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Maurice Jackson sits down with James Rickards to discuss his latest masterpiece entitled: ‘The New Case for Gold&#

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Woe is me, it is often hard being a libertarian. Never mind being hated by people of every political stripe, it is often

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We often hear from “limited government” types talk of the Tenth Amendment that, “The powers not deleg

I sometimes find myself daydreaming about things I would buy if money were no object. I could buy a new Mercedes with ca

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By Chris Campbell “If, as Victor Hugo supposedly said, there’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has com

By Chris Campbell Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce,

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  • Matthew Reece posted an update 9 minutes ago

    Upcoming: Cut Puerto Rico Loose, Libertarianism and Reaction – Pieces of a Whole, The Glorious Delegitimizing of the American Presidency

  • Matthew Reece‘s article On Air Ownership and Pollution has a new comment 13 minutes ago

    smogThe question of how to deal with air pollution is frequently asked of libertarian theorists, as it is an issue which has been dominated by governments for far longer than a human lifetime. Accordingly, it may be [Read story]
    • “Because each person has a right to exclusive control of one’s physical body, it is wrong for one person to interfere with another person’s exclusive control of their physical body without their consent.”

      Basically, you are saying that I can not kick out an intruder from my house. He has exclusive control over his body and I have no right to take said right from him (kick him out).
      Since we all know that all libertarians support my right to kick an intruder out then this means that my right trumps his. But this must not happen because his right is supposed to be exclusive. That is how one reaches a contradiction.

      ” Note that in order to argue against self-ownership, one must exercise exclusive control of one’s physical body for the purpose of communication.”

      A slave owner can argue freely against self-ownership and there is no contradiction in that. He simply does not mean that all people must own themselves.
      I have never met a slave myself, but I am convinced that if you asked one he would answer that he did not own himself. And the latter would be true because he would not have the right to decide for himself. No contradiction

      Contradictions start appearing when one decides to apply this statement generally, i.e. to everybody. Then the statement ” I do not own myself” says that nobody owns himself. But if nobody owns oneself, then who is the one that owns all the people? God?

      In short: From ” All people do not own themselves” being a contradiction does not follow logically that everybody must own oneself.

    • “Basically, you are saying that I can not kick out an intruder from my house. He has exclusive control over his body and I have no right to take said right from him (kick him out).
      Since we all know that all libertarians support my right to kick an intruder out then this means that my right trumps his. But this must not happen because his right is supposed to be exclusive. That is how one reaches a contradiction.”
      You have taken what I said out of context. Such a person is violating your property rights and you may defend yourself.

      “A slave owner can argue freely against self-ownership and there is no contradiction in that. He simply does not mean that all people must own themselves.”
      The contradiction is in the slavemaster’s behavior toward others while asserting his own self-ownership. Strictly speaking, the slavemaster is not engaged in performative contradiction, but he is a hypocrite, which works just as well for dismissing his argument.

      “I have never met a slave myself, but I am convinced that if you asked one he would answer that he did not own himself. And the latter would be true because he would not have the right to decide for himself. No contradiction.”
      You are confusing theory with practice.

    • Read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein.

      It’s nobody’s air. Air is free now, but there is no reason to suppose it always will be, or ought to be free. The same is true of water, and all other resources. There may be a day when air and water, at least non-poluted air and water, like everything else required for human life will have to be produced, then only what one has produced or purchased themselves will be theirs.

      What makes anyone think anything in life is supposed to be free or without consequence?


    • I argued here (and in an earlier piece called A Man Who Owns A River) that the water and air themselves are unowned unless one consumes them, puts them into a container, etc. One only has a property claim over a riverbed or the space that the air occupies.

  • Gary McGath posted an update 58 minutes ago

    My latest on the Secular Voices blog.

    [Read more]

  • Lee Roesner‘s article A Physical Evaluation of Subjective Value has a new comment 1 hour, 43 minutes ago

    physics economics subjective valueI would like argue a point stated repeatedly, in what plays a big part in economics as it’s understood today; that what humans value, is subjective, and so, that means all value is subjective. Not. I would [Read story]
    • Economic history ultimately is interpreted subjectively yet at the same time it represents an objective fact. That fact does not change, it is no longer a dynamic and spontaneous thing – it is a piece of economic history.

      Human valuation up until it is completed by some action is subjective not objective. This is the realm of science of economics. In other words, the methodology of subjectivism is the appropriate methodology for economics.

      Economic history can and should be treated differently than economic science. For example, statistical analysis is a useful tool in the discipline of economic history. Of course knowledge gained from the study of economic history can be very valuable in the process of taking action based on subjective valuation.

      I guess my contribution to this discussion thread is to make it clear that economics and economic history are two very different disciplines which have been indiscriminately jumbled together in these, the Dark Ages of economics.

    • Should economic history not be representative of economic science that caused it? That proves out economic theory, again and again, regardless of what time in history was sampled. If not, then is the economic theory/science not false?

      “…the methodology of subjectivism is the appropriate methodology for economics”

      No, sorry, but it’s not. This is a falsehood. A big one. So big, its like saying the earth is flat…as reasoned above. I am eager to hear an argument that counters the ideas above directly.

      Economics, and economic effect, is not a human behavioral science. We can effect an economic condition for sure, which is a physical condition, but we do not subjectively determine economic math, that determines cause and effect. If we can, then please let me know how.

      Have you heard of an ecosystem, perhaps the amazon or coral reefs?

      What is an ecosystem? It’s an ecological system. More to the point, it is an economic system. With or without humans, the universe in its entirely, is an ecosystem, made upon countless smaller economic systems. It is all governed by economic law. It’s math. In other words, it’s objective.

      Yes, humans can effect an economic condition, or a physical condition, but they cannot change the math. If they can, please somebody tell me how that works.

    • @liberty56 First tell everyone what is the mathematical value of social cooperation between you and your neighbor. And don’t forget to include the fact that you and your neighbor cooperate because of a double inequality with regards to your cooperative exchange. I will be waiting for your mathematical answer!

    • OK…is this trick question???

      You’re wondering about the mathematical value of two people that have decided to “act together” in “co-operation”, for some perceived subjective reason/value they foresee to be to their mutual benefit, yes?

      Well first, the mathematical value, or the physical result of their co-operation, would be entirely dependent on the particular act of co-operation in which they acted, no? In the end, it’s not what they perceive the value to be, it will be what it actually is, and proves out to be.

      Just because two people co-operate does not guarantee a positive benefit, it could prove the opposite, which is my point in my original post.

      In very general terms, the act of co-operation is intended to provide the benefit of convenience for both parties, which in the end is the “savings” of energy and time. There is the saving of money course (or making of money—which is generated by the saving of energy and time), but that is only the currency used to trade energy and time.

      In the end, the only way to save energy and time, is to physically act efficiency over time. And the only way to gain even more efficiency over time, is to act together efficiency over time, which is to co-operate efficiently over time.

      Not just co-operate, but co-operate efficiently (think socialism).

      Your mathematical answer is; it depends specifically on the particular act of co-operation, and if it proves valuable, not the subjective intention of its value. If it proves out over time to be efficient, it will succeed, regardless of intended value, because bottom line ~ it consumes less energy and time then it consumes…and vice versa.

      If a lot of people value something that they find consumes more of their time and energy, it won’t be considered valuable for long, will it?

      Time and energy are finite. The only way to have more, is to act and create more efficiently over time…or to act economically over time. Economics is a physical science, and the math is absolute, meaning you’ll find it’s calculated to perfection. It cannot be escaped by a subjective whim.

      Subjective intention is only a dream and can be anything you want it to be. Kind of like so called economics of today. Although so called Austrian economics has some truth in it, but has invented its own twisted, human-centered logic why.

    • It is a mistake to “over interpret” the idea from economists following the marginalist insight and “methodological individualism” (e.g. Menger). The core claim behind “subjective value” is that people have different opinions about how much they will personally choose to desire something or some goal. It is not a claim about “anti-objectivism” in the human universe; it is not a deep philosophical claim about phenomenology. It is a simple starting point for economists to begin to explain why two people might trade goods (because each person has a different evaluation of what the other is willing to give up and what it would be “worth” to give up in exchange). It is always about two intrinsically unequal “subjective values” leading to cooperative human action (interpersonal trade). There is NOT ANY ACTUAL philosophical conflict here with Ayn Rand’s Objectivism (as we should know because she learned her economics from Mises). The error in thinking about “subjective” value is similar to the mistake many intellectuals made in the 1920s about Einstein’s theory of relativity: “if everything is relative, then there is no morality or law.” Nonsense.

      The really BIG intellectual mistake is to believe that because people use “numbers” to indicate different sizes or intensities of “value” to themselves, e.g. “dollars,” they become misled into thinking those “dollars” can be added up into collective totals (e.g. GDP and Keynesian “demand”). And the mistake that whatever number of “dollars” were traded for some value in the past, somehow that number continues to measure that “value” on balance sheets and in tax laws, as if they were “objective values.”

    • @liberty56 And we all should defer to the great Lee Roesner to find out if the valuation is correctly ‘efficient.’

      Subjectivism goes in the exact opposite direction – allowing each and every person choice and valuation instead of yielding all authority to someone who claims omniscience (and therefore omnipresence and omnipotence).

    • I am reading about the Ash’arism school of jurisprudence, which informs the Wahabbi Islam governing Saudi Arabia, and also ISIS. It is fundamentalism at the most basic level of philosophy and theology – both of which it repudiates in favor of Absolute Will of Allah. [Inshallah.]

      One consequence of this epistemology is the Occasionalism of the “physical universe” (atoms). Nothing is permanent; nothing is “a law of physics”; all is volition from Allah.

      Oops. Thanks to the great Islamic jurist Abu Hasan al-Ash’ari, it has been “proven” that Reason is contrary to Allah.

    • Why is it that in almost all discussions of the concept of value, it is never explained exactly what a value is?

      All objective values are concepts of relationship.

      All values presuppose some objective, purpose, or end. There is no such thing as an intrinsic value. First an objective or purpose must be nameed (to achieve human happiness; to finish the project; to be rich) then and only then can the value of anything be extablished. Does it further or promote the objective or purpose or does it hinder or prevent the objective or purpose? In other words, what relationship does it have to the purpose or objective.

      The second thing that is almost never made explicit is the distinction between, “market value,” and, “objective value.” Outside of finance and economics “market value” has little meaning, but it is almost always the kind of value discussed, unfortunately even in fields such as ethics.

      [Can all economic values be reduced to SAP? What about GFT? ;>)]

      In ethics, for example, the values being sought are those necessary for individual human beings to make the choices that will further their lives with the ideal of living successfully and happily in this world. Since the world has an objective nature and human beings have objective natures ethical principles (or values) are objectively determined by the requirements of human nature and the nature of the world they live in, and are therefore, themselves, objective.

      Not politics and not economics. [Intentionally cryptic!]

    • Mostly even economists don’t really know what they are describing, but they need something (“dollars”) for one axis on a graph. That is the fallacy of the British Neo-Classical School of Economics, embracing both Keynes and Friedman. The Austrian School shuns statistics, pushing them to “economic history,” and creates “Little Bubbles” of value, which become objects of trade between and among individuals.

      A “Little Bubble of Value” is like a “finite universe” as in Lobachevsky geometry and the structure inside the bubble is teleological – value and purpose.

      The creator of the bubble can trade it to someone who values it more, for a different purpose. The creator of the bubble gets paid some other “Little Bubble of Value” that has some different, new purpose to himself.

      Thus Economics (praxeology) is about how we assign “prices” to “Little Bubbles of Value,” so that we can trade them in organized Markets. But two traders would appraise them differently, due to the different purposes each holds for the asset. The “asset” cannot have a single “objective price” so it has instead a bid/ask spread.

    • I’ve never commented and not regretted it.

    • The first and biggest mistake of so called economists, is the supposed condition that there is no such thing as intrinsic value.
      That yes, human beings are caught up in our own little mind bubbles of subjective value, as if value is disconnect from reality, and separate from the laws of physics.
      That human beings can for sure “believe” there is no intrinsic value, and can subjectively value anything, but when they act on that determination, they may actually be working to their own demise, and to their own loss, and their own failure.
      That cause and effect, or success and failure, is not a condition of believing or not.
      That yes, we can believe there is no intrinsic value, and act to work ourselves to extinction.
      Does that make us right? LOL

    • The value of sth depends not only on that thing, by also on the individual’s situation (family, property, country, etc.) and constitution (knowledge, appetite, age, etc.). If we were all identical and in identical situations, like equally spaced pawns on some spherical chessboard, we would have the same valuation of everything and trade would be pointless.

    • Well Thor, we are identical in two ways the so called economists seem to totally ignore, and that is each individual begins each day with 100% of their time and energy.
      And invisibly attached to everyone’s sense of objective value, is the physical action that follows that determination, and then the net effect is has against one’s finite time and energy.
      That one may value phone A that takes 1 hour to make a call, more then phone B that takes 1 minute, but it will not be without the net relative cost of one’s time and energy against the 100% he begins with each day…calculated down the smallest increment.
      While the other fellow subjectively values phone B more, because he has realized the intrinsic value of phone B, in that is more efficient, that is more convenient, and dare I say, more economical against one’s finite time and energy.
      That allows him to make 60 times the calls in an hour versus phone A, and perhaps earn 60 times more than the other fellow in an hours work, or to sit on his ass for the other 59.
      Were both fellows each have only 100% of their finite time and energy to spend.
      To see how long it takes before the subjective value of phone A looses its subjective value, because phone B’s intrinsic value has been proven out, or its “true” value or its “true” utility has been proven out, by its efficiency over time, and the conservation of one’s finite time and energy.
      Who happens to be this guys neighbor, who is now able to have 3 cars, and a dynamite lawn tractor with 3 times the horsepower of the other guy, and even do his lawn 5 times faster the other guy, who still values the really cool phone A.

    • If this were true, we would be moving towards a consensus of tastes, not an increasing variety. If economic value is objective, then most tastes are not tastes at all, but merely errors. If it is true that people merely discover the objective, singular value in a thing, or fail to discover it, then 31 flavors is merely a primitive precursor of the 1 great flavor that all should be pursuing. Your phone/lawn tractor example proves the opposite of your case: If value were objective, there would be a specific “right” combination of phones and lawn tractors, but if one man prefers a lawn tractor because he loves his lawn and hates hearing people talk, while the other man doesn’t care for grass, but is say, intensely social, those subjective values SHOULD guide them in their spending of their time and effort. The man who doesn’t have or want a lawn and spends his effort getting a lawn tractor wastes his time, not because of the objective quality of the lawn tractor, but because of his own taste; he cares nothing for the kind of satisfaction that product can provide. That is what we mean by subjective value: It is an objective matter whether a particular product can provide a particular kind of satisfaction, but a subjective matter what kind of satisfaction each person really desires.@liberty56

    • @sam1067 Sam, thanks for your reply. Yes, great response. If I could just clarify a few delicate things that make all the difference here.
      One, a flavor of something does not have much physical effect other then a certain tingling sensation in one’s mouth. The utility of this subjective value of this thing is so small that it nears just a feeling, where there is delicate physical action and reaction that has little cause and effect of energy over time.
      Although, the butterfly effect of a person liking a certain flavor, and must drive a greater distance past 5 other ice-cream stores to get it, is another matter, that will have a net effect on his time and energy, and the other subjective decisions this person has made in his life will have greater physical effect as well, such as owning a car with square wheels instead of round ones for instance.
      Yes, he may subjectively favor square wheels, but these will not be without their objective measurement of calculated efficiency, of energy over time, and then the relative effect it has on his finite time and energy of 100%. Not to mention trying to eat an ice cream cone on the drive home in a car with square wheels, and the time it will take to clean up that mess.
      How one spends their time and energy is made on subjective decision making, yes, but when acted out, there is objective physical law, and objective physical effect is calculated to the point of perfection against an individuals finite time and energy of 100%. There is no escape from this calculation, and with that calculation comes pain and pleasure, and then the potential revaluation of one’s subjective value.
      Regarding “if value were objective then there is only one right choice…”. Well “right” might not be the correct word exactly, but for sure, there is only one choice that is the most efficient way of things, or that is the most economical in its utility in a certain environment regarding time and energy, that subjectivity cannot change, but then that technology can objectively change.
      And technology can change it, because technology is the science of physics, that if utilized correctly can have positive (or negative) physical effect on one’s finite time and energy; for us to potentially act more efficiently, that has the physical effect of physical abundance, and improve one’s quality of life.

    • I have to go against you again, square wheels can be criticized objectively only because they are a means, not an end, and so we can objectively check them for suitability to their intended use travel. But a person who does not want to travel has no more use for round wheels than square ones; both are are without definable efficiency, if the effect is not desired. His subjective valuation of travel is unquestionably more relevant than the objective valuation of wheels.

      About the finite time and energy thing, yes, in subjective value theory we recognize expenditure of time and energy in the “cost” column, but it is the “benefits” column that is full of subjective things. A man runs in a marathon, expending great energy and not a little time; is he in error? Is nature soon enough going to teach him that he should not so squander his finite resources? Or can the satisfaction he derives from the exercise be weighed against the costs and justify them? Is that satisfaction anything but subjective?

      I will go still further; time and energy are merely means to ends, and therefore a savings of time or energy is really reckoned as a gain ONLY because freed up time and energy can be spent in satisfying ways. Just as a marathon runner does not regard the expenditure of effort as counter to his well-being, because he is spending his resources to achieve his aims, so a man in solitary confinement does not find additional free time much of a blessing, because he is unable to expend these resources in a way that gains him satisfaction of any of his wants.

      I challenge you to apply your objective analysis to ends, not means (ie travel to a destination, not wheels) and see whether it is possible to drive out the subjective element that seems to me is inevitably present, when a person is acting to satisfy his unique desires.

    • Excellent Sam…please let me ponder this for a bit. Thx

  • Bruce Koerber posted an update 1 hour, 55 minutes ago


  • MacGregor Ross‘s article Security Analysis Series: Chapter 2 Summary has a new comment 1 hour, 55 minutes ago

    “Fundamental Elements in the Problem of Analysis. Quantitative and Qualitative Factors” Chapter Summary The four fundamental elements: 1. The security 2. Price 3. Time 4. The per [Read story]
    • Great post, once again! While reading through your summary, this quote from Graham caught my eye:

      “Relative yields at different points in time make certain securities more attractive than others.”

      I’m trying to make sense of this as it pertains to resource stocks.
      So lately the uptrend in gold stocks has been undeniable, having outperformed the rest of the resource sector quite handedly over the last few months. In direct contrast to this uptrend are the energy stocks that have underperformed relative to gold stocks. So let’s assume this uptrend in gold stocks continues, to the point where they begin trading at par or even at a premium to the NPV of their assets. Should we then sell our gold stocks and trade them for undervalued energy stocks, trading at 1 to 2 times less than the NPV of their assets? I know there are lots of variables to look for in regards to the stability of suffering energy companies, particularly when it comes to the durability of their balance sheets in these low commodity price environments. But the point I’m trying to make is, should we judge and make our investing decisions based on the intrinsic value of a company, i.e. market price at a discount relative to the NPV of assets? Or on the trend of earnings due to a popular rise in the gold price which could translate into market prices trading at a premium to the NPV of assets?

    • @matt77
      Stasis almost never occurs, but it is frequently your best bet.

    • @rrule Understood.
      I know I should be feeling elated, now that the few gold stocks I own are making wonderful gains from my entry price, but I’m not. Perhaps this is a flaw in my character but I liked it better when gold stocks were being kicked around in the dirt with the rest of the resource complex.
      Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the wonderful gains and will enjoy this manic bull run for as long as possible. But I want to learn security analysis all the more now so that I can decipher when issues should be bought and when they should be sold based on the mispricing of the market.

    • Matt,

      Part of the discipline is knowing ahead of time your exit price – and sticking to it. We’ve had a few excellent companies that have done very well, and we expect would continue to perform adequately, but their market prices hit our valuation targets and there was no reason to revalue them, so we had to exit them. Investment theses were still intact for all those firms. The key to cushioning that blow is to have other investments ready to go.

    • @matt77
      Matt. It is critically important that you become a disciplined seller in the bull market. The precious metals narrative gets affirmed by the welcome market action until our opinion of value is shaped by the narrative, and not rational processes.

      As we have discussed before, we buy speculative stocks based on some expected developments, which could add substantially to the economic value of the company.

      Often , in bull markets, the price escalation that one expects to occur in the event of positive change happens in anticipation of that change, in other words, opinions, rather than events change. When this happens, seriously consider selling at least enough stock to recover your investment, including transaction costs and tax.

      In my lectures, I refer to positions where you own some stock ” for free” having recovered your initial investment by disposing of a fraction of your original position, as ” the point of no concern”, to differentiate the result of this affirmative decision from the frequent effect of not selling during ” bull markets”, which is the much more frequent ” point of no return”.

  • Alexis Maria Sheehy‘s article The Voluntaryst Self Defense Case for Voting Trump has a new comment 2 hours, 5 minutes ago

    The Voluntaryst Self Defense Case for Voting TrumpOver the past five months or so, I admit I’ve been intrigued—indeed, perhaps obsessed—with the American elections. More specifically, I’ve been fascinated by the Trump phenomenon and by the stunning hordes of peop [Read story]
    • You cannot obtain liberty via the ballot box.

    • @marchella
      somebody needs to work up the energy to refute this point by point. The topic is not voting , it is Trump. The author alleges, not incorrectly, that liberty is not in the immediate offing, and suggests that voting in self defense is an affirmative right. We can debate that point as well, but the tactical point concerning Trump and self defense is the authors issue.

    • don’t you wish those pictures were at the fair, in the darts booth, or the shooting gallery?

    • Yeh, I skimmed over this pretty quickly and was also on a conference call. I’ve argued many times about defensive voting with the votearchists that support Trump. I really don’t understand the mental gymnastics of getting there. @rrule

    • @marchella
      If nobody smarter than me ( David, David Montgomery…) takes this on, I’ll try over the weekend. Alexis worked hard on this, and deserves a point by point response.

    • Thanks for thinking of me, @rrule. I’m writing something that addresses voting. But to meet @marchella‘s brevity test, I’ll just mention that the one thing the regime most wants from you is your vote. That’s how the so-called mandate to govern you is derived. All presumed authority flows from that symbolic act of consent to the system itself. To play the game is to lose.

    • Hi David.

      ” All presumed authority flows from that symbolic act of consent to the system itself. To play the game is to lose.”

      I think the point of my case is that this precise argument is not true.

      We could probably look at statistics and show that its a minority if americans that actually go vote every 4 years. The state remains. the bureaucracy remains.

      My argument stems from the seeming fact that elections and imperialistic voting will continue to happen, until we develop entrenched forms of decentralized private security, grow a generation or two of well educated, non propagandized kids, and all those other long term self sustaining strategies that we are working on, actually start to set deep roots.

    • I’m pleased with the civility of the comments so far. Speaks well of liberty.me. Thank you Rick, looking forward to people’s thoughts.

      At the end of the day, this is about how to get to libertopia, its the strategy to get there, not really the end that we are debating. I think that’s clear though.

    • “… shouldn’t we take advantage of every tool at our disposal—whether a pen, a sword, or a vote?”

      Why not include pixie dust in the list of tools? Because you can’t actually do anything with pixie dust. It is only a fictional tool. You can do something with a pen. You can write an essay or a book. Whether what you write will actually be instrumental for a particular purpose is another question. With a sword (or other weapon) you can create mayhem and destruction (at least for a while). You can actually do something with a sword. Whether such violence will actually be instrumental for a particular purpose is another question. But you can’t actually do anything by voting any more than you can with pixie dust. The instrumental function of voting is just a fairy tale, a superstitious belief (like prayer) which no one would take seriously if it weren’t inculcated into us as gullible children and constantly reinforced by a self-serving priesthood of politicians and court intellectuals.

    • I agree, David is an excellent point-by-point refuter. And then at the very end he’ll say “taxation is theft” 😉 @rrule

    • If you won’t vote for a libertarian because the libertarian can’t win then why would you vote at all when you know, with absolute certainty, that your voting will have no consequence whatsoever. The argument for doing so is nothing but collectivist thinking.

      See: The Fallacy of Division.

    • @marchella
      If my memory serves me well, you are a reasonable point by point refuter, yourself, when it amuses you. I just figured you took a pass, on this discussion

    • Thanks @rrule I can hold my own but I’m not as thorough as David, he has links, charts… everything, haha. If I see wordy responses/replies I tend to zone out. (confession)

    • @marchella
      Yeah right
      Wait till Ms. Alexis takes on Dr. Paul. I get to sell tickets.

    • I’m not pro-Trump, but I do give him credit for actually questioning much of the neocon foreign policy, entangling alliances with NATO, the insanity of being beholden to so many foreign interests with war guarantees, etc. If he actually followed through with this, it would be a major shift from the interventionist status quo, even if it was more of a Jacksonian/Lindberghian/Buchananite/America First stance than a true non-interventionism that was driving it. That is a BIG IF, though — he’s a wildcard, a question mark, a bit of a loose cannon, so it’s hard to say what he’d really do if some foreign situation ticked him off. But maybe a roll of the dice is better than a Hillary or a Cruz or a Kasich who is almost certain to double-down on the neocon status quo?

      I tend to agree with the view of voting as a self-defensive act under duress, much like paying taxes even though morally taxation is theft. Slaves voting against the harsher slavemaster as Walter Block’s analogy goes — not an endorsement of slavery to do so. If I did have to vote strictly on principle, as a voluntaryist I’d have to just sit it out, and I certainly respect those who decide to do so on that basis.

      One argument against voting that puzzles me a bit, though, is that it makes no difference or an infinetesimal one, so why bother? Couldn’t the same argument be made, though, against contributing $5 to a crowdsourced fundraising effort for a significant amount? Why bother contributing since your $5 will be just a drop in the bucket? If most people refrained for the same reason, then the goal would be less likely met. Seems like there can still be some worthwhileness to lots of people contributing small amounts of funds or political momentum in the aggregate. I can certainly understand the moral argument against voting; but this one I’m not quite sure about.

    • @alexismsheehy I don’t necessarily think voting is immoral, it’s mostly just useless and a waste of time. You mention that the bureaucracy stays the same regardless of people voting. So what are you trying to get out of voting? Reform of the current regime? Even if Dr. Paul became president we wouldn’t be living a libertarian paradise. The masses still have statist thinking ingrained.

      Liberty starts with your own life. It seems you view it as some sort of collective goal, where a percentage of society adopts an idea and only then can the individual “be free”.

    • I don’t personally object to voting on issues, but voting for people to “represent me” bugs me. I think the only way to claim that you’re voting in self defense is to vote against any and all initiatives that increase regulation, taxation, or the size and scope of government. Which is what I do.
      Voting for new rulers is never beneficial.

    • If Trump gets elected he will point the gun of statism at Mexicans, Muslims, and liberals. If Bernie gets elected he will point the statist gun at the rich and conservatives. On principle I can’t bring myself to vote for coercion on either side of the isle.

    • @alexismsheehy Hi Alexis, when I wrote, “All presumed authority flows from that symbolic act of consent to the system itself. To play the game is to lose,” I was talking about oneself, not the regime. To vote is to indulge in the illusion of control over a system you have no control over. If it gives you psychic comfort, then they’ve won, because that’s exactly what they want.

      If the voting numbers are as low as you suggest, that’s great news as a practical matter. The fewer people’s wasting their life on destructive delusions, the better. As a bonus, the fewer people who vote, the more the “mandate” is exposed as a sham.

    • Hi All
      Alexis has spawned a lot of civil discussion about the efficacy of voting, but what about that f*****g Trump?
      She asserts that he is pro gun. And I suspect that he is Pro whatever his pollsters tell in old fat white losers support. I wonder if he was pro gun, when he was a Manhattan democrat. Has he suggested that he has been associated with pro gun causes or groups?

      He is alleged to be in favor of free speech. His own. His response to any who question or oppose him does not suggest someone interested in other folds right to free speech. Had Alexis merely asserted that he was outspoken, no one could question her point.

      She asserts that she is in some sympathy over his health care plan, defending him by saying ” he’s not insane”. We might debate his sanity later, but he and his loser cohorts favor subsidized heath care. After saying Social Security should be defended and improved, when asked about Obama Care, his response was that it should be replaced by ” something terrific”.

      Trump opposes TPP, and further ” is not dumb. Score one for Alexis

      Trump would decentralize education, yes decentralize Mexicans to Mexico, turks to Turkey…

      Trump is against Muslim immigration. If we wanted to make America safer for Americans, we would admit more Egyptian engineers, and Pakistani doctors, but deport congressmen, and in particular, police. I have Muslim friends, customers, and employees. On balance, in my personal experience, immigrants of all types improve a society. Trump may or may not be anti Muslim, but the polls tell him his constituency is.

      Trump is self funded. Correct. Having already acknowledged that I despise the site of him, and at the risk of being really snide, he self funded with money ripped out of the estates of entities he bankrupted, and from the taxpayer funded subsidies he so decries. But he is a sophisticated thief Alexis, I’ll give you that

      Trump is not a racist, unless you are Hispanic, or middle eastern.

      Trump exposes mainstream media lies. The problem with asserting this as a Trump virtue is the lies he and his supporters tell. Takes one to know one?

      None of the above should be interpreted as a criticism of Alexis. It took courage, having read posts on this site, to put Trump’s face on anything but a ” wanted ” poster in the post office. But as you can see, I take issue with a few of her ideas.
      Cheers, Rick

    • Sounds like the objection to voting is whether it actually can have any tangible effect. If that’s the objection and it is not a moral one but a factual one, then it seems we are more in agreement then I thought.

      What I lay down above is a possible morally valid case for voting.

      The Trump case I lay is a practical short term reason to vote.

      Whether voting is actually counted and not alone a mass dilussion is the question that remains.

      I suppose we will see what happens when the populists on the left and the right are at the final battle with their respective establishments. If Trump wins based on popular vote against massive opposition from his own party and just about everyone in the media, then it seems to me we’ll have found an instance in which voting had an effect.

      I don’t see votes alone as isolated sanctions however., you tell your friends and sell them on it and they do the same with theirs, to some degree.

    • @micah The comment was blocked due to a bug in our system. It should be back up now. Sorry about that! https://alexis.liberty.me/the-voluntaryst-self-defense-case-for-voting-trump/#comment-16

    • I don’t have problems with true defensive voting, such as voting against a ballot measure to impose a tax (leaving aside such questions as voting fraud for the moment). However, the only way to vote defensively where politicians are concerned, is if there is a choice, “none of the above”. It is not possible to vote defensively by voting FOR a politician. That is not defense.

      The proper way to deal with the Trump phenomenon is to sit back with some popcorn and watch the system tear itself apart. Your vote in the system will not accelerate any change, but it certainly can degrade you.

    • By the way, I have written a short article showing that it is better to lose an election than to win:

      If valid, it’s even more reason not to vote for him.

      Trump will betray you. Don’t let him. Don’t vote for him.

    • There are some great comments on here refuting Alexis’ reasons on voting for Trump but for crying out loud, do we have to see the candidates’ faces regurgitated to the top of the feed over and over every time someone leaves a comment? I’m so tired of seeing their ugly faces. Oops I just did it again. Damnit!

    • @matt77
      print it out, and use it as a dart board

    • @rrule Now, that’s a perfect idea. At the next Liberty.me event we should have a little friendly dart-throwing competition where we each have three attempts to hit Donald Trump right between his eyes. Whoever is able to land one should be rewarded with a one year membership for free.

    • @matt77
      I think a good hit on any candidate should suffice!

    • After months and months of trying to avoid the political spectacle of this year’s Presidential election, I have been pulled in, hook, line and sinker. I am fascinated. I read Lew Rockwell’s Political Theater every day, I am a regular on Breitbart and Politico and Salon — and I really can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. As a Ron Paul supporter in the previous two elections (yes, even knowing he couldn’t “win”), I feel somewhat vindicated at how Trump has upended the Republican establishment and helped to expose all the shenanigans that we couldn’t see that well in 2008 or 2012. @alexismsheehy, to add to your list of reasons why Trump should not be discounted by libertarians, he accepted real gold for rent payments, he seems to understand the NWO, and well-respected libertarians like Walter Block and Justin Raimondo have written their own thoughtful supporting analyses of his candidacy. And finally, even though I haven’t watched any of the debates so far, I would gladly make an exception for the Donald versus Hillary show.

    • @leannebaker only if it is D vs H in a cage match!

    • Alexis, May I presume you are a Trump supporter who came here with an article prepared beforehand to stump for Trump votes. I doubt if you’ll be successful.

      The title of your essay demonstrates rather conclusively that you are not a voluntaryist and don’t know much about voluntaryism, a core principle of which is not voting, or as the three founders of modern voluntaryism put it back in 1983, Voluntaryists reject electoral politics “in theory and practice as incompatible with libertarian goals,” Ever since then and the founding of the quarterly publication, THE VOLUNTARYIST, (and now editor of the website, voluntaryist.com) Carl Watner has been editing and publishing his own and other freedom lovers’ well-written and logically sound articles defending the voluntaryist viewpoints and rational. Rather than trying to rebut each of your arguments here, I will refer you to the voluntaryist.com webiste where you will find a plethora of articles that in total refute everything you have tried to sell here. And if you really want to get into why not to vote for Trump or anyone else for any reason, you really should read David Montgomery’s monumental essay on this website, “Escape the World’s Biggest Racket — Politics and the Age of Decentralization.” It too does a fine job of rebutting your thesis.

      Alexis, you conclude your campaign rhetoric with this bit of sophism: “If you are going to vote, vote responsibly, vote wisely, vote strategically, vote with your friends. But perhaps most importantly, vote to win freedom.” Will you then accept responsibility for the deaths of all those people who will be murdered on the orders of the next president, whether that is Trump or Hillary, for voting means you acknowledge the legitimacy of whoever wins and share in the responsibility for all of his or her official acts?

    • @nednetterville It is my turn to wish I had said that. Good on you, Ned!

    • @atlasaikido. Thanks. I thought I smelled a troll when I saw the article’s title. I wonder if Alexis is on Trump’s payroll or merely smitten by his golden locks and crude rhetoric? If she is a paid acolyte, I’d like to think voluntaryism is making good progress when politicians believe there are enough of us to solicit our (hee, hee, hee) votes.

    • @nednetterville
      I suspect, reading the article, and the threads, that Alexis was engaged in an intellectual exercise.
      Criticism is more effective, point by point.
      And please don’t confuse me with someone who has time for Trump.

    • @atlasaikido @atlasaikido Thanks again Ned. Good to know for these reasons.

      Apparently the live links are too sensitive for liberty.me They do not  show on the liberty feed but do when access the article. But who is going to go to the trouble when they see a blank feed? To ask the question is to answer it. And the following links address stuff like that. 

      whowhatwhy (Dot) org/2016/01/27/disinformation-part-1-how-trolls-control-an-internet-forum/

      whowhatwhy (dot) org/2016/02/02/disinformation-part-2-detailed-tips-for-trolls/

      whowhatwhy (dot) org/2016/02/11/disinformation-part-3-cointelpro-up-close-and-personal/

      Sent from my 4G LTE Device

    • @nednetterville to your point about voting In this country the president consistently claims to have the mandate “from the people”, and consistently claims the right to invade countries or change govts in countries where voters comprise less than 50% of the population—calling them 3rd world countries and illegitimate govts. In the elections in this country, non-voters (apathetic, deliberate, for what ever reason) are less than 50%. When non-voters exceed 50% The United Nations and perhaps China can be expected to declare the US **to be**…(Well fill in the blanks yourself). It’s a bankrupt corporate entity SOooooo…

      By the way, this country has been run under martial law for so long some people probably don’t know it. But they will certainly know it when the “fill in the blanks” shoe drops…and they told officially.

      When all eyes are on the candidates presented for a third world country by their own definition and no where else then you have to wonder about the mentality and world view of such.

    • @Rick Rule “And please don’t confuse me with someone who has time for Trump.”

      Rick, that I would never do. And your point is well taken, so I thank you. Regarding my last comment, my finger hovered and hesitated between the delete key and the post-comment button, and I’m afraid emotion rather than reason dictated my bad decision.

      To Alexis, if she is still with us, I apologize for suggesting you came here as a troll. I had no basis for that accusation. Please forgive me, and please don’t vote.

    • @ Mal Roarke, Thanks for those links. However, I have apologized to Alexis for implying she is a troll. I have no way of knowing that, and if I was wrong it was patently a low blow. However, I so hope no one here wastes a lot of time debating the wisdom of voting or not voting for Trump, and I doubt anyone will, for the problems with Trump for president as opposed to the problem of voting at all have been thoroughly vetted by various members of Liberty.me.

    • @nednetterville
      I’m empathetic. The thought of Trump makes me take leave of my senses too. The reasonable tone of discussion here, mentioned by Alexis, must overcome our own base instincts.

  • Jakob Renner published a new article, Saluting The Colonel, on the site musings 2 hours, 21 minutes ago

    colonel-sandersHarlan Sanders (September 9th 1890-December 16th 1980)  in Henryville Indiana into a family of farmers. Who worked on a 80 acre farm, in 1895 Sanders father died. Leaving the eldest Sanders to look after his two s [Read story]
  • Jakob Renner published a new article, Ben Franklin’s Constitutional Convention Speech, on the site musings 2 hours, 22 minutes ago

    benConstitutional Convention speech (1787)   Mr. President I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For [Read story]
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    nascarOn January 16th 1920 the 18th amendment took effect. This amendment with few exceptions, forbid the sale, transport and manufacture of alcohol in the United States. This new law of the land is credited with [Read story]
  • Terrifying Reality USA1Let’s face it, friends. You can ignore politics, but politics won’t ignore you. If somebody asks what you think of politicians, what’s your gut response… Yum or Yuk? For most people it’s a yuk that ranks even [Read story]
    • Incredible work, David! This is your best piece yet on liberty.me, and there is no better example of the reason I send liberty.me my membership dues every month. It should be translated into every language and read by every person on the planet, but I doubt that very many Americans will even take the time to read it.

      >Americans are at serious risk despite their material comfort relative to
      >much of the rest of the world.

      I hope Americans’ material comforts, specifically, are also at risk. I believe that their loss is, quite possibly, the only thing that can wake-up a large number of people. Peoples’ awakenings will spawn their desires and commitments to ending the state, or at least turning the corner on this unprecedented horrible one!

      “Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” -Thomas Jefferson

      I believe that most people find great evils to be sufferable, as long as they have a high level of material comforts. I value liberty most highly, and thus welcome a significant reduction in material comforts!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Calin!

    • David this is EPIC! This is exactly why I subscribe to Liberty.me. I have forwarded this to tons of friends. You hit on so many things that I am thinking about lately on a daily basis.

    • agreed, echoes my own reaction. Thanks for taking the time to articulate, compile, and distribute so much valuable content. I will be coming back to this many times

    • Thanks, Peggy!

    • Darren, thank you so much, and thanks for sharing with your friends!

    • David! This is excellent! You have connected the dots so wonderfully, I appreciate your thorough research and I will spread this wide and far.

    • Thanks Marchella — and thanks a ton for sharing with your thundering horde of followers on Twitter! :)

    • Excellent article. However, you misspelled the Cayman Islands.

    • Thanks Stephen — fixed.

    • Powerful, expansive, full of great links and resources, I have saved it to my EverNote.

      I have two points of constructive criticism:
      1) CrossFit. While you say the jury is still out on Gluten or Round-Up being the cause based on numerous studies, which of course you point out at least half could be bunk, Yet based on a Chiropractor and meeting Glassman you claim CrossFit to be highly injurious. You have statistics contrasting Terrorist with Heart Disease and Cancer, do you have the same comparing CrossFit to Soccer or Running? Your Chiropractor did mention Running and Yoga as well so perhaps there exists a deeper common factor, namely that people push themselves to hard. People ramp up the intensity too high too soon, before they have proper mechanics and consistent proper mechanics. That of course is CrossFit core doctrine; Mechanics, then Consistency, then Intensity. Do people follow it, no, do instructors hold their clients to it, no, Yet a read through the CF Level 1 manual you will find it again and again. It is not Yoga, CrossFit, or Running that injure people, it is naive instructors and people who place competition and points ahead of quality.

      I have seen this both in my 16 years in the Army, and my 5 years as a CrossFit trainer, even in myself.

      And what exactly does Disabled from a gymnastics injury Greg Glassman have to do with the expected effects of CrossFit? That is not even a random sample of people who have done CrossFit. I think you have gotten lost in that Fallacy jungle you mentioned.

      Second point to come in a second comment.

      -MS Exercise Science Performance Enhancement, Injury Prevention
      -MS Analytics (Statistics on Big Data)

    • Thanks for reading and your comments, Benjamin. My warning about Crossfit isn’t just based on the condition of its founder. It’s based on knowing several people who have been injured doing Crossfit, as well as trying it for myself.

      Most exercise protocols and most trainers of all stripes (including yogis) call for careful attention to form. But it’s very hard to ‘enforce’ perfect form in a group setting. And when the group is doing technical lifts under load, combined with a gung-ho culture, it’s not surprising to me that injuries happen often.

      My personal experiences conform to what is reported here:

      Of course people can train in whatever modality they’d like. My desire is to make people new to exercise who “just want to get in shape” realize that there are real risks involved, and that some modalities are riskier than others.

    • Yes, did you notice that the article makes my points:
      That soccer is more injurious that CrossFit, and that the injuries stem from people being stupid. You could perhaps warn people against being stupid weather they play soccer, do yoga, or train for marathon or triathlons. No surprise that the Title of the article from Men’s Journal exceeds whats actually written in the article.

      Including ridiculousness such as Glassman’s condition reduces the level of scholarship in your otherwise excellent article. Perhaps you could refer to something of substance, such as the injury rate of CrossFit is “3.1 injuries per 1,000 CrossFit sessions” compared to “older youth soccer players had an injury prevalence of 4 to 7.6 per 1,000 hours – higher than CrossFit’s.”

    • Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, Ben.

    • David, I thought I had already commented on your article, but maybe I hit the wrong button. I don’t have much to add to what has already been said, except to endorse the accolades of Calin, Darren, Peggy, Marchella, Stephen and Benjamin. I will certainly be sharing it with friends and family.

      Btw, I printed it out and have been reading it slowly, which is how I read. Have noticed and market a few inconsequential typos. If you want, I’d be happy to reported them to

    • Thanks so much, Ned. Sorry you had issues commenting. I’m guessing this book is pushing Wordpress to the limit. By all means, pm or email me any typos you spot. Much appreciated!

    • Hi Ned, I was one of the first to attempt to comment here and I kept getting an error message on each “Post Comment” click. I reported the problem to liberty.me tech support and they not only corrected it, but managed to recover my comment and post it. I think this is more likely to be the cause of your difficulty than accidentally hitting the wrong button.

    • Thanks, Calin. You have relieved my frustration.

    • I met two federal agents yesterday. They had some letters I had written to a bureaucrat, offering to connect outside of officialdom since contacts who work inside the US Postal Inspection Service would serve me well (I sell bitcoins for cash that gets mailed to me). They said the letters could look like offers of bribery. It made me realize two things. First, any attempt we make to align our interests with those of a man or woman in the employ of government can look like bribery. More importantly, serving the government damages us, making offers from other people to align our interest with theirs look like something criminal.

      I skimmed through your book with this in mind and I have three thoughts to share.

      1. “The smarter and more devious ones seek out positions of power, privilege, and legal exemption which largely shield themselves from punishment for predatory behavior.” Actually, if they are smart enough, they see the choice between that and helping others protect themselves from it. To someone like me, since I cannot escape the suffering I feel when I know that others suffer, the choice is obvious, but to them, since they don’t feel vicariously, it’s a choice, and I’d guess a random choice, though mostly influenced by the psychological, emotional, and intellectual strength of the people who raise them. Ultimately, the path you describe turns all good people against you, but hubris and high intelligence can blunt that effect enough to make it attractive anyway. I wanted to point this out because I believe a lot of sociopaths are helping the liberty movement. I also believe that those who aren’t may some day find the humility to better their lives by aligning their interests with ours.

      2. The word “criminal” has two meanings as you have used it, I think. One reflects violation of legislation. The other reflects harm to human beings. Increasingly, these two definitions are opposite. I can’t think of a good word to replace the second, and I really like the existing connotation of “criminal” as being a drain on society and someone without whom we’d all be better off. So I choose from among a few different terms for the first one which is most literally “lawbreaker,” depending on the context: agorist, anarchist, voluntaryist, or scofflaw. We choose to follow our conscience, regardless of whether or not it agrees with the law.

      3. You describe a lot of tax law without understanding it, and then later explain that understanding the law is virtually impossible. Admit that you don’t understand it, and point out that among those who claim that they do understand it, there is heavy disagreement (of which you may not be aware). It is apparent that you haven’t heard of Peter Hendrickson or his work, or his book, or his disentanglement of the mystery between Title 26 and the Constitutional prohibition against direct taxes. It’s pretty simple, but the government employees who benefit from our misunderstanding of it do everything they can to prevent the simplicity from becoming well known. It’s simply this: If you earn money without utilizing any kind of privilege granted to you by the federal government, then you are not engaging in taxable activity and don’t owe any income tax.

      So your whole section on taxation basically just needs to point out that you are writing about the IRS’ implementation of the tax laws, rather than the tax laws themselves, which, the evidence presented by Hendrickson shows, are mostly voluntaryist. Like I said, to obey the tax laws but not owe any tax, just don’t use any “federal privilege”. After that, you have to be patient with the brainwashed employees at the IRS and write lots of letters to get them to understand and obey their own damn laws.

    • “If you earn money without utilizing any kind of privilege granted to you by the federal government, then you are not engaging in taxable activity and don’t owe any income tax.”

      Dave, so what? It really doesn’t matter whether or not you owe income tax pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code. If IRS agents say you owe it–you owe it. I haven’t read everything David Montgomery wrote in this tome yet, but it is clear from many of his statements that he sees the whole picture of what is involved in “our system of taxation,” and it has little or nothing to do with correctly “interpreting” the tax code.

      As those scoundrels over at http://www.quatloos.com (an organization of tax attorneys, accountants, tax preparers, IRS agents and others with a beneficial interest in the IR Code and thereby committed to defending it at any cost to their integrity) are quick to point out, Peter Hendrickson’s “imaginative theories” (viz. his understanding of the IRCode, which are probably correct) have been thoroughly rebuked, rejected and discredited by US district and appellate courts and SCOTUS has refused to hear challenges to those lower courts’ decisions.

      Dave, you say, “you have to be patient with the brainwashed employees at the IRS and write lots of letters to get them to understand and obey their own damn laws.” But what if, as is often the case, the folks at the IRS your dealing with refuse to understand and/or obey their own damn laws. I think David’s point is: The law doesn’t matter when it gets in the way of our rulers’ intent to keep us in line. Having “the law on your side” when in federal court in a case involving the government’s procedures and ability to collect taxes doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. What matters is the fact that all of the folks a “tax protester” is up against are utterly dependent on those taxes for their welfare, and they will do whatever they perceive is necessary to protect their welfare, laws and judicial ethics to the contrary not withstanding. (Judicial ethics is an oxymoron.)

      Btw, tax laws, even if correctly understood to mean payment is voluntary, cannot possibly make them “mostly voluntaryist,” for their intent is to produce revenue for the violent state. Voluntary taxation is a meaningless oxymoron.

    • (David Montgomery) “sees the whole picture of what is involved in ‘our system of taxation,’ and it has little or nothing to do with correctly ‘interpreting” the tax code.'”

      Yes, Ned! Tax “code” (law) is just ink on paper (IOP) and also a ridiculous excuse and justification for pointing guns at people and caging them. The IOP has no power; it is the states guns that wield power!

      Whatever any IOP says (Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution, law, court rulings, etc.), IOP always means what our rulers and masters say it means. Their interpretations of the IOP are not bound by conventions of logic or semantics whatsoever and, furthermore, our rulers and masters live under the benefit of the double standards encompassed by other IOP (a “second set of books”). There almost always exists a second set of books that contradicts and trumps the IOP myths that most people hold as the truth. Only through these myths (“The Most Dangerous Superstition,” as Larken Rose calls it), will people accept the state’s guns and its cage!

      Our rulers and masters are Humpty Dumpty:

      “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

      ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

      ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’?


      All that matters, is “which is to be master”– who controls the gun!

    • “If IRS agents say you owe it–you owe it.”

      This is not the position of an independent mind, nor of a mind that understands what law is. It is the position of someone who has given up under the (admittedly nearly irresistible) force of what David called the “Authority Principle”. As he writes (but in which you’ll see my emphasis), “People will repeatedly violate their own moral standards of right and wrong **if they believe** they’re being directed by a legitimate authority.”

      I comfortably blame that same principle for your acceptance of the **false** claim by folks you (rightfully) call “scoundrels” that Hendrickson’s “‘imaginative theories’ … have been thoroughly rebuked, rejected and discredited” by courts. Certain words make the claim absolutely false, specifically “thoroughly” and “discredited.” His “imaginative theories” are and have been for over a decade living in a book which the IRS twice submitted for banning, which requests were both denied by the justice department. Whatever the opposite of “thoroughly” and “discredited” are, they would be more appropriate here, at least according to the justice department of the same parasitic criminal organization whose lifeblood is threatened by that book. Why is this so? Because governments require an aura of moral legitimacy and they cannot survive without the support of the public they therefore must increasingly deceive. But that particular deception was judged as too difficult to maintain. They rely on quatloos and Daniel Evans instead, among others.

      “Voluntary taxation” certainly is an oxymoron, but so is “jumbo shrimp.” The apparent contradiction may cease to confuse if you study the problem. Too many people accept the rationale of prohibitions against the manufacture of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms to reject the federal government’s rendering of those activities impossible without some privilege from them, which makes your root claim true: taxes are not voluntary because everyone who engages in the manufacture of alcohol, tobacco, or firearms (or any of the several other things the public has allowed the feds to monopolize) is required **by the law** to pay them. But the vast majority of those who believe (as Mr. Montgomery appears to also believe) that they must pay the income tax are not required **by the law** to pay it because they don’t do any of those things which require federal privilege. They are deceived. Attempts to show them the light are met with resistance.

      Law is contract, and applies when you agree to abide by it (implicitly or explicitly), but your agreement is to abide by the written law, not to the enforcer’s interpretation of it, because then you are not agreeing to obey a law, but to be a slave. In this light, law can be good and useful, and often is. But to obey a law you agreed to obey is different than being a slave to someone who claims to understand it better than you do. This is the distinction I wanted to make, and which I want to help others make. I will keep writing until I have found a way to make it simpler.

    • “If IRS agents say you owe it–you owe it.”

      I’m, sorry, Dave. I should have stated it with greater clarity, and said, “If the IRS says you owe it, and if what they say you owe is enough to be worth their effort, the threshold being much lower if you are, like Hendrickson, publicly challenging their law, and if they suspect you have assets sufficient to entice them to pursue your case, regardless of whether you “owe” it, they will collect it by stealing your property–if they can reach your assets.” And if they say you have broken the law, even though you haven’t, and if they think prosecuting you and sending you to the pokey will help keep others from knowing so much about their law that like Hendrickson they might just quit paying, they will very likely cage you for a spell as a lesson to others. Almost all IRS prosecutions of individuals who resist is for the purpose of keeping the rest of the taxpayers behaving as good little taxpayers.

      Dave, just as I was careless in explaining my position, you were certainly careless in reading the rest of what I said, attributing what I made perfectly clear was the position of Quatloos to me. That’s not nice!

      Long before Hendrickson figured it out, I knew that the IRS was not “legally” collecting taxes, and so I quit filing and paying. The last time I paid any federal, state or local income or employment tax was with the 1040 I filed for 1971 , and a subsequent $250 I was assessed after an audit, by which the examining revenue agent denied a legitimate (in my opinion) business deduction I had taken that year. I spent perhaps 20 to 25 years dueling with the IRS, playing cat and mouse in and out of fedeal court on my own behalf and assisting other “illegal tax protesters” (as they called us), after which time the IRS–not me!!!–evidently gave up, or at least they haven’t tried to contact me since about 2003. I never conceded one iota nor paid one penny to them, although they did manage to steal on two occasions from bank accounts I foolishly had back in the 1980s, a combinded total of less than $600, which I suppose was applied against the $90k or so they said I owed. However, I almost evened that score when one of the banks the IRS took my money from agreed to settle a law suit I filed against it for $500.

      I did do a little jail time (34 days) for “civil contempt of court.” A judge had (unlawfully, of course) ordered me to produce my “books and records” and give testimony to the IRS agents after I refused to cooperate with an IRS “collection summons.” I was rather enjoying my stay in jail but I agreed to obey the judge’s order so I could get out and spend Memorial Day with my family. Since I had quit keeping books and records long before, producing them was easy, but being forced to testify was an excruciating ordeal even though I could honestly tell them nothing that would lead them to discover the hidden assets they were sure I had. (Why else would he go to jail rather than cooperate?) The looks on the two agents faces when they realized there was nothing for them to steal was worth the ordeal–and then some.

      I may have set a record for filing what the IRS called “frivolous tax returns,” and was fined $500 for each one. (The fine is a lot more nowadays I think.) I didn’t pay those fines, and I suppose the fines were added to the tax they said I owed and haven’t paid. They weren’t really tax returns. What I did was send in a form 1040 every year with a statement in bold print accross the face of it which said, I CANNOT (OR WILL NOT) PROVIDE THE INFORMATION REQUESTED HEREIN, UNLESS THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY/IRS CAN ASSURE ME THAT IN SO DOING ALL OF MY RIGHTS AS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES WILL REMAIN INVIOLATE. Of course the government never gave me assurance, and I never gave the government their requested information, nor any money.

      Since becoming a voluntaryist as opposed to a libertarian and constitutionalist sometime in the early 1990s, I quit sending the IRS anything even though it only took about ten minutes to prepare a 1040 using my procedure. However, since I declare I am no longer a US citizen, I’d alter the wording a bit if I had to do it again. And since my method of resisting has proven successful in that the government has been unable to collect the taxes it has said I owe from me, nor send me to prison, my method seems a lot easier and safer than going through all the trouble of “cracking the code.”

      Since I spent a couple of decades of rather intense research of the tax laws, court procedures, writ writing, etc., I probably understand THE LAW as well as anyone. Let me sum up my understanding of all man-made laws, up to and including the Constitution: THEY ARE ALL A CROCK! I don’t criticize Hendrickson or anyone who has the gumption to challenge the IRS. Irwin Schiff isxxx was one of my all time heroes. But to me, after a lot of time and effort playing the game in the government’s court, which is what anyone does who studies the laws, I decided to take my ball and racquet to where I could be more productive.

      I’ll conclude this overlong comment by saying I think David Montgomery has the better perspective from a voluntaryist viewpoint on the law and taxation–man-made law that is. It is what your rulers says it is. If you don’t have rulers, their laws are not a problem, so why waste time trying to unravel or interpret them.

    • Thanks for offering your thoughts, David.

    • David,

      I’ve seen this get passed around by the usual suspects on Twitter, and all I can say right now is that I plan on spending all my Sunday devouring this word for word, link for link, and look for ways to begin applying what you have to say here!

      This post looks amazing! 😀

    • Thanks, RJ! Hope your Sunday turned out ok. :)

    • Okay, this is a bit much to get through with limited available time, but it definitely seems worthwhile. Still in Tax Farming. This was obviously quite a large effort on your part, so I appreciate that as well. Thanks for taking the time to write and post this!

    • Thanks, Bruce — you’re welcome!

    • Easily done!

    • Ended up staying up all night because I couldn’t put this down. This became a bit comical once I reached the section on sleep and health. Nevertheless, I am pleased with my choice and blessed by all you wrote. Thanks for the love you put in to this.

    • Carrie, that was so incredibly thoughtful and kind. You brightened my day. And thinking of you bumping into the sleep section in the middle of the night made me laugh. :) Thank you so much!

    • @abombshell I concur wholeheartedly with what you said, same experience here 😀

  • Frank Z. Marcopolos posted an update 3 hours, 18 minutes ago

    What is art? What makes it different from other things? How does it compare to other forms of communication? And what are the deeper implications of making art for an audience? Professor Jim explains.

  • Maurice Jackson posted an update 3 hours, 57 minutes ago

    Putting finishing touches interviews with Scott Rickards of Waterfund llc. regarding investing Water, Ross McElroy of Fission Uranium, and Amir Adnani of Uranium Energy Corporation!
    Also interviewed David Cole of Eurasian Minerals today, and pending interviews next week with Riverside Resources, Miles Franklin, SRSRocco & Sprott Money.

    • I’m enjoying your interviews, Maurice. Keep them coming.

    • @matt77 Matt, thanks for the endorsement and support. I truly appreciate it. I value your opinion. Let me know what I can improve upon. I can take it, I thick skin. If you have any questions you would like for me present on an interview let me know and I shall ask and reference your name and location, if you wish.

  • Craig Spencer replied to the topic How did you become a libertarian? in the forum General 4 hours, 29 minutes ago

    There is a difference between the immediate impetus to adopting libertarian ideas and the deeper reason why people respond positively to them when and if they encounter them. The first can be casual, accidental and of no significance. In my observation there are two different and incompatible reasons people become libertarians which are suggested…[Read more]

  • Vincent Birrittella‘s article What Vigilantes Can Teach Us About The Government has a new comment 4 hours, 41 minutes ago

    daredevil_comicsRecently, I just finished watching the new season of Daredevil that’s on Netflix.  There was one scene which really caught my attention: Daredevil basically gifted a beaten up Frank Castle — also known as the P [Read story]

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