Yep, As Concerned Journalists Keep Re-Discovering, Little House Books Had Libertarian Co-Author. No, You Don't Need to Fear for Impressionable Children's Minds.

Christine Woodside in the Boston Globe recently rediscovered a fact that often shocks and appalls government-loving admirers of the famous series of children's books about frontier life, known as the Little House series. While the books are credited to Laura Ingalls Wilder, as those interested in the topic (beyond just being fans of the book) mostly know, they were very much massaged, edited, or in effect ghost-collaborated by her daughter, novelist Rose Wilder Lane.

And Rose Wilder Lane was not only a novelist, but a libertarian polemicist, one of the first in the modern sense. Woodside sees lots of individualist propaganda and a lot of eliding of the actual facts of frontier life in the books, because, she presumed, of Lane's libertarian leanings.

Woodside makes weird statements about the modern libertarian movement that show at best a half-understood third-hand student essay "I read someone making some synthetic statements and I'm restating them without knowing what I'm talking about" grasp of her topic. For example, of Lane's great 1943 libertarian polemic The Discovery of Freedom, "Libertarian thinkers consider it a treatise that helped the party rise out of the strong anti-Communist movement of the time." Kind of, I guess, you could parse out some meaning from that, but I'm not at all convinced Woodside could.

And her adopted heir Roger MacBride did not, as Woodside writes, "eventually [go] on to help form the Libertarian Party," though he did do something very interesting Woodside's readers might have cared about: as a Republican elector from Virginia in 1972, he cast the first electoral vote in American history for a woman, vice presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in its first national run, Toni Nathan.

I've blogged in both 2012 and 2009 on Judith Thurman at the New Yorker getting a bit alarmed at the perpetual rediscovery of the liberty roots of the Little House books.

My favorite libertarian take on frontier life came from Lane's good friend Isabel Paterson, also author of a very similar book of libertarian polemics that came out the same year as Lane's, called God of the Machine.

See my February 2005 Reason review of the biography of the first Isabel Paterson biography. Excerpt from that, on how Paterson:

spent her girlhood farming, ranching, and communing with Indians in the American West.

"She would never regard the frontier as the breeding ground of puritan virtues," writes [the biography's author Stephen] Cox. "She was aware that other people did. Those people, she could only suppose, had 'never lived on the frontier,' where freedom to loaf was more highly prized than hard work and stern ambition." Paterson did recognize that "frontier society offered 'the most civilized type of association'...because it had 'the absolute minimum of external regulation' and therefore 'the maximum of voluntary civility and morality.'"

While she was aware of the popular theory that "America's chief inheritance from its frontier past is 'aggressiveness,'" Cox writes, she considered that theory "'nonsense....On the frontier you have to be polite to your fellow men, and it won't get you anywhere to be aggressive to a blizzard.' What worked out West wasn't aggressiveness but 'a peculiarly individual, mind-your-own-business confidence.'

Megan McArdle at Bloomberg, far more versed in the Little House books themselves than I, gives a more nuanced take on exactly how libertarian-propaganda the books are, and the non-sinister, non-ideological reasons why this chidren's books series didn't stress some grim aspects of frontier life and its relations with government as much as Woodside might have liked.


Excerpts:

It’s not as if either Laura Ingalls Wilder or her daughter were anarchists who deliberately omitted the mention of the government’s role in offering them land and services. Woodside implies that they somehow conspired to conceal the rigors of prairie life, or the extent of government intervention in the prairies, which is really just not so. There’s quite a bit about the Homestead Act, which Pa Ingalls describes as the government “betting a man that he can’t live on the land for five years,” and the attempts to reforest the prairies via tree claims.

Yet somehow, Woodside complains that they don’t spend enough time talking about this: "The Little House books barely mention the obvious, which is that the impoverished Ingallses never could have gone to Dakota Territory without a government grant: Like most pioneers, their livelihoods relied on the federal Homestead Act, which gave settlers 160 acres for the cost of a $14 filing fee -- one of the largest acts of federal largesse in US history."

This is frankly bizarre, and made me wonder if she’d read the books as an adult. As it happens, I did just re-read the books, for a project I’m working on, and there are many lengthy passages explaining the Homestead Act, and how it works, including the granting of the land to the family by the government. Much of the dramatic action of "By the Shores of Silver Lake" consists of Pa filing a claim with the government for the land on which Laura spent her teen-age years, which hardly seems to qualify as “barely mentions.” It’s also pretty clear that the government is the source of the land for the schools where Laura teaches in "These Happy Golden Years," and the paychecks that she is paid for teaching in them.

McArdle's piece is long and detailed and well worth reading in its entirety.

I'll add the even more meta-libertarian point re: this Homestead Act stuff that by standard Lockean theory on how to claim land ownership, presuming that land was in fact not being occupied and used by previous owners (not always true, the history of how the U.S. came to "own" all that land complicated and often bloody), the government did an unlibertarian thing by claiming ownership of all that land in the first place, not in "granting" it to a frontiersperson in what Woodside presents as some government welfare giveaway.

The people who actually go and use and grow and build on the land are the proper owners, not the "government" who just decided to say that it was.

For more on Rose Wilder Lane's libertarianism, see my book Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement.

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  • ||

    It still amazes me how frightened of personal autonomy and concepts of personal liberty so many people are. They want to be slaves. They ask to be slaves. They demand to be slaves. And they also want the same for the rest of us, unfortunately. If you want to be a slave, fine, whatever; just don't agitate for me to be one as well. Yet that is what they do. Misery loves company. And it seems slavery and submission do as well.

  • Andrew S.||

    Indeed. It's why I always chuckle at the Avengers, when the crowd is kneeling to him in Germany: "Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel."

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    I liked Loki's Jamie Lannister-esque "there are no men like me" response.

    But yeah, it's scary how much of the viewing audience would probably agree with Loki's statement.

  • ||

    That statement is true for a great many people. And those people know it, and they know that there are others who will fight, and they hate them for having spirit and a backbone. So they will sandbag them as much as they can. There is a sea of losers, cowards, cravens, and scum out there, and they hate it when you aren't a lowlife like them. So they will try and pull you down by whatever means necessary just so you can't stand above them. Why do you think TEAM BLUE is so obsessed with "equality" and "fairness"? Because they hate that there are people who are smarter, better, and with more integrity than them. That's not "fair". And that's why everything they do is designed to drag everyone down into the mud...for "equality".

  • R C Dean||

    There is a sea of losers, cowards, cravens, and scum out there, and they hate it when you aren't a lowlife like them.

    This is known as the "Crab Bucket". If you have a bucket of crabs, they will pull back any of their number who try to climb out.

  • MJGreen||

    I chuckle at how much Joss Whedon hates his libertarian instincts.

  • Almanian!||

    Yepper.

    And the key is "don't tread on me" - people REALLY have a hard time leaving people alone who don't want to be slaves like they do.

    "I want to be a slave, so you must be, too!"

    Fuck off, slaver!

  • JW||

    You ungrateful little twerp. You don't want clean drinking water, roads and schools, huh? HUH?

    Their entire fealty is based solely around the false notion that you can't have a civilization without a strong central state and that central state's main function is to protect you against the next unseen boogeyman that will be coming around the corner to kill you and eat your children, any minute now. THERE IT IS!

    Their convenience and comfort is paramount in all things, since that is really what they want from a gubmint: an easy life, largely free of burdensome decision making. And if they have to throw hundreds of thousands of people in jail and/or kill 10s of thousands of ferriners to get that convenience and comfort, so be it.

  • ||

    I disagree. I think the fundamental factor in their psyche is submission. They are sheep, and they know it. But our culture--at least in entertainment and legend--prizes and values individualism and rebellion. And so that makes them...embarrassed. They know they are sheep, but there is no pride in being a sheep. And they hate that. But if they can force everyone to be a sheep, then they are no different from anyone else, and there is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed.

    Modern, prosperous life is so easy that people can basically act like children/high school all their lives. And do they ever fucking do that.

  • JW||

    They're willing to be sheep, in exchange for the services that they see as a gubmint's duty: roads, police, fire protection, military, etc. You hear this every time you talk to a proglodyte. If you don't want the state doing these things, then you don't want it to be done and you're a horrible person for thinking it.

    You don't want that cop beating up that woman? She shouldn't have given him lip. You don't want to pay high taxes? Then don't use the roads or call a cop. You don't like Social Security? Then don't cash the checks. Etc, etc. It's all about how you aren't doing your part for the collective and you suck for shirking.

    The problem is that they are so deluded and steeped so deeply in denial as to what their government is really doing, when they're confronted with the reality of the atrocities that the state commits every day, the default back to "taxes are the price of civilization."

    It's so robotic and reflexive at this point, that you'd think that a little of Kirk's ol' double-talk would fry their circuits, but they have submission to the collective sub-routines that kick in before any damage can occur.

  • ||

    Right now, those taxes aren't going to improving civilization. It's a grotesque assault on productive citizens is all. Government wants more money to maintain its immoral and excessive spending.

    And really, that line is over used and over rated. Private money did a lot for civilization.

  • Gordilocks||

    I just had someone tell me, in the same Facebook thread, that they want the Ontario government to allow competition against Brewers Retail and the LCBO, and then ask me why I think less government is a good idea.

    I really need to stop talking to these people. It's hopeless.

  • ||

    I have a friend who actually tells me with a straight face that the SAQ (Quebec liquor board) does a good job of pricing and offering selection.

    I counter that if it were private it would be even better because you'd have hundreds of people opening up their own boutiques with their own private selections.

    Nope. Didn't register with him. Then again, he earns over 200k and is "not complaining" about the taxes he pays.

    Told him he's just about the most irrational best friend I've got. They root for things that go against their own best interests.

  • R C Dean||

    They're willing to be sheep, in exchange for the services that they see as a gubmint's duty: roads, police, fire protection, military, etc

    Not really, because they want to be sheep regardless of whether their masters are actually delivering the goods.

  • JW||

    It's not so much that they want to be sheep, but you better be damned sure that you are.

  • ||

    I think there's more too it than just being sheep. They are so craven. They desperately need to believe they they're not the only sheep. That we're all miserable, shivering, and helpless. Suffering through life with nothing but a bounty of pathetic insecurities. It scares the piss out of them when they encounter someone who can do things and not need input from a committee of do-gooders first. How will he know he's doing the right thing except by democracy or executive fiat!? Burn the witch!

    These people becoming sheep would be an improvement.

  • ||

    That's essentially what I was trying to say. They are eternally clawing at those of us who try to rise above, always trying to drag us down with them, because it crushes their egos that there are people who strive for more. They will do all that they can to grasp and flail at anyone who isn't craven; it becomes the primary driver of their existence.

  • MJGreen||

    In this particular case, I think that has some merit. Perhaps Ms. Woodside can't imagine herself making it in the frontier world, and comforts herself by assuming those people needed and received just as much "help" as she would need.

    Her piece is so desperate to draw Rose Wilder Lane as some crazy liar, there must be something strange going on in her head.

  • ||

    As my liberal friend likes to say, "I like my running water."

    I guess it would stop flowing with a smaller, more responsible government.

    Sigh.

  • JW||

    A more succinct way of putting it, is that by not participating at themselves that they like, you're taking from them what's rightfully theirs. You'll be part of the collective, whether you like it or not and you'll pull your weight, or else, slacker.

    Comfort and convenience is at the core of it all. They want Top Men in the capitol making all the tough decisions for them and enforcing those decisions at the end of a gun.

  • JW||

    themselves = the level

  • ||

    I really don't think comfort is the major feature here. I think comfort is the payoff for collectivizing things. I really think envy, insecurity, and banality are the true motivators. Think about the microcosm of, say, a high school or a small town. Think of how much is driven by petty jealousy, insecurity, and venality.

    What do you think politics is? It's Heathers writ large. And there is no way they're going to leave anyone alone.

  • JW||

    It's both, but it's not clear what is driving what.

    All I know is that whenever the idea of reducing the state comes up, the response is how you want to kill everyone with poisoned food and have a generation of illiterate children. Also, why don't you move to Somalia if you want the corporations to run everything?

    It's a soup of crazy, topped off by their utter and complete venality.

  • ||

    I read a whole book, Escape from Freedom, on the points you make decades ago. Freedom does scare the crap out of a lot of people.

  • Brandybuck||

    Wrong. They don't want to be slaves, they don't ask to be slaves, they don't demand to be slaves. You completely misunderstand them. They want OTHERS to be slaves, they ask OTHERS of be slaves, they demand OTHERS be slaves. They themselves are the sycophants of the slavers and have large exceptions carved out for them.

  • CE||

    Are we sure they are "journalist" journalists?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The people who actually go and use and grow and build on the land are the proper owners, not the "government" who just decided to say they were."

    Yeah, the govt graciously allowed those who mixed their labor with the land by farming it for, what, 5 yrs to claim title to the land they improved!

    If all "welfare" programs were like that, most welfare recipients would have fainted from exhaustion.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Certainly most journalists in New York. They would have collapsed from the work, and would have filed for disability, then they would have gone on NPR to discuss how the cruel laisser-faire fanatics in the government were working them to death in exchange for an elusive promise of landownership.

  • Almanian!||

    MARKET FAILURE!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Oh, and did these journalists remember to point out how, before the Civil War, Southern slave interests blocked the Homestead Act because it would allow the West to be populated by free, nonslaveowning farmers, thus excluding slavery from Western territories rather than letting plantation owners to take slave labor gangs into the West to exploit the lands there?

  • Gordilocks||

    Man, we used to have a version of The Homestead Act here in Ontario, too .... the government killed it in the late 50's or early 60's .... can't have the peons working for themselves and claiming title to land!

  • cw||

    If the government already took the land for itself, how else is anyone supposed to own land without the government granting the title to him?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Shut up, kulak.

  • ||

    I live in the west.

    In the west the government still owns most of it.

  • JW||

    I used to have these same discussions with lefties over abolishing the FCC.

    THE PEOPLE OWN THE AIRWAVES. Fuck off, slaver.

  • R C Dean||

    If the people own the airwaves, why can't any of them use the airwaves they own without getting permission?

  • ||

    I am tickled pink about the media's recent alarmist take on libertarianism. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you... We seem to be somewhere in the early fighting stage.

  • ||

    THIS

  • ||

    All truths passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. -Arthur Schopenhauer

  • Almanian!||

    Cool. Don't know shit about LAW now her books - never read them in school. I'm interested - might need to do so now.

    Also, this rings true: "freedom to loaf was more highly prized than hard work and stern ambition" and "What worked out West wasn't aggressiveness but 'a peculiarly individual, mind-your-own-business confidence'". When you actually have to work to survive, REST and DOING NOTHING is one of the most-prized things. And it's always struck me that cooperation is almost always more successful than "aggressiveness" in furthering survival and prospering. YEah, some of us make it on our own, but generally, people are pack animals to an extent, and tend to thrive more in groups.

    I know - STATIST!

    Good stuff...

  • Almanian!||

    LIW, "nor" her books. anyway...

  • cw||

    The statists would tell you that if it weren't for the benevolent hand of government, the average person would wither into a Hobbesian chaos of all vs. all.

    They deny that humans can cooperate voluntarily.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Voluntary exchange leads to a race to the bottom, you evil capitalist pig-dog.

  • Almanian!||

    As all the thousands of voluntary associations in the US alone demonstrate, every day :)

    I started thinking about how many I belong to myself - it's astounding. All voluntary, all to do together what we probably couldn't do on our own...NO involvement from the govt.

    UNPOSSIBLE

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    You're talking crazy talk. Seek help immediately at your nearest ISO chapter.

  • JW||

    The statists would tell you that if it weren't for the benevolent hand of government, the average person would wither into a Hobbesian chaos of all vs. all.

    God damn you for boiling down my clumsy wordiness to a single sentence.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Yet somehow, Woodside complains that they don’t spend enough time talking about this: "The Little House books barely mention the obvious, which is that the impoverished Ingallses never could have gone to Dakota Territory without a government grant: Like most pioneers, their livelihoods relied on the federal Homestead Act, which gave settlers 160 acres for the cost of a $14 filing fee -- one of the largest acts of federal largesse in US history."

    The Feds could have held onto that dirt, but in their kindness allowed some poor soul to put it to good use! Gov't be praised!
    And don't forget those wagon Roadz!

  • Brett L||

    Like most pioneers, their livelihoods relied on the federal Homestead Act, which gave settlers 160 acres for the cost of a $14 filing fee

    Umm. $0.09/acre was probably more than Dakotas land was worth well into the 20th century.

  • SugarFree||

    With inflation it was more like $2 an acre. And you had to manage to stay alive there for five year, also a huge cost in money and labor.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    That Little House on the Prairie....YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT!!!

  • Almanian!||

    nice

  • Anomalous||

    What, do you want to live in Somalia?

  • gaijin||

    the actual facts of frontier life

    I think Woodside may have watched the TV series and mistook it as the books. Certainly, she does not seem old enough to have any experience with the facts of (frontier) life.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Grace Kelly was the only one who helped Gary Cooper against those gangsters - what else do you have to know?

  • gaijin||

    but...gunz!

  • Ted S.||

    Katy Jurado was sexier.

  • ||

    The left wing nut job fell a pit:

    Either the government giving the land to homesteaders was a good thing. In which case then shouldn't the government be giving up the stuff it owns today?

    or the government gifting it was a bad thing...in which case isn't government screwing up a case for libertarianism?

  • pmains||

    This reminds me of the point Hitchens used to make about Marx's admiration for Lincoln and his promise of "40 Acres and Mule" to the slaves. Socialists look at the Homestead Act and similar measures as necessary acts of wealth redistribution. Since capitalism, in the Marxist view, leads to consolidation of capital wealth in relatively few hands, this will be necessary from time to time. Woodside is throwing a hissy fit because she sees other people interpreting history differently, and she doesn't like it.

  • John||

    And Lincoln was pursuing the Jeffersonian ideal in the Homestead Act. The Jeffersonian ideal was an agrarian society of small farmers. That is exactly what the homestead act sought to create.

  • Ted S.||

    Wasn't it Thaddeus Stevens who wanted to give the freed slaves 40 acres and a mule?

  • pmains||

    After Googling, I find that indeed it was. I never knew that. Thanks!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    It seems to me that the very idea that settlers spent five years hacking it out in the wilderness on their own offends the progressive sentiment that 'we are all in this together' and can't succeed without some central planning.

    In an ideal progressive world, the family would have had to wait for government agents to build The Little Housing Project on the Prairie and establish a specific set of rules and taxes for the peasants.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    My folks were bothered that, in the great blizzard of 18 something, the Ingalls family and their neighbors were thrown onto their own resources, rather than pooling their property so everyone could be fed during the emergency - "Banker Ruth" in particular didn't share his wealth. (Yet a Google search shows that Thomas Ruth later became mayor, so maybe there weren't that many hard feelings).

    I realize now that in the Collective Farm on the Prairie, there would have been more, not less, starvation.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    In an ideal progressive world, the family would have had to wait for government agents to build The Little Housing Project on the Prairie and establish a specific set of rules and taxes for the peasants.

    And that blind school functioning without a proper gov't Overlord? Unpossible!

  • ||

    "All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all." Vladimir Lenin, quoted in Not by Politics Alone

    "It is thus necessary that the individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole ... that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual .... This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture .... we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man." Adolph Hitler 1933

    Woodside and Co. should be proud to be in such good company.

  • SugarFree||

    The Hitler quote is almost exactly something he would say--hell, has said in only slightly different wording. If only a brave speech writer would slip that into his next "national unity means doing as I say" speech.

  • John||

    Fascism was the total dedication to the Sate. You know, the government is us.

  • John||

    I feel so sorry for people whose lives totally revolve around politics. This nitwit is so offended by the fact that the books reflect views she doesn't agree with it prevents her from even understanding the books. The books were hardly an categorical endorsement of individualism. Laura Wilder's father was a bit of a nut. He couldn't stay in one place and would leave and move west every time the slightest bit of civilization encroached. He really was the radical individualist liberals are always whining about. And the family was constantly poor and living on the edge of starvation because of it. They just started to do better for themselves in Indiana and the old man decided it was too crowded and moved them out to Kansas to start over from nothing again. The family also had to live as basically outlaws because living illegally on Indian land was the only place her father thought was far enough away from people.

    The books, in addition to being an interesting adventure story for children, are actually pretty well written and show people in three dimensions. But this moron can't appreciate it. The books are not Libertarian propaganda. They are just not progressive propaganda. And for that, fascists twits like the women in the Globe can never forgive it.

  • Gordilocks||

    You should really take the time to read 'Independent People' by Haldor Laxness.

    It's a beautiful novel which essentially seeks to describe the Icelandic national character - and it's main character, Gudbjartur Jonsson aka Bjartur of Summerhouses, acts much the same as Pa Wilder.

    It is my favourite novel, ever, and the only thing to ever come out of Iceland to win the Nobel Prize.

    I'm sure Laxness is rolling over in his grave to be in company with Barry. And Henry Kissinger.

  • John||

    I will look at that. Have you ever read An African in Greenland? It is one of the greatest and strangest travel books ever written. It is about an African who leaves the tribal life and travel to Greenland because he once saw it in a magazine. It is an amazing book.

  • Gordilocks||

    Will check it out. Thanks for the tip.

    I'm kinda new around here; have only been commenting sporadically over the last year. Cheers for the insightful commentary. The people who comment here are (mostly) great.

  • Hopfiend||

    you would think they would be somewhat chastened by the string of failures. But paradise is one program and appropriation away.

    Always will be I suspect.

  • Tonio||

    I mentioned that in the PM Links two days ago.

    No hat tip for me. Sigh.

  • ||

    Yes, you did. And it has had me thinking ever since. That is why I looked up those quotes and did some additional reading.

    Hat tip shmat tip. You got me, and no doubt some others thinking.

  • Tonio||

    Thanks, Bro.

  • Mr Whipple||

    presuming that land was in fact not being occupied and used by previous owners (not always true, the history of how the U.S. came to "own" all that land complicated and often bloody), the government did an unlibertarian thing by claiming ownership of all that land in the first place,

    That is the dilemma. But I'll tell you, as much as NJ sucks, most of southern NJ was purchased form several Lenni-Lenape Chiefs for 535 barrels of rum and assorted items like guns and coats and blankets. When Fenwyk first landed in Salem, NJ, the first thing he did was arrange a meeting with all of the local chiefs.

    For anyone interested, here's RWL's The Discovery of freedom , in .pdf

    https://mises.org/books/discovery.pdf

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That sounds fair, I mean, they'd need those coats and blankets to warm up after they ran out of rum.

  • MappRapp||

    Sammy Da Bull says that is going to be some good stuff.

    www.Tactical-Anon.tk

  • Killazontherun||

    Yet somehow, Woodside complains that they don’t spend enough time talking about this: "The Little House books barely mention the obvious, which is that the impoverished Ingallses never could have gone to Dakota Territory without a government grant: Like most pioneers, their livelihoods relied on the federal Homestead Act, which gave settlers 160 acres for the cost of a $14 filing fee -- one of the largest acts of federal largesse in US history."

    Woodside is one unhappy camper. In the Soviet Union there were tons of novels written about how all the peasants would pull together for the communist state. One such described them engaged in the herculean task of cementing over all the prairie land with concrete. I forget why the purpose of this other than it was for the greater glory of the Motherland. Maybe Woodside should stop reading American literature where the state is not a member of the cast and read that stuff instead if she doesn't find stateless literature fulfilling her authoritarian need for an authority directing the human activity she is reading about.

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