to the security of a society that is unanimously envied and insusceptible to any imminent threat, whether it be foreign or domestic, because such a program exists.

One single sentence.

What a way to start an article. Jesus fucking Christ. Did anyone out here writing on the Internet bother to learn how to write? Actually, I didn’t include the first sentence. I did so just so that I could point out that it was one long fucking sentence. Here’s the entire two sentence paragraph:

As is commonly known, the United States Armed Forces is a product of state socialism. It’s been used against the anti-socialist neocons since the end of the Bush era, but never seemed to serve as a caveat for antiwar and noninterventionist libertarians—in fact, it’s a talking point that is foolproof in attracting converts—but there have yet to be proposed any free market solutions to a program that is arguably essential to the security of a society that is unanimously envied and insusceptible to any imminent threat, whether it be foreign or domestic, because such a program exists.

Without getting into whether the military is a product of state socialism (it isn’t–it’s a product of fascism, I would argue, but not socialism), things almost immediately go awry with this trainwreck, stream-of-consciousness paragraph. Honestly, I haven’t even read the entire thing. I get to “foolproof” when my eyes glaze over. How far do you get? That’s alarming, because my life is words. If I can’t get through your opening paragraph without glazing over, then you catastrophically failed your duty as a writer. <Sigh> Where to begin? Should I begin? Let’s just dissect the word salad:

  • “product of state socialism” [Is there any other kind?]
  • anti-socialist neocons
  • “never seemed to serve as a caveat”
  • “for antiwar and noninterventionist libertarians”
  • “foolproof in attracting converts”
  • “there have yet to be” [Not pretentious for “long” reasons, but still pretentious-sounding]
  • arguably essential to the security of a society
  • unanimously envied [by who?]
  • and susceptible to imminent threat

Oi vey. I don’t even know where to start.

Actually, yes, I do: with a simple question.

Just what in the fuck is “[The United States Armed Forces has] never seemed to serve as a caveat for antiwar and noninterventionist libertarians…” supposed to mean? Do you mean to say that the question of how we can defend “the nation” without the armed forces has never been a point of contention between libertarians and non-libertarians? Because it has–it most certainly has. In fact, it’s the main caveat. It is not only ineffective at “attracting converts,” but is the primary reason that people do not become libertarians.

The United States Armed Forces is a product of state socialism. It has been used against the anti-socialist neocons since the end of the Bush era, but was never a caveat for libertarians–in fact, it’s foolproof as a method of attracting converts–but there has been no proposed free market alternative to this program that is allegedly essential to the security of an envied society, because such a program already exists [important corrections in bold].

It’s still a nonsensical word salad that is blatantly false and self-contradictory.

The military is socialist and has been used against the anti-socialist neocons? This writing needs some major clarification. If the neocons can support this “state socialist” organization, then they are, ipso facto, not anti-socialist. Here is where the fascism/socialism difference would have been important. If the military is fascist, then the neocons can still be anti-socialist, because the fascism we have today is quasi-socialist, but only insofar as fascism obviously contains a bit of socialism.

Secondly, “But who will protect us from the Russians?” is at least the second most common argument I hear against libertarianism and anarchism, beaten out only by “But who will build the roads?”

The USAF is quite possibly the strongest defense agency in the world, if not, that the world has ever known, despite its shortcomings—the collateral damage caused by drone strikes, the needless deployment of troops to Germany and Japan, where there is no conflict, etc.—but despite the libertarian solution to state policy being privatization, such is not the case with military. Unlike roads and infrastructure, national security is not provided through private contractors, which means that it will disappear along with the state. In a manner of speaking, the military is not socialist because it’s funded through taxes. It’s socialist because it is one giant government union.

Okay, I want to say something–this really irks me. There is nothing socialistic about unions. In fact, unions are an essential counterbalance against corporate employers in a free market society. If a corporation isn’t treating its employees well, they have two options: unionize and demand better benefits, or leave. Leaving is usually the most difficult of the two options. There is not a tiny bit of force, violence, or coercion in this, and no one ever demands that anyone else relinquish their property against their will, or communally share it. Many modern unions do take this avenue, but it is not a feature of unions themselves. Many automobiles have trunks, but that does not mean that a trunk is an essential characteristic of an automobile.

This “RAWR, UNIONS ARE BAD” attitude is precisely why many people say that libertarians only give a shit about corporations and rich people. You would apparently argue that unions are inherently socialist–that’s nonsense. There is nothing socialist about a people coming together and asking for better wages, benefits, or whatever. Just as the company has every right to simply fire the employees if they want too much money, so do the employees have every right to ask for more money, and to drop an ultimatum on the employer. Unions are not tertiary to the process of checking corporate power; they are critical. Unions do on the inside what consumers do on the outside. To say that unions are inherently socialist is to say that consumers banding together to boycott a store is socialistic; the only difference is that one is an employee and one is not. It’s still just a union.

Moving on.

It’s hard to move on, because the sentences are long, weaving pieces of nonsense strung together by haphazard dashes and commas. Remember what I said earlier, about not overusing them?

Despite its shortcomings (the collateral damage by drone strikes, and pointless deployment in places like Germany and Japan, where there is no conflict), the USAF is the strongest defense agency that the world has ever known, but, despite the libertarian solution to state policy being “privatization,” such is not the case with the military [What? Or anything else, for that matter…]. Unlike roads [See? I knew we’d get there eventually] and other infrastructure, national security is not provided through private contractors [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_defense_contractors would like to have a word with you], which means that it will disappear along with the state [a fallacy]. In a manner of speaking, the military is not socialist because it’s funded through taxes [Um… Yes, it is. If it’s socialist at all, then that is precisely why]. It’s socialist because it is one giant government union.

Alright, well. This is blatantly wrong, for one, so I guess we’ll start there. “National security is not provided through private contractors…” Are you kidding me? AirScan, Academi, Titan Corporation…

I can’t finish this now. Sigh.

Anyway. Please remember that your primary goal, when you write something, is to communicate. Your goal is not to impress people with your command of technical grammatical syntax, and if that is the reason you are writing, please stop. Don’t say “cerulean” because it sounds fancier if what you mean is “blue.”

Anarchy: Absence of a State, So What is a State? (Yes, AGAIN)

quote-if-socialists-understood-economics-they-wouldn-t-be-socialist-friedrich-august-von-hayek-93-90-98Yesterday I became aware that “Libertarian Socialists” are a thing, proving that nothing is sacred, and that people will twist and contort any word they want to mean whatever they want it to mean, despite glaring contradictions. I would point out that libertarian ideology is inseparable from Austrian economics, but I don’t think there would be much point discussing it, considering it is almost a tautology.

I recently unfollowed Youtuber Tyler Preseton on Twitter, because he simply wasn’t listening. I’ve written extensively about it, and I’ve got a 4,000 word article dissecting his behavior (complete with tweets from him that demonstrate my exact accusation–he was never interested in learning; he was interested in reinforcing his own positions while calling it “skepticism”).

When it became clear to me what the problem is, I attempted to rectify it. The problem is that Tyler doesn’t know what the state is. He’s still clinging to the idea that the state is a great and marvelous thing that protects us from rape, murder, and theft. What is anarchy? Anarchy is the condition where there is no state. See the problem? If someone believes that the state is the thing that protects us from rape, murder, and theft, then, to them, anarchy is the condition where there is nothing protecting us from rape, murder, and theft. The question we have to ask, then, is (yet a-fucking-gain): What is the state?

Google and Wikipedia give us this definition:

a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government.

But it’s not really helpful, is it? It basically defines it as itself; it also misidentifies the “nation” with “the territory” and with “the state,” all of which are clearly not equivalent. “An organized political community under one government” gets a little closer, but it raises its own problems. We know that “organized” isn’t really part of the definition, don’t we? Two people working together are organized (and a political community under one government, it’s worth noting) but are quite obviously not a state.

This is the problem we run into with definitions of the state: they are broken fundamentally. Here the best dictionaries on the planet have essentially defined the state as itself, or as a thing that applies to literally any two people who do anything together. Such a definition is clearly broken and inadequate, so we must go further. “Under one government”? Fine. What is a government?

the governing body of a nation, state, or community.

Oh. Okay. Well. That’s perfectly useless, then.

A state is a government, and a government is a state.

By this point in the journey of trying to define the state, you should be positively alarmed. What is this thing that rules us, if it cannot even define itself?

This is critical. We cannot define “anarchy” until we know what the state is, because “anarchy” is the absence of a state. So let’s look at our definition of government a bit more. “The governing body of a … community”? What? Are you kidding me? So IEEE, which effectively governs the tech communications industry, is a state? MPAA is a state, because it governs the community of cinematography? “Nation” and “state” can both be discarded from the definition for being obviously circular, for saying that a state is a government, and a government is a state, and for misidentifying the nation overseen by the state as the state itself, which is equally inapplicable.

What is a community, then? Perhaps we’re being too liberal in our understanding of community, to include the tech industry, film industries, and the like.

a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

Oh.

No, we were exactly right, then.

So by the definitions that we are officially given for the state, government, and community, it is inarguable that IEEE is a state of the tech industry, and the MPAA is a state of the movie industry.

Since we know that IEEE and the MPAA are not states, we also know that we have “some other criteria” that we use to determine what is and isn’t a state. Everyone who reads the statement about these bodies being states will reject it, because we know that they are not states. This indicates that we know what a state is, because otherwise we would have no criteria by which to reject the notion that IEEE and MPAA are states. If I told you that 2 + 2 = 5, then you could only dispute that statement if you had some sort of understanding that 2 + 2 could not equal 5.

These definitions are clearly insufficient, as they leave labeled as states things that are clearly not states.

This is it, by the way. This is where the rubber hits the road. This is where decades of brainwash by the state that it is kind, benevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent kicks in, wholly resisting and trying to prevent you from looking at what you know you’re looking at. Every fiber of your being is telling you that it cannot be so, that these definitions must be functional and accurate, yet you know that they are not–we have amply demonstrated that.

The reality is that the state has lied to you about what it is. The entire system we have set up has lied to you about what it is. This is not a conspiracy theory; look at the definitions that have been provided to us. They are clearly inapplicable. How can it be that so many great thinkers, intellectuals, politicians, and leaders could give you a definition of “the state” that isn’t applicable? Am I suggesting to you that it’s some great conspiracy, of people sitting in dark rooms smoking cigars and wondering how they’re going to suppress information? No.

They don’t have to do that.

Mutual self-interest propels them, just as it propels us. They do not need to conspire, because none of them are aware of what the state is. The state just kinda happened as we were bamboozled by its promises of solutions and answers, going all the way back to the earliest human tribes and their installation of states, when the need to mislead people was imminent. From then, the lie simply got repeated over and over, relying upon cognitive dissonance and willful ignorance to perpetuate itself. Does this sound like a conspiracy theory? It shouldn’t. Do you honestly believe that Hitler ever told the German people, “Oh, lol, btw, we’re gonna have sum sekret police, and their gonna kill yous. Kthxbai”? Of course not.

Yet look what Hitler accomplished with deceit.

How pervasive is the utter brainwash that is the notion that the state protects us from rape gangs and murders? Why, just go here and read most of the answers. Without a single solitary thought, people parroted the answer that they had been brainwashed to believe, without a single way of substantiating their answers. They simply assert it.

I shouldn't have to point this out, but this guy demonstrated that sufficiently large societies produced the state, not that the state produced large societies.

I shouldn’t have to point this out, but this guy demonstrated that large societies produced the state, not that the state produced large societies.

Between society and the state, people put the cart before the horse regularly, like this guy did. It is obvious and indisputable that society produced the state; the state did not produce society. This is like asking whether a painter produced the painting, or whether the painting produced the painter. It’s stupid in every sense. We know that the painter produced the painting. The painter is society; the painting is the state. This is not a “chicken and the egg” argument; it’s common sense, as Rothbard observed in Anatomy of the State. And now you’re going to just badly assert that the painter cannot exist without the painting? It’s utter nonsense.

Worse, it’s unthinking nonsense. It’s Mr. Widdison parroting back brainwash bullshit that he’s been taught to believe without giving a moment of thought to any of it.

logic-failHere the answer is so ridiculous that it shouldn’t have to be pointed out how absurd it is. In order to protect ourselves from having to protect ourselves from being at the mercy of people who are bigger, stronger, or better armed than we are, we have to submit ourselves to a group of people who are supremely bigger, stronger, and better armed than we are?

What kind of logic is that called?

Illogic.

But this glaringly obvious point goes unaddressed; it doesn’t even occur to him that his argument, if anything, is an argument against the state. To keep us from being at the mercy of people who are bigger, stronger, and better armed, we must be at the mercy of people who are bigger, stronger, and better armed than anyone else could even possibly be? What?!

He has answered the question by asserting that there will always be a state, but has not provided any evidence for believing that. “Anarchy” is the removal of the state; ergo, in an anarchy there would be no state. Why is he answering the question if he doesn’t understand this basic idea?

I want to add that it’s beautiful and encouraging to see so many other anarchists step forward to actually answer the question–you’ll find my answer there as well, of course. But others answered it, too, correctly pointing out that the state is simply a possible solution; it is not the only one. They even used an analogy that I used elsewhere (coincidentally).

Carry this all the way back to the birth of the state, independently throughout the world, as selfish and immoral humans all saw the same opportunity ripe for exploitation. The lie perpetuated through the entire planet, from one generation to the next, with everyone just taking it for granted that the state spoke the truth when it said it protected them. It’s not that there’s a conspiracy trying to keep us from looking. It’s that the lie has been carried for so long that we have forgotten that we aren’t looking. So do one thing to begin your journey in figuring out everything that is wrong.

Define the state.

Take as much time as you need. Do all the research you can. Think as much as you can. And then sit back, because I’ll give you the actual definition.

A state is a type of government that exists as a cabal of rulers who use force, violence, and coercion to achieve their ends.

Does that really sound like something we can’t live without?

 

A Brave New World & a Cowardly Old Species

Today I listened to the auroras at Jupiter’s north pole, and then I stood on the surface of Mars and peered upward, through its thinner atmosphere, at the sun.

Wow. Even though I’ve listened to that at least a dozen times today, I am still awed by the magnitude of what I am listening to. Here, on planet Earth, I am listening to the aurora on Jupiter. I am listening to the Northern Lights on a planet that is 588,000,000 kilometers away, the gas giant of our solar system (excluding the sun, of course!). The enormous, beautiful Jupiter. The one that everyone recolors blue and slaps it in other solar systems when they need to show us a visual of what an exoplanet that is a gas giant may look like. That Jupiter.

Today, I heard its aurora.

It’s hard not to be humbled by such enormous things, to be firmly reminded of my own insignificance, but to also be totally okay with that. Because I am Jupiter. The same star that died and gave birth to Jupiter died and gave birth to me. Just as Jupiter stepped out of a supernova, so did I. And just as Jupiter will always exist in one form or another, even if scattered across the universe into unfathomable numbers of particles, so will I–dead and decayed, diffused through the rest of existence, the illusion of sentience created by these molecules that form me broken. I am nothing, and, because of that, I am everything.

And let us not forget that I stood on the surface of Mars and stared up at the distant sun, immediately noticing how much smaller that glowing orb was, and taking careful note that the sky was not blue.

https://www.360cities.net/image/mars-panorama-curiosity-solar-day-1367

Sorry to send you to another place. I wouldn’t begin to know how to put that panoramic 360^360 image on here.

It is worth the trip, though, to make the trip to Mars, to stand on the surface of a distant planet and look outward.

It’s a shame you can’t see Earth in any of the pics, of course, because that would be a mindfuck, to sit on one planet while using technology to stand on another planet and look back at the planet you’re sitting on, and that’s possible using software like Celestia. Celestia, however, has nothing on this. Don’t get me wrong: Celestia is great, as it allows you to view parts of the solar system and other solar systems, distant stars–it allows you to stand on Neptune and look back at the sun, a distant glowing star not a great deal bigger than other stars.

My fellow humans, all we have to do is put aside force, violence, and coercion, and we can explore all of this stuff.

We are offering you an easy solution. It requires almost no effort from you. You don’t really have to change your behavior. And the reward… The reward is cooperation and the exploration of space. Look what awaits us out there! And we can’t put aside our stupid squabbles here on Earth? What do you mean, we don’t have the resources to send a manned mission to Mars? Shouldn’t pretty much every resource be dedicated to that? Shouldn’t we be working together to explore Proxima Centauri?

Yes, yes we should.

Why aren’t we?

Because of states. Because we have so much violence, force, and coercion getting in the way. We won’t work with one another, because we’re too obsessed with forcing our way onto everyone else. And the state is the mechanism that allows us to do that. The state is how we attempt to force compliance from China, Russia, India, and everywhere else, and how they attempt to force compliance with us. The state is how you attempt to force compliance with your morality of other Americans, and it’s all just completely unnecessary.

All it takes is one decision. No effort, no work. Just one simple decision to stop using force, violence, and coercion to solve problems.

 

What is Anarchy?

It occurred to me earlier today that if we’d never (stupidly) allowed Congress to begin taxing us without apportioning the funds (debatable anyway), then we wouldn’t have to deal with the silly “But muh roads!” arguments that we see so very, very often. I mean, it’s the Go To response for statists (a word that means “non-libertarian, non-anarchist”). I’ve seen a few statists recently be offended by being called that, but… it’s simply true. If you’re not a libertarian or anarchist, then you ipso facto favor the state, in which case… you’re a statist.

It’s just what the word means.

Granted, some anarchists may call you a statist as an insult, but to equate it to “infidel” isn’t accurate. It’s more like “fag,” honestly, but even then it’s not always used with negative connotations. When I call Gary Johnson a statist, I mean it condescendingly. But I only mean it condescendingly for people who claim to be libertarians or anarchists and… aren’t. It’s definitely a word that I do try to avoid, though, because I tend to reject dichotomies and, to my recollection, the only person I’ve ever called a statist is that pig Gary Johnson.

Fuck him.

Anyway.

There’s no religion or belief going on here. Anarcho-capitalism is built on science, human nature, and an abhorrence of violence. The scientific case can and has been made for anarcho-capitalism; the rest of the world simply has not caught up. Sorry, but that’s simply true. Anarcho-capitalism is only a belief in the same sense that “People should be free” is a belief.

Anyway, my recent video goes into direct apportionment and how it helps us to avoid ridiculous situations like this. Most damningly, if a billionaire has to pay $5m on his $100m yearly income, then we can readily assume that a person’s “tax liability to society” (terms that statists adore throwing around) must be $5m. If a person’s tax liability to society is not $5m, then we have forced the billionaire to overpay and have robbed him.

So we must proceed under the assumption that the highest dollar figure anyone in the United States pays is the tax liability that a citizen owes. If the dollar figure is lower, then we are stealing money from the people who overpay, right? Since no one is going to admit to doing that, it follows that I’m correct: the highest dollar figure that anyone pays is the citizen’s tax liability…

And this means that we all have underpaid and owe the government a ton of money.

Another addition to the series was Part 5, where I explained why the previous three videos were of lower quality than my usual work, and how that whole thing came about. It was primarily a response to one person in particular, to whom I said, “Fine. My shoes may suck, but the emperor is still naked.”

I’m also pretty sure that Part 4 hadn’t been uploaded when I posted the last update about the series, and in it I addressed a question that Tyler had actually asked before. This was tremendously bothersome, and he never explained why he did it, except that he might have been reading someone else’s question the second time (unclarified presently). Simply put, on 8/7/16 or around then, Tyler and I had a brief back-and-forth through videos where he ended up asking if there could be such a thing as voluntary taxes. In my reply, I specifically answered the question and its more general cousin: “What if it doesn’t rely on force, violence, and coercion?”

The answer, of course, is that then it’s a free market solution and not a state at all. It wasn’t until after I uploaded Part 4 that I realized Tyler had asked that question before, driving home for me the idea that he and the others might have been just playing games. In such a scenario, people intend only to keep asking the same questions repeatedly until we start giving short answers and start telling them to go educate themselves. At this point, they intend to declare victory with asinine statements like, “I guess you can’t put forth arguments then! lol!”

It’s a common tactic, covered excellently in TheraminTrees’ videos on Transactional Analysis:

It’s possible to see that in Tyler’s actions.

By asking questions, he is appearing to be a genuinely curious Adult (per TA terms). “I want to know the answer to these questions, and I am being skeptical. So here are my questions.” Naturally, people like me (who cannot resist) then answer the questions. Then something weird happens–often, time passes. Then subtle variations on those initial questions are asked again. Instead of “What if taxes were voluntary?” it is “Does everything the state does end in force, violence, or coercion?” which, yes, is the same question–just phrased differently.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not accusing Tyler or anyone else of playing games. I’m saying that this is how it appears/feels in this case. It is not an allegation or statement of anyone’s intent or motives, because miscommunication and need for clarification are common the Internet, and especially Twitter’s 160-character limit. Any number of miscommunications, oversights, or poor phrasings could jam communication without anyone being playing games. Even with this clarification the language is still harsher than I intended it to be. I am sorry. I write a lot of fiction, and it trains you to use strong language.

Then, upon answering the question, the players repeat back “criticisms” of the answers that we have already addressed, a vicious cycle, in fact.

“Question.”

“Answer.”

“Follow-up question” / “Criticism”

“Answer” / “Clarification”

Then, the next thing you know, the entire process repeats anew. Once we become too frustrated and block them, victory is declared:

tyler blocked

No, Tyler.

He didn’t block you over anarcho-capitalism.

He blocked you because he doesn’t think you are listening, and probably because of statements like:

tyler being dumb

I’d love for you to demonstrate how that has anything to do with me. Maybe be more careful with your use of “all.” I’d love for someone to try to justify calling me selfish.

Anyway, I’m referring more specifically to this:

C'mon, man. You're being downright insulting here.

C’mon, man. You’re being downright insulting here.

The claim that statists have “blind faith” is stupid, yes. It’s not blind at all. You can see the state and its actions. You may close your eyes to its horrors, but you’re still not blind to them. However, you’re blatantly wrong to say there are no examples of anarchy, and you know that I gave you two of them. You know that, because I told you that, and you acknowledged that. I specifically told him I provided two examples dealing with the modern New York Diamond Traders and the Maghribi traders of the 11th century. He said he hadn’t watched the video, but that he would. Fair enough, I said, because the video did suck.

To say “there are no examples of anarchy” after choosing to ignore my video (on whatever grounds, considering at this time he knew that it had information that proved his statement incorrect) that presented them is horrific intellectual dishonesty, and yes, I’m surprised to see that from Tyler, because I’ve seen him correct himself in the past. It also shows, as I pointed out on Twitter, that anarcho-capitalism has been routinely demonstrated, through all of human history, and that he is revealing that he is not aware of what anarcho-capitalism is.

Anarcho-capitalism is simply allowing people to solve problems without a state. That’s all it is. Seriously, that’s it. That’s 100% of it, the entire ideology in a single sentence. The only rules are no violence, no force, no coercion, and no stealing. Do you see, then, how we have billions of examples? Any example of people solving problems without a state–without force, violence, coercion, or stealing–is, ipso facto, an example of anarchism, and if they do it in search of benefit, then it is an example of anarcho-capitalism. Such a sweeping statement, but also entirely true.

I needed to go to the store earlier. So I went to the store. It didn’t involve the state. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.

Apple invented the iPhone. Android came into existence, with BlackBerry and Microsoft expanding as well. The state was never involved. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.

The Maghribi traders working out trust relationships across thousands of miles in the 11th century just by talking and working together. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.

Because that’s all anarcho-capitalism is. It’s the idea that people can solve problems without violence. That’s not me putting some weird spin on it–that’s literally what it is. The only question to be asked regarding anarcho-capitalism is this:

“Can we solve x problem without the state?”

Just think about it for a moment. What does the state do? It exists to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (ostensibly).

Can we protect life without the state? Absolutely.

Can we protect life without the state against foreign states? Absolutely, and covered here.

Any and all examples of people solving problems without the state are examples of anarcho-capitalism.

Can we protect liberty without the state? For fuck’s sake, the state is constitutionally incapable of protecting liberty.

Can we protect the right to pursue happiness without the state? Absolutely, as only force, violence, and coercion can eliminate a person’s right to pursue happiness.

The question is, and has always been, “How do we solve this problem?”

Because let’s face it–there will always be problems. We’re humans, and we fuck up. In addition to our fuck ups, the universe isn’t exactly kind to us, and neither is the planet. There is always shit to be done, and on top of that we’re an ambitious species. We don’t just want what we have. We want to turn what we have into something better. We didn’t land on the moon and go, “Cool. That’s probably far enough. Seen one lifeless rock, seen ’em all, right?”

There’s never just one way to solve a problem. A few decades ago, humanity gave itself the problem of needing handheld computers capable of mobile internet and phone usage. The smartphone was the answer we came up with, but it was not the only answer, was it? No, we also came up with the pager, didn’t we? And the tablet. We conceived multiple solutions, some of them better than others, and the winners lasted. Tablets are deprecated and fading out, and pagers are… Well, who do you know who has a pager?

We once were presented with the problem of needing to figure out how to make electronic devices talk to one another. Ethernet is common today, but did you know that it wasn’t the only option? There was also Token Ring, and a few others that I don’t remember because they had basically vanished even before I reached college. Then we had the problem of how to do it wirelessly, and the 802.11 IEEE–a completely voluntary body of experts who set standards of protocols for technologies. Linksys’s routers are 802.11b/g/n compatible because this ensures they will be compatible with all other devices that are 802.11b/g/n compatible, and no state was ever needed to enforce a standard for everyone to use. Just give people the chance to solve their own problems.

This is all anarchy in action. It’s just… people doing stuff.

In fact, there’s probably no better example of anarchy in action than IEEE. Virtually every electronic device manufactured in the past 30 years is compatible according to standards set by IEEE, but there is no law on the books forcing Linksys to make routers that are 802.11b/g/n compatible, and no law on the books forcing Apple to ensure that your iPhone can connect to 802.11b/g/n technologies.

Just think about that for a moment!

Think about the logistics! Think about what a monumental task that is!

“We want any phone made by any manufacturer running any operating system on any carrier to be able to connect to any wireless device made by any manufacturer.”

Can you even imagine a more monumental task?

Rest assured, we had at least two ways of handling this.

And IEEE handled it flawlessly, beautifully, and masterfully, without one single fucking law ever being passed. The system is completely voluntary. Apple uses it because no one would buy an iPhone if it couldn’t talk to everyone else’s devices. Linksys uses it because no one would buy a WRT54GL if no one could connect 90% of phones to it. Samsung uses it because no one would buy an S7 if you couldn’t connect it to most wireless networks. It’s in everyone’s best interests to use the standard, but there’s no law, no requirement, no prison, no fines for not complying.

Possibly the most monumental task humanity has ever been faced with! And we succeeded brilliantly.

Anarchy succeeded brilliantly.

Rest assured, the state would have fucked it up.

The State

You’re looking at the state as the creator and maintainer of society, and that simply isn’t true. The state is just some thing that exists over there to the side. All we have are people doing stuff. That’s all that exists in the entire world–humans doing stuff. Countries don’t exist, businesses don’t exist, nations don’t exist, and even states don’t really exist. There are only people doing stuff. I think you’re still viewing “anarchy” at least partially as the chaotic bullshit that occurs when a state fractures into smaller states. But as I pointed out here, what people commonly call “anarchy” is actually just several smaller states at war with one another.

Because we are social animals and recognize that our interests are best served through cooperation rather than antagonism, we sometimes come together and form groups, deciding to pool our resources and work together toward a common aim. When two people do this with romantic intent, we call it “marriage” (we are discussing formal agreements here). When two people do this with business intent, we call it “partnership.” When several people do this with business intent, we call it “corporation.” These people set the terms of their agreement, the goals of their agreement, and how they will work together to achieve those goals.

No new entity is created when two people enter into a marriage. There’s not really any such thing as a “family.” That’s just a collective idea we came up with to describe their agreement, to describe their relationship, to make it easier to communicate. Instead of saying “This woman and I pool our finances, live together, go out on dates, sleep together, have sex with each other, and do not do these things with other people,” then I simply say, “This is my wife” / “We are married.”

Businesses and corporations function under exactly the same principles, but their relationship goals and parameters are different. Just as I need other members of my marriage’s permission before dropping $8,000 on a vehicle, so does someone in a corporation need other member’s permission before dropping $8,000 on something. I realistically need my wife’s permission before I quit my job and take up a different career path, and a member of a corporation needs other members’ permission before they start working on a new invention. But the marriage isn’t a thing, the business isn’t a thing, and the corporation isn’t a thing.

It’s just people doing stuff, and finding that they can pool their resources to do better stuff. I may be great, but having a loving, awesome wife makes me greater, yes? Two heads are better than one, and all that? The same holds true for businesses and corporations.

The state is just another one of those businesses. In fact, you’ll find that the state is nothing more than a corporation that has the “authority” to use force, violence, and coercion to achieve its ends, relying on parasitism rather than productivity to acquire resources, and utilizing forced monopolies instead of competition to ensure it has consumers. This is why we aren’t on the same page here–you’re not seeing the state for what it is. It’s just a group of people who do stuff, but who are allowed to use force, violence, and coercion, while no one else is allowed to.

The only relevant questions for anarcho-capitalists involve things that the state is supposed to do:

Can anarchy provide a way to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

All other questions are irrelevant, because we do know that “people doing stuff” can solve limitless problems, and that force, violence, and coercion are never necessary for solving those problems. Roads, schools, technology protocols, whatever–force, violence, and coercion are not necessary. These all come back to that simple question: if we can solve the problem without using violence, then isn’t it worth every possible effort to solve it without violence? So we can erase all the questions about roads, schools, NASA, etc.

Whether anarchy can protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can certainly be discussed, and we can also find real world examples of anarchy doing it. However, it isn’t necessary, because there has never been a greater threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than the state, for reasons that I mentioned here: https://anarchistshemale.com/2016/04/22/a-crash-course-on-rights/

Any act that threatens life or liberty is, by definition, a state act, at the very least an attempt by one individual to become an authoritarian tyrant over another. It is irrelevant whether this tyrant rules over only one person or one hundred million; a state is a state. It becomes impossible, and is obviously so, to use force, violence, and coercion to prevent force, violence, and coercion. The only thing that can protect life is not killing people. The only thing that can protect liberty is not restricting people’s rights. If violence is universally rejected (as it would be, though, as I’ve pointed out, it’s ridiculous to demand 100% compliance, and neither anarchy nor the state can deliver that) and punished accordingly, and there is no mechanism in place to achieve goals with force, violence, and coercion… then there can’t be force, violence, and coercion.

And Society

Society is another example of people just doing stuff, but it’s one that happens organically and without conscious agreement; it’s just the product of people naturally having their own self-interests served by working together. It is of critical importance to remember that society is older than the state. Society created the state; the state did not create society. It is impossible that the state could have produced society, just as it’s impossible that religion could have produced morality. Just as religion is a product of humans doing stuff, so is the state, so is agriculture, so is the Internet*.

Society isn’t real, either, and can’t produce anything. Only people can. And people did. Without ever agreeing that we would work together, the overwhelming majority of humans get along relatively fine with one another and can have a functional society. The state isn’t really forcing me to work with my clients, or the people at the gas station, or the people at Subway, or the people at Facebook. I’m doing it because being an asshole isn’t in my best interests, and it’s obvious that, as a social animal, my best interest lie in working with other people.

The state did not produce morality, either. We do not think murder is wrong because the state told us so. We do not think stealing is wrong because the state told us so. We do not think rape is wrong because the state told us so. No, we individuals came up with this, and the state took the majority’s moral code and turned it into law. This is also how we ended up with anti-transgender, anti-homosexual, and drug laws. Once again, we find parallels to religion: religious people say that we get our morality from their holy book, but we know that isn’t true. The holy book is merely a reflection of their morality, just as the state’s laws are merely a reflection of our morality. And just as it’s hard to get religious people to change the morality they get from their holy book, so is it difficult to get the state to change its laws.

People do stuff all the time cooperatively without the state enforcing it. This is anarchism in action.

* I throw these last two in just to make it clear I’m not drawing another parallel between statism and religion, or asserting that all social products are bad.

I’ve Been Down This Road Before

fingerThis morning my employer confirmed the suspicions that I wrote about yesterday. His reply was exactly what I had expected, and had been delayed for exactly the reasons that I expected. Like my sister, he expects me to “just deal with it” and to just be trapped in the box out of pragmatism.

But I will not.

I will not do it again. That is no way to live.

Like my sister assumed, he assumes that I will back down because I have to have a place to live, and he’s not wrong. I don’t make enough money to afford anywhere else. I live in rural Mississippi and am basically a serf to this employer; it doesn’t even appear to be by accident that I don’t make enough money to do other things, you know? I’ve talked about that before, and I’ll provide the link here.

This situation is very much a “You’ll hide the fact that you’re transgender from my son, or you’ll be kicked out, and I don’t pay you enough for you to live elsewhere, so suck it up and put yourself back in the box.”

How can I take it any other way?

It is irrelevant that he is a bit nicer about it than that, and that he hasn’t overtly said that, but that is what he is saying nonetheless. Look at the situation more closely, and keep in mind that I’ve spent the last year trying to get a different and better job. There just aren’t any here in rural Mississippi; I need money to leave, and I need to leave in order to make money. And now I am facing a situation where my employer is threatening that I will be kicked out if I continue openly being transgender, and so I must get back in the closet because he, my employer, doesn’t pay me enough for me to do anything else.

suspicions confirmed

Though it was not overtly said, the message is clear. If his son moves into the house in question, he expects me to get back in the box. He doesn’t seem to have grasped what I meant when I said that I will not be put back in the box. Have you ever seen the film The Man in the Iron Mask? Leonardo Di Caprio gives a stunning performance, and at one point he cries, “No, kill me if you must, but do not make me wear that mask again.”

I am being told to wear the mask again.

What consequences will result from this decision? Terrible ones. Unemployment, homelessness. Yet the alternative is one that I cannot face. I would sooner die. I have lived that life before, trapped in a small box–then a bedroom–and not even allowed to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t even able to be me until after my nephew had gone to sleep because, no matter how many times I berated him, he had the lamentable habit of barging into my bedroom without knocking. My sister and her husband would have thrown me out then and there if her son had walked in on me as me, and I couldn’t handle that. And even then, once they were gone to bed, I was forced to stay in my bedroom. I couldn’t go to the kitchen or bathroom. If one of them woke up and saw me, they’d have thrown me out.

This is the same situation, and I’ve been here before. The box in which I will be trapped is bigger, but I will be trapped nonetheless. Did I leave something important in my car? Uh-oh, better change clothes completely. Can’t just walk outside and get my stuff out of my car. Do I need to do laundry? Better hope he doesn’t open the dryer or anything. Plus, for complex reasons I don’t feel like getting into, I bathe in this house that we’re talking about. I use the freezer in this house that we’re talking about. If all this strikes you as bizarre, read the post I linked above.

It was actually that house that I was renting in the first place. But the owners keep a bunch of ceramic knick-knacks and other shit in there, and my cats broke one of them. They were supposed to come and remove their shit, but never did, and they ultimately asked me to move into the other place, which was fine, for the most part. I still have free access to the other place–I do my laundry there, I freeze my ice there, I bathe there, I park my car in its garage, because it’s like fifty feet from where I do live.

I knew as soon as I received the initial email Sunday that this was going to be bad, because it all hinges on one thing: his son’s tolerance, or lack of, for transgender people. It’s hard to believe that this guy who has known me for 5 or 6 years would so callously see to it that I’m kicked out, even though it wouldn’t be doing him a damned bit of harm, but I already know from experience… that it doesn’t matter.

My own sister, someone I have known my entire life (obviously), kicked me out for it. I have no delusions that his son will be more reasonable, more open, and more understanding. The fact that he’s known me for years and knows me to be, at the very least, an alright person, will count for nothing.

It’s not even “being transgender” that people have a problem with.

Think about it. How many times have you seen a girl wearing men’s clothes without it being a problem? Just the other day at a client’s, there was a girl working there who was clearly wearing men’s clothes, and no one looked twice at her about it.

It’s not crossdressing or transgenderism that people get pissed off about.

It’s feminization.

Even here in bum-fucked Mississippi, it’s totally acceptable for a girl to wear guys’ clothes. In fact, it’s pretty common–probably more common here than in other parts of the country. But if a guy is caught wearing girls’ clothes… It’s life-threatening. At the very least, he’ll be attacked.

And that’s the problem here. So many of these people know me as a guy. They won’t see Aria and go on about their business. They’ll see this guy that they see every other day wearing women’s clothes. Even though they wouldn’t care in the slightest if ” a girl they see every other day” was wearing men’s clothes, I would not be so lucky.

I’m honestly not sure what to do here. I can’t go back in the box, and I won’t. My employer’s latest email insists that I’m jumping the gun a bit, but I have been down this road before. His gut reaction is the correct one, I know from experience.

When I first realized I had to start coming out to people as transgender, I was torn about my sister. My gut told me that she would flip out, and a friend of mine who knew her very well agreed. As I continued pondering it, however, I became convinced that I was freaking out over nothing. She already knew for the most part–it was an unspoken secret. And she was my sister–together, she and I had gone through alllllllll that bullshit:

And this one:

Yes, we went through a ton of bullshit, and all that is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s enough for me to fill an entire book that I’m calling Dancing in Hellfire and am trying to find an agent for. God, having that book published would alleviate all of these problems, would easily provide me with the means to move to Vegas and escape this nightmare where shit is constantly hanging over my head, where I’m always in danger.

I convinced myself that she wouldn’t care. So I told her. She said she was fine with it, but that she’d have to ask her husband whether I could simply be me as I paid them rent each fucking month. Weeks passed. I finally asked again. She said she hadn’t. More weeks passed, and I finally asked again. She said that he had a problem with it. She lied, of course, and I knew that she would: it was never her husband (who had once lived with a cross-dresser) who had a problem with it. It was her, and she used her husband as a convenient excuse.

Finally I laid it all out for them in a letter, informing them that I was proceeding with it, and that they could accept it, or not. It was then that I received that fucked up text message from my sister:

bitchSo oh, yes. I’ve been down this road before, and unless I’m able to move to Vegas this time, I will end up going down this road again. It’s so much easier for people to reject me than to confront their own discomfort, their own disdain for feminization, and their own cognitive dissonance.

I’m so tired.

I just want to be left to live, work, and love in peace. Why is that so goddamned much to ask? Everyone else is allowed to do it. But no, because I choose to wear women’s clothes and present myself as a woman, I’m not allowed those basic things.

Why can’t I wear the shirts I want to wear, the jeans I want to wear, and the shoes I want to wear? Why can’t I present the face that I want? Men can grow beards if they want; men can grow mustaches if they want. But I can’t wear makeup? Why can’t I wear my hair a certain way? Everyone else can. Everyone else can wear the shirts they like, the jeans they like, the shoes they like.

But me?

No.

It’s not a matter of courage. There is nothing to be gained by presenting myself as a female permanently here in Mississippi. It would leave me unemployed, homeless, and starving to death very quickly, and that is if someone didn’t attack me and kill me before those other circumstances started falling on me. It wouldn’t be “courageous” to present myself as a female all the time here, because everyone here has known me as a male. You can see from my videos that I’m passable, for the most part. Yet I’ll never be passable to the people who have always known me as a male. While my friends are accepting and don’t give a shit, that doesn’t apply to the random people who see me around town.

I’m so tired.

Why Violence is Incompatible With Anarchy

I recently got into a discussion with someone about the Batman villain Anarky, particularly in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins. In the game, Anarky sets bombs around Gotham City with the intention of using them as a method of coercion, to force the mayor, police department, and some other place to do what he wants them to do. My contention is that Anarky is clearly not an anarchist, and that anyone who would use force, violence, and coercion to achieve their ends is not an anarchist. They may be trying to spread chaos and disaster, but “chaos” is not synonymous with “anarchy.”

Anarchy is the absence of a state. It is not the condition where several states are fighting for dominance and supremacy over a given territory. Let’s take the nation of Boogaloo for example. There are five warlords in Boogaloo, and the nation is in chaos, with these five warlords constantly fighting battles across the land. Many people would say that such a condition is an anarchy, but it quite obviously isn’t. Given enough time, one of these warlords will defeat the others and will come out dominant and supreme, and will promptly rule uncontested over the nation of Boogaloo. The only thing that will have changed is that the supreme warlord will suddenly be without competition in his/her control over the land.

It is not anarchy when this warlord reigns supreme over the others, regardless of the warlord’s methods. Seeing as this person is a warlord, we can expect them to rule with an iron fist, barbarically and tyrannically, blatantly using force, violence, and coercion to rule the people of Boogaloo. This was also the case when this warlord controlled one-fifth of the land of Boogaloo. Prior to his conquest, in effect, Boogaloo was split into five nations, each ruled by a warlord, and these five were at war and trying to unite the five nations into one larger one. They ruled their territories with brutality and violence, and it’s irrelevant whether they ruled a land that consisted of a fifth of Boogaloo or all of Boogaloo. It was not an anarchy before one warlord defeated the others, and it is not an anarchy after.

Instead, what we had were five states fighting for supremacy and dominance over the entire land. It is irrelevant to our discussion whether Warlord Jim was elected by the people of his small territory, and whether he ruled with compassion and justice, but we can easily allow for this possibility. Perhaps the people of that one-fifth of Boogaloo called the Arid Region elected Jim to defend their land from the aggression of Warlord Michael. Doing this quite obviously means that Boogaloo is not an anarchy, yet the only thing that has changed is the internal structure of one of the five states.

Even if we assert that all five of the Warlords live up to their name and were not elected to rule, but merely took power because they had an army and weapons, it does not fundamentally change what is happening. It is still not anarchy, because there are still states. To assert that Boogaloo is an anarchy because it is split into five mini-nations, each with their own leader and army, is to assert that Planet Earth is an anarchy, yet this is clearly not the case.

We can even allow that only two of the territories of Boogaloo are at war with one another, and that the others vary between friends, allies, and simple trade partners. We can go even further and allow that every two years, the Warlords come together and try to work out agreements to the betterment of the whole of Boogaloo. Or we can put all five warlords again at each others’ throats, at war, and fighting viciously to reign supreme over Boogaloo. In none of these examples is it anarchy. The relationships between existent states does not determine whether something is or isn’t an anarchy. The methods by which territories select their rulers is not the determining factor on whether something is or isn’t an anarchy.

It is readily apparent that there is no metric by which we can distinguish these Warlords of Boogaloo from what we’d commonly call “the gangs of Mad Max.” Did the manner in which Warlord Jim was given power affect whether or not his nation is a state fighting with and competing with the other Warlords? Certainly not. Even if the people of the Arid Region have a Charter that Jim and his lieutenants are not permitted to violate, it hardly changes the nature of what is happening: Jim is the leader of a gang, and that gang is fighting other gangs.

Now, what if Warlord Jim is going around and planting bombs everywhere, in an attempt to use them as a terrorist would, threatening to detonate them if the other Warlords do not comply with his demands? “Withdraw your forces from the Arid Region,” he might say. “Exile those within your forces who are corrupt,” he could also say. He could even say, “Adopt a Charter of your own that prohibits you from violating the liberty of your citizens.” The substance of his demands are irrelevant.

What if Warlord Jim did not control the Arid Region? What if he controlled… no territory? What if Warlord Jim was just Random Guy Jim, and he had planted the bombs and made those demands? Well, let’s evaluate that question a bit, because the situation I just posited… is a contradiction in terms.

If Jim has planted bombs and is demanding that people comply with his demands then Jim is, quite obviously, attempting to rule over the people of whom he is making demands. Whether they bow to his demands or reject his presumed authority, Jim is attempting to conquer the people and force them to comply with his wishes. In effect, Jim is an authoritarian attempting to take control of others. So quite the opposite, in fact: rather than controlling no territory, Jim is actively engaged in the process of attempting to conquer territory, and he is using force, violence, and coercion to do it. “Bow to my demands–accept my rule over you–or I will inflict violence upon you.”

Jim is clearly not attempting to create anarchy. Jim is attempting to set himself up as the dictator of a state.

Jim’s methods have prevented him from being an anarchist, as his methods have been an attempt to create a state and set himself up as its head, dictating to his subjects what they can and cannot do, what they must and must not do. Just as it’s obvious that Mussolini’s Italy was not anarchy, so is it obvious that Jim’s imposed brutality onto others as he sets himself up–however temporarily–as a dictator is not anarchy.

Any attempt to use force, violence, and coercion is automatically an attempt to set oneself up as an authoritarian state ruling over others and making them comply. This is incompatible with anarchy, because anarchy is the absence of a state. It follows, then, that no one who uses force, violence, and coercion to achieve their ends can be an anarchist. At best, they simply dislike the old state and are trying to set up a new state.