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”

Episode 43 – First They Killed My Father (1:32:27)

Steven Clyde joins us to discuss “First They Killed My Father” a 2017 biographical historical thriller film directed by Angelina Jolie currently available on Netflix. The story is about Loung Ung, based on her memoir detailing how she as a 5-year-old girl embarks on a harrowing quest for survival amid the sudden rise and terrifying reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Steven writes for the site and is always has a fun and interesting take on all things related to liberty and Murray Rothbard.  We would each other in the Tom Woods Elite last year and have become good friends.

Here is the recent article he referenced in our discussion:

True Libertarianism Is Colorblind

Google Description:

Loung Ung is 5 years old when the Khmer Rouge assumes power over Cambodia in 1975. They soon begin a four-year reign of terror and genocide in which nearly 2 million Cambodians die. Forced from her family’s home in Phnom Penh, Ung is trained as a child soldier while her six siblings are sent to labor camps.

Continue reading “Episode 43 – First They Killed My Father (1:32:27)”

Understanding Time-Preference vs Being Homophobic

Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s battle with the PC gate keepers

By Anarcho-Viking

Trouble with the thought police

In 2004 during a lecture on money and banking, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Prof. Hans-Hermann Hoppe provided an example of how the concept of time-preference plays a major role in the economy, local as well as global. The illustration given by Prof. Hoppe became a national controversy, and was used by the left-wing opinion molders in an attempt to hound the Austro-anarcho-capitalist academic out of polite society, and to consequently destroy his career. The case presented by Hoppe, and that caused the outcry, was hardly controversial at all. We will get to the actual case soon, but let us first clarify what the definition of time-preference is, and why it is such an important component as part of economic analysis.

Time-preference and the Austrian school

The level of time-preference an individual has, is measured by the degree to which that individual is willing to postpone present consumption in favor of the future, delayed gratification of greater benefits than what consumption right away would provide. A trivial, yet classic example of degree of time-preference, can be seen in the experiment of giving a child the following option: Either receiving one cookie right now, or waiting 30 minutes and receiving two cookies. The child’s present desire to consume usually trumps the willingness to await delayed gratification, and hence we conclude through praxeological deduction that children on average have a higher degree of time-preference than more mentally mature persons. The price paid by giving up present consumption in exchange for future value of a good or service must mean that the expected future psychic revenue is greater than the present psychic revenue generated by consuming instantaneously. Nobody would prefer to consume later should the act of consuming generate the same satisfaction today as it would a year from now. Continue reading “Understanding Time-Preference vs Being Homophobic”

True Libertarianism Is Colorblind

By Steven Clyde

If your first thought is “well libertarians surely care about green!”, I’ll concede and state that this is the point of this article.

Humans, each with their own individual goals and interests, seek a better life for themselves and other people they care about. We are born into an impossible situation though, having signed a supposed “social contract” at birth which guilts us into thinking we owe something to future generations because of the sacrifices made in the past.

Lysander: “Where in the world is the Social Contract?”

And thus lies the root of the problem: the confusion between positive and negative rights. Negative rights, justifiably, state that you as an individual have the right not to have force initiated against you and not  to have your property confiscated from you, while positive rights, which state that things are owed to you or other people, is a fallacy of the highest degree and should be abhorred by anyone familiar with logic.

The logic for positive rights proceeds as follows:

Person A of the past, did something to help or to hurt person B in the past, and therefore person C in the present who either gained or lost because of person A and B’s interactions in the past, owes something to or gets to take away something from person D in the present or the future.

It should be obvious why this doesn’t make sense, because if it’s true that I’m a user today of say the internet and its true I’m a benefactor of this past invention, then it would seem to imply that I “owe” something to the internet. But I pay for my internet services because I value its use, so in what sense am I a free rider?

And furthermore, any argument could be thought up to imply I owe something to somebody or I get to take away something from somebody, because of someone’s actions in the past. Its so nonsensical that’s its difficult to sum up into words, because it can imply almost anything.

Libertarianism however gives the individual a voice though because they are not responsible for things of the past, only their actions in the present. It allows for people to be judged by their character, and not by a collective (namely the state). The core aspect of communism is egalitarian in nature, seeking total equality in horrors that’s have been lived through by millions in which attempts to banish individualism not only goes against human nature (people having dreams and goals) but specifically uses violence to achieve its means, an impossible means to achieve at that.

There have been several articles circulating stating that white nationalism (which I won’t be facetious and leave out that some were written by an Asian guy) isn’t incompatible with libertarianism, which on the surface of it appears to be true in that libertarianism does not tell you that you can’t exclude people from your own private property, whether it be a business or your private home. The reasons for exclusion can be grim or nonsensical even, but the logic still follows that private property allows for inclusion and exclusion. Continue reading “True Libertarianism Is Colorblind”

Contradiction 101: “Public Property”

The general belief is that public property is owned by the people. This belief isn’t only uncritical but also uneconomical. If you think that the belief is still economical or rational then how do you define “people” and their “public” ownership of the property? Also, what percentage do the “people” respectively own “public” property? How much is it unfair to share in the whole ownership structure?

These questions cannot be conclusively answered because public property isn’t embodied with the rational calculation of prices, incentives, liberty and ownership. If you’re not an “economist” (government’s bootlicker), you would surely gibe at my assertions.

Public property is a contradiction in terms. There’s nothing called “public”, first of all. What you see around is rational individuals who are driven by the principle of self-interest. You, as an individual, are also driven by your self interest axiom, to read this blog. No one is compelling you. Even if you’re forced to read this blog, you’re still driven by your self-interest policy to obey the command. This proves that there’s nothing called “collective interest” because groups cannot think or reason.

Only individuals can.

Since public property is a generalization, it is to be commonly understood that individuals own the property because ownership gives the individuals a sense of freedom and rights.

Since public property possesses a “common” title, its’ users don’t have rational incentives to take care of it. That’s why public property ends up getting mismanaged or crooked.

What would you prefer to take care of, your private property or collective property? The former gives you the right and freedom to nurture it because private property’s nature is dependent upon your responsibility, whereas the latter does not have any incentive to look after it.

To make the case easier, would you prefer a private swimming pool or a public pool?

Of course, you would dislike the quality of a public pool because you don’t own it to nurture it. This doesn’t mean that we need more government interventionism or supervision. We need more private property rights so that the government (“owner” of public property) does not resort to infringe your personal property or possession. Continue reading “Contradiction 101: “Public Property””

Roadside Brutality of Senior Citizen

By Sterling Reece of Altar and Throne

Delivering at an old man’s house up in the mountains today, and he came shuffling out to say hello. We were talking and I could tell his hands weren’t working but I figured it was just arthritis or something.

But he told me about how a Forest Service agent(?) threw him down and handcuffed him, for driving down a closed road to get to his house.

This isn’t a road that was under construction, it was just closed due to weather. So he was perfectly capable of traversing that road without a problem.

And it was the only road to his house.

He said the agent put the cuffs on so tight his hands haven’t worked right since. I’m inclined to believe him because even though he looked to be in his mid-70s or older, he didn’t come off as a crazy fucker, and believe me I meet those types too. He still seemed pretty sharp.

Also, when I was delivering to his neighbor the week prior, that guy was just bursting to tell me about how much he hates the Forest Service as well.  I didn’t say anything to get them to tell me this stuff either, in case you’re wondering.

If you’re from back east, you probably can’t imagine what it’s like to have the federal government control the vast majority of the land. In the southern part of my area, it’s all BLM land, and the farmers tell me horror stories about the BLM that’d make you sick with rage.

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AnarcoTopics #8 – Free Market Environmentalism [Nuke The Whales] (42:25)

By Hunter Thompson

AnarcoTopics #8 – Free Market Environmentalism [Nuke The Whales] (42:25)

Part 8 of a 9 part series on Anarcho-Capitalism.

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India’s Undisclosed Scam

Improper enforcement of the contract, followed by the lackadaisical attitude of the political establishment, has stagnated the development of India’s economy. Not only this but the primary reason behind India’s “gradual growth” is her development model which is inherently impractical.

In 1950, she imitated USSR thinking and adopted socialism model and messed up the economy. In 1991, she liberalised the economy without annihilating the conventional structures. She recovered from the hangover of ‘license raj’ period (1950-1991) but it seems that the economy continues to be addicted to the socialism features even today.

Titles of the government change every 5 years, but the style of governance continues to be the same. Taking a cue from our Asian Tigers, India continues to ignore learning basic economic lessons in this regard. In this context, property rights, land rights, privacy, economic liberties, etc. continue to behold the ignorance of critical introspection.

Like basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter, education, and now the Internet), an economy also has few vital necessities. To create more cities and jobs, the land is a salient component.

Spices at market

The secondary reason behind India’s “jobless growth” is her willful ignorance of the unused lands. No government has done any mammoth exercise of collecting data on unused lands in India till date. Whichever party came to power was busily immersed in communal politics and socialism economics. Unless the unused lands are not monetised, the economy cannot beget employment opportunities and urbanisation.

Without urbanisation, India’s labor-oriented economy will collapse.

Cities are the engines of growth.

In the coming years, if India affords to undermine tapping of the coherent thinking then the future generation will pay the higher price for nothing because the unaccountable economy continues to live at the expense of everyone else. Continue reading “India’s Undisclosed Scam”

AnarcoTopics #2 – Property Rights Don’t Exist, Except For That! (14:57)

By Hunter Thompson

AnarcoTopics #2 – Property Rights Don’t Exist, Except For That! (14:57)

Part 2 of a 9 part series on Anarcho-Capitalism.

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Abolish the Police

By Murray Rothbard

Abоlіtіоn оf thе рublіс ѕесtоr means, of соurѕе, thаt all ріесеѕ оf lаnd, аll land аrеаѕ, including streets аnd roads, wоuld bе оwnеd рrіvаtеlу, by іndіvіduаlѕ, соrроrаtіоnѕ, соореrаtіvеѕ, оr аnу other vоluntаrу grоuріngѕ оf іndіvіduаlѕ аnd саріtаl. The fасt that аll ѕtrееtѕ аnd lаnd аrеаѕ wоuld bе рrіvаtе wоuld bу itself ѕоlvе mаnу of the seemingly іnѕоlublе problems оf private ореrаtіоn. What we nееd tо do іѕ tо reorient оur thіnkіng tо consider a world in which all lаnd аrеаѕ are рrіvаtеlу оwnеd. 

Lеt uѕ tаkе, for example, роlісе рrоtесtіоn. Hоw would police protection bе furnіѕhеd іn a tоtаllу private есоnоmу? 

Part оf thе аnѕwеr bесоmеѕ еvіdеnt іf we consider a world оf tоtаllу рrіvаtе land аnd street ownership. Cоnѕіdеr thе Times Sԛuаrе area of New Yоrk City, a notoriously crime-ridden аrеа whеrе there іѕ lіttlе police рrоtесtіоn furnіѕhеd bу thе сіtу аuthоrіtіеѕ. Evеrу Nеw Yоrkеr knоwѕ, іn fасt, thаt he lіvеѕ аnd wаlkѕ the streets, аnd not only Tіmеѕ Sԛuаrе, virtually іn a state оf “anarchy,” dереndеnt ѕоlеlу оn the nоrmаl реасеfulnеѕѕ аnd gооd wіll оf his fеllоw сіtіzеnѕ. Pоlісе рrоtесtіоn іn New Yоrk іѕ mіnіmаl, a fact drаmаtісаllу rеvеаlеd іn a recent week-long роlісе ѕtrіkе whеn, lо аnd bеhоld!, crime іn nо way іnсrеаѕеd frоm its nоrmаl ѕtаtе whеn thе роlісе аrе supposedly аlеrt and оn thе jоb. 

At аnу rаtе, suppose thаt thе Tіmеѕ Sԛuаrе area, іnсludіng thе streets, wаѕ privately оwnеd, say bу the “Tіmеѕ Sԛuаrе Mеrсhаntѕ Aѕѕосіаtіоn.” Thе merchants would knоw full wеll, оf соurѕе, thаt іf сrіmе was rampant in their аrеа, іf muggings аnd hоlduрѕ аbоundеd, thеn their customers would fаdе аwау and wоuld раtrоnіzе соmреtіng аrеаѕ and neighborhoods. Hеnсе, іt wоuld bе tо the economic interest оf thе merchants’ association to supply efficient аnd рlеntіful роlісе protection, ѕо thаt сuѕtоmеrѕ wоuld bе аttrасtеd tо, rаthеr than rереllеd from, their nеіghbоrhооd. Private business, аftеr аll, іѕ always trуіng tо attract аnd kеер іtѕ customers. 

But whаt gооd would bе served bу attractive ѕtоrе dіѕрlауѕ аnd расkаgіng, рlеаѕаnt lіghtіng аnd соurtеоuѕ service, іf thе сuѕtоmеrѕ may be robbed or аѕѕаultеd if they walk thrоugh thе аrеа? 

Thе merchants’ association, furthеrmоrе, wоuld bе іnduсеd, bу thеіr drіvе for profits аnd fоr аvоіdіng lоѕѕеѕ, to supply nоt оnlу ѕuffісіеnt роlісе рrоtесtіоn but also соurtеоuѕ and рlеаѕаnt рrоtесtіоn. Gоvеrnmеntаl роlісе have not оnlу nо іnсеntіvе tо bе еffісіеnt оr worry аbоut their “сuѕtоmеrѕ’” nееdѕ; they also lіvе wіth thе еvеr-рrеѕеnt tеmрtаtіоn to wield thеіr power of fоrсе іn a brutal and coercive mаnnеr. 

“Pоlісе brutality” іѕ a wеll-knоwn feature оf thе роlісе system, аnd it іѕ hеld іn сhесk only bу rеmоtе complaints оf thе hаrаѕѕеd сіtіzеnrу. But іf thе private mеrсhаntѕ’ police ѕhоuld yield to thе tеmрtаtіоn of brutalizing the mеrсhаntѕ’ customers, those customers wіll ԛuісklу dіѕарреаr аnd go еlѕеwhеrе. Hеnсе, the mеrсhаntѕ’ аѕѕосіаtіоn will see tо іt thаt іtѕ роlісе аrе courteous as well аѕ рlеntіful. Suсh еffісіеnt and hіgh-ԛuаlіtу роlісе protection would prevail thrоughоut thе lаnd, throughout аll thе рrіvаtе streets аnd land areas. 

Fасtоrіеѕ would guаrd thеіr ѕtrееt аrеаѕ, mеrсhаntѕ their ѕtrееtѕ, аnd road соmраnіеѕ would рrоvіdе ѕаfе аnd еffісіеnt роlісе protection fоr their tоll roads and other privately owned rоаdѕ. Thе ѕаmе wоuld bе truе for rеѕіdеntіаl nеіghbоrhооdѕ. 

We саn envision twо роѕѕіblе tуреѕ оf рrіvаtе street оwnеrѕhір іn ѕuсh nеіghbоrhооdѕ. In one tуре, all the lаndоwnеrѕ in a сеrtаіn blосk might bесоmе thе jоіnt оwnеrѕ оf that blосk, lеt uѕ say аѕ thе “85th St. Blосk Cоmраnу.” This соmраnу wоuld thеn provide police рrоtесtіоn, the соѕtѕ being раіd еіthеr bу thе hоmе-оwnеrѕ directly оr оut оf tenants’ rеnt if thе ѕtrееt іnсludеѕ rental араrtmеntѕ. Again, hоmеоwnеrѕ wіll оf соurѕе have a direct interest in ѕееіng thаt thеіr block іѕ safe, while lаndlоrdѕ wіll try tо аttrасt tеnаntѕ by ѕuррlуіng ѕаfе ѕtrееtѕ іn аddіtіоn to thе more usual services ѕuсh аѕ hеаt, water, and janitorial service. ‘ 

To ask why landlords ѕhоuld provide ѕаfе ѕtrееtѕ in thе libertarian, fully рrіvаtе ѕосіеtу is juѕt as ѕіllу аѕ аѕkіng now whу thеу ѕhоuld рrоvіdе thеіr tеnаntѕ wіth heat оr hоt wаtеr. Thе force оf соmреtіtіоn аnd of соnѕumеr dеmаnd would make them ѕuррlу ѕuсh ѕеrvісеѕ. Furthermore, whether we аrе соnѕіdеrіng homeowners or rеntаl housing, іn еіthеr саѕе the саріtаl vаluе of the lаnd and thе hоuѕе wіll bе a function оf the safety оf thе street аѕ wеll аѕ оf thе other wеll-knоwn сhаrасtеrіѕtісѕ of the hоuѕе аnd the nеіghbоrhооd. 

Sаfе аnd wеll-раtrоllеd ѕtrееtѕ will rаіѕе thе vаluе of thе lаndоwnеrѕ’ lаnd and hоuѕеѕ іn the same way аѕ wеll-tеndеd houses dо; crime-ridden streets wіll lоwеr the value оf the land аnd hоuѕеѕ as surely аѕ dilapidated hоuѕіng іtѕеlf does. Since lаndоwnеrѕ аlwауѕ рrеfеr hіghеr tо lоwеr mаrkеt values for thеіr рrореrtу, there іѕ a built-in іnсеntіvе to рrоvіdе еffісіеnt, well -paved, аnd ѕаfе ѕtrееtѕ. 

Private enterprise does еxіѕt, and ѕо most реорlе саn rеаdіlу еnvіѕіоn a frее mаrkеt in most goods and ѕеrvісеѕ. Prоbаblу thе most difficult ѕіnglе area to grаѕр, hоwеvеr, іѕ the аbоlіtіоn оf government ореrаtіоnѕ іn the ѕеrvісе of protection: police, the соurtѕ, еtс. — the аrеа encompassing defense оf person and property аgаіnѕt attack or іnvаѕіоn. 

Hоw соuld рrіvаtе еntеrрrіѕе аnd thе frее mаrkеt possibly provide such service? How соuld роlісе, lеgаl ѕуѕtеmѕ, judicial ѕеrvісеѕ, lаw enforcement, prisons — how could thеѕе be provided in a frее mаrkеt? 

Wе hаvе аlrеаdу seen how a grеаt deal of police рrоtесtіоn, аt thе least, could be supplied bу the various оwnеrѕ of streets аnd lаnd аrеаѕ. But we now nееd to еxаmіnе thіѕ entire area ѕуѕtеmаtісаllу. In thе fіrѕt рlасе, thеrе іѕ a common fаllасу, hеld even by most аdvосаtеѕ оf lаіѕѕеz-fаіrе, thаt thе government muѕt ѕuррlу “роlісе рrоtесtіоn,” аѕ if police protection wеrе a single, absolute entity, a fіxеd ԛuаntіtу оf something whісh thе gоvеrnmеnt supplies tо аll. But іn асtuаl fact there іѕ nо аbѕоlutе соmmоdіtу called “роlісе рrоtесtіоn” any more than there is аn absolute ѕіnglе commodity called “fооd” оr “shelter.” 

It іѕ truе thаt еvеrуоnе рауѕ taxes for a ѕееmіnglу fіxеd ԛuаntіtу оf рrоtесtіоn, but this is a mуth. In асtuаl fасt, thеrе аrе аlmоѕt infinite dеgrееѕ оf аll sorts of рrоtесtіоn. Fоr аnу given person оr buѕіnеѕѕ, thе police саn рrоvіdе everything frоm a policeman оn the beat whо раtrоlѕ оnсе a night, to two policemen раtrоllіng constantly оn еасh blосk, to сruіѕіng patrol cars, tо оnе or еvеn several round-the-clock реrѕоnаl bоdуguаrdѕ. 

Furthеrmоrе, thеrе are mаnу other dесіѕіоnѕ the роlісе muѕt make, thе complexity оf which becomes еvіdеnt аѕ soon аѕ wе lооk beneath the veil оf the myth оf absolute “protection.” Hоw ѕhаll the роlісе аllосаtе thеіr funds whісh аrе, of course, always lіmіtеd аѕ are thе fundѕ of аll other іndіvіduаlѕ, organizations, and аgеnсіеѕ? How much ѕhаll the роlісе іnvеѕt іn еlесtrоnіс еԛuірmеnt? fіngеrрrіntіng equipment? dеtесtіvеѕ аѕ аgаіnѕt uniformed police? раtrоl саrѕ as against fооt роlісе, еtс.?  Continue reading “Abolish the Police”