Reality Check

I constantly hear people say that they are afraid of the police, the IRS, what the President will do while in office, afraid that taxation and regulations will drive them out of business, that they will be sued out of business due to frivolous lawsuits, that they aren’t sure that they’re jumping through all the hoops that government requires just to be able to protect their families, that there may be a new military draft instituted, that they will die waiting nearly 10 years on average for the FDA to approve a treatment that may save their life, and so much more.

I hear national talk show hosts repeatedly state that “both [major] parties” have “sold us out,” or are leading us “down the road to Hell.” Even in ads for legal services, one highly rated host mentioned that you should use the legal services being advertised on their show “to protect yourself from government.”

Isn’t it time that we finally admit that government is not a good thing? If people are living in fear, and we have the largest prison population of any country on earth–even though this is supposedly the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”–isn’t it time to admit that this was a mistake and work to abolish it?

I’m not talking about overthrowing the Establishment with violence and bloodshed. I am simply hoping that people will come to their senses and realize that we need to reverse course and peacefully deconstruct the source of our oppression.

I have heard some people say that we need government, because of human nature–but human nature is precisely why no human(s) should ever be able to forcibly control and rule over other humans, with armed armies of officers, agents and soldiers to back them up.

In human history, there has never been a limited, restrained government. Some governments have taken longer than others, but all have failed to remain limited or small. Why? Human nature.

Thomas Jefferson summed it up, quite well:

“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1st Inaugural Address, 1801

Too bad Jefferson didn’t follow his own wise words.

Humans will be humans; no one suddenly becomes a saint, simply by being elected to office. In fact, power corrupts, as the old saying goes—and all of the political scandals, corruption and lies constantly reported in the news should provide ample proof.

Politicians and government officials have divided the country and tricked the people into thinking that they are justified and correct in trying to control others, for some perceived “greater good.” Sorry, but there can be no “greater good” than freedom, and government tramples all over it.

Lysander Spooner once said:

“The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that-however bloody–can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.”

Government officials steal from us (taxation), manipulate our currency and destroy our savings (Federal Reserve), transfer wealth from the commoners to the elite (bailouts), as well as tell us what we can say, what we can eat, where we can travel, what we can buy (and from whom), who we can marry, what we can wear, where we can build, where we can live, how we can work to feed our families, what we can read, how we can protect our families, and on and on, yet they simultaneously try to convince us that we’re free and that they are working to preserve our freedom.

Good grief, people; wake up!

And where did these people get their power, in the first place?

Some will say that “power comes from the people”—but there’s a big problem with that, when you look at everything, logically.

Being a regular person, your neighbor can’t “legally” or morally go out and break into your home, take your children because he doesn’t like you or the way you are raising your kids, steal money from your wallet or bank accounts, force you to use mercury-containing (highly toxic) fluorescent lights, tear your newly-built storage building down because you didn’t get permission (a permit) from him, fine you because you painted your house a color that doesn’t meet with “community standards” or zoning regulations, etc.

How is it, then, that your neighbor—a regular person, just like anyone else—can win an “election” and suddenly gain the power to do these “illegal” and immoral things? If he didn’t have the power, before, and no one else possessed the rightful or moral authority to do these things either, how can that power come from the people? It can’t; therefore, it is illegitimate. You can’t give something away that you do not have—and men in powdered wigs didn’t have any right to simply write words on a piece of parchment and begin ruling present and future generations, either.

We have to admit mistakes and make the necessary corrections. Government and freedom cannot coexist, so a choice has to be made.

The Bible states:

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.”

Even the Declaration of Independence supports correction, stating “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends [Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it...”

The time has come to make a choice: Freedom, or institutionalized slavery, division and theft.

For me, the choice is obvious.

Which one will you choose?

Copyright 2009 Doug Kendall. All Rights reserved.

32 Responses to “Reality Check”

  1. 1 Mackay D James
    February 24, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Very well thought out and written blog, but I can’t understand why people believe that they know what’s best for themselves. Nobody, because we are all species of the human race, knows for sure whether slavery, slavery with a little bit of freedom, slavery but mostly free, or total utter freedom is what’s best for us. Do you stop and wait at red lights at 1:00am because you’re scared that if you enter the intersection you’ll either get into a collision or safely make it through, but be caught by a law enforcement officer and issued a ticket? In that case people are living in fear and being governed by a stupid light up on a pole. People DO need to be governed somewhat and DO need to live in fear because not a lot of us have judgement good enough to ignore a traffic signal that tells them they need to stop until it says to go. It seems to me that arranged marriages last longer than non-arranged; which means that individuals who don’t get to choose (controlled)are successful more often than people who do (free). This world has gone round, goes round and will always go round due to smarter, more powerful people taking advantage of the stupid and powerless people. The government and the other “owners of this country” as the great George Carlin likes to call them, understand that and are just a large part of it. The way things ARE are the way things are supposed to be. If they were any other way, we’d have to rename our species because we’d no longer be acting like humans.

  2. 2 anarchistpov
    February 24, 2009 at 6:05 PM

    Thank you, but the point of all this is to let each individual make that best choice for himself/herself. Freedom sometimes involves unpopular, or seemingly unwise, choices.

    If you, personally, want to be an indentured servant, or feel you need someone else to tell you how to live, fine. Make that choice. As long as it is voluntary, it is a legitimate decision and one that others should respect, even if they don’t support it.

    I don’t need a master, so I do not wish to be a slave or an indentured servant, so I will choose otherwise.

    Since no one else has a legitimate claim to me–or you–without personal, voluntary consent, imposition is unacceptable and immoral.

  3. 3 Mackay D James
    February 25, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    I’m pretty sure you are aware of the incident recently in the state of Nebraska when parents and guardians were simply abandoning their children on the front steps of a hospital because of a “loophole” found in the law. Now here’s an instance where people had the freedom to make the right choice, since they could, and clearly chose wrongly. Now, pathetically, that law needs to reviewed and revised by government so that this situation doesnt rise again. We, as in you and I, couldn’t even expect people to be humanitariun enough to realize that abandoning your flesh and blood is wrong even though it’s lawful. Can you imagine how many abandoned children there would be suddenly if the whole nation was given the right to decide? Look at the state we are in economically because of a poorly regulated mortgage lending industry. Basically, the government relied on banks to lend responsibly and banks relied on potential home owners to borrow the same way. Rights and freedom were available and rights and freedom got abused.

    I understand where you coming from, but you’re viewing things from a perspective that depicts most people as being smart, responsible and hard-working- you know, leadership characteristics! But clearly most people arent leaders; they are followers and should be told what to do most of the time

  4. 4 anarchistpov
    February 25, 2009 at 8:53 PM

    Do you feel that you are a person who is qualified to tell us how to live? When you have a legitimate claim to any of us, or our children, or our property then you will be justified in interfering.

    Freedom isn’t always convenient, and people don’t always make the best choices, but that’s life–and everyone should be able to make those choices. You are not entitled to controlling everyone else–or “electing” others to do it on your behalf–just so you can design the kind of world in which you wish to live. Other people are not your property.

    Second, poor regulation didn’t cause our current economic situation. If we didn’t have a Federal Reserve manipulating our currency (and destroying our savings), and local authorities deciding FOR us what our property is worth (instead of buyers and sellers making those decisions), we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    Banking is one of the most highly-regulated industries on the planet, so to imply that this was a freedom or free market failure is WAY off base–especially since our markets are anything but free.

    Furthermore, have you tried to buy or sell a house, lately, with all of the paperwork, lawyer involvement, tests, codes, permits, inspections, etc. that you must go through that are mandated by government agencies? If that’s “poorly regulated,” I’d hate to see your idea of adequate.

    The way you write, it seems to me that you should actually be in FAVOR of eliminating governmental social safety net programs (bailouts, welfare, regulations, etc.) which encourage waste, dependence, complacency and unreasonable risk. If those safety nets were eliminated, and people knew that they would be personally AND financially responsible for every decision they made, they would be much more careful about their choices.

    Government intervention isn’t the solution; it is clearly the problem.

    Nearly every generation has some type of crisis–fabricated, in my opinion–that gives government a new opportunity to increase its power and transfer more wealth from the commoners to the elite–and the people fall for the scare tactics, every time. Sadly, if you keep people in fear, and hungry, and you can lead them around by the nose.

    You may not like the choices people make with freedom of choice, but you are just another person like the rest of us–and I’m sure that there are people who feel that they are much smarter than you who don’t like some of the favorite choices that YOU choose to make, either.

    Live and let live.

  5. 5 mackaydjames
    February 26, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Ok, I see where you might be confused as far as where I stand when it comes to the debate whether government regulation is necessary or not. To paint a clear picture, I believe that there is absolutely no right way, no way or no wrong way to run the state, nation or planet and that we “humans” are doing the best we can; juggling with our strengths and weaknesses as a species. I have accepted the fact that I as well as we do not know what’s best for us since we are trapped inside these bodies and minds that are so limited in there abilities to do what’s right; and since so many things DEPEND.

    Banking is such a highly regulated world because there are trillions or dollars involved. All that paperwork, lawyer involvement, tests, codes, permits, inspections became necessary because of past scoundrels who tried to get over or take advantage of someone or group of people who expected these individuals to do things in their best interest. At the end of the day, I dont care who you are, all you really care about is yourself and your family; not your neighbor. Sort of like how banks and investors saw an opportunity to “help” every American get into a home (or make tons of money for themselves and others) by lending 450k to a couple with combined 550 credit scores, with no down payment and with non-qualifying debt to income ratios. Has it ever occurred to anyone that owning a home is supposed to be hard?

    Overall, I’m totally against bail-outs, pseudo-free markets, taxation without representation and all the other things one group in this country hates, one group likes and the last group just don’t give a crap about. You to admit that it those few bad apples that spoiling it for the bunch in this world. It IS because of fear why we are so undercontrol in the US but it enters the relm of neccesity when a few criminals, thieves, rapists, liars, kidnappers, and murderers affect the lives negatively of so many people who probably doing the right thing. When bad people begin to affect the lives of so many good, there needs to be an insertion of law, punishment and fear!
    “Live and let live” is very easy to say when no maniac has kidnapped a member of your family. Or embezzled your life savings because the business he was in wasn’t under a watchful eye as keen enough to stop him before hand. A world with government isnt exactly the best world to live in and neither is one without.

  6. 6 mackaydjames
    February 26, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    Please excuse the grammatical errors in the above post… I was in a little bit of a rush.

  7. 7 anarchistpov
    February 26, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    As I said before:

    1. If social safety nets were eliminated, and people knew that they would be personally AND financially responsible for every decision they made, they would be much more careful about their choices.

    2. Other people are not your property.

  8. 8 mackaydjames
    February 27, 2009 at 2:16 AM

    I agree with you on a lot of things; not quite sure if you see anything my way at all though but… I’m new to this blogging “thing”, so I’d just like to say that this was the first one I’ve really participated in and have been impressed so far- you have a strong argument. This was stimulating- just some good old fashioned “back and forthing”. Hope we get to debate on another topic in the future ! Thanks

  9. 9 anarchistpov
    February 27, 2009 at 6:45 AM

    A pleasure, indeed. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    I am always up for a good exchange of ideas. If someone can show me a better way, I’m always willing to listen.

  10. 10 mackaydjames
    February 27, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    “If someone can show you a better way?”… Nobody on this planet has even 10 percent of the brain power to remotley ponder on a concept like that. You know what I often think sometimes? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was actually a God? I truly believe that it has never been in our job description to figure a “better” or “best way” because that is and always has been His job. Someone who knows what’s best because he actually IS “the all-knowing”- for crying out loud, we are His project? You know; to show us humans, who have been lost since the beginning of time what our purpose is here on earth- so we can be SURE and not confused. I thought it was funny when I read in the Bible (Genesis) when God basically punished Eve and everyone else for wanting to “know” as much as He did. Us humans could actually be “god-fearing” and have a real and great reason to be honest and careful not to change someone else’s life for the worse. And what about this… He’d even be impenetrable to and unharmed (not like his so-called Son) by our pitiful, puny poisons, bullets, torture devices, shot guns, machine guns, grenades, rockets, nuclear bombs etc.- they’d all melt in his mouth like skittles! If there is a God, then he needs to reveal himself now or maybe he has just moved on to project number two and did so a long time ago…LOL. But that’s a whole other blog! LOL

  11. 11 anarchistpov
    February 27, 2009 at 6:58 PM

    I do believe in God, and I see this life as merely a test for something much greater after this world has passed. Personally, I feel we are often left to our own devices, to see what choices we will make.

    That’s just my two cents.

  12. 12 Robert
    March 11, 2009 at 12:52 AM

    anarchistpov, as an Individual Secessionist, I just want to say, thank you.

  13. 14 John L.
    March 23, 2009 at 5:23 PM

    On the contrary sir. Government and Freedom do coexist, in fact Freedom can only exist with the proper amount of government. Freedom exists when Constitutional government is instituted. Government has a limited role, one of protecting public tranquility, civil liberties, the nation’s boarders, & contracts; executing the law, and creating laws according to the supreme law (the Constitution). Government should basically be a referee, therefore allowing citizens the freedom to actually run the nation. Limited government is proper, yet when it grows wildly it begins to infringe upon liberties. Our government must be regulated and tied down by the Constitution once again, however, we must have government, as it’s a necessary evil. In relation to this we must be a moral people, a nation who exalts and follows God’s law first. You advocate anarchy, yet you show little knowledge of what it entails. Anarchy sir, is chaos. History’s accounts of anarchy have all ended in tyranny. Anarchy is a formless society, where each individual creates his own personal law, accountable to nobody, no standard. Anarchy is animalistic in nature, it’s otherwise described by another term… ‘survival of the fittest‘. Imagine having to constantly protect your yard, food, vehicle, and family with guns 24/7, due to roaming mobs of individuals with guns who would rather take than work. In your society, those mobs wouldn’t be illegal, because they would be enacting their own personal law, since anarchy has no true law or government to protect your rights from being infringed by others. You see, your rights must be protected from others wanting to strip them away, that includes other individuals in society as well. The basic fact that you sit in your warm house, safe from criminal elements, and enact your First Amendment rights by typing your opinion on your computer is a testament to properly working Government. In addition, to explain the Bible verse you mistakenly quoted in your post:

    Matthew 6:24 – (Jesus speaking) “No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.

    Jesus is saying that a person cannot be devoted to God and evil at the same time. There are many people who would like to “ride the fence” when it comes to God, but Jesus is drawing a line by saying that you either love God, or you love the things & ideas of this world.

    • 15 anarchistpov
      March 23, 2009 at 6:58 PM

      Normally, I simply ignore comments like this, but this one “takes the cake” as they say.

      First off, humans were here and living long before the concept and construct of any government. To say that these people weren’t free before governments came along is ridiculous.

      Basically, you’re saying that people need a set of official restrictions – backed by the power of a gun and armies of agents – in order to be free. That’s like saying people need to have sex in order to save virginity.

      Second, you call government “evil,” yet you say we have to have it in order to be free. At the same time, you mention Jesus who said “Keep away from every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). If government is “evil,” why do you support it?

      Third, I have been an anarchist as long as I can remember – even when I didn’t realize there was a name for my philosophy – and I assure you that I have a crystal clear understanding of anarchy.

      When you describe anarchy as “animalistic,” unaccountable and lacking in standards, it is you, sir, who clearly doesn’t have a clue what true anarchy is about.

      True anarchists are opposed to the initiation of force against other human beings, so for you to describe it as animalistic, unaccountable and without standard is pure ignorance. Hollywood and mainstream news networks have obviously done a good job of twisting yet another word into meaning something totally different from the truth.

      In a true and pure anarchist society, we would have no need for your ‘constant’ protections, laws, military, “mobs” or anything else involving force, because we don’t believe in initiating force against others.

      Contrary to what you seem to believe, we are the most peaceful people on the planet – and proof that humans can exist without a criminal element. We believe in cooperation and private solutions, instead of government force and legislated morality. Maybe you need that, to make you a better person, but we don’t, because we don’t support ‘stripping’ anything away from another person.

      Fourth, the fact that I sit in a warm house and type my views has nothing to do with government. On the contrary, I sit here in spite of government.

      Government has been the main destroyer of private property (see Kelo Decision, Eminent Domain, zoning, land-use planning, 2020 plans, smart growth, sustainable development, Vision plans, property taxes, etc.) and squelched speech (see FCC, community standards, etc.), so I find it incredible that you would attempt to put forth the idea that government is the be-all, end-all protector of those things – and it’s scary to think that you, and many others, actually believe it.

      As I previously stated, government and freedom cannot coexist. If you are restricted, controlled or regulated, you are not free.

      There is no such thing as somewhat free, mostly free, or slightly enslaved; either you are free or you are not – and if you are told what to do, you are not. There is no middle ground, with slavery and freedom.

      Now, please, go do your homework.

  14. 16 mackaydjames
    April 7, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    Sorry, but I have to jump back in here just for a second. anarchistpov, you have spouted freedom, freedom, freedom like a maniac but you seem to be confined to only one way of thinking of this issue. Myself and John L. have the ability to see things in more ways than just one. It’s been made clear that you are right about a lot of things on this topic by both of us, but it doesn’t seem like we make a shred of sense to you on anything. Do you not see anything our way? We don’t make any good points? Free thought, to me, is the only type of freedom we all can actually have here on earth if you ask me. Freedom of thought is when you can see things in more ways than one.

    The very fact that you can sleep at night without worrying about someone kicking in your window, turning over your house, raping your wife and kidnapping your children is government or fear at work- people fearing that if they get out of line like that they’ll be thrown in jail or sent to the electric chair. John L. is right when he says that your rights must be protected from others wanting to strip them away- which is the point I was trying to make originally. People don’t exactly know what to do with freedom sometimes except take advantage of it or abuse it. That usually results in the spread of sadness and despair for good, honest and innocent people.

  15. 17 anarchistpov
    April 13, 2009 at 4:34 AM

    I have “spouted freedom” like a “maniac”? That is the first problem we have, here: I have made polite and intelligent replies to your comments, yet you say I’m acting like a maniac for being so supportive and outspoken about freedom. There’s something seriously wrong with that, in my opinion.

    I do see things from a very wide variety of angles – and I guess that’s why I successfully created and hosted the top-rated political talk radio show in my market and time slot, while “spouting freedom” constantly, and mopping the floor with many politicians along the way.

    I had to greatly increase the bandwidth of the live Internet stream three times, to keep the number of people trying to log in from crashing the system, while receiving phone calls and email messages from supportive listeners all over the world. I guess there are a lot of ‘maniacs’ like me out there.

    The real problem here is that you seem to feel that if I don’t agree with you that I’m not seeing things from different angles. I assure you that I have, and continue to do so, but I absolutely and completely disagree with you. Don’t mistake disagreement for lack of understanding.

    As I’ve said before, if someone can show me a better way, I’m there. You simply failed in that task.

    As for the comment about crime, is there some law that’s going to jump off an official government page and stand between me and a burglar? No, of course not. Laws don’t stop people or bullets; they simply serve as a tool for how to dole out punishment, after the fact. The police are simply going to show up, take a report and clean up the mess – after I’ve blown the brains of the intruder all over the wall.

    Cops aren’t going to magically, instantly appear, so if I want to be sure that my family and I are safe I have to take responsibility for myself – and then pray that I am not the one arrested for innocently defending myself in my own home.

    And the biggest thing of all, for me, is this: How can you “abuse” or “take advantage of” freedom? Your statement really blows my mind – and it’s an example of why this country is falling apart, with everyone thinking that they should be able to tell others how they can live their lives.

    The only sadness and despair I see being spread is by lying politicians and their uneducated, fearful and greedy constituents.

    If you have the view that too much freedom spreads “sadness and despair,” then it seems to me that you’ve never had a good taste of it or seen the reality of what it can truly bring.

    (Please forgive my late reply; I was on vacation. 🙂 )

  16. 18 mackaydjames
    April 16, 2009 at 6:45 PM

    “As for the comment about crime, is there some law that’s going to jump off an official government page and stand between me and a burglar? No, of course not. Laws don’t stop people or bullets; they simply serve as a tool for how to dole out punishment, after the fact. The police are simply going to show up, take a report and clean up the mess – after I’ve blown the brains of the intruder all over the wall.”

    You got way ahead of yourself when you stated that. I understand the point you are trying to make though. But to be a burgular, one would have to have already abused his freedom enough to break into your house. Are you saying that deciding to break into someone’s house isn’t something a person should be fearful of doing? He has already committed and is obviously willing to deal with the ramifications and punishment that come along with breaking and entering- raping and kidnapping. He’s even willing to take the chance of you, the home owner in this case, being home and has a really big gun that’ll end him instantly. Wouldn’t you feel safer if you knew for sure that, because breaking into someone else’s house is illegal and that our Judicial system will throw them in jail or even give them electric chair, one would choose not to do that? Do you think most of us human beings are these sweet, caring, sensitive, honest and considerate animals trotting the planet acting out violently once in while because a few of us are crazy? No… we are a bunch of heartless, brutal, careless, stupid barbarians. We just dress nice and say meaningless things to one another like, “hello, how are things going?” and “have a nice day”. Niceness and descency are just cover ups for how most of us really are. People act nice because they are supposed to be nice- not because they’re nice. To use one basic example, do you wonder why they called the wild, wild west, “the wild, wild west”?- because there was no friggin law. People had the freedom to do whatever they want so they did whatever they felt like doing- there wasn’t much concern for right and wrong! There’s was an insertion of law and government because innocent people got tired of that shit. I believe that there are a lot more murderers, molestors, etc. among us and that the only thing keeping them on the right side of the law is the idea of prison.

    On a much larger scale, government has gotten out of hand though. But there definately needs to be a reasonable percentage of it in order to keep certain people under control. I think that you are obviously someone who takes for granted a lot of advantages we have because we live in the U.S and give “people” too much credit. I’m not going to lecture you on as many things as I could come up with on that so…

  17. 19 anarchistpov
    April 16, 2009 at 8:37 PM

    Since we already have laws on the books about crime, if someone is going to break into your house, kill you, etc. the law has already failed. What good is it, at that point? And what if he gets to me first and kills me? Like I will care if he gets sent to jail…I’m dead! Like I said, the Law is only there to deal with the situation, after the fact.

    Furthermore, someone breaking into your house isn’t “abusing freedom.” Slaves can engage in criminal activity, too (whatever the Masters decide is forbidden). We are all living examples of it.

    When someone initiates force against you, it is a transgression/trespass. And if you were truly free, you wouldn’t have to worry about being investigated or kidnapped and locked away in a steel cage (jail) simply for innocently defending yourself.

    We could debate this all day long, but at the end of the day it all comes down to this: You have no claim to me (and vice-versa), so you have no right to interfere in my life or tell me how to live. And since you don’t personally have that power, you can’t simply “elect” someone and transfer to them a power you never had in the first place.

  18. 20 terrymac
    December 30, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    Many who object to anarchy make one or both of two terrible mistakes; they assume that rules of conduct do not exist without rulers. They also assume that, since some people are imperfect, all must be ruled. Both assumptions are without foundation.

    Certain rules – such as “don’t murder”, “don’t steal”, “don’t rape” would be generally held to be true in any society, with or without a government. When you get down to brass tacks, the most effective way to deter rapists, thieves, and murderers is right at the moment when they attempt to force their way on you; offer them a choice: leave me alone in peace, or I will stop you.

    The illusion of legitimacy which we give to government permits them to do things which would be considered criminal if done by anyone else. If anyone takes money from me without consent, that is theft; but government tax collectors get a “steal as much as you are authorized” pass. Killing people (except in self-defense) is murder, but a government which declares that “national security” is at stake will bomb and otherwise kill as many people as they choose.

    What we call “Government” does not deter criminal activity, on net; it encourages it, subsidizes it, sanctifies it with the mantle of government authority. As a famous bumper sticker puts it: “Don’t steal, the government hates competition.” The greatest danger to human life is not the freelance murderer; even serial killers have infinitesimal impact, compared to the many millions who have been killed by governments. Duly-licensed operators of Predator drones, aircraft carriers, or any other bit of government apparatus get an automatic free pass on mass murder. Government encourages so much crime that it must export the surplus beyond our borders.

    To all who say we must have government to watch over us, the essential question is Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchers, when they define their own rules of engagement, grant themselves sovereign immunity, and legalize their most terrible actions?

  19. May 23, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    anarchistpov, i read those comments and really feel for you! this is the life we choose, i guess, to educate the blindingly ignorant, yet condescending, masses.

    it always amazes me how people who have never given a second thought (or a first thought, even!) to these concepts are so certain that they are experts because they can recite the same old pathetic cliches as everyone else.

    nice article, though. of course you’re right and best of luck to you with these “students”!

  20. October 28, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    “I am simply hoping that people will come to their senses and realize that we need to reverse course and peacefully deconstruct the source of our oppression.”

    There is no hope. There is only action, or inaction. In that hope means you are tending to take actions consistent with what you desire, great. In that you are waiting for other people to come to their senses, I think you may be over-estimating their sensibility. There seems to be plenty of evidence that a large percentage of the population (maybe 30% or so) thinks that other people ought to rule them. Another substantial percentage thinks that they ought to own and rule other people. The no-rulers ideal is not near at hand.

    In terms of action, I think the best approach was suggested about 2,500 years ago by Laozi. It is the “withdrawal of support” that Etienne de la Boetie wrote about in 1561 or so. It is the “dropping off the vine” that Thoreau spoke of in his speech on Civil Disobedience in 1848. It is the withdrawal that Murray Rothbard wrote about which so clearly inspired Samuel Edward Konkin III to develop the ideas of agorism, as most excellently expressed by Kyle Bennett in 95 theses on the subject.

    Now, you can obviously say, “But Jim, if there were any evidence that this strategy would work, wouldn’t we have seen it in 2,500 years?” To which I say, “There is plenty of evidence that is has worked. A thousand years of peaceful anarchy in Ireland. Three hundred years of free Iceland. Dozens of places like Boston in 1774 and Barcelona during the Spanish civil war where anarchism held sway for a short time. Anarchism works every time you do what you choose without being supervised. For seven billion people on Earth, it works a little bit every day.”

    But I would go further, today, and point to places like IndSovU.com and SecondRealm.net where people are actually implementing, talking about, and teaching the methods of agorism. Entire dark nets have been created, complete with free market money. We have, at last, a distributed, decentralised communications system where peer to peer rather than client-server is the norm.

    We have, at last, the technologies for completely private economic transactions. What the government cannot detect, it cannot prohibit, it cannot regulate, and most importantly it cannot tax.

    I do not say that this path is going to be easy. It is already very evidently hard. But the hierarchical systems have torn themselves apart, again and again. The fraud endemic in the system is more evident than ever, in the bailouts, in the auto company takeovers, in the huge wealth transfer of the government purchases to keep the stock market from plunging, and in the foreclosure scandal of “robo signing.” People are already hurting.

    Prosperous people do not readily change the systems they think are making them prosperous. Now is the Winter of our discontent. But soon, the Spring our our new agorism economy.

    • 23 anarchistpov
      October 28, 2010 at 8:18 PM

      I don’t have all the answers. All I know is that I don’t own anyone else, and no one else owns me–and that was basically what I was trying to say with this article.

      Until we find our ace in the hole, I’m going to keep plowing away in the best way I know how. Personally, I think it will take a multi-faceted approach.

      Hopefully, all our paths will intersect, one day, and things will become more clear.

  21. August 5, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    He, anarchistpov. You make a very convincing case for anarchy. I also like this agorism fellow, Jim. I’ve been a “right libertarian”, “constitutional conservative”, or whatever term you like, for a few years now. I’m also interested in anarcho-capitalism. Basically, I like to just say that I’m “liberty-minded”, because labeling oneself or affiliating oneself with an established group or party is problematic, as I’m sure you know. Terms are ambiguous, and I don’t necessarily want to associate myself with some of the people who put themselves in the aforementioned categories. Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading this whole debate. Since becoming a big Ron Paul fan and supporter, I’ve found myself becoming more and more compelled to debate politics with people. Not because I enjoy politicss – I wouldn’t be caught dead running for office – but because I am continually fascinated by how misled people are. I can’t help but try to wake them up. I just desperately wish that it was easier to set people straight. I’m sure you can identify with that feeling. Not that I’m brilliant or an expert – I’m certainly not. I just have a basic understanding of liberty. I may believe in constitutional government of some kind, but as long as a person has a basic understanding of liberty, I don’t particularly care what intellectual path they take from there. The tragedy is that most people don’t even have that. I just want to beat people over the head and shout “YOUR RIGHTS COME FROM GOD, NOT OBAMA.” Anyway, take care and keep fighting the good fight. 🙂

    • 27 VoluntaryistPOV
      August 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

      Thanks for reading and the comments. Just remember that ANY involuntary government is slavery–constitutional, or otherwise.

      • August 10, 2011 at 9:10 PM

        True. I take the whole “consent of the governed” thing very seriously. I think most people realize that, at least at this current point in history, there needs to be, at the very least, some kind of system for dealing with crime. I think the vast majority of people would consent to this because the vast majority of people are good and decent. They simply don’t want the few “bad apples” to get out of control. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not, in any way, defending the current criminal justice system or government. I’m just saying that I think a certain amound of legitimate force is necessary. In order for it to be “legitimate”, though, I think it has to be as local as possible and STRICTLY limited. That’s ultimately the problem, though. How do you ensure that this power is always used strictly by-the-book? Food for thought. Perhaps it’s impossible. At any rate, to me it seems better to at least try to have “good government” than to simply not have any of it. At least at this point in our history. Perhaps one day we’ll all finally take Jesus’ advice and just love one another. If that ever happens, “political philosophy” will be every bit as relevant as alchemy is now. 😉

  22. 29 VoluntaryistPOV
    August 10, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    There is no such thing as “good” government (“good” slavery).

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