Politics

Stop Treating Government With Respect

It's become nothing but a weapon fought over by people who want to smash each other—and you.

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The government in the United States has increasingly become a powerful weapon that two warring tribes repeatedly seize control of and then use against each other. For those of us who are averse to being smashed, it's long past time to consider the machinery of the state as nothing more than a bludgeon in the hands of dangerous maniacs.

Dangerous? Indeed. It's hard to beat the insight into the malicious heart of government offered by Rep. Ted Lieu on CNN in December.

"I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech," the California Democrat told CNN's Brianna Keilar. "The First Amendment prevents me from doing so, and that's simply a function of the First Amendment."

Lieu obviously takes it for granted that many politicians would muzzle their enemies if it were permitted and that only meddlesome legal strictures prevent them from enacting their dark desires.

Those strictures no longer look so strict. New York state's blue-tribe government last year repeatedly abused regulatory power in assaults against independent institutions. First, it sought to intimidate financial firms and insurance companies into breaking ties with organizations that advocate self-defense rights. This emulated the Obama administration's earlier Operation Choke Point scheme by which "powerful bank regulatory agencies engaged in an effort of intimidation and threats to put legal industries they dislike out of business," according to John Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. New York officials followed up by threatening to declare "truant" any children attending private schools whose curricula didn't win state approval.

For his part, Donald Trump, red tribe jefe, demands unwavering personal loyalty. He promised to punish companies that defy his nationalistic economic schemes by moving production overseas. "They will be taxed like never before," he vowed last summer of Harley-Davidson. And the president, who once described freedom of the press as "frankly disgusting," doubled down on his predecessor's hostility to journalistic independence by threatening to retaliate against the critical Washington Post with antitrust action, higher postage rates, and taxes on Amazon, which shares Jeff Bezos as its owner.

Yes, politicians have misbehaved in the past. But pollsters continuously report that the dominant modern political factions hate each other to an unprecedented degree, and their chosen standard bearers are seeking to act on that loathing. It's enough to make you think government officials shouldn't be trusted with the powerful tools of the state—and to worry that the restraints intended to prevent misuse of those tools have broken down.

"We are at the end of the American project as the founders intended it," political scientist Charles Murray wrote in 2015's By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission (Crown Forum). That project, as he saw it, was an effort to "demonstrate that human beings can be left free as individuals, families, and communities to live their lives as they see fit as long as they accord the same freedom to everybody else." Given the U.S. government's intentional erosion of that ideal, however, Murray proposed mass civil disobedience against intrusive rules and overreaching officials.

"You have the right to defend yourself and others from state injustice, even when government agents act ex officio and follow the law," philosopher Jason Brennan wrote in the January 2019 issue of this magazine. "Innocent people have a right not to be subject to badly made, high-stakes political decisions," he adds in his 2018 book, When All Else Fails: The Ethics of Resistance to State Injustice (Princeton University Press). Brennan doesn't suggest that overt resistance is risk-free, but he argues that it's morally justified and often better than knuckling under.

Both Murray and Brennan see the government as frequently oppressive and out of control—but also as subject to correction, or at least a good knee-capping, if enough people are willing to gum up the works. "Government is the Wizard of Oz…impotent to impose its will in the face of widespread refusal to comply with its rules," argues Murray.

There's evidence that something as simple as shaming and social ostracism can effectively sap government agencies of energy, recruits, and resources.

Long-despised for its grabbiness and brutality, the IRS further alienated the public when it acted against Tea Party groups during the Obama years. Since then, it's lost funding, cut way back on intrusive audits into Americans' finances, and suffered deep demoralization. "Almost a third of its remaining employees will be eligible to retire in the next year, and with morale plummeting, many of them will," ProPublica reported in December. That's one-third fewer arm-twisters—at least for a while—to be called upon by Lieu and his colleagues, even as restrictions on their power erode.

Like the IRS, the FBI compounded the bad will it engendered with lethal misbehavior and the shenanigans of a habitually dishonest crime lab by allowing itself to be drawn into contentious political issues, such as investigations into the bad conduct, real and alleged, of the major 2016 presidential candidates. "Public support for the FBI has plunged," Time reported last year. And that skepticism appears to have affected juries, which are returning 11 percent fewer convictions in FBI-led cases than they did five years ago.

Employment applications to the FBI dropped from 21,000 per year to 13,000 per year, The Washington Post has reported, necessitating a marketing campaign to haul in reluctant recruits. State and local police agencies, also tainted by news reports of brutality and bias, have likewise seen sharp drops in applicants, resulting in fewer officers to enforce the government's will. "The number of full-time sworn officers per 1,000 U.S. residents has dropped from 2.42 in 1997 to 2.17…in 2016," the Post notes.

Come to think of it, that just might leave a little room in the hiring process for applicants who see Edward Snowden as a role model—or even as a starting point in the necessary process of sabotaging from within overpowerful and much-misused agencies.

Most of us will prefer quieter acts of disobedience—ignoring regulations and perhaps assisting others who get caught doing the same, as Murray recommends. We might also choose to respond to the excesses of government agents as we would those of any other thugs, without offering undeserved deference, as Brennan suggests. We could refuse private services to state employees, damage government property, dox officials, and even directly intervene in incidents of oppressive action.

There's no reason to show respect to a system that sees us as nothing more than enemies to be smashed.

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274 responses to “Stop Treating Government With Respect

  1. Good article 2-Chill.

    1. 2-chilli is clearly suffering from TDS, since he is telling us to stop respecting Donald Trump.

      1. Eh. 2/10 – lazy.

        1. Lazy is the only thing he does bro.

          1. I think eunuch tries really hard.
            He’s just desperate for approval, yet witless.
            He does get lazy when he goes into impotent bitterness mode though

      2. Interesting. With Trump, you mistake rhetoric for action: “And the president, who once described freedom of the press as “frankly disgusting,” doubled down on his predecessor’s hostility to journalistic independence by threatening to retaliate against the critical Washington Post with antitrust action, higher postage rates, and taxes on Amazon, which shares Jeff Bezos as its owner.” Look at his actions. Then make your case.

    2. Don’t lump President Trump in with this…he is attempting to fix the bad guys in Washington and those policies. Every single example you gave of the President is wrong. I’ll take just one: targeting Amazon to pay more for US Postal delivery service. Look into the details, hard, and you’ll see Amazon was paying less for delivery of its packages by the Post Office than the cost of delivery. Somebody at the Post Office failed at their job (and I wonder why Amazon got such a sweet deal to begin with, anyone?) to price their service correctly. Meaning taxpayers were being robbed by Amazon.

      1. I’ll bet the Postmaster General who approved that deal got free Amazon Prime for life.

      2. PROVE IT

      3. Bullshit Detector…. USPS does not lose a penny on Amazon, so a “fortune” is one of Trump’s crazier tweets..

        NO,THE POST OFFICE ISN’T LOSING A FORTUNE ON AMAZON
        https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/apr/02/donald-trump/trump-usps-postal-service-amazon-losing-fortune/

        USPS ships about 40 percent of Amazon’s packages. …
        …the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act made it illegal for USPS to price parcel delivery below its cost. … an independent regulatory commission that reviews their deals annually gave it a green light on March 29.

        Amazon isn’t causing the United States Postal Service to lose a fortune. In fact, it’s contributing to ((USPS’s)) biggest growth sector, package delivery.

        While we don’t know the deal USPS crafted with Amazon, we know it’s not losing money.

        1) If Amazon ships USPS at a loss .. . why do they ship only 40% with USPS?

        2) Their rates are secret because … ummmm …. competitors.

        3) They negotiate with ALL BULK SHIPPERS because … does ANYONE believe Fedex and UPS charge full retail to bulk discounts?. The concept of volume discounts are not a deep state conspiracy; they have been the norm since our founding, It’a called …. competitive pricing!.

        Google Amazon USPS fortune
        See dozens of links exposing the lie … originating with one of Trump’s more psychotic tweets … to his adoring puppets.

  2. Worker bees can leave.
    Even drones can fly away.
    The Queen is their slave.

  3. Anarchy is NOT the answer either.

    This Constitutional Democratic Republic has a founding system strong enough to survive Americans taking back our system.

    Start by never voting for a Democrat again. Then never vote for a RINO again. Then never vote for a Republican again. Then never vote for a LINO again.

    Then only vote for Libertarians and/or Libertarian-ish politicians. Then only politicians that will get the federal and state governments down to tiny and limited governments, business friendly minor regulation, and fiscal responsibility for government.

    1. ANARCHY! I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT WORD MEANS!

      1. Without rulers.

        1. So…tape measures then?

          1. It can.

            1. Anarchy means violent communism, and has meant that for the past couple of centuries. Look it up in newspaper morgues. Only after 1972 did communist infiltrators retask the meaning to infiltrate and destroy the LP

              1. Ah, Hank. You never disappoint.

              2. Pay attention, Hank, how have never learned the difference between voluntary vs state socialiims?
                The Israel kibbutzim are communes. But if you say they’re “communist” in your sense of the word, you’ll be laughed off the planet.

                The Oneida Community? Commune. Were they your communism?

                There have been hundreds of Communes in America, mostly religious , several now 50 years or older.

                Now … on what authority do you DARE tell me how I can live?
                And why are yo such an authorian? AND Unelected!

                You’re too extreme for even Ayn Rand! Under “the moral is the chosen,” she endorsed the hippie communes at the time, saying their only mistake was thinking they had to be come farmers,.

                Several years later, Showtime did a hour special about a commune which was also a business. Corporate videos.

                I fear you may react to Warren’s socialism, with the phony hysteria that hundreds of millions were killed under socialism.

                Tell me now, Hank, how many were killed in Sweden, Denmark and The Netherlands, When can you get back to me on those tragiic numbers?

                Anarchy means violent communism That’s even mote bizarre!

                1. Sloppy ediitng. I’d never say anything llike that final sentence Those ate Ha
                  Anarchy means violent communism That’s even mote bizarre!

                2. You know those communes aren’t anarchies, right?

                  Sweden, Denmark, and The Netherlands aren’t socialist states.

                  1. Sweden, Denmark, and The Netherlands aren’t socialist states.

                    Democratic socialism.
                    Again, socialism and/or communism can be voluntary or a non-consensual state.

                    Perhaps I was not clear enough. Responding to the democratic socialism of a Sanders or a Warren by stating millions have been killed under socialism is shamefully dishonest, or profoundly ignorant. And politically kinda dumb.

                    1. Democratic socialism is what Americans call it.

                      They are Constitutional monarchies.

                    2. As bad as the Christian Taliban?

                      Left – Right = Zero

                    3. Christian Taliban? LOL.

                      Did they break out their big knives and threaten to behead you if you didn’t mislabel constitutional monarchies as democratic socialist?

                    4. They demand a theocratic state.
                      And our Constitution guarantees separation.

    2. The anxiety I have about anarchy is that it is so often just a pretense for militant authoritarians. The word itself has become synonymous with chaos and strife because so many so-called “anarchists” are just dysfunctional bolsheviks railing against the “capitalist pigs” and engaging in highly authoritarian and injurious direct action depriving others of basic freedoms and massively violating the NAP. Nothing, classically speaking, about anarchy should suggest disorder directly, but with no framework in place for jurisprudence and protection of liberty, it’s a leap too far for many of us libertarians. Small, very limited government that is responsible only for protecting individual liberties and providing recourse for those whose liberties have been violated is what I’m about, but, the dilemma is that government in any capacity only ever grows.

      1. Since anarchy means “without rulers” a libertarian government adhering to the NAP would actually be anarchic.

        1. Shhhhh. Don’t let LC hear you.

        2. False. Massively.

      2. The problem with good anarchists is that they are basically like people who talk all the time about what they would do if they were rich.

        They understand how their life would change if all the right pieces fell into place, but they have no idea how to actually get there, and they dont have the skills to get there. So they dream about winning the lottery.

        This is also why anarchy is used as a tool of marxists, they want instability in order to place a strongman in power that will force their ideology on the population.

        Anarchists should stop thinking of themselves as millionaires and learn how to just start making money.

        1. Also true on the extreme right, the “no clue how to get there.”

          Among those who are libertarian, they literally REFUSE to govern.
          Murray Rothbard, dumbfuck of the millenium, rages against seeking public office EVER, says it’s lusting for power. His minions sneer at “conspiring with statists.” .

          Like all political fanatics, they don’t need to govern, to work with all who are there now, and start moving the ball downfield, to work with the “impure”. Their ideal society will spring from the ground, like weeds. And everyone will be just like them …the same goal as Moonies, Davidians and Jim Jones’ People Temple … a cult

          It’s not even a free society they seek. Like their equivalent on the left, they are largely blowhards, demanding (in effect ) MY WAY NOW, which is authoritarian. “Will of the people” is for pussies. They have no desire in actually achieving “their way” They mostly want to pound their chests and bellow a lot … like the self-righteous oppression we see among SOME on the Christian Right. The ones doing what Jesus preached NOT to do, making a public spectacle of their faith, like pagans in the temple (now church), and like hypocrites on the street.

          At one time, pro-liberty libertarians were working on transitions back to what was. Almost everything government does now,we said, was being done already with no government. In how many areas can we show a better way, That voice has been silenced. It’s far easier, required no brain at all to shout, REPEAL IT, These are the anti-government libertarians. So, over 60% of Americans self-identify with libertarian values … but 91% of THEM reject the libertarian label.

          We COULD be governing now, the “generic” libertarians.

    3. Anarchy is NOT the answer either

      Not for you. What are you, a central planner?

      And who are you to to dictate how thee government must can be? Again, that’s why I’ve named you hateconstitution1789..

      Can anything be funnier than an authoritarian trying to define libertarian?

    4. No libertarian would EVER condemn an entire group. It’s the very definition of bigotry. Parisan stereotypes are no different than racial stereotypes.

      Not that anyone would follow your suggestion …. cuz it sucks, just another example of the Authoritarian Right. As a rejection of liberty

      Major change never comes from the top, until AFTER the people are ready for it. First we must change the culture. Will of the people. Consent of the governed.

      And you ain’t gonna change many, by denying THEIR iindividual liberty. Has anyone been elected, in any country on earth, on a platform of denying their voters’ fundamental rights.

      Will of the people, Consent of the governed

  4. Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. However, for the overwhelming majority of conservatives and libertarians, a good life takes precedent. Look how the Tea Party petered out – rally crowds shrunk, meeting attendance dropped, burn out ensued. How do we resurrect the angry crowds of 2009-2010 who showed up at official’s meetings and demanded change? And prevent the same kind of activist collapse that happened when Obama managed to win re-election in 2012?

    1. Yes, the core dilemma. Some of us prefer government to be minimal and boring. Others want government to be big, intrusive, and exciting. Which side will be more inspired to vote?

      1. Daddy Gov is such a strong motivator, even the dead are, and will continue to be, inspireD to vote for it

      2. Government is minimal and boring. At least the federal government. How many times do you really have to interact with it?

        You guys should make yourself useful and focus more on the actual problems of liberty happening at the state and local level. The only reasons anyone has to deal with federal regulations are when you’re a really bad criminal or you’re a big enough company to do significant harm to a lot of people.

        1. “How many times do you really have to interact with it?”

          AHAHAHH WE ALWAYS KNEW YOU WERE THIS STUPID

        2. “Government is minimal and boring. At least the federal government. ”

          Absolutely delusional.

        3. The effects of the federal government are subtle and persuasive. It effects the entire healthcare system for instance. Taxation effects business decisions. It’s classic broken window effects. We don’t know what we don’t know.

          1. Pervasive.

          2. Subtle is much preferable to “Get on the ground or I’m gonna fucking kill you for a broken tail light.”

            1. No the fuck it isn’t.

              1. Like you have any conception of what subtlety is.

        4. “How many times do you really have to interact with it?”

          For most people, at least quarterly, or biweekly.

          1. So you want to live in a country with no taxes? Or what?

        5. Minimal? How about every time I get a paycheck?

        6. It is a good point. Most of what matters happens at the local level.

          1. No it’s a stupid fucking point.

            Every time I eat.
            Every time I drive.
            Evety time I use money.
            Every job I do ever anywhere in the world.

            I literally just described the majority of time in my day.

            Now say that stupid shit again.

            1. Yeah but there still a lot of liberty issues at the local level. I live in an HOA I won’t even start on that. I have been to city planning commission meetings. What a nightmare. Zoning, traffic, booze, food, licensing, schools, all that stuff is local or state.

              The federal government takes most of the money but the state and local stuff is what really impacts in daily living.

              Or did I miss the point? Hard to tell in some of these posts.

        7. Let’s see.

          Can’t use drugs – because of the Federal government.

          Can’t own a machine gun – because of the Federal government.

          Can’t try life-saving medical treatments without the Federal government’s permission.

          Spent a decade limited to driving at 55mph because of the Federal government.

          Can’t buy alcohol under the age of 21 because of the Federal government.

          And on and on and on.

          In fact, 90% of my income taxes go to the Federal government and its responsible for 90% of the restrictions I face. 10% of my income tax goes to my state and not only is it not responsible for most of those restrictions – 90% of the ‘services’ I get ‘for paying taxes’ come from the state, not the Federal government.

          1. I see the point but most of those are also regulated at the state and local level as well.

            Drugs and Medical devices – The DEA and FDA do have a lot of power. Doctors and pharmacies are regulated mostly by the state medical and pharmacy boards however. They are the primary enforcers. Also states have been successful in legalizing pot for example although the feds have interfered at times. If you get caught with a bag of cocaine in your car you are not charged by a federal court.

            Speed limits – I remember that but most of your driving is set by local speed limits

            Alcohol – There is that cap but local government has far more restrictions even banning it altogether in places.

            Machine guns – well yes although it is technically possible. But look how much gun laws differ from state to state or even within cities.

            So not saying the feds have little to do with these restrictions but state and local governments can be and often are very repressive.

            Heck I can’t even put a swimming pool in the back yard because of HOA and the city will enforce it. I can’t build a shed without permission. The everyday stuff.

            1. Heck I can’t even put a swimming pool in the back yard because of HOA and the city will enforce it. I can’t build a shed without permission. The everyday stuff.

              They’d both be breech of contract

              But look how much gun laws differ from state to state or even within cities.

              Will of the people. Federalism.

              So not saying the feds have little to do with these restrictions but state and local governments can be and often are very repressive.

              Will of the people. And you’ve also defended breech of contract,

        8. Every day in your own home -your toilet, the lightbulbs you buy, your shower head, every time you fill up with gas, every time some car is crushed by a truck, if you want to meet a woman on the internet for a fee, any time you eat, especially anything with sugar or dairy, lets not even talk about going into business….

          1. What are you doing, or planning, to persuade the will of the people?

        9. Tony, everything you said the word ‘government’ was idiotic.

        10. Welp, just emptied my checking account to pay estimated taxes to the federal government, so approximately that much.

        11. That and when they take a sizable cut of our pay every two weeks.

          1. Will of the People. Consent of the governed.
            1) How can we elect a majority to do that?
            2) After first reversing the Will of the People?

            Complaining about a problem, without posing a solution, is whining.
            -Theodore Roosevelt

    2. There was a great article a few weeks ago talking about how grifters basically killed the Tea Party movement. Many of the new PACs and NGOs claiming to “Take Back” the republican party are merely money-making schemes for the employees, spending a few tens of thousands of dollars on campaigns while raking in millions in contributions. This, more than anything, defanged the Tea Party and other conservative grass roots organizations.

      1. Lol. The profit motive killed the tea party.

        1. More like fraud.

      2. Tea Party defanged itself by its inability to lay its filthy mitts off of social issues… Read, abortion especially! Outlawing abortion has EVERYTHING to do with BIG government! I warned my local versions of contacts with the Tea Party… Did they listen?!?! Noooooo!!!!

        1. You are a rambling dotard and no one listens to you

          1. Nash is correct

      3. Overt,
        Always good to blame somebody else for one’s failure and collapse. But, how does that explain
        … that Trump and his party have already added more new 8-year debt than Obama did after 8 years (CBO 2024 forecast v Obama actual)
        …. after Obama left them the longest recovery ever for an incoming President?
        …and the first President to EVER increase the deficit over 40% … in a single year … in a booming economy ….
        …when Trump had promised to pay off the entire federal debt in 8 years, but has already added ten TRILLION dollars?

        For this we need Republicans?

    3. TEA Party petered out because the IRS was doxxing them.

      1. Speaking of doxxing…

        From the above article, see doxxing mentioned…

        “We could refuse private services to state employees, damage government property, dox officials, and even directly intervene in incidents of oppressive action.”

        WHERE is Reason.com in the effort? Brickbats should be accompanied by the exact names and home addresses of the assholes who pull these stunts on us!

        I will now dox the BIGGEST asshole in town!

        Satan J. Trump
        1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
        Washington, D.C. 20500

        1. Actually his name is Donald. It doesn’t even sound similar.

        2. Not even close.

        3. “I will now dox the BIGGEST asshole in town!”

          But we don’t want your personal information.

          1. Does SQRLSY really think he has wit?

            1. I have more wit than you can shake your tit at, you twit!

        4. Yes, he is Satan (shudder)
          https://reason.com/2019/06/15/stop-treating-government-with-respect/#comment-7821929

          God help us all.
          If He hasn’t given up on us

          Left – Right = Zero

      2. The Tea Party petered out because conservatives stopped caring about government spending (TARP kick-started the Tea Party) and started focusing on limiting freedom for would-be immigrants and the people who would employ them or house them or sell stuff to them.

    4. Well, the Republicans, by and large, didn’t like the Tea Party (McCain, notoriously, hated them). So, the Tea Party ended up having nobody really on their side. Then the IRS went after them. Illegally, but at least it was not a scandal or anything…

    5. Terrible tactics, and frankly, shamefully authoritarian .

      The Tea Party are losers. Are you actually serious that the best way to “change the culture,” to persuade voters is bunch of a of angry mobs?

      Would Chevy sell more cars, running ads of angry mobs, screaming. “Go Chevy, never Ford.”

      The Tea Party are losers, because they did exactly what you say. Standing in the streets and yelling is easy. But a form of preaching to the choir, to the cheers of those who already agree with them … but impresses none of the voter we need to convert,

      Consent of the governed. Will of the People.

  5. For his part, Donald Trump demands unwavering personal loyalty.

    BOOOOOOOOTH SIIIIIIIIIIIIDES!!!!!!

    Jeezum frickin crow

    1. Not only both sides. 2-chilli is actually trying to use facts to make his point. What a cuck. Facts and logic are for soyboys.

    2. Sure, Obama used the IRS to target his political enemies, and pressured banks to choke off the financing of legal businesses he didn’t approve of. And New York is going to say your kids are truant if they’re not in a public school. But Donald Trump talks a lot of shit on Twitter about stuff that nobody is going to let him get away with even if he is foolish enough to try it.

      1. Well, the virtual life IS more important.

        1. For progressives, and reflexive progressives, fantasy is truer than reality.
          Just look at eunuch prattling on about “facts” above

      2. IRS, and DOEd, EEOC, EPA, Corps of Engineers, FTC, CIA, FBI, DoD, HHS,….

      3. Whataboutism rules.

        “It’s okay that MY tribe can be a fucking catastrophe … because the other tribe is. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking with it!.

        With all of Obama’s massive mismanagement, how did Trump and the GOP already add more new debt than Obama did after eight years. (CBO forecast)

        Left – Right = Zero

  6. Politicians once had DUELS. We had a civil war. Mrs. Lincoln was accused of being a confederate spy.

    Let’s stop pretending that current politics is unusually nasty.

    And, do we really want two parties who aid and abet each other’s schemes?

    1. How can we bring back dueling (at least for pols)?

      1. I second that.

    2. And, do we really want two parties who aid and abet each other’s schemes?

      How did you get in here? 🙂

      The next question is
      Q) How did the libertarian establishment end up with NO policy solutions … not a single one … for anything ?

      A) The “pro-liberty” faction was overthrown by the “anti-government” faction. The people want 90-% of what government provides. Until roughly a quarter-century ago, libertarians promoted several ways to transition back to the private sector and free markets. Now, they just snarl, “git gummint out” and “repeal, repeal, repeal” … repeal what people have always wanted, and willingly paid for … because libertarians (all fiscal conservatives) now have NO CLUE how to do anything better.

      Salesmanship 101
      “You’re not there to prove your prospect wrong. You’re there to agree with your prospect. And to show how your product or service will best provide what he or she already wants.

      DUH

  7. Being anti-government is much like being anti-etiquette. Lots of people say they think manners don’t matter. Too stuffy. Live and let live. Until, of course, someone makes a tiny infraction at your birthday party that affects you. All of a sudden they do matter!

    Every single one of you goes crying to government if someone steals your shit. Or do you chalk that up to the price we pay for not having civilization?

    Unlike the people trying to reform the criminal justice system, the cynical assholes trying to undermine the IRS and FBI are not doing so out of a sense of civic compassion.

    1. Major projection as usual, but now I’m really curious as to what happened at Tony’s birthday party.

      1. A whole lot of fabulousness. I throw really great parties, if I do say so myself.

        The worst thing to happen was a drag queen brawl that broke a bathroom window. But it’s not really a party if that doesn’t happen, is it?

        1. I hope you got some birthday penis, Tony. Cheers.

      2. Nothing. He’s a boring old fuck and all his friends hate him, he’s said so himself.

        1. I am not old. Take it back.

          1. But you are boring.

    2. Yeah, yeah, if we don’t have government agencies leading midnight SWAT raids against farmers for not having the correct wording on their jars of strawberry jam, then no one will pave the roads and your house will burn down because there’s no firefighters. Statists need some new material.

      1. You need to decide whether you believe in your rhetoric or if you just want government to work well like the rest of us.

        1. You can want government to “work well” (eye of the beholder) all day, but the incentive structure renders it incapable of doing so.

          1. Regular elections are more accountability than most CEOs get, and CEOs have a more direct affect on people’s livelihoods than the feds, unless you’re a major criminal not named Trump.

            1. Nonsense

              The CEO actually has to produce something or they get the boot.

              1. Not until they give the boot to a bunch of underlings to salvage the bottom line.

                1. Cutting costs to increase profits is often the right thing to do.

                  If our government did that you and I could keep a lot more of our money.

                  1. The right thing for a government to do is to maximize life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is why government is different from business, which has a somewhat more narrow mission.

                    1. Amazon wants the same thing.

                      I can get the dog food delivered to my door without schlepping out to Costco. This makes me and the dog happy. I can get pizza from dominos at the same time.

                      I now have liberty to take the dog for a walk for that hour.

                      We both have life because food.

                      So we have life liberty and happiness. The government did not give me that hour. People did that. Each one with individual purpose unrelated to any central plan or reason.

                      I am not an anarchist. I think much of government is wasteful and takes more than it needs.

                    2. My ,oval govt. does all kinds of useless, expensive, stupid shit. Tony would love it.

                      Instead of fixing the roads, they just spent $16 million on a footbridge from the Gonzaga University campus across the Spokane River that dumps off in an industrial/B2B retail area. No one uses it. They also choked off two through lanes on an overused arterial so as to make the area a ‘neighborhood market’. That none of us in that neighborhood wanted, and even sued to stop. Then the same city council passed a bunch of ordinances that pretty much let the homeless do whatever they want. Much like Seattle, or SF.

                      That’s just some of the highlights. Please note that six of seven of our city council are self proclaimed progressives. So. It’s no surprise that they are full of idiotic ideas such as the ones listed above. And also good examples of why progressives have no place in making decisions that determine anything, ever.

                    3. Why do they DARE refuse to obey Last of the Shitlords?,
                      What is he doing to influence change in “Will of the People?”
                      The Authoritarian Right!

                      Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.
                      –Benjamin Franklin

                      Complaining about a problem, without posing a solution, is whining.
                      -Theodore Roosevelt

                    4. Please note that six of seven of our city council are self proclaimed progressives. So. It’s no surprise that they are full of idiotic ideas such as the ones listed above. And also good examples of why progressives have no place in making decisions that determine anything, ever.

                      Run against one, or find and promote someone who can …. for now, you are an enabler of progressives, like a co-conspirator!

                      (This is where the generally blame “stupid voters” for their own failures, and/or total lack of effort. Confirming their authoritarian disdain for “Will of the People.” Better to shout and shake one’s fist at the sky. Generally, not always)

      2. Great response. That was a fun read.

    3. Of course, defending liberty including property rights is the proper function of government. It’s the stuff like drug prohibition and taxation that are the problem.

      1. Some people think the proper function of government is to force women to give birth against their will. Or to detain suspected criminals indefinitely. Or to kill all the Jews. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, and shit comes out of them.

        1. Some people think a properly functioning government is based on rationally defensible principles and not on the personal whims of those who have seized power. But I don’t expect you to comprehend the difference.

          1. I agree with this sentiment, and if libertarians do too they should spend less time defending every action of the most arbitrary wannabe tinpot asshole ever to be elected president.

            1. Lincoln?

              1. No hate for Millard Fillmore?

            2. Which one WASN’T a tinpot asshole?

              1. This attitude is why Trump is president.

                They’re all the same! I’m so smart because I figured out how to not think about shit with any amount of study or nuance!

                1. That’s not an answer to the question.

      2. The proper function of government is to fix the darn traffic problem on rt. 48. Been living here 12 years and the bastards still can’t do that.

    4. “ Every single one of you goes crying to government if someone steals your shit.”

      And every single socialist without health insurance goes whining to doctors to buy lifesaving medicine.

      People have to deal with reality as it is, not as if it were as they wished it would be.

      1. A fine truism, but are you arguing that the reality you prefer is one in which the people with the biggest guns get to steal your shit without any due process?

        1. So your point is that attacking straw men is persuasive?

          1. Trying to figure out what kind of society you want and whether it’s a fundamental disruption of civilization as we know it or just a few tweaks, same as the rest of us.

            1. All I’m saying is that legislatures are legal fictions, and can’t have rights or responsibilities.

              1. The right to free speech is also a legal fiction.

                1. And gay weddings.

                  1. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

                2. What about your right to your own life?

                  1. A legal fiction, as every autocrat who ever killed people for stupid reasons with impunity will tell you.

                    This thing is fragile people. Stop pretending God did it. It doesn’t help.

                    1. This is your worst day ever!
                      1) You have no clue what a right to life is.
                      2) If my car is stolen, do I lose property rights?

                      A right does not mean it cannot be taken. It cannot be taken by government. The Constitution??i

                    2. I find it increasingly hard to believe that this epic never-ending battle of semantics is why libertarians don’t think clearly about things.

                      Lots of serious people thought rights come from God. If you think that, God be with you. Which god, I don’t know. They all have different ideas. But that’s your problem to sort out.

                      But obviously, here on planet earth, rights are things humans invented relatively recently in our history. Legal guarantees enforced by government. Why is that concept so offensive to you people? It happens to be a pretty obvious and uninflammatory fact.

                    3. That doesn’t mean our right is a legal fiction though. It’s not the right doesn’t exist until it’s codified in law, it means our right exists and then it’s codified into law. It’s right first, law second not vice versa.

                    4. I find it increasingly hard to believe that this epic never-ending battle of semantics is why libertarians don’t think clearly about things.

                      Semantics is not the same as not knowing what a word means. Definitely true of rights

                      You even say property rights and right of contract are opposed by libertarians?

                      And all of that is deflection. You do not know what a right is.

                      P.S. I’m an atheist .

                    5. it means our right exists and then it’s codified into law. It’s right first, law second not vice versa.

                      Laws only defend rights — since one cannot (properly) pass a law that violates rights. What rights exist, has been evolving for centuries.

                      For at least the Enlightenment, rights have been “acknowledged” (decided) by judges and tribunals … and constitutions.

                      What rights are protected by the ninth amendment, which no level of government may deny or abridge?

                      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                    6. So where did they come from? And what took them so long?

                    7. So where did they come from? And what took them so long?

                      If you’re asking about rights, then you’re not Tony at all. Despite the psychos here, I disagree with you 80% of the time, but you’ve been a thoughtful lefty. I’ve never seen so much total ignorance and wackiness, as on this page, which I’ve commented already

                    8. I find this particular conversation both unnecessarily tedious and fascinating.

                      Rights are clearly legal constructs. What else are they? If you don’t think they are ordained by a deity, who ordained them? The trees?

                      It shouldn’t matter regardless. Unless—unless–you have a secret, dishonest goal of convincing others that the rights you personally perfer are totally beyond question. And I don’t think anything is beyond question. But I do happen to believe a lot of the rights we enjoy are a good idea.

                  2. IceTrey
                    What about your right to your own life?

                    It’s absolute.
                    But precisely equal to every other fundamental right.
                    That fact causes rage … by those who cannot deal with the simple meaning of unalienable (because their tribal leaders cannot)

                    1. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

                  3. Deflection to evade

                    Rights are clearly legal constructs. What else are they?

                    Deflection. They precede laws.

                    If you don’t think they are ordained by a deity, who ordained them? The trees?

                    Deflection Childish. Made an ass of yourself. And running away from your assertion, Ashamed of it?

                    Ready?

                    Rights are what a group of people agree to defend for each other. They are not “fiction.” They are part of a Social Compact. Men and woman have died to defend…. FICTION?
                    Were they suckers, Tony, to “you people?”

                    It shouldn’t matter regardless. Unless—unless–you have a secret, dishonest goal of convincing others that the rights you personally perfer are totally beyond question. And I don’t think anything is beyond question. But I do happen to believe a lot of the rights we enjoy are a good idea.

                    Deflection. Self-contradicting. Authoritarian.

                    But obviously, here on planet earth, rights are things humans invented relatively recently in our history.

                    Have you grasped that’s what I believe, which is WHY you made an ass of yourself.

                    So, as we libertarians have known for half a century, tribal right and left BOTH apply partisan stereotypes — which are as bigoted as racial stereotypes. And me … I have defended you when the Authoritarian Right ass-umes things, solely because you are on the left. I did so on this very page, today. I shall NEVER do that again.
                    Not ever.

                    Why is that concept so offensive to you people?

                    Why are so many of “you people” bigots?

                    And you have FAILED to defend your assertion — that rights are a “legal fiction” And you MAY have retracted it. Hard to tell.

                    REPEAT: If my ca

                    1. REPEAT: If my car is stolen, do I lose my property rights?

                    2. A very long post that says absolutely nothing. Sorry. I’d respond if I could. But you just didn’t say anything.

                    3. REPEAT: If my car is stolen, do I lose my property rights?

                      Sorry. I’d respond if I could. But you just didn’t say anything.

                      THIRD CALLOUT: “If my car is stolen, do I lose my property rights?”

                      IT’S THE LAST SENTENCE … DIRECTLY ABOVE YOU … IN ITS OWN FRIKKING BOX … AND BOLDFACE!

                      *CAN***YOU***HEAR***ME***NOW?

      2. No, I don’t fuckboy. The police don’t waste time on property crime.

        I go to my insurance company. You know, the private one.

        1. The police are a touchy example because I hate the police and consider them the very resort and more likely to make any situation worse, including a quadruple homicide.

          But you can get on board with the government sparing no expense to bomb, expel, and involuntarily house brown people, right? Something something NAP?

    5. Every single one of you goes crying to government if someone steals your shit.

      And the government proceeds to do fuck all about it. They may, if you’re lucky, send a goon to take a statement and file a report, but they won’t do shit about the theft. They already got paid for their “services” whether you feel like you got your money’s worth or not. Hell, if they come into your house they may look around a bit and find a reason to charge you with something. Damned fine etiquette the government is following.

    6. But only some of us go crying to the government when we want more shit, or want someone to make our decisions for us, or stop other people from saying mean things, or eliminate every risk from life.

      There is etiquette, and then there is Alice-through-the-looking-glass-mad-hatter-tea-party etiquette.

    7. Funnily enough, tons of those ‘manners’ that were considered so important in the past have been dropped – and we’re not worse off for their being gone.

      Just like government.

    8. Love government or hate government?
      Wrong question.
      Why does nobody have anything … for the people.
      Instead, they fight, piss and moan over which tribe is better.
      Because NEITHER has a clue how to get us out of the mess they got us into.

      Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.
      –Benjamin Franklin

      Complaining about a problem, without posing a solution, is whining.
      -Theodore Roosevelt

  8. Political Correctness is just masked Anti Whiteism.

    Where are the “diversity advocates” demanding open borders, mass immigration, or “diversity” into any global place or institution that is Non White?

    Racial minority Whites are being literally tortured to death in South Africa. Where are the “minority rights advocates”?

    Whites like the Slavs and the Irish, among others, faced terrible mass enslavement and colonization, from the Islamic world in particular. Where are the the “social justice advocates”?

    As always, Anti Racist is really just Anti White.

    1. Can the master race please try at least to use punctuation and capitalization in the traditional way?

      1. Of course, you would never say such a thing to a Black person.

        1. That’s a fine defense of illiterate right-wing bigots. Keep up the good work!

          1. It was actually Vernacular English.

            Did you not know that tardo?

            Oh look, you thought you knew something but were wrong again.

        2. He would tell them they are ‘articulate’ and ‘smell good’. Like Biden.

          1. I’m only judging the language usage for people claiming to be the master race. That does imply some standards, does it not?

            1. Please copy and paste from where Ned claimed to belong to the master race.

              1. Eat dick.

                See that sentence? It has an understood “you.”

                Ned’s screed about “Anti White” has an understood “I’m a cousinfucking inbred racist.”

              2. Tony sees “white” and it means to him “master race”

                Not racist at all…

    2. To quote PJ Oraurke

      There is no such thing as race.

      If people were dogs we would all be labradors.

      1. Black labs matter!

        1. Good one lol

        2. Actually it was “we would all be the same breed.”

          I guess I said labradors because I like labradors.

      2. Tell it to the affirmative action and reparations crowd dickhead.

        1. I would be the first to do that.

          And I am immune to internet insult iocaine. You can play that game with someone else.

      3. If we were all Labradors, we would invent some other distinction to separate us.

    3. Where are the “diversity advocates” demanding open borders, mass immigration, or “diversity” into any global place or institution that is Non White?

      They’re doing neither. Anywhere. Except the last one. Yes, as shocked as you are, diversity advocates advocate … diversity (gasp)

  9. Simple solution, make the government follow the NAP.

    1. Simple solutions are always the best because they’re easy to understand.

      1. Libertarian Spoiler votes. In something like 13 states the LP swings Dokuro-chan spoiler vote clout. Together they already add up to over 100 electoral votes.

      2. I’d start with a constitutional amendment, “Government shall not initiate force.”

        1. I’d start with a required preface: “Government must abide by the Constitution”

          1. That pre-supposes that the SCOTUS agrees with your interpretation of the Constitution. Seeing as they obviously do not, this obviously won’t have the effect you want.

            1. How does SCOTUS “obviously” defend initiating force.

              What are YOU doing to change that? Or how do YOU support others who can? I’l break this as gently as I can. Humans are not infallible,
              And Ivory Towers still need cleaning, now and then.

              Government rarely initiates force. SCOTUS does not work for you,
              And you are trafficking in conspiracies

        2. That’s the same as abolishing government.

          Government *is* force. That’s what its *for*. That is its sole purpose and reason for existence.

          1. Yes, retaliatory force.

            1. Taxation is retaliation for you being born here and sucking up resources.

              1. By resources you mean tax dollars right?

                1. Only if you’re lucky enough to be impoverished and desperate.

                  1. So if I’m rich I shouldn’t have to pay taxes.

                    1. Do you really want a bunch of poor people on your lawn begging for scraps? Or worse, revolutions being fomented by the desperate?

                      Social welfare programs are mostly for the rich, same as everything else government does.

          2. Government *is* force. That’s what its *for*. That is its sole purpose and reason for existence.

            Scary nonsense.
            “Governnent derive their just rights by consent of the governed.

            Not clear.

        3. I’m curious how your amendment would define “initiate force”.

          1. What you need is the meaning of initiate.

  10. Respect? Hell, the State should be treated with LOVE–the same love due any deity:

    https://grrrgraphics.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/shrine_of_the_statists1.jpg

  11. Is it getting to that time when the soil of freedom needs to be watered by the blood of those who are free, before we loose what little freedom that we have now?

    1. Let us hope not.

    2. No, that time has already passed. It’s too late now.

  12. “These so-called governments are in reality only great bands of robbers and murderers, organized, disciplined, and constantly on the alert.”

    Lysander Spooner

  13. Do we have any data about previous citizenries’ Attempts to ignore their respective governments into oblivion? Methinks that simply begs for (more) reactionary authoritarianism.

    Still waiting for Reason authors to cease taking Trump’s threats seriously. If you did not think the office needed to be de-buffed after Obama left, you read too much TMZ.

  14. Ignoring lawless government decrees is one thing. If a “law” is unconstitutional and/or violates “the laws of nature and of nature’s god,” then in fact the “law” isn’t a law at all, it’s just a threat of lawless violence.

    But when you get to actually rising up against the government, the author doesn’t explain why the Just War criteria don’t apply. This is a centuries-old tradition defended by religious “bleevers” and nonbelieves alike.

    If you want to argue against the Just War doctrine, *make your case,* don’t ignore it.

    And remember that the Just War Doctrine requires exhaustion of peaceful means before waging war (international or domestic), along with reasonable chance of success.

    As for reasonable chance of success, rising against the government will fail in military terms, and politically it will at best signal to opportunistic politicians that there’s a constituency – a violent one – to be placated, but that would assume the rising shows itself broad-based enough before it’s suppressed.

    As for peaceful means, there’s free expression and lawsuits and voting – not guaranteed to succeed, but more likely to correct abuses than an attempt violent rising.

    1. Fighting the government will fail? How long have we been in Afghanistan?

      1. So you’re arguing in terms of the Just War Doctrine, which is more than the author did.

        1. I’m arguing from the Guerilla War Works Doctrine.

          1. It *can* work depending on the circumstances.

            But if you’re talking about direct attacks on the police, or against government-sponsored enterprises, in the context of 21st century America, then I don’t see it ending in anything except successful repression.

      2. That is 100% because we’re not willing to do what it takes to “win”.

        Let me be clear: if we had the political will, we could level the whole damn region and mercilessly subjugate the people. We don’t do this because, in the eyes of many people (including Americans), this would make us the “bad guys”. So we do what we can get away with, which isn’t sufficient.

        But it’s not a question of military might, it’s a question of political will.

        1. How will you elect an entire government, on a platform of subjugating the voters who would elect elect you?

          I’m teasing. I know you’re being sarcastic or satirical. No sentient being could possibly say that. (at least not In public.)

  15. Bludgeoning back with libertarian spoiler votes is a productive approach. Don’t Tread on Dokuro-chan is a meme looters would do well to respect. Spoiler votes repeal coercive laws.

  16. Great read. Thanks JD.

  17. Good article

    When libertarians stop thinking of themselves as subversive radicals they stop being libertarians.

    1. Can we elect a Congress like that?If not, do we expect a free (or freer) society to just spring from the ground, spontaneously?

  18. quieter acts of disobedience […] damage government property

    https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1666-destruction-government-property-18-usc-1361

    As amended on September 13, 1994, if the damage exceeds $100, the defendant is subject to a fine of up to $250,000, ten years imprisonment, or both. See Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-322, § 330016, 108 Stat. 1796, 2146-47 (1994). When property damage does not exceed $100, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $100,000, one year imprisonment, or both. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3559(a), 3571.

    Damaging govt. property isn’t one of the “quieter acts of disobedience” if the prosecutors choose to treat it seriously: they certainly have the legal tools to do so.

  19. It was my pleasure reading this but it’s also quite discutable because everything is subjective as many philosophers stated. The content and structure is similar to War Robots hack That’s why I consider it interesting.

  20. It was my pleasure reading this but it’s also quite discutable because everything is subjective as many philosophers stated. The content and structure is similar to War Robots hack That’s why I consider it interesting.

  21. It was my pleasure reading this but it’s also quite discutable because everything is subjective as many philosophers stated. The content and structure is similar to War Robots hackThat’s why I consider it interesting.

  22. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.
    –Benjamin Franklin

    Complaining about a problem, without posing a solution, is whining.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    If you have no solutionss, you’re just fomenting hysteria, pandering to the anti-government faction that destroyed our movement … such that Cato reports the libertarian label is rejected by 91% of libertarians — who are over 60% of all Americans.

    Most Americans are libertarian, but we don’t know THEM.them.

    Salesmanship 101
    “You’re not there to prove your prospect wrong. You’re there to agree with your prospect, and to show how your product or service will best provide what he or she already wants.

    THIS SHOULD NOT BE ROCKET SCIENCE

    Q. What do our prospects want?
    A. Voters want about 90% of what government provides

    Q. How much intelligence does it take to know what we must do.
    A. Show them a better way to do what they want done!

    Q. What if we ran millions of TV ads, saying how evil government is? Nothing else
    A. We’d be rejected by 91% of the voters who share our values

    Q. What can we promote, now to do anything better?
    A. ……..….
    Q. Health care? Entitlements? Taxes? Economy and jobs? Anything?
    A We’ve proposed Medicare vouchers, to increase competition, but in the wrong market. Insurance is not health care.

    Q. Do you know that seniors always had competition and choice in the provider market?
    A. REALLY? We could give them “skin in the game,” and pay them a percentage of what they save by shopping around.

    Q. Okay, you got it. Now the toughie. What if we kept saying how horrible government is … but we could show no way to do any of it better?
    A. They think we were … ummn, what’s the word? ….. authoritarian.
    Q. Why?
    A. Jefferson said it best. Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.

    Q. Are you beginning to see it?
    A. I think so. We’ve been, in effect, telling Americans that WE will decide what government will do.

    Q. What if we say government should NOT do … healthcare, or anything, because we say so..
    A With no replacement? That’s crazy.

    Q. We don’t need no steeenking replacement, GOVERNMENT IS EVIL..
    A. They’d likely conclude we’re just whining pussies .

    Complaining about a problem, without posing a solution, is whining.
    -Theodore Roosevelt

    “Libertarians often use the same non-violent strategy as Marxists, because it’s there. But no libertarian revolution can succeed without a strategy more appropriate to its goals”
    -Jerome Tucille (40+ years ago from memory)

    He nailed it, but nobody was listening. Still aren’t And the clock is ticking.

    Only taxpayers can ever drain the swamp.
    UNdelegating powers is both Jeffersonian and Randian

  23. The OP used more words than necessary. The entire content of Tuccille’s argument, in 5 words: Individualism trumps government, every time.

    Many libertarians believe that. I do not. I think people have a natural right to collective self-government. Unless you expect to rely on god to vindicate your natural rights, a natural right must be one which you have the power to enforce yourself, or can enforce collectively, with the help of others. Hence, government decreed and limited by an all-powerful popular sovereign is the only effectual vindicator of natural rights yet discovered.

    As a practical matter, and as a matter of experience, you can trace all other rights back to that right of self-government. Repeated denial of that, in the face of repeated experience to the contrary, is what makes libertarianism foolish, utopian, and futile.

    If you are a libertarian, and do not like what I suggest, see if you can rebut it without denying that definition of a natural right. If you deny that definition, please explain what power can vindicate a natural right created under your own definition.

    1. The OP used more words than necessary. The entire content of Tuccille’s argument, in 5 words: Individualism trumps government, every time,

      Will of the people.
      The only wasy you can “trump” government is to change it or leave.

      see if you can rebut it without denying that definition of a natural law

      Will of the people.

      If you deny that definition, please explain what power can vindicate a natural right created under your own definition.

      Will of the people!.

      Anything else?

      P.S. You have NO FRIKKING RIGHT– natural or otherwise — to dictate 150 million people.

      Everything else looks like Alex Jones.

    2. “[N]atural right to collective self-government” only for as long as you “keep and bear arms.”

      1. Yes, WJack, force is the principle underlying sovereignty, and the test of it. But note that without a sovereign power to constrain government on behalf of any right—including the right to bear arms—the government itself potentially becomes the enemy of your rights. And from the point of view of a person claiming any individual right, an imposing enemy indeed. Do you suppose that without a sovereign’s oversight of government on behalf of your rights, you could vindicate your right to keep and bear arms by yourself?

        1. With a comparative handful of “Americans.”

          1. What you propose, WJack, is adoption on your own behalf of the system I described. You are not disagreeing at all. You are no libertarian. They always disagree, because they hate the notion of sovereignty.

            Unlike a libertarian, you are simply suggesting that you contest the sovereignty of We the People, and replace it by force with the sovereignty of the Handful. If you succeed, the Handful can decree a government at pleasure, and have that government do whatever the Handful pleases. If they can’t make government do that, then they have failed—with one of three possible outcomes for sovereignty:

            1. We the People remain sovereign.

            2. An interval of contested sovereignty—of unknowable duration, and unpredictable outcome—ensues.

            3. You have destroyed the sovereignty of We the People, but failed to replace it with anything, and anarchy ensues—and lasts until some would-be sovereign arrives which is powerful enough to prevail by force, and at pleasure impose government which that sovereign prefers.

            What fate may lie in store for the Handful is unpredictable in any of those scenarios.

            1. Got it backwards . . . the govt. should always be at the mercy of an armed citizenry. The people who do not understand that arms are the foundation of The Bill of Rights (and many who do) present the greatest danger to freedom.

              1. WJack, you have not been paying attention, either before this thread, or while reading my comments. Sovereignty is precisely the notion that government should always be at the mercy of some greater power, capable of wielding unconstrained force to compel government to do what the sovereign prefers.

                Given that you seem to understand that, but murkily and in confusion, you ought to be able to follow that the notion of natural rights—however vaporously or metaphysically imagined—is actually founded only in the force of the sovereign. You get your rights because the sovereign wills it so. That being the case, and unavoidable, it is better to be the sovereign than otherwise. Happily, in the U.S. system, popular sovereignty enables that.

                None of this would have been challenging for an educated American during the founding era. These were America’s founding ideas, and then very much in the political mainstream. Only because these ideas succeeded so well, and became almost a world-wide default among democracies, has it become possible to raise up successive generations whose political insight did not need to take them into account, as fish are said to be deprived of the notion of water, because of its ubiquity.

                1. “You get your rights because the sovereign wills it so. That being the case, and unavoidable, it is better to be the sovereign than otherwise. Happily, in the U.S. system, popular sovereignty enables that.

                  “None of this would have been challenging for an educated American during the founding era.”

                  The Declaration of Independence did mention a sovereign, namely God, and *then* mentioned governments deriving their *just* powers from the consent of the governed. The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God were said to be the source of rights.

                  1. The people of the U. S. are the *secular* sovereign, but their sovereignty is constrained by the aforementioned laws of Nature and Nature’s God.

                    Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln had some debates about this.

                    1. Eddy, like many others, you misquote the Declaration to make it fit your ideology. It did not say the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” were the source of rights. The Declaration said those laws “entitled,” “a people” to a separate and equal station “among the powers of the earth.”

                      Four specific rights are mentioned in the Declaration, of which 3 were mentioned as endowments from “their Creator.” Those 3 were, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” among others not specified. Those three may seem the vague generalizations you take them for, but they were never meant as encompassing terms within which to fit every constraint on government a libertarian chooses to suppose.

                      The meaning of, “Life,” is self-evident. The meaning of, “Liberty,” as confirmed by repeated use elsewhere among the founding documents, is collective self-government.

                      The meaning of “Happiness,” is explained immediately afterward in the Declaration. In the context of the Declaration, “Happiness” is more akin to a power than to a right. “Happiness,” in the Declaration, is the power, when choosing forms of government, to do so at pleasure, without constraint. Carefully re-reading the Declaration may help you confirm this meaning.

                      And that brings us to the fourth right, the one right the Declaration is actually about, “the Right of the People to alter or to abolish, “any Form of Government . . . and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

                      In that fourth right you discover the error of reading the Declaration as an assertion of rights according to the meaning “rights” normally intends among libertarians—as constraints on government. What is asserted in that fourth right is the opposite of constraint. It is instead expansion without limit of power to establish government. It is the sovereign power. What else would you expect from a group of revolutionaries intent on seizing power and establishing new government?

                      If you can bring yourself to read the Declaration as the purposeful document the founders intended it to be—not as a limitation on government, but as an assertion of unlimited power to establish new government—then you will be better prepared to turn instead to the Constitution as the appropriate source—in the Bill of Rights and elsewhere—to find the founders’ stated limitations on government.

                    2. Semantics. I
                      like that government is unlimited … which I’d never heard … but not in the way you seem to say.

                      Government’s power is unlimited == like a delegation of authority.
                      BUT LIMITED ON WHERE THEY MAY EXERCISE THAT POWER,
                      Delegation of authority, in a business, does not also include ownership of that business.

                    3. Nolan, the sovereign power is unlimited. The government is not the sovereign. In the U.S. system, government power is limited, by the sovereign, which is We the People.

                    4. Deflection. And wrong.

                      If you can bring yourself to read the Declaration as the purposeful document the founders intended it to be—not as a limitation on government

                      If you can bring yourself to read the Declaration as the purposeful document the founders intended it to be limited!

                      Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed

                      Boldface is the limitation.
                      This is important because the Founders (a later version) violated that limitation … which REALLY pissed off Jefferson … in France at the time … who stated his objections in a lengthy letter to Madison …. GREATLY fleshing out and defending “consent of the governed” … to show the LIMITATION would be violated … which Madison ignored.

                      Think it through …
                      Thus, by violating “consent of the governed,” the government’s powers are now UNjust … per the document YOU snarked about.

                      Anything else?

        2. Will of the people.

      2. “keep and bear arms.”

        Keeping and bearing arms can get you into a lot of trouble unless you are prepared to use them. If you are not interested in or comfortable with discharging firearms, best not keep them or bear them. You’ll be safer that way.

        1. Not a problem.

    3. Chicken or egg? Dipshit goes with chicken. Fuck off, statist hack.

      1. All that philosophy stuff confuses me. It really doesn’t matter because you don’t need a theory to understand the idea of personal autonomy and limited government.

        I’ll have both. I like my chicken fried and my egg sunny side up. And some waffles to go with it.

        As a libertarian I fully accept the risks and responsibility associated with the cholesterol content and undercooked eggs.

        1. 🙂

    4. This is a long and complicated way to say a very simple thing:

      Rights flow from the barrel of a gun.

      Whether we’re talking individual “rights” or government-granted “rights”, it all comes back to the gun.

      And naturally, that means that the bigger gun grants more rights. And for better or worse, the biggest gun is the one we hold together.

      1. Scary?

        Rights flow from the barrel of a gun.

        Rights are what a body of people agree to defend for each other.
        Liberty is a mutual benefit society, not a members only country club.

        Whether we’re talking individual “rights” or government-granted “rights”, it all comes back to the gun.

        To authoritarians.

        And naturally, that means that the bigger gun grants more rights. And for better or worse, the biggest gun is the one we hold together.

        Since fewer than 5% of the population support a military overthrow, to establish a dictatorship (of your choosing) … thank GOD that will never happen.

  24. Ok it is funny actually. How ridiculous government can get. We have a lot of walkers and dog walkers in our quiet little neighborhood which is an HOA.

    Very little traffic here and no sidewalks.

    Got this in an email today from the busybody president of the HOA.

    (ORC) 4511.50C Pedestrian walking in roadway: “Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway, and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.”

    Along with a not so veiled threat about “enforcement”.

    I discussed the matter with the dog who seemed rather puzzled concerning the concept of “left”.

    1. Is your HOA government?

      1. The city courts can enforce HOA rules. It is a legal entity.

        Or they can sue in some cases

        For walking on the wrong side of the street as in this memo they would probably just call the cops. There is that statute in the state law I posted about which side of the street you can walk on. Not that the cops would do anything.

        This winter they called the cops because we had like a foot of snow plowed on the wrong side of the street. I got a note from the police in my mailbox about it that I should call the officer. I didn’t and nothing happened.

        The HOA functions as a mini government. There are elections, a board, an annual general meeting, a budget, mandatory dues, all that.

        It was fine when we got here but different people now. We will probably move in a couple years anyway.

        1. <

          Is your HOA government?

          The city courts can enforce HOA rules. It is a legal entity.

          You admit your original error, which was self-evident. Now you attack right of contract!!
          And …

          The HOA functions as a mini government. There are elections, a board, an annual general meeting, a budget, mandatory dues, all that.

          So do Kiwanis, Rotary and my daughter’s garden club .. and you don’t know the difference?.

          There is ONE relevant issue you deny by implication, and ignore.

          Does your HOA agreement grant the “busybody” (lol) President the authority to issue that rule?.

          1) If not, your recourse is the the governing board FIRST, and THEN the courts (for breech of contract)

          2) If so then YOU would be in breech of contract.

          This part is similar to government: If you REFUSE to
          a) honor an HOA agreement you made, voluntarily
          b) honor the consent of the governed
          Your ONLY moral option is …. leave

          Anything else would be blatantly authoritarian.
          Which is why I asked,

          1. We are planning to leave in a couple years actually.

          2. He is not issuing the rule. Perhaps I was unclear. He is threatening to call the cops to enforce silly laws that should not exist.

            It is just another example of what happens when the state or local government have laws about every tiny aspect of our lives.

            1. And you really so pissed that you are “forced” to walk … IF on the actual roadway … facing traffic?

              Are you really unaware of all the “right-of-way” laws, which this is?

              … any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles, trackless trolleys, or streetcars upon the roadway.

              I concede that you have a constitutional right to be a reckless … by walking on the actual roadway … with your back to the traffic … despite the teaching of every parent in America for the past 75 years or so. How “silly” is that to make an issue out of?
              That’s your opinion. You have no right to a say in the matter
              Get a life, Dude

      2. So basically this schmuck is using his semi official status as HOA president to enforce a legal statute that should not exist.

        Oh and also which side to ride a bicycle on and a dog poop law.

        1. Evasion. Is it within his contractual authority?
          Is his NOT the function you agreed to, and contracted to agree?

          Are you really so enraged that … if your walking on the actual roadway … you are “forced” to walk facing traffic

          I understand your dog not knowing that “left” here means facing traffic.

          Oh and also which side to ride a bicycle on

          I’ll assume that, to, is facing traffic, the norm for over 50 years.

          dog poop law.

          May I assume that, like every instance I know of, you may not leave the poop om someone else’s property. Also the norm for well over 50 years. Property rights.

          If your so enraged by the laws, are you planning to influence will of the people.

  25. Stop Treating Government With Respect

    That’s why people elect non-respectable people. You know, like Trump.

    It’s the Reason staff and the elitists at Cato who clutch their pearls when people start disrespecting government.

    1. Cato does not do that, from what I’ve seen. They defend the right of people to form governments, which only authoritarians would deny.

      1. Cato does not do that, from what I’ve seen. They defend the right of people to form governments, which only authoritarians would deny.

        You got it backwards: only authoritarians believe that “the people” have a right to form governments as they see fit.

        Libertarians understand that the right of the people to form governments is extremely limited.

        1. Thanks for proving YOU are the problem … the authoritarian.
          And you showed it in public!. (Nolan slowly orgasms in joy, having baited what he wanted).

          You got it backwards: only authoritarians believe that “the people” have a right to form governments as they see fit.

          YOU deny free individuals the right to form voluntary associations. By what right do YOU shall define and dictate how WE may be allowed to live
          (The response, if any, will be OBVIOUSLY lame!)

          Libertarians understand that the right of the people to form governments is extremely limited.

          What does it say, when you are VASTLY more extreme than even Ayn Rand?
          (The response is always, “Ayn Rand was an idiot.” Guess why? 🙂

          THANK YOU! I’ll be linking to this exchange … to prove my point!

          1. YOU deny free individuals the right to form voluntary associations.

            You can form free associations all you like. But the explicit purpose of most forms of government (including democratic government) is aggression against people who are not part of government, and never even voluntarily agreed to being governed.

            I certainly do deny people the right to form associations for the purpose of committing aggression against me. To a libertarian, the right of people to form governments is limited by their obligation not to commit aggression against others.

            The fact that you think that’s OK makes you the authoritarian, not me.

            (Nolan slowly orgasms in joy, having baited what he wanted).

            Given your medical history, I trust that is merely metaphor. In any case, I’m glad I could bring some joy to your sorry existence.

            1. You can form free associations all you like. But the explicit purpose of most forms of government (including democratic government) is aggression against people who are not part of government, and never even voluntarily agreed to being governed.

              The aggression part is a fallacy, and a deflection. And demanding that YOU have to consent is AUTHORITARIAN!!.
              .

              I certainly do deny people the right to form associations for the purpose of committing aggression against me.

              BY WHAT RIGHT? AND you retain the freedom to LEAVE — just like a garden club.
              .

              To a libertarian, the right of people to form governments is limited by their obligation not to commit aggression against others.

              You’re veering WAY off topic. Only the anti-government libertarians spew that stuff.
              I’ve probabkly been libertariain longer than you’be been alive.

              REAL libertarians say …Are you a prisoner here, against your will?
              THAT determines if it’s voluntary. Period.

              You authoritarian DEMAND the right to MOOCH off the wealth and security created and maintained by people you WHINE <ihad no right to create what YOU insist on mooching off!!
              Isn’t that precious
              !

              (I’ve been libertarian, probably longer than you’ve been alive. And never a victim of manipulation. ALWAYS QUESTION. 
              NEVER SUBMIT)

              The fact that you think that’s OK makes you the authoritarian, not me.

              Says the guy BRAINWASHED to believe HE can overrule hundreds of millions.

              Given your medical history,

              THAT IS AGGRESSION!!! (sigh)

              Too extreme for even Ayn Rand! Another sad victim.

              Anything else?

              (You forgot the moocher’s slogan: all taxation is theft.)

              1. This is the massive contradiction

                You can form free associations all you like.

                Then a retraction Same paragraph

                and never even voluntarily agreed to being governed

                On what basis — in morality or logic — do you assert the consent must be unanimous?

                On what basis do you assert that you alone can overrule over 150 million Americans? And NOT be authoritarian.

                By what evidence do you assert that the colonists and founders fought and died to create this nation … for the purpose of committing aggression …. UPON WHO?

                Do you accept responsibility for the consequences of your actions … that the libertarian label is rejected by 91% of libertarians (who are over 60% of Americans)? (Per Cato)

                How do you justify telling over 60% of all Americans that they have NO right to this country …unless your 3% (or less) allows them to, and agrees to every word of its Constitution? (Which is a major reason WHY even libertarians reject the entire movement — of which your tribe is a small minority?)

                How do you define “tyranny?”

  26. “Stop Treating Government With Respect
    It’s become nothing but a weapon fought over by people who want to smash each other—and you.”

    Now do Corporations.

    1. Long ago. Catch up.

  27. Is that a question? Corporations can smash people but only if they have the government’s assistance.

    1. If you’re a heresy hunter, then why post so massive a heresy here? Denying a self-evident truth?

  28. Stop Treating Government With Respect
    But if you’re talking about direct attacks on the police, or against government-sponsored enterprises, in the context of 21st century America, then I don’t see it ending in anything except successful repression.

    1. That would be self-defense (from the “attacks”)
      Or they would not be attacks!

  29. I think quiet civil disobedience is probably indeed the best way to go.

    I recently did so and it’s empowering. In short, the government in Quebec passed some daycare law adding still more regulations and red tape. Nestled neatly in the law is the requirement all private day care enlist on a website service ‘to help parents find a daycare’ that most don’t need – I certainly don’t. I don’t even advertise.

    It’s bad enough they force me onto a site without my consent. But that’s not the worst part. One day, minding my business working, I get an email with an attachment. Lo and behold it’s a bill telling me I owe the site $356 – no wait, that’s unfair. They gave me a discount – that I didn’t earn – and owed them $175.

    It was like a bizarro moment. When I collected my thoughts I realized the government gave some person and their website a contract with a captive market forced by the state.

    Naturally, I smelled a rat. So I called around trying to find out how the Minister could allow for such naked cronyism and corruption as well as wanting to know exactly who owned this website that was looking to make money off my back. NO ONE COULD ANSWER ME.

    The utter lack of transparency was shocking but not surprising for Quebec.

    In any event, I basically went ‘fuck you I’m not paying. You can’t answer simple questions (like who exactly is enforcing this law? Revenue Quebec? The police?), then you’re criminals as far as I’m concerned.’ The kicker? The EXEMPTED SUBSIDIZED DAYCARES from paying it. So, in effect, we had to pay for a service we don’t want or need AND pay for the subsidized daycares who have owners who drive around in Ferraris. How’s that for ‘social justice’ lefties?

    I ignored all threatening emails. They even sent registered letters to some private daycares who were doing the same. Finally, I just got an email saying they’re ‘ceasing our contract’. What contract? I was forced into by a stupid ass law that tried to pass a fast one on legitimate businesses.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the fuckers up their game and DO manage to get some agency to enforce the law on us but for now, I didn’t pay a damn cent and it feels good to tell them to eat it.

    1. Good to read, Rufus, that you withheld obedience to Gov words!
      State Enforcers are the ones who make legislation/mandates/regulations/etc – all words – more than ignorable. For the time being at least, no QuebecEnforcers are being sent out to do that job.
      Making the job of LawEnforcement VERY unpopular is a superior form of civil “disrespect”! Do NOT voluntarily associate w/ (Negative Social Preference) StateEnforcers, domestic & military, & encourage others to do the same. When few are willing to be StateEnforcers bc others will not associate/befriend them, the State will begin to wither away.
      This article relates how US State Enforcement agencies (at Fed & local levels) are already seeing declining enlistments. MUCH more decline is needed & can be relatively easily done by widespread Negative Social Preferencing those who refuse to quit & Positively Social Preferencing those who have & those who refuse to become StateEnforcers. The power is in the actions of the vast numbers of everyday people – to voluntarily associating or not w/ those others based on their actions/plans to do harm or not.

  30. From a citizens perspective, let me agree and summarize the article into the 5 word message both the article and the Constitution give: “Leave me the fuck alone”

    1. Or “get he Hell out of my way”. (Atlas Shrugged)

  31. I am making a good salary online from home.I­’­v­e m­a­d­e $­97,­999 s­o f­o­r last 5 months w­or­k­i­n­g on­l­i­n­e a­n­d I­’­m a f­u­l­l t­i­m­e s­t­u­d­e­n­t­. I­’­m u­s­i­n­g a­n on­l­i­n­e b­u­s­i­n­e­s­s o­p­p­o­r­t­u­n­i­t­y I h­e­a­r­d a­b­o­u­t a­n­d I­’­v­e m­a­d­e s­u­c­h g­r­e­a­t m­o­n­e­y­.I am genuinely thankful to and my administrator, I­t­’s’ r­e­a­l­l­y u­s­e­r f­r­i­e­n­d­l­y a­n­d I­’­m j­u­s­t s­o h­a­p­p­y t­h­a­t I f­o­u­n­d o­u­t a­b­o­u­t i­t , …… http://www.Employment10.com

  32. Whoa, someone is gonna get hurt. But good article.

    1. Not necessary & even undesirable to initiate physical force to “Stop Treating Government With Respect” & wither away Gov/State. See earlier response: https://reason.com/2019/06/15/stop-treating-government-with-respect/#comment-7821339

      1. “Stop Treating Government With Respect” & wither away Gov/State.

        How would that cause the state to wither away? How would that influence and change the Will of the People, which, if anything could, would likely take over a hundred years,

  33. “There’s evidence that something as simple as shaming and social ostracism can effectively sap government agencies of energy, recruits, and resources.”

    Not when they pay those sweet pensions, there isn’t.

  34. I am making a good salary online from home.I­’­v­e m­a­d­e $­97,­999 s­o f­o­r last 5 months w­or­k­i­n­g on­l­i­n­e a­n­d I­’­m a f­u­l­l t­i­m­e s­t­u­d­e­n­t­. I­’­m u­s­i­n­g a­n on­l­i­n­e b­u­s­i­n­e­s­s o­p­p­o­r­t­u­n­i­t­y I h­e­a­r­d a­b­o­u­t a­n­d I­’­v­e m­a­d­e s­u­c­h g­r­e­a­t m­o­n­e­y­.I am genuinely thankful to and my administrator, I­t­’s’ r­e­a­l­l­y u­s­e­r f­r­i­e­n­d­l­y a­n­d I­’­m j­u­s­t s­o h­a­p­p­y t­h­a­t I f­o­u­n­d o­u­t a­b­o­u­t i­t , …… payhd.com

  35. […] Stop Treating Government With Respect, by J.D. Tuccille […]

  36. […] Stop Treating Government With Respect, by J.D. Tuccille […]

  37. […] Source: Stop Treating Government With Respect – Reason.com […]

  38. Frederic Bastiat summed it up in only one sentence:

    “The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.”

    1. So, who are you mooching off?
      And how can “fiction” have tens of thousands of buildings, millions of people, build roads and bridges, care for natural parks ….

  39. Seems to me, it’s smart to respect government officials. On the other hand, what doesn’t deserve any respect, are advocates for more government who want to use government to do things other than protect us from others who harm us. We should start our conversation with them, by stating that their proposals harm people first and since their program adds to the harm before it even starts, it shouldn’t even be considered. They of course will say that people benefit from their program (which some do) and we should do a cost benefit analysis, which should be countered with the fact that people in a free market can then choose to pay for the benefit it’s so good, so we don’t need to bring government harm to the party.

    That’s what doesn’t deserve respect. People are better off respecting government officials, not proposals for more government that doesn’t do government’s job of protecting us from others who harm us (that harm is why governments exist, not other problems of being human like health care and retirement income).

    1. So … respect means you rejecting Consent of the Governed and Will of the People.

      And you (so far) have expressed nothing to influence “the people” toward your (unsupported) opinion.

  40. So … respect means you rejecting Consent of the Governed

    The vast majority of citizens in democratic nations never “consented” to anything; they were born into their current condition and have no ability to get out of it.

    and Will of the People

    Collectivists believe that “the people” have “a will”.

  41. […] Those strictures no longer look so strict. New York state’s blue-tribe government last year repeatedly abused regulatory power in assaults against independent institutions. First, it sought to intimidate financial firms and insurance companies into breaking ties with organizations that advocate self-defense rights. This emulated the Obama administration’s earlier Operation Choke Point scheme by which “powerful bank regulatory agencies engaged in an effort of intimidation and threats to put legal industries they dislike out of business,” according to John Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. New York officials followed up by threatening to declare “truant” any children attending private schools whose curricula didn’t win state approval….Read More […]

  42. In 1939, Hitler’s Nazis (now THERE’S a government for you) faced such public pushback over their euthanasia (old people, the terminally ill) program that they cancelled it.
    Later, when it is claimed the Jews’ turn came, there seemed to be no pushback, leaving us to conclude either: (a) (other) Germans hated, or at least didn’t care about, Jews as much as they cared about the elderly and terminally ill); or (b) the Jews were not in fact being killed.
    You decide, taking into account any Germans you might know.

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