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Free Minds & Free Markets

Frederick Douglass on Capitalism, Slavery, and the 'Arrant Nonsense' of Socialism

Understanding the political philosophy of the abolitionist leader.

Library of CongressLibrary of CongressIn November 1848 a socialist activist gave a speech at the 13th annual meeting of the Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society. "Mr. Ingliss" began his remarks well enough, reported the abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, who was present to give a speech of his own that day, "but strangely enough went on in an effort to show that wages slavery is as bad as chattel slavery."

Douglass soon became infuriated with the socialist speaker. "The attempts to place holding property in the soil—on the same footing as holding property in man, was most lame and impotent," Douglass declared. "And the wonder is that anyone could listen with patience to such arrant nonsense."

Frederick Douglass heard a lot of arrant nonsense from American socialists in those days. That's because most socialists thought the anti-slavery movement had its priorities all wrong. As the left-wing historian Carl Guarneri once put it, most antebellum socialists "were hostile or at least indifferent to the abolitionist appeal because they believed that it diverted attention from the serious problems facing northern workers with the onset of industrial capitalism." The true path to social reform, the socialists said, was the path of anti-capitalism.

But Douglass would have none of that. "To own the soil is no harm in itself," he maintained. "It is right that [man] should own it. It is his duty to possess it—and to possess it in that way in which its energies and properties can be made most useful to the human family—now and always."

Douglass had no patience for socialism because Douglass championed the set of ideas that have come to be known under the label of classical liberalism. He stood for Lockean natural rights, racial equality, and economic liberty in a free labor system. At the very heart of his worldview was the principle of self-ownership. "You are a man, and so am I," Douglass told his old master. "In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living." Referring to his first paying job after his escape from bondage, Douglass wrote: "I was now my own master—a tremendous fact." For Douglass, that tremendous fact of self-ownership necessarily included both the freedom to compete in the economic marketplace and the right to enjoy the fruits of his own labors.

Unsurprisingly, Douglass's individualistic, market-oriented definition of liberty put him at odds with the socialist creed.

The abolitionist-turned-socialist John A. Collins offers a telling contrast. A one-time colleague of both Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, Collins went on a fundraising trip to England on behalf of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in the 1840s and returned home a devotee of the English socialist George Henry Evans. The "right of individual ownership in the soil and its products," Collins declared, are "the great cause of causes, which makes man practically an enemy to his species." Collins came to think that private property was the root of all evil.

He didn't remain much of an abolitionist after that. "At antislavery conventions," the historian John L. Thomas has noted, "Collins took a perfunctory part, scarcely concealing his impatience until the end of the meeting when he could announce that a socialist meeting followed at which the real and vital questions of the day would be discussed."

Perhaps the most significant left-wing attacks on the abolitionists at that time came in the pages of The Phalanx, a journal devoted to spreading the ideas of the French socialist Charles Fourier. "The Abolition Party," The Phalanx complained in an unsigned 1843 editorial, "seems to think that nothing else is false in our social organization, and that slavery is the only social evil to be extirpated." In fact, The Phalanx asserted, the "tyranny of capital" is the real evil to be extirpated because capitalism "reduces [the working class] in time to a condition even worse than that of slaves. Under this system the Hired Laborer is worked to excess, beggared and degraded... The slave at least does not endure these evils, which 'Civilized' society inflicts on its hirelings."

No wonder why Frederick Douglass thought the socialists were speaking arrant nonsense. He knew slavery firsthand, and he had no doubt that free labor was infinitely superior to it.

Ironically, when it came to making arguments against free labor, the socialists and the slaveholders made certain identical claims. For example, the South's leading pro-slavery intellectual, the writer George Fitzhugh, argued that free labor was "worse than slavery" because it simply meant that the capitalists were free to exploit the workers. The idea that "individuals and peoples prosper most when governed least," Fitzhugh wrote, was nothing but a lie: "It has been justly observed that under this system the rich are continually growing richer and the poor poorer." As for the pro-market writings of John Locke and Adam Smith, Fitzhugh sneered that they amounted to "every man for himself, and Devil take the hindmost."

Douglass took a different view. For example, taking a page from Locke's notion of private property emerging from man mixing his labor with the natural world, Douglass pointed to the many labors performed by black Americans as clear evidence that they were entitled to the full spectrum of natural rights. "Is it not astonishing," Douglass declared, "that, while we are plowing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses...[that] we are called upon to prove that we are men!" Douglass's writings and speeches rang out with the very classical liberal tenets that were spurned by both the socialists and the slaveholders.

Today Frederick Douglass is best remembered as a giant of the abolitionist cause. That is as it should be. The destruction of slavery was his life's work, and he deserves to be honored and remembered for it. But as the above history also makes clear, Douglass deserves to be recognized on another front: namely, for being one of the 19th century's most eloquent critics of socialism.

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  • Cyto||

    I could see a very nice ad campaign based on the works of Frederick Douglas sponsored by some PAC designed to bring the libertarian message to the minority community.

    Just period pictures of Douglas with voice-over of his words or narration of his actions. Possibly with a pivot to modern footage of life today.

    Too bad there isn't a couple of billionaire libertarians running around funding grass-roots libertarian organizations.

  • kV||

    Pshaw. Frederick Douglass was a teathuglican Uncle Tom who was so blinded by internalized systemic racism that he didn't even know well enough to support the kinds of policies that were good for him.

    /derp

  • ||

    ^This.

    We have a living modern version of Douglas now and he is just as reviled by the left as Douglas. If you want to see a pinko lose their shit just say the name Sowell.

    Ads featuring Douglas might bring him to the attention of some intellectually honest people unfamiliar with him but those are already disposed toward liberty. It isnt going to win over any converts.

  • Adans smith||

    How about Walter Williams? Just send his articles to any prog and their head will melt.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Would God that were true. Sadly, exposing a prog to Williams does the prog no permanent damage whatsoever.

  • greasonable||

    It will trip a number of breakers, though

  • Hank Phillips||

    In mystical countries where SUGGESTING that women have reproductive rights will get you lynched, stoned or impeached, liberal-libertarians bring up Sowell, Walter, Hayek, Bastiat, Rothbard, the German-sounding guy with the Hitler mustache, Milton Friedman, and recently Spooner. They are terrified to bring up Ayn Rand, hence terrified to question whether altruism justifies robbing and killing people. Most of South America remains in the Dark Ages, ruled from a Byzantine walled fortress in Rome.
    Mussolini, on the other hand, is real popular. Look at Venezuela! And bolivariano looters call themselves [get this!] libertarios.

  • ||

    I have a good friend I met years ago at a job I was working at. He is a big black guy who happens to be very right wing and very cheap.

    One time we brought my friend in to work at a start up I was at as a salesman. One day after work, he and a super leftist developer got into it about taxes for schools. It was so much fun to watch as the poor little lefty tried to get his head wrapped around the fact that a black guy was a GOP-er who didn't want to soak people for more money.

    The lefty never quite blurted out the phrase "But you are black! How can you think that?" but he was close a few times. He really just didn't know how to argue with a black guy who wasn't also a Dem. After all if you can't go to the "You are a racist if you don't agree with me" argument, what else are you left with?

  • GILMORE™||

    if you can't go to the "You are a racist if you don't agree with me" argument, what else are you left with?

    In my memory, the typical tactic is to sic a bunch of popular black celebrities on the non-conforming figure and have them all accuse and mock the person of 'not really being black'. Or just belittle them so that no one will dare take them seriously.

  • ||

    At a certain level, I agree.

    But we were too low on the totem pole to rate a visit by Prince and Kirby Puckett. Although we would have loved to meet them.

    At that gig the closest we came to a visit by the Minnesoda Black Elite was running into Carl Eller in the building elevator (he was there working with a designer on a restaurant he was trying to start). For an old man Carl was still an imposing guy. Especially with the horrible toupee he used to wear.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    He really just didn't know how to argue with a black guy who wasn't also a Dem. After all if you can't go to the "You are a racist if you don't agree with me" argument, what else are you left with?

    Easy: "You are a racist if you don't agree with me. The fact that you are black yourself doesn't change that: you have simply internalized the racism of white society. Therefore, you have actually been victimized twice!"

    Believe me, I have heard arguments like this again and again.

  • DEG||

    That will depend on how Douglass is used. If he's used to further Progressive goals , then he's awesome and speaks the truth.

    I've seen Progressives use Douglass's "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" to further their goals while ignoring passages like:

    But, your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers.

  • Lord at War||

    So you fucking losers are actually going to waste ANOTHER day on this website.

    How much more time are you going to waste in a place you don't like?

    Loser is as loser does...

  • Zeb||

    You bet.

  • JaimeRoberto||

    You'd have to get Morgan Freeman to do the voice over, but I don't know if he swings that way.

  • kevrob||

    Maybe Wesley Snipes? He had his troubles with the IRS.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Morgan Freeman has been pretty critical of the use of race in politics, and seems to prefer a race-blind society. On the other hand, he supported Obama and did the voice over for the introduction to the 2016 DNC. I think overall, he might be sympathetic to Douglass's message.

  • Agent Cooper||

    We could all start by buying this sweet shirt.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Collins came to think that private property was the root of all evil.

    Dibs on his stuff.

    Socialists didn't oppose slavery, they just opposed anyone but the state owning them.

  • Adans smith||

    You spelled don't wrong .

  • ||

    "Dibs on his stuff"

    He never said he was giving up his stuff.

    You are forgetting the golden rule of socialism:

    " What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine."

  • SoCal Deathmarch||

    Socialism is for the people not the Socialists. Someone should ask the richest person in Venezuela, Chavez's daughter, how she plans to share all of her wealth with the people?

  • ThomasD||

    I'd settle for somebody asking a similar question of Chelsea Clinton, or the Obama girls.

    But there is a better chance Chavez's cronies get held to account before any of our nomenklatura face difficult questions from the fourth estate..

  • DEG||

    Wasn't there a socialist who tried to draw a distinction between possessions and property? Possessions are OK, property is not?

  • Chipper-Shredder 2016||

    Well, if your wealth is only used for consumption it isn't technically capital.

  • Agammamon||

    During Occupy the Daily Show sent John Oliver out to interview some of the people - Oliver can be really good at these spot interviews, though for some reason he drinks the kool-aid before he sits behind the desk - and one of them is a guy talking about the difference between 'private' and 'personal' property and how we should abolish the former.

    'Private' property is capital - not the G-ride, but the machines that are making them. 'Personal' property is just the stuff you own. Except the care can and often *is* used as capital. How many of us would have had to take a lower paying job (signifying lower productivity) if we didn't have a private vehicle? A cell phone, a computer, etc?

    Oliver asked him to give up his iPad, for the greater good, which the guy refused to claiming the iPad was 'personal' property - except that he uses it for work, which would make it, according to the man's own definition, 'private' property as its part of his working capitol - and if its not, it could be for someone else.

  • AlmightyJB||

  • ||

    The discovery of the genes that determine human facial shape could provide valuable information about a person's appearance using just DNA left behind at the scene of a crime.

    They are based on a DNA analysis of 20 facial characteristics measured from 3D images of 3,118 healthy volunteers of European ancestry and almost a million mutations, or SNPs (single base pair) variations.

    So how will they catch criminals if they didn't analyze any DNA from African volunteers?

    /Alt-Right Racist Snark

  • Adans smith||

    A very good article. Morning all.

  • Tundra||

    Good morning.

    Yes, a tremendous piece. Thanks, Damon.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    Damon is one of the top writers here, and this article is a shining example of why.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    I look forward to articles from Damon, Lenore, Slade, ENB, and a few other contributors, but they seem to be fewer and farther between these days.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Especially on weekends.

    Really, Reason, is it so hard to publish two or three articles per day on the weekends, so we don't end up with 800-comment threads impossible to sort through? How about some of those articles you post weekdays at 4:31, which everyone misses while they're in deep with the PM Links -- post some of those articles on weekend afternoons, and everyone will give them the read they deserve, and likely they'll start great debates and comments.

    Seriously, do you want a website with lots of activity, or would you prefer to go dark after Friday?

  • Slammer||

    This. I actually read the articles on the weekends. Because I'm not working.

  • ||

    I don't appreciate those 4:32 pm articles either.

  • ||

    You guys are crazy. Not one reference to any of the following:

    Trump
    Abortion
    Pizza
    Circumcision
    Persecution of Gawker
    Preet Bharara

    100 comments at most

  • ||

    How will SF be able to do that if you keep using up all the comment ink?

  • ||

    "That's because most socialists thought the anti-slavery movement had its priorities all wrong. As the left-wing historian Carl Guarneri once put it, most antebellum socialists "were hostile or at least indifferent to the abolitionist appeal because they believed that it diverted attention from the serious problems facing northern workers with the onset of industrial capitalism." The true path to social reform, the socialists said, was the path of anti-capitalism."

    This horseshit has been going on for 150 years. Remember the BLM people who were outraged about terrorist acts in which scores of people died because those events detracted attention to their cause? Same crowd, same shit.

    Owning the soil is evil, but owning men is not? They don't have that much of a problem with chains because they have no belief in self-ownership. The social contract is just another chain.

    "If you have a small business, you didn't build that, someone else made that happen."

    It's fucking disgusting.

  • Adans smith||

    And they never think,'where are we going to get all the money for our plans with out people producing goods for sale and hiring workers to tax' .It's the chicken without out the egg.

  • ||

    Dude...it's a pie. You just slice it up and distribute it more fairly.

    Now stop fuckin' around on these boards and pay your fair share.

  • Adans smith||

    I spent my 'fair share' on Newcastle ale today.

  • Trigger Hippie||

    I tried my first Zip Nut Brown Ale yesterday. Far superior to Newcastle. Give it a whirl sometime.

  • RBS||

    " a condition even worse than that of slaves. Under this system the Hired Laborer is worked to excess, beggared and degraded... The slave at least does not endure these evils, which 'Civilized' society inflicts on its hirelings."

    Wow.

  • ||

    The idea that "individuals and peoples prosper most when governed least," Fitzhugh wrote, was nothing but a lie: "It has been justly observed that under this system the rich are continually growing richer and the poor poorer."

    The latter quote referred to free trade, not limitation of government in any other sense.

  • ||

    I have been hearing the 'rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer' all my life.
    Yet, when I look back at how poor the poor were 30 years ago vs. how poor they live today it is astounding. The poor today would have been considered middle class back then.

    They have been cranking out the same tired arguments for over a century, arguments that are demonstrably false and yet they just cant let it go and people keep falling for it. The power of envy and resentment are very powerful.

  • ||

    There's a lot in that book that's indistinguishable from a Bernie Sanders speech.

  • Adans smith||

    The poor live a hell of a lot better that I i did as a child. No cell phone,cable,A\C,not even a floor fan in the summer., food choices were limited.To this day I hate canned veggies ,pancakes and eggs. My mother used a ringer washer till I was about 5 and hung clothes on a line. I think I just went full Monty Python.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    No cell phone,cable,A\C,not even a floor fan in the summer.

    Like Robinson Cuh-ru-so, it's primitive as can be! Primitive as can be!

    Wait, that didn't rhyme...

  • Trigger Hippie||

    Luxury.

    25 of us used to live in a shoebox in the middle of the street. ;)

  • Agammamon||

    A shoebox, huh. We would have loooved to have had a shoebox.

    We used to just wrap ourselves with the paper from the shoebox and hoped no one would run over us whilst we slept.

  • BigT||

    I walked uphill in the snow to school and uphill back home!

    Actually true. In the morning we caught the bus at the more elevated end of our street, and in the afternoon were dropped at the other end. The hill was not very high, maybe 20 feet. The street was 1.5 mi long, however and I was only 6.

  • Azathoth!!||

    you had shoe paper? up on the street?

    we had to nestle in the muck below the pavement, wrapped in blankets compressed from our own dead skin cells, and we had to steal air from the lungs of earthworms if we wanted to breathe while we slept.

  • ||

    "I think I just went full Monty Python."

    Hey, you started it!

    Same here except when the milk cow died it was powdered milk from there on out. True story. To this day I cant stand the thought of drinking that shit.

  • Adans smith||

    Although,I could play outside till dark,with bb and toy guns,ride my bike over a mile to the pool,baseball park and basket ball courtshiked all over the woods behind the house and my parents were never arrested. Even used a lawn mower to cut grass in the neighborhood starting at about 10.

  • Agammamon||

    Its one of those strange things.

    It was probably better (in general) to be a kid in the 60/70/80's - I think its definitely better to be an adult *now*.

  • kinnath||

    you had a house?!?!

  • ||

    Anybody who's been alive lenger than ten years ought to be able to see plain as the nose on the back of his hand that the poor ain't getting poorer, unless he's somehow lived without never having no contact with the poor folk of his neighbourhood. To me, it's astounding how much more easy is life for the most impoverished now compared to when I was growing up. Heck, when I was growing up, it was entirely possible through no fault of one's own, through a trick of the tail, to lose everything and find oneself impoverished and struggling to find a place to sleep where somebody wouldn't bug you. I don't see that at all any more. And there's certainly no excuse for anybody going hungry in the West, and every time somebody points out a case of it to me, it invariably can be reduced to indefatigable stupidity and nothing else.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    invariably can be reduced to indefatigable stupidity

    Or extreme, untreated mental illness.

    I used to talk with the homeless folks as I walked to work at my old job. There were 2 types. The people who had a tenuous grasp on reality, and the people who just got out of prison and hadn't found a job yet. The prison folks were a continuously changing cast as they either got picked back up for a crime or found a job. The mentally ill folks were the ones you saw day in and day out.

  • ||

    Yes, there has been a degeneration of culture causing many people to destroy themselves in spite of the ocean of wealth we live in. That is the chief source of misery these days.

  • Libertarian||

    I don't have the imagination that it would take to see how much better off everyone would be if our annual economic growth for the last 50 years, with lower taxes and regulation, was a couple percentage points higher than it was.

    http://cafehayek.com/2016/02/40405.html

  • SIV||

    GayJay on Fox News right now "defending" his horrible policy proposals with "you're not electing me dictator".

    That's right, GOP governor, we're not even electing you dog catcher.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Thanks for the update!

  • ||

    It's a good thing that you're not totally obsessive. Because that would be extra creepy.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    SIV's GJ obsession has taken up so much of his time that his "fashion" blog has not been updated since May, so at least there's that.

  • ||

    Your ability to spot the silver lining is unparalleled.

  • ||

    That accurately describes jesse.in.mb and Scott Shackford.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Why would he name himself after they monkey version of the AIDS virus?

  • ||

    Why all the hate for GJ? I never thought he was a good candidate, never thought he is especially bright but I never saw any reason to hate the guy.

  • ||

    Suth, you're dealing with a fruitcake obsessive. Don't try to find logic.

  • Atanarjuat||

    I suspect libertarians are statistical outliers with regards to a predilection for nitpicking policy and making No True Scotsman arguments.

  • ||

    I think that the problem with the big-L Libertarian Party is that you are trying to create a group out of a bunch of people who hate groups (and most other people).

    I have a very good friend from high school who has risen high in the GOP ranks. Every so often he needs to pack an audience or a caucus with supporters and he asks me to fill in. I am always amazed at those events that there are people who are really into those meetings. WTF? Who enjoys going to organized meetings?

    Like you said, I suspect that the percentage of people who tend to be libertarian leaning and love joining a group is vanishingly small.

  • Agammamon||

    Its a yuge problem - let's face it, most of the factions in the LP *are* crazy, they're all just crazy in different ways and pretty much the sole uniting character of the party is that it'll defend your right to be (uniquely) crazy as long as you're not hurting anyone else.

    Pretty much all the other parties only cater to and only accept people with very specific forms of mental illness. The LP picks up all the crazy people that are not displaying the 'state-fellating' derangement of all the others.

  • Adans smith||

    The good is the enemy of the perfect.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    SIV was really pulling for True Scotsman to get the LP nomination.

  • greasonable||

    Yet McAfee couldn't even pull 2nd place.

    Fwiw, I found McAfee to be inspirational, but a little too daring to take advantage of the biggest Douche/Turd Sandwich race we have seen.

  • greasonable||

    No underwear was involved, does that change the calculus?

  • utabintarbo||

    What more evidence does one need?

  • C. Anacreon||

    We watched "The Boss" on TV last night. While it's not much of a movie by plot or acting standards, and is mostly an opportunity for Melissa McCarthy to do her shtick, there are some very funny lines and a few laugh-out loud moments. It's a pretty short film, too, so you can just enjoy it before you start to get fed up with how bad it is.

    Why am I referencing it here? Because Peter Dinklage plays the villain in the movie, an eccentric billionaire who keeps on boasting "I killed a man in Costa Rica!"

  • Azathoth!!||

    SIV was pulling for True Scotsman to get the GOP nomination

    Getting the LP nomination is the same as losing.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I'm not a big fan of him but I think he kicked ass today. Best interview I've ever seen him give. Very strong and forceful on taxes and foreign policy.

  • Tundra||

    *sigh*

    The Evora is the 'top of the line', bot. The Elise is third, after the Exige. Which would be an excellent choice, as well, unless you are fat.

  • GILMORE™||

    Everyone hated the Evora until this last year, when they goosed it up to 400hp and did some tweaking of the suspension

    Matt Farah took one of the newer models for a rip here and really really liked it.

    I think the problem with them is they're too pricey for what they are, and anyone in the bracket will go, "uhhhhh British...car....? *Toyota* engine?" and buy a carerra instead.

    Also interesting = here, a guy rebuilds one in his garage after it took a roll. If you liked Project Binky? you'll enjoy this, except the music is ppppppppp and there's not as much engineering, just more basic problem-solving and beer drinking.

  • Tundra||

    ..."uhhhhh British...car....? *Toyota* engine?"...

    Feature, not bug ;)

    Thanks for the Evora build videos. Beer drinking and problem-solving is what makes working on cars fun!

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Where are you going to drive that anywhere in the US, though? Speed limits, traffic jams, and badly maintained roads kind of limit your ability to actually take advantage of cars like that.

  • Libertarian||

    As someone who attained legal driving age in the 70s, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the funky Europa.

  • GILMORE™||

    Here's a cool vid about a guy who restored an Esprit. Cool color too.

    They're almost tempting as fixer-uppers. then you see the state of what's actually out there and go, no @#*(&@* way. I think its sort of like Panteras; you need to find someone who's already done half the work, then decided it wasn't worth it anymore.

  • Libertarian||

    I've never restored any car, but I look at the market and fantasize often enough that I know the smart thing to do is let some sap with too much money and time to do the restoration, and then buy it from him.

    By the way, if you like to fantasize about actually owning a cool car, this is a fun time-wasting website:
    http://bringatrailer.com/

  • Tundra||

    Love that site.

    I'm with you on the complete restoration project. As cool as it would be to bring one back from the dead, it's too much for me at this point in my life. Maybe after retirement...

    Besides, restoration is only one part of owning old cars. There's still plenty of work to do, just to keep them on the road. I went the easy route and got an old Spitfire that was restored awhile back. Easy, fun and cheap to work on, a blast to drive and just plain awesome compared with the appliances we drive every day.

  • ||

    I still have to buy my toy.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Yes! $50K, a pair of short shorts, a pornstashe, and I could be living the dream!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    An early book,extolling socialism over capitalism.

    "It is the duty of society to protect the weak; but protection cannot be efficient without the power of control; therefore, It is the duty of society to enslave the weak."

  • Jerryskids||

    "It is the duty of society to protect the weak; but protection cannot be efficient without the power of control; therefore, It is the duty of society to enslave free the weak from the burden of controlling themselves."

    "Freedom Is Slavery" is rarely put as bluntly as "Slavery Is Freedom", but it's the same thing. Slaves are free from the burdens of thinking and doing for themselves, but you play up the allure of the "freedom" part of that equation, not the "slavery" part. And it's astounding the number of people who'll push and shove to get into the cage first if you tell them the cage is there to protect them.

  • ||

    +1 Julia

  • SIV||

    GayJay on Isis: "Biggest threat in the world:North Korea"

  • SIV||

    Chris Wallace asks about GayJay's marijuana business. Johnson's response: "I might be elected president!"

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Gary Johnson's real plans for 2017:

    https://youtu.be/QQPWiCgAjDo?t=212

  • Jerryskids||

    "If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. ...Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. ...Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both."

    Sounds like he'd be right there with BLM?

    "Everybody has asked the question. . ."What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!"

    Maybe so, but I don't think he'd be looking for government to save him from government.

  • John||

    Douglas is one of the greatest Americans in history. Yet, he is kind of underappreciated. In a world were the culture does everything it can to emphasize the achievements of blacks and minorities, perhaps the greatest African American in history is in some ways ignored.

  • ||

    Judging from what I've learned from and of him over the years, I dare say he may even take issue with the term 'African-American'.

  • ||

    Late comment.

    Yes Rufus and he would be right. He is an American, just like I am, born and raised here. A native son.

    *I use the term American which applies equally to you, but you know what I mean. Why haven't you immigrated yet?

  • ||

    I get it.

    As for the immigration, need a reason! Right now, we're exploring the 'invest' or buy a home/condo option.

  • Tundra||

    Any recommendations on books about Douglass, John?

  • ||

    I just finished reading about Dunbar High School. It was a black school started in the late 19th century with the express purpose of giving blacks the same quality of education as whites in the north, to try and get rid of the black culture that was really just the ignorant redneck culture from the south that they had absorbed during and after enslavement.

    While the average IQ of blacks in the country was 85 the average IQ of Dunbar students was 100. Graduates went on to prestigious colleges and many became the first blacks to; become a general, graduate from Harvard, become Phi Beta Kappas, graduate from Annapolis, woman Ph.D., become a federal judge, black cabinet member, make important medical discoveries etc etc.

    In other words genetics has nothing to do with achievement. Culture has everything to do with it. Held to the same standards blacks achieved at the same level as whites. Douglas would be the poster child for this philosophy and heartily endorse it.

    Dunbar HS was reviled by both blacks and whites and eventually disbanded, demolished and erased from the earth. The socialists and the democrats for many decades have been pushing and glorifying the ghetto culture, something Douglas would despise.

    Douglas would be a champion for 'acting white'. This is why he is ignored.

  • Jerryskids||

    Yes - the culture that "does everything it can to emphasize the achievements of blacks and minorities" only emphasizes the group, not the individual. The idea that a man accomplished something as an individual isn't as significant as his tribal identity and Douglass emphasized over and over that his rights were based on the idea that he was a man, not that he was a Negro man.

    (I amuse myself by thinking of Douglass as being "a credit to his race" - with, of course, the understanding that "his race" is the human race.)

  • ||

    The important lesson that Dunbar teaches is that blacks as a whole are as human and as capable as any other group. They are capable of more than just producing extraordinary individuals like Douglas, Williams, Sowell, etc. It showed that the general population of blacks is no different than the general population of any other group.

    The ghetto culture that eschews larger society is a horrible injustice that they are doing to themselves, one strongly encouraged and empowered by the welfare state and progressivism in general. Consider the loss to humanity of all of the human potential and achievements. Think of the misery and poverty it cultivates. It is mind numbing.

    The question yesterday of whether or not conservatives or progressives were more racist. Who championed the lowering of standards in the schools? I think the answer lies there.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    The ghetto culture that eschews larger society is a horrible injustice that they are doing to themselves, one strongly encouraged and empowered by the welfare state and progressivism in general.

    Activists should be screaming this from the mountaintops, but they'd be called racist and strung up by their balls.

  • Nativist, Racist & Xenophobe||

    Mind numbing - but entertaining.

  • ||

    I don't find that entertaining or amusing. It is the equivalent of blackface comedy.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Booker T. Washington is also greatly underappreciated today, IMO.

  • DEG||

    Damn my slow fingers.

  • Lee Genes||

    They prefer Du Bois and his revolurionary socialist leanings

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Booker T. Washington believed that in the long-run blacks would be better if they were basically educated and learned skilled labor while submitting to white rule in the South. Eventually blacks would, through self-help and community pride, rise up to be on equal footing with whites economically and politically and then get equal rights.

    DuBois believed a "Talented-Tenth" of blacks should take over and tell the rest what to do since only one in ten Negros were likely capable of assuming leadership roles. In other words, TOP MEN.

  • DEG||

    Yes.

    Add Booker T. Washington to the list of greats ignored.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    In a world were the culture does everything it can to emphasize the achievements of blacks and minorities, perhaps the greatest African American in history is in some ways ignored.

    Reading this, are you surprised why?

    The cultural taste makers detest individualism. I guess that shouldn't be too surprising. Cultural tastemakers get their status from being at the lead of the herd.

  • ||

    "He knew slavery firsthand, and he had no doubt that free labor was infinitely superior to it...."

    Just like the middling hacks and knaves of today who speak highly of dictators, communist and socialist regimes despite never living or choosing to live in such a country.

    "were hostile or at least indifferent to the abolitionist appeal because they believed that it diverted attention from the serious problems facing northern workers with the onset of industrial capitalism."

    This sort of talk is easy and plain to see in the ramblings of Warren and her ilk, no? It's interesting how progressives are usually on the wrong side of issues, then find their way onto it and then claim it.

    Plus ca change...

    But it's okay. The left, in all their revisionist prowess, will find a way to spin Douglass in their favor.

  • ||

    Yes, even as they chisel MLK quotes off of the walls.

  • Aloysious||

    Those mid nineteenth century socialists sound just like today's politicians.

    blech.

  • ||

    It actually shows how little they've evolved morally and intellectually.

    It's a miracle it even gains traction. I can see why dictators latch onto it because of the concentration of power and need for control over people but what attracts the average student of history or politics to it?

    Once you delve and ponder what is needed to convert into a socialist society you get nothing but misery.

  • Aloysious||

    ...what attracts the average student of history or politics to it

    That is a very good question. As one who enjoys reading history, how someone can come to the conclusion that socialism has any redeeming features escapes me. How one can read about Frederick Douglass and come away siding with the likes of John A. Collins or George Fitzhugh escapes me.

    Mid nineteenth century socialists, like today's power mad socialists DO NOT have our best interests at heart.

  • ||

    They are attracted to it because in their dreams and imagining they are always at the top of the heap weilding power and deciding for others what is best for those others.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    what attracts the average student of history or politics to it?

    First order thinking, emotionalism, and blame shifting. People are generally primed to shift blame from themselves (a current or future wage worker) to some other negative actor (society, capitalism, "the rich," etc.). Add on to that a heaping helping of emotional manipulation by the socialists to gin up dissent and anger, and it results in these students falling into confirmation bias, and not checking the second and third order consequences of the policies they've fell in love with. College should be free because it can't be my fault I have a ton of debt and Bernie said it's George Bush's Iraq War that made me have to pay for college.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    fallen*

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    ...what attracts the average student of history or politics to it?

    Quite simply...

    Free Shit

    They like the idea that if they fail, or even if they simply don't want to work hard, that they are entitled to wealth earned by another in order to live. They'll wrap it up in "caring for the poor," but it's really about their fear of failure and/or their laziness.

  • ||

    Deranged stalker!

  • straffinrun||

    NO. Just NO.

  • straffinrun||

    NO. Just NO.

  • ||

    You sound familiar.

  • ||

    Extremely familiar.

  • Lord at War||

    By the way, you can all blame this idiot who cried about stalking then proceeded to stalk for what's coming next.

    And I shall fart in your general direction!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Sockmaster!

    If I had anything to say to "YOU" it wouldn't be through a sock. Of this, you can be certain.

  • Aloysious||

    Favorite line:

    Douglass's writings and speeches rang out with the very classical liberal tenets that were spurned by both the socialists and the slaveholders.

    Socialists and slaveholders. There's not much of a difference.

  • Tundra||

    Slavers are slavers, Al.

    And they need to be told to fuck off.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Well they both believe that certain individuals have the right to the labor of others.

  • ||

    You sound like someone who doesnt want to pay your fair share. I bet you even thought Obumbles plan for compulsory national service for everyone was a bad idea.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    Well they both believe that certain individuals have the right to the labor of others.

    If you asked somebody today what the evil of slavery was, what would be the most common answer?

    I'm guessing it would be "they had to work for no money." This, of course, is a massive swing and a miss by modern people in understanding the humiliation of slavery. Working for no money is actually a good thing when done voluntarily (charity, internships, etc.) The true evil of slavery is what you said, the compelled usurpation of another man's labor. I think it's kinda ironic that less than 2 generations after the abolition of slavery, a somewhat less noxious form of slavery (CRA) was implemented for the benefit of the slaves' descendants.

  • ||

    Not the ursurpation of his labor, of his will. The violation of his self ownership, of his right to choose for himself.

  • ||

    Socialists like to act like their world view is the natural default line of human nature and humanity likening themselves as humanists.

    It's not. Never was and never will be.

    It's, to keep it short, anti-human.

  • ||

    I just, I think, answered my own question about attraction. It's the 'social justice' aspect that acts as an aphrodisiac.

  • Tundra||

    Sure, they have to see it that way. Otherwise they would see their worldview for what it really is: oppression, straight up.

    Douglass would likely be disgusted with us, though. We're letting these fuckers win.

  • Brian||

    It's the education system.

    According to US students, the enligthenment never happened.

    No one thought slavery was wrong until Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, punishing the evil doers for the worst crime of The USA. So, clearly, social justice is awesome.

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    It's the education system.

    I spent more time in school learning about the strategic placement of troops in the Ardennes than on antebellum anti-slavery philosophy. The underground railroad was treated much like reading Anne Frank... a lot of answers to the "what" question, but very few answers to the "why" question.

    American public schools are a failed 19th century concept that holds on solely because people don't know any better. The idea that you need to spend 13 years (or 17, after Hillary gets her way) getting basic training on how to live in society is outmoded.

  • Agammamon||

    Sadly, state curriculum guideline seem to push teaching WW1 and 2 as 'American History'. And not just a little bit. Here in AZ, that stuff can take up a significant portion of a school year while other stuff is just glossed over. Not sure why as in both cases, the causes of the war were European, most of the pain was felt by foreigners, and the US came in late, blew everybody up, and then went home.

    They were certainly major events in American history - I just don't see them *shaping* that history significantly. Well, outside of Progressives using the claim that 'WW2 government spending ended the Great Depression' (which was already on its way out).

    The antebellum slaver/abolition argument (which lead up to an actual civil war), the New Deal and NRA, wage-fixing and how these government interventions decades before you were born still live on today causing problems like how to get affordable health insurance. And how stuff like that is used to justify more government intervention.

  • DEG||

    I agree. I shouldn't be astounded by the stupidity out there, but I am.

    Thomas Jefferson struggled with slavery and blacks' position in society. There's a bit in his "Notes on the State of Virginia" where he references Benjamin Banneker as proof that folks that think blacks are inferior to whites are wrong.

  • ||

    Fuck, when I was in school, there was a ton of crap about people agonising over slavery, the various manifestations of it, through European history since the late Roman empire. The USA bit was kind of a brief punctuation point on the end. Still, it was Catholic school.

  • The Last American Hero||

    2 parts Free shit
    1 part I get to be the leader
    3 parts top men, we'll get it right this time

    It's a pretty simple recipe.

  • Adans smith||

    1

  • Crusty Juggler||

    1

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

    1 part I get to be the leader

    I actually think this is wrong (for many people). It's amazing the people I interact with who are quite happy having somebody lord over them and tell them how to run their life. I find that it's mostly women who are like this, but many men as well. Either they're too afraid or too beaten down by life to take control for themselves, so they want a "benevolent dictator" to tell them whether to report to the agricultural commissar or the mechanical commissar for job training and assignment.

  • Libertarian||

    My brother actually supported Bloomberg's big gulp ban. My brother didn't need to be told not to live on big gulps, he just thought that a ban would help people live better. He was sincere. But this type of paternalism is just a childish, simplistic, emotional stance that can't be supported by history or evidence. It's something a 10 year old would be expected to espouse -- "progressives" think they're so sophisticated, but they're just the opposite.

  • ||

    "My brother actually supported Bloomberg's big gulp ban."

    This is beyond my comprehension.

    Hey, didn't you tell me a couple of years ago that you are a lever action rifle fan?

  • Libertarian||

    wasn't me

  • ||

    Ah, ok.

    It has been several years and my memory aint what it used to be.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Same for the old grey mare.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    For relatively few people, it's "I get to be the leader."

    I think for most folks, it's a deep-seated, quasi-religious faith that government will serve as their mommy and daddy now that they're all grown up. I.e., persistent infantilism. Government Mommy will love them and nurture them and Government Daddy will protect them and pay for it all. Of course, they also imagine that, now that they are adults and no subject to the strictures of real parents, Government Mommy and Daddy will let them do as they please, and can be trusted to be wise, understanding, and beneficent.

  • Rhywun||

    Douglass deserves to be recognized on another front: namely, for being one of the 19th century's most eloquent critics of socialism.

    He was big in my hometown but we never learned about any of that. Sad!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Socialism is alright--so long as we keep releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. But if getting rid of socialism means cutting CO2 emissions, then many of my fellow libertarians would rather be marched into the countryside by Pol Pot to work in the fields and starve to death.

    Many of my fellow libertarians would rather let Mao have his way with our girlfriends--if getting rid of socialism meant cutting CO2 emissions.

    That's what I learned about in a couple of threads last week--Carbon Derangement Syndrome.

  • ||

    Whut? I missed that one.

  • Caput Lupinum||

    Ken has been on a kick about carbon taxes this week. It started, or at least I first noticed it, when it came out that Johnson supported a carbon tax. Ken has been arguing that since a consumption tax is the least bad tax, and libertarians may be able to convince greens to support a carbon consumption tax, that the libertarian position should be to support a carbon tax. In Ken's world, the greens support a carbon tax so much, libertarians can get them to support removing the income tax as well.

    That's the gist of it. If you want to know the specifics, just take a stroll over the last week's articles that mention Johnson's carbon tax. I would suggest finding something more productive, like trying to explain physics to a dog, but hey, its your time, use it how you like.

  • GILMORE™||

    since a consumption tax is the least bad tax, and libertarians may be able to convince greens to support a carbon consumption tax,

    I object to the idea of the Govt doing ANYTHING about (so-called) "Climate Change" because

    a) i don't recall there being anything in the constitution saying that the Federal Govt has a mandate to regulate the temperature of planet ...

    (which requires assuming that US Taxes *actually* have any impact on the temperature of the planet... which i refuse to do)

    and

    b) if we were to allow the Federal Govt the ability to tax people for something so scientifically vague, poorly understood, and which has absolutely zero prospect of having any actual end-result-impact on the actual "reason" for the tax? It becomes The "Tiger-Repelling Rock" Justification for any Taxes. Give the Government Money, and it can Do Anything = Taxes to Cure Death! Taxes to Stop Solar Radiation! Taxes to Stop Plate Tectonics! et cetera

    The hubris and the stupidity of insisting the Govt pretend it can "change planetary climatic processes via taxation" is so epic ....

    ....that i think that's exactly how it works. It allows people to 'stop thinking' about the issue and just think, "Someone's working on that! I gave money."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I object to the idea of the Govt doing ANYTHING about (so-called) "Climate Change" because . . .

    You're against the government ending the drug war because of climate change?

    You're against the government eliminating the income tax and all reporting requirements because of climate change?

    You're against the government insisting on Constitutionally valid wars in the future because of climate change?

    You're against getting rid of ObamaCare, food stamps, crop subsidies, and selling military hardware to local police because of climate change?

    You're against the government getting rid of warrantless wiretapping, crushing the NSA's mass surveillance program, and getting rid of the stupid, meaningless, worthless stuff the TSA does because of climate change?

    Are you against the government deregulating the economy generally because of climate change?

    Are you against the government laying off tens of thousands of useless federal employees--no matter what the public employee unions say--because of climate change?

    Do you object to shrinking the size of government and balancing the budget because of climate change?

    You object to the government doing anything so long as it's being done in the name of climate change--like really?!

    I don't believe you, Gilmore. I have too much respect for you to believe you really think that.

  • GILMORE™||

    -like really?!

    Yes. because none of those things WOULD affect 'climate change' in any way.

    Ken, you wasted a lot of words there on a stupid argument which was pre-empted in my original comment.

    If the govt wanted to pretend it had a mandate to 'meddle with planetary temperatures'... you could try and make the claim that the EPA provides the means. The non-sequiturs above do not, because as I said = any "open ended excuse for Govt action" is both undesirable as well as unconstitutional.

    All the actions you point to above don't need any connection to "climate change" to justify them.

    Trying to (spuriously) link climate change to them would in fact invalidate the Govt interest in those things. Simply because they are 'worth doing' doesn't mean you can apply any reason you like to justify govt action.

    You don't seem like you're applying any SCOTUS-level thinking to this at all, Ken.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Yes. because none of those things WOULD affect 'climate change' in any way."

    What are you, an Objectivist now?

    It's not enough that people embrace capitalism and reject socialism, they've gotta do it for the right reasons?

    Any libertarian who would rather suffer the ravages of socialism so long as getting rid of socialism would mean taxing carbon emissions through a sales tax is a seriously confused libertarian.

    Carbon Derangement Syndrome is the most likely explanation.

    P.S. Many of those things are directly implicated in standard climate change models. If they wanted to introduce a carbon tax big enough to destroy America's contribution to the problem, according to their models, they would need a carbon tax that was so big, it would crush the economy completely. No democratic society would suffer such a recession and maintain support (see Australia under Gillard) --they'd need to get rid of every other form of taxation to offset a carbon tax big enough to address their problem their models describe anyway.

    Given that, note two related things now and forever more:

    1) Because economic growth is necessary to sustain support for public policies that minimize CO2 emissions, economic growth is an environmental necessity.

    2) Everything that retards economic growth is, therefore, an environmental issue.

  • GILMORE™||

    Any libertarian who would rather suffer the ravages of socialism

    False choice.

    Carbon Derangement Syndrome is the most likely explanation.

    "[Blank]-Derangement Syndrome" is just a bullshit rhetorical device for saying, "My argument sucks, so i'm going to say that something's wrong with people who disagree with me"

    Many of those things are directly implicated in standard climate change models

    What "things" are you referring to?

    I build economic models as a living. all models tell you are "what happens to your arbitrary premise given X scenarios" If the arbitrary premise is false, the model is meaningless.

    Using models as a basis for an argument is begging the question, presuming the premise is self-evidently valid.

    Ken, its a stupid argument and i haven't heard you say anything which even addressed the points i made

    Govt has no mandate to be involved in policies to 'regulate the temp of the earth'.

    and even if it did, there's no tax-mechanism by which that could ever be effected. Its just an open-ended excuse to 'take money'.

    I have no interest critiquing your hand-waving if you're not going to address those things.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "False choice."

    One last point, . . .

    If I'm proposing that we replace the income tax with a sales tax on carbon, that isn't a false choice.

    That's my proposal.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    I'll grant that, of all of the proposals of the climate alarmists, a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the least bad. It might not even be all that bad if it were coupled with the repeal of Amendment XVI and bullet-proof language to prevent such an atrocity from ever happening again and bullet-proof language that levy the tax without exception or diminution for favored groups. But the climate alarmists aren't proposing that.

    Here's what a carbon tax would accomplish in the real world. First, it would start out relatively small and grow rapidly to become oppressive, much like the original income tax. Even before passage, there would be complaints about how the tax would be regressive and fall unfairly upon the poor and middle class. So, they'd have to get indemnified in some way for it to be politically feasible. But, if their indemnification would defeat the purpose of the tax; viz, if their cost of carbon fuel does not increase significantly, their CO2 emissions won't go down.

    Then various groups would successfully clamor for exemptions and lobby for reduced rates and special allowances. The politically connected would be successful in their efforts; a donation to the Clinton Foundation might just work wonders. (Ever wonder why aviation fuel is taxed at a rate that is lower than motor gasoline in just about every state?)

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The second- and third-order consequences of the carbon tax will ultimately end up causing all sorts of distortions in who gets to use energy and pay for emissions that will achieve negligible or even negative environmental consequences.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Here's what a carbon tax would accomplish in the real world. First, it would start out relatively small and grow rapidly to become oppressive, much like the original income tax.

    Over time, as the economy and consumers transitioned away from carbon intensive activity, the effects of the tax would become progressively less disruptive.

    "Even before passage, there would be complaints about how the tax would be regressive and fall unfairly upon the poor and middle class."

    We're definitely talking about splitting the environmentalists away from the socialists, no doubt about that.

    Only good things can come from that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Govt has no mandate to be involved in policies to 'regulate the temp of the earth'.

    Government has a mandate for taxation, and taxing income, dividends, profits, and capital gains are about the stupidest possible things to tax--surely, the most economically destructive ways to raise revenue.

    You can't seem to get past the fact that regulating the temperature of the earth isn't the only reason to replace taxing stupid things in destructive ways with a far better alternative.

    I'm sure there are phony environmentalists who would oppose saving the earth (according to their models) if doing so meant they couldn't redistribute income, profits, and capital gains through government spending anymore. I bet the real environmentalists would say something along the lines of, "What difference does it make why they want to save the earth?"

    I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that there are people on our libertarian side who would rather keep authoritarian socialist policies in place if doing away with them required us to leverage the concerns of environmentalists, too. I don't suppose all the people from both sides belong in the same boat; though, some of them probably just haven't really thought about it.

    In the meantime, as a libertarian capitalist, why should I care whether environmentalists want to trash authoritarian socialism to save the environment or because they love capitalism?

  • Ken Shultz||

    P.S. I've spent much of my days on earth making pro formas for my own projects--investors, banks, et. al. So what?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "if we were to allow the Federal Govt the ability to tax people for something so scientifically vague, poorly understood, and which has absolutely zero prospect of having any actual end-result-impact on the actual "reason" for the tax?"

    You understand our present method of taxation is the very nuts and bolts of socialism, right?

    Is there a more concise way to accurately describe funding the government through income tax and redistributing wealth through government spending than, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"?

    http://tinyurl.com/7wc9xse

    The correct answer is no.

    You may think that carbon's relationship to climate is poorly understood, but socialism's impact on the economy is understood far too well.

  • ||

    You are exactly right Gilmore. Any support I had for GayJay fell flat the minute I heard him supporting a C tax. When he changed his mind, for more or less the reasons you just outlined, my ears perked back up. He seems like a more reasonable guy than the average politician.

    A carbon tax is a damned dangerous road to go down. In addition to what you said I am certain that it would rise endlessly and it is a silly dream to think the income tax is ever going away.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Ken has been on a kick about carbon taxes this week."

    I've been pushing it on this website for at least ten years now.

  • GILMORE™||

    I thought it was common knowledge among even greenies that CO2 isn't even remotely the most significant greenhouse gas, and that human efforts to "reduce it" would have huge costs and little gains - whereas other greenhouse gasses (e.g. methane) were thousands of times more significant, as well as far more 'controllable' in economic terms. IF you think any of that stuff even matters in the first place.

    Dont tell me you have a boner for electric cars?

  • ||

    You can make heads and tails of that comment?

    Ken's I mean.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. That's hardly the issue. If climate change is a result of the man made release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it's mostly because we dig fossil fuels out of the ground and burn them, which releases CO2.

    Meanwhile, you don't seem to be considering the damage done by our authoritarian and socialist tax system.

    There are two big questions that should be answered:

    1) Is taxing CO2 intensive activity through sales taxes more authoritarian and destructive to the economy than income taxes, corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, and other socialist taxes?

    2) Is there a pressing political issue non-libertarians might get behind that would help us get rid of those destructive authoritarian and socialist taxes?

    The correct answer to question one is no.

    The correct answer to question two is yes.

  • GILMORE™||

    The constitution doesn't grant powers to the federal govt based on their 'better/worse' outcome, Ken.

    Just because you think "income tax" is worse, doesn't mean the govt can simply 'tax anything' and that whatever taxes (you think) are 'better' are therefore justified.

    That's not how it works.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are you saying that you think sales taxes are somehow authoritarian but the income tax is okay?

    I'm not going to rehash the other day's thread, but you're painting yourself into a ridiculous corner.

    Read the response in this thread if you like:

    http://reason.com/blog/2016/08.....nt_6360727

    It starts with what Hayek had to say about it.

  • GILMORE™||

    No, i just think your approach to this is ridiculous, and simply because you PROPOSE exchanging one tax for another is no reason to support the existence of either.

    Not interested futher.

  • kevrob||

    I'm not going to weigh in on the relative importance on which gasses to AGW, but isn't taxing an externality in the form of any kind of pollution of the commons a better idea than taxing social goods, such as wages and investment income, real property values (in excess of fees paid to local government for services actually associated with property ownership,) etc.? If the smokestack at your monocle factory is spewing pollutants, while the one at my top hattery emits relatively cleaner smoke, I pay less tax. That incentives you to clean up your operation. Now, if everyone cleans up, there'll be less revenue, but we want to cut spending, anyway.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "isn't taxing an externality in the form of any kind of pollution of the commons a better idea than taxing social goods, such as wages and investment income, real property values (in excess of fees paid to local government for services actually associated with property ownership,) etc.?

    They willl dispute that CO2 is pollution (semantics!); regardless, that's an excellent point, and I support taxing any and all other pollutants--rather than and instead of income, profits, capital gains, etc., as well.

    One of the things I've learned over the years negotiating commercial real estate deals is that the only deals that can get done are the deals that people are willing to make. Why waste your time pitching deals the other guy will not do? In econ parlance, the market dictates terms to you--you don't dictate terms to the market or the transactions simply never happen.

    Right now, the voter market will not accept getting rid of the income tax--but if we replaced the income tax with something that would save the planet (in a lot of minds on the left)? The market might support getting rid of the income tax on that basis.

    Give the people what they want.

    My objections to the solutions to global warming that are being offered on the left are that they're authoritarian and socialist. If the solutions instead made our country decidedly more libertarian and capitalist, I wouldn't oppose them. The science is mostly beside the point. It's as simple as that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Not interested futher."

    Why would you be when you'd rather have socialism than a sales tax?

    Like I said, some of my fellow libertarians would rather suffer under socialism if the alternative were leveraging the concerns of environmentalists.

    If the shoe fits. wear it.

    The income tax, especially, is the single most pervasive, destructive, authoritarian, and socialist policy of the federal government. Certainly, in terms of its pervasiveness, it's worse than the Drug War.

    I see a clear libertarian, capitalist path to get rid of it, a path that was paved by Hayek himself and has been lately advocated by real environmentalists, who are wiling to make precisely the concessions I'm talking about.

    And "supporting" the existence of the income tax? What is that even supposed to mean?

    I'm undermining it to the extreme. I see no other way to get rid of the income tax short of persuading 51% of the voters out there to be principled in their opposition to redistributing the upper 10% of income earners.

    This is the way out. If you're not willing to take the exit because of some hang up that has nothing to do with the desirability of either income taxes or a sales tax on carbon, then that's where you are.

    Just because you don't like me pointing it out doesn't mean it isn't so.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Are you saying that you think sales taxes are somehow authoritarian but the income tax is okay?

    Sales taxes are local and state taxes, as are state income taxes. That's constitutional and much less harmful than federal taxes, since states are in competition with each other to some degree.

    Read the response in this thread if you like:

    Hayek's comment doesn't apply to climate change or carbon emissions because the people supposedly being damaged by it haven't even been born yet, even according to the proponents of action on climate change.

    Furthermore, note that Hayek's work predates most modern public choice theory; today, he would likely not have come to that conclusion as there are obvious problems with it.

  • ||

    Ken - Combustion of hydrocarbons yields CO2 and water. Water is a far more potent GG than CO2. First it's a carbon tax. Next it's a water vapor tax. None of these taxes are going to mitigate global warming because...they just didn't hit it hard enough, so up the taxes. And up 'em again. And again.

    As Gilmore described the carbon tax it's just an open ended excuse to take money. The kind of people who are doing this are running a con. Cons don't stop until there is nothing left to steal.

    At least under the current tax system economic activity can continue to produce some for them to steal and some for us to have. Under a C tax system that would not be true. The economy would wither and die without access to cheap energy.

    I disagree with you that the C tax is the lesser evil.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Good point. Very few people trouble to learn that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas--in part because it's not easy to rob, tax, outvote or sue the ocean. And the prophesying comes from government employees/parasites. But where are the I-told-you-so gloats over the Bozone Layer successes? At Goddard "Ozone Hole Watch" are thousands of images of ozone over Southern Hemisphere (where only 11% live and WISH they had fridges and ACs). There are even videos so that you can watch an entire decade of ozone and there is no change. There are random fluctuations before and after, and that's it. If freon ate ozone the hole would be at the NORTH Pole. Eight out of 9 people live north of the Equator.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "As Gilmore described the carbon tax it's just an open ended excuse to take money."

    You're just regurgitating platitudes that have nothing to do with anything I've said.

    You're just hung up on the term\ "carbon tax", and it wouldn't make any difference if what I meant by "carbon tax" was hot chicks and money, you'd still be against a "carbon tax".

    Think for yourself.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Hi Tulpa!

  • GamerFromJump||

    Your premise is 無 (mu). There is NO circumstance under which "cutting CO2 emissions" does anything but increase socialism. Particularly because "cutting CO2" is a wedge for socialism by its very design.

    The only Carbon Derangement here is your own.

  • Azathoth!!||

    ^this^

    in spades.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "Ironically, when it came to making arguments against free labor, the socialists and the slaveholders made certain identical claims."

    How is this ironic? Socialism has ALWAYS been an excuse for the Intellectual class to make slaves of everybody else, right up to the moment when the Revolution has succeeded. Then the thugs who actually managed the overthrow start liquidating the Intellectual Class. It's happened that way in every Socialist/Communist revolution that I know of, and the Intellectualoids never seem to learn.

  • ||

    Nor does anyone else. Have a look at that shit-mess of a thread from last night.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Not saved by zero: central bankers beg world government for more help and bolder measures, such as opening up Japan to immigration.

    ROFLAMO. Good luck with that one, bank guys. When it comes to outsiders, the average Japanese person makes Donald Trump look like Emma Lazarus.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'm going to guess that this proposal won't go well.

    The citizens of Korean ancestry aren't even considered "Japanese".

  • Agammamon||

    "I want to tell people all over the world that they shouldn't come to Japan to work," Chung said . . . "Being a worker in Japan is no different from being a robot."

    Hahahahahahaha! Japan is known as the place where they start the day with *company* calisthenics. Where your boss will send a courier around to drop off work on Saturday for you to bring back in with you on Monday. They have the Salaryman stereotype - something you wouldn't see in a 1950's/60's show about American company men. Karoshi - they have a word for working yourself to death.

    How the fuck can you not see all that and then be surprised when you're treated like a production machine?

    . . . the Supreme Court ruled recently that Chung, the daughter of a Japanese woman and a South Korean man, who was born in Japan and has lived all her life here, could not take the test to become a supervisor at a public health center because she was a foreigner.

    . . .

    Chung, [has] taken neither citizenship nor name.

    So, she *is* a foreigner then? Its a shitty policy, but it looks pretty clear cut as far as the court interpreting it.

  • straffinrun||

    Hell, they let me in. And just look at me.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    What Shall Be Done With the Slaves If Emancipated?

    Primarily, it is a question less for man than for God—less for human intellect than for the laws of nature to solve. It assumes that nature has erred; that the law of liberty is a mistake; that freedom, though a natural want of the human soul, can only be enjoyed at the expense of human welfare, and that men are better off in slavery than they would or could be in freedom; that slavery is the natural order of human relations, and that liberty is an experiment. What shall be done with them?

    Our answer is, do nothing with them; mind your business, and let them mind theirs. Your doing with them is their greatest misfortune. They have been undone by your doings, and all they now ask, and really have need of at your hands, is just to let them alone. They suffer by every interference, and succeed best by being let alone...

    [snip]

    As colored men, we only ask to be allowed to do with ourselves, subject only to the same great laws for the welfare of human society which apply to other men, Jews, Gentiles, Barbarian, Sythian. Let us stand upon our own legs, work with our own hands, and eat bread in the sweat of our own brows. When you, our white fellowcountrymen, have attempted to do anything for us, it has generally been to deprive us of some right, power or privilege which you yourself would die before you would submit to have taken from you.
  • Jerryskids||

    You strike that "as colored men" and the "our white fellowcountrymen" and you've got libertarianism in a nutshell. Leaving people alone, doing nothing no matter how strong your urge to "help", is almost always a better prescription than doing something when the government's involved.

    Read The Federalist Papers #51 - the guy who wrote the Constitution was under the impression the Constitution was actually saying the same thing. The power to do good things is also the power to do bad things and since a brief glance at human nature tells us people with power are more likely to do bad things than good, it's better to keep the power chained down tightly.

    ("But I was only trying to help!" gets pretty damn old after about 40 or 50 times somebody fucks your shit up and then wants to play like they're the injured party when you start threatening to beat their ass if they don't stop "helping" you.)

  • ||

  • Vampire||

    Slavery was never abolished. Politicians just found ways to enslave everyone. Does anyone really "own" their land, or the fruits of their labor, or what they produce?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Vigilante pastor KIDNAPS street children to save them from drugs and paedophiles
    ...Over the past 16 years, more than 3,500 people have been through his rehab clinic. Although not all of them have wanted to.

    Many of the drug-addicted youngsters were rounded up and forced into mini-vans and taken to the ramshackle clinic he founded, called Republic Pilgrim....

    ..."But if a teenager is living on the street and taking drugs, you have got to take them. You have got to stop their addiction.

    "People should have freedom, they must have a life, health and education.

    "But when a teenager uses his freedom to kill himself with drugs, we must use power to stop him....

  • Agammamon||

    you have got to take them. You have got to stop their addiction.

    "People should have freedom,

    Slavery is freedom.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Freedom is Slavery is Orwell's ironic translation of the arch over the entrance to Auschwitz. The slave and death camp arch says Arbeit macht Frei--Work will Make you Free. Socialists are good at coming up with snappy prophesies and predictions.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Nixon had the Selective Service kidnap hippies for community service bombing women, kids, houses and villages in 'Nam. It was the only way to introduce them to heroin and make them into customers for government surplus.

  • GILMORE™||

    If you're near a beach, Congratulations = Its FREE TITTY DAY

  • ||

    The sad fact is that most of the wimmin who will do this aren't the wimmin you'd want to see topless.

    Once after spending 5 days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (totally wild national park) we met another group of wimmin paddlers who were all topless. Even after 5 days of living wild, none of us appreciated the saggy hippy granny hooters of that group.

  • Rhywun||

    none of us appreciated the saggy hippy granny hooters of that group.

    You're not supposed to. They want to stop the MALE GAZE.

  • ||

    No, they were pleasant older hippies who were out in the wild getting their nature freak on.

    They paddled over to talk to us and see what we were up to. They were too friendly to be the sorts of wimmin that were into MALE GAZE nonsense.

  • GILMORE™||

    The sad fact is that most of the wimmin who will do this aren't the wimmin you'd want to see topless.

    Well i think its a lesson for anyone who wants "Free stuff" then. Usually the output of any economy that provides people "free stuff" delivers quality so poor that you end up paying out the nose for something better anyway.

  • DEG||

    On my last trip to Australia, the only women I saw sunning themselves topless on the beach were women I'd want to see naked.

  • Sevo||

    Scroll down on that page.

  • ||

    "'Baby Simulator' Programs May Make Teen Girls More Likely to Become Pregnant, Study Finds" ?

  • Sevo||

    Oops. My goodness, ABC news seems to have moved:
    "Clinton Foundation Official Requests State Lunch Invitation, Special Seating for Foundation Allies, Emails Show"
    "A series of newly released State Department emails obtained by ABC News offers fresh insight on direct contact between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton's inner circle while she was Secretary of State."
    Try a search; the ABC New links all SF.

    But how about:
    "New emails reportedly show Clinton Foundation exec, State Dept. aide discussed access to China president"
    [...]
    "Recently released emails appear to further show a direct connection between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, including efforts to get foundation donors seats to an official lunch with Chinese President Hu Jintao."
    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....ident.html

    Maybe one of these days something will pierce that slime layer and stick to her.

  • Agammamon||

    . . . women's rights to bare their breasts in public.

    This is kind of stupid. If you truly believe you have a right to go topless in public - then do so *a lot*. Not like one day a year as some sort of 'protest'. All the freaking time.

    See, the thing is, once or twice a year, in a specific location - the authorities can handle that. They'll box up your little protest, maybe hand out a few fines, and tomorrow everything will be back to normal.

    Go every day, all over the country, and they'll lose their fucking minds trying to deal with it. Just ignore the law. That will drive people out of their minds. Are they going to throw thousands of women in jail in every city? How many cops will they have running around chasing women down to ticket them? How many blankets will they have to hand out and duct tape to you?

    What do you think the optics on this situation will be like when they start beating the shit out of you for this defiance.

    These sorts of protests are like petitions - just something to point and laugh at the people who think it will make a difference.

  • C. Anacreon||

    When I was a freshman in college in 1979, some local radio station had a booth one day next to the cafeteria line asking students to sign their petition 'asking for the Beatles to reunite.' People were rushing up there saying "great idea!" and signing away. I told a couple of people "do you really think that after 8 years, what the Beatles really needed to get back together was a petition from some small US liberal arts college?"

    They looked at me as if I was the biggest asshole in the world. "It could work, man."

  • Sevo||

    That's FUNNY!

  • kevrob||

    1979? Might've saved John Lennon's life. Butterflies.

  • Rhywun||

    Go every day, all over the country

    Then it would soon become apparent that only a tiny percentage of women actually care about this issue. It would never be "thousands of women in every city".

  • The Elite Elite||

    100% this. Like a lot of these fringe groups like the feminists and SJWs, these "topless equality" women are truly a tiny minority that does everything they can to look like a majority.

  • gaoxiaen||

  • Bill Dalasio||

    It really shouldn't be all that surprising that socialists weren't particularly enthused with abolitionism. At root, socialism is the slavery of all to all. From a socialist perspective, the fault of the Antebellum South wasn't that most black men lived their lives bound in service to others. It was that whites and Freedmen weren't in the same situation.

  • ||

    Fuck! I found a tangential link to a story about lab generated meat and started reading. It sounds like cool stuff, but what infuriated me was how many writers went on and on about how this stuff needs to be regulated. Otherwise how would we know it was safe?

    It baffles me that so many folk seem to love the boot on their neck. They are worried that this new thing might come with no boot at all. It never occurs to them that these new companies are probably more invested in making sure that their product doesn't kill their customers than any govt. agency.

    Sadly, I know more than a few people in my life who do believe that corporations would gladly kill all their customers for an extra 2% profit. The only thing keeping them from doing it are the wonderful overlords in our govt.

  • The Hyperbole ((Very Tall))||

    I can't tell you how infuriating it is to me that the Govt keeps me form building houses and decks that will collapse in the first strong wind, and don't get my electrician going about how he can't wire houses so they will go up in a magnificent blaze as soon as someone plugs in a hair dryer. Sometimes we sit and bitch and wonder if it's even worth going through the effort if we aren't going to be able to cause the death of an entire family. It's heart-wrenching really.

  • ||

    Well this is depressing.

    How do you get to be an admiral with only one stint as the captain of a vessel?

  • Ted S.||

    This is what happens when there are more admirals than ships.

  • ||

    As long as I live I will never forgive the morons that voted for that fuckin' nitwit Obumbles.

  • Agammamon||

    Its kind of funny - but this really isn't *all* Mabus. This woman didn't join the Navy in 2009 - she's a product of the social justice experimentation they Navy's been doing since at least the 90's. And yes, that includes Saint Boorda (seriously though - fucking awesome sailor) time as CNO.

    The only thing Mabus is doing is continuing to go along with it - he's not even accelerating anything, just removing the barriers to experimentation.

    Though her record does look suspiciously like 'twofer preference' - one command as Captain (none as Commander) then the next one as a Commodore in charge of a squadron. 7 years from RAMD to ADM and straight into the VCNO slot?

    I don't doubt there's some racial/sexual preference in promotions easing her way - but she's probably also extremely good at what she does. The Navy's not been all that desperate for women or minorities to fill senior officer billets for a good while now.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Hugh Fitzgerald: Should Germans be Forced to Study Arabic?
    A senior German educator has called for all pupils in the country to be forced to study Arabic until they graduate in the interests of the multicultural state.

    Professor of Computer Science Thomas Strothotte and President of a private Hamburg university has argued that German children should be forced to learn Arabic alongside German so they would better understand the country's 1.5 million new migrants and make them feel more welcome. He said it would help Germany become "a country of immigration, and a multilingual society....

  • Ted S.||

    They already learn English.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Huh. As I recall, all German schoolchildren add English and Latin to the curriculum in the fourth grade, and another foreign language of their choosing (from choices offered) in seventh. Really, being multi-lingual is such an advantage but time limitations alone suggest there's a rational stopping point in basic general education.

  • Rhywun||

    There are many more Turkish speakers in Germany than speakers of multiple, often barely mutually-intelligible, varieties of Arabic added together.

    Professor of Computer Science Thomas Strothotte is an idiot.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's hard to be a good dhimmi if you don't speak your masters language.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Poor Germans. Not only are they being conquered, but their own govermin are actually helping it along.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Momma Merkel knows her new boyfriend only shows up at her trailer for free meth and to molest her daughter, but she's too fucking lonely and selfish to care.

  • Suell||

    Speaking of socialists, I don't know if it has been brought up in the comments, but did anyone notice the Fidel Castro shirt that Colin Kaepernick wore to the post game after refusing to stand for the national anthem? I have personally seem three BLM protests pass me by here in SF and noticed all three times the large number of RevCom T shirts and signs. Also, in photos from BLM protests around the country I always see those signs and shirts. Because as we all know, communist regimes are terrific in regards to police treatment of those who protest.

  • Sevo||

    That guy is poison! The 9ers should have offered him for a couple of extra guest passes at the next away game.

  • Suell||

    He really is. Denver didn't even want him for a bag of peanuts. The Niners have lost me as a lifelong fan. Their organization just sucks and I won't give them a dollar of my money ever again. Not that they need it, they are now stadium owners that also happen to own a football team. The next Taylor Swift show is more important to the Yorks than fielding a good team.

  • Ted S.||

    Thank you, Dom Capers, for making him a star. :-(

  • ||

    "I have personally seem three BLM protests pass me by here in SF and noticed all three times the large number of RevCom T shirts and signs. Also, in photos from BLM protests around the country I always see those signs and shirts."

    Ken explained to me last night that BLM is an activist group concerned with the welfare of the black community and that the only reason I think they are a bunch of commie agitators is that I disagree with their tactics. My cursing of the noble George Soros is misplaced. He funds BLM because he too is concerned with the welfare of all of mankind.

  • Suell||

    Ken is very much wrong then. I haven't seen really any media covering this angle, but they are most definitely being either coopted or in cahoots with the RevCom cult. Those ejits are front and center at a large number of these protests. BLM is causing the possibility of real reform of policing to become smaller with each "protest" they pull. They shut down the entire westbound Bay Bridge for over four hours last MLK day here. Fuck them and their socialist bullshit.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Their only goal is to rile up blacks enough that they get out and vote for hill. They don't give a shit about anything else. As soon as the election is over, they'll disappear from media coverage, just like the anti-war movement did in November 2008.

  • greasonable||

    Random thought: we have the story of the ant and the grasshopper. Seems like there is room for at least one other role of one who take from the ant to give to the grasshopper in winter.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    The Big Bad Wolf.

  • BigT||

    The spider

  • Trshmnstr, green and mangy||

  • Scott32||

    Later in life he said this: "experience demonstrates that there may be a slavery of wages only a little less galling and crushing in its effects than chattel slavery, and that this slavery of wages must go down with the other."
    Come on "Reason"!

  • 3||

    You beat me to it.

  • Banquo||

    +1 arrant nonsense

  • Brian||

    Gary Johnson should just do a live video stream, where he alternates between answering the questions as if he was asked, or mercilessly mocks Hillary or Trump for their answers.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Good article. Marx and Adam Smith both criticized slavery, and what the communists called "Kapital" was really a set of holdovers from Metropolis-Colony Mercantilism. The Metropolis sold manufactures to nontechnological agrarian colonies at prices which it dictated. The Metropolis likewise bought rough agricultural produce, also at prices it dictated, and technology was suppressed by violence.
    When the Yankees acquired shipbuilding and canon-boring they cut the Brits out of the mercantilist system by revolution and quietly established New England as the replacement Metropolis. The protective tariff replaced murder by troops but the skeleton was the same. The Civil War was in a real sense a second revolution of an internal slaveholding agricultural colony against a domestic Metropolis of freemen and freedmen.

  • DenverJ||

    *rolls eyes* sure, Hank, sure.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The explanation is in "Brazil and the World System" from U. of Texas Press, partly viewable on Google Books. The explanation matches Jeff Davis' memoirs summarized by Charles Beard in "The Rise of American Civilization." I doubt the writer, a Brazilian historian of the looter persuasion, was a fan of Jeff Davis. Try "Tariff of Abominations" and "Nullification ordinances" for background. Americans like to believe Johnny marched to Concord out of altruistic concern for the plight of individuals of color, but not many hear the call to arms for such reasons.

  • The Fusionist||

    I seem to recall posting some of Fitzhugh's wisdom in H&R comment threads.

  • TimothyLane||

    I believe it was the Virginia planter George Fitzhugh who pointed out the similarities between socialism and slavery back around 1850 or so.

  • The Fusionist||

    His best friend was Hugh Fitzgeorge.

  • BigT||

    Patrick Fitzgerald and Gerald Fitzpatrick were the friends.

  • [OMITTED]||

    I will give a saw-buck to the first person to find me a video of some college millennial calling Frederick Douglass an "Uncle Tom".

    ...... We all know its out there.

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  • RebeccaK||

    Who owns this great wealth? The Capitalist. What creates wealth? Labor. How does the Capitalist get it? He collects a profit on all goods produced. Does the Capitalist produce anything? No; Labor produces everything. Then, if all working men, organizing in trade-unions, compelled all Capitalists to pay in wages the full value of their labor, they could buy all the goods produced? No, because the Capitalist adds his profit to the goods before he sells them.

  • eamonkelly||

    Witness the lengths to which the socialists go to deprive men of their property; excessive taxation, regulation and forfeiture statutes to name just a few.

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  • august petrichor||

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