Open Thread III For Discussions of Small ‘l” Libertarianism and Anarchy

liberty

At Independent Political Report, our mission is to post articles about independents or alternate parties. From time to time, however, an interesting article comes around regarding the philosophy of libertarianism or anarchy, both of which are topics which many of our readers have interest in. This thread is dedicated to those articles.

Feel free to add something you may find that fall into the categories of small “l” libertarianism, or anarchy.

Here’s one of my favorite songs by Rush, which seems somehow appropriate here.

106 thoughts on “Open Thread III For Discussions of Small ‘l” Libertarianism and Anarchy

  1. Mackenzie Nellis

    …I was about to go to sleep and then I saw this. And I had to say something. Because before my Facebook “Political Views” read “Justice Party” they were “Non-violent Materialist Syndico-anarchalism.”

    Quite a mouthful, that. But let me break it down: I’m about peace, and I believe in real, observable facts and also believe that they, and not ideals, truisms or dogmas, should inform our governmental system. And I believe that government is inevitable, as long as humans have relationship, but that there are systems for government that do not necessarily self-perpetuate. No tree grows forever to the sky, and similarly no state is destined for immortality. Along those lines, it is often the advancement of the state, at the cost of its citizens, that produces what Senge would “unintended consequences.” But the cost of the consequences of these moral imperatives for the presumed good of the state are counted in human lives, and human misery. I dream of a day when government serves at the pleasure of the governed, and when that government is no longer needed it would dismantle itself, ready to accept a new form.

    This was the great anarchic ideal that was intended by the framers of our constitution to complement the other great notions that form it: That we have elections and mandate term limits is a nod to the philosophy at the core of Anarchy. That citizens have basic protections of their privacy in the Bill of Rights is a nod to the best of the Libertarian philosophy. It is essentially Conservative that the President should have veto power, and that the Congress may oust the President, and by the same right all the checks and balances owe their inclusion in our national system to Hobbes and his ilk. So, too, our constitution demanding the government provide for the “general welfare” of its citizens has the ring of Socialism.

    Anarchism, Libertarianism, Conservatism, Socialism. Even Fascism, which (although it has so often been perverted by leaders) is essentially the notion of “E Pluribus Unum,” that when many individual forces are bound together they produce a gestalt that is greater than the sum of its parts, has a role to play in the shaping of a government. These -isms are ingredients that when mixed cleverly can offer a system that provides services for its people, without hindering the human spirit, fashioning enough order in the natural state of chaos that we can get on with each other in a civilized way.

    Which is the most mistunderstood facet of the puzzle of Anarchy: that it does not inevitably lead to chaos. Is it any surprise that throughout history leaders have aimed to persuade us that we needed leaders, and that they themselves should be that leader, and that when they are leaders they should be afforded increasing amounts of power to secure the promise of civilization that government can offer? But we who have a wealth of evidence to draw from, shouldn’t we know better? Leaders are best when they lead in the moment. A vision that springs from one visionary is only right if it ultimately entails a shared vision for the future. Because there’re a few more -isms that need to be addressed: Fanaticism, Fundamentalism, Exceptionalism, Nationalism. Each of these ideals introduce a toxic element to the political mix which, although it may be expedient for certain narrow short term goals of any people, inevitably create a public space unsustaining of human life and development.

    If the brave new world that leader forsees really does lead to a happier and more satisfying tomorrow, we should embrace it. When it doesn’t, throw the leaders out.

    -Mackenzie Nellis
    Justice Party National Steering Committee (..for the time being…)

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Mackenzie said “Which is the most mistunderstood facet of the puzzle of Anarchy: that it does not inevitably lead to chaos”.

    Thank you, and welcome to IPR! I’ll look for you on Facebook to see what else you have to say.

  3. langa

    [From the previous thread]:

    Talk to me about non-aggression when you’ve worked out an economic philosophy that is not based on the coercion of the many in the service of the few insiders who happen to hold ownership of the land and means of production.

    I’ve got a better idea: Why don’t you talk to me about inequality when you’ve worked out a political philosophy that’s not based on subjugating the rights of the individual in order to achieve some lofty social goals that have been determined by condescending intelligentsia?

  4. Robert Capozzi

    L: I’ve got a better idea: Why don’t you talk to me about inequality when you’ve worked out a political philosophy that’s not based on subjugating the rights of the individual in order to achieve some lofty social goals that have been determined by condescending intelligentsia?

    me: Digging yer sentiment, L, but jurisprudence was also “worked out” by “condescending intelligentsia.” Capitalism depends on jurisprudence, yes?

    Property and property rights are made up. If the rules are a construct, the outcome is a construct.

  5. langa

    Digging yer sentiment, L, but jurisprudence was also “worked out” by “condescending intelligentsia.” Capitalism depends on jurisprudence, yes?

    Property and property rights are made up. If the rules are a construct, the outcome is a construct.

    If, by “jurisprudence”, you mean common law, it actually evolved organically in the marketplace of ideas. It was not handed down by a cadre of central planners.

    Furthermore, the common law developed as a means of protecting the rights of the individual, while much of the progressive agenda views the individual as nothing more than means to an end.

  6. paulie

    From https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/04/open-thread-ii-for-discussion-of-small-l-libertarianism-and-anarchy/

    Talk to me about non-aggression when you?ve worked out an economic philosophy that is not based on the coercion of the many in the service of the few insiders who happen to hold ownership of the land and means of production.

    Actually, I think that is exactly what we have figured out. Green W/O Adjectives also writes

    As far as the [NAP] goes, maybe I could get behind some version of it in a ?freed market?, post-revolutionary situation?eg where there is rough equality of authority and people do not earn profits merely through ownership.

    So, we have at least a tentative theoretical agreement.

    GWOA agrees that our system could work in theory, and I agree that the present system in no way resembles a true free market.

    Here’s where we disagree:

    Any capitalist ownership model requires coercion?eg the dreaded ?government?. Such a model is not justifiable on principle but rather by pragmatics (eg, better than the alternatives).

    I may agree with the first sentence, but that’s only because I am one of the (probably minority of) libertarians who has little interest in rescuing the term “capitalism” from its usual context of corporate-government collusion. That is, I’m not in favor of it. I strongly disagree that it is in any way, shape or form justifiable, or that big government mitigates its problems rather than being part and parcel of them. I certainly don’t think it is better than the alternatives.

    The government corruption and imperialism we experience today are outgrowths of the capitalist system?eg rampant inequality of ownership and rampant inequality of authority. As long as there are concentrations of wealth as we see them today, the police and army are necessary to maintain them.

    That depends on what you mean by necessary. I agree that the present system requires them to maintain itself, but I disagree with any suggestion that the present system should be maintained.

  7. Eric Sundwall

    A lot of comments suggest that government is inevitable, so we should manage it under the aegis of X,Y or Z. The moral assumptions of that inevitability don’t seem relevant to those holding that line.

  8. paulie

    Right. If coercive monopoly government actually was was inevitable, I might agree that mitigating its harm would be situationally justifiable, because hand-wringing does not get rid of the problem. That’s cetainly not to say we should just lay back and enjoy it. However, I don’t accept the idea that coercive monopoly government is always and forever inevitable, or even that we won’t live to see a day when it isn’t. I am OK with harm mitigation in the meantime.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    L: Furthermore, the common law developed as a means of protecting the rights of the individual, while much of the progressive agenda views the individual as nothing more than means to an end.

    me: Are you referring to English common law? If so, it’s a rather small place!

    Maybe that was the motive, or maybe it was the landed’s way of keeping what they got through pillage and exploitation of the serfs!

    Then, again, we do have the rest of the world to consider. Was a perfect working “common law” system evolving globally without laws and intelligentsia molding it, sometimes to their own advantage? Is the law truly blind and fair, or biased and tipped in favor of those with means and connections?

  10. Vernon

    So many different open threads, including ones like this one with no relation to IPR’s ostensible subject matter; so little actual new news ….

    Notice how there are zero open threads about small-s socialism or small-g green politics or small-c constitutionalism, etc? How about an open thread on White nationalism? Not at IPR, of course, since it’s pretty much given up pretending to be anything other than a libertarians-only website.

    Regarding the decline and fall of Independent Political Report:

    http://88fourteen.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/independent-political-report-rapidly-circling-the-drain-how-about-a-white-nationalism-open-thread/

    It’s euthanasia time for IPR!

  11. Robert Capozzi

    pf, possible, but highly unlikely. More likely filtered from Jesus and Buddha would be my guess.

    Harm mitigation likely best starts with some amount of dysfunction was, is, and will be with us till we leave this mortal coil. And, in all honesty, recognizing that it’s 100% on the individual to label any situation dysfunctional.

    IOW, if you think the very existence of the state is tantamount to rape, you should consider owning that. It’s not on some metaphysical truth tablet somewhere!

  12. paulie

    if you think the very existence of the state is tantamount to rape, you should consider owning that.

    It’s a non-consenting relationship, although it doesn’t involve sexual penetration, except when it does (say, if you are Abner Louima or this woman or David Eckert or any number of other people).

  13. Robert Capozzi

    pf: It’s a non-consenting relationship,

    me: For you, and I respect that. I feel your pain. I advocate Nonarchy Pods for those who object to state-monopoly-provided semblances of domestic tranquility institutions. A one-way ticket to Somalia might be an option as well. 😉 Or create Andyopolous on some atoll somewhere.

    My guess is that the vast majority tacitly consent to such institutions, and would explicitly do so should any aside from a few thousand anarchists feel that it’s a question worth asking. If say 10% wanted to abolish the state, the question might start to seem relevant.

  14. paulie

    me: It’s a non-consenting relationship,

    rc: For you, and I respect that.

    For anyone, by definition. Otherwise it isn’t a state and doesn’t violate NAP.

    I advocate Nonarchy Pods for those who object to state-monopoly-provided semblances of domestic tranquility institutions.

    I advocate Archy Pods for those who don’t mind being “serviced” by a coercive monopoly state.

    A one-way ticket to Somalia might be an option as well.

    How about a one way ticket to North Korea or Myanmar for statists?

  15. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Robert Capozzi says:

    “I think the way I’d put it is capitalism requires a legal system, and a legal system implies a government. For me, the problem is not “capitalism,” but rather the legal system. Without a system based on fairness and transparency (and hopefully efficiently provided), capitalism becomes exploitative and malleable.

    I’d go further to say that a truly fair legal system is impossible. This makes capitalism wobbly.”

    I can agree that capitalism would work alot better if it was regulated by fair and transparent legal norms. The problem is that the rise of inequality (engendered by the “right of increase”, or the ability to earn profits merely via ownership) tends to undermine such norms in the interests of the wealthy. By controlling the media and buying off government, monied interests can indoctrinate the masses in their ideology and thereby slowly but surely erode the republican virtue that make a fair and transparent legal system possible in the first place.

    So what leads to the domination of a tiny capitalist elite? Lack of vigilance against rising inequality and inefficient, abusive business practices are part of it. The downfall of civic virtue is also part of it (a good illustration of the lack of civic virtue in the USA is our present mercenary army). As is the decline of cultural bonds and solidarity (the decline of religion, unions, community organizations).

    Corruption is inevitable without vigilance and virtue among the people and its institutions–and the capitalist elite will continually try to erode that vigilance and virtue for their own interests (eg profits)—if the people let them. Where there is no community organization, civic pride, or sense of a common good–corruption is inevitable. After all, why should the masses care? Why should they care about preserving a system where the means of production are controlled by a tiny elite and the masses are reduced to renting their labor to survive? Governments are only going to preserve the loyalty and respect of the people if they are fight against corruption and for justice–at present the government is a cabal of lawyers and lobbyists loyal only to the dollar, and is (justifiably) widely despised by the people.

    The anarchists argued that capitalism itself is the culprit and governments exist to serve capitalist interests–eg to sustainably halt the cycle of greed and exploitation we need to do away with exploitive practices like rent and usury and encourage the formation of collective and cooperative business enterprises. The anarchist ideal of no-government or no-rulers and the ideology of anti-statism may be absurd and unrealizable–but the principles that inform these ideals are not.

    I think there is a similarity between the type of liberty developed by the CNT-FAi (the most heroic exemplars of anarchism imho) and the republican vision of liberty developed by Renaissance philosophers like Machiavelli. Both conceive of liberty as more than just negative liberty. In both cases, liberty is tied with the good of communities and the ability of each individual to develop their faculties and humanity within the context of that community.

  16. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    “Why don’t you talk to me about inequality when you’ve worked out a political philosophy that’s not based on subjugating the rights of the individual in order to achieve some lofty social goals that have been determined by condescending intelligentsia?”

    Well I consider myself an advocate of libertarian socialism, which is pretty much all about individualism and securing the rights of the individual. It is true that the ideals of libertarian socialism are not the same as English common law. Libertarian socialism is a philosophy that is designed to benefit all people and not merely lawyers, aristrocrats, slaveholders, capitalists, etc. The “condescending intelligentsia” imho is the legion of lawyers and lobbyists propagandizing to maintain the status quo.

    Capitalism is an authoritarian, hierarchical system of economic organization that is not consistent with the authentic liberty of the masses–eg their ability of individuals to control their own lives and destinies and to develop their talents and faculties.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    pf: For anyone, by definition. Otherwise it isn’t a state and doesn’t violate NAP.

    me: Either/or thinking. But we can work with that. Do you doubt that, if asked, the vast majority would explicitly accept the institution that most call the government?

    Problem solved, then. Near-universal consent — NAP not violated. (Of course, the NAP is just a construct that maybe a million even know about, some of whom think it’s the first and only commandment!)

    Then the game changes to one of harm mitigation, a more productive and possibly successful endeavor.

  18. paulie

    Do you doubt that, if asked, the vast majority would explicitly accept the institution that most call the government?

    Stockholm syndrom writ large.

    Problem solved, then. Near-universal consent — NAP not violated.

    Close only counts in horseshoes, and you are assuming (incorrectly IMO) that actual monopoly government in all its particulars is accepted by most people. In reality, while most people accept a nebulous idea of government, many particular actions of government irk them. I doubt that most of the protesters at Tea Parties, Occupy events, Ferguson and other anti-police brutality marches, etc., etc., and all the people who sympathize with any of them are all anarchists, yet they all find some aspects of government that they don’t consent to.

  19. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Paulie,

    I can’t quite tell if you are more of a classical anarchist or an anarcho-capitalist. Personally, I don’t consider myself an anarchist, but I’m comfortable calling myself a libertarian socialist–that means (for me) that I largely agree with the ideals of anarchism but I have a pragmatic attitude towards acheiving them. And of course, the survival of the human species and the sustainability and integrity of our ecosystems must be the #1 priority for any rational political philosophy. I support liberty and affirm its moral and spiritual importance, but survival and security are also extremely important. These values keep me from endorsing a doctrinaire anarchist stance.

    If you do agree that the “right of increase”–or, profits from rent, usury, and the like–are not just or sustainable, and tend to lead to war, corruption, environmental degradation, statism, and the like, then we have areas of agreement, at least philosophically. Now, I don’t have the answers on how best to do away with such things. Simply banning them by law is not likely to work out. To really succeed in overcoming these practices and achieving a just sustinable econominc and political order,, a cultural/religous/values shift seems necessary–that is a bottom-up cultural movements consisting of unions, religions, or whatever else is necessary to create a sustainable, just, free future.

  20. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    On the subject of anarchism and libertarianism, a critical document is Benjamin Tucker’s “Postscript”

    POSTSCRIPT
    SSA.37 Forty years ago, when the foregoing essay was written, the denial of competition had not yet effected the enormous concentration of wealth that now so gravely threatens social order. It was not yet too late to stem the current of accumulation by a reversal of the policy of monopoly. The Anarchistic remedy was still applicable.
    SSA.38 Today the way is not so clear. The four monopolies, unhindered, have made possible the modern development of the trust, and the trust is now a monster which I fear, even the freest banking, could it be instituted, would be unable to destroy. As long as the Standard Oil group controlled only fifty millions of dollars, the institution of free competition would have crippled it hopelessly; it needed the money monopoly for its sustenance and its growth. Now that it controls, directly and indirectly, perhaps ten thousand millions, it sees in the money monopoly a convenience, to be sure, but no longer a necessity. It can do without it. Were all restrictions upon banking to be removed, concentrated capital could meet successfully the new situation by setting aside annually for sacrifice a sum that would remove every competitor from the field.
    SSA.39 If this be true, then monopoly, which can be controlled permanently only for economic forces, has passed for the moment beyond their reach, and must be grappled with for a time solely by forces political or revolutionary. Until measures of forcible confiscation, through the State or in defiance of it, shall have abolished the concentrations that monopoly has created, the economic solution proposed by Anarchism and outlined in the forgoing pages – and there is no other solution – will remain a thing to be taught to the rising generation, that conditions may be favorable to its application after the great leveling. But education is a slow process, and may not come too quickly. Anarchists who endeavor to hasten it by joining in the propaganda of State Socialism or revolution make a sad mistake indeed. They help to so force the march of events that the people will not have time to find out, by the study of their experience, that their troubles have been due to the rejection of competition. If this lesson shall not be learned in a season, the past will be repeated in the future, in which case we shall have to turn for consolation to the doctrine of Nietzsche that this is bound to happen anyhow, or to the reflection of Renan that, from the point of view of Sirius, all these matters are of little moment.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    In other words, the difficult truth that we have to face (and which was obvious to Tucker 90 years ago) is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few has past the point where simpe free-market reforms could mitigate the vast monopolies and inequalities. Some sort of “great leveling”—however ghastly such a thing may be to contemplate–will be necessary if we are to move forward unhindered by the forces of monied interests conspiring to maintain their position and keep the people in check.

    The anarchists of the past knew what we contemporaries have been brainwashed to forget.

    “We are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.”

    “I am a fanatic lover of liberty, considering it as the unique condition under which intelligence, dignity and human happiness can develop and grow; not the purely formal liberty conceded, measured out and regulated by the State, an eternal lie which in reality represents nothing more than the privilege of some founded on the slavery of the rest; not the individualistic, egoistic, shabby, and fictitious liberty extolled by the School of J.-J. Rousseau and other schools of bourgeois liberalism, which considers the would-be rights of all men, represented by the State which limits the rights of each — an idea that leads inevitably to the reduction of the rights of each to zero. No, I mean the only kind of liberty that is worthy of the name, liberty that consists in the full development of all the material, intellectual and moral powers that are latent in each person; liberty that recognizes no restrictions other than those determined by the laws of our own individual nature, which cannot properly be regarded as restrictions since these laws are not imposed by any outside legislator beside or above us, but are immanent and inherent, forming the very basis of our material, intellectual and moral being — they do not limit us but are the real and immediate conditions of our freedom” –Michael Bakunin

  21. Robert Capozzi

    pf: Close only counts in horseshoes, and you are assuming (incorrectly IMO) that actual monopoly government in all its particulars is accepted by most people.

    me: For you. For the rest of us, we recognize that it’s a relativistic, non-b/w world. Close is the best we ever get to anything, until we die and, if we’ve been good little boys and girls, we go to Heaven.

    And, no, I don’t assume any such thing. In fact, most DO likely object to some particulars to some extent. Wanting domestic tranquility, virtually all want a government in some form. Some might be open to no government IF it could maintain domestic tranquility in the here and now, in a world with high tech weapons and high speed transportation.

    L anarchists use one dimension – their moral code – and simplistically point to the unimaginable.

    You may want 99% to decamp to Myanmar, but we’d like to know what you are going to do with the ICBMs? 😉

  22. Thomas Knapp

    I second Vernon’s request for an “open thread on ‘white nationalism'” — subject to the same proviso as the “open thread on petitioners,” i.e. if you want to “talk about ‘white nationalism'” (as opposed to giving a “white nationalist” response to some actual topic), you do it there and nowhere else.

  23. paulie

    I second Vernon’s request for an “open thread on ‘white nationalism’” — subject to the same proviso as the “open thread on petitioners,” i.e. if you want to “talk about ‘white nationalism’” (as opposed to giving a “white nationalist” response to some actual topic), you do it there and nowhere else.

    I’m not necessarily opposed to it, if Vernon and all his other personnae stick to that thread (and no others) whenever visiting IPR.

  24. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    “I’m an anarchist free market anti-capitalist.”

    I see. I’m aware of this tendency but haven’t investigated it as much as I’d like. I respect how they’ve drawn inspiration from neglected traditions like Georgism and Individualist Anarchism. I have looked into the history of American individualist anarchism and came away very impressed with the theoretical rigour and historical knowledge of the participating intellectuals. I’ll admit an historian’s nostalgia for the period between 1848-1930something, about the time when radical unions were finally suppressed and the elites dug in.

    However I don’t agree with the hyper-rationalism or doctrine mania that characterizes someone like Ben Tucker. I have biases, but I’m open to whatever works. Experience teaches us to be wary of trying to graft a kind of rationalist model onto society–however reasonable it may seem in theory. So solutions should have an organic flavor, with a respect for the history and traditions of peoples. In that vein, as Mackenzie notes above, virtually all isms have something to offer because all of them are products of the people and their aspirations.

  25. OrlandoChris

    For readers in Florida, please do whatever you can to help Adrian Wyllie Libertarian candidate for Florida Governor. He has the best shot at winning as a Libertarian in my lifetime of 45 years here in Florida. It is a true 3-way race here which means he only needs 33.4% to win. Visit his website, contribute anyway you can and I personally think his super brochure program is very powerful. Thank you.
    Why vote between 2 known liars? Florida, we are fortunate enough not to
    be stuck picking one liar or the other this time. We actually have an
    alternative. Take advantage of the opportunity. Adrian Wyllie deserves
    my vote. He is a honest average Floridian just as you and I , that is
    willing to stand up and do something for the interest of all of us here
    in Florida. The other candidates both Republican and Democrat are owned
    and controlled by special interest, like puppets and will lie to your
    face to gain your vote, then continue the same old agenda that we
    complain about year after year. Time to get off this merry-go-round,
    election after election, thinking it will be any different. Take a
    stand, vote for the candidate that loves this state and is willing to
    take time out of his life, effort and money to SERVE the people of
    Florida and stop voting for these ‘paid for’ career politicians that are
    only out for money and fame and have zero interest in us Floridians.
    Even if it’s just for honesty alone, vote for Adrian Wyllie instead of
    the other two (Scott/Crist) which are proven liars. The choice is yours
    and yours alone, if you want the same old corruption and slap in the
    face, go ahead and vote for one of the two puppets (Scott/Crist) OR do
    what is right for our (yours and your children’s) future and vote for
    Adrian Wyllie. Support him by donating to his campaign, spreading the
    word and contribute to the super brochure program which I think is very
    powerful. Visit his website today

  26. paulie

    However I don’t agree with the hyper-rationalism or doctrine mania that characterizes someone like Ben Tucker. I have biases, but I’m open to whatever works.

    Me too.

    I suspect we’re like two blind people trying to describe the same elephant.

    My concern is with concentrations of power, whatever form they may take, and I tend to think they reinforce each other and “one hand washes the other” rather than balance each other out as many presume.

  27. paulie

    Thanks OrlandoChris. LP.org has this:

    http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/florida-libertarian-completes-brewery-tour


    ImageLibertarian Adrian Wyllie, running for governor of Florida, has completed his 30-day campaign tour of Florida craft breweries.

    In a story about Wyllie’s visit, Panama City’s News Herald writes:

    At the heart of his campaign, Wyllie strives to uphold constitutional basics and minimize government intervention across the board on all economic and social issues.

    Read the whole article.

    Wyllie has polled as high as 9 percent in the race.

    Other prominent Florida Libertarians include Lucas Overby and Ray Netherwood, running for Congress, and Bill Wohlsifer, running for attorney general. See a list of Florida candidates.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    A, thanks. I watched almost all of this. At first, I thought it was a comedy act, but then I realized LR is deadly serious with these words.

    Has he been asked the question about pushing the button? If there was a button to push that would immediately end government, would you push it?

    Has anyone brought the concept of Nonarchy Pods to LR? While he’s operating on simplistic, dualistic, “moral” level, I think he might find Nonarchy Pods a liberating concept. He could secede onto his property to avoid entirely domestic tranquility matters.

  29. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “Has he been asked the question about pushing the button? If there was a button to push that would immediately end government, would you push it?”

    I do not know if he has ever been asked this question. My guess would be that if such a button existed, that he would push it, but you or somebody else would have to ask him.

    I actually did meet Larken Rose a couple of times. He seemed like a really good guy.

    “Has anyone brought the concept of Nonarchy Pods to LR? While he’s operating on simplistic, dualistic, ‘moral’ level, I think he might find Nonarchy Pods a liberating concept. He could secede onto his property to avoid entirely domestic tranquility matters.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by Nonarchy Pods. Would this be like my Libertarian Zone concept which I have posted about on this site? I did bring up the idea to Larken Rose the second time I met him in person, but it was brought up as a side note during a long conversation and I don’t think that I got deep enough into the concept with him for him to really know what he thinks of the concept, or at least my version of what it would take for a Libertarian Zone to exist.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    Andy, yes, the NPs are kinda like your LZs. The difference is that I would support the ability of an individual to simply opt-out of the nation-state he or she resides in by declaring him- or herself sovereign on his or her property. The nation-state may opt to barricade the Podster onto his or her new nation of one. Contiguous NPs could create LZs, I suppose.

    The other difference would be that NPs need not be L, per se. Anyone who objects to the nation-state for any reason could establish an NP.

  31. langa

    Here’s a fairly big story that’s been floating around Facebook the past couple of weeks:

    http://www.vice.com/read/atlas-mugged-922-v21n10

    This is only surprising to two groups of people: the few who believe that a stateless society would be some sort of utopia, and the many who wish to use that “belief” as the basis for a straw man argument about the futility of ever abolishing the state.

    Meanwhile, anyone with an ounce of common sense realizes that getting rid of the state would not get rid of opportunistic con men. It would simply insure that said con men aren’t elected to public office.

    In other words, anarchy doesn’t eliminate evil; it just prevents the institutionalization of it.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    L: In other words, anarchy doesn’t eliminate evil; it just prevents the institutionalization of it.

    me: …until it collapses (if it ever could be miraculously established!) and a “stated” society re-establishes itself. I’d like to see a stateless society that has the institutions necessary to maintain a civil society, but since “evil” cannot be eliminated, as Langa confesses, it will re-assert its influences on said institutions, stateless or not!

    Even tougher would be statelessness with NO institutions. That is otherwise known as the state of nature!

  33. Robert Capozzi

    TY, PF. Could not have said it better myself!

    Of course, in the context of IPR, I might be positioned as a contrarian contrarian! But, in my defense, I recognize that not all who believe there’s a right to tote machine guns in the subway are necessarily Truthers or pedophile apologists. I do my best to be fair-minded….

  34. paulie

    Well, I didn’t say it, but I thik the article does have a point.

    As for toting on the subway, we have had that discussion, and I think we can move on. Ultimately I’d go to private subways, and it would be up to the owners, although we can have differences of opinion on how government can balance rights and risks in the meantime. I’ll grant there is no correct answer there, since the fact that government owns it to begin with has already introduced a problematic element.

  35. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    RC said: “Of course, in the context of IPR, I might be positioned as a contrarian contrarian!”

    I’m glad you finally realized that. IMO, you might make your points better if you picked your battles a little better, and weren’t contrary to just about everything.

  36. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Yeah, I am, too, but I thought this was a good opportunity to make a point to Capozzi that I’ve been trying to make for a while.

  37. langa

    I’d like to see a stateless society that has the institutions necessary to maintain a civil society, but since “evil” cannot be eliminated, as Langa confesses, it will re-assert its influences on said institutions, stateless or not!

    First, I didn’t “confess” anything, as that term implies that I have, at some point, promoted or defended the idea that anarchy would, in fact, eliminate evil. I’ve never claimed any such thing.

    Second, for someone who spends so much time going on about the epistemological uncertainty that is inherent in life, you certainly seem quite confident in your own ability to predict the future.

  38. langa

    I thik the article does have a point.

    It may have a point, but if it does, i fail to see it. Consider, for example, this part:

    “All that’s left is to take the red pill and step into a world of radical free thought where everything is open to question.”

    He says that as if questioning assumptions is a bad thing. Furthermore, he then goes on to set up a false dichotomy, in which we have two choices: accept conventional wisdom unthinkingly, or else reject all of it, out of hand. He never seems to consider the possibility that one can question every assumption, and find that some of them are right, while others are wrong.

    For example, he says:

    “The worst flaw in the contrarian trap is that it makes libertarians open to views that deserve to be unpopular and despised, including the thinly-veiled racism of the sort the Hans Hermann Hoppe trades in from time to time. The social democratic left can’t just be wrong about the state, they have to be wrong about everything, and obviously wrong at that.”

    Notice that in the first sentence, libertarians are merely “open” to such ideas, while in the second sentence, they have wholeheartedly bought into them.

    In other words, in his zeal to avoid being a “contrarian”, he goes much too far in the opposite direction, and apparently endorses the uncritical, reflexive rejection of all unpopular ideas. After all, if the vast majority of people agree on something, then they must be right. Never mind the fact that at one time, the vast majority of people agreed that the Earth was flat, or more recently, the vast majority of people agreed that slavery was natural and normal, or even more recently, the vast majority of people agreed that homosexuality was a form of mental illness.

    Obviously, we libertarians should take this guy’s advice and just stop with all this “contrarian” questioning of assumptions. After all, that’s no way to make friends and influence people, is it?

  39. paulie

    i fail to see it

    Well, nobody can succeed all the time.

    Obviously, we libertarians should take this guy’s advice and just stop with all this “contrarian” questioning of assumptions.

    Didn’t get that out of it at all. Contrarian is being ornery just for the sake of being ornery, not merely questioning assumptions.

    Anyway, as I said, I am argued out. Someone else can take it up, or not.

  40. langa

    Didn’t get that out of it at all.

    You must not have read it. I don’t know how anyone could get anything else out of it.

    Also, I find it highly ironic that lefties now seem to be arguing that there are certain “sacred cows” that should never be challenged. That seems like just about the most reactionary, conservative position imaginable.

  41. langa

    Oh, one more thing: People (on the right or the left) who view libertarianism as just another tool for fighting the “culture war” should probably take some time to really think about the implications of the NAP. Are you sure you really support freedom, or do you just support the consequences you think it would entail?

  42. Robert Capozzi

    L: Second, for someone who spends so much time going on about the epistemological uncertainty that is inherent in life, you certainly seem quite confident in your own ability to predict the future.

    me: Thanks. Yes, “cannot” is too definitive. “Evil”/dysfunction has thus far been part of the human condition, and it shows no signs of receding anytime soon.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    L: In other words, in his zeal to avoid being a “contrarian”, he goes much too far in the opposite direction, and apparently endorses the uncritical, reflexive rejection of all unpopular ideas. After all, if the vast majority of people agree on something, then they must be right.

    me: I’m not sure, but I don’t get that that’s what KV is saying. The way I’d put it is that — in one’s mind — EVERYTHING is on the table and possible, even HHH’s bizarre views on race. It’s OK, I’d even say encouraged, to privately consider his points with an open mind. In my case, I have, and I find HHH’s ideas deeply flawed.

    In public, however, it’s wise to recognize what subjects are taboo and what are not. If one actually wants lessarchy to prevail, one can and should focus on the non-taboo subjects.

  44. paulie

    You must not have read it.

    Read the whole thing twice.

    Are you sure you really support freedom, or do you just support the consequences you think it would entail?

    I view the two as inextricably linked. In other words I see no way to have either without the other.

  45. paulie

    The way I’d put it is that — in one’s mind — EVERYTHING is on the table and possible, even HHH’s bizarre views on race. It’s OK, I’d even say encouraged, to privately consider his points with an open mind. In my case, I have, and I find HHH’s ideas deeply flawed.

    In public, however, it’s wise to recognize what subjects are taboo and what are not. If one actually wants lessarchy to prevail, one can and should focus on the non-taboo subjects.

    That’s part of it. Another is the whole contrarianism for its own sake thing. It’s a real phenomenon among libertarians, and one of the reasons some of them flirt with racism and other base bigotry, because it’s somewhat taboo in many circles.

  46. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    One danger of (excessive) contrarianism (spl?) is becoming so cynical about the laws and the state that one starts thinking that persecution and/or ridicule by the state or law or powers-that-be is necessarily a sign of virtue. This inclines some to put excessive faith in the “cult-leader” types that the author refers to. I’ve had conversations with Libertarians who believe that climate change cannot be believed in because climate scientists are employed by the state and thus somehow “bought off” by the conspiracy. Other Libertarians rely on interpretations of philosophy and history by Youtubers of questionable integrity such as Molyneux without bothering to check their facts and/or logic, saying that official histories are controlled by nefarious state actors.

    There is good reason for people to be skeptical of authority in this day and age. But it’s important to keep one’s critical faculties intact and not get taken in by cranks just because they sound “contrarian”.

  47. paulie

    There is good reason for people to be skeptical of authority in this day and age. But it’s important to keep one’s critical faculties intact and not get taken in by cranks just because they sound “contrarian”.

    Exactly.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    pf: flirt with racism and other base bigotry, because it’s somewhat taboo in many circles.

    me: Somewhat? It might be slightly less taboo than pedophile apologism and private nuke advocacy, but I’d say racism is deeply taboo, for good reason!

  49. paulie

    I think they exagerate how taboo it actually is to try to make it out like they are being heroic in defying the powers that be by supposedly being “politically incorrect” when in reality they are only reinforcing the mechanisms of power.

  50. Robert Capozzi

    OK, PF. My sense is slightly different. The Ls who make quasi-racist statements do so to shock and alienate, while at the same time hide behind irrelevant statistics as a means to justify their sick position. Mostly, though, I see it as a form of self-loathing being acted out. They KNOW their ideas are unworkable, but to the extent they are attractive ideas, they engage in self-sabotaging rhetoric that ensures that the package of their ideas is discounted or outright rejected by the masses.

    Also, to the extent they are professional Ls, there is an element of crass fundraising motivation. By engaging in codes that appeal to haters, they can raise money from the hater crowd. (HT TLK).

  51. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    From The Liberator Online

    Grover Norquist: The Future Looks Libertarian

    One of America’s most influential Republican leaders says that libertarians are winning big victories, creating new coalitions, and seem to be the wave of the future.

    Grover Norquist is the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). His article “Beyond Rand Paul: The Libertarians Are Coming” at OZY.com begins this way:

    “They’re no longer on the fringes. The libertarians are now officially mainstream. Proof? The New York Times Magazine [in its August article ” Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?”] cites the popularity of Republican Sen. Rand Paul and opposition to American ‘boots on the ground’ in Syria and Iraq.

    “But it’s much more than a moment. It’s the culmination of a powerful narrative building over the past 30 years in American politics. This is a movement — and it doesn’t live or die on the shoulders of one policy or one individual.

    “What is notable is that regardless of whether an issue originates from the right or left, the side able to grab the mantle of liberty has advanced against all odds.

    “So forget ‘moment.’ Think trend. And consider the once-impossible political shifts that have taken place over the past 30 years. The relevant dividing line is not right versus left or Republican versus Democrat but the expansion of individual liberty versus whatever and whosoever stands in the way.”

    Norquist gives four examples of major libertarian policy shifts in recent years: support for freedom of choice in education, gay rights, marijuana legalization, and the right to keep and bear arms.

    Concludes Norquist:

    “These four radical, unthinkable expansions of individual liberty are not liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. All flow from the small ‘l’ libertarian, live and let live, leave us alone, ‘laissez-nous faire’ attitude. Four movements calling for increased individual liberty while their opponents explained — with hundreds if not thousands of years of tradition and history to back them up — that society should have the power to control behavior for the public good.

    “One can see other issues that follow this trend. Uber against the taxi regulators. Airbnb. Lyft. Bet and invest on the side advancing liberty.

    “A libertarian moment? No. A trend. A long-term trend with no obvious roadblock in sight.”

  52. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    http://libertycrier.com/5-anti-libertarian-tv-shows-ever/

    This is fluff, but, hey, I’ll play. I’ll start by nominating one of my favorite shows as being terribly unlibertarian: “Criminal Minds”: they burst into places without search warrants all the time. However the characters are good (a couple are handsome, too!), and the plots are often surprising.

  53. paulie

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_wMTrVfv8c

    According to a FB post:

    A 17 Year old boy Made a Song Called C.O.P (Criminals of Permission) And It Went Viral All Over Social Media The Same Day. Later That Week The Boy Went Missing After School And Was Found Dead The Next Morning On The Side Walk Miles From Were He Lived. At The Very Last Seconds Of His Song He Says “You’ll Probably Find Me And Kill Me With Permission.” The Police Still Have Not Released Any Additional Info At This Time.

  54. paulie

    I don’t see it as a contradiction. I’m all for direct action and counter-economics, but political activity still reaches many people that the other methods don’t, and if you choose to ignore government that does not mean government will choose to ignore you. Nor is there anything new in anti-electoral politics anarchism.

  55. Robert Capozzi

    pf, sure. And let’s not forget that no matter what quasi-freedoms can be carved out off the grid, the State still has all them thar weapons!

    Love this quote, btw, “Some of you are still fighting in the political arena,” he said, “but the point is to be a living example of whatever truth it is you believe in.”

    One COULD be a living example of one’s truth IN the political arena, at least in theory.

  56. Jill Pyeatt

    The statement “the point is to be a living example of whatever truth it is you believe in” is of utmost importance to me. I fear many people in the liberty movement forget this incredibly important basic rule.

  57. paulie

    The statement “the point is to be a living example of whatever truth it is you believe in” is of utmost importance to me. I fear many people in the liberty movement forget this incredibly important basic rule.

    Agreed with both parts of that.

  58. Robert Capozzi

    It’s also the case that IF one’s truth is eccentric (which is OK), one should have the self-awareness to not attempt to engage in politics.

  59. paulie

    I don’t think that’s true. My ultimate goals may be extreme, but I can still engage in political action, usually to achieve more intermediate goals, but sometimes as a different type of educational tactic, to reach many people that other types of educational efforts don’t reach.

  60. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Apparently Mr. Capozzi has never heard of “eccentric” people like Martin Luther King, Jr, or Ghandi, or even a man like Ron Paul. I prefer to think of people like that as visionaries. We need people like that so that incrementalists know what direction to go in.

  61. Robert Capozzi

    JP, um, yes I have heard of them. MLK was not a politician that I know of, though. Whether RP was an example of his truth or not is an open question in my mind. I think he used the Constitution as a shield to deflect/hide his real agenda.

    OTOH, he did say this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtNc-IFJPU0

    PF’s differentiation between “ultimate” and “intermediate” goals is, I think, important. He may want to abolish all street signs ultimately, for example, but I do think he could live his truth by saying that he’d like to America adopt X policies to free up traffic, if the subject came up.

    Alternatively, he might go the macho flash route and engage in civil disobedience at a press event in which he went around pulling up street signs to get arrested on camera. 😉

  62. langa

    I have mentioned here a few times previously that in my opinion, the primary threat to the future of libertarianism will come not from the Right, but from the Left. The reason for this is not that the Left is any more hostile to freedom than the Right (actually, I think they’re probably about equally hostile, albeit it somewhat different ways). Rather, it’s because the Left has far more influence (especially among young people) on what ideas are considered to be (un)acceptable.

    Here is an article that gives several examples of the degree to which young people have been thoroughly (and perhaps inexorably) indoctrinated by the Left Authoritarian Thought Police:

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9376232/free-speech-is-so-last-century-todays-students-want-the-right-to-be-comfortable/

    And even though the examples in that article come from the UK, I’m afraid the US is headed down the same frightening path, as illustrated by this recent debacle at Brown University:

    http://reason.com/archives/2014/11/26/is-challenging-rape-culture-claims-an-id/

  63. langa

    I’ve been commenting here under the same name since 2008. Why the hell do my comments suddenly need to be moderated?

  64. paulie

    More than one link in the same comment. It’s setting of the spam filter which is automated and which I don’t control anymore. Write wredlich@gmail.com to get it changed, post links in separate comments, or wait until I wake up and approve your comment (something I can still do) or one of the other IPR editors does.

  65. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I pull them out as soon as I csee a comment is pending. I stay up late on the west coast, so a comment is usually not there more than a couple hours because mostof the other editors live in a different time frame.

  66. langa

    OK, thanks for the explanation. In the future, I’ll try to limit myself to one link per comment.

    It does, however, seem ironic that one of them was a link to Reason, given that there’s a link to their blog on every page of IPR. I guess the filter thinks IPR is spamming itself!

  67. paulie

    The automated spam filter is not smart enough to analyze what the links are to. All it can determine is that there is more than one link in the comment. Multiple links are frequently used in spam comments, which I can see in the filter – we get maybe a hundred an hour on average. It will also flag you if your screen name and email don’t both exactly match a previously approved comment, even if it’s just a small typo. Every once in a while it just makes mistakes for no obvious reason.

    Personally I think setting it at two links is a bit overboard – I used to set it at five – but it’s no longer my call.

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