Friday night, I debated with Matt Kuehnel of “Dankertarians,” who run the website https://dankertarians.com. I don’t really follow the site or the page, but I think they make memes or something. I’m not entirely sure. Matt is a hard-left leaning libertarian of the anarchist persuasion and calls himself a Libertarian Socialist. From my reading of Libertarian Socialism, it’s basically anarcho-communism by a different name. C’est la vie, it’s not important.
After we’d each been cross-examined, we featured Will Coley of Muslims 4 Liberty to talk about his MALIC center project, where he is opening a mosque and interfaith place of worship in Keene, New Hampshire to serve the community there. As a fun bonus, it is opening within five miles of where now felon Chris Cantwell lives. The project has been funded well, but it could use your support, and not just to make a Nazi cry by having a mosque open up in his backyard; even as an atheist, I’m fully on-board with the project. You can find it here, and I hope that you can throw $5 his direction.
I took basically the position that you’ve heard me describe before: there are limits to what is and isn’t self-defense–objective criteria by which we determine an act was self-defense. This is critically important, because saying “I was defending myself” is not just an excuse for one’s own actions; it’s an accusation of criminal behavior. In order for me to be “defending myself,” the person attacking me must be guilty of a crime–assault, battery, etc. Yet this person has the right to be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty (socially or legally–as I reminded Matt several times throughout the debate, we’re not talking about law as much as we are social custom and what is right). If my claim of self-defense is to hold up, I must prove beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt that the person against whom I defended myself was guilty of a crime. This often gets lost in the self-defense debate, but there’s never just one person: both sides are prosecutor and defendant, and both must be presumed innocent.
Anyway, all that said, I was really rusty, and it showed. I haven’t formally debated anyone in years. And after all the bitching about formality, wouldn’t you know it? It was I who cross-examined someone when I shouldn’t have. Anyway, the debate weighs in at just over an hour, and we take questions at the end, so I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for watching.
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.
Please forgive me if I’m not quite up to date with the latest in the Christian world.
When I was in junior high and high school, we received a notebook every year around January that contained on its cover the Ten Commandments. There were even occasions (at least once when I was in the tenth grade) that we were given those little New Testament Bibles. So naturally our school had no sex education program–abstinence or otherwise, which is fine since it’s a parent’s duty to explain procreation to their children, not the state’s–and only barely had a drug education program.
I’m speaking for… basically all… Mississippians when I say that the Bibles and notebooks were unnecessary. In a pragmatic sense, the notebooks were fantastic, because they always came around the time I needed a fresh notebook to continue my writing and not doing schoolwork. Teachers often loathed me for that, because they knew I was not paying attention, that I was writing some story, but when I passed the tests it didn’t leave them many ways to chastise me.
I’d wager that maybe one in two hundred kids didn’t have their own copy of the Bible, though, and I had at least two.
There was controversy surrounding the Ten Commandments, though (because of course there was), specifically whether it was stated that Thou shalt not kill or Thou shalt not murder.
This is an important distinction for a few reasons. First, God kills a number of people in the Bible by any translation, and, if you really want to split hairs, is inadvertently responsible for every death by creating life (unless you subscribe to the literal interpretation of Genesis, in which case he’s still responsible for putting the tree in the garden, but it’s not my intention to attack theology). Second, large portions of the Bible prescribe killing people as the punishment for everything from witchcraft to adultery. In order to avoid a conflict between “Thou shalt not kill [period]” and “Thou shalt kill these people,” it was necessary to draw a distinction between killing (The taking of life) and murder (presumably the unjust taking of human life).
It’s worth mentioning, though, that if our universe has a creator, then its moral mandates to us are not commandments to itself. Such a being has a perspective on human existence that we simply cannot attain, and is sure to abide what would seem to us as Blue & Orange morality. We silly mortals are unlikely to understand the value system of this creator, its criteria for assessing value, or its reason for doing so. Mandate from such a being would be perfectly acceptable, because we couldn’t even grasp its reasoning.
But the “Do as I say, not as I do” thing isn’t really a point of contention for Christians anyway–whether they’ve given it sufficient thought or not, they understand this. It’s mostly just a masturbation exercise for atheists (The Atheist Experience comes to mind, as they do it a lot) who refuse to accept that the existence of a god would instantly invalidate all moral values that weren’t its own. But he who makes the rules determines who is just; he who defines morality determines who is moral.
So the true importance of this distinction isn’t whether the creator of the universe must abide the moral proclamations it passes down to us; the true importance is whether the state has to.
Whew! What a leap, right? Here we were discussing theology, with no mention of the state, then BAM!
It’s not a leap at all, though, because what is the institution that would be responsible for outlawing and punishing heretics and adulterers? It would be the state.
Obviously, the church and state were not always separate things; if they had been, we wouldn’t today have the phrase “separation of church and state.” However, we’d be delusional to suggest that the separation of church and state has been total, throughout the world or throughout the United States. In fact, many sects within Christianity attempt to legislate based on the moral values that they (correctly or incorrectly) say stem from their religion. North Carolina’s transgender restroom law comes to mind, and anti-sodomy laws have only recently been repealed.
In order to carry out and enforce this fundamentalist morality, it is often necessary to break that morality, as we mentioned above. In order to carry out the moral proclamation “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” it is necessary to break the moral proclamation “Thou shalt not kill.” This is why the state, much as the deity we mentioned earlier, gets a pass on its own moral statements.
We do this with euphemisms. “Thou shalt not steal” doesn’t apply to taxation for some inexplicable reason. “Thou shalt not murder” doesn’t apply to war, the abomination of capital punishment, or a police officer killing someone. “Thou shalt not keep slaves”* doesn’t apply to forced military conscription or prison labor. “Thou shalt not rape” doesn’t apply when you send someone to a place where you know they will be raped.
The knee-jerk reaction is to say that taxation isn’t theft, that conscription isn’t slavery, and that being an accomplice sending someone to a rape factory doesn’t count as rape. But no arguments can be put forward to back these positions. One can only say, “Nuh-uh!” and leave it at that, because the position is indefensible.
It is called “theft” when a large group of people gather together and decide to take money and resources from other people who don’t consent to having their money taken. It doesn’t really matter whether three hundred million people agree and only one objects; it’s still theft to take money and resources from the one who objects. We cannot consent to taxation on his behalf any more than one can consent to sex on his behalf.
We recoil at that analogy, and rightly so. The mere thought of consenting to sex on a woman’s behalf, even though she is expressly against it, strikes us as vehemently immoral, but it’s really only a stroke of luck that we don’t live in a world where “sex” is alongside slavery and murder as things we consent to for other people while they object. There appears to be no limit to what we may mandate for other people. We kidnap them against their will, steal from them against their will, enslave them against their will, and kill them against their will. It’s only a matter of fortune that “have sex with them against their will” isn’t on that list.
We can give an omniscient creator of the universe a pass on our morality, because its perspective is too wide for our tiny minds to grasp, but we cannot give the state a pass. The state, after all, is filled with people of no particular greatness. They are not wiser, smarter, or more considered than anyone else, and that rulers are not special was the great revelation that set forward the rise of governance “by the people.”
We can’t have it both ways, of course. We can’t say in one breath that “we are the government” and then say that our government can violate moral values because it is special and exempt. It must be that trying to do such a thing is merely an attempt to give ourselves a pass on morality, to make ourselves into official hypocrites, because “we are the government” and “The government is exempt from our morality” means literally that “we are exempt from our morality.”
So are we? Are we exempt from our morality?
Of course, the truth is that “we” aren’t the government. Even if we buy into the conceit that our representatives actually represent us, “we” still wouldn’t be the government; our representatives would be.
What use is a morality system if we establish loopholes and exemptions that allow systemic violations more horrible than anything an individual might do? Despite our philosophy that killing is wrong, governments last century managed a body count above 160,000,000–a staggering number of dead people. Despite our maxim that theft is wrong, the American Government steals huge chunks of everyone’s money.
We established this moral system. If we judge ourselves by our own rules and standards, I don’t think we’d like the result.
What role do I play in the atrocities committed by the state? Very little, but I could certainly do more to fight it beyond writing articles and arguing with people. Shouldn’t I be out marching in the streets, demanding an end to war, theft, kidnapping, and slavery? By this measure I’m as guilty as anyone.
What role does the average voter play? Well, the average voter is more of an accomplice than a weakly active resistor. The average voter doesn’t just allow it by not resisting strongly enough; the average voter encourages and legitimizes it. The average voter is the rubber stamp that legitimizes the euphemisms and allows the theft, murder, kidnapping, and slavery to continue.
It’s one thing to perhaps-be-not-as-adamant-as-one-could-be about seeing a moral tragedy ended. At least we Pen and Paper Anarchists do something, even if we don’t do enough. Then again, what more can we do without violating the very moral tenants we are trying to spread? We cannot zerg rush DC with guns–the entire point of anarchism is that violence cannot be used to prevent violence. If we use violence, we cease being anarchists immediately and become statists, because its exemption to violate morality is what defines the state. That’s how authorities always function. “For the greater good, we must do evil.”
Fear is what I think compels us to embrace the state and its lies. “Government is a necessary evil,” went the advocates of classical liberalism. “Government is a necessary evil, except ours. Ours is a good one,” states the modern liberal and modern conservative. They arrive at this conclusion by different roads, but they reach it all the same. For the liberal, the government is mostly good because it protects us from ourselves; for the conservative, the government is mostly good because it protects us from others. And the miraculous thing is that these statements can be flipped without problem.
Any skilled chess player will tell you that there are huge differences between defence and offense, and between protecting and attacking. This isn’t to say that the two are always exclusive, because in chess they aren’t–the best attacking moves are those that defend, too.
But we’re not chess pieces to be moved about on a board and sacrificed to gain the upper hand. The pawn would never advocate a pawn sacrifice.
Unless the king had convinced him it was the only way to win.
* Although, to be clear, the Bible never states this.
Remind me to never, ever argue with theists about whether morality is subjective again. My contention is pretty simple:
Morality is subjective because humans are subjects who assign values to things.
It’s a tautology, and it is self-evident. It is as self-evident as a statement can get. It needs no argument, no substantiation, and no more evidence than direct experience. We are humans, and we assign values to things. As we are subjective beings and our experiences and existences are subjective, it follows that the values we assign are subjective.
Then theists come along and say, “No! The values we assign are objective!”
Why are we even discussing this? The burden of proof is so obviously and completely on the people arguing for objective morality that no more of my time should be wasted trying to explain a tautology. If you want to argue that the values you assign are objective, then you have to demonstrate the source of those objective values. Until you can do that, the entire conversation is moot.
So I spent a little while arguing on Facebook–banging my head against the wall would be more accurate–and in the course of the conversation I said two things that really pissed people off:
That is utter nonsense.
You can’t possibly be that thick.
These were taken as personal attacks. I’ll grant that the second one comes pretty close to being a personal attack, but the first one is obviously not. “That is utter nonsense” clearly refers to a statement, and not a person. Ergo, the statement has been attacked. What statement did I attack?
I’m not going back to the thread right now because they’ve kept going and I’ve washed my hands of it, but basically I pointed out that the very fact that we have disagreements about what is moral and what is immoral is strong evidence that morality is subjective. He replied something to the effect of, “So if one person thinks that something is more morally wrong than someone else does, obviously he’s measuring that with some objective criteria.”
No, it doesn’t make sense. Yes, it’s obviously utter nonsense. It’s such utter nonsense that it’s honestly not even wrong, and I wouldn’t begin to know how to explain what is wrong with it. So that two people use internal criteria to assign different subjective values to things is somehow a demonstrate of some external, objective criteria? What? When the guy threw this statement back at me as a “personal insult,” I gladly stood by it. What he said was nonsense. “The sky is blue because the sky is blue, so clearly the sky is red.”
And no. No one can possibly be thick enough to believe such a ridiculous statement. These two insults were tied to the same comment, I should point out; I said them both in reply to this utter nonsense. I stand by that, as well. No one can be thick enough to really believe something so horrifically nonsensical.
But it’s not my goal here to reiterate the argument. They are responding too quickly and Facebook’s medium too limited for it to take place effectively. Moreover, they are repeating themselves and denying that the burden of proof is on them, even though my contention, from the start, has been that morality is subjective because we are subjective individuals and we assign values to things.
Tell me: how shall I convince you that a circle is round?
For more than a decade, I have been arguing with people on the Internet and discussing things with people. I have engaged in undoubtedly thousands of online arguments, started probably a fourth of those. And in my career of arguing with people online, I have never been called “emotional” or “overly emotional.”
Until last year, when I officially switched from being a male to being Aria.
In the past year, I have been called “overly emotional” at least ten times in various online arguments. I am not exaggerating when I say that this never happened when I presented myself as a guy. It never happened, and no one who knows me could agree that I’m prone to becoming emotional in discussions. If I was, I wouldn’t have evolved from pro-life Republican and die-hard Christian to dyed-in-the-wool socialist liberal to pro-choice anarcho-capitalist. My loyalty is to reason, not to emotion, and I’ve written a goddamned book on Nihilism, which is an utter rejection of emotional thinking. It’s not finished, though it’s about 200 pages in.
It wasn’t even that long ago that Thomas Knapp corrected my position on libertarians and abortion, by making me see that I was wrong, and that pro-life people weren’t automatically un-libertarian. Yes, I’m so emotional I reversed my old position because it couldn’t be rationally supported. Totally ruled by my emotions. It totally explains why I’m still saying that Austin Petersen isn’t a libertarian because he’s pro-life.
Except… Oh, wait. I did change my position. I did ease up on Austin Petersen. I still don’t think he’s a libertarian, but it’s because he rejects the NAP, not because of his abortion stance. Recently I wrote specifically about abortion and that libertarianism isn’t automatically pro-life or pro-abortion. This is where a bit of a fracture comes in, as you can see in the comments there. I’m also not a big fan of abortion. I’m really not. I don’t think it’s right, because there are so many ways to prevent pregnancy in the first place. I’m 29, and I’ve only once gotten a girl pregnant. She aborted, but that was beyond my control, and it was only last year that it happened.
I’m certainly not pro-abortion, though. I’m pro-choice. Part of the problem is that most people do take “pro-choice” to mean “pro-abortion,” and it doesn’t really mean that. It means pro-choice. It means being in favor of people having the choice to get an abortion if they so choose, not being happy about them getting an abortion. A pro-choice person can still choose to reject abortion and condemn it, after all.
Recently, a girl on Twitter challenged me to demonstrate sexism in the United States. No, I honestly can’t do that. I could, if I cared to spend the time doing it. I could run two simultaneous online presences for the next year, carefully tabulating the results that I get. It would take too much effort, though, and it’s not worth it to me. I know what I’ve experienced.
And what I’ve experienced is that no one ever accused me of being overly emotional until they knew I was a female. Yes, the anarcho-capitalist who recently made a video called “What is Capitalism?” that said “being poor is a state of mind” is “overly emotional.” For pointing out that an argument is absurd and undermines its own point, and for saying that the person who made the argument couldn’t possibly be “thick” enough to believe it–which some could take as a compliment, honestly–I’m “overly emotional.”
And no one ever said that to me when I wasn’t wearing lipstick, you know?
As a cool little bonus, because this came out shorter and filled with more digression than I wanted, here is a chapter from Shattering the American Illusion that I’ve been writing.
Chapter 6: Morality
Warning: We are about to ask a LOT of “What if…?” questions.
Many arguments are presented by theists in an attempt to give their god something to do, and one of the most common among these is something along the lines of, “Oh, yeah? If there’s no God, then how do you explain morality? Western Law is built on the Ten Commandments!” Before we proceed much further, let’s stop and bask in the unabashed glory of this argument—and the one that says “America was built on Christianity!”
A precursory glance at the latter claim will reveal why Science and Christianity have stood at odds for so long: a little bit of reading is a very dangerous thing, especially to the theistic reasoning. Written in 1796, under the leadership of George Washington and John Adams (two of the people directly responsible for the creation of “America”), the Treaty of Tripoli is as follows:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of [Muslims]; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries (Dawkins “God” 40).
Let no more be said (ever, preferably) of the idea that the United States was founded on the religion of Christianity. At best, what can be said is that our ancestors fled to these shores to escape religious persecution and then embraced the notion of religious freedom, which requires a secular state by any measure. Not only did our forebears reject the notion of any state-sanctioned religion, they would be scandalized to see the state of American politics today, when a man or woman’s religious beliefs is listed as the second or third most important attribute of them (generally followed only by their name and political association—Democrat or Republican) (Dawkins “God” 40). This is a deplorable state. Using a person’s religious beliefs as a motivation for voting for or against them sets us on the path toward abolishing the separation of church and state.
Moving on to our main discussion, there is the question of morality and why humans have a notion of it if there is no god. Many ideas have been put forth to explain morality, but before we get into that, we must ask: “What is morality? What is moral behavior? What is immoral behavior?” These questions, whether you “feel” the answers intuitively in the form of examples you can easily imagine, are not really so simple to answer as “doing good” and “doing bad.” In fact, it’s very difficult to explain moral and immoral behavior without using words like “good” and “bad.”
In the simplest terms, moral behavior can probably be defined as “doing to others as one would have done to themselves,” and immoral behavior can be defined as “doing to others as one would not like to have done to themselves.” You’ll notice the teaching of Christ buried in this philosophy; that is not accidental or coincidental. I doubt you’ll ever find an atheist who claims that Christ had nothing useful to say (though what he said was certainly not original). At any rate, these definitions don’t really help us very much, because what one person would like might be different from what another person may like. One person may dislike what another person would like. One person may like what another person may be indifferent to. One person may be indifferent to what another person likes.
We have no “universal person” who we can use to make these assertions that any given act “would be liked” or “would be disliked.” So we haven’t really come any further with these definitions than if we simply had attributed them as “good” and “bad” behaviors. Henry Hazlitt, in The Foundations of Morality, likens moral behavior to attempts to “make an is from an ought,” and this is difficult to get into without explaining the context around which he says this (5). We’ll still show, after explaining what he means, that he’s wholly incorrect because “is” and “ought” are just as subjective as anything else we’ve tried so far.
“The world ought to have peace” would be an exemplar statement, but the problem here is obvious: the conditions we’ve created with the word “ought” are an illusory world that is most certainly not the one in which we live. In order to make such an “ought” statement, we must be capable of comparing the “world as it is” to a hypothetical “perfect” world wherein “what ought, is.” Making such a comparison, of course, requires being able to compare any two states of existence (regardless of the disparity between them), and this therefore goes quite a long way in explaining why dogs and cats don’t have such a system: they lack the cognitive processes to imagine this “world of oughts.”
“Women ought to have equal wages” would be another example, and it has the same problem; in the world currently, there is not peace and women, even in the United States (bastion of “freedom” though it is) women do not earn wages equal to men. In fact, one of the presidential debates of 2012 established that women earn 76% of what their male counterparts make.
Moral behavior, then, is a vehicle with which we travel from “what is” to “what ought be.” The actions we take toward establishing peace in the world (as ought be) would be considered moral actions, just as the actions we take toward giving women what they actually deserve would be considered moral behavior (as this is what ought be). Moral behavior is any action that decisively transitions “what is” toward “what ought be.” But this is a minefield of problems, because it automatically presumes that “the greater good” is better than “a local good,” and we can’t justify that.
For example, what if the only possible way, after every other avenue has been explored, to achieve world peace is to nuke the Middle East and turn the entire region into a deadened tundra of snow and ash? Do the many (the rest of the world) outweigh the needs of the few (the Middle East inhabitants)? Would we be justified in killing hundreds of millions of people if we were to spare some countless number of theoretical future victims from dying in needless wars?
I can’t answer this question for you; it is one you must ask and answer for yourself. But I presume that you, like me, would say, “Absolutely not.” I say this because the people in the Middle East are real—we can see them, touch them, love them. They feel as I feel, they think as I think, and they know as I know. The theoretical future people that may be spared from needless wars are not quite so real, even if they are potentially of infinite number. I cannot condone the sacrifice of real people to protect the lives of imagined people—and I sincerely hope that you cannot, either. My sense of empathy forbids it.
What about a simpler, less illusory example? What if you could go back in time to 1940 and kill Hitler? What if you knew that killing Hitler would (somehow) immediately end World War 2 and would cause all the imprisoned Jews to be released from the concentration camps? What if you knew (thanks to your coming from the future) that Hitler would go on to be responsible for all those deaths if he lived and you knew that a great many of those deaths would be prevented by the death of Hitler? You can kill him, press a button on your wristwatch, and return the present, with no negative repercussions on the world as a result of your tampering with the past. What if the only outcome of going back in time to kill Hitler was that there would have been deaths prevented and those people went on to live normal, productive lives? Would you kill him?
I tend to think the average reader would. If my intuitions are in touch with the average reader’s, then I am correct, because I know that I would kill Hitler in the above circumstances. That’s right: I would take the life of another human being. And I wouldn’t even feel slightly bad about it, and I doubt that you would, either. Why is this? Why is it that we can murder a human being and not feel, at the very least, immoral, much less can feel that it was the most moral thing we could have done? Why is it that you could approach a random person in the street and murder them, and this act would then be judged immoral, but you can murder Hitler and (I imagine most people would agree) the act would be judged moral?
In either case, you’re performing exactly the same act: killing another person. You might hold up a gun, take aim, and pull the trigger, ending the life of the victim—in both examples. But in one, you are moral (or, at the very least, morally neutral) and in one you are immoral.
This fundamental truth (that statements of moral value are subjective, rather than objective) is universally true, even for such contemptable acts as murder and rape. Though we would be hard-pressed to imagine up any scenario in which rape would be considered acceptable, we can do so, no matter how far-fetched that scenario might be. It follows, then, that rape cannot objectively be immoral, as it depends upon other factors and circumstances. Even though such circumstances would be so rare that they are unrealistic, any proclamations that we make that rape is immoral are still dependent upon circumstances that are almost always true.
The problem with moral claims is that they cannot be demonstrated, for the most part, as moral or immoral, because we lack omniscience and can never identify all of the effects of a given cause.
 The exact wording is “Musselmen,” which is antiquated term that means “Muslims.”
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.
If there is any one image that will perfectly explain this Presidential election, it is this:
It’s still going on, by the way. At least they started using text, but it’s not like they actually started saying anything of substance:
This particular exchange had me laughing out loud for real:
The lack of self-awareness in these two is baffling.
Of course, anyone who saw the above thread and my comment to it knew that they would say something like this, but to then fulfill that expectation in what we must surely call a Blaze of Glory… it’s too perfect. It’s simply too perfect.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Seriously. The lack of self-awareness is staggering.
I’m sure these two clowns will keep at it for some time, and I’ve never been so thankful that I don’t supporter either Hillary or Trump. This is truly amazing. Neil’s concern for the life of the ambassador is shocking. He seems to care so much that he’s willing to post horrifically violent pictures to Facebook, while at the same time talking about how he is dipping bullets in pig’s blood to shoot Muslims. If there’s ever been a clearer example of “I only care about my tribe!” than I’m not sure I want to see it.
Of course, they’re right that Neil doesn’t give a shit about the dead ambassador, and that he just wants an excuse to hate on Hillary. People who care about the dead dude don’t behave that way, and people who value human life don’t speak so gleefully about killing other people. He doesn’t hate brown people, as Alex suggests, though–he hates Hillary and “everyone else,” so he will seize every opportunity to bash Hillary and hate on everyone else. Everyone else isn’t based on race as much as it is his own insecurity, though. He’s not racist; he’s insecure.
And here’s me pwning a totalitarian piece of shit:
“Let’s just make up something to support my opinion! That will work!”
The sad thing is that this person’s mentality is not unique or rare:
Here’s another “I’m perfectly fine with forcing people to do what I want them to do.”
It stems from an utter inability to realize that I am not their property. That’s where we have gone so wrong in the United States. We’ve come up with this Society > Individual bullshit that makes it okay to destroy the individual’s rights if “society” wants to, because “It’s for the good of the many.” Let’s look at some more harm that was brought to the few for the “good of the many,” shall we?
No, we don’t have to go that far, because you know, before I even provide a single example, what a travesty that entire idea is. Entire history books have been written about the way that various states have killed and tortured the few for the good of the many and for the betterment of society. As rational, thinking adults, we should know by now that it’s an idea we want nothing to do with. Yet here are two people, proudly saying it. Not explicitly, no, but that’s clearly what they think.
I happen to find forcing someone to do something against their will to be abhorrent. In fact, I find that to be absolutely despicable and unforgivable. What if DigiWaffles found it “abhorrent” that his wife dared tell him “No,” that she didn’t feel like having sex?
“How dare you tell me no?” DigiWaffles might scream. “I am your husband, you are my wife, and it is your duty to have sex with me when I want it! It is absolutely abhorrent that you would forego your responsibility, as decreed by God, to serve your husband! I will, then, force you to not be abhorrent! And since it is abhorrent for you to refuse sex with me, I will achieve this by raping you!”
I’m not calling DigiWaffles a sexual rapist, but it doesn’t change anything. That’s exactly what he’s arguing about this behavior that he finds it abhorrent. He finds it abhorrent, and therefore he’s okay with forcing people to do what he thinks is best. If he finds his wife saying “No” to be abhorrent? His own mentality means that he would rape her.
The Christians we were discussing find tolerance for LGBT people to be abhorrent. What if these Christians “completely fine with forcing people to not be abhorrent”? Considering they find his acceptance of LGBT people to be abhorrent, they would be within their rights to force DigiWaffles to not accept LGBT people, to force him to spit on LGBT people, and sever ties with any LGBT people he knows.
I’m now calling this the “Aria Nuked Yo Ass” Thread.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve encountered this literally every single time I get into this discussion with someone. When I talked with The Non Believer about Mississippi’s Religious Freedom Law, even he asked whether or not the idea applied to racism.
It’s so deeply ingrained in us, this idea that racism is an ultra super duper bad form of discrimination that absolutely must be stopped at any cost, that we just take it for granted. This is, it’s worth mentioning, the guy’s only reply to my lengthy rebuttal of his ideology and the totalitarianism he suggests. Because he couldn’t reasonably address what I said, he pulled out a race card.
And ran smack fucking ass into a stone wall.
I almost left it as just “Yes,” but chose not to. It was a conscious decision to split my reply across three comments, though, primarily to find out which one he chooses to reply to. Usually, when I split a reply across numerous comments, that is exactly why: you can learn a lot from someone by seeing how they choose to pursue the argument. Of course, all three of my points will come back up; his reply won’t possibly be sufficient, and I would wager that he’s simply going to post an image about how badly segregation fucked over blacks in the south. That’s easily addressed, and I’m going to do so now, before he replies.
First, segregation was enforced by the state; it was not an organic product of the free market. The government mandated segregation. Segregation was not a case of business owners choosing with whom they would do business. It was a mandate by the state on how they were to do business. The idea that most of these business owners would gladly have continued segregation of their own accord is demonstrably false, as well–it still is not illegal for a business to try to segregate its customers. They simply don’t do it because it would be suicide for the business.
Second, it would be suicide for the business in today’s world, and it hardly matters whether that would have been true 60 years ago.
He’ll choose to reply to the “Yes,” though, probably with some messed up image showing the very real plight of black Americans before the end of segregation. One thing he will not do is try to discuss the free market or how he holds racism as a trump card.
One that won’t work on me, dude. Sorry.
Donald Trump Rape?
The DNC has already shown that it’s willing to do a lot of really underhanded stuff to win the election, and Bill and Hillary have their own little history of rapes and stuff. Of course, two wrongs don’t make a right; my point isn’t that. My point is that Bill and Hillary would have the idea to accuse someone of raping a girl.
And I’ll be honest with you. For $250,000, shit, I’d say Donald Trump raped me. At this point, I’d do it for $5,000. All you’ve got to do is find someone who is hard up, who is reasonably attractive, and who has been in the same city as Trump at least once. That’s not a difficult criteria to meet. You offer that person to waive their criminal history, or money, or drugs, or whatever, and bam, you’ve got someone spreading the rumor that Trump raped them.
This is precisely why we can’t take these things seriously until they get to a point like Lewinsky’s did, or unless there is a police report or hard evidence. It’s simply too easy to accuse someone of rape. I could accuse Trump of raping me, and if I was popular enough, people like this guy on Facebook would be spreading that story, without giving any thought to the possibility that it simply wasn’t true.
We all knew, once he secured the nomination months ago, that allegations of rape were inevitable. My ex-wife once accused me of raping her, because she agreed to anal when she didn’t really want to do it. She just did it to make me happy and, no shit, later accused me of raping her. If I ever ran for president, I have no doubt that she would come forward with that bullshit and say that I raped her. The sad thing is–she isn’t alone. I don’t think I’ve ever dated a girl who didn’t claim that someone has raped her. And when pressed for details, these stories usually came back to “I agreed to do it, but I didn’t really want to, and he should have known that” and “I didn’t want to do it, but I went along with it” and “I didn’t say ‘No.'”
And I’m just throwing this out there–there might be less rapes each years if women didn’t say “No… stop…” when playing coy. My ex-wife did that shit all the time. I’d start kissing on her throat, and she’d go “Mm-mm” and twist away playfully. Granted, she never accused me of raping her over that (She knew what she was doing, and I’m just making the point) and only did over anal, but my point is that girls saying “No… stop…” because they want to be seduced while playing coy might accidentally contribute to the problem. Though it’s also true that it’s not hard to tell when a girl is playing coy and when she means it, that’s a pretty major thing to leave for the other person to infer, you know?
It’s like they said on Family Guy:
Fifty “No’s” and a “Yes”… means yes.
But it becomes all too easy for a girl to later be offered $30,000 to say that she actually meant it that one time she played coy with Trump, you know?
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”.