In a single day–in the span of a few hours, in fact–the tone and overall vibe of this festival changed dramatically. Yesterday, it was a family. Today, it’s a festival.
It’s true that the majority of attendees showed up yesterday, but that’s not really what caused the shift.
Monday night we had an awesome rave. A Muslim DJ’d, the Anarchist Shemale recorded and took pics, and danced with gay dudes, and naked and half-naked people wandered however they wanted. No one judged, no one disrespected. There was the issue with the rave going on a bit late, and people taking to Facebook to bitch about the music, but the rave was in Agora Valley, not near the campsites. That is a curious thing itself, that instead of just coming over and asking us to wrap it up, they went to Facebook and bitched.
So what did they want? If they wanted us to wrap up the rave, all they had to do was come over and ask, and everyone here would have known that. But they evidently didn’t want the music to be turned down, or the rave to end–they just wanted to bitch. Two minutes to make a request versus an hour or two of bitching on Facebook? They just wanted to bitch.
Last night after I took some MDMA and went to sleep, there were several groups of people wandering around the campsites at 1:30 in the morning being loud as fuck. Some of them were just drunken, inconsiderate douchebags who had no idea how loud they were being. Around 2:00, some young chick came walking through the camps singing loud as fuck. There’s an enormous difference in raving in Agora Valley a little late during Somalia Fest, not Porcfest, and making a ton of noise through campsites where people are sleeping.
Mutual respect was a critical part of Anarchist Shemale Fest. No one ever stared at me. No one raised their eyebrows in surprise when I came out of the women’s restroom. I was stared at more yesterday than I did through the entire drive, and I got gas in Nashville, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The best way I’ve come up to describe it is that it was an influx of hipsters, but they’re not hipsters, really. It’s a lot of young people–early 20s and such–and that’s great, but there’s been a shift. The incomers aren’t radical anarchists as I was four years ago.
It reminds me so very much of the young people who went to Standing Rock to protest the DAPL. To them, it was just a party. That’s the vibe many people are putting off today. Don’t get me wrong: Somalia Fest was quite obviously a party, but it was a celebration of peace, love, and liberty–individualism, mutual respect, and self-ownership.
Everyone is still friendly, for the most part, but now it’s a celebration of… something else. Words escape my attempts to elucidate the difference.
Great news! There’s a Soap Box Idol show, and if too many speakers are late, I’m really hoping that I can work my way in and speak on AnCap principles, justice, and forgiveness–topics that I know intimately.
Even greater news!
I officially left the Keyboard Activism. I went to attend a seminar, but the speaker didn’t show. My brain began working. The next thing I knew, I was talking to the organizer about giving a lecture on AnCap principles, justice, and forgiveness. Two minutes later, I was on stage in the main pavilion hosting a seminar. I recorded it, but it will be next week before I’m able to actually upload it. I do have a 4G signal, but of the 4000 people here, probably 20% use Verizon, so network congestion is killing my speeds. With a data cap, I just can’t justify a 1 GB upload that could ultimately fail.
I’m not particularly proud of the speech, though several hours later two people approached me to tell me that they enjoyed it. I finally got to meet Daryl W. Perry, too! Considering I’ve been told I’m “like Daryl Perry in drag,” it was a tremendous honor to finally meet him.
Regarding my speech, these factors need to be remembered:
Public speaking is hard under any circumstances
I am hungover from MDMA
I was thirsty as fuck
I had prep time equal to “The amount of time it took to walk back to the pavilion,” so about a minute and a half.
It’s extremely difficult to generate a coherent, effective speech on the fly, even for a topic I’m so passionate about and have written about so extensively.
But I did it.
As Ernest said, “Audacity ensued.”
And he’s right. That is audacious. Narrow window of opportunity, and the Anarchist Shemale jumped on it. Not only did it make many people I’ve met more aware of my interest and ability in leadership roles, but it also paved the way to make it much easier for me to speak at next year’s. My first Porcfest, and I gave a speech in the pavilion.
It’s not great. In fact, it’s not even good. Without a plan, without notes, without rehearsal, and without any time to clear my head and organize my thoughts, I went on stage and gave a speech. It would be hard to exaggerate how difficult it was. I can rant privately all day long, but there’s an enormous difference between ranting and recording it, and standing in front of a crowd to give a lecture.
Technically, I moved from Keyboard Activism to real activism a while ago, and now I’ve just moved further along that road. I intend to keep doing what I’m doing, and I’m evidently decently good at it, so I’m excited to see where it goes.
One thing is sure: I’m gonna push as far as I can.
Libertarian mayoral candidate for Meridian has been shot to death in the woods outside of his home, according to Mississippi’s local paper The Clarion Ledger, and there is a bit of confusion regarding the circumstances. See, not long ago, Mariner Durant withdrew from the mayoral race, citing law enforcement officials who had advised him to withdraw because of death threats–there is no evidence of this suggestion, or indication of what law enforcement officer or official he may be referring to. Meridian is about three hours southeast of where I live (I’m right at the Mississippi/Tennessee border, so generally am more a Memphisian than a Mississippian), but I supported his candidacy nonetheless. Even though he supported Johnson/Weld–at the local, mayoral level that isn’t a big enough deal for me to refuse to support a candidate. Only in the national spotlight would that be a point of concern for me. While it did bother me that he never liked, replied to, or shared anything I wrote to him, I understand why, and held no grudge against him for it–being a libertarian in Mississippi is hard enough without having an openly trans ally.
C’est la vie.
Photo courtesy of the Clarion Ledger.
But now he’s dead.
Here are the facts as we know them:
Mariner Durant withdrew from the mayoral race, citing threats to his safety and the advice of unknown law enforcement.
Mariner Durant was found shot to death in the woods outside of his home, shortly thereafter.
Local police are ruling it a suicide, though are bringing in the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
Most people seem to take the local police’s word for it that it’s a suicide, and that Mariner likely had some sort of psychosis or paranoia where these threats were imagined, and that this psychosis ultimately led to his suicide. That’s certainly a valid interpretation, and we’ll probably never know.
Now let me tell you some stuff about Mississippi.
Several years ago, we had a murder (on a street where one of my best friends lives) occur that was so barbaric and horrific that it made national news. This 18 year old girl was forced to imbibe lighter fluid (or gasoline), and was burned alive. All evidence suggests that she was with someone she knew and trusted, and the last visible sign of her was at a gas station where she bought gasoline and showed no signs of distress, and the other, unidentified person, was in the car. You may remember this, because it was truly a horrific crime.
Now let me tell you some other stuff that the national media missed.
The girl’s father is a police officer who served time in prison for cooking and selling methamphetamine before becoming a cop. Read that sentence again, because nothing shows how strongly filial attachments can pull the strings of people in Mississippi than the idea that a former meth dealer came out of prison and became a police officer.
Now let me tell you more stuff the national media missed.
The girl was a drug-addict and prostitute (when she needed the drugs or the money to buy the drugs), and had recently stolen $400 from a man by selling him fake pills. I used to be addicted to pain killers myself. I know that game well. One of the people I bought pills from was found several years ago in a ditch, with a bullet in his head, and neither I nor my father have any doubt: he screwed over the wrong person. It only takes once. And he screwed me over repeatedly*. Now, when you’re a drug addict, that won’t keep you from going back to them if you can’t find anyone else. My dad and I once took him to a trailer park around midnight, and he wanted us to give him $100 while he ran in to get the pills for us. We knew better than to do that. We’d give him the money, and we wouldn’t hear from him for months.
Yet there’s more to this “person who was robbed for $400” than most people know. For one, he’s a known arsonist, and helped burn down a building for its owner to collect the insurance money. Everyone around knows and knew it was arson, and knows exactly who did it–even the police. But this person… This person is above the law. This person has very high connections in politics extending at least to the governor of the state. This person has also been involved in at least one murder.
So let’s have a recap.
18 or 19 year old girl (I don’t remember her name) who is a drug addict and hooker and whose father is a cop who went to prison for cooking and selling meth before becoming a police officer was found murdered in one of the most awful ways imaginable shortly after stealing $400 from a known arsonist and person known to be “above the law.” Additionally, many, many people suspected that the girl was an informant–wouldn’t you?–and I know damned well that this accusation is often enough to get you killed. If you do heroin and your dealer thinks you’re an informant, he’ll lace your next batch, you’ll die, and no one will ever know it happened. There are few things as lethal as being accused of being an informant.
Oh, we need to also mention that the girl’s parents were racist and that she had a history of dating black men, often to the point that she’d been kicked out on several occasions and ended up living with her black boyfriends and their families. This isn’t a thing in and of itself, but it’s something to consider about the girl’s parents. Let’s see… What else…? There are so many Sleeping Dogs in this story that it’s hard to remember them all, and I followed it very closely–like I said, one of my best friends lives on the street that she was murdered on. This happened like fifteen minutes from where I live.
How does this story end? It doesn’t. Eventually, the murder was “solved!” rather innocuously last year–or the year before–when a seemingly random black guy who was already serving time in Louisiana was pinpointed as the murderer, despite his name never having been mentioned before or since in any context related to the girl. Because the Internet Detectives went to work, man. They dug up all her ex-boyfriends, harassed them on Facebook, and all kinds of shit. This dude’s name never got mentioned. No news article, no Internet Detective, no whisper among the community…
You know what the whispers around the community were?
Everyone knew who did it, but no one was going to say it. “They went too far,” was what people said. “They went too far with what they did.” Everyone knew who, and everyone knew why. But, if you knew, would you talk, knowing that everyone else knew already, and knowing what had happened to the girl?
So the sleeping dog sleeps.
I know of a family who lives on the edge between two counties with a similar “above the law” status. No one touches them, no matter how horrific their actions have been. They’ve been known to openly torture and murder dogs and cats, tying them to trees and to four-wheelers, and quartering them in a more Modern American way. The sheriffs know about this. They know about the allegations of rape, of people going missing, of child abuse. They know the property extends back mile after mile of woods and empty tankers that contain God-knows-what, and they know there may very well be victims in those tankers screaming right now. But County A says they’re in County B, and County B says they’re in County A. So no one does anything about the crimes alleged, much less known.
I don’t know what happened to Mariner Durant. I have no idea if he has a history of paranoid or schizophrenic behavior, but, if he does, this is the first anyone will have heard about it (which wouldn’t really be the case, since they’d have used that against him in the mayoral race, but, hey, let’s forget that for the moment).
But I do know that Mississippi has lots and lots of sleeping dogs. And if he posed a threat of accidentally or purposely waking one of them, then it’s not at all beyond belief that he’d have been killed for it, whether he withdrew from the race or not. Once you threaten one of those dogs, that’s often all it takes, even if you back down.
Just ask the man who went to prison for cooking and selling meth and then became a cop.
Regardless, it sucks that this libertarian candidate is dead, and I wish that wasn’t the case. I wish he hadn’t withdrawn, and I wish he had won the election. I wish there weren’t so very many things wrong in Mississippi.
* That sounds freaking awful. My point is that he had a known history of screwing people over. He was found dead long after I got out of that game.
Gay couple in Norway attacked by Moroccans, and reflections on the Pulse Shooting, as well as the fact that we’re not able to fix a problem if we aren’t allowed to discuss it. Also the mess in Syria, why Trump thinks it’s okay to create more terrorists, and the clusterfuck state of American foreign policy.
Stupid Comment of the Week (10:06)
A “former AnCap” who left the ideology because… he couldn’t envision a way for the ideology to come to fruition…? It was really hard to make sense of his ramblings, and this is from someone who rambles a lot. So we discuss various ways in which the radical ideology of non-violence could be implemented, and mention again that beautiful event during World War 1.
News 2 (23:52)
There actually isn’t a second news item this week. I had one, but deleted it to instead talk about the fact that we shouldn’t have this much shit to discuss in the first place, and how it’s an indication that something has gone awry. My anarchism doesn’t come out often (much of the time, I could be mistaken for a libertarian), but here it really shines through.
Are You Fucking Kidding Me? (36:37)
Skittles’ attempt to show solidarity with a rainbow-oriented group by… removing all colors from their candy…? What? I’m far from a Social Justice Warrior, but they have a point. Removing all color doesn’t show support; it shows antagonism, morons. “I’m going to show my support for the women’s march by waving my dick around!” What? No, it doesn’t make sense. A candy with the slogan of “taste the rainbow” removing all its colors to show “support” for a group whose emblem is the rainbow is, at the very least moronic, and that’s assuming it wasn’t meant as a snub of LGBTQ people in a society that wouldn’t tolerate it.
Darkside Philosophy (40:53)
Justice and AnCap principles–most people don’t mean “justice” when they say it. They mean “vengeance.” So I talk a bit about my murdered mother and how I might have justice over it. Spoiler Alert: the only way for me to have justice is to forgive the murderer. The conceit that it’s okay to inflict violence on someone because they used violence is called Eye For An Eye, and it’s not justice; it’s revenge.
It’s come to my attention–via hearsay, as I’ve never read the person in question–that Walter Block argues that punishment in a stateless society isn’t strictly necessary, but what is important is that survivors are doubly repaid for losses. This seems to deal primarily with theft, but there was also a solution relayed to me regarding murder: simply, the murder would work for the surviving family for the rest of his life.
I… can’t get on board with any of this.
These are the moments when the principle of Non Aggression gets skewed. I have no idea if Walter Block advocates these things are not, but they are grotesque and immoral, and are no better than the state system of law and punishment we have now. So because a man did something wrong, he is to be condemned to being a slave for the rest of his life? What part of that is supposed to be in accord with AnCap principles? What part of that is supposed to be in accord with non aggression? Slavery is among the greatest violations of the NAP, to take someone and force them to work for you because they wronged you and your family member…
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
I know it’s hard. Believe me, I really do. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see some news article from the tri-state area about a body being found in the mountains, in a lake, or in a ditch, and every single time some part of me hopes… “Could this be it? Could this be my mother?” I know damned well what it’s like to lose a family member to murder, and I know what it’s like to live with that, to live with the murderer getting away with absolutely no punishment whatsoever because the body was thoroughly discarded. So you’re not going to find too many more people with the stable ground to say this:
There is nothing that could be done to bring justice to my murdered mother. It’s done. It’s over. She’s dead. While I would love nothing more than to have her rotting body buried somewhere respectable, with a tombstone so that I could finally put her to rest, even that would do nothing to alleviate any of the sorrow or pain, and it definitely wouldn’t bring her back. I know exactly who killed her, but without a body there’s nothing to be charged with. He lives a life of relative comfort, now a trained engineer or something like that, and has the love of his children and his other family members. There is nothing that can be done to him that would constitute justice.
This is the conceit that is breaking modern society: there’s no such thing as justice. It’s an imaginary idea. What we mean when we say “justice” is “This person did something wrong, so we’re going to get revenge, but we’re going to call it something else because we want to convince ourselves that our wrongful act against him is somehow different than the wrongful act he committed.” But it isn’t, because two wrongs don’t make a right.
It’s wrong to kidnap people at gunpoint, hold them against their will, and force them into slave labor, to force them into situations where they live in concrete jungles and have to fight for their lives or be raped. That’s morally wrong. There are no exceptions.
Truth be told, there is only one way for me to have justice over my mother’s murder by what most people would call my uncle, and that would be… forgiveness. Forgiving him is the only way to ease the pain in my heart and to release the sorrow. Isn’t that the point of justice? To ease the victim’s pain? Punishment doesn’t ease the victim’s pain; it converts it into zealous excitement and lust for vengeance. Just like if your wife cheats on you, it won’t ease your pain to then go out and cheat on your wife; it will only exacerbate it, enlarge it, and lengthen it. No, the only way forward, the only way to recovery, and the only way toward justice is through forgiveness.
That phrasing isn’t accidental. Forgiveness is a difficult labyrinth that must be navigated, with pitfalls and temptations hiding around every corner. Through the darkness emanate the whispers, “Why should you be the one putting in the effort? You did nothing wrong! He should be the one who pays! He should be the one who suffers! Haven’t you suffered enough? It’s time for him to pay for what he did!” These voices rarely cease while one travels through the labyrinthine, internal mind, coming to terms with the past and accepting its role in shaping the present.
It’s not supposed to be easy to forgive people, but forgiveness is all about the forgiver; it has nothing to do with the aggressor. I realized this when I was asked what, if anything, Vegas Chick could do to cause me to forgive her. I realized that there was nothing she could do, because it didn’t have anything to do with her. It had everything to do with me and my own emotional responses. I had a choice: to cling to the negative emotions, or to let them go. A demand for some kind of contrition, some kind of punishment… is clinging to the negative emotions. It never releases them, and releasing them is the only way to travel from the land of the wounded to the land of peace.
It’s also not easy to forgive the man who murdered my mother for unknown reasons. It’s not easy to forgive him for being the sole reason that I will be buried long before her body is ever discovered, if, indeed, her body is ever found. It’s not supposed to be easy to take a deep breath, let the negativity wash away, and say, “I forgive you.”
As a society, we have a passionate lust for revenge, and we love our euphemisms precisely because they allow us to pretend like it’s not revenge that we’re after. Years ago, when working through these ideas, I decided that the difference had to be that justice was impartial and vengeance was personal. In other words, if you enacted punishment against the murder on my behalf, then it was justice; if I did it, then it was vengeance. I’ve since realized how wrong that is. You acting on my behalf doesn’t change anything. It’s just a convenient way for me to shirk the responsibility; it’s just a handy way for me to pretend like I’m not the one responsible for the aggression being committed against someone else. “I’m not doing it!” I could proclaim. “They’re doing it!”
Except they’re doing it with my blessing. And whether I have the power to stop them or not–in the modern American system, I probably don’t have the power to stop the court system from prosecuting him, if her body was ever discovered–it wouldn’t change the fact that they’re doing so on my behalf, on my mom’s behalf, and on my sister’s behalf. But what if my sister and I both expressed that we wanted it forgiven, not punished? Because I would absolutely go before court and argue such a thing, even for the person who murdered my mother. Our testimony would mean little. We wouldn’t be able to simply drop the charges, despite being the only survivors of the murdered woman and therefore having more claim to express her wishes than anyone else.
And why? Because the state would be acting instead on behalf of Straw Victims it has imagined, and those Straw Victims are more important than my sister and me.
Punishment doesn’t end an injustice. It extends it.
The goal can’t be to punish someone. Punishment must be incidental, if it happens at all.
I don’t dispute that, once someone murders another person, individuals–whether elected or hired–have the purview to take measures to prevent the murderer from murdering anyone else. How this is to be accomplished, however, is a question of extreme importance. The obvious answer, according to most people, is to “Throw them in prison and throw away the key!”
No, because that doesn’t really prevent murder. The murder rate in prison is pretty high, and you won’t get most rational people to agree to a life sentence for one murder. Hell, the person we’re talking about served only 7 of a ten year sentence for murder. So the person is ultimately going to get back out of prison–or will kill someone in prison, bypassing the “out of prison” part altogether and committing a murder, meaning our preventative efforts failed. Since prison inmates have a 75% likelihood of going back to prison, prison is clearly an ineffective way of preventing crime from happening again. It may or may not prevent some crime, but it’s too ineffective to be our Yes, That’s the Best Solution answer.
I don’t know that I really have an alternative. Extensive therapy by trained psychologists would obviously be in order. Is there any way to fix this person’s damaged brain? Because, without exception, something has broken down in the moral centers of the murderer’s brain. That’s a given, because normal, healthy people don’t murder other people. We find the idea repugnant in every conceivable way, and we would not murder another person even if we knew that we could get away with it without any consequences at all. It’s not punishment or fear of punishment that stays our hands; it’s our own internal morality. Once that internal morality breaks down, no amount of laws will protect someone.
The goal of prison was supposed to be to segregate, punish, and rehabilitate. It fails on all accounts. A scary number of innocent people have landed in prison, without even getting into the number of people in prison for committing “victimless crimes*”. So criminals are not segregated from the innocent. Nor are they punished, at least not in the way that society likes to pretend. Drug abuse and sex are rampant in prison. It’s often easier to find hardcore drugs in prison than it is to find them on the streets. As for rehabilitation–you’re kidding right? I would bet my shiny new tickets to the A Perfect Circle show in Nashville that most the 25% of former prisoners who don’t return to prison are simply too old upon release to be out there raping and killing people, or whatever they did to go to prison in the first place.
There has to be some way of preventing someone from committing another murder, and that’s what our focus should be on. Not punishment. Punishment only exacerbates the amount of wrongdoing in the world. Killing someone because they killed someone doesn’t reduce the amount of killing in the world; it obviously increases it by one. Kidnapping and holding someone against their will for kidnapping and holding someone against their will doesn’t reduce the amount of people being kidnapped and held against their will; it increases it by one. There is no justice as long as we are doing things that add more murder, more kidnapping, more imprisonment, more rape, and more violence to the world.
Justice, as an ideal, must be incapable of increasing the amount of aggression in the world. If it increases the amount of aggression, then it cannot be justice. That must be our metric for determining what is justice and what isn’t.
It starts with forgiveness.
This doesn’t mean that a person shouldn’t be held to account for acts of aggression, or that there should be no consequences. It does, however, change the goals of the consequences. Rather than seeking punishment, we should seek prevention. “What can we do to make sure this man never kills again?” should be our guiding question, not, “How can we make this man suffer for what he did?” The act is done. Making him suffer won’t fix anything and won’t help anything; it will only increase the amount of suffering in the world.
And two wrongs don’t make a right.
This is very different from catching someone in the act of aggression and having the opportunity to stop the act from escalating. If you walk in on some thief beating the hell out of your family member and you shoot and kill that thief, you’ve done nothing wrong. You prevented a beating from escalating into what probably would have been a murder. Since the thief initiated the aggression, you did what you had to do to protect another human being who had done nothing to initiate the attack. But what if you came home from work and you knew who had beaten your brother half to death and stolen your laptops and television? Would it be morally right to chase that person down and kill them? I don’t think many people would say “Yes” to that, and I certainly wouldn’t. Because at that point, you’re no longer preventing; you’re punishing.
We need a lot of spiritual growth–a phrase I use colloquially. It’s true, though. Before we can have a stateless society, we have to have a society where no one is asking “How can we punish criminals?” Because a stateless society can’t answer that question, because a stateless society forbids the use of force, violence, and coercion. “How can we punish criminals” is the wrong question, coming from a dark place in the human heart that prefers vengeance to forgiveness, and that’s something we have to let go of. We have to learn to forgive. Once we have a society of people asking the right question–“How can we prevent a murderer from killing again?”–then we will be ready to enjoy the luxuries of a stateless society.
This is part of the reason that the state is so tied to the criminal system, of course. It wants us to confuse punishment with justice, because as long as we’re erroneously calling punishment “justice,” we’ll despise any system that seeks to deny it to us. “You mean you’re not going to punish that child rapist? He should have his dick cut off! He should be publicly castrated! Fuck him! Throw him in prison with Big Jim!”
That’s vengeance, not justice.
Yes, by all means, and absolutely: let’s prevent that rapist from raping again. That’s mandatory, once they have done such a horrific act. But punishment isn’t going to do it. And when taking steps to prevent the act from occurring again, we should be mindful whether our motivation is to sate our bloodlust for vengeance, or whether our motivation is to actually protect future victims from being similarly harmed. Only by using the correct path can we arrive at the correct destination.
Bloodlust leads to punishment and, 75% of the time, repeat offenses.
Forgiveness leads to justice and prevention.
So what do we do about criminals in a stateless society? I don’t know. But I’d love for us to put our brilliant minds and our empathic hearts together and come up with a solution that actually works without increasing the amount of suffering in the world and while releasing the primordial instinct within us that demands we take an eye for an eye.
This isn’t finished–and it actually gets worse, due to what happened in court–but I’m posting it now because I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back to it.
As I sit in court this morning waiting on that judge to make his appearance, despite it being ten minutes after the time I was legally mandated to appear, I’ve got plenty of time to reflect on why I’m here. I’m here because the state has persistently screwed me over in the name of money.
In fact, my driving record would be impeccable if not for two things: the government, and other, careless drivers. I’ve been doing for 13 years, and I’ve had two accidents, neither of which was my fault. In one instance I was rear ended, in the other, more recent, someone attempted to turn out of a driveway in front of me, and didn’t see me coming. I’ve been ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt, not having insurance, for running stop signs that even the judge didn’t believe I ran, for not having insurance, and for not having insurance.
This entire thing is wrong. Why do we tolerate it?
It was only last year, or the year before, that Mississippi finally repealed the bill that forced drivers to buy inspection stickers. What was undoubtedly meant as a boon to the mechanics industry became a formality: Everyone knew at least one mechanic who would clear any vehicle. Yet the ticket for not having this sticker ran $500–one hundred times the cost of the sticker itself.
On the surface, the insurance regulation seems to make sense. Ignoring the overarching concerns about what right the state has to coerce me to buy something, if I’m in an accident then it’s not really fair to you if I can’t cover my responsibility. Never mind as well the fact that this is clearly a civil matter, and that, in the worst case scenario, you could sue me for damages. Yet after 13 years of driving, two of which were spent delivering pizzas in a city, I think the absence of any fault on my end serves as sufficient proof that I handle my end of the responsibility.
Strangely, no court will admit that I’ve never been at fault in a wreck as evidence that I’m responsible for the things I do on the road, even though they, better than anyone, have my driving record to look at.
Actually, insurance is obscenely expensive generally, but especially for me. Any driving ticket is considered a moving violation, including not having insurance and not wearing a seatbelt. These are tickets I obviously shouldn’t have in the first place. If I don’t want to wear a seatbelt in my vehicle, then that’s my business. If I solve my responsibility to other drivers by being cautious and careful, then I’ve solved my responsibility and insurance is a moot point. I don’t need liability insurance if I’m not a liability.
None of this matters, of course.
The episode of The Big Bang Theory wherein Sheldon goes to traffic court struck home for exactly that reason: judges don’t want to hear it. They want to get you in and out. They don’t want to hear long winded, obvious arguments about how no one with any sense in their head would believe that you ran a third stop sign in two weeks when there was literally a cop right behind you. And even though the judge agrees, because you’re a respected businessperson in the small town and he knows you’re not an idiot, you’re still going to pay that $172 that some cop on a whim decided you were ultimately going to have to pay.
The Constitution has no place in American court rooms, especially traffic courts, where 13,000 page documents of legalese have been written explaining why it’s totally not a violation of our Fourth Amendment right to have paperwork demanded of us at roadblocks as we exercise our inherent animal right to move around the land. They assure us that it checks out, and we should totally trust them on that, but if we don’t then we can always read the enormous, confusing document ourselves. Because the founders who wrote a framework for our government that was less than thirty pages long totally intended for bills to become a thousand times longer than that. Certainly some part of the Bill of Rights should have mandated that all bills must be less in word count and page length than the Constitution itself.
I have no doubt that someone who has literally dedicated their life to understanding this minefield of complexities and jargon could decimate me in an argument about them. I’m not an attorney, and I don’t know or care about the gigantic documents they create in their efforts to convince us that this totally isn’t tyranny. For the most part, I don’t really care what they do in their world of make believe. It’s only when their world of make believe overlaps the real world, and I find myself losing an entire day just to be commanded to pay a fine, that it becomes an issue.
And it is a world of make believe that they’ve crafted. They aren’t the only ones; most Americans are fixated firmly on this world of make believe. Just recently, I got to listen to my father talk about Trump’s congressional speech, and how he’s looking forward to the perks brought on by President Trump.
What is he talking about?
Sugarcandy Mountain, really. Surely some part of him knows that nothing Trump does is going to have even the tiniest measurable effect on his life. In fact, this is true for most people. We’re in our second month of his presidency, and nothing has changed and nothing has happened. Everyone’s daily lives are exactly the same as they were a year ago, yet half the people are convinced things are about to get better and the other half are convinced things are about to become catastrophic.
Of course, “things” aren’t about to do anything or be anything. It’s all inconsequential. Whether the hope or fear that Trump would shake things up was well-founded or not, it should be obvious by now that the status quo reigns unchallenged. Shortly after his election victory, I said in a video that I think America just got played, and that nothing was going to change, which would piss off the people who voted for Trump, leaving them even angrier and less trusting of politicians than they were before.
Yet two months later, I’m beginning to remember that they honestly just lack the capacity to notice that, just as the average liberal lacks the capacity to recognize that Obama didn’t really do anything. Nor did Bush Jr., or Clinton. I’ve seen “Libertarians for Trump” continue praising the buffoon, despite his constant executive overreach, which, while it isn’t new, is certainly something they should be against–and were against when it was Obama.
I’d hoped that conservatives would seize the rare opportunity to actually begin embracing small government and states’ rights, but they have shown no sign of caring any longer. They just have a different set of pet issues they want the federal government to control than liberals have. I knew this, of course, and have said it as long as I’ve been writing, but I did hope that they wouldn’t be as stupid and hypocritical as allowing the federal government to usurp not just states’ rights but city and county rights as well.
It’s useless to point out the hypocrisy, though. No one has ever succeeded in getting a hypocrite to realize they were a hypocrite, and that’s only exacerbated in politics when the stakes and rewards are “OMG WE GET TO TELL OTHER PEOPLE WHAT TO DO!” Unable to resist that urge to tell everyone else what to do with their pet issues, they’ve stepped right back into the path of big government and have ensured that the best we can look forward to is another Democratic President in 4-8 years, and then, perhaps, another chance for conservatives to note that, since they didn’t like the liberal federal government telling them what to do, then maybe they shouldn’t use the conservative federal government to tell liberals what to do. But, of course, when it comes to issues conservatives care about, it totally doesn’t count as usurping states’ rights.
It’s now fifteen minutes after nine, 45 minutes after I was required to be here. The courtroom is still filled with the steady droning of thirty conversations happening at once, and neither the bailiff nor judge have made an appearance. The state and its puppets, of course, have no concern for my time. And why should they? They’re at work; this is what they get paid to do. If having a day in court meant that every judge, officer, and other associated person wasn’t getting paid for each moment they were in court, this shit wouldn’t devour our entire days.
One odd thing I noticed the last time I was here is that people with attorneys go first. I suspect this is true in every court across the country, but I’m not aware of any attorney who charges by the minute or hour in a courtroom, so the argument that the judge is trying to keep the people’s costs low doesn’t hold up. Several of my clients are attorneys, and none of them charge by the hour, while all of them include a presumed court appearance or two in their estimate.
It’s because, without exception, the judge used to be an attorney. If there’s any position I’ve ever thought about running for, it’s a judicial one. I would make a fantastic judge, if I do say so. Case after case would be dismissed unless the state provided evidence, and an officer’s word wouldn’t be enough. “Oh, you ticketed her for not having insurance? What proof do you have that she didn’t have proof of insurance?”
“Well, your honor, she didn’t…”
“Ma’am, did you have proof of insurance?”
“Yes, your honor.”
Most cops don’t even bother to show up. That’s how little our rights matter, and how little presumed non-guilt matters. Cops don’t even show up. I’m sorry, your honor, but where is the evidence that I didn’t have insurance? Where is the evidence that the officer didn’t take a lighter to my insurance card? No, your honor, I *don’t* have to prove that I had insurance; the officer has to prove that I didn’t.
Where is the evidence that I was driving on a suspended license? That the officer said so? In what vehicle was I driving? There’s no proof of this; the vehicle wasn’t impounded. Where’s the evidence that I wasn’t out walking when some cop arrested me and said I was driving? They didn’t impound the vehicle, so they wouldn’t be able to prove I was driving.
If I did attempt to dispute any of these charges, then it wouldn’t matter; the officer would be called in to testify. Of course, the judge would be happy to wait twenty minutes while the officer showed up. After then, it would be a simple question of the officer’s word against mine, since there doesn’t even exist evidence that this whole mess was caused by someone pulling out in front of me in the first place.
This whole thing is just ridiculous.
“Innocent until proven guilty.”
A statement so true that cops don’t even bother to show up to court, much less to provide evidence if they do appear.
A year or so ago, a friend’s son was arrested at 2 in the morning. He was pulled over in a city for having a headlight out. Before anyone comments that it’s dangerous to drive without headlights, I’ve had numerous military people inform me that drivers in Iraq don’t use headlights at all. Anyway, the kid was arrested because the father had left Xanax in the truck in an unlabeled pill bottle and couldn’t prove that he had a valid prescription.
With a discount because they’re a client, an attorney charged $1250 to take the case. The expected fines were $1000. In the end, the kid had to take three drug tests at a doctor’s office, and the charges were dropped, not appearing on his record.
If that had been me as an 18 year old, I’d have been fined. I’d have pled not guilty, explained the situation, and then would have been found guilty and fined. I’ve been there, found guilty for contributing to the delinquency of a minor when I was 18. It was that day that I learned how pointless it is to plea not guilty over a misdemeanor without an attorney. The judge doesn’t give a shit about your arguments. You’re guilty. It’s that simple.
The judge will listen to the attorney’s arguments, and, in my experience and observations, will just go with whatever the attorney says. The judge won’t fine you, because you’ve already been fined. You simply paid a private attorney instead of the state. Since the judge himself used to be a private attorney, it creates a cycle. Your attorney will be your kid’s judge. Your kid’s attorney will be your grandkid’s judge. They won’t fine you because they once made their money because judges didn’t fine people with attorneys. If they start treating people who have attorneys the same way they treat people who don’t, then their entire circle jerk falls apart.
Trying to put a vehicle on the road is an exercise of such obstruction that Stalin would be proud. First, you need a licence that you purchase from the state after buying two rubber stamps. This license, of course,
I’ve been a bit shaken for about ten minutes, since I remembered suddenly that I had a dream about my mother last night. I don’t remember what that dream was really about, but it was significant, and I don’t often dream about her. Why should I? She’s been gone from my life for 17 years–well over half of my life, since I was 12 when she vanished inexplicably in the summer of 1999.
I told my sister last week that I plan to file the paperwork to have her officially declared dead. That’s long overdue. We need to put this matter to rest. While my sister agreed, I also realized by her tone and how she put things that she isn’t convinced that our mom is dead. Even more unbelievably, she believes the story that she “left with a truck driver named Tim” and thinks that our mom probably was murdered some time after that.
No. No, my poor, denying sister. Our mother was killed by the man she was living with, the one who put out the statement that she “left with a truck driver named Tim,” the one who was suspected of killing his parents, and the one who just got out of prison for killing another woman in Arkansas. It’s not exactly rocket science. When I said this, she remained unconvinced. I tried explaining that the murder was 6 or 7 years old when D. was finally arrested in Memphis and charged with it, and that it takes a lot of overwhelming evidence to find someone guilty of murder 6 years after the fact and then to sentence them to ten years in prison.
I wasn’t aware of how broken our justice system is until I began looking into that. Apparently, ten years is a huge sentence for a murderer to receive 6 years after the murder, and it’s apparently really hard to get a judge to be that harsh. How amazing. You can kill a human being in the state of Arkansas, live free for six years, be sentenced to only a decade in prison, and then get out on good behavior without even serving that entire sentence. While no sentence would ever have brought justice to the family of the woman he killed in [withholding the location to protect my identity–we are talking about a murderer, after all], it’s a damned shame that you can serve only about 75% of a weak sentence for murder.
My sister wants to apply for the survivor benefits that would have been due to us if her body had ever been found. I don’t really agree, because I don’t think I should be given money because someone murdered my mother. In hindsight, from that point of view, though, it’s good that no one ever found her body–our father would have ended up receiving the checks, and would have spent it all on drugs.
I’ve often felt guilty for using this story as such a major part of Dancing in Hellfire–for which it seems I’ve found an agent!–but I vastly prefer that over having the state write me checks. I’d rather tell the story in a fascinating, emotionally jarring way and earn money through the story-telling than have it gifted to me after other people were robbed to give it to me. But I no longer feel guilty, because my mother’s story is my story to tell. In fact, there is no one else who could tell it.
Even knowing as I do that she is certainly did–see above–does nothing to bring me closure on the matter. How could it? Her body is buried in the woods in some random place in Arkansas, rotted to the skeleton, forever lost. She has been given no memorial, no tombstone, and no real burial. These are things I intend to rectify. I will talk with D. somehow, and I will do everything in my power to convince him to give me the location of her body. Perhaps I can work with law enforcement to promise him immunity from prosecution. I don’t care. There’s no chance of having justice delivered anyway. For 17 years I’ve lived not knowing whether my mother is alive or dead–there’s no way to bring justice to that. So why bother?
But even if that can’t be worked out, I’m going to arrange a memorial service, difficult though that is to process and think about, once she is declared dead.
I don’t really want to do that, though. I don’t want my dad and grandmother there. I don’t want them patting me on the back or pretending to express sympathy. They didn’t show any goddamned sympathy seventeen years ago when she vanished. They would come, but it’s got nothing to do with them. It’s between me, my sister, and our brother. And our brother is dead, so it no longer involves him, either. He was killed in a car wreck about a year after we reconnected with him, after about five years of estrangement because he wouldn’t come to see us–because we asked “difficult questions about mom.”
So he wouldn’t deserve to be there, either.
No one on my mom’s side of the family deserves to be there. Her own mother would, but she’s dead, too. Her sister, my aunt? Hell no. My aunt knows exactly what happened–she knows damned well that her ex-husband killed her sister. She’s known it all along; everyone on that side of the family knew it all along. It’s the great elephant in the room, the sleeping dog that no one dares to wake. It would be an insult to have them there.
It’s ultimately between my sister and me, and, honestly, that would just be more awkward than anything, because we don’t share emotional moments. We’ve only hugged once in our entire lives, and that was awkward. How could we be comfortable showing emotions, after the bullshit we went through as kids? We trust no one with our emotions, not even the other. Then you have just me and my sister standing around, probably with her husband there, saying goodbye to a mother that isn’t there, in spirit or in death. It would be pointless, as neither of us would be willing to say what we were really thinking, and neither of us would be willing to shed a tear over it.
Carry on, weary soldier. Carry on.
Atlas must never show that the weight of the world is breaking his back.
Youtube has made changes to their policy–or, actually, they have made changes to their algorithm that has caused a higher number of “controversial” videos to be blocked from receiving ad revenue. Since I’ve spoken frequently about Youtube’s ad policy and the sickening way that Youtubers turn their viewers into commodities and sell them to advertisers, I’m going to give an anarcho-capitalist perspective on these changes.
Now, I shouldn’t have to say this (but evidently do–again), but no. If you are watching someone’s video and using an AdBlocker, you are NOT stealing from them. They do not have the right to sell you, and at no point while searching Youtube for videos will you ever be presented with a TOU that says “I agree to be sold as a commodity to advertisers.” Clicking play on a video does not mandate that you watch an ad, as many videos are ad-free (my own will always be ad free, of course), just as watching a show on TNT does not mean that you have to sit there and watch the commercial.
This was a battle that was fought when the DVR started making its rounds in home entertainment systems, and courts universally decided that consumers are not required to watch commercials, and that software that allows ads to be bypassed is acceptable, because no part of watching the content requires one to watch ads unrelated to the content. You do not enter into any kind of agreement by clicking Play on a video, except the agreement you have with yourself that you will watch the video for as long as you feel like watching it. Under no circumstances did you agree to let the channel owner sell you like a commodity to marketers.
Youtube is a free platform. We are not talking about you finding a way to watch videos on Netflix without paying. We are talking a platform that is 100% free. You CANNOT steal stuff that is given to you for FREE. That is the bottom line, and I dealt with that previously, when I first mentioned AdBlock Plus. There, a writer at a website was arguing that if you browsed his website with an Adblocker, you were literally stealing from them, and this little gem came just a few paragraphs after he explicitly said that his website had been serving free content for years.
It’s amazing how quickly people lose perspective when money becomes involved, and this is why I just do what I do, and have avenues there for people who want to give me money. I will be beholden to no one but myself, and I will not allow anyone to owe me anything. My work is, and will always be, 100% free (excluding novels, because a girl’s got to make a living, you know?). However, I would love nothing more than to be able to earn $3,000-$5,000 just through Anarchist Shemale, and would, at $5,000 a month, release all novels for free.
I will never sell you as a commodity, because you will never be a commodity. You will be a colleague, a comrade. You will never be a sheep who unwittingly signed their soul away to be sold to advertisers generally without your knowledge about what is happening, and I will never support someone who does this. If you are on Youtube and you want to make money, then Patreon is the only noble way for you to do it. Otherwise, you are treating your viewers like a commodity, and you are a disgusting toad.
Seeing as I’ve been running AdBlock Plus for so long, I couldn’t tell you what Youtubers run ads and what Youtubers don’t. But do not submit to their attempts to sell you, and do not let them browbeat you into selling yourself because they gave you something for free. Never forget that. They chose to create their video and upload it to a platform where it cost nothing for anyone to watch it. You owe them nothing for watching that video. They don’t owe you (unless they’re on Patreon and you’re a supporter, in which case they owe you content as they’ve described on their page), and you don’t owe them.
One last time: you cannot steal anything that is FREE.
You can’t steal intellectual property anyway.
Rights of Individuals –> Rights of Businesses
Now, I’ve extensively talked about how there is no such thing as a business or corporation, and how there are only people. This is true, but it is also true that sometimes people come together in groups and choose to act as a single entity, with one or a few people with the authority to make very large decisions that affect the whole group. Seeing as no one enters into such a group involuntarily, there’s nothing wrong with this, and it doesn’t mean the “entity” is real, or that the entity has rights. It doesn’t.
The people who are in charge of making such decisions, however, do have rights. The executives of Marking Firm A have entered into an arrangement with 170 other people, and the 160 people who aren’t executives have agreed to abide the decisions of the executives, and to enact the decisions of the executives. This creates the illusion of a single entity, but obviously the entity isn’t a real thing.
So these ten executives decide that the products their firm provides advertising for would be unhappy to learn that they are appearing on videos made by Killax_the_Raging_Racist, The Amazing Atheist, ThereIsNoGod666, and The Anarchist Shemale. Quite rightly, in fact, because I can’t imagine that Kleenex would be too happy to appear on one of my videos. So for Marking Firm A to keep its customers happy (Kleenex, Kelloggs, Quaker Oats, Downy Fabric Softener, and Apple, Inc.) happy, they decide that it’s best to contact Youtube and ensure that their ads don’t appear on controversial videos.
All well and good, right? Nothing untoward has happened. No one has done anything wrong. No one has committed an act of force, violence, or aggression. Individuals simply made a decision.
But Entitled Youtube Babies Got Whiny
Evidently, changes to Youtube’s algorithm as it searches for videos that are controversial has gotten better recently, and the result is that videos that once had ads… no longer do. The people who now do not have ads on their videos are screaming and crying about how it is censorship, how they are being told they have to change their content if they want ad money, and how it is blatant extortion and coercion. That sounds really fucked up, for sure.
It’s just too bad none of it is true.
No one who ever uploaded a video to Youtube was entitled to have ads appear on it. Whether ads appear on your video is, and has always been, solely up to Youtube’s discretion. Sometimes ads won’t appear for one reason or another and you can do nothing about it, and sometimes ads will appear for one reason or another, and you can’t do anything about it. This is because you voluntarily agreed to use Youtube’s platform, and in so doing you clicked through a number of EULAs and TOUs and you clicked “Accept” to all of them.
You agreed to Youtube’s terms of service.
This is an enormously different thing from consenting to state authority. For one, the state does use force, violence, and coercion. Youtube does not. Youtube has never forced someone to create content, coerced someone into using them, or inflicted violence on someone for not complying with their rules. As I began to point out to TylerPreston20 in a video that I never uploaded, Youtube is 100% voluntary. Absolutely nothing forces anyone to use Youtube. If you don’t want to submit to Youtube’s authority, you don’t have to. You can turn and walk away at any time.
“But we have employees! We’re a legit business now!”
You may be a business with employees now, but I hardly think you qualify as a legit business if you have all of your eggs in one single fucking basket like a retard. At no point in the past few years, did you stop to think, “Wait a minute… We have a lot on the line here, and we are totally at Youtube’s mercy… We should be doing something to try to establish some independence away from Youtube, so that we aren’t totally at their mercy”? If you didn’t, then you’re a fool.
Jim Sterling himself is a wonderful example of this. He went independent and is supported entirely by Patreon, and he makes more than $10,000 monthly doing it. Youtube can fuck right off and it won’t hurt his bottom line. Jim Sterling does not need Youtube. Jim Sterling is not at Youtube’s mercy. Jim Sterling is not a fool.
I cannot be swayed by your lack of thinking, planning, and foresight. You didn’t just put all your eggs in one basket; you put all your eggs in a basket that you didn’t even own.
Censorship, Coercion, and Extortion
It is only extortion if they have something of yours and are demanding something before they’ll give it back. Advertisers have nothing that belongs to you. As we cleared up earlier, advertisers have every right to determine what type of videos their ads will appear on, and they have sole discretion to determine that. The limit of your power here is to either make videos that comply with their criteria, or to not make videos that comply with their criteria.
If I tell you that I will only let you have sex with me if you learn to play the guitar, I am not extorting you, because you have no rightful claim to me in the first place. Even if I did let you have sex with me in the past, this implies nor suggests that I thereafter become your property, and that you continue to have the right to have sex with me. And that is what you are arguing here–that you have the right to continue running their ads, because you used to be able to run their ads. Fine. I used to be able to have sex with my ex-wife. Does that mean that I can still have sex with her–even if she says “No,” as the advertisers are now telling you?
Nor are you being censored. Goddamn, people are quick to scream and bitch about censorship. Honeybun, no one is censoring you. If they were editing your videos to make them compliant with their ad policies, then they would be censoring you. If they were lowering your search ranking because they don’t agree with you, then they would be censoring you. If they were deleting your videos unjustly because they don’t agree with you, then they would be censoring you. Please, cupcake… Please learn what censorship is.
I left coercion for last, because, in a way, yes, they are coercing you. But not really, because they aren’t punishing you for not complying. They are offering to reward you if you do comply. That’s a huge difference. If I said “I will only kiss you if you brush your teeth,” I wouldn’t be punishing you for not brushing your teeth; I would be offering you a reward if you did brush your teeth. This is an enormous difference, and far more significant than splitting hairs. Immense research has gone into what is more effective: offering rewards or threatening punishment. The basis of it is this, though: are you entitled to kiss me? If you are so entitled, then yes, withholding a kiss would be punishing you for not complying. If you are not entitled to kiss me, then I am offering you a reward for complying.
All three of these criticisms are dependent upon the idea that the youtuber is entitled to ad revenue.
You’re not entitled to commoditize your viewers and sell them to marketers.
You aren’t entitled to have videos on Youtube.
You aren’t entitled to monetize your videos by turning your viewers into assets and selling them to advertisers.
You aren’t entitled to be paid for content that you give away for free.
You aren’t entitled to force other people to do things they don’t want to do.
And that’s what it boils down to, really. You want to force them to continue running ads on your channel, even though they don’t want to and even though there are countless good reasons that they wouldn’t want to. Those 10 individuals who made the decision to not run ads on controversial videos? They have the right to make that decision. They have the right to not run ads on videos that they don’t want to run ads on. You unequivocally do NOT have the right to force them to run ads that they don’t want to run. They are not your property, and you are not entitled to them or their money.
Check yourself, sunshine. You’re an arrogant, entitled brat.
It occurred to me earlier today that if we’d never (stupidly) allowed Congress to begin taxing us without apportioning the funds (debatable anyway), then we wouldn’t have to deal with the silly “But muh roads!” arguments that we see so very, very often. I mean, it’s the Go To response for statists (a word that means “non-libertarian, non-anarchist”). I’ve seen a few statists recently be offended by being called that, but… it’s simply true. If you’re not a libertarian or anarchist, then you ipso facto favor the state, in which case… you’re a statist.
It’s just what the word means.
Granted, some anarchists may call you a statist as an insult, but to equate it to “infidel” isn’t accurate. It’s more like “fag,” honestly, but even then it’s not always used with negative connotations. When I call Gary Johnson a statist, I mean it condescendingly. But I only mean it condescendingly for people who claim to be libertarians or anarchists and… aren’t. It’s definitely a word that I do try to avoid, though, because I tend to reject dichotomies and, to my recollection, the only person I’ve ever called a statist is that pig Gary Johnson.
There’s no religion or belief going on here. Anarcho-capitalism is built on science, human nature, and an abhorrence of violence. The scientific case can and has been made for anarcho-capitalism; the rest of the world simply has not caught up. Sorry, but that’s simply true. Anarcho-capitalism is only a belief in the same sense that “People should be free” is a belief.
Anyway, my recent video goes into direct apportionment and how it helps us to avoid ridiculous situations like this. Most damningly, if a billionaire has to pay $5m on his $100m yearly income, then we can readily assume that a person’s “tax liability to society” (terms that statists adore throwing around) must be $5m. If a person’s tax liability to society is not $5m, then we have forced the billionaire to overpay and have robbed him.
So we must proceed under the assumption that the highest dollar figure anyone in the United States pays is the tax liability that a citizen owes. If the dollar figure is lower, then we are stealing money from the people who overpay, right? Since no one is going to admit to doing that, it follows that I’m correct: the highest dollar figure that anyone pays is the citizen’s tax liability…
And this means that we all have underpaid and owe the government a ton of money.
Another addition to the series was Part 5, where I explained why the previous three videos were of lower quality than my usual work, and how that whole thing came about. It was primarily a response to one person in particular, to whom I said, “Fine. My shoes may suck, but the emperor is still naked.”
I’m also pretty sure that Part 4 hadn’t been uploaded when I posted the last update about the series, and in it I addressed a question that Tyler had actually asked before. This was tremendously bothersome, and he never explained why he did it, except that he might have been reading someone else’s question the second time (unclarified presently). Simply put, on 8/7/16 or around then, Tyler and I had a brief back-and-forth through videos where he ended up asking if there could be such a thing as voluntary taxes. In my reply, I specifically answered the question and its more general cousin: “What if it doesn’t rely on force, violence, and coercion?”
The answer, of course, is that then it’s a free market solution and not a state at all. It wasn’t until after I uploaded Part 4 that I realized Tyler had asked that question before, driving home for me the idea that he and the others might have been just playing games. In such a scenario, people intend only to keep asking the same questions repeatedly until we start giving short answers and start telling them to go educate themselves. At this point, they intend to declare victory with asinine statements like, “I guess you can’t put forth arguments then! lol!”
It’s a common tactic, covered excellently in TheraminTrees’ videos on Transactional Analysis:
It’s possible to see that in Tyler’s actions.
By asking questions, he is appearing to be a genuinely curious Adult (per TA terms). “I want to know the answer to these questions, and I am being skeptical. So here are my questions.” Naturally, people like me (who cannot resist) then answer the questions. Then something weird happens–often, time passes. Then subtle variations on those initial questions are asked again. Instead of “What if taxes were voluntary?” it is “Does everything the state does end in force, violence, or coercion?” which, yes, is the same question–just phrased differently.
Don’t get me wrong–I’m not accusing Tyler or anyone else of playing games. I’m saying that this is how it appears/feels in this case. It is not an allegation or statement of anyone’s intent or motives, because miscommunication and need for clarification are common the Internet, and especially Twitter’s 160-character limit. Any number of miscommunications, oversights, or poor phrasings could jam communication without anyone being playing games. Even with this clarification the language is still harsher than I intended it to be. I am sorry. I write a lot of fiction, and it trains you to use strong language.
Then, upon answering the question, the players repeat back “criticisms” of the answers that we have already addressed, a vicious cycle, in fact.
“Follow-up question” / “Criticism”
“Answer” / “Clarification”
Then, the next thing you know, the entire process repeats anew. Once we become too frustrated and block them, victory is declared:
He didn’t block you over anarcho-capitalism.
He blocked you because he doesn’t think you are listening, and probably because of statements like:
I’d love for you to demonstrate how that has anything to do with me. Maybe be more careful with your use of “all.” I’d love for someone to try to justify calling me selfish.
Anyway, I’m referring more specifically to this:
C’mon, man. You’re being downright insulting here.
The claim that statists have “blind faith” is stupid, yes. It’s not blind at all. You can see the state and its actions. You may close your eyes to its horrors, but you’re still not blind to them. However, you’re blatantly wrong to say there are no examples of anarchy, and you know that I gave you two of them. You know that, because I told you that, and you acknowledged that. I specifically told him I provided two examples dealing with the modern New York Diamond Traders and the Maghribi traders of the 11th century. He said he hadn’t watched the video, but that he would. Fair enough, I said, because the video did suck.
To say “there are no examples of anarchy” after choosing to ignore my video (on whatever grounds, considering at this time he knew that it had information that proved his statement incorrect) that presented them is horrific intellectual dishonesty, and yes, I’m surprised to see that from Tyler, because I’ve seen him correct himself in the past. It also shows, as I pointed out on Twitter, that anarcho-capitalism has been routinely demonstrated, through all of human history, and that he is revealing that he is not aware of what anarcho-capitalism is.
Anarcho-capitalism is simply allowing people to solve problems without a state. That’s all it is. Seriously, that’s it. That’s 100% of it, the entire ideology in a single sentence. The only rules are no violence, no force, no coercion, and no stealing. Do you see, then, how we have billions of examples? Any example of people solving problems without a state–without force, violence, coercion, or stealing–is, ipso facto, an example of anarchism, and if they do it in search of benefit, then it is an example of anarcho-capitalism. Such a sweeping statement, but also entirely true.
I needed to go to the store earlier. So I went to the store. It didn’t involve the state. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.
Apple invented the iPhone. Android came into existence, with BlackBerry and Microsoft expanding as well. The state was never involved. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.
The Maghribi traders working out trust relationships across thousands of miles in the 11th century just by talking and working together. That is an example of anarcho-capitalism.
Because that’s all anarcho-capitalism is. It’s the idea that people can solve problems without violence. That’s not me putting some weird spin on it–that’s literally what it is. The only question to be asked regarding anarcho-capitalism is this:
“Can we solve x problem without the state?”
Just think about it for a moment. What does the state do? It exists to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (ostensibly).
Can we protect life without the state? Absolutely.
Any and all examples of people solving problems without the state are examples of anarcho-capitalism.
Can we protect liberty without the state? For fuck’s sake, the state is constitutionally incapable of protecting liberty.
Can we protect the right to pursue happiness without the state? Absolutely, as only force, violence, and coercion can eliminate a person’s right to pursue happiness.
The question is, and has always been, “How do we solve this problem?”
Because let’s face it–there will always be problems. We’re humans, and we fuck up. In addition to our fuck ups, the universe isn’t exactly kind to us, and neither is the planet. There is always shit to be done, and on top of that we’re an ambitious species. We don’t just want what we have. We want to turn what we have into something better. We didn’t land on the moon and go, “Cool. That’s probably far enough. Seen one lifeless rock, seen ’em all, right?”
There’s never just one way to solve a problem. A few decades ago, humanity gave itself the problem of needing handheld computers capable of mobile internet and phone usage. The smartphone was the answer we came up with, but it was not the only answer, was it? No, we also came up with the pager, didn’t we? And the tablet. We conceived multiple solutions, some of them better than others, and the winners lasted. Tablets are deprecated and fading out, and pagers are… Well, who do you know who has a pager?
We once were presented with the problem of needing to figure out how to make electronic devices talk to one another. Ethernet is common today, but did you know that it wasn’t the only option? There was also Token Ring, and a few others that I don’t remember because they had basically vanished even before I reached college. Then we had the problem of how to do it wirelessly, and the 802.11 IEEE–a completely voluntary body of experts who set standards of protocols for technologies. Linksys’s routers are 802.11b/g/n compatible because this ensures they will be compatible with all other devices that are 802.11b/g/n compatible, and no state was ever needed to enforce a standard for everyone to use. Just give people the chance to solve their own problems.
This is all anarchy in action. It’s just… people doing stuff.
In fact, there’s probably no better example of anarchy in action than IEEE. Virtually every electronic device manufactured in the past 30 years is compatible according to standards set by IEEE, but there is no law on the books forcing Linksys to make routers that are 802.11b/g/n compatible, and no law on the books forcing Apple to ensure that your iPhone can connect to 802.11b/g/n technologies.
Just think about that for a moment!
Think about the logistics! Think about what a monumental task that is!
“We want any phone made by any manufacturer running any operating system on any carrier to be able to connect to any wireless device made by any manufacturer.”
Can you even imagine a more monumental task?
Rest assured, we had at least two ways of handling this.
And IEEE handled it flawlessly, beautifully, and masterfully, without one single fucking law ever being passed. The system is completely voluntary. Apple uses it because no one would buy an iPhone if it couldn’t talk to everyone else’s devices. Linksys uses it because no one would buy a WRT54GL if no one could connect 90% of phones to it. Samsung uses it because no one would buy an S7 if you couldn’t connect it to most wireless networks. It’s in everyone’s best interests to use the standard, but there’s no law, no requirement, no prison, no fines for not complying.
Possibly the most monumental task humanity has ever been faced with! And we succeeded brilliantly.
Anarchy succeeded brilliantly.
Rest assured, the state would have fucked it up.
You’re looking at the state as the creator and maintainer of society, and that simply isn’t true. The state is just some thing that exists over there to the side. All we have are people doing stuff. That’s all that exists in the entire world–humans doing stuff. Countries don’t exist, businesses don’t exist, nations don’t exist, and even states don’t really exist. There are only people doing stuff. I think you’re still viewing “anarchy” at least partially as the chaotic bullshit that occurs when a state fractures into smaller states. But as I pointed out here, what people commonly call “anarchy” is actually just several smaller states at war with one another.
Because we are social animals and recognize that our interests are best served through cooperation rather than antagonism, we sometimes come together and form groups, deciding to pool our resources and work together toward a common aim. When two people do this with romantic intent, we call it “marriage” (we are discussing formal agreements here). When two people do this with business intent, we call it “partnership.” When several people do this with business intent, we call it “corporation.” These people set the terms of their agreement, the goals of their agreement, and how they will work together to achieve those goals.
No new entity is created when two people enter into a marriage. There’s not really any such thing as a “family.” That’s just a collective idea we came up with to describe their agreement, to describe their relationship, to make it easier to communicate. Instead of saying “This woman and I pool our finances, live together, go out on dates, sleep together, have sex with each other, and do not do these things with other people,” then I simply say, “This is my wife” / “We are married.”
Businesses and corporations function under exactly the same principles, but their relationship goals and parameters are different. Just as I need other members of my marriage’s permission before dropping $8,000 on a vehicle, so does someone in a corporation need other member’s permission before dropping $8,000 on something. I realistically need my wife’s permission before I quit my job and take up a different career path, and a member of a corporation needs other members’ permission before they start working on a new invention. But the marriage isn’t a thing, the business isn’t a thing, and the corporation isn’t a thing.
It’s just people doing stuff, and finding that they can pool their resources to do better stuff. I may be great, but having a loving, awesome wife makes me greater, yes? Two heads are better than one, and all that? The same holds true for businesses and corporations.
The state is just another one of those businesses. In fact, you’ll find that the state is nothing more than a corporation that has the “authority” to use force, violence, and coercion to achieve its ends, relying on parasitism rather than productivity to acquire resources, and utilizing forced monopolies instead of competition to ensure it has consumers. This is why we aren’t on the same page here–you’re not seeing the state for what it is. It’s just a group of people who do stuff, but who are allowed to use force, violence, and coercion, while no one else is allowed to.
The only relevant questions for anarcho-capitalists involve things that the state is supposed to do:
Can anarchy provide a way to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
All other questions are irrelevant, because we do know that “people doing stuff” can solve limitless problems, and that force, violence, and coercion are never necessary for solving those problems. Roads, schools, technology protocols, whatever–force, violence, and coercion are not necessary. These all come back to that simple question: if we can solve the problem without using violence, then isn’t it worth every possible effort to solve it without violence? So we can erase all the questions about roads, schools, NASA, etc.
Whether anarchy can protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can certainly be discussed, and we can also find real world examples of anarchy doing it. However, it isn’t necessary, because there has never been a greater threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than the state, for reasons that I mentioned here: https://anarchistshemale.com/2016/04/22/a-crash-course-on-rights/
Any act that threatens life or liberty is, by definition, a state act, at the very least an attempt by one individual to become an authoritarian tyrant over another. It is irrelevant whether this tyrant rules over only one person or one hundred million; a state is a state. It becomes impossible, and is obviously so, to use force, violence, and coercion to prevent force, violence, and coercion. The only thing that can protect life is not killing people. The only thing that can protect liberty is not restricting people’s rights. If violence is universally rejected (as it would be, though, as I’ve pointed out, it’s ridiculous to demand 100% compliance, and neither anarchy nor the state can deliver that) and punished accordingly, and there is no mechanism in place to achieve goals with force, violence, and coercion… then there can’t be force, violence, and coercion.
Society is another example of people just doing stuff, but it’s one that happens organically and without conscious agreement; it’s just the product of people naturally having their own self-interests served by working together. It is of critical importance to remember that society is older than the state. Society created the state; the state did not create society. It is impossible that the state could have produced society, just as it’s impossible that religion could have produced morality. Just as religion is a product of humans doing stuff, so is the state, so is agriculture, so is the Internet*.
Society isn’t real, either, and can’t produce anything. Only people can. And people did. Without ever agreeing that we would work together, the overwhelming majority of humans get along relatively fine with one another and can have a functional society. The state isn’t really forcing me to work with my clients, or the people at the gas station, or the people at Subway, or the people at Facebook. I’m doing it because being an asshole isn’t in my best interests, and it’s obvious that, as a social animal, my best interest lie in working with other people.
The state did not produce morality, either. We do not think murder is wrong because the state told us so. We do not think stealing is wrong because the state told us so. We do not think rape is wrong because the state told us so. No, we individuals came up with this, and the state took the majority’s moral code and turned it into law. This is also how we ended up with anti-transgender, anti-homosexual, and drug laws. Once again, we find parallels to religion: religious people say that we get our morality from their holy book, but we know that isn’t true. The holy book is merely a reflection of their morality, just as the state’s laws are merely a reflection of our morality. And just as it’s hard to get religious people to change the morality they get from their holy book, so is it difficult to get the state to change its laws.
People do stuff all the time cooperatively without the state enforcing it. This is anarchism in action.
* I throw these last two in just to make it clear I’m not drawing another parallel between statism and religion, or asserting that all social products are bad.
Included links won’t work, and I’m not up to fixing them at the moment… I’m sorry about that. I will fix them in the future, though.
In the previous installation of the series, we discussed war, its causes, its nature, and how a Society with no Government would protect itself against foreign Governments. There is little to add to that discussion, except that there may be some confusion about why we could expect corporations and businesses to come to our aid in the same manner with which Government provides for our national defense. To answer this question, we must first ask another question: Why do we expect our Government to come to our aid and provide for our national defense?
Corporations and businesses could, after all, be persuaded by foreign Governments into turning a blind eye to an invasion, into selling us out, and into allowing the foreign Government to conquer us. Suppose that a foreign Government promises to give the Corporation more power, a monopoly in their industries, and other benefits. Wouldn’t a corporation naturally want to take that offer, since it is the desire for profit that drives corporations in the first place, and since being promised a monopoly is guaranteed to yield a profit? Well, yes, it’s a possibility.
But the very same things could be said of our Government. Politicians within our Government could be made the very same offers. “We’ll install a new Government and give you the authority of Kings!” the foreign Government could say. What would keep our Government from selling us out to some foreign Government if that foreign Government made a tempting offer? “Turn a blind eye to our invasion, and we’ll give you…” What would keep anyone in our Government from accepting that offer?
Nothing, really, except that the American People wouldn’t stand by and let our Government do it. The only thing preventing our Government officials from selling us out to a foreign Government… is us. It’s we, the American People, who provide for our National Defense, as the Government and its members could always turn a blind eye to an invasion by a foreign Government, and the only thing preventing them from doing that is the fact that we wouldn’t allow it and we would fight it. We’d remove from power any Government and any Government official who attempted to turn a blind eye to an invasion.
The bottom line is that we’re currently “unprotected” from this possibility. If all of Congress and the White House suddenly decided to send all our soldiers to Afghanistan while the Russians invaded us, there would be no mechanism in place to protect us from this screw-over by our Government. There are no defense systems, no mechanisms, and no other systems with which we can ensure that our current Government doesn’t sell us out to a foreign Government. By abolishing our Government and switching to an Anarchy governed by Principles rather than people, we wouldn’t lose any ability to ensure that we weren’t sold out to foreign powers.
Our Government is as capable of selling us out to foreign Governments as the corporations and businesses would be in an Anarchy.
But our Government officials won’t sell us out to foreign Governments. Just as you have an intense love for your homeland and a patriotism to your land, so do the people in Government–and so do CEOs and small-business owners. The CEOs, Representatives, and Senators all have the same passionate love for our homeland as do you and I. Just as neither you nor I could imagine turning a blind eye to a foreign Government by allowing that Government to invade and conquer our homeland, neither can they. Bill Gates loves his homeland as much as you do; Donald Trump loves his homeland as much as you do; David Rockefeller loves his homeland as much as you do; the CEO of Wal-Mart loves his homeland as much as you do. Just as you would fight tooth and nail, devoting everything you had to fighting an invasion, so would they–just as our Government does.
Most CEOs recognize that they need us far more than we need them. They’re replaceable; we are not. Worse still, they can and will be replaced if they don’t treat us well and competition rises which will treat us well. As I demonstrated in Part Four, corporations and businesses, when there is proper and unrestricted competition, go out of their way to treat their employees and customers well, because competition means that if they don’t, then they will be brought down by the Free Market and consumer choices very, very quickly. When there is competition, corporations have to treat us well, they have to treat their employees well, and the better they treat consumers and their employees, the better consumers and their employees treat them. This is exactly why, in the Middle Ages, laws were passed preventing serfs from freely moving from one lord to another; the competition created by allowing the serfs to move to a lord who paid better or treated them better forced other lords to behave better and pay better, and the other lords did not appreciate this. Read Ken Follet’s “World Without End” if you’re curious about how a wage increase by one lord could make other lords furious. Now, of course, we’re not dealing with lords and serfs; we’re dealing with CEOs and employees, and it is understood that employees can freely move from one corporation to another and that they will go to whichever corporation treats them the best. This forces CEOs, whether they like it or not, to treat their consumers and employees better. The more competition there is, the better the CEOs must treat their employees and consumers. If, then, we lift all restraints on competition, the standards of consumers and employees will increase drastically.
With a Free People fighting for their freedom, no force on Earth can defeat them. And when you apply the principle that these Free People are voluntarily contributing all that they can to the effort, instead of having it forced upon them, you end up with a Free People fighting tooth and nail with everything they have against invaders.
When a Free People fight for their freedom, no force on Earth can defeat them.
Corporations will have as much to lose as do the Individuals and would therefore contribute just as wholeheartedly to the cause. Sure, there may be some corporations who are willing to turn a blind eye to the invasion, and there may still be others who are actually willing to sabotage our efforts, but there are now Government officials who may be willing to turn a blind eye to an invasion, and there may still be other Government officials who are actually willing to sabotage our efforts. Our current system leaves us no recourse to reprimand or prevent the President of the United States, if he so chooses, to sell us out to a foreign power. With the President being wholly in charge of our military, we could be sold out to a foreign Government by a single person, and nothing really prevents him from doing this. However, in an Anarchy governed by Principles, no one person could singlehandedly sell us out to a foreign Government, and if any one person tried, they’d quickly find themselves boycotted, blockaded, and brought down by consumer choices, competition, and the rivalry of the Free Market. Only a love for his homeland and his People prevent the President (any President) from selling us out to a foreign Government. A love for the homeland and the People, and the Free Market consequences of trying (as outlined previously) prevent a corporation from trying to sell us out to a foreign Government. Since no force on Heaven or Earth can defeat a Free People who fight for their freedom, the Free People would inevitably win, and if the corporation which sold them out managed to survive to that point, it would not survive much longer. Betrayed and angry, the Free People would rally against that corporation like never before, and any corporation which rose in competition that was led by someone who had fought bravely in the war would overtake the treacherous one in a matter of days.
The Free Market and Free Market consequences save us from being sold out by any corporation. Moreover, the people in charge of these corporations, like you and I and like the people in Government, love their homeland, the principles of their homeland, and their People just as much as everyone else. They would fight for their homeland just as strongly and devotedly as you would.
Okay… I’ll Reluctantly Accept That… Just Move On. What About Murder?
Ah, for murder we must examine Laws. Governments pass laws, yes, but those laws are only reflections of what Society thinks is right and wrong. When Society accepted slavery, the Government allowed it. When Society turned against slavery, the Government outlawed it. When Society accepted drinking, the Government allowed it. When Society* turned against drinking, the Government enacted Prohibition. When Society turned against Prohibition, the Government allowed drinking again. When Society* turned against mairjuana, the Government outlawed it. Now that Society is turning around again to allow marijuana, the Government is following suit.
My point in all of this is that Society, and not Government, dictates what is and isn’t allowed. Society makes the decisions, and Government just writes them down. Government, however, is slow to change its mind and slow to modify existing law–hence the current marijuana situation. Though huge portions of the country want to see marijuana legalized for medical purposes and still more want to see it legalized for recreational purposes**, the Government is still very reluctant to do this and has instead simply said that it won’t try to overturn some State laws about it. Rather than actually being on the cutting edge of social progress, the Government always is a few steps behind. It follows that, with the Government always being a few steps behind, Government often gets in the way–as it is now doing with marijuana.
At any rate, even if Government timed its legislation to perfectly coincide with the decisions and values of Society, then Government still actually contributes nothing to the process. All the Government does is write down Society’s values and prescribe punishments for people who violate those values. Firstly, writing it down isn’t necessary and, as I pointed out in the preceding paragraph, does more harm than good: it causes Government to lag behind Society, often getting in the way of social progress. There is no reason, for example, to write down that murder is illegal, that rape is illegal, or that theft is illegal. Society decided these things a very long time ago, and writing them down contributes nothing to the function of Society.
Laws also do not protect anyone from having anything happen to them. A law making murder illegal doesn’t prevent anyone from committing murder. If it did, you’d be able to type in the comments, “The only thing keeping me from murdering people is the fact that it’s illegal.” The same is true of rape and theft. If laws against these crimes were actually preventing anyone from doing them, then people would be able to say, “The only thing that keeps me from stealing, raping, and killing is the fact that we’ve made it illegal! Thank God for these laws! Because if it wasn’t illegal, I’d rape, torture, and kill you, and then steal everything you owned!”
But no one thinks that way. The law isn’t deterring anyone from committing any crime. People don’t commit crimes because their Morality holds them back, and when that Moral Restraint breaks down, then they are capable of committing rape, theft, and murder. But as long as that Moral Restraint holds up, no amount of anger or desire can entice them into killing, raping, or stealing. And once that Moral Restraint breaks down, no law can stop someone from killing, raping, or stealing. Once their Morality breaks down, for whatever reason, then no Law will stop them from doing whatever they want. At that point, the Law will only provide a framework within which they can be punished. But since the Law isn’t actually deterring anyone and the Law is only a reflection of Society’s value (thus, a reflection of Individuals’ Moral Restraints) in the first place, why is the Law even necessary?
Violations against Society’s values, however, that have victims would still require some sort of punishment–though “victimless crimes” would not. And this is because there’s no such thing as a “victimless crime,” and a Free People understand that. A “victimless crime” isn’t a crime; it’s a choice. In modern America, smoking pot is a “victimless crime,” and it is one that can send someone to prison for several years. Not too long ago in most states, sodomy (and hence homosexuality) was a “victimless crime,” and it was also one that could send someone to prison for several years. Society has changed its mind about tolerating these things, but they should never have been crimes in the first place. Nothing that does not have a victim should be considered a crime. The idea is absurd, and a Free People find it abhorrent. “Victimless crimes” are choices, and just because one Individual or another does not approve of the action in question doesn’t give anyone the right to make it a crime which warrants punishment. Only crimes with victims are crimes; anything else is simply a choice and must be tolerated, no matter how much you disapprove of it.
Any action can be made into a crime if we allow this notion of “victimless crimes” to exist. Turning on a fan when it is Sunday could become a “victimless crime” which sends people to prison if we allow some religious sects to have power over legislation. The very same intolerance has allowed sodomy, gay marriage, and marijuana to all be made illegal–one religious group or another determined that the action was a sin and that, even though there was no victim, it needed to be punished with imprisonment. We can’t let this happen; the only way to prevent it is by abolishing this notion of victimless crimes. When we abolish victimless crimes, we are left only with crimes which have victims:
Murder, rape, and theft. We have the taking of life, we have the violation of rights and autonomy, and we have the violation of property rights. When we abolish victimless crimes, we are left with only three crimes, and those three crimes are:
Violating someone’s right to Life.
Violating someone’s right to Liberty.
Violating someone’s right to Pursue Happiness.
Those are the only crimes in a Free Society, and those are the only things we need to prevent any Individual from doing. As there is no greater violation of someone’s right to Life than killing them, murder would necessarily not be allowed. As there are few violations of someone’s right to Liberty (autonomy, self-governance, and choice) than forcing oneself upon them, rape would necessarily be not allowed. As there is no greater violation of someone’s right to Pursue Happiness than by stealing the property with which they would pursue that happiness (as Part Two demonstrated, the right to pursue happiness requires the right to private property), theft would necessarily not be allowed. Now that we’ve protected everyone’s Life, Liberty, and right to pursue happiness, what else is there left for Society to ensure?
Nothing. Everything’s taken care of at this point. We established in Part Two that the only things we must protect are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, because trying to protect anything beyond these three things require sacrifices of these three things. In regard to health care, I demonstrated that we can only protect someone’s “‘right’ to receive healthcare” by sacrificing the right to pursue happiness (by violating the right to private property of others). Every Individual does, however, have the right to pursuehealthcare. But that is where their rights end when it comes to healthcare.
With Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness now protected by Social Agreement, we must only ask…
“Okay, Fine. But Not Everyone Follows the Law or These… ‘Social Agreements’…
No, that’s true. As I stated above, people break the law. People commit rape, theft, and murder every single day. And this is true, even though we have laws in place which have made these things illegal. What good are these laws doing? Would we have more rape, theft, and murder if these things weren’t illegal? If we would, then you think that the only thing stopping people from raping, stealing, and murdering is the fact that it’s illegal. There’s no justification for thinking this, especially since the only reason these things are illegal is because we have decided that they’re wrong.
In the process of Law, first the People decide that the act is wrong. Then the Government makes it illegal. So even if you remove the Government and even if you remove the whole concept of legal and illegal, the People still think it’s wrong, because they were the ones who decided in the first place that it was wrong, and this decision is what created the Law. The Law didn’t make Society think that rape, murder, and theft are wrong; Society decided these things are wrong, thus the Government passed a Law that said so. But whether the Law is there has no impact on whether or not Society thinks something is right or wrong–again, see the marijuana changes sweeping our nation.
What Society says is Moral, Immoral, and Amoral is completely independent of what the Government decrees. After all the Government had once decreed that slavery was okay. Society said slavery was not okay, even though the Government had already passed laws saying it was. The Government had once decreed that homosexuality was illegal. Society said that homosexuality was okay, even though the Government had already passed laws saying it wasn’t. Over and over again, we find that Society dictates what is right and wrong and Government only passes laws to reflect that. Over and over again, we also find that the Government’s laws make no difference to the Society and have no impact on the entire process. Over and over again, we find that the Laws aren’t necessary because they don’t do anything.
The only things the Law accomplishes which Society’s Values do not is that the Law provides a framework for punishing people who violate the acts. There is a rigid system for this which defines rigid punishments, and the further we go into bureaucracy, the more rigid this framework becomes. Already, trials are by the State and not by the Jury, as demonstrated in Part Two, and already Jurors are restricted only to delivering verdicts based on the law and the crime. This was not always the case. Jurors were once able to weigh the circumstances of the crime, whether or not the action was justified by the circumstances, the Constitutionality of the law, the rightness of the law, and all sorts of other factors that have since fallen to the homogenization of bureaucracy.
Just as we have Trials today, so would we have trials in an Anarchy. The Government doesn’t have a monopoly on Justice. Society does. When someone is accused of violating another’s Life, Liberty, or right to pursue happiness, Society can try this person by a jury of peers just as Government is supposed to today. Individual counties, cities, and neighborhoods can come up with their own methods for incarcerating people while trials are organized and can allow the jury to decide the consequences if found guilty, allowing the circumstances of the crime and the Individual’s history to guide their sentencing if the person is found to have done wrong.
Justice is not and can never be a one-size-fits-all thing.
Circumstances matter, and by not trying to homogenize the process and by not trying to make one-size-fits-all systems of sentences, we allow the impartial Jury to weigh the action, the effects of the action, the motive behind the action, and the circumstances of the action to determine a sentence that is fitting to the crime. Trial by jury has been a staple of Western Society for centuries. It’s not going anywhere, because Society dictated that crimes shall be handled by a jury of peers. Government didn’t decide this. Society did. All Government did was write it down. And Society will still have trials by jury, even without a Government making them do it, because we as Individuals figured out centuries ago that the only way to ensure Justice and not revenge was to allow an impartial jury of peers to deliberate–and to assign a sentence relative to the heinous nature of the crime.
It has been amply demonstrated here that Government is not necessary to the Criminal Justice process. It has been amply demonstrated that Laws do not have any actual utility and that they are only documents that provide a framework for punishing criminals–and then it was amply demonstrated that trying to have such a framework to punish criminals is a bad idea. So not only do laws fail to provide a deterrent for criminal behavior, but their only other function, to provide frameworks for sentencing, is flawed and should be abhorred by a Free People. Since Laws have only the purpose of acting as a deterrent and fail to do that (I dare you to type in the comments, “Only the fact that it’s illegal is keeping me from raping every woman I see and want.), and since their secondary purpose is to provide a framework for sentencing (which is abhorrent to a Free People, as a Free People recognize that motive and circumstances matter far more than the actual act itself), it is shown that Laws have no place in our Society.
Furthermore, it has been shown that since there is a lag between Society’s Moral Restraints and Government’s laws, the Government’s Laws frequently get in the way of social progress and that, even if Government laws perfectly coincided with the changes in a Society’s Moral Restraints, the Law is still not desirable because it contributes nothing to the process–if it might as well not be done as be done, then it shouldn’t be done. If it has no effect, then there’s no reason it should be done. Doing things that have no discernible effect, even in theory, except to occasionally slow or halt Social Progress, and at best simply “don’t get in the way,” we’re creating waste and burning resources on irrelevant actions that have no impact and no bearing on reality. It requires time and resources to pass laws, to work out homogenized sentences, to defend the homogenized sentences against the ACLU and other organizations who argue that normalized sentencing is contrary to the principle of Liberty, and all of these resources could be better spent elsewhere, especially since burning them as we’re now doing on things that have no positive benefit, even in theory, is doing nothing but wasting resources.
Since there are only three things which Society needs to protect and since those three things are Life, Liberty, and the right to pursue happiness, we only need, ultimately, one law:
Each Individual has the right and freedom to do whatever he or she desires and own whatever he or she may acquire, so long as he or she takes no action that impedes negatively, with malice or intention, the ability of another to do as he or she may desire or own whatever he or she may acquire.
That one law takes care of everything, and it wouldn’t even be a “law,” since there would be no Government which would pass it. It would be a Social Agreement, built on the principles which we all hold dear to our heart. It does not allow for any action to be labelled as a “victimless crime,” yet it adequately handles the Big Three: rape, murder, and theft, as well as other things such as torture, coercion, inhibitions of free speech, and violations of privacy (since privacy is an extention of the right to private property, including oneself). Nothing else needs to be addressed, and anyone found to have violated any part of the above Social Agreement can and would be apprehended by Society and given a trial by a jury of peers who weighted the evidence and delivered a verdict, and who then weighted the circumstances and the motive to deliver a sentence. Everything is handled. Everyone is free.
With national defense already protected as outlined previously and further elaborated here and with criminality and criminal behavior adequately handled by a Free People acting within their rights to protect the Life, Liberty, and right to pursue happiness of all Individuals, then there is nothing left for Government to even do. We’ve rendered Government pointless. We’ve taken the primary roles which our Government performs and we’ve demonstrated that all of these roles would be filled and served better by a Free People. What is our reason for surrendering our rights, powers, and responsibility to handle these things ourselves to a Government when the Government could never be as effective, as just, or as devoted?
* Well, when radical lobbyists within the Society turned against…
** Marijuana, after all, is thousands of times superior to alcohol… It’s non-habit forming, it doesn’t cause men to beat their wives, it doesn’t cause parties to erupt in violence, it doesn’t cause thousands of vehicular deaths each year, it’s natural…
The idea that we can have a Government which protects our Liberty runs contrary to common sense, logic, and reason. Government exists only to destroy Liberty–we are charging with protecting Liberty an institution whose primary function is to destroy Liberty.
It’s very strange when people—usually religious people—talk about an Absolute Morality. The very idea is preposterous. There are many beliefs about Morality (all of them wrong, because they miss point), and not all of them deal with religion. Virtually all modern religions, however, operate under the belief that we human beings receive our “Moral Sense” from some god or another. If this was the case, then what our Moral Sense told us would never change.
But it has changed. After all, 300 years ago, burning witches at the stake was perfectly acceptable. Having 25 year old men marrying 13 year old girls was perfectly acceptable until about 130 years ago. Slavery was perfectly acceptable until about 200 years ago. 2,000 years ago, “Eye for an eye” was a perfectly acceptable moral standard in most parts of the world. My point isn’t that any of these ideas are inherently right or wrong; just that they have changed. And we all know it. Even though several years ago I challenged my Uncle, since he claimed to believe that his unchanging god had been just in ordering the Israelites to rape and murder non-believers, to go get a knife and come back and kill me, because I wouldn’t resist, he opted not to do so. Clearly, he understood—on some deep subconscious level—that what was acceptable then wasn’t the same as what is acceptable now. He would never admit it, of course, but there’s no sense in denying reality.
What Society deems as acceptable has changed over the course of human history; it has changed significantly. There’s no telling what we find acceptable today but future generations will look back and be disgusted by. There’s no telling what we allow today but which will be disgusting 200 years from now. It’s impossible to predict in what ways the zeitgeist will move when it comes to detail, but one thing is clear: society tends, for whatever reason, to become more tolerant of differences over time.
There are, really, two kinds of Morality. There is Social Morality and there is Individual Morality. Unless we lie to ourselves, the truth of the matter is that we will get away with anything which we can get away with. This is true of every human being—though many will deny it. There is a hidden force, however, which affects “what we can get away with” apart from any conditions inflicted by Society. After all, it’s nearly impossible to get away with murder—but even if you could get away with murder, and you knew for a fact that you would get away with it, would you murder someone? Almost certainly not. Society’s Laws will have no impact on your decision to forgo murder. Instead, “something else” will cause you to decide not to kill anyone.
That “something else” is the same force which causes our Laws to change as we become more tolerant: Empathy. Before slavery was contested, white people didn’t have any problem with slavery because they did not apply Empathy to their relationships with blacks; instead, they did not accept the fact that black people were more similar than different and that only the color of skin distinguished them. It was not evil that caused massive amounts of people to allow slavery; it was intolerance. This intolerance left them utterly unable to extend their Empathy to apply to their slaves. As they became more tolerant of the differences, their Empathy began to apply, and the idea of slavery became repulsive; finally, Society reflected this influx of Empathy and outlawed the institution.
While we can postulate any number of reasons for Individuals within a Society to become more tolerant of the differences which distinguish them, the ultimate cause is Familiarity. As Familiarity with different races, different people, different cultures, and different beliefs increases, it becomes clearer and clearer that they are, ultimately, People, just like everyone else. Society is becoming more tolerant of gays and lesbians because we are more familiar with them. Gays and lesbians began expressing their lifestyles in the open, thereby forcing Society to familiarize with them, and Society has responded to this Familiarity with Tolerance. The same is currently happening with Atheists in the United States; as atheists express their lifestyle in the open, thereby forcing Society to familiarize with them, Society is responding to the familiarity with Tolerance. While not very long ago, open Atheists were more likely to be attacked and killed than gays and lesbians, the situation has already changed so drastically in the United States that I hardly ever get any death threats any longer. That’s always the point of these Expressionist Movements: to express the lifestyle in question, to force Society to become familiar with that lifestyle, and this yields the result of Society becoming more tolerant of that lifestyle.
Morality, then, is nothing more than a reflection of what actions Society at large is willing to accept and tolerate. It doesn’t exist as a thing independent of Society; it is intimately tied to Society. The concept may be independent, but “what actions are moral and what actions are immoral” are entirely dependent on Society’s familiarity with—and therefore tolerance of—a variety of lifestyles.
And ultimately what guides the Morality is Empathy. Left unrestricted by the bigotry imposed by unfamiliarity, Empathy creates a Society of total tolerance. If a Society could instantly and completely accept any lifestyle, then Empathy would reign supreme. It’s important, then, to understand—since Empathy is the ultimate driving force behind “what is acceptable and what is not”—what exactly Empathy is.
Empathy is… narcissism.
Every single sentient being views the world through the being’s eyes. This is more than a literal truth; by the virtue of existence, any living being has a perspective limited to experiencing reality as that being. Everything we see, everything we taste, everything we touch, and everything we experience is a relation to us. We judge everything by how it affects us and by what impact it leaves on us. We judge food by how it tastes, looks, and smells to us; we judge music by how it sounds to us; we judge friends by how they impact and modify other experiences, but also in how they impact us directly; we judge everything in terms of relation to ourselves.
These are obvious truths. This the nature of Subjective Experience, and that is actually a redundant term, since Experience is, by definition, Subjective. Everything within our lives and our lives as a whole are subjective experiences; they never can be objective because we are subjects. We are not hive minds; we are not omnipresent patterns of energy permeating through the entire universe feeling all at once from limitless perspectives. We are beings, and this means our experience will be subjective.
When you see a homeless man lying sick and hungry on the sidewalk, cold and shivering, thoroughly beaten around by life, you are affected. You are filled with pity, with remorse, with sympathy for this man, and these are all negative emotions. So when you later try to help the homeless man, you aren’t really doing it for his sake; you’re doing it to negate those negative emotions which he brought out in you and replace them with positive emotions. The reason you forgo murder is the same. You do not forgo murder because you think it’s wrong. You forgo murder because you anticipate that doing so would crush you with negative emotions like guilt, remorse, anxiety, and sorrow; you avoid these emotions by not committing the action.
The reason we do “good deeds” is exactly the same, as well. We do good deeds because we have negative emotions and we want to supplant them with positive emotions; or we do good deeds because we have neutral emotions, no emotions at all, in other words, and we want to supplant those neutral emotions—or the lack of emotions—with positive ones. Even doing a very minor good deed will fill a person with positive emotions. Even something so simple and mundane as paying for the McDonald’s order of the car in the drive-thru behind you will fill you with positive emotions, and you do the good deed in order to be filled with those positive emotions.
As a subjective being, there are only two ways in which Empathy could possibly function as a human condition in the first place. Either Empathy functions by the imagination, by the ability of a person to put oneself in the shoes of another, or Empathy functions by the subconscious desire to experience positive emotions and avoid negative emotions. There really aren’t any other options.
In actuality, if you examine these two things closely, you find that these two “functions” of Empathy… are actually the same thing. By using our imagination to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we also bring along the negative emotions which would come to us if we were in that person’s place. We use our imagination to empathize with our friend when she’s going through a break-up, and doing this fills us with those same negative emotions which we want to avoid. Once we’ve done this, we’ve connected ourselves to the situation so completely that we must help our friend get rid of those negative emotions; we must try to help our friend and supplant the negativity with positivity, for our own sake. And we become confused when we do this, because we don’t stop to think that it’s really our negative emotions which we’re trying to get rid of, not our friend’s.
And even if we do recognize that we’re removing the negative emotions from ourselves as well as our friend, rare is the person who can accept that our motivation is to remove them from ourselves and that if we remove them from our friend, it’s hardly more than a happy accident. So great is our Ego, our sense that we “must be good, noble creatures” that we are fully capable of ignoring this reality and instead operate under the delusion that our friend is the target of our efforts, not ourselves; we do not want to admit that we’re so selfish that we would be working to remove our own negative response to imagining ourselves in her situation when the convenient scapegoat is right there and we can easily say that we’re trying to remove her negative feelings and removing our own is just the happy accident.
One or the other must be true. We’re either trying to remove our friend’s negative emotions and accidentally remove our own in the process, or we’re trying to remove our own negative emotions and accidentally remove our friend’s in the process. We can very quickly determine which of these is true. As soon as your friend leaves your company—to return home or to work or whatever—and your friend’s situation falls from your mind, what happens? You forget about your friend’s problem, unless some event happens which recalls it to your attention. But you’ll forget about your friend’s problem as you go on about your own life, and the negative emotions you felt while empathizing with your friend will fade; they are no longer affecting you, and you no longer have any desire to do anything about your friend’s problem. Until your friend’s problem is brought back to your attention and those negative emotions return, you don’t have any desire to do anything about your friend’s problem. If you were truly acting for the sake of your friend, you would work toward removing her negative emotions, even when you were not feeling them for yourself while imagining yourself in her position or otherwise empathizing with her.
It’s clear then, that the real cause of Empathy is narcissism: we feel Empathy because we are instilled with negative emotions by certain circumstances and our desire to rid ourselves of those negative emotions leads us to invest time and energy into alleviating the circumstances which produced those negative emotions. Everything we do is selfishly motivated, is the done with the intention of bettering the way we feel. Morality is nothing but an extension of our ability to feel negative emotions based upon the conditions of others, and our ability to feel negative emotions based upon the conditions of others is nothing but a reflection of our tolerance of those others, while our tolerance of others is nothing more than a representation of our familiarity with that person “type”.