Libertarianism Does Not Equal Selfishness

Setting the record straight about the philosophical foundations of libertarian thought

Libertarianism and one of its pillars, free-market economics, get an unfair rap for its alleged preoccupation with the pursuit of wealth. It’s unfair because, while wealth and economic growth are important, the philosophy is about much more: human flourishing through freedom and its natural product, social cooperation.

One source of confusion is the undoubted libertarian interest in economics. Unfortunately, economics is commonly understood to be the discipline concerned with the narrow pursuit of material goods. Mainstream economics encourages this belief. Too bad.

This misconception may be traced to the classical economists, who otherwise made important contributions to the discipline. In The Economic Point of View, Israel Kirzner notes that “this ‘material’ approach to economics . . . seems to have held a fascination for a number of economists over an extended period of time, viz., the view that saw economics as essentially concerned with the goods necessary to ensure the physical subsistence of mankind.”

The object of study was homo economicus (economic man; the term was first used by critics.) Kirzner continues: “This view seems to be the most extreme form of the materialistic outlook on economic affairs. The distinctive feature of all conceptions of economics as a science of wealth or of material goods, as against alternative conceptions of the discipline, consists in their identification of economics with some special end of human action. Not all action is subject to economic law, but only such action as is directed towards a more or less well-defined class of objects, viz., wealth or material goods.”

So there we are. Economics is thought by many to be concerned exclusively with the individual’s selfish pursuit of maximum wealth, or material goods. Other pursuits are thought to be beyond economics. Libertarians see economics as essential to understanding the world. Therefore libertarianism must largely be about the individual’s selfish pursuit of wealth, or material goods.

Alternative Conceptions

But note that Kirzner said there are “alternative conceptions of the discipline.” The most prominent of these is the Austrian school. Another is the similar approach taken by the British economist Philip Wicksteed, known as the “British Austrian.” How does their approach differ from the classical school? In this context they differ by assigning a far broader scope to economics. For them economics is about the pursuit of ends per se. All purposeful action—along with the spontaneous orderly process it generates—is the subject of economic analysis.

Wicksteed (1844-1927) was the author of The Common Sense of Political Economy (1910). According to Kirzner,

This British contemporary of [Austrians] Menger, Böhm-Bawerk, and Wieser appears to have had no direct contact or correspondence with any of them. His biography, which provides detailed descriptions of Wicksteed’s trips abroad, makes no mention of his ever having visited Vienna. His work seems to have made no direct impact on the work of his Austrian contemporaries; he, in turn, while certainly mentioning their work, seems not to have drawn any of his main ideas from them.

Yet there is remarkable overlap in their approaches to economics, most relevantly in the matter of scope. Right out of the box, in his introduction, Wicksteed stated:

We shall find that the economic relations constitute a machinery by which men devote their energies to the immediate accomplishment of each other’s purposes in order to secure the ultimate accomplishment of their own, irrespective of what those purposes of their own may be, and therefore irrespective of the egoistic or altruistic nature of the motives which dictate them and which stimulate efforts to accomplish them.

In his first chapter, while discussing the ubiquity of human beings’ choosing among alternatives, Wicksteed observed:

Insensibly we have passed from the confined conception of price as so much money, to the generalised conception of price as representing the terms on which anything we want may be had or anything we shun avoided. Current phraseology recognises this wider application of the language of the market and of pecuniary expenditure. “Spend,” “afford,” “waste,” “worth,” “price,” are terms universally applicable to all kinds of material and immaterial resources and objects of desire or aversion, whether milk, money, time, pain, or vital energies. . . .  “Price,” then, in the narrower sense of “the money for which a material thing, a service, or a privilege can be obtained,” is simply a special case of “price” in the wider sense of “the terms on which alternatives are offered to us”; and to consider whether a thing is worth the price that is asked for it, is to consider whether the possession of it is more to be desired than anything we can have instead of it, and whether it will compensate us for everything we must take along with it. Selection between alternatives, then, is the most generalised form under which we can contemplate the ordinary acts of administration of resources, whether in the market-place, the home, or elsewhere; and, obviously, price or the terms on which the alternatives are offered (how much of this against how much of that?) must often be a determining consideration in our choice between them. [Emphasis added.]

(A longer quote from Wicksteed is here.)

Cited by Mises

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Suki||

    Right on!

  • More Arrogance||

    "...You are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you. If this be arrogance..."

    ~Ludwig von Mises, Jan. 23, 1958
    letter to Ayn Rand, author of "The Virtue of SELFISHNESS"

  • np||

    Don't let WI troll ya:
    http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_4/21_4_3.pdf
    First that was a letter about Atlas Shrugged (not The Virtue of Selfishness)

    all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you.

    If this be arrogance, as some of your critics observed, it still is the
    truth that had to be said in this age of the Welfare State.

    and Mises readily recognizes his own inferiority in many areas, realizing there is no free lunch, and fully appreciating the division of labor.

    Take for example the pencil -- think you can make it?

  • don't let np troll ya||

    First, Ayn Rand did write The Virtue of Selfishness, with selfishness being so on-topic it's in the title of the article.

    Second, libertarians are so arrogant and selfish as to think the genocide of 100,000,000 was somehow an improvement in their condition.

    TAKER culture is like that.

    "[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land ... Any white person who brought the element of civilization had THE RIGHT TO TAKE over this continent." ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

    “The world of the TAKERS is one vast prison, and except for a handful of Leavers scattered across the world, the entire human race is now inside that prison.” ~ Daniel Quinn

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    See my comment below for the ethics, but I'm pretty sure most Native Americans were killed by European diseases. Admittedly, once Europeans figured that out, they made every effort to spread them. But the fact that Native Americans were susceptible of the fault of no human being.

  • Denialism = Objectivism||

    Keep trying to cover up the blood.

    "While conceding that the majority of the indigenous peoples fell victim to the ravages of European disease, he estimates that almost 100 million died in what he calls the American Holocaust."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Stannard

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I'm no expert in Native American history: I'm siting what I recall learning in school with my own inferences.

    As I said below, I believe that the Europeans who forcibly ejected Native Americans from their property were immoral.

  • Then leave, immoral one.||

    Or does occupation for several generations after invasion somehow whitewash the theft?

  • Jimmy||

    Your great White Fathers, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and numerous other big government presidents and their fascist agents in the field killed off the remaining Native Americans. Pretty selfish, if you ask me. The libertarian position was to leave them alone. Read Spooner.

  • Gov't does the bidding...||

    ...of capitalism.

    Nice try to deny.

  • Jimmy||

    "Government does the bidding of capitalism."
    Oh, I see the problem now. You don't actually know what capitalism is.

  • Buffet||

    "Government does the bidding of capitalism."
    Oh, I see the problem now. You don't actually know what capitalism is.

    Oh, I see the problem now. You don't actually know how capitalism works.

  • Sam Grove||

    NO, you don't understand liberty. Obviously, pushing natives off their land and slaughtering them was a violation of their rights to life, but this is not an indictment of Capitalism so much as it is an indictment of the moral insulation provided by the exercise of collective power via the institutions of state.

    That business men have utilized political power for selfish ends does not mean that other people are justified in utilizing political power for selfish ends.

    I'd like to think that someone with your clever mind can learn to delineate these matters, but if you insist upon being righteous, you won't learn anything much less the meanings held by others with perspective different than yours.

    Unless you actually prefer to be a mental zombie...

  • ||

    Or does occupation for several generations after invasion somehow whitewash the theft?

    sure it does. what, are you saying it doesn't?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "As I said below, I believe that the Europeans who forcibly ejected Native Americans from their property were immoral."

    Of course those same Native Americans were not one iota more moral themselves. Various groups of them had been driving other groups off of specific territories and taking them over for themselves, making war and/or enslaving other tribes long before the Europeans ever got here.

    Like the Aztecs. They were real big on letting their victims gambol - right up to the altar where they cut out their hearts.

  • Aztecs = cityStatists like you||

    And their Taker culture collapsed like yours soon will.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Those Aztecs are the part of the very same Native Americans that you keep trying to portray as innocent victims.

  • Aztecs = cityStatists like you||

    And no, they weren't a part of the Non-State band and tribal societies to which White Indians escaped to from european city-Statism (civilization.)

  • Gilbert Martin||

    More bullshit.

    NONE of the indian tribes that existed at the time the Europeans showed had occupied the particular land they were sitting on continuously from the time their Asian ancestors first wandered across the land bridge during the last ice age.

    Tribes made war and took territory from other tribes long before the Europeans ever got here. And members of enemy tribes were certainly NOT free to gambol on territory that other tribes considered to be their hunting grouond.

  • Brian||

    And their Taker culture collapsed like yours soon will.

    I'd ask native Americans what they think about that. Except, none of them are around right now. Sorry.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The odd thing is that the Native American culture already collapse, but all WI can do is masturbate to thoughts of how our Western culture (which has been around over 2,000 years) is about to collapse.

  • let's think about that one||

    The odd thing is that the Libertarian evangelism already collapse, but all Libertarians can do is masturbate to thoughts of how our Western culture (which has been around over 2,000 years) is about to collapse.

  • Brian||

    Anyway, what's it like to carry the water for a people who have been essentially dead for a few hundred years?

    Heck, I don't know what my ancestors were doing 300 years ago. I might BE a native American, based on racist comments from my grandparents. Do I win a cookie? Do I have a right to some crap from someone else?

    Let's just say I am a native American, and I just want to be left the hell alone. Is that too much to ask?

  • Jimmy||

    White Injun doesn't go far enough. Libertarians didn't just kill off the Native Americans with diseases, we invented disease back in the Jurassic era. We killed the dinosaurs. Before that we started evolution, which ended the era of one-celled organisms, a state of eden that could have lasted forever if we didn't demand things evolve. The Big Bang?... That was a libertarian thing.

  • ||

    lol... fire ants are evil too

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    As I keep trying to tell you all, cracker chief does this to keep from slitting his wrists for being white. He hates being white so much he cries himself to sleep every night.

  • let's think about that one||

    As I keep trying to tell you all, Ron Paul does this to keep from slitting his wrists for being American. He hates being American so much he cries himself to sleep every night.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    I butt-hurt cracker chief! Success! :D

  • Sam Grove||

    By always being second, you illustrate a lack of real creativity.

  • Maxxx||

    Fukkk

    I knew it was too good to last.

  • Brandon||

    So was it only a 72 hour commitment then?

  • Suki||

    +10

  • Sheldon Richman||

    That line always makes me slightly sick.

  • Sheldon Richman||

    Mises's line to Rand, that is.

  • Bill||

    Yes, but it was in reference to a novel with a clearly defined plot concerning "moochers" and "producers".

    I like to think this is more about ingratitude and ignorance on the part of those who blindly criticize a free market without knowing what one really is. Like a humanities major using their I-pad to rail against the capitalistic system.

    I am a scientist, but still don't know much at all about semi-conductors and computers (not my fields) and I have profound respect for those who do and those who invented them. Just as I have respect for the master cabinet carver but I don't think that he has changed the world except for the few people he has made beautiful things for.

  • Sam Grove||

    Do you feel she was talking to you?

  • Sell A Child=Human Flourishing||

    "In short, we must face the fact that the purely free society will have a flourishing free market in children."

    ~Murray Rothbard
    mises.org/daily/2568

    That "unfair rap" ain't unfair. Keep whitewashing the fact that libertarians see any social problem through the lens of money, and how they can make more of it.

    It's for the children, ya know.

  • Brian||

    Maybe we could just gamble with children on an Indian reservation somewhere.

  • Caucasoid Indian||

    Here are some questions, libertards:

    1. Is the right to gamble in an Indian casino an individual right or a collective right?
    2. Is the right to buy cheaply from a drunken Indian a positive right or a negative right?

    I am currently enjoying a great gambol in a Starbucks with wifi (while surfing for gambol porn).

    "It's like gambling somehow. You go out for a night of drinking and you don't know where your going to end up the next day. It could work out good or it could be disastrous. It's like the throw of the dice." -Jim Morrison

  • np||

    a primitivist who:

    I am currently enjoying a great gambol in a Starbucks with wifi


    ..
    ...
    ....
    .....

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be a spoof, np.

  • np||

    ha, even if it were, it's still true though, if not at Starbucks then at home, else all-talk-no-walk WI wouldn't be gamboling throughout the internets, shitting on threads when he isn't working M-F during the day

  • shitting up threads||

    ...with quotes from:

    • Rand
    • Rothbard
    • Mises

    Yeah, that is shit. Nice you admit it.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Notice how cracker chief refuses to comment on how an anarcho-primitivist is perfectly comfortable using his computer to spread his hatred of being white. Notice how cracker chief always changes the subject. Oh wait, no, "I" just changed the subject. Any comment that moves the conversation away from what cracker chief wants it to be is a change of subject. Why? Because cracker chief says so.

    Go kill yourself, cracker chief. Your an evil white devil.

  • let's think about that one||

    Notice how Fibertarians refuses to comment on how a Fibertarian is perfectly comfortable using publicly funded roads to spread his hatred of publicly funded roads. Notice how Fibertarian always changes the subject. Oh wait, no, "I" just changed the subject. Any comment that moves the conversation away from what Fibertarian wants it to be is a change of subject. Why? Because Fibertarian says so.

    Go kill yourself, Fibertarian. Your an unpopular loser.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Whenever cracker chief can't come up with good reply, cracker chief cut pastes and edit with 21st century "I'm rubber, you are glue."

    He can bad mouth anyone and anything he likes. Doesn't change that he's white and that he says the things he says because he wishes he was any other color.

  • Gordo Native Bro||

    Why do you hate Fiber?

  • IceTrey||

    There is no such thing as a collective right.

  • any white person||

    who said so?

  • IceTrey||

    Nature.

  • Gordo Native Bro||

    Is it my positive right to eat my own body weight?
    Is it my negative right to claim my own heritage as injun?
    Is it my positively negative right to coerce others into being hunter-gathers inside the city-state?
    Is it my negatively positive right to masterbate into the chest cavity of a raw uncooked chicken?
    Is it my boldly highlighted right to post my shitty essays for all of you to read?
    Is it my safe to assume right that y'all think the word fibertard is clever?

  • np||

    Unfortunately, 900 char limit != White Injun gambol lockdown. If anything, it probably incentivizes quoting out of context even more.

    read the whole thing:
    http://mises.org/daily/2568
    (that's just ch 14, the whole book is available too)

  • Fundie boy strategy||

    Did you learn this strategy from church?

    1. Say a quote is out of context.
    2. Claim I haven't read the whole Bible.

    Yeah, fundie boy, I've heard all this shit before.

    Context!!!!!!
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK7P7uZFf5o

    Guess what? You don't even know the academic meaning of "out of context."

  • Almanian||

    Shorter Whyte Injun - "My butt hurts"

  • Newt Paultard||

    "My butt hurts"

  • ||

    HAVE you read the whole bible?

  • yep||

  • QUESTION FOR PRIMITARD||

    When are you going to give back to the NA the stolen land you use?

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Wow, cracker chief found new quote. Nice to see you are still finding ways to keep from killing yourself for being white.

  • lets think about that one||

    Wow, Fibertarian found new quote. Nice to see you are still finding ways to keep from killing yourself for being an American loser.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    You are still a member of the greatest disease to infect human history, cracker chief. No matter how moral the words that come out of your mouth, no matter how reasonable that brain of yours appears to be, you are still white

  • Bill||

    This refers primarily to adoption.

    There would always be a legal age of adulthood, whether that was 16 or 18 and before that age, kids could not voluntarily choose to hang out with a pedophile. I don't fully understand how an anarchist like Rothbard would guarantee this, but I don't care.

    We will never have anarchsim (of the good kind) and we will be lucky to cut our debt and size of gov.'t by 10%.

    For most of us though, a smaller, more limited govt. would have an important role in preventing abuse of any kind toward children.

    Grow up.

  • Liberal Griefer||

    ::blink::
    ::blink::

  • Tony||

    If you're not willing to be taxed even one thin dime more than you are now, you're selfish.

  • shrike||

    I am soooooo wet right now.

  • ||

    If you're not willing to be mugged for the change in your pocket, you're selfish.

  • Tony||

    I'll volunteer to check those pockets.

  • ||

    Alright Tony, you do that, I'll kick him in the nuts. We'll say he was resisting arrest for jaywalking.

  • Royalist||

    If you're not willing to import into your country cheap laborers from Africa and thus increase your chance to be mugged and the Koch's chance to make more profits thanks to artificially keeping down the costs of unskilled labor, you're selfish.

  • Brandon||

    End the war on drugs, end eminent domain, go back on the gold standard, institute a flat tax, legalize prostitution, and end all subsidies and I'll pay double the taxes I pay now until the debt is paid off. Deal?

  • Royalist||

    Deal! We'll just use your double taxes to bribe the minorities to vote for us.

    You did say you're going to pay up until the debt is paid off (i.e., never), right?

  • ||

    The future was better when Postrel was editor

  • ||

    God damn squirrels

  • H man||

    Next you're going to say liberty benefits the powerless more than the powerful.

  • CE||

    Without liberty, they will be powerless forever.

  • rts||

    So what am I supposed to do with my top-hat and monocle now?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Sell them on ebay, invest the money in a startup, and go do something fun.

  • Come on||

    One would have to be completely full of shit to think a philosophy of "live and let live" equates to selfishness.

  • rts||

    I take it you don't talk to many lefties...

  • Liberal Griefer||

    I'm don't full of shit!

  • Realist||

    Right!

  • Quote Mises, get called griefR||

    Weird shit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You get what you deserve.

  • ya think?||

    Taker culture faces catabolic collapse.

    The Final Empire: The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future
    William H. Kötke
    www.rainbowbody.net/Finalempire/

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Godesky faces catabolic collapse: if he eats one more bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, he will collapse into his own gravitational field.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Cracker chief

    You are white. That makes you a griefer just on genetics alone.

  • lets think about that one||

    Whiny market Fundamentalist

    You are white. That makes you a griefer just on genetics alone.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Finally, I was waiting for this to come up.

    I am not white, cracker chief. I am Korean. Nice try, though :)

  • moop||

    but he is 1/16 cherokee and he has a dreamcatcher above his bed.

  • ||

    That equation is made by those who cannot tolerate even the notion of 'live and let live'. They live to control. Live and let live is their mortal enemy, so the slander is to be expected.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors-between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it."
    http://amberandchaos.com/?page_id=106

    Precisely.

  • Questions for teh Doktor K||

    • Is any white person's right an individual or collective right?
    • Is the right to take a negative or positive right?

    "[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land ... Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent." ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    As I've told you before, this is one of the points on which I believe Rand failed to notice a contradition in her thinking. I do not believe that any European had any right whatsoever to forcibly take the land of Native Americans.

    "Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism."
    http://www.freedomkeys.com/ar-racism.htm

    "So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate-do you hear me? no man may start-the use of physical force against others."
    http://amberandchaos.com/?page_id=106

  • Rand's only failure here...||

    ...was telling the unadorned truth of how civilization (and capitalism) actually works, instead of whitewashing it.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    $

  • $$$||

    For the love of money [POLIS' (city-statism or civilization) privation property values] is the root of all evil [POLICe brutality.]

  • RACIALIST SCIENCE=Libertarian||

    In short; RACIALIST SCIENCE is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors. ~Murray Rothbard

    Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) was the dean of the Austrian School of economics and the founder of libertarianism

  • IceTrey||

    Way to use ellipsis. Entire quote:

    "They (Native Americans) didn’t have any rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using. What was it that they were fighting for, when they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their ‘right’ to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, but just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or a few caves above it. Any white person who brings the element of civilization has the right to take over this continent."

  • more stupid lies from Rand||

    but yeah, thanks for showing how fucking evil AND STUPID she was

  • ||

    Nature is the enemy, it has death. creatures be nervous, nature wants them eaten.

    Are we above it all, or just on top

  • ||

    Ya, well that clarification hardly helps. In essence she's saying "if you don't feel they have the "right" civilization you can just stomp on them". It's kind of like saying one person who disagrees with another can just force their way of living on another.

  • ||

    You're right, it's a downright un-libertarian comment, not to mention un-Objectivist.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    slit your wrists, all of you, white devils! It's the only way to atone!

  • QUESTION FOR PRIMITARD||

    When are you going to give back to the NA the stolen land you use?

    ...

  • Brian||

    While only the wise understand that true unselfishness rests in being incredibly generous with taxing someone else for someone else, or themselves.

  • Royalist||

    Libertarianism is very far from "live and let live". Libertarians have no problem forcing people to live among Mestizos or Blacks instead of their own race - and all in the name of their high principles. There's no "live and let live" in importing more voters for the Democrat Party, which is about as far from "live and let live" as it could possibly be.

  • ||

    Thanks rather. I clicked the link and puked.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Never click a link posted by Rather. Never. Ever.

  • ||

    Unless the stupid cunt leaves her email in the address bar. Then you should definitely click on the link.

  • ||

    BYE MISS RECTAL I MISS YOU!

  • Brian||

    Because we all know that true unselfishness is being incredibly generous with other, filthy rich people's money.

  • questioning attitude||

    And do they really live in Fort Worth, Texas?

  • ||

    Actually her IP is from Dallas. Is Mary Stack rectal's true identity?

  • ||

    I wish more people spent more time thinking about their own best interest rather than spending so much time thinking about how to make politicians do what's in someone else's best interest.

    ObamaCare, TARP, the occupation of Iraq, and a whole bunch of other things that were not in our best interest, all seem to have been justified in terms of doing what was best for other people.

    Don't like the word "selfish"? Fine. But there are an awful lot of terrible things that have been done to good people in the name of trying to do good things for somebody else.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    I wish people spent less time thinking about what dirty words other people are saying.

  • Almanian||

    Fuckin' A right, brah

  • ||

    Libertarians like myself believe in the phrase 'Greed is Good', but that doesn't mean we advocate using immoral or illegal means to satisfy that greed. We believe in the basic instinct to better ourselves, not through handouts, but through our own hard work.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    ^^^THIS^^^

    My definition of ethical conduct is: Acting for one's self-interest in a manner than does not violate the rights of any other person, unless they violate your rights.

  • Fibertarianism decoded||

    You forgot this part:

    ...and I'll always have an excuse why they violated my rights, thus whitewashing why I violate theirs.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    If I was playing that argument, I would be an armed rebel by now. But libertarians are amazingly docile until the violence gets upclose and personal.

  • Libertarians rely on violence||

    Try not paying rent to a libertarian "land-lord" who has big-government Land enTITLEments that restrict the free movement of people on the surface of the home planet.

  • tell us where you live....||

    ...so we can shit in your living room.

  • you already did||

    proud of yourself, Taker?

  • Um, no...||

    ...I wasn't alive when "your" land was taken.

    Where WAS your ancestral piece of land, by the way? Let's see the deed.

  • you still occupy it||

    Invasion, occupation, both rely on aggression.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    You still occupy two to three seats at a time at your local Wendy's.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    What about people who move to America, who had absolutely nothing to do with this land you claim was stolen?

    Another question: Who owned this land before the Indians came along?

  • that's odd...||

    ...I bought my family home from my parents, so they could move elsewhere and enjoy their retirement (though I don't consider the Winnebago life to be enjoyable).

    Anyway... they weren't coerced; I wrote them a check, and they accepted it. No guns pointed in any direction, no aggression, no occupation (well, I occupied it when I moved in; the place was actually empty for a couple of months), but my folks certainly didn't steal it from anyone alive.

    So... using this freak's logic... my parents and I are all murderous thugs or something. Maybe. I'm still not clear on what crime we've committed.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    cracker chief, don't change the subject, answer the fucking question. Are you, yourself, personally, living on occupied land? And why do you, as a member of the most evil race of human beings to walk the planet (white people), why haven't you slit your wrists yet? You know what white people are like, it's obvious by your statements. What's stopping you?

  • ||

    $

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He gave an answer, you stupid twat.

  • Fibertarianism decoded||

    Libertarians believe in the phrase 'Greed is Good', and advocate whitewashing the immoral or illegal means to satisfy that greed.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "that doesn't mean we advocate using immoral or illegal means to satisfy that greed. We believe in the basic instinct to better ourselves, not through handouts, but through our own hard work."

    Did you not read the comment?

  • I read it, whitewasher.||

    Did you not read mine?

    You are aggressive, and rely on initiation of force.

    And then you whitewash it.

  • "whitewasher"||

    Ohhhh... WHITEwasher!!! Oh, man, that is SO motherfuckin' funny!!!!!

    /bullshit

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    cracker chief, don't change the subject, answer the fucking question. Are you, yourself, personally, living on occupied land? And why do you, as a member of the most evil race of human beings to walk the planet (white people), why haven't you slit your wrists yet? You know what white people are like, it's obvious by your statements. What's stopping you?

  • what white people are like||

    ayn rand told me so

    "[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land ... ANY WHITE PERSON who brought the element of civilization had THE RIGHT TO TAKE over this continent." ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    So slit your wrists and be done with it.

  • Bill||

    I've read (Jared Diamond, Wikipedia, other sources) that there were only about 10 million natives in all of South and North America before the Spanish arrived.

    There are competing theories that disasters such as early man killing all the docile, potentially domesticable animals as they moved over the Bering land bridge or that a meteor shower caused a huge fire decimating much of N. America that caused populations of animals and people to go down.

    Then, diseases from Europe wiped out 90% so you only had 1 million people covering a huge area. So in some places you could go for days and not see another human being. In a case like this it's hard to say someone else "owned" the land. Of course, later there were clear cases of "taking" but not all the land was stolen.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    It goes something like this:

    White people are irrefutably evil because of what happened with the Indians.

    Cracker chief is white person.

    Cracker chief is white person who is intellectually enlightened and recognizes his race for the parasitic disease that it is

    Cracker chief, driven by remorse and guilt, seeks to spread the gospel of white man's evil to make himself feel better about being white.

    Cracker chief advocates genocide of all white people except himself, because he is the special exception to the rule.

    "Genocide might be the kindest method...." -Jason Godesky

  • Precocious eight year old||

    Why?

  • np||

    Agree. Unethical or forceful means, of course. But "illegal"? Unfortantely "the law" as it is isn't a natural, universal principle like Bastiat's conception but merely arbitrary instruments of man, which he also distinguished from and railed against. I/some of us only comply because some risks aren't worth it.

  • Jimmy||

    Try getting a liberal (or actually you're average conservative even) to engage in a discussion over where the line can be drawn between "greed" and "need." It's like spraying a cockroach with detergent: they just implode trying to come up with a way to say there is some magical bright line separating the two.

  • Jimmy||

    Ugh, 'your'

  • Royalist||

    Some humans are incapable of bettering themselves through hard work because they don't have the same genes as you do. Some people are more inclined to hard work and simply smarter than others. Those genetic failures will always lean towards socialistic redistribution schemes from people like you, because they themselves are incapable of being so successful.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Or, selfishness and libertarianism do go together.

    http://amberandchaos.com/?page_id=106

    I would snag some quotes, but 900 character limit.

  • Precocious eight year old||

    Why?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    That way Hercule can't post anything but a link.

    Unfortunately, it makes it harder for the mature individuals to have an in-depth discussion. But that's reason.com's disgression.

  • Almanian||

    Libertarianism Does Not Equal Selfishness

    YOU LIE!

  • Theme de Fibertarian||

  • ||

    That's an awesome song. From now on when I think of lies, I'll think of you.

  • Ayn Rand||

    The Objectivist ethics proudly advocates and upholds rational selfishness—which means: the values required for man’s survival qua man—which means: the values required for human survival—not the values produced by the desires, the emotions, the “aspirations,” the feelings, the whims or the needs of irrational brutes, who have never outgrown the primordial practice of human sacrifices, have never discovered an industrial society and can conceive of no self-interest but that of grabbing the loot of the moment.

    The Objectivist ethics holds that human good does not require human sacrifices and cannot be achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. It holds that the rational interests of men do not clash—that there is no conflict of interests among men who do not desire the unearned...

    The Virtue of Selfishness, “The Objectivist Ethics,” 31

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Richman really opened a whole can of Randian worms with this one.

  • Almanian||

    tl;dr

    See, this is why I can't get through anything Rand writes....BOOOOOOOOOOOORING....

    PS "Objectivist" =/= "Anything Else"...it just = "Objectivist"

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

  • Almanian||

    "...more than 500 headless skeletons in the mass grave..."

    Them fuckin Samurai did NOT fuck around. SHIT!

    Nat Geo doesn't indicate when "The Gamboling Injuns of The Imagination" show comes on. I hope to DVR it.

  • ral||

    Thanks for the article. Libertarians should avoid false choices between self vs. others, individual vs. community etc.

    For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues, please see http://​www.Libertarian-Internation​al.org , the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization......

  • Sevo||

    ral,
    Your link isn't a link; try again?

  • ||

    We get tarred with the "selfish" label for a couple of reasons:

    1. Ayn Rand. Duh.

    2. Libertarians tend to be middle-class American white guys (speaking as one myself) who enjoy the blessings of a massive amount of unearned privilege, much of it unlibertarian or outright evil. Pious talk about our good choices and hard work makes us look like assholes from the perspective of, say, a slum-dweller in Nairobi or Dhaka.

    3. A lot of libertarianism really is pot-smoking Republicanism, which comes out when libertarian principles tweak our tribal affiliations, e.g., the Keystone pipeline.

  • Precocious eight year old||

    Why?

  • Sevo||

    Jersey Patriot|3.23.12 @ 8:32PM|#
    "We"
    ^? Got a turd in your pocket?

    "2. Libertarians tend to be middle-class American white guys (speaking as one myself) who enjoy the blessings of a massive amount of unearned privilege,"
    Care to define those terms?

    "Pious talk about our good choices and hard work makes us look like assholes from the perspective of, say, a slum-dweller in Nairobi or Dhaka."
    Well, if you feel so guilty, I'm sure you can afford a ticket to go to those places. Other than that alternative, it sounds like mom left you a bundle and you're not happy.

    "3. A lot of libertarianism really is pot-smoking Republicanism, which comes out when libertarian principles tweak our tribal affiliations, e.g., the Keystone pipeline."
    Yep, any comment from you including 'we' is obviously a reference to that turd.

  • yonemoto||

    I think Jersey Patriot makes astute observations. Tonight one of my obama-loving friends who I haven't seen in months (she moved out of the country because her boyfriend is a professional online poker player) pointed at me driving a hybrid with a ron paul sticker and said that was strange.

    I said it wasn't. If you don't believe government should be responsible for protecting the environment, then that means that you are responsible. And she actually got it.

  • Jerryskids||

    You drive a hybrid because you are selfish and greedy. It makes you feel good to know you are doing something to help out, putting your money where your mouth is, doing something that makes you happy.

    You are just as selfish and greedy as Mother Theresa was, she liked helping people, it made her feel good, she did what made her happy.

    We all attempt to maximize our happiness, human beings are selfish and greedy that way.

  • Jerryskids||

    We all do what we want to do. You would rather spend a night out with the boys rather than take your wife out to dinner and a movie, but you take your wife out anyway. Doing something you don't want to do? No - you can spend a night out with the boys and have your wife pissed off at you or you can take the wife out and have her happy with you. What you want - a night out with the boys and your wife happy with you is not one of your options. Given the choices, you have done what maximizes your happiness. You selfish, greedy bastard.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    IMO, it's more unusual to see a full-size SUV or pickup with an Obama sticker, than a hybrid with a Ron Paul sticker.

  • yonemoto||

    not in southern california.

  • yonemoto||

    I will grant that it's unusual to see a pickup with an obama sticker. But that's because pickups are actually *useful*.

  • yonemoto||

    I don't believe in that sort of 'selfishness' relativism. While it's true that my actions are motivated by a desire to make myself happy, I do think that one OUGHT to be made happy by things that help other people, versus being made happy by doing things which hurt other people or take from other people.

    Not all forms of selfishness are created equal.

  • Jerryskids||

    I was being (only a little) hyperbolic. I think most people do realize that there are things greater than themselves - they do try to help their families, their friends, their neighbors, their communities. But beyond a certain point, the knowledge necessary to know how best how to truly help someone costs too much to be worth the effort of obtaining. You probably have a pretty good idea how best to help your child, a little less so your neighbors and friends, even less so your community. What should you be doing to help people in East Trashcanistan? Who knows?

    And how much happiness do you gain from helping your child compared to helping your friends or neighbors compared to helping your community compared to helping the citizens of East Trashcanistan?

  • Pervy||

    Oh, I'll bet she got it. Chicks dug hybrids (and libertarians)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I have everything I have because I earned it, JP.

    So... fuck you.

  • Royalist||

    Once people start recognizing that the unearned privilege of Whites is genetic in nature, the whole Libertarian world-view (itself an ancient extension of Liberalism) comes crashing down like the house of cards it really is. Economic freedom is just one predictor of a nation's wealth; the other one (that libertarians like to ignore) is the average IQ of the population in question.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, just fuckin' swell... White Idiot is back.

    Might as well abandon the thread, folks.

  • yeah, an "idiot"||

    ...with quotes from:

    • Rand
    • Rothbard
    • Mises

    Sure is shit. Mighty white of you admit it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    *yawn*

  • the yawn of evasion||

    typical

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Of what?

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    cracker chief, don't change the subject, answer the fucking question. Are you, yourself, personally, living on occupied land? And why do you, as a member of the most evil race of human beings to walk the planet (white people), why haven't you slit your wrists yet? You know what white people are like, it's obvious by your statements. What's stopping you?

  • Sevo||

    Last Friday, fueled with some wine, I made the mistake of engaging vermin shit. And properly got some grief as a result.
    Vermin shit is worth a meta-discussion as an example of un-moderated sites. It's worth pointing out to newbies that vermin shit is not worth logical engagement.
    Simply, vermin shit is worth the attention you give vermin shit; 'don't step in that stuff or you'll be sorry'.

  • Nando||

    Sevo power!

  • Zampolit SEVO||

    ...bids all good comrades to collectively unite and defeat the Enemies of agricultural City-Statism!

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    The past is past. What people did many decades ago, cannot be undone, nor is it of any help whatsoever to obsess over it.

  • The excuse of Killer Takers||

    But your agricultural city-Statist system (civilization) is still aggressively invading and occupying by force.

    And don't forget, you initiate force all the time, then whitewash it as a "property right." Neat trick there.

    Anyway, here is how your type works:

    IN MID-FEBRUARY OF 2005 a 73-year old nun was murdered by ranchers near Anapu, Brazil because of her attempts to halt the illegal logging of the rainforest.

    http://www.dorothystang.org/

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    We're not talking about Brazil.

    YOU are, but we aren't.

    What they did is wrong. However... did SHE own the rainforest?

  • City-Statism is the same||

    ...the world round.

    What is happening in Brazil with the last of "uncontacted people" once happened here a short time ago.

    But you can't figure it out, because you don't want to, Taker.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    For Farm, for City, for State|3.24.12 @ 8:34AM|#
    cracker chief, don't change the subject, answer the fucking question. Are you, yourself, personally, living on occupied land? And why do you, as a member of the most evil race of human beings to walk the planet (white people), why haven't you slit your wrists yet? You know what white people are like, it's obvious by your statements. What's stopping you?

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Actually, it happened here a LONG time ago.

    Which is where the focus of this conversation is, and should remain.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    It is axiomatic that liberals are always guilty of that which they accuse their opponents.

    The "selfish" blather that they apply to liberatarians (and coservatives) far more correctly defines THEM.

    THEY are the one's who are constantly trying to control and spend other people's money - and trying to spin themsevlves as being virtuous for doing so.

  • you got close, GM||

    It is axiomatic that libertarians are always guilty of that which they accuse their opponents.

    The "aggression" blather that they apply to liberals (and conservatives) far more correctly defines THEM.

    THEY are the one's who are constantly trying to control and enslave other people with money - and trying to spin themselves as being virtuous for doing so.

    FIFY

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Yawn.

    Pathetic.

    Keeping your own property is neither aggression nor "enslavement".

    And you aren't the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

  • TAKING property is Aggression||

    Questions, Gilbert:

    • Is any white person's right an individual or collective right?
    •Is the right to take a negative or positive right?

    "[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land ... Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent." ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

  • Gilbert Martin||

    If you try to gambol on my property, that makes YOU the aggressor.

    YOU are the one trying to take control of my property.

    And you aren't the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

  • That's the whitewash you use||

    ...to justify your initiation-of-aggression.

    First, it isn't really your property. You pay property taxes to the Original TAKER, who committed the genocide-for-capitalism.

    Second, standing nearly anywhere on the surface of the home planet isn't an act of aggression, except in agricultural city-Statist Taker cultures like yours.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "First, it isn't really your property"

    Sure it is.

    You aren't the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

    Your bullshit personal opinions as to what does and doesn't constitute legitimate property ownership doesn't count as proof of anything.

  • try not paying your taxes||

    ...to the real owner.

    Your bullshit personal opinions will be revealed.

    Go on, do it.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    cracker chief, don't change the subject, answer the fucking question. Are you, yourself, personally, living on occupied land? And why do you, as a member of the most evil race of human beings to walk the planet (white people), why haven't you slit your wrists yet? You know what white people are like, it's obvious by your statements. What's stopping you?

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    You've cut-and-pasted this at least three times in this thread.

    What's wrong? Can't you type it from memory? Or *try* to be original in every response?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "...to the real owner."

    I am the real owner.

    Property taxes pay for government services like, police, fire protection, road paving, trash pickup, etc.

    You aren't the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

    In fact, after countless posts here, you are the least bit capable of proving that your personal preferece of what can and can't be defined as legitimate property ownership is one iota more valid than the legal one that currently exists.

    ALL constructs of property ownershp are artificial. There is no concept in nature of it. The bear will happily steal the wolf's kill if he can. He has no notion that the wolf "owns" it.

    You cannot prove that my right to own land is an less valid than your right to own the bags of cheetos that you stuff your face with every day.

  • ||

    so take it back then. or complain I guess

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Mr. Godesky will continue to ignore the fact that most Native Americans sold their land title (as they understood it) to the colonisers.

    The rest engaged in wars either with each other or with colonisers, sort of like how Europeans had been doing to each other for centuries. The Normans invaded England, took over the country, and made it their own. Nobody sits around whining about how the big bad Normans took away the property rights of King Harold.

  • That is a city-Statist lie.||

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The cool thing is that we city-Statists completely kicked the crap out of you Primitivists.

    You're powerless to resist the charms of our 24-hour drive-thrus and can only watch helplessly as your waistline expands.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Point out *ahem* "the lie".

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    cracker chief, don't change the subject, answer the fucking question. Are you, yourself, personally, living on occupied land? And why do you, as a member of the most evil race of human beings to walk the planet (white people), why haven't you slit your wrists yet? You know what white people are like, it's obvious by your statements. What's stopping you?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The Normans invaded England, took over the country, and made it their own. Nobody sits around whining about how the big bad Normans took away the property rights of King Harold."

    Indeed, the history of the entire world is so. Further back than that, the Romans conquered and enslaved other peoples, etc. Does that mean the descendents of those people get to take Rome back? Nope.

    Even further back than that, modern humans prevailed be outcompeting the Neanderthals. Does that mean we should strive to get some Neanderthal DNA and ressurect the species Jurassic Park style and turn everything over to them?

    I don't think so.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Western civilisation in general and American culture specifically have been good for Native Americans like my wife, her grandpa, and her mother, who's getting knee replacements soon due to a congenital condition at far too young of an age. In Mr. Godesky's fantasy world, she'd just die off now that she wouldn't be able to keep on her feet all day to forage in the woods for food.

    She grew up near where Godesky currently works, but unlike him, she grew up in poverty, working from a young age to be able to have enough food to eat, including having to grow a garden to get through hard times.

    Getting to relax at home and order a pizza when her knee is really bothering her is a comfort she appreciates a little more than most. Yet I bet my mother-in-law's grew more produce in her garden last summer, and fed more neighbours, family, and friends, than Godesky's foraged for in his entire life.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Er, I bet my mother-in-law grew more product in her garden ... than Jason Godesky could grow in a lifetime, unless you consider bellybutton lint "produce".

  • Ah, the utilitarian tack!||

    So Sweden wins, right?

    Hell, even Cuba wins, if you go by the utilitarian value of simply being able to keep babies alive.

    U.S. Still Struggling With Infant Mortality
    www.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/health/07stat.html

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The track that wins is maximising my own happiness, my wife's, my close family's, etc.

    Run along now. Go outside and plant some food in your garden. It's a lovely warm day. Oh wait... you probably don't even know how to grow a vegetable garden.

  • SOCIALIST EUROPE IT IS!||

    Old, stable nations of northern Europe took five of the top 10 spots on our list. These include Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark.
    www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43287918/.....ions-list/

    World's happiest countries: 1 to 187
    It's good to be Norwegian, according to the U.N.'s latest "happiness index"
    www.cnngo.com/explorations/lif.....nces-world’s-happiest-country-247768

    Fibertarian told me so.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Which explains why Scandinavia's suicide rate is higher than the U.S.

  • 1 in 300 Americans||

    1 in 300 Americans attempt suicide annually.

    1 in 300 Cambodians are amputees due to mines and bombs from the war.

    Fuck yeah, it's the American Dream!

    Anyway, fact check a Fibertarian and find...
    Norway suicide rate: 11.9
    USA suicide rate: 11.8

    Big difference there, hombre.

    So is Iran a wonderful paradise with a great "sense of life?"

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Why aren't you outside foraging for blackberries or planting seeds in your garden?

    Any actual Native American would know that a warm spring like this is ideal planting season...

  • repeated bullshit over & over||

    So I'll repeat myself, if you don't mind:

    OBJECTION 1: If they want to live primitively so badly, why don’t they just run off into the woods already and do it?

    There are two issues here; the first is education. We were all raised within civilization, which has a vested interest in ensuring its children have as little independent survival value as possible.

    Jason Godesky
    5 Common Objections to Primitivism, and Why They’re Wrong
    http://theanarchistlibrary.org.....Wrong.html

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Nobody's stopping you from going outside and working on your garden.

    As a child, I ran around in the woods behind my grandmother's house in Appalachia during family trips to the U.S. and picked wild blackberries and raspberries.

    I could still go there if I wanted, even though the land has since been sold: nobody really cares about people wandering in the woods down there.

    But, hey, go ahead and keep making excuses for your daily Arby's runs.

  • you're a dunce||

    running around in the woods is not living a non-state lifeway

    you know that

    but you're a dishonest Fibertarian

  • Appalachian Australian||

    It's pretty dishonest to call yourself a "primitivist" when you can't live more than a two days without a bag of Cheetohs.

  • let's think about that one||

    It's pretty dishonest to call yourself a "libertarian" when you can't live more than a two days without publicly funded roads, schools, etc.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    cracker chief, don't change the subject, answer the fucking question. Are you, yourself, personally, living on occupied land? And why do you, as a member of the most evil race of human beings to walk the planet (white people), why haven't you slit your wrists yet? You know what white people are like, it's obvious by your statements. What's stopping you?

    Also, Jason Godesky is a crack pot. Nothing out of his mouth has intellectual merit whatsoever.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Genocide might be kinder, Jason

  • Bill||

    A number of the nordic countries having been moving toward more free market and less socialism over the last few decades. From some prior Reason articles I'm too lazy to look up.

  • Nando||

    You have to go back 100,000 years to find a perfect WI society.

  • Benjamin Franklin lived 100000||

    ...years ago. Cuz, like, Nando told me so.

    When an Indian Child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our Customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and make one Indian Ramble with them, there is no perswading him ever to return, and that this is not natural to them merely as Indians, but as men, is plain from this, that when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and lived a while among them, tho' ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.

    ~Benjamin Franklin

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    For Farm, for City, for State|3.24.12 @ 8:34AM|#
    cracker chief, don't change the subject, answer the fucking question. Are you, yourself, personally, living on occupied land? And why do you, as a member of the most evil race of human beings to walk the planet (white people), why haven't you slit your wrists yet? You know what white people are like, it's obvious by your statements. What's stopping you?

    Also, Ben Franklin said good stuff about capitalism. Was he right about that too?

    Or maybe he was wrong about your pet savages, cracker chief

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    The bigotry, if not racism, in the two posts above, is as disgusting as anything a Klansman would say.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Not what Franklin said, but the context in which those words are being used by the twisted mind of this "White Indian" creature.

  • Nando||

    What is the ideal human population?
    http://probaway.wordpress.com/.....happiness/

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Depends on how many planets we colonise or Dyson spheres we build?

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Also, I believe the hedonic treadmill pretty much ensures humans will choose to be miserable, regardless of how few or how many of them there are.

    The best way to maximise human happiness is to find a way to hook up as much of the population to an I.V. heroin drip all day. But I don't see anyone advocating for that.

  • Addiction is happiness?||

    Nobody is advocating it, because you're wrong. Wrong about many things.

    Time to check your premises.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Being high on heroin all day is pretty much the definition of happiness.

    Ask any addict (or non-addict who's used before). That's why it's addictive: your brain likes to be happy .

  • Jerryskids||

    I use the exact same metaphor. If we are all trying to maximize happiness, why aren't we all heroin addicts?

    Because we know intuitively what most heroin addicts already know - that is not true happiness. Human beings want more than what heroin can give them - they want a sense of purpose, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of "moreness". There is something more to life than just the happiness of heroin addiction.

  • colonize!||

    It is telling of Taker Culture how self-styled "libertarians" wank to the human species becoming as aggressive as the invading alien hordes of ID4.

    Taker Culture can survive only by more and more taking. Now that the home planet has been completely invaded and occupied, the Takers desperately dream of conquering and occupying more worlds.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Building a Dyson sphere around our own sun is aggressive?

    There's no other life in our solar system to "take", despite us earnestly trying to find life on other planets.

  • You're rather "needy"||

    ...like any parasite or cancer.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    You're pretty needy when it comes to Cheesy Beef Burritos from your neighbourhood Taco Bell.

  • Taco Bell Manager||

    Thank GOD, we're not a buffet.

  • Jerryskids||

    I am assuming you don't really believe in moon men or little green men from Mars, so I have to assume "conquering and occupying" other worlds presupposes that worlds themselves possess rights. The whole Gaia thing.

    Kinda like PETA arguing that animals have rights humans are morally bound to respect. Yeah, I'll respect a lion's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness the day a lion sits down with me and agrees to respect my right to the same on the grounds that the lion has a moral obligation to do so.

  • Nando||

    but is it sustainable?

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The galaxy is a big place. We could build a lot of Dyson spheres.

  • Sevo||

    Nando|3.23.12 @ 9:21PM|#
    "but is it sustainable?"
    I doubt you have any firm idea what that means.

  • Sevo||

    From the link:
    "But now it is necessary to present the things which would permit 12,000 more years of civilization."

    The chutzpah expressed in that statement is breathtakingly stupid.
    In a lecture years ago, Carl Sagan commented that 5-10 year predictions had some validity, 25 years was at the edge of expanding variables and beyond that was fantasy.
    And this jackwagon proposes to claim predictability to 12K years?! And the bozo known as Nando is stupid enough to think someone is as dumb as s/he is?!

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Well, AGW adherents keep telling me they can predict the weather 50 or 100 years from now, even though they don't have the foggiest idea what it will be tomorrow, next week, or this summer.

  • Sevo||

    AA,
    Comment:
    Next week's weather is like the next toss of the dice; not a good analogy.
    Not disagreeing that predicting the climate X year's out is a crap-shoot (pun!), but that doesn't follow from a failed prediction of rain tomorrow.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Yes, but no one's successfully predicated the climate in 1 year, or 5, or 10. Why should I believe someone who claims they have foreknowledge of the climate 50 years from now?

  • Nando||

    GMOs are about profit and population control
    http://www.democraticundergrou.....=115x41484

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I see. So instead of answering my reasonable question above (which is admittedly an easy one to defeat), you just moved on to some other stupid pet cause.

  • Sevo||

    From the link:
    "A friend of a friend is the organic gardener for the CEO of Monsanto. When queried about gmo crop technology it was off -handedly replied that it is simply a measure for population control. 'We know this will make people sick and shorten lives"."
    Nando, either you're a good spoof of enviro-whackos, or you're a good reason to ignore them.

  • Bill||

    Well, if a friend of a friend of the "organic gardener" for an unnamed CEO off-handedly replied something - well, now you my full attention!!

  • Nando||

    The Population Control Agenda
    http://www.radioliberty.com/pca.htm

  • Sevo||

    From the link:
    "One of the most difficult concepts for Americans to accept is that there are human beings dedicated to coercive population control and genocide. Many readers will acknowledge that our government is helping to finance the Red Chinese program of forced abortion, forced sterilization, infanticide, and control of the numbers of live births."
    Are you having o's now, Nando? Or did you post this to prove you have cornered the market on tin-foil lids?

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Human beings dedicated to population control and genocide? Sounds like liberals and Communists...

  • Depopulate? ||

    Atlas these days reads almost like a Peak Oil survivalist fantasy. Rand apparently accepted a form of Malthusianism which held that we have too many philosophically undesirable people in the world. Just withdraw the energy supplies (Galt's motor, Ellis Wyatt's shale oil, Ken Dannager's coal) that sustain them, and the resulting die off will restore Earth to its Objectivist carrying capacity.

    ~Mark Plus
    4:56:00 PM
    http://aynrandcontrahumannatur.....go_10.html

  • What If||

    What IF the USA had not purchased Alaska from the USSR before 1963?

  • Nando||

    http://www.alternet.org/food/1.....s_science/
    Outrageous Lies Monsanto and Friends Are Trying to Pass off to Kids as Science
    The claims made in a book from the biotechnology industry are laughable. But these blatant lies are passed off as 'science' for schoolchildren.

  • Sevo||

    From the link:
    "It's not enough that the biotech industry -- led by multinational corporations such as Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, BAS, and Dupont -- is poisoning our food and our planet. It's also poisoning young minds.
    As opposed to poisoning the well.
    --------------------------
    You have to go through a page or so of agit-prop from Nando's fave ignoramuses before you find this:
    "Lie #1: "Biotechnology is one method being used to help farmers grow more food." (page 7)
    This statement is patently false."
    Uh, well, no it isn't. See, oh, Green Revolution'.
    Nando has got to be a spoof.

  • Oh, fucking wonderful...||

    ...W.I. and Nando are posting now.

    All we need is Tony and shrike, REALLY fuck it up for everyone sensible.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    This thread is lost. I figure the best I could do is try to confine WI's postings to this thread so he runs out of time to pollute the other H&R threads.

  • np||

    Your sacrifice will not be forgotten good sir.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    I've been wondering why this website doesn't just ban him; after all, it's their property, and the First Amendment doesn't apply here...

    Yes, I know, he could - and probably does - find a way around it. But, seriously, all he does is fill the spaces with useless, repetitive junk.

  • Whining Fibertaraian||

    my butt hurts too

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Attn: Reason

    You could get a LOT more donations out of us if you created a position just to delete the serious trolls when they show up.

    Think on it.

  • tarran||

    The intern would probably slash his wrists within a week.

  • whiny losers||

    have to resort to censorship, just like nancy pelosi lovin' librulz

  • tarran||

    Aaaaah.

    That explains all the nonsense, non sequiturs, and incoherence you dump on the threads in the weekends!

    Episiarch rejected you, so Reason must be made unreadable.

    YOu're trying to censor Reason, because you are a whiny loser! And your repeated statements about "Political officer Sevo" etc is projection!

    Thanks Rather! I now understand you so much better!

    It must be hell being trapped in your mind.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    The use of the word "censorship" is inappropriate to this discussion.

  • shrike||

    All Power to the Imagination!

  • clueso||

    Nando is a spoofer

  • Appalachian Australian||

    WI's kind of like the Communist who waxes poetic about equality and the proletariat but sips imported Cognac because the work he does is so important that the rules he advocates don't apply to him.

    Hence him eating at Long John Silver's on a daily basis is fine, even though he's telling the rest of us we're supposed to be foraging for acorns in the woods. He needs the extra calories to fuel his massive brain so he can keep writing Wikipedia articles and posting to H&R.

  • Precocious eight year old||

    why?

  • Appalachian Australian||

    So, did anyone go and see the Hunger Games yet?

  • teenage girls||

    *scream*

  • Bill||

    Yes. I liked it. Had not read the books. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    NC might be my last final four pick alive but I'm sure as shit cheering for Ohio in overtime. I might as well pick the underdog in every matchup because I keep cheering against my own bracket. I am guaranteed to come in the bottom five though, brutal year (not last though, bingo has that locked up).

  • clueso||

    Finally an OT game.

  • clueso||

    For the primitivist who wants it all
    http://uncrate.com/stuff/colem.....ovenstove/

  • Appalachian Australian||

    That's way too civilised. Real primitivists only eat uncooked food.

  • Bag of Cheetos||

    He STILL clubbed me before tearing me open!

  • The Stig||

    Some say the outline of his left nipple is the exact shape of the Nurburgring.

  • ||

    There is nothing in the world more selfish than compelling other people to obey you under threat. That's what I tell socialists when they get in my face.

    -jcr

  • omnibot||

    I'm stealin it

  • Tony||

    ::blink::
    ::blink::

    Why would you be against that, John?

  • ||

    Heck yeah dude now that is what I am talking about man!

    www.True-Privacy.tk

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    It's official.

    Despite several instances where I really wanted to jump in an show White Indian his fallacy, I realize that it would be futile. White Indian is impervious to logic. His arguments are not his own, and he employs others' badly. He is a non-person, a shell inhabited by others. I do not violate his rights, though he would violate mine, but I do not respect him as an individual.

    He cannot be reasoned with.

    From now on, I will not defend. I will ignore his attacks on libertarianism, his irrational insistence that minarchy is absolutism, his obsession with primitivism. I leave him to his own devices.

    "We have no demands to present to you, no terms to bargain about, no compromise to reach. You have nothing to offer us. *We do not need you.*"

    http://amberandchaos.com/?page_id=106

  • tarran||

    What is it about Objectivists and their need to officially announce that they are breaking with someone or ignoring their existence?

    If you want to ignore Rather, just ignore her! It's not hard.

  • professional schismatic||

    Breaking from others is the Passion of Ayn Rand.

  • Fluffy||

    Grand gestures are pleasant.

    An Objectivist villain would definitely do a lot of monologuing.

    It's their Achilles' Heel.

  • Sarah Palin||

    Achilles' Heel

    What's that?

  • ||

    It's larger than a cuban heel

  • tarran||

  • Bill||

    Hint: I think he hopes others ignore it as well.

  • ||

    Out of curiosity, can anyone explain why a primitivist spends so much time on the internet?

    Why isn't that like a pacifist carrying a gun or a devout Muslim eating a bacon cheeseburger?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Because it's not really a primitivist. It's a self-deluded schmuck living in a fantasy world.

  • Kol. "Klink" Schultz||

    Out of curiosity, can anyone explain why a "libertarian" spends so much time using publicly funded and developed resources like the internet?

    Why isn't that like a pacifist carrying a gun or a devout Muslim eating a bacon cheeseburger?

  • Kol. "Klink" Schultz||

    Because it's not really a libertarian. It's a self-deluded schmuck living in a fantasy world.

    Scruffy Nerfherder told me so.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, most libertarian moralists explicitly endorse the use of so-called public resources.

    There are a few different grounds you can use to do so.

    Some would tell you that, whatever its origins, we now access the internet through private ISP's so it's OK.

    Others would say that you're entitled to attempt to recover the assets taken from you by taxation by consuming the so-called public resources created using taxation.

    Others would say that so-called public resources are just a variety of jointly owned property, and that using them is little different from living in a condominium where you share some areas with other owners. (This argument is generally applied to so-called public lands.)

  • Fluffy||

    Ultimately, it's a quite different situation from the one faced by a primitivist, for the simple reason that libertarians would not regard the internet as fundamentally evil because it was created using so-called public resources in part. We'd just see that as a problem to be mitigated - by privatization, for example. But to a primitivist, the internet should be regarded as evil as a thing-in-itself - its mere continued existence is evil and harmful, and there's no way to mitigate that evil that doesn't involve not using the internet.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Libertarians don't live in the past, and don't sit around being concerned that something might have been done in a less-than-libertarian way 20 years ago.

    Instead, we look for solutions for the future to help people live better, freer lives.

  • Royalist||

    Ignore the past at your own peril.

  • ||

    Even IF the internet originated as a government project, that's a funny use of the word "internet". When I'm talking about using the "internet", I'm not talking about using it the way the government did.

    The internet as it is came about as a function of the government no longer being involved in its development. I'm trying to imagine an argument where Reason's website and our participation with it somehow came about because of government involvement, and I can't think of one that makes any sense.

    The internet was mostly built by capitalists. Very little of it was built with government assistance.

    Capitalists raised the money in the capital markets. All that carbon fiber was laid by entrepreneurs. All those switches were invented by entrepreneurs. All that software...

    Cisco, Qwest, UUNet, AOL, JDS Uniphase, id Software, Napster...which of these companies were government agencies?

  • PantsFan||

    Voting begins for Canada's next top socialist
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....le2379750/

  • ||

    Mulcair.

    *Face palm*

  • anon||

    Way too long of an article. Those who contribute more to society receive more reward in a free market; this price signal tells them that what they are doing is beneficial to society AND themselves.

    Which just so happens to make people that make stuff we desire wealthy, and give them a reason to keep doing the stuff that's made them wealthy.

  • rich slaver||

    And slave trading contributes to society too, which is how I got rich. And those slaves are way better off than living in a mud hut in Africa. Just ask them if they want to go back.

  • anon||

    Yup, slavery is exactly what I meant. How did you know?

  • omnibot||

    You mean that the big, glowing ball in the sky can actually affect our planet?

    NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years.

  • omnibot||

  • ||

    can we get some forced sterilization here? i realize its not constitutional, but imo that's a bug in the constitution

    http://www.komonews.com/news/l.....36436.html

  • ||

    EVERETT, Wash. - A 22-year-old mother was arrested on drug charges and her 2-year-old son was taken to the hospital when deputies became concerned that the little boy was high on heroin, officials said.

    The incident unfolded Thursday night when deputies stopped a car on Interstate 5 at Marine View Drive, a Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said. The woman's boyfriend, who was in the car, was arrested on a warrant and other charges.

    During the boyfriend's arrest, deputies spotted what appeated to be a needle loaded with heroin and other heroin paraphernalia in the mother's purse, officials said.

    The mother, identified as Camie Bena, also was arrested and taken into custody on suspicion of possession of heroin and reckless endangerment.

  • she's a libertarian||

    may as well own up to it

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Voluntary sterilisation seems like a better plan.

    Offer $200 and a week's worth of heroin in exchange for agreeing to be sterilised. There's no coercion, and anyone who accepts such a deal is, from a moral perspective, unfit to be a parent.

    Everyone wins.

  • ||

    Deputies said Bena’s 2-year-old son was in the back seat and appeared to be very lethargic and under the influence of a drug or drugs.

    The deputy at the scene said he believed the boy became intoxicated on heroin while Bena had been smoking it in the car, but the mother appeared not to be concerned about it. Investigators are still awaiting the results of medical tests confirming the presence of drugs in the boy's system.

    Documents show the little boy also had been placed with the agency after a previous incident that took place when he was only 6 months old, in April 2010.

    In that case, Bena crashed her car into a ditch at Salahee Way and 217th Place in King County while high on marijuana and PCP. Her little boy was in the car with her at the time and showed signs of being intoxicated.

    Bena was later convicted of DUI in that case.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Common-law neglect of one's child sounds sufficient to prosecute this case.

    No legislation needed.

  • Fluffy||

    Reason should come up with a Coase model to ban White Indian.

    They could come up with a system where we bid to ban her, and she can bid to be unbanned.

    As the length of time she has been banned increases, they could make it more and more expensive to keep her banned (conversely, make it less and less expensive for her to get unbanned).

    Voila - new revenue for Reason.

  • anon||

    I'm in. I'll throw in $100.

  • Gilligan Syle||

    This is like the worst chat room ever.

  • ||

    Why do libertarians continue to quote Ayn Rand as some sort of revealed truth? She never liked you guys - deal with it. Okay, maybe she didn't come right out and say "Libertarians are the cancerous polyps of humankinds' rectum" but she was never far from that sentiment.

    And yet, the tributes from commentators and Reason writers continue. You all trot out her tropes like grown children desperately trying to earn the love of an estranged parent. Give it a rest ;)

  • ||

    Perhaps this explains that whopper of a disconnect so many who claim to be libertarian possess:

    Individual and associational rights can only be protected by giving an armed gang a monopoly on the use of force and a monopoly on the administration of justice and a monopoly on currency.

    Can you say cognitive dissonance?

  • ||

    Thankfully, I don't claim to be one. It's a pity though. Libertarianism could provide a framework melding the best of both liberal progressivism and conservatism. I think the differences rest in means rather than ends.

    Rand and Objectivism screw that dream up. Her remarks on European colonization show that quite clearly, I think. Native American life-ways may not have been paradise or even something we'd like to live in but they were stable and self-sustaining. The same can be said for natives all around the world. Rand's willingness to apply a subjective value judgement and then use that judgement as moral sanction for aggression against the natives really doesn't fit with any non-coercion principle I can think of. It's like the nanny-liberals who think that because something is good for them that everyone should be forced to do the same thing.

  • tarran||

    Ayn Rand is kind of the John Maynard Keynes of the libertarian world.

    She's influential... her work suffers from the fact that the stuff she wrote that was good was not original, and the stuff she wrote that was original was god-awful.

    Her influence is derived, though, from telling people what they want to hear.

    In the end, much of her philosophy was the rationalization of what she emotionally felt was right - coupled with her desire to impel people to live according to those rules or to leave completely her circle of awareness.

    Rothbard saw it very quickly, hence his play Mozart was a Red.

  • Jerryskids||

    If you see someone quoting Ayn Rand here, rest assured it is not a libertarian.

    Ayn Rand said some smart things, she also said some stupid things. Her stupid things didn't invalidate the smart.

    Kinda like the fact that I think Hitler was right in some of the things he believed.

    Hitler believed that 2+2=4, the Earth was round, chocolate tastes good, Stalin was a dick. Among other things.

  • Tony||

    It's not selfish because its outcomes are superior to other systems. And we'll have to trust you on that, I suppose.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    What's wrong with being selfish?

  • Tony||

    Nothing. All of my political beliefs could be said to come from selfishness. I believe they will give me the best life because they will give everyone the best life. The problem with libertarians is that they are selfish and dumb.

  • ||

    They will give you the best life by taking it from somebody else. Selfish and an asshole. Much better.

  • Tony||

    How many times does it have to be explained that you enjoy taking from others just as much, you just claim your taxpayer funded priorities are legitimate and others aren't.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Why do you want government to "give [you] the best in life"?

  • IceTrey||

    It doesn't ever have to be explained because it is not true.

  • Royalist||

    As long as you accept that altruism is a consequence of the selfishness of your genes and that striving to be selfish against your own predisposition is probably hurting your chances of survival & reproduction at the expense of others, therefore making you very generous - not much.

  • anon||

    This article's pretty pointless; all humans act in their own perceived best interest already anyways.

  • Mother Teresa||

    That's right.

  • anon||

    I hear sarcasm. Please explain how Mother Teresa wasn't acting in her own perceived best interest; do you not believe that "eternal salvation" would not be far better than putting in 80 years of work here on earth?

  • Mother Teresa||

    Oh, I was definitely selfish, but my worshipers thought I was selfless.
    That's what makes it so funny. The sainthood, I mean. LOL.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    She's blessed, but not a saint. (Only had one attested miracle, not two.)

    If you read her memoir, she wrestles all the time with feeling like the only reason she did selfless acts was to feel better about herself, and whether or not that actually made her more selfish than the people for which she was caring.

  • Jerryskids||

    She did what she wanted to do. No more or no less selfish than anyone else.

    But I would say that Sam Walton did more to help more people than Mother Teresa.

    (I realize that the Chinese wage slaves making 20 cents a day producing the stuff Wal-mart sells would be far better off if they were allowed to go back to their previous jobs of being brain surgeons and physics professors and nanotechnology researchers, but fuck the Chinese.)

  • Mother Teresa||

    Contraception is a sin.
    Women are breeders, praise God.
    Suffering is a virtue.

    Any questions?

  • Kathleen Sebelius||

    Your god has been outlawed in section 8, subsection 6j, article iii, chapter 2 of the Affordable Care Act. We will be in charge of the suffering from here on out.

  • MLB Cap||

    Good post.You did a good work,and offer more effective imformation for us!Thank you.
    http://www.hat-home.net/
    http://www.hat-productions.com

  • sloopyinca||

    Holy fucking shit! The NYT finally whites a decent story.

  • emily12||

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement