March 2018 Open Thread

Welcome to March! Some of you might be experiencing spring by now (not here in southern California, though). This is a good transitional month to talk about the upcoming elections in 2018, and some of the activities surrounding third parties and independents. Sick of the narratives from both the Democratic and Republican parties? Then here is the thread for you to talk about finding what you want in some of the other political parties in this country.

If you have something funny to share, here’s a good place for it. We certainly need to laugh as often as we can.

Remember not to plagiarize or libel someone–and if you don’t, you should be fine here.

142 thoughts on “March 2018 Open Thread

  1. dL

    War is peace, slavery is freedom….

    In this instance, the claim is that big government, i.e, status quo bureaucratic entrenchment, is a viscous defense against a fascist devolution. A number of rejoinders to that reasoning:

    (1) if so, the argument can be generalized/extended. As analogy, viscous, sludge oil may indeed be a protectorate against being able to drive a car off the side of a cliff, but it is also an impediment from being able to start the car at all. Likewise, if big government is bulwark against bad democratic outcomes, it is so because it is bulwark against any democratic change. Big government is a bulwark for liberty by being a defense against democracy. Hence, liberty is anti-democratic. A necessarily strange conclusion to draw if one is now in the business of making a name for oneself by pillorying libertarians for being anti-democratic.

    (2) Absence of fascism is not necessarily liberty. For example, communist bureaucracy would be a bulwark against fascism, but I don’t think any sane person would equate communist bureaucracy with liberty(unless. of course, you were living in a communist bureaucracy, then 100% of certifiably sane people would equate communist bureaucracy with liberty).

    (3) Moving the goalposts RE: the definition of fascism. It is easy to identity fascism in the history books. But it is not so easy to acknowledge it when you are living in the midst of it. The United States checks a lot of boxes when it comes to the standard fascism checklist…militarism, corporatism, surveillance, security organs, etc. However, many would counter the US was proto-fascist, not fascist, because it lacked the component of “a rebirth myth, populist ultra-nationalism and the myth of decadence.” Well, that box is now checked. How many boxes are there left to be checked?

    I imagine if one circulated a poll in 1998 to 100 or so “respectable pundits” outlining what the US is today, 20 years later, and asking if that future America 20 years hence is fascist, 99/100 would have said: yes. Circulate that poll today RE: contemporaneous America, what would that percentage be: 1? If fascism is a moving goalpost, then anything can be credited as a defense against fascism.

  2. robert capozzi

    Hmm, could be more a statement about 2A. Could be that Cowen is commenting more on the idea that an armed population is a check against government theme one hears. The threat of revolt feels less and less credible. Some people trot out George Washington quotes that made a lot of sense in the 1790s that no longer do.

  3. DJ

    RC: Some people trot out George Washington quotes that made a lot of sense in the 1790s that no longer do.

    Me: Truth is constant, knowledge evolves, so, do you have a particular quote in mind?

  4. DJ

    dl: If fascism is a moving goalpost, then anything can be credited as a defense against fascism.

    Me: Goal post moving is prerequisite to word game strategists- usually lawyers, law makers and journalist.

  5. Anon-Tipper

    “A necessarily strange conclusion to draw if one is now in the business of making a name for oneself by pillorying libertarians for being anti-democratic.”

    I don’t he will ever realize that his argument is leading to the same conclusion he ridicules others for reaching (or really, positions he claims they hold)

  6. ATBAFT

    A “Classical Liberal” friend sent me this observation. What think you about the strategy proposed?

    I feel just as strongly about the libertarian label. Yes, it allows us to distinguish ourselves from neocons, but to the rest of the electorate we simply appear to be some kind of way-out political kooks. If we want people to adopt our ideology, we’d better be seen as liberals than either libertarian or conservative. One catches more flies with honey than with vinegar. It’s time to put distance between ourselves and both the neocons and the Republican establishment/big business flunkies. Focus, instead, on a principled message that is appealing to the Mostly Conservative, Mixed and Mostly Progressive (“Liberal” in the language of the Pew Research Center), and concentrate on the Millenials. Ron Paul did that successfully and he was typically the oldest candidate in the race. Once some of those Millenials start to switch to a new identity there will be panic in both the Invasion-of-the-Month Clubbers and the hard-line progressives. They’ll go on the attack and when they do they’ll be supporting our strategy unintentionally

  7. dL

    I don’t he will ever realize that his argument is leading to the same conclusion he ridicules others for reaching (or really, positions he claims they hold)

    I imagine the difference between a working pundit and blegging pundit is to avoid recognizing that conclusion.

  8. dL

    Me: Goal post moving is prerequisite to word game strategists- usually lawyers, law makers and journalist.

    History teaches us that the intelligentsia are not the right ones to ask RE: authoritarianism in real-time. Now, they are the right ones to ask in the future RE: what is happening today as a historical deconstruction, but they are not the right ones to ask RE: what is happening today.

    The right ones to ask in real time are the marginalized groups. For example, the 1930s German intellectual vanguard were not the right ones to ask about 1930s German politics. The right ones to ask then were the jews and the gypsies.

    Likewise, today, Cass Sustein or Richard Posner or Tyler Cowen are not the right ones to query whether the United States is fascist. Instead, ask the ones who are being hunted down by ICE or the ones who are in prison or the ones who are being bombed. I assure you tomorrow’s historians will by and large side with the point of view of today’s marginalized.

  9. dL

    I feel just as strongly about the libertarian label. Yes, it allows us to distinguish ourselves from neocons, but to the rest of the electorate we simply appear to be some kind of way-out political kooks.

    I imagine the “rest of the electorate” doesn’t know the difference between a libertarian and a librarian. “Serious libertarianism” originates with Ed Crane, a now disgraced serial harasser feigning dementia to avoid reporter’s questions. The “kook label” is a beltway crackpipe consensus, a consensus now split evenly between searching for Putin under your bed and concocting a defense to ban sunlight as a scheme to put a 100,000 candlelight makers back to work again. Hard to out crazy the beltway crazy.

    we’d better be seen as liberals than either libertarian or conservative.

    Well, I’m a liberal, so I agree. But practically speaking, you would spend just as much time trying to rehabilitate that word as you would defending or promoting libertarianism.

    concentrate on the Millenials.

    snake oil…the same generational appeals get repackaged for every successive generation. In the 90s, slacker generation X was going to change politics. It was the same things in 60s with the hippies…indeed, I imagine if you were alive in the 60s, you might have actually believed it. Plus, the millennials time on the stage is just about up. When 2020 rolls around, the next generation marketing focus will begin shift to Gen-Z.

  10. Andy

    dL keeps acting as though being hunted down by ICE is “fascist,” yet every other country in the world does the exact same thing, and the USA has a more “generous” welfare state than most countries, and the USA is currently operating under an idiotic interpretation of “Birthright” citizenship that says that the offspring of anyone who waltzes across the US border is a citizen, which entitles them to all kinds of benefits, and then allows their families to come in via chain migration (and many of these people come in and get on food stamps/EBT and SSI when they get here).

    If we lived in a private property society, this would not fly. Trespassers would be kicked out.

    I recently spoke to Vit Jedlicka, President of Liberland. He said that Liberland is not going to have open borders, and that immigration to Liberland will be via contract, and that contract violators will be kicked out (aka-“physically removed”).

    I also spoke to “Bitcoin Jesus” Roger Ver recently. Ver is currently working on a Free Society project where he is raising money in cryptocurrency with the goal of buying land to form a libertarian country, or non-country as he calls it. He also supports immigration via contract and physical removal of contract violators.

  11. Andy

    Back when the Spanish were running the Moors out of Spain, was that fascist? Were the Moors just peaceful people crossing borders, dude? Did the Moors just come to Spain seeking a better life, bro?

  12. DJ

    Interesting write up from The Washington Post

    Trump says American workers are hurt by immigration. But after ICE raided this Texas town, they never showed up.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/national-security/trump-says-american-workers-are-hurt-by-immigration-but-after-ice-raided-this-texas-town-they-never-showed-up/2018/03/04/8ce16362-1d65-11e8-ae5a-16e60e4605f3_story.html

    Excerpts:

    “We don’t really see American people in these jobs,” said Lian Sian Piang, 34, a meat quality inspector and ethnic Chin who ran away from conscription in the Burmese army as a teenager, living for years in a Malaysian refugee camp. During his 10 years at the Cactus plant, he said, he has seen only “two or three white guys” cutting meat.

    “The work is very hard,” he said. “The chain moves so fast. Most people just can’t handle it.”
    …………………

    Because refugees have a ­reputation for lower levels of drug use, they remain attractive job recruits.

    Asked whether his labor shortages have been exacerbated by the Trump administration’s immigration policies, JBS spokesman Cameron Bruett said the company was “proud to offer jobs to any qualified individual authorized to work in the United States.”

    “The Administration has made a concerted effort to grow the economy and help businesses thrive through tax reform and a common-sense approach to regulation,” Bruett said in a statement. “We believe it will adopt a similarly pragmatic approach to workforce availability in agriculture and other labor-dependent sectors.”

    It was an acknowledgment that a remedy for the labor shortage — “workforce availability” — would come from abroad.
    ……………………

    On a recent morning, Corbin visited a family of Burmese refugees from the Karen ethnic group who had bought a home in Dumas, paying it off in three years because they did not like carrying a mortgage.

  13. DJ

    dl: History teaches us that the intelligentsia are not the right ones to ask

    Me: I’m not disagreeing with your semtiments. I was merely pointing out a source, and not asking, but telling. I don’t need it pointed out. I can see for myself the perpetrators and culprits and victims. “Intelligencia” for the most part is educated beyond its intellect- collectively and singularly, no matter what label they wear, assigned or assumed.

    The correct approach is; What are you doing to counter it? Personally, I’m sowing seeds.

  14. paulie

    Dramatarians
    March 2 at 4:01pm
    For a New Libertarian-ish Party
    ~ by Snarky Mark

    Recently former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Steve Kerbel announced in a statement on his profile the formation of a new party, the United Independents Party. In a statement, he mentions that the intention of the UIP is to gather all likeminded independents and liberty lovers under a “common sense platform”. To quote Kerbel:

    “The United Independents party was founded with a clear mission: To win elections and to use those victories to implement changes which are acknowledged and appreciated by the public, such that more and more members of the United Independent’s Party are elected to office and the result will be freedom, peace and prosperity that we all want for ourselves and our loved ones. ”

    Is this the Libertarian-ish popular-messages-only votes-first-principles later type of party that many (such as the-bowled-one Charles Peralo) in the LP have spoken about forming? One with serious individuals who just want to win elections and worry about the details later? One without anarchists where there is no debate over who really loves liberty? That is how it sounds.

    Perhaps this is what the Libertarian Party needed to finally settle the debate once and for all: why we don’t win elections/no one takes us seriously/no one likes us/we don’t get enough votes/(insert complainitarian argument here).

    Perhaps this is the new home for the Libertarian Pragmatist Caucus type of libertar… err.. independent that is tired of all those gosh darn purists that hate words like “compromise” and “popular belief”.

    Will we see a split in the LP? Will those that continually voice their objection to the “debate club” of the LP (and of course the many members of the Libertarian Take My Ball and Go Home Caucus) join the UIP in its mission to promote liberty no matter the compromise? Or will the UIP be dead in the water and only see the Leavertarians, Pragmatics, Triggertarians, Potatotarians, “Classical Liberals”, and all others that just want to move forward with a similar message but very different method join if or even after the UIP has successes? We won’t know until Vermin Supreme for President gives us a ride in his time machine so we can find out and break the story first!

    The UIP’s website can be found here: https://uiparty.org/

    Kerbel claims that already thousands have joined. Will you?

  15. DJ

    paulie: Will we see a split in the LP?

    Me: Read all the my dick is bigger than your dick comments by the different “factions”- maybe not a formal split, but, a split none the less- actually numerous splits.

  16. paulie

    Dan Clore
    March 7 at 2:04pm

    On its face, of course, it sounds nice. After all, who would oppose fighting sex trafficking? Ivanka Trump, as well as a host of Hollywood celebrities such as Amy Schumer, spoke out in favor of the bill.

    Truth is, the bill does little to address sex trafficking while targeting willing, adult sex workers who aren’t trafficked. It also hampers free speech online and could have the result of silencing the very sex-trafficking victims it seeks to help.

    The bill would punish Web sites like Backpage, which are used by sex workers to advertise, if an ad turns out to be from a sex trafficker or underage prostitute. Sites would either need to install filters to catch these posts — a near impossibility — or, more likely, they’d manually screen each post. If a sex-trafficked victim posted about her experience, the filter would likely screen it out. Even manually, the administrator might worry mentioning sex trafficking can be seen as facilitating it.

    The idea that Web sites will become responsible for every posting by anyone on their site has far-reaching implications even for sites that have nothing to do with sex work.

    Additionally, the language of the bill is broad enough that many are reading it to include facilitation of all prostitution.

    At Reason, Elizabeth Nolan Brown notes that what the bill “means in practice is that social media sites such as Snapchat and Facebook, classified ad sites such as Craigslist and Backpage, chat apps, search engines, and many other communication tools could be both criminally charged and sued in civil court — by individuals or by states — anytime anyone uses them to meet someone with whom they would eventually engage in commercial sex.”

    The bill could also snag sex workers simply sharing information online, like warning others about a dangerous john.

  17. Darryl W Perry

    LPCT convention called to order at 1:43p

    Chair said 2 people wanted to be credentialed who were unable to do so… question about criteria; Chair stated delegates required to be dues paying members AND registered LP voters
    someone is challenging the criteria

  18. Darryl W Perry

    Discussion about modifying the size of SEC
    someone asked about amending bylaws to modify quorum, Chair ruled there was no notice given for such an amendment

    motion to set SEC at 20 members
    members speaking against increasing the SEC beyond the current number

  19. Darryl W Perry

    Motion to accept all 18 candidates onto the SEC
    one person withdrew… another person was listed twice, so there are now 17 candidates to be elected to the SEC
    motion passes

  20. Darryl W Perry

    Dan Reale re-elected Chair
    Roger (didn’t get last name) Vice Chair
    Heather Gwynn re-elected Secretary
    Jessie (didn’t get last name) elected Treasurer

  21. Darryl W Perry

    next order of business: fill two vacancies on Judicial Committee
    nominees:
    Carol McMahon
    Rich Lyon
    Carl Vasser

    question about the role of the JC, and current JC membership

  22. Darryl W Perry

    Motion to fill vacancies by electing 2 members to 1 year terms, 2 members to 2 year terms, and electing 2 members to serve 3 years
    motion passes

  23. Darryl W Perry

    Richard Lion (I spelled his name incorrectly earlier) & Paul Passerelli nominated for US Senate
    Lion speaking, previously ran for Mayor of Hartford, got publicity from Howard Stern

  24. Anon-Tipper

    Joshua Smith is suppose to be at the CT convention. Hopefully people there see him for who he really is.

  25. Anthony Dlugos

    yea, its not mind-blowing stuff, but its only 15 minutes and has an agreeable comparison between the early Christianity and the modern LP/libertarian movement.

  26. dL

    interesting podcast, especially from 9:45 on, vis a vi the pragmatic-radical debate within the LP

    The disagreements in libertarianism sort of put the disagreements in revealed religions to shame. While all the revealed religions have their sundry sects, they do nonetheless have some unified agreement on the savior and the devil. No such agreement in libertarianism exists RE: the savior(“private property”) and the devil(“the State”).

    If one insists on using religious analogies, the better one would be the more generic Abrahamic religions classification(i.e, Judaism, Christianity, Islam). All three share a point of origin to the Abrahamic patriarchal figure, all three share a common hellenistic philosophical influence, but they have no agreement on who the savior is(though all three sort of share a commonality RE: who the devil is).

    I would be remiss to point out that the first recorded use of the word “libertarian” is found in Joseph Dejacque’s letter to Proudhon, wherein Dejacque accused Proudhon of being “liberal, but not libertarian.” This was in reference to Proudhon’s misogynistic attitude toward women. The point being: Proudhon’s political philosophy was progressive, but his broader social philosophy was reactionary. Dejacque, of course, was an anarcho-communist.

    Now , I’m full agreement with Dejacque and Proudhon RE: the devil; but not so much RE: the savior. With today’s pragmatics, I have a staunch disagreement RE: the devil(pragmatics cling to a religious superstition of some imaginary thing called “the proper state”) but a relative agreement on the savior. However, if one adds IP to the mix, then even the agreement goes to pot.

  27. Anthony Dlugos

    “RE: the devil(pragmatics cling to a religious superstition of some imaginary thing called “the proper state”) but a relative agreement on the savior.”

    However, I don’t have a religious superstition of some imaginary thing called the state. The voters I am trying to appeal to do. That’s what matters in the political arena. In that arena, we can offer them a world of legalized cannabis provided them by the state, or a world of criminalized cannabis, also provided by the state.

    This is not to say the philosophical fight to unmask the imaginary power of the state is not a worthwhile fight. It is. Its just one that has to occur somewhere other than the political arena, where the imaginary is assumed to be real.

  28. dL

    However, I don’t have a religious superstition of some imaginary thing called the state.

    I assure you the state and state power are not imaginary things. I wish such things didn’t exist, but that wish would be a form of reality denial.

    The voters I am trying to appeal to do.

    If your campaign insisted on the nonexistence of the United States government, I doubt you would get very far…laughing stock would be more like it.

  29. Anon-Tipper

    https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/abolition-slavery-libertarian-thought

    What do people here think of this? The connection from abolitionist to present day libertarians through people like Spooner, Garrison, Douglass, etc.? Weren’t these figures always considered “proto” libertarians? So, I guess, I don’t understand the controversy. Do you think that focusing on this and other political factors could be a start of libertarians shifting away from conservatives?

  30. Anon-Tipper

    “yea, its not mind-blowing stuff, but its only 15 minutes and has an agreeable comparison between the early Christianity and the modern LP/libertarian movement.”

    I thought maybe comparing it to socialist movements might be a closer comparison with the ideological differences that are extremely deep (like social anarchists vs. state socialists). And we only stay united because the goals (or sometimes just the means) line up between the different groups.

  31. Anthony Dlugos

    “If your campaign insisted on the nonexistence of the United States government, I doubt you would get very far…laughing stock would be more like it.”

    As would a campaign suggesting its unnecessary and/or can be abolished.

    With today’s Radicals, I have a staunch disagreement: they are apparently arguing for the voters to give them/us access to an office they think shouldn’t exist. Its a bit hypocritical to make such an argument IN THE ARENA they are making it.

    I have no problem with a principled individual making an argument for the abolishment of the state, or coyly declining to answer whether or not a state should exist. I DO have a problem with someone joining a political party to make such an argument. By stepping into the arena of politics, you are affirming it should.

  32. Anthony Dlugos

    Anon-Tipper,

    I’d be interested to know how serious that Texas situation is. I can’t imagine why anyone with the set of beliefs held by those hard-right interlopers would want to “take over” the LP. Outside of Texas secession, they already have the republican party that believes all that crap, and is 10,000 times our size.

  33. Anthony Dlugos

    “What do people here think of this?…Do you think that focusing on this and other political factors could be a start of libertarians shifting away from conservatives?”

    Definitely a good podcast, Anon-T. The interviewee had some worthwhile insights into libertarianiism being a left-wing phenomenon, and why distancing ourselves from conservatives is an advisable goal.

  34. Anon-Tipper

    “Definitely a good podcast, Anon-T. The interviewee had some worthwhile insights into libertarianiism being a left-wing phenomenon, and why distancing ourselves from conservatives is an advisable goal.”

    Also, Bastiat sat on the left of the French Assembly.

    I think I have posted this before here, but Steve Davies from the IEA thinks we’re basically undergoing a political re-alignment with the right being the biggest threat to liberty right now which will end up pushing libertarians back to the left again.

    https://www.cato.org/multimedia/events/cato-university-2017-ideological-challengers-liberty

    I think we’re seeing it with the neo-confederates getting upset and leaving lately.

  35. robert capozzi

    Both left and right have optical baggage. Identifying as either is IMO a mistake, hamstringing the ability for the liberty to ascend in the public’s consciousness.

  36. Anon-Tipper

    “I’d be interested to know how serious that Texas situation is. I can’t imagine why anyone with the set of beliefs held by those hard-right interlopers would want to “take over” the LP. Outside of Texas secession, they already have the republican party that believes all that crap, and is 10,000 times our size.”

    I’m suspicious of that website though so I wanted to see if anyone here could confirm it, I’ve seen some weird anti-LP, anti-Sarwark, pro mises caucus stuff there (at least from what I remember, so I could be wrong). A lot of hard-righters have been trying to wiggle their way in, I think they might think it would be easier to hide their views, and a perverted view of what liberty is. (eg. some nationalists think that they’re fighting for “freedom” but that freedom is the freedom to hurt people)

  37. Anthony Dlugos

    “Both left and right have optical baggage. Identifying as either is IMO a mistake, hamstringing the ability for the liberty to ascend in the public’s consciousness.”

    No doubt about that. I think the debate over whether libertarianism is a left or right wing phenomenon is “inside baseball” stuff only of interest to libertarians. While I think the LP would have more success if we learned to extricate ourselves from attachment to conservatives, (and viewed policy through lefty sensibilities) I would not suggest publicly identifying, as in, “hey, we’re left wing!”

  38. Andy

    Why would anyone from the left want to come to the Libertarian Party, when they already have the Democratic Party, which is many times larger than the LP, and the Green Party, as options?

    Libertarianism is about property rights and the Non-Aggression Principle. I prefer the thin school of libertarianism, which keeps social lifestyle preferences out of libertarianism, at least as much as possible, over the thick school of libertarianism, which tries to mix in sets of social preferences with libertarianism.

    Libertarianism could have two people who vehemently disagree when it comes to social preferences, but they agree to peacefully co-exist via property rights and the Non-Aggression Principle.

  39. dL

    As would a campaign suggesting its unnecessary and/or can be abolished.

    Anyone who would run such a campaign would be being doing it for the explicit purpose of education with no expectation of winning or maximizing votes. The usefulness of such an endeavor is debatable. You, on the other hand, suggested “the state doesn’t exist” as part of a strategy for winning elections. The usefulness of that “strategy” is not up for debate.

  40. Anthony Dlugos

    “You, on the other hand, suggested “the state doesn’t exist” as part of a strategy for winning elections.”

    Must be some confusion. Not sure where you got that from, or why a self-avowed moderate would make such an argument.

  41. dL

    What do people here think of this? The connection from abolitionist to present day libertarians through people like Spooner, Garrison, Douglass, etc.? Weren’t these figures always considered “proto” libertarians? So, I guess, I don’t understand the controversy. Do you think that focusing on this and other political factors could be a start of libertarians shifting away from conservatives?

    I didn’t listen to the media presentation, but I imagine it had something to do with a twitter blowup a few weeks ago. Apparently, the New Republic, Jacobin Mag, Roosevelt Inst. et al got a hold of an older David Boaz column that crowned “abolition” as libertarianism’s greatest achievement. An article that had some questionable scholarship and questionable anti-slavery champions.

    https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/black-history-american-history

    Poor David Boaz was flummoxed by the delayed reaction…

    The bottom line: 19th century libertarianism, i.e, individualist anarchism, was throughly rooted in abolition. However, the “classical liberal” lineage typically championed by Cato and Boaz has a more complicated history with it.

    Why is this stuff being brought up? Because of the white identity politics of Trumpism and the extent that nonsense is associated with libertarianism. Another interesting thing…it seems a lot of those peckerwoods have dropped the “libertarian” label for “classical liberal.”

  42. dL

    Must be some confusion. Not sure where you got that from,

    “However, I don’t have a religious superstition of some imaginary thing called the state. The voters I am trying to appeal to do. That’s what matters in the political arena.”

  43. Anthony Dlugos

    Fair enough, that was poorly written by me.

    Frequently, I am dealing with Radicals who feel its their duty to educate the voters (as you noted), as to why the state is an imaginary thing that need not exist. Apparently you don’t take that position, and neither do I.

    My larger point was that a political party is not in the education business. We have to take the voters as they are now, and fashion libertarian solutions that fit their current frame of reference.

    The real problem with a Libertarian candidacy or the LP itself as an educational mission is not just that there is no way to objectively judge how successful such a mission is, absent the standard of vote totals. That would be bad enough. Its that the “Candidacy/Party as Educational Mission” people are saying from the get-go that vote totals do not matter, that the LP is on a different sort of mission than they typical political party.

    If they are not bound by a primary goal of winning elections, then they are impervious any argument on improving election results.

    As a moderate, I am all ears for ANY libertarian message that improves vote totals. I don’t care what the particular message is. Just prove it with higher vote totals. Otherwise, there is nothing to discuss. No matter how badly a candidate that thinks winning is not important does, he or she can’t be shown the error of their ways.

  44. robert capozzi

    Actually, the State doesn’t exist. It’s an institutional construct. It’s a network of individuals playing a game by written and unwritten rules. We could say the rules “exist,” but they have no mass. They are just concepts, albeit consequential ones.

  45. dL

    Frequently, I am dealing with Radicals who feel its their duty to educate the voters (as you noted), as to why the state is an imaginary thing that need not exist. Apparently you don’t take that position, and neither do I.

    FWIW, the position that there is no state is actually held by the classical liberal moderates in the public choice tradition. Public choice abides by methodological individualism, so the State is nothing more than a collection of individuals, each acting according to his/her own rational self interest. There is no singular entity called “the State.” I don’t concur with that point of view. Not anymore.

  46. dL

    As a moderate, I am all ears for ANY libertarian message that improves vote totals. I don’t care what the particular message is.

    That’s not true. IIRC, you recently commented on Knapp’s blog that you would leave the LP if it adopted a pro-life platform. Well, the pro-life position is not a trivial minority of the LP. And they claim that a broad adoption of the pro-life position would make the LP more palatable to more people.

  47. dL

    Actually, the State doesn’t exist. It’s an institutional construct. It’s a network of individuals playing a game by written and unwritten rules.

    Yes, that’s the public choice standard model, first elucidated in Buchanan and Tullock’s “Calculus of Consent.” But it’s wrong.

  48. dL

    dL,

    How so?

    For starters, CoC relied on logrolling(i.e, side payments, i.e, “you me a favor, i’ll do you favor”) to create a marketable property rights in voting. However, Tullock would later supplant that mechanism with the Tullock all-pay auction. The Tullock Auction, however, gives us a ready test for methodological individualism, namely the necessary constraint relationship:

    Rents <=Outlays. [I.e, participants overall play a zero-sum game(or a losing game with sunk costs) when rent-seeking government favors. Interestingly enough, that old Eddie Murphy movie, The Distinguished Gentlemen, was a pretty accurate depiction how methodologically individualist rent-seeking is supposed to work.]

    However, apart from the Hollywood depiction, Tullock himself empirically investigated that relationship in the late 1980s and found lots of paradoxes. Namely:

    Rents >> Outlays

    That relationship expresses lack of market competition, i.e, dominant coalitions, i.e, rent-seeking firms.

    And that was the late 80s. Today, I would say the easiest example is the business of National Security that absolutely follows the pattern of acting like a monolithic firm. The 9-11 Security State wraps almost every thing around National Security considerations. National Security and security clearances creates a huge barrier of rent-seeking entry. In a methodologically individualist setting, lots of money seeking favors gets spent but little gets done. In a firm model, lots of shit gets done and not enough money is chasing after the shit that is being done.

    To a man or woman, almost every single Democrat in congress calls Trump a fascist, or a stooge under the power of a foreign fascist or both. But the democrats overwhelmingly voted for the Executive to retain 9-11 mass surveillance powers. Now, how can one explain something that if the politicians are their own methodologically individualistic agents, each acting according to each’s own rational self interest? You can’t.

    Anthony de Jasay’s book, The State, perhaps is one of the better slayers of liberal/public choice contractarianism of someone like Buchanan. If Buchanan’s public choice has a government by consent bound by decision-making rules of unanymity (constitutional rules) redistributing a public good surplus, de Jasya’s public choice, to the contrary, has only manufactured consent, no public good surplus to distribute, and ends with a singular entity whose maximand is simply discretionary power.

    de Jasay,a native of Hungary, was motivated to explain the persistence of communist states that had no popular support, even among the communist party members. Today we might say, the 100% vs 0%. He wrote that book in the early 1980s, and if one had read it at the time, one might have concluded it was a good treatment of how communist states end up, but not all that applicable to how liberal democractic states function. However, when I did read it in 2008, I thought he was merely being prophetic RE: how all governments end up.

    That being said, de Jasay, to a large extent, assumes the state as a single entity, The Firm. We would then compare how the single entity would rationally behave–given the assumption–with what we see in the real world. Does it match up?

    If you are looking for a historical explanatory cause, Giorgio Agamben’s “The State of Exception” is a good place to start. It rips right through Buchanan’s constitutional decision-making rules like thin paper. The liberal state from the start has operated by a permanent state of exception, a permanent state of siege, one piled on top of the other.

  49. robert capozzi

    dL,

    OK, are you saying something like the INSTITUTION of the state has self-perpetuating rules and powers? aka the Deep State?

    If so, that makes sense. Still, the rules are not self-enforcing (unless and until AI becomes conscious!). The State still requires individuals to act to protect and extend the institution’s powers. If President Kokesh fires everyone in the CIA, NSA, etc., and he powers down all their computers, there Deep State is no more, I would think.

    The Ds voted for continuing Patriot Act provisions because they think it’s a worthwhile function, despite the fact that they fear and despise Trump. Similarly, there is much outrage from “progressives” that the State Department is “under-staffed.” Presumably, they net out their calculations and determine that continuing government activities despite the fact that Trump’s running the executive branch.

    A way to think of it would be: If I were in Congress, and a bill came up for the Coast Guard’s funding, I’d probably vote for it as the *least bad option*. It’s paid for with “stolen” tax dollars, and I don’t like stealing. I also don’t like some of the things the Coast Guard does. Nevertheless, all things considered, I think the Coast Guard is among the last government functions I would consider abolishing. For the time being, peace and liberty are better protected with a Coast Guard than without it.

    There may come a time when private Frankel Brigades can maintain domestic tranquility, but that time is not yet ripe. I vote Yes for the Coast Guard, with reservations.

  50. DJ

    SMH……

    RC: The Ds voted for continuing Patriot Act provisions because they think it’s a worthwhile function, despite the fact that they fear and despise Trump.

    Me: Worthwhile in what regard?

  51. Anthony Dlugos

    “That’s not true. IIRC, you recently commented on Knapp’s blog that you would leave the LP if it adopted a pro-life platform. Well, the pro-life position is not a trivial minority of the LP. And they claim that a broad adoption of the pro-life position would make the LP more palatable to more people.”

    Yes I did.

    I said I’d hear the message. I didn’t say I’d agree with it, or that I’d continue to associate with a party that decided on a message that I can’t asset to was the way to maximize vote totals. I think my message (a pro-choice message in conjunction with other libertarian policies), is the way to maximize vote totals. Somebody is right and somebody is wrong there, from the perspective of vote maximization.

    I’d rather deal with an LP full of anti-choice Libertarians who understand the primary purpose of a political party is to win elective office, than a Libertarian Party filled with pro-choice radicals/anarchists who think vote totals are irrelevant, or even just a secondary consideration. In the arena of electoral politics, their agreement means nothing to me if they don’t care about winning.

    Anti-choice libertarians whose primary purpose is to win elections can take over this party and get an explicitly anti-choice plank added to the platform. That’s okay with me. I can make my choice whether to stay or leave and the party can appraise the results of adding an anti-choice plank from the perspective of vote totals. There is a resolution to the matter there. The vote totals, party donations, membership #’s, etc, can be reviewed before and after the abortion plank change, compared with our competition in this market, and perhaps changed back. But what resolution can there be when one party is arguing vote totals don’t matter/are of secondary importance?

    Ridicule my “win at all costs” mentality. I can take it. Because what that attitude does is it separates the wheat from the chaff. What principles are you willing to give up to start winning elective office and move this country in a libertarian direction? If its none, I got no use for you. You don’t want it bad enough. Leave. For your own health, leave now, go start a think tank or social media outlet where winning doesn’t matter.

    I don’t want to hear any garbage about our little victories or the non-partisan offices we hold. Because to me, lurking behind that straw grasping…I don’t care how smart/well-read/well-versed in libertarianism the person is…is a philosophically “righteous” libertarian ready to unleash the NAP as the solution to everything, or some other absolutely untenable political position.

    As an aside, that holds true even if the radical puts in a hundred times more work for the party than I do. This has nearly zilch to do with sheer effort expended. Its got to do with what you’re willing to sacrifice to help the LP win. And that doesn’t mean time ONLY. We have a Hall of Fame of Libertarians down through the decades who spent their lives dedicated to the party. The result? Bupkis.

    You want to put out a soft drink that tastes like rat poison, you’ll get no sympathy from me for the 100 hours/week you spend trying to sell it. Your products sucks. Deal with it. A radical can run himself ragged collecting signatures/running for office/doing outreach, and if he/she is doing all that in exchange for holding onto a set of beliefs that are FAR outside the political mainstream in this country, then said person is doing more harm than good because what they are holding onto costs more votes than the work they are doing.

    Don’t get mad at me in that case, get mad at the arena the LP is playing in, which does not reward philosophical consistency.

  52. dL

    I said I’d hear the message.

    No, you said you would leave the LP and join the Democratic Party. Trolling libertarians appears to be your winning formula for political strategy.

  53. Anthony Dlugos

    Right. If there was no hope of recovery to a properly pro-choice party, I’d be out the door. If deletion wins by one vote, I reserve the right to contradict myself/be a hypocrite and stick around. Easier to flip that one vote than to change the Democratic party on multiple items.

  54. dL

    The State still requires individuals to act to protect and extend the institution’s powers.

    .

    Well, you just made my point. Glad you concur. That’s precisely why the standard methodological individualism of public choice is not correct.

  55. robert capozzi

    Me 1: Actually, the State doesn’t exist. It’s an institutional construct.

    dL: That’s precisely why the standard methodological individualism of public choice is not correct.

    Me 2: I wasn’t asking about “methodological individualism.” I was asking why you believe the State “exists.”

  56. Anon-Tipper

    dL: “I didn’t listen to the media presentation, but I imagine it had something to do with a twitter blowup a few weeks ago. Apparently, the New Republic, Jacobin Mag, Roosevelt Inst. et al got a hold of an older David Boaz column that crowned “abolition” as libertarianism’s greatest achievement. An article that had some questionable scholarship and questionable anti-slavery champions.

    https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/black-history-american-history

    Oh okay, I thought they had just mentioned the actual abolitionist, so weird.

    dL: “The bottom line: 19th century libertarianism, i.e, individualist anarchism, was throughly rooted in abolition. However, the “classical liberal” lineage typically championed by Cato and Boaz has a more complicated history with it.”

    What do you think about that thread (included in the tweet you posted) by Magness? With the connection of Villard to modern libertarianism that might be an actual link? (instead of intellectual link like to the individual anarchists and abolitionists)

    dL: “Why is this stuff being brought up? Because of the white identity politics of Trumpism and the extent that nonsense is associated with libertarianism. Another interesting thing…it seems a lot of those peckerwoods have dropped the “libertarian” label for “classical liberal.””

    Yeah, noticed that too. I’ve noticed a lot of conservatives using it lately also. Fine by me if they stop using libertarian.

  57. dL

    Me 1: Actually, the State doesn’t exist. It’s an institutional construct.

    dL: That’s precisely why the standard methodological individualism of public choice is not correct.

    Me 2: I wasn’t asking about “methodological individualism.” I was asking why you believe the State “exists.”

    I think it goes more like:

    you: The State still requires individuals to act to protect and extend the institution’s powers.

    me: That’s precisely why the standard methodological individualism of public choice is not correct.

    RE: Kokesh. Are you riding on the election of Kokesh as a countering factual to the State as a firm? In that event, i would have to concur. Indeed, I would eat de Jasay’s book while traveling on the back of a pig en route to the libertarian colony on Starbase 314.15 for free pie.

  58. dL

    What do you think about that thread (included in the tweet you posted) by Magness?

    As I mentioned, I think the classical liberalism derived from the English tradition has a complicated relationship historically with chattel slavery. I certainly wouldn’t cite Thomas Jefferson or John Locke as abolition champions given that Jefferson was, um, a slaveowner and Locke presided over the writing of the Constitution of the Carolinas.

    A more introspective piece by Boaz might have acknowledged the conflicts between freedom and property of the 18th century liberals, a conflict that was addressed and corrected by the 19th century libertarians(of course, Boaz does has a propensity to write out the anarchists from the libertarian canon).

    Nonetheless, it is a bit of fake history to claim libertarianism ended slavery. Every ideological group, be it the fundamentalist christians, the progressives, the state socialists, the marxists, et al, like to claim the credit for ending it. But the bottom line is that chattel slavery in the US was not ended by marketplace of ideas discourse; it was ended by a bloody civil war. And though the 13th amendment ended chattel slavery, it did not abolish slavery:

    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

    leaves a gigantic exception for prison slave labor that still exists in full force today.

    So, ultimately, the simple answer is that libertarianism can’t champion the end of slavery in the US because the US has never abolished slavery.

    With the connection of Villard to modern libertarianism that might be an actual link? (instead of intellectual link like to the individual anarchists and abolitionists)

    Oswald Villard, Garrison’s grandson? My recollection[verified by wikipedia] is that Villard was a FDR New Dealer. I wouldn’t include him the canon of “modern libertarianism” because that variety(the 20the century version) traces to the intellectual contingent that rebelled against FDR’s New Deal. That arc gave us Mont Pelerin, Ayn Rand, conservative fusionism etc which only split apart in the late 1960s with Rothbard, Karl Hess and The New Left.

  59. DJ

    I know y’all don’t give a rats ass what I say- but that’s okay. I know what I’m doin and I know what I’m sayin is right.

    As “a” libertarian (not to be confused with Libertarian) I say with all honesty- people (voters) don’t care about esoteric beliefs- and every conversation you guys start winds up there. Esoteric encompasses a multitude of beliefs. KISS does too. That is the key to winning votes. “Win hearts, minds will follow!” Simple is not spelled easy. Yes it means ‘someone’ has to step up and present it- esoteric arguments won’t choose that ‘someone’. A ‘common (fundamental) belief’ that registers will. KISS.

    I presented an example in the past and was compared to apple pie recipes- perhaps that’s true- but, it’s simple, easy to understand and registers with voters- so does apple pie. Apple pie is an edible and brings back fond memories, often from heartfelt pasts. Will it have an effect? Repeated often enough it will.
    The key ingredient for apple pie comes from apples, apples come from seeds sown, nurtured and cared for with follow up nurturing-repetition- esoteric endeavors result in different apples and not all are compatible in pies.

  60. dL

    As “a” libertarian (not to be confused with Libertarian) I say with all honesty- people (voters) don’t care about esoteric beliefs- and every conversation you guys start winds up there.

    Of course, no one should mistake a forum for an election campaign. KISS is fine, indeed preferable, for a election campaign. Personally, I like the elegant simplicity of “Fuck all the commies.” The wall builders and the gun grabbers. But you know it would get a bit old here if I all I wrote was, “fuck you, commie” or “amen, bruh.”

  61. Anon-Tipper

    dL: “But the bottom line is that chattel slavery in the US was not ended by marketplace of ideas discourse; it was ended by a bloody civil war..”

    Thanks for the reply, I think it’s also just too complicated to even try to trace “intellectual” history. I don’t mind us saying that we use the ideas of them, but others do to, some socialists like Thomas Paine for example, but that doesn’t make him a socialist. But yes, I think this point by you is probably the only correct way to describe what really ended chattel slavery.

    dL: “leaves a gigantic exception for prison slave labor that still exists in full force today.

    So, ultimately, the simple answer is that libertarianism can’t champion the end of slavery in the US because the US has never abolished slavery.”

    Yes! I was actually thinking about this yesterday. It’s horrible and only a few people talk about it and are generally written off.

    dL: “Oswald Villard, Garrison’s grandson? My recollection[verified by wikipedia] is that Villard was a FDR New Dealer.”

    He later came out against it: “He broke completely with The Nation, which he had sold in 1935 because it supported American intervention. At the same time, he became increasingly repelled by the New Deal bureaucratic state, which he condemned as a precursor to American fascism” then “After 1945, Villard made common cause with “old right” conservatives, such as Senator Robert A. Taft, Felix Morley, and John T. Flynn, against the Cold War policies of Harry S. Truman.” which I think is what Magness was talking about, in that he had contact and worked with them. Morley was one of the founders of the Mont Pelerin Society.

  62. DJ

    dl: Of course, no one should mistake a forum for an election campaign. KISS is fine, indeed preferable, for a election campaign. Personally, I like the elegant simplicity of “Fuck all the commies.” The wall builders and the gun grabbers. But you know it would get a bit old here if I all I wrote was, “fuck you, commie” or “amen, bruh.”

    DJ: I know y’all don’t give a rats ass what I say- but that’s okay. I know what I’m doin and I know what I’m sayin is right.

    Sadly Party personnel read here- and extrapolate- incorrectly or inaccurately is immaterial, the “factions” do influence campaign(s). The factions are esoteric ventures- or maybe adventures- either way doesn’t win hearts so minds don’t follow which translates to votes, which is what many of the back and forths are about- originally- but lost in the esoteric beliefs and factionalizing.

  63. dL

    but others do to, some socialists like Thomas Paine for example, but that doesn’t make him a socialist.

    Well, the only ones who don’t claim Thomas Paine are the fundies…for obvious reasons. IMHO, Paine’s anti-authoritarianism tips the balance for libertarianism to claim him from the proggies and the socialists.

    Yes! I was actually thinking about this yesterday. It’s horrible and only a few people talk about it and are generally written off.

    Well, I think more and more people are talking it about these days…

    He later came out against it: “He broke completely with The Nation, which he had sold in 1935 because it supported American intervention. At the same time, he became increasingly repelled by the New Deal bureaucratic state, which he condemned as a precursor to American fascism”

    Unfortunately, that quote from wikipedia is not sourced. I’m not an Oswald Villard scholar by any means..but the typical bio on him is a classical liberal founding member of the NAACP, a civil rights activist and a staunch opponent of American interventionism throughout…but later in life, during the 1930s economic depression, he abandoned free market economics for economic nationalization. He debated Ayn Rand in an series of articles published in newspapers nationally just a few years before he died.

    If he did become a critic of the New Deal bureaucracy just before he died, I don’t know if one can automatically count that as a deathbed reversal of economic nationalization. It could simply mean, for example, he objected to the MIC aspect of it

  64. Anon-Tipper

    “civil rights activist and a staunch opponent of American interventionism throughout…but later in life, during the 1930s economic depression, he abandoned free market economics for economic nationalization. He debated Ayn Rand in an series of articles published in newspapers nationally just a few years before he died.

    If he did become a critic of the New Deal bureaucracy just before he died, I don’t know if one can automatically count that as a deathbed reversal of economic nationalization. It could simply mean, for example, he objected to the MIC aspect of it”

    Ah I see, I think my understanding was off on how his views changed throughout his life. It was much closer to his death than I realized.

    “Well, I think more and more people are talking it about these days…”

    And hopefully more, ICE is terrible. There’s children being detained.

  65. Andy

    Oh my gosh, ICE agents are tossing out illegal aliens. That is just terrible. Every other country in the world does the same thing, but we here in the USA should just have unlimited numbers foreign migrants, even if they hold Marxist or theocratic views, and even if they are criminal thugs, and even if they come in and they and their offspring suck up a disproportionate amount of welfare money.

    This would never happen if we lived in a private property anarcho-capitalist society. Everyone knows that private property norms means that everyone should have unlimited access to property, and I’m sure this is what private property owners would do. (Sarcasm intended.)

    How Russia Deals With Migrants – You Don’t Wanna Go There

  66. Andy

    So in Mexico they reject most immigrants, deport illegal immigrants, and it is very difficult for an immigrant to gain citizenship in Mexico, yet they want the exact opposite here in the USA. What hypocrisy.

    Why does MEXICO reject IMMIGRANTS? – VisualPolitik EN

  67. Andy

    And here’s what the Israelis do when it comes to illegal immigrants.

    Israel tells illegal Africans to leave before April or face jail

  68. Andy

    Here’s a video from a speech that somebody in the audience recorded on their cell phone from somebody from the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) where the person giving the speech says that there has been a plan in place for a long time to make whites the minority in the USA. This wouldn’t happen to be a part of a commie globalist agenda, would it? Surely, there isn’t a political agenda behind this, is there? Who made this plan, when did they make it, and how come the American people were not consulted about this plan?

    Imagine going to say Japan, and saying, “I want to make the Japanese a minority.” or going to say Korea, and saying, “I want to make Koreans the minority.” They’d probably look at you like you were crazy, and if this person persisted, they’d kick that person out of the country.

    Oh, on a side note, keep in mind that the SPLC is currently one of the groups working in favor of censorship on the internet.

    SPLC Admits to planned White Replacement

  69. DJ

    LOL….. now you know how Indians felt- it’s called Karma….. and those other countries are one race/ethnicity- SMH- nothing like a little anglo arrogance- I guess you’re conveniently forgetting our past- reservations for natives, internment camps for Japanese, slavery for Chinese, discrimination against Irish, Italians or anyone “different”—– the cats out of the bag Andy- adapt or die. It is that simple. Oh, the fed reserve will insure it.

  70. paulie

    White Replacement

    LOL. Have you been hanging banners on the freeway?

    https://www.adl.org/blog/new-white-supremacist-tactic-banners-of-hate

    …Some used blatantly racist language, alluding to America as a “white nation.” Others used slogans or mantras (new and old) promoting the idea that the white race is under attack: “Anti-racist is Code for Anti-White,” “It’s Okay to be White,” “For Race and Nation,” “You Will Not Replace Us” and “White Lives Matter.”….

    ….Approximately 35 percent of the banners publicized anti-immigration rhetoric. Identity Evropa’s anti-immigration banners include language that aligns with mainstream far-right anti-immigration groups, with slogans like “Secure borders. Secure future,” “Defend American workers. End DACA now!” and “No more refugees. America First.” These phrases are a sanitized version of the group’s true aim, the preservation of “white American identity” and the promulgation of the idea that America was founded by white people for white people, and was not intended to be a multiracial or multicultural society…..

    ….In contrast to Identity Evropa’s more nuanced style, Patriot Front uses explicit and provocative language. The group opposes future non-white immigration to the United States and advocates for the expulsion of all non-white citizens, with banners that proclaim, “Deport Them All,” “Send Them All Back,” and “Americans are white. The rest must go.” Patriot Front members are avowed American nationalists, who believe their ancestors bequeathed America to them and no one else; their banners often include nationalist messages such as “Strong families Make Strong Nations,” “Reclaim America.” and “We are America,” as well as the self-promotional “Blood and Soil,” a right-wing nationalist slogan that also serves as the group’s website address….

    …The remaining banners were misogynistic, anti-Muslim, anti-black and political in nature. A Vanguard America banner bearing the words “Feminists Deserve the Rope” was on display at a January 2018 women’s march in Providence, Rhode Island. In February, Identity Evropa placed an anti-Muslim banner on an overpass near Dearborn, Michigan, warning drivers: “Danger Sharia City Ahead.” During the December Senate campaign in Alabama, the Traditionalist Worker Party used a banner to promote candidate Roy Moore. And last October, Patriot Front hung a banner near the Dallas Cowboys football stadium that proclaimed, “Take a Knee Back in Africa,” a reference to African-American football players who joined a 2017 campaign to kneel as a form of protest against police brutality and racism…..

  71. paulie

    SPLC Admits to planned White Replacement

    I’m not going to watch the video or fisk the internet to see if it was deceptively edited or deceptively characterized. I’ll just go ahead and say: you say that as if it were a bad thing.

  72. paulie

    Every other country in the world does the same thing,

    Coercively collect taxes? Regulate gun ownership and use? Ban some substances? Attempt to monopolize legal currency? Doesn’t matter, if they all do it it must be the right thing to do, right?

    We could just go back a couple of centuries and say they all have slavery, absolute monarchs, summary execution, and lack of rights for women. That would have justified all that too, in your mind – that everyone was doing it? Someone had to go first and say enough.

  73. paulie

    How Russia Deals With Migrants – You Don’t Wanna Go There

    You’re right, I wouldn’t. Glad my parents got me out of there. Too bad you are foolishly trying to make the US more like the country my family and I had to flee. Shame on you.

  74. Anthony Dlugos

    They must have gotten the signs on the freeway idea from the R3VOLUTION, given the crossover from that movement to the alt right.

    I remember the Paulbots putting up similar sized signs around Northeast Ohio during the 2008 Paul campaign.

  75. dL

    Wednesday March 21, 2018 will go down as Black Wednesday RE: internet freedom.

    (1) Congress passed SESTA, essentially a retread of the Communication Decency Act of 1996 reborn under the auspices “human trafficking.” The difference between now and then is that at the time, the major internet players opposed it. Today, they implicitly endorse it, viewing it as a barrier of entry advantage(ie, they can rely on machine algorithms to enforce statist compliance, whereas the smaller players cannot, sans renting the service from the major players). At the time, the courts struck down most of it as unconstitutional. Today, with the conservative Roberts court marinated in a generation of the 9-11 security state, who knows…

    (2) Youtube banned gun videos
    (3) Reddit, the supposed last bastion of free speech in the public internet space, mass banned darkmarket, drugs, alcohol, guns subreddits and instituted a new terms of use policy that bans any speech about any substance or any activity prohibited by the United States government.

    Now, I anticipate the beltway libertarian set will retort: private business can regulate their platforms as they see fit to maximize shareholder value. Well, that’s all find and good, but the moderately astute observer will notice that there will be nothing emerge in the capitalist space to fill the void. The void will be filled either by going offshore or most likely, via the dark net(Tor, IP2) route. Off the public internet, off the capitalist grid. So, one man’s “maximizing shareholder value” is another man’s “maximizing barrier of entry by government compliance.”

    There has been debate whether social media is killing the public internet. Perhaps the better question is whether social control media will kill it. And, as a reminder, there is no open web(web api as a platform) on the darknet. So much for that bit of tech evangelism. Lastly, feel free to burn Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom.” How quaint…

  76. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Don Grundmann is running for the Senate in CA. Here is his candidate statement. Note he’s stating “No party preference”.

    Don J. Grundmann | NO PARTY PREFERENCE

    A Campaign for Sanity. There is no such thing as “transgender.” It does not exist. What
    does exist are broken people who pretend to be the opposite sex and even mutilate
    themselves in the attempt. In our constitutional Republic we are free to be psychotic as
    long as we do not hurt ourselves or others but we have no right to lie to children and
    teach them that this mental, emotional, and spiritual pathology/sickness is normal,
    natural, or healthy in the slightest possible way. To do so is a very sick attack upon
    children and a form of child molestation. There is a massive Social Engineering campaign
    to normalize the soul pathology and social sickness of “transgenderism.” So-called
    “transgender” children are being used as weapons to attack and destroy normal/healthy
    children. The objective of these attacks is to warp and then break the moral foundations
    of increasing numbers of children so that both current and, especially, future generations
    will be manufactured into psychotics and destroyed. This must be stopped. The children
    of our state and nation must be protected from this monstrous attack. Please join the
    developing national campaign to save children from the transgender hysteria and to ban
    the transgender mutilation of children. Go to TheyAreAttackingTheChildren.org to join the
    fight to save our children from this war/jihad against them. And please join the
    Constitution Party—the last and only party in California which will fight to defend our
    children and families. Chairman—Constitution Party YouTube—USA vs Sodom Inc.
    59 Washington St. #152
    Santa Clara, CA 95050
    Tel: (510) 895-6789
    E-mail: stoptheirs@hotmail.com
    fight-the-power.org

  77. DJ

    Vast, vast majority?

    New Poll a Healthy Antidote to Adolescents’ Phony “March for Our Lives” Rantings
    (excerpts)
    The NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey found that the average American has an increasingly favorable view of the legal possession and use of firearms when it comes to self-defense.

    The key questions asked were: “A: Gun ownership does more to increase safety by allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.” Or “B: Gun ownership does more to reduce safety by giving too many people access to firearms and increasing the chances for accidental misuse.”

    Not only did 58 percent — nearly six out of every ten of those polled — answer “A”, those choosing that same question seventeen years ago was just 41 percent. Those holding for “B” by contrast, was just 38 percent, down from 52 percent in 1999.
    …………..

    The poll results, according to Benson, also clearly demark the division between far-left Democrats and the rest of America:

    Nearly six-in-ten Americans currently say that owning a gun for self-defense increases one’s safety. Heading into the 21st century, a majority of Americans believed the opposite. That’s a big swing. And tens of millions of people have put this belief into practice, with nearly half of all US adults reporting that “they have a firearm in [their] household.”…

    Less than one-third of Democrats agree with the new American consensus on this issue, placing the country’s left political flank far out of step with everyone else. Close to 90 percent of Republicans take the opposite view, as do roughly two-thirds of independents. [Emphasis in original.]

    https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/28583-new-poll-a-healthy-antidote-to-adolescents-phony-march-for-our-lives-rantings

  78. dL

    Microsoft apparently now has banned offensive content/language from it’s platform services, including Skype and XBox. It apparently reserves the right to sift through your content to enforce it. Will anything be in clear text in 10 years other than banal promotion(which will probably be written by bots)? Of course, how long until the major tech providers likewise flip on strong encryption?

    https://professional-troublemaker.com/2018/03/25/microsoft-bans-offensive-language-from-skype/

  79. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The connection from abolitionist to present day libertarians through people like Spooner, Garrison, Douglass, etc.? Weren’t these figures always considered “proto” libertarians? So, I guess, I don’t understand the controversy. Do you think that focusing on this and other political factors could be a start of libertarians shifting away from conservatives?”

    When discussing the matter with conservatives who claim a commonality between conservatism and libertarianism, I prefer to a little further back to Thomas Paine (libertarian) versus Edmund Burke (conservative).

  80. DJ

    JRM: Welcome home Prodigal Children:

    Me: I’ve read your “pillars”….. I also see you invoke God. I’m agnostic. Rights aren’t given by anyone because if given they can be taken. They can’t be taken, only restricted- usually by the self-serving who pretend “God” is on their side. I suspect that’s why the wording is; “Endowed by their Creator” but don’t let the words mean anything, R and D don’t either (Bush jr claiming the Constitution is just a god damned piece of paper- Nancy Pelosi claiming paper is alive- pseudo intellectuals making the simple complicated) My parents created me- “I” am libertarian and will not endorse or support any Party, in any manner- “I” will survive- in spite of if not to spite “groups” regardless of their “pillars”. But thanks for pointing out why, yet again, I refuse association with any Party- that means one has to defer to rhetoric which is used to divide- yet I do subscribe to the Constitution as intended- which was not, as far as I can tell, a deference to “God”- or man for that matter. It was intended to help ensure (as a compromise) that a gov’t didn’t use it’s clout to “restrict” impede or impair or make obstacles for civilian activity- period.

  81. dL

    When discussing the matter with conservatives who claim a commonality between conservatism and libertarianism, I prefer to a little further back to Thomas Paine (libertarian) versus Edmund Burke (conservative).

    Of course, the Paine vs. Burke debate was over the French Revolution, not the American one. Paine’s defense of the French revolution made him a pariah when he returned to America. He died in obscurity and really only has regained some measure of historical respectability in the last 50 years or so.

  82. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, the set-to between Burke and Paine was over the French Revolution (Reflections on the Revolution in France v. The Rights of Man), but that doesn’t change the fact that Paine was the libertarian polemicist whose Common Sense turned a rebellion for “the Rights of Englishmen” into an American war of secession and independence. Nor is it surprising that the political descendants and ideological disciples of the conspirators who betrayed and overthrew the American revolution (with the Constitution) are fans of Burke. I don’t consider it coincidental that Paine and Jefferson were both abroad in France when the Constitution cabal did their dirty work.

    Yes, Paine died a pariah, which shows just how far liberty-loving America fell and how quickly. And it never recovered. Within a century, the warmongering monarch of the moment, Theodore Roosevelt, was referring to him as “that filthy little atheist.”

  83. dL

    but that doesn’t change the fact that Paine was the libertarian polemicist whose Common Sense turned a rebellion for “the Rights of Englishmen” into an American war of secession and independence

    Yes, I concur fully. I think we are agreement here that Paine was the only founding father who was libertarian(I would perhaps include an unterrified Jefferson in Paris as well).

    Yes, Paine died a pariah, which shows just how far liberty-loving America fell and how quickly. And it never recovered. Within a century, the warmongering monarch of the moment, Theodore Roosevelt, was referring to him as “that filthy little atheist.”

    America is what is it is, but I do think Paine’s reputation has recovered somewhat. Sans the fundies(for obvious reasons), a lot of ideological groups like to lay claim to Paine these days. However, Paine’s anti-authoritarianism ultimately keeps him in the libertarian camp.

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yep. For me that’s the litmus test for “conservative libertarians” — Burke or Paine? That choice makes it clear which of the two is the actual descriptor. Because the twain shall not meet.

  85. dL

    Because the twain shall not meet.

    Except on twitter, where I have run across no less than 3 Trumpists bearing the moniker of Thomas Paine…

  86. Thomas L. Knapp

    The next sTrumpet I run into who’s a Burkean conservative will be the first. sTrumpets are what happen when you lobotomize progressives then feed them methamphetamine.

  87. DJ

    Damn-

    Samsung Wants to Wipe Your Memory So You’ll Watch TV Shows Again

    The memory wiping process is accomplished via hypnosis. Unspoil Me uses a 23-minute video and audio program developed by certified hypnotists Ulf Sandström and Fredrik Praesto. The site states:

    You decide what TV series you’d like to forget.Then you’ll be guided through self hypnosis in a digital audio experience, [led] by a certified hypnotist.

    The experience lasts about 23 minutes and has to be experienced without interruption. Therefore, we recommend you to use headphones and make sure you’re in a place where you will not be disturbed.

    Once you’ve completed the hypnosis it’s recommended that you get one night’s sleep before you watch your favorite TV series for the first time again in order for your brain to integrate the hypnosis with the rest of your body.

    https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/computers/item/28551-samsung-wants-to-wipe-your-memory-so-you-ll-watch-tv-shows-again

  88. dL

    The next sTrumpet I run into who’s a Burkean conservative will be the first. sTrumpets are what happen when you lobotomize progressives then feed them methamphetamine.

    When have modern conservatives ever been Burkean? Or Kirkian? Oh, I know there are a few stragglers over at The American Conservative, but Post WW II conservatism was rooted first and foremost in the necessity of an activist, totalitarian bureaucracy as an anti-communist bulwark. That’s not a particularly Burkean notion.

  89. dL

    It’s a helpful way to think about why Constitutional Conservatives aren’t truly happy in the Libertarian or Republican Parties.

    Of course, it might further helpful if you specified which constitution you are reading. The US Constitution doesn’t say anything about borders or immigration. But it does say something about “no religious test” for public office.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The US Constitution doesn’t say anything about borders or immigration.”

    Wrong. Article I, Section 9 specifically forbade the federal government to regulate immigration for 20 years. Article V forbade AMENDING that section for 20 years. And Amendment 10 forbids any power to the federal government not granted it by said Constitution. Which means federal immigration laws are, as they were understood to be for nearly 100 years, completely unconstitutional.

  91. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Post WW II conservatism was rooted first and foremost in the necessity of an activist, totalitarian bureaucracy as an anti-communist bulwark.”

    Well, post-Taft conservatism anyway. There was a brief period after WWII when many conservatives resisted that, until their movement was taken over by the Trotskyists.

  92. Libertydave

    The campaign of fear and misinformation against guns the media and government is waging reminds me of the campaign of fear and misinformation the media and government waged in the 1930 against marijuana.

  93. Anthony Dlugos

    the issue definitely gets me thinking about Jonathan Haidt’s research on moral judgement: automatic processes on the two sides rather than conscious reasoning.

    The two side use reasoning to find evidence to support their initial intuitions

  94. paulie

    Note he’s stating “No party preference”.

    He has no choice since the CP is not a recognized party. Note however that the statement itself refers to the CP.

  95. DJ

    Some History

    By creating Pennsylvania, Penn set an enormously important example for liberty. He showed that people who are courageous enough, persistent enough, and resourceful enough can live free. He went beyond the natural right theories of his friend John Locke and showed how a free society would actually work. He showed how individuals of different races and religions can live together peacefully when they mind their own business. He affirmed the resilient optimism of free people.

    https://fee.org/articles/william-penn-was-americas-first-great-champion-for-liberty-and-peace/

  96. Thane Eichenauer

    TLK > Which means federal immigration laws are, as they were understood to be for nearly 100 years, completely unconstitutional.

    Thomas,
    I’ve seen you make this assertion for a while. Do you know of any immigrant or immigrant attorneys that have used this argument in court? I’d love to read about it.

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