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  • Matthew Reece‘s article Introducing the Ohio Strategy has a new comment 21 seconds ago

    For a century and a half, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have maintained a stranglehold on American politics. They have used this position to make life very difficult for anyone who wishes to [Read story]
    • I grew up in Ohio. I think Ohio is proud of its swing state kingmaker status. It seems to me tha, as a result, Ohioans, possibly more than the people of most other states, would view casting their vote for a third party as throwing it away. That said, I did a quick look at the ’92 election results and Perot did barely better in Ohio than he did nationally.

    • Of course, Perot was trying to win nationally. This Ohio Strategy candidate would be only acting as a spoiler. Why would anybody in Ohio cast their vote for such a candidate?

    • That said. Perot was trying to win a national campaign. Why would anyone waste their vote on a candidate who isn’t even trying to win nationally?

    • The reason one casts a vote for a spoiler candidate is to send a message to the party that thought they had the voter’s vote. The only conditions under which they would do that is if they were sufficiently dissatisfied with the main candidates as to regard their vote as actually wasted if it helps either Obama or Romney win, which is exactly the thing all third-party campaigns try to argue. If we successfully convinced people in Ohio of that, the swing-state pride would not be an issue for those who were convinced that they were only the swing state between tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

      That said, you’re right it’s a long shot.

  • Jeffrey Tucker‘s article Captured, Cuffed, and Jailed: A Personal Story has a new comment 37 seconds ago

    new-generic-police-lights-1It was a lovely day otherwise but, for me, most of it was spent in jail. From one minute to the next, I went from seemingly free to cuffed and captured. Anyone who has ever experienced such a thing knows [Read story]
    • I’m so relieved you’re in one piece to share your story. As awful as your ordeal was, and even worse for the your “felon” cell mate, tragically it could have been so much worse: https://liberty.me/create-music/cop-block/ The cop guides on that page can save lives.

    • Literally unbelievable Mr. Tucker. I have a similar, way to long, story to relate concerning a self important police officer at the Seattle airport exercising his misguided authority against me for not having a car seat for my 2 1/2 year old grand daughter while the car was parked waiting for her parents to arrive with a car seat they had checked as baggage. Handcuffed, jailed, threatened…the whole treatment. Was I cooperative with their demands? No because I believed (still do) they had no rational reason to detain me in that absolutely dumb circumstance. I agree that all of us are just one mistake away from having our assumed freedom interrupted by any irrational police person of the state. I believe we are all helpless to counter this kind of treatment and wonder if there Is anyone besides me and you concerned about the systems the police in the USA following?

    • This excellent essay is something I might assign my students in Introduction to Sociology. They seem to have the most difficult time comprehending the nature of the State. I try as much as possible to not talk about the handful of times I’ve found myself in handcuffs, although I do mention the many times I’ve been pulled over to receive only a verbal warning. For my purposes, I could even share this with colleagues, and they might mistake the references to privilege, Marx, and exploitation as reason to assign it to illustrate what we call conflict theory. Most students find it far more easy and comforting to entertain what is called structural-funcitonalism, or the theoretical framework that assumes that all the components of society operate together for the harmony of the whole, and that it is only deviants and criminals who are social pathologies. Most sociologists use that perspective as a foil (and strawman) to show their students the strengths of assuming society is composed of competing groups, but the culprit is typically portrayed as capitalists and capitalism, not law enforcement personnel and the State. Having attempted many times to lead my students to see the State for what it is, I know to expect certain knee jerk reactions and a general puzzlement, and so if I have my 17-22 year-old student body read this, I expect the first and tallest hurdle will be their suspicion that Mr. Tucker is a lucky criminal with a chip on his shoulder (I think I’m not projecting too much here), that he should stop whining and pay closer attention to his affairs, and that really this whole essay boils down to a matter of opinion and hyperbole. Some will get it, some will be open to exploring the nature of their statist worldview, but others will inevitably retreat into a self-sealing, self-righteous sense of security as the law abiding, upstanding citizens they think themselves to be.
      I’m sorry to hear about your ordeal, but I hope this essay can start conversations about the nature of law and order in our society.

    • Glad you made it out of there safely. Were there any charges? I was terribly saddened to read of how they treated “the felon”. What a tragedy for him.

    • I am sorry, Jeffrey.

      There is something strange in the callousness of the US “public servants” with some dose of power, like cops or airport officers. In Western Europe, for example, they are far more restrained. In this specific case, at least in my experience, they would have let you go with a recommendation to fix the problem in your papers soon. Especially after all the bad publicity due to the killings and brutality, one would expect that in the US they would make an extra-effort to appear reasonable, but they don’t, and I don’t understand why. Of course, the price mechanism does not work for them, they do not have economic incentives to be reasonable. Still, in a world of ubiquitous cameras and blogs, the chiefs shouldn’t want to have some of their members to be shown as complete assholes, as in this case. The voice, naming and shaming, should still have some effects on their behavior. I wonder why it obviously does not. Maybe is the stupid trend of using statistics like the number of arrests and convictions to measure a department effectiveness.

    • Despite the ubiquitous cameras and blogs we still lack effective, personalized ‘naming and shaming’. We lack easy-to-use, anonymous (for whistleblower safety) counter-surveillance platforms for ordinary people to ‘bell the cat’ – to tag, track and publicize the specific state agents and (as Jeffrey points out) the private enablers who actually commit the violence and abuse. Such a platform, say as a mobile app, would also help neighborhood watch efforts against freelance criminals and thugs.

    • Any one advocating for a law, is revealing that he would be willing to kill people in order to get his own way. You are right, Jeffery, to cast your binoculars on “the masses of people [who] follow these claims and push their agendas, which are always about building the law code, higher, thicker, tougher, more and more horrible.”

    • Beautiful Jeffrey!

    • I don’t understand why you think of yourself “privileged” whilst being held against your will, behind bars.

    • I think he’s referring to being privileged relative to the man who wouldn’t be eating at McDonald’s later that day.

    • Privileged relative to others. Not in an absolute sense of course. The only real privs belong to the state itself, which is the whole point of my article.

    • for me, I loathe McDonald’s so I wouldn’t even consider that being privileged. I think the word “privilege” is thrown around to make people feel guilty. It’s odd to me that it’s being used here. @asdimd

    • McDs isn’t for everyone :) but at least we have choice.
      I use the word privilege in the classical way. It’s a libertarian term. Don’t let the left steal our language.

    • I prefer a good home cooked over McDonald’s or any other fast food chain, but I’d take ANY meal at McDonald’s that my worst enemy would choose for me over the jail food I’ve been given on my few visits.
      I think the use of the term in the article is like this: I went to a small school that served one type of (bad) food for our meal at lunch, but we were privileged enough to be able to bring our own lunches. Some kids are privileged enough to have relatively grand selections at school, and others should feel privileged to be able to go off school grounds for lunch.
      “Privilege” is definitely used to induce guilt and shame, and I think there are some people out there who might read this article, see that term, and assume that the author must be on the left for using it along with citing Marx and questioning the criminal justice system. For all their anti-authority rhetoric during the Bush years, I hope to see the left begin to question the authority of the State, and to also confront their privilege of being anti-war only so long as a democrat isn’t in the White House.

    • The left has stolen the term “privilege” just like they have stolen the term “liberal” and now I see them taking over the word “libertarian”. I don’t know the best way to combat this.

      I like this quote from Samuel Adams:
      “How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!
      @jeffreytucker

    • great writing

    • I had a similar experience years ago. First, I was involved in a minor traffic accident hundreds of miles from my home. I traveled a lot in my work at the time. I wasn’t ticketed, but I was obliged to file an accident report by mail. I neglected to so so.

      A couple of months later, I was stopped for a minor traffic violation. I was on an interstate exit ramp and realized that I had missed the sign telling me which direction to turn to reach my destination (a McDonalds), so I backed up a few feet to see it. No one was behind me, but backing up on an exit rape is illegal, and a policeman saw me do it, so he stopped me. Because I hadn’t filed the accident report, my license was suspended, unbeknownst to me.

      The rest of my story is nearly identical to yours, except that, because I was also far from home when I was arrested, I had no one nearby to pick me up at the jail. I couldn’t drive away, because I had no license and my car was impounded, so I spent the night in jail rather than take a taxi to a hotel for the night. My parents drove many hundreds of miles in the night to pick me up the next morning. I eventually paid several hundred dollars to retrieve my car.

      The police were nice enough to me. The jailors were more callous. I asked for a magazine or a book to read and received an impertinent refusal. Who was I to ask a small favor of them? They dealt routinely with petty criminals, and I was only one more in a long list.

      I eventually had my charge, driving with a suspended license, reduced to driving without a license in my possession, to which I plead guilty. I wasn’t charged with backing up on the exit ramp. Through a bureaucratic snafu, the state in which I was arrested mistakenly reported a conviction on the original charge to my home state.

      Conviction for a license suspension in another state is grounds for suspension of my license in my home state, so my license was suspended again! I had to repeat the reinstatement process after clearing up the mistaken report. My insurance records for some time also showed a conviction on the original charge, which is more serious and raised my premium. Correcting these records took ages.

      My dad, who is an attorney and understands the mindless nature of the legal system, called the whole episode a comedy of errors. The state is this never ending comedy of errors. No wonder the police laughed and high-fived as they watched this Mexican guy’s life disintegrate.

    • I am sitting with your observations. Mourning lose of your autonomy and to be shackled. Feeling of anxiety and outrage. And yet I celebrate when I think of Thoreau most especially http://thoreau.eserver.org/wendy.html

      17] Toward the men who were his jailers, Thoreau seems to have felt more disdain than anger, stating,
      They plainly did not know how to treat me, but behaved like persons who are under-bred. In every threat and in every compliment there was a blunder; for they thought that my chief desire was to stand the other side of that stone wall…. I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it.

      For me some insight. Sell the car buy you know what.

      In some sense perhaps it makes sense to rent a car once a week…or a chauffer and do one’s shopping…

      Run the office from home. Meet at cafe around corner…etc etc

      It is just not worth getting pulled over. These people are deadly. Glad you survived…

    • Correction removed.

    • I am reminded of [23] Civil Disobedience ends on a happy note. After Thoreau’s release…the children of Concord had brightened his mood by urging him to join a huckleberry hunt. Huckleberrying was one of Thoreau’s valued pastimes and his skill at locating fruit-laden bushes made him a favorite with children. And, should a child stumble, spilling berries, he would kneel by the weeping child and explain that if children did not stumble, then berries would never scatter and grow into new bushes.
      [24] He ended his chronicle of prison,
      joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour … was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.

    • Interestingly that while Lysander Spooners Constitution **of no Authourity** is great nothing beats going in and doing it yourself…looking at individuals as individuals…

      And then around 4 minutes in gets to traffic tickets…

      http://youtubefree.ru/watch/RZY5oujLgxw

      More details..Watch “Plea of Guilty – Tool For Getting Tickets Kicked Out” on YouTube https://youtu.be/iNuFxsBow8k

    • @atlasaikido Re: “Interestingly that while Lysander Spooners Constitution **of no Authourity** is great nothing beats going in and doing it yourself…regarding a traffic ticket….*as it relates to looking at and treating and talking to individuals as individuals albeit psychopaths…*

      This adds personal standing and experience to methodological individualism that I just started to read about in Wendy Mcelroy’s “The Art of Being Free”.

      ‘This methodological approach worked in analyzing even extremely complex collective wholes such as “the state.” Everything the state did or was could be reduced to individual actions. As Mises explained, “The hangman, not the state, executes a criminal. It is the meaning of those concerned that discerns in the hangman’s action an action of the state.” Individuals who look at the hangman see the state in action only because an abstraction known as “the state” provides a context for his action…’

      Well in the above you are indeed talking to an individual…traffic tickets are minimal risk level.

    • It is the way the criminals were treating the Hispanic man that is destroying America: https://peterlothiannelson.liberty.me/on-the-cause-of-violence/

    • Reading Jeffrey’s article was an unwelcome reminder that we are not free when subject to arbitrary detention & arrest. Listening to him on last night’s HangOut almost made me weep with grief and anger. Much of the story felt painfully familiar. However I was struck by Jeffrey’s insight that “‘the state’… couldn’t work without the private sector”. This could be an exploitable vulnerability.

    • Very sorry about your experiences with the Gulag state of America. I know just how you feel. One tip from an old hand at being arrested: ask politely that the cuffs be double-locked. If they are just slapped on, they will bind up, especially if you are put into a patrol car with your hands cuffed behind you. The manufacturers make the cuffs stop cinching tighter with a little mechanism that is activated with the police officer’s key. It can save your wrists from much punishment.
      The state exists to take as much from you as possible for the benefit of those who run the state and those who support them. Ending the Fed is just the beginning. Anarchism is the only way forward. Digital cash will be a vital part of the transition.

    • Jeffrey, I too am very sorry to hear of your misfortune at the hands of the world’s most dangerous gang of thugs. A friend of mine and I always say that people don’t wake-up until “the state happens to them!” Upon hearing this kind of story, most of the time I can at least take some satisfaction in knowing that someone else in the world is perhaps one more step removed from having “eyes wide shut.”

      Eric Peters recently reported on his somewhat less violent encounter with the state’s gang here (though disobeying one’s masters will rapidly illicit a response of capital punishment from them in all cases) :
      http://ericpetersautos.com/2015/08/12/the-other-side-of-the-thin-blue-line/

      But both you and Eric already had your eyes wide open. Hence, I am denied my remote sense of satisfaction and only feel the emotions of sorrow and rage.

    • Over the last few years the police have gotten so bad that I honestly fear for my life virtually every time I leave the house. This last few months has been full of stories of various forms of police abuse in East Texas, ranging from simple assault, to rape, to murder which just heightens my caution and awareness.

      It is honestly hard to imagine how anyone still thinks that we do not live in a police state.

    • It not just when driving.

      Conscientious at work, or texting at a gas station waiting to pay for gas?

      Someone asks you why you look xyz, unhappy, frustrated etc…as you are coordinating and perhaps even taking up slack for the team member.

      Disconnected language of Diagnosis unrequested can be a trap…

      Especially when it’s Law Enforcer officer? Is it a demand or a request? Is it your safety or his own that he is concerned about? Who is actually the agitated one?

      E.g. I see you have this splinter, do you mind if I remove it? Calm down I am only trying to help you!

      My friend answered oh I am texting and don’t want to text whilst driving…

      His answer to a team mate was oh this is what busy looks like. Everything is fine…

      Things to be aware of before hand and even practice dialing in being triggered. If you get triggered by need for respect and space when busy or overwhemled or caught off guard?

      Being aware of this is one thing.

      Practice before it happens.

      Aspiration of what expect to come out mouth and body and facial expression will come out to lowest level of training.

      Some mediation practice maps and video demos here:

      https://connect.liberty.me/gordon-lightfoot-marshal-rosenberg-and-my-connection/

      Just standing a certain way can trigger an LEO.

    • Poor Jeffrey! I am sorry you went through that. No matter if you’re a suave white man in a suit, that has to be scary as hell.

      I’ve not been arrested yet, but I came very close just by trying to get close to the interesting things that happened when G-20 came to my town. I fear it may happen one day, and I am almost more worried about being able to stay calm during it than whatever the cops might do to me. Sure hope they don’t Google me if it happens.

    • Here in the Central Valley of California, this is common treatment for the local hispanics in the small farm towns. Traps are set up to cite them and impound their vehicles. Big fees to keep your license and get your vehicle back. They know better than object or fight back–it only leads to more trouble. Thanks for sharing your example of how truly common place it has become, and always becomes with government. And thank you for some how retaining your dignity in spite of such horrible treatment–it is uplifting and provides an example of the rest of us to follow.

    • I can only hope that this doesn’t happen to me or anyone I know. Almost every time I get in my car and get out on the road–any road–I think about “the rules” that we are supposed to be aware of and obey; “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. Laws are being written, enacted and enforced by whatever means someone with an authority can and will use. Life in the US has already changed in more ways than some people realize and I believe it is going to get a lot worse. We should not live our lives being afraid, but it is unfortunate that the reality is that we are.
      I think it’s very important that we talk to each other and support each other and help inform and teach each other what we can from our experiences and knowledge.

      Thank you Jeffrey for sharing your experience and your thoughts and feelings about it. That’s as collective as it needs to be.

    • “Just doing”

      I think I am a job,
      Something “just doing,”
      Involving the law,
      The legal screwing.

    • You might want to print and carry this with you https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/422957/my%20rights.jpg

    • I’m all for being aware of the content and message on the card and I also have a “Cop Block” door knob sign myself. However, the problem with playing the rights card (literally) when stopped by the most dangerous gang is it is likely to lead to an immediate escalation of the gang’s initiation of force against you and your hasty arrest. In our land of illegal everything, there is always some kind of ink on paper (law, “regulation,” or “rule”) somewhere that can be used to justify the gang’s initiation of violence against you. If a cop is not sufficiently aware of an applicable law in order to use it to justify your arrest, he’ll simply fabricate a simple story and arrest you on the pretense of his lie. Cops lie all the time. They frequently lie during investigations and it’s considered to be part of their job. However, in most jurisdictions, the converse is not true; it is unlawful for a mundane to lie to a cop. It cracks me up that people are expected to believe cops when they are “under oath” in a courtroom, because they habitually lie otherwise. To believe that they switch their lies on and off is an absurd expectation!

      Playing the rights card is a tough call in our current police state, where the entire concept of rights is only a mirage used to placate the public into believing in the myths of the state. If a mundane is willing to be a jackboot-licker and grovel, they can often avoid much violence that would otherwise be perpetrated upon them. Of course the cops know this and take advantage of it to satisfy their sociopathic urges and obtain their jollies in their workplace.

    • Well advised. We are dealing with sociopaths. The most important tactic is the mitigation of harm–the immediate potential for violence, and the residual potential for legal and financial harm. The law enforcement system is far more skilled at dealing with us, than we with them. They are always at an advantage, psychologically.

    • Been there, done that, fairly often. Once did 90 days for No Operator’s License (NOL), which I did not renew in 1985 on principle. (Neither I nor my dog participate in the licensing scam anymore.). Been to enough jails in the vicinity of Cleveland, Ohio that I seriously considered writing reviews and rating the facilities and their amenities. (Beachwood, OH’s small, 4-cell city jail got a 4-star rating for its food, which the cops pick up from a local eatery for all three meals. The restaurant, Yours Truly. was a favorite lunch spot of mine long before I did my time. (It may be that Beachwood’s high percentage of Jewish residents–higher than Jerusalem’s or Tel Aviv’s–and the proclivity of Jews for good food, accounts for this pleasant surprise.) Once had a cop get so pissed off at me because, after asking him why he had stopped me, I remained silent throughout, after slamming me on the hood of my car put cuffs on me so tight my hands had turned blue by the time they were released by a gold badge back at the station.

      Here is the point: Violence begets violence, and virtually all of the violence in the world today can be attributed directly or indirectly to the rule of law and its violent enforcement by agents of the state. Dillon Roof slaughters 8 innocent people at Mother Emmanuel AME Church, and the pundits look for clues as to why, why would a young man do such a heinous thing? The pundits refuse to look at themselves and their acquiescence in the violence of their government leaders and agents as a possible root cause. Barack Obama sends a drone to kill an American-made terrorist, taking out five innocent children with the culprit, and no one sees such actions by “the leader of the free world” as the motive or inspiration for young Dylan. Violence begets violence! There is no telling how its spawn will mutate, divide, multiply and burst out anew nearby or far away in time and location near or far from the violence that begot it.

      As the rule of law in America has generated accumulating laws, rules and regulations beyond numbers and heavily armed agents to enforce them, the nation’s lawmakers and law enforcers have been corrupted by the unholy power they wield beyond redemption. Like an airplane in a stall, the system is spiraling out of control and there is no maneuver that can save the USA and its lawmaking subdivisions from self destructing.

      Cheer up, Tucker, by knowing this: Those responsible for your sad experience, from the legislators through the executives and judicial enforcers, have lost and will continue to lose far more than the price you paid. You lost some time and money and perhaps your sense of security, whereas they have lost their integrity, honesty, self worth, self respect and the esteem of themselves and their fellows.

    • You are obviously a man of principle, Ned, and you’ve paid for it in ways many of us are only beginning to appreciate. I was greatly moved by your conclusion–if and as we value what is truly lasting, we remain victorious. We can learn much by your example, and the example of Mr. Tucker and those who are sharing personal experiences.

    • Thank you kindly Michael.

    • I am sorry to hear about this experience Mr Tucker hope these institutions will run their course in time.

    • I don’t think you were privileged, it was probably more because you gave them the perception that you might have resources with which to defend yourself. I got burned by that stupid “move over” law afew yrs ago, actually was discussing with my dtr a recent incident of a cop getting killed while delivering a ticket at the side of a busy road, when we came upon a cop delivering a ticket along the side of a busy road. It was already my habit to move over when ANYONE was stopped at the side of the road, and I was preparing to move over but could not because a car had pulled up along side on my left and I couldn’t. I passed by and the lights came on and he pulled us over. He sanctimoniously began lecturing me on how people needed to move over to protect officers passing out tickets along side busy roadsides as numerous cars blew by without moving over. I explained that I was trying to move over but couldn’t because of the other car, and besides what about all these other cars? How could he hold some accountable and others not? He looked sheepish and said I could go to court and it would be only about a $12 fine. It was $112.

    • How could he hold some accountable and some not? Well, obviously by using his authority to decide not to issue a citation based on your explanation. But that was not his intent. The truth is that traffic fines provide legal plunder. I have a neighbor who is a motorcycle cop. It’s a position of privilege–it’s hard to get in that division. Motorcycle cops on our local force get 1 hour of their shift to work out at the gym and keep their motorcycles at home, riding to and from duty from home. Nice gig. But it’s also the only part of the police force (traffic enforcement) that provides income to the department. He insists that there isn’t a “quota” but there is clearly an unspoken quota–if you want to stay in the cushy job, you have to do your duty–writing tickets. And if you protest the ticket, the cop often gets to earn overtime pay to be in court. Nice income.

      The traffic fines in California have skyrocketed. For the most expensive (and damaging to your record) going to court is really not an option if you expect to have any chance of having the fine dropped. So, you fork over big money to a lawyer. You won’t get out of the fine, but you often can have the offense removed.

    • As if to prove my point that violence begets only more violence, a black man, Vester Flanagan, shot and killed two white employees of his former TV-station employer. In a suicide note, Mr. Flanagan claimed that what triggered his horrifying carnage was his reaction to the racism of the Charleston church shooting, in which a white man, Dylan Roof, murdered 9 black men and women at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.

      Regardless of Flanagan’s claim of racism as his motive, and regardless of the fact that both incidents involved men committing murder for obviously racist motives, racism wasn’t the root cause of either one of these crimes. The root cause was violence earlier perpetrated. In the case of Flanagan’s crime, the connection to an earlier violent act was uniquely clear and direct. In the case of Roof’s slaughter, we are unlikely to ever know what previous act or acts of violence accounted for his evil deed, but we can rest assured there was one or more triggers that set him off. Perhaps it was a beating he may have received at the hands of a cop during one of his several known earlier encounters with police, perhaps it was violent acts of his nation’s military leaders serving as an example, or perhaps it was domestic violence he may have witnessed or experienced as a child. Violence begets violence. Its spawn may lie dormant for a time, but eventually they germinate, mutate, divide, and multiply to emerge anew without warning. The consequences of Flanagan’s act will no doubt be replicated and perhaps enlarged in due course.

    • Agreed, Ned! As Stef Molyneux promotes, societies must change how they raise children before they can progress to embrace systems based on peaceful and voluntary relationships between people. Then people will experience far, far less violence in the world.

    • Sorry, disagree Ned and Calin. You are NOT going to change basic human nature with utopian childrearing theories. What you MAY do is create a society of Eloi who will not resist aggression/violence, who will even participate in their own destruction. There will always be wolves among us. Pretending/believing otherwise is foolish. You can teach children the civil disobedience of Jesus, but the human race will not be purged of violence through “teaching children to not be violent”.

    • Kathy,
      Ahh–the old “human nature” argument–a favorite tool leveraged by violent stateists throughout all of history!

      Yes–we must take care to protect ourselves from human nature and, being a “nature” and all, there’s no accepting the possibility that most people would exhibit behaviors completely contrary to the popular notion of “human nature,” if they were the product of a different environment.

      If one studies “human nature” carefully and extensively, the overwhelming evidence is there is virtually no such thing. I can’t cite a specific work by Stefan Molyneux but the idea that human nature is a myth is a thread in many of his videos at http://www.freedomainradio.com. Stef says that the only “nature” that humans possess is adaptability to their environment. Given a shitty and violent environment, more of them turn out to be violent shits themselves (my words here and not Stefs). What sort of being humans develop-into or adapt-into covers an incredible range of human behaviors and tendencies–really just about everything imaginable, depending on the environment. Sure–there are always a small number of deviant sociopaths or psychopaths but their numbers are very small and an anarchistic society based on voluntary human relationships and the non-aggression principle could easily deal with them (much more easily than the huge violent monsters that the state always creates).

      When I started to think about the cultural history and anthropology that I’ve studied in the past, I realized that the evidence is clear, but people get stuck in their own life’s experiences and fail to see the overwhelming evidence against the existence of “human nature.” It’s a form of “normalcy bias”–what people have experienced in their brief and very limited lives and environment is taken to be representative of peoples’ lives in general and what should be expected . It is a very dangerous form of shortsightedness!

      Please don’t assume that I am advocating raising children to be Eloi or pacifists, though I cannot find moral fault with that sort of person, if they respect the non-aggression principle (NAP). I advocate raising children with the means and fortitude to be as self-sufficient as possible, and this includes a high level of preparedness and study in the matter of self-defense. I also advocate using methods other than force to influence childrens’ actions and behaviors as much as possible. If one uses force on kids, they will grow up to use and accept force and violence themselves. U.S. public schools (and most private schools, which are also controlled and influenced by the violence of the state) are mostly contradictory to these goals.

    • You are calling me a “violent stateist”? Nothing like starting off with ad hominem, straight from Lenin’s playbook. I don’t worship at the altar of “Stef”, so I can’t speak to his theology. All I can do is point to human history, most recently, the 20th century, full of examples of social and human engineering…done by other humans who just KNEW the best way for everyone else to live, rear children, educate, blah, blah. Plenty of people have been reared by violent, terrible parents, yet did not do as they did. How can that be, according to your science?Government schools are a crime against humanity, the train obedience and submission. Rear your kids however you want, and leave others free to do the same. Simple.

    • >other humans who just KNEW the best way for everyone else to live, rear children, educate, blah, blah.

      I completely agree with you on this point. People should be left alone and their actions should not be dictated by the violent coercion of others. I don’t know what’s best for anyone but myself, and I have no desire to control others–other than to resist or counter the initiation of aggression towards me and other people who wish to enjoy liberty in their lives.

      People should be free to raise their kids however they please and I won’t try to define the limits of the gray areas that might justify some kind intervention or action by people outside of the kids’ families–within a stateless society or state. However, I would like to convince people that a long-lasting, liberty-rich society will not be achieved until people change how they raise children, in general–and by this I’m referring to the institutions they subscribe to their children.

      I don’t know whether or not you are a violent statest. One simple test that typically results in a proof positive result is the question, do you vote? Voting is proxy violence. With only a very few exceptions, any act of voting proves that the voter wishes to employ the guns of the state to force other people to do things that the voter wishes them to do. Voting is an initiation of violence and force against other people and a violation of the NAP. It’s that simple! I don’t worship the “alter of Stef” either and I disagree with him on this issue. (He is philosophically tolerant of voters and I’m a philosophical hard-ass about it! ;)) There is no more any moral justification for the institution of voting and democracy than there was for the institutions of plantations and slavery. In fact, I find the justifications offered by the proponents of each of these state institutions to be very similar.

      I was a violent statest for most of my life. I now understand that what I did was morally wrong. Most people who vote do not accept that they are inflicting violence on others. In fact, the idea that voting is violence has never even crossed most people’s minds. They parrot and squawk statest propaganda like “if you don’t vote, you are part of the problem” or “if you don’t vote, you have no “right” to complain.” I think it was George Carlin who first turned my head around about these sorts of arguments and I realized that they are completely the opposite of the truth or valid well-reasoned belief.

    • Well said, Calin, except for the reference to Kathy as a violent statist. There I disagree.

    • Thanks Ned, but I re-read my posts and double-checked; I did not refer to Kathy as a violent statest. I explained the basis for my definition of “violent statist” and I leave it up to Kathy and other readers to ponder it. If I happened to be debating the merits of the Bill of Rights with someone, I would similarly argue that ink on paper means nothing and it has historically been used by tyrants throughout history as a tool to placate people into accepting their rule and violence.

      I’m sorry that my statement came-off as accusatory, but I’ve also been living a life where I view nearly everyone around me as violent statest for a long time (since I endeavored to abandon violent statism myself–at least as much as I reasonably can and still act in a manner that’s consistent with my own existence.) Sure, I use “the roads” and the assets of the state–just as slaves accepted food and shelter from their plantation owners and masters. However, like many slaves, I now endeavor to severely limit my production and output that’s claimed by our masters. I try to limit my participation in the system and generally look for ways to “not feed the monster,” as I like to say!

      People who vote are committing proxy violence. If one hires an assassin or a hit man, one is committing a proxy murder. It is still murder, however. If one is a member or a firing squad, one is also committing proxy violence (usually also murder, I think), regardless of how many shooters are firing blanks and how many shooters are firing an actual projectile or what assignment any particular individual member of the squad happens to draw. A related corollary to this truth is the proxies themselves are also guilty of violence. If an executioner of the state never votes during their entire life, they are obviously still murderers. “Just doing my job” is not an excuse that brings the benefit of some kind of moral double standard; there is no such thing! Sadly, this truth seems to have been lost in the decades since the Nuremberg trials.

      People who believe that the state is necessary to protect people from violent acts of human nature tend to commit acts of statest violence, though their violent acts are not necessarily the result. However, given that they vote on government elections or measures (or participate in the state in several other ways), they can be classified as statests. Forced participation is another situation, but even then, the casting of a legitimate vote (rather than just leaving a ballot blank, or making random selections, or writing-in nonsense on the ballot to escape harm and punishment as necessary, would be proxy violence. I voted for most of my life, but I now accept that what I did was wrong and I regret my participation.

      It may appear that I lack humility on this issue. In truth, there is little that I am certain about (including that a better world lies ahead if people embrace the NAP but I think it’s reasonably to try something new after 5000 years of both repetitive pragmatic and moral failure ). I know I am right about proxy violence, because my assertion is based only on definitions, and a preference for consistency, logic, and reason in the formulation of my beliefs. I also know that 2 + 2 = 4.

      BTW, I wrote “2 + 2 = 4” before I read your last post to Kathy. I did not intend it as a reference to what I now see you had written.

    • BTW, I wrote “2 + 2 = 4” before I read your last post to Kathy. I did not intend it as a reference to what I now see you had written.

    • Calin, I stand corrected. You did not refer to Kathy as a violent statist. Mea culpa.

      You say, “I now endeavor to severely limit my production and output that’s claimed by our masters. I try to limit my participation in the system and generally look for ways to “not feed the monster,” as I like to say!”

      Great! I think that is the shortest route to the nirvana of self government. For a long period of time, when I brought my purchase to the check-out clerk and she/he rang it up and said, “That’ll be $10.98.” I would pause and say, I’m sorry, but you must be overcharging me. The tag says $10.00.” The clerk, perplexed, usually would look at the register slip and then a bulb would light: “Oh, the 98 cents is the tax.” “YOU’RE A TAX COLLECTOR???”

      This conversation can take many detours, but I never had the ‘nads to insist on keeping the purchase without paying the tax. Would be interesting though.

    • Of course I too am against using force on people to influence how they raise their kids too–in particular, government force (but then I wish for the end of the state completely). As with voting, I think Kathy and I probably disagree about what constitutes violence in the lives of children, and the level of harm and damage it causes to the children and society in general.

      There is no way I could change anyone’s mind about raising children here, due to a lack of time required to write a book–or several books! Though I have a young daughter, I don’t possess great breadth of experience in the matter either. However, I can recommend the works of an expert. My wife and I probably owe John Holt (deceased) the greatest thanks for influencing our child-rearing beliefs and goals. In reading Holt’s books, the reader witnesses an education insider make the transformation from an extremely dedicated public school employee to someone who came to recognize the significant harm they caused through many years of teaching–someone who’s eyes opened to the truth that schools harm children!

      I wasn’t exactly a mainstreamer before reading Holt either, but my position on raising children changed dramatically after discovering “the father of unschooling.” I was always interested in education and how people learn and often discussed education with my father, who was professor of education. I also attended a very unusual public school in the early ’70s that was based on the theories of William Glasser, and I am extremely grateful for the experience, but my mind changed so much with reading Holt within only the last couple of years.

    • HOME SCHOOLING, A HOPE FOR AMERICA, edited by Carl Watner (The Voluntaryist) is a worthy read on the subject of educating children. It is an anthology of articles by some of the leading lights on the matter and includes contributions by both Carl and his wife Julie who speak from the experience of home schooling their four children. I can personally attest that the finished products would make any parent proud. It is an easy read and is available for purchase or for free as a pdf: http://voluntaryist.com/classics/homeschoolanthology.pdf

    • Kathy, your comparison is as outdated as a fantasy novel by H.G. Wells, and your conclusion is as wrong as 2 + 2 = 3. There will indeed always be wolves among us, but the lessons of history are that nonviolent resistance is far and away the most efficacious means of contending with violent oppression and oppressors. There have been a wealth of books in this vein especially in recent years. If you are interested in learning some facts about nonviolence, to get started I recommend an easy read: NONVIOLENCE, THE HISTORY OF A DANGEROUS IDEA, by Mark Kurlansky.

      A violent response to violence is just plain stupid. Just as corn produces only corn and nettles reproduce only more nettles, violence begets only and always more violence. It cannot serve to reduce or eliminate it. We have been using violence in response to violence for time immemorial, and you can see what it has gotten us. The only problem with the teachings of Jesus regarding violence is that almost no one has ever practiced what Jesus preached. I have tried to, and doing so has rendered me invulnerable to all harm. This is nothing remarkable for anyone can achieve invulnerable security his way. The mostly abandoned hope for peace on earth is remains a viable possibility for those of us who see the utter futility of using violence to suppress violence. Golly ghee wiz, violence is so illogical it is preposterous.

    • What outdated comparison are you referencing? My point is that well-intentioned pacifist (or even non-violent resistance) child rearing will not eliminate violence. The child should expect to receive violence, and people need to realize there will always be violent psychopaths out there. Every generation has it’s psychological engineers who are going to create utopia by “molding minds”. Look at the chaotic mess, the destroyed civilization these brainiacs have created with their psy-ops. Leave the kids alone! Parents, teach your own kids your own ideas. Do not hand them over to “teachers” who will mold them to think collectivist nonsense, and leave other people alone to rear THEIR children as they see best. Unless you want to aggress against them.

    • Ned, your thoughts bring to mind Adam Kokesh, who has spoken of the same invulnerability.

    • Michael, Hadn’t heard of Adam, but I appreciate your mentioning him as I took a gander at his website and I’ll bookmark it for continued reference. Thanks. I probably don’t talk about being (or at least feeling, which is probably just as good) invulnerable to all harm very often because I worry about being misunderstood. I becoming less reluctant as time goes by for having had more experience.

    • That’s the same way he speaks of invulnerability–a grasping of his true liberty. He’s been growing as a person in amazing way. His early efforts to carry out open carry protests landed him in prison. But he turned lemons in to lemonade. His peaceful but firm response to those who perpetuate violence against him changes some of them.

    • Nothing quite as exciting and inspirational as seeing someone grow in the understanding of liberty and putting their wisdom to work for the cause of human freedom.

    • One final though, Kathy and Calin, nonviolent resistance is anything but passive. It can and should be “as in your face, Mr. the Man,” as the perpetrator (hey, hey, hey) of nonviolence is prepared to take it. I’m rather a wimp in this regard; possibly because my wife and other family members abhor confrontation, but I sure do admire the aggressive nonviolence of such stalwarts as Megan Rice ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megan_Rice ),

    • Folks, I’m a little surprised to see what appears, to me, from the number of repetitions and some of the comments, to be a flame war breaking out here on Jeffrey’s essay about his sad experiences with the police state. I certainly think it is a good choice to avoid inflicting violence on children, as I had more than enough of that kind of thing as a child myself. At the same time, I am also not a pacifist, and agree that children will inevitably encounter violence in their lives. Making a better world by paying attention to children, being good to them, and taking seriously their views, seems like a good thing, and it doesn’t have to be dismissed as utopian idealism. However, no part of this discussion of children seems relevant to Jeffrey’s original post.
      Perhaps each of us could reflect briefly on whether hitting “reply” is the right move. I certainly have. And I’m going back to work on competing currencies for a future of freedom.

    • Folks, I’m a little surprised to see what appears, to me, from the number of repetitions and some of the comments, to be a flame war breaking out here on Jeffrey’s essay about his sad experiences with the police state. I certainly think it is a good choice to avoid inflicting violence on children, as I had more than enough of that kind of thing as a child myself. At the same time, I am also not a pacifist, and agree that children will inevitably encounter violence in their lives. Making a better world by paying attention to children, being good to them, and taking seriously their views, seems like a good thing, and it doesn’t have to be dismissed as utopian idealism. However, no part of this discussion of children seems relevant to Jeffrey’s original post.
      Perhaps each of us could reflect briefly on whether hitting “reply” is the best move. I certainly have. And I’m going back to work on competing currencies for a future of freedom.

    • Although I sometimes respect an interest in staying “on-topic” in various forums (particularly technical forums that become references in time), I also think many conversations are lost in striving to remain “on-topic”–particularly in a venue like this one and it’s also not at all like face to face conversations among people take place. It is a bit like attending a party and engaging in a conversation, only to have someone attempt to end the conversation if it strays from its original topic. What–is everyone expected to leave the huddle and somehow reform and restart conversations elsewhere after a “time-out?” That would be rather stifling I think. Just as one would act at a party, if you find conversations to no longer be of interest to you (for whatever reason), you can tough it out and try to bring the discussion back to the original topic, our you can choose to not participate, or perhaps act in a manner in-between. I don’t see these conversations as monuments that must remain entirely devoted to the IP.

    • Calin,
      You referred to my “human nature argument” as the tool of the “violent stateist”, implying I am one.
      I do agree with your defense of the thread going off topic. Sometimes I wonder about these “Off-topic” police who worry so much about such things, or perhaps don’t like the turn things are taking. Isn’t the point to hash things out? Folks who want to stay on topic certainly can, and others can ignore it. Spirited discussion is not a “flame war” “breaking out”.

    • So we agree about the issue of netiquette. As I mentioned to Ned, I think we share a lot of common ground or we would not even be here discussing these topics together.

      Perhaps I hurt your feelings with my views on violent statists. (Statists are all violent, by definition.) Keep in mind that I call my former self a violent statist. I certainly understand where violent statists are coming-from. We may not be born statists but we are certainly molded to become them very rapidly and forcefully!

      Drawing implications is subjective. The reader plays at least as great of a role in the meaning of an implication as the writer. They are not the same as accusations or even references.

    • Calin Brabandt August 28, 2015, 8:15 pm Reply 0♥
      You said:
      “Ahh–the old “human nature” argument–a favorite tool leveraged by violent stateists throughout all of history!”
      This assertion was a sloppy attempt to smear me as a “violent statist”, and to cast the argument as something “violent statists” put forth, and therefore, ..de facto, self evidently…wrong. You did not explain WHY it was a bad argument, you found the assertion and dismissal enough. Definitely bogus, and a tactic of the “left”, the statist, the commie….because they CAN’T defend their assertions.

      My feelings weren’t hurt at all, but my spidey senses for forum spinners and marginalizers were activated.

    • Kathy,

      Are you calling me a forum spinner and marginalizer? Are you implying that I’m a leftest or commie? 😉 My statements like, “I wish for the end of the state completely” should eliminate such conclusions about me as being reasonable possibilities. (Yup–I could be a communist poser lying about my beliefs, but what end would that serve?)

      I made my case for the fact that one who votes is violent. It was based on the commonly accepted belief that using a proxy to commit violence STILL constitutes the commission of violence. The state provides proxies for the commission of violence and people embrace a moral double standard (which is tantamount to no moral standard at all) when they believe otherwise–including when they believe that democratic rule yields a virtuous form of government.

      But I’m repeating myself here. While my argument is very simple, it is sufficient and complete, whereas rebuttals are typically replete with complexity in their attempt to obfuscate state-enabled violence. This was the only point I was attempting to make WRT violent statists in my posts here, except also that public and state controlled schools are places of violence.

      I actually haven’t heard anything from you that rebuts my assertion about voters. Please tell me how someone who votes is acting in a peaceful manner? I can think of a couple of cases that qualify, but I’d like to hear what you can “put-up.” Your posts seem to be mostly about accusing me of calling you a violent statist.

    • Kathy, I’m all in with raise your kids as you please. Somewhat along those lines I have a story.

      I babysit my three grand kids ages 5, 7 and 10 a lot. Some time ago I read an article about or heard an account of a famous writer (sorry I forget which one) who also often cared for his three grand children. He said he had a great relationship with those kids because of his “Grandfather’s Rules,” which applied when ever they were in his care. Grandfather’s two rules: Rule No. 1. There are no rules. Rule No. 2. You can eat anything you want.

      I decided I would adopt these same rules and announced that to my three, who were delighted. Our relationship, which was already quite good, got even better. I guess I wouldn’t recommend these rules for parents, but as I think back to the struggles my wife and I had raising our own four children, Grandfather’s Rules might have served us better than the more-than-a-few rules we had. (Too soon old; too late smart!)

    • Calin, That’s because I am not interested in this voting issue you keep trying drag me into. Who brought up voting?? Not me, YOU did. Why?? Where did this come from? Defend your assertion that there is not a basic human nature that makes it impossible for man to rule over his fellows without exploiting them, and your assertion to believe this makes one a “violent statist”.

    • I’m not terribly interested in debating human nature. I cannot prove that it doesn’t exist or, if it does exist, how it is manifested in human behavior. There is no certain truth to be found in the nature vs. nurture sorts of questions. Even if I agreed that human nature exists, I believe that the problems that accompany it are best addressed without the state.

      I AM interested in protesting the actions of people who violate the NAP and initiate violence against me and others. I wish to make people aware of their violent actions, as I have become aware of my own. I have actually convinced a few people that their actions are violent, but they had no interest in changing their behavior, because (as they argued) their actions are self-serving. I cannot argue with their position any more than I can use a morality argument to convince a mugger not to steal, or a pacifist can convince me that I should always refrain from using violence, even if an aggressor initiates violence against me, because it is wrong or contrary to my interests or the interests of others. Well…perhaps it is possible for a pacifist to eventually convince me of their position, because my mind has changed so much during my lifetime–even as a lifelong libertarian.

      Unlike concepts, actions are real and known and thus, they interest me the most. Concepts are secondary and only useful to me (at least in this context), if I can use them to persuade people to stop initiating violence against others. By definition, people who vote are violent statists. No proof is required–only an agreement about simple semantics is required. It doesn’t appear that I am likely to convince you that voters are violent statists or convince you to stop voting yourself, if you vote.

    • I don’t vote for a great many reasons, including that political voting represents an agreement between the voter and the people who run the election that the voter accepts the outcome of the election process which, necessarily, involves putting someone in charge of some aspect of the state (the elective office), and, necessarily, involves tax money being used to make the election happen. I also don’t vote because voting is fraudulent everywhere I look, because most of the really interesting choices are not allowed on the ballot, and because voting would encourage the system to believe that it represents me when, in fact, nobody can represent me, except, of course, me. Voting is not only something that violent statists do, it is also something that fails enormously – it is a terrible way of taking choices.

      None of which has anything to do with Jeffrey being attacked by a representative of the state, handcuffed, and jailed. But it seems that these wilful anarchists want to discuss what they choose, and have no other forum for it. Me, I’m going back to digital cash.

    • Then how can you dismiss it as an argument when I point out that human beings have a natural inclination toward self interest, a human nature? I can understand your disinterest in the topic, certainly. But you expressed a definite INTEREST in it when you dismissed it as a “tool of the violent stateist”.
      Why not start a thread on the evils of voting, if that is your thing?

    • > But you expressed a definite INTEREST in it when you dismissed it as a “tool of the violent stateist”.

      Yes–I dismiss it as such, because that’s just about the full the extent of it.

    • I think I am a statist,
      Nature violent,
      Because human,
      Not remain silent.

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  • Shawn Warren posted an update in the group Libertarians of Kansas 2 hours, 10 minutes ago

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