Big Head Press


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 758, February 16, 2014

What we need are thinkers and heroes.
What we are stuck with is politicians.


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Re: "The Troika of the Anti-Intellectual Libertarian Faction" by Steve Vandervelde

While I agree for the most part with Mr. Vandervelde's excellent article and his conclusions I must disagree with his understanding of economic determinism. Economic determinism, like any other determinism, should be viewed as an environmental factor. As an example, let us consider the example of a person who is unable to synthesize vital amino and fatty acids from vegetable food. Such a person is a genetically obligatory carnivore. Our subject faces deterministic pressure to eat meat or die. Of course, nowadays we can use technology to provide him or her with synthetically produced enzyme supplements that would allow them to get the nutrition they need from a vegetarian diet, or we could process vegetables to manufacture food that has these nutrients. A person morally committed to a vegan lifestyle has a choice between eating meat, dying, or identifying the determinism of their genes and by using technology overcome this.* Identifying deterministic factors allows us to figure out a way to beat them and thus achieve liberty.

Similarly, identifying economically deterministic pressures (or if you will, "economically deterministic factors") allows us to apply our will to create alternative solutions to the problem that created these pressures.

Some people will claim that because of economic (or other) determinism we must simply go along with the flow of events. Others say we should deny there is such a thing as determinism and that the concept is an excuse for engaging in behavior that is at best amoral and at worse mortally sinful by both Heinlein's and the Catholic Church's definition (this is in fact frequently the case). Or we can identify deterministic factors and use our intellects and wills to find solutions to them that are consistent with the principles of morality and liberty. By this last standard I am an unabashed and even proud "economic determinist."

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs@hotmail.com

* I am, by the way, a shameless carnivore. The example of obligatory carnivores comes to mind because I was recently discussing the failure of certain tyrannies to produce enough meat for their citizens.


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Re: "The Troika of the Anti-Intellectual Libertarian Faction" by Steve Vandervelde

Huh?

When I see a lot of arm-waving going on, I start to get suspicious.

After a long while I finally figured out this article was some sort of defense of IP rights. Personally, I have no problem with the notion—as long as proponents do not resort to using the state or justifying the state for their benefit.

Yeah, creators of intellectual property certainly do have a problem in their chosen line of work: copying stuff is easy these days. But that is their problem, not my problem; and they have various means available to stop or control it, at least partially. Just claiming that the market is no good for doing that, is not an excuse for using aggression. Nor is history such an excuse.

By all means, make a contract with people who buy your product. Certainly, go after those who break that contract, using whatever means the market provides, or pick up a baseball bat, or whatever. Just don't use the state. Don't turn your problem into my problem.

Paul Bonneau
z<dot>z<dot>paulbx1<at>dfgh<dot>net


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Niagra Falls—View from a Toy Drone

YouTube.com

L. Neil Smith
lneil@netzero.com


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A Tale of Two Rugers

Fellow Ruger Fans,

It only just occurred to me that, since I have 2500+ Friends on FaceBook and elsewhere, I might ask them a question I can't find an answer to anywhere else.

A very long time ago, I bought a 4 5/8" barrelled Ruger BlackHawk .45LC/.45ACP convertible single action revolver with an aluminum grip frame. Those who follow Rugers will understand what I mean when I say it's a "three-screw" model. It has been my constant companion (I even carried it on patrol once or twice when I was a reserve police officer) and I have taken several big game animals with it.

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At some point, I found somebody selling Ruger parts and put the longer, heavier steel grip frame of a Ruger Super Blackhawk on the revolver, the one with the square-backed trigger guard. The result is the most satisfactory sixgun I've ever owned. I've made other modifications, as well, over the years.

I now have a 7 1/2" Ruger Old Army revolver, originally intended to be loaded with loose powder, lead balls, and percussion caps. I bought a cartridge conversion cylinder for it from Brownell's, and it's almost as fun as the "Superized" BlackHawk I described above. But it's very heavy in the front end, while it retains the small grip profile of the original three-screw BlackHawk. It needs a bigger "rudder".

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I'd like to find another Super BlackHawk three-screw grip frame for this piece, preferably stainless steel, but I can always have it plated. I have other Ruger modification plans in mind, as well. So if anybody out there knows about an outfit that caters to this kind of thing, please let me know.

Thanks Very Much,

Neil lneil@netzero.com


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Re: "Not a Jefferson Among Them" by L. Neil Smith (in this issue)

Abortion: I've already said I'm keeping out of this one. I am morally opposed to abortion, however most political leaders who share this opposition are such fascistic jerks that the policies they would implement would lead to more women getting abortions to spare their children living under said leaders' rule.

Immigration: there are those who come for honest, decent reasons and those who don't. The entire system needs to be repaired from stem to stern and top to bottom, and getting rid of quotas is a good place to start.

Same sex marriage: Marriage has two functions. The first is a civil contract guaranteeing the spouses involved certain property rights, inheritance rights, and custody of progeny. The second is a sacramental relationship recognized by various churches applying to people who wish to cohabit in a sexual relationship and asking their diety(ies) to bless their union. Most objections to same sex marriage stem from people of various faiths who believe that marriage must be male and female. Let the state recognize the civil contracts of all people, the churches bless whatever unions they choose, and let the veil of separation of church and state fall between them.

A.X. Perez
perez180ehs@hotmail.com


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