What are We Really Doing Here?

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What is it we liberty-lovers are working towards? What’s the libertarian endgame? What kind of project is this fight for liberty and how we should be prosecuting it? I hear all the time that we’re involved in fomenting a revolution or executing a war. Or is this just a debate? None of the above, I say emphatically. We’re working on an evolution – and a peaceful one to boot.

Revolution Too Violent

I discard revolution because it has violent political overtones and is too short-sighted anyway. Revolution evokes images of whiny hippies or Latin American guerrilla movements. Establishing complete liberty is not just about changing some institutions or their leadership. It requires changing people’s minds as well. And that won’t happen in one fell swoop or by the application of force or intimidation.

War is the Tool of the Statists

War is all wrong because that’s what our opponents, the statists, do to get their way. We are not them and can not afford to be associated with them and their practices in any way. War is doing “whatever it takes” to achieve your ends, which often means cutting corners and not living in alignment with our principles. War is aggression writ large. Complete liberty – our goal – is the non-aggression principle writ large. Never the twain shall meet.

Debate is Good, but this is More

It’s not just a debate, either. Don’t get me wrong, debate is critical, and calling it mental masturbation or speaking seriously of “master debaters” is simply idiotic. Thought, concept formation and identification, discussion and debate are critical foundation-building activities for the work of advancing liberty. Without it we are chickens with our heads cut off wasting time, working against each other and doing things that only must be undone later.

Gradual, Peaceful, Voluntary Evolution

Our goal should be nothing short of a peaceful evolution of the human culture – one individual at a time – from what it is today to one where aggression, in all its forms, is absent. When I say evolution, I’m using the second definition in my dictionary for that word, to wit: “the gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form.” Note the word “gradual”. This is what primarily distinguishes “evolution” from “revolution”.

Off-Message Tactics Will Only Hurt

So when I see comments like the below (often from minarchists and anarchists-in-name-only):

“I am willing to use whatever means are most efficient to oppose tyranny and end oppression.”

… used to defend tactics like running for office, voting, trickery and intellectual intimidation, it reveals the chasm between those who really get the zero-aggression principle, and those who aren’t actually living it. What is right is what is efficient and vice versa, there is no difference here.

Tactics Must be Aligned with Principles

In order to sell our principles, we must be living examples of them. Anything else will not carry the day. Worse, it will set us back. We distinguish ourselves with our consistent principles. Not living in alignment with them discredits us. Instead we should be using tactics that are in alignment with our shared values, such as reason, truth, directness, discussion, love, satyagraha, civil disobedience, non-voting and counter-economics.

Conclusion

Let us drop talk of wars, revolutions and the pooh-pooh-ing of debate. Let us drop this machismo that talks of doing what is necessary and focus more on doing what is right. Liberty is a philosophy of peace and trade, so let us be peaceful traders, dealing with our fellow man via reason and respect. Let our tools be consistent with our message: reason, truth, directness, discussion, love, satyagraha, civil disobedience, non-voting and counter-economics. We must assist our fellow man with his evolution – starting with ourselves.

Photo credit: coda. Photo license.

30 June 2009

32 responses to “What are We Really Doing Here?”

  1. Libby says:

    Hear Hear! Great post, George.

  2. Jay4Liberty says:

    If you’re for liberty but still paying taxes out of fear of government thugs with guns, then you’re not really for liberty at all.

    Be prepared to hear that time and time again from the purists who would rather you waste away in a jail cell than enjoy your friends and family.

    Like liberty but still pay taxes? You’re a murderer.
    Like freedom and wish to avoid contact with government people as much as possible? Then you lack commitment.

    It’s interesting to watch all these “voluntaryists” crow about freedom and doing “what’s right” but as soon as they see the ugly reality that is government, most of them retreat back into a safe zone. They write blogs and make videos, hell some even have a national radio show, but when push comes to shove most of them will do what the government wants. I suppose they could stand around holding signs….and change nothing.

    Sorry George, but worrying about convincing the minarchists or AINOs by beating them over the head about how immoral they are isn’t going to win many converts. You can yell from the voluntaryist pulpit all you want, but there’s several hundred million people out there who believe in the state as it is right now. THOSE are the people that need to be talked to, informed, educated. They have pet issues that they believe only government can solve, you can either show them a non-government solution or you can call them immoral murderers that don’t care about other people.

    You speak of “gradual” change in your blog entry, but judging from the rest of that post and others I don’t think you believe or desire that at all.

  3. Thanks, glad you like it. :)

  4. All well and good, but we must let the bastards know, loud and clear, that if they attack us, we will defend ourselves, with whatever force is necessary, no matter which fancy uniform, funny hat, or shiny badge our attackers happen to be wearing at the time.

  5. Bill, thanks for commenting.

    I think actions will speak louder than words here. Actions being increased gun ownership, education and training.

    Mixing talk of violent self-defense into liberty activism can quickly get confusing and off message IMHO. If we’re about peace and trade, let’s focus on that. We don’t like mosquitos either but we don’t need to go on about killing them. It’s a minor matter. Let’s focus on the major matters is what I am saying.

    I’m no pacifist, I’m just saying let’s be more strategic.

  6. Dreepa says:

    Love that Picture of the cans!

  7. Jay, your post was classified as spam, sorry for the delay in finding and approving it. Thanks for commenting.

    I never said that you’re not really for liberty. That’s a strawman. I also never accused you of not being committed.

    It’s interesting to watch all these “voluntaryists” crow about freedom and doing “what’s right” but as soon as they see the ugly reality that is government, most of them retreat back into a safe zone

    Do you have some basis for this claim or are you just striking out randomly in the hope you’ll hit someone with your dirty, wet noodle.

    Sorry George, but worrying about convincing the minarchists or AINOs by beating them over the head about how immoral they are isn’t going to win many converts

    I’m interested in truth first, tactics second. It’s more important to me to be right and alone than wrong and full of “converts”.

    You’re not one of those 300 million sheeple. You’re supposed to already be liberty-conscious. How I speak with you is obviously going to be different than how I speak with them. Mixing them up as you do is missing the point and conflating the difference.

    You speak of “gradual” change in your blog entry, but judging from the rest of that post and others I don’t think you believe or desire that at all.

    So you tell me, what is it I do desire? I find it so amusing when people claim they know more about me than I do.

    Gradual does not necessarily mean slow.

  8. And even if I do not act completely in alignment with my statements, so what? I don’t claim to be perfect, I only claim to be working towards perfection. Any truth in my statements is not diminished by any failure of mine to practice what I preach.

  9. Liberty Belle says:

    I think you’re right on, George. My focus right now is finding a livelihood where I can protect the fruit of my labors from unethical plunder and murderous use, in the protection of my family and friends, and in helping others to do the same. I can expand that explanation, but it’s really pretty simple:

    I pledge to do as much as I possibly can while not endangering myself or family to live as protected and free life as I can. I’m not there yet, and I’m very dependent on a few things and constructs that I’d rather not be, but I’m withdrawing my compliance as much as is humanly possible. I am done voting.

    Because I have two children, one of them very young, I cannot engage in the kind of activism which would jail me; it is going to be difficult enough to find a way to protect my income from taxes, and there’s no guarantee that I’ll be successful in flying under radar. As such, I’m posting paranoically under a thinly veiled pseudonym, but you’ll be able to see who I am George.

  10. You’re right, George, that it’s misguided to make the right to self defense against any aggressor, including the state, into the centerpiece of a freedom philosophy. But it’s gotta be there. When the mosquitos are swarming, good people share strategies for getting them to stop, one of which, when those mosquitos are at least somewhat sentient, is to let them know that it will go very badly for them if they don’t.

    Unlike you, I no longer believe it’s possible to convince a majority of humanity that liberty is in their best interest. But it IS possible to live free, in small enclaves, and to convince the herd humans that leaving us alone is most definitely in their best interest.

  11. Jay4Liberty says:

    >>Do you have some basis for this claim or are you just striking out randomly
    >> in the hope you’ll hit someone with your dirty, wet noodle.

    Sure do. Look at Ian from FTL as an example. He tried to play the legal-land game with them, lost what appeared to be badly then got out in 2 or 3 days. Now he has stated that he will “pull back” a bit and not try to confront them head on. I applaud him for this. There’s others in just the Keene area as well, but since I’m not in NH I don’t know their stories. For the most part a lot of Keeners seem content with making videos, posting to message forums and holding signs. That’s fine, no gripe there but don’t crap on me for not wishing to do the same.

    >>I’m interested in truth first, tactics second. It’s more important to me >>to be right and alone than wrong and full of “converts”.

    That attitude is self-defeating and not healthy IMHO. Doing something so you have some sort of moral high ground to stand on all by yourself doesn’t help anyone. Should all people be convinced of the voluntaryist society? You bet. I just don’t think insulting people and putting them down for the actions they choose to take is helpful.

    It took over 200 years to get to this point and they didn’t get there (usually) by yelling at people. They used persuasion to get their way, convincing people that just the right politicians winning popularity contests will make things better. It hasn’t and someone has to show the populace that rather than worrying about minarchists or AINOs. How many friendly minarchists or AINOs have been put down to the point where they’ve given up the fight for liberty, or at least smaller government? These people are allies and need not be the targets of ridicule.

    I dream of the day that the biggest concern is whether or not the government should be in charge of roads. If you could reduce government by 50, 60 or 70% right now, why not do just that and fight the rest of battle later? I for one don’t care for the all or nothing attitude since usually we’ll get nothing.

    >>So you tell me, what is it I do desire? I find it so amusing when people >>claim they know more about me than I do.
    >>Gradual does not necessarily mean slow.

    In the case of a radical change like going from what we have now to a voluntary society it will be slow. There’s what, 300 or 400 million people living here, many of whom depend on government for something, a welfare check, their healthcare, their retirement, their kids education, their jobs and you honestly believe you can convince them to give that up in a short amount of time simply by preaching to them on a blog? It will take a long time and honestly, we’ll be long dead and buried by the time anything resembling a voluntary society arises.

    Many voluntarists want their voluntary society now or at least in their lifetimes, and I’m afraid it won’t happen, especially when our biggest concern is having a “holier than thou” attitude so we can claim the moral high ground over the minarchists or AINOs. In-fighting like that won’t bring anyone one step closer to achieving liberty, in fact it may slow down any progress that is being made.

    As an aside, I do have your blog bookmarked and stop in once in a while. Twitter was getting boring unless it was about politics or whatever so I left. As for any other traces I had on the interweb I deleted them. C4L, Digg, Youtube etc. I’ve been doing this whole fight for liberty thing for 15 years now and it’s gotten exactly nowhere, actually I think it’s gotten worse. I just want to enjoy whatever time I have left in life with my friends and family.

  12. Jay I have not crapped on you, yelled at you or insulted you. Let’s talk about this thing like adults and not exaggerate, ok?

    Doing something so you have some sort of moral high ground to stand on all by yourself doesn’t help anyone

    It helps me.

    AINOs and minarchists are not my allies. They dilute and cloud the liberty message.

    If you could reduce government by 50, 60 or 70% right now, why not do just that and fight the rest of battle later?

    Why do people persist in this insane delusion that government can be reduced? It can not. Historically, government *never* goes backwards in size. The last 25 years are a poignant demonstration. Please get in touch with reality before claiming that government can be reduced in size.

    you honestly believe you can convince them to give that up in a short amount of time simply by preaching to them on a blog? It will take a long time and honestly, we’ll be long dead and buried by the time anything resembling a voluntary society arises.

    We have clearly established that I am much more optimistic than you. In fact, I don’t know anyone more pessimistic than you. Nothing is achieved with such negative talk.

    I’m afraid it won’t happen, especially when our biggest concern is having a “holier than thou” attitude so we can claim the moral high ground over the minarchists or AINOs. In-fighting like that won’t bring anyone one step closer to achieving liberty, in fact it may slow down any progress that is being made.

    Ethics are basic. Without them we are lost. People who use terms like “holy” and “purity” to talk about ethics haven’t gotten that yet. What I am doing is not infighting, I am simply attempting to radicalize through consciousness-raising shock tactics. A range of tactics are available and I would be a fool not to use all the ones at my disposal.

    I’ve been doing this whole fight for liberty thing for 15 years now and it’s gotten exactly nowhere, actually I think it’s gotten worse

    As I’ve said before I wish you luck in finding a more optimistic outlook.

    Thanks for your comments everyone.

  13. Jay4Liberty says:

    >Why do people persist in this insane delusion that government can be >reduced? It can not. Historically, government *never* goes backwards in >size. The last 25 years are a poignant demonstration. Please get in touch >with reality before claiming that government can be reduced in size.

    So therefore, hoping for a voluntary society is pointless since government can never be reduced. It will always grow and will always be with us apparently. No need to take any steps to begin the process of dismantling the state. How can you possibly believe you can never reduce government but also want to completely eliminate it at the same time?

    >We have clearly established that I am much more optimistic than you. In >fact, I don’t know anyone more pessimistic than you. Nothing is achieved >with such negative talk.

    That doesn’t answer the question. How can you get several hundred million people to just give up the state by doing nothing but preaching on the interweb? I suppose we don’t need them right? But wait, how does one achieve “liberty in his lifetime” without also showing others the benefits of liberty vs. coercive government? Oh wait I forgot, let’s just withdraw consent, that seems to have worked so well up to this point.

    >Ethics are basic. Without them we are lost. People who use terms like >“holy” and “purity” to talk about ethics haven’t gotten that yet. What I am >doing is not infighting, I am simply attempting to radicalize through >consciousness-raising shock tactics. A range of tactics are available and I >would be a fool not to use all the ones at my disposal.

    How many people are you willing to turn off to the message of liberty with your “shock tactics”? Ever hear the phrase you get more bees with honey? I have never understood why most voluntaryists are willing to “shock” others by calling them murderers for paying taxes under the threat of violence and then are surprised when they get resistance to their ideas. It’s all well and good for someone to feel superior because of their morals or ethics but it won’t advance the liberty you desire for yourself and others at all.

    >As I’ve said before I wish you luck in finding a more optimistic outlook.

    Optimism for what? Without this cloud of worrying about the government I already feel better. Of course I could go to PorcFest again, get insulted for seeing a possibility in a non-sign holding activity, get insulted again for mentioning in a conversation that I ran for state house in 2002, get told I’m funding murder because I pay taxes under the threat of violence, get laughed at and called a state lover for asking questions on how the free market would take over certain things, and read blogs and message boards where apparently the greatest evil voluntaryists can think of is minarchists. Yeah, there’s a lot to be optimistic about there which is why I really don’t care to be involved in anymore of this liberty infighting.

    Now I have some cartoons to do voices for, have a good night.

  14. Dreepa says:

    Jay… I am an elected official here in NH (evil I guess) I moved as part of the FSP.. .please email me… .I would love to talk to you.

  15. How can you possibly believe you can never reduce government but also want to completely eliminate it at the same time?

    Because governments collapse. See the USSR.

    How can you get several hundred million people to just give up the state by doing nothing but preaching on the interweb?

    That is not my plan. Surely you guessed that, if you thought about it.

    Your snarkiness really doesn’t impress me because it’s increasingly clear that you wish not to build but to destroy.

    It’s all well and good for someone to feel superior because of their morals or ethics but it won’t advance the liberty you desire for yourself and others at all.

    Then you should be quite happy and have no reason to protest.

    Optimism for what? Without this cloud of worrying about the government I already feel better.

    Just pretending a threat is gone in order to temporarily feel better is a fool’s game. It’s self-delusion.

    I suspect if you were more well-read you would understand why minarchists are the greatest enemy of anarchists.

  16. Dreepa says:

    oh and I was at Porcfest and I didn’t see anyone get yelled at.
    There were 4 FSP movers who are in the NH House of Rep and they were at Porcfest.

  17. Jay4Liberty says:

    >oh and I was at Porcfest and I didn’t see anyone get yelled at.
    >There were 4 FSP movers who are in the NH House of Rep and they were >at Porcfest.

    I’m talking about PorcFest 2007 at Gunstock, a very very bad experience. I was shocked my wife expressed interest in going to the next Liberty Forum. She wants to see a city and civilization before she judges.

    >Because governments collapse. See the USSR.

    Yes they do but that collapse had popular support unlike here. People will fight to continue to prop up the current system.

    >That is not my plan. Surely you guessed that, if you thought about it.

    What plan do you have? Stand around and protest? Hold signs and write blogs? Use twitter? What? If you honestly think government will collapse because a handful of people in NH have “withdrawn consent” you are mistaken. 1000 people cannot compare to hundreds of millions or even 1 million, especially with the influx of Massholes to NH.

    >Your snarkiness really doesn’t impress me because it’s increasingly >clear that you wish not to build but to destroy.

    I’ve said that when? How? Are you assuming I wish to only destroy? The state in it’s current form, yes. How do you wish to build? Get another few hundred people to write blogs that only the rest of choir will usually read? I know I know, counter-economy (where, how, when?) replicate (I have no desire to have children) starve the beast (isn’t that also destructive?) Isn’t removing the very things people are convinced they need (government, welfare, etc.) also a form of destruction? It certainly is to them.

    >Then you should be quite happy and have no reason to protest.

    You’re right, I’m happy that people are doing things in the name of liberty that will not advance liberty.

    >Just pretending a threat is gone in order to temporarily feel better is a >fool’s game. It’s self-delusion.

    You yourself said government will never be reduced, will never go away, so why worry about it? I have chosen to live my life as an individual as free as I can possibly be without encountering government people. I prefer to enjoy the company of friends and family and not spend hours arguing about government, so yes, I pretend it’s not there simply to save myself the stress of thinking about it.

    >I suspect if you were more well-read you would understand why >minarchists are the greatest enemy of anarchists.

    Ah yes, the classic call of the “Free Stater”. Insinuate that the other person isn’t “educated” enough to “understand” what is really going on. How insulting.

    No matter how cordial I’ve been, I’ve been told I’m childish (or not being adult) snarky (I guess asking questions is now known as snarky, oh wait, yeah I took some cheap shots but they’re based on what I have seen and read) and uneducated. That right there is why I will never ever move to NH, so I will not have to be around people that treat others like that.

  18. Libby says:

    George,
    As we’ve discussed offline, I believe your moralizing shock tactics alienate more people than they help. Like Jay though I visit your blog from time to time.

    Jay,
    I miss you! I’m thrilled to see your comments here and agree with you that there is too much infighting and not enough love and laughter- especially without you around. I’d love to stay in touch with you. My email is libertysnippet at gmail dot com.

  19. Oh it is so tiring when people worry more about offending delicate sensibilities than finding and executing the truth.

    Yes they do but that collapse had popular support unlike here. People will fight to continue to prop up the current system.

    Which is exactly why it is so important to fight the ideas and people who continue to prop up the current system. We have officially gone full circle.

    What plan do you have?

    I’m working on it and will soon be posting on that. I guess according to you I have to have a complete plan right now or I’m an ineffective dweeb. That would be really dumb.

    If you honestly think government will collapse because a handful of people in NH have “withdrawn consent” you are mistaken.

    You’ve been doing this for 15 years and you don’t know that it’s expected government will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions? Your credibility is being called into question.

    I’ve said that when? How? Are you assuming I wish to only destroy?

    Because your tone is so counterproductive.

    How do I wish to build? I am doing it now but, again, I am working on it.

    Counter-economy – you have as much access to SEK3’s theories as I do. What do YOU think?

    When I say self-replication in this context I am not talking about having kids.

    starve the beast (isn’t that also destructive?)

    Allowing evil’s inherent self-destruction to accelerate by not propping it up is constructive. Surely you see this.

    Isn’t removing the very things people are convinced they need (government, welfare, etc.) also a form of destruction?

    I shouldn’t have to explain this to someone who has been active in the liberty world for 15 years. Initiating force to get one’s way is destructive. Ceasing the IOF is constructive. Using credible threats of force to get money from people from welfare is an IOF.

    You yourself said government will never be reduced, will never go away, so why worry about it?

    I really don’t know what to think about you anymore Jay. I never said that government will never go away.

    You came in here with a nasty attitude and got a less than cordial response. And this confirms what you already believed. Self-fulfilling prophecy?

    not enough love and laughter

    Because Jay is just PURE love and laughter.

  20. Dreepa says:

    @jay… not all FreeStaters are anarchists. Not by a long shot. Not even 50%
    Do come to the Liberty Forum in 2010.. (planning is ongoing as I type email [email protected] for more details)
    I don’t think you should judge all FSPers by the stuff online by some of them.

    Jay are you familiar with the NHLA? (nhliberty.org) Many many people are working in the political system to try and reduce the size of government.

    I was at Pfest 07 but don’t know of the incident you refer to. I would be happy to introduce you to dozens and dozens of FSPers and natives that WON’T yell at you.

  21. Jay4Liberty says:

    >Oh it is so tiring when people worry more about offending delicate >sensibilities than finding and executing the truth.

    If you’re willing to cast off some people who may just need more explanation on a topic, then good for you. Shock tactics don’t work, especially since people are all different and react to shock differently. One size does not fit all.

    >Which is exactly why it is so important to fight the ideas and people who >continue to prop up the current system. We have officially gone full >circle.

    How? By calling them poopyheads and acting like we’re better because we have “truth”? I’m not questioning the fight, I’m questioning the tactics. We’ve only gone full circle according to you.

    >I’m working on it and will soon be posting on that. I guess according to >you I have to have a complete plan right now or I’m an ineffective >dweeb. That would be really dumb.

    What’s dumb is criticizing other people for their thoughts and actions and not being able to describe an actionable alternative that isn’t some abstract philosophy.

    >You’ve been doing this for 15 years and you don’t know that it’s >expected government will collapse under the weight of its own >contradictions? Your credibility is being called into question.

    Are you just picking and choosing things to personally attack me? People will prop up the system, no matter how bad it gets. You want a complete collapse? Then get ready for a very long ride. People will tinker with the current system to keep it in place. It’ll be knocked down, built back up, knocked down again and built back up. That is the reality.

    >I shouldn’t have to explain this to someone who has been active in the >liberty world for 15 years. Initiating force to get one’s way is >destructive. Ceasing the IOF is constructive. Using credible threats of >force to get money from people from welfare is an IOF.

    You and I know it’s IOF, but people who depend on government for all the things I’ve listed before do not and will not see it that way. To THEM it is destructive because you’re taking away their stuff. Regardless of philosophical right or wrong that is how they will see it.

    >I really don’t know what to think about you anymore Jay. I never said >that government will never go away.

    Oh really?
    >>Why do people persist in this insane delusion that government can be >>reduced? It can not. Historically, government *never* goes backwards >>in size. The last 25 years are a poignant demonstration. Please get in >>touch with reality before claiming that government can be reduced in >>size.
    Sounds that way to me. Or am I just not educated enough to understand what this statement really says?

    >You came in here with a nasty attitude and got a less than cordial >response. And this confirms what you already believed. Self-fulfilling >prophecy?

    I came in here quoting and mocking the very attitude I have gotten from voluntaryists over the years. If you cannot see the less than friendly, even outright hostility (AnarchoJesse anyone?) that a great deal of voluntaryists exhibit then it needs to shown to you. I have not questioned anyones intelligence or credibility (which believe me, with voluntaryists thats easy to do) I have merely questioned the methods and the enemies they have chosen to fight.

    You have people that went from being big government George W. Bush lovers to full on Ron Paul supporters. That’s called progress. I’d rather work with them a bit more down the path of liberty and voluntaryism than cast them aside. When the day comes when the battle is nothing but voluntaryism vs. minarchism I will be very happy, but today is not that day.

  22. I’m not casting people off. I didn’t call anyone a poopyhead. You’re exaggerating again. These are not the tactics I have used with you.

    What’s dumb is criticizing other people for their thoughts and actions and not being able to describe an actionable alternative that isn’t some abstract philosophy.

    Again, I have talked about actionable alternatives. And again, I guess since I don’t have a complete plan including pictures for your perusal right now, I’m a complete dweeb. You’re being stupid now.

    Are you just picking and choosing things to personally attack me?

    Jay, you’re the one taking this nasty tack with me.

    To THEM it is destructive because you’re taking away their stuff. Regardless of philosophical right or wrong that is how they will see it.

    I don’t care. OBJECTIVELY, they are in the wrong.

    Sounds that way to me. Or am I just not educated enough to understand what this statement really says?

    Surely you are capable of distinguishing between collapse and “reducing in size”.

    When the day comes when the battle is nothing but voluntaryism vs. minarchism I will be very happy, but today is not that day.

    Today very much *is* the day for that battle since we must articulate a consistent alternative in order to be successful. Minarchism is not a consistent alternative.

    Jay I am DONE with your nastiness on my website. Cut it out.

  23. Jay4Liberty says:

    >I don’t care. OBJECTIVELY, they are in the wrong.

    That right there is the problem. You don’t care about their reality you only care about some philosophical viewpoint that YOU have. That will not satisfy them.

    Listen…there are hundreds of millions of other people out there. They are looking out for themselves while also playing the political game. They are convinced they need a government and will use IOF in order to keep it. Telling them you just don’t care because some philosophy says you’re right will only ensure they will dig in and fight you, violently if necessary. Know what? They WILL win. They’re supporting the system that uses IOF, that system wants to stay in place and will use any means necessary to do so.

    I ran for office, I have seen these people. One guy even had the gall to tell me that “we have to go get their money, they’re married without kids so they can afford it.” You can’t use a philosophical argument with people like that. To them the ends justify the means. These are the folks that will run out and vote for whoever promises them the most stuff and they will fight tooth and nail to keep the current system in place. That is the enemy I see, that is the enemy I fear.

    >Again, I have talked about actionable alternatives.

    No not really. You’ve made vague references to an alternate economy and used this term “replicate” which I now have no idea what it means. Is there some sort of human cloning in NH I’m unaware of or does it mean recruit more people?

    Go ahead, try to find a counter-economy for me to participate in that isn’t online or won’t get me thrown in a jail cell. Aside from barter (and I already traded my fishing boat), there isn’t much here.

    If you’re going to have a blog speaking about right and wrong and liberty you’d better be able to answer questions. Philosophy and vague references might work for most of us (because we already think that way) but what if someone stumbles upon these ideas and wants to know more? Depending on the questions they ask or the tone (how you can get tone from typed words I don’t know) they very well could be greeted with scorn and anger or told to “read up” or “do your homework”, which are classic “I don’t have an answer but someone else probably does so go read these 2435346231 books, articles and magazines and get back to me.”

    >Surely you are capable of distinguishing between collapse and “reducing in size”.

    OK since we’re playing the definition game, a collapse is a reduction. It’s a radical one.

    It’s not nice being on the receiving end of nastiness is it? Now you know what I and so many others have to deal with if we so much as make a peep about something that isn’t kosher to the voluntaryists. Besides, I haven’t been nasty yet I’ve been a rather calm devils advocate. Would you prefer comments of positive affirmation only?

  24. That right there is the problem. You don’t care about their reality you only care about some philosophical viewpoint that YOU have. That will not satisfy them.

    There is only one reality. I do not need to satisfy them. I only need satisfy myself.

    These are the folks that will run out and vote for whoever promises them the most stuff and they will fight tooth and nail to keep the current system in place. That is the enemy I see, that is the enemy I fear.

    Why do you play into their hands by propping up the system then?

    If you’re going to have a blog speaking about right and wrong and liberty you’d better be able to answer questions.

    First of all you claim 15 years experience in this, so I am not going to answer you the same way as I do a newbie. This should be obvious.

    Second, I am working on it! (Third time.)

    OK since we’re playing the definition game, a collapse is a reduction. It’s a radical one.

    When we talk of reducing government, we talk of using the system to reduce the system. When we talk of government collapsing, we talk of government going away due to the weight of its own contradictions. There is a noteworthy distinction here.

    It’s not nice being on the receiving end of nastiness is it?

    I have not been nasty to you. You are simply upset because I questioned your choice of happily complying with government’s demands and the consequences be damned.

  25. Jay4Liberty says:

    >There is only one reality. I do not need to satisfy them. I only need satisfy myself.

    That will fail with the several hundred million other individuals out there that will use government to force you to comply and you will, hence the need to fill out oodles and oodles of forms for a drivers license or a building permit.

    >Why do you play into their hands by propping up the system then?

    I never claimed I did. At one time I did, but I don’t now. Sure I could go on and on about theory and philosophy but in the end that won’t satisfy the guy next door who thinks we need to have government. (Long story about that, perhaps some other time.)

    >First of all you claim 15 years experience in this, so I am not going to >answer you the same way as I do a newbie. This should be obvious.

    Good point. I commented for all the lurkers out there that won’t, they just read (my sister is one). See my bitter comments as a chance to expand upon your thoughts and ideas, not so much for my benefit but for anyone else that might see it.

    >Second, I am working on it! (Third time.)

    That’s great, but it still won’t satisfy the “I want it now” attitude that many people in this country have. Throwing stuff out there and then using an “I’ll get back to you” is the stuff of politicians.

    >When we talk of reducing government, we talk of using the system to >reduce the system. When we talk of government collapsing, we talk of >government going away due to the weight of its own contradictions. >
    >There is a noteworthy distinction here.

    Yes that is true. I don’t make that distinction though since to me it’s either a reduction or an expansion no matter which form it takes.

    >I have not been nasty to you. You are simply upset because I questioned >your choice of happily complying with government’s demands and the >consequences be damned.

    I never claimed to be happy about it, but being in a jail cell would make me much less happy. A lot of people still “comply”. How many voluntaryists still pay income and/or property taxes (yes, paying rent is still paying property taxes)? How many still register their vehicle and get a drivers license? How many still get permits? How many still license their pets? I’m not asking for purity, it’s impossible, but don’t tell me I’m some sort of immoral person for doing the very same thing that so many other voluntaryists are…paying the government under the threat of violence. Think of it as protection money to the mob, the only difference being the mob was a bit more polite about it.

  26. That’s great, but it still won’t satisfy the “I want it now” attitude that many people in this country have. Throwing stuff out there and then using an “I’ll get back to you” is the stuff of politicians.

    My answer is agorism and it’s short and sweet and right and I give it out all the time. You want something more. These things take time. Academic research like this takes time.

    but don’t tell me I’m some sort of immoral person for doing the very same thing that so many other voluntaryists are…paying the government under the threat of violence. Think of it as protection money to the mob, the only difference being the mob was a bit more polite about it.

    I’ll address the topic in more detail in an upcoming post.

  27. I posted the article on the Fr33 Agents social network at ning and it got some comments:

    http://fr33agents.ning.com/profiles/blogs/what-are-we-really-doing-here#comments

    Update: I was invited to post it on the Fr33 Agents main site as well and it has also gotten some comments there:

    http://www.fr33agents.com/242/what-are-we-really-doing-here/

  28. This article was published to http://www.strike-the-root.com today. :D

  29. […] of liberty is the Zero-Aggression Principle (or the self-ownership principle, works either way). This means that libertarians are about peace and trade. We are not aggressors. Self-defense is of course alright – but herein lies the rub: many people in […]

  30. […] work is less clear. How do you de-legitimize the state? This is where concepts like peaceful evolution and a master plan for liberty come in. In order for the former to happen on a large scale, we first […]

  31. […] prerequisite is to evolve yourself. Study the principles of liberty unrelentingly until you live them like muscle memory. Clear out […]

  32. […] survive but thrive in an atmosphere of aggression. It’s based on the voluntaryist concept of peaceful evolution and the voluntaryist emphasis on education, non-voting and self-improvement while incorporating the […]