However, I’m only “anti-war” in the sense that “war” is not a distinctly existent thing, but is instead merely a label we assign to certain actions that fulfill a specific criteria. It’s not the “war” that I condemn but the actions that earn that label. I don’t condemn “war” because there is nothing there to condemn. In the real world, a “war” never happens. Instead, what happens is that one person fires a bullet or rockets at other people. I condemn this whether it’s a person with state authority at their back who is firing the gun or whether it’s a random psychopath without state authority who is firing the gun.
There’s no such thing as a “war” any more than there is such a thing as a “stamp collection.” War is merely a collectivist category, an umbrella term used to denote the nature of certain actions, and the “war” never occurs, though the actions do.
There’s also no such thing as this ubiquitous group of “veterans” who all share culpability for actions that have earned the label of “war.” There is no “LGBT people,” and no “black people.” Neither is there a “people who are veterans” group. There are only individuals with certain characteristics, and, regardless of what characteristics they may have in common (even if that characteristic is that they’ve all shared in one superficially identical choice, such as LGBT people and veterans who chose to join the military), it’s inaccurate to suggest that “all veterans are this” or “all veterans are that.”
Tonight, Sunday’s episode of “Call to Freedom” airs at 10p Central, and Will Coley will again relate the parable of the man who grew and sold grapes knowing that they’d be used to make wine. The point of the parable is that the man had knowledge of the inevitable outcome, and yet he took the action anyway, and therefore bore responsibility for the drunkenness and the actions of the drunk people. I like the parable, but there is one critical difference between the man who sold the grapes and “veterans.” The man who sold the grapes is an individual; “veterans” is a collection.
The question is most certainly not “whether veterans knew” what they were signing up for, or “whether veterans knew” when signing up what the consequences of that would be. The question is whether “this individual who took these actions” had full cognizance of what they were agreeing to, and whether they had reasonable knowledge of the consequences. It’s a topic I only touched upon briefly–due to a catnichal problem, I missed the first half of the show–and only mentioned in passing near the end of the episode, but I would certainly argue that the man who changes the tires on an F-15 has less responsibility for the bomb’s destruction than the person who actually pushed the button that dropped the bomb.
It reminds me a lot of World War 2 and the company that produced Zyklon-B in Germany, and whether the owner of the company bore any responsibility for the Jews murdered with the poisonous gas. The entire argument hinged upon one thing: whether he knew how the gas was being used. I would say that’s a limited argument, though, because it ignores the fact that the owner may very well not have had a choice–this is Hitler we’re talking about, and if the owner hadn’t continued selling them the Zyklon-B, he’d have found himself replaced and in one of the concentration camps alongside the Jews. Can we really condemn him for giving in to this blatant coercion and fear in the interest of self-preservation?
The owner wasn’t alone in his responsibility, though. What of all the chemists and engineers who surely had some idea of how their product was being used? Because there is much to be said for the idea that many of the people who joined the military did so because of the coercive nature of poverty and were essentially facing the same crisis of self-preservation as the owner of the manufacturer of Zyklon-B, and that the military was merely a provider of a job to them in a time and place where they had no better options. Even I once looked into joining the Navy, for exactly this reason. What of the factory workers (or however Zyklon-B is produced) who knew how the pellets were being used by the Nazis, and yet did not quit their jobs? Should they not be held as responsible for the gas’s usage as Hitler himself?
Why not just round up everyone involved with the company and try them for the Holocaust?
Because, while we accept the notion of individual responsibility, we also can’t deny that there is such a thing as diffused responsibility. While we must hold the soldier accountable for the bombs he actually drops with the press of a button, we cannot deny the diffused responsibility of conditions and causes that led him to be there in the first place. The pilot didn’t produce the bomb, or call for it to be dropped, and neither did Oppenheimer open the hatch to see the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Neither did Einstein start World War 2, a period of total war that we today have a hard time even grasping because we have not experienced total war since.
Is a person responsible for the conditions in which they have found themselves?
“To some degree,” perhaps, at least in some cases. Surely the man who robs the bank because he became addicted to heroin and couldn’t afford any more bears responsibility for robbing the bank because he made all of the choices that led to his situation, right? Wrong. If heroin was legal, then much of what he experienced wouldn’t have happened, and he certainly had no say-so in the legal status of heroin.
It’s ultimately a question of Nature versus Nurture, then. This is a question that people have been debating for centuries, and we’re no nearer to the answer. Is a person responsible for the choices that they make in the conditions they are in? Sometimes. But if Bob has lost everything from his home to his job because of a medical condition that he couldn’t afford or prevent, is Bob really responsible when he robs a convenient store to avoid starvation? How much conscious, deliberate effort to effect change is possible? Is it even possible that Bob could have found himself in different circumstances? Does Bob even have free will to change those circumstances?
“We don’t know” is the answer to all of these questions. We can only assume, and we can only assume that our assumptions are valid. And we can only assume that our assumption that are assumptions are valid is valid. So on and so on, ad infinitum.
I would agree that there is substantially increased likelihood that an individual with the characteristic of “having been a veteran” is also a murderer, but that is the farthest I will go toward absolutism, and that’s the farthest that anyone should be willing to go, because anywhere beyond that is where the assumptions start. After all, we have the logic and data that defines “war” as being undertaken by soldiers and as being a category of events that necessarily involve murder; by this criteria, it is obvious that we will find among soldiers an increased chance of “once took another human life.”
But we’re all murderers, every single one of us–the only escape from that is to include “human” in our definition of murder. We have all taken lives, plant or animal or human. It was Jesus Christ who said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” I have to agree.
Let the first person who hasn’t ever taken another life criticize “veterans” as a group. Until then, let’s keep our assumptions under control.
Just a little while ago, I saw the comment from someone on Facebook that Wal-Mart needs to pay its employees a “living wage” [Note: there were obviously multiple comments like this. I’m simply addressing the one that mentioned this dollar figure and rent] (How about you show some responsibility by not shopping at places that don’t pay their employees what you think is fair?), because one wage of $13.73 (or thereabouts) isn’t enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment in most major cities.
Why does this person making such a low wage need two bedrooms?
Before we get into that, though, it’s worth pointing out that an additional $1.27 isn’t going to make a damned bit of difference for people making $13.73 an hour. Basic math tells us that this is $2,196.80 across four weeks. Assuming an average of 4 weeks in a year, it works out to $2,196.80 a month. The exorbitant rent that this person claimed the person making $13.73/hour couldn’t pay was a mere $875 per month.
I honestly don’t know what kind of math she’s using, but by my records this person making $13.73 has $1,321.80 left over after paying each month’s rents. Even if they run their air conditioning (perhaps they live in Vegas) 24/7, their electricity bill is highly unlikely to pass $400/month, which leaves them $921.80. A typical smartphone bill with Verizon or AT&T will cost $120/month, bringing this figure down to an even $800–$200 each week. If a person can’t survive, after their electricity, rent, and phone bill have been paid, on $200 each week while also managing to put back a considerable bit of that, then they are absolutely terrible with money and need to learn to budget.
There’s no nice way to say this. At present, I make $300 a week, on salary. Yet I pay my rent, my electricity, my phone bill, my Internet bill, and everything else just fine. And because I’m an anarchist, I refuse to use government assistance (though at a wage of $300/week, I certainly qualify), I pay for 100% of the food that I eat, and I don’t have health insurance. Meanwhile, I manage to put back money toward moving to Vegas, shelled out nearly $2400 to government extortion so far this year, and spend $67/month buying hormones from China. If I can do it on such a meager salary, so can anyone.
Of course, I don’t have kids, and that’s the main point: two bedrooms. Why does this person making such a relatively low (apparently) wage need two bedrooms? It can’t be a spouse, as that would require only one bedroom and the spouse would be able to get a job, thereby doubling their income from $2,196.80 to $4,393.60 a month. If you want to look me in the eye and say that two people can’t survive just fine on $4,393.60 a month and be putting back at least $500/month into savings, then you’re a moron who almost identically copies the character Jonathon of my fantasy novel.
See, Jonathon is from a noble family–the Guilder Estate. His parents died when he was young, but his sister took over the estate with the help of a family friend–a dwarf–named Therekas, who helped keep the filial parasites out of their family’s wealth. Once Jonathon was old enough, he joined the Knights of Raine (per family tradition), and Coreal (his sister) seized the opportunity to get the hell away from all of it by making Therekas steward of the property while she joined the Church of Biena and effectively became a nun. Stuff happened, and they had to flee the Kingdom of Raine, while their estate was seized by Lord Tyrenius. Not long after their journey, they obviously began talking about how they were going to make money, and Jonathon’s understanding of “how much money it took to survive” was so out of whack that the entire group spent a few minutes laughing at him for the idiocy. Whereas he expected it to take 50 or 60 gold coins per person to survive a single day, because he had no metric for understanding what things cost in the real world, the truth was that they could all live in relative wealth with only a thousandth of that.
I’ve lived on much less. It’s only been within the past few months that I was able to get back up to paying myself a salary of $300/week. Prior to that–at this time last year, in fact–I wasn’t on a salary at all, and averaged about $120 each week. And even then, I managed to keep everything paid, though I never had even a spare penny and was constantly digging deeper into the hole. Let’s face it–that wasn’t even enough to cover my rent, so the negative number got bigger every month.
While I was in college, I was married, and my wife didn’t work because we had only one vehicle, which I was using for school and work (my job provided us with medical insurance, whereas hers didn’t, so she quit hers when I started school). I made Minimum Wage. Yet I kept all of our bills paid, our rent paid, and our bellies full. Oh, there’s no doubt that it sucked. We didn’t have extra money often; when we did, we usually used it to buy season DVDs from Pawn Shops for $3 each, as that provided the most bang for the buck. We didn’t have a phone (and definitely not a smartphone) or an Internet connection, or satellite/cable TV. We had a TV, a DVD player, a PS2, a GameCube, and some classic consoles like an NES, all of which we’d purchased years before when we had two cars (before she totaled hers) and were both employed. And we had each other.
You seem to want me to believe that a person literally can’t survive on a wage of $7.50 an hour, when I happen to know for a fact that not only is that false, but a person can support two people on that wage. I’ve done it.
In reality, there are two possibilities when Expenses exceed Income. Sometimes, this is because Income is such a small number. I don’t deny that this is possible–I’ve experienced that, too, like when I made only about $120 a week. It simply wasn’t possible to afford rent, electricity, food, a phone (necessary for work, actually), and gasoline on that amount. Even if I lowered expenses to the bare minimum (which I did), I still didn’t have enough Income to cover them.
However, the alternative is what usually happens in the United States. Usually, the problem is that a person’s Expenses are so high that no Income can reach it, generally because they have “that mentality” that causes them to increase Expenses proportionally to their increases in Income. I’ve seen poor people go from making $7.50 an hour to making $15 an hour with no change in their overall situation (I’ve also been there). I’ve seen people scraping and clipping coupons to make ends meet receive checks of $10,000+ and be broke just a few weeks later. It’s not because Income is too low that this happens; it’s because Expenses are too high, and they lack the self-reflective capability to sit down, identify, and address the problem.
Maybe those two people making $4,390 a month are spending $15/day on cigarettes. And yes, I can tell you from experience that the cost of smoking adds up fast. Maybe they’re buying honey buns and crap from gas stations on their way to work each day. Who knows? But you can’t seriously expect me to believe that two people making $4,390 each month are broke because they’re just not earning enough. The reality is that they’re earning enough; they’re simply spending way too much.
And anyone who has two bedrooms and only one provider has made some mistakes somewhere along the way. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. I was married for like 6 years and I don’t have kids–that’s not an accident. I’ve been having sex since I was 14 years old, and I don’t have kids–again, that’s not an accident. I was 28 years old before I ever got a girl pregnant, and then I was more than capable of bearing that responsibility, as a college graduate in a place where employment was easy to find for someone with my training and skillset.
The most common criticism I receive for this is the reply, “So you’re saying that children are only for college graduates? That’s so messed up!”
No, that’s not what I’m saying.
I am, however, saying that children are only for people who can actually provide for them. This is the “We don’t understand reality” thing that the title of this post is about.
I fully expect stray cats and stray dogs to have offspring that they can’t provide for. This is why stray animals have such a high mortality rate, too. Not only can the parent not show the offspring to enough food (once nursing is over) to survive all 6-8 of the puppies or kittens, but a good many of them will be picked off by predators because the parent can’t provide protection to them all, either. This is why wild animals have offspring in those numbers: most of them die before adulthood.
Therein lies the rub. Such a high percentage of western children make it to adulthood that I can’t find statistics on it (I could if I cared to look further, but I don’t, so…). I’d hazard that 98% of western children reach the age of 18. For stray cats and dogs, that number is probably closer to 5%, with one out of every two or three litters reaching adulthood. Thanks to the incredible developments of our society (for reference, as recently as the 19th century, most men died at the age of 22 and women at the age of 24 in Korea), we have an insane longevity and a very low mortality rate among offspring. I don’t mean to be harsh, but we’ve prevented nature from doing its job. I think this is a good thing, but it also means that we had to pick up the responsibility, and we failed to do that.
In fact, the idea that parents bear no responsibility or fault for having children that they can’t support is making the argument that huge portions of the population are no better than stray cats and dogs. We expect that behavior out of such low animals, after all. We expect better of humans–or we should. Liberals, evidently… don’t. Their paternalistic, condescending bullshit extends to the point that they are okay with treating humans as though they’re no better than stray dogs. After all, we don’t blame the stray dogs for being overrun by hormones and recklessly having children when the dog knows–on some deep, perhaps instinctual level–that most of its children are gonna die in terrible ways. “It’s just a dog being a dog,” we say. In fact, we’re willing to address that problem: “Spay and neuter your pets so that this doesn’t happen!”
But when it comes to humans? No. We don’t even hold humans to that high of a standard. “It’s not their fault for having offspring that they knew they couldn’t take care of. What do you mean ‘Spay and neuter such people?’ You can’t ‘spay and neuter humans!*’ What the hell is the matter with you, you uncompassionate pig? It’s their right to have children! Children aren’t just for the elite!”
That’s a straw man fallacy, of course. There’s nothing “elite” about taking one’s ass to a community college, which literally anyone can afford to do. And the difference that even a 2 year degree makes to prospective employers is the difference between $13.73/hour and $18.73/hour. People with Associate’s Degrees average $5/hour more than people with only high school diplomas, and that amounts to $200 a week. Not to mention that such jobs usually come with a 401k, health and dental insurance, perhaps stock options, and other benefits.
It’s not elitism, however, to demand that humans act like they’re more intelligent than stray dogs, and fuck you for suggesting that humans act better than stray cats is elitism. Fuck you for suggesting that humans should be treated with the same eye-rolling condescension with which we treat stray animals. We know that stray cats and dogs don’t know any better, and we don’t expect them to consider questions like “How am I going to afford to send my puppy to college?” before getting knocked up. If you don’t demand more than that of humans, then you might be the most arrogant, condescending person on the planet.
I spend about a fifth of my time reminding people that we’re animals and that we’re part of nature, and so the same rules that govern animal behavior govern us. I fully agree that an 18 year old who gets pregnant has been overcome by biological instincts in the same way that the stray dog is. However, I think the 18 year old should bear the responsibility for that, especially in a society that has made it so ridiculously easy to avoid getting pregnant and that spends at least 4 years informing people of what not to do in order to avoid pregnancy.
And that’s the harsh truth. What happened here is that the human was consumed by their biological programming in exactly the same way as the stray dog and the stray cat, and you don’t expect more of them than that. You don’t expect them to say, “Wait a minute… I’m a human being, by God! I can think about this before I do it. I know that I can’t financially support my offspring. I know that satisfying these biological urges by having unprotected sex will cause pregnancy. Woah, woah, fella. Put on this condom, or you’re leaving.”
Instead, the bleeding heart liberal expects something more like, “Wait a minute… I’m a human being, by God! I can think about this before I do it. I know that I can’t financially support my offspring. I know that satisfying these biological urges by having unprotected sex will cause pregnancy. *Shrug*. Oh, well. Yes, dude, let’s have unprotected sex anyway. It’s so hot that you’re unemployed!”
To return to something I said earlier–we lowered the infant mortality rate. That’s a great, wonderful thing. Picking on Korea for no reason in particular, in 19th century Korea any parent who had a child they couldn’t support would have ended up with a dead child. This was true in the United States in earlier centuries, too**. After all, Nature is constantly trying to kill us. So a parent who can’t support their child is literally a parent who can’t prevent nature from killing that child. In that way, Nature took care of the “problem” in the same way that it takes care of the overpopulation of stray animals: they die.
And yes, it’s a good thing that we’ve eliminated that particular problem in the west. I’m not saying that we should let children die. Don’t straw man the points here; instead, absorb them and take them in. The child isn’t to blame that his or her parents can’t provide for him or her. That’s the parents’ responsibility and the parents’ mistake. They are the ones who bear responsibility for that. Since we can’t sit by and watch parents starve their child to death, the onus falls to bystanders and the community adopt the child away from the parents until such time that the parents can actually keep that child the hell alive.
This is not what governmental welfare programs do, but that’s another matter for another day–perhaps the next in this series on Nihilism.
You know what the universe does if you have a child that you can’t feed? It kills the child. That’s reality. That’s the world we live in. You can’t change that with good feelings, and pretending like that isn’t true is the very definition of delusional. The universe doesn’t give a shit about your feelings. If you can’t feed the child, then the child dies. It’s that simple.
Luckily, we humans are more… enlightened… than stray cats and dogs. We have this thing called “empathy” that leaves us unable to stand by and watch (in most circumstances, though our lack of concern about the children killed by American bombs in the Middle East calls this point into question) while a child dies. If you want to provide for that child, so be it, but don’t pretend like it’s okay or normal for the mother to just shrug and say “Fuck it–someone will feed Little Billy for me. Someone will take care of my problem. I’m a helpless child and can’t do things for myself, and need the government to take care of me.”
Pretending like it’s totally okay for humans to have offspring they can’t support while curtailing Nature’s solution that problem is a recipe for disaster, because it creates a net drain on society and productivity. Someone has to put in the effort to acquire that food; manna doesn’t fall from the sky. And what do we know is the long-term effect of net drains? They build up. It’s not a big deal to be $100 in the hole for a few months. But do that for 10 years, and you’ll wind up $12,000 in the hole. What may seem like a trivial, inconsequential thing ultimately adds up to society. And what do we call it when society collectively has fewer resources to go around?
Why, we call that “an increase in poverty.”
And because no one is doing anything to actually address or fix the problem, it means that the reckless people who have more children than they can afford are passing along those genes and tendencies, such that even more people will have children that they can’t afford. This is called “evolution,” and it didn’t stop because humans invented electricity. Whether there are alleles that make a person more or less likely to behave irresponsibly has not been determined (to my knowledge), but given that poverty is primarily hereditary, circumstantial evidence suggests that it does play a role. After all, resisting the inclination to spend more money–$10 here, $15 there–is a daily battle for me. Is it a battle because of genetics, or because that’s how I watched adults behave my entire life? Nature or nurture? Really, it’s not very important, because if we aren’t even admitting that it’s a problem, then we certainly aren’t addressing it, and the problem perpetuates and, because of the nature of procreation leading to population growth, constantly exacerbates itself.
Well done for eventually destroying western society.
* I agree entirely, and am just making the point.
** Actually, because of Puritan origins, I’d venture the guess that the mother would end up homeless and destitute, but someone would have taken in the child, but I’m not an expert on colonial America. My point isn’t that big of a deal anyway.
Be warned: if you haven’t read Western Nihilism Part 1 and Western Nihilism Part 2, some of this may seem unsupported or even nonsensical. So the links are provided there, since we’re building off that framework with a more specific example.
See, I just read a 1400 word whine from a partner of Vice about how she’s totally judged because of her height, how her height makes her life difficult, and how she often intimidates people. The article ended with a link to a partner article about how standards of age are a form of bias. We’ve really reached this point, then? We’ve genuinely forgotten that we’re animals to the extent that we can’t recognize the real, primal, and largely uncontrollable reasons that we sometimes find tall people intimidating and short people adorable.
Little Things Are Cute
We’re programmed to think that little things are cute. This is part of the human operating system–it’s not a third party program that some people installed. We find kittens adorable, puppies adorable, and babies adorable, for the same reason we find one-inch figurines cute. Those things are immediately read as helpless, and that’s what we’re drawn toward (in the absence of imminent danger).
People finding you adorable because you’re short is a simple byproduct of how genes programmed us to protect our offspring. Because let’s be real a moment: what defense does a pooping, peeing, and crying baby have? None. It survives by two biological processes–the first I’ve already mentioned. Being cute is the baby’s first line of defense against the innate tendency humans have to discard things that cry and poop everywhere. The second is the parental bond, of course, but the parental bond can’t explain it all, because just about any human would do anything in their power to protect a baby.
Helplessness is generally what humans find cute–helplessness makes the thing precious to us, like kittens and babies. We recognize on deep, primal levels that these things cannot fend for themselves, and that this marvelous living creature needs our protection and love. This triggers endorphins to release in the brain and triggers, “Oh, my god, he’s so precious!” to come out of the mouth.
Just think about anything you’d call “precious.” Now think about anything you’d call “adorable.” There is a 1:1 correlation between those things: whatever you find precious, you’ll find adorable, and whatever you find adorable, you’ll find precious. This is just the way humans work.
Demanding that we cast off all of that biological programming and cease letting ourselves think short people are adorable is nihilistic. It’s an attempt to undermine, consciously ignore, destroy, or mitigate the very biological processes that cause people to like babies. So you having people say “You’re super cute!” isn’t really that big a deal, is it? Not when stacked against the evolution of our species and, hopefully, the continued evolution that happens when people find little things cute and when the perception of helplessness (being a kitten, being short, whatever) is what triggers the endorphin release that makes them gush over infants.
So get over yourself.
“I’m tall, so I intimidate people.”
“I’m tall, and I intimidate people,” is what one should say. Being tall–within ordinary human limits, not talking about people like Shaq–is not inherently intimidating. If you’re intimidating people, it’s going to be because of:
Being very tall and very large (fat or muscular)
It’s almost certainly going to be the latter. Most people don’t pay any attention to their body language, but doing so would fix these issues people are having. I learned in my last year of college that i intimidated the crap out of people. Muscular, wearing A-shirts (“wifebeaters”), wearing eyeliner, shaved head, intelligent, a bit over six feet tall… But it was my demeanor that intimidated people, not my height, intelligence, or any of the other excuses I could list to wriggle out from under the fact that my demeanor was intimidating people.
Of course I had a litany of viable excuses ready to go. Perhaps it was the chains on my Tripp pants? Maybe the eyeliner. Maybe the shaved head. None of those things were “on me,” and that’s the difference. “I’m just being myself, and I can’t help that, so if people are intimidated then it’s their problem, not mine.”
It wasn’t any one thing; it was the whole package that was “my presentation,” and it intimidated people. The biggest part of that was certainly my body language.
Height isn’t really an issue.
I couldn’t guess how many people I’ve met in my life, and I can only think of one person who truly intimidated me. His name was Joe, and he was the manager at a client’s office. He was enormous, possibly seven feet tall, and stocky. He had a deep voice and a No Nonsense attitude. Square jaw and square chin–looking at him was like looking at a cinder block that decided one day to grow a body. I avoided him whenever possible.
His height had little to do with that. It was the whole package (his demeanor) that was intimidating.
My ex-wife is now married to some old dude who is even taller than I am. We knew him for years (and no, there was nothing going on there–it seems she just latched onto the first guy she found after me), and I have never in the least intimidated by him. The drummer in my band then was almost the same height (I’d guess about 6’5″), and he was never intimidating, either.
Because it’s not about height. It’s about demeanor. It’s about the whole package you’re presenting, not one aspect of it.
Escaping Personal Responsibility
Seeing as they view personal responsibility as some deprecated, gross thing that should be rejected because “It’s everyone else with the problem, not me. I’m perfect!” it’s not surprising that we see here another way to lift blame from the one responsible (The one presenting the demeanor) and shifting it onto people who aren’t responsible (The ones witnessing the presentation).
If you made a PowerPoint presentation using terrible font choices and horrific colors, would you blame the viewers if they said your presentation sucked? “You’re just biased against people like me who love these fonts and colors!”
Sure, that’s true, in a limited, narrow, and asinine sense. There are biological reasons that we prefer complementary colors, largely due to how our eyes evolved first seeing only light and dark, then red and green (if I recall correctly), and then the other colors incrementally until we had the vision we have today. At the heart of it are more biological processes that we don’t have any control over. We like clear, readable fonts in vibrant, contrasting colors. Dark blue script fonts on a black background won’t be appealing to many people. And that’s not our problem.
It’s yours, because it’s your presentation.
We Are Animals
And we have forgotten that. We are compelled by genes and biological processes that we’re only beginning to understand, but the shocking revelation has been that it’s not really the survival of the individual that our subconscious minds care about; it’s the survival of our genes, which led to the term Gene Machines.
If you spit on everything that helped ensure the survival of those genes, then yes, you’re certainly being nihilistic. In and of itself, that isn’t a bad thing, but this nihilistic tendency is really starting to dominate western society. After all, we’ve legitimately reached a point where someone writes an article about being stereotyped because if one aspect of their demeanor, and how everyone else is at fault, and the writer isn’t laughed off the internet for being ridiculous.
According to various news sources, Internet giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter are being sued for providing material aid to the enemy (ISIS/ISIL/DAESH) by the father of one of the students killed in the Paris attack. And you know what?
That’s such a goddamn good point. I honestly can’t believe that I didn’t think about it before, but not only should they be sued–they should be brought up on charges of treason. Never mind hiring I.T. experts, as Trump suggests, to seal DAESH off the internet–it’s Google’s responsibility to close themselves off to DAESH.
Let’s look at this from the perspective of any other company.
DAESH calls me to request my help removing a virus from their computers. Yeah, exactly. It’s obviously, clearly, and blatantly providing aid to the enemy for me to help them. No one would dispute or challenge that. Not only should these companies be sued; they should be brought up on charges of treason. The only escape is that they might not have realized the tweets, searches, and posts came from DAESH, but it’s silly to think that these companies who make their money by monitoring users and studying their behavior couldn’t put two and two together. They obviously could have. They simply didn’t.
Considering that it’s been common knowledge for a while that all these places are being used (alongside Instagram and many others) by radical Muslims to convert and raise funds. While I’m sure these companies have attempted to curtail it, they certainly haven’t done enough to make their services unavailable to those who would utilize them to murder, and it’s indisputably their responsibility to do that, just as it would be my responsibility to tell them “No” if they called me about a virus.
In an age where ransomware writers code their programs to specifically avoid targeting given countries, it’s absurd to think that these enormous conglomerates that dominate the internet can’t do the same, but locking out DAESH instead. If their systems are too open, insecure, and homogenized for them to do that (which certainly isn’t true), then their systems need to be overhauled immediately.
There’s really no excuse that will hold water.
Except one technicality.
Congress has never declared war.
It is fucking ridiculous that what will allow these companies to continue serving people who are clearly our enemies… is a goddamn technicality. This is why it’s a lawsuit that’s been brought against them, and not criminal charges. Isn’t that amazing? Think about it for a moment. Our government has not recognized DAESH as the enemy, and they didn’t recognize Al Queda, either. Hell, we didn’t even declare war on Iraq.
What a joke. What an absolute disgrace.
Now the refusal to declare war makes sense. It’s not treason to trade with them if there’s no declaration of war. I guess they learned from that mistake during World War 2, when the Bush family lost a fair bit of gold they’d acquired from trading with the Nazis. “Problem solved!” they realized around the Vietnam era. “Just don’t ever declare war! Then we can fight perpetually AND lengthen the war by helping them! It’s win-win! And it only costs a few thousand lives every once in a while.”
There’s no excuse for this world we have created, and fixing this mess starts with personal responsibility. Whether you’re the CEO of Google or just an individual, you are responsible for you and the consequences of your actions. The standard defense against this will be something along the lines of “What do you want them to do? Monitor who is using their Search?”
Um… They already are.
Google is extraordinarily powerful, and they have only become more powerful in the past few years. Think about it. When you need to look something up, you google it. Fuck. That’s a level of power that is terrifying. If they wanted to influence search results, they could wield untold levels of power over the world. And there is some evidence to suggest that Google is doing exactly that. http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/google-autocomplete/
It’s hard to really explain how many trillions of dollars have gone into subtly manipulating human beings through advertising and calculated titles. This is a mistake I frequently make. Think about it. Which video would you watch?
The Most Important Message You’ll EVER Hear
Transgender Mississippian to LGBT Community: Change the World.
Almost everyone would click on the first one, and almost no one would click on the second. However, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to play the game that way. I absolutely could justify naming my video “The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Said,” because I do believe that is true of the video in question:
But “The Most Important Message You’ll Ever Hear” comes dangerously close to clickbait territory, even if I think it could be true. Seriously, that video is important, and if liberals and LGBT people would listen to it and apply it, we just might be able to put Christian “homophobia” behind us forever. The opportunity is right there. Right in front of our faces. They’re trying to rally beside us.
It broke my heart to see this response to my message:
Really, you piece of shit? You’re going to knowingly continue antagonizing Christians, and preventing them from standing beside LGBT people, and therefore continue making life extremely difficult for LGBT people in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgie, and Tennessee, because you want to hold a grudge? Jesus, fuck you, man. I replied to that with:
No… No, it’s not. The lIves and peace of mind of lgbt people in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee are impacted by this in ways I can’t even begin to explain. If people who aren’t similarly affected would just get out of the way, learn to forgive instead of holding grudges, we might just be able to coexist.
No, I’m not being naive to suggest that our problems could vanish overnight. I’ve seen it before; we’ve all seen it before. The exact same thing happened after 9/11, when all of America came together. Religion, gender, and race were all pushed aside. None of it mattered. You were simply an American first, and we stood together, side by side. We have that opportunity right now to stand together with sexual orientation and sexual identity being the things that no longer matter. This is overwhelming. And it happened overnight.
Did the post-9/11 unity last? No. And I know that there’s no guarantee that this one would last. However, this one could start. And, to be totally honest, I’ll gladly take 2 or 3 years of unity and acceptance by the people who literally surround me everywhere I go. Having people in Oklahoma, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and other states standing in the way of this unity because they want to hold a grudge… it’s despicable. Fuck you people so much for this, and I will probably never forgive you if you don’t get out of the way, stop being divisive, and let us come together. Sure, there are Christians everywhere. But this is the Bible Belt. We have an entirely different kind of Christian here.
Evolution isn’t even taught in our schools. Did you know that? I never learned a word of evolution from elementary to the end of my high school career. We don’t have Sex Ed here. We have Abstinence Education here. The sex ed pamphlets that kids get are blatant fear-mongering bullshit about STDs and death. I’ve written about them before, but it was more than half a decade ago. They were disgusting in their Christianity, though. This is the place where all that shit is concentrated. We have more churches per square mile than we do gas stations, convenient stores, and restaurants. This place is called the Bible Belt for a reason. There are at least a dozen churches within a mile of where I live, and that’s no exaggeration. I remember driving to work years ago when I lived with my sister, and I counted all the churches that I passed directly. I didn’t count the ones on adjacent streets–only the ones on streets I was on. On a 22 mile trip, there were 39 churches.
Some of us have to live here and try to coexist with these people, you inconsiderate dickbags.
Can you even comprehend a concentration like that?
That is a map of church attendance by state. You see that dark green place there, in the middle of the set of three dark green places? That’s Mississippi. We’re second only to Utah (which has a much lower population that is largely Mormon) as far as people who attend church every week, at 47%. HALF of all Mississippians attend church every single week.
This one’s kinda complex, so here’s the key:
More than 50% of our population is one single denomination of Christianity: Baptist. When you mix in the Methodists, we’re approaching at least 70%. And by the time you’ve added in the Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Church of God/Church of Christ, etc., we’re getting pretty close to 95%. And in case you hadn’t connected the dots, what we’re talking about, of course… are Southern Baptists. The only real misconception people have about southern Baptists is that they do, in fact, support religious liberty for everyone, but they do also believe that Christianity should be the default, instead of secularism being the default. Basically, they think that Protestant Christianity should be the state religion, but that people should be allowed to follow other religions. Yeah, they’re a mess of problems.
It sucks hairy goat balls here, dude.
The very least people in the U.S. who are not surrounded by southern Baptists is stop antagonizing the people who do surround us and who, for the first time in American history, want to stand beside us.
I meant to post this several days ago. I’m sorry that I didn’t. This one focuses on using Obamacare as its example, and I’m posting it without looking at it further. Keep in mind my addendum to the previous entry in this series–these were written as I was still fleshing out my ideas on anarchy and free market principles. Basically, I know more now than I did then, about how economy works and how it is merely the result of humans acting, hence why Mises called his magnum opus “Human Action.”
I did fix the links, though. And just wanted to say… “Ah. The days before I had a consistent policy for using bold and italics, and occasionally went a bit overboard on emphasis… Good times. ;)”
Before we get too deeply into this, we must first discuss a few very basic [I promise: they’re basic] economic principles regarding Supply and Demand, because the Affordable Care Act (colloquially, Obamacare) relies on your ignorance regarding basic economic laws. If the masses understood these basic economic principles, the Affordable Care Act would have no chance of reaching the American People, because it can be demonstrated in just a few minutes that sound and proven economic principles predict with certainty that Obamacare will be a complete failure. It has no chance of success, because, in order to succeed, Obamacare requires that these basic, sound, and proven economic principles be wrong–and they’ve been known for a very long time to be right.
These four basic laws are:
If demand increases and supply remains unchanged, a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.
If demand decreases and supply remains unchanged, a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
If demand remains unchanged and supply increases, a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
If demand remains unchanged and supply decreases, a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.
I truly hope you understand these 4 principles, because there isn’t much I can do to explain them. They’re self-explanatory, and it’s very difficult to explain things that are self-explanatory. If the demand for health care increases (i.e., more people want to go to the doctor) and the supply of health care remains the same (i.e., there aren’t any new doctors added to the health care system), then a shortage occurs and prices rise. If there are 100 people who want to go see 10 doctors at $100 per visit, then if we increase those 100 people to 150 people (increasing demand) but leave only 10 doctors in the system, then there are still only 10 doctors to go around the increased number of people. Instead of 100 people using 10 doctors, there are now 150 people using 10 doctors. So what will happen as a result of this increase in the Demand? If supply does not increase, then Doctors will raise their prices. This is because higher prices lower demand, another foundational principle of economics. There may be 150 people wanting to see a doctor if they only have to pay $100, but if they have to pay $200 to see a doctor, some portion of those 150 will decide they don’t want to see a doctor–Demand will, therefore, lower.
If, however, no new doctors are added to the system (supply does not increase) and doctors cannot raise prices to offset the increased demand, then a severe shortage occurs, because there is now a Price Ceiling in place, and Price Ceilings always create Shortages and invoke the rationing of the good in question. When during World War 2, the Government fixed the price of Gasoline, gas station owners could not raise their prices and had to consider selling gasoline at prices lower than what the Market demanded because of the increased Demand and the decreased Supply. Since the same amount of people still wanted gasoline but the supply of gasoline had lowered, the only free market course was to raise prices, but the Government made doing that illegal. People continued buying gas, since higher prices didn’t decrease demand, and there were shortages as a result of the Price Ceiling (“You can’t raise the price beyond X!”).
Now–I know what you’re thinking. “What the fuck, I/E? Your blog is supposed to be accessible!” But I promise that the graph isn’t as complicated as it initially looks. First, there is the blue curve–S. Obviously, that’s the Supply line. There are two red lines–D1 and D2. These are the Demand curves. We’re assuming in this graph that the Demand for the good increases. Let’s use Pringles as an examples. For whatever reason, the Supply of Pringles cannot increase except on the Supply line. It cannot increase as a result of increased Demand; there cannot be a shift in aggregate Supply (sorry about that; the term was unavoidable). So the Pringles factory can only produce a number of Pringles that falls on the Supply line; the Supply line cannot move.
Now we’re going to look at Demand1–many people want Pringles. But, suddenly and because of a new hot flavor of Pringles chips, the Demand for Pringles increases (adding a new flavor does not increase the Supply of Pringles, because in order to make the new flavor, they had to decrease the amount they were making of other flavors).
Look back to the graph at P1 and Q1. At x amount of Demand, as demonstrated by D1, the Price of Pringles will be lower and the Quantity sold by the Pringles company will be higher (because Demand is higher and because Supply can only increase along the curve–adding new factories would shift the curve, and that isn’t a possibility at the moment). This makes sense. Demand increases, so Pringles sells more chips and they also raise their prices. We’d all expect this to be the case.
And when we increase the Demand by moving to D2, the Supply increases according to the Supply curve. Note that these are notstraight lines. They are curves, which means that the Supply will never increase exactly in proportion to the increased Demand. Supply will always, because of the arcs, decrease less than would correspond to the increase in Demand. If these were straight lines, then if Demand increased, Supply would increase by an amount exactly in proportion to the increase in Demand. But economics never deals with straight lines, because straight lines require that conditions be perfect, that the amount of unutilized resources simply pop into existence the moment they are needed and back out of existence when they are not. This is never the case in the real world (one of the main flaws of Keynesian economics is that it, more often than not, requires absolutely perfect market conditions that are never reflected in the real world). The Supply increases on a curve because, if 50 people can produce 5000 cans of pringles, it doesn’t necessarily mean that 60 people will produce 6,000 cans of Pringles–it is far more likely that increasing the labor force to 60 will only increase the “cans of pringles” by 800 or so. As size grows, previous levels of efficiency become harder to maintain and it becomes impossible to get the same Input>Output yields.
This is why economics often deals with Marginal increases and Marginal decreases. It is the observation that, if 50 people make 5000 cans of Pringles, then it isn’t true that 60 people will make 6000 cans of Pringles; it’s true that 60 people will make between 5000 and 6000 cans of Pringles, and the number they actually make will fall in the upper range of averages. If, however, we double the workforce it also doesn’t mean that 100 people will make 10000 cans of Pringles; in fact, because increasing Input doesn’t decrease Output proportionally, we would predict that doubling the Input (via doubling the workforce, which isn’t exactly “doubling Input,” but let’s keep it simple) won’t necessarily double the Output; we’d expect 100 people to make about 8000 cans of Pringles if 50 people make 5000 cans.
Has this gotten too complicated? I’m worried that it has.
Back to the graph. So we find that even if we can increase Supply along its curve (by introducing more workers to the Pringles factory), it won’t raise in an amount exactly in proportion to the increase in Demand. If Demand doubles from 5000 people wanting Pringles to 10000 people wanting Pringles, if 50 workers produce 5000 cans of Pringles and we know that doubling the input to 100 workers will not yield 10000 cans of Pringles, then we know that to offset the increase in Demand, we must do more than double the Input. If 50 workers make 5000 cans and 100 workers will make about 800 cans, then we’ll actually need to roughly triple the workforce to 150 people to produce those 10000 cans.
Suddenly Pringles is paying three times the amount they were to meet a Demand which has only doubled. If Pringles pays each worker $10 an hour, then they were paying out $500 to an hour to meet Demand1. But when Demand doubles to D2, Pringles will need roughly three times the number of workers (actually, between 2x and 3x, but we’re using 3x because anything over 2x becomes a loss) and will need to pay out $1500 an hour to make a Supply which equals Demand2. But Demand2 doesn’t earn them enough money to meet the increased expenses of tripling production to meet an increased Demand–for obvious reasons. If Pringles has to suddenly pay 3 times the amount of money they were paying before but they’re only earning 2 times the amount of money they were before, then Pringles is suddenly losing money.
So it’s not only impossible, along given Supply curves (without the Supply line itself moving, which we’ll look at in a moment), for Pringles to meet an increase in Demand, it’s also not even economically viable. Pringles would lose money if they attempted to please everyone by meeting the increased Demand by a corresponding increase in Supply. Instead, the Free Market would have the price per can of Pringles rise, the Supply of Pringles increase somewhat, and the quantity of Pringles sold to increase. But because of the increased Price, Demand will actually go back down, as many people don’t want to try the new flavor of Pringles badly enough to pay $3 per can when the old price was $2.25.
That’s the best I can do in explaining this. I hope you grasp it.
An Increase In Supply
Calm down. It’s the same thing as the previous graph with the difference that there are now two Supply lines. Here we are assuming that Pringles isn’t restricted to its current amount of “resources” (which we exempted the labor force from in the previous example, allowing that Pringles could still hire more workers to satisfy moving along the Supply curve–there must be some resource which is currently underutilized in order for anything to move along a given Supply line); we are asserting that Pringles can do whatever it takes to increase its supply, which is, I hope you’ll see, a much more accurate reflection of the real world. Pringles can hire new people, invest in new production technologies, open more factories, and do all sorts of creative things to meet an increase in Demand. In short, in the real world, Pringles isn’t restricted to a given Supply line; they can move the line. And, moreover, because we’re allowing that the Supply line can be moved, you’ll notice that we are now using straight lines. We’re assuming that Pringles won’t run out of potatoes, land on which to build new factories, or workers to be hired. These assumptions may or may not be accurate, but we’re going to assume that all resources Pringles would need currently exist and are plentiful but underutilized.
Let’s imagine that Demand increases from D1 to D. Let’s also assume that Pringles can rise to the challenge presented by this increased Demand and do whatever is necessary to meet it. You’ll see that the old level of Demand (D1) meets the old Supply (S) at a Price lower than P and at a Quantity lower than Q. This means that, with the old Demand, people aren’t buying as many Pringles (which makes sense, as the Demand is lower) and that the price of a can of Pringles is also lower (which also makes sense, as people don’t want them as badly). When we increase the Demand and keep Supply the same, we move to using the D line but we still use the S line; we do not use S1. This means that the price per can of Pringles will go up and the number of cans of Pringles sold will go up.
In order to meet the increased Demand, though, Pringles would move its Supply from S to S1–since doing so would increase the amount of money they were making (meeting a Demand yields money, after all). When S changes to S1 and D stays as high as it was (having already moved from D1 to D), the quantity of cans sold becomes an amount almost exactly in proportion to the quantity of cans sold at the old price, the old supply, and the old Demand. You’ll notice, however, that Q1 passes just slightly to the left of the nexus of D1 and S; the price per can is just slightly higher than an exact proportion to the nexus of S and D1 and the number of cans sold is just slightly lower than an exact proportion to the nexus of S and D1. This is why we don’t have to curve lines when we can freely move Supply and Demand; it happens naturally. Just as, in our previous example, doubling the workforce won’t necessary double the number of cans produced, so will moving the Supply line to account for the increased Demand not necessarily result in a price that is exactly in proportion to the old Supply and Demand. Maybe a can is now $.35 per ounce while originally it was $.32 per ounce.
In short, buying a can of Pringles won’t be “as good a deal” as it was before the increased Demand and Supply; it will be a slightly worse deal. And what would happen if we shifted the Supply from S to S1 while staying on the old Demand of D1? What would happen if Pringles suddenly opened new factories, hired new workers, used a new production technology, or some other method of “moving the Supply line” but they did this of their own accord and without any change in Demand?
We’re now looking at S1 and D, but we’re also assuming that D won’t move along its line, that no matter what happens, the Demand for Pringles won’t change at all. We’re not assuming that more people can be made to Demand Pringles (through marketing, word of mouth, and advertising), and we’re not assuming that people can be made to Demand Pringles more than they already do (also something that would be accomplished through marketing, word of mouth, and advertising). Instead, we’re assuming that a certain number of people want Pringles a specific level of “badly” and that nothing is going to change that. D meets S at this location, where the Supply corresponds to the Demand. But Pringles has suddenly increased the supply without regard to Demand. What happens? We have to move the Demand line to account for this, and we’d have to shift it to the left, so we’re now looking at a line not on the graph. Demand hasn’t changed, but the Supply has, so we must shift the Demand line to the left. We can use D1 for this.
As you can see, Pringles fucked up majorly. In order to sell the increased Supply, the price must be lowered substantially. Basically we have to shift the Demand line to the left. Don’t think of D1 as a change in Demand; think of it as the Demand staying the same but its proportion to the Supply changing. If Demand is 50 and Supply is 100, then the ratio is 1:2. If Demand stays at 50 but Supply changes to 150, then the ratio is 1:3. Demand hasn’t changed, but its relation to Supply has. That is why we must move the line to the left. This is also why we must move the Supply line, as done above, when Demand increases–the ratio between Demand and Supply has changed.
OMG, I’m So Bored
Sorry. I don’t know–I find this topic interesting. I’ve noticed that it’s a tendency of people to become bored with a topic when they do not understand the topic. I’ve noticed that when people become bored with Physics discussions, it’s usually because the conversation has become too advanced or too technical for their grasp; I’ve noticed that when people become bored with Economics discussions, it’s usually because the conversation has become too advanced or too technical for their grasp. If this stuff bores you, I recommend you either taking a few Economics classes at your local college or reading a few books on the subject. And if what you find bores you, start smaller and simpler. Don’t discard the subject entirely; it’s interesting enough to have fascinated numerous people to the point where they devote their entire lives to the subject. There must, then, be something interesting about it.
What the Fuck Does This Have To Do With Obamacare?
In some ways, Obamacare has no impact on Supply and Demand. Obamacare won’t suddenly make anyone want to go to the doctor and it won’t suddenly increase the number of doctors in the system. It will, however, increase Demand for health care because it is making health care a viable option for some 30,000,000 people. We dealt with much smaller numbers above, but it doesn’t matter. What happens when you increase Demand by 30,000,000 but don’t change Supply to account for the increased Demand? That’s right: prices rise. If, again, we have 100 people wanting to go to the doctor now and we have only 10 doctors, then the ratio is 10:1. If we increase it to 150 people wanting to go to the doctor without adding even ONE new doctor to the system, then we have changed the ratio to 15:1. And then prices must rise.
Increasing the amount of people wanting to go to the doctor by thirty million without adding even one doctor to a system that already is known to have too few doctors will only raise the cost of health care and will only decrease the health care’s quality. I never mentioned quality above because “the quality of Pringles” isn’t really an issue; Pringles are mass-produced. Health care is not. Quality can vary wildly from one doctor to the next, and if you increase the Demand without increasing the Supply, it is impossible for any doctor to maintain the Quality they were able to maintain with the old Supply:Demand ratio. Price is not the only thing impacted by an increase in Demand without an increase in Supply. For all services (this is also true of many goods, particularly those that aren’t mass produced), an increase in Demand without an increase in Supply will result in higher prices and lower quality.
All of Duck Dynasty’s duck calls are made by hand. Let’s consider for a moment that they cannot hire new employees to reflect that we can’t simply manufacture new doctors. We can’t. The best we can do is motivate people to become medical doctors, but that is an eight year investment, resulting in an eight year lag between a rise in Demand and a corresponding rise in Supply, and that is if we somehow managed to entice people into becoming medical doctors (which we can’t and won’t do). So we have to assume that they cannot simply bring in new people to meet an increase in Demand (for Duck Dynasty, perhaps there aren’t any more bearded rednecks to hire).
Basically, we cannot increase the Supply of health care. We can’t. Doctors are already known to be overworked and stretched too thin–hence people waiting in Emergency rooms for hours at a time. …Actually, we can increase the raw Supply of health care, but we can only do this by drastically lowering the Quality of healthcare received. We can only increase the Supply of health care by changing doctors from 5 minute visits which charge you $120 to 2 minute visits that charge you $180. We can only increase the Supply of health care, without adding new doctors, but having hospitals and general practices behave exactly as the DMV: draw a number, “NEXT!”
Anyway, so let’s say that someone suddenly wants the Duck Dynasty guys to multiply their orders by ten. This actually happened in one episode, and they responded by enlisting the help of the community. They increased their Supply to correspond to the new Demand by bringing in help. But let’s assume that this isn’t possible, since, after all, we can’t simply “bring in help” to increase the Supply of healthcare–the best we can do is entice people to become medical doctors which will, obviously take 8 to 10 years to yield any results (and by then Demand will have increased even more, since Populations are always growing, though this also theoretically increases the Supply at a given ratio… but since we’re in the process of fucking up that ratio with Obamacare by increasing Demand and not changing Supply, this whole parenthetical statement is irrelevant).
So what do the Duck Dynasty guys do if they need to increase their production 1000% and they can’t bring in any help to do that? What happens when the amount of productive resources (labor) they have stays the same but Demand increases by a factor of 10? They can’t simply speed up their conveyor belts (though they tried this in the episode, and it worked until they reverted to their Kindergartener mindsets… I swear to god one of them got in a canoe on the conveyor belt and fully intended to ride it off the edge–he almost certainly would have broken something if the CEO hadn’t come back there and stopped them). They can work faster and harder, but can they work faster and harder enough? Probably not. To assume that they can increase production by a factor of 10 is to assume that they are majorly underutilized, and if they were that inefficient, then the Free Market would have put them out of business long ago. It should be noted that the demand for duck calls, the handmade products, did not increase by a factor of 10; the random shit like t-shirts, mugs, and stuff did–the mass produced items had their Demand increased by a factor of 10; I don’t think the demand for duck calls changed at all… In fact, I’m not convinced that they sell very many duck calls at all. They don’t seem to earn much money from their actual duck call business; they make most of their money from the show and from related merchandise like t-shirts. Just go to Wal-Mart sometime. Duck Dynasty is the new Angry Birds.
Anyway, if they do have to increase their production of handmade duck calls by a factor of 10 and they can’t bring in any outside help to do that, what happens? They work much faster to try to meet the increased Demand. Unless they were horrendously inefficient and underutilized in the first place (which they are, but not in a way that their productivity isn’t 10% of what it could be–I would wager it’s more like 30% of what it could be). To assume that they are underutilized to a degree of 10% is to make an absolutely ridiculous assumption; show or not, the free market would have crushed that level of inefficiency long before they ever became millionaires. The Free Market, which achieves its ends through competition, abhors inefficiency.
To suddenly make 10 times the amount of handmade products which they were previously making, the quality on the products would have to decrease. They wouldn’t have time to carefully test each one. They wouldn’t have time to carefully craft each one. They’d work at a break-neck pace and quality would suffer as a result. Do any task. Now attempt to do that same task ten times in the same amount of time it took you to do it once. Yeah.
The only way to increase a supply to meet an increased demand without bringing in new resources is to raise prices and lower quality. Snap your fingers 60 times in one minute. Now snap your fingers 600 times in one minute. Were you able to do it? How “good” were your snaps when you attempted to snap your fingers 10 times as fast as you were before? If you had to snap only 60 times in one minute, then you could produce nice, loud, and ringing snaps, one per second. But if you had to do ten times that, you’d have to snap your fingers 10 times per second. If you somehow managed to do that, by the time you were 30 seconds in, you’d be exhausted. Economic principles are not difficult to understand.
Many people try to make them out to be very complicated and difficult to grasp, but this is intellectual dishonesty; these people want to deliberately mislead you and keep you ignorant so that you don’t realize that what they’re proposing is absolute nonsense.
And, believe it or not, snapping is a good demonstration of the economic principles we’re discussing. We have a Demand for snaps, and I want 60 of them by the end of a full minute. So you Supply those 60 finger snaps, and generally give me good quality snaps of your fingers.* But if Demand increases… A factor of 10 is a bit unreal. Let’s increase it only by a factor of 3. Snap your fingers 180 times in a minute. Demand has increased to 180 and you, without bringing in any outside help (someone to snap with you, adding to your total to “give me”), are trying to increase the Supply to meet that increased Demand. If you manage to do it, the quality of your snaps will still be substantially lower than the quality of your slower, more careful snaps.
And it’s HEALTH CARE of which we’re lowing the quality. We’re not lowering the quality of duck calls or someone’s snaps of their fingers. We’re lowering the quality of health care at a time when the quality of health care is already abominable. What good will it do these 30,000,000 to be given health care when the quality of that health care has decreased to the point of barely being useful? Already we wait for hours in Emergency rooms. Already we wait for an hour in the lobby of a doctor’s office, then an hour in a room alone, then we have about 5 minutes with the doctor–who writes us a prescription for some combination of: painkillers, barbituates, and antiobiotics–and then we leave, having paid the doctor roughly $100 for that “service.”
Increasing the number of people going to the doctor will only increase the time we spend waiting in the lobby, increase the time we spend waiting in a room alone, decrease the amount of time we spend with the doctor, and increase the amount of money we have to pay to experience the whole bizarre process.
Yeah, But… Those 30,000,000 People NEED Health Care, I/E. We Can’t Let Them…
No, we can’t let them go without health care. We can’t let them die of diseases that could have been prevented because they couldn’t afford a doctor visit to receive the vaccine. We can’t let them die of chronic illnesses that could have been curbed if the illness had been discovered sooner. But how is increasing waiting times, decreasing the amount of time with the doctor, and raising the prices for virtually everyone else (and raising insurance costs–my sister’s health insurance cost more than DOUBLED because of Obamacare…) going to help?
It isn’t, and this is tragic because there are better solutions. There are much better solutions.
Yes, I believe that individuals should have the right to seek health care.
No, I do not believe that we have the right to force individuals to seek health care (except in the case of child abuse and negligence).
No, I do not believe that we have the right to force doctors to lose money by not charging enough or by making them treat people who can’t pay.
Yes, I’m aware of the Hippocratic Oath and the tendency of Doctors before the existence of Medicare and Medicaid to give discounted treatment to the poor and to volunteer their time at free medical clinics.** Before State-run health insurance schemes, almost every doctor gave discounts or free treatment to the poor and elderly–just like most corporations have a 10% Senior Citizen’s discount even though the Government isn’t forcing them to…
Yes, I worry that it’s only a matter of time before corporations mentioned above are being forced to give 10% discounts to Senior Citizens. It may very well come to pass that the Government steps in and forces businesses to do this. A generation or two later, everyone will have completely forgotten that this law isn’t necessary and that most corporations gave a 10% discount long before the Government stepped in and forced them to do it.
No, I don’t think that the Affordable Care Act is going to do any good to help a system that is already primed to collapse, and this blog demonstrates the unimpeachable economic principles for me thinking this. If you want to demonstrate that the Affordable Care Act can be successful to any degree, then you must demonstrate how we can increase Demand without increasing Supply and Prices and lowering Quality. This, however, cannot be demonstrated because it’s absurd in the highest degree. It’s impossible and it flies in the face of everything we know about economics.
The State is relying on the ignorance of the masses regarding basic economics. If the masses knew anything about the basic laws of Supply and Demand, then the masses would understand that Obamacare has no chance of succeeding in “helping” the health care crisis in our nation. The first 4 principles found at the start of this blog demonstrate unequivocally that the Affordable Care Act cannot work. It literally cannot. Not “will not.” CAN not. It is an economical impossibility. And this is obvious. If we were taught Economics in high school, then the Affordable Care Act would have had no chance of being passed.*^ Actually, a lot of things would be and wouldn’t be if we had been properly taught Economics in high school instead of four years of grammar and English classes. Fuck, man. Once you start the First Grade, you’ll have an English class every year until you graduate high school. Considering how infrequently most people write, this is obnoxious, especially since we could spend that time with BETTER and more important subjects. English III and English IV should have been electives, and a full-year Economics class and a full-year Newtonian Physics class should have replaced them. If you don’t have the English language down by the time you’re passing the 10th grade, then two more years of the same subject is NOT going to help you.
We wouldn’t allow the EPA unilateral power, and we wouldn’t allow it or any other government or pseudo-government organization to be filled with non-elected officials. We wouldn’t allow a fiat currency. We wouldn’t allow the government to give us worthless sheets of paper, tell us they’re valuable, and then systematically steal all our money via inflation and the devaluation of the currency. We would require that Congress do as the Constitution commands:
The Congress shall have power… [t]o coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures… [emphasis added]
Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given the power to delegate its powers and responsibilities to other organizations. The Constitution does not give Congress the power to give a coalition of privately owned banks the right to make our money. And this is common sense. Just think about it. If your wife gives you permission to have sex with her, you can’t delegate that privelege to someone else. You can’t say, “Well, you gave me permission to have sex with you, but… I’m going to let Bob here do that.” Things just don’t work that way. Your wife would divorce you if you tried some shit like that. And we’re the wife, giving Congress the permission to have sex with us–and Congress said, “Well, you gave us permission, but we’re going to let someone else do it.” “Um, no,” the wife would say. “I didn’t consent to that.” Neither did we consent to allow Congress to delegate its powers to non-elected organizations, especially not the power to make our money, which necessarily controls our entire economy.
Plus, the Constitution gives Congress the power to “coin” money. We are not arguing semantics here. Congress was not given the power to print money, and “printing money” is not the same as “coining money.” The Founders would never have consented to allowing Congress to print money, because the dangers and problems of paper money have been known for thousands of years. Every nation that has used paper currency has experienced hyperinflation, has overextended its reserves, and has promptly collapsed. There has never been an exception to this. Nations that existed for centuries using gold and silver coins of specific weights collapsed shortly after switching to a fiat (paper) currency. Worse still, though many Americans do not know it, we are NOT on a gold standard. The Dollar is NOT backed by gold or silver. It is JUST a sheet of paper. It has no value external to how much of it is in circulation and whether anyone will accept it as payment.
The reason Congress had the power to regulate the value of coins and fix the standards of weights? To prevent people from making coins that are of a lower purity and to prevent people from clipping off small portions of coins to stretch them further (although, to some extent, this would be an acceptable and legitimate practice, as long as one didn’t try to pass off a “clipped coin” as an unclipped coin). Congress had the responsibility of making gold and silver coins for us to use and fixing (and making it known) the value of those coins by “fluffing” the coins out with less-precious metals. We would end up with a $1 coin not because we had a tiny little coin of gold but because we’d have a tiny amount of (real) gold covering a nickel-based coin. How much gold a $1 coin contained would be fixed and, if the coin was valued as a “5 gram gold coin” rather than being valued as a “$1 gold coin,” then inflation would be impossible. After all, 5 grams is always 5 grams.
This is why people advocate not just a return to the gold standard but a return to a commodity currency which has no arbitrary value attached to it. We advocate the use of gold and silver coins that are measured by the weight of the precious metal they contain, not some random value. We advocate using a coin that has 5 grams of gold, a coin that has 5 grams of silver, a coin that has 10 grams of gold, a coin that has 10 grams of silver, a coin that has 50 grams of gold, and so on… And the amount of grams of silver it would take to equal 5 grams of gold would be decided explicitly by the Free Market, not by Congress (as any attempt to fix this price manually would be price fixing and wouldn’t ever work–just like Congress’s attempts to fix the price of gasoline have never worked). If Congress set the exchange rate too high (requiring too much silver to get a certain amount of gold), then no one would ever want the silver coins because we wouldn’t consider them as valuable as gold coins. If Congress set the exchange rate too low (requiring not enough silver to get a certain amount of gold), then no one would want the gold coins because we wouldn’t consider them as valuable as the silver coins. Congress would have to hit the Goldilocks proportion perfectly, and since the amount of coins in the system would change constantly and could change drastically very quickly, the exchange rate would constantly be out of balance, making gold coins better one day and silver coins better the next and then gold coins much better the next… It wouldn’t be consistent and people would hate it. That’s why only the Free Market can do these things. People will automatically set an exchange rate that automatically corresponds to real-world conditions, and Congressional attempts to manually set an exchange rate would always be lower or higher than the one the People would set according to the Free Market, resulting in the imbalance and silliness I described.
But by using coins that are fixed as weights that demonstrate the purity of the coin, we don’t have to worry much about inflation. A five gram gold coin will always be a 5 gram gold coin and a 100 gram gold coin will always be a 100 gram gold coin. The only way that inflation could happen using commodity currencies is for the amount of that metal to actually increase, and there’s a limited quantity of gold and silver in the world. We would reach a point where inflation could no longer happen. And ALL economists have stopped spouting the nonsense that “Some inflation is good.” That argument has been thoroughly shredded and debunked, and if I remember correctly, that’s why Friedrich Hayek, the incredible successor to Mises, won the Nobel Prize in 1974.
Inflation is bad because if you insert more money into any given economy, it makes all the money in circulation worth less than it was before. If there are $1000 in circulation in a town and we suddenly put $1000 more into circulation, then every single dollar is worth half of what it was before; each dollar will only buy half of what it bought before. If a loaf of bread cost 25 cents before the inflation, then it will cost 50 cents after the inflation. This means that people who have retired and who have no way of gaining more money just had half of all their money stolen by inflation. This is the main reason the elderly in the U.S. are suffering so much: many of them have had to get jobs in order to bring in money because a portion of the money that had in their retirement account was stolen by inflation. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a 70ish year old woman working at a Wendy’s. FOR SHAME, AMERICA.
Do something about this. We’ve forced the elderly to come out of retirement and get low-paying, degrading, and humiliating jobs to cover the losses they incurred by monetary inflation and by the shenanigans which caused that inflation. We should be ashamed of ourselves. People who don’t have an income are those who are most affected by the effects of Inflation. That’s the elderly, America. When we debase the currency, we are hurting our grandparents and great grandparents more than we’re hurting anyone else. We should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves for allowing this to happen.
Protect our elderly. And we can protect them by allowing them to accrue money that can’t be devalued and stolen by inflation. If you want to talk about supporting Medicare and Social Security to “help the old people,” then you should recognize that the single best thing we could do for the retired and for the nearly retired–and for everyone, really, since everyone is going to retire on money they saved up eventually–is use a currency that cannot be inflated to cover up the shenanigans of giant corporations. The bailouts hurt Gran-Gran the most. Gran-Gran had to get a job because of the bailouts. Shame on you. Fucking shame on you.
Obamacare and Economic Growth
Okay, I went really far off topic. But my point in all of this is that we cannot legislate our way into a growing economy. So often during Romney’s campaign I heard people say, “I agree with Romney. What we need to do is grow the economy.” And they had no idea what in the hell they were talking about. In general, they were discussing “growing the economy” as a way to negate the harmful effects of inflation, but the only way they could “grow the economy” would be with subsidies, grants, bailouts, and other attempts to pour resources into the system by pouring more money into the system.
There are only two ways to “grow an economy.” One can do nothing and let the Free Market and competition create wealth. Or one can give out subsidies, grants, bailouts, and other things in attempt to “jumpstart” the vehicle. But the vehicle broke down because of all the subsidies, grants, bailouts, and other things that we poured into it. Inflation caused the Recession; inflation was at the root of the housing bubble and is collapse, at the root of the derivatives market, and at the root of the toxic asset bubbles. Because the Fed held the interest rates on their loans (and loans from one bank to another) so low, it created the illusion that wealth was plentiful and no one minded loaning out money; in fact, loaning out money was a positive thing for banks. Because of the Fractional Reserve System, every time a bank loans money, 90% of that is created out of thin air. This causes inflation.
In a Fractional Reserve System, a bank only has to keep a certain percentage of its assets; it only has to have a certain percentage of assets to back up its debts. In the U.S. System, that percentage is only 10. Did you see the film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”? This is what allows runs to happen on banks. Banks loan out the money you give them, so when everyone panics and demands their money back, it is learned that the bank… doesn’t actually still have your money because they loaned it someone else. If a bank has had $2,000 deposited into it, then it can loan out $18,000. Obviously, the bank doesn’t have $18,000. It literally just creates it out of thin air the moment the money is loaned out. That is a fact which even the Federal Reserve admits. That’s what Fractional Reserve means; that a bank must hold a fraction of its assets in reserve. So after the bank loans out this $20,000 and keeps the $2,000 in its ledgers (because of withdrawals from accounts, the bank will occasionally have to borrow money to make up the difference and bring its reserve back up to 10%–the bank borrows this money from another bank, and that other bank–you guessed it–simply makes that money up out of thin air, too), one thing comes to mind. People have to pay back money they borrow. And they do. The bank has loaned out $18,000 and has kept $2,000 (occasionally borrowing from other banks, which are doing the very same thing), and now the people they loaned all that money to have paid it “back” to the bank. So the bank now has $20,000 (more, actually, because the bank also charged Interest on the loans). What can the bank then do with that $20,000? Keep it in reserve and loan out $180,000!
We’re literally paying banks “back” money that they didn’t loan us because the money did not exist until we paid it back. Banks have been sued over this–and the banks have lost the case. When the First Bank of Montgomery foreclosed on Jerome Daley’s home, he got a lawyer and sued the bank, saying that the contract he had with the bank required both parties to put up a legitimate form of property–Jerome would put up the house and the bank would put up the money. But Jerome alleged that the bank did not put up a legitimate form of property and that the bank didn’t put up anything at all–it just made up money out of thin air, said that it had that money, and gave Jerome this money that didn’t exist. And Jerome won the case. The judge decreed that the bank did not put up a legitimate form of property and that the bank did simply create the money out of thin air. Now, since this happened decades ago, there’s no doubt that the banks learned from the case and modified their contracts accordingly, to prevent anyone else from refusing to “pay back” money that they “borrowed.” So this almost certainly wouldn’t work today, and I wouldn’t recommend trying it. Especially since banks are much more powerful and entrenched than they were in Jerome’s day, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a judge who will give you a fair ruling. You also won’t find a judge who will give you a fair ruling if you fight the IRS, even though the IRS requires you to give up your Fifth Amendment right, even though the IRS is illegal, even though the Sixteenth Amendment was never ratified, and even though there is no law on the books which requires anyone to pay taxes. These are all facts, and they will all be discarded by judges, so I don’t recommend not paying the IRS either… Though you shouldn’t, because it’s illegal and unconstitutional for them to make you give up your Fifth Amendment right and since the Sixteenth Amendment was never ratified, thus the Federal Government cannot levy any direct or unapportioned taxes like the Income Tax. But don’t try it. I’m not encouraging you to fight the system in this matter; I’m only saying that the system is cheating.
None of these things can cause real economic growth. They can cause the illusion of economic growth, and certainly some investments can yield pay-offs and rewards. If investment didn’t work, the stock exchange wouldn’t exist. But the Government has no right to steal from us to invest in this thing or that thing, especially since We the People won’t be given any pay-off or reward from the investment. But the Government isn’t supposed to be in the business of trying to make a profit… Moreover, all of these “investments” are paid with money that is created out of thin air and then repaid by the American People. The Government doesn’t make Dollars; the Government borrows money from the Federal Reserve Bank. Don’t let the name fool you; it’s no more part of the government than is Federal Express. The Federal Reserve Bank is a coalition and cartel run by twelve privately owned banks and receives no oversight from Congress, reports to Congress only a few times a year and isn’t accountable for anything, and has never been audited. The restrictions placed on Congress in examining the actions of the Federal Reserve are insane when you consider how powerful the dollar is and how much of an impact it has on our daily lives. In “End the Fed,” Ron Paul notes that the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 shows that:
Audits of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Banks may not include:
Transactions for or with a foreign Central Bank [because we did pass a law a few years ago that allowed us to marginally audit the Fed, we learned that the Fed (short for “Federal Reserve Bank”) had been propping up the dictator of Libya], government of a foreign country [we also learned that the Fed was propping up numerous other dictatorial governments], or non-private international financing organization [such as the WTO and the World Bank];
Deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary matters [which is 99% of what the Fed does…], including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations [basically, we can’t audit anything they actually do];
Transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to clauses (1) — (3) of this subsection [basically we can’t wiretap them even if we get a warrant… The Fed’s privacy is better protected than the privacy of Americans].
So other than the minute pieces of information the Fed voluntarily gives at its Congressional reports, which is a very small part of the actual information, we generally have no fucking clue what the Fed is up to. We have given them full power over our currency, and then we relinquished any authority to keep tabs on them.
Money Is Not Wealth
Pouring more money into any economy will not create wealth. As I mentioned above, if a gallon of milk costs 25 cents when there is $1,000 in circulation, then putting a total of $2,000 in circulation will not create wealth–it will only devalue the existing $1,000 and make the lives harder of anyone who has retired or who has no income. It certainly won’t create wealth.
A currency is just a system of measurement. It’s critical to remember this. A currency is how we measure the value of our productivity and the value of our resources and products. That’s all it is. Changing the value of a dollar won’t create wealth, and this is all that pouring money into an economy does; it only changes the value of a dollar. If you’ve got a pile of wood, then no matter what you measure it with, you won’t ever have more or less wood. The measuring system which you use will have no impact on how much wood is actually there. You could use inches, centimeters, yards, or a system you make up–none of it will change the amount of wood in the pile. You can even increase the “value” of an inch by doubling an inch’s size–but that won’t change the amount of wood in the pile. You can decrease the “value” of an inch by halving an inch’s size–but that won’t change the amount of wood in the pile. Ultimately, people who think we can grow the economy with grants, subsidies, and bailouts believe that we can change the value of an inch and somehow get more or less wood. But the amount of wood never changes. The only way to change the amount of wood is to get rid of some of it or to add some more wood to it; changing your measurement system will not change the amount of wood.
And the way we change the amount of wood in the pile that is our economy is by letting competition take over. Competition creates wealth. Competition creates efficiency, skilled workers, incentives, creativity, problem-solving, and, ultimately, wealth. The only way to “grow the economy” is to allow competition to be enhanced. And how can we enhance competition in the United States economy? Simple: we get rid of the primary factors that are detrimental to competition: Government Regulations. We let the Free Market take over. If a company pollutes too much or offers bad service or any other thing, then, in a Free Market, people would stop using that company. If there was competition, they wouldn’t be forced to use that company and “voting with their wallet” could actually MEAN something. But as long as we’re limiting competition with government regulations, voting with a wallet has no real impact. We don’t need the Government to make Texaco stop polluting (I don’t know if Texaco has a problem polluting or not). Society and the Free Market can do that all by themselves by not using a company that pollutes excessively.
Take the power that you should, as an American Citizen, have. Don’t let the Government tell you that you are powerless or that you need them to have your power. No, man–fuck that. You, in a Free Market, would have the power to regulate companies and businesses. Naturally, the State doesn’t want you to have that power; they want to have that power. So you’ve been told all of your life that they’re the only ones who can do it, that we need them to have that power, and that we shouldn’t or can’t have that power. But the same power we’ve given the Government…? It came from us. It’s OUR power. We can not only use that power–we can use it more effectively than the Government ever could.
* This was originally “clapping,” but I changed it because it sounded really bad to say “generally give me good quality claps” with the Clap being an STD.
** It should be noted that we now generally force doctors to volunteer their time at free medical clinics. We wouldn’t allow this in any other industry. We wouldn’t allow the government to force I.T. companies to spend one weekend a month working on the networks of schools (I’m scared to say that, since the wrong politician may read that and decide that we should do it). We wouldn’t allow the government to force Wal-Mart cashiers to spend two days each month working at the DMV. As I’ve stated before, we have no authority or justification in forcing people to do what we think is right.
*^ Actually, I took Economics in the first semester of my Senior year. It was a one-semester class (I don’t remember what I took the second semester because I… didn’t go back, so I didn’t take anything the second semester of my senior year) and it taught me nothing. It didn’t teach anyone anything, because the guy who taught us Economics was one of the football coaches and he knew nothing about the subject. All he did was have us read passages then answer the questions. There no lectures, no creativity, and no attempt to foster understanding. Moreover, Economics was an elective; I took it only because I like learning things and always have. But it certainly wasn’t a requirement of the curriculum. It should be.
Because Obamacare is about to hit us (unless the GOP performs a miracle for the wrong reasons), I focused this blog on the law in question and also went into some basic economics, the Federal Reserve, and again into Free Market Principles. As you can see from the final paragraph, this ultimately comes back, as did the previous two blogs, to Individual Responsibility. We have the power to use the Free Market to regulate corporations and businesses. We’ve simply lent that power to Government. And they’ve bungled the job, crushing the Market, and creating numerous problems. It is high time we took that power back, because we’re the only ones who can use it effectively. All the Government can do is fuck things up more.
I meant initially to focus this blog on “What is Anarchy? How does it work?” But I decided that, before I get into that, I must first go back into the Free Market and the power which Individuals hold. YOU are more powerful than any Government could ever be. Accept that power. Do not hide from it.
If you want to know more about the Government, what we created it for, and what function it has in our Society, misidentification of the Self as the State, and a demolition of the notion that a “Society” actually even exists, then read Anarchocapitalism, A Review Of: Part the Second. If you’re curious about the Free Market, Representative Governments, the failures of Welfare, the counterproductive nature of Social Security, Medicare, and other programs, and how the Free Market and voluntary principles can handle all of these things more effective, then read Anarchocapitalism, A Review Of: Part the First. If this paragraph is the first time you’ve seen the word “anarchocapitalism,” then go to Part One and then come back here.
Hopefully, I will actually address the meaning of Anarchy in Part Four. But no promises. This stuff must be addressed incrementally. As always, if there is something in this blog that is not adequately explained or which you do not understand, please comment seeking clarification. I want this series to be easily understandable.
While Part One discussed primarily the advantages of a Free Market and stacked them against the “advantages” of Interventionist Economics (Keynesian economics), Part Two shall focus more on the Government itself, and not its economic methods.
Let’s return to our definitions from yesterday:
The State is the collective governmental body which oversees a given society. The State is a collective whole which, in the United States, consists of the Federal Government, all of its branches, and all pseudo-governmental agencies such as the Federal Reserve.
The Society is the collective body of People. It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that Societies do not require the existence of a State; the existence of a Society is independent of whether or not the Society has a Government. Any group of people of any size who work together, whether voluntarily or by being forced, is a Society.
Once a Society has a State over it, the two collectively are the Nation. That is, the Nation is a Society and its Government.
In addition to noting that this creates within a Nation two distinct bodies (the Government and the People), one other fact can be drawn: Societies create Governments, but Governments do not create Societies. To understand this, we must go back a very long time, to the foundations of Society and then the foundations of Government.
Thomas Paine wrote in “Common Sense,” that:
In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labor out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.
Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which, would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen, that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other; and this remissness, will point out the necessity, of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.
Some convenient tree will afford them a State-House, under the branches of which, the whole colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of Regulations, and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first parliament every man, by natural right will have a seat.
But as the colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue increasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of the representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number; and that the elected might never form to themselves an interest separate from the electors, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often; because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this (not on the unmeaning name of king) depends the strength of government, and the happiness of the governed.
It would be intellectual dishonesty to say something along the lines of, “Surely you wouldn’t argue with Thomas Paine, would you?” But that’s just as well. We don’t have to use only Thomas Paine’s words to explain the origins and nature of Government. We can also turn to Murray Rothbard, who wrote:
The State, in the words of Oppenheimer, is the “organization of the political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory. For crime, at best, is sporadic and uncertain; the parasitism is ephemeral, and the coercive, parasitic lifeline may be cut off at any time by the resistance of the victims. The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively “peaceful” the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society. Since production must always precede predation, the free market is anterior to the State. The State has never been created by a “social contract”; it has always been born in conquest and exploitation. The classic paradigm was a conquering tribe pausing in its time-honored method of looting and murdering a conquered tribe, to realize that the time-span of plunder would be longer and more secure, and the situation more pleasant, if the conquered tribe were allowed to live and produce, with the conquerors settling among them as rulers exacting a steady annual tribute. One method of the birth of a State may be illustrated as follows: in the hills of southern “Ruritania,” a bandit group manages to obtain physical control over the territory, and finally the bandit chieftain proclaims himself “King of the sovereign and independent government of South Ruritania”; and, if he and his men have the force to maintain this rule for a while, lo and behold! a new State has joined the “family of nations,” and the former bandit leaders have been transformed into the lawful nobility of the realm.
It should be demonstrated amply by this point that Societies do, in fact, create Governments and that no Government has ever created a Society. Furthermore, written in the Declaration of Independence itself is:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
Let us say no more about whether Societies create Governments or Governments create Society. It is abundantly clear, by reason, by evidence, and according to the words of some of the greatest governmental thinkers in the history of mankind, that Societies create Governments and not vice versa.
Therefore, a Government cannot exist without a Society, but a Society can exist without a Government. If Societies create Governments, then it is logically inescapable to recognize that at some point there was a Society which had not yet created a Government; in order for a Society to create a Government, there must first be a Society with no Government.
Okay, You Made Your Point. Now Move On. This is Getting Boring.
Governments, by all reckonings, exist as a method for acting out the Will of its Society. When Society decided that the Government shall act to preserve “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness,” they created a Government with the goal of ensuring these things. The Government was created as a means of achieving the end, and the end was the preservation of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. This does not mean that Government is the only means of achieving this end, nor does it mean that Government is the best means of achieving this end.
It is important to think back to the founding of the United States. We basically had 13 independent and small nations who agreed on these things: “We need a method to protect our Lives, our Liberties, and our rights to Pursue happiness.” That is the extent of their needs and it is the extent of our needs. We need nothing more than a method of protecting these three things, and, indeed, anything beyond these three things can come only at the expense of these three things. I.e., in order to protect our “right to health care,” the Government must sacrifice our right to pursue happiness, since we cannot “pursue happiness” without the financial backing to do so, and in order to protect our “right to health care,” the State must take a portion of our money to pay for the health care (as opposed to letting us pay for the health care ourselves).
If the Government which governs best is one that governs least, then the Government which doesn’t exist must be even better than “best”. It’s difficult to get into this topic without expounding the principles of the Free Market.
Let’s consider, then, that it is our goal to establish a means of protecting our Lives, our Liberties, and our right to pursue happiness. Before we can do this, though, we must examine in detail what these three things mean. This is obvious: in order to establish a means of protecting our Lives, we must understand what is meant by “our Lives” and what is meant by “protecting.”
Any being which is living has the unabashed right to continue living. Once something has life, no force on Earth can legitimately take that right away, expressed in killing the person in question. Not even Society has the right to take life. Neither does the Government have the right to take life.
It must be clarified that any action which an Individual could commit that is clearly morally wrong is generally perfectly acceptable when it is done by the State. Murder is an example of this. When an Individual murders another, the punishment is occasionally quite severe*. But when the State does it, either through war, assassination, or the death penalty, it is considered to be perfectly acceptable. This is a Moral Hazard. Let it be clear: if an action would be morally wrong if committed by an Individual, then the action is morally wrong if committed by the State. The fact that the State is doing it does not make morally wrong actions suddenly morally right; it means only that we’re allowing the State to get away with things it should be punished for.
Theft is yet another example. If you broke into a bank and stole a bunch of money, and then donated all of that money to various charities, your Robin Hood attempt would still land you in prison. But when the State breaks into your wallet and steals a bunch of money, and then donates all of that money to various State-run charities, it is suddenly considered to be morally right. Again, just because the State does it means not that it is somehow morally right; it is still morally wrong.
Theft and Murder? You Create Slippery Slopes, Anarchist Shemale, and I Think You Know It
It is not a slippery slope or exaggeration, though this is often the counter to the statement that Taxation is theft. But, just as religious proselytizing always ultimately comes back to the threat of eternal damnation, so do Government actions always ultimately come back to the threat of force. As much as Christians talk about God’s love and forgiveness, under all of that is Hell and eternal damnation, forming the underpinning of the entire system. After all, if that threat wasn’t there, then they would have no need to preach to anyone and there would be no reason to actually follow the system. A religion which doesn’t involve eliminating a threat generally gets no converts–see Buddhism for a terrific example. But by underpinning the entire framework with the threat of eternal torture, Christians give themselves both a motive and a weapon to instill fear and help convert non-believers. Like it or not, underpinning the whole of Christianity is the threat of eternal damnation, and without that threat Christianity would be irrelevant.
In the same sense, everything that the Government does is ultimately backed by threats. Taxation, for example, involves some pretty severe threats. What happens if you don’t pay your taxes? You go to prison–Federal prison. And, as bad as State Prisons are, Federal Prisons are rumored to be much worse. Not only does the Individual not get a choice when it comes to Taxes, but if the Individual contests the State’s attempt to steal their money, then the Individual is punished with imprisonment and/or severe fines. Underpinning the entire Taxation system is the threat that if you don’t pay, you will be subjected to massive punishments. The State might as well be holding a gun to your head and telling you that they will shoot you if you don’t hand over your money, especially since 10 years in a Federal Prison will leave a person with a shattered mind**.
So Taxation is theft; moreover, Taxation is theft at the point of a gun, wherein refusing to hand over your wallet will result in extreme penalties and punishments. But let’s return to the issue at hand: the protection of Lives.
If the goal is to protect our lives, then there are a few examples we need to think about in regard to our current Government. Firstly, we must consider the Draft. How can we believe that the Government actively protects our Lives when it has the authority to send us off to fight and die? This is a direct contradiction. Nowhere in the Constitution does the Government have the authority to take our Lives from us, and this is so obvious it doesn’t need to be pointed out. The idea that the Government could take our Lives from us runs contrary to the most basic of human rights: that the Individual owns himself. If the Government can, for any reason it desires, conscript us and send us of to die, then we are, in all honesty, the property of the Government. Let it be known that the State does not own us.
We must also consider the numerous wars we have fought in the 20th century, all of which resulted in the deaths of Americans, and most of which would not have caused a single American death if they hadn’t been waged. No American would have died because of the Korean War, for example, if the State hadn’t sent Americans to fight in Korea. The Korean War was never a threat to American security. The War in Iraq is a more recent example: Saddam Hussein was never a threat to the American People. Terrorism was not present in Iraq and the Iraqi Government had no way to threaten the American People; they didn’t have anti-aircraft weapons, they didn’t have long-range missiles, they didn’t have ICBMs, and the record shows they didn’t have “biological and chemical weapons.” If we hadn’t invaded Iraq, no American would have died because we didn’t invade Iraq. But because we did invade Iraq, thousands of Americans did die, and we increased the Muslim world’s hostility toward us. Muslim terrorists all rally around the cause of getting America to withdraw from the Middle East, and the greater our presence in the Middle East, the greater the presence and threat of terrorism. This is a fact which even the CIA has recognized. Our Middle East invasions are pissing off the Middle Eastern People, and we react to their being pissed off by invading more Middle Eastern nations, thereby pissing them off even more. There are only two ways to solve the Middle East problem: withdrawing completely from the area or completely conquering the entire area and oppressing all dissent–and this would be distinctly anti-Liberty and anti-American.
So how is the Government “protecting our Lives” when the State is singlehandedly responsible for both sending Americans to die and taking actions which result in a large portion of the world being very pissed off at us and very hostile toward us? After all, the catalyst of 9/11 was known for a fact to be our presence in the Middle East. It’s not our “freedom” or our “values” or “their religious insanity” that causes them to hate us and want to kill us. These are just pieces of propaganda put out by the State to convince us that the Middle Eastern People are our enemies because they hate us. It is far from the truth.
Take note, America: Muslims in the Middle East do not hate us because we are free, because we have this value or that value, or because we don’t share their religious conviction. They hate us because of what our Government has done and is doing and because we are allowing our Government to do it.They don’t hate us because we’re free, because we have sex on television, or because we listen to Lady Gaga. They hate us because we’re allowing our Government to invade them, to tear down their governments, and to dictate to them what they can and can’t do. We would not tolerate this if someone did it to us. If the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China invaded and conquered the United States, abolished our Government, and told us that we had to put in place a Communist Government, how would we react? We would hate the Russians and Chinese who had allowed their governments to do this to us. And since we couldn’t fight in legitimate battles against the Russian or Chinese militaries, we would have no choice but to resort to terrorist tactics to achieve our goal of self-governance and independence.
The actions the State takes is not protecting the Lives of Americans, and the actions of the State usually threaten, either directly or indirectly, the security of Americans. We are in greater danger now that we have ever been. Americans travelling abroad frequently pretend to be Canadians. It is not very safe for Americans to travel abroad in the first place, and this is even in countries that are officially allies of the United States; there is a reason more American women disappear in European nations than do European women. Our arrogance and self-righteousness causes us to be valued more highly among people who like degrading and humiliating others. I’m sorry–that is a fact. And it is our Government’s fault.
No one in their right mind can accuse our Government of protecting our Liberty. Not much needs to be said about this. Our Liberty has been under attack for more than a century, and we have recently been attacked through unconstitutional legislation (the NDAA2013, which abolished our right to a trial, for example) and through bureaucratic regulations (the EPA has the authority, though none of its workers were elected by the People, to act unilaterally and make whatever regulations it wants, regardless of the damge done to the People, in the name of “protecting the environment”).
All of these things are done in the name of one cause or another, and it is here that we went wrong, because somewhere along the line, we concluded that the end justifies the means. And it doesn’t. It never has. It has been known for centuries that sacrificing Liberty to ensure Security destroys both Liberty and Security. And yet the sacrifice of Liberty is frequently justified by the allegation that it must be done to protect us. We need the NDAA2013 to protect us; we need the State to be able to arrest and detain Americans indefinitely and without a trial so that the State can protect us from terrorists. We need the Patriot Act to protect us; we need the State to be able to listen on every conversation, hack into every email account, read every Facebook post, and intercept every text message so that the State can protect us from terrorists. We need the President to be able to make Kill Lists and use UAVs to kill American citizens because we need the State to be able to protect us from terrorists. Somehow, the State convinced us that we need to be protected from ourselves and that, in order to protect us from ourselves, they had to have unquestioned power to control us, to watch us, and to do whatever they want to us. The fallacy of this is obvious: how can they be protecting us by harming us?
The Pursuit of Happiness
To honestly and sincerely pursue happiness, one must have Life, Liberty, and a few other things. One must have the right to own property, for example. But in the United States, our right to own property is non-existent. We don’t have the right to own property; we only have the right to RENT property. Even when you have paid off your 30 year mortgage (which you were a fool for getting), you still don’t OWN your home–you still only rent it. You must pay Property Taxes, and if you don’t pay those Property Taxes, then your home is taken from you and you are evicted. That is renting. If you owned the home, then you couldn’t be evicted from it and the State would be Stealing it from you if they tried. But you’re renting, so if the State evicts you and takes your home, it isn’t considered stealing.
Taxation in general amounts to purchasing the State’s permission to do something or own something. The idea that we now pay for the rights for which our ancestors fought and died is ridiculous. Our ancestors did not fight and die so that we would have the right to buy the State’s permission to live in our homes, and our ancestors did not fight and die so that we would have the right to buy the State’s permission to drive or flush our toilets. We have fallen so far from having the right to pursue happiness that the right to pursue happiness has become “the right to purchase the right to pursue happiness.” If you want to do something, there is almost certainly a Tax involved. If you want to drive, you must purchase a Driver’s License, thereby purchasing the State’s permission to drive. If you want to drive your own car, you must purchase a License Plate, thereby purchasing the State’s permission to drive your own car. If you want to buy a lightbulb, you must pay a Sales Tax, thereby purchasing the State’s permission to buy a lightbulb. All through America, the only way to do anything is to first purchase the State’s permission to do it. And that is not the “right to pursue happiness.” It is the right to purchase the right to pursue happiness.
The Founders would never have consented to such a system–nor should we. The State was not designed to require us to purchase its permission to do things. We must purchase the State’s permission to marry, to own a home, to drive, to buy a car, to have electricity, to have a cellphone… All of these things have Licenses or Taxes attached to them, and if you want to do them you must either buy the License or pay the Tax. If you DON’T, then the wrath of the State will fall on you, punishing you (often) more severely than you would have been punished for murdering someone.
What part of this is supposed to represent the right to pursue happiness? What part of the Government’s actions is protecting our right to pursue happiness? The Government does nothing to protect this right. In fact, the Government works against this right, allowing us to purchase the right to pursue happiness–but if you don’t purchase the permission, then you don’t have the right to pursue happiness.
The Society and the State
A failure to recognize Individual Responsibility has caused many Americans to identify themselves with the State, to share in the State’s successes and to draw pride from the accomplishments of the State. As Murray Rothbard points out in “Anatomy of the State,” most people have an intense love for their homeland. But because we don’t recognize Individual Responsibility and because Americans largely draw their self-esteem from the accomplishments of the State, many Americans have become Nationalists. Often, people identify themselves and borrow pride from the accomplishments of the State because they have no accomplishments of their own and borrowing the accomplishments of the State still allow them to feel superior and prideful without their having to actually do anything.
“We’re the greatest nation in the history of the world!” and other similar exclamations all allow the individual to feel a sense of pride, accomplishment, and greatness without any effort on the part of the individual. The individual gets to be terrific, great, and unrivaled simply because they are a member of the nation in question, and the Individual doesn’t need to do anything in order to feel terrific, great, and unrivaled. The Individual doesn’t have to become educated, successful, or anything else, because the Individual can always borrow from the accomplishments of the State and fill themselves with pride simply because they are underneath that wonderful mechanism. The Individual needs to do nothing in order to be filled with pride, a sense of accomplishment, and success.
This has done great harm to the notion of Individual Responsibility by preventing many Americans from wanting to take responsibility for themselves and their own situations. After all, if we acknowledge Individual Responsibility, then the State gets all the credit for its accomplishments and they cannot, since they did not contribute to the accomplishment, feel any pride or receive any self-esteem from the accomplishments of others. This is the reason most people now loathe the idea of Individual Responsibility.
They need to draw self-esteem and pride from the accomplishments of the State mechanism because they have no accomplishments of their own from which to draw self-esteem and pride. Indeed, the most vocal fighters against Individual Responsibility are generally people who have accomplished nothing and who have nothing for which they can be proud. And, in contrast, the most vocal fighters for Individual Responsibility are generally people who who have accomplished something and who have something for which they can be proud.
As long as people can draw self-esteem from identifying themselves with the State, Individual Responsibility cannot take hold. And, as I demonstrated in part one, a person’s identification with the State is built on contradiction and logical fallacy. We are not the State; we cannot, therefore, share in any of its accomplishments or have any pride whatsoever in anything it does–nor any blame for anything it does. The State is a body external to its Society, and individual members cannot, therefore, take any credit or blame for any of the State’s accomplishments or wrongdoings.
If you work for a corporation, then you can take pride in the accomplishments of that corporation and you must take blame in the wrongdoings of that corporation, weighted proportionately to the role you played in the corporation and the amount of influence you had to prevent or further the actions in question. But being the subject of a State is not the same as being an employee of a corporation. As I demonstrated, we don’t have any real authority over the State and the State is not us. The State is an entity over us, of which we can become members, and which does, from time to time, consist of people who are held by our desires. But this does not serve to adequately justify any identification of “ourselves as the State.” We cannot, then, take any pride in its accomplishments or any punishment for its wrongs.
We need Individual Responsibility, and not just because it will drive the people who suddenly lose the ability to draw pride from the accomplishments of the State to themselves work harder and make accomplishments of their own. We need Individual Responsibility because it is the only way to reaffirm Liberty and to curb our Nationalist tendencies. Liberty and Individual Responsibility are inseparable.
An Individual’s Subordination to Society
It is also often alleged that the Society’s needs outweigh the needs of the Individual. This is only possible because we have taken this abstract, unidentifiable notion that is the Society and we have given it needs, desires, and other characteristics, none of which can be justified or demonstrated. It may or may not be “for the good of Society” for Individuals to sacrifice this right or that right, but what is overlooked is the obvious fact that the Society consists only of the Individuals which comprise it, and, as such, anything that is detrimental to any of those Individuals is, therefore, detrimental to Society.
Society is not some external thing that has needs, desires, and other characteristics. It is just a term we use to label a mass of Individuals working together voluntarily for mutual benefit. The Society does not have needs, desires, and other characteristics; there is no such thing as “the good of society” and there is no such thing as “the needs of society are more important than the needs of individuals.”
This notion that we are selfish if we do not subordinate ourselves to the non-existent body called Society is a logical fallacy and a misidentification in exactly the same vein as those people who identify themselves through the State–it is just in reverse. Individuals do not identify themselves with Society, and this could be because Individuals instead identify themselves with the State. It is also because Individuals consider the State to be the mechanism which protects Society and makes it prosperous, even if it can only do this at the expense of the Individuals who comprise that Society. The very idea is preposterous and easily refutable. It’s as preposterous as the claims made in Vietnam that, “In order to save the village, we had to destroy it,” and George W’s more recent claim that, “In order to save the Free Market, I have abandoned Free Market principles.”
This type of Doublethink is unworthy of any People. We cannot benefit Society by harming, in any way whatsoever, the Individuals of which that Society consists. No, we are not the Government, but we are Society–at least in the sense that anything is Society. But, really, Society as an entity doesn’t even exist. There is no Society to which we are or should be subordinate. There are only Individuals. And no one has the right to make any Individual make sacrifices to benefit other Individuals, even if “more Individuals” would be benefited than harmed.
It quickly comes back to a matter of Liberty and the notion that the State has the right to force a minority to do what the Majority thinks is right. The Majority, having become convinced that Society exists and that it is the right and duty of the State to harm Individuals, if it must, in order to benefit Society, force this notion on the Minority, and this is morally wrong. Forcing anyone to do this or that because one thinks it would be morally right for others to do this or that is never morally right. It is morally wrong to force someone to do something, and the notion that it is the right of the State to harm Individuals in order to benefit Society is exactly this: the notion that it is the right of the State to harm Individuals in order to benefit other Individuals. It is Taxation and Welfare all over again.
As it hopefully has been demonstrated, all of these things are related, and they all ultimately stem from the failure of Individuals to take responsibility for themselves, their decisions, and their actions. This failure has resulted in Taxation, State-sanctioned murder, the loss of rights, the loss of Liberty, the loss of our right to own ourselves, the loss of property rights, the tendency of Individuals to identify themselves with the State rather than identifying themselves with themselves, and the notion that the Individual is subordinate to the non-existent Society.
I have here demonstrated that Taxation amounts to Theft and the use of force, that State-sanctioned murder is still murder, that we have lost numerous rights, that we have lost substantial amounts of Liberty, that we have lost the right to own ourselves, that we have lost the right to own property, that Individuals have the tendency to identify themselves with the State, and that many Individuals believe that the Individual’s needs and rights aren’t as important as those of the Society’s. I have also explained why all these things happened. The inability of Individuals to take Individual Responsibility has led to all of these things, and taking Individual Responsibility is, at this point, the only way to reverse any of these trends–and all of these trends need to be reversed.
In Part One, I demonstrated the basic principles of the Free Market and how Welfare programs do more harm than good–and how State-run Welfare could easily be replaced by the much more efficient and productive Free Market. I also demonstrated in Part One that we are not the Government, so if you need clarification on why I assert that we have no right to claim the successes of the State as our successes, then refer to Part One for that clarification.
In Part Three, I intend to address Anarchy, what it means, and how it functions. In short, I plan to explain what a Society which has no State looks like and how a State-less Society handles things likes murder, theft, and other things that are considered morally wrong. I will also explain how an Anarchic Society does not mean lawlessness or chaos, nor does it mean that we would have no ground on which to stand in punishing murderers, thieves, and rapists, that these are pieces of propaganda put out by dishonest intellectuals to cause people to reject Anarchy out of ignorance.
* Sometimes the death penalty is given. I am not an advocate of “eye for an eye justice” and I don’t think that murdering someone in punishment is any more morally right than the actions of the murderer. Moreover, the evidence shows that the death penalty is used disproportionately to harm minorities and, particularly, black Americans. This is the very reason why Ron Paul recanted his position on the death penalty. It was absurd to hear people accuse Ron Paul of being racist, considering that his position on marijuana (and other drugs) is that outlawing these substances has disproportionately harmed minority communities and resulted in a disproportionate amount of black Americans being imprisoned for decades over trivial offenses that harmed no one; and considering also that Ron Paul ceased his support of the death penalty when he learned that it is used most against black Americans and that white murderers are sentenced to life in prison more often than death and black murderers are more often sentenced to death instead of life in prison. Ron Paul objected both to the death penalty and drug laws because they harm black Americans disproportionately; how can anyone justify calling him a racist?
** The American Prison System is fucked and is a bastion of evil and tyranny. In order to fix it, we must reassert the rights of criminals. Yes, they committed crimes–but they’re still People. However, because of wording in the Thirteenth Amendment, once a person is guilty of a crime, they can and do become Slaves to the State:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. [emphasis added]
Slavery is never morally acceptable, and you should be able to agree with that. Involuntary servitude and slavery are never acceptable, no matter what a person has done. And this issue is more serious than you’d think, considering that we’ve given the State the sole authority to dictate what is and isn’t a crime and we’ve also allowed the State to run trials. In the modern American Justice system, trials are not by a jury. People instead receive Trials by the State. Let me explain.
We still have jury trials in most cases in the United States and it is up to the jury to deliver a verdict of Guilty or Not Guilty. However, Jurors are now sworn to deliver a verdict “according only to the evidence” and this means that whoever decides what evidence is allowed and what evidence isn’t ultimately is in control of the verdict. By taking this oath, Jurors ultimately become as predictable as computer programs: feed the information to them and they will deliver a result which depends entirely upon the information you feed them. As surely as 2x + 4y = 22 when you feed in the information that x = 3 and y = 4, the jury’s verdict becomes Guilty or Not Guilty when you feed in certain information. Having sworn themselves to consider only the evidence, Jurors will deliver a verdict that can be predicted with precision and certainty, so long as certain evidence is given to them.
And who controls what information is allowed to the jury and what evidence is not? The State controls what evidence is admitted. Judges are part of the State apparatus, and many judges have agendas, as demonstrated by the FISA Courts and the revelation that many of these judges have an interest in simply approving whatever requests are made. Judges are not members of the People; they are members of the State, of the Judicial Branch. The State includes all branches and all quasi-government agencies. It is an inescapble conclusion that the Judicial Branch is part of the Government, because… well, the Judicial Branch is a part of the Government.
As such, we are allowing the State to dictate what evidence is admitted into trials. Since Jurors are sworn to deliver a verdict that depends entirely on the available evidence, the State ultimately controls what verdict is delivered. If Jurors deliver verdicts based only on the available evidence, then whoever controls what evidence is available controls the verdict.And that is where the American Justice System has gone wrong. Let ALL evidence be admitted, and let the Jury decide what evidence is valid and what evidence is not. We must not allow the State to control verdicts by binding Jurors to oaths and then restricting whatever evidence they desire. That is not a trial by Jury; it is a trial by the State using the Jury as a method of carrying out the State’s wishes. Juries, in effect, unwittingly become Puppets of the State. I urge you, my fellow Americans, to add the addendum to the oath that you will deliver a verdict according to the evidence “only under the condition that all evidence, no matter how tangential, is admitted.”If we do not require this, then we allow the State to dictate the verdict. And, in the long run, this will yield very bad results. This is, after all, how most Chinese trials go: the State doesn’t allow evidence that would go against the verdict the State desires. We already have a mechanism in place which will allow our own Government to do just that. We need to dismantle the mechanism before the Government “starts” doing this (if they haven’t already–we wouldn’t know, after all, if we weren’t being given relevant information because someone had an agenda and wanted to see a specific verdict).
I wrote this about two years ago, I think; it’s a five-part series showing, more or less, how I evolved from “Libertarian” to “Anarchist,” as I went into the idea with the plan of tearing the idea of anarchocapitalism to pieces. But I quickly realized that, far from being unstable, it was absolutely brilliant, and by a wide margin the best solution.
In the following blog, a few things need to be clarified and defined.
The State is the collective governmental body which oversees a given society. The State is a collective whole which, in the United States, consists of the Federal Government, all of its branches, and all pseudo-governmental agencies such as the Federal Reserve.
The Society is the collective body of People. It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that Societies do not require the existence of a State; the existence of a Society is independent of whether or not the Society has a Government. Any group of people of any size who work together, whether voluntarily or by being forced, is a Society.
Once a Society has a State over it, the two collectively are the Nation. That is, the Nation is a Society and its Government.
Note that this creates two separate bodies within any nation: the Society and its Government. This seems to contradict the general perception and “common knowledge” that, in a democracy, “we are the government.” Indeed, I’ve said in the past that “we are the government,” usually as a way of allocating blame properly to the People who allow its Government to do something which is morally wrong (such as the imprisonment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War 2). It has come to my attention, thanks to the work of Murray Rothbard, that this is nonsense. We are not the government, and this is readily apparent when you consider the use of force by the government to achieve its ends.
If we are the government, then nothing the government can do to me counts as making me do something against my will. If we are the government, then if the government kills me, it is a suicide. “But, Anarchist Shemale, you’re making a logical fallacy! If you are conscripted and sent to fight in Iraq against your will, it still is ‘the government’ forcing you to do it–it’s not you volunteering to go (for obvious reasons). You’re only a small part of the government, as is each of us.”
Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head, and the counter here demonstrates that we are not the government after all. If we have 100 people in our Nation, and 5 of those people in a democratically elected Government, then if those 5 people force the other 95 to fight in the army, it doesn’t count as the 95 people volunteering, because “we are the government” means, really, that “we elect our leaders.” It doesn’t mean that we actually are the government; it means only that we, in theory, can impact the government substantially through the use of Representatives, or that we can actually ourselves “be” the government by being ourselves elected. It is, of course, now possible (thanks to the Internet) for a true Democracy to actually exist, but this point is irrelevant to the topic at hand. We are not a Democracy; we are a Republic with democratically elected representatives. There is a substantial difference, but I’m not going to explain it.
But there is no justification for equating “having a representative” with yourself being a “part of the government”; it is a false equivalency. Having x amount of influence over Representatives doesn’t guarantee or imply that our desires will be catered to, and no one expects it to mean that. There are too many People with too many different opinions for this idea that “we are our representatives” to hold any weight. Even if a given representative always had 99% of their people in agreement with the representative, then there is still a 1% minority that is clearly not the government, and any disagreement with the majority is going to be unaddressed in a democratic republic.
Representatives, furthermore, want to get re-elected. For one reason or another, Representatives almost always want to be re-elected, and, as their constituents are much more localized and concentrated than a Presidential candidate’s, there is considerably more accountability for Senators and Representatives to abide the will of their constituents. Presidents very rarely have to worry about what the majority of Americans want: they can only be re-elected once in the first place, and a 51% majority of Americans means nothing in the American System–see the 2000 Presidential Election, wherein the Electoral College thwarted the will of Americans and hardly a ripple went through our nation. It is for this reason–the desire for re-election–that Representatives and Senators always listen to the 51% and the 99% and never the 49% or the 1%.
Anyway, Representatives generally obey the will of their constituents, and the only reliable way they can do this is by frequently polling their constituents, holding town halls and other meetings, and just generally knowing their area and what the majority of their constituents want. There’s no need for Roger Wicker to poll Mississippians to learn what the majority thinks about gun control, but he (and other representatives) will gladly send out probing emails and hold town-hall-style meetings to learn the desires of their constituents and act in accordance.
The problem is obviously that, even if it was the case that Representatives consistently polled their constituents to learn what the majority wanted (something they obviously don’t do), and acted as true Representatives by always making their decisions in accordance with the results of their polls, then what we have is what Plato recognized as Democracy’s greatest failing: a dictatorship over the few by the many.
Representation is, then, fundamentally flawed. Even if we did have a true Representative System (which we do not) and even if our representatives did constantly learn our desires (which they do not) and act in accordance with our desires (which they do not), then the system is still one that is not to be desired by any lover of freedom and liberty (and it is not); it is an unjust tyranny over the few by the many (which it is). In such a system, whatever 51% of the People tell their Representative to do is what their Representative does, and the other 49% have to go along with whatever is decided.
Any system which has the inherent capacity to alienate and violate the rights of almost half of any Society is fundamentally flawed and undesirable. The only difference between the Representative System and the despotic system of kings, nobilities, and fiefs, is that the Ruling Caste is made up of a larger portion of the People. Their power over others, however, is equal; in a Representative System, any Majority has the same amount of power over the Minority as King Henry VIII did over England. And that is a flawed system.
In order to address these flaws and to safeguard the American People against the Tyranny of the Majority (which the Founders understood as a problem, as this fundamental problem of Democracy had been recognized since Plato) they chose a Democratic Constitutional Republic. The Majority would choose the Representatives, and the Representatives would then act in accordance with the Majority, so long as they did not violate the constraints placed on them by the Constitution. After all, if the Constitution did not restrain the power of the Majority over the Minority, then nothing would stop Congress from declaring that all Red Headed woman (or any minority) (or all women who think that women should be allowed to vote–this is said only to point out that minorities also exist because of ideological and philosophical differences, not just because of racial and other physical properties) would forced to work as concubines for the President and Supreme Court Justices. The Majority (which can be an ideological majority, such as those who think women should not be allowed to vote) simply cannot dictate the Minority, because if they do, then the Democracy is no different from the Monarchy.
The Constitution has clearly failed. Not only has the Constitution’s value been lost to the complacency induced by time, thereby allowing the state to take for itself far more power than was ever intended, but the failure also allowed the Majority to take for itself far more power than was ever intended. If the Majority of Americans support Welfare and Taxation, then there is no chance of Welfare and Taxation to ever be repealed or undone, even though this means the Minority who is against Welfare and Taxation will have the right to private property grossly violated in the process and will, in effect, become slaves of the State.
If the Majority of Americans support the President’s claim that he can send the military to police the world without a declaration of war by Congress, then the President effectively has that power. In modern America, small disputes and trivial issues often have it pointed out that the Majority doesn’t have the right to enforce its beliefs onto the Minority, but when it comes to fundamental questions of policy, there is no debate and the Minority’s opinions are thrown out the window (under one misunderstood or deliberately misapplied label or another), and the Minority is told that it simply has to put up with whatever the Majority wants to do, often because “we put these people into office.”
Again, Welfare is a terrific example. It is automatically presumed by the Majority that Welfare for the Elderly (in the form of Medicare and Social Security) is a positive and desirable thing and that, at most, we just aren’t currently doing it right. The Majority has no intention of discarding either of these systems unless it is to replace them with better [government]*^* systems. The idea that it is the duty of the State to steal some portion of the productivity of the Working Class and redistribute the confiscated wealth among a non-Working Class is assumed, and no questions which would dispute this assumption are tolerated with any amount of honest consideration. Moreover, in regard to Social Security and Medicare, it is automatically assumed that if we did not have these systems, then the Elderly would starve, become homeless, and go without medical treatment. The past 10,000 years of Society are completely disregarded by these beliefs.
In no Society in the history of homo sapien have we allowed our Elderly to be stripped of their homes, their possessions, their health, and to starve to death [It should also be noted that the United States is the only country in the world which worries about this happening, because we are the only country in the world which is so out of touch with reality, decency, and common sense that it’s even a possibility]. Our species has always cared for its elderly and its sick. The idea that we should abolish Social Security and Medicare is not the idea that we should allow the Elderly to go untreated or starve to death; it’s the idea that the current Social system we have in place to take care of them is not working (and is morally wrong) and that we have, in the past, used better systems–and we can use better systems today.
Libertarians do not dispute that we have a duty to take care of the Elderly. In fact, no one disputes this. What we dispute is the idea that it is productive to allow the State to force people to do this when history has shown, for thousands of years, that Societies voluntarily take much better care of the Elderly than any State ever could. If you feel that it is your responsibility to contribute to the well-being of Elderly People who you don’t even know, then private Elderly Welfare charities exist for you to do just that. However, the vast majority of Americans would not labor under the hopelessly utopian fantasy that it’s their moral duty to take care of random strangers; most Americans instead would consider it their duty to take care of their own Elderly relatives (and perhaps any neighbors who may need it). And having the 15%+ of their income back in their hands–instead of the State’s–to be used for any purpose they want, including caring for their Elderly Relatives, would certainly make that a lot easier.
Moreover, the Free Market handles these things in ways that we can demonstrate now without theorizing about what Americans would do without Medicare and Social Security to act as Moral Hazards. The next time you are shopping, ask the clerk whether they offer a Senior Citizen’s Discount. You will almost always receive a, “Yes.” What is this phenomenon, if it is not the Free Market taking steps to care for the Elderly?
Indeed, it is so common for a place to offer a Senior’s Discount that I’ve seen the Elderly become outraged when they visit a place that does not offer such a Discount. We will only see more of this if we dial back our taxes by eliminating Medicare and Social Security. If corporations are willing now to give 10% discounts to the Elderly and that is with the State taking huge portions of everybody’s money, then when you make the State stop stealing that huge portion of their money, their profit margin increases; with an increased profit margin, they can give Seniors greater discounts. To that end, every business would have its profit margin increased–giving them funds to bring more employees up to full-time, to use the latest technologies, to hire consultants to improve efficiency, to hire more workers, and to, if they so choose, provide their employees with extra perks (thereby allowing them to attract better workers), and this includes those companies not offering a 10% discount to Senior Citizens.
What sounds better to you? Forcefully stealing 10% of everyone’s money in order to give money to the Seniors or letting everyone keep their money and spend it how they wish? Before you answer, you should keep in mind a few things.
At least thirty cents of every dollar spent by the Federal Government is eaten by waste, inefficiency, fraud,and bureaucracy. For some departments and systems, this percentage lost to waste is higher (Medicaid being a prime example–up to 50% of money allocated for Medicaid is lost to waste). http://www.smpresource.org/docs/The_Sentinel_May2012_HBABCs_Fraud_Estimates.pdf lists that Eighty BILLION dollars of Medicare money is lost to fraud each year. It is extraordinarily difficult–if not altogether impossible–to be defrauded of your money when you are personally spending it on your grandmother’s doctor visits and prescriptions [or giving it to her to do it herself; it doesn’t matter].
It follows that, by median estimates, a family would really need to spend only 70 cents for each dollar spent by the Federal Government to take care of these things.
Moreover, because of the reproductive nature of humans and family structures in American Society, there are typically two to three working adults available to split the financial burden of an Elderly Relative. This is because the average American has 2.5 kids (in the past, this was actually much higher). These kids will get married, which doubles the amount of people from whom the financial resources can be drawn. A typical woman of 75 will have five working children, and zero to ten working grandchildren, all of whom can voluntarily chip in to help take care of Gran-Gran^^*.
Because the State will not be sucking away 10% to 35% of the income of these family members, if we assume an average salary of $25,000 (accounting for working teens and young adults), then between five adults, that is $12,500 that can be used to take care of Grandma. And since they can get with that $12,500 the same amount of care which it would have taken the State $17,857 to accomplish the same thing*, ol’ “Gran-Gran” might not be doing too badly after all.*^^
The above $12,500 is acquired simply by allowing adults to keep their own money and to spend it on whatever they choose. No American Family would allow their Grandmothers and Grandparents to go without medical care. Nor would any American Family allow their Grandmothers and Grandparents to starve, go homeless, or anything else. However, this figure ($12,500) does not include the incredible jump in wealth and prosperity which the entire country would experience if we accepted Free Market Principles (including a commodity currency). Competition creates wealth.
It’s important to remember that when we talk about getting rid of Social Security and Medicare, all we’re saying is that the responsibility to care for your grandparents… should be on YOU, not us. I have my own grandparents I would take care of. So do you. There’s no reason you should be taking care of my grandparents–who you’ve never met–and there’s no reason I should be taking care of your grandparents.
We’re simply saying: GET RID OF THE MIDDLE MAN. Because the middle man is incompetent, wasteful, bureaucratic, inefficient, naive, and can only accomplish his tasks through theft and the use of force. We aren’t telling you to let your grandparents starve or be untreated for illness. We’re saying: TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN DAMNED GRANDPARENTS.
Social Security and Medicare amount to this: The State steals money from you and then uses that money they stole from you to take care of your grandparents. Does that seem right to you? Does that seem efficient to you? Does that seem like a good idea to you? No, no, and no. It makes thousands of times more sense for you to take care of your own grandparents. If the State stops stealing from you, then you’ll have the free money to do just that.
Counter 1: What About Old People Who Have No Family?
In the rare event that we come across an Old Person who has no family who can take care of them, then we must rely on the benevolence of Society to care for that Old Person. What is the issue with this? If there was a private (“private” in the sense of “not related to Government”) charity to which you could donate some of your money, wouldn’t you do it? Even if you are a complete dick and wouldn’t donate $5 a month to such a charity, there are still churches and secular institutions that collect voluntary contributions and would do it anyway. No Church would allow its elderly members to go without health care or starve or go homeless. And there are many secular institutions that would be just as appalled by the idea. And that’s only necessary if you yourself wouldn’t contribute–plenty of people would. And it would be entirely voluntary.
When you stop stealing from people, you find out that people don’t need motivation to do the right thing. People don’t need a reward to entice them into giving $5 a month to a charity that provides health care to the elderly. And when you stop stealing from them, and you’ve stopped forcing them to do things that you believe would be morally right for them to do, then they have more money they can use to make these contributions. And if your concern is being morally right…
Then you have no justification for supporting Welfare systems like Social Security and Medicare in the first place. It may be morally right to contribute to the care of the elderly. But you must remember that you believing it to be morally right doesn’t give you any authority to force other people to do what you think is morally right. And that’s precisely what the Taxation/Welfare system are. “If it’s morally right for me to contribute a portion of my money to the care of the elderly, then it must be morally right for me to FORCE everyone else to contribute a portion of their money!”
See? That logic doesn’t hold up, does it? Forcing people to do what you think is the right thing… is never itself the morally right thing to do. Forcing someone to do anything is always morally wrong, and it doesn’t matter what exactly you’re forcing them to do. Forcing someone to do anything is morally wrong. And if you can’t agree with that, then you are the reason that Liberty has died. It’s a simple statement.
If you support Medicare, Social Security, or any other form of Government Welfare (including Obamacare), then don’t bother to comment this post unless you begin your comment with, “It’s morally right to sometimes force other people to do something.” If you comment to dispute any part of the Welfare discussion and you do not begin your comment with that sentence, then whatever else your comment says, it will not be approved. You have been warned**.
It is a false equivalence that “doing the right thing” is morally right, so “forcing someone else to do the right thing” is also morally right. In a Free Society, the use of force is loathed, detested, and contrary to the principles of Freedom. This is where the Non-Aggression Pact enters the picture. In a Free Society, the Non-Aggression Pact is critical to the continuance of Liberty and Prosperity; it is, simply, an acknowledgement by Society and all its Members that it is morally wrong and unacceptable to initiate any form of violence. It doesn’t mean you can’t fight back. It means only that you can’t start fights.
I can’t speak for everyone, but even with the State taking about 45% of all my money (being a small business owner, I am hit really hard… You wouldn’t believe it. Quite often, by the time the money reaches me personally, it has been taxed three or more times), I still make contributions to charities: The Mises Institute, the Foundation for Rational Economic Education, the United Way, the Animal Liberation Front, The Pirate Bay^*, and the Campaign For Liberty. The key thing to note is that I and I alone dictate and decide to which charities, organizations, and causes I give my money. The State doesn’t get to decide I should give x amount of money to the Mises Institute, and you don’t get to decide that I should give x amount of money to whatever cause you support–even if that cause is caring for Senior Citizens who you don’t personally know.
Voluntary Yields Greater Success Than Force
In fact, Force yields almost no success. We see this all over the world. When the World Bank steps in to a third world country with the intention of “ending poverty,” two things always happen. This has been documented and demonstrated over and over and over. Any time the World Bank steps into a country with the intention of “ending poverty,” poverty ALWAYS increases and the wealth gap between the rich and the poor ALWAYS increases. Well, not “always.” But the success rate is like 3%. I don’t remember. You can watch the documentary “Zeitgeist: Addendum”*^ if you’re curious about the World Bank and its ineffectiveness.
Knowledge of this general failure is also causing many people to speak out against Obamacare. If the State intends to lower the costs of health care or health insurance, then the only way it can accomplish this… is by getting the health out of the fields. Ooh… That was really bad. I’m sorry about that.
The best way to lower the costs of health care and health insurance is not to pass laws but to repeal laws; the way is not to intervene more in the health care field, but to intervene less. Ron Paul has noted on many occasions that in American Government, Failure is Success. While I’m not going to devote the time today in explaining what has caused the costs of health care to skyrocket, the blame lies almost entirely on Government intervention in the health care field in the first place. And when the Government’s failure to do any good was obvious and resulted in insanely high health care costs, what happened? The People demanded more intervention by the Government! “Hey, you fucked this up by messing with it! Now mess with it more and try to fix it!” Have no doubt, America. The Affordable Care Act will NOT help average Americans get health care. It will do the EXACT opposite of everything we want it to do. And when it fails, the Government will tell us that they need to intervene MORE in order to fix the even MORE broken system that THEY broke. If Obamacare is meant to bring health insurance to more Americans who currently don’t have it, then you know with certainty that in a few years, people who NOW have health care will NOT have it or the health care’s value will be so low that they might as well not have it.
It’s not that the Government can’t do anything right. It’s that if they want to do something right, they have to try to do something wrong. And if the Government wanted to do something wrong in the health care field, what would they do? What’s the most wrong thing they could do about the insanely high health care costs? That’s right: they could back completely the hell out of the health care field. Doing nothing is the most “wrong” thing they could attempt to do. And, interestingly, when it comes to any matter dealing with economics, having the Government do nothing will always lead to the right thing. Having the Government do nothing (“do nothing” includes ceasing all interventions in that market) will lower health care costs, because it was only ever regulations and restrictions that drove them up in the first place. Get rid of those regulations and restrictions, and what happens?
That’s right: Health Insurance becomes a matter of INSURANCE again. No one in the United States considers health insurance to be insurance. And that’s what caused the problem. We became convinced–mostly by lobbyists of huge insurance companies who benefited from the regulations–that we could use our health insurance for every trivial thing. Got to do a routine checkup? Good–you’ve got insurance. Got to get some penicillin? Good–you’ve got insurance. Got to get a physical? Good–you’ve got insurance. And yet… we all know that this attitude would break every other insurance market out there. Moreover, attempting to apply this attitude to any other type of insurance would quickly put us back in our place.
If you attempted to use your auto insurance over every trivial thing that happened, your insurance company would deny most of your claims. And if they didn’t deny your claim, they would raise your monthly premium. And if they didn’t raise your monthly premium, they would drop you entirely and no longer cover you. That’s why people don’t try to use their auto insurance when they run over a nail or when they have a fender bender.People tend to use Insurance only for emergencies. And that is what Insurance is for.
But, no, when we turn to health insurance, suddenly it’s okay to use the insurance for stupid stuff. And do you know why it’s okay to use your health insurance for trivial, non-emergency things? It’s because Government Regulations prevent health insurance companies from denying your claims; it’s because Government Regulations prevent health insurance companies from raising your monthly premium; and it’s because Government Regulations prevent health insurance companies from dropping you. Government Regulations have tied the hands of health insurance companies and have prevented them from using the methods of Insurance. Because insurance companies had to be so careful to avoid looking like they raised your prices or dropped you out of discrimination or because you developed a chronic illness, they could only offset the losses they suddenly incurred from everyone using their insurance for trivial matters by raising everyone’s prices. And doctors and hospitals returned by raising their prices; we’ve known for more than a decade that when you tell the doctors you have insurance, they are far more likely to run expensive diagnostic tests on you. All of this combined together to raise the costs of Health Insurance, and all of it happened because of Government Regulations and Government intervention in the Free Market.
And you expect me to believe that more Government Regulations and more Government intervention in the Free Market is going to help the problem? No, America: the problem is only going to get worse. The more the Government intervenes, the worse the problem will get; the worse the problem gets, the more the Government intervenes.At some point, the system will become so broken that there are only two choices: Socialized Medicine or a return to Free Market Principles.
And we will choose Socialized Medicine. Because we are terrified of the repercussions of the Free Market; we’ve been brainwashed into believing that Free Markets are dangerous and that we need Government Regulation to protect us from the corrupt corporations. And they point to places like Monsanto to evidence this.
Let’s Use Monsanto As an Example
Monsanto does a lot of really fucked up things, but let’s focus on its soy beans. Monsanto makes the poison Round-Up and they also own the copyright (see below–I’m vocally anti-copyright) on a special type of soybean that has been genetically modified to be resistant to Round-Up. Monstanto has a 97% market share in the soybean supply market; 97% of farmers who grow soy get their soybeans from Monsanto. Monstanto also requires that all farmers return their beans at the end of the season and unleash hell onto any farmer who doesn’t. Monstanto has people cruising through Iowa and other states every single day to find anyone who is violating any of their copyrights. They are ruthless and farmers simply cannot fight against them.
What is the root problem here, though? Is it Monsanto? Or is it the copyright law and the inability of farmers to purchase other soybeans of equal quality from other corporations that wouldn’t be so evil? Exactly. What Monsanto is doing is clearly wrong, but the farmers have no one else to whom they can turn. Monsanto has no competition, and Monsanto has no competition because of Government intervention in the free market. In a Free Market, not only could the farmers keep the beans that they purchased (actually, they’d be able to keep the offspring of the beans they purchased, but they should be able to do that, too), but any enterprising individual could buy some of the beans from Monsanto and become a supplier himself. Rest assured that if Monsanto had competition, they would not be Evil. And the only thing preventing Monsanto from having competition… is Government Intervention in the Free Market. The Soybean market is begging for competition. There is a huge gap for a non-evil corporation, and those 97% of farmers, all of whom hate Monsanto and consider it the most evil corporation in the world, would immediately switch to the new competitor and would tell Monsanto to get fucked.
The Free Market would solve the Monsanto problem almost instantly. It wouldn’t take more than a year. Within a year from the end of Government Intervention, Monsanto would simply be a bad memory.
“But What About All the Employees? What About Their Copyrights?”
In answer to the question about copyrights, look at what Monsanto’s copyright has caused! If you’re ignorant on the subject, watch the documentary “Food, Inc.” It addresses the evils of both Monsanto and Tyson, both of which are steeped in absolute Evil. If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say that Monsanto and Tyson are steeped in Absolute Evil, then you really need to watch the documentary, because Tyson provides almost all of the poultry you consume and some of their practices are unforgivable–even to non-vegans and non-vegetarians, Tyson’s actions are simply Evil. And Monsanto… They’re the single most evil corporation on the planet.
What is keeping these evil corporations in power? Surely none of us would choose to work with or for an evil corporation if there was a non-evil competitor. No matter how much money we save by working with Monsanto, if there was competition, everyone familiar with Monsanto would abandon the corporation instantly. The only thing keeping these evil corporations in business is the fact that they don’t have any competition. The Free Market DEPENDS on competition and the idea that everyone is free to compete on a level playing field with everyone else. This competition creates Abundance, Productivity, and Prosperity in ways that we cannot imagine. They also destroy Evil. Monsanto couldn’t be evil if there was competition, because no one would work with them and their evil ways if they could avoid it.
So what about those employees? Yes, what about the people who are actively taking part in the absolutely EVIL practices of Monsanto? What about these people who are knowingly and willingly committing acts that any sane person recognizes as evil or, at the very least, despicable?
In case you missed the subtlety, FUCK THEM.I can’t be nice about this. If a corporation routinely does Evil and competition rises and, by not being evil, threatens to put the Evil corporation out of business, then let the fate fall upon them which they set for themselves. Let them reap what they have sown. Let them sleep in the beds they have made. Let them lie in the graves they have diggen.***
You’re not really arguing for the continued existence of an evil corporation, are you?
“No, Anarchist Shemale, But Not All of Monsanto’s Employees Are Evil”
Then they shouldn’t be working there. It’s that simple. If you’re taking any part in evil actions, then you are committing evil actions. It’s that simple. If your corporation is doing things of which you do not approve, then you leave that corporation. And in a Free Market, where Competition, Liberty, and the Right to Property are the reigning principles, then you will have other corporations for which you can work. If you choose not to leave, then you’re choosing to commit actions of evil–in which case you deserve the unemployment that will fall on you when the non-evil corporation takes all your clients.
“But… That’s… That’s…”
That’s what? That’s making people take responsibility for their own decisions and actions?How inexcusable and barbaric of me! Yes, I believe that an individual bears the responsibility for their own decisions and actions and that they should, therefore, receive whatever consequences result from those actions and decisions. I don’t believe that people who comply with evil should be able to avoid the consequences of that, no. I believe people should be accountable for the things they do. And, like it or not, if a person chooses to stay and take part in the evil actions of a corporation, then they are choosing to take part in evil. There’s no way around this logical connection. And, having chosen to take part in evil, they should face whatever Free Market consequences fall on them for that.
And, since it’s a Free Market, anyone who doesn’t want to take part in evil actions can leave and go to a different corporation–to one that isn’t evil. And, since it’s a Free Market, anyone who doesn’t want to make an evil corporation richer is free to do business with a competitor (so long as they don’t violate any contracts into which they entered voluntarily and without coercion). And, since it’s a Free Market, Monsanto would no longer be able to corner the market, maintain a horrendously unfair advantage, and would no longer be able to stifle all competition with lawsuits and the theft of property.
To Be Continued…
This blog simply lays the framework of the Free Market and clarifies what the Free Market can do and how it does it. Understanding the role and power of the Free Market is critical if we ever want to prosper or be free again. There are four principles here that must be inviolate and that must be understood before we continue, so if any of these four principles are still unclear to you by the time you’ve finishes this blog, please leave a comment (this supersedes the requirements noted above) so that I can clarify. These four principles are:
Liberty / Individual Responsibility (they go hand-in-hand)
Right to Private Property
Right to Contract
The Free Market and Competition
If these four principles are clearly understood, then go on to “Anarchocapitalism Part 2″ to continue my analysis. Note that I have not written “Part the Second” yet and will post a link as soon as I do. Probably tomorrow. Maybe not. In a few days, for sure. Part the Second will focus more on the “anarcho” part, whereas this Part focused mostly on the “capitalism” part. Part Three will likely explain the concept as a whole, putting parts one and two together.
* I think I did that wrong… Well, if the math was done incorrectly, you still get my point.
** I despise euphemisms and dishonest intellectualism. If you stand in support of any Welfare system, then you think it’s morally right to steal from someone so that the money can be spent on what you think is the right place for it to be spent. This is why this blog has this requirement: to force you out of your dishonest intellectualism and euphemisms and make any would-be-commenters face what it is they really believe. Yes, Taxation is force. It is, therefore, theft. Yes, Morality is subjective (and one of the tenets of our nation is that no one’s morality may be forced on another person), and as such, it is not an Objective Truth that it’s “morally good” to care for the elderly. That means it’s your system of morality that dictates it’s morally good to do so, and someone may have a system of morality which does not agree with you. There is no difference between Taxation to pay for Medicare and taxation to pay for abortions or taxation to pay for gay marriage. They are all stealing from others to pay for the actions that someone else thinks is morally right–and anyone who disagrees has their opinion completely discarded and is forced to go along with the system anyway, despite their beliefs. This is the very definition of tyranny.
^* I read a book last night called, “Against Intellectual Property” by N. Stephan Kinsella that, I am pleased to say, presented a cogent, economical, and Libertarian argument against the entire concept of Intellectual Property. As an artist (and musician… and fiction writer… and poet… and non-fiction writer… and game designer… and world designer [D&D3.5/Pathfinder]…), I’ve argued against Intellectual Property and asinine copyright laws frequently in the past, but I never had anything other than Reason to stand with me on the subject. Now I have Economics, Liberty, and the Right to Private Property on my side in standing against the entire idea of Intellectual Property. As I’ve said numerous times in the past, I don’t download music/games/movies/whatever because I’m against rewarding artists for their effort and creativity. Once I experience a piece of art in question, I, like almost every other downloader, will not hesitate to pay the artist for the work. When I downloaded Orcs Must Die! 2 and found it to be one of the funnest games I’ve ever played, I immediately purchased the game, even though I “technically” already had it.
I believe that the asinine idea that we can copyright sound waves, patterns of light frequencies displayed in a specific manner, and strings of words and prevent others from accessing them fully (even if they purchased them) is related to our asinine belief that we can make Nature illegal. When we made shrooms (psilocybin cubensis), marijuana, and peyote illegal, that is exactly what we did: we made Nature illegal. What arrogance! Nowhere in America is our arrogance displayed more clearly than in our attempt to make NATURE illegal. And the idea that a pattern of sound waves can similarly be owned by an Individual is equally arrogant–or a string of words or an assortment of particles that reflect and absorb different frequencies of light arranged in a specific way. It’s asinine and arrogant.
*^ Zeitgeist: Addendum is the last of the documentary series that I would recommend, and I really don’t recommend it fully. Zeitgeist was a terrific, powerful, and eye-opening documentary (despite its flaws and exaggerations), and it has a Companion Guide which can be downloaded if you want to fact-check it (you should want to). However, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward just went completely off the rails and the series went from attempting to spread information to attempting to spread Communism. Don’t get me wrong: I actually don’t object to Communism out of ignorance (and I don’t object to it entirely; I object only to our attempts to mix Capitalism with Communism and Socialism). But the Zeitgeist Series has become a launchpad for Communist tendencies and Communist goals. It is no longer worth watching. Peter Joseph’s agenda is no longer to spread truth or information; his agenda is now to spread the idea that Communism would solve the world’s problems. And it is THAT to which I object.
*^* It should be noted that Libertarians and Free Market advocates do, in fact, propose an alternative system which would replace Social Security and Medicare. It is, though, a voluntary system, and not a system that achieves its ends through the use of force, violence, coercion, and dishonest intellectualism. People who advocate the Government providing Welfare are, in fact, asserting that they’d rather force people to do what they think is right than they would allow people to choose to do what they think is right. We propose a Free Market System that relies on volunteers contributing in goodwill, instead of relying on Government Guns to force helpless subjects to do things, often in spite. The notion that only force can effectively provide the needy with care is absurd and proven wrong by the whole of human history; force has always been inferior as a means of achieving goals which could also be achieved through strictly voluntary means. The great success of our military has much more to do with the fact that it is all volunteer (for the moment) than it does anything else. Career soldiers who entered the military of their own volition are much more effective warriors than are those who were forcefully conscripted.
*** That is meant as a joke, but for some reason… “diggen” seems like it should be a word. So does “embiggen” (to make bigger), for that matter–“embiggen” was (created?) popularized by The Simpsons. And judging from Google Chrome’s spellcheck feature, “embiggen” is now recognized as a legitimate word. I propose “diggen” should receive the same treatment. “I dug a hole” and “I have diggen there before.”
^^* No, I don’t and have never called any of my grandparents “Gran-Gran”.
*^^ Especially since in a society where Individual Responsibility is recognized as a thing critically important, Gran-Gran would have used her 401k effectively and combined it with an IRA or two to save up plenty of money through her 45 years of working and would, as long as inflation didn’t steal all her money (which it is, in the U.S. economy), be quite capable of taking care of herself. But if not–hey, what are friends and family for?
In closing, I’d like to ask a few questions. Do you really believe…
that allowing competition would be a bad thing in any market or sector?
that changing the length of a foot or yard could somehow make a piece of wood longer? That’s what our money system effectively is and does. A Dollar is simply a foot; it’s just a measurement of labor and resources. That’s it. It has no purpose or value beyond that. Those who believe that creating more money (the Fed, Congress, and others who support Quantitative Easing and other inflationary schemes) will create more wealth believe that changing the length of what we know as a foot or yard will somehow give us more wood when we measure it. The fallacy of this is so obvious that it doesn’t need to be pointed out. No matter the size of a foot or yard, the amount of wood we have will not change. No matter the value of a dollar, the amount of resources and productivity we have will not change. Dollars cannot create wealth any more than inches can create wood.
that we can trust our Government to do anything?
that it’s better to let the State steal x% of your money to spend on something than it would be for you to keep x% of your money to spend it yourself on that same something, eliminating the middle man?
that the State has any purpose other than acquiring more power and securing its continued existence?
that you are the Government? …or even that the Government cares about you?
that Democracy is a good thing?
that Regulations serve as a better safeguard against evil corporations than Competition?