Black Markets

Embrace the Libertarian Outlaw Future


Senator Charles Schumer
David Shankbone

I write a lot about people finding ways to live their lives, make a living and communicate with their friends without regard for the wishes of the control freaks who claim authority over us. Frankly, and happily, there's a lot of material with which to work. I'm convinced there's reason to be optimistic about a future that's reasonably friendly to libertarians — not because policy is necessarily moving in our direction (it is in some ways, and very much isn't in others), but because all signs point to a sizable portion of the population inclining to be free with or without cooperative government policies, and there's a growing arsenal of tools to help freedom-minded types achieve their goals.

Recently, I've written about the growing ranks of Americans slipping out of sight of tax man and regulators to make their living in the shadow economy, and about the long and proud history of defiance of gun restrictions. However people vote, it's clear that many of us like to hold on to what we earn, own the means to defend our lives and our liberty, and do as we damned well please in our off-hours. Good for us.

I've also covered new technologies, like 3D and chemical printing, that promise to make bans on guns, drugs and other physical items unenforceable, and encryption that can put phone calls and text messages beyond the reach of the snoopiest government officials. Throw in Bitcoin and  developments that have slipped my mind or have yet to surface, and the ability to ignore and even undermine the state is gaining some powerful weapons.

It's not hard to imagine a near-future in which a growing part of the population works part-time or full-time off the books, in businesses that don't officially exist, making payments in crypto currencies to fulfill orders made through encrypted connections. This parallel world will involve people enjoying easy access to illicit but popular goods and services and living much of their lives shielded from official observation. It's not hard to imagine that world, because it's an extrapolation of what has always existed, made more attractive by stupid and intrusive laws, and more possible by evolving technology. That's a largely libertarian vision by default, no matter the actual ideas espoused by its no doubt diverse participants.

This doesn't mean that this outlaw-libertarian vision will be perfect or risk-free. Operating in the shadows and under the radar, its participants will risk arrest and whatever escalating array of penalties the Charles Schumers and Lindsay Grahams of the future choose to inflict on their non-cooperative subjects in a never-ending societal game of whack-a-mole. But it's a game that the control freaks will ultimately lose, because they always have, as their grasping efforts drive more people out of their reach, and as technology becomes more liberating.

A better alternative would be a future that's free de jure as well as de facto, where policies are friendly to individual autonomy and tolerant of personal freedom. That future may come to pass, but the libertarian-outlaw future certainly will.

You don't need to wait for this libertarian-outlaw world, because it's already evolving around you. And you can extract some priceless entertainment value from that fact by simply describing its inevitability, in vivid detail, to a control freak near you. Have fun.

NEXT: Bangladesh President Dies in Singapore

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  1. Look JD, this is family magazine. I don’t think we should have to be subjected to filth like Schumer’s man boobs. Cancel my subscription!!

    1. They are pretty bad, especially as his belly isn’t that big.

    2. Yeah! This is a fucking family blog, you cunts!

    3. The whiny Nanny State scold explained with a single photo!

    4. If government cared about public health, it would compel everyone who looks like that to work out.


    6. I don’t want to know what he did to get beads…

    1. Women that age tend to be a good view, but trying to talk with them… Oh, you’re right, they aren’t for talking.

    2. I’ll be in my bunk. Possibly, for days.

  2. Do you think he shaves, waxes or lasered his nipple hair off?

    1. Plucks them with a pair of tweezers.

      1. Eeeew-er!

        1. Then he keeps the hair and gives it to certain well connected and generous donors.

    2. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

    3. All of the above. It’s…pernicious.

    4. Probably all three! I think you got the order of the actions correct though.

    5. He regulates them off.

    6. Are we sure he even has nipples? I can’t believe that his manufactured went to that level of detail.

  3. OK, with all this man boob stuff, I guess I have to get some work done.

    1. Work done? On your man boobs?

      1. Well they just don’t get perky all by themselves you know.

      2. You know…to make them perkier!

  4. I’ve brought this up before, but got no responses. This seems like a good place to mention it again. It’s an idea for using a state government to foil the federal government’s attempts at confiscation.

    Basically the state government reorganizes itself so that each citizen (or resident business) is an independent agency of the state. All income earned by each “agency” is pooled into the state’s general fund and then immediately disbursed to each agency proportional to each agency’s income. Each “agency” is given full control over its own funding and receives no more funding that what it earns.

    In this way, each person/business (agency) has no income to be taxed at the federal level, but retains control of all earnings. So, would this work under current federal laws? Am I forgetting anything? I realize federal laws would change if a state’s population ever got uppity enough to pull this off…

    1. And again I’m ignored… Is it something about a big block of text that scares people away?

    2. Oh heck, I’ll bite. It sounds plausible to me, but I am neither a taxpert nor a legle beagle. What I do suspect is that the courts would slap it down in a hurry, and if they were too slow, Congress would slap it down.

      Regardless of constitutionality, your scheme reminds me of those obliviots who claim warrants with their name in ALL CAPS don’t apply to someone who birth certificate has mixed case, or that the income tax amendment (16th? 17th?) was properly ratified, and so the income tax is unconstitutional. Just ain’t gonna happen. The government isn’t going to allow any such upheaval, no matter how sane the theory is, just because they ain’t gonna allow any such upheaval, no way, no how.

      Everything else is immaterial when survival is at stake, same with governments as with cornered bobcats and humans.

      1. Agreed. I admit it is just a theory. Thanks for your time.


      3. Hey, this warrant isn’t for me, it’s for STEVE SMITH. I’m Steve Smith.

    3. If the Federal govmt followed the limits on it’s own power, we wouldn’t be where we are anyways. So assuming that they are going to let letter-of-the-law correct things stop them from running their protection racket is like daydreaming about winning the lottery. It feels good for a while, but when you finally stop you remember how bad the reality of the situation actually sucks.

  5. Yesterday, as I was riding a chairlift under a beautiful blue sky, I could hear portions of the conversation coming from the chair behind me. There were four boys, probably not even high school age, undoubtedly engaging in the sort of ski hooliganism I enjoyed at that age. I heard one of them saying something along the lines of, “Confidence; how you build confidence and get better at stuff is to keep trying things you’re not really sure you can do.”

    I confess; I experienced a fleeting happy time feel-good moment. Even though the little shits were wearing helmets.

    1. Depends on why they were wearing helmets…

      It’s good to see that not all of the next generation are necessarily fucked.

      1. Honestly, kids who are homeschooled, or who’s parents spend lots of time unschooling them, are just as good as any kids, and many are better if only because this is the first generation where the kind of racism and other nasty rudeness that was once seen as routine has been, for the most part, socially shamed out of existence.

        Of course, it’s been replaced by other forms of stupidity, but that’s why we’re all doomed anyway.

    2. Even though the little shits were wearing helmets.

      Maybe once they got to the top of the lift they were going to be shot from a cannon…..I encourage the responsible use of headgear in this circumstance.

    3. riding a chairlift under a beautiful blue sky

      May dog curse you and all your kin forevermore.

    4. Awesome! (Except for teh hemets.)

      Where’d you go? How was the snow?

    5. I wear a helmet, though did not when I was a kiddie (because they didn’t have ski helmets back then. Nor did they have awesome Madras plaid ski pants)

      1. Wouldn’t a bike helmet work well as a ski helmet?

        Anyway I still don’t wear a helmet. I probably should, but I don’t want to and no one can make me… yet.

        1. Not enough coverage from a bike helmet, as far as the cold. Ski helmets are designed so you don’t really need a hat under it, unless it’s really fucking cold. Last few times I’ve been skiing, it’s been in the mid-20’s – low 30’s. I was sweating like a hog.

          1. Ski helmet also has a little thingie on the back that holds your goggle strap.

            Natasha Richardson convinced me to wear one.

            1. Too bad about that one. She was a babe.

              Sonny, OTOH, had it coming.

        2. You would look stupid, get cold, and more importantly, you look stupid. I’m a skier. I wear a helmet. I liken it to wearing a seatbelt in a car only more functional. It hold my headphones in and lets me ski without excessive fear of trees, rocks, and cliffs.

          I’ve been skiing for 23 years and wearing a helmet for 7 of them. I still use my racing helmet from college and frankly do not understand why anyone would want to ski without one. Not that you should be required to, of course.

          1. So you wear a helmet but have music blasting in your ears? How do you hear the warning shouts of the boarders about to run into you?

            Oh, that’s right, jackass boarders don’t bother to call out.

            1. A man after my own heart. I can’t stand the sumbitches. I would love to ski Mad River Glen at some point, but I don’t have the legs to ski intermediate all day.

              1. I love Alta, Elk (in NE PA), and Taos for this reason. I used to teach ski lesson in Taos, absolutely love it. Even though they now allow snowboards they are less than 10% of the population.

                1. WOW! I grew up 15 minutes from Elk. Pleasant Mt.

              2. you can’t ski intermediate all day Kristen? what are you, 80?

            2. I’m faster than the boarders anyway (former racer). I usually ski trees and bumps when I get the chance. Only a truly skilled boarder could keep up with me.

            3. I’m a boarder and I’ve only had one close call with a skier. But it was his own damn fault for falling at the bottom of a blind hill and not sticking something up in the air so people could see him.

              And no, I don’t snowplow my way down the diamonds either. There are a few good riders out there.

              1. My healed broken ribs say “FUCK SNOW BOARDING!”

                I may be a pussy, but snow biking is really the way to go.

            4. As someone who does both skiing and riding:

              Skiers are the real jackasses. Especially on flat sections or uphills.

      2. (HA! Just realized my avatar is a pic of me in….a ski helmet!)

        1. I was thinking this, LOL.

    6. helmets are in now. they are really just a tech platform. Your goggles attach and you can get bluetooth headphones inthem.

  6. Hah hah.

  7. Yesterday was the day that keeps me buying ski passes. The weatherman was 180 degrees off; there was a cloudless sky, a few inches of fresh snow, and it was cold enough that the snow did not get heavy. Bridger Bowl.

    1. I LOVE that place! What impresses me are the folks who start skiing way beyond the height that the lifts go.

    2. The weatherman was 180 degrees off;

      So he said it was going to be -150?

  8. Libertarians aren’t outlaws. They live by the law.

    For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues worldwide, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ ….

    1. Yes, if by “law”, you mean the NAP.

    2. Libertarians aren’t outlaws. They live by the law.

      The First Law of Libertarianism: If nobody sees you do it, and nobody else gets hurt, go ahead.

      1. I ran a red light at 2 AM out in Montpelier VA (the sticks) my passenger freaked out for a good three minutes. She finally shut up, but it just goes to show you how brainwashed people are.

  9. Wouldn’t a bike helmet work well as a ski helmet?

    I don’t know if there are structural differences, but some of them look very similar to bike helmets.

    1. I’ve been informed that ski helmets keep your head warmer. Makes sense. They should both protect equally well. But I can understand not wanting to wear a hood under a helmet.

  10. Awesome 2chilly. I like your outlook. It’ll piss off some, well probably a lot, but it’s really the only real world method of any hope. Alcohol prohibition didn’t end because people remained sober, dry, good little citizens waiting for politicians to change their minds. Likewise with MJ or anything else.

    Argentines escaping currency controls with Bitcoins

  11. Alt Alt-Text: “What do you mean this pink shirt and rape whistle on a rainbow colored lanyard make me look like a fag*?”


    1. “Hey Schumer. The whistle is supposed to be worn by the prey, not the predator.”

  12. More inspiration:
    Lessons from the Argentine

    In my case, my friend’s contact, a cheerful and rotund fellow who operates out of a coffee shop, invited me to squeeze in behind the tight counter where two cashiers, between ringing up cups of coffee for customers, were thumbing through thick stacks of US$100 bills. I have no idea how much money was stacked up behind that counter, but my exchange of $500 was a fly speck by comparison.

    Within just a couple of minutes, with a warm handshake and a muy amable, I was on my way with an exchange rate closing in on twice the official rate.

    “Why aren’t these places a target for robbers?” I asked my friend as we walked away.

    “Nah, things just don’t work like that around here. And if you tried, you probably wouldn’t make it ten feet down the street. These guys are all protected.”

    Stepping back from the perspective we North Americans have had drilled into our heads starting in kindergarten, here in the Argentine people recognize government for what it is ? an active threat ? and have no moral or ethical compunction about devising workarounds.

    Are the police patrolling the street of the money changers getting some sort of bribe to act as private security? Sure, why not?

    Does anyone care? Not that I could tell. In fact, if you ask the Argentines if they are uncomfortable breaking the latest nonsense law, they look at you as if you were crazy.

    1. (cont’d; on micro-entrepreneurs …)

      The caf? owner tells me the guy sells upwards of 100 pieces of baked bread every day, earning a good living by local standards. At the end of the day, he shovels the remaining coals into a metal tub that he disposes somewhere, bundles the whole apparatus into a push cart and wheels it away.

      Likewise, it is traditional around here on Saturdays and Sundays for street entrepreneurs to cook whole chickens over a similar apparatus on the street corner, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better roasted chicken anywhere.

      Are these vendors supposed to have some sort of permit? Probably. Do they? Almost certainly not. Do any of them pay any taxes on sales? Don’t make me laugh. Do the police wander by for a few pesos or a piece of chicken to look the other way? Maybe. But regardless, the economy works, as people do what they have to do to get by.

  13. I wear a helmet. I liken it to wearing a seatbelt in a car only more functional.

    Fuck off, slaver pussy.

    1. If you’ve done anything that convinced you a helmet is a good idea, you probably have no business calling anyone else a pussy,

      1. I don’t understand the level of risk aversion, especially in kids today. We would have ridiculed anyone wearing a helmet skiing, UNMERCIFULLY!

        We took risks to prove our manliness (rightly or wrongly). AND it was fun. When did kids start accepting everything they are told?

        1. I saw a kid driving a go-cart while wearing a helmet, AND it had a rollover cage. WTF?

      2. I left out a “Never” before the “done.”

  14. It bugs me to no end that people treat law and legislation as if they were synonyms.

    If something is tolerated by society, then it is not against the law. It may violate legislation, but it is not against the law.

    Likewise there are many things that society does not tolerate, that are against the law, that are not prohibited by legislation.

  15. It’s always cute when JD gets his liberty boner on.

  16. Don’t kid yourself that our rulers are not looking hard for ways to control liberty friendly technology. They will most certainly attempt to put controls on 3D and chemical printers. Prohibition will not change in its impact.

    1. The point is, it doesn’t matter. With mail order PCBs and custom ICs available, they literally can’t stop you from building them. And a company like DefCAD will just start posting PCB and IC specs on the internet if they try to outlaw that. And you can home fab PCBs right now without huge cost. Hell, this thing is essentially a custom lithography mask printer for your circuit boards.

      Its over, the internet as samizdat has won. All that’s left is to run out the clock on the opposing forces.

      1. I hope so, but you well know they haven’t given up on the Internet. Once they sense it is a serious threat to the status quo and their authority they will stop at nothing.

  17. This makes a lot of sense man. WOw.

  18. This conversation was going on 20 years ago on the Cypherpunks list.

    Seriously, I’d say “look it up”, but the archives are scattered and incomplete.

  19. The thing is it is getting technologically easier to maintain unofficial businesses, and this kind of thing is moving from low-skilled occupations to higher-skilled ones such as computer programming and web development.

    There are lots of freelance developers out there, many of whom also have the skills necessary to use bitcoin, or they just know enough about the tax laws to know how to route payments in a way that the feds don’t know about them.

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