Monthly Archives: November 2016

Is Donald Trump Being Adopted by the Establishment?

SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES

Donald Trump ran a campaign founded on the idea of “draining the swamp” and implementing radical change, change which, at least on the foreign policy level, was practically non-interventionist. He ran promising to get rid of the fascist Affordable Healthcare Act, and even had an infrastructure revitalization plan focused on the privatization of highways and bridges incentivized by massive tax credits! Trump criticized warmongering NATO, said that ISIS can be defeated by getting out-of-the-way of Russia, and has wanted foreign nations to actually provide for their own security. Now, it seems that these promises and platforms are all going down the drain as Donald Trump is being integrated into the Deep State’s plans.

Trump has stated that he wants to “drain the swamp”, implying that the warmongerers who seek out American’s death and wealth will be forced from the Federal Government. However, instead of having a group of peace-oriented advisors, Donald Trump has basically invited the entire neocon Establishment onto his team. This list of names has been released [SOURCE: US MAGAZINE], detailing the members of his new “transition team”:

Donald Trump announced his Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee on Friday, November 11, and the list includes his children Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. (A transition team is put in place with every new incoming president to ensure that the transfer of power happens smoothly.)

Other bold-faced names who will join him as part of the executive committee include Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, RNC chairman Reince Priebus and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who earlier this year revealed that he had funded a lawsuit against blog network Gawker Media.

Rebekah Mercer, a Republican donor; Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s campaign chairman and conservative news organization Breitbart News’ executive chairman; Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn; Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta; New York Congressman Chris Collins; Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino; banker and producer Steven Mnuchin; California Congressman Devin Nunes and entrepreneur Anthony Scaramucci round out the team.

The New York Times also announced Friday that vice president–elect Mike Pence will helm the team, taking over for Governor Chris Christie, who previously led the transition effort. Christie will instead serve as vice chair to the transition, alongside avid Trump supporter and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson, Newt Gingrich, retired lieutenant general Michael T. Flynn and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

As you can see, the only possibly good picks from this bad bunch is Peter Thiel, the libertarian businessman, and Stephen K. Bannon, chairman of Breitbart. Others, like Rudy Giuliani (yes, the same man who was smacked down by Ron Paul in the Republican debates on the subject of blowback), the bloodthirsty Michael T. Flynn, and the warmonger Jeff Sessions are absolutely the worst band of money-grubbing murderers available for hire. How is hiring men like Newt Gingrich and Tom Marino draining anything? Answer: it’s not. It’s inviting those same guys Trump campaigned against to come and join him. And looking at his cabinet picks, things don’t get any better: Trump is considering a prominent banker as his Secretary of Treasury. Here’s the full list [SOURCE: BUZZFEED]:

List of Potential Trump Cabinet Nominees:

Attorney General:

Gov. Chris Christie

Attorney General Pam Bondi

Sen. Jeff Sessions

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Secretary of Commerce:

Christie

Former Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco

Businessman Lew Eisenberg

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee

Sen. David Perdue

Former Sen. Jim Talent

Agriculture Secretary:

Gov. Sam Brownback

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives CEO Chuck Conner

Gov. Dave Heineman

Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue

Secretary of Education:

Ben Carson

Hoover Institution fellow William Evers

Secretary of Energy:

Venture Capitalist Robert Grady

Businessman Harold Hamm

Secretary of Health and Human Services:

Former New Jersey state Sen. Rich Bagger

Ben Carson

Newt Gingrich

Gov. Rick Scott

Secretary of Homeland Security:

Christie

Sheriff David Clarke

Secretary of the Interior:

Gov. Jan Brewer

Gov. Mary Fallin

Grady

Hamm

Oil Executive Forrest Lucas

Rep. Cynthia Lummis

Former Gov. Sarah Palin

Secretary of Defense:

Former Gen. Mike Flynn

Stephen Hadley

Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr.

Sessions

Former Sen. Jim Talent

Secretary of State:

John Bolton

Sen. Bob Corker

Gingrich

Treasury Secretary:

Rep. Jeb Hensarling

Businessman Carl Icahn

Banker Steven Mnuchin

Chief of Staff:

Reince Priebus

Director of Office of Management and Budget:

Sessions

Secretary of Labor:

EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic

Veterans Affairs:

Rep. Jeff Miller

White House Counsel:

Donald McGahn

Obama has now met with Trump, in order to ensure a “smooth transition of power“. We have no idea what was said during this 90-minute meeting (which was supposed to only last about 15), but we do know that afterwards Obama said that “Most of all, I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed then the country succeeds.” This sound eerily like the Deep State wanting to help him “see the light”. And, even more significantly, Donald Trump after his conversation said that Obama was a “very good man, very good man” and that he “explained some of the difficulties, some of the wonderful things that have been achieved.” This coming after tweeting that Obama will go down in history as the worst president in history!

Not only that, but Donald Trump, after repeatedly saying that he will dismantle and abolish the Affordable Care Act, is now changing his position to one of merely “fixing” it and maintaining the individual mandate (the one that forces people to buy healthcare or else) and the preexisting conditions rules of Obamacare. Trump also said that he will try to make the FedGov’s healthcare more like the socialist MediCare (as opposed to the fascist ObamaCare). This is a blantant example of the treachery that Donald Trump will exhibit once he becomes president.

Finally, in a recent interview on 60 Minutes, Trump has called Hillary Clinton “very strong and very smart,” “a great competitor” and that she “couldn’t have been nicer” when she gave him a call. After gushing over Clinton like this, Trump was asked weither he would consider the Clintons as advisors, to which he replied, “I mean, this is a very talented family,” then, “Certainly, I would certainly think about that.” WHAT???!!! When I first read this, I thought that there must have been some sort of mistake. After realizing that this was real, I knew that all the populism coming from Trump had gone right down the drain. Instead of “LOCK HER UP!” we get “I’ll definitely consider taking her advice.” Here’s the video:

In conclusion, it seems to me that the only question remaining is whether or not Donald Trump is a Deep State trojan horse, pretending to be an outsider, only to get elected and turn on the American people, or if he has gotten elected and is now being manipulated to do the elites’ bidding. Or perhaps this is just a situation of Trump trying to build up alliances within the system so that he can accomplish at least some of his goals — as unlikely as that may be, it is possible. Any way you slice it, Trump is not going to fix the country’s problems, nearly all of which come from political power. This statist system is not going to last, and when it all collapses, we voluntaryists (what Leonard Read called the Remnant) need to be there to show people that there is another, better way, a better way that we can and should be working towards today.

Can a Voluntaryist Vote?

voting_stations

This presidential election has found me pensive on the matter of voting. There is something of a debate within voluntaryism as to whether voting is an immoral activity, or one strategy to be used in the fight for liberty. The anti-voters claim that voting is “supporting the system” and provides legitimacy to The State. The pro-voters assert that voting for whatever policy or candidate that results in the least amount of aggression is a positive (although not very effective) way of bringing about a more free world.

The most serious objection to voting is that it qualifies as an act of aggression. The reason the objectors believe this is that voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil, and that voting is authorizing immoral and horrible government power. This is patently false because the government exists, whether people vote or not! The State is just giving it’s slaves the option to choose between evils — it will force evil on the populace even if no one votes! If you have an option to vote on a ballot that  will legalize marijuana even if with high taxes and regulations, that clearly isn’t authorizing aggression (which is impossible by definition), but only a selection for the reduction of government power. The same would go for voting for a Libertarian candidate, voting for a reduction in taxation, voting to reduce regulations, etc., etc.

The far more convincing argument against voting is the one which states that voting is a complete waste of time, is irrational behavior, and is focused more on exercising your “civic duty” and partaking in the sacraments of the State than it is on achieving libertarian goals. Notice that this is not so much about the morality of voting as it is about the effectiveness or strategic value of doing so.  While it is absolutely true that a person has a greater chance of getting into a fatal car accident on the way to the booth than influencing the outcome, voting is still a way of reducing government power. Even if the odds are small that you will affect just a little amount of good, why wouldn’t you take advantage of every opportunity to oppose the State and minimize the amount of aggression in the world? After all, filling out an absentee ballot is positively easy and takes virtually no time or hassle — you’re not even  herded into a little enclosure or made to stand in line!

Then there is the argument from those concerned with libertarian strategy that voting results in greater perceived legitimacy. However, voter turnout doesn’t have anything to do with “legitimacy”, and no one really cares how many people voted or pays any attention to those numbers, they show up to the polls because they’re passionate about what’s being voted on, not because of perceived legitimacy! I think the results of a vote matter more to people than which people didn’t vote (or why). If a Libertarian candidate gets elected, doesn’t that expose the libertarian philosophy to a large number of people, as opposed to only having the Republicans and Democrats in office? Doesn’t a Libertarian or a libertarian (non-Libertarian Party libertarian) getting lots of votes gather interest in what it is that they stand for? Besides, these people/ballot measure getting elected/passed really do make a difference – all those states that passed marijuana legalization measures are perfect examples of libertarian voting making a freer society.

In conclusion, voting is perfectly moral, doesn’t (necessarily) support the State, and can even be a somewhat effective tool to combat it. As a voluntaryist you should be doing everything you can to make a voluntary society — so go ahead, register as a Libertarian and vote without feeling like you’re doing something wrong! And, in case you were wondering, I supported Gary Johnson in the election, with Donald Trump ranking second on my preference scale, Jill Stein third, and Killary Clinton ranking last.

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Animal Rights and Voluntaryism

goat_wearing_clothes

One of the most controversial and unstudied aspects of voluntaryism is on the subject of animals and the proper relationship between them and humans. Some have put animals in the same moral realm as humans, others have put them as something between humans and inanimate objects, and still others reject the notion that animals have any rights at all.

The fundamental question to be asked is this: are animals persons? Hans-Hermann Hoppe has defined persons as rational beings, and rational beings as beings capable of argumentation. According to Argumentation Ethics, only those capable of argumentation (persons) are capable of property ownership and subject to the Non-Aggression Principle. It is, therefore, obvious that no animal known to man qualifies as a person. Perhaps in the future an alien race will be discovered which does qualify for personhood, but that day has not yet come. Animals must be seen as scarce means to satisfy a person’s wants, not as persons themselves. Personhood being ascribed to animals is a product man’s empathy: we see that animals have wills, experience pain and pleasure, suffer losses and enjoy gains, so we feel for them because we too experience these things, and by this make the mistake of thinking they are more like us than they are. Simply being able to feel hurt or happiness does not grant rights or qualify one for personhood — only rationality can do that.

Another way to demonstrate the validity of my position is like this: if animals have rights, that means that they also have the duty to observe others’ rights. Therefore, animals must be taken to court and take other animals to court for infractions of others’ rights. The wildebeest must take the lion to court for eating their brethren, all the animals must take mosquitoes to court for violating their self-ownership, the mice should take the cats to court for attacking them, the birds should take the snakes to court for eating their eggs, the dogs should sue the fleas for biting them, etc., etc. The absurdity of this makes the answer quite clear: animals are not persons.

Animal rights, conservationism, and environmentalism are all destructive, anti-human ideologies. On their surface, this is not readily perceivable. Nonetheless, it is absolutely true. If we are to treat (non-human) animals, the environment, and “Mother Nature” as people, where does that leave us humans? If animals are people too, we mustn’t aggress against their property, their air, or their environment. Everywhere humans try to live, move to, or develop, animals live or used to live. Chop down a tree? How dare you, an eagle used to live there! Built a house? You just destroyed many animals’ habitat! Drain a swamp in your backyard? You annihilated thousands of species entire ecosystem! Nearly every time someone homesteads or uses their property, they are invading animals’ living space. Nearly every industry uses natural resources which animals used to possess, or at least made use of the land (or sea) from which the resources were extracted. According to the animal rights advocates, conservationists, and environmentalists, animals would be better off if people just did………NOTHING! Don’t shower, don’t eat meat, don’t drive a car, don’t build that new factory or resort, don’t mine or drill for resources, don’t turn your lights on, don’t bag your groceries, don’t spray hairspray, don’t behave as if you’re actually alive. These people, deep down, wish that they (and everyone else) didn’t exist.

On the other hand, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care about animals, or that animal abuse is fine and dandy, I’m just saying that it doesn’t qualify as aggression. All this article is trying to validate is that force cannot morally be used against the animal-harmer; it says nothing as to how animals should be treated other than as non-persons. Personally, I abhor the mistreatment of animals and am a volunteer at a local Humane Society, but I respect the right of control by owners over their animals.

This is a tricky subject, and I know that many will be made uncomfortable with these conclusions, but these insights are important to the libertarian theory of justice, and are needed to combat the progressive and anti-human nature of the animal rights position.

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~Ethan from TheLibertyAdvocate.com

 

 

The What, Why, and How of Unschooling

Unschooling is the practice whereby teachers facilitate the acquisition of knowledge which is of the highest value to the student. This seemingly unobjectionable practice is extremely controversial. The reason for this is that many people have been brainwashed into believing that what a child needs is education, education being forced learning. The problem with education is that it requires the ability to control other’s minds. The retention of technological knowledge requires the retainer to voluntarily retain the information given. It simply cannot be forced on to someone. “Aha! That’s where you’re wrong!” cries the objector, “I learned so-and-so at a school, therefore you’re whole theory is incorrect.” This objection is wholly untrue. It assumes that the school made him (or her) learn so-and-so, when in reality he (or she) must have committed it to memory because it was of value to him (at least at the time). The only reason that a person could learn in school is because that person saw that knowledge as valuable, either as a method to get good grades in order to graduate, in which case the information is forgotten as soon as it is done being tested for, or the information is of practical or recreational value to the student, in which case the information is retained until it ceases to have these characteristics associated with it. It is obvious that the former is functionally useless and the latter is what will bring about a successful child; a child who has the necessary information to produce the results he or she endeavors to achieve.

A student will learn the most (both qualitatively and quantitatively) when able to have the knowledge that the student most desires to have. The only way to judge the quality of information is subjectively. The subjective valuation of the information by the individual and for that same individual is the only proper measurement of utility because the usefulness of any technological knowledge differs from person to person. For an example (and these are just generalizations; the reverse may be true, although unlikely) a plumber places less value on knowledge of snakes than an ophiologist, and knowledge about the fine details of plumbing is of little value to an ophiologist. It is clear from this that the student should learn what is of most value to himself (or herself), using the medium that he (or she) most desires. Then there is the question of how much to learn of something. This can only be answered in the same way that the question of what to learn was answered: according to the subjective value judgements of the child. The school, in trying to dictate what the child must learn and how much of it is to be learned and the exact methods to be used, will inevitably draw the child away from learning what is more valued into what is less valued, otherwise the school wouldn’t need to exist because the child would do exactly what the schools wanted him or her to do in the first place.

The real question seems to be: How is it possible that children learn anything in schools? Besides the school just happening to teach what the student already finds valuable, what causes the student to learn what is taught? The student must learn something after all, or how would he or she be able to pass all those tests proving that he or she learned it? The answer is that a student really doesn’t learn (very much, anyway) at a school, and the student only retains the (worthless, at least to the student) information long enough to pass the tests on the subject. Many people do well in school, but (almost) nobody remembers the vast majority of what they were actually taught — just what was useful and relevent. Now the question becomes why does the student want to retain the worthless knowledge in order to pass tests? Because public education is free and compulsory, it’s use has become the norm, and, therefore, the only practical method of gauging the average person’s intelligence and knowledge is by knowing that the person in question has completed a high school education, with brownie points to those scoring high grades. The reason for this is that schools do teach some useful information, and (nearly) everyone goes to school, so the way to discover those who are really knowledgable is to find those who performed the best in school. This creates an environment in which students (for the most part) value getting a diploma and excellent grades, and, therefore, value (temporarily, only for the duration of time needed to pass exams) the information presented to them in school. Thus the government wastes the most critical learning period of a child’s life.

If “education” is the worst and most wasteful method of learning (or lack of learning), what are the particulars of this thing called “unschooling”? How does one engage in this practice of unschooling? Unschooling is not so much about what the teacher does so much as it is about what the teacher doesn’t do. The unschooling teacher doesn’t demand that their students perform tasks (like “read this book” or “listen to what I’m saying”) or take tests or go through courses. With unschooling, what the teacher does do is engage with the student, discovering what his or her interests are and guiding the student to find new and more valuable interests while providing the resources which the student needs to learn and pursue those interests. Unschooling is more about what the student does than the teacher. The unschooling student pursues the knowledge that he or she values the most by following his or her passions and interests. The unschooler can learn anything anywhere using whatever is needed.

I realize that at this point it would be helpful to use some examples to better illustrate how unschooling plays out in real life. Young children are always asking “why?”. Most parents are annoyed and discourage this kind of thing, but unschooling teacher encourages it, answering the questions to the best of his or her ability, and when necessary, discovering the answers with the student. As children get older, they still ask these questions, but typically in relation to the pursuit of specific knowledge regarding an interest which the student is attempting to learn and partake in. These interests are many and varied, with every student being different, and therefore having different interests and preferences as to how they want to spend their time, resources, and labor. One of my particular interests since the age of twelve or so has been coffee. I learned all about the different kinds of roasts and the different flavors resulting from these roasts, the best way to brew coffee (french press or vacuum pot), how coffee is grown, processed, and roasted, what the characteristics of coffee from different origins are, and finally, I learned to roast my own coffee and continue to do so to this present day. I have done/am doing this with numerous other subjects/passions/hobbies including, but not limited to economics, history, political philosophy, personal fitness (including nutrition), religion, finances/money management, entrepreneurship, business, travel, and accounting.

Many people are probably wondering: what does unschooling have to do with voluntaryism? Sure unschooling may be the much preferable method of learning, but how does this tie in to the non-aggression principle? My answer is that it doesn’t — not exactly. However, there are conclusions that are directly related to non-aggression which naturally tend to favor the use of unschooling. Voluntaryism is firmly against any form of governmentally funded schools, so that is a conclusion that makes voluntaryists look for alternatives. Voluntaryists know that the government distorts the economy through its interventions, so we suspect that the current system of schools and education may not best satisfy consumer preferences, but only exists because government interference. This also makes voluntaryists consider methods of learning radically different from the statist quo of public schooling. Voluntaryists know that public schools are the primary method by which pro-government ideas and solutions to various social, moral, and economic problems are transmitted in a positive way (indeed, as the best way), and act not as centers for learning, free-thinking, the store-housing of knowledge, and innovation, but as prison camps designed to indoctrinate the nation’s youth with government propaganda. This causes voluntaryists to question all of the tactics used in public schools and instead contemplate what would actually be the optimum approach to scholarship. It is for all these reasons that, while not strictly concerned with the non-aggression principle, voluntaryists generally, though not neccessarily, are in favor of unschooling.

As a closing comment, those who have teenagers who want to learn real history and economics and would like to unschool, I suggest the use of Liberty Classroom. I personally use Liberty Classroom and find it a valuable resource which is well worth the time and money (and will help out your favorite voluntaryist website when you buy through my link).

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