Venezuela has been the butt of jokes in the American press — lacking toilet paper, beer, and even potatoes for fries at McDonald’s — but her history and policies have slipped under the radar.

One man who has paid attention is José Alberto Niño, a Venezuelan by birth who now lives in Colorado. A grassroots activist and prolific writer, Niño lifts the veil on how Venezuela fell from grace and what will become of the socialist narco-state.

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  • Liberty.Me:Freedom Is a Do-It-Yourself Project by Jeffrey Tucker This is my collection of articles that emerged from this new way of looking at the freedom project. Discussion welcome Kick off the discussion! Questions, comments, observations or elaborations? Either reply here or create a new discussion using the tag

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  • Dominance, Sharing, and Privacy gives us a simplified (maybe oversimplified), and intuitive way to categorize human sociality. Instead of thinking of social structures as being diverse and too complicated to be categorized, these three categories allow us to classify behaviors that address conflict as one of three types or a combination of the three.  For example, might makes right is not really a property norm but it is a dominance strategy. The ethic that the world belongs to everyone is not an alternative property norm, it is the nullification of property in favor of a sharing norm.  The violent defense of a territory is not a might makes right or dominance behavior but is the defense of privacy. The reluctance to intrude on others prior establish territory is not just a fear of retaliation but a respect for privacy.   For moe read: Dominance, Sharing, and Privacy (DSP), The Three Principles of Sociality  

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  • What if Parents Loved Strangers’ Children As Much As Their Own? Last December, the author and philosopher Sam Harris invited Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology at Yale, to appear on his podcast, “Waking Up.” It was Bloom’s third stint as a guest, and, as before, the two men devoted a significant portion of their conversation to the subject of empathy. Bloom had just published a book, “Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion,” in which he drew a distinction between empathy (the ability to feel other people’s pain) and compassion (desiring others’ well-being); according to Bloom, society needs less of the former and more of the latter. On the podcast, he and Harris talked about how empathy favors people you know over people you don’t, and how this favoritism leads to harmful behaviors such as tribalism and nationalism. They advocated a cooler, more rational approach to moral decision-making. Then they asked how far such an approach could be taken. Some forms of preferential treatment, Harris and Bloom noted, are considered appropriate, as when parents love their children more than they do strangers. But they wondered whether this, too, might be a behavior that requires correcting. They cited the utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer, who famously pointed out that spending money on non-essentials means valuing your comfort over the lives of people starving elsewhere in the world. Bloom admitted that he buys toys and vacations for his children, identifying this as a moral dilemma that we all face. He and Harris engaged in a thought experiment: Would the world be improved if parents cared for other people just as much as they cared for their own children…While we’ve seen some reversals of this in the past year or two—including Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the resurgence of the xenophobic right—it’s not unreasonable to believe that these are temporary setbacks, blips in a broader trend that obtains over centuries or millennia. If this trend continues in the future, it could end in a kind of species-wide eusociality, at which point the perfectly impartial affection that Harris and Bloom posit might no longer seem so outlandish.? At first glance, I rolled my eyes thinking this was a call for collective child-rearing and how individualism is evil (Although he does take swipes at Trump and Brexit).  However on the whole, Chiang’s piece for the New Yorker is surprisingly balanced, with the exception talking about Brexit and Trump, as he cites several examples like the Kibbutzim in Israel where collectively raising children was not a good thing.  How if we all adopted a guru mindset of impartial affection the world would not be a utopia. What are your thoughts? Reactions?

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  • I mean a real socialist, not a guy that voted for Obama. A guy that is every bit socialist as I am libertarian. Background: I met a guy on online. I found out that he is an engineer in SF and a socialist. He loves seeing socialist philosophers speak, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and Tumblr. I’m also a SF resident and more knowledgable and more sympathetic toward the far left than most libertarians. I also have a job that is stereotypically liberal (elementary school teacher) so we’re kind of the opposite. We’ve hung out twice so far and I think we are pretty cute together. I always say teasing things to him like, “Do you follow fuckyeahelizabethwarren on Tumblr?” He doesn’t know much about libertarianism but when I met him I was going to see Jeffrey Tucker speak on the same day and he was interested to hear about it. Has anyone ever gone down this dark path before? Any predictions on what will happen?

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  • Venezuela has the highest violent crime rate in the world. Though it is not moral or justified, people choose violence over starvation when there are no alternatives. Of course, “we” libertarians all know that this situation was created by government/s coercion’s consequences, but so few among the greater population seem to recognize that. It seems like a similar fate faces the whole world.

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