Secession

Escape From Political Control

Libertarians may need to engage in politics simply to buy as much time as possible to secure permission for exit paths that are not allowed today.

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Exit
Alton

Frustrated with their political prospects, many libertarians are coming to the conclusion that instead of trying to change government, a better strategy might be to simply sidestep it entirely. Even self-described Democrats and Obama supporters, like startup founder and venture capitalist Balaji Srinivasan, seem to be concluding that in order to get space to experiment and innovate in today's political climate, an "exit" might be in order.

Exit over voice was the message of a great talk by Srinivasan in October, which prompted Silicon Valley's naysayers and muckrakers to froth at the mouth, predictably charging that Srinivasan was advocating for an Elysium. Since then, he expanded on his vision in a couple of essays in which he proposed what he calls "inverse Amish" spaces. Like the Amish, such communities could exist within an existing political jurisdiction but set their own rules, yet quite opposite to the Amish the point would be to push the envelope of what's allowed.

Srinivasan is not the only one to see the need to emigrate to a more tolerant place where you can try things without first asking for permission. "There are many, many exciting and important things we can do but we can't do because they're illegal or not allowed by regulations," Google CEO Larry Page said at last year's Google I/O developer conference. "As technologists, we should have safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society and people without having to deploy into the normal world. People who like those kind of things can go there and experiment."

Peter Thiel, the eminence grise of Silicon Valley libertarians, best articulated what motivates this search for exit over voice in a 2009 Cato Institute essay in which he wrote, "I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible." He went on to explain that although in his youth he "naturally was drawn to the give-and-take of debate and the desire to bring about freedom through political means," he has concluded by looking at the progress libertarians have made that "the broader education of the body politic has become a fool's errand" and that "[i]n our time, the great task for libertarians is to find an escape from politics in all its forms."

Since every square inch of land on earth is under some government's control, Thiel saw three possible places to which to escape: cyberspace, outer space, and the oceans. Exit to online communities held little promise for him because, as he put it, "these new worlds are virtual and [] any escape may be more imaginary than real." Instead, Thiel favored seasteading or colonizing space, much like another Silicon Valley billionaire, Elon Musk, who wants to build an 80,000 person Mars colony.

Yet it is precisely space colonies and seasteads that are imaginary worlds, while the Internet is very real and increasingly woven into the fabric of our lives, and as Srinivasan points out, increasingly manifesting itself in physical space. More to the point, while space colonies or seasteads may be technically feasible, all paths to living in space or the oceans go straight through the very politics that Thiel is trying to avoid. You cannot go into space without governmental permission, and ditto for colonizing the oceans, whatever their official legal status may be. "Exit" may be a good strategy in the long term, but in the short run libertarians will have to engage politically to achieve the necessary conditions for exit.

If politics cannot be avoided, then leveraging cyberspace for an "exit" may be the much more practical path. Consider Bitcoin, which makes difficult the regulation of gambling, prediction markets, crowdfunding, and, yes, the trade of unpopular goods and services. Other nascent initiatives like Tor, Hyperboria, and Ethereum, similarly aim to reduce points of control, and thus power over their users. The challenge is to scale these new systems before they are politically compromised.

Yes, networks like Bitcoin are open source, distributed, and decentralized, so they can't be easily shut down, but they are still networks, and networks thrive on strong network effects. The more people use Bitcoin, for example, the more stable the price becomes, the more merchants accept bitcoins, the more processing power dedicated to the network (thus better securing it), and perhaps most importantly, the more mindshare Bitcoin will capture and the more difficult it becomes to restrain. Yet it would be naive to think that these network effects are beyond the reach of politics.

Think of the Bitcoin network's strength in a world in which as many merchants accept it as do PayPal today, and then think of its strength in a world in which it's banned. In each world Bitcoin exists, because it can't be shut down, but only in the world in which it has political permission can it grow to the scale where it no longer needs that permission.

So, libertarians may still want to engage in politics. Not to convince the polity about the advantages of liberty and capitalism, but simply to buy as much time as possible for our networks to scale, and to secure permission for exit paths that are not allowed today, such as seasteads, space colonies, or, more realistically, the China-inspired special economic zones that Srinivasan suggests. These projects are not easy sales, but they are surely boons for "jobs and the economy." With this change in perspective libertarians may come to realize not only that pursuing "exit" requires engaging in politics, but that it may not always be so frustrating.

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  1. The “Exit” talk mentioned above is well worth listening to.

    Humble arrogant rambling opinions:

    I don’t see any way cyberlibertarians/libertarians can live embedded in a statist society. The statists want/need to control, and will eventually go after those libertarians in their enclave having fun building things.

    The hope, really, is that as more people exit, the statists lose the ability to control things. Run out of money. Regulate themselves into stasis. Whatever.

    We’re probably not that far (couple of years) from distributed corporations. Then you can work for a company with no physical office to raid, unknown owners who can’t be arrested, etc. That gives a lot more ways to opt-out.

    1. Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s not just trying to get away from the statists, it’s that it is an inherent part of their neediness and mindset that they cannot let you go. Not only are they compelled to CONTROL, they also cannot allow people to escape, because it puts the lie to their collective. And they can’t have that.

      So they will never, ever tire of going after those who just want to “opt out”. Ever.

      1. You are your brother’s keeper. And no it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a brother, and that even if you did he wouldn’t ever have been your responsibility.

        1. It seems I’m also your brother’s keeper in statist-land.

          1. Clearly, what we need are impenetrable forcefields.

            1. or a non-aggression mind-virus?

            2. I like the force fields in Stripes better. They seem like more fun.

          2. It seems I’m also your brother’s keeper in statist-land.

            Yeah, but you probably like that shit.

            1. This isn’t about what I would like or not like! Stay on topic!

      2. “Not only are they compelled to CONTROL, they also cannot allow people to escape, because it puts the lie to their collective. And they can’t have that.”

        This is exactly how the statists think. Talk to a Leftie about minimum wage and point out how silly it is to set a minimum wage across an entire continent. And how individual states can easily set their own minimum wages. They’ll immediately respond that if you allow different rates then corporations (i.e. people) will just move to the lower minimum wage states.

        In other words, a Leftie doesn’t like the idea of free choice. Since someone might choose something the Left doesn’t agree with.

        1. A Leftist would logically have to be against globalization then too, since corporations can now move to the country with the lowest wage. Or perhaps a one-world government enforcing a uniform minimum wage on everyone in the entire world.

          1. Actually those sounds pretty damn familiar.

  2. Who is John Galt?

    1. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

      1. Seriously. Reality is better than fiction.

        1. Maybe Doctorow should do a cyber rewrite of Atlas Shrugged and use bitcoin as his engine.

        2. “Seriously. Reality is better than fiction.”

          Well reality is certainly better written than anything by Ayn Rand.

  3. Educating the general populace being impossible is incredibly pessimistic.

    I think too many libertarians don’t realize that most people agree with our stances, it is just they do not relate that to the voting booth due to media control and the duopoly that controls the media itself.

    Look at the Gallup polls where 40% of Americans consider themselves Conservative, 40% moderate and only 20% liberal.

    If the beliefs of the people were to be applied we should have a mostly free market economy with many social restrictions, and yet, we have almost the complete opposite!

    As far as libertarians go, we’ve allied ourselves with the Democrats for many years, and we were incredibly successful in many of our endeavors on social issues. We have shifted our alliance to the conservatives in the pursuit of the free market, and I think we are just starting to see the benefits of that. I don’t think now is a good time to let up, but a time to push even harder for a free market. America believes government is a hindrance, overwhelmingly. It is up to us to drive that point home while not alienating the socially liberal people (like conservatives ALWAYS do).

    1. We have shifted our alliance to the conservatives in the pursuit of the free market, and I think we are just starting to see the benefits of that.

      What benefits to that alliance? I’m seeing lots of negatives on the economic liberty front.

      1. Hey! I was being sucked in by his enthusiasm and then you slapped me in the face with reality raston. Not cool.

      2. We’re seeing the shift in the party itself. The ideology of the party is shifting on the markets into a more libertarian approach. Have they gotten the chance to put forth many of those things? Not so much on the national level, but you see it on the state level such as the dissolution of government unions and deregulation and the like.

        The term RINO is basically any Republican who does not agree with many of our ideals. Interesting to say the least how much the party is changing, even if the leaders are still too idiotic for the most part to listen to their constituents.

        Point being, we are changing minds, and we need to keep up with it.

        1. I see reason for cautious optimism. The energy that Ron Paul provided the freedom movement was interesting, and we have 90-95% libertarians in Congress in Amash and Paul, with a couple others who are a little less ideologically with us.

          1. And Thomas Massie.

            1. Mike Lee seems to be economically a libertarian as well. His social issues I’m not so sure, but I loved some of his speeches on the free market.

        2. of course republicans are starting to take more libertarian stances on markets. the democrats are the party in power so the republicans are all for limiting government’s power in markets. But when the republicans were in charge, it was democrats like Barrack Obama who shouted about fiscal responsibility, debts, and deficits. both parties want the same thing. they just want to be the ones to control it. hence the fighting.

          1. Ding,ding,ding! We have a winner.

            Worst of all, it’s mostly driven by what the population want.

            The people want low taxes, unlimited social services for everyone, maximum freedom except for the bits they don’t like, and a pony.

            Counting on them to vote libertarian is a stupid strategy.

      3. “What benefits to that alliance? I’m seeing lots of negatives on the economic liberty front.”

        Yes, but what is the realistic choice. Libertarians shouldn’t uncritically back Republicans, but they should certainly support Republicans on the issues where they agree. Of course, Libertarians should support Democrats where their interests align also, but those interests seems to be diverging.

        Republicans have become more Libertarian and Democrats less Libertarian over the last decade. At least, there don’t seem to be any prominent Democrats espousing a Libertarian agenda, but at least there are a few Republicans.

        And the main Democratic policy initiatives, Obamacare, minimum wage hikes, extreme environmental regulation, extended welfare/jobless benefits, attacks on the rich, etc are all anti-Libertarian.

    2. I think a lot of people who say they support the “free market” would be shocked by the idea of things like phasing out Medicare or abolishing Head Start.

      1. Probably, but those things wouldn’t be the first things we’d try, are they? We’d work our way to that goal, showing in every instance, from the smaller stuff (onerous regulation that harms small business) to the larger stuff such as medicare. Each time proving that the free market is the better solution over government.

        1. Ne-e-e-e-ver gonna happen electorially. Do a youtube search on “electronic voting fraud”

    3. No, they don’t agree. There are those who agree that pot should be legal. There are those who think that firearms should be accessible. There are those who believe that they should be allowed to eat foie gras.

      HOWEVER, they don’t believe these things based on a general principle of liberty for all. They are little islands of what they think can be allowed in a sea of “no, you can’t do that.”

      The test is whether or not they think behaviors they disagree with should be allowed. Few will agree to that.

      1. How easy is it to show the hypocrisy of such? Not hard at all. That is what we need to do.

        People hate hypocrisy. That is a universal trait among humanity. Point out their hypocrisy without being an asshole (which is a skill), and you’ve got a convert. I’ve gotten many people on our side just through doing that.

        1. People hate hypocrisy.

          No they don’t. There’s a lot of doublethink/cognitive dissonance around.

          1. Yes, but how many of them actually realize it? Get them to realize it, is my point.

    4. I think too many libertarians don’t realize that most people agree with our stances, it is just they do not relate that to the voting booth due to media control and the duopoly that controls the media itself.

      Call me when they start actually believing that taxation is theft.

      1. Way too broad of a comment. No wonder you are a pessimist. Anarchist I assume?

        1. No, she is simply the worst there is. I was not privy to how that determination was made, or when….but there it is.

        2. I am an anarchist.

          But I’m serious: above you’re talking about proving to people that libertarianism works on utilitarian grounds. That might work to improve some policies, even a lot of policies, but it doesn’t make people libertarian. I think my comment is a fair test of whether someone actually cares about the principle of liberty.

          1. Not really, because most libertarians do not believe all taxation is theft. That is mostly the realm of the anarchists.

            Libertarians generally believe most taxation is theft, but taxes for such things maintenance of the courts and national defense are not at the most basic.

            It is a question of whether one believe there needs to be some government or no government. If you believe there needs to be some government, taxation is inevitable, else you create a fucked up collectivist set up where I’m forced to pay for your defense if I want my own, while you claim that taxes are stealing but still reap the benefits of the defense I paid for.

            1. And besides, I’m happy with an approach that improves things gradually. Why must everyone agree with everything we say? Are the outcomes not more important as long as we stick to our principles in attaining those outcomes?

              1. Why must everyone agree with everything we say?

                They don’t have to. You’re the one who said “most people agree with our stances.” And I’m saying…they don’t. They just overlap on some policy preferences.

                1. Fair enough. This is definitely a difference of opinion. Would be nice to see some studies or polls on the like!

                  1. You can pick any number of polls/studies the same way you picked “40% Conservative, 40% Moderate, 20% liberal”. Obamacare is a baldfaced tax on the healthy to support the unhealthy, from the beginning it was sold as such. Social Security is much the same and most of the budget operates under the principle that future generations will owe similar amounts as us in taxes.

                    Most voters are in favor of reducing taxes as long as the taxes pay for things they don’t want or don’t care about. When you start talking about cutting taxes for just about anything people *think* they want or need, they’re against it. People are unable to get jobs with college degrees and are buried in student loan debt and the popular decision is to make it easier for students to borrow money.

            2. Courts can funded by court fees. The military could be replaced by militia. Police could be contract like alarm services are now. Government functions can be performed without government.

              1. Yes, the courts could be funded by court fees. But who decides the laws?

                No, the military cannot be replaced by milita, sorry, no local militia is going to raise the money for an F-16 to repel (insert your least favorite country)

                Yes, police can be contracted, but again, who decides the law that they are applying if not some form of government, no matter how local?

                1. Laws would be decided by the populace that contracts with the police. The police would at least have to keep the people at large happy, because they can’t force them to pay. Same with the courts. If people perceive a judge to be crooked they would use a different court or judge. Militia would work because you don’t need f-16s to repeal invaders. See Vietnam/Afghanistan. A large, well armed population is not easy to control.

                  1. Yes, see Vietnam and Afghanistan, bastions of liberty.

                    What a dozen years of being harried by an invading force will do for your liberty!

                    And of course, invading countries always learn from history, take a look at Afghanistan, for example!

                    Sorry to be sarcastic, but come on!

                    So the defendants get to choose which judge they’d like to go to? Who makes that choice? There are obvious problems with picking and choosing judges and paying them money at the same time, are there not?

                    As far as police and contracts and opting in, we go back to the same argument as national defense, which I won’t go through again. The natural result would of course be homeowners associations where you would not be allowed to live unless you paid for police protection. If not within one of these forced to pay zones (sounds a lot like government wouldn’t you say) you’d be SOL because no one is going to pay for everyone else’s shit.

            3. Then by your logic, taxation is either theft or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then all taxation is warranted. And guess where we are right now! Enjoying it?

              1. It is not a question of black and white logic, Epi.

                1. There are other countries that are or would be a threat to our liberty without a sufficient means of defense.

                2. Said defense must be powerful enough to repel said countries.

                3. Said defense, being so powerful, must benefit all within the co-op.

                4. If it benefits all, must all not pay for it?

                If all are not to pay for it, if you make it opt in only, then either;

                1. Defense is not strong enough, we all lose our liberty

                or

                2. Defense is strong enough and people are forced to pay for others who refuse to pay in order to maintain their own liberty.

                Which is the worse form of theft? It is not black and white, so we must make a choice. That is the difference between an anarachist and a libertarian. It may go against your principles on one thing, but it goes against them even more in another, does it not? How do you choose between the two? Answer: You make the best decision that protects everyone’s liberty and maintains fairness. You tax everyone equally for those things that are in maintenance of everyone’s liberty.

                1. Don’t you see that you’ve already become a statist? You’ve already conceded the battle: that the collective gets, in certain situations, to steal from the individual. Here you’ve defined it as common defense. But the next person may define it as welfare. The next may define it as health care. And guess what? Those latter people have completely outnumbered the people like you. So not only have you become a (minor) statist, you’ve also opened the door for much more massive statists to take your idea that some taxation isn’t theft and run with it.

                  Your minarchist ideas can never succeed. Ever. Because they all open the door for a state which will then inevitably grow no matter how much you try and stop it.

                  1. Here you’ve defined it as common defense. But the next person may define it as welfare.

                    That’s what Objectivism is for. To differentiate what government can and cannot do.

                    Your minarchist ideas can never succeed. Ever. Because they all open the door for a state which will then inevitably grow no matter how much you try and stop it.

                    No, anarchism can never succeed because it requires a New Anarchist Man. The state is vital. The state is inevitable. No state = no freedom.

                    1. That’s what Objectivism is for. To differentiate what government can and cannot do.

                      Cyto, I love Objectivism as much as the next man (the next man being, say, Tibor Machan, but not Leonard Peikoff), but I’ve always found Rand’s justification of minarchism the single weakest point of Objectivism.

                      If her argument is anything other than “we need a state, otherwise ANARCHY!!”, I cannot recall, or else I just never understood it. (Neither did Roy Childs.)

                      What’s Rand’s argument in a nutshell, as you understand it?

                      I don’t have a horse in the minarchist/anarchist race. My heart’s with the anarchists, but my head skews minarchist, on Bayesian principles. (Or is it the other way around?)

                    2. I don’t even know if I’d consider myself a minarchist, apparently I hit on some minarchist elements, but I wouldn’t consider myself a scholar of such. I was simply trying to find the simplest refutation of anarachism to prove a point.

                    3. Rand’s point was that the state is needed to protect man’ rights from men. I would add that it is necessary for environmental issues that are beyond the ability of private proprty rights to solve ex CFC’s, leaded gas, and IP rights.

                  2. What I’m saying is that taxation is theft unless it is in the defense or maintenance of liberty.

                    You cannot possibly come up with a more simple system. We reduce government to the bare minimum, but the fact is, there does need to be a bare minimum.

                    Anarachism doesn’t work unless the entire world has no government, and that in itself is giving man a lot of credit, because I highly doubt man can do well without tribal warfare in an anarchistic set up.

                    And you’re partially right on my “miniarchist” ideas, I will be the first to admit that the people MUST guard against intrusions into their rights in such a set up. Our founders were adament about this.

                    You’re trying to find a utopia that doesn’t exist by being, frankly, mentally lazy. You want to create a black and white world because you don’t want the trouble of ensuring that the government doesn’t overstep itself. You just want everything to be hunky dorey. While I understand that feeling, it is not realistic, and it will never work.

                    1. You’re trying to find a utopia that doesn’t exist by being, frankly, mentally lazy.

                      It’s not our fault that consent of the governed is a myth.

                    2. I apologize for using that term. Probably a bit too offensive for the decent conversation we were all having. 🙂

                    3. You’re trying to find a utopia

                      And we’re done here. I thought we could have an interesting discussion, but you have committed fallacy numero uno that anarchists are sick beyond comprehension of hearing, and it means you have no intention of discussing in good faith.

                      No anarchist is looking for a utopia, because such a thing is impossible. People like you specifically intimate that they do so that you can automatically discredit them, because everyone knows that utopia-seekers are crazy. It’s a pathetic, slimy smear and statists of all stripes always get down in the slime to use it. Fuck you.

                      It’s doubly laughable because statements like yours intimate that there aren’t massive, colossal, utterly endemic flaws in your minarchist ideas, yet somehow that’s ok; but anarchism also has problems, and that means it has to be dismissed out of hand.

                      The same pathetic misdirections as always. Boring.

                    4. Didn’t realize it was such a bad word to you. Apologies, I guess, but I could have gotten all menstrual on you calling me a statist, but I did not.

                      Point is I admit there are problems, yet my ideologies problems don’t go to the very foundations of it to rip it out of the ground before it even starts, and that namely is national defense.

                      As someone else said, we need objectivism. I agree in most cases that taxation is theft, but you insist on claiming that it is always theft. To me that is more irreconcilable than the idea of it only being sometimes theft. I made my case, I simply see you getting angry at me for using a bad word.

                    5. Either, taxation is theft or it is not. It cannot be theft in one instance and not theft in another.

                      The people can never, properly, cede authority to the government that the people do not, themselves, possess. If the people cannot forcibly confiscate the money of other people, for any reason, then the people cannot, properly, cede that authority to the government for any reason.

                      For argument, conceding that a minarchist state is the ideal, government funding can be handled largely by lottery. Lotteries are proven money makers and are strictly voluntary (until they’re not…).

                    6. Anarchism doesn’t work unless the entire world has no government…

                      But the entire world has no government right now. All 150+ countries are in a state of anarchy with each other. And somehow they get along, mostly. Why can’t governing entities be based on free association and real contracts, rather than geography and imaginary social contracts?

                    7. I don’t really understand your argument here. I think the key word governing entities is throwing me off.

                    8. What I’m saying is that taxation is theft unless it is in the defense or maintenance of liberty.

                      You cannot possibly come up with a more simple system.

                      I already have. Stealing is wrong, even if you spend the stolen gains on something nice for others.

                    9. Sorry, a more simple system that works.

                    10. Stealing is wrong, even if you spend the stolen gains on something nice for others.

                      The concept of “stealing” relies on property rights, which are enforced by the State.

                    11. taxation is theft unless it is in the defense or maintenance of liberty.

                      That’s the neo-conservative line.

                    12. Bullshit and you know it.

                  3. Here you’ve defined it as common defense.

                    If Nikki would prefer to contract her defense out to the Taliban or Vietcong, and in spite of their operative effectiveness, I bet he is the kind of guy who would accuse her of treason.

                  4. Being more practical than dogmatic I’d settle for a severe trimming and pruning of government at all levels. Sure, it would creep back, like kudzu, but that would be the problem of future generations.

                2. You tax everyone equally for those things that are in maintenance of everyone’s liberty.

                  Sounds reasonable, but people aren’t taxed equally. Lots of people pay nothing and others pay a lot.

                  1. Which is a problem that we as a group generally try to address, is it not?

            4. Fine–call me when they believe at least some taxation is theft. Pretty sure that is still going to be a vanishingly small group.

              1. Haha, I don’t think it is as small as you’d think, but maybe my own social group is different than the norm. 🙂

            5. Taxes are collected in the same way regardless of what they pay for. If that process becomes illegitimate (theft) depending on how government decides to spend the take, all you’re doing is begging a bunch of questions. You’re saying your priorities for government are the only legitimate ones because you say so.

              1. Wow. Is this a new Tony or the old Tony?

            6. I’m not asking you to pay for my defense, so don’t complain if I don’t want to pay for the defense you accidentally bought me.

              1. It is no accident. It is a correlation. I buy defense, you get it by proximity. No way around it unless I force you out of my proximity, which we all don’t like that idea, do we?

                And I may just not complain, I may just not buy it for us, and then our other neighbors say the same thing and so on and so forth, then 10 years down the road you wished you wouldn’t have been such a cheapskate, so we go to war with the invading country, to get our liberty back, and then our sons go through the same idiocy later on down the road.

            7. that system is a fact of the market. your house is more valuable because your neighbors take care of theirs. should you have to pay for some of your neighbor’s home maintenance and remodeling because you reap some benefit when they add a new deck or some landscaping every now and again?

              1. The whole point is how it pertains to the maintenance and defense of liberty. I’ve reiterated time and again that it is not a black and white issue like your argument is trying to make it to be. If you want to argue, argue why it is a black and white issue and how that set up still works. Otherwise we’re just running around in circles.

      2. I’d be thrilled if they just saw centralized control as inefficient and not omniscient.

    5. I think too many libertarians don’t realize that most people agree with our stances,

      That is their stated preference, certainly.

      Their revealed preferences are something else, for the most part.

  4. Great article really glad someone is highlighting the indispensible role of fighting politically even if only a rear-guard action.

    The only thing missing is mentions of the ZEDEs in Honduras. Not perfect, but they are happening. Really happening. They are the real physical ‘exit’ option.

  5. “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”

    They never were, truthfully, which is why America was a republic at one time. By diffusing power among several bodies (the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the state governments, the people) and the various bodies jealously guarding their power, it was thought that this would be sufficient to secure liberty from the natural tyranny that takes place when power is concentrated into the hands of a limited few.

    Fast-forward 230 years and here we are. The states governments are slaves to the federal government and their chains are block grants. The judiciary and legislature have willingly ceded their power to the executive branch and its multifarious regulatory agencies. And the people are slaves to them all, and liberty has become a privilege.

    1. The goal of democracy isn’t freedom. The goal of democracy is to prevent bloodshed when rival warlords vie for control, by setting up some basic rules for counting up which warlord has the potentially bigger army.

  6. The greatest path to freedom — while still living in “less than free” areas — is through finance. Finance currently is largely centralized and prone to bank and government manipulation. We currently NEED centralized banks and the services they provide to do pretty much anything, most importantly the ability to easily get paid for your work.

    Bitcoin and its fellow decentralized cryptocurrencies are the future of finance. The currencies allow people to keep 100% control of THEIR money and easily transmit value to anybody without the need for a “trusted” intermediary bank (which can block, delay, or add ridiculous fees to any transaction).

  7. Inverse Amish is a great band name.

    1. Or a really complicated position.

  8. You don’t get freedom by asking permission. You’ll find it out there, in the black of space….

  9. You know who else wanted to get away from all human politics?

    The Bolsheviks (surprised ya… the Nazis more sort of embraced politics and wanted to control it. The Soviets rather uniquely imagined themselves transcending politics, while of course actually using state power to quash political opposition)

    People are social animals. Politics is just the word for our social interaction on questions of how society will be governed. The idea of having a society without politics is actually sillier than anything Marx ever thought of. And that guy came up with a lot of dangerous silliness.

    1. Yes, but it should be possible to dissipate the political impulse in trivial disputes, while leaving the bulk of human activity outside the political sphere.

      Do you realize how much mileage the US society of “political animals” got out of tariff issues for four score years?

      Now the tariff issue is a carbuncle on a mole of political economy wrangling.

    2. I like your pragmatism. It’s a waste of time and sure to be a vain cause to abolish slavery. It’s an institution that has been with us since our tribal origins and pure foolishness to think we can ban it for good when our economy is dependent on its efficient operation. We should instead concentrate our efforts on getting slave owners to treat their chattel more humanely. Perhaps fine them when they beat one so severely he dies from his wounds. Fine the bastard enough to make him miss a few meals and he wont be doing that anymore.

  10. You cannot go into space without governmental permission…

    Wanna bet?

    1. It’s kind of like the laws against suicide. A little hard to enforce after the act has been committed.

    2. You can do anything without government permission, its just a question of getting caught or not 🙂

      1. Hard to build a rocket and launch facilities without getting noticed, too. (Unless you have an undersea lair…)

        1. *Puts pinky to corner of mouth.

    3. “Why, hell, where’d they get the transportation? How they goin’ to get to Mars?”

      “Rockets,” said Grandpa Quartermain.

      “All the damn-fool things. Where’d they get rockets?”

      “Saved their money and built them.”

      “I never heard about it.”

      “Seems these n****** kept it secret, worked on the rockets all themselves, don’t know where – in Africa, maybe.”

      “Could they do that?” demanded Samuel Teece, pacing about the porch. “Ain’t there a law?”

  11. “There are many, many exciting and important things we can do but we can’t do because they’re illegal or not allowed by regulations,” Google CEO Larry Page said at last year’s Google I/O developer conference. “As technologists, we should have safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society and people without having to deploy into the normal world. People who like those kind of things can go there and experiment.”

    Venture capitalist Tim Draper is proposing a modest step toward Silicon Valley freedom, a ballot initiative to split California into six states:

    http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/…..nitiative/

    1. Nothing that results in CA getting ten more Senators is likely to result in more freedom for anybody.

      1. I was going to make the same argument, then thought, how did the Senate get so bad without that already having taken place?

      2. Perhaps if you also allowed in some states carved out of the rural portions of blue states, it could work.

      3. to be fair, all of california is basically a redneck rightwinger land except LA and the Bay Area. So splitting them off creates more balance in the congress.

        Also to be fair, by ‘balance’ it means TEAM RED/TEAM BLUE balance and freedom still gets shit on 24/7

  12. Since every square inch of land on earth is claimed to be under some government’s control…

    FIFY.

  13. Since every square inch of land on earth is under some government’s control, Thiel saw three possible places to which to escape: cyberspace, outer space, and the oceans.

    Good luck in cyberspace. By the time BitCoin and the like get the government’s stamp of approval, they will come with Patriot-ACT compatible record keeping and NSA oversight.

    Space is cool, but very expensive and you’re starting from scratch. Sea-steading (especially under-sea-steading) would seem a lot easier, with more food sources, oxygen and water readily available, along with cheaper resupply and quick exit routes for those who get cold feet. An under-sea-stead could be easily defensible too, with a few sub-surface to surface missiles and the will to use them.

    1. By the time BitCoin and the like get the government’s stamp of approval, they will come with Patriot-ACT compatible record keeping and NSA oversight.

      Yeah…just like BitTorrent.

    2. CE,

      SAdnly, I think you underestimate how expensive and vulnerable sea-steads are.

      The ocean is trying to kill you very hard too. The storms are more violent. The sea is chemically corrosive. Space is very small, and moving small amounts of stuff is astronomically uneconomical.

      Then there is the vulnerability to armed attack. A moonshiner in Kentucky has woods he can disappear into, protected by hills that impede his pursuers’ ability to move around. In the ocean, any sizeable settlement will be easily targetted, and when poked with enough holes sink. They will be very vulnerable to fire etc.

      I wish the sea-steaders luck, but I don’t see them replicating the great liberalizing pressure created by the existence of the United States’ frontiers in the 1600 – 1875 time frame.

      1. I wish the sea-steaders luck,

        Me too, but I don’t see a sea-stead as being truly beyond the reach of sovereigns unless and until it has nuclear capability.

        1. Geo-stationary satellites with kinetic energy weapons like Project Thor would help. Also, if they are in GSO, their offensive effectiveness is significantly diminished, so you might be able to establish a stable defensive balance of power. But unless you hold the high ground, forget it.

        2. “Me too, but I don’t see a sea-stead as being truly beyond the reach of sovereigns unless and until it has nuclear capability.”

          Not necessarily. If a sea-steader community is made up of thousands of independent ships that can freely move around, it becomes pretty hard for a sovereign to control.

          If a sovereign attempts to control some portion, then the non-controlled portion simply sails away. Granted, a sovereign nation could start attacking the actual ships and sinking them, but it’s hard to believe that such an attack would be politically permissible in modern times.

          The real issues are the economic costs as tarran pointed out. Without any direct way to make money, current sea steaders are restricted to the independently wealthy. And that’s a small subset of the population.

      2. Exactly; the ocean is too treacherous for a reliable sea-stead, unfortunately. I would think one possibility, once we (hopefully) get either safe, refrigerator-sized nuclear fission or fusion devices, would be colonies in Antarctica. I know that the land has been claimed by various countries, but it’s the last place really feasible.

        With localized power from small reactors, homesteads and villages and towns could pop up, getting all their heat and fuel and power from the reactors (split water to make hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles, heat the homes and greenhouses with electricity, run computers and appliances and communications with electricity, etc.). They’d be pretty independent (there would obviously still need to be lots of stuff brought in from the outside at first, but that’s true for anywhere), and could even start out as nominal “colonies” of whoever claimed the land, much like the original American colonists were doing it technically in the name of Britain.

        1. I disagree. You destroy the reactors and the people die.

          To escape state control, you have to have a decent chance of dodging their attempts to kill you when they come at you, either because there are hills to disappear into, or there are so many of you that it’s as pointless as trying to eliminate the flies in a swamp by swatting them one by one.

          I think what will happen is that the state will continue to grow until it collapses from its own weight, and there will be a cycle of reliberalization, and the cycle will begin a new in some other area of life.

          Two hundred years ago, they were executing Quakers and imprisoning other dissenters. Now they say “meh” about religion. Instead they go after raw milk sellers. The next wave will be focused on which hand you implant your career chip or something.

          1. you have to have a decent chance of dodging their attempts to kill you when they come at you,

            If by “dodging etc.” you mean “inflicting defeat upon them so that they stop”, I would agree.

      3. SAdnly, I think you underestimate how expensive and vulnerable sea-steads are.

        I didn’t say they were cheap, just cheaper than colonizing the moon or Mars or some other planet or moon or asteroid, with more resources readily available.

        An outpost in space is more defensible than an underwater sea-stead, but I’m assuming that if you set up a private cooperative under the sea, surface nations aren’t just going to nuke you or depth charge you into submission. If you’re doing things financially they don’t like, they will probably try to land occupying forces to take over, which would be problematic if you have effective torpedoes.

        1. SO, how about underground seasteads?

          Build it underground far enough, and its pretty much impenetrable, amirite?

          1. I think they call those prisons.

            1. Or maybe dungeons is the better term.

              1. Haha I mean under the sea, and then under the ground, at the same time. Impenetrable for sure.

    3. Good luck in cyberspace. By the time BitCoin and the like get the government’s stamp of approval, they will come with Patriot-ACT compatible record keeping and NSA oversight.

      The nice thing is — they really can’t do much to control it, aside from blocking exchanges to/from dollars (and then other countries benefit from the innovations/entrepreneur refugees.)

      Every time a prog (Stross or Krugman come to mind) go off about hating the idea of Bitcoin, I love it. Want to ask them what steps they would endorse to stop it. Not what should be done, but how far can the state go before they start saying “not worth it”.

      Ban the software?
      Require people to run a watchdog on their computers to make sure they aren’t running the software?
      Force the devs to issue a different version? They aren’t all in US, of course.
      Go after people running the software? There’s already a -tor flag.

      1. Arrest you for money laundering?

        1. Arrest those that “accept” bitcoin?

      2. I’m still waiting for Europe to go after BitCoin in a big way. Europe is far more tolerant of the wealthy squirreling away money than the US, but they are far less tolerant of the middle class escaping taxation. Most Euro countries charge anywhere from 10-20% for VAT taxes.

  14. Seasteading and spacesteading will require naked military force to be possible. You need a credible retaliatory threat to protect the seastead or spacestead.

    And if you have such a credible retaliatory threat, why stick yourself on a boat or in a capsule? Pick an area of land, declare it Libertopia, and say, “Fuck you come and get us,” albeit in the flowery language of declarations and constitutions.

    1. That threat of military force could come from a national military being paid off. And seasteading is not the same as annexing a chunk of territory! The first requires defense after foundation, the latter requires a war just to get started.

    2. I know Molon Labe, now how do you say “Fuck You” in Greek?

    3. You don’t need a large military to protect a mobile seasteading community. You need enough to fend off pirates. If a nation state attempts to move in, you leave. To be viable a seasteading community needs to be made up of a large number of mobile ships.

  15. Two things: It should have been impossible to miss the point of Elysium, but count on libertarians to do so.

    Libertarianism has never and will never be a widely popular movement. People like their socialism and they will never give it up willingly in favor of a system in which their life is likely to be needlessly much riskier. Libertarianism only persists because of corporate sugar daddies, and anyone disagreeing should do so somewhere other than Reason.

    1. Actually we got the point of Elysium: 1) Never give so much money and power to a rising talented director that he can blow himself up with it 2) MATT DAMON

      orporate sugar daddies

      HUR KOCH KORPORATION -dare you to show the receipt.

      People like their socialism and they will never give it up willingly in favor of a system in which their life is likely to be needlessly much riskier.

      We will take that option away. When we establish ‘away places’ like ZEDE or seasteading and ‘alt systems’ like BTC, your system won’t get the cut it needs to survive. We will simply leave the parasites for Galt’s Gulch. You cannot win. We are smart; you are stupid.

      1. I suppose it’s the nature of arrogance to go unexamined by even the stupidest of its possessors. Perhaps especially.

        Admit it, you saw Elysium and thought the rich were doing the Earthlings a favor by letting them live at all.

        1. I suppose it’s the nature of arrogance to go unexamined by even the stupidest of its possessors. Perhaps especially.

          As you aptly demonstrate time and time again.

          Admit it, you saw Elysium

          Nope I don’t watch bad movies at least intentionally.

          1. I’m not the one who assumes he’d automatically be invited to Galt’s Gulch. Take a bratty, aloof kid who thinks he’s the smartest and best-looking guy in school, but objectively he’s actually rather average on both counts, and take a libertarian, and tell me the difference other than one is a full-grown adult.

            Yeah it was pretty crap.

            1. I’m not the one who assumes he’d automatically be invited to Galt’s Gulch.

              No, you’re the one assuming it runs on an invitational basis dipshit.

              Take a bratty, aloof kid who thinks he’s the smartest and best-looking guy in school, but objectively he’s actually rather average on both counts, and take a libertarian, and tell me the difference other than one is a full-grown adult.

              They’re both smarter and better people than you.

              1. It doesn’t run on any basis, being a science fiction setting. But it certainly doesn’t operate like any real human society. Tell me, do infants born in Galt’s Gulch have to take the Pledge?

            2. Tony:

              I’m not the one who assumes he’d automatically be invited to Galt’s Gulch.

              You’re the one who assumes that as long we we have democracy, political leaders will be centrally planning us in a manner close to your choosing, towards some overall utilitarian ideal.

              Like, when you told us all how minimum wage policy should be crafted such that the lives of the poor are improved, but not so much that too many people go unemployed. As if politicians are really dialing that in, rather than coming up with something the satisfy union and business interests.

              I’d rather be accused of inaccuracy in predicting a libertarian future, than entertaining fantasies that current reality is what it isn’t.

        2. “Two things: It should have been impossible to miss the point of Elysium, but count on libertarians to do so.”

          Elysium was about a Feudal society with a vast population of repressed serfs. No capitalistic board of directors would have allowed all of that Medical hardware to sit unused on a space station when it could have been used on Earth to enhance the population’s welfare and simultaneously make a lot of money.

          1. Galt’s Gulch was a feudal society.

            1. Galt’s Gulch was a feudal society.

              There’s a wikipedia entry for Atlas Shrugged you could consult when you want to inject it into an unrelated conversation. You don’t even have to read the full Cliff’s notes.

      2. I think the point of Elysium was to not create positions of government power so that people like Jodie Foster can’t get them and try to rule with an iron fist.

    2. Two things: It should have been impossible to miss the point of Elysium, but count on libertarians to do so.

      My god. You really are incredibly dense. Every now and then I forget how incredibly, depressingly stupid you are, and then you come out with a corker that rubs my nose in it.

      Now, why don’t you try to find any place in this article where any libertarian is trying to characterize Elysium.

      And then we can talk about whether they were missing the point of that movie.

  16. “Like the Amish, such communities could exist within an existing political jurisdiction but set their own rules, yet quite opposite to the Amish the point would be to push the envelope of what’s allowed.”

    I’m not sure pushing the envelope of “what’s allowed” is exactly the opposite of what the Amish stand for. For example, many Amish men spent time in prison after refusing the draft in WWII, and there have been legal fights over things like home schooling etc. I don’t want to be too critical over a single comment, but this struck me as being a bit lazy in terms of characterizing what freedom can look like.

    1. I should note that the state has gone after the Amish often with face-palmingly stupid motivations.

  17. There is always another way. All of the schemes discussed here involve setting up some type of organization. I would submit the “libertarian” ideas here are just different forms of collectivism. Why do you need an “organization”? Why not simply slide through the current system paying the legal minimum in taxes, obeying the rules you must and ignoring the rest.
    Simple, “Keep your head down, your mouth shut and your arse covered.”
    Me thinks most of you are closet collectivists who want to change the world to work their way just the same as the libs and conserves.
    Just my opinion after observing here for a while.

    1. Me thinks most of you are closet collectivists who want to change the world to work their way just the same as the libs and conserves.

      RIIIIIIIGHT okay yup

      1. You’re half right. We want to change the world to work “our” way.

        Its just that our way is fundamentally opposed and distinct from the collectivists’ way. To conclude that our way is no different from their way, just because we want what we want and they want what they want, is to completely surrender any and all rational discourse on the topic.

        You wouldn’t say that there is no difference between me wanting X and you wanting Y, where X is you, dead and Y is you, alive, just because both X and Y are desired by someone, would you?

        1. Yes, you’ve got a great big rubber stamp that reads “freedom” on it and you gleefully apply it to all your specific policy preferences, magically making them beyond criticism and disagreement, even to the point where democratic majorities ought not to have the right to oppose them. And I suppose we’re meant to trust you, because you’re just that clever?

          1. HUR DUR I CAN’T FISK YOUR POINTS dEMOKRACY /tony

          2. We know things like constitutions and declarations of rights really aren’t your bag, but they do feature prominently in most modern governments. Particularly, ironically enough, in the democracies, where you believe they ought to be supplanted by mob whim.

            1. No I don’t?

    2. Of course they are. Not only that, but they balk at having to deal with the messy democratic process. They want the world the way they want it, and they don’t want to bother to get anyone else’s opinion on the matter.

      1. Why does the democratic process have any moral authority?

        Or, more precisely, describe the mechanism by which the democratic decision making process can take something that is evil on Sunday and make it good on Monday. Precisely what takes place?

        1. Democratic majorities can enact evil policy, no doubt about it. The question is what’s the alternative? Some great minds long ago decided that the best possible system is to have a philosopher king, and that’s true, provided the king is immortal. Since kingships tend to devolve into inbred hereditary tyrannies, democracy is the only system that’s both realistic and fair. It’s fair because everyone affected by the policy gets an equal shot at influencing it. I mean I hate to break this to you, but libertarians aren’t the smartest cookies I’ve ever run across, and they’re among the last people I’d turn to for making policy over my life.

          Consent of the governed–a pretty basic idea.

          1. Tony:

            I mean I hate to break this to you, but libertarians aren’t the smartest cookies I’ve ever run across

            So, the Obamaphone lady was a Libertarian?

            The stupidest people I’ve ever known or seen where democrats, and they shouldn’t be making policy over my life. I don’t care how many of the stupid lemmings there are, they’re not good at choosing rulers.

          2. …libertarians aren’t the smartest cookies I’ve ever run across, and they’re among the last people I’d turn to for making policy over my life.

            Luckily for you, libertarians don’t want to make policy over your life. Failing to rob you or force you to contribute to something you don’t support doesn’t affect you in any way, shape or form. You’re perfectly free to meld minds with your fellow geniuses and produce uber-societies like, say, Detroit.

          3. Except we do not have democracy.

            Name one election where the majority of the people [note, all the people, not just the participating voters] elected anyone or any policy.

      2. “Not only that, but they balk at having to deal with the messy democratic process.”

        So, Tony, you’re good with the Republican’s opposing Obamacare via the messy Democratic process, right?

          1. So long as they’re thwarted by the autocratic court…

      3. They want the world the way they want it, and they don’t want to bother to get anyone else’s opinion on the matter.

        You could be referring to any of many different groups of people.

        1. Yeah there are many varieties of wannabe tyrants. You guys are just the most ironic.

    3. Good point, but most of us are already doing all of that. Get wealthy enough and pay the feds and the state their minimum cut, and they mostly leave you alone on your estate.

    4. Collectivism is only a dirty word in the sense that it generally means I have to pay for your shit.

      Working within a group may be “collectivist” by strict definition, but not in the way it is generally defined here. By collectivist we mean you steal my money for the collective, especially in an onerous way, something that would not take place in a libertarian enclave as such.

      1. Except on Day 2 when you realize the practical virtues of pooling resources.

        I believe a Family Guy episode dealt with this pretty efficiently.

        1. Except on Day 2 when you realize the practical virtues of pooling resources.

          Which is only possible with a government, apparently.

          1. Seriously see it. It’s the one where Peter joins the Tea Party. They eliminate government, everything goes to shit, then he gives a speech about how they can survive without government–they just need a few laws and rules, and a fair system on voting for representatives to work them out in our stead. All without government!

        2. Is this the part where you chastise us for not seeing that episode and having an epiphany?

          You really are a moron, aren’t you?

        3. Except on Day 2 when you realize the practical virtues of pooling resources.

          Voluntarily pooling resources and involuntarily taking resources are two different things, despite your best efforts at defying reality and raping the language sans lube to make it otherwise.

      2. “By collectivist we mean you steal my money for the collective…”

        You mean, like for common defense?

        1. *sigh

          Tony is not the only complete fucktard around here it seems.

          1. I actually am beginning to understand why Tony thinks this ideology can’t work. Anarchy isn’t libertarianism, Tony, we just generally get along pretty well because our ideals overlap over a broad area of the political spectrum.

            1. And you respond with…

              Tony is not the only complete fucktard around here it seems.

              … unprovoked name calling and ad hominem. is that what passes for intelligent discussion around here?

              2/2

          2. You previously attempted to argue that taxation is theft when it is for funding activities you disagree with, but it is not theft when it funds certain other purposes such as common defense.

            By definition, theft is the forcible appropriation of someone else’s property, regardless of the motive. Taxation is the forcible appropriation of someone else’s property, under the color of law and backed by the state’s monopoly on the use of force to achieve it’s ends, to fund the state’s activities. The only significant difference between taxation and theft is that the latter is, technically, legal; both, however, violate the NAP.

            You cannot, with any logical consistency, argue that taxation is theft when the motive is, say, funding public education, but is not theft when the motive is, say, funding the military (provide for the common defense). Theft is theft, regardless of the motive.

            Therefore, taxation is either always theft or it is never theft.

            Later, you offered a definition for the perjorative “collectivist”:

            Collectivism is only a dirty word in the sense that it generally means I have to pay for your shit.

            … By collectivist we mean you steal my money for the collective…”

            I merely highlighted your logical inconsistency. Stealing your money for common defense is, by your working definition, collectivist.

            1/2

          3. You respond with…

            Tony is not the only complete fucktard around here it seems.

            … unprovoked name calling and ad hominem. is that what passes for intelligent discussion around here?

            2/2

  18. You’ve already conceded the battle: that the collective gets, in certain situations, to steal from the individual.

    Here’s the thing about taxation for national defense, the police power, and the courts:

    Let’s say we decide to make payment optional. The only way to TRULY make it optional would be to declare that anyone who doesn’t pay is declared hostis and placed beyond the protection of the police and the courts. Then the taxation can be voluntary and you can opt in.

    But I don’t really see how, in practice, it improves your situation for me to say that instead of you being subject to a fine or imprisonment if you don’t pay taxes in support of the police and courts, you’re now subject to instant death or full expropriation at the hands of any taxpayer, and beyond that, if you fight back against the taxpayer, our police and military will jump in on the taxpayer’s side.

    1. Why would they do that if I can sue them for wrongful death, false arrest, kidnapping, wrongful imprisonment, emotional trauma, etc. in a competing court?

      1. His point is that is the only way it makes it truly opt in.

        You are assuming everyone must live by the NAP, which would instantly make it not opt in. You’d be paying for other people’s shit, which is a big problem we have currently in our increasingly collectivist society. Funny how that is, that you can get so far away from collectivism that you basically become collectivist again.

        Which is why I argued above for taxation at this level not being considered theft.

    2. “Let’s say we decide to make payment optional. The only way to TRULY make it optional would be to declare that anyone who doesn’t pay is declared hostis and placed beyond the protection of the police and the courts.”

      There is another way to fund the necessary functions of government (assuming a minarchist state) without having to declare anyone beyond the protection of the state: lotteries.

      Lotteries are proven revenue generators and the level of participation is completely voluntary.

      1. So you’re relying on a populace who is idiotic enough to play the lottery for all eternity?

        Let’s hope humans never evolve any brains.

        1. Not to mention how you’d need to have the government monopolize lotteries through force to get there in the first place.

          1. Sure. You will have some freeloaders that choose not to play at all. That’s a risk in a truly voluntarily funded system. However, the people would also have more control over the funding of the government. When the government starts to grow or enact unpopular policies, the people can vote with their pocketbooks by not playing the lottery. When the only people left playing are the idiots (bullet #1), the government will have to change course for lack of funding.

            Not to mention how you’d need to have the government monopolize lotteries through force to get there in the first place.

            Why?

            2/2

        2. So you’re relying on a populace who is idiotic enough to play the lottery for all eternity?

          Let’s hope humans never evolve any brains.

          Wow. And I thought my opinion of humanity was low =).

          However, I believe that your impression of the people that play the lottery is ill-informed. I have witnessed several different types of people that play the lottery.

          * People that actually think the lottery is their key to retirement/riches/wealth (aka: the “idiots”)
          * People that play a few bucks a week or month or year “just for fun”.
          * People that play a few bucks a week or month or year because they actually believe in / support the purpose of that lottery (e.g. funding H.O.P.E. scholarships in GA).
          * People that pick one or two megamillionsgajillion powerballbigticketwhatver when the jackpot is “historical” just in case they might have the right pick(s).

          I don’t really see how that would change in a minarchist state. Indeed, presently, I do not play the lottery at all. However, in a taxless, minarchist state funded primarily by lottery, I would be willing to voluntarily help fund the state by playing modestly (bullet #3). I suspect more people would do the same.

          1/2

  19. It’s amazing how Tony’s understanding of libertarianism has deepened and progressed over the years.

    1. If people were willing to engage him in conversation with well thought out counter points I’m sure we would have converted him over to our side years ago. Instead, his cry for help gets ignored.

      1. I’ve seen many people try to reason with him, he generally gets more onerous. I think the extent that I’ve ever engaged him is pointing him to econlib.org. I doubt he ever went there though. Best to just ignore him.

        1. Or make fun of him for your own amusement, of course.

  20. Delusional argumentativeness. I prescribe transcranial magnetic stimulation.

  21. “Cities in Flight” contained 4 separately published books, and started with the discovery of anti-gravity, allowing the cities of North America to simply leave Earth and its autocratic government behind.
    Look how before its time (1956) the first novel is, for example on the subjects of longevity and how the Western governments start resembling the Soviets, among other things.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_in_Flight)
    They Shall Have Stars (1956) describes the political and social conditions in the near future when several major technologies are developed which change society radically. These are ‘anti-agathic’ drugs, which defer or prevent aging, and the development of gravity manipulation, which leads to ‘faster-than-light’ spaceship drives. During this period the Western democratic government model becomes ever more intolerant, eventually resembling the Soviet model very closely. A principal protagonist of this book, Alaska’s US Senator Bliss Wagoner, is eventually executed by an oppressive regime, but not before he has made the technologies which allow mankind to escape their home planet available to all. The book is notable for the detailed way in which it handles technology, providing a mathematical explanation of the principles behind the anti-gravity drive, and illustrations of chemical bonding for reactions in the Ice IV material which is used to build a fixed point ‘bridge’ on the surface of Jupiter during the drive testing.

  22. One of our exit options would be to reclaim control of education – not via “approved” avenues such as charters and vouchers, but via educating one’s own children, forming co-ops with others, and so forth. Government will not teach us the means to subvert itself. Whatever we do, to the degree that we are not spindled, mutilated, numbered, folded, and counted, is a revolt against the government, however small.

    1. A standardized secular education, even if imperfect, is better than a patchwork of various snake-handler schools.

      1. Please provide evidence, because I’m sure you can do a simple google search to compare quizes and tests before and after the federal government got their slimy hands on education.

  23. Quite a few Westerners would be shocked to discover that in the rest of the world, people do not worship at the temple of government education. In many poorest provinces in the world, 50-80% of the students attend parent-funded government-free schools.

    As for head start, which one comment mentioned, the evidence is clear: it has no lasting impact. The benefits fade within a few years. Instead of trying to create a “better” government-funded head start program, let us ask a more fundamental question: why can’t government programs learn? There’s an entire body of research about the failure of educational reform for the past century and more – almost all of which sidesteps the obvious problem:

    “It’s time to admit that public education operates like a planned economy, a bureaucratic system in which everybody’s role is spelled out in advance and there are few incentives for innovation and productivity. It’s no surprise that our school system doesn’t improve: It more resembles the communist economy than our own market economy.” – Albert Shanker, former President of the American Federation of Teachers

  24. We really do live in a world that is caught between two basic ideals: Personal versions of Libertarian-ism and those who agree with George Fitzhugh (not even purely Democrats, but, much of the heart of this ideology rests within that political realm as that is where most of the bankers live).

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

    Unfortunately, the ideological descendants of Fitzhugh have most of the money, most of the media, and control the levers of power within the Government. They are as convinced as any religious fanatic from History about the rightness of their cause to “save the world” … from the consequences of Freedom and determined to plow under anyone who opposes them.

  25. Tune in.
    Turn on.
    Drop out.

    These flashbacks make my brain ache.

  26. my neighbor’s aunt makes 68 dollars/hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her pay check was 15377 dollars just working on the laptop for a few hours. read the full info here

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    http://www.tec30.com
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  27. It’s a false choice here – i.e., disengage from politics entirely, or engage in politics but be forced to compromise your ideals in the process. The way “out” is to focus inward – and to realize that each and every one of us is a sovereign entity unto ourselves. Each of us is a “nation” on our own, with our own unique political/ideological DNA. To the extent we wish to join with others who share our DNA, then and only then is there a “nation” in the traditional sense. Just as importantly, in the nation of ideas, geographical borders make no sense, and in fact, impede the progress of humankind. What’s the answer? Well, if you think about it, it’s pretty simple – virtual nations (or iNations, if you will), formed voluntarily by people independent of geographic location. Impossible, you say? Well, I disagree – in fact, I put my money where my mouth is – http://www.inations.com. Please feel free to check it out (if you dare – seriously, it’s pretty intense.)

  28. Politicians will lie lie and still lie
    .. wake up !
    test disanexias

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