Tag Archive | democracy

Protesting Votes

Of all the stupid things to come from the modern left (as opposed to libertarians, the true left), this recent trend of opposing a vote by protesting it and not voting at all may be the most stupid. Congratulations to Catalonia for its declaration of independence (given the foundation of the United States, if you request international assistance, the U.S. should have your backs). We won’t, because we’re too busy fighting in countries like Niger without any declaration of war while simultaneously starting fights with Syria, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, and because, despite living in a country that was literally founded by a declaration of independence, many Americans seem to think that “declaring independence” is a right that no longer exists.

It’s worth reminding people that turnout doesn’t really matter in a democracy and that refusing to vote is like saying, “I know we’re going to drive somewhere one way or another, but I’m not going to express any desire about where we should go.” It’s stupid on its face. If one guy shows up to vote “Yes” and thirty million stay home to protest the vote, do you know who wins?

The one guy.

Because that’s how democracy works. Yes, it’s bad, and yes, it’s stupid, but it’s the system that’s in place, and until that system is dismantled, it’s counterproductive to protest it. Can you imagine in the United States if people protested Trump’s campaign by not voting? It’s pretty obvious what happens then, isn’t it? Only the people who support the Trump campaign vote, resulting in a landslide victory. Just like in Catalonia, where (primarily) only the people who wanted independence voted, which predictably resulted in a landslide victory.

So why do people do it, if it so obviously and directly causes them to lose the vote?

For one, because the modern left has this weird thing where they don’t believe that actions have consequences. I’m not even kidding–just look at their support for price controls (in relation to Hurricane Harvey), in full disregard of the long, failed history of price controls. And their support for socialism, despite its body count in the hundreds of millions and history of economic collapse. The modern left has a somewhat tenuous relationship with reality. And then, of course, there’s this absolutely bizarre inability to notice that “not voting because you’d vote ‘no'” is basically helping “Yes” win.

The actual heart of the matter is, unsurprisingly for the modern left, more insidious and deceitful. While it’s true that they’re generally confused about actions and consequences (and a total lack of awareness of Defensive Voting), there’s a deeper, almost masterful masquerade being played here: it becomes impossible to distinguish the “would-be No votes” from general voter apathy. And they use this to great effect.

Indeed, the primary contention people had against the Catalan referendum was that “the no voters protested it by not voting at all, so the support for it isn’t sure what it appears.” This is almost an open admittance of their attempt to obfuscate their numbers by hiding among the people who didn’t give a shit either way. Regarding Catalonia, 45% of the population voted, with a 90% vote for “Yes.”

Their idea is that a large portion of each country is genuinely apathetic about results, usually between 25% and 40%. If forced to vote, there’s absolutely no way of knowing how these people would vote. They can be claimed for neither side, because their disinterest makes it impossible to, you know, gauge their interest.

However, if a “No” camp refuses to vote, then they’re immediately mixed in with these apathetic voters, inflating and conflating their numbers. Instead of the actual vote results, the turnout itself becomes the measurement of success or failure. The number of “Yes” votes becomes irrelevant, because the number of “non-votes” exceeds the number of votes. The vote becomes illegitimate in their minds because less than 51% voted, so the “majority” doesn’t exist.

This overlooks the obvious fact that only people who actually voted have their votes counted and that people who don’t vote don’t have their votes counted.

The modern left has a desire to undermine democracy–or, to be more precise, the established and hitherto agreed upon rules by which we’re playing the game. Gary Johnson did this, too, by crying about the unfair debate restrictions, despite having no objection to following them until it became clear that he wouldn’t win the privilege of being on the debate stage. It was only then that accusations of unfairness came about.

Hillary Clinton, of course, basically wrote a book crying about the rules, not to mention the widespread attempts to decry the entire election as illegitimate because of magical 1337 Russian HaXorZ. When this failed due to an unfortunate and inconvenient lack of any evidence at all, they shifted to bizarre hopes that the electoral college would discard the actual will of voters and install Hillary anyway. When that failed, they decided to target the voters themselves by alleging that the portion of the population that elected Trump is too stupid to think for themselves and were manipulated by Russians into voting for someone the left didn’t want them to vote for.

The rules of universal suffrage as a method are pretty simple: every adult has one vote, and can use it as they wish. There are essentially three positions on any given Yes/No issue: Yes, No, and Indifferent. Indifferent voters are indifferent and therefore their “votes” aren’t counted–which is fair, because their votes aren’t cast. Not voting isn’t a vote for “No.” It’s a vote for “I don’t particularly care what the result is, and therefore I will do nothing to sway the decision toward one outcome or the other.”

A true Protest Vote can, in fact, be found among the electoral college. The Texan elector who voted for Ron Paul comes to mind. The two in Maine who refused to vote for Hillary also come to mind. A Protest Vote is actually cast. I cast my Protest Vote for John McAfee. Not voting isn’t a Protest Vote; it’s just not voting.

One would expect elected officials to be capable of making this gargantuan step of logic, but it evidently “takes in a field too vast for their narrowness of view and proceeds with mightiness of reason they cannot keep pace with.” In the Democratic method, votes are only counted when they actually exist. Votes are what matter. It doesn’t matter if that takes the form of direct democracy or an electoral college where each state has allotted votes proportional to their population and the direct democracy merely determines how the state uses its allotted votes. Despite this, a reported ten of eighty Catalan officials “protested the vote” by leaving during the session.

This is not a vote for “No.”

It’s an abstinence. It’s abstaining from the vote. Their reason for doing so may be important to them, but it’s not important to the actual vote results. The only way a democracy can find out what people want is by polling them (there’s a reason voting locations are called “polling places”). For all intents and purposes, refusing to vote because you don’t want “Yes” to win, in addition to being counterproductive and silly, is, from the point of view of the democratic system, no different from not voting simply because a person doesn’t care.

So what we really had in Catalonia was some 39.5% of the population voting “Yes” and 59.5% of the population abstaining from the vote. The reason that “No” advocates chose not to vote is that they saw the results of Brexit and the 2016 American election and knew that, if they voted, then their numbers would be clearly known, and if their numbers are clearly known then they can be easily compared to other known numbers. The solution they’ve found, instead of risking losing the election fairly and squarely, is to blend in with the 20-40% of any given population that doesn’t vote at all. If you assume even that 80% of the population wasn’t apathetic, and if you assume that everyone who didn’t vote but… would have?… would have voted “No,” then, at best, we get a tie of 39.5% to 39.5%. And keep in mind that this assumes a relatively low degree of apathy; the turnout of the Spanish general election in 2011 was only 68.9%, and 66.5% in 2016. The turnout for the UK in 2010 was about even with this, at 65.1%. Given that Brexit saw a turnout of 72.2%, which is an increase of 7.1%, we can assume the same turnout increase would have accord in Catalonia, given the importance and divisiveness of the issue.

Even if we assume a turnout increase of 10%, we’re only looking at 76.5% turnout, which is certainly below the threshold needed to overturn the 39.5% Yes vote. We’d need roughly 90% turnout with 90% of those people voting “No,” which certainly wouldn’t be the case.

And none of these assumptions hold water anyway–they’re full of holes. Turnout for the Catalan referendum was not 76.5%; it was 45%. It’s true that the Spanish central government told “No” advocates to not vote, and that should serve as a warning to all future people that “not voting” is not equivalent to “voting no.” In a Democracy, The Vote is supreme. I’m not a particular fan of that, but it’s the rules we’ve agreed to. Until we actually change those rules (by getting rid of the state, preferably), it doesn’t make any sense at all to ignore those rules and pretend like there won’t be any consequences.

There will be.

You’ll lose the vote.

Government is Evil

The other day while reading the news, I stumbled across a particularly revealing peace on USA Today that was shared through the Rational Review News Digest, wherein the author discussed that Democrats could not rely on “preventing the government from getting anything done” as a tactic, because the core of the liberal philosophy is that the government should be doing stuff.

The author obviously has a point. Stalling the government, and even shutting down the government, is a tactic that works for conservatives and Republicans because, at least in the uninformed public eye, Republicans are the party that doesn’t want the government doing stuff in the first place. Republicans want a small government that doesn’t do much, so being a wrench in the gears that prevents anything from getting accomplished is a means to that end. As for what Republicans really want, I’ll put it briefly by saying that if Republicans actually wanted small government, then I’d be a Republicans. Republicans are totally fine with a big government that enforces socially conservative policies, such as giving the state the authority to tell people what gender they are.

It’s almost perplexing that we could even reach this point in the United States of America, a nation founded by people who said things like:

  • “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” — Thomas Paine
  • “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” — Thomas Jefferson
  • “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America [the government] cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. ” — Noah Webster [Not really about evil government, but critically important nonetheless]
  • “[T]he general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” — James Madison [also only tangentially related, as the Federal Government was not designed to be the all-powerful Hindu god with a thousand omnipotent arms]
  • “I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.” — Thomas Jefferson

There’s no point in continuing to source quotes from the American Founders; we all know that they founded the Federal Government under the principles of classical liberalism–the government should exist to protect the lives, liberties, and right to pursue happiness of its people. It was founded on the idea that we would not be subjects of the government but that it would be our subject–a tool to be used not to oppress with an energetic government but to protect the liberty and property of the people:

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

Yet this flies in the face of modern liberalism, an ideology that embraces social welfare in extreme ways, up to and including the notion that health care–the product of the labors of doctors, pharmacists, and biochemists–is a human right. It is an appalling idea. To suggest that health care is a human right is to suggest that doctors, pharmacists, and biochemists are slaves, and that we have the right to take the fruit of their labors and force them to labor for us. We may or may not be willing to reimburse them, but this is hardly of relevance considering that even American slaves were “reimbursed” with food and shelter. Reimbursing someone is of no consequence to the discussion, whether you pay the slave $1 an hour or $100 an hour. It is not the wage that denotes slavery but that one is forced to do it and has choice removed.

This is where the liberal uses the term “wage slaves.” In most senses, this is as asinine as it sounds. No one is forcing anyone to get a job and work for a wage. Someone is not forcing a person to get a job and earn money; something is, and that “something” is universal attrition itself, that an organism starves and dies if it does not secure for itself something to eat. Taking issue with being “forced” to get a job in order to buy food and have a place to live is to take issue with existence for creating hunger in the first place. If one did not “have” to get a job, then one could go out and hunt for food, or start a farm. In this case, the person is not a “wage slave,” but becomes a “food slave.” Their apparent master is no longer a corporation but nature itself.

“It isn’t fair, though!”

No, it isn’t. This is a characteristic of the universe and existence, however, and is not a characteristic of human society. As such, it is not something that human society can fix, no matter how much energetic government oppression it uses. Equality means that one is allowed the opportunity to succeed; it does not mean that one is guaranteed to succeed.

All that said, it’s obvious how we ended up in this position. First, we were sold a series of promises that turned out to be horrifically inaccurate and, more often than not, total lies. Take the United States Post Office as an example, because it’s a great example. Indeed, excluding the military, every single federal institution to which we can point serves as a beautiful example of something that started with the highest of hopes aiming to fulfill wonderful promises and failed spectacularly. The military, of course, is the government’s sole success. This is not a coincidence.

Anyway, there are two types of buildings that always stand out, no matter where in the country you go. Here in Mississippi, we have a lot of churches. I mean… We have a lot of churches. More than you’d think from that statement alone. Between my house and the nearest town of 10,000, there are at least six churches that I can see easily during the commute, and that’s a distance of five miles. This trend holds true in every direction, though rural areas tend to drop to about two churches every five miles. There are churches everywhere, and they are almost always the nicest buildings in the vicinity.

The second type of building is the government building, and how interesting is it that they are so similar in appearance? Rather than crosses on its side, the government buildings have large, brass government seals and other official symbols. In any part of town, the nicest buildings are almost guaranteed to be the churches and the government buildings.

For churches, this makes total sense. The whole concept of the church originated with the cathedral, a place of worship specifically designed to be an engineering marvel, a place to which a person could go to feel awe and majesty. Despite what many of my fellow atheists want to believe, religion and Christianity aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and, whether religious people are right or wrong, the churches provide crucial roles to both individuals and societies, and certainly have played a role in shaping human morality. Something else churches have, in addition to believers, is money. Lots and lots of money. It is common for atheists to object to the grandiose buildings as wastes, but the majesty of the buildings is a key part of the entire concept, and it isn’t a waste unless a church does something stupid like Mt. Zion Baptist did when they built a new, “more modern” church for their congregation that consists mostly of elderly people and where their place of worship is literally a basketball court, even though they had a perfectly good, and substantially nicer, building a quarter of a mile away.

My grandmother and father attend that church, and that whole thing was a boondoggle that someone has kept very well-hidden. The main worship area–I forget what it’s called–literally is half a basketball court, with a basketball goal that retracts upward toward the ceiling. As far as I know, no one has ever played basketball there. It has the distinct impression of being a second-hand building, something the church bought for cheap and repurposed, where it once had been some sort of athlete thing. There’s no carpet; it’s a gym floor. Yet this building was custom-built by the church for the church…? It’s also a mostly steel building, while they have a very nice–it’s probably the nicest church in the county, honestly–brick building within viewing distance of the new one. Something really weird happened with a lot of money, and someone scrambled to cover it up. No doubt.

Banks could be added to this list, as well, as certain banks are designed the same way. The bank is a place where you put your money. People want their banks to be big, wealthy, secure, and nice. No one wants to deposit their money into the Bank of Falling Apart Hovel. Churches use the same general tactic–people don’t really want to worship at Church of Falling Apart Hovel, unless it’s a community church, but then it’s more a community thing anyway… Either way, a random visitor wouldn’t attend Church of Falling Apart Hovel. And then we have government buildings, surreptitiously playing the same psychological tricks.

Like the churches and the banks, these are buildings that want you to believe in them. They fly their obscenely large flags and emblazon their walls with enormous brass seals, while oddly large dedication plates are placed near the door. The building is designed to make one feel awe, to stir up feelings of patriotism and loyalty, which we are allowed to identify with personally by claiming its successes as our own. “Yeah! That’s my government! That’s my building!” This misplaced sense of pride mixes with the intentionally conjured awe, something we become accustomed to and stop noticing, but which we can readily see children doing. Those feelings don’t go away just because we grow up. Deep down inside, we’re still impressed and proud of our majestic government building.

Behind the lustrous veil of the church and the bank, there is something substantiating those feelings. A bank with lots of customers and lots of money, and a church with lots of members and lots of money. The bank is backed by its clients while the church is backed by its believers–to say nothing of the belief itself and whether the church is backed by something even greater. Yet behind the shiny mask of the government building is horror.

Bankruptcy, inefficiency, waste, disgruntled employees, an absolute lack of accountability, and a maze of red tape and bureaucratic nonsense. When FDR ratcheted up the fascism several notches with the New Deal, we were sold an empty box that was elegantly wrapped in the most beautiful of Christmas wrapping papers. Strangely, this is something that even liberals are aware of, as this Guardian article clearly alludes to.

This era ushered in a series of sweeping changes that redefined the American Government, taking us out of the world of liberty where individuals solved problems and into the world of fascism where the government solves problems. The difference is night and day.

I will never tire of calling attention to IEEE, an independent body of technology experts who have prescribed standards and specific protocols for all manner of electronic technologies. The 802.11 set of protocols is the reason that you can connect any model of phone by any manufacturer using any carrier to any wireless access point running any firmware made by any manufacturer that is connected to any modem made by any manufacturer through any ISP and have Internet access. This is something that today we take for granted, but it actually represents one of the most astounding achievements in humanity’s history. It would be impossible to convey all the variables, but if you’ve ever tried getting two electronic devices that weren’t designed for each other to actually function together, then you might be able to appreciate the magnitude of this accomplishment. And yet IEEE is completely voluntary. It is not a government, and no one is required to follow its standards and protocols.

Compare the marvel of email–something else we take for granted–to the mess of the United States Post Office, and ask yourself this simple question: Why didn’t the Post Office invent email? This question is absolutely critical, and it’s one that every person who believes that “Government action can improve people’s lives” needs to seriously consider. The United States Post Office’s entire existence is about communicating messages from one person to another. Here is an interesting article about the USPS’s relationship with email, and it’s worth a read. Liberals should particularly note that the USPS initially tried to implement an email system they called E-Com. Yet the USPS didn’t innovate and create this marvelous, instantaneous, and efficient message delivery system; furthermore, when they went “Me, too!” their system sucked and isn’t known to anyone today.

Now look over this stupidly long list of Post Offices that were built under FDR. This should come as no surprise, of course. The same promises by the same man with the same administration and same “noble intentions*” gave us the Social Security Administration, a mess that quickly proved to have been an outright lie. Today people recoil at the very idea of abolishing Social Security, as though we would let our elderly starve, despite the fact that humanity managed to get along pretty well without the Social Security Administration for hundreds of thousands of years.

We were sold snake oil, and it’s a myth that many people continue believing today. The question we must ask, then, is… How? How did this happen? How did a nation founded by people who expressly stated as the core of their philosophy that government is freaking evil twist into this nation of people who genuinely believe that “government action can improve people’s lives?”**

* Debatable. Autocracy and Fascism did not rise only in Italy, Germany, and Japan. It rose worldwide, including in the United States, and it manifested here as the New Deal. It’s worth nothing that, for all practical purposes, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini also offered their citizens a New Deal. The Soviet Union called theirs the Five Year Plan. We called ours the New Deal. Hitler called his the Neuordnung–translated to “New Order.”

Despite how it breaks so many rules of writing, the above point is crucial enough that I’m going to continue the article here, rather than above.

It should come as absolutely no shock that 1953 saw the true rise of the Department of Education, not long after the many schemes of FDR began falling apart. It would take many, many years for the full breakdown of the systems to occur, requiring ever increasing amounts of money to keep them going. People are resistant to huge changes and will put up with a lot of bullshit before they do anything about it. A woman might not leave her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend until the third time he’s broken one of her bones and put her in the hospital. The list of grievances the colonies had with the British Empire fills several pages of the Declaration of Independence, and many of them are pretty serious. In 2016 the American Government dropped more than twenty-six thousand bombs in seven countries. We tolerate a lot of shit that we shouldn’t tolerate, and so we were always going to give the many New Deal programs plenty of time and opportunity to straighten themselves out.

That all became unnecessary with the rise of the Department of Education and state control of virtually all school systems. I’ve written a little bit about the school system here in the United States. Unfortunately, there’s no better way to be written off as looney than to say that we’ve all been brainwashed to worship the state, but… we’ve all been brainwashed to worship the state. However they did it, they planted these ideas there. I certainly don’t ever remember being taught in school that the government protects us from rape gangs, murderers, constant civil wars, faction wars, and “OMG, Mad Max!”

But that idea certainly came from somewhere, and it’s ubiquitous throughout the country. I doubt you were ever straight up told this, either. But compare it to the actual founding principles of our nation–that government is evil and, by its very nature, oppressive and tyrannical. Yet you will find very, very few Americans who don’t believe that government is generally a force for good. Go to any random Q&A site–or Quora–and look for questions about whether government is necessary or good. For every one person pointing out, for reasons identical to those given three centuries ago, that the state is an institution of evil, there will be five or ten who allege that the government is a force for good.

No one bats an eye at this guy’s certifiably wacky statement that “government action can improve people’s lives.” It’s just taken as a given, by nearly every American–Republican and Democrat. Republicans hover in a state of denial about it, but they, too, share the conceit. The only thing that almost all these Americans have in common is that they were brought up and educated by the government, with government-approved textbooks, by government employees, according to government standards, and thereby given government-approved information.

Oh, sure, we learned that the Founders said that government is evil, and that liberty is good. That’s where things get so weird. Because it’s not our government that is evil, is it? No, the founders in their infinite wisdom managed to create the only government that wasn’t evil, and it’s “all those other governments” that are evil. It’s like the rock band that says “All record labels are evil… except the one that signed us!” Believe it or not, that’s a common attitude among up-and-coming rock bands. “Our label is totally not evil,” they say. “We got lucky and found the one good one in this huge sea of evil ones.”

And that’s how we came to this mess today–decades of this idea that because the founders knew the government was evil, they took steps to create a government that wasn’t evil–all because, in their writings, it doesn’t seem any of them bothered to point out, “Hey, yeah, that whole ‘government is evil’ thing…? It applies to this government we just created, too. Yeah, it’s evil, too.”

Sure, the early Americans needed arms, but that was to protect themselves from the evil British Imperial government! We don’t need guns, tanks, landmines, grenades, assault rifles, jets, and SAMs to protect ourselves from our government, because ours isn’t one of the evil ones. Ours is the one good one floating in the huge sea of evil ones. “Government” doesn’t stop being evil just because it’s our government. It’s still evil.

I’m an anarchist, and I would never make the case that the government is a necessary evil. But that is the bare minimum that any rational adult should be willing to accept. This nonsense that the government can improve people’s lives? It flies in the face of the very essence of what government even is: oppression. Government is evil. Republics are evil. Federalists are evil. Democracy is evil. Saying “We can tolerate this little evil to stave off this even greater evil” is precisely the reason that we’ll be saying “President Trump” in eight more days. It is precisely the reason we allowed our lesser evil fascism to rise, so that we could fight off the greater evil fascism that Hitler and Mussolini, and then Stalin, represented.

It is time we returned to the simple fact that was first noticed more than three hundred years ago, and it is something we need to apparently etch into stone so that we never, ever forget it and never, ever again give rise to generations of people who think that, despite all evidence and logic to the contrary, government can somehow be a force for good…

Government is evil.

Including ours.

More Subtle Sexism

Look, I’m not talking about how society is rigged against females or anything like that when I refer to sexism as being real. In fact, the only way in which I can verify that sexism is real is that women are repeatedly told that they are being emotional. Despite repeatedly putting forth factual and logical statements, I was just again told that I was being emotional–actually, I was told that I was on an “emotional rampage.” Wow, right? So what did I say that showcased this emotional rampage?

To start, I answered the question on Quora about whether America could ever become a direct democracy.

I answered:

It could, but there wouldn’t really be any benefit, while there would be terrific harm.

I’ve had a pain when breathing deeply for about two weeks. So what makes more sense?

A) For me to ask a doctor.

B) For me to establish a national poll providing a bunch of information, none of which is complete and all of which is complicated, and ask the entire nation to vote on what my treatment should be. Note that if they vote “Go see a doctor,” then they’re advocating representative democracy. No, I’m needing from them a diagnosis and treatment, and I’m going to do whatever they suggest.

It’s madness, isn’t it? Social matters aren’t simple ones. Most of these complex issues take years of study to understand. Democracy is turning the control of the ship over to the passengers, none of whom know anything about operating a ship and all of whom think “It’s just common sense” or that the gut feelings they have about this or that issue are enough to make an informed decision.

Economics is actually a pretty complex subject, but people tend to take their emotions and use those emotions to support their idea. Rather than learning about economics and how we might raise the standard of living, for example, masses of people who know nothing about economics instead vote to raise the minimum wage—a rash act based in economic ignorance that has severe consequences. It’s the Dunning-Kruger Effect Governmental System: people who know almost nothing about these complex, technical subjects instead think they know enough to dictate the course of the ship.

It’s certainly possible, and the Democrat Party seems to want it to happen (hence their party name), but it would be folly. The problems of democracy have been known and explored for thousands of years; there are very good reasons we’ve never tried it. Especially in the age of the Internet (if we could get a handle on our tech security), it wouldn’t even be that difficult from a logistic standpoint. But from a cultural and social one, it would (hopefully) be hard to sway people to give control of the ship to the passengers.

Replacing our government, whatever type it is, with one more suited to our liking is a right—the right of self-governance. If we decided we wanted a direct democracy, then by all rights our current government should step down. They wouldn’t, of course, and it would require revolution, and then the new government would be just as bad as the old one. Just different.

Every generation has the right to choose its own government. People who lived 200 years ago had no right to determine what type of government we must have, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. However, a republic government really is the best of a terrible situation. If we must have a state, a constitutional republic is the most pro-liberty and restrained.

So far, so good, right? Nothing emotional or irrational about that. Just a few facts and a few rational arguments. In came the comment:

Your answer relies upon a very narrow view of human nature and ignores extremely important principles of democracy. “Economics is a complex subject” is true and that is why there must be widespread and strongly independent news media along with journalists having investigative powers. In the US there used to be journalists who specialized in those issues and released their findings for all to consume. The “news” used to solve that problem for us but corporations have totally destroyed that part of America. [emphasis added]

Not overly polite, but okay. I decided to give Don Tracy the benefit of the doubt and replied:

I’ll be courteous and give you an opportunity to explain how my answer ignores fundamental aspects of democracy and is extremely narrow.

Obviously, I’m not too happy to be insulted–even if the insults are so dim and weak. Retaliation never gets us anywhere, though, and if Don was correct, I wanted to know it. Don replied:

You are narrow minded in forcing people into ignorant masses that can only think emotionally which is the whole premise of your answer. Without the metaphor of passengers passively going along for the ride what is your point? That is not democracy; it is not “mob rule” which immature philosophers of the ancient past claimed – they didn’t even know about the concept of a nation-state. Granted you say we have two thousand years of additional history but rather than claiming we haven’t learned in that time like you say the truth is exactly the opposite – mankind has learned a lot about government and politics over history. The “Democratic Party is folly” shows your biased agenda. Finally, you need to know that a republic is a type of democracy so your answer relies upon a weird personal definition of democracy that no one agrees with and is not accepted in general.

More viciousness. As it happens, I am correct, though, in my initial answer, so I defended my points:

See, and here I was being courtesy. *sigh*. That’s how it goes, though. Pro-democracy people really do love their insults.

You are exhibiting the Dunning-Kruger Effect, I feel I should warn you. It is a statement of fact that areas of complexity and expertise are significantly misunderstood and woefully underestimated in their complexity by the masses. I’ll provide this so that you can read it over it: Dunning–Kruger effect – Wikipedia

Democracy most certainly is mob rule, and that you cite “immature philosophers” as saying this shows how wrapped in the Dunning-Kruger web you must be. Some of the greatest thinkers in human history—those “immature philosophers” you are referring to—rejected democracy on exactly the same grounds that I did. Here is further reading on the nature of democracy—two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner: Is democracy in reality just mob rule?

Democracy is nothing more than mob rule… is an excellent resource, as well. One of those “immature philosophers” you may be referring to happens to go by the name of Thomas Jefferson, and he wrote plenty about the failures and dangers of democracy. Here are those, as well: About this Collection – Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606-1827

If you would suggest that you know better than these people who dedicated their lives to the study of governmental processes and society—those “immature philosophers” again—then you are, again, exhibiting the Dunning-Kruger Effect in shocking ways.

The last part of your reply shows exactly why democracy cannot be allowed: you have confused the question’s discussion of “direct democracy” with universal suffrage—that is, the right of the people to vote. In a republic, the people vote for representatives who enact policy. In a democracy, the people vote directly on the policies. No one has stated that universal suffrage is bad. I said that democracy is bad; e.g., the people voting directly on matters of policy is bad, for reasons outlined above.

You seem to think that universal suffrage and democracy are the same thing. They aren’t. A Democracy is a type of government where the people vote directly on the issues via referendums. It is not the right of the people to vote; that right is called universal suffrage. What, exactly, the people are voting for is what differentiates a democracy from a republic. If they are voting on matters of policy directly, it is “a democracy.” if they are voting for representatives who then vote on matters of policy, it is a republic.

“Democracy” has been twisted by the layperson into meaning “universal suffrage.” I agree with you on that, just as “theory” has been twisted to mean “educated guess” to the layperson. Use the layperson’s definition of “democracy” and “theory” if you would like; I will not. The only thing that differentiates the democracy from the republic is what the votes are for, not the existence of suffrage.

Regardless, the question deals with direct democracy—i.e., the people voting directly on the issues rather than going through representatives. The question is specifically whether the U.S. can/should remove the representatives from the process, not whether we should or shouldn’t have universal suffrage.

You’ve called me narrow-minded, limited, and biased. I’ve been nothing but polite to you. Learn the difference between universal suffrage, a republic, and a democracy, accept the wisdom of the people who came before you instead of calling them immature, and stop assuming that you know everything while you reject what people who have studied the matters have to say.

A lengthy rebuttal substantiating everything that I said. Cool. And Don’s reply?

Well, there you go again. I must say with all kindness that your ideas definitely are limited and biased but absolutely not you personally. I’m afraid you are on an emotional rampage but please understand that I am not a debater, not a professor, and not a lawyer. I have no idea what a Dunning-Krueger thing is but since you do then you must be pretty smart. So for a smart person, I don’t understand how you can have such stupid ideas. I checked the web page for “Democracy is mob rule” and have warn you it is obviously biased with an agenda to promote – you should not used it. Please re-read my comments above and give them some honest thought and consideration. Good luck my friend.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Now I’m having an emotional reaction, because now I’m pissed off. To present a valid, reasonable argument with citations and evidence, only to be insulted by some ignorant, sexist pig who can’t face the reality that he has no fucking idea what he’s talking about… It’s infuriating.

So I deleted his comments, but they’ll stay here as a testament. This happens quite a lot, and it never happened until Aria existed. Anyone who can read my rebuttal and take away “emotional rampage” is an unequivocal moron. It’s ridiculous that he doesn’t know what the Dunning-Kruger Effect is, since I gave him links to it. Rather than checking it out, he vomited out this spiel.

Look. If you reply to a girl who presents a rational argument with links and citations as she rebuts your insults and your unsubstantiated silliness with the accusation that she’s having an emotional rampage, then you’re a sexist piece of shit. Sorry, but you are. Because you know you wouldn’t say that to a guy.

Look deeper into what he said, too. “You must be pretty smart. So for a smart person, I don’t understand how you can have such stupid ideas.” I’ve talked about his before, this way that people tie their beliefs to their estimation of their own intelligence. It’s so… Dunning-Kruger-ish. “I’m right because I’m intelligent, so anyone who agrees with me must also be intelligent. If they are intelligent and don’t agree with me, then something is very, very wrong, because intelligent people agree with me! Maybe they aren’t intelligent after all.”

It’s so obviously circular.

The new deity with which they make their own ideas sacrosanct: intelligence.

It is such a dangerous thing, to tie “being right” with “believing what I believe” and with “being intelligent.”

Because no one thinks they’re wrong, and no one thinks they’re stupid.

Yet loads and loads of people are both wrong AND stupid. Yet no matter how wrong someone is, and no matter how stupid someone is, they will always–all caps, underline, bold–ALWAYS believe that they are both right and reasonably intelligent. You don’t see half the American population running around saying, “I’m wrong, but I believe it anyway!” and “I’m stupid! Hur hur hur!”

No. You see everyone saying that they’re right–self included–and everyone saying they’re intelligent–self-included. Why, it’s almost as though being right or wrong and being intelligent or stupid are completely and totally unrelated to a person’s ability to recognize whether they are right or wrong or intelligent or stupid!

If you gauge your intelligence by your own beliefs, such that people who agree with you are deemed “intelligent” while people who disagree with you are not, then you’re closing your mind to the possibility that you might be wrong about something. After all, “wrong = dumb” in that worldview, and we all value our egos too much to ever even allow the possibility that we might be stupid.

This is what I mean when I say that intelligence has become the new deity by which we make our beliefs sacrosanct. We all cradle our egos–right, wrong, intelligent, and stupid. So if you assess intelligence by whether or not people agree with you, you divide the world not into “people who think x” and “people who don’t think x,” but “smart people” and “dumb people.” This is an excuse to not listen to them–they become idiots, stupid–heathens, pagans, and apostates.

Being right or wrong have NOTHING to do with intelligence. They have to do with INFORMATION and a willingness–or unwillingness–to accept that information.

America, We Need To Have a Talk

It took me one minute this morning to find three examples of absolutely horrific bias and fearmongering from liberal media elements–one of them from The Guardian, who claims each day in their subscription email that we should give them money to support “independent” journalism. I am so goddamned tired of the fearmongering. Just look at the bias and fearmongering in these three pieces.

This one, from a CNN affiliate, is so extreme I basically had to highlight the entire passage!

This one, from a CNN affiliate, is so extreme I basically had to highlight the entire passage!

Now, this is alarming because there are tons of people out there who believe that CNN is unbiased, fair, reliable, and not sensationalizing everything they say. But holy fuck–the sensationalism! “…making of a dictator… attack on freedom of speech… attacked SNL… demanded the show change… this is what dictators do… we will slowly lose our freedoms… Chilled by Trump tweets? You should be… lashing out at anyone who dares criticize him should worry every citizen…”

I mean, I’m stunned. I’m legitimately stunned by this blatant bias and fearmongering.

Let’s not forget, because it is worth pointing out, that we are discussing some dumb shit that Trump said on Twitter. We are talking about tweets. Tweets. Donald Trump’s freaking tweets are a threat to freedom of speech, show that he is a dictator in the making, and will take away our freedoms.”

If you handed me a list of stupid tweets from Donald Trump and asked me to write the most hyper-sensationalized article that I could, I don’t think I would be able to succeed nearly as well as Dean Obeidallah has. Let’s be clear about this. This kind of insane senationalism is what you would expect to find at www.obamaistheantichrist.net, not CNN. “Here’s a picture of Obama not wearing his wedding ring… OMG, he’s a Muslim… going to impose Sharia law… turn the country over to Isis… supporting black supremacy…”

That’s the essence of sensationalism: taking something that’s pretty much meaningless and innocuous and drumming it up to fever pitch proportions, and CNN is clearly guilty of it here. Just stop what you’re doing, pull back for a moment, and remember that we are discussing Twitter. We are discussing tweets. And the mainstream media has gone so far into LaLa Land that Donald Trump’s tweets can make him a dictator in the making.

Does anything else have to be said about how insane the media has become?

Yes.

fear2Here is a headline in today’s subscription email for The Guardian–the only news outlet that I’m subscribed to. Why? Because I like getting news from the other side. Unlike most Americans, I have absolutely no desire to place myself in an echo chamber. I’m also subscribed to the Rational Review News Digest, actually, but they aren’t a media outlet. This headline appears almost immediately after the Guardian asks for funding to support their “independent and fair” journalism.

I’m sorry, Guardian, but you are jurnalizts, not journalists. Honestly, I am closer to a journalist than you clowns are, and I know that I’m a jurnalizt. Those who want to know the difference should follow Jim Sterling, because it’s not really a matter of “one is serious and one isn’t.” It’s more nuanced than that.

Anyway, these jurnalizts at The Guardian are neither independent nor fair. Just look at this madness.

Trump hasn’t even ascended to office yet, for crying out loud. We are still fully under the rule of exactly the same people who have been ruling us through the last two years. And I’ve already addressed the reality that requiring a woman drive to another state to get an abortion is not a threat to her abortion “rights.” Your ability to rule the entire country and tell everyone what to do is under siege, not your abortion rights. I’m sorry that you don’t know the difference.

What do you even say?

What do you even say?

If These Are Your News Sources…

…then I can only imagine how terrified you are. I feel for you; I truly do, because you are a victim. No, you’re not a victim in the sense that someone said mean things about you. You’re a victim because the liberal media has been knowingly and consciously sensationalizing everything about Trump to the point of full-blown hysteria–and I know a thing or two about hysteria. In fact, I think 2016 has been the Year of Hysteria, and there are no signs that the hysteria is about to abate.

I also know first-hand how impossible it is to talk someone back from the edge of hysteria. Such people are fully caught in the grip of their emotions, have lost all perspective, and have been jumping at shadows for so long that they think standing in the darkness means they are surrounded by monsters. When I tried to reason with people over the clown bullshit, I was repeatedly attacked and viciously insulted, all because I dared tell these people that they were overreacting and needing to calm the hell down, because they had lost all perspective.

img_2678It’s not an accident that I have “PERSPECTIVE” tattooed on me; it’s a constant reminder to maintain perspective.

If you’ve been getting your news for months or even years from these websites like CNN and NYDailyNews and The Guardian, then it’s almost certain that their ultra-sensationalized headlines have driven you into a frenzied hysteria. It could very well be true that you’re no longer capable of stopping and saying to yourself, “Wait a minute. They’re accusing Trump of being a dictator in the making because of some stupid shit he said on Twitter. This… This has to be a joke, right? They can’t be serious. They can’t be writing an article that ridiculous, that absurd, and that sensationalized while trying to pass it off as genuine journalism, right?”

Except they are, and they’ve been doing it for a while.

It’s distressing, but leftwing media has gone totally insane, and the only question is whether they have gone so insane that they believe their own sensationalization, or whether they know that they’re sensationalizing everything and are just doing it to manipulate you in favor of their ideology.

It’s true, you know. Every time Trump says or does anything, this is exactly how the media reacts:

Let us not forget that because Trump said this:

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

… and the left and media retaliated with “OMG HE’S CALLING FOR THE ASSASSINATION OF OUR LADY HILLARY”

Talking about Constitutional court battles in the Supreme Court where these judges would be, Donald Trump referred to Second Amendment advocates possibly being able to fight it anyway. And the media and left interpreted this as a call for the assassination of Hillary Clinton.

You can’t make this stuff up, man.

Well, clearly, you can. But you have to be a “journalist” employed by The Guardian, CNN, the NY Times, or the LA Times.

This happened repeatedly; it has been happening repeatedly.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize that this is sensationalized bullshit with little relation to what was actually discussed. Just remember that tweeting can evidently be an attack on free speech and make someone a dictator in the making.

Fake News and Real News

Now liberals have a new culprit to blame their loss on, instead of, you know, rightly blaming the loud faux progressives in their party who paint everyone else as racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, gun-toting, Bible-carrying hillbillies, and that new culprit is: fake news sites. Well, I’m sorry, CNN, Guardian, and NYDailyNews, but you have absolutely no ground to stand on in accusing other people of spreading fake news when you’re producing the above articles. The article about how Hillary is totally a reptile person from caves deep in Meso-America contains exactly as much truth as your article about how Trump’s tweets make him a dictator.

Projections

Months ago, I recorded a podcast when I observed that a lot of people were projecting bigotry where there clearly wasn’t any, which did, of course, make them the bigots.

There were two, actually.

Projection is a serious problem, especially with Donald Trump, because he’s basically the Bible of American Politics, and there are millions upon millions of people who project things onto him, either as a reason to hate him or as a reason to like him. Donald Trump was supposed to be a threat to the sanctity of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power from one person to the next; Donald Trump was supposed to be a sore loser who wouldn’t concede the presidency. Then it turned out that Hillary said “Screw it” and waited to concede the presidency, telling her supporters to go home and go to bed. Then it turned out that the very people accusing Trump of undermining the electoral process went out and started rioting, petitioning for the Electoral College electors to vote faithlessly, to elect Hillary even though Trump won the electoral college, thereby undermining not just the peaceful transfer of power, but the entire Republic system that we have built.

The Electoral College

No, the electoral college does not exist to protect rural states. It does not exist to give disproportionate value to rural white voters. It exists because we are a union of fifty sovereign nations. We are not a single, unified state, and we never have been. We are fifty individual republics, and this is the result of a hundred years of fascism and an overblown federal government. Popular votes decide your Governor, your senators, your state legislatures. The popular vote doesn’t decide the presidency because the President isn’t your ruler. Your governor is. We’ve simply forgotten this. We’ve forgotten what “state” means.

Hell, I’ve seen people suggesting that California should form the Republic of California. It’s already the Republic of California!

The popular vote doesn’t decide the President because you are not, first and foremost, a citizen of the United States. First and foremost, you are a citizen of whatever state you live in. That is the way our republic was designed; that is the way our federalist government was designed. Once upon a time, we didn’t elect our national senators through popular votes, either, for the same reason–we are a coalition of fifty sovereign republics. We do not elect the President. Our states do. This is critical to understand the very essence of our nation. We don’t elect the President for exactly the same reason that popular votes throughout Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, etc. don’t elect the President of the European Council. It’s not the way the system is designed.

Fakes News, Real News Projection 2

For all the talk of how Donald Trump is a threat to free speech and a free press, who is it that is actually campaigning for some kind of elite media group to determine who gets approved to be considered “Real News” and who doesn’t? That’s right–the liberal media. The very people who accused Trump of being a threat to a free press are now fighting to have sites that they deem to be “fake news” censored, shut down, and blocked. If you want to talk about a threat to a free press, let’s talk about the enormous dangers that such a cabal of elites represents to a free press.

Nowhere in the First Amendment is the press required to tell the truth. This seems to surprise a lot of people. In fact, the first amendment guarantees that the press can never be required to tell the truth. They can lie, exaggerate, manipulate, deceive, and stretch things as far as they want. Just scroll up to see how a few stupid tweets are stretched to the point of making Trump a dictator in the making. The only things that require the press tell the truth are libel laws, and those are extremely limited when it comes to the press. I don’t think they should be expanded–obvs–but if you’re afraid that Trump is a threat to a free press because he wants to expand libel laws while you advocate the creation of some agency–governmental or not–that rubberstamps some news as “real” and other news as “fake,” then you aren’t exactly on the side of a free press yourself.

Whoever made this, thank you.

Whoever made this, thank you.

It’s another case of projection. I don’t think expanding libel laws so that the media is held to account for saying that Trump “brags about sexual assault” would be a threat to a free press. In fact, I think that such an expansion, in the current system, would probably benefit the American People. Because, let’s be honest here: No, Trump most certainly did not brag about sexual assault. He said women let him. And the media took that and ran with it, completely forgetting what the meaning of the word “let” is. If you let someone do something, then you are consenting to it. If you’re consenting, then it is not sexual assault. I absolutely think the media should be held to account for that sensationalizing, that drumming up of hysteria, that fever-pitch insanity that completely twisted and ignored what Trump actually said so that they could push their narrative of some orange gremlin running around grabbing women by the pussy.

Because they harbor a desire to inhibit freedom of the press, they project that onto Donald Trump and accuse him of wanting to inhibit freedom of the press. Honestly, if I was Trump I would be pretty pissed off, too. I mean, the man spoke of how women consent to have sex with him because he’s rich and famous, and the media immediately accused him of sexual assault and twisted his words into being “bragging about sexual assault.” I’d be pissed, and if that blatant twisting of the truth and sensationalism doesn’t fall under the legal definition of “slander,” then our libel laws do need to be re-evaluated.

Liberals want to use the government to force everyone to abide their policies, their values, and their standards. This is no surprise–it’s what separates liberals from conservatives. We’ve twisted the meanings so that “liberal” now means “pro-tolerance on social issues” while “conservative” means “intolerant,” but this is ridiculousness that I’ve addressed before.

So because liberals want to enforce their worldview onto everyone, they can only assume that conservatives want to force their worldview onto everyone, but, again, that is the critical divide between liberals and conservatives. Theoretically, conservatives want small government. They don’t want the federal government to tell the state of Mississippi that it must allow gay marriage, and they don’t want the federal government to tell the state of California that it cannot allow gay marriage. Basically, liberals want democracy while conservatives want a republic.

It’s funny that, for the first time in my life, the Democrat Party is actually advocating a swap to a democratic government, while the Republican Party is actually defending a Republic government. So of course Democrats want the popular vote to determine the President–they’re democrats. They want democracy, not a republic. It’s literally what makes them Democrats. And they’re tied to liberalism because most people–I would say well over 50%–are in favor of gay marriage, pro marijuana, pro-choice, and so on. So they want these liberal positions adopted by 51=% of the population to rule over everyone because “democracy.”

It’s been a hell of a ride, this election, and battle lines were not re-drawn but reclarified. Democrats are, once again, pro democracy. Republicans are, once again, pro-Republic. Liberals are, once again, pro big government and pro ruling over everyone. Conservatives are, once again, pro small government and pro ruling at a state level–ostensibly. Time will tell, but it is my contention that Conservatives will not use the federal government as a vehicle for ruling over all 50 states and will instead attempt to send social matters back to the 50 states.

Of course, that’s not good enough for liberals, who are unwilling to compromise, but I think that’s where Trump will come in. “You can accept that Mississippi is banning abortion and that women in Mississippi will have to drive to Tennessee to get an abortion, or we can have the federal government ban abortion across the country. Which do you want, liberals?”

Liberals have been in power so long–even if they didn’t control all of the federal government, they did win the culture war, and they did dictate social issues–that they decided that they didn’t have to compromise. In order to teach them the value of compromise, I think we’re going to have to have a conservative play hardball with them, and I think Trump, the alleged dealmaker, is capable of doing that. I don’t know if that is what he plans to do, but it’s what he needs to do to heal our country. Because liberals aren’t willing to let Mississippi ban abortion if it means some women might have to drive all the way to Tennessee to get one. To them, that is unacceptable. They’ve convinced themselves that the women don’t have just the “right to an abortion” but have the right to a convenient abortion, and that if it’s even slightly inconvenient or difficult then she is being oppressed.

“We’re sending abortion back to the states, where conservative states are likely to ban it,” says Donald Trump*.

“That’s unacceptable!” the liberals would reply. “Then Texas would ban abortions, and women in Texas couldn’t have them!”**

“Sure, she can,” responds Trump. “She just has to drive to another state to do it.”

“That’s not acceptable,” the liberals would reply.

“Well, it’s either that, or I ban abortion across the country. Accept this compromise or we’ll ban it nationwide.”

I hate to say it, but it does seem that this is the only way to get liberals to compromise, and what we need, more than anything, right now is compromise between liberals and conservatives. But that can’t happen as long as liberals are getting their news from places that tell them that we are watching the “making of a dictator” because of some freaking tweets that Donald Trump sent out.

I’m an Anarchist. What Do I Care?

I have had a lot of anarchists–actually, let me stop right there. Every single person who has criticized me for taking part in current events and the election has self-described as a voluntaryist, not an anarchist. From what I’ve seen, voluntaryism is like anarchism, but with cult-like dogma to it. The voluntaryist is unrelenting, refuses to compromise, and refuses to accept any progress. They’re fools. Evidently, they expect that they can just keep putting out arguments and one day the entire country will wake up and say, “You know what? They’re right. We don’t need a state.”

The state isn’t going to dissolve itself.

We’ve been under a century of fascism, interventionism, an overbearing federal government, and a nanny state, to the extent that most people have no understanding of why the popular vote doesn’t elect the President. Come the hell on, man. You can’t seriously think that these masses of people, who are about as far away from voluntaryism as a person can get, are going to be swayed to go from fascism to voluntaryism in one swoop. These people don’t just think that the state is necessary to prevent crime; they have become convinced that the state is a good thing, that the state helps society.

Here, in a nation formed by people who characterized the government as a necessary evil that had to be bound by the chains of the Constitution, the average person now believes that the state is a force for good. Not a necessary evil. A force for good. And we are currently on the cusp of widespread liberalism and acceptance of democracy–a political system so flawed that it was discarded in the BCE age for being a tyranny of the minority by the majority. And voluntaryists, for all their words and arguments, are not doing anything to fight it. In fact, I would go as far as saying they’re accomplices in it.

We once had a nation of classical liberalism. Due to our lack of vigilance, the state steadily grew, and then there was the civil war, which marked the turning point away from the Tenth Amendment and states rights. That was the moment we became not fifty [though there weren’t fifty then] individual republics but fifty  constituencies of a larger republic. Then the World Wars happened, and War Collectivism took over and we moved away from liberty and the free market toward fascism. The Great Depression saw an influx of people convinced that the government was the answer to all life’s problems, and government intervention in the economy and lives of the people became accepted as not just a necessary evil but a force for good. After the Cold War and decades of the Military Industrial Complex*^ spreading fear, deceit, and manipulation–with elements in the government so eager to give us a war that they repeatedly considered attacking our own citizens–and after 9/11 and fifteen damned years of a “War on Terror,” we have gone so far from liberty that even classical liberalism would be welcome at this point.

Now, this might seem strange, given as how I routinely criticized Johnson and his supporters for being pragmatic and choosing pragmatism over principle. It may even seem like hypocrisy. I’ve laid out my reasons for that, though, and it has more to do with “liberty” being redefined in the eyes of the masses, which leaves actual liberty as an incommunicable idea. And don’t get me wrong. When it comes to my actions and what I do, I advocate anarchism, and my goal is absolutely anarchism and nothing short of that.

However, I’m not so blinded by dogma that I’m unable to see that the road to anarchism is a long one that contains many, many steps. I don’t believe that Gary Johnson is one of those steps, and I think the Libertarian Party spreading actual libertarian ideology is the only way that we can get wider society to take those steps. Remember how Ron Paul pulled the entire nation toward liberty–albeit temporarily? He did. Let’s not forget that. Ron Paul’s platform was partially adopted even by Romney in 2012. Our goal must be to pull the entire nation toward liberty by running libertarian candidates. We get Republicans to become liberty-leaning conservatives and we get Democrats to become classical liberals. That is how we begin to restore liberty. We have to consciously work to pull these people toward liberty, because right now they are so far from liberty that classical liberalism is a relic of the past.

Like it or not, before we can pull western society toward anarchism, we have to pull them toward libertarianism. And before we pull them toward libertarianism we have to pull them back to classical liberalism. So far, fascism has won. We have to start thinking strategically, not tactically. In order to do any of this, the Libertarian Party must be the party that does not compromise on libertarian principles. We are not going to pull the nation toward libertarianism if they think “liberarianism” is “pot-smoking Republicans who are okay with gay people.”

Fellow LGBTQ People, Please

Divorce the Democrat Party. They are lying to you. They are terrorizing you. They are manipulating you. They are doing everything in their power, using these sensationalized headlines, to convince you to be afraid so that they can paint themselves as your saviors. We don’t need saviors. We don’t need heroes. Do you not see what they are doing? They are blatantly terrorizing you and telling you that you’re going to be rounded up, killed, placed in FEMA camps, placed on national registries, and blah blah blah. That way, when none of that shit happens, they can say, “See? We saved you from that! We fought for you and protected you from the people who were going to round you up and kill you!”

I’ve already seen Twitter posts and Facebook posts of people boasting that their protests have “already had an impact” and caused Donald Trump to be more moderate. It’s absolute nonsense! Donald Trump was always going to be more moderate. Anyone with a brain could have told you that. But now they are saying that, thanks to their protests, Donald Trump has backed down and is now promising to protect LGBTQ people! Except it never had any basis in reality–Donald Trump has been pro-LGBTQ longer than freaking Hillary Clinton. Even during the Republican Primaries, when Trump was in Full Conservative Mode, he was pro-LGBTQ. These lunatics are telling you that there is a monster outside who is coming to kill you, and then they are asking you to bow to them and thank them for protecting you from that monster who was never there in the first place.

I Don’t Like Trump

I really don’t. I know it seems like often I’m defending Trump, and, to tell you the truth, I do often find myself defending Trump. But it’s because I fight hysteria. I fight sensationalism. And no one I’ve ever seen attracts hysterical sensationalism like Donald Trump. So if I fight hysteria and people become hysterical every time Trump opens his mouth, then, yes, it’s going to come out like I’m defending Trump. I’m not. I’m telling people to stop being lunatics.

* Overlooking, for the moment, that Trump himself can’t do this, but can appoint a Supreme Court judge who overturns Roe v. Wade and then orchestrates Congress to send the matter back to the states.

** In fact, we know they would say this, because this is precisely how the host reacted when Trump said this in the recent 60 Minutes interview.

*^ Don’t even get me started. Whatever is meant by “Military Industrial Complex,” there is absolutely no doubt that it exists–even Presidents have warned us about it, among them Dwight Eisenhower himself, who helped create the damned thing. Don’t be an idiot. It’s a fact, not a conspiracy theory.

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.

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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.

 

Trump v. Hillary: A Case Study of the Devolution of Democracy

If there is any one image that will perfectly explain this Presidential election, it is this:

democracy lolIt’s still going on, by the way.  At least they started using text, but it’s not like they actually started saying anything of substance:

Fascinating, Captain.

Fascinating, Captain.

This particular exchange had me laughing out loud for real:

The lack of self-awareness in these two is baffling.

The lack of self-awareness in these two is baffling.

Of course, anyone who saw the above thread and my comment to it knew that they would say something like this, but to then fulfill that expectation in what we must surely call a Blaze of Glory… it’s too perfect. It’s simply too perfect.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Seriously. The lack of self-awareness is staggering.

Seriously. The lack of self-awareness is staggering.

I’m sure these two clowns will keep at it for some time, and I’ve never been so thankful that I don’t supporter either Hillary or Trump. This is truly amazing. Neil’s concern for the life of the ambassador is shocking. He seems to care so much that he’s willing to post horrifically violent pictures to Facebook, while at the same time talking about how he is dipping bullets in pig’s blood to shoot Muslims. If there’s ever been a clearer example of “I only care about my tribe!” than I’m not sure I want to see it.

Of course, they’re right that Neil doesn’t give a shit about the dead ambassador, and that he just wants an excuse to hate on Hillary. People who care about the dead dude don’t behave that way, and people who value human life don’t speak so gleefully about killing other people. He doesn’t hate brown people, as Alex suggests, though–he hates Hillary and “everyone else,” so he will seize every opportunity to bash Hillary and hate on everyone else. Everyone else isn’t based on race as much as it is his own insecurity, though. He’s not racist; he’s insecure.

And here’s me pwning a totalitarian piece of shit:

"Let's just make up something to support my opinion! That will work!"

“Let’s just make up something to support my opinion! That will work!”

The sad thing is that this person’s mentality is not unique or rare:

not aloneHere’s another “I’m perfectly fine with forcing people to do what I want them to do.”

It stems from an utter inability to realize that I am not their property. That’s where we have gone so wrong in the United States. We’ve come up with this Society > Individual bullshit that makes it okay to destroy the individual’s rights if “society” wants to, because “It’s for the good of the many.” Let’s look at some more harm that was brought to the few for the “good of the many,” shall we?

No, we don’t have to go that far, because you know, before I even provide a single example, what a travesty that entire idea is. Entire history books have been written about the way that various states have killed and tortured the few for the good of the many and for the betterment of society. As rational, thinking adults, we should know by now that it’s an idea we want nothing to do with. Yet here are two people, proudly saying it. Not explicitly, no, but that’s clearly what they think.

I happen to find forcing someone to do something against their will to be abhorrent. In fact, I find that to be absolutely despicable and unforgivable. What if DigiWaffles found it “abhorrent” that his wife dared tell him “No,” that she didn’t feel like having sex?

“How dare you tell me no?” DigiWaffles might scream. “I am your husband, you are my wife, and it is your duty to have sex with me when I want it! It is absolutely abhorrent that you would forego your responsibility, as decreed by God, to serve your husband! I will, then, force you to not be abhorrent! And since it is abhorrent for you to refuse sex with me, I will achieve this by raping you!”

I’m not calling DigiWaffles a sexual rapist, but it doesn’t change anything. That’s exactly what he’s arguing about this behavior that he finds it abhorrent. He finds it abhorrent, and therefore he’s okay with forcing people to do what he thinks is best. If he finds his wife saying “No” to be abhorrent? His own mentality means that he would rape her.

The Christians we were discussing find tolerance for LGBT people to be abhorrent. What if these Christians “completely fine with forcing people to not be abhorrent”? Considering they find his acceptance of LGBT people to be abhorrent, they would be within their rights to force DigiWaffles to not accept LGBT people, to force him to spit on LGBT people, and sever ties with any LGBT people he knows.

I'm now calling this the "Aria Nuked Yo Ass" Thread.

I’m now calling this the “Aria Nuked Yo Ass” Thread.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve encountered this literally every single time I get into this discussion with someone. When I talked with The Non Believer about Mississippi’s Religious Freedom Law, even he asked whether or not the idea applied to racism.

It’s so deeply ingrained in us, this idea that racism is an ultra super duper bad form of discrimination that absolutely must be stopped at any cost, that we just take it for granted. This is, it’s worth mentioning, the guy’s only reply to my lengthy rebuttal of his ideology and the totalitarianism he suggests. Because he couldn’t reasonably address what I said, he pulled out a race card.

And ran smack fucking ass into a stone wall.

I almost left it as just “Yes,” but chose not to. It was a conscious decision to split my reply across three comments, though, primarily to find out which one he chooses to reply to. Usually, when I split a reply across numerous comments, that is exactly why: you can learn a lot from someone by seeing how they choose to pursue the argument. Of course, all three of my points will come back up; his reply won’t possibly be sufficient, and I would wager that he’s simply going to post an image about how badly segregation fucked over blacks in the south. That’s easily addressed, and I’m going to do so now, before he replies.

First, segregation was enforced by the state; it was not an organic product of the free market. The government mandated segregation. Segregation was not a case of business owners choosing with whom they would do business. It was a mandate by the state on how they were to do business. The idea that most of these business owners would gladly have continued segregation of their own accord is demonstrably false, as well–it still is not illegal for a business to try to segregate its customers. They simply don’t do it because it would be suicide for the business.

Second, it would be suicide for the business in today’s world, and it hardly matters whether that would have been true 60 years ago.

He’ll choose to reply to the “Yes,” though, probably with some messed up image showing the very real plight of black Americans before the end of segregation. One thing he will not do is try to discuss the free market or how he holds racism as a trump card.

One that won’t work on me, dude. Sorry.

Donald Trump Rape?

The DNC has already shown that it’s willing to do a lot of really underhanded stuff to win the election, and Bill and Hillary have their own little history of rapes and stuff. Of course, two wrongs don’t make a right; my point isn’t that. My point is that Bill and Hillary would have the idea to accuse someone of raping a girl.

And I’ll be honest with you. For $250,000, shit, I’d say Donald Trump raped me. At this point, I’d do it for $5,000. All you’ve got to do is find someone who is hard up, who is reasonably attractive, and who has been in the same city as Trump at least once. That’s not a difficult criteria to meet. You offer that person to waive their criminal history, or money, or drugs, or whatever, and bam, you’ve got someone spreading the rumor that Trump raped them.

This is precisely why we can’t take these things seriously until they get to a point like Lewinsky’s did, or unless there is a police report or hard evidence. It’s simply too easy to accuse someone of rape. I could accuse Trump of raping me, and if I was popular enough, people like this guy on Facebook would be spreading that story, without giving any thought to the possibility that it simply wasn’t true.

We all knew, once he secured the nomination months ago, that allegations of rape were inevitable. My ex-wife once accused me of raping her, because she agreed to anal when she didn’t really want to do it. She just did it to make me happy and, no shit, later accused me of raping her. If I ever ran for president, I have no doubt that she would come forward with that bullshit and say that I raped her. The sad thing is–she isn’t alone. I don’t think I’ve ever dated a girl who didn’t claim that someone has raped her. And when pressed for details, these stories usually came back to “I agreed to do it, but I didn’t really want to, and he should have known that” and “I didn’t want to do it, but I went along with it” and “I didn’t say ‘No.'”

And I’m just throwing this out there–there might be less rapes each years if women didn’t say “No… stop…” when playing coy. My ex-wife did that shit all the time. I’d start kissing on her throat, and she’d go “Mm-mm” and twist away playfully. Granted, she never accused me of raping her over that (She knew what she was doing, and I’m just making the point) and only did over anal, but my point is that girls saying “No… stop…” because they want to be seduced while playing coy might accidentally contribute to the problem. Though it’s also true that it’s not hard to tell when a girl is playing coy and when she means it, that’s a pretty major thing to leave for the other person to infer, you know?

It’s like they said on Family Guy:

Fifty “No’s” and a “Yes”… means yes.

But it becomes all too easy for a girl to later be offered $30,000 to say that she actually meant it that one time she played coy with Trump, you know?