Tag Archive | taxation

UBI: Manna Doesn’t Fall From the Sky

While there are obvious similarities between the Universal Basic Income and the Minimum Wage, there is also a difference that causes the former to be immeasurably more stupid than the latter. The MW, of course, is a legal guarantee that one’s labor will have a certain value; the UBI is the guarantee that one’s existence will have a certain value.

It’s absurd, stupid, and another example of how our confused species has enjoyed luxury so great that we’ve forgotten we live in a universe where it’s an organism’s responsibility to secure its own survival.

I voluntarily provide my cats with a UBI. I’m not kidding, and anyone who thinks I’m kidding has missed the point. Nothing is required of them, and each day they’re provided with food, water, air conditioning, medical care, and a roof over their heads. This is precisely what the UBI is meant to assure people.

While I’ve undertaken this as my responsibility, the fact remains that they are subsisting entirely off my productivity. My labor acquires food, and so they don’t have to expend their own labor hunting mice in the surrounding fields. That I refill their water bowl means they don’t have to chase down water sources. Whatever else is true, it costs me to do these things, and it requires no more effort from them than to get their fat asses to the food bowl.

Even so, I don’t owe this to anyone. There are millions of cats to whom I give nothing, simply for practicality’s sake: if I spent all my time chasing down stray cats to take care of, I’d have no time to secure the money I use to buy the stuff they need. And though it really doesn’t take long for me to buy a can of cat food, it remains true that someone has to put in the effort to get my cats something to eat. It’s easier for me to work a few minutes and buy what they need than it is for them to go out and find dinner, water, and a place to stay; moreover, they are incapable of getting health care for themselves. It also remains true that food is not going to magically appear for them.

This isn’t true of humans. It’s no easier for me to go to college and establish a career than it is for anyone else to do it. The ease with which I, being a human, can acquire the stuff my cats need and want means less energy is expended when I simply take care of it. Additionally, it’s an obligation I chose to take on voluntarily, because I like them and they’re my friends.

In the grand scheme of things, I actually had a harder time securing a college degree and a career than the average person. Yet advocates of the UBI don’t care. Part of my productivity should, they argue, be siphoned off and used to secure things for other people. After all, manna doesn’t fall from the sky. My cats may not realize it, but their food bowl isn’t magical–I have to actually expend effort earning the money to buy their food. It’s not free food. It’s just free to them.

So let’s drop the bullshit for a moment and call things what they are.

It’s Socialism. It’s entitlement. It’s this notion that one is entitled to the necessities of survival, and that it’s okay to enslave other people and command them to provide one with food, water, and other things.

Bullshit. It’s backward. It’s called “slavery.”

There is no escaping this. That food, that water, that electricity, that doctor, that pharmacist… All of that stuff is other people’s labor. The doctor is a human being, not a mechanical dispensary of diagnoses. The farmers, the biochemists, the nurses, the coal miners–these people are all entitled to be paid for their labor. They must be, because the idea that it’s okay to make them work for free is unequivocally called slavery. If you can put a hundred people to work in a nightmarish coal mine and then not pay them because no one has paid you for your coal, then you don’t have a hundred employees–you have a hundred slaves, and you are simply the Enslaved Slave Master, enslaved and commanded by others to command other slaves. You’d be the ultimate Uncle Tom: the slave given a prestigious position and power over other slaves.

It can be taken a given, then, that the owner of the coal mine and the coal miners should be paid for their labors. “But it’s so useful to the function of society!” can’t be used as an argument to justify refusing to pay them, because people once said the very same thing about cotton as a justification for slavery. “Cotton is critical to the function of society and to the economy!” people claimed [which, it’s worth mentioning, if this was truly the case, then people would be willing to pay enough for it to keep the industry alive without slavery]. Perhaps doctors do provide a service to society that is so extremely useful, but it doesn’t matter–the utility of the service a person provides cannot be used as an argument for their slavery.

Someone has to put in the productivity to earn the money to pay the coal miner, the doctors, the farmers, and everyone else. Again, this is because manna doesn’t fall from the sky. We live in a universe that pretty much never stops trying to kill us. Life is born with an expiration date. That expiration date can be pushed back by eating, drinking, and taking care of oneself, but it cannot be postponed indefinitely. The only thing a living being is entitled to… is death.

It’s easy to forget this, especially in western nations, where food and water are so abundant. A newly born infant, however, is going to die in just fewer than 48 hours if someone doesn’t provide it with food and water. We could certainly justify making the argument that it’s the parents’ responsibility to provide the helpless infant with the necessities of survival, much in the same way that my choice to take in two cats came with the responsibility to ensure their well-being, but the entire reason the parents may be required to provide the food and water is because the infant will die if it doesn’t get it. By being born at all, the infant is sentenced to death, and it becomes the responsibility of the parents not to ensure survival but to postpone death until such time as the infant is old enough and capable enough to postpone their own death.

Attrition is part of the universe. We are mortal beings. Starvation, malnutrition, disease, dehydration, and countless other things are literally trying to kill us around the clock. The very moment we lapse in our responsibility to stave off these bringers of death is the very moment they overtake us. Life itself is trying to kill you right now. It’s the reason you’ll become hungry and thirsty today. It’s the reason you might catch a cold. At this very moment, life is trying to kill you, and it requires effort and energy to stave off its victory. If you do nothing–if you simply sit there and do nothing–you will die, with 100% certainty. Our efforts to eat don’t assure immortality; they postpone mortality.

Energy must be expended. Someone must use their labor to keep you alive. Ideally, that person is you. No one has to take care of me and ensure that I have food, because I’ve gone out and secured my food in the way that any healthy, sane organism has to be able to do because the very essence of life is constantly trying to kill that organism. This is true of literally everything in our universe. The passage of time ensures the destruction of everything and everyone, from planets to humans, and the best anything and anyone can do is expend energy to postpone that moment. Stars expend this energy through nuclear fusion; humans expend this energy by taking jobs. These are the most basic aspects of our reality, and they cannot be ignored with good feelings that are meant to obfuscate systemic slavery.

Effort is required simply to stave off one’s own destruction, because the universe is trying to kill everyone, and because if that energy isn’t expended, then death is imminent.

The Sword of Damocles constantly hangs over our heads. This is literally what it means to be mortal, to have a finite existence. We must strengthen the string by which the sword hangs, because the moment we fail to is the moment the sword will fall and kill us. If we choose to just lay there, then gravity and friction will take over, the twine will tear, and the sword will break free. Only by constant effort can we prevent that, and only temporarily with our very best efforts.

The universe doesn’t owe us anything, and I certainly don’t owe anyone anything. I expend my energy keeping my sword from falling. Coming up to me and demanding that I use some of my energy keeping them alive so that they don’t have to is parasitism, slavery, and statism. That’s exactly how we ended up with the state in the first place, and how it became our responsibility, as productive members of society, to provide ancient kings and lords with food so that they didn’t have to toil in the fields.

People call this UBI shit progress–it’s quite clearly not. Having a class of people who sit in their homes with another class of people bringing them food and water? We’ve been down that road before: it’s called serfdom. In feudal times, that lord had to eat, after all. Someone had to work in the field to grow the food. The lord, who didn’t want to do it, instead used force and violence to force people who did work in the fields to bring him food. To say today that we should revisit this idea is the opposite of progress. Whether it’s someone who calls themselves a lord using knights to force everyone to give a portion of what they have for the lord’s benefit, or someone who calls themselves a progressive using police and the state to force everyone to give a portion of what they have for the progressive’s benefit, it’s still just feudal serfdom, and we’ve been down that road before.

Having a larger part of the population make up the unproductive parasitic class of lords, whose defining feature is that they use force to acquire necessities from productive classes, hardly constitutes progress. It simply means that the lowly peasants who are productive must pay the lords a greater tax, because now there are more lords. Whereas feudal times saw fewer than 1% of the population being titled lords parasitically siphoning resources from the productive classes, modern UBI times would see huge sections of the population setting themselves up as lords parasitically siphoning resources from the productive classes. Instead of a member of the productive class paying 65% in taxes to sate the lord’s greed, the member of the productive class has ten times the number of lords and has to pay 95% in taxes.

“Progress”

Perhaps.

Progress down the Road to Serfdom, but that kind of progress won’t take us anywhere else.

Exodus 20:13

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.

We Need to Talk About This Debt Thing

So the United States officially has a national debt of twenty trillion dollars. Forbes recently did the math and, based on the estimate that Taylor Swift earned $80 million last year, Taylor Swift would have to do one concert every single day for three years just to pay one day of interest on the national debt. That’s right–such a figure wouldn’t even cut into the principal. It would simply pay one day of interest. After three years of daily performances, one of the most successful singers in the world would be able to pay one day of the interest on the national debt.

This is not a problem that people take very seriously, because it’s so out there, it’s so… intangible. We have no idea how the national debt is a force crushing our necks. We know that the economy sucks, and we all sense that something is wrong, but it’s so hard to connect it to the national debt, especially when humans are naturally poorly skilled at connecting events over long periods of time. That’s not a shot at my fellow species, but a statement of fact. After all, it has taken us decades to realize that the direct correlation in the increase in high fructose corn syrup and the increase in the rates of diabetes and obesity probably aren’t coincidental. Our species is short-sighted. We simply are.

Looking backward in time and connecting Event Z to Event Y to Event X… all the way back to Event A is exceedingly difficult, and it’s even more difficult when we’re talking about the economy, when most people’s eyes glaze over and they start hearing Taylor Swift songs in their heads while the guy from the old Clear Eyes commercials drones on about aggregates and derivatives. However, I’m hear to tell you that none of that crap actually matters. The national debt, its increase, its effect on the size of the state, and its impact on inflation aren’t that complex, and it’s hopefully something I can convey simply.

First, with something like the leading paragraph being true, it must be obvious to you that American taxpayers are not footing that bill–at least not directly. According to this Bloomberg article, the income tax debt of 2014 was $1.4 trillion. Divided across roughly 300,000,000 people, that’s only $4.66 per person. Something seems off about that, but I don’t know what. Oh. Yeah, I do. It’s that the government spent $3.77 trillion. It’s also that only people who earned $50,000 or more paid in anything at all, which only makes about about 40% of the population–at best.

The difference, though, between “how much the government steals through taxation” and “how much the government” spends isn’t really of that much significance, although it’s worth pointing out that if we cut the defense budget completely then the $677 billion deficit from 2014 would almost completely evaporate. How interesting that our deficit each year is so very close to the “defense” spending. None of this is really important, though.

What’s important to know is this: the government spends a lot more money than it gets through taxation.

Fuck, I knew those numbers were way off, but I’m going to fix it here instead of amending it above to make a point. The actual figure is $4,666.67 per American citizen, at 300,000,000. I was dropping three zeroes accidentally. So if every man, woman, other, and child paid $4,666.67 in taxes, we could have fairly met the IRS’s tax demands. Of course, that wouldn’t have satisfied them, since the government spent $3.56 trillion that year, so we’d still have only had about half of what they needed. See? It’s really not that complicated.

So every man, woman, and child would need to pay $9332~, if I’m just looking at the figure and doing a very rough doubling, to come up with about what the IRS needed. Nearly $10,000 for every man, woman, and child to run the government for one year. Mostly. It would still have to cut about 2-3% of its spending.

Of course, there’s that whole stupid idea that the rich aren’t paying their fair share, but that’s such a ridiculous statement, compounding an absurd way of viewing the world. Taxes as a percentage are useless. When you go to Wal-Mart and fill your basket with enough food to feed your family for a week, they don’t ask for 30% of your paycheck, do they? We don’t live in a world where each paycheck we spend:

  • 7% on gasoline.
  • 12% on various types of insurance.
  • 35% on rent/mortgage and utilities.
  • 25% on groceries/food.
  • 15% on taxes.
  • 6% to go out once a month.

That’s not the world we live in. And thank whatever deity you believe in that we don’t live in that world, because it’s impossible to move forward in that world–no matter how wealthy you become, no matter how successful you become, you will never be able to move ahead, to generate savings, to earn a profit against life. That’s an appalling world, and none of us would want to live in it. So be thankful that when you go to Wal-Mart, they don’t crack open your paycheck and say, “Hm, you earned $1,000 this week, which amounts to 25% of your check–give us $250.” No, we live in a world where you can cut out coupons, buy generic brands, and all sorts of crap to save money–to cut your food costs to 15% rather than 25%.

But in this one area, we forget that and start talking about tax liabilities as percentages as though it makes any more sense. It doesn’t. It’s still just as ridiculous. I went into the folly of this type of thinking a bit in this video, but I’ll briefly go over once again.

This is always used to suggest that “the rich” aren’t paying their “fair share” in taxes, when the reality is that either a. the rich are paying their fair share and we are not, or b. the rich are paying well and above their fair share.

Evidently it takes between $2 million and $3 million to pave one mile of a new 2-lane, undivided highway. Let’s assume the lower end of that–two million dollars. Let’s assume that this new highway is going to be packed with taxpayers–one thousand of them on this one mile of highway. We can already see that this is not actually “rural” and would have to be extremely urban, while this estimate deals with rural highways, but let’s go with it.

It will cost each of those taxpayers $2,000 to pave that highway. Holy crap, right? Each and every one of those one thousand people has to scrimp and save and come up with their share of the $2,000. That is what’s fair. Of course, in reality, if those people actually had to pay for that road, this is what they would do:

  1. Most of them would volunteer their own off-hours to help construct the road.
  2. They would shop around and find the cheapest deal, and would probably get the figure cut down drastically.
  3. Between doing a lot of the work themselves and shopping around, they’d probably get the amount of payment required down to $200,000 or so.
  4. They would probably petition local business owners, granting them some sort of special access to the road, or special properties on the road, in exchange for larger payments. “If you pay $10,000 of it, we’ll make sure your employees are never ticketed on it, and we’ll make sure that you can open a new office along this stretch of highway.”

It’s hard for us to even imagine such things, but it would happen. No one is more cautious with their money than the person that money belongs to. I proved it today, when my colleague told me to buy some crap with his credit card. I splurged a bit and bought some things I’d never buy if I was spending my own money. It only cost him $6, of course, but that’s still $6 I would never, ever have spent if it was my money. But I didn’t have to pay for it, so I basically wasted it–I enjoyed it, of course, and he knew I would waste it, so it’s not like I did anything messed up. The point is–people aren’t careful with other people’s money, and the government definitely isn’t.

But there’s this idea that taxes are a percentage thing, and that everyone should be charged 10% to pay for the road. This means Jack the burger flipper pays $75 for the road, while Eric the millionaire business owner pays $225,000. This, the leftist says, might mean that the millionaire paid his fair share. More likely, the leftist isn’t happy and thinks the millionaire should have had to pay more. And if we lived in a world where Wal-Mart charged you a flat 25% of all your money when you checked out, the leftist would have a point. But in a world where Wal-Mart charges you an actual dollar figure based on what you’re actually buying, they don’t. Is Eric going to use the road 3,000 times more than Jack is?

No. In reality, Eric is paying far more than his “fair share” so that Jack doesn’t have to pay his fair share. Obviously. They’re going to use the road about the same; they need the road to the same degree. Yet Eric is paying three thousand times what Jack is paying, for exactly the same product. If the millionaire bought one week of food at Wal-Mart and paid $14,500 while Jack bought one week at Wal-Mart and paid $14.50, we wouldn’t have a hard time seeing how the millionaire was clearly being gouged by Wal-Mart, and that Wal-Mart was doing it simply because they knew that Eric had that much money and could afford it.

It’s so messed up it’s not worth more discussion. Taxes as a percentage is a grotesque and greedy notion. The only “fair share” of taxes that could be paid–if we forget, for the moment, that taxation is theft–is an actual dollar figure. Taxes as a percentage means that some people are paying their fair share, some people (the poor) are not paying their fair share, and some people (the rich) are paying far beyond their fair share. I know it bothers the leftist to be told that, but this is the truth; this is reality. This is how fairness as a concept actually works. You can’t price gouge the millionaire simply because he has the money and then proclaim that it’s fair. It’s not–it’s price gouging the millionaire. There’s nothing “fair” about it.

Anyway, taxation is theft.

That preamble is critical to this discussion, because it’s important for us to recognize that it’s not fair to look at the Taylor Swifts, Metallicas, Marilyn Mansons, Bill Gateses, and expect them to pay huge chunks of money so that we don’t have to. Under the statist propaganda and mindset, the “fair share” of the national debt is a dollar figure doled out among each and every American citizen, not some of them proportional to how much money they made. As I amply demonstrated above, there is nothing fair, just, or moral about that; everything about it is unfair, unjust, and immoral.

As it stands with a twenty trillion dollar national debt, that’s a bill being sent to every American citizen for $66,666.67.

One has to squint at all those sixes.

But even if every single American paid the government every single dollar they had, do you know what would happen?

We would still be in debt.

This is because of a couple of things–primarily, that most Americans are in debt personally to banks for credit cards, houses, and vehicles. That’s the nature of a debt-based currency, and the USD is a debt-based currency, through and through. If every single dollar that everyone owed was paid back, we would still be in debt, and Interest is the reason why. The entire currency is a game of musical chairs–there are never enough chairs, and someone always gets left standing. This threatens to divert into a related topic, though, so I’m going to get back to the national debt.

So how is the government to pay for its stuff, if it can’t tax everyone to pay for it? Why, that’s simple. It borrows the money.

Imagine if you borrowed $1,000 to do the stuff you wanted to do, which, with 1% interest, means you have to pay back $1,010. You manage to make about $300 doing that, but you want to continue doing the stuff you want to do. So you borrow $2,000 and pay back the $1,010 from the first loan, and then have $1290 to do what you want to do. A year later, you have to pay back $2020, but you only made $320 from your endeavor. So you borrow $3,000. You now make only $230, but a year later have to pay back $3030. To keep your operating expenses where they were, you actually have to borrow $4100 this time, to pay back the $3030 and make up for the $100 you didn’t make back in the last year. Each year, your debt increases.

With the intricacies of a national economy, taxation, and all that, it’s not that cut and dry, but that is the gist of what’s going on. After more than a century of doing this, the United States Government has worked its way up to a twenty trillion dollar debt–a debt that we can’t possibly pay off, and a debt that we the American People shouldn’t even be worried about paying off. The government did that, not us.

The United States GDP for 2013 was just over seventeen trillion dollars. The data for 2015 shows that we nearly reached $18 trillion. For 2016 thus far is about $18.5 trillion. Now, if I know anything about figuring out which number is bigger than the other number, this means that the national debt actually exceeds the GDP of the United States.

In literal terms, this means that allllll the productivity of alllllll the American people is exceeded by the amount of money that people in Washington, D.C. are spending. This means that a relatively small number of people have managed to spend more than the entire freaking country produces. This means that all the industriousness, productivity, creativity, ingenuity, and excellence of the American People has been matched and exceeded by government spending.

These ticks have managed to engorge themselves to the point that they are consuming more blood than the dog even has.

You don’t have to be a veterinarian to realize that tick is gonna kill that dog–and sooner, rather than later.

So the State is After Me

In a shocking turn of events that I honestly didn’t see coming, a few weeks ago I received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service telling me that I had about ten days to pay them an absolutely ridiculous sum of around $2,000. Why? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Based on what the letter says, I’m assuming it’s a mistake on their end, but it’s not like it makes very much of a difference, does it? Right and wrong are meaningless in this matter; if right and wrong mattered, then under no circumstances would someone put a gun to my head and tell me to give them two thousand dollars. With right and wrong discarded long ago, it’s irrelevant who is actually right.

Ohhhh… goody!

If the IRS checks and insists that I owe them this money, then I have two options:

  1. Pay them this ridiculous sum.
  2. Go to prison.

O’er the land of the free… and the home of the brave…

I received this letter shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, and I attempted to call the IRS, only to be told that they were too busy and that I needed to call back. That’s well and good, except I work the same time the IRS is open, so there aren’t a ton of opportunities for me to call them and find out what the hell is going on. 2014 was a simple year, as far as my taxes are concerned–I worked for Harrah’s as a slot tech, filled out a 1040EZ, and that was it. You can’t screw up a 1040EZ–it’s like Paint By Numbers. Yet somehow “changes to my W-2” mean I owe them a figure that is about 1/4 of what I even made last year.

This is a shitload of money we’re talking about. It may not be for everyone, but that’s half of my Move to Vegas money. With my car currently in the shop–again, this time with a busted fuel injector, busted intake manifold gasket, and busted head gasket–it’s not like I’ve been adding much to the savings account through the last two months, but it will be a cold day in hell before the IRS gets that money.

Honestly, it will be a cold day in hell before the IRS gets this money from me period, regardless of what they say.

What’s really amazing about this is that the IRS has my income records. They know as well as I do that $1,979.60 simply isn’t going to happen. If it was that or jail, I could probably pay $400~ without it absolutely bankrupting me and leaving all my bills unpaid, but they should know better than that. I’m not just bitching, though. I am going somewhere with this, and I am making a few different points. This one being that the IRS, better than anyone else–other than myself–knows exactly how frankly impossible it is for me to pay that amount of money. So what the hell do they want from me?

Meanwhile, President Elect Donald Trump isn’t paying that much, right? I don’t know, because I never pay any attention to the candidates’ taxes or income.

I knew this was going to happen. Not because I did anything wrong, but because rumors began circulating of threatening letters from the IRS sent to everyone who hadn’t purchased insurance, and that certainly included me. I have an exemption that means I don’t have to purchase health insurance, which is good because I’m young and in great shape, have no health issues, and no need of health insurance; since no companies are offering rates that a young, healthy person like myself can find agreeable, I am not purchasing health insurance.

Through the last few months, I’ve been expecting to get one of those letters. Instead, I got one of these. And I am almost positive this has something to do with the Affordable Care Act.

Our government is in debt for twenty trillion dollars, a figure so large that not even the most insane mathematician can wrap their mind around it. Our government is absurdly broke whether it harasses me and imprisons me over this paltry figure or not. Moreover, I don’t owe the government this money. I don’t. The government proclaimed that I owe it this money, and because it controls the courts it can have a judge rule that I owe it this money. So let me paint this little picture for you.

I’m going on about my life, working and trying to move to Las Vegas where I can put my degree to use, be transgender in peace, and live out my life happily. I’m a relatively normal, law-abiding citizen. One day I get a letter from the IRS telling me that I owe them two thousand dollars, which is to me a very large amount of money. I contest it, but the IRS insists that I do owe it and that I have to pay it; if I don’t, I’ll be arrested for contempt of court or tax evasion or some other charge. Even under the best of circumstances, I can’t come up with that kind of money. I’m arrested and thrown in jail.

How is that not among the most fucked up things ever?

While you’re going on about your life, I’ve got paperwork that says you owe me $2,000. You insist that you don’t owe me that money, but I take you to court. At court, the judge agrees with me and tells you that you have to pay it; if you don’t, you’ll be arrested. Unable to pay, you are then arrested.

This is the true nature of the state, and I’d be becoming an anarchist right now if I wasn’t one already. This… is… ridiculous.

It’s like, “Damn. I knew the state was a group of predators robbing, killing, and kidnapping people, and I’ve long been speaking out against that–and now this group of robbing, killing, kidnapping predators have turned their attention onto me. Shit.”

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Let’s not be unclear or ambiguous about this. It is the government’s Mission Statement to protect the lives, liberties, and happiness of American citizens. And rather than doing that–rather than protecting us from all manner of wicked humans we are told are lurking in the shadows, eager for the destabilization of the government so that they can rob, kill, and kidnap us, my very own government is declaring that I owe it a debt, and will use the existence of that “debt” to rob, kill, and/or kidnap me.

Any pretense of government goodwill falls utterly apart in this scenario. Just who in the hell do they think they are? They passed a law that said I had to pay them, invented some magical figure that I can’t possibly pay, stated that I owe them that large figure, and will rob, imprison, or kill me to get it. This is our government. This is the American government.

This vicious group of thieves, kidnappers, and murderers who have sworn to protect me, who managed to work up a twenty trillion dollar debt ostensibly in my name, have now turned their hungry eyes onto me. They don’t exist to protect us; they exist to predate us. Here are all the possible relationships to the government you can have:

  • Victim.
  • “No one.”

What I mean by “no one” is that the government is mostly leaving you alone. It’s not sending you threatening letters and telling you that you owe them a giant chunk of cash. You will never be under the government’s protection because the government doesn’t exist to protect you. It will leave you alone–probably if you bow to every arbitrary demand that it makes–but it will never protect you. It will either victimize you or leave you alone.

A lot of people like arguing against anarcho-capitalism by saying, “What’s going to keep me from robbing you, kidnapping you, whatever, since I’m rich and have better weapons than you?”

Do you see what an asinine question that is? There are good people out there who would protect me from you if you attempted to kidnap me. It happens every single day; we’ve got entire groups of people who dedicate their lives to stopping that kind of behavior. Yet who is there that can protect me from the IRS? What’s going to keep the government from robbing me or kidnapping me? Who even can come to my defense when the government sends its soldiers to take me hostage and kidnap me for not being able to pay its extortion fees? There is no one stronger than the government, and definitely not stronger than the American Government.

The ultimate warlords, the ultimate thieves, the ultimate kidnappers. That’s our government.

And if they decide that I owe them this money, there isn’t a goddamned thing that anyone can do about it.

I’d take my chances against you any day, if the alternative is to take my chances with the “benevolence” of the government.

The Myth of the Social Contract

It has been said repeatedly that we, as individuals, have a debt to society. While I have addressed this idea in a limited way via video, I want to criticize the idea itself this time, because this is a song we’ve heard before, and a dance we’ve jigged before.

Lazily pulling from Wikipedia, the social contract is basically this:

the theory or model, originating during the Age of Enlightenment, that typically addresses the questions of the origin of society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual.

We can discard most of that, because most of it is irrelevant. We know the origin of society, and we recognize that an agreement between individuals to work together for the betterment of everyone involved in no way, shape, or form necessitates a state. In other words, “the nature and origin of society” is wholly and completely unrelated to the state’s authority over the individual. Society is a product of people coming together and agreeing to work together. Under no circumstances does this mean anyone needs authority over anyone else.

For example, my wife and I have decided to work together. It is quite obviously not necessary that one of us have authority over the other. Hierarchies will rise and fall, of course, but we do have to remember here that the key feature of the state is that it is compulsory, and that if someone does not wish to take part in one hierarchy, the state does not allow it. Think about it.

If you don’t like the hierarchy at your job, you are perfectly free to quit and go to a different company. If, however, you are unhappy with the state, you don’t have the option of being subservient to a different state (short of moving to another country, but since that isn’t necessary when we were dealing with companies, it shouldn’t be necessary now).

Plus, if we look further beyond the confines of our own nation, we will see that every acre of land on the planet has been parceled out to one state or another, and that if you reject the hierarchy of the state you have no options for doing so. It is why I fervently campaign for the institution of an anarchy somewhere in the world, so that the state does have to compete with the social guidance methods of someone else. As it is, the state absolutely controls the planet; the entire planet is firmly beneath the iron boots of the state.

slave

 

I’m not trying to be overly crass here, but… Yeah.

That’s the nature of our relationship to the state, and it has been the nature of our relationship for a very long time. It is precisely the confusion of “society” with “the state” that has allowed this travesty to happen, as people have become so accustomed to the state that they are incapable of even imagining that there might be some other mechanism–besides beating people into compliance (which, obviously, is what the state does, with its military, police, and prisons)–of getting people to work together.

In reality, the “social contract” is not about what debt one individual may have to “society,” but we can get into that–just not right now. In actuality, the social contract is merely about why it’s okay for the state to beat us. Is further elaboration necessary? That’s its own definition, after all–it is a method of justifying state authority over individuals, and we know how the state exercises that authority.

You can’t argue that the state exercises its authority in less brutal means, because millennia of evidence show us exactly how the state does what it does: force, violence, and coercion. The state will rob you, taking the fruit of your labors for itself. If you don’t obey the state, it kidnaps you and imprisons you. If you resist, it kills you. While it has you kidnapped and imprisoned, it may very well rape you. It will torture you. Is further elaboration necessary?

We would have no difficulty seeing the unbridled moral atrocity of the man above doing this horrendous stuff to the cowering slave. “You will work on my plantation, or I will lock you in the dungeon! While you’re in the torture, I’ll have people rape you, and I will torture you! If you still don’t comply, then I will simply kill you.”

But when the state does it, we’re like…

fine

The whole thing is simply a euphemism for slavery, especially when taxes become involved and we have unapportioned taxes as I mentioned above. Because yes, in case people weren’t paying attention, the state has first dibs on your paycheck, in case you haven’t noticed. By the time you get your paycheck, the state has already taken its share, and you have no say-so in what the state gets. The state simply takes what it wants, and lets you keep the rest.

The result of this is that we have something that is identical either to slavery or feudalism–take your pick.

New_France_4_3_Overseer-and-slaves-Latrobe

The amazing thing here is how quickly people lose sight of the fact that if they want to submit themselves to their feudal lord, or to their slavemaster, then that is their prerogative*. However, the fact that the woman on the left is telling the woman on the right, “Master gave you that dress, didn’t he? Well, then you owe him! So get to working! I don’t mind working for Master!” doesn’t… really mean that the woman on the right has to consent. The woman on the left has no authority to tell Master, “She does submit, Master. I’ve explained to her that she owes you for that fine dress you gave her and for the roof you put over her head.”

How shall I explain to you that a circle is round?

Does the point need to be labored any longer? Is it not ridiculously and glaringly obvious that all of this shit is simply a euphemism for slavery?

“You owe Master because he put a roof over your head, he gave you the hoe you’re using to work, and he gave you the dress you’re wearing!”

Be that as it may, did the woman on the right have any choice? Did she have the option of walking away from Master and finding somewhere that she could be free?

No. She didn’t–as I pointed out, every single inch of land on the planet is controlled by one slave owner or another. What would be the point of fleeing one plantation to go to another plantation? That is what people are suggesting we do, when they say, “If you don’t like it, then you can get out!” Get out where? There are literally only plantations in every direction, as far as the eye can see, and all the way around the world. There is no place where the woman on the right could go to not have a master.

So instead you’ll tell her to be thankful that her master is allowing her to work in peace, and isn’t in the process of cutting off her toes and raping her?

AND YOU DON’T SEE A PROBLEM WITH ANY OF THIS?!

 

* Possibly. I’d have to do some more thought about this, because I find it really hard to imagine that anyone would voluntarily submit to slavery or feudalism if there wasn’t coercion involved.

How To Cause Anarchy to Rule the Globe

I freely admit that anarcho-socialism is a utopian fantasy within a utopian fantasy, but I also have to stress that the latter utopian fantasy is not impossible to achieve, and that, in fact, achieving it would not be terribly difficult. It would be relatively easy to cast off the shackles of the state and violence, and I’m going to take a moment to clarify what I think is the best way to achieve this.

godless & lawless

Step 1. Acquire Territory & Abolish Its State

In many ways, the easiest step, and in other ways, the hardest. Every single parcel of land on the planet is sectioned off to one state or another, so this territory acquisition is more than just purchasing territory: it is also telling the currently-ruling state that it no longer has any authority. Rest assured that the state won’t take this well–it never has before. When American colonists told the British Empire this, it resulted in war. I tend to think an attempt to do it today would also result in war.

We’re going to assume, solely for the sake of simplicity, that we can purchase land in Hawaii, and that native Hawaiians are ready and willing to refuse the state’s authority. So let’s presume that we anarchists do exactly this, and we tell the Hawaiian government that we will not pay another cent in taxes or listen to another of its laws. It will react with violence, and will enlist the help of the U.S. federal government to do it. We have to gloss over this for the time being. Plenty of people have written about this sort of scenario, and there’s no reason for me to spend much time in it. I’m not saying this step offers assured victory, but it’s certainly not impossible–as I said, the American colonists succeeded.

We need not declare war on the state to abolish it. We need only to refuse to consent to its authority. As countless others have observed, the state needs our consent; our consent is not optional, in theory or in practice. A state that deals with a population that does not consent to it will ultimately be abolished, as its reserves will wear out against the continued resistance, keeping it from accomplishing anything. It will not be the anarchists who declare war on the state, though; the anarchists will simply start ignoring the state.

The state will be the one to declare war, by kidnapping the anarchists (calling it “imprisonment”), killing the anarchists (calling it “war”), and stealing from the anarchists (calling it “taxation” and “resource acquisition from enemy combatants”). It will absolutely be within the anarchists’ purview to retaliate–the Non-Aggression Principle forbids aggression, not defense or retaliation.

Step 2. ???

With the state abolished, there’s not much more to be done, except for individuals to simply do whatever they think is best. That an individual’s own best interests are served through cooperation rather than violence is tautological, and is frequently called the Prisoner’s Dilemma. It has long been observed that cooperation–that is, reciprocation and presumed “give-and-take”–pervades human society*. Without question, which works better is revealed to be cooperation, not competition, though it’s worth mentioning that “competition” as used in these articles is speaking of “competition” in general terms, not economic ones*^.

It is stated that, in modern society, a mess of laws and rules help prevent companies from cheating, because cheating might be more beneficial than fulfilling an agreement*. In a certain, very limited and very short-sighted sense, this is true. I would benefit from dropping by a random gas station and cajoling its attendant into letting me pump $5 of gas that I’d “totally pay back” later that day, and then never return–I would net a $5 gain at their expense. Since there are numerous other gas stations from which I could purchase gas in the future, why don’t I do this?

Aside from inherent moral concerns, which are not always applicable, the truth is that I am likely to have to do business with them again. The fewer gas stations are in the area, the more likely I am to have to do business with these people from whom I have effectively stolen $5. As my options dwindle, the chance increase that one day the other gas stations will be out of gasoline, will not have my cigarettes, or any number of other things. Simply put, the fact that I’ll almost certainly have to deal with them again prevents me from screwing them over**.

It may be in my best interests in the short term to con them out of $5 of gasoline, but in the long-term it is tremendously damaging to my own self-interests to cheat them**.

Violence as a Driving Force

Intuitively, we all know this.

I’m sure we’ve all had that one friend who, at our party, gets drunk and becomes belligerent, ultimately getting into a fight. What happens next? Though the party may not recover that evening, the reality is that the friend who became violent (even if he did so because another friend who owed him $100 wouldn’t pay him back, or any other short-term gain the violent friend could have gotten) will not be invited to future parties, and will find himself increasingly without friends, and this will, for any social animal, be a negative thing^^.

Our belligerent friend may have beaten the $100 out of another friend, but he will be ostracized from the group, from the pack, and has harmed his own self-interests.

It is primarily when people will never be held accountable for their actions that people behave immorally (according to most moral conventions), and that should be no surprise to anyone. This isn’t to say that the average person will behave immorally if they know they can get away with it (I would argue that the average person obeys an internal moral compass that has been socially instilled in them, and that it is not fear of consequences that keeps the average person from stealing, raping, or killing), but it is to say that anyone who would be willing to do something immoral becomes significantly more likely to do something immoral as the chance of being held accountable drops.

If a person sees a $20 bill fall from someone’s pocket when no one is watching and no one can possibly see, the first person is far more likely to pocket the money themselves, instead of stopping the second person and handing it over. Yet if an attendant is watching, the person is substantially more likely to stop the person and return their dropped money. It’s worth pointing out here that nothing about anarchy precludes accountability.

Of course, in an age of surveillance cameras, national criminal databases, mugshots, and the Internet, is increasingly hard to find any place that a person can go where they cannot still be held accountable, but this is the reason that so many American politicians continue going to Thailand, the Philippines, and Cuba to have sex with child prostitutes–something they would never do in the United States because the chance of being caught is far too high.

As social exposure increases because of the Internet, the long-term consequences of short-term benefits at the expense of others become greater. The violent friend might be able to use Facebook and other websites to find a new circle of friends, but I would point you to this unusual Craigslist ad:

This screenshot is from a "Best of Craigslist Crazies" series I'm working on.

This screenshot is from a “Best of Craigslist Crazies” series I’m working on.

Remarkable, isn’t it?

Notice that the guy doesn’t appear to have even done anything overtly wrong, but has indisputably harmed his own self-interests in the long-run. A violent friend may learn that the friend he attacked has contacted the new circle of friends, and informed them of the guy’s violence, and that they, too, ostracize the violent guy. Cheating, conning, and lying are always about short-term gain at the expense of long-term benefit, and this is why an anarcho-capitalist society does not need (as John McAfee suggested in the Stossel debates) a requirement of people to keep their word.

People will keep their word because it is in their best interest to do so. No one would want to do business with a company that routinely breaks its contracts and agreements, and the problem would sort itself out, quickly eliminating the scruple-less companies while leaving only the honorable ones. This has routinely been accomplished in the past through free market means, and trust relationships have consistently formed throughout human history, a direct consequence of people recognizing that their own interests are served best by “playing nice” with the other kids**.

Step 3. Profit.

It’s hard for us to even comprehend how successful such a society would be.

There would, first of all, be no corporate tax or income tax, because there would be no one to charge, collect, or spend the tax. This would cause an incredible influx of international corporations and businesses. There would be so much money sloshing through this place’s economy that we’d be left breathless, and this is not hyperbole. How do you think the corporations would treat these wonderful people who were welcoming them?

With tremendous rewards.

Thankful to keep 100% of their money, the corporations would very quickly work together to pave every road needed, would build hospitals and schools, would build and maintain airports and seaports (this one primarily because they need them).

We in the west understand corporations only as straw men, and we’ve become completely unable to realize that these straw men… are straw men. Before we continue, we have to regain the ability to recognize these Straw Men Corporations for the straw men they are.

First of all, it takes remarkable levels of cognitive dissonance to call corporations greedy because we are helping ourselves to 35% of their money. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that. We are literally taking 35% of someone else’s money, and then bitching that they are being greedy. How dare you steal from someone for your own benefit and then call them greedy! Cognitive dissonance in full swing, of course, because the greedy one is quite obviously the one stealing money for their own benefit, especially since 0% of the money earned by corporations is earned through theft.

Secondly, we are swimming in a sea of corporations who do tremendously helpful and generous things. Even with the exorbitant tax rates, most corporations gladly give Senior Citizen discounts, after all. For centuries, doctors were expected by the bounds of morality to treat those who could not afford to pay; it was only when we started using the law to force them to treat people that this even became an issue. Our doctors have never allowed poor people to just die.

On a Guardian article yesterday, I found someone who said that Apple should have to make more contributions to society. I found that to be an utterly and remarkably stupid thing to say. Apple has made enormous contributions to society. Apple invented the smartphone. That’s a contribution so enormous that we have not fully understood who much of a game-changer it really was. I presume this person wasn’t there when the first iPhone was debuted; it revolutionized everything. “Apple should contribute to society…” Are you kidding me? They’ve contributed more to society than even Microsoft has, and far more than CERN has (though CERN’s contributions will increase exponentially in the future).

Seriously, when you have contributed to society to even 0.0001% the extent that Apple has, then you can demand that they contribute more.

Dealing With Growth

The rest of the world will not be happy with our prosperity.

Behold how the EU is forcing Italy to raise its tax rates. This is precisely what we are seeing. Italy has set its own tax rates, and the EU does not want to compete with the awesome deal that Italy is offering corporations. So what does the EU do? It demands that Apple pay Italy, and demands that Italy increase its tax rates. Instead of lowering their own tax rates to compete with Italy, the EU exercises its authority and power to maintain its monopoly.

Imagine that Italy is Wal-Mart, selling a loaf of bread for $1, while the EU sells bread for $2. The EU gets pissed off, because no one is buying its bread, not when they can buy it from Italy at such a lower price. So what does the EU do? Rather than lowering the price of their bread to $0.97 to compete with Italy/Wal-Mart, the EU whips out its guns, points them at Italy, and says, “Don’t forget we’re bigger and more powerful than you. Raise your prices, or we’ll punish you.”

Yay, democracy, right?

Stupid UK fools for wanting to get out of that…

After all, who doesn’t enjoy having a tyrannical authority point guns at them and force them to comply? I’m probably gonna get some of that this weekend, because it’s such a wonderful thing to experience.

We’d see this, too, in our anarchist society. The rest of the world, tremendously envy of our lack of taxation and the influx of international corporations that just drives our prosperity through the roof, would invade us. Here, we’d mostly have to rely on the hostility between the United States, China, and Russia to keep them from being involved, but it wouldn’t strictly be necessary. But have no doubt: nations would invade us out of envy, wanting the money for themselves, and many Americans, Europeans, Chinese, and Russians would justify it. “They should have to pay!” they’ll scream and cry, forgetting that they’d literally be invading and conquering a place to take its  money, and that it would be blatant imperialism. “Capitalist imperialism,” some people would call it, though the anarcho-capitalist society would be the capitalist one. :/

But it’s all about long-term benefit, isn’t it? What’s in the best interests of the corporations here?

To fight tooth and nail alongside us for our right to govern ourselves, and the corporations would have the power to do it.

Other states would not be willing to just sit and watch us prosper. They would grind their teeth as they stared enviously at us, thinking about why they should have our money, and justifying to themselves why invading and conquering us would be totally justified.

I’ve covered it elsewhere, but a free people fighting on principle to resist oppression and conquerors, motivated by liberty and justice, cannot be defeated.

* http://www.ped.fas.harvard.edu/files/ped/files/financialanalyst00.pdf

*^ http://www.charleswarner.us/articles/competit.htm

** http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/publication/Public_Choice_and_the_Economic_Analysis_of_Anarchy_by_Strigham_and_Powell.pdf

^^ http://www.aipmm.com/anthropology/2010/05/humans-are-social-animals-1.php

Happy Birthday, Me

2One year ago today, I connected all the dots and realized that I am transgender, an act I symbolized with the creation of my email address. It’s been a hell of a year. For the time being, please ignore this picture on the left; it’s just there to make it the default picture when this posts to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

18

That is pretty much how I looked prior to this realization, and prior to accepting that I am transgender.

IMG_20150905_223548

This abominable pic is how I looked then. I know. This pic is awful. Everything about this picture is awful. It’s not just an ugly female; it is an ugly male.

2

And that is how I look today. Yes, it has been a hell of a year.

It’s also been a fantastic day. Truly. There is a feral kitten outside that finally allowed me to pet her. But even better than that, I happened to have a supporter share something on Twitter that I just happened to see–someone rebutted some anarcho-capitalist claims. Well, you know me… I’m the Anarchist Shemale. To my knowledge, no one has yet rebutted anarcho-capitalism. So I looked at the video, and fifteen seconds in, I knew I had to do a reply, not because Tyler Preston was wrong, but because the anarchists with whom he was discussing it… clearly had no idea what they were talking about. I set out to do a reply, not to dispute Tyler, but to clear the air on anarcho-capitalism.

In fact, I was tremendously impressed with Tyler’s intellect and, above all, his intellectual honesty.

That is his initial video.

There is my reply. It’s worth mentioning that I realized how belligerent I sounded only after I’d uploaded it, and found it better to simply offer the disclaimer than re-recording my arguments. I had no desire to sound hostile, and I did… I sounded far more hostile and belligerent than I really am. I’m only hostile toward people who make fallacious and ridiculous claims, and Tyler Preston certainly did not.

My Youtube Playlist of response videos is called “Responding to Ignorance.” You’ll notice that my reply to Tyler is not in that playlist. That’s because I was not responding to ignorance. Or, at least, if I was, then it was not Tyler’s ignorance but the ignorance of the people that he was also replying to. As such, I added it to the Anarcho-Capitalism playlist, because he’s certainly not ignorant.

To my surprise, rather than just ignoring my tiny channel, Tyler not only watched the video, but liked it, and then did his own response to my response:

Although I’m sure to mention it in the video I’m doing later where I address Tyler’s last question about how many people would voluntarily pay taxes, I have to say: Tyler, I’m stunned and awed by your intellectual honesty. I can’t count the number of people who have heard my statements and then said, “Yeah, well, you’re still wrong.” To be met with someone who goes, “You know what? That’s actually a good point.” is refreshing in a way that I can’t even describe, and I’m a fiction writer.

I will edit this and post my own video later, but mine isn’t really a response video–it’s just answering a question about voluntaryism/anarcho-capitalism.

Here is the first of my three replies–most of my replies deal with “less than intelligent” comments. I say “less than intelligent,” because they’re things I addressed in the initial video, but… that’s statism for you.

The How and Why of Anarchy, Part 2

While Part One discussed primarily the advantages of a Free Market and stacked them against the “advantages” of Interventionist Economics (Keynesian economics), Part Two shall focus more on the Government itself, and not its economic methods.

Let’s return to our definitions from yesterday:

  • The State is the collective governmental body which oversees a given society. The State is a collective whole which, in the United States, consists of the Federal Government, all of its branches, and all pseudo-governmental agencies such as the Federal Reserve.
  • The Society is the collective body of People. It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that Societies do not require the existence of a State; the existence of a Society is independent of whether or not the Society has a Government. Any group of people of any size who work together, whether voluntarily or by being forced, is a Society.
  • Once a Society has a State over it, the two collectively are the Nation. That is, the Nation is a Society and its Government.

In addition to noting that this creates within a Nation two distinct bodies (the Government and the People), one other fact can be drawn: Societies create Governments, but Governments do not create Societies. To understand this, we must go back a very long time, to the foundations of Society and then the foundations of Government.

Thomas Paine wrote in “Common Sense,” that:

In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labor out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which, would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen, that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other; and this remissness, will point out the necessity, of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

Some convenient tree will afford them a State-House, under the branches of which, the whole colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of Regulations, and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first parliament every man, by natural right will have a seat.

But as the colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue increasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of the representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number; and that the elected might never form to themselves an interest separate from the electors, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often; because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this (not on the unmeaning name of king) depends the strength of government, and the happiness of the governed.

It would be intellectual dishonesty to say something along the lines of, “Surely you wouldn’t argue with Thomas Paine, would you?” But that’s just as well. We don’t have to use only Thomas Paine’s words to explain the origins and nature of Government. We can also turn to Murray Rothbard, who wrote:

The State, in the words of Oppenheimer, is the “organization of the political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory.[4] For crime, at best, is sporadic and uncertain; the parasitism is ephemeral, and the coercive, parasitic lifeline may be cut off at any time by the resistance of the victims. The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively “peaceful” the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society.[5] Since production must always precede predation, the free market is anterior to the State. The State has never been created by a “social contract”; it has always been born in conquest and exploitation. The classic paradigm was a conquering tribe pausing in its time-honored method of looting and murdering a conquered tribe, to realize that the time-span of plunder would be longer and more secure, and the situation more pleasant, if the conquered tribe were allowed to live and produce, with the conquerors settling among them as rulers exacting a steady annual tribute.[6] One method of the birth of a State may be illustrated as follows: in the hills of southern “Ruritania,” a bandit group manages to obtain physical control over the territory, and finally the bandit chieftain proclaims himself “King of the sovereign and independent government of South Ruritania”; and, if he and his men have the force to maintain this rule for a while, lo and behold! a new State has joined the “family of nations,” and the former bandit leaders have been transformed into the lawful nobility of the realm.

It should be demonstrated amply by this point that Societies do, in fact, create Governments and that no Government has ever created a Society. Furthermore, written in the Declaration of Independence itself is:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Let us say no more about whether Societies create Governments or Governments create Society. It is abundantly clear, by reason, by evidence, and according to the words of some of the greatest governmental thinkers in the history of mankind, that Societies create Governments and not vice versa.

Therefore, a Government cannot exist without a Society, but a Society can exist without a Government. If Societies create Governments, then it is logically inescapable to recognize that at some point there was a Society which had not yet created a Government; in order for a Society to create a Government, there must first be a Society with no Government.

Okay, You Made Your Point. Now Move On. This is Getting Boring.

Governments, by all reckonings, exist as a method for acting out the Will of its Society. When Society decided that the Government shall act to preserve “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness,” they created a Government with the goal of ensuring these things. The Government was created as a means of achieving the end, and the end was the preservation of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. This does not mean that Government is the only means of achieving this end, nor does it mean that Government is the best means of achieving this end.

It is important to think back to the founding of the United States. We basically had 13 independent and small nations who agreed on these things: “We need a method to protect our Lives, our Liberties, and our rights to Pursue happiness.” That is the extent of their needs and it is the extent of our needs. We need nothing more than a method of protecting these three things, and, indeed, anything beyond these three things can come only at the expense of these three things. I.e., in order to protect our “right to health care,” the Government must sacrifice our right to pursue happiness, since we cannot “pursue happiness” without the financial backing to do so, and in order to protect our “right to health care,” the State must take a portion of our money to pay for the health care (as opposed to letting us pay for the health care ourselves).

If the Government which governs best is one that governs least, then the Government which doesn’t exist must be even better than “best”. It’s difficult to get into this topic without expounding the principles of the Free Market. 

Let’s consider, then, that it is our goal to establish a means of protecting our Lives, our Liberties, and our right to pursue happiness. Before we can do this, though, we must examine in detail what these three things mean. This is obvious: in order to establish a means of protecting our Lives, we must understand what is meant by “our Lives” and what is meant by “protecting.”

Life

Any being which is living has the unabashed right to continue living. Once something has life, no force on Earth can legitimately take that right away, expressed in killing the person in question. Not even Society has the right to take life. Neither does the Government have the right to take life.

It must be clarified that any action which an Individual could commit that is clearly morally wrong is generally perfectly acceptable when it is done by the State. Murder is an example of this. When an Individual murders another, the punishment is occasionally quite severe*. But when the State does it, either through war, assassination, or the death penalty, it is considered to be perfectly acceptable. This is a Moral Hazard. Let it be clear: if an action would be morally wrong if committed by an Individual, then the action is morally wrong if committed by the State. The fact that the State is doing it does not make morally wrong actions suddenly morally right; it means only that we’re allowing the State to get away with things it should be punished for.

Theft is yet another example. If you broke into a bank and stole a bunch of money, and then donated all of that money to various charities, your Robin Hood attempt would still land you in prison. But when the State breaks into your wallet and steals a bunch of money, and then donates all of that money to various State-run charities, it is suddenly considered to be morally right. Again, just because the State does it means not that it is somehow morally right; it is still morally wrong.

Theft and Murder? You Create Slippery Slopes, Anarchist Shemale, and I Think You Know It

It is not a slippery slope or exaggeration, though this is often the counter to the statement that Taxation is theft. But, just as religious proselytizing always ultimately comes back to the threat of eternal damnation, so do Government actions always ultimately come back to the threat of force. As much as Christians talk about God’s love and forgiveness, under all of that is Hell and eternal damnation, forming the underpinning of the entire system. After all, if that threat wasn’t there, then they would have no need to preach to anyone and there would be no reason to actually follow the system. A religion which doesn’t involve eliminating a threat generally gets no converts–see Buddhism for a terrific example. But by underpinning the entire framework with the threat of eternal torture, Christians give themselves both a motive and a weapon to instill fear and help convert non-believers. Like it or not, underpinning the whole of Christianity is the threat of eternal damnation, and without that threat Christianity would be irrelevant.

In the same sense, everything that the Government does is ultimately backed by threats. Taxation, for example, involves some pretty severe threats. What happens if you don’t pay your taxes? You go to prison–Federal prison. And, as bad as State Prisons are, Federal Prisons are rumored to be much worse. Not only does the Individual not get a choice when it comes to Taxes, but if the Individual contests the State’s attempt to steal their money, then the Individual is punished with imprisonment and/or severe fines. Underpinning the entire Taxation system is the threat that if you don’t pay, you will be subjected to massive punishments. The State might as well be holding a gun to your head and telling you that they will shoot you if you don’t hand over your money, especially since 10 years in a Federal Prison will leave a person with a shattered mind**.

So Taxation is theft; moreover, Taxation is theft at the point of a gun, wherein refusing to hand over your wallet will result in extreme penalties and punishments. But let’s return to the issue at hand: the protection of Lives.

If the goal is to protect our lives, then there are a few examples we need to think about in regard to our current Government. Firstly, we must consider the Draft. How can we believe that the Government actively protects our Lives when it has the authority to send us off to fight and die? This is a direct contradiction. Nowhere in the Constitution does the Government have the authority to take our Lives from us, and this is so obvious it doesn’t need to be pointed out. The idea that the Government could take our Lives from us runs contrary to the most basic of human rights: that the Individual owns himself. If the Government can, for any reason it desires, conscript us and send us of to die, then we are, in all honesty, the property of the Government. Let it be known that the State does not own us.

We must also consider the numerous wars we have fought in the 20th century, all of which resulted in the deaths of Americans, and most of which would not have caused a single American death if they hadn’t been waged. No American would have died because of the Korean War, for example, if the State hadn’t sent Americans to fight in Korea. The Korean War was never a threat to American security. The War in Iraq is a more recent example: Saddam Hussein was never a threat to the American People. Terrorism was not present in Iraq and the Iraqi Government had no way to threaten the American People; they didn’t have anti-aircraft weapons, they didn’t have long-range missiles, they didn’t have ICBMs, and the record shows they didn’t have “biological and chemical weapons.” If we hadn’t invaded Iraq, no American would have died because we didn’t invade Iraq. But because we did invade Iraq, thousands of Americans did die, and we increased the Muslim world’s hostility toward us. Muslim terrorists all rally around the cause of getting America to withdraw from the Middle East, and the greater our presence in the Middle East, the greater the presence and threat of terrorism. This is a fact which even the CIA has recognized. Our Middle East invasions are pissing off the Middle Eastern People, and we react to their being pissed off by invading more Middle Eastern nations, thereby pissing them off even more. There are only two ways to solve the Middle East problem: withdrawing completely from the area or completely conquering the entire area and oppressing all dissent–and this would be distinctly anti-Liberty and anti-American.

So how is the Government “protecting our Lives” when the State is singlehandedly responsible for both sending Americans to die and taking actions which result in a large portion of the world being very pissed off at us and very hostile toward us? After all, the catalyst of 9/11 was known for a fact to be our presence in the Middle East. It’s not our “freedom” or our “values” or “their religious insanity” that causes them to hate us and want to kill us. These are just pieces of propaganda put out by the State to convince us that the Middle Eastern People are our enemies because they hate us. It is far from the truth.

Take note, America: Muslims in the Middle East do not hate us because we are free, because we have this value or that value, or because we don’t share their religious conviction. They hate us because of what our Government has done and is doing and because we are allowing our Government to do it. They don’t hate us because we’re free, because we have sex on television, or because we listen to Lady Gaga. They hate us because we’re allowing our Government to invade them, to tear down their governments, and to dictate to them what they can and can’t do. We would not tolerate this if someone did it to us. If the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China invaded and conquered the United States, abolished our Government, and told us that we had to put in place a Communist Government, how would we react? We would hate the Russians and Chinese who had allowed their governments to do this to us. And since we couldn’t fight in legitimate battles against the Russian or Chinese militaries, we would have no choice but to resort to terrorist tactics to achieve our goal of self-governance and independence.

The actions the State takes is not protecting the Lives of Americans, and the actions of the State usually threaten, either directly or indirectly, the security of Americans. We are in greater danger now that we have ever been. Americans travelling abroad frequently pretend to be Canadians. It is not very safe for Americans to travel abroad in the first place, and this is even in countries that are officially allies of the United States; there is a reason more American women disappear in European nations than do European women. Our arrogance and self-righteousness causes us to be valued more highly among people who like degrading and humiliating others. I’m sorry–that is a fact. And it is our Government’s fault.

Liberty

No one in their right mind can accuse our Government of protecting our Liberty. Not much needs to be said about this. Our Liberty has been under attack for more than a century, and we have recently been attacked through unconstitutional legislation (the NDAA2013, which abolished our right to a trial, for example) and through bureaucratic regulations (the EPA has the authority, though none of its workers were elected by the People, to act unilaterally and make whatever regulations it wants, regardless of the damge done to the People, in the name of “protecting the environment”).

All of these things are done in the name of one cause or another, and it is here that we went wrong, because somewhere along the line, we concluded that the end justifies the means. And it doesn’t. It never has. It has been known for centuries that sacrificing Liberty to ensure Security destroys both Liberty and Security. And yet the sacrifice of Liberty is frequently justified by the allegation that it must be done to protect us. We need the NDAA2013 to protect us; we need the State to be able to arrest and detain Americans indefinitely and without a trial so that the State can protect us from terrorists. We need the Patriot Act to protect us; we need the State to be able to listen on every conversation, hack into every email account, read every Facebook post, and intercept every text message so that the State can protect us from terrorists. We need the President to be able to make Kill Lists and use UAVs to kill American citizens because we need the State to be able to protect us from terrorists. Somehow, the State convinced us that we need to be protected from ourselves and that, in order to protect us from ourselves, they had to have unquestioned power to control us, to watch us, and to do whatever they want to us. The fallacy of this is obvious: how can they be protecting us by harming us?

The Pursuit of Happiness

statue of libertyTo honestly and sincerely pursue happiness, one must have Life, Liberty, and a few other things. One must have the right to own property, for example. But in the United States, our right to own property is non-existent. We don’t have the right to own property; we only have the right to RENT property. Even when you have paid off your 30 year mortgage (which you were a fool for getting), you still don’t OWN your home–you still only rent it. You must pay Property Taxes, and if you don’t pay those Property Taxes, then your home is taken from you and you are evicted. That is renting. If you owned the home, then you couldn’t be evicted from it and the State would be Stealing it from you if they tried. But you’re renting, so if the State evicts you and takes your home, it isn’t considered stealing.

Taxation in general amounts to purchasing the State’s permission to do something or own something. The idea that we now pay for the rights for which our ancestors fought and died is ridiculous. Our ancestors did not fight and die so that we would have the right to buy the State’s permission to live in our homes, and our ancestors did not fight and die so that we would have the right to buy the State’s permission to drive or flush our toilets. We have fallen so far from having the right to pursue happiness that the right to pursue happiness has become “the right to purchase the right to pursue happiness.” If you want to do something, there is almost certainly a Tax involved. If you want to drive, you must purchase a Driver’s License, thereby purchasing the State’s permission to drive. If you want to drive your own car, you must purchase a License Plate, thereby purchasing the State’s permission to drive your own car. If you want to buy a lightbulb, you must pay a Sales Tax, thereby purchasing the State’s permission to buy a lightbulb. All through America, the only way to do anything is to first purchase the State’s permission to do it. And that is not the “right to pursue happiness.” It is the right to purchase the right to pursue happiness.

The Founders would never have consented to such a system–nor should we. The State was not designed to require us to purchase its permission to do things. We must purchase the State’s permission to marry, to own a home, to drive, to buy a car, to have electricity, to have a cellphone… All of these things have Licenses or Taxes attached to them, and if you want to do them you must either buy the License or pay the Tax. If you DON’T, then the wrath of the State will fall on you, punishing you (often) more severely than you would have been punished for murdering someone.

What part of this is supposed to represent the right to pursue happiness? What part of the Government’s actions is protecting our right to pursue happiness? The Government does nothing to protect this right. In fact, the Government works against this right, allowing us to purchase the right to pursue happiness–but if you don’t purchase the permission, then you don’t have the right to pursue happiness.

The Society and the State

A failure to recognize Individual Responsibility has caused many Americans to identify themselves with the State, to share in the State’s successes and to draw pride from the accomplishments of the State. As Murray Rothbard points out in “Anatomy of the State,” most people have an intense love for their homeland. But because we don’t recognize Individual Responsibility and because Americans largely draw their self-esteem from the accomplishments of the State, many Americans have become Nationalists. Often, people identify themselves and borrow pride from the accomplishments of the State because they have no accomplishments of their own and borrowing the accomplishments of the State still allow them to feel superior and prideful without their having to actually do anything.

“We’re the greatest nation in the history of the world!” and other similar exclamations all allow the individual to feel a sense of pride, accomplishment, and greatness without any effort on the part of the individual. The individual gets to be terrific, great, and unrivaled simply because they are a member of the nation in question, and the Individual doesn’t need to do anything in order to feel terrific, great, and unrivaled. The Individual doesn’t have to become educated, successful, or anything else, because the Individual can always borrow from the accomplishments of the State and fill themselves with pride simply because they are underneath that wonderful mechanism. The Individual needs to do nothing in order to be filled with pride, a sense of accomplishment, and success.

This has done great harm to the notion of Individual Responsibility by preventing many Americans from wanting to take responsibility for themselves and their own situations. After all, if we acknowledge Individual Responsibility, then the State gets all the credit for its accomplishments and they cannot, since they did not contribute to the accomplishment, feel any pride or receive any self-esteem from the accomplishments of others. This is the reason most people now loathe the idea of Individual Responsibility.

They need to draw self-esteem and pride from the accomplishments of the State mechanism because they have no accomplishments of their own from which to draw self-esteem and pride. Indeed, the most vocal fighters against Individual Responsibility are generally people who have accomplished nothing and who have nothing for which they can be proud. And, in contrast, the most vocal fighters for Individual Responsibility are generally people who who have accomplished something and who have something for which they can be proud.

As long as people can draw self-esteem from identifying themselves with the State, Individual Responsibility cannot take hold. And, as I demonstrated in part one, a person’s identification with the State is built on contradiction and logical fallacy. We are not the State; we cannot, therefore, share in any of its accomplishments or have any pride whatsoever in anything it does–nor any blame for anything it does. The State is a body external to its Society, and individual members cannot, therefore, take any credit or blame for any of the State’s accomplishments or wrongdoings.

If you work for a corporation, then you can take pride in the accomplishments of that corporation and you must take blame in the wrongdoings of that corporation, weighted proportionately to the role you played in the corporation and the amount of influence you had to prevent or further the actions in question. But being the subject of a State is not the same as being an employee of a corporation. As I demonstrated, we don’t have any real authority over the State and the State is not us. The State is an entity over us, of which we can become members, and which does, from time to time, consist of people who are held by our desires. But this does not serve to adequately justify any identification of “ourselves as the State.” We cannot, then, take any pride in its accomplishments or any punishment for its wrongs.

We need Individual Responsibility, and not just because it will drive the people who suddenly lose the ability to draw pride from the accomplishments of the State to themselves work harder and make accomplishments of their own. We need Individual Responsibility because it is the only way to reaffirm Liberty and to curb our Nationalist tendencies. Liberty and Individual Responsibility are inseparable.

An Individual’s Subordination to Society

It is also often alleged that the Society’s needs outweigh the needs of the Individual. This is only possible because we have taken this abstract, unidentifiable notion that is the Society and we have given it needs, desires, and other characteristics, none of which can be justified or demonstrated. It may or may not be “for the good of Society” for Individuals to sacrifice this right or that right, but what is overlooked is the obvious fact that the Society consists only of the Individuals which comprise it, and, as such, anything that is detrimental to any of those Individuals is, therefore, detrimental to Society.

Society is not some external thing that has needs, desires, and other characteristics. It is just a term we use to label a mass of Individuals working together voluntarily for mutual benefit. The Society does not have needs, desires, and other characteristics; there is no such thing as “the good of society” and there is no such thing as “the needs of society are more important than the needs of individuals.”

This notion that we are selfish if we do not subordinate ourselves to the non-existent body called Society is a logical fallacy and a misidentification in exactly the same vein as those people who identify themselves through the State–it is just in reverse. Individuals do not identify themselves with Society, and this could be because Individuals instead identify themselves with the State. It is also because Individuals consider the State to be the mechanism which protects Society and makes it prosperous, even if it can only do this at the expense of the Individuals who comprise that Society. The very idea is preposterous and easily refutable. It’s as preposterous as the claims made in Vietnam that, “In order to save the village, we had to destroy it,” and George W’s more recent claim that, “In order to save the Free Market, I have abandoned Free Market principles.”

This type of Doublethink is unworthy of any People. We cannot benefit Society by harming, in any way whatsoever, the Individuals of which that Society consists. No, we are not the Government, but we are Society–at least in the sense that anything is Society. But, really, Society as an entity doesn’t even exist. There is no Society to which we are or should be subordinate. There are only Individuals. And no one has the right to make any Individual make sacrifices to benefit other Individuals, even if “more Individuals” would be benefited than harmed. 

It quickly comes back to a matter of Liberty and the notion that the State has the right to force a minority to do what the Majority thinks is right. The Majority, having become convinced that Society exists and that it is the right and duty of the State to harm Individuals, if it must, in order to benefit Society, force this notion on the Minority, and this is morally wrong. Forcing anyone to do this or that because one thinks it would be morally right for others to do this or that is never morally right. It is morally wrong to force someone to do something, and the notion that it is the right of the State to harm Individuals in order to benefit Society is exactly this: the notion that it is the right of the State to harm Individuals in order to benefit other Individuals. It is Taxation and Welfare all over again.

All Related

As it hopefully has been demonstrated, all of these things are related, and they all ultimately stem from the failure of Individuals to take responsibility for themselves, their decisions, and their actions. This failure has resulted in Taxation, State-sanctioned murder, the loss of rights, the loss of Liberty, the loss of our right to own ourselves, the loss of property rights, the tendency of Individuals to identify themselves with the State rather than identifying themselves with themselves, and the notion that the Individual is subordinate to the non-existent Society.

I have here demonstrated that Taxation amounts to Theft and the use of force, that State-sanctioned murder is still murder, that we have lost numerous rights, that we have lost substantial amounts of Liberty, that we have lost the right to own ourselves, that we have lost the right to own property, that Individuals have the tendency to identify themselves with the State, and that many Individuals believe that the Individual’s needs and rights aren’t as important as those of the Society’s. I have also explained why all these things happened. The inability of Individuals to take Individual Responsibility has led to all of these things, and taking Individual Responsibility is, at this point, the only way to reverse any of these trends–and all of these trends need to be reversed.

In Part One, I demonstrated the basic principles of the Free Market and how Welfare programs do more harm than good–and how State-run Welfare could easily be replaced by the much more efficient and productive Free Market. I also demonstrated in Part One that we are not the Government, so if you need clarification on why I assert that we have no right to claim the successes of the State as our successes, then refer to Part One for that clarification.

In Part Three, I intend to address Anarchy, what it means, and how it functions. In short, I plan to explain what a Society which has no State looks like and how a State-less Society handles things likes murder, theft, and other things that are considered morally wrong. I will also explain how an Anarchic Society does not mean lawlessness or chaos, nor does it mean that we would have no ground on which to stand in punishing murderers, thieves, and rapists, that these are pieces of propaganda put out by dishonest intellectuals to cause people to reject Anarchy out of ignorance.

 

* Sometimes the death penalty is given. I am not an advocate of “eye for an eye justice” and I don’t think that murdering someone in punishment is any more morally right than the actions of the murderer. Moreover, the evidence shows that the death penalty is used disproportionately to harm minorities and, particularly, black Americans. This is the very reason why Ron Paul recanted his position on the death penalty. It was absurd to hear people accuse Ron Paul of being racist, considering that his position on marijuana (and other drugs) is that outlawing these substances has disproportionately harmed minority communities and resulted in a disproportionate amount of black Americans being imprisoned for decades over trivial offenses that harmed no one; and considering also that Ron Paul ceased his support of the death penalty when he learned that it is used most against black Americans and that white murderers are sentenced to life in prison more often than death and black murderers are more often sentenced to death instead of life in prison. Ron Paul objected both to the death penalty and drug laws because they harm black Americans disproportionately; how can anyone justify calling him a racist?

** The American Prison System is fucked and is a bastion of evil and tyranny. In order to fix it, we must reassert the rights of criminals. Yes, they committed crimes–but they’re still People. However, because of wording in the Thirteenth Amendment, once a person is guilty of a crime, they can and do become Slaves to the State:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. [emphasis added]

Slavery is never morally acceptable, and you should be able to agree with that. Involuntary servitude and slavery are never acceptable, no matter what a person has done. And this issue is more serious than you’d think, considering that we’ve given the State the sole authority to dictate what is and isn’t a crime and we’ve also allowed the State to run trials. In the modern American Justice system, trials are not by a jury. People instead receive Trials by the State. Let me explain.

We still have jury trials in most cases in the United States and it is up to the jury to deliver a verdict of Guilty or Not Guilty. However, Jurors are now sworn to deliver a verdict “according only to the evidence” and this means that whoever decides what evidence is allowed and what evidence isn’t ultimately is in control of the verdict. By taking this oath, Jurors ultimately become as predictable as computer programs: feed the information to them and they will deliver a result which depends entirely upon the information you feed them. As surely as 2x + 4y = 22 when you feed in the information that x = 3 and y = 4, the jury’s verdict becomes Guilty or Not Guilty when you feed in certain information. Having sworn themselves to consider only the evidence, Jurors will deliver a verdict that can be predicted with precision and certainty, so long as certain evidence is given to them. 

And who controls what information is allowed to the jury and what evidence is not? The State controls what evidence is admitted. Judges are part of the State apparatus, and many judges have agendas, as demonstrated by the FISA Courts and the revelation that many of these judges have an interest in simply approving whatever requests are made. Judges are not members of the People; they are members of the State, of the Judicial Branch. The State includes all branches and all quasi-government agencies. It is an inescapble conclusion that the Judicial Branch is part of the Government, because… well, the Judicial Branch is a part of the Government.

As such, we are allowing the State to dictate what evidence is admitted into trials. Since Jurors are sworn to deliver a verdict that depends entirely on the available evidence, the State ultimately controls what verdict is delivered. If Jurors deliver verdicts based only on the available evidence, then whoever controls what evidence is available controls the verdict. And that is where the American Justice System has gone wrong. Let ALL evidence be admitted, and let the Jury decide what evidence is valid and what evidence is not. We must not allow the State to control verdicts by binding Jurors to oaths and then restricting whatever evidence they desire. That is not a trial by Jury; it is a trial by the State using the Jury as a method of carrying out the State’s wishes. Juries, in effect, unwittingly become Puppets of the State. I urge you, my fellow Americans, to add the addendum to the oath that you will deliver a verdict according to the evidence “only under the condition that all evidence, no matter how tangential, is admitted.” If we do not require this, then we allow the State to dictate the verdict. And, in the long run, this will yield very bad results. This is, after all, how most Chinese trials go: the State doesn’t allow evidence that would go against the verdict the State desires. We already have a mechanism in place which will allow our own Government to do just that. We need to dismantle the mechanism before the Government “starts” doing this (if they haven’t already–we wouldn’t know, after all, if we weren’t being given relevant information because someone had an agenda and wanted to see a specific verdict).

Anarchy’s Benefits, Part 1

I wrote this about two years ago, I think; it’s a five-part series showing, more or less, how I evolved from “Libertarian” to “Anarchist,” as I went into the idea with the plan of tearing the idea of anarchocapitalism to pieces. But I quickly realized that, far from being unstable, it was absolutely brilliant, and by a wide margin the best solution.

In the following blog, a few things need to be clarified and defined.

  • The State is the collective governmental body which oversees a given society. The State is a collective whole which, in the United States, consists of the Federal Government, all of its branches, and all pseudo-governmental agencies such as the Federal Reserve.
  • The Society is the collective body of People. It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that Societies do not require the existence of a State; the existence of a Society is independent of whether or not the Society has a Government. Any group of people of any size who work together, whether voluntarily or by being forced, is a Society.
  • Once a Society has a State over it, the two collectively are the Nation. That is, the Nation is a Society and its Government.

Note that this creates two separate bodies within any nation: the Society and its Government. This seems to contradict the general perception and “common knowledge” that, in a democracy, “we are the government.” Indeed, I’ve said in the past that “we are the government,” usually as a way of allocating blame properly to the People who allow its Government to do something which is morally wrong (such as the imprisonment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War 2). It has come to my attention, thanks to the work of Murray Rothbard, that this is nonsense. We are not the government, and this is readily apparent when you consider the use of force by the government to achieve its ends.

If we are the government, then nothing the government can do to me counts as making me do something against my will. If we are the government, then if the government kills me, it is a suicide. “But, Anarchist Shemale, you’re making a logical fallacy! If you are conscripted and sent to fight in Iraq against your will, it still is ‘the government’ forcing you to do it–it’s not you volunteering to go (for obvious reasons). You’re only a small part of the government, as is each of us.”

Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head, and the counter here demonstrates that we are not the government after all. If we have 100 people in our Nation, and 5 of those people in a democratically elected Government, then if those 5 people force the other 95 to fight in the army, it doesn’t count as the 95 people volunteering, because “we are the government” means, really, that “we elect our leaders.” It doesn’t mean that we actually are the government; it means only that we, in theory, can impact the government substantially through the use of Representatives, or that we can actually ourselves “be” the government by being ourselves elected. It is, of course, now possible (thanks to the Internet) for a true Democracy to actually exist, but this point is irrelevant to the topic at hand. We are not a Democracy; we are a Republic with democratically elected representatives. There is a substantial difference, but I’m not going to explain it.

But there is no justification for equating “having a representative” with yourself being a “part of the government”; it is a false equivalency. Having amount of influence over Representatives doesn’t guarantee or imply that our desires will be catered to, and no one expects it to mean that. There are too many People with too many different opinions for this idea that “we are our representatives” to hold any weight. Even if a given representative always had 99% of their people in agreement with the representative, then there is still a 1% minority that is clearly not the government, and any disagreement with the majority is going to be unaddressed in a democratic republic.

Representatives, furthermore, want to get re-elected. For one reason or another, Representatives almost always want to be re-elected, and, as their constituents are much more localized and concentrated than a Presidential candidate’s, there is considerably more accountability for Senators and Representatives to abide the will of their constituents. Presidents very rarely have to worry about what the majority of Americans want: they can only be re-elected once in the first place, and a 51% majority of Americans means nothing in the American System–see the 2000 Presidential Election, wherein the Electoral College thwarted the will of Americans and hardly a ripple went through our nation. It is for this reason–the desire for re-election–that Representatives and Senators always listen to the 51% and the 99% and never the 49% or the 1%.

Anyway, Representatives generally obey the will of their constituents, and the only reliable way they can do this is by frequently polling their constituents, holding town halls and other meetings, and just generally knowing their area and what the majority of their constituents want. There’s no need for Roger Wicker to poll Mississippians to learn what the majority thinks about gun control, but he (and other representatives) will gladly send out probing emails and hold town-hall-style meetings to learn the desires of their constituents and act in accordance.

The problem is obviously that, even if it was the case that Representatives consistently polled their constituents to learn what the majority wanted (something they obviously don’t do), and acted as true Representatives by always making their decisions in accordance with the results of their polls, then what we have is what Plato recognized as Democracy’s greatest failing: a dictatorship over the few by the many.

Representation is, then, fundamentally flawed. Even if we did have a true Representative System (which we do not) and even if our representatives did constantly learn our desires (which they do not) and act in accordance with our desires (which they do not), then the system is still one that is not to be desired by any lover of freedom and liberty (and it is not); it is an unjust tyranny over the few by the many (which it is). In such a system, whatever 51% of the People tell their Representative to do is what their Representative does, and the other 49% have to go along with whatever is decided.

Any system which has the inherent capacity to alienate and violate the rights of almost half of any Society is fundamentally flawed and undesirable. The only difference between the Representative System and the despotic system of kings, nobilities, and fiefs, is that the Ruling Caste is made up of a larger portion of the People. Their power over others, however, is equal; in a Representative System, any Majority has the same amount of power over the Minority as King Henry VIII did over England. And that is a flawed system.

In order to address these flaws and to safeguard the American People against the Tyranny of the Majority (which the Founders understood as a problem, as this fundamental problem of Democracy had been recognized since Plato) they chose a Democratic Constitutional Republic. The Majority would choose the Representatives, and the Representatives would then act in accordance with the Majority, so long as they did not violate the constraints placed on them by the Constitution. After all, if the Constitution did not restrain the power of the Majority over the Minority, then nothing would stop Congress from declaring that all Red Headed woman (or any minority) (or all women who think that women should be allowed to vote–this is said only to point out that minorities also exist because of ideological and philosophical differences, not just because of racial and other physical properties) would forced to work as concubines for the President and Supreme Court Justices. The Majority (which can be an ideological majority, such as those who think women should not be allowed to vote) simply cannot dictate the Minority, because if they do, then the Democracy is no different from the Monarchy.

The Constitution has clearly failed. Not only has the Constitution’s value been lost to the complacency induced by time, thereby allowing the state to take for itself far more power than was ever intended, but the failure also allowed the Majority to take for itself far more power than was ever intended. If the Majority of Americans support Welfare and Taxation, then there is no chance of Welfare and Taxation to ever be repealed or undone, even though this means the Minority who is against Welfare and Taxation will have the right to private property grossly violated in the process and will, in effect, become slaves of the State.

If the Majority of Americans support the President’s claim that he can send the military to police the world without a declaration of war by Congress, then the President effectively has that power. In modern America, small disputes and trivial issues often have it pointed out that the Majority doesn’t have the right to enforce its beliefs onto the Minority, but when it comes to fundamental questions of policy, there is no debate and the Minority’s opinions are thrown out the window (under one misunderstood or deliberately misapplied label or another), and the Minority is told that it simply has to put up with whatever the Majority wants to do, often because “we put these people into office.”

Again, Welfare is a terrific example. It is automatically presumed by the Majority that Welfare for the Elderly (in the form of Medicare and Social Security) is a positive and desirable thing and that, at most, we just aren’t currently doing it right. The Majority has no intention of discarding either of these systems unless it is to replace them with better [government]*^* systems. The idea that it is the duty of the State to steal some portion of the productivity of the Working Class and redistribute the confiscated wealth among a non-Working Class is assumed, and no questions which would dispute this assumption are tolerated with any amount of honest consideration. Moreover, in regard to Social Security and Medicare, it is automatically assumed that if we did not have these systems, then the Elderly would starve, become homeless, and go without medical treatment. The past 10,000 years of Society are completely disregarded by these beliefs. 

In no Society in the history of homo sapien have we allowed our Elderly to be stripped of their homes, their possessions, their health, and to starve to death [It should also be noted that the United States is the only country in the world which worries about this happening, because we are the only country in the world which is so out of touch with reality, decency, and common sense that it’s even a possibility]. Our species has always cared for its elderly and its sick. The idea that we should abolish Social Security and Medicare is not the idea that we should allow the Elderly to go untreated or starve to death; it’s the idea that the current Social system we have in place to take care of them is not working (and is morally wrong) and that we have, in the past, used better systems–and we can use better systems today.

Libertarians do not dispute that we have a duty to take care of the Elderly. In fact, no one disputes this. What we dispute is the idea that it is productive to allow the State to force people to do this when history has shown, for thousands of years, that Societies voluntarily take much better care of the Elderly than any State ever could. If you feel that it is your responsibility to contribute to the well-being of Elderly People who you don’t even know, then private Elderly Welfare charities exist for you to do just that. However, the vast majority of Americans would not labor under the hopelessly utopian fantasy that it’s their moral duty to take care of random strangers; most Americans instead would consider it their duty to take care of their own Elderly relatives (and perhaps any neighbors who may need it). And having the 15%+ of their income back in their hands–instead of the State’s–to be used for any purpose they want, including caring for their Elderly Relatives, would certainly make that a lot easier.

Moreover, the Free Market handles these things in ways that we can demonstrate now without theorizing about what Americans would do without Medicare and Social Security to act as Moral Hazards. The next time you are shopping, ask the clerk whether they offer a Senior Citizen’s Discount. You will almost always receive a, “Yes.” What is this phenomenon, if it is not the Free Market taking steps to care for the Elderly? 

Indeed, it is so common for a place to offer a Senior’s Discount that I’ve seen the Elderly become outraged when they visit a place that does not offer such a Discount. We will only see more of this if we dial back our taxes by eliminating Medicare and Social Security. If corporations are willing now to give 10% discounts to the Elderly and that is with the State taking huge portions of everybody’s money, then when you make the State stop stealing that huge portion of their money, their profit margin increases; with an increased profit margin, they can give Seniors greater discounts. To that end, every business would have its profit margin increased–giving them funds to bring more employees up to full-time, to use the latest technologies, to hire consultants to improve efficiency, to hire more workers, and to, if they so choose, provide their employees with extra perks (thereby allowing them to attract better workers), and this includes those companies not offering a 10% discount to Senior Citizens.

What sounds better to you? Forcefully stealing 10% of everyone’s money in order to give money to the Seniors or letting everyone keep their money and spend it how they wish? Before you answer, you should keep in mind a few things.

  • At least thirty cents of every dollar spent by the Federal Government is eaten by waste, inefficiency, fraud,and bureaucracy. For some departments and systems, this percentage lost to waste is higher (Medicaid being a prime example–up to 50% of money allocated for Medicaid is lost to waste). http://www.smpresource.org/docs/The_Sentinel_May2012_HBABCs_Fraud_Estimates.pdf lists that Eighty BILLION dollars of Medicare money is lost to fraud each year. It is extraordinarily difficult–if not altogether impossible–to be defrauded of your money when you are personally spending it on your grandmother’s doctor visits and prescriptions [or giving it to her to do it herself; it doesn’t matter].
  • It follows that, by median estimates, a family would really need to spend only 70 cents for each dollar spent by the Federal Government to take care of these things.
  • Moreover, because of the reproductive nature of humans and family structures in American Society, there are typically two to three working adults available to split the financial burden of an Elderly Relative. This is because the average American has 2.5 kids (in the past, this was actually much higher). These kids will get married, which doubles the amount of people from whom the financial resources can be drawn. A typical woman of 75 will have five working children, and zero to ten working grandchildren, all of whom can voluntarily chip in to help take care of Gran-Gran^^*.
  • Because the State will not be sucking away 10% to 35% of the income of these family members, if we assume an average salary of $25,000 (accounting for working teens and young adults), then between five adults, that is $12,500 that can be used to take care of Grandma. And since they can get with that $12,500 the same amount of care which it would have taken the State $17,857 to accomplish the same thing*, ol’ “Gran-Gran” might not be doing too badly after all.*^^
  • The above $12,500 is acquired simply by allowing adults to keep their own money and to spend it on whatever they choose. No American Family would allow their Grandmothers and Grandparents to go without medical care. Nor would any American Family allow their Grandmothers and Grandparents to starve, go homeless, or anything else. However, this figure ($12,500) does not include the incredible jump in wealth and prosperity which the entire country would experience if we accepted Free Market Principles (including a commodity currency). Competition creates wealth. 

It’s important to remember that when we talk about getting rid of Social Security and Medicare, all we’re saying is that the responsibility to care for your grandparents… should be on YOU, not us. I have my own grandparents I would take care of. So do you. There’s no reason you should be taking care of my grandparents–who you’ve never met–and there’s no reason I should be taking care of your grandparents.

We’re simply saying: GET RID OF THE MIDDLE MAN. Because the middle man is incompetent, wasteful, bureaucratic, inefficient, naive, and can only accomplish his tasks through theft and the use of force. We aren’t telling you to let your grandparents starve or be untreated for illness. We’re saying: TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN DAMNED GRANDPARENTS. 

Social Security and Medicare amount to this: The State steals money from you and then uses that money they stole from you to take care of your grandparents. Does that seem right to you? Does that seem efficient to you? Does that seem like a good idea to you? No, no, and no. It makes thousands of times more sense for you to take care of your own grandparents. If the State stops stealing from you, then you’ll have the free money to do just that.

Counter 1: What About Old People Who Have No Family?

In the rare event that we come across an Old Person who has no family who can take care of them, then we must rely on the benevolence of Society to care for that Old Person. What is the issue with this? If there was a private (“private” in the sense of “not related to Government”) charity to which you could donate some of your money, wouldn’t you do it? Even if you are a complete dick and wouldn’t donate $5 a month to such a charity, there are still churches and secular institutions that collect voluntary contributions and would do it anyway. No Church would allow its elderly members to go without health care or starve or go homeless. And there are many secular institutions that would be just as appalled by the idea. And that’s only necessary if you yourself wouldn’t contribute–plenty of people would. And it would be entirely voluntary.

When you stop stealing from people, you find out that people don’t need motivation to do the right thing. People don’t need a reward to entice them into giving $5 a month to a charity that provides health care to the elderly. And when you stop stealing from them, and you’ve stopped forcing them to do things that you believe would be morally right for them to do, then they have more money they can use to make these contributions. And if your concern is being morally right…

Then you have no justification for supporting Welfare systems like Social Security and Medicare in the first place. It may be morally right to contribute to the care of the elderly. But you must remember that you believing it to be morally right doesn’t give you any authority to force other people to do what you think is morally right. And that’s precisely what the Taxation/Welfare system are. “If it’s morally right for me to contribute a portion of my money to the care of the elderly, then it must be morally right for me to FORCE everyone else to contribute a portion of their money!”

See? That logic doesn’t hold up, does it? Forcing people to do what you think is the right thing… is never itself the morally right thing to do. Forcing someone to do anything is always morally wrong, and it doesn’t matter what exactly you’re forcing them to do. Forcing someone to do anything is morally wrong. And if you can’t agree with that, then you are the reason that Liberty has died. It’s a simple statement.

If you support Medicare, Social Security, or any other form of Government Welfare (including Obamacare), then don’t bother to comment this post unless you begin your comment with, “It’s morally right to sometimes force other people to do something.” If you comment to dispute any part of the Welfare discussion and you do not begin your comment with that sentence, then whatever else your comment says, it will not be approved. You have been warned**. 

It is a false equivalence that “doing the right thing” is morally right, so “forcing someone else to do the right thing” is also morally right. In a Free Society, the use of force is loathed, detested, and contrary to the principles of Freedom. This is where the Non-Aggression Pact enters the picture. In a Free Society, the Non-Aggression Pact is critical to the continuance of Liberty and Prosperity; it is, simply, an acknowledgement by Society and all its Members that it is morally wrong and unacceptable to initiate any form of violence. It doesn’t mean you can’t fight back. It means only that you can’t start fights. 

I can’t speak for everyone, but even with the State taking about 45% of all my money (being a small business owner, I am hit really hard… You wouldn’t believe it. Quite often, by the time the money reaches me personally, it has been taxed three or more times), I still make contributions to charities: The Mises Institute, the Foundation for Rational Economic Education, the United Way, the Animal Liberation Front, The Pirate Bay^*, and the Campaign For Liberty. The key thing to note is that I and I alone dictate and decide to which charities, organizations, and causes I give my money. The State doesn’t get to decide I should give amount of money to the Mises Institute, and you don’t get to decide that I should give amount of money to whatever cause you support–even if that cause is caring for Senior Citizens who you don’t personally know.

Voluntary Yields Greater Success Than Force

In fact, Force yields almost no success. We see this all over the world. When the World Bank steps in to a third world country with the intention of “ending poverty,” two things always happen. This has been documented and demonstrated over and over and over. Any time the World Bank steps into a country with the intention of “ending poverty,” poverty ALWAYS increases and the wealth gap between the rich and the poor ALWAYS increases. Well, not “always.” But the success rate is like 3%. I don’t remember. You can watch the documentary “Zeitgeist: Addendum”*^ if you’re curious about the World Bank and its ineffectiveness.

Knowledge of this general failure is also causing many people to speak out against Obamacare. If the State intends to lower the costs of health care or health insurance, then the only way it can accomplish this… is by getting the health out of the fields. Ooh… That was really bad. I’m sorry about that.

The best way to lower the costs of health care and health insurance is not to pass laws but to repeal laws; the way is not to intervene more in the health care field, but to intervene less. Ron Paul has noted on many occasions that in American Government, Failure is Success. While I’m not going to devote the time today in explaining what has caused the costs of health care to skyrocket, the blame lies almost entirely on Government intervention in the health care field in the first place. And when the Government’s failure to do any good was obvious and resulted in insanely high health care costs, what happened? The People demanded more intervention by the Government! “Hey, you fucked this up by messing with it! Now mess with it more and try to fix it!” Have no doubt, America. The Affordable Care Act will NOT help average Americans get health care. It will do the EXACT opposite of everything we want it to do. And when it fails, the Government will tell us that they need to intervene MORE in order to fix the even MORE broken system that THEY broke. If Obamacare is meant to bring health insurance to more Americans who currently don’t have it, then you know with certainty that in a few years, people who NOW have health care will NOT have it or the health care’s value will be so low that they might as well not have it.

It’s not that the Government can’t do anything right. It’s that if they want to do something right, they have to try to do something wrong. And if the Government wanted to do something wrong in the health care field, what would they do? What’s the most wrong thing they could do about the insanely high health care costs? That’s right: they could back completely the hell out of the health care field. Doing nothing is the most “wrong” thing they could attempt to do. And, interestingly, when it comes to any matter dealing with economics, having the Government do nothing will always lead to the right thing. Having the Government do nothing (“do nothing” includes ceasing all interventions in that market) will lower health care costs, because it was only ever regulations and restrictions that drove them up in the first place. Get rid of those regulations and restrictions, and what happens?

That’s right: Health Insurance becomes a matter of INSURANCE again. No one in the United States considers health insurance to be insurance. And that’s what caused the problem. We became convinced–mostly by lobbyists of huge insurance companies who benefited from the regulations–that we could use our health insurance for every trivial thing. Got to do a routine checkup? Good–you’ve got insurance. Got to get some penicillin? Good–you’ve got insurance. Got to get a physical? Good–you’ve got insurance. And yet… we all know that this attitude would break every other insurance market out there. Moreover, attempting to apply this attitude to any other type of insurance would quickly put us back in our place.

If you attempted to use your auto insurance over every trivial thing that happened, your insurance company would deny most of your claims. And if they didn’t deny your claim, they would raise your monthly premium. And if they didn’t raise your monthly premium, they would drop you entirely and no longer cover you. That’s why people don’t try to use their auto insurance when they run over a nail or when they have a fender bender. People tend to use Insurance only for emergencies. And that is what Insurance is for.

But, no, when we turn to health insurance, suddenly it’s okay to use the insurance for stupid stuff. And do you know why it’s okay to use your health insurance for trivial, non-emergency things? It’s because Government Regulations prevent health insurance companies from denying your claims; it’s because Government Regulations prevent health insurance companies from raising your monthly premium; and it’s because Government Regulations prevent health insurance companies from dropping you. Government Regulations have tied the hands of health insurance companies and have prevented them from using the methods of Insurance. Because insurance companies had to be so careful to avoid looking like they raised your prices or dropped you out of discrimination or because you developed a chronic illness, they could only offset the losses they suddenly incurred from everyone using their insurance for trivial matters by raising everyone’s prices. And doctors and hospitals returned by raising their prices; we’ve known for more than a decade that when you tell the doctors you have insurance, they are far more likely to run expensive diagnostic tests on you. All of this combined together to raise the costs of Health Insurance, and all of it happened because of Government Regulations and Government intervention in the Free Market.

And you expect me to believe that more Government Regulations and more Government intervention in the Free Market is going to help the problem? No, America: the problem is only going to get worse. The more the Government intervenes, the worse the problem will get; the worse the problem gets, the more the Government intervenes. At some point, the system will become so broken that there are only two choices: Socialized Medicine or a return to Free Market Principles.

And we will choose Socialized Medicine. Because we are terrified of the repercussions of the Free Market; we’ve been brainwashed into believing that Free Markets are dangerous and that we need Government Regulation to protect us from the corrupt corporations. And they point to places like Monsanto to evidence this.

Let’s Use Monsanto As an Example

Monsanto does a lot of really fucked up things, but let’s focus on its soy beans. Monsanto makes the poison Round-Up and they also own the copyright (see below–I’m vocally anti-copyright) on a special type of soybean that has been genetically modified to be resistant to Round-Up. Monstanto has a 97% market share in the soybean supply market; 97% of farmers who grow soy get their soybeans from Monsanto. Monstanto also requires that all farmers return their beans at the end of the season and unleash hell onto any farmer who doesn’t. Monstanto has people cruising through Iowa and other states every single day to find anyone who is violating any of their copyrights. They are ruthless and farmers simply cannot fight against them.

What is the root problem here, though? Is it Monsanto? Or is it the copyright law and the inability of farmers to purchase other soybeans of equal quality from other corporations that wouldn’t be so evil? Exactly. What Monsanto is doing is clearly wrong, but the farmers have no one else to whom they can turn. Monsanto has no competition, and Monsanto has no competition because of Government intervention in the free market. In a Free Market, not only could the farmers keep the beans that they purchased (actually, they’d be able to keep the offspring of the beans they purchased, but they should be able to do that, too), but any enterprising individual could buy some of the beans from Monsanto and become a supplier himself. Rest assured that if Monsanto had competition, they would not be Evil. And the only thing preventing Monsanto from having competition… is Government Intervention in the Free Market. The Soybean market is begging for competition. There is a huge gap for a non-evil corporation, and those 97% of farmers, all of whom hate Monsanto and consider it the most evil corporation in the world, would immediately switch to the new competitor and would tell Monsanto to get fucked.

The Free Market would solve the Monsanto problem almost instantly. It wouldn’t take more than a year. Within a year from the end of Government Intervention, Monsanto would simply be a bad memory.

“But What About All the Employees? What About Their Copyrights?”

In answer to the question about copyrights, look at what Monsanto’s copyright has caused! If you’re ignorant on the subject, watch the documentary “Food, Inc.” It addresses the evils of both Monsanto and Tyson, both of which are steeped in absolute Evil. If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say that Monsanto and Tyson are steeped in Absolute Evil, then you really need to watch the documentary, because Tyson provides almost all of the poultry you consume and some of their practices are unforgivable–even to non-vegans and non-vegetarians, Tyson’s actions are simply Evil. And Monsanto… They’re the single most evil corporation on the planet.

What is keeping these evil corporations in power? Surely none of us would choose to work with or for an evil corporation if there was a non-evil competitor. No matter how much money we save by working with Monsanto, if there was competition, everyone familiar with Monsanto would abandon the corporation instantly. The only thing keeping these evil corporations in business is the fact that they don’t have any competition. The Free Market DEPENDS on competition and the idea that everyone is free to compete on a level playing field with everyone else. This competition creates Abundance, Productivity, and Prosperity in ways that we cannot imagine. They also destroy Evil. Monsanto couldn’t be evil if there was competition, because no one would work with them and their evil ways if they could avoid it.

So what about those employees? Yes, what about the people who are actively taking part in the absolutely EVIL practices of Monsanto? What about these people who are knowingly and willingly committing acts that any sane person recognizes as evil or, at the very least, despicable? 

In case you missed the subtlety, FUCK THEM. I can’t be nice about this. If a corporation routinely does Evil and competition rises and, by not being evil, threatens to put the Evil corporation out of business, then let the fate fall upon them which they set for themselves. Let them reap what they have sown. Let them sleep in the beds they have made. Let them lie in the graves they have diggen.***

You’re not really arguing for the continued existence of an evil corporation, are you? 

“No, Anarchist Shemale, But Not All of Monsanto’s Employees Are Evil”

Then they shouldn’t be working there. It’s that simple. If you’re taking any part in evil actions, then you are committing evil actions. It’s that simple. If your corporation is doing things of which you do not approve, then you leave that corporation. And in a Free Market, where Competition, Liberty, and the Right to Property are the reigning principles, then you will have other corporations for which you can work. If you choose not to leave, then you’re choosing to commit actions of evil–in which case you deserve the unemployment that will fall on you when the non-evil corporation takes all your clients.

“But… That’s… That’s…”

That’s what? That’s making people take responsibility for their own decisions and actions? How inexcusable and barbaric of me! Yes, I believe that an individual bears the responsibility for their own decisions and actions and that they should, therefore, receive whatever consequences result from those actions and decisions. I don’t believe that people who comply with evil should be able to avoid the consequences of that, no. I believe people should be accountable for the things they do. And, like it or not, if a person chooses to stay and take part in the evil actions of a corporation, then they are choosing to take part in evil. There’s no way around this logical connection. And, having chosen to take part in evil, they should face whatever Free Market consequences fall on them for that.

And, since it’s a Free Market, anyone who doesn’t want to take part in evil actions can leave and go to a different corporation–to one that isn’t evil. And, since it’s a Free Market, anyone who doesn’t want to make an evil corporation richer is free to do business with a competitor (so long as they don’t violate any contracts into which they entered voluntarily and without coercion). And, since it’s a Free Market, Monsanto would no longer be able to corner the market, maintain a horrendously unfair advantage, and would no longer be able to stifle all competition with lawsuits and the theft of property.

To Be Continued…

This blog simply lays the framework of the Free Market and clarifies what the Free Market can do and how it does it. Understanding the role and power of the Free Market is critical if we ever want to prosper or be free again. There are four principles here that must be inviolate and that must be understood before we continue, so if any of these four principles are still unclear to you by the time you’ve finishes this blog, please leave a comment (this supersedes the requirements noted above) so that I can clarify. These four principles are:

  • Liberty / Individual Responsibility (they go hand-in-hand)
  • Right to Private Property
  • Right to Contract
  • The Free Market and Competition

If these four principles are clearly understood, then go on to “Anarchocapitalism Part 2″ to continue my analysis. Note that I have not written “Part the Second” yet and will post a link as soon as I do. Probably tomorrow. Maybe not. In a few days, for sure. Part the Second will focus more on the “anarcho” part, whereas this Part focused mostly on the “capitalism” part. Part Three will likely explain the concept as a whole, putting parts one and two together. 

* I think I did that wrong… Well, if the math was done incorrectly, you still get my point.

** I despise euphemisms and dishonest intellectualism. If you stand in support of any Welfare system, then you think it’s morally right to steal from someone so that the money can be spent on what you think is the right place for it to be spent. This is why this blog has this requirement: to force you out of your dishonest intellectualism and euphemisms and make any would-be-commenters face what it is they really believe. Yes, Taxation is force. It is, therefore, theft. Yes, Morality is subjective (and one of the tenets of our nation is that no one’s morality may be forced on another person), and as such, it is not an Objective Truth that it’s “morally good” to care for the elderly. That means it’s your system of morality that dictates it’s morally good to do so, and someone may have a system of morality which does not agree with you. There is no difference between Taxation to pay for Medicare and taxation to pay for abortions or taxation to pay for gay marriage. They are all stealing from others to pay for the actions that someone else thinks is morally right–and anyone who disagrees has their opinion completely discarded and is forced to go along with the system anyway, despite their beliefs. This is the very definition of tyranny. 

^* I read a book last night called, “Against Intellectual Property” by N. Stephan Kinsella that, I am pleased to say, presented a cogent, economical, and Libertarian argument against the entire concept of Intellectual Property. As an artist (and musician… and fiction writer… and poet… and non-fiction writer… and game designer… and world designer [D&D3.5/Pathfinder]…), I’ve argued against Intellectual Property and asinine copyright laws frequently in the past, but I never had anything other than Reason to stand with me on the subject. Now I have Economics, Liberty, and the Right to Private Property on my side in standing against the entire idea of Intellectual Property. As I’ve said numerous times in the past, I don’t download music/games/movies/whatever because I’m against rewarding artists for their effort and creativity. Once I experience a piece of art in question, I, like almost every other downloader, will not hesitate to pay the artist for the work. When I downloaded Orcs Must Die! 2 and found it to be one of the funnest games I’ve ever played, I immediately purchased the game, even though I “technically” already had it.

I believe that the asinine idea that we can copyright sound waves, patterns of light frequencies displayed in a specific manner, and strings of words and prevent others from accessing them fully (even if they purchased them) is related to our asinine belief that we can make Nature illegal. When we made shrooms (psilocybin cubensis), marijuana, and peyote illegal, that is exactly what we did: we made Nature illegal. What arrogance! Nowhere in America is our arrogance displayed more clearly than in our attempt to make NATURE illegal. And the idea that a pattern of sound waves can similarly be owned by an Individual is equally arrogant–or a string of words or an assortment of particles that reflect and absorb different frequencies of light arranged in a specific way. It’s asinine and arrogant.

*^ Zeitgeist: Addendum is the last of the documentary series that I would recommend, and I really don’t recommend it fullyZeitgeist was a terrific, powerful, and eye-opening documentary (despite its flaws and exaggerations), and it has a Companion Guide which can be downloaded if you want to fact-check it (you should want to). However, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward just went completely off the rails and the series went from attempting to spread information to attempting to spread Communism. Don’t get me wrong: I actually don’t object to Communism out of ignorance (and I don’t object to it entirely; I object only to our attempts to mix Capitalism with Communism and Socialism). But the Zeitgeist Series has become a launchpad for Communist tendencies and Communist goals. It is no longer worth watching. Peter Joseph’s agenda is no longer to spread truth or information; his agenda is now to spread the idea that Communism would solve the world’s problems. And it is THAT to which I object.

*^* It should be noted that Libertarians and Free Market advocates do, in fact, propose an alternative system which would replace Social Security and Medicare. It is, though, a voluntary system, and not a system that achieves its ends through the use of force, violence, coercion, and dishonest intellectualism. People who advocate the Government providing Welfare are, in fact, asserting that they’d rather force people to do what they think is right than they would allow people to choose to do what they think is right. We propose a Free Market System that relies on volunteers contributing in goodwill, instead of relying on Government Guns to force helpless subjects to do things, often in spite. The notion that only force can effectively provide the needy with care is absurd and proven wrong by the whole of human history; force has always been inferior as a means of achieving goals which could also be achieved through strictly voluntary means. The great success of our military has much more to do with the fact that it is all volunteer (for the moment) than it does anything else. Career soldiers who entered the military of their own volition are much more effective warriors than are those who were forcefully conscripted.

*** That is meant as a joke, but for some reason… “diggen” seems like it should be a word. So does “embiggen” (to make bigger), for that matter–“embiggen” was (created?) popularized by The Simpsons. And judging from Google Chrome’s spellcheck feature, “embiggen” is now recognized as a legitimate word. I propose “diggen” should receive the same treatment. “I dug a hole” and “I have diggen there before.”

^^* No, I don’t and have never called any of my grandparents “Gran-Gran”.

*^^ Especially since in a society where Individual Responsibility is recognized as a thing critically important, Gran-Gran would have used her 401k effectively and combined it with an IRA or two to save up plenty of money through her 45 years of working and would, as long as inflation didn’t steal all her money (which it is, in the U.S. economy), be quite capable of taking care of herself. But if not–hey, what are friends and family for?

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In closing, I’d like to ask a few questions. Do you really believe…

  • that allowing competition would be a bad thing in any market or sector?
  • that changing the length of a foot or yard could somehow make a piece of wood longer? That’s what our money system effectively is and does. A Dollar is simply a foot; it’s just a measurement of labor and resources. That’s it. It has no purpose or value beyond that. Those who believe that creating more money (the Fed, Congress, and others who support Quantitative Easing and other inflationary schemes) will create more wealth believe that changing the length of what we know as a foot or yard will somehow give us more wood when we measure it. The fallacy of this is so obvious that it doesn’t need to be pointed out. No matter the size of a foot or yard, the amount of wood we have will not change. No matter the value of a dollar, the amount of resources and productivity we have will not change. Dollars cannot create wealth any more than inches can create wood.
  • that we can trust our Government to do anything?
  • that it’s better to let the State steal x% of your money to spend on something than it would be for you to keep x% of your money to spend it yourself on that same something, eliminating the middle man?
  • that the State has any purpose other than acquiring more power and securing its continued existence?
  • that you are the Government? …or even that the Government cares about you?
  • that Democracy is a good thing?
  • that Regulations serve as a better safeguard against evil corporations than Competition?