Tag Archive | self-governance

The Myth of American Self-Governance

Here in the United States, we are absolutely in love with this thing that we call “public property.” It sounds like such a great and noble idea–have the state take control of property and resources, and use them for the good of “the people.” Never mind that this is a verbatim description of socialism.

The Federal Government alone owns nearly 28% of all land in the United States, and much of it is in the west, where it owns nearly fifty percent. In Alaska, the situation is even worse, and the Federal Government owns nearly 90% of all land, even though, by all rights, the whole of Alaska was a private purchase. But never mind that, too. This handy resource incidentally lists “Public Land Ownership” by state.

“Public land ownership.”

If you add “state government land ownership” and “federal government land ownership” together for each state, you get figures that are absolutely shocking.

We colloquially call this stuff “public land,” in the same way that we say “We are the government.” After all, if the government owns all that land, and we are the government, then we own all that land. It’s a simple step of logic. Resting as it does on the assumption that “we are the government,” it would follow that, if it should turn out that we are not the government, then we do not own that land–some third party called “the government” does. So let’s move to Rothbard and have some logic dropped on the subject.

First, there is the argument of self-harm: if “we” are the government, then anything that the government does to us is considered voluntarily, and it is taken that we did it to ourselves. Quite to many people’s surprise, Hitler’s Nazi regime was democratically elected. By this reasoning–that in a democracy, “we are the government”–the Jews were not systematically murdered by the government. Instead, the Jews committed suicide.

This is not some word game. It is the logical conclusion of the fallacious notion that “we” are this third party entity that does stuff. Most assuredly, I am not the government. I have no hand in governance, and my votes to do so are routinely thrown away entirely. The people with government power–they are the government. Not you and me.

Then there is the argument of voluntary conscription. If “we” are the government, then if the government institutes conscription and sends many young men against their will to fight and die in foreign countries, then nothing untoward has happened. Because “they” are somehow the government, they weren’t conscripted; they volunteered to be sent, against their will, to foreign countries. I would hope it isn’t necessary to point out the absolute absurdity in saying that they volunteered to be forced to do something against their will.

Moreover, if the government criminalizes homosexuality, then the homosexuals who are arrested and imprisoned “did it to themselves.” After all, “they” are the government, so “they” somehow voted that they should be considered criminals and imprisoned against their wills.

It’s painfully obvious that we are not the government. In fact, this is so obvious that it wouldn’t be necessary to point out at all if this banality hadn’t propagated largely unchecked throughout western society. Those people who make up the city council? They’re not me. They and I are different people. Those people who make up the state legislature–they are not me. They and I are different people. Those people who wear badges and enforce the rules of the state and federal legislatures–they are not me. They and I are different people. We are not “them.” We are “their subjects.”

Representatives

“Fine,” the American liberal begrudgingly admits. “We aren’t literally ‘the government.’ But we do elect our representatives, who act in our best interests. Obviously, every single person can’t be their own government agent, and this is why representative democracy [what others would call “a republic,” of course] exists. So while you aren’t literally ‘the government,’ you are in control of it, because you pick your representatives.”

What a statement of astounding privilege. It must be nice to be so firmly within an ideological majority that one is assured representation among the government that rules us and that we have agreed “we are not.” Let there be no doubt: if you want to know what genuine privilege in the United States looks like, that is it–the notion that because we vote for our representatives we are represented.

As a Nietzschean Anarchist, I am an extreme ideological minority. In fact, I’m the only person I know who is a Nietzschean Anarchist. My ideal form of governance cannot be enacted by a third party representative, because the representative himself would be ruling me, and, as a Nietzschean Anarchist, I reject his authority to do so. So even if there were ten million other Nietzschean Anarchists out there, we could not be represented within the government, and the idea here is that if we do not think the governance system in place is compatible with our worldview, then we are not entitled to have the governance system that we want.

“Some exclusions apply,” would be a fitting end to the statement that “We elect our representatives.”

This state of affairs, where minorities of whatever flavor are not allowed a seat at the governing table, is entirely democratic–the rule by the mob, by the majority. Whoever has the most numbers makes the rules, and anyone who isn’t in that majority can get over it. Because I’m a minority of one, I am not entitled to self-governance as they are, and they are entitled to rule over me, whether I like it or not.

Already, the idea of “representatives” is on shaky ground. Some people have representatives. Have we not heard throughout the last 9 months that “Donald Trump doesn’t represent me”? Welcome to my world, where none of these people represent me. It doesn’t feel very good, does it, to be ruled over by someone with whom you disagree fundamentally? This is what you force upon me every time you elect your representative. You force me into the exact position that you are in right now because you are ruled by a government entirely controlled by Republicans. And those Republicans who felt this way in 2008, when President Obama was elected with a largely democratic congress–you are forcing upon liberals and people like me governance that we do not want. So it quite obviously isn’t “self-governance,” because it’s “governance by representatives.” And these representatives quite obviously do not “represent us.” They “represent some.” Those not represented… can just get fucked, as far as the ruling power is concerned, and this is ubiquitous throughout human history and American history, regardless of whatever political party or political ideology controlled the government.

As if all that wasn’t enough (which it should be), there is a deeper fallacy underlying the idea that, just because we can elect people to government, these people constitute “representatives” and are actually bound to do anything that we want them to do. Senator John McCain’s voting against the bill to “slim repeal” the Affordable Care Act is incontrovertible proof that “representatives” are what we already knew them to be–individuals with their own predilections, preferences, and concerns. They act in accord with our wishes only when our wishes overlap with theirs. It is a simple matter, when our desires conflict with theirs, to smooth over the matter and hold onto power anyway. If this was not true, then we would not have terrible approval ratings and such absurdly high re-election rates. While these ratings and rates are exaggerated on social media, there is still truth to them. As much as Mississippi despises Roger Wicker for being a typical neo-con, he’s not going anywhere.

As it happens, Rothbard also addressed the Representative Myth:

We cannot, in this chapter, develop the many problems and fallacies of “democracy.” Suffice it to say here that an individual’s true agent or “representative” is always subject to that individual’s orders, can be dismissed at  any time and cannot act contrary to the interests or wishes of his principal. Clearly, the “representative” in a  democracy can never fulfill such agency functions…

If these don’t sound like the “representatives” you think we have, then I would suggest the “representatives” that you think we have are not “representatives” as much as they are “people elected to power whose desires theoretically overlap with the electing individual’s to some degree, and, ideally, this overlap would cause the elected person to behave in a way the elector desires.”

In practice, however, the government and its members do, more or less, whatever they want. To restrain them, we produced a piece of paper and called it “The Constitution.” It is not “the highest law of the land” as people often suggest; it is more than that. It is the document that defined our government. It is the charter that defined our government. It is also completely meaningless today, with every single part of the Bill of Rights lying tattered and buried beneath 6,000 pages of legalese bullshit. Because if a judge can produce such an argument about how stopping and frisking people “totally” doesn’t violate people’s Fourth Amendment rights, then the government can freely violate the Fourth Amendment with impunity. The sheet of paper does nothing to stop them. It basically says “You must not do that.” Yeah, but they do that, so…

Back to Public Property

So if we are not “the government,” and if our representatives do not represent us, then what is the government? It is a cabal of people with the power to rule over us all. We are not those people, and those people only do what we want if it happens to coincide with what they want to do anyway. If this is sounding less and less like the “land of the free” that you think we’re in, I’d suggest that you probably attended a public school. Of course, their goal is not to create free-thinking, independent, autonomous citizens. That’s the last thing any government would want. Do you expect Wal-Mart to open up seminars and education programs on how to become self-sufficient? Of course not.

If this “government” is not us and is, in fact, some external thing that rules over us, then it follows that property it owns is not “public property.” It’s government property. If this was true, then we would expect the government to create all sorts of rules about how its property can be used, we would expect severe usage limitations on it, and we would expect it to use its enforcers–police–to ensure that “we the people” who allegedly “own” this property abide its rules and regulations. And, in fact, that’s exactly what we find.

Ostensibly, the American people are taxed to pay for roads that snake across the country. Supposedly, these roads belong to us, and we can use them as we want. Except that’s obviously not true, is it? Sobriety checkpoints, random insurance checkpoints, vehicular registration, drivers’ licenses, inspection stickers, and all kinds of other shit are required to use these roads that supposedly belong to us because we paid for them. And this state of affairs is supposedly okay because “we are the government,” so we imposed these rules on ourselves. Except we know this last statement is untrue, because we already proved it to be untrue. The government imposed these rules on us. It doesn’t matter if you agree with them or not–you didn’t impose them, and you cannot depose them if you have a change of heart.

Imagine that for a moment, if you truly think that we imposed these regulations on ourselves. Put yourself in the position of becoming a Mormon and having the epiphany that insurance is tantamount to gambling (which it is), and that you cannot, in good conscience, participate in the scheme (because it is a scheme–imagine if everyone was required to go to a casino and spend $100 in a slot machine every month knowing that “the house always wins”). What can you do about it? What can you do about it once you have decided that these laws imposed upon us are unjust?

Nothing.

Because you didn’t impose them, and you don’t control them. You are at their mercy, and the only reason this is somewhat escapable is because so many Americans reflexively have decided that the insurance scam is a positive thing (especially now that it has extended to health insurance scams).

This argument about “public property” applies to all public property. It’s a fiction. There is only personal property and state property, and we must stop confusing the two. If we understood that we are most certainly not “the government,” then this myth would have to fade, because it would become obvious that we and the government are entirely different things. We are the subjects of government.

Even if you agree with the Republican federal government, you are not governing yourself. You are being governed by other people, and you knew this eight years ago when you were pitching a fit because the Democratic federal government was governing you. You knew this to the extent that you flooded the White House website with secession petitions. And you, liberals, you know this now–you are not the Republican government, and neither are you represented by it. It rules over you, whether you like it or not.

And if you don’t obey, it will send its footsoldiers to kidnap you and imprison you against your will. If you resist this kidnapping, its footsoldiers will murder you. If you don’t respect its authoritah! to order you around and tell you what you can and can’t do, then it will send people to kill you. The bullshit lie that democracy and republic governments are somehow different, and that these truths are no longer truths.

We hold these truths to be self-evident–that all governments are created evil, that they are endowed by no one with the power to commit crimes without repercussions; that among these crimes are murder, assault, theft, and kidnapping.

Derailed Thoughts & Thoughts of Leaving the South

I’ve never been so surprised and so happy about the outcome of a vote.

The British people have voted to leave the European Union, and I’m thrilled for the longterm hope this brings me, that we will move away from central authority and back toward self-governance. Before I dive into the meat of this article, though, I want to mention what a UK citizen told me earlier on Facebook:

Let’s not even talk about how we’ll probably lose Scotland too. My point is yes we’ll survive leaving the eu but we really didn’t have to.

“…how we’ll probably lose Scotland…”

Shit, dude, that’s exactly the problem! That mindset you have, that Scotland is yours to lose! What the fuck? Scotland is Scotland’s! Scotland does not belong to the UK! Jesus! No wonder you’re in favor of staying in the EU! You think it’s perfectly okay to consider other peoples and societies as your property. How else could you possibly justify that statement? “We’ll probably lose Scotland…”

Fuck.

Scotland isn’t yours!

My reply to this, however, was more direct and focused:

If the differences between the Scottish and British people are so fundamental that this rift is irreconcilable, then a fracture between Scotland and England was inevitable anyway. If the British are so in favor of self-governance and the Scottish so in favor of central authority (tendencies that appear to reverse when we start talking of Scottish Independence), then it was never going to work out. And I think that’s pretty obvious–how many times has Scotland voted for independence? I think it is inevitable that they will leave the UK. The only question is when. And perhaps “What will be the final straw?”

Moving On

I want to return, however, to something that I became aware of last night, with the help of awesome patron and supporter Michelle, which is that… it’s bizarre that millennials, who I recently characterized as being “Changeists” without ideological backbones, were almost universally against Brexit.

There’s an enormous difference between “We want change at any cost!” and “We don’t even care what the facts or reasons are–we must not change!”

I think the distinction hinges upon what they consider “Progress.”

It’s no secret that “progressive” has come to mean two things in the west. First, it means being pro-tolerance, at least in the typical usage of the word (not my usage of the word that actually reflects is meaning).

Goodness, the links and inline videos… You can really get a complete picture of my ideology if you follow the trail, I guess. I like to think that it’s pretty circular, and that creates a large problem: where do I start if I want to express my worldview? A circle has no beginning. One thing I say will sound silly without having something underlying it, and if I say the underlying thing, it will lead to another underlying thing. Regardless, my “online presence” has pretty much dived straight into my ideology, so I started somewhere. But if you’re curious to get a complete picture of my worldview–the worldview of an atheistic shemale anarchist–then I like to think it’s becoming possible. Another central piece of that wheel, however, is my presence on Quora, which isn’t typically included in this circle of things that I do. Anyway.

We think of “being progressive” as a good thing, and no one wants to say that they’re regressive or anti-progress. So it’s automatically biased when used in any political context, because it paints a false dichotomy. If your position is “progressive,” then other positions stand in the way of progress. This is a deceitful tactic meant to discourage people from expressing disagreement, as it leaves you able, the moment they speak, to call them backward, “stuck in the past,” and “living for glory days that never were.”

I’m not a fan of that sort of thing.

At any rate, it typically means “tolerance,” or, at least, they say that it means tolerance.

Annnnd my thoughts just got thrown off because I made the mistake of emailing my colleague about paying me for some work I did Thursday, and he replied with his typical criticism:

I wrote you a $250 check Monday. How are you without money today?

Well, I’m not out of money, and I made that clear in the email I sent. I will be, after I purchase some important things.

But one would think this guy had never lived alone. I agree that a $250 check sounds pretty awesome, but what you have to remember is that… that was my paycheck for the week before. $250. A worker at McDonald’s working 40 hours a week at Minimum Wage makes $290, before taxes. That Minimum Wage worker, however, also qualifies for a lot of welfare benefits that I don’t because my employer is a small business. Even after taxes, the McDonald’s worker is still making about the same thing that I made, but most weeks I don’t make anywhere near that amount of money–I usually end up with $150 or $175. $250 was a good week.

Welcome to Mississippi.

But oh, no, everything costs the same here that it costs in states where people can get real jobs. Rent is cheaper here, but that’s it. The price of milk, gasoline, paper towels, cat food–they’re all standardized across the country, from Los Angeles to Boston, because they’re all bought from national chains that standardize their prices regardless of the local economy. This guy knows that I already subsist on a diet of water, ramen noodles, and bologna sandwiches–what the fuck else does he want from me? He knows that I quit smoking because I couldn’t afford it, and that I’m using a vapor device despite their horrendous consistency and my utter inability to find a reliably good liquid.

I mean, really. The only way I could cut down on expenses would be to die.

My television broke, and my only hope was to be able to get the service people down the street to repair it, because they do stuff like that and because I have a great business relationship with them. I’m not convinced that they even looked at it. After nearly 2 weeks, though, they finally called me and told me that they couldn’t fix it. So now I have a 22 inch monitor (which isn’t even 16:9, though it is at least a flat screen) that is the center of everything that I can do in my spare time. While it’s better than nothing, have you tried sitting on your couch and typing something on your 22 inch television? Because that’s essentially how my setup is–everything feeds from my computer, and my computer feeds into my television. A replacement 32 inch (which is smaller than the 72 inch that I used to have, but that my cats broke, leading me to switch to the 30 inch television that I had been keeping in my bedroom) 1080p television is only $160, but it might as well be $1600.

On top of that, my phone is fucked and I can’t receive calls. It needs a new battery, at the very least, but there’s a larger problem with it–any time I receive an incoming call, the display goes black and nothing will light it back up. I cannot see who is calling, and I cannot answer the call. My phone is totally unusable until they stop calling, and then I can look and see who it was. It could probably be resolved by reformatting it, but it would be less trouble to reformat my fucking computer. Given that the last time the battery drained, it took me nearly 3 hours to get it back on, I just don’t think the phone is worth putting much money or effort into.

Things aren’t made to last anymore, and that makes life very difficult when you’re me, because I simply can’t replace these devices that were designed to tear up and stop working. Sure, being able to replace your television for only $160 sounds terrific–until you bought a television a few years before and simply can’t afford to replace it now.

Plus, my graphics card is pretty much shot, and gaming is what I do with about 15% of my spare time. It can increase, if I’m particularly into a game. When I was recently playing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D, for example, I was playing about 3 hours a day. Now that I’m using mods to wear the alternate outfits and was able to grab Resident Evil 6 on PC for like $6 (a game that I’ve had my eyes on for more than a year, and nearly purchased a year ago for $50–I have a love/hate relationship with RE6), I’m playing about 2 hours a day.

Or, at least, I was. Now, my graphics card simply stops working. Every three minutes or so, GPU usage will drop to 0% while CPU usage skyrockets, and my fps drops from 30 or 60 (depending on the game and settings) to 7 to 10. This lasts for about a minute, with the game being totally unplayable (I’ve found it’s best to just pause the game until FPS goes back up) in the meantime. Extensive testing has revealed that the GPU simply stops trying to process anything, but it’s not a heat issue. I can verify that. Not only is the case open, but there is an actual box fan on Hi blowing directly into my PC, on top of the CPU fan, three case fans, and the gfx card’s fans. Temp monitoring shows that the GPU never goes above 50 degrees (which is trivial for a graphics card), the CPU never goes above 60 degrees (AMD CPUs tend to idle around 45), and the motherboard occasionally hits about 65.

This has always been an issue, but it’s also one that I’d resolved. It seemed in the past that sometimes the GPU just wouldn’t “catch” properly. I’d boot up a game, it would work fine, and then FPS would drop to unplayable levels. The first time I experienced this was with Mortal Kombat 9, and I initially blamed the game. But I quickly learned that I could also boot up any other game, and it would do the same thing. In the end, MK9 simply became the “test game.” If I launch it and the fight begins still at 60 FPS, then everything is fine. But if the fight begins and immediately drops to 7 frames per second, then things are not fine. So I would reboot the PC, and then test again. Eventually, it would function correctly. It’s anyone’s guess why this happened. I’m an I.T. consultant, yes, and a damned good one, but hardware function and driver interactions operate at a level more specialized than I can handle.

The problem is more persistent these days, and I haven’t gotten it to “catch” in days. I’ve essentially stopped trying, and I believe the card is simply dead. That’s not the end of the world, since I needed to re-upgrade anyway, but that’s another $300 that I don’t have.

And am I really being criticized that I’m broke six days after receiving a paycheck that would make a Minimum Wage employee angry? It’s possible to live on such wages–I can attest to that, and I do attest to that–but it’s far from easy, and there’s very little luxury. It infuriates me to basically be living on Minimum Wage, in my own place with all my bills paid, and be criticized for not being able to make $1 pay for $1.50 of things. And if I’d known he was going to take this avenue, instead of just “Oh, yes, I’ll write you a check for the money that I owe you,” then I would have just gone without paper towels.

I can’t afford anything to break, and that has been the case since I returned from Vegas–something that will likely inspire me to go ahead and do that video. While I don’t blame the girl for that, I do blame the experience–and obviously, I undertook the experience–but none of that really matters. It’s simply the case. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better, as I become increasingly androgynous, breasts start to grow, and my hair grows–things that I’m not willing to undo or stop. The bottom line is that I have to move, but I can’t afford to move. I’m a goddamned college graduate with years of experience managing a company, managing large I.T. projects, and being the I.T. firm of multi-million dollar companies. Not only would moving allow me to get a real job, it would allow me to be transgender in peace, allow me to get my ID changed easily, and allow me to get hormones more easily.

Hm.

That’s something I need to really think about. Why… Why am I staying in Mississippi? I don’t even like it here, and it’s not like I really have a family anymore.

Central Authority v. Self-Governance

It’s interesting to watch the UK currently going through what could be called its “federalist growing pangs,” especially as an American who (not to brag) has a pretty solid understanding of how states, rights, liberty, and economies work (all 4 of those are much more interwoven than the average person thinks), because we in the United States have already fought that battle. We fought it during the 19th century, and it was called the Civil War.

For those who aren’t aware, slavery was the catalyst to the Civil War, a fact that really can’t be disputed, but it’s not exactly fair to say that it’s the cause of the American Civil War. In reality, States’ Rights and the Tenth Amendment–the question of whether a centralized authority governed a state, or whether the state governed itself–were the cause of the Civil War, and slavery (abhorrent though it was) was merely the catalyst that brought States’ Rights to a boiling point.

Since even before the Constitution was drafted and the Federal Government formed, there was discussion about whether the Federal Government should have the authority to legislate over member states, and, if so, what parameters were acceptable. This is most evident in the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers (which I have read, but it’s been years, so forgive me), when Hamilton and Jefferson argued opposing viewpoints. Hamilton, a statist, argued in favor of a stronger Federal Government, while Jefferson argued for states’ rights and self-governance.

It has to be accepted that the two are at odds. For every power the Federal Government has, that is one power that the member-state does not have. If the Federal Government has the authority to determine what is and isn’t marriage, then the people of Mississippi who want to define marriage differently are, in effect, governed by the Federal Government, and not by themselves. While there can obviously be times when this is critical–such as if the state of Mississippi turned Gay Hunting into a year-long hunting season–the question of “when it is critical” is one that was debated extensively by the founders.

While I’m not going to launch into another long tirade about what is and isn’t a right, a few things must be pointed out. First, rights are not granted by governments. Let’s say that you have a box. I attack you and take the box from you. Years later, you get back up, fight back, and reclaim your box. Finally, I say, “Fine. Keep your box, then.”

Did I give you a box?

No, obviously not. That I stopped taking something from you, or that I returned something I had previously taken, is not the same as giving you something. And the course of human history makes it clear that rights are the box, because it’s inescapable that, in the earliest days of homo sapiens’ existence, a person could say and do pretty much anything they wanted. It doesn’t matter how far back we have to go–if we have to go back to the trees of the African plains, then so be it. The fact remains that liberty and rights are the natural state of affairs and that, in the very beginning, we had all rights.

It was not until the invention of the state that rights came under attack, and “come under attack” did they. Fast forward from the first chieftains and tribes to England in the 12th century, and you’ll find a mass of people whose “rights” are stomped upon at every turn; they could not be more unlike the ancient homo sapiens who spoke, thought, and lived freely. After much oppression, the British people came together, rose up, and took the box back with the Magna Carta. They did not then take back the entire box, but they took back a lot of it, and the past 800 years of human history have essentially been the people forcibly taking back more and more of the box.

To assert that rights are granted by a government is to fundamentally misunderstand rights, liberty, and human nature. Being able to speak, think, and act freely is the natural state of affairs. No right can be granted by a government. The government can either restrict a right or acknowledge a right, but it cannot create them. You are thinking of “social privileges,” but not rights. And you can argue all day long that this social privilege or that social privilege should be ubiquitous–that’s fine–but don’t call them rights, because they’re not, and calling them rights obscures your actual point of view.

The Confederate States had 150 years ago the opportunity to double down on the principles of liberty and self-governance that the Federal Government had been cracking down on, virtually since its inception. They did not take this highroad, though, and they merely used states’ rights as a mask to hide the fact that they wanted to keep slaves. To further backup the claim that the issue was never truly slavery and that slavery was merely the catalyst, consider this excerpt from one of Lincoln’s letters, where he reveals that his only concern is keeping the union together (e.g., continuing the encroachment of the Federal Government):

If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. … What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union.

Slavery was merely the mask around which the question of states’ rights was decided. It was always about self-governance versus centralized authority, and the Confederacy’s failure to stand on principles ensured their defeat.

When secession petitions circulated the Internet a few years ago, Obama responded to them by saying that the founders intended the union to be perpetual. This is such a flagrant violation of self-governance that it hardly needs to be addressed, but let’s address it anyway. The founders are dead. Their intentions, their desires, their motives, and their concerns no longer apply to this world, and they certainly do not apply to modern politics, because we are not governed by the dead. The idea that the founders had the right to impose a government upon us that we could never abolish or escape from is abhorrent to the thinking mind. They had no more right to consign us forever to a union than we have to sign our future great grandchildren to a union. The idea is absurd, and that a President of the United States so poorly understands the nature of liberty that he believes it is relevant what dead people wanted is horrifying.

It would be interesting to see a referendum go before the people of Mississippi that asked whether we should withdraw from the union. Of course, there’d be immediate arguments that we’re part of the same landmass (an argument that is ridiculous, since, so is Mexico and so is Canada, yet neither of them are required to be part of the United States), but it would be more interesting to see how it played out and whether a state would even be allowed to secede. I would bet “No.”

Similarly, I don’t think the UK’s referendum will matter. Even if support for withdrawing falls 80%, I don’t think it will be allowed to happen. Either the current UK government will pull some kind of shenanigans (the referendum isn’t legally binding, after all) to wave it away, or the EU will impose itself upon the UK. For whatever reason, despite knowing it for thousands of years, we have yet to apply the very basic truth that no centralized authority has ever allowed one of its members to just leave.

I’ve been pointing out for years that the United States and the European Union are identical in nature and structure, and that we have simply forgotten that. We have forgotten that our own 50 states are states, are individual republics and nations. California, Germany, New York, Texas, Russia–these are all states. Accepting anything less is the equivalent of relinquishing our right to self-governance.

That is the question that now stands before the UK. Are they ready to surrender the idea of self-governance, ostensibly forever, since even the United States, who fought this war 150 years ago, has not reclaimed its right? There are many arguments that put the cart before the horse, especially on the European Court of Human Rights and other matters, most of which are direct products of the UK people, and they argue that pulling away from those will diminish their own standing. What a bizarre concept. If your principles created that institution, then your principles do not rely upon that institution. Another of those things that should never have to be pointed out…

While I do personally think the UK should go with self-governance, there is a huge disconnect between the American mindset and the European mindset–an almost irreconcilable disconnect. The disconnect is almost as severe as the one between Americans and Asians, and it’s caused by the same question: Individual versus Society.

Me, I’ll side with the individual every single time. Even when they’re assholes.

====================================

For your amusement, the whole of the quote I pulled is:

I would save the Union. … If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. … What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union.” In this masterful message, Lincoln reaffirmed his support for abolition without apologizing for the pace of change, while also subtly preparing pro-slavery Union loyalists for the announcement to come.

…and it came from http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/emancipation-150/i-would-save-the-union.html .

Pay attention to the author’s remarks. “In this masterful message, Lincoln reaffirmed his support for abolition…”

What?

No, he didn’t. He, like, literally did the exact opposite of that. The only thing he affirmed was his ambivalence for abolition. He affirmed his support for keeping the Union together, and he affirmed that slavery and/or abolition were only means to that end, and that he didn’t care at all which was the one that achieved that end. How can someone be so brainwashed and so thick that they literally read the opposite from what was actually said? Lincoln basically said “I don’t care about slaves. I just want to keep the Union together, and I’ll do whatever is necessary to ensure that.” And from that, this dumbass takes away Lincoln’s affirmation for abolition???

But… Mad Max!

I absolutely LOVE IT when I make the argument for anarchy and anarchism, and someone mentions Mad Max in reply. Because without knowing it they just proved that anarchy is necessary. The Road Warrior is probably the most misunderstood movie in the history of cinema, because there’s nothing anarchic about it. Those gangs–they are states, governments, nations. Call one of those gangs “North Korea,” another “America,” and another “Russia,” and you have a setting that is identical to modern Earth. We can even set it up so that the American gang chooses its leader by voting instead of brute force (brute force, of course, is the way that the earliest governments were formed), but it doesn’t change anything–it’s still a gang. The Road Warrior is a beautifully subtle argument against the state. It just goes way over the average person’s head because they don’t understand what they’re seeing–they lack the information needed to put it in the proper context.

Before I proceed, I have to explain what I mean by “state.” To be clear, I mean by “state” what you probably mean by “government.” In fact, most people use them as synonyms, but they’re not. The state is a type of government; it is not the only type (and certainly not the best type). It’s a type that we’ve always considered necessary, but we make that argument out of ignorance, and I’m not going to dive into that today. I don’t think. I might end up doing that accidentally, but whatever. The point is: when I say “the state,” I mean “the form of government that has a monopoly on the use of force, violence, and coercion.” Regardless of whether people like that definition, it remains the correct definition.

If we go way back in time, we’ll find a few powerful people in each tribe, village, or whatever who decided that they should work together to take over other tribes, that they should use brute force to rally other villagers to their cause, and then expand their borders to include other villages. This is how the earliest states were formed: the Aztecs began as a single village somewhere, and they conquered another, and then another, and then another, and ultimately there was the Aztec nation. The Bible, unreliable though it is as a source of historical record, paints the history of the Jews in the same light: from one group, they conquered until there was the nation of Israel. That’s not a remark against Aztecs and Jews, though, because that’s ultimately how every nation came about. Even those like the United States are merely descendants of those early proto-nations.

So when we look at a gang of people in The Road Warrior who are doing exactly this, we can immediately see the correct parallel: the gangs represent the nations of the world. The gangs are smaller, and they are still in the early stages where their leaders are generally determined by brute force and barbarism, but it doesn’t matter. We can call one of those gangs “America” and allow that it elects its leader by popular vote, and it changes nothing–it’s still a gang fighting against other gangs.

I thought that this blog post would be considerably longer, but it’s actually pretty simple, isn’t it? People just miss the point, because there are two elements at play here. First, there is the existence of these gangs/nations in the absence of an “Absolute Power” that would crush these gangs and nations. But, as I’ve pointed out, what is this Absolute Power but a larger gang? If we envision each of the gangs in The Road Warrior to be a nation, going as far as to name one “America,” one “Russia,” and one “United Kingdom,” then the parallel becomes inescapable; other than size and scope, there is not mechanism by which we can distinguish gangs from nations.

As I’ve pointed out, the internal workings of the gang and how they determine their motives has very little impact on their behavior. The American gang, though it elects its leaders democratically, is still at war with other gangs. After considerable amounts of devastating war leave innocent people decimated, the gangs might come together and set up some rules for their battles, and they might call them the Geneva Conventions, agreeing that, though they will continue to fight, the innocent people who the gangs are supposed to be protecting (represented in The Road Warrior by children and women, though not all members of the innocent are women and children–it’s simply metaphorical) need to actually… be protected.

It’s all the same. Everywhere we look in The Road Warrior, we find undeniable similarities to Earth and to our own states and nations. So what, the American Gang passes a law that allows transgender people to use the restroom of their choice? Does that really make them better than the Syria gang that openly beheads transgender people? Keep in mind that the American Gang’s leadership still enforces its rulings at the barrel of a gun. High-minded though their ideals may be, the imposition of those ideals is achieved via brute force, violence, and barbarism. It is still, at the end of the day, the behavior of a gang.

I’ve thought about writing my own novel that attempts to use gangs in such a setting as metaphors for nations, but I’ll probably never do it, because there’s no point. I couldn’t possibly do a better job with the parallels and metaphors than whoever wrote The Road Warrior, and no one caught the message of The Road Warrior. It went way over everyone’s heads, so perhaps it was too subtle? People now point to it as an argument against anarchy, when it’s not and never has been. It is a clear and concise indictment of states.

To return to a previous point, “on the world stage,” yes, there is no central, Absolute Power. That becomes an argument for a one world government that is authoritarian in nature, something by which even the masses are repulsed, as well they should be. This goes back to what I’ve said about economics and the world stage; on the world stage, the unbridled free market clearly is lord of all. Whatever their internal economic structures may be, on the world stage China is a corporation competing with the United States who is competing with Russia who is competing with the United Kingdom, and, at the end of the day, free market principles oversee the entire process. Similarly, on the world stage the absence of an Absolute Power with ultimate authority over the various gangs means that anarchic ideas oversee the entire process. In the long term, that’s certainly true, but the gangs do interfere with the anarchic processes, and they do this with brute force, just as the gangs interfere with the free market principles that govern international competition: the United States might invade Iraq and force that gang to accept its currency, despite the fact that free market principles are attempting to crush the USD.

When people cite The Road Warrior as a symbol of anarchy because there is no Absolute Power or Ultimate Authority, they are making the argument that the United Nations should have Ultimate Authority on Earth, and that’s a position that nearly everyone rejects–and rightfully so, since we must not allow ourselves to be ruled by the people of Venezuela or Russia or anywhere; the people of America must rule the people of America. It’s the principle of self-governance, and an Ultimate Authority directly crushes self-governance, since “we” will obviously not comprise 100% of the Ultimate Authority.

Unfortunately, I accept that there will come a time when the United Nations is the Ultimate Authority over the planet, and I don’t think we’ll be able to escape from that future. We need only look to the history of the United States. In its beginning, and for the first century and a half of its existence, the United States was far more like the European Union than it is the homogenized, centralized nation we see today. Just look at the key part of the name: United states. Each “state” was its own nation, and the states banded together through agreement to form a more powerful collective, but the Tenth Amendment was written into the Bill of Rights (which almost no one was willing to sign until it was expressly agreed that the Bill of Rights would immediately be ratified–the Constitution itself was not ratified until it was agreed that the Bill of Rights would also be ratified immediately) specifically to ensure the right of individual states to govern themselves and not be dictated to by the Federal Government.

But look at the United States today. We’ve gotten so confused about what “state” means that we invented the term “nation-state” just so that we could let ourselves forget that these 50 states in North America are nation-states. All of our states are individual republics with their own laws and own ideals. Mississippi, California, Ohio, New York, and all the others stand as sovereign nations alongside nations like China and Germany. We’ve forgotten that, however, and have granted the Federal Government Ultimate Authority. Instead of the people of Mississippi having Ultimate Authority over the people of Mississippi, the people of the other 49 states, through the mechanism of the Federal Government and its many machinations to usurp power, have Ultimate Authority over the people of Mississippi.

While this is Constitutionally allowable (note: I’m not a Constitutionalist, and, if given the opportunity, I would rewrite the Constitution and attempt to get the new one ratified by the people), it must be necessitated as a way of protecting people’s rights. The forced allowance of gay marriage in all 50 states is a perfect example of how the Federal Government will use the will of the 49 states to overrule the will of the 1 state; in this example, Mississippi is not allowed to govern itself, and the states who are for gay marriage instead have governed the state of Mississippi, doing so under the guise of protecting rights. As I have pointed out repeatedly, however, this only violated people’s rights; it did not protect the rights of anyone.

Those who look at the setting of The Road Warrior and see something that is fundamentally different to modern Earth lack the information to put the film into the proper context, because its setting is virtually identical to modern Earth. The gangs are clear parallels to nations, and calling that “anarchy” is woefully misguided and ignorant–it is not anarchy. It is the chaos caused by numerous gangs fighting against one another.

======================================

Hello! Wanted to take a moment to share my most recent podcasts with you, because you might find them interesting:

Rantings & Ravings Episode 07 – Transgender Bathrooms

Rantings & Ravings Episode 06 – Google, I’m Sorry My Existence Offends You

Rantings & Ravings Episode 05 – Help! I’m Transgender and I Have To Pee!

Music: “Teddy Bears and Such” (a tribute to JFK)

Music: “The Honeymoon” (Creepy ProgRock song)