The Libertarienne: How NOT to Talk to People About Liberty

Cathy Reisenwitz has something new to say.

60 thoughts on “The Libertarienne: How NOT to Talk to People About Liberty

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    There’s an hilarious old video out there somewhere from Mark Selzer nd David Nolan on the same topic. Does anyone know where it is?

  2. Andy

    I remember when that video with David Nolan, Mark Selzer, etc…, came out in California in the early 2000’s. It’s a classic.

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    It sure makes me miss both David and Mark. We should look for Mark and find out why he never comes around any more.

  4. Ted Brown

    @7 I agree. Mark Selzer was one of our greatest activists. He did more than most to help us communicate with the public.

  5. Andy

    “Ted Brown // Mar 11, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    @7 I agree. Mark Selzer was one of our greatest activists. He did more than most to help us communicate with the public.”

    Is he currently active? I know he dropped out for a while citing burn out, but then he came back for a little bit, and then disappeared again. I haven’t heard anything about him in a long time.

  6. Andy

    “Cathy Reisenwitz // Mar 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I did see that a really long time ago. I guess it stuck in my subconscious, haha. It is really funny.”

    Great videos! Keep up the good work.

  7. Jill Pyeatt

    Funny thing about Mark Selzer–the last time I saw him, or more specifically heard him, was the day Michael Jackson. I was listening to the 11:00 news while doing something else,and, for some reason, Mark was in Hollywood. A news camera shoved a camera in his face and he said something fluffy like “He was so talented”, and I looked up because I recognized his voice. He looked just like regular Mark.

  8. Jill Pyeatt

    It’s nice to see you comment here, Cathy. Visit us more often–I’m sure the many personalities here will give you lots of material for your videos!

    And keep sending them to me, and I’ll keep posting them!

  9. Robert Capozzi

    Much truth here.

    What’s even worse, though, is to believe much of this sorta stuff and then to hide it.

    As Lee Wrights posted today on his FB wall, “Free your mind and the rest of you will follow.”

    Once freed of extremist macho flashes, maybe the real benefits of liberty will shine through you….

  10. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    What’s so funny about both videos is we all know how true they are.

  11. Eric Sundwall

    The realization that the state is a morally illegitimate institution is a deeper sensibility than the jingoistic satire employed here.

    The empowerment that this gives the moderate libertarian sensibility is obvious and just as crass as what they are trying to depict.

  12. Andy

    Jill Pyeatt said: “I was listening to the 11:00 news while doing something else,and, for some reason, Mark was in Hollywood.”

    Mark Selzer lives in Hollywood, or at least that’s where he lived when I knew him. I suppose that it is possible that he could have moved, but if he has not moved, then he still lives in Hollywood (which is a part of the city of Los Angeles for those of you who don’t know).

  13. Tom Blanton

    The rhetoric employed in both videos above sounds to me much more like typical right-wing conservative rhetoric than anything most libertarians use, or at least have used in the past.

    Yet, many “libertarians” insist on believing that libertarians are actually “real conservatives” and don’t seem to understand the difference between conservatism, traditionalism, constitutionalism, and libertarianism.

    In recent times, the term “statism” has been co-opted by the right and they use it to mean liberal or progressive government policies, seemingly unaware that full blown statism exists on the right.

    It doesn’t help that most people are the victims of 12-16 years of pro-government schools, thousands of hours of pro-government television programming, a lifetime of major party political propaganda disseminated in newspapers and magazines, and a consumer culture created by corporate propaganda that socializes people into lives of conformity.

    Short of multi-billion dollar media campaigns, libertarian outreach booths are doomed to fail anyway. The fact that so many libertarians start their schpeel with “libertarians believe….”, as if libertarian thought is monolithic confuses people enough.

    Perhaps it is far better to create the cognitive dissonance necessary to change minds by asking the government indoctrinated rubes to justify the injustices they themselves support. They may be shocked and they may dislike you, but it may cause them to take a look at themselves which is where the real problem exists.

    Libertarians should realize that it often takes lengthy and substantive conversations over long periods of time – sometimes years – before you can turn around most people. Soundbites, slogans, and a Nolan Test rarely, if ever, create a libertarian in 2 minutes. It just doesn’t happen – especially for some poor rube that has been completely indoctrinated against freedom for many years.

    Eric Sundwall does a good job of summarizing the content of these videos @ 21.

    Remember, attempting to gain acceptance by merely telling someone what you think they want to hear never changes anybody’s mind, at best it only validates what they already believe. They may smile and think you’re a great person, but you have accomplished zero.

    If they are perceptive, they think that you are a dissembling political hack that is patronizing them – and they would be correct.

  14. John C Jackson

    For some reason the Youtubes cover the entire right 2/3 of the page (and then some) for me. They go under the right sidebar links. Does anyone have the direct link(s) to the vids on Youtube?

  15. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I think if you click the video a couple times it will go to full screen.

  16. Andy

    Tom Blanton said: “Libertarians should realize that it often takes lengthy and substantive conversations over long periods of time – sometimes years – before you can turn around most people.”

    This is not necessarily true. There are a lot of “natural” libertarians out there who don’t know what the word libertarian means, or even that there is a Libertarian Party. It doesn’t really take that long to bring people like this over because they already agree with us.

    I was like this when I first stumbled upon the Libertarian Party while flipping through the TV channels back in early July of 1996 when I landed on Harry Browne giving a speech at the 1996 Libertarian Party National Convention. I basically already agreed with everything he said, as I had already come to a lot of those conclusions on my own. Harry Browne did however show me how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

    A lot of the people that you have to work on for years are not good prospects for liberty anyway. There are those who are maybe confused on one or two issues, or maybe even a few issues, and you can bring some of these people over, but Libertarians need to recognize that there are a lot of people out there who are unreachable.

    Some people are authoritarian control freaks and these people will never be libertarians. Others like to be lead around by authoritarian control freaks, and they will never be libertarians either. There are also those who are hopelessly apathetic or disinterested in politics, and a lot of these people are unreachable as well.

    I’d say that out of society, the maximum amount of our current population that I could see really as or becoming libertarians is maybe around a quarter to a third of the population. The rest of the population are either big government types, or are those who are so apathetic or disinterested in what is going on that they will just go with whatever the flow is.

    We don’t need a majority of the population to shift things in a libertarian direction though. If even say 15%, or even 10% of the population joined the libertarian side it would be enough to enact some pretty big changes.

  17. Andy

    Tom Blanton said: “Short of multi-billion dollar media campaigns, libertarian outreach booths are doomed to fail anyway. ”

    I disagree. Any Libertarian outreach helps identifiy the people who already agree with us, and it lets them know that there is an ideology and a political party that fits them, plus it helps sway more of the people who may not completely agree with us but who are reachable to our side by explaining libertarian positions to them.

  18. Tom Blanton

    Andy, as I look around at the current situation this country is in I would have to say whatever libertarian outreach there has been in the past has apparently failed miserably if the measure is moving society in a libertarian direction so as to achieve social and political change.

    The glass is so low it is rather hard to say that it is half full rather than half empty at this point. Identifying people who are natural libertarians is fine, but then what?

    So, they join the LP, donate $50 and join the few that vote for someone calling themselves a libertarian that loses by a huge margin.

    Electoral politics doesn’t seem to be working. You might enjoy it, find it fulfilling and even make a few bucks from the process, but nothing changes.

    The idea that “people are waking up” is an old one as is “people are ready for a third party”. I’ve been hearing this stuff for 30 years.

    It is the people you identify as not being “good prospects for liberty” that are the vast majority and they are the ones that need to change. If you want instant gratification that your liberty outreach is successful, these people aren’t going to give it to you.

    Outreach to recruit warm bodies into the LP and outreach to present ideas need not be mutually exclusive, but in the LP it usually is. Recruitment and changing minds are two separate goals and the tactics and time frames are different. But until the second goal is met, the first goal will continue to fail.

    And all that assumes electing politicians to lead you will result in self-government which it won’t, or never has worked.

    Better that libertarians went around handing out copies of Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience than mess with the LP crap passed out at LP booths.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    TB 31: “[S]elf government…has never worked.”

    As TK might say, Fixed that for you. It’s never been tried in any meaningful way, of course, and now in the nuclear age it won’t be.

    Handing out CD sounds cool to me, as nowhere does it allude to a (non-existent) cult of the omnipotent state. That alone makes it superior, since the false imprisons.

  20. Bob Tiernan

    Tom Blanton: “as I look around at the current situation…”

    Well, there you are again, Mr. “Flimsy Evidence”! You still need to apologize to me for calling me a Republican. Not just a Republican, but a Republican “State Chairman” !!!! Oh, forget it. You cut and ran like a true wimp, and there it ends.

    Bob Tiernan
    Oregon

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    Self-government hasn’t just been tried, it’s the primary mode of human existence. The state is an ongoing attempt to overthrow it, but only the most totalitarian states come anywhere close to succeeding (and they inevitably collapse in that attempt).

  22. Robert Capozzi

    34 TK, that may work for you as a construct, but I find it tortured. Governments are everywhere, and for the most part have been everywhere always where there is any population density.

    I trust you don’t deny this obvious fact.

    It is also true that each individual goes through his or her day not needing government to tell him or her what to do.

    Apples and oranges.

    This is the deontological delusion…goes something like this….I don’t need the government to tell ME what to do, therefore there should be no government.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    21 es: The empowerment that [the realization that the state is a morally illegitimate institution] gives the moderate libertarian sensibility is obvious and just as crass as what they are trying to depict.

    me: IYO. As a deeply radical moderate L, I don’t realize any such thing. The State’s moral legitimacy or illegitimacy is not a meaningful question for me, any more than oxygen is or isn’t “moral.” States just are. I can’t imagine large-scale statelessness, given that states exist, have lots of weapons, and convincing them all to disarm simultaneously is beyond my ken.

    Now, if you can paint a plausible picture of such simultaneous disarmament to be put into practice, I’m open to your arguments about “morality.”

    Or we can play video games, imaging that what’s on the screen is reality!

  24. Tom Blanton

    Bob Tiernan, I apologize for calling you a Republican. Have you ever considered changing your name? Those who might think your name sounds familiar and google it are treated to a nightmarish character who is in fact a Republican.

    Some name change suggestions:
    Bobby
    Rob
    Robby
    Robert
    The Big T
    Bobbo LiberTiernan

    By the way, I take it that you look around at the current situation and see rainbows and unicorns? The greatest nation that has ever existed in the universe? A land of milk and honey?

    In the court of public opinion, flimsy evidence is the rule not the exception. Your objection was noted to the introduction of said flimsy anecdotal evidence, but no counter evidence of any substance was subsequently introduced as I recall. Granted, said evidence was hearsay, but you did not object to it on those grounds.

    Again, this true wimp apologizes profusely for dishonoring the Tiernan name and legacy, but now I must cut and run or face deontological deconstruction by the superior intellect of the moderate absolutist Capozzi.

  25. Andy

    “Tom Blanton // Mar 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Andy, as I look around at the current situation this country is in I would have to say whatever libertarian outreach there has been in the past has apparently failed miserably if the measure is moving society in a libertarian direction so as to achieve social and political change.”

    I’ve pointed out in other threads about the general lack of outreach from the Libertarian Party and movement. It seems that too many people in the party/movement prefer to spend their time preaching to the choir or debating with other libertarians rather than engaging in real world politics. Another problem is that too much of the little outreach that does take place is only geared toward either computer geeks or disgruntled Republicans. There is not anything wrong with reaching out to computer geeks and disgruntled Republicans, but there are a whole lot of people in this country that do not fit into either of those categories that are not being reached out to nearly enough.

    I do not think that the Libertarian Party and movement has been anywhere near as successful as it could be, however, this does not mean that there has not been any success. Things could be worse right now.

    “The glass is so low it is rather hard to say that it is half full rather than half empty at this point. Identifying people who are natural libertarians is fine, but then what?

    So, they join the LP, donate $50 and join the few that vote for someone calling themselves a libertarian that loses by a huge margin.

    Electoral politics doesn’t seem to be working. You might enjoy it, find it fulfilling and even make a few bucks from the process, but nothing changes.”

    This is why for years I’ve been advocated that Libertarians promote some “action items” for the public that will make a difference in advancing the cause of liberty even if no Libertarians get elected to office.

    Two of the best action items I’ve come up with are as follows:

    1) Fully informing potential jurors of their right to nullify laws. Many people disagree with the war on drugs, gun control laws, income taxes, and other victimless “crimes” for which the government likes to prosecute people. Few people know about their right to nullify laws as jurors. Jury nullification should be a major talking point for the Libertarian Party. If the right of jury nullificaction ever becomes common knowledge among the public, it could roll back the state, and this is something that can happen without Libertarians getting elected to office.

    2) Alternative currencies. Promote the use of gold, silver, Bitcoins, or other forms of currency that people can use to barter for goods & services instead of using Federal Reserve Notes. This undermines the state, and it is something that people can do without Libertarians being elected to office.

    People need to be realistic when it comes to what kind of results to expect in elections. The higher the office the less chance a Libertarian (or small “l” libertarian) has of getting elected. Right now, I’d say that anything about a seat in a state legislature or a county or small to mid sized city/town office is pretty much out of reach. If a Libertarian runs for anything higher than that, they should realize that the campaign is meant to educate people, not only about general libertarian issues, but ideally, also about action items that they can enact in their regular lives, such as jury nullification (if they get called for jury duty, and even if they do not, they can inform others about jury nullification), and the use of alternative currencies, and build up the movement for future success. Running for offices that are out of reach can also be good in places where it can win the Libertarian Party ballot access if a candidate gains a certain percentage of the vote. I do think that Libertarians can get elected to seats in state legislatures, and it has happened in the past, and it is realistic that it can happen again, and it in fact came close to happening in South Carolina and in Colorado in the last election. It will take some intelligent planning and strategy, but I think that if this is done, that Libertarians could win seats in state legislatures in 2014 and 2016. Another office that I think is winnable is the office of Sheriff, and electing a balls out Libertarian Sheriff could make a big impact. Sheriff is a county office, and I think that with some intelligent planning and strategy, that Libertarians could be elected to this office in 2014 and 2016. US House, US Senate, Governor, President, or any other higher level office is presently out of reach, barring the entry of a wealthy and/or celebrity candidate, and even then, President is probably still out of reach.

  26. Andy

    Tom Blanton said: “It is the people you identify as not being “good prospects for liberty” that are the vast majority and they are the ones that need to change”

    I’d say that about 1/3 of the population are big government supporters who are unreachable. Another 1/3 of the population are so apathetic or disinterested in politics that they are practically unreachable as well. The final 1/3 of the population are the people whom we can actually reach (some more easily than others). We don’t really have to worry that much about the apathetic and disinterested crowd. They will go with the flow of whoever wins the battle. It is the active supporters of big government crowd that are the problem, but even out of these people, it is only a small percentage of them who are really controlling things. If we can overcome them, their entire house of cards will crumble down. We don’t need a majority of the population to accomplish this.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    37 tb: …superior intellect of the moderate absolutist Capozzi.

    me: I would not claim that, and have not. I do, however, like to ask simple questions. When another deflects from my straightforward inquiry, I can’t help but wonder what untruth they might be concealing….

  28. Bob Tiernan

    No, I’m not that interested in changing my name.

    “In the court of public opinion, flimsy evidence is the rule not the exception.”

    It was flimsy because all you had was a name and a state with well over two million residents. Sure, the other Bob and myself have been in the same room at the same time every now and then, but that’s beside the point. He’s not at all “nightmarish”, by the way. Your definition is apparently too broad and it dilutes the meaning of what truly nightmarish means to most people.
    You’re probably get web sites written by people who want people like you to believe the worst about anyone they dislike.

    “…but no counter evidence of any substance was subsequently introduced as I recall.”

    I told you that I was not a Republican, and the fact that you should have known that it would have been incredibly stupid for a recent GOP chair to deny connection to that party when easy Google searches are seconds away, and therefore I must be someone else. I don’t feel that I need to go around telling everyone who I’m not.

    “Greanted, said evidence was hearsay, but you did not”

    My name is not hearsay.

    Bob Tiernan
    Oregon

  29. Tom Blanton

    The flimsy evidence I was referring to was the anecdotal reference I made to libertarians regarding black people. That seemed to upset you greatly at the time. Apparently memory isn’t one of your strong suits.

    The hearsay I refer to has nothing to do with the name “Bob Tiernan”, or the person “Bob Tiernan”, it has to do with the anecdotal reference I made regarding comments I have heard made by libertarians, thus said reference was hearsay. Got it, Bob?

    I never argued that you were a Republican after you denied it. I don’t think I even responded. Now I’m beginning to wonder.

    If you don’t want to be confused with Republicans, perhaps you shouldn’t associate with such nightmarish Republicans named Bob Tiernan, Bob Tiernan.

    You’re probably get web sites written by people who want people like you to believe the worst about anyone they dislike.

    Huh?

    I was going to suggest that you have a few drinks to get over this trauma I have put you through, but it seems you have already had a few too many.

    Are you getting the words hearsay and heresy mixed up?

    Maybe Xanax would help.

    Tom Blanton
    Virginia

  30. Robert Capozzi

    39 A: We don’t need a majority of the population to accomplish this.

    me: The better question is: What is “this” that we are accomplishing? The extremism that this vid holds up for scrutiny?

    I do agree that the flow of history can be re-routed toward liberty without everyone being a conscious L. That, however, requires making liberty attractive, not repellant.

  31. Tom Blanton

    Capozzi, I know how much you hate to read anything besides comments at IPR, but here is an article by Benjamin Powell you might consider. I know it is published by that wild and radical absolutist organization FEE, but read it anyway:

    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/you-are-an-anarchist-the-question-is-how-often

    WARNING: The name “Rothbard” is mentioned once, but relax, there are no quotations or actual references to any of his insanely radical anarchist ideas. In addition, there are no prescriptions about how the sufferings of those afflicted with paranoia shall be relieved regarding psychopathic madmen who control nuclear weapons destroying other nations for no reason.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    tb 47, yes, in the moment, nonarchy’d been preferable to Pol Pot, IMO. That, however, doesn’t make me a nonarchist, as I see it.

    I am a TAAAList, so I believe over time the best configuration approaches anarchy. If in 20 years Somalia works out, I will take another look at whether nonarchy is a sustainable model for at least non-WMD territories. But EVEN IF Somalian nonarchy is sustainable, it still doesn’t address my critique of anarchism for nations in the nuclear club. Mine is a very practical consideration.

    Would nonarchy be preferable in the US tomorrow? Russia? China?

    Resounding no for me. You?

  33. Tom Blanton

    You already know the answer to that last question, RC.

    But, unlike some people, I believe the nuclear weapons problem is being driven by the very government I would prefer abolished. This would be the same government that hasn’t learned that you can’t have a ground war in a place where the citizens are armed and don’t want to be occupied. The very same government that perpetually provokes other nations and the only nation that has ever used nuclear weapons.

    It would seem that any rational human concerned about peace and sincere about eliminating nuclear threats would believe, as I do, that the subjects of the government described above would be better off without that government.

    But then again, I am a radical absolutist so my opinions are worthless among the erudite and serious statists and limited-statists. Besides, there is very little profit in peace and freedom when those conditions actually exist and absolutely no power to lust after for those who seek to lead men in the absence of a power structure.

  34. Bob Tiernan

    Blanton: “The flimsy evidence I was referring to was the anecdotal reference I made to libertarians regarding black people.”

    Nah, the “flimsy evidence” (my words) referred to the weak evidence you had that I am a former Chair of the Oregon GOP, namely, that my name is Bob Tiernan, that I live in Oregon, and that a guy named Bob Tiernan was GOP Chair not too many years ago. That’s flimsy, but you ran with it. After that, you ridiculed my use of the term by posting the “flimsy evidence” in the form of a link to a website that mentioned former Oregon GOP Chair Bob Tiernan, and this proof that I’m a Republican.

    Remember, Jaggers in “Great Expectations” said to judge everything on evidence and not on how it looks. You ignired that, and you flopped.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding “flimsy evidence” and black voters. Go back and check the original thread that has your “gotcha!” on me based on flimsy evidence.

    It shouldn’t be that difficult.

    Bob Tiernan
    Portland

  35. Robert Capozzi

    49 tb, actually, no, I don’t know your answer. When I was a Rothbardian anarchist, I took the practical position that transition periods were indicated to roll back the State to zero. My guess is that many/most anarchists would agree.

    Yes, the nuke problem IS a creation of governments…that’s non-controversial. Either I don’t explain this very well OR you are deflecting. So let me try yet again. Nukes exist, and States have them. Wishing them away doesn’t work to bring about disarmament. Since states DO have them, I see no plausible path to unwinding the situation. While a few former USSR republics did give up their nukes, I just don’t see the major nuclear club members doing the same. It’s a classic “who goes first?” dilemma. Disarming leaves the disarmers vulnerable to first strikes and/or nuclear blackmail.

    Reality sucks sometimes.

    As a theoretical asymptotic anarchist, I don’t appreciate the term “limited statist.” I’m a lessarchist, one who acknowledges the reality of the world as it is.

    If domestic tranquility could be maintained, I might be for a transition to statelessness. I simply don’t see how tranquility could be achieved and maintained with the stockpiles currently in place.

    I’d love to hear your bright ideas on how we get from here to there.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    52 TK, I hear that. Domestic tranquility is relative, subjective, and imprecise. Some may find it in Somalia, others not so much.

    I’d say even now the US has DT for most most of the time.

  37. Tom Blanton

    RC, I’d be interested in what you think would happen if the US unilaterally disarmed itself of nuclear weapons.

    Do you think other nations would instantly nuke America? What would be their gain from that? It is more plausible that they may also disarm to avoid the expense in maintaining their nuclear weapons.

    If the US stopped interfering with the affairs of other nations, overtly and covertly, militarily and politically, what would the reaction of other nations be? To rush out and develop nuclear weapons?

    RC, sometimes you sound very much like the hysterical neocons, who also claim to be realists, who would have us at perpetual war. But we know they are not realists. We know they fabricate lies to create fear in Americans for the sole purpose of feeding the war machine. We know they exaggerate the military strength of the enemies they create.

    Have you come to believe the propaganda of the neocons, their think tanks, and the merchants of death that fund them, RC?

    Sorry if you are offended by the term “limited-statists” but isn’t that what anyone who falls into range of minarchist to “small-government” Republicans actually is. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t a “lessarchist” generally prefer and advocate for more government than most minarchists?

    I would also suggest that anyone who could possibly believe that the US government is capable of protecting you from all of the things you, RC, fear has internalized a level of statism that I personally feel is responsible for most of the problems we now face. A government able to afford you the level of assured safety you, RC, require, is big government, very big. There is nothing limited about the type of government you desire to eliminate your fears.

    Any actors that possess nuclear weapons that would attack the US in the event the US disarmed would have to be so insane that an armed US would probably not be a deterrent.

    There would be no economic benefit in doing so. In fact, there would certainly be a heavy economic penalty for such behavior. The would treated as a pariah state. Other nations may consider them an imminent danger at attack them, freeze bank accounts and all commerce, and shut down normal telecommunications (satellite/internet).

  38. Robert Capozzi

    54 tb: I’d be interested in what you think would happen if the US unilaterally disarmed itself of nuclear weapons.

    me: Many, many possibilities. Given the stores of wealth in the US, one could easily imagine things like Russia reclaiming AK. China might take HI. Of course, if the US only disarmed its nukes but kept the rest of its military, that might lead to another possibility. IF, OTOH, the US became a nonarchic territory overnight, as apparently is your wish, that opens up Mexico reclaiming at least the SW. Even the generally peaceful Canadians might want some of the former-US action under its belt. Why not?

    Of course, these are not going to happen. My practice is to keep constructs down to a minimum, and when using them, keeping them general.

    tb: If the US stopped interfering with the affairs of other nations, overtly and covertly, militarily and politically, what would the reaction of other nations be? To rush out and develop nuclear weapons?

    me: Can’t say for sure, but it’s none of my business what they’d do. I do think this is a good idea, though.

    tb: Have you come to believe the propaganda of the neocons, their think tanks, and the merchants of death that fund them, RC?

    me: No.

    tb: Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t a “lessarchist” generally prefer and advocate for more government than most minarchists?

    me: In a sense, yes. But lessarchism as practiced by me means that I advocate for shorter-term change, change that I see as being within the realm of possibilities in term of specific positions.

    For example, a nonarchist might advocate immediate abolition of all taxes, and a 5-year plan to smash the state. A minarchist might advocate repeal of the income tax, a 40% cut in federal spending, and a glide path toward a strict constitutional or nightwatchman state. A lessarchist recognizes – as everyone does – that these are not going to happen. Instead, we lessarchists advocate for things that are edgy, but plausible…say, a flat tax with capped deductions, modest but real spending cuts, etc.

    tb: There is nothing limited about the type of government you desire to eliminate your fears.

    me: There’s that patented Blanton ability to read minds again! 😉 Dude, please don’t make this about me and my fears, especially since you have NO idea what I am afraid of. The truth is I would be real OK if I die in the next 5 minutes, so none of my views have anything to do with my physical security.

    tb: There would be no economic benefit in doing so. In fact, there would certainly be a heavy economic penalty for such behavior.

    me: Right. Could be. Could also be that the use of nukes isn’t as powerful as the threat of using them. Apparently, there are also tactical nukes now.

    Your pariah nation analysis might be correct, but then again, maybe not. There are pariah nations NOW and other nations still transact business with them, yes? If Russia took back AK with a cooked-up rationale, do you REALLY believe that Europe would stop importing natural gas from Russia?

    If so, put the crack pipe down! 😉

  39. Tom Blanton

    Dude, please don’t make this about me and my fears, especially since you have NO idea what I am afraid of.

    Dude, you regularly speak of the safety you believe the government provides and the horrible consequences that would most certainly occur if they type of government you seem to be advocating ceased to exist.

    Forgive me for mistaking these scenarios that you constantly articulate for your fears. I can only assume then that you bring these items up to create fear in others and you are aware that what I have mistaken for your fears are actually just bullshit you throw out for rhetorical flourish.

    I’ll remember that you are not actually fearful of private individuals building nukes in their garages, but rather you are seeking to create the impression that government somehow protects us all from the nonsense you put forth as threats to our existence.

    I take it also that you don’t really fear that Russia would take back Alaska but throw that out to convince others that America must cling to its nukes and huge standing army to prevent such a hideous nightmare from occurring.

    Perhaps if you didn’t spend so much time expounding on only advocating things that others will accept, your words might be mistaken for your actual beliefs. You can apparently read the minds of others enabling you to determine exactly what they want to hear. Then you claim I am reading your mind when I take mistakenly think you actually believe the things you write.

    What a twisted little limited-statist rhetorician you are, Capozzi.

    Why don’t you just come out and shout:

    LONG LIVE THE IMPERIAL EMPIRE OF AMERICA

    But seriously, RC, I know you want to minimize the torture while maximizing the order, and minimize the death and destruction while maximizing the government’s ability to pretend to protect its citizens.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    56 tb: Dude, you regularly speak of the safety you believe the government provides and the horrible consequences that would most certainly occur if they type of government you seem to be advocating ceased to exist.

    me: Sorry, no I do not. I speak instead of the virtually impossible and highly risky (if actually implemented) “prospect” of statelessness in a nuclear world. I’ve not suggested any particular type of government, only that no-government is unimaginable and risky. My only comment about a “type” of government is that I desire less of it.

    I bring up what I consider to the sorts of questions I would get when I advocated abolitionist nonarchism to non-true believers in your creed. They strike me as obvious first questions a non-nonarchist would ask in response to the assertion that disarming and abolishing government tomorrow. If you have any doubt, walk around The Fan with an Abolish Government Now! sandwich board and engage the passersby. 😉 My guess is they’d pose similar questions to the ones I do.

    You are correct that I don’t think Russia will take back AK, since the US won’t disarm and there’s every indication that this territory will remain with a State governing it. I am playing along with your fantasy, conducting obvious thought experiments.

    Again, what I believe is that government should be rolled back. To have a specific destination: statelessness, a nightwatchman, a constitutional republic – these are all fantasies. My constructs are general, not specific. IMO, specific political constructs are a waste of time and are undiscoverable by “logic.”

    And, no, I can’t read minds. I’d like to think that I have a sense of the possible, though. You seem unconcerned with realities and possibilities.

  41. paulie

    Great video by Cathy! Right on the money.

    I’m a fan. Looking forward to hearing her speak at the Alabama LP convention June 8.

    Unfortunately ironic that most of the comment thread goes on to illustrate her point so thoroughly.

  42. Robert Capozzi

    P, ironic, or predictably?

    Her vid helps to bring foundational dysfunction to light.

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