Liberty and Violence: A Paradox

By Steven Clyde

The World Health Organization, though incorrectly identifying “self-harm” as a form of violence[1], provides an otherwise laudable definition of violence:

the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation[2]

The question of primacy then for libertarians as it relates to liberty is as follows:

“Is using violence against non-violent individuals ever justified?”

A common argument is that violence is warranted when used to retrieve stolen property or to mitigate the acts of being defrauded. These examples still beg the original question, as both stealing and defrauding property are considered a form of violence itself; theft is clearly deprivation; theft is clearly intentional.

However, when “defensive violence” becomes conflated with“aggressive violence”, it becomes an obvious concealment for the true intent of the aggressors.

For example, if Robinson Crusoe shows up on an island and claims a coconut tree for himself (among many), and someone else shows up and tries to claim the same tree, it would be argued that “Crusoe is inherently violent. If someone seeks to access “his” tree”, which is given to all of us by nature, he will use violence.”

It is not asked, however, “why is person B attempting to use the tree Crusoe has claimed and begun to care for when 1.) there are plenty of other trees around to homestead, and other islands for that matter and 2.) it has been expressed that conflict will unnecessarily arise.

It cannot be taken seriously that there is real concern over scarce resources being oppressively utilized, but only that a desire to encourage conflict is prevalent in the first place; the lust of another’s source of happiness, in other words, seeks to downplay the sacrifices and time preferences of people enhancing their lives.

Yet many examples exist outside of Crusoe’s fictitious island.

Continue reading “Liberty and Violence: A Paradox”

Libertarian Night Before Christmas

By Adam Tobias Magoon (twas posted on his Facebook page 7 years ago and he does not recall if he originated this or found it; either way it’s funny and IP is forced negative servitude)

Twas the night before Christmas, and all over the net

Libertarian infighting, as good as it gets.

The young cats and rookies, the intellectual debtors

watch left and right scrum over racist news letters.  
Should anarchists vote? Or is it a crock?

‘Wendy’s a statist!’ Exclaimed Walter Block.

Anarchists, minarchists, a matter of degrees?

You min-mins are fascists! Awaiting kings decrees!  
Atheist, Christian, Muslim or Jew

We don’t fight over faith, like statists do.

We prefer to fight over who should be ruling.

And private vs public vs un-or-homeschooling.  
Taxation is theft, and all war is murder.

Further consensus? Good luck, cat herder.

Even semantics are points for a schism,

Call it free-markets, or capitalism?  
Austria or Chicago? Friedman or Mises?

Is Peikoff the pope, if Ayn Rand is Jesus?

Konkin or Rothbard? What’s on your shelves?

Ah hell, what’s the difference, Ron Paul twenty-twelve!  
So on Hayek and Murray, on Ron and on Ayn.

On Ludwig and Milton! on Bastiat and Heinlein.

Let’s call a truce, friends, for just this one night.

Then on the 26th… libertarians…. FIGHT!

Tolkien was an Anarchist

By Carl Killough

A man who lived through WWI and understood the power of the state by his wartime experience: J. R. R. Tolkien. His works show a great spectrum of political power structures which span from pure and free to evil and controlling.

Tolkien was an anarchist.

Think about the journey from the Shire to Mordor:

The hobbits live in the freedom of the Shire. They have no formal government and live in anarchy. As they travel east, they witness varying levels of increasing control and corruption.

Rivendell is the perfect platonic republic under the care of the ‘wise rulers’. But it is rigid and constrained by Elrond. Its success depends upon the longevity and nearly incorruptible nature of the elves.

Yet Rivendell is a step down in freedom from the Shire. In spite of the strong will and high character of the elves, it is still Frodo, a hobbit from the completely free Shire who is selected to carry the ring. Even an elf would succumb to its power. If the Ring is state power, then only the most free can hope to survive it’s influence.

Orthanc and Saruman himself show the danger of trusting in a wise leader. When danger threatened from Mordor, Saruman took the easy path of bending to evil. His power was flipped from serving good to spreading corruption and death. When it came down to a choice, he chose power for himself over freedom, and even life, for others.

Rohan is a loose feudal monarchy held together by Theoden. Tolkien shows us the danger of a wise ruler being corrupted by evil through Saruman’s agent, Gríma Wormtongue. The nation nearly falls to the orc invasion because of the corrupting power of Saruman, Sauron and the Ring.

Gondor is a crumbling empire that has finally succumb to its own size and lack of wise leadership. The reigns of power still remain to be abused by the insane Denethor, Steward of Gondor. He becomes so desperate and trapped in his own madness that he refuses to call for aid. When Denethor commits suicide in despair, he almost drags down the people of Gondor with him.

Mordor should be obvious: Full power. Absolute control and absolute evil are equated through Sauron and the One Ring. The orcs march rank and file. There is no light except that of the evil eye upon Barad-dûr, watching to make sure every orc does his duty. It is the ultimate authoritarian state.

The Ring itself is power and control. We are constantly told through the books that it is unable to be wielded without succumbing to its corruption and thus spreading evil even in the attempt to do good. The power of the state is represented through the ring.

Gandalf is an embodiment of good but also an agent of power. Since Gandalf is good, Tolkien shows restraint in the way Gandalf uses his powers. Gandalf only uses his power when forced to do so. But he is stretched thin and cannot put out all the fires caused by the corruption of Sauron’s One Ring. The source of power can only be destroyed by the smallest and most free, a hobbit from the Shire.

Through Gandalf and the Ring Tolkien tells us that power cannot be fought by power. Power itself (the ring) must be destroyed, not through using force, but by letting it go. (Dropping it, releasing it, into the fires of Mt. Doom.) The right to rule must be let go, by not accepting it, and never using it, and thus destroying it.

Continue reading “Tolkien was an Anarchist”

Internet = Anarchism

In the Internet age, many users have failed to decode and decipher the grammar and mathematics of the world wide web.

There could be many reasons. One of the common reasons, which is frequently cited is “the internet is chaotic and incomprehensible”. 

Let’s not track the history of the internet, lest we bring up Al Gore’s spurious claims, but rather let’s explore the structural function of it. 

The ever-expanding and changing lattice work of billions and billions of inputs and outputs from millions and millions of users all over the planet boils down to one thing:

The internet is anarchism

Because the order – which it follows – is spontaneous.

The world wide web is not a function of the imposed order system. The whole spiritual feature of the internet is very much in sync with the autopoiesis (self-control). Continue reading “Internet = Anarchism”

Featured on the Battle for Liberty Podcast

Robert and I were interviewed by Mike Tilden at the Battle for Liberty to discuss what we do in our efforts to promote the ideas of anarchy and liberty through our show and websites.

Here is the link to the show:

He is a great host and produces excellent work documenting his journey in educating himself and his listeners as they fight their statist indoctrination in their very personal battles for liberty.

Look for him to be a guest on one of our shows in the coming weeks!

Vedic Anarchism

Once upon a time in India, voluntaryist societies existed. A voluntaristic society is that community where people transact, socialise and trade without fearing any coercion, hierarchy and taxtortion. In such a liberal society, people live tranquilly, responsibly and rationally because it empowers the cultural scope of spontaneous order and catallactic actions of all the participants or members. In today’s scenario, excluding the black markets, it is very rare to spot such open, free and transparent societies. Thanks to the government.

I am not an Indologist but I live in India. In this article, I do not intend to divulge the marketing skills of my authorship but helping my international amigos to know the features of Vedic anarchism. To begin with, the Vedas are a large body of knowledge texts originating in the ancient Indian subcontinent.

The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the Atharvaveda.

Composed in the Sanskrit language, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means “not of a man, superhuman” and “impersonal, authorless”. Vedic anarchism period existed in Bhaarat (India) between 4000 BC – 500 BC. But, in today’s time, in India as elsewhere, the anarchist thought is widely misunderstood. As Bhagat Singh (1907–1931), one of the few Indian revolutionaries who had explicit anarchist leanings, put it:

The people are scared of the word anarchism. The word anarchism has been abused so much that even in India revolutionaries have been called anarchist to make them unpopular.”

Vedic anarchism is a fearless trek into the unknown. Since it throws out the imposed normative ideals of other political philosophies, Vedic anarchism prescribes complete sacrifice of the ego of a politically-driven mind. It forebodes the usual prescriptions and solutions for society’s ills and trusts the forces of cooperative effort, mutual respect, and mutualism will do better. It’s the respect for the limits of human reason, the fallibility of human power, the unlikely, but unsurpassed, power of unconscious design, the appreciation of innovation and progress brought about by forces completely out of our control and, above all, humility – the recognition of one’s own mistakes, flaws, ignorance, and inability to know the unknown. Continue reading “Vedic Anarchism”

Diet Coke of Fascism

There’s a self-proclaimed intellectual tribe which believes in a contradictory premise and that is “removing 80% of the tumor solves the cancer, while the remaining 20% should be left intact”.

It is just not a belief but also a modern ideology. They worship this political ideology, like the way jihadists worship Islam, but without directly initiating violence. The tribe also believes that it is morally correct to have freedom in all economic activities because they trust the principles of government-constituted free market.

When it comes to defense, police and courts or law, the tribe would not mind distrusting the principles of laissez-faire. To add, the tribe does not realise that it suffers from a psychotic disorder called ‘stockholm syndrome’ (which means, sympathising with the crime doer).

For example: they chant, blog & podcast “government is evil” (without realising that they’re the ones who are always eager to necessitate the evil at the expense of everyone else). They tend to forget that ‘limiting’ the evil does not equate to abolishment of evil.

Evil is evil, no matter what’s the size of it.

I do not intend to bash these intellectuals in this article. I am simply analysing their unnoticed hypocrisy.

Drink in the hypocrisy of minarchism

What makes their myth so different from other political ideologies like democracy, communism, etc., when their own ideology is a diet coke of all the fascist tendencies? Continue reading “Diet Coke of Fascism”

Yes, You are an Anarchist

By Prof. Jaimine Vaishnav

When I say that “you are an anarchist” then it does not mean that I am enforcing a conclusion on your soul. I am simply letting you know that everyone, at least sometimes, is an anarchist.

Many people seem to believe that anarchists are proponents of violence, chaos, and destruction, that they are against all forms of order and organization, or that they are crazed terrorists who just want to blow everything up. On the contrary, nothing could be further from the truth.

Anarchists are simply individuals who believe that human beings are capable of behaving in a reasonable and voluntary fashion without having to be forced to. It is genuinely a very lucid notion. But it’s one that the government and their supporters have always found extremely perilous. Continue reading “Yes, You are an Anarchist”