THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 165, March 18, 2002
Ides of March
Subj: anarchy already did work (Patrick Martin take note)
David Friedman (The son of Milton) has described the anarchy of Iceland's early colony in his books and articles. The gist of the story is that there was law but no government, and no one was above the law. The system lasted for 150 years but was eventually absorbed by Norway, a major power at the time. I hope that Mr. Martin will read Friedman's works and comment.
Bill Walker [WalkerBill@aol.com]
Warren Tilson wrote (in part):
"Say, that in order to be treated as an adult, a person would have to provide her own insurance, and that providing your own insurance means you are an adult, with all the rights and responsibilities thereto."
That is not a good idea as to how to get the whole "when someone is an adult" into the private sector. It has the same problems as mandatory car insurance does, with a couple others added in for good measure.
First off, as Warren stated, such a policy would have to be purchased with their own money or else it would be pointless. But how will a child (by definition, anyone who does not yet have said insurance) get their own money? Allowance and gifts from their parents are the same as if the parents bought said policy. As long as they are a "child", technically they can't have their own money. Its all considered in trust with their parents. That lets the parents decide when, or if, the child will ever be considered an adult.
Allow me to play the devils advocate here.
Requiring a someone to purchase insurance (I am assuming some type of liability insurance) opens the door to abuses of the system by parents and allows for the creation of a two tiered class system. Furthermore, allowing insurance companies to cancel the policy on a person, and thus return them to the state of non-adulthood, opens up the possibility of abuses by con artists and shady business operators. Lastly, it allows insurance companies to regulate what is allowed for adults more thoroughly than government could. Here are a few examples I thought of:
1) A parent decides, for the child's own good of course, that they are "too young" to be allowed to buy the insurance. The child, of course, has no money of their own - all of it being controlled by the parent. What happens when a parents idea of "too young" is 25? Or 35? What if the reason they don't want the child to be allowed to become and adult is that the child has a significant trust fund that the parent is managing for them?
2) A business owner, whose parents are dead, has been defrauding consumers. Knowing that his scams are beginning to unravel, and that he will be found out within a year or so, he does something so as to convince the insurance company to cancel his policy and revert him to non-adulthood. He has the money hidden away to live comfortably, and a friend who - for a cut of the money - will play "parent" for a year or two while the person avoids responsibility for the scam.
3) A person, living in a low income area, whose parents are both known addicts and considered "high risk" by insurance companies, finds themselves also considered "high risk". They, like their parents, find they cannot afford to purchase the policy and also support themselves. They then find themselves perpetually relegated to a lower class, unable to enter legally enforceable contracts or even buy the means to protect themselves without having someone who can afford the insurance cosign for them. In effect, they have been relegated to a status close to that of a slave.
4) It becomes common practice for insurance companies to consider owning firearms as a "high risk" behavior. After all, they have to pay out if you hurt someone else, where they don't have to if you just happen to be raped and killed in a back alley. Soon, all the major insurance companies refuse to insure a person who carries, or even owns, a firearm. Only the small ones, like Billy-Joe-Bobs Guns, Bait and Beer (insurance in the back) will. Since many respectable businesses are hesitant to do business with someone insured through such a small operator, people are left with a choice of giving up their guns, or of being extremely limited as to who they can deal with.
In closing, any system which requires an individual to do something other than just stand up and declare that they are an adult (and make a permanent record of it) before being considered one opens up a Pandora's box of potential abuses.
Jeff Colonnesi [email@example.com]
In answer to the letter "why anarchy won't work" from Patrick K Martin:
His point is well taken that "social and economic shunning" won't work - but I think his arguments are the least of that system's worries. The real biggie is: whatever makes y'all think people will care?
I'll give an example. Say my watch got nicked in LA, culprit caught redhanded, refuses adjudication and won't give restitution. So later he's buying groceries in NYC, cash in hand and gold coins, like most everybody else in this hypothetical anarchist society. You really think Mr Rosenblum, of Rosenblum's Delicatessen And Coffee Bar, is going to give a running jump about my watch? Hell, he wouldn't care if had been nicked two blocks away, so long as it wasn't out font where it would scare away the customers.
Beside this is the assumption that this minor watch theft has made the national evening news. Which is vastly, vastly unrealistic. In any large group of people there will be thugs, psychos, con artists etc etc. Even in a massivly armed society, there are always hotheads. Taken as a pretty much fixed minimum fraction of any group, for a worldful of people or even a countryful, that's still a hell of a lot more criminals than Joe Sixpack could memorize or care about.
This is the point at which most anarchist folks start building castles in the air, composed of all-seeing, all-interfering insurance companies, reputation tracking agencies, proof of identity, etc etc. Bleh. Basically falling into the same mindset as Mr Martin: we need statism, how can we get it? He's at least honest in asking for it straight up.
Here's the problem with that, I'll spell it out: you aren't minding your own damn business. And, you aren't expecting others to likewise mind theirs, to want to mind theirs, whether it suits you or not.
Why should some stranger care about your woes? Why should they deprive themselves of custom, because this guy nicked your watch or shot your sister? Yeah credit agencies would care, but how many crooks try to make honest purchases on credit? And as to insurance - the crooks would simply go uninsured. As would most people - why would I want to insure myself to drive, if the government didn't force me? I wouldn't go on the road if I didn't trust myself to drive straight. And if I fouled up, I'd pay from my own savings. Anyone with the temerity to require me to self-insure with a company which would act as a little mini government and boss me around, would get their dirty business thrown back in their face.
So how would a real anarchist society deal with recalcitrant, unrepentant crooks? Take a look at the few real (semi) anarchies. In old Iceland, in Somalia, if the arbitration system broke down and nothing could be agreed nor forgiven - it would be blood feud.
And that threat is what would scare crooks into arbitration.
Julian Morrison [firstname.lastname@example.org]
This is a reply to various points in TLE #164.
First, Robert Hutchinson asks how 280 million people can jointly own property they've never seen. But that's nothing unusual. Almost everyone now has some sort of pension fund which owns not only government bonds but also shares in a huge variety of private companies; which makes almost everyone a joint owner of a great deal of property they are not individually aware of. Joint ownership of a country is not so very different.
Many libertarians seem ready to assume that because governments often act illegitimately, all public property is therefore unowned and up for grabs. But this is nonsense. If it has been "stolen" from the taxpayers, its ownership should revert to those taxpayers, one way or another. Unless we follow the Marxists in denying the legitimacy of property altogether, it is illogical to deny the reasonable rights of property owners just because their title is cloudy or confused, since, as the result of prior injustices and the fungibility of wealth, all property titles are now cloudy, in varying degrees, and must always remain so.
Citizenship rights would include the right to the protection of the state and access to its courts. If you are willing to sit on your half-acre and never leave, and defend it, without recourse to the police or the courts, against anyone who may decide to bump you off and take it, then you are not a citizen, but an independent; or, if you like, you are a citizen of your own little private country (which, chances are, will soon go the way of other little countries in the big, bad world).
Second, Warren Tilson gives an interesting account of adulthood through insurance. I regret that I don't quite understand what the policy is supposed to be insuring against, or why it is necessary. Nor do I understand how one ensures that the funds come from the child, not somebody else (since one could simply give the money to the child first).
Third, since we're still getting our knickers in a twist over the "non-aggression" doctrine, let me suggest yet another tweaked-up version (with acknowledgements to Jackson Lawson):
"A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right to initiate the threat or use of force or fraud against another person, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. A libertarian also accepts responsibility for his own actions and makes good any harm he may do another in breach of that person's rights."
The "making good" bit allows us to use a technically precise definition of rights whereby it is logically impossible to have the right to violate another's right, but, with restitution, it may still be morally permissible to do so.
In my opinion the main problem with the TLE version is that it is all too easy to Humpty Dumpty it into meaning almost anything you want it to mean, and then reinterpret it another way when you want to say something inconsistent with the first.
Paul Birch [email@example.com]
Dear Mr. Martin:
You wrote "Sure, I could call him out, but if I start fighting duels with everyone who annoy’s me, the body count is going to get pretty high."
Please note that to annoy you, your friend has to be near you. If he's on your property, order him off. If you're on his property, go home. If you're both on a third party's property, contact the owner and say "He's annoying me. Can you get rid of him?". One or both of you will be sent home. If he doesn't immediately leave, it's trespassing. That's how you stop the idiots.
You wrote "When some used-car salesman stands at the head of an army of Sheeple, how will we keep them from taking over our little anarchist-utopia?"
Please note that the head of the army of sheeple is one person. How do you prevent one person from attacking you?
You wrote "Europe could probably have avoided World-War II if France and England had slapped Hitler down in the Rhineland, but he was not a direct threat to them at the time, so guess what?"
If the United States had not entered WWI, Hitler would never have come to power, so guess what?
Isn't there a quote about a disease masquerading as its own cure?
Good job, Neil! As a 45 year-old libertarian of more than 15 years, I have found TLE without a doubt the most effective vehicle for awakening my friends and co-workers to the true ideals of the founders of this country.
Thank you for once again hitting us between the eyes with that desperately needed 2X4!
Peterson, Greg [firstname.lastname@example.org]
My seven-year old daughter is severely precocious and already expresses sentiments from time to time which put her at odds with the commissars of political correctness.
While taking her to school recently she said, "Dad? I'm worried that when I'm older I won't know all of the laws. How many laws are there?"
"The last time anyone counted, Honey, there were over five million laws."
Long pause. Dead silence.
I could practically feel the centrifugal force coming from the little mental wheels turning in the back seat.
I held my tongue.
"Daddy, if I ever become one of those people who "makes up" all those laws, (this phrase and its implication was deliberate and did not go unnoticed by Dad) I'm going to get rid of a whole bunch of them.
"That way there won't be nearly as many people in jail, everyone will be happier and there will be a lot less fighting."
When she's older, I'm going to tell her that she was a libertarian before she even knew what the term meant.
William Webb [email@example.com]
These essays by Bob Murphy show the importance that insurance would have in a free area.
While I have had my concept of declared maturity through insurance kicking around on my hard drive long before I had heard of Murphy I was pleased to see we were thinking along the same lines regarding insurance. Reading these essays will give the reader a good sense of where I am coming from.
Jeff Colonnesi wrote:
Children will get their money the way they do now, or used to anyway, via doing small jobs for neighbors, recycling cans and newspapers, making and selling citrus juices, making and selling crafts, paper routes, dog walking, leaf raking, lawn mowing, caddying, and so forth. In addition to money, these little jobs will provide a wealth of references for the prospective adult when it is time to approach an insurance carrier.
The older the child gets the more money she is going to accumulate, it would be difficult for even the nosiest most controlling parents to be able to expropriate all of it. Eventually, the child will have enough to get free. In a Market Anarchy there will be so many jobs going unfilled that it is hard to imagine a child not having an opportunity to make some money outside of an allowance.
I addressed that in the graph above, in the case of a parent somehow enslaving a child to the extent above I would say that the social pressures and thus the potential for ostracism by the community will mitigate such things. In addition, as the child gets older the cost to the parents of insuring her will go up. Unless the child is retarded, such control will be resented and rebelled against. This has the potential of costing the insurer money, as there may be personal or property damage that has to be covered. At some point the parents will not be able to afford the consequences.
I fail to see how a scammer could generate enough money in the first place. But if he did, and tried that scheme the cost of insuring him will be very high for this friend. The insurer might just drop the friend entirely rather than knowingly be part of a fraud. Even if successful in his scheme, that is no protection from the people he scammed in the past. Life or medical insurance might be very hard to come by. ...
Why would the child be high risk? Even so, given the number of economic opportunities, the child should be able to crawl out of the loser pit her parents are in. In a Market Anarchy there will be more opportunity for Horatio Algers than we have now. If the parents choose to stagnate and rot and the child follows their example, why should anyone care?
Insurance companies base their decisions on actuarial charts. These would show that owning firearms are not high risk. Any company that tried to manipulate the statistics to such an end would find itself being run out of business. Any insurance I purchase had better payoff in case of injury or death or I would not purchase their policy. In addition, I would not buy insurance from a company that did not respect my right to self-defense. Given the number of gun owners now and the likelihood that the percentage will increase in a free area, any company of any type that shows a disrespectful attitude towards gun owners will have committed economic suicide. K-Mart or Smith & Wesson anyone?
I appreciate the response, through I must say it mirrors, in tone, some of the arguments I get from statists on the viability of a Market Anarchy.
Warren Tilson [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Regarding Patrick Martin's column in TLE 164, "Why Anarchy Won't Work":
Why, exactly, are you incapable of escaping his proselytizing? Certainly, if he annoys you so, you won't be visiting his property, and you can prevent him from visiting yours.
Your annoying friends must be awfully gullible to agree to dueling over some Bible-thumping.
The judge will quickly lose business for agreeing to hear such frivolous and unwarranted arbitration. To be frank, in the scenario you've described, it won't be Richard the community will shun . . . it will be YOU.
You incorrectly assume that such structures cannot exist in anarchy. I would direct you to a PDF file of an essay by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, The Private Production of Defense http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_2.pdf. I would also suggest that you peruse the articles over at http://www.anti-state.com for numerous insights on arbitration, full property rights, and many other sticking points regarding market anarchism (blatant plug).
Robert Hutchinson [email@example.com]
While I completely disagree with the conclusions you reach, I do find your arguments enlightening. It brings to mind the very same arguments that came up a dozen years ago in USENet. And I think the arguments raised then might be interesting to you now.
The extremist Richards of the world, and I also know a few, are dealt with by not initiating fraud or coersion. Since they do not wield physical injury, physical retaliation is uncalled for, as you point out. However, you don't take the "anarchist" answer to the logical extreme even though you use a logical extreme as the antagonist. I consider this to be the mistake that causes you to reach a wrong conclusion.
You address arbitration, but you don't note that Richard has agreed to the arbitration. By deliberately violating your privacy and self determination after such arbitration, he has taken the deliberate step of initiating fraud against you.
In the fully rational anarchist non-state, we further assume that the only "crime" is where someone has fraud or coersion initiated against them. Richard owes you big time compensation.
Where does that compensation come from? You address social pressure, but again do not take it far enough. Such a person as Richard would be uninsurable, since they would never stop in their efforts of conversion. The successful claims against them would mount up such that no matter how "nice" he was otherwise, his evangelical enthusiasm would make him a total paria and outlaw. A record of such harassment would mean that at some point "no jury would convict you."
Yes, indeed, I do consider dueling to be a perfectly reasonable answer to this problem, when such a problem is as impossibly extreme as you suggest. In fact, considering the extreme of the example you pose, I would consider repeated violation of arbitration in the matter as grounds for your defense in the use of physical self defense against him. At some point, determined by a jury and the "social standard", simple trespass may very well justify lethal self defense.
As time passes, I am reminded repeatedly that an armed society is a friendly society. Richard is not friendly. He is a hostile force, repeatedly demonstrating that he cannot live peacefully with people who disagree with him. The disagreement is not the source of the problem, even total disagreement can be addressed with the fact that the freedom to associate includes the freedom to NOT associate. Richard does not respect your freedom to not associate with him.
Which leads me to wonder, how do people deal with the Richards of the world now? By polite request, by "arbitration" in the form of restraining orders, and when a pattern of violations is proven, by physical restraint. No different than in a anarchist non-state, but the anarchist system is far more polite and restrained at the beginning because no pattern of abuse has been yet established.
And that is, I think, the reason anarchy works very well: It is the embodyment of "innocent unless proven guilty". There is no "state" that can make you a criminal at the stroke of a pen.
(Darn, in the never-never land again, too big for a letter to the editor, too short for an article.)
Curt Howland [Howland@Priss.com]
This is in response to the article by William Stone in TLE #164 wherein he bemoaned the fact that you can no longer go to the gate at the airport to say goodbye to somebody, due to the new "security" regulations.
The solution to this is very simple. Buy an unrestricted, fully- refundable ticket (to anywhere, it doesn't matter) for a flight leaving within a reasonable amount of time close to the one that the person you want to say goodbye to (or meet on arrival) is going to be on. Then go on to the security checkpoint, show them the ticket, and when you get through, call the airline and cancel the reservation and get your money back.
Granted, you would still be submitting to the "system" and not addressing the issue of whether all this crap is appropriate in the first place, but at least it would provide a practical method of dealing with it.
In case anybody wants to compliment me on my creativity (or criticize me for my deviousness), thank you, but I will guarantee you, the airline employees thought of this a long time before I did.
Edwin Clements [firstname.lastname@example.org]
- - -
On Tue, Mar 12, 2002 at 06:49:28PM +0000, Edwin Clements wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to write me, Edwin. I probably should have been a little clearer, though, for those of the readership unused to living in a small town or city.
The Siouxland metropolitan are (which includes Sioux City, Iowa, South Sioux City, Nebraska, and North Sioux City, South Dakota) is approximately 100,000 individuals.
We are sandwiched dead center between two much larger areas, Sioux Falls, South Dakota (approximately 200,000) and Omaha, Nebraska rapidly approaching a million).
Market forces being what they are, the Omaha and Sioux City airports are much larger than ours, have always attracted more carriers and far more destinations. In fact, our major airline (Northwest) only flies to Minneapolis.
The airport is very small by most metropolitan standards. It has two gates, only one of which is a jetway, a small baggage claim area, and a little cafe.
In fact, the main health club in Sioux City has at least twice the square footage as the airport.
So when I mentioned not being able to see my wife off at the gate, I was essentially talking about the twenty feet from the security area to the gate. While this is relatively trivial, it nevertheless was upsetting to my daughters.
However, what made me angry was the outside of the airport.
The jetway from our one jet gate goes parallel to the cafe -- and then extends beyond the cafe some fifty yards. Outside, behind the cafe and parallel to the jetway and aircraft, is an employee parking area.
Prior to Bloody Tuesday, we could see my wife off at the gate and then go to the employee parking area to wave at her through the window (we always choose the window seat in the exit row on the three side -- the seat with the most room on any aircraft).
We could wave to her, watch the jetway pull back, sit in the deafening thunder of the jet engines, watch the aircaft push back, taxi, and take off.
This was somehow a much more emotionally satisfying experience for my daughters than leaving Mommy at the security area.
It is that aspect of small-town life that I was referring to as having been obliterated by the Federal police state -- and which, unfortunately, simply having a ticket for the flight won't return.
Bill Stone [email@example.com]
As the committee continues to debate this, the NIP is growing to elphantine proportions. It's not okay to initiate force, but...
But, but, but.
I've always considered the NIP to be an inherently unworkable formula, based on how I define such words as "initiate", "force", and "is."
To me, it translates more simply as "Don't throw the first punch/fire the first shot."
Good general principle, but I can see times and places where I would find it necessary to initiate the force. Somebody sticks a firearm in my face, by my definition they have not initiated force, rather they have offered the threat of it. Regardless, it's not the sort of behavior I take lightly, and given the opportunity you're damn straight I will initiate some force of my own against the aggressor. Don't worry about delegation or any such, though. I handle my own probs.
Sad to say, you probably can't create a be-all, end-all moral statement in the English language that is at once definitive enough to encompass all situations yet flexible enough to be workable. The ongoing debate here is evidence of that.
Just take a look at what's floating around here now. Mr. Long stated definitively that harmful words could be considered an initiation of force in his recent article. "Likewise, you do not have the right to initiate force by stabbing someone with words."
Well if verbal attacks are to be considered part of the formula, Mr. Smith goes into the books as one of the most egregious violators of his own principal.
Somehow, I think Mr. Smith's definition of force differs a bit.
Now to step on a few of my own brass tacks, because I don't have an answer either. If I could formulate the few sentences that at once allows the world to function in reasonable fashion without having the Evil that Taxes riding all our shoulders, you folks would be the first to hear it.
Then I'd write a dozen books, make off with my newfound wealth to a remote desert island where I could surround myself with well-paid dancing girls and let the world spin 'round.
Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,
Jack Smith [firstname.lastname@example.org]
The letter noted from Richard E. Pearl to the National Republican Committee was of particular interest to me in pointing out many of the specifics of how the present government has failed us as "individuals." Unfortunately all U.S. governments since the time of the Whiskey Rebellion (1794) have sought to impose their will on the citizens.
I find it naive that many of the writings I see today seem to suggest that this government oppression is new to our time and quote historical sayings as if the citizenry were not oppressed centuries ago as well as today.
Yes folks, the Commander-in-Chief of the forces that crushed the Whiskey Rebellion was none other than our first President -- George Washington. While he apparently pardoned most of those caught and convicted; it was still a demonstration of the new government's power to tax and enforce.
No disparagement intended to Mr. Pearl, who I thought wrote an excellent letter -- just a general commentary that "we" seem to think things are happening to "us" that have not happened both here and around the world from time immemorial.
Why? It seems like there an innate "need" in humans to congregate, just like most other animals, in groups. This tends to result in a "leader" and then there are "chiefs" around those in "power" which seek not only to keep their own "members" in line but to extend their influence over whatever territory and denizens they deem within their span of control. Of course there is always the "lone wolf" but generally the flock or herd or tribe or city dwelling model or group or flock of some type prevails.
Thus, when we are affiliated with some others we humans are expected to abide, more or less, by the general behavior of that group or risk punishment (corporal, derisive, ostracism, etc.) for not so doing; be it the LP or GOP or al Qadeh or Mafia.
Taking that into perspective are we "free" to choose our group or are we born into it or forced into it? What if we choose to opt out? Can those who govern the group we were once affiliated with affect our choice of change? Rhetorical answers: Yes if they have "power" (IRS over former tax payers who no longer opt to pay taxes; Union over Confederacy in the Civil War); but no if they do not (LP, GOP, voluntary general church and civil affiliations.) What if we never "intentionally" opted into a group do they still have power over us? Yes, war would be a good example.
By opting out of one group are we not in essence trying to influence the prior group by our actions or do so in concert with others? In essence, are we not "just as good or bad" in our thoughts, actions and affiliations as anyone else in theirs?
After all is it not generally true that we affiliate with others of like mind and seek others to become like minded so that we have a wider community of "self interest?"
Certainly whomever is in control is going to widen their sphere of influence for their own benefit and for those who benefit them whether by persuasion or force. The point: "government" believes what they do for you is good for you since it is good for "government." Example: animal husbandry where the animals are used to the maximum benefit, i.e. milked (taxed) to the point of maximum production but not to the point where they cease giving milk. Thus, the farmer needs to care for his flock so that they care for the farmer, e.g. not let them eat "loco weed" (drugs) or other "bad" substances (tobacco, alcohol) which may influence their desire or ability to produce milk. Most certainly not to let them be stolen or injured or killed by outside forces. Only the farmer (in his opinion) has the "right" to take care of his chattel.
Unfortunately "we" my not always agree with the farmer/government as to what is best but being constantly told that the farmer/government (F/G) knows best as to what we should see and hear and do and let's us know about that. Sometimes we have a little liberty to graze and as long as we give milk we are allowed that since the F/G seems to know that feeling of limited freedom in the pasture (most of us cannot see the fence since we are laying down chewing our cud) seems to help him get a steady supply of milk.
Government will do whatever it takes to keep itself in power and as long as the tax revenues roll in they will spend them on more and more programs to get more and more contented cows into the program because, unlike the farmer, the government has a tax on about everything including the fast food that the cows consume, i.e. more stupid cows that slop at the trough (vote and eat at fast food restaurants) instead of going out to the feed lot (grocery store and saving money) the more the F/G makes to spend on itself.
Thus, while the sheep may bleat and GI's bitch they are generally going to give milk or kill "mad cows" since if they do not the F/G may cull them from the herd and still have lots of sheeple to milk/tax; or if you are a real fecund yew or stud ram feed you and pamper you (welfare) and let you breed more kids since the F/G's "wealth" is in the size and productivity of the governed flock.
Interestingly it seems that one does not have the option, except by express renouncement which may or not be effective (tax protestors for example) to opt out of control of the government into which they were born or in which they reside or in which they commit a crime as decreed by that government on its territory or even on another territory if decreed by another offended country.
John Walker Lindh might be an illustration of one born in the U.S. but apparently changed allegiance; or bin Laden born in Saudi Arabia. I am not sure that either ever "accepted" the dictates of their mother country; nor that they "renounced" their citizenship or that their respective birth countries even have the "right" to claim them as "citizens" or to take "citizenship" from them. Brings up an interesting question as to how one becomes a "citizen." Surely naturalization is a way but is birth the only other way? If the latter is correct then it implies that you are citizen/chattel of the country in which you happen to have been born, or if outside the country then of the nationality of the parents, in the same way the offspring of an animal is the property of the owner of the animals that produced the offspring.
But what is citizenship worth if one country can hold the person of another country (we have U.S. citizens in custody all over the world about which the U.S. mainly does nothing); or a country declare war on the citizens of another country (U.S. v. Afghanistan). If that can be done then why does not the U.S. simply impose a "tax" on the world? Really if you can kill them and invade their country why not just conquer it and tax it? Been done throughout history.
Ah but what a pain to have to station and pay troops and get a lot of disgruntled cows. Witness the breakups of empires over the centuries. Given that all those in power want is power then why not share power and make the cattle content and give more milk/taxes resources by supporting local F/G's that give their cows a feeling of contentment (or forced labor as the case may be) and unite them into a central farming cooperative to make life easy for those in control of the various ranches/countries all linked up with a central cooperative (Sunkist/U.N.) so that there is more produce/tax and the F/G's can live in relative peace and avoid a lot of messy cattle stampedes.
Yep, dehorn the cattle and slowly raise the containment fence and make them feel treated better until the world has nice peaceful containment units. Great plan. Now if the various growers/ranchers (governments) would agree to peace amongst themselves and cooperate think about what a great world it would be?!?
Sorry for such a long commentary but Mr. Pearl brought up some very cogent points that started me thinking about "why" most governments seem to get away with as much as they do for as long as they do it. Probably because the encroachments are slow and only affect a few at a time and when there are enough of those the others seem to think that is the "proper behavior" and then they too start to act the way the F/G's propaganda and programs have prodded them in to.
So, yes you can in many countries opt out of your party, you can (at least here in the U.S.) opt out of your state. Can you opt out of your country? Maybe. Can you opt out of taxes? Certainly. Simply become a criminal and if your organization gets enough power or your country causes enough trouble you will be "paid" one way or another to keep just enough hatred and discontent going that the sheeple perceive a need for the F/G.
Can you opt out of the planet Earth? Unlikely? With enough money or the ability to grow your own you can sail or hang out in some jungle or on an island and you will not be bothered because you can do no harm nor have any influence over F/G affairs.
However, for most people on the planet as long as the F/G does not give sheeple too much trouble the sheeple will always opt for the status quo. This is particularly true if they are trained to believe and accept it as the norm which is "comfortable 'enough" for them that anything else becomes unthinkable. Husky's and work horses probably consider their life as pretty wonderful since they are well taken care of in reward for their exertions.
In this country producers of milk/taxes are rewarded too by NOT being punished. Non-producers of the milk/tax are also rewarded (welfare) as long as they cause no trouble for the F/G and the F/G retains control of them and they encourage the F/G to continue its practices. Non- producers do not even have to get up/vote as long as the F/G retains control over enough of them that do get up/vote.
For people where starvation, malnutrition or hardship is the norm they are not encouraged to know better. A small farmer or hunter or herder is quite happy when he has food. He does not quarrel with the F/G and the F/G does not have to take care of them since they probably have no or little contact with the F/G since they have nothing the F/G wants from them and they ask nothing of the F/G. Why don't the dictatorships and developing nations want western culture to seep in? You got it, people might want it. Keep them in the dark, train them to dislike the West, demonize the West as the West deamonizes them and you can control a mighty band of souls/troops on either side and you can have "fun" making war.
Say your piece and influence as you can! John Lennon had great influence and his was mainly a voice of peace that John (the name apparently was given because his parents were great fans of the Beatles) Walker Lindh seems not to have heard.
Michael McKibbin [email@example.com]
Dear Mr. Taylor
Recently, some data has been released by the media concerning the Canadian government's futile war on drugs. According to the report: The rate of marijuana arrests has increased by 34% since 1991; about 86% of those charged were under the age of 25. Of the 66,500 drug incidents in Canada in 1997, more than 70%, or 47,908 were marijuna- related. Of these, two-thirds, or about 32,682 were for possession. According to a Canadian Medical Association report, approximately 3,000 Canadians are incarcerated annually for possession of marijuana.
Will logic ever triumph over this truly evil government policy?
David Maraj [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Hi John & TLE readers. Thought this http://www.rense.com/general20/un.htm was interesting. I guess the corollary to this is that any attempted arrest by a federal agent is the equivalent of a death sentence. I briefly skimmed over the record (www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/02/03/011862P.pdf) and it's truly phenomenal how the government calmly & dryly explains why a man, whose life has already been totally destroyed, must be mentally incompetent because he became angry about it, instead of just going along quietly & politely like a sheep.
Is it still too early?
Don Koehn [email@example.com]
Since seeing the most recent of the Lord of the Rings movies, I've been wondering what bothered me most about it. The effects are fine, but the emasculation of Frodo at the ford, as mentioned in TLE before, and that his escape from the orc raid was not his own doing, bothered me greatly. I finally realized what it is: Aragorn is relegated to minor-player status.
In the book, Elrond states, "...for the Ring of Isildur concerns him closely", and the Sword that was Broken is reforged and renamed by him at that time. And that's not to mention that the third book is named for him! Not so in this movie, the Sword is a holy relic left in Rivendell when the Fellowship sets out.
However, concerning the many references seen in TLE about how the Lord of the Rings is about the eschewing of political power: go pick up The Return of the King, read the two chapters "Homeward Bound", and "The Scouring of the Shire".
One of the reasons that I've re-read TLOTR several times, and have at this moment reached chapter "The Scouring..." is because I see fresh insights every time I read it. From the perspective of Liberty, these two chapters are inspiring. Rather than ruin it for anyone who is experiencing the book(s) for the first time, or that has not read it, I will forsake the joy of telling you in detail about it.
It is my second fondest wish that were I in a similar position, I could stand as tall as those haflings.
Curt Howland [Howland@Priss.com]
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