Tag Archives: voluntaryism

Can a Voluntaryist Vote?

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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

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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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Interesting Articles #2

City Council Terminates Police Force – Town Doesn’t Decend Into Chaos

I was shocked when I saw this headline on TheFreeThoughtProject.com — not that the town didn’t decend into chaos, but that the city council got rid of the police! Very interesting read. Every town should do this.

The Looming Financial Crisis That Nobody Is Talking About, but Should Be

This article reveals the major indicators of the coming collapse of the current financial system. As a side note, I would like to say that this may be done on purpose, to lead to the creation of a one world currency and a one world central bank. However, if we can change people’s minds, and get the messege out that central banks are the cause of these horrifying depressions, then when the next collapse comes, instead of being replaced with an even greater central bank, this destructive system could be brought to an end.

Yes, Hillary Clinton Served on the Board of a Company That Funds ISIS

Hillary Clinton is really and truly evil. I could not even make up all the terrible things that she has done. I believe that regardless of the votes, she is going to win the election because she is a pawn in the hands of the deep state, the deep state that determines who will be the next president regardless of votes.

Viral Video of Cops Dragged by Car Exposes the Senseless Violence Created by the Drug War

The title says it all!

Julian Assange: Hacked E-Mails Include Info on Hillary Arming Jihadists, Including ISIS

Great article, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is doing a great service for humanity.

Was WikiLeaks Whistleblower the Murdered DNC Staffer? and Mainstream Media Blackout: Two Prominent Anti-Clinton Activists Found Dead in Two Days, also A  Hot Month for Clinton’s Body Count

The question is: did Hillary order their assassination? I think we all know the answer.

Bitcoin and Mises’s Regression Theorem

I have a lot of respect for Jeffery Tucker, and his work on Bitcoin in particular has been very influencial on me.

Man Proves Software Stole Votes in All ‘Hillary Won’ Counties

Presidents are selected, not elected. The Deep State will always prevail in politics.

Soros Hack Exposes Plot Behind Refugee Crisis, His Media Control, Cash for “Social Justice”

Isn’t it odd that CNN (The Clinton News Network) didn’t report on this?

We Don’t Know If the Department of Defense Is Actually Providing Security

Actually, we do know that the DoD is making the American people less safe while murdering milllions.

Louisiana Officials Demand That Self-Reliant Locals Stop Surviving the Flood Without Permission

The story in a nutshell: voluntary help group saving people’s lives and making the government look bad (not hard to do) because the government doesn’t help anyone, so the government bans people from helping without their permission.

Potential Litigation? YouTube Is Not Private and Its Censorship Is Government Policy

Google is a creation of the US government designed to collect information and to censor it.

A Former CIA Director Just Endorsed Hillary: What You’re Not Being Told

Just another part of Hillary Clinton’s corruption.

Body Cam: Cops Pull Gun on Teen for Filming, Mock Him for Being Skinny, Challenge Him To Fight and Cop Gets Into Fight With His Own Son, Shoots Him TWICE — Dept Says it Was ‘Accidental’

Government police are terrible.

O, Come, All Ye Statists

An amusing article about how the USG celebrates the death of thousands which they used to grab power.

That’s all for today, folks!

 

 

 

 

 

The Antiwar/Non-Interventionist Movement: Making Progress!

Popular support for war is astoundingly low. This is a trend that the media is trying to cover up and reverse. At the DNC a large group of people started shouting “NO MORE WAR!” during a warmongering speech by Leon Panetta, resulting in Panetta having to temporarily stop his speech. Here’s the video:

Donald Trump, the most non-interventionist Republican candidate, got the nomination. Gary Johnson, the (mostly) non-interventionist Libertarian candidate, is getting a massive amount of support (the most recent poll I found put him at 13%) for a third-party candidate. Trump has criticized NATO and said that we were lied into the Iraq war. Fifty-two percent of those interviewed in a Pew poll say the United States “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.” Just 38% disagree with that statement. It’s so encouraging that so many people are waking up to the reality that the USG’s foreign policy is immoral and destructive (both economically and in terms of lives lost). Most people don’t even know that non-intervention is an option, yet they instinctively are drawn to the common sense of the position when asked.

Meanwhile, the war machine keeps on going, with the Washington Establishment doing everything it can to make sure that they don’t get crushed in the rising tide of public outrage against the military-industrial complex ripping them off. There is a complete disconnect between the corporate and political elites and the majority of the public. War propaganda is on the news 24/7 while big-wig congressmen and Pentagon officials are talking about “Russian aggression”, the need to “rebuild” the military, and the “fight for freedom” in the Middle East. Sooner or later, the warmongers will be defeated, either when the government has gone completely bankrupt, and/or when public opinion will be so against war that the Washington Overlords will be so scared of the masses that they will have to end their foreign policy of interventionism. This massive antiwar sentiment that so many people have worked to achieve shows that fighting for liberty can and is making a difference.