Archive for the 'Libertarianism' Category

The December 7th Bank Run versus the force of entrepreneurial genius

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

This video ‘Catherine Austin Fitts: The Looting Of America’:

Describes on many levels, why the collectivists, the socialists and all the brainwashed people who believe in ‘democracy’ are nothing more than human cattle.

On the first level, there is a story in this video about how three women living in the same town save and borrow money.

Ms Fitts describes how, with a simple piece of software, it is possible to cut out the bank that is massively charging one of the women a high interest rate, by connecting these three people locally.

This is the sort of thing that entrepreneurs do, and which the socialists cannot even begin to imagine.

The socialist will blame the bank for the ‘problem’ of high interest rates, and then call on the violent state to force the bank to charge less.

The entrepreneur is smarter, and more importantly, ethical.

She understands the true nature of the problem and solves it in a way that not only is better for the consumer, but which has the side effect of completely destroying the business model of the bank. All without any coercion or violence of any kind, all done on the back of the power of human imagination, and voluntary exchange.

As you may have heard, there is a call for a bank run throughout the EU on the 7th of December:

French stop banque Facebook page

German stop banque Facebook page

Italian stop banque Facebook page

Greek stop banque Facebook page

English stop banque Facebook page

Dutch stop banque Facebook page

[…]

http://pjcjournal.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/starve-the-beast/

This is a good idea, but what is going to happen after the run is over?

The socialist wants to destroy, but he cannot create. He wants to hurt the system, but he wants to leave it all intact so that he can sit in the seat of power and run everything to his own bitter taste.

This is the difference; the freedom loving entrepreneurs who create and benefit everyone, versus the socialist control freaks who are inherently evil and destructive of capital and human life.

Had all the people now going berserk in France taken the opportunity to form their own banks that run on rules they fix for themselves, on a purely voluntary basis, none of them would have the need for what they are doing right now.

One thing is for sure; with all of those people withdrawing their money from the banks, this is an great opportunity to start just the sort of bank that the organisers of this bank run would want to see and use… do they have the brains to do it?

Nave simpletons are infinitely malleable

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Thanks to the wise Preuss, we have a nifty little pair of articles that demonstrate once again why the people who think that democracy is a good way to organise the affairs of groups of people are spectacularly nave.

The unethical long winded men who believe that, “the only legitimate way to have a process is if everyone has their say” would do well to consider the implications of these articles, but then, if they had the capacity to understand what the implications of this are, they could not hold the unethical views that they do:

The politics of the brain is a threat to choice, freedom and democracy which is why spiked is declaring war against it.

Quote:
In earlier eras, the revelation that there was a Behavioural Insight Team at the heart of government, dedicated to finding ways to reshape the publics thoughts, choices and actions, would have caused outrage. It would have brought to mind some of the darker antics of the Soviet Union, which treated certain beliefs as mental illnesses to be fixed, or maybe OBrien, the torturer in George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four, who boasts that the human mind is infinitely malleable.

Yet the news that David Cameron has a Behavioural Insight Team inside Downing Street, and whats more that it is increasingly influential within the Lib-Con coalition, has been treated as if were a perfectly normal, even admirable thing. Have we lost our minds?

The Guardian article refered to gives us another prime example of how it doesn’t matter how you vote the government still get in.

Quote:
A “nudge unit” set up by David Cameron in the Cabinet Office is working on how to use behavioural economics and market signals to persuade citizens to behave in a more socially integrated way.

The unit, formally known as the Behavioural Insight Team, is being run by David Halpern, a former adviser in Tony Blair’s strategy unit, and is taking advice from Richard Thaler, the Chicago professor generally recognised as popularising “nudge” theory the idea that governments can design environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves and society.

Thaler was in London for three days this week advising ministers, and in a speech urged the government to adopt longer term horizons. The deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, said he believed the unit could change the way citizens think.

And so, there you have it.

There are people in the employ of government whose work is to manipulate the thinking of the population. These people have the power to coercively use economics to alter the behaviour of the population, and of course, they also abuse the English language to do it.

Why do you think that the word ‘fair’ and all its derivatives are now on the lips of every Tom Dick and Harry? Do you think that it is merely by accident that everyone is measuring policy, laws and everything that comes out of government and which is related to ‘society’ is measured against this idea of ‘fairness’?

It is absolutely deliberate, and a direct result of this Behaviour Modification group at the heart of government.

Anyone who believes that democracy is beneficial or ethical is completely insane.

Anyone who believes that “having your say”, or “getting your points heard” legitimises government processes or democracy itself is also completely delusional, insane, Nave and very very stupid.

It is clear that the frames of reference within which all the problems and non problems (like Home Education and its practitioner’s relationship to government) you face are nothing more than elaborate traps, created by this and other social engineering groups.

The Behavioural Insight Team and its predecessors, by creating the boxes within which you are allowed to address a problem have complete control over you from the outset, and because you are retarded, you cannot see that everyone having their say really does not legitimise anything.

This is why the only response to anything that is unethical should be point blank refusal. As soon as you enter into a discussion on their terms, you are thinking inside their frame of reference and all is lost.

This is why it is not irrational, confrontational or counterproductive to take the Libertarian stance when you are confronted by these persistent pests, but the complete opposite; a rational, ethical and productive thinker does not concede for a moment that the state usurping the role of the parent is legitimate. For example.

Its also why it is so important to use English words correctly:

While opposing any and all private or group aggression against the rights of person and property, the libertarian sees that throughout history and into the present day, there has been one central, dominant, and overriding aggressor upon all of these rights: the State. In contrast to all other thinkers, left, right, or in-between, the libertarian refuses to give the State the moral sanction to commit actions that almost everyone agrees would be immoral, illegal, and criminal if committed by any person or group in society. The libertarian, in short, insists on applying the general moral law to everyone, and makes no special exemptions for any person or group. But if we look at the State naked, as it were, we see that it is universally allowed, and even encouraged, to commit all the acts which even non-libertarians concede are reprehensible crimes. The State habitually commits mass murder, which it calls “war,” or sometimes “suppression of subversion”; the State engages in enslavement into its military forces, which it calls “conscription”; and it lives and has its being in the practice of forcible theft, which it calls “taxation.” The libertarian insists that whether or not such practices are supported by the majority of the population is not germane to their nature: that, regardless of popular sanction, War is Mass Murder, Conscription is [p. 25] Slavery, and Taxation is Robbery. The libertarian, in short, is almost completely the child in the fable, pointing out insistently that the emperor has no clothes.

[…]

http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

All true, and if you have not yet read that book, go and do so immediately.

These are the facts:

‘Taxation’ is actually theft.
‘Conscription’ and ‘National Service’ are in fact a form of slavery.
Government ‘Grants’ are in fact redistributed stolen loot.
Government ‘Subsidies’ are in fact redistributed stolen loot.
‘Subsidising the arts’ is in fact redistributing stolen money to cultural gatekeepers.
Central Bank ‘Quantitative Easing’ is in fact Money Printing.
Government ‘investment in industry’ is in fact economy destroying redistribution of stolen loot and crony capitalism.

All of the above have one root thing in common; violent coercion. If you disobey the state, violence is used against you to force you to comply. This is even true in the case of Quantitative Easing, where if you attempt to escape from the criminal and inflationary central bank, you will be arrested and gaoled and your goods confiscated.

It is in no way ‘fair’ to tax people based on the level of wealth they have accumulated; taxation itself is immoral theft. It is in no way ‘fair’ that graduates should pay a tax so that others can receive a university education, or that money is stolen from you for any purpose whatsoever, no matter what the need is or what the money is to be used for.

If you use the language of the state as your frame of reference, you instantly become their prisoner, and this can have consequences that will touch every aspect of your life, quite apart from making you sound like a complete zombie.

While we are at it, what is an example of something that actually is fair?

If there is a piece of cake in a household, and two family members both want a slice, the two can agree that one can cut and the other gets to choose the first piece.

That is fair, since both of the parties have voluntarily agreed on how the cake that belongs to them both should be divided.

Dictionary says:

fair – 9 dictionary results

adjective, -er, -est, adverb, -er, -est, noun, verb

adjective

  1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.
  2. legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.
  3. moderately large; ample: a fair income.
  4. neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.
  5. marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising: in a fair way to succeed.
  6. Meteorology .
    1. (of the sky) bright; sunny; cloudless to half-cloudy.
    2. (of the weather) fine; with no prospect of rain, snow, or hail; not stormy.
  7. Nautical . (of a wind or tide) tending to aid the progress of a vessel.
  8. unobstructed; not blocked up: The way was fair for our advance.
  9. without irregularity or unevenness: a fair surface.
  10. free from blemish, imperfection, or anything that impairs the appearance, quality, or character: Her fair reputation was ruined by gossip.
  11. easy to read; clear: fair handwriting.
  12. of a light hue; not dark: fair skin.
  13. pleasing in appearance; attractive: a fair young maiden.
  14. seemingly good or sincere but not really so: The suitor beguiled his mistress with fair speeches.
  15. courteous; civil: fair words.
  16. Medicine/Medical . (of a patient’s condition) having stable and normal vital signs and other favorable indicators, as appetite and mobility, but being in some discomfort and having the possibility of a worsening state.
  17. Dialect . scarcely; barely: It was just fair daylight when we started working.

-adverb

  1. in a fair manner: He doesn’t play fair.
  2. straight; directly, as in aiming or hitting: He threw the ball fair to the goal.
  3. favorably; auspiciously.
  4. British, Australian . entirely; completely; quite: It happened so quickly that it fair took my breath away.

noun

  1. Archaic . something that is fair.
  2. Archaic .
    1. a woman.
    2. a beloved woman.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make the connection or junction of (surfaces) smooth and even.
  2. Shipbuilding .
    1. to draw and adjust (the lines of a hull being designed) to produce regular surfaces of the correct form.
    2. to adjust the form of (a frame or templet) in accordance with a design, or cause it to conform to the general form of a hull.
    3. to restore (a bent plate or structural member) to its original form.
    4. to align (the frames of a vessel under construction) in proper position.
  3. to bring (rivet holes in connecting structural members) into perfect alignment.
  4. Obsolete . to make fair.

Verb phrase

  1. .fair off / up, South Midland and Southern U.S. (of the weather) to clear: It’s supposed to fair off toward evening.

Idioms

  1. bid fair, to seem likely: This entry bids fair to win first prize.
  2. fair and square,
    1. honestly; justly; straightforwardly: He won the race fair and square.
    2. honest; just; straightforward: He was admired for being fair and square in all his dealings.
  3. fair to middling, Informal . only tolerably good; so-so.

Origin: bef. 900; ME; OE fger; c. OS, OHG fagar, ON fagr, Goth fagrs

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fair

That pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of ‘fair’ in the Nick Clegg Orwellian sense; taxation is dishonest and unjust. It is illegitimately sought, given and pursued money. And so on.

The same can be said for ‘paying your fair share’ or ‘greed‘, ‘capitalism‘, ‘rights‘ and many other crucially important words that are routinely and deliberately misused to steer you into the squeeze chutes. You need to get a grip on these words, restore their true meanings in your mind, so that when someone tries to steer you and frame your thoughts for you it will be easy to deflect their nonsense. In particular, when some disgusting, unctuous and deeply sinister bureaucrat tries to justify why he should have access to your children, you will not even begin to discuss the subject, because you know that it is illegitimate.

Rather than do this by making a list of words and then re-defining them one by one, you would be well advised to read this book by Murray Rothbard. It will train you to think in such a way that words you have been misusing will automatically find their correct meaning, by virtue of your newly found ethical basis of thought. Once you finish that book, no matter what word they try and hijack as the new rallying cry for collectivism, the principle itself, having been disempowered in your mind, will be unacceptable, and the word in its new usage will cause you to bristle and your hackles to rise.

This is the place that your thinking needs to be in; a place where you are immune to the nefarious work of the ‘Nudge Group’ and the ‘Behavioural Insight Team’. Where no matter what they do, you will NEVER give up your dignity or your rights no matter what they or anyone else says.

Finally, ‘choice, freedom and democracy’; choice and freedom are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE from democracy!

Why you should not vote

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

I agree 100% with everything in this interview, between Doug Casey and Louis James.

…….

Doug Casey on Voting
Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator

Louis: Doug, last week we spoke about presidents.  We have an election coming up in the U.S., one many people believe is very important even though it isn’t a presidential election an election that could have significant consequences on our investments. But given the views you’ve already expressed on the Tea Party movement and anarchy, I’m sure you have different ideas. What do you make of the impending circus, and what should a rational man do?

Doug: Well, a rational man, which is to say, an ethical man, would almost certainly not vote in this election, or in any other at least above a local level, where you personally know most of both your neighbors and the candidates.

Louis: Why? Might not an ethical person want to vote the bums out?

Doug: No. I’ve thought about this a lot, so let me give you five reasons why no one should vote.

The first reason is that voting is an unethical act, in and of itself. That’s because the state is pure, institutionalized coercion. If you believe that coercion is an improper way for people to relate to one another, then you shouldn’t engage in a process that formalizes and guarantees the use of coercion.

Louis: It’s probably worth defining coercion in this context. I know you agree with me that force is ethical in self-defense. A murderer I shoot might feel coerced into accepting a certain amount of hot lead that he did not consent to, but he intended the same, or worse, for me, so the scales are balanced. What you are talking about is forcing innocent, non-consenting others to do things against their wills, like paying taxes that go to pay for military adventures they believe are wrong, etc.

Doug: Right. The modern state not only routinely coerces people into doing all sorts of things they don’t want to do often very clearly against their own interests but it necessarily does so, by its nature. People who want to know more about that should read our conversation on anarchy. This distinction is very important in a society with a government that is no longer limited by a constitution that restrains it from violating individual rights. And when you vote, you participate in this unethical system.

Louis: It’s probably also worth clarifying that you’re not talking about all voting here. When you are a member of a golfing club and vote on how to use the fees, you and everyone else have consented to the process, so it’s not unethical. It’s participating in the management of the coercive machinery of the state you object to, not voting in and of itself.

Doug: Exactly. Unlike a golfing club, or something of that nature, the state won’t let you opt out.

L: Even if you’re not harming anyone and just want to be left alone.

Doug: Which relates to the second reason: privacy. It compromises your privacy to vote. It gets your name added to a list government busybodies can make use of, like court clerks putting together lists of conscripts for jury duty. Unfortunately, this is not as important a reason as it used to be, because of the great proliferation of lists people are on anyway. Still, while it’s true that in many ways there’s less privacy in our world today, in general, the less any governments know about you, the better off you are. This is, of course, why I’ve successfully refused to complete a census form for the last 40 years.

Louis: [Chuckles] We’ve talked about the census. Good for you.

Doug: I like to be a non-person as far as the state is concerned, as far as possible.

Louis: Not to digress too much, but some people might react by saying that juries are important.

Doug: They are, but it would be a waste of my time to sign up for jury duty, because I would certainly be kicked off any jury. No attorney would ever let me stay on the jury once we got to voir dire, because I would not agree to being a robot that simply voted on the facts and the law as instructed by the judge I’d want to vote on the morality of the law in question too. I’d be interested in justice, and very few laws today, except for the basic ones on things like murder and theft, have anything to do with justice. If the case were relating to drug laws, or tax laws, I would almost certainly automatically vote to acquit, regardless of the facts of the case.

Louis: I’ve thought about it too, because it is important, and I might be willing to serve on a jury. And of course I’d vote my conscience too. But I’d want to be asked, not ordered to do it. I’m not a slave.

Doug: My feelings exactly. Perhaps we should have a conversation on the nature of jury duty some day soon.

Louis: That sounds interesting. But we should probably get to your third reason for not voting.

Doug: That would be because it’s a degrading experience. The reason I say that is because registering to vote, and voting itself, usually involves taking productive time out of your day to go stand around in lines in government offices. You have to fill out forms and deal with petty bureaucrats. I know I can find much more enjoyable and productive things to do with my time, and I’m sure anyone reading this can as well.

Louis: And the pettier the bureaucrat, the more unpleasant the interaction tends to be.

Doug: I have increasing evidence of that every time I fly. The TSA goons are really coming into their own now, as our own home-grown Gestapo wanna-bes.

Louis: It’s a sad thing Reason number four?

Doug: As P.J. O’Rourke says in his new book, and as I’ve always said, voting just encourages them.

I’m convinced that most people don’t vote for candidates they believe in, but against candidates they fear. But that’s not how the guy who wins sees it; the more votes he gets, the more he thinks he’s got a mandate to rule. Some people justify this, saying it minimizes harm to vote for the lesser of two evils. That’s nonsense, because it still leaves you voting for evil. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Incidentally, I got as far as this point in 1980, when I was on the Phil Donahue show. I had the whole hour on national TV all to myself, and I felt in top form. It was actually the day before the national election, when Jimmy Carter was the incumbent, running against Ronald Reagan. After I made some economic observations, Donahue accused me of intending to vote for Reagan. I said that I was not, and as sharp as Donahue was, he said, “Well, you’re not voting for Carter, so you must be voting Libertarian”

I said no, and had to explain why not. I believed then just as I do now. And it was at about this point when the audience, which had been getting restive, started getting really upset with me. I never made it to point five.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. That same audience, when I pointed out that their taxes were high and were being wasted, contained an individual who asked, “Why do we have to pay for things with our taxes? Why doesn’t the government pay for it?” I swear that’s what he said; it’s on tape. If you could go back and watch the show, you’d see that the audience clapped after that brilliant question. Which was when I first realized that while the situation is actually hopeless, it’s also quite comic

Louis: [Laughs]

Doug: And things have only gotten worse since then, with decades more public education behind us.

Louis: I bet that guy works in the Obama administration now, where they seem to think exactly as he did; the government will just pay for everything everyone wants with money it doesn’t have.

Doug: [Chuckles] Maybe so. He’d now be of an age where he’s collecting Social Security and Medicare, plus food stamps, and likely gaming the system for a bunch of other freebies. Maybe he’s so discontent with his miserable life that he goes to both Tea Party and Green Party rallies, while voting Democrat. I do believe we’re getting close to the endgame. The system is on the verge of falling apart. And the closer we get to the edge, the more catastrophic the collapse it appears we’re going to have.

Which leads me to point number five: Your vote doesn’t count. If I’d gotten to say that to the Donahue audience, they probably would have stoned me. People really like to believe that their individual votes count. Politicians like to say that every vote counts, because it gets everyone into busybody mode, makes voters complicit in their crimes. But statistically, any person’s vote makes no more difference than a single grain of sand on a beach.

That’s completely apart from the fact, as voters in Chicago in 1960 and Florida in 2000 can tell you, when it actually does get close, things can be, and often are, rigged.

Anyway, officials manifestly do what they want, not what you want them to do, once they are in office. They neither know, nor care, what you want.

Louis: The idea of political representation is a myth, and a logical absurdity. One person can only represent his own opinions if he’s even thought them out. If someone dedicated his life to studying another person, he might be able to represent that individual reasonably accurately. But given that no two people are completely or even mostly alike, it’s completely impossible to represent the interests of any group of people.

Doug: The whole constellation of concepts is ridiculous. This leads us to the subject of democracy. People say that if you live in a democracy, you should vote. But that begs the question of whether democracy itself is any good. And I would say that, no, it’s not. Especially in a democracy unconstrained by a constitution. That, sadly, is the case in the U.S., where the Constitution is 100% a dead letter. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule dressed up in a suit and tie. It’s no way for a civilized society to be run.

Louis: Okay, but in our firmly United State of America today, we don’t live in your ideal society. It is what it is, and if you don’t vote the bums out, they remain in office. What do you say to the people who say that if you don’t vote, if you don’t raise a hand, then you have no right to complain about the results of the political process?

Doug: But I do raise a hand, constantly. I’d just rather not waste my time or degrade myself on unethical and futile efforts like voting. That argument is more than fallacious, it’s spurious.

Louis: Okay then, if the ethical man shouldn’t vote in the national elections coming up, what should he do?

Doug: I think it’s like they said during the war with Viet Nam: suppose they had a war, and nobody came? I also like to say: suppose they levied a tax, and nobody paid? And at this time of year: suppose they gave an election, and nobody voted?

The only way to truly de-legitimize unethical rulers is by not voting. When tin-plated dictators around the world have their rigged elections, and people stay home in droves, even today’s “we love governments of all sorts” international community won’t recognize the results of the election.

Louis: De-legitimizing evil and without coercion, or even force. That’s a beautiful thing, Doug. I’d love to see the whole crooked, festering, parasitical mass in Washington and similar places get a total vote of no-confidence.

Doug: Indeed. Now, I realize that my not voting won’t make that happen. My not voting doesn’t matter any more than some naïve person’s voting does. But at least I’ll know that what I did was ethical.

Louis: At least you won’t have blood on your hands.

Doug: That’s exactly the point.

Louis: A friendly amendment: you do staunchly support voting with your feet.

Doug: Ah, that’s true. Unfortunately, the idea of the state has spread over the earth like an ugly skin disease. All of the governments of the world are, at this point, growing in extent and power and rights violations like cancers. But still, that is one way I am dealing with the problem; I’m voting with my feet. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. It’s idiotic to sit around like a peasant and wait to see what they do to you.

To me, it makes much more sense to live as a perpetual tourist, staying no more than six months of the year in any one place. Tourists are courted and valued, whereas residents and citizens are viewed as milk cows. And before this crisis is over, they may wind up looking more like beef cows. Entirely apart from that, it keeps you from getting into the habit of thinking like a medieval serf. And I like being warm in the winter, and cool in the summer.

Louis: And, as people say: “What if everyone did that?” Well, you’d see people migrating towards the least predatory states where they could enjoy the most freedom, and create the most wealth for themselves and their posterity. That sort of voting with your feet could force governments to compete for citizens, which would lead to more places where people can live as they want. It could become a worldwide revolution fought and won without guns.

Doug: That sounds pretty idealistic, but I do believe this whole sick notion of the nation-state will come to an end within the next couple generations. It makes me empathize with Lenin when he said, “The worse it gets, the better it gets.” Between jet travel, the internet, and the bankruptcy of governments around the world, the nation-state is a dead duck. As we’ve discussed before, people will organize into voluntary communities we call phyles.

Louis: That’s the name given to such communities by science fiction author Neil Stephenson in his book The Diamond Age, which we discussed in our conversation on Speculator’s Fiction. Well, we’ve talked quite a bit what about investment implications?

Doug: First, don’t expect anything that results from this U.S. election to do any real, lasting good. And if, by some miracle, it did, the short-term implications would be very hard economic times. What to do in either case is what we write about in our Big Picture newsletter, The Casey Report.

More important, however, is to have a healthy and useful psychological attitude. For that, you need to stop thinking politically, stop wasting time on elections, entitlements, and such nonsense. You’ve got to use all of your time and brain power to think economically. That’s to say, thinking about how to allocate your various intellectual, personal and capital assets, to survive the storm and even thrive, if you play your cards right.

Louis: Very good. I like that: think economically, not politically. Thanks, Doug!

Doug: My pleasure.

While voting may not change anything, taking care of your own financial situation does. That’s why every month, Doug and the editors team of The Casey Report dissect Washington’s and the Fed’s political shenanigans and how they may affect your personal wealth. It’s never been more important than today to see the big picture, in order to discover how you can protect your assets and profit even in the worst of times. Learn more here.

…….

From Lew Rockwell

And do listen to Doug Casey at Freedom Fest; he is a great speaker.

Pledge money now to see Paul Krugman debate a real Economist

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

From Lew Rockwell’s blog:

Many Austrians have tried to get Krugman to debate business cycle theory. Hes too busy and too sophisticated to debate an Austrian, of course. Until now.

Economist Robert Murphy has come up with a clever way to make this happen. Through a website called The Point, people can pledge an amount of money to make the debate happen. Not one cent is charged to them until it does happen. The money will go to a charity for the hungry in New York. So if it hits, say, $100,000, Krugman will have to explain why getting $100,000 to New Yorks hungry isnt worth one hour of his time. Brilliant. Ive already pledged. Bob is up to around $5,000 already.

Heres his video promoting it (it looks like the law school one from the other day, but its a different video).

We have $25 down on that particular pledge.

BURN WITCHDOCTOR BURN!

The statist disease, not yet sterilised

Monday, October 18th, 2010

There are a few nice people who seem to be confused about rights and in particular, the rights of exchange, association and property.

This confusion manifested itself today over the matter of an American charity that is paying ‘drug addicts’ to be sterilised.

The Libertarian position on this is straightforward.

  1. You own your own body.
  2. You have the absolute right to voluntarily associate with whomever you like without interference.
  3. You have the absolute right to voluntarily exchange with whomever you like without interference.

This means, for example, that prostitution (accepting money for sexual favours) should never be illegal, since it is the consenting act of trade between two people. It means that if you want to sell your hair, a kidney, or both of your kidneys, you have the right to do so since you have a property right in your own body.

It also means in relation to this story, that you have the right to give or accept money in exchange for a medical procedure (in this case vasectomy or some other sterilisation procedure).

And none of this is the business of the state or anyone other than the consenting parties

If you accept that the state has the power to tell you that you may not sell one of your kidneys to someone, then you accept that they own you, like cattle.

If you accept that the state has the power to prevent people offering money to individuals (in this case sterilisation) then you are conceding that the state has the power to interfere in your right of exchange and free association.

You cannot on the one hand, be FOR Home Education, where you freely associate with other people or no people, rejecting the power of the state to tell you how and where you educate your children, and at the same time be FOR the state telling a charity that they cannot offer sterilisation to individuals with their own money. If you concede the latter, you cannot ask for the former and remain logical and coherent.

One patient person claimed that this charity was ‘exploiting’ people, and that using money in this way was ‘exploitation’. The person also claimed that “money and power were connected” Neither of these is the case.

Lets go to the dictionary.

Exploitation

exploitation? ?
[ek-sploi-tey-shuhn] Show IPA
noun
1.use or utilization, esp. for profit: the exploitation of newly discovered oil fields.
2.selfish utilization: He got ahead through the exploitation of his friends.
3.the combined, often varied, use of public-relations and advertising techniques to promote a person, movie, product, etc.

[…]

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/exploitation

This is a charity, so number one does not fit.
This is an unselfish act on the part of the people who are running this programme, so two does not fit.
Three does not fit.

Lets try another dictionary.

Definition of EXPLOIT

1: to make productive use of : utilize <exploiting your talents> <exploit your opponent's weakness>
2: to make use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage <exploiting migrant farm workers>

Number one doesn’t fit.
Number two doesn’t fit either; these people are not being mean or ‘unfair’.

By the dictionary definition alone, this charity is exploiting no one.

Now for money and power.

Money is a tool, just like a hammer. You can use it to build a house or murder someone. It is not a living entity. What people do with money is an excrescence of their personality and motives; money is just the means to do it.

Power is force. When the state tells you you must send your children to school, they have the power to do so because they have a monopoly on violence. They send the police to your house, break down the door and take your children to school if you refuse to obey them. This charity has money, but it has no power whatsoever. They cannot force anyone to be sterilised against their will, any more than they can force a person to do anything. They simply make an offer which you can either take up or refuse.

The fact of the matter is, as long as you are not being taxed to pay for something like this (NHS abortion on demand, NHS sterilisation of drug addicts and all other social engineering) what private people plan and get up to voluntarily is none of your business.

Private people getting together to solve the tasks that they perceive as problems is absolutely normal and natural. They have the right to do so, because they are human beings, just like you are. If you do not like the idea of people offering sterilisation to drug addicts, then you are free to organise your own counter charity that gives money to drug addicts to $insert_your_plan_here. You could even organise yourself to pay for radio ads against this charity, and a poster campaign to warn drug addicts that they are being hunted. If you were minded to.

This charity is not stealing from you via the tax man. They are not forcing you to believe what they believe, or to be sterilised yourself. They do not want to control you, or exploit your family like the extremely dangerous fake charities. They do not want anything from anyone, except from the people who think that ‘drug addicts’ should not be left to produce children since they are ‘irresponsible’, from whom they ask for voluntary donations.

This is completely different from the state mandating sterilisation, and some people have a problem separating the evil operations of the state and the non evil work of charities that are funded purely. It is also completely different from the operation of the ‘=fake charities that use ‘your money’ to come after you in your own home. These confused people are the same people who do not understand the difference between choosing to carry a credit card or a supermarket loyalty card and being force to carry a government issued ID Card. We have been over this before; voluntary acceptance of a service through contract is completely different to compulsion by the state.

What is completely unacceptable to all moral people is the idea that because you do not like the behaviour of other people, you should call on the state to stop them from doing whatever it is they are doing voluntarily, that has nothing to do with you.

This is the schizophrenic mindset of some people, who want freedom for themselves and their own peculiar ways of life, but who will instantly call upon the state to smash the lives of other people with whom they disagree; and lets be frank; in the end, this is what it always comes down to; calls for organised surveillance and threats of violence from the state made by those people who cannot stand free association unless its their flavour of free association.

Note that in all of this, I do not take any position on wether or not sterilisation of human beings is a good thing or not, wether prostitution is moral or immoral, or wether it is a good or bad thing to be a ‘drug addict’ bearing children, or anything else to do with an opinion on the details; they are all irrelevant.

This is a question purely of rights; do people have the right to organise, associate, exchange money for goods and services? Libertarians say ‘Yes’ people do have these rights, and they should not be interfered with by anyone.

We may or may not agree with the work of this charity, but if you want to preserve your own way of life, then you have no choice but to support their right to say what they like, give money to whom they like, and associate with whomever they like.

If you do not accept their right, you are irrational, illogical and will not have a leg to stand on when someone who does not share your ideas turns the eye of Mordor upon you and your ilk, claiming that the way they see the world is the only correct way, and you must obey them or face violence, for the sole reason that they hold beliefs that are different to yours, and can muster a violent gang to force you to obey them.

Update! Clarification!

An attentive person has pointed out that that this charity is not paying for sterilisation, but that instead, the sterilisation procedures are taking place at taxpayers expense on the NHS, and that somehow this invalidates the sense of part of this post.

That is of course, not the case.

First of all, these are the precise facts about exactly what happens when a drug addict encounters this charity and takes up their offer. In order to collect his 200 he has to:

“provide a medical certificate of drug dependency and another certifying that they have had tubal ligation, vasectomy or a contraceptive implant.”

[…]

http://www.practicalethicsnews.com/practicalethics/2010/04/embrace-the-controversy-lets-offer-project-prevention-on-the-nhs.html

This means that what is happening is that a drug addict, upon presenting documentary evidence that he or she is in fact a drug addict and has been sterilised, receives money from this charity. Where he gets this procedure is not mandated in the terms, though its clear that a drug addict is highly likely to get it done for ‘free’ on the NHS (A vasectomy operation in a private hospital or clinic in the UK will cost in the region of 300 to 900 inclusive of hospital charges and consultant’s fees)

Most importantly,

  • No coercion is involved.
  • Its a private, voluntary exchange of money for documentary evidence.

The fact that the taxpayer is paying for these procedures is an entirely separate issue, of the legitimacy of socialised medicine; the sterilisation on offer at the NHS is already a fact. If you have a problem with that, its a completely separate discussion to wether or not this charity should ask for money from private people to offer drug addicts in exchange for proof that they are drug addicts and have been sterilised.

This charity is not forcing you to pay for the sterilisation of drug addicts; the state is. If you do not like this, then you have to do something about how the NHS is funded. The charity’s contract with the drug addicts to produce documents is still a completely voluntary and private arrangement between consenting adults, and should be vigorously protected by everyone who wants to continue unmolested with their own peculiar ways.

It is completely wrong to say that these people should not be able to come to their own arrangements, understandings and contractual agreements for money or not.

Once again:

They are not exploiting anyone, since what they are doing is entirely voluntary. This charity is not stealing from you, since by asking people to take advantage of something that is already their (according to those who think that the NHS is entirely legitimate, and who do not understand rights) ‘right’ to sterilisation on the NHS they are getting something that they are already entitled to.

If you disagree with the premiss of the NHS, then the drug addicts and everyone else who uses it for plastic surgery, dentistry or sterilisation is stealing from you wether or not this charity operates in the UK or not.

The logic of this post stands. People have the right to voluntarily contract with each other for anything and on whatever terms they like. You cannot on the one hand, ask for this to be controlled or say that, “it isn’t a transaction which has no effect outside of the charity and the addicts”; this is exactly the same logic that the people who want to ban Home Education use. They say that the children of Home Educators, as members of society, have an impact on that society if they are not educated in the school system and so therefore, Home Education is not a private matter, but is within the remit of the state to control on behalf of society, and parents have no right to Home Educate. If you accept that this charity should not be able to operate, or should be in any way constrained, attacked, scorned, chided or anything else, you are opening yourself up to the same attacks from the people who want to control you and your life, what you and how you solve your problems in ways that are ‘strange’, or ‘out of the norm’.

UPDATE AGAIN

The very wise Ali P, who taught us that Home Educated children are not pupils, pulls our her foil:

The Libertarian position on this is straightforward.

1. You own your own body.
2. You have the absolute right to voluntarily associate with whomever you like without interference.
3. You have the absolute right to voluntarily exchange with whomever you like without interference.

This means, for example, that prostitution (accepting money for sexual favours) should never be illegal, since it is the consenting act of trade between two people. It means that if you want to sell your hair, a kidney, or both of your kidneys, you have the right to do so since you have a property right in your own body.

As it happens, I agree with much of this in principle, but in practice, I believe coercion is frequently used to secure ‘consent’, whether it is statist coercion or other private or ‘charitable’ coercion. The ‘willing’ acceptance of home visits by some home educators, and the ‘advice’ of some charities to agree to these visits, is one example of what I mean by this.

I also agree that there is a parallel with prostitution, which is AFAIK not illegal in this country, although soliciting is. However, for practitioners of the oldest profession, it is not always a straightforward choice to enter voluntarily into a contract for the provision of services, since coercion, threats and even violence are routinely employed in the sector as effective techniques of persuasion.

When a ‘power over’ situation exists, whether it is overt as in forced marriage, human trafficking, domestic servitude (do they all sound familiar?) or more subtle as in cash for organs, sterilisation or whatever, it matters not IMO whether it is the state or A.N. Other who bribes, coerces, forces or otherwise extracts the individual’s apparent consent. And like it or not, some individuals are more vulnerable to such coercion, often through through age, illness or incapacity – drug addicts, for example.

I’d be interested in what others think about this.

Why not?!

We must be clear when we talk about these matters, using words only in their strict meaning, whilst also being careful to separate different classes of entity. The things we need to define in this mater are the two entities (a private group and the state) and exactly what coercion is and how free a free choice is.

By definition, a private charity cannot coerce someone to be sterilised:

coercion? ?
[koh-ur-shuhn] Show IPA
noun
1. the act of coercing; use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.
2. force or the power to use force in gaining compliance, as by a government or police force.

[…]

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coercion

As we can see from the dictionary definition of coercion, force or intimidation (threats of force) are necessary to make an action fall into the category of coercion. The second part of the definition explicitly mentions the state.

What this charity is doing is not coercion, but it could be classed as persuasion. This is a very different matter to coercion by the state, with its monopoly on violence.

Persuasion is at the centre of a civilised interaction between human beings. It means swaying someone purely by argument alone, the final freely made choice being made by the persuaded person.

To use the UK ID Card example once again, the state claimed that ID Cards were not compulsory, but you would not be able to get a passport without one, and would therefore not be able to travel to other countries. That is clear coercion, this time, with the threat of violently barricading you inside ‘your’ country.

The willing acceptance of home visits by some home educators, falls into this category; if you do not accept a visit from us, we will violently take your children from you. That is coercion pure and simple, and of the same kind, from the same source; the evil state.

As for charities giving ‘advice’ to agree to these visits, this is an example of lying, which is not coercion, but perhaps collusion. If Home Educators had their own legal defence fund and lawyers on tap, this would not be an issue of course.

The parallel with prostitution is very deep in this matter; this charity, according to the byzantine ‘thinking’ of some people and laws of the UK, could be accused of soliciting drug addicts to self mutilate… but I digress; the circumstances by which prostitutes become prostitutes is not relevant to this subject, when we are talking about people who choose that life, as we have seen recently. When people are forced to act as prostitutes through violence, this is unambiguously evil violence, and is not part of this discussion.

Once again, we must cleanly separate coercion, violence and free choice when we have discussions on these matters.

Some confused people say that if someone is poor, they do not have a free choice to refuse money for sterilisation or anything else, by virtue of their desperate need. This is simply not the case. For certain the pressure on them is much greater, but they still have a free choice to not participate in anything that they do not want to. These very weak minded arguments undermine Liberty and act as a foot in the door of everyone’s lives for the nanny state.

With reference to ‘power over’ situations, once again, its important not to conflate a group of different phenomena that are wildly disparate in their cause and natures.

‘Forced marriage’ is an unpleasant idea for the British and people from the culture of the west, where marriage is done out of love and not familial duty.. In other countries however, marriage is quite a different thing, and to them, ‘John meets Jane’ marriages are anathema.

How other people choose to marry in other countries has nothing to do with coercion as defined here. Human trafficking (which is much better termed slavery) is pure unambiguous violence; in the minds of the people whose culture accepts arranged marriages (which is the correct term, not ‘Forced marriage’) slavery is, for the most part, seen strictly as a sin.

Domestic servitude which appears to be yet another unnecessary way of saying slavery, once again is unambiguously evil, and the tests for it are straightforward and beyond this discussion.

Cash for organs and sterilisation for money are nothing to do with any of this; these are entirely legitimate, voluntary exchanges of property, over which a third party should have absolutely no say. To say otherwise, is to engage in slavery; the slavery where your body, and the bodies of your children belong to the collective, to do with what they please, as they please, when they please.

As for individuals being vulnerable, indeed drug addicts with their addled brains and diminished powers of reason are vulnerable to persuasion; this does not mean that all of us who are not drug addicts should not have the freedoms that are our right. Down this line of reasoning, comes the logic that since this class of person cannot reason for themselves or protect themselves, someone has to protect them from the predations of these charities. Of course, the other class of people who cannot reason for themselves or protect themselves are children; hey ho, whaddyaknow, y’ just made Lord Soley’s argument for him; children belong in schools because, “we have to know they are safe”.

This is the big danger of accepting as ‘common sense’ the immoral reasoning of collectivism (and this is explicitly not aimed at A.P.) embrace it at your peril, and do not complain when they come to take your children, using your own parroted arguments about ‘vulnerable people’ as the pretext.

In Libertarianism, you have a complete way of approaching every possible human interaction that has unassailable logic that protects you, your rights and your relationships with other people. It provides a platform for the maximum prosperity without any violence or coercion. Those who are against it are normally either confused or explicitly violent types – you know the sort, the ones that think restaurants should be licensed by the state ‘because someone might get sick’.

Unfortunately for many, Libertarianism means throwing out years of accumulated presumptions and frameworks, most learned by rote and repeated without any thought. Libertarianism gives you the tools to parse the world and penetrate the reams of nonsense that are spewed out on every subject, like this one. If you take the time to get to grips with it, and have the intelligence and the strength to throw away your bad thinking, you will be rewarded with a set of tools and a philosophy that are is formidable as it is unassailable.