THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 381, August 20, 2006
"The sort of slave rebellions that are coming in the next few years..."
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Reply to Open Letter from Michael T. Bradshaw in The Libertarian Enterprise #380
A public apology to Michael Bradshaw.
I sincerely and publicly apologize to Michael Bradshaw. Indeed I did use a slight variation of the following without proper attribution to Michael Bradshaw and his article "Home of the Slave?" in The Libertarian Enterprise #362:
"Just as an aside, chaos is not anarchy. The two are polar opposites. To the extent that you have one, you have less of the other. Chaos is disorder; such as we see in governmental interference in the market economy, pogrom, genocide and wars between states. Anarchy is the absence of a king or political state. A free market, guided by the invisible hand of price feedback is the classic example of anarchy. Most, by far, human interaction is an-archic. Examples are families, friends and shoppingas none of these require governmental intervention."
I collect and keep many articles and snippets of articles on my computer for reference and I take care to include links with my "clippings" in order to properly attribute them if I use them in articles that I write. That I attempt to properly attribute what I use from others should be amply demonstrated in my article itself and as cited in the second paragraph of Michael Bradshaw's open letter to me.
Unfortunately, with some snippets, the link gets lost and with it the name of the author. This is offered by way of explanation, not as an excuse. The error was not intentional, but it is entirely my responsibility.
I deeply regret the grief I have caused Mr. Bradshaw. I have given the public apology, which he (rightfully) demanded and is certainly due. I await his reply regarding what he will consider as proper and appropriate paid restitution.
Dennis Lee Wilson
I wish to thank Mr. Wilson for his apology (he sent me a copy before publication) and restitution for the use of my work in his previous article. I am satisfied that the lack of acknowledgment in his original article for the quotes of mine that he used was a mistake and out of character for him.
I would now willingly trade with him and suggest that others do also.
There are three other ideas that I think are important here.
The first is that this conflict we have just concluded is not over ideas. The concepts discussed in my original article that Mr. Wilson quoted are common to the field of economics. My objection was entirely about his use of my words about those subjects. Some ideas are private property (such as business plans or strategies), some are released to the public domain (such as my "Fifth Generation War" concept) and others are, by their nature, in the public domain, such as the laws of physical nature and economics. One cannot speak about the latter without paraphrasing others; and I do not accuse Mr. Wilson of plagiarizing my ideas about those. In these cases the prose itself is the property, not the subject matter or the basic ideas.
The second is that this case illustrates the common workings of the free market with regard to honor and justice. Mr. Wilson made a mistake that wronged me. When I complained about it he apologized publicly and paid restitution. We did not even have to resort to arbitration (private free-market courts), let alone the government's courts of law. Were the sides reversed, I would have behaved like him in response to his compliant.
Mr. Wilson and I are both libertarians and signatories of the Covenant of Unanimous Consent, so we are both constrained by moral principle (the Zero Aggression Principle, or "ZAP") and by contract (the Covenant) to respect each other's rights. We both are protecting our property in this case too; so we are acting in our own self interest. Mine is obvious; my right to my written words. His may not be so obvious; his reputation.
If Mr. Wilson were not an honorable man and had not acknowledged his error and made it right; if he had persisted in claiming the property of another as his own (whether his original use of it as his own was an error or not); his reputation would have been damaged by my public protest and his lack of a proper response. Some people who did not yet do business with him would be deterred from doing so, and others who already did business with him may have stopped, least they be victimized in the future.
Mr. Wilson has made a public apology for a public mistake that made him look bad. He pays full restitution for the damage he has done (And no, I am not going to say how much!), whether the wrong was intentional or not. In this way he has invested some money, time and public embarrassment for a much larger return. He has not only repaired his reputation, he has made it stronger by showing strength of character, honesty and respect for other people.
As a result some, who are shopping for services or products that he provides may choose him instead of others because of the information they receive about him from this exchange in the Libertarian Enterprise. That would lower their risks in doing business and improve his bottom line.
This is an example of how the free market, especially for those who live by the ZAP and the Covenant of Unanimous Consent, turns an apparent conflict that the government courts would make a painful, damaging and expensive ordeal for everyoneinto a winning situation for us all. My prose is mine again. Mr. Wilson's reputation is restored and stronger than before. His prospective customers now know that he may have an advantage over his competitors that can benefit them, and so they may be drawn to do business with him to their mutual advantage. I hope they will do so.
The third idea of importance here is the function of the curmudgeon. I had considerable conflict internally about this matter. I did not want my work to be taken and claimed by another without protest; and I did not want to be seen as a bad-tempered and petty man, fretful about petty things (with apologies to Samuel Clemens!). The volume of my work that was used wrongly was not large. It was not made to look bad. However it was mine! Well, then, I am a bit of a curmudgeon, after all. And there was my larger responsibility.
As L. Neil Smith tells us through his character Eichra Oren in the novel "The Forge of the Elders" the curmudgeon has an important function in society; that of the "mine canary" who warns the miners of poison gas or lack of oxygen by keeling-over early (due to his fast and fragile metabolism) before they would. Then the miners can run for the surface before they would die from the same cause. The curmudgeon serves that function by reacting to the little things that warn us of troubles in our society before we would otherwise notice them. "Great oaks from little acorns grow", and small injustices do the same. A little bit at a time (not things to really set most people off on a course of mayhem) small annoyances and injustices grow until we are either miserable or living under a dictatorship.
We really need to sweat the details of justice, civility and honesty; as though we are maintaining and oiling a machine. The curmudgeon "squeaks" like a rusty hinge and thereby shows us where to do the work.
So, my duty was then plain. I must look "mean and petty" in public in order to do my curmudgeonly dutyas well as get justice for my right to my work.
Michael T. Bradshaw, S. (O.) B.
Lady Liberty writes:
"The poor guy who smoked a little marijuana after work to relax and who had a couple of plants in his basement for his personal use should never have been arrested in the first place let alone jailed."
She's correct, of course. But, her comment doesn't go far enough.
The guy who smoked a lot of marijuana shouldn't have been arrested either. The guy who planted 400 acres of nationalist forest land in hemp should not have been arrested. The guy who brought five hundred thousand kilos of marijuana from Panama last year should never have been arrested.
What are we, Ghandhi cottage industrialists, now? We are permitted to sympathize with the individual user and the personal use grower, but the Marc Emery's of the world who sell hemp seeds to tens of thousands, those guys are in it for money so they must be evil? freemarc.blogspot.com
What about the poor guy who snorted a little cocaine before work? What about the poor gal who smoked a pipe of freebase? What about the poor man who had no money to buy sexual favors, so he used a rock of crack cocaine? Are we to withhold our sympathy for these victimless crimes? Coke not fashionable any more? No sympathy for the Bolivian coca growers now that one of their own, socialist Evo Morales is running the place?
How about the poor heroin addict who pushed a bit of junk into her veins just before the cops rolled up to her cardboard box, put her in the back of their patrol car, and sodomized her repeatedly? She's not a very sympathetic figure, living in that box, not having a job to go to, not growing a bit of weed for personal use like Ghandi's hand spun yarn workers. But her crime is mala prohibitum, and she shouldn't be in prison. She also shouldn't be paying cartel prices to CIA front operations for her alcohol-substitute of choice. Nor should she be subject to extorted sexual favors from the police because who is she going to tell? Who reports her story?
It is time to stop pretending that a little pot is one thing and a lot of trade and commerce is another. Things that are non-violent acts should not be treated as violent crimes. Things that are not force nor fraud are not criminal, and should not be prohibited.
Should they be encouraged? Very often not. I don't take drugs, I barely drink wine, and I gave up cigars after the cops in Houston got done breaking ten of my ribs and busting part of my left lung. I don't encourage drug use. Like Frank Zappa, I despise pushers and their Cosmik Debris.
But the war on drugs isn't about the war on the little guy with his two plant basement and his after work toke. The war on drugs is about a cartel operating in restraint of trade using the brutality of the federal government to destroy its competitors. The war on drugs is about pot, coke, hash, acid, ecstacy, heroin, and a thousand other chemical concoctions prohibited because somewhere someone might be happy. The war on drugs is about ordinary Americans with no interest in recreational drugs being forced to show state-issued identity papers in order to buy cold medicines because some tweeker figured out how to make methamphetamine from ephedrine. As if two dozen substitutes weren't available before the law went into effect.
The war on drugs is white, suburban, middle class, Ivy-League educated guys like me getting arrested enough times and beaten by enough cops to have very ambivalent feelings about the prospect of thousands of cops bleeding their guts into gutters. The war on drugs is about turning cops into criminals, a free country into a police state, and making every American fear the wire taps, the warrantless searches, the no-knock raids, the feral agents, enough to either capitulate at the first sign of any conflict or spend a lot of time at the gun range.
The war on drugs is about all these desperate people, all those who engage in trade and commerce, all those who seek to move freely across international frontiers for peaceful purposes. The war on drugs is the identity state, the warfare state, and the welfare state. It replaces religion as the opiate of the masses with actual raw opium itself.
What the world needs is certainly fewer non-violent drug prisoners and more hard core rapists, murderers, and thieves in prisons. Or paying compensation for their crimes. We clearly don't need to have the poor guy who tokes after work in prison, nor the profit-seeking pot salesman, nor the cocaine snorter, nor the hemp seed salesman, nor the crack whore, nor the heroin junky. And it is high time we looked at all these people as figures of sympathy, and not just the middle class suburban nerf libertarian wannabe.
Thanks for your observations..
On Aug 13, 2006, at 2:10 PM, Jim Davidson wrote:
> Lady Liberty writes:
I agree with you. . .
> What are we, Ghandhi cottage industrialists, now? We
::: snip :::
. . .but an unfortunate majority don't. I'm certainly not here to say that simply because the majority believes something, it must either be right or the rest of us must pretend they're right and go along with it. What is true, however, is that when the majority believes something, the inertia of their ideas alone will work to make change difficult if not impossible.
You've heard the saying that says, "You can't turn an ocean liner on a dime." You can't turn the average American's position on the "War on Drugs" on a dime, either. It's so ingrained from various and sundry propaganda that it's not that easy to dislodge.
Because I know full well you keep an eye on such things, you know better than most that many Libertarians and libertarians are viewed as extremists because they don't consider to be crimes those things that don't victimize others. Legalize prostitution? I say of course; the majority is horrified. Legalize all drugs? I say, along with you, that that's the only way to "win" the "War on Drugs" (not to mention it's frankly none of your business what I do with my own body). But the knee jerk reaction against the idea from the majority is considerable.
By using examples in what I write that the average suburbanite can actually relate tomedical marijuana, a joint after work instead of a cocktail, a plant or two for personal useI believe I'm putting a chink into the armor most wear that "all drugs are bad." It's frankly not that big a step to then consider other kinds of recreation drug use. The majority want to pretend that marijuana is a "gateway drug" (don't get me started on the erroneous use of statistical analysis that "supports" that conclusion), so I'm going to go ahead and use it as a "gateway" myself.
The so-called "extremists" have their placethey put ideas out there and, even when they're ridiculed or feared, the proposals are at least made and there's a little ongoing immunization against the shock of their notions. Me? While my end goals are just as "extreme," I believe the only way to truly get there (outside of establishing a truly free enclave by seceding from the US, which is another notion that causes horror among the majority and which will need to be addressed elsewhere) is to go there in increments. In support of that position, I'd point out that we didn't reach this awful stage of prohibition all at once, either.
Thanks again for making your points. They're not wrong, and I don't disagree. I merely choose to persuade in chunks those who are more ignorant or afraid will find themselves able to swallow.
Yours for freedom,
> I agree with you. . .
> . . .but an unfortunate majority don't.
The majority also don't read The Libertarian Enterprise. It would be nice to see people who actually care about liberty stand up for what they really believe rather than what they suppose a majority might be persuaded is reasonable.
A majority of Americans never supported the Sons of Liberty during the Revolutionary War. I find it rather doubtful that a majority of Americans have read the Declaration of Independence, the constitution, or the Bill of Rights at any time in their lives, or could recognize key passages from it. Indeed, repeated surveys indicate that when presented with the text of the Declaration of Independence's preamble, most Americans would not agree to set their names to it.
> What is true, however, is that when the majority
It seems obvious that you cannot plan to reach the majority by publishing essays at TLE. So, why do you avoid stating the difficult truths with which you agree? If you aren't willing to be forthright with us, then with whom would you be?
The majority seems to think that they can be protected by having all their freedoms stripped away, all their possessions searched, all their conversations wire tapped. The chipping of passports is here, now, the chipping of all livestock is here, now, and the majority has not been heard from in any opposition to these measures. Can the chipping of all people be far behind? What would be heard from the herd, then?
We all know at what point I'll reject the majority and stand against whatever wicked, evil things they desire.
That point is in the past. You may look it up.
The question for me is, where is your line in the sand?
It evidently wasn't when the gun seizures started in New Orleans last year. It isn't the war on drugs. Is it the implantable spy chips?
> You've heard the saying that says, "You can't turn
You must have some confused idea of who I am. I don't own an ocean liner. I'm not interested in turning one.
If your country is that ocean liner, then you should be aware, by now, that it has hit the iceberg, is open from stem to stern, is taking on water, and is going down. If you are here to re-arrange the deck chairs so that the majority can, by their mass, achieve the turning you find reasonable, I can assure you the physics of your metaphor are busted.
> You can't turn the average American's position on
You cannot turn the average American's position on the war on some drugs on any galactic orbital scale, either. You can either stand up for what is right, or you can whine about whether the majority is listening. If you think the majority is listening to your carefully shaded reasoning, I think you are very sadly mistaken.
For my own part, I don't consent to be governed by the majority, so they are utterly irrelevant to my policies. I don't have to cater to their whims and psychoses and neuroses, so I don't. Your country is not my country. Your problem is that you obey the will of a majority that hates the idea of your freedom.
I don't have that problem.
You don't have to hold onto that problem, either. You won't sink, if you don't hold up an unworkable mass of humanity while you swim. Let go.
> Because I know full well you keep an eye on such
I don't know all that many people. I suppose you think that I actually ought to care what other people think. I don't. I do not care whether other people think I am a monster for believing what is right and true. I'm going to go right on believing right and true things. The majority can go wrap its collective arms around itself, give a big hug, and jump into a vat of boiling acid, shouting, "We believe it's water," and I won't play. If that makes me an extremist, then I am proud to be an extremist.
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." You know who spoke that motto in 1964. Barry Goldwater. A fine, decent man.
My motto is "I am a barbarian, you imperial twit." That's what "Ego sum homo indomitus" means.
As a barbarian, I stand outside your empire, and I do not have any obligation to help the tax payers, bureau-rats, and politicians while they burn to death in the fire they have set. The ones who free themselves before the city walls collapse on their heads are welcome to stop by for trade and commerce, or go about their business.
> I say of course; the majority is horrified.
Do you think the majority is going to vote for your freedom? I sincerely do not.
Your majority has agreed to jump off a cliff, as they demonstrate at the airports every day. Do you agree to follow them over that cliff? I do not. Nor do I agree to stand at the cliff's edge and speak in calm, soothing tones about the dire consequences of their insanity. I have no obligation to the majority, and no desire to be swept off the edge by their madness.
> Legalize all drugs? I say, along with you, that
But, Lady, that's not what you published. You say that here in the letters column, I suppose, so why not say it in your essay? Why are you ashamed of the truth?
> (not to mention it's frankly none of your business
Indeed, and I don't believe that I have ever asserted otherwise. I'm interested in unanimous consent, so I won't ever tell you what to do with your body.
But, of course, the majority asserts that unanimous consent "cannot work," and "is unreasonable," therefore they are for coercion. They are sometimes shocked by the extremes of coercion, but the case of Donald Scott has had no happy ending. The drug lab was never found in Mt. Carmel, and all those people are dead. Those children, Lady, were burned to death by your government on the orders of your attorney general at the time.
The majority has been happy to go on believing that it was okay for the government to coerce the people at Mt. Carmel by burning them all to death. Rob over at Strike-the-Root.com has told me quite frankly that he thinks I'm insane because I believe the government was wrong in massacring all those people in that church near Waco.
I know my own limits. I cannot even persuade decent liberty enthusiasts like Rob of the injustice of what happened at Mt. Carmel. I'll never persuade a majority of Americans of anything. Your hubris in this matter has a certain charm.
> By using examples in what I write that the average
I don't. I believe you are coddling the soccer folx in the forlorn hope that by avoiding any shocks to the system you can do an out-patient procedure to remove the giant enormous authoritarian bug up their rears.
The war on drugs is not something that can be repackaged in shiny wrapping paper with a pretty bow and cleaned up. Getting rid of the war against medical marijuana solves nothing - as the states have amply demonstrated. The war on drugs is a seething cesspool of corruption, villainy, and bloody murder. Wrap it up in paper and the blood soaks through, the stench remains pervasive.
> The majority want to pretend that marijuana is
The majority is never going to vote you free. The majority is never going to be relevant to my freedom. I'm not able to submit to the authority they have created, which they have bowed down to, and which they worship.
> The so-called "extremists" have their place
How entirely decent of you to say so. Now I feel the warm embrace of your acceptance.
Please watch carefully when I don't stay in my place, don't mind my station, and go out doing extreme things without regard to where you think my place might be.
> is to go there in increments.
Coercion is not incremental. It is all or nothing. There is not an incremental rape. Either a victim has been raped, or not. It does not impress me that the rape victim gets a flower after his ordeal. It does not impress me that the authoritarian majority offers to allow, in their magnanimous generosity, the ordinary pot user to grow two plants in his basement, so long as the children don't see what he's got through a basement window when they trespass in his yard.
If the majority of Americans who support the police state each get kicked in the head and chest by an outraged victim of the police state, such as myself, it would do nothing to satisfy the debt of blood they owe to millions of brutalized victims, nor would it be anything close to what they deserve. It is well that I wasn't brought up to be vengeful in my wrath.
When your cherished majority pay the compensation that is due, whether that compensation is collected in this life, or hereafter, it won't be paid out gradually or pleasantly. It won't be incremental. Very likely, the cost they bear is going to be much higher the longer they put off paying their debts.
The sort of slave rebellions that are coming in the next few years are going to make the Watts Riot look like a walk in the park. I truly have no idea how to package that unpleasant truth so your soccer moms are wearing their bicycle helmets when they get dragged out of their suburban homes by rioting mobs, down the concrete porch steps, by their ankles.
> In support of that position, I'd point out that
Yes, you did. Your government ratified treaties obligating it to enforce the drug laws. That your government has not always been diligent in upholding its treaty obligations is so widely known by Native American Indians, countries all over the world, and Americans it is pleonastic to state.
The 1911 International Convention on Opium treaty committed the USA to police the trade in "narcotics" within its borders. Your constitution says that treaties ratified by the Senate become the Supreme Law of the Land.
> I merely choose to persuade in chunks those who
Well, gosh, I wonder how many of those pap swillers who need your pre-digestion efforts are reading TLE?
It seems quite likely that what you have here is a brand extension problem. You write Lady Liberty essays for various audiences. You are trying to market to a suburbanite soccer parent, perhaps. But, the power of the Internet is that everything is available online. How can you avoid having your true feelings exposed if your reply to me is to be published by TLE?
Those who have tried to be all things to all people find out fairly quickly that they are not highly regarded as anything by anyone. It is, as I say, the classic problem in brand extension. I certainly like a good pair of Wrangler denim jeans, but I have no interest in buying computers from them. If they suddenly showed up with a line of laptops, I would not be a buyer. And I'd thoroughly review the quality of the next pair of denim jeans before buying those from them, either. Trying to satisfy too wide an audience results in slipshod results more often than not.
If you think Parade magazine would publish your ideas on gradualism, by all means, go forth and get paid. I don't wish to be seen standing in your way. But if your message doesn't seem tasty to everyone here, it should be no surprise.
> Make a move toward freedom!
That seems like a fine idea.
[We (heh! that is "me" ... er ... "I") note that not everybody visiting TLE is a "convert". Especially now with DIGGwhich put Doug Newman's article in last issue "We Have Met the Enemy in the War On Terror. . . and He Is Us" right up there in Netscape news Netscape news This brought a lot of new visitors (many of whom left pissed to the gills, poor bastards), As well as (so far) 1,283 "Diggs", with also many really upset people who had their world-views disturbed (tisk, tisk, tut, tut). We must have done something right, right?
Lady Liberty's article would be of some interest to those just discovering the idea of libertarianism. As such, it can't hurt to address some of their likely questions and concerns even as some basic ideas are reinforced for the hard-core "I get it already" regulars as well. After all, if the choir didn't want to be preached at, they wouldn't show up every Sunday, would they?
Lady Liberty herself mentioned to me that "The truth is that if I'd run across a web site some 15 or 20 years ago that said anyone who wants a machine gun ought to be able to have one; all drugs should be legal; and prostitution presents no problem, well, I would have run the other way. It was incremental and rational steps that put me on the path and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person in the world who's convinced of things that way."
While our goal is to be and remain the most radical of the radical libertarians on the 'net, we will help those who are timid and caught by surprise slide into an equal radicalism. Someday Our Publisher will have to tell the story of how he got blindsided into becoming an anarchist.
TLE is here to provide substance and sustenance to all libertarians and prospective libertarians, as well as the whole wide world. How else are we going to go to the stars?Editor]
The "FSP News" for August 2006 has been published:
Free State Project
>> And don't forget this Sunday's issue of The Libertarian Enterprise. I've written an article about the current airport security liquid explosive flap, entitled "The Boys Who Cried Terrorist", in which I ask (and answer) the question, how, knowing the track record of government in general, and this government in particular, regarding the truth, do we know it actually happened? <<
It is interesting the string of lies you mention to discredit the USA feral gummint. A good choice, no doubt.
On the British side, the British naval escort for the Lusitania, the lies about Gallipoli and Coventry, the British share of Operation Keelhaul, the staglation of the 1970s, and sundry lies about Iraq. Isn't one of Britain's spies dead for telling unpleasant truths about Iraq?
Going back a bit further, the British government of today is the successor in interest to the lying filthy maggots who passed out smallpox blankets on orders of Sir Jeffrey Amherst in 1744, who massacred Bostonians in 1770, attempted to seize the militia arsenals at Lexington and Concord, imposed the intolerable acts, committed sundry other acts of perfidy, were chased out of most of their North American colonies, and came back in 1812 to set fire to Washington DC in what might have been their only sensible act of the period.
The British and USA governments traded intelligence secrets in the years leading up to WW2, which makes both governments culpable in the massacre of Dutch, Malay, Chinese, and Australian civilians by Japanese forces. The British and USA governments had full and detailed knowledge, and were in a position to give fair warning before the Japanese attacks from 6 December 1941 onward, and did not, so a measure of that blood is on their hands.
The British and USA governments signed a UK-USA treaty after WW2 which is the basis for the National Security Agency and the ECHELON database. I gather that New Zealand has opted out of this evil program. I gather Australia and Canada are ongoing participants. The swine.
In my letter to the editor of last week, there is a paragraph that needs attribution. Since, in my haste to get thoughts collected together, I have recently become careless in that regard, I want to fix this situation immediately. The paragraph is:
"If consent is to mean anything, it must mean the explicit voluntary consent of each and every person over whom government exercises control. Since no government can document that it rests on individual consent and since payment of taxes is not voluntary, no government can demonstrate that it has the consent of the governed (otherwise the imposition of physical force, and the threat of physical force, to collect taxes would not be necessary)."
I picked up this wonderful paragraph somewhere and could not find in my "clippings" where it came from. But a web search showed only one source, posted in two places. It is from a 27-page article dated 1986.
The two sources are:
My thanks to Mr. Watner for his writing and my apologies to him for carelessly omitting attribution.