The Practice of Defensive Voting


As an Anarcho-Capitalist, I’m frequently informed by my social peers that voting is wrong, as it is just the majority imposing their will on the minority, and therefore just civilized violence.

One of the cornerstones of the Libertarian Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) is the right of self-defense. That is, if someone is trying to steal from you, or make you to comply with their will using force, you have the right to defend yourself and your property.

If that’s true in the individual sense, is it any different in the collective sense?

If a plurality of voters is seeking to either pick my pocket or restrict my liberty via the ballot box, isn’t that just not another form of violence? And do I not have the right (even obligation) to defend myself?

I may-or-may-not derive some supposed benefit from the legislation, but it’s always asserted that “society” will certainly prosper! But this pre-supposes an outcome that is rarely measured, and the long-term effects which are never considered.

Let me give you an example from our most recent ballot, City of Tacoma Proposition 1.

The proposition would raise sales taxes a mere .1%, raising $5 million over a period of 7 years that would be devoted to spreading benefits focused on arts, culture, science and heritage programs. These would be primarily targeted towards creating public school programs, and weighted in proportion to students receiving free and reduced lunch (58% as of 2017). Sounds good, right?

Keep in mind that all these areas of instruction were commonly available in schools prior to No Child Left Behind. Another federal program with good intentions (and funding) that forced conformity across the nation and was eventually replaced with one slightly less restrictive, but the damage was done. Now class time is predominately devoted to increasing scores in reading, math, and science, to comply with state and federal guidelines to the neglect of all the soft-skills which they are only now acknowledging as truly important to childhood development.

So, now the City is trying to rectify a problem that they themselves created due to being incentivized by the all-mighty state and federal dollar, and doing so at additional cost to the taxpayers. Now multiply this type of problem across thousands of cities, each voting on dozens of initiatives every year, and you begin to see that it’s become nothing more than institutionalized theft. But it’s for the children!

1% tax hike here, another 2% there. The cost of a cup of coffee here, the price of a movie there. Surely it’s not too much of a sacrifice if it’s “justified” for safety, security, children, culture, and health. When does the forced fleecing end? When you are naked and freezing on the side of the road? (But you’ll get “free healthcare” so it’s good for you!)

In the past, I did end up voting for the legalization of marijuana and the removal of the monopoly on alcohol distribution by the State of Washington, but both those came with onerous taxes that serve to strengthen the state bureaucracy by feeding it tons of cash. I figured restoration of liberty even with a level of servitude is better than nothing. There are a lot of businesses prospering and people staying out of jail because of it.

Your best bet, and the only one that is fair and consistent with the NAP, is to vote against any incursion by legislators or bureaucrats that takes your money by force or fraud, and curbs your natural rights.

Here’s what you should be voting against in the Washington State and Pierce County November, 2018 General Election:

Washington State:

  • Initiative Measure 1631 (Carbon Tax) – a horrible piece of regressive taxation that will have no measurable improvement on emissions, but will create a huge cash cow ($2,305,470,073) for bureaucrats to buy influence and votes.
  • Initiative Measure No 1639 – another horrible piece of legislation that will make the majority of gun owners into felons if they don’t comply. Redefines a standard semi-automatic rifle as an “assault rifle”, and requires gun registration with local law enforcement.

Pierce County:

  • City of Tacoma: Proposition 1 – Tacoma Creates
  • Pierce County Rural Library District: Special Election Proposition 1: Levy Lid Lift
  • Town of Eatonville: Advisory Vote No. 1 – Recreational Marijuana Businesses
  • Gig Harbor: Special Election – Proposition 1 – Sales and Use Tax for Transportation Improvements
  • Bethel School District No. 403 – Special Election Proposition No. 1 – General Obligation Bonds $443,000,000
  • East Pierce Fire & Rescue – Special Election – Proposition No. 1 – General Obligation Bonds $80,000,000
  • Fire Protection District No. 6 – Proposition No. 1 – Six-Year Levy Lid Lift
  • Fire Protection District No. 17 – Proposition No. 1 & No. 2 – Six-Year Levy Lid Lift
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Ayn Rand Predicted an American Slide toward Fascism


In a letter written on March 19, 1944, Ayn Rand remarked: “Fascism, Nazism, Communism and Socialism are only superficial variations of the same monstrous theme—collectivism.” Rand would later expand on this insight in various articles, most notably in two of her lectures at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston: “The Fascist New Frontier” (Dec. 16, 1962, published as a booklet by the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1963); and “The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus” (April 18, 1965, published as Chapter 20 in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal [CUI] by New American Library in 1967).

The world conflict of today is the conflict of the individual against the state.

Rand knew better than to accept the traditional left-right dichotomy between socialism (or communism) and fascism, according to which socialism is the extreme version of left-ideology and fascism is the extreme version of right-ideology (i.e., capitalism). Indeed, in The Ayn Rand Letter (Nov. 8, 1971) she characterized fascism as “socialism for big business.” Both are variants of statism, in contrast to a free country based on individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism. As Rand put it in “Conservativism: An Obituary” (CUI, Chapter 19):

The world conflict of today is the conflict of the individual against the state, the same conflict that has been fought throughout mankind’s history. The names change, but the essence—and the results—remain the same, whether it is the individual against feudalism, or against absolute monarchy, or against communism or fascism or Nazism or socialism or the welfare state.

The placement of socialism and fascism at opposite ends of a political spectrum serves a nefarious purpose, according to Rand. It serves to buttress the case that we must avoid “extremism” and choose the sensible middle course of a “mixed economy.” Quoting from “‘Extremism,’ Or The Art of Smearing” (CUI, Chapter 17):

If it were true that dictatorship is inevitable and that fascism and communism are the two “extremes” at the opposite ends of our course, then what is the safest place to choose? Why, the middle of the road. The safely undefined, indeterminate, mixed-economy, “moderate” middle—with a “moderate” amount of government favors and special privileges to the rich and a “moderate” amount of government handouts to the poor—with a “moderate” respect for rights and a “moderate” degree of brute force—with a “moderate” amount of freedom and a “moderate” amount of slavery—with a “moderate” degree of justice and a “moderate” degree of injustice—with a “moderate” amount of security and a “moderate” amount of terror—and with a moderate degree of tolerance for all, except those “extremists” who uphold principles, consistency, objectivity, morality and who refuse to compromise.

In both of her major articles on fascism (cited above) Rand distinguished between fascism and socialism by noting a rather technical (and ultimately inconsequential) difference in their approaches to private property. Here is the relevant passage from “The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus”:

Observe that both “socialism” and “fascism” involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Observe the difference in those two theories: socialism negates private property rights altogether, and advocates “the vesting of ownership and control” in the community as a whole, i.e., in the state; fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, but transfers control of the property to the government.

Ownership without control is a contradiction in terms: it means “property,” without the right to use it or to dispose of it. It means that the citizens retain the responsibility of holding property, without any of its advantages, while the government acquires all the advantages without any of the responsibility.

In this respect, socialism is the more honest of the two theories. I say “more honest,” not “better”—because, in practice, there is no difference between them: both come from the same collectivist-statist principle, both negate individual rights and subordinate the individual to the collective, both deliver the livelihood and the lives of the citizens into the power of an omnipotent government —and the differences between them are only a matter of time, degree, and superficial detail, such as the choice of slogans by which the rulers delude their enslaved subjects.

Contrary to many conservative commentators during the 1960s, Rand maintained that America was drifting toward fascism, not socialism, and that this descent was virtually inevitable in a mixed economy. “A mixed economy is an explosive, untenable mixture of two opposite elements,” freedom and statism, “which cannot remain stable, but must ultimately go one way or the other” (“‘Extremism,’ or The Art of Smearing”). Economic controls generate their own problems, and with these problems come demands for additional controls—so either those controls must be abolished or a mixed economy will eventually degenerate into a form of economic dictatorship. Rand conceded that most American advocates of the welfare state “are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property.” These welfare-statists “want to ‘preserve’ private property” while calling for greater government control over such property. “But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.”

A mixed economy is ruled by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies.

Rand gave us some of the finest analyses of a mixed economy—its premises, implications, and long-range consequences—ever penned by a free-market advocate. In “The New Fascism,” for example, she compared a mixed economy to a system that operates by the law of the jungle, a system in which “no one’s interests are safe, everyone’s interests are on a public auction block, and anything goes for anyone who can get away with it.” A mixed economy divides a country “into an ever-growing number of enemy camps, into economic groups fighting one another for self preservation in an indeterminate mixture of defense and offense.” Although Rand did not invoke Thomas Hobbes in this context, it is safe to say that the economic “chaos” of a mixed economy resembles the Hobbesian war of all against all in a state of nature, a system in which interest groups feel the need to screw others before they get screwed themselves.

A mixed economy is ruled by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another’s expense by an act of government—i.e., by force.

Of course, Rand never claimed that America had degenerated into full-blown fascism (she held that freedom of speech was a bright line in this respect), but she did believe that the fundamental premise of the “altruist-collectivist” morality—the foundation of all collectivist regimes, including fascism—was accepted and preached by modern liberals and conservatives alike. (Those who mistakenly dub Rand a “conservative” should read “Conservatism: An Obituary” [CUI, Chapter 19], a scathing critique in which she accused conservative leaders of “moral treason.” In some respects Rand detested modern conservatives more than she did modern liberals. She was especially contemptuous of those conservatives who attempted to justify capitalism by appealing to religion or to tradition.) Rand illustrated her point in “The Fascist New Frontier,” a polemical tour de force aimed at President Kennedy and his administration.

There is no such thing as ‘the public interest’ except as the sum of the interests of individual men.

Rand began this 1962 lecture by quoting passages from the 1920 political platform of the German Nazi Party, including demands for “an end to the power of the financial interests,” “profit sharing in big business,” “a broad extension of care for the aged,” the “improvement of public health” by government, “an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education,” and so forth. All such welfare-state measures, this platform concluded, “can only proceed from within on the foundation of “The Common Good Before the Individual Good.”

Rand had no problem quoting similar proposals and sentiments from President Kennedy and members of his administration, such as Kennedy’s celebrated remark, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what America will do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” The particulars of Rand’s speech will come as no surprise to those familiar with her ideas, but I wish to call attention to her final remarks about the meaning of “the public interest.” As used by Kennedy and other politicians, both Democratic and Republican, this fuzzy phrase has little if any meaning, except to indicate that individuals have a duty to sacrifice their interests for the sake of a greater, undefined good, as determined by those who wield the brute force of political power. Rand then stated what she regarded as the only coherent meaning of “the public interest.”

[T]here is no such thing as ‘the public interest’ except as the sum of the interests of individual men. And the basic, common interest of all men—all rational men—is freedom. Freedom is the first requirement of “the public interest”—not what men do when they are free, but that they are free. All their achievements rest on that foundation—and cannot exist without them.

The principles of a free, non-coercive social system are the only form of “the public interest.”

I shall conclude this essay on a personal note. Before I began preparing for this essay, I had not read some of the articles quoted above for many, many years. In fact, I had not read some of the material since my college days 45 years ago. I therefore approached my new readings with a certain amount of trepidation. I liked the articles when I first read them, but would they stand the test of time? Would Rand’s insights and arguments appear commonplace, even hackneyed, with the passage of so much time? Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Rand was exactly on point on many issues. Indeed, if we substitute “President Obama,” for “President Kennedy” or “President Johnson” many of her points would be even more pertinent today than they were during the 1960s. Unfortunately, the ideological sewer of American politics has become even more foul today than it was in Rand’s day, but Rand did what she could to reverse the trend, and one person can only do so much. And no one can say that she didn’t warn us.

Republished from Libertarianism.org.


George Smith

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Gun Shop Owner Stands to Challenge Obama on Second Amendment


Homeland Insecurity Status AlertsCreating conflict. It’s what politicians do. Pointing the finger at the supposed boogeyman and saying “HERE! THIS IS THE CAUSE OF ALL YOUR WOES!”, and crying out for more power under the rubric of “safety”.

“I just came from a meeting today in the situation room in which I’ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites living here in the United States…and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun,” Obama said.

Do you see the problems with the above quotation? Let me spell it out for you:

1) They can add you to a no-fly list simply for visiting a website. This means that without being accused and convicted of a crime, you can lose your right to travel unmolested by government. That is exactly the opposite of rights expressly spelled out in the Constitution.

2) The NRA is painted as the bad guy simply for insisting (in a court of law) that the Federal Government be subject to the limitations placed upon it by the Constitution and specifically the 2nd Amendment. Somehow “they” are the evil ones.

Where does it end? Where does it ever end? 100 new laws? 1000? 10,000? When will the slew of laws, regulations, licenses, mandates, executive orders, fines, penalties, restrictions, public humiliations, etc., etc. ad nauseam, bring about the perfect society?

And when will the American People grow tired of electing demagogues who promise everything and deliver nothing of value?

Source: Gun Shop Owner Stands to Challenge Obama on Second Amendment — Listen Closely to the President’s Response | Video | TheBlaze.com

Don’t Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America


The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern…

Continue Reading:

Source: Don’t Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Want to Sabotage Bad Laws? Healthy Contempt is More Important Than Legal Strategy. – Hit & Run : Reason.com


Want to maintain your rights as expressed in the U.S. Constitution? You need to get active opposing bad laws NOW. That oppression you are promised will come? It will come under the guise of and color of LAW. It will be enforced by a thousand layers of bureaucracy. It will ultimately take your lifestyle, if not your life.

Want to Sabotage Bad Laws? Healthy Contempt is More Important Than Legal Strategy. – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

But the key to rendering stupid laws irrelevant isn’t a clever strategy, it’s an overall attitude of defiance that comes up with new creative strategies after the first ones have been countered and flows around enforcement efforts like an ocean of fuck-you.

Seymour Hersh: Everything Obama said about the Bin Laden Raid is a Lie!


Puppet Masters

When I first heard about the so-called raid, it turned my stomach. When I was excoriated by an enthusiastic public for not supporting the mission, or the methods, I was called “unpatriotic”. Now it turns out I was right. Anything originating with this Whitehouse is Kabuki Theater, designed solely to manipulate you and keep you passive.

The Pride of the State


1713 Edition
1713 Edition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books. Roman tyrants invented a further refinement. They often provided the city wards with feasts to cajole the rabble, always more readily tempted by the pleasure of eating than by anything else. The most intelligent and understanding amongst them would not have quit his soup bowl to recover the liberty of the Republic of Plato. Tyrants would distribute largess, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, ‘Long live the King!’ The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them.” – Etienne de La Boétie – Discourse on Voluntary Servitude 1548

Vox Popoli: The banality of US evil


Vox Popoli: The banality of US evil

Eric Garner died in a New York minute because “soft despotism” turned hard enough to kill him in cold blood. There was no anger there, no hate; the police simply failed to grasp the moral disproportion between the “crimes” he wasn’t even committing at the time and their use of force. And an investigating grand jury did no better.

Vox Popoli: The banality of US evil.

Public Pensions $2 Trillion Short of What They Owe Retirees


“A new report by Moody’s Investors Service finds that public pensions are $2 trillion short of the amount they owe current and future retirees.  “Combined with large unfunded liabilities, aging plan demographics effectively transfer costs incurred by a previous generation onto the present one, increasing the burden on current government operations,” the report stated.”

So what does this mean? Higher taxes to fund the liabilities, cutting of public services (aka austerity), and insolvency. Most likely all three. This is what happens when you pair public employee unions and the politicians who feed off of them.

The next time a union endorses a politician, you can be sure they are in league to fleece the tax payers.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BigGovernment/~3/hatnDRG2fmE/story01.htm

Why I will not be joining Wordpress in the Fight For Net Neutrality


net neutrality world logo
net neutrality world logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being libertarian, and also a staunch supporter of private property rights, I’m totally against the whole Net Neutrality movement. Unfortunately i’ll have to revert to some simple analogies to make my points relatable to people that believe they have a right to others property (and vicariously their prosperity).

“The Government invented the Internet, therefore, access needs to remain neutral”, is one frequent argument. NASA engineers invented the microwave oven. Does that mean the public should be able to dictate how Amana or GE manufacture microwave ovens, and what is approved for cooking in those ovens? Of course not. Comparing the early “Internet” used by the state to today’s internet is like comparing a tricycle to a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Yes they both have wheels, but, well, you get the idea.

“Those big, evil corporations will control, restrict, charge for, and otherwise dictate what and how content is streamed to you.” Yes, they built the pipes, manage the pipes, and provide those pipes all the way to your router. Dictating that they must grant blanket access to those pipes to all content providers is nothing less than taking their property. Stealing. Socialism.

“But what if they somehow compromise my access to my preferred content (Netflix, Pandora, LastFM, WordPress, etc.)?” Of course content providers want to have a free ride on highways someone else built. They can optimize their revenue stream and shareholder value and push the cost of doing business to someone else. How can that be a bad thing as long as you (the consumer) get your episode of Real Housewives at no extra charge?

And that my friends is the bottom line. It’s not really about restricted access, it’s about free riders. The content providers and the consumers don’t want to have to pay to play. All the “what if” scenarios fall by the wayside, because they are just fear-mongering used by master manipulators to push an agenda. You don’t like how Comcast is treating you and your preferred content? Then move to AT&T. And that’s the solution the the problem.

An internet that is responsive to the will of the consumer is one where the free market is allowed to operate, and competition between content providers, internet providers, and those in dual roles (like Google) are vying for advertisers and consumers. It will ultimately drive down costs, up quality, and increase access. To get there will require government to quit interfering, and people to stop using the power of the state to impose their will on others. Just because it’s popular (democracy) does not mean it’s right.

Reagan Quote

The WordPress.com Blog

“Net Neutrality” is the simple but powerful principle that cable and broadband providers must treat all internet traffic equally. Whether you’re loading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming House of Cards on Netflix, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your internet provider can’t degrade your connection speed, block sites, or charge a toll based on the content that you’re viewing.

Net neutrality has defined the internet since its inception, and it’s hard to argue with the results: the internet is the most powerful engine of economic growth and free expression in history. Most importantly, the open internet is characterized by companies, products, and ideas that survive or fail depending on their own merit — not on whether they have preferred deals in place with a broadband service provider. Unfortunately, the principle of net neutrality, and the open internet that we know and love, is under attack.

Net Neutrality under…

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