_ap_ufes{"success":true,"siteUrl":"freetheanimal.com","urls":{"Home":"http://freetheanimal.com","Category":"http://freetheanimal.com/blog-admin","Archive":"http://freetheanimal.com/2014/07","Post":"http://freetheanimal.com/2014/07/revisiting-resistant-nutritional.html","Page":"http://freetheanimal.com/advertising-product-service","Nav_menu_item":"http://freetheanimal.com/2014/07/subscribe.html","Content_ad_widget":"http://freetheanimal.com/?content_ad_widget=widget-2-5x118"}}_ap_ufee

Who’s The Worstest of Them All?

When I began my defense of Steve Cooksey the other day, contra the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (NCBDN), I wasn't planning on writing a second post, yesterday. And then when I wrote that, I most certainly had no idea I'd go at it one more time today.

To begin, what do all the following assertions have in common?

  1. Individuals shouldn't be trusted to design and manufacture their own cars because cars ought to be regulated and safe.
  2. Individuals shouldn't be trusted to see to their own children's education because kids ought have a quality education.
  3. We should have FDA control of all pharmaceuticals because we ought not have harmful drugs on the market.
  4. Individuals shouldn't be allowed to dole out medical, dietary or nutritional advice because we ought to have objectively sound advice.
  5. Individuals shouldn't be permitted to take retribution and justice into their own hands because we ought to have an objective arbiter, so people aren't unjustly killed, injured or detained.
  6. We ought to have a state and government in order to enjoy peace and prosperity.

If you catch the drift, then you see how I could go on and on with the same theme. The common fallacy in each of these claims is that they all assume the initial point, i.e., petitio principii or, Begging the Question. That latter phrase is often misused when, what is really meant is that something "raises a question."

To further illustrate, here's what's wrong with each of those.

  1. Cars aren't particularly safe no matter who makes them.
  2. The government does a lowest-common-denominator job in general, and home or parochially educated kids do well, often better on average.
  3. FDA pharmaceuticals kill thousands, have caused birth defects, irreversible side effects and the list goes on.
  4. Governmental dietary advice is not sound (look around you).
  5. Throughout history, the state is the largest murderer of the innocent of all time (more on that later).
  6. Same as number 5, just stated a different way.

Now, beyond the logical fallacy inherent in each statement, they're all additionally tied together by what I'll term a meta-illusion: the notion that somehow, government affords some sort of magical Sooper Pow3rz, whereby when it's called "government," it suddenly ceases to behave as individuals normally do in collaboration; that, in essence, it takes on some endowed greater sense of discernment, character, and good will not possessed by "ordinary" individuals.

To introduce but one bugaboo into that notion, take Underwriters Laboratories, or UL. It's a private safety standards & certification company, begun in 1894; and as near as I can tell, has collaboratively sought over these almost 120 ensuing years to keep safety standards so high for home appliances that no company would dare try to market an appliance without the UL tag stamped underneath.

No magic required; but rather, something manufacturers have enthusiastically supported because in exchange for the fees they pay UL for certification, they gain both marketing parity for their wares on the level of safety, as well as having something of a scapegoat if something goes wrong. (Note: I have no idea whether or not by today, that system has been corrupted, UL certification is mandated by law, and all manner of incestual stuff—that will only ever compromise quality assurance—has been introduced).

As I mentioned in my last post, some people took exception to my initial use the the German soldier analogy (loading Jews in boxcars, deaf to the voice of their own conscience). So if we accept for the time being that private groups can, under decent culture, leadership and standards, act as well or better than magical government, then how about individuals?

Ever heard of Stanley Milgram? I blogged about him, or wrote in various forums about him way back, but had not thought of it until a commenter brought him up.

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of notable social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.

The experiments began in July 1961. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the question: "Was it that Eichmann and his accomplices in the Holocaust had mutual intent, in at least with regard to the goals of the Holocaust?" In other words, "Was there a mutual sense of morality among those involved?" Milgram's testing suggested that it could have been that the millions of accomplices were merely following orders, despite violating their deepest moral beliefs. The experiments have been repeated many times, with consistent results within societies, but different percentages across the globe...

Well here you go.

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority. ― Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority

Basically, volunteers either answered questions or administered what they believed were electrical shocks for wrong answers, at the order of the guy wearing the white coat. Even as those being "shocked" pounded on the wall and complained of a "heart condition," the simulated shocks continued...because, the shockers, when reluctant, were told by the white coat, in successive order:

  1. Please continue.
  2. The experiment requires that you continue.
  3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.
  4. You have no other choice, you must go on.

It was only after all four admonishments went unheeded or, the maximum shock of 450 volts was "administered," that the experiment stopped. While all participants administered at least one level of shock, 65% got all the way to the maximum 450 volt dose. ...And prior to the experiment, Dr. Milgram polled his Yale colleagues and they predicted that an average of only 1.2% would get there (0-3% range).

The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation. — Stanley Milgram, The Perils of Obedience

So much for the moral fortitude of the average individual when subject to the culture and authority of the state. And that's average, folks. How much more pronounced might it be for those actually employed by such magically endowed authority, where their livelihood rests on continued employment?

So now let's turn our attention to that magical entity, the state itself. ...That's when by collaborating under the supreme authority in the land, individuals somehow, without explanation, become someone other than those 65% willing to electrocute their fellow man because someone in "authority" admonished them to do so.

Or do they? Ever heard of Rudolph J. Rummel?

Rudolph Joseph Rummel is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He has spent his career assembling data on collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination. Rummel coined the term democide for murder by government (compare genocide, his research claiming that six times as many people died of democide during the 20th century than in all that century's wars combined.

Rummel does make entirely valid distinctions between totalitarian regimes and democracies. Not that the democracies don't kill, but that they kill less. It's a lot less, but I've been looking at his data for years and something strikes me. Totalitarian regimes kill more via democide, while democracies—particularly the US—seem to kill more via war.

So what's the toll? His main area of research is on the 20th century. But what's to take note of, is that democide excludes death as a direct cause of war.

  • Pre 20th Century, all Democide (excluding war): 133 million
  • 20th Century, all Democide (excluding war): 262 million

You can go down as many rabbit holes into his research as you like, here: Death By Government.

While not included in the figures as they don't include war deaths, the American Civil War killed about 620,000 people.

To backtrack a bit to that distinction between totalitarian regimes and democracies, I find it odd that people in democracies seem to attribute those hundreds of millions of deaths overall to singular personalities. Well, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot could not have together killed all of those people had they slit throats every waking moment all their lives. In fact, they personally killed few, if any people their whole lives. I refer you to Milgram, above. Get it?

As just a further steam of conscience:

  • Search Police Brutality on YouTube. 80,000 results as of right now.
  • Check into The Innocence Project, among others, who have been setting predominantly black, death row inmates free who were wrongly convicted and sentenced to death. And specifically, check out the story of Cory Maye, recently freed after being sentenced to death. You can even search my blog for the name, for old posts, because I was right from day 1.
  • We have four times as many people in prison as China, and they have 4 times our population. So we incarcerate 16 time more people than China. Go ahead, ring that Land of the Free Freedom Bell.

Actually, we are one of the world's biggest incarcerators, mostly black, poor, generally defenseless—except for the public defender who works for the same institution attempting to prosecute him.

incarceration rates2
"Land of the Free"

It is to laugh.

So I can imagine that many who've even gotten this far might be thinking or saying that I'm just doing my post I do every now and then advocating the anarchism I advocate. That's really not the case. I'm an individualist, willing to take my chances, let the chips fall were they may in a life which, no matter how you slice it, is a gift from the Gods of evolution anyway. What I'd like, simply, is for people to be a bit more skeptical of the magical powers of government.

So let's review, from the beginning, my position on all of this.

  1. Steve Cooksey is offering his services for free or fee, to help people understand his own experience. It works for them or it doesn't. It's none of my business. Nor anybody else's except Steve and those interested.
  2. The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (NCBDN) isn't interested in the quality or potential harm of his advice. It's irrelevant. They are only concerned he's not licensed.
  3. Governmental and quasi-governmental (tax & grant whores) institutions have a dismal record of results across the board.
  4. ...While Steve Cooksey has nothing but good results for himself, and so far as I can see, no complaints from those he advises for free or fee—the original complaint comes from a simple busy body, dime a dozen wanker.
  5. Some people don't like analogies to individual atrocious actions, such as German soldiers stuffing Jews in boxcars, that appear off the scale—as though they, and only they—were controlled by some magical force. (This post obliterates that silly idea.)
  6. Some people think that state and governmental regulation is a good stop gap against potential abuse, when the worst abusers, in fact, are the same state and government.

You simply have no recourse. You educate, inform, and then trust yourself to get through life, or you choose to be a cog at best, a pawn in someone else's scheme, at worst.

No matter what, there will always be murder and quackery. If you've read well, at least you now understand who are the worst murderers and who are the worst quacks. ...And that they're one in the same.

Share 33 Google +1 6 4 Retweet 19 Like 42

Comments

  1. Isobel Riel says:

    You know what’s the worst? Spineless statists like Dr. Robert Lustig, and anyone who supports his War on Sugar. They deserve to have their door kicked in, their family held hostage, their belongings ransacked, their home destroyed, their lives ruined. Brother, you asked for it!

  2. There should be a War on Sugar; the weapons being information and trust in people to make their own choices. :)

    • Uncephalized says:

      How about we throw away the whole notion of “a War on X” entirely? The amount of institutionalized violence and propaganda supporting violence in “civilized” society is already atrociously large. There’s no need to support it further with our own language.

      I’d happily declare a Boycott of Sugar, or a Denouncement of Sugar, or a Campaign to Enlighten Regarding the Metabolic Destruction Wreaked by Sugar, but let’s let the idea that we’re going to shoot sugar in the face with an M-16 or air-strike its transportation infrastructure drop, shall we?

      • Actually, I think I could get behind the latter two suggestions…. :-D

        Our “civilized” world is a VERY ugly place – made MORE SO by the LACK of violence, not the action of it.
        Someone harms me, I need to go to the police, file a complaint, it needs to be investigated, the perpetrator found, arrested, officers might get hurt/killed making the arrest or in the investigation, then there’s the court time, incarceration costs, appeals costs, more incarceration costs, plus inmate medical costs, plus it’s guaranteed this criminal will be in contact with other criminals, maybe make some contacts, or learn some new (illicit) skills – like lockpicking, for example… Plus there are costs of containment, guards, entertainment, exercise, raw materials & production of siad facilities… Let’s not even talk about opportunity costs or recidivism.

        Perhaps a little well-placed violence would be helpful on many fronts: immediate answering for criminal acts, for example. This means JUSTICE, IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES, making criminality FAR more risky. It also removes some of the “overlap” of criminals and LEOs. (Similar tendancies in how they view the world; some of the LEOs are dirty, others become dirty, a very few are actually HONEST.) The reduction in true CRIMINAL populations would be a big help. (Note: Most misdemeanors wouldn’t count here, I’m talking MASSIVE reductions – speeding, DUI, drugs, weapons charges, vagrancy, what have you, all goes by the wayside. Mostly violent crimes – Breaking and entering, theft, rape, murder – are the targeted problems.)
        And at the same time, you can leave these other NON-CRIMINAL individuals ALONE. Even better! Now the government has no REASON to stop us, or x-ray us in passing, or determine how “good” we are, and IF we can own weapons, or a car, or a horse, or a cow, or a dog, or a cat, or a HOUSE, for F*ck’s sake.

        Now, for the notion of “War On X”, there’s a (political) reason for it. Look up the US laws, I don’t recall the specifics, but war powers come into play – which make the President almost a dictator. (And IIRC, we’ve been in a state of war since about JFK or so.) Seriously, since the War Poers Act, Congress is a rubber stamp. IF the Pres. actually pushes the issue. Generally, he won’t. It’s not … POLITICAL. ;-) Doesn’t mean he CAN’T do it.
        (Note this also omits the other fiat methods of creating/corrupting the laws: Courts, Nullification, and Government Agencies/NGOs. Can’t stop a farmer from growin on his land? Import an “endgangered Spotted Soothsayer” bird, and the EPA tells him he must keep the land NATURAL to allow the bird to live there. He can’t farm it. BUT, we’ll still TAX him on it. Whatever happened to due process? * And the bird is a fiction, but the case is not.)

        BUT, if you are allowed to have a spirited argument with your representative and both you AND he (she) can resort to violence, it’s not a question of actually RESORTING to violence – it’s a question of how to work things out. If the REPRESENTATIVE is the only one with a recourse to violence (vis-a-vis the cops), guess who will ALWAYS lose? (Here’s a hint: Not the Representatives.)
        The only other option is money, and very few citizens have enough for that to matter. (Costs money to publish books refuting the “party line”; to fund studies which may or may not show what you hoped, unless you are wealthy enough to BUY the results -> QV corporations, PACs, etc.; money needed to “petition the government for redress of grievances”, for court cases, etc. Not to mention campaign contributions, buying congressmen and senators.)

        Furthermore, the moeny angle is AGAIN distant and hazy. Violence settles things NOW. and the THREAT of violence is what makes us “go along with the herd”. I don’t want to derail us into 2nd amendment politics, but to be blunt: We can’t assume our lives will be free of violence. They usually ARE these days, but it’s more luck than design, and institutionalized violence (E.G, IRS / April 15) is “accepted” by our society. Our founders would be rolling in their graves if they had an inkling of what worthless little pussies we are in the US.

        (BTW, I LOVE sugar, massive sweet tooth. :-( )

      • Jean:

        Just remember that when seconds count, the cops are only mintes away.

        I like your–what I call “bread & butter” — sence of what “crime” really is.

      • Uncephalized says:

        While I don’t disagree with much of anything you just said, it neglects to actually address my point, which is that while violence may be justified in plenty of situations–in my opinion mostly involving self-defense or defense of those who can’t defend themselves–I would like to see less glorification of war and institutionalized killing, in both word and deed.

        But that’s just my preference, and if you like using war imagery and/or think it is useful and helpful, I won’t try to stop you, of course.

  3. This is a fanatstic post, Richard. I want everybody to hear this. I am spreading it around.

  4. Its something even Vanessa would tweet.

    I’m just glad there’s some free thinking loud mouthed jackass out there calling it how he sees it. Hopefully people will do some more of their own thinking.

  5. Thank you for bringing forth UL as an example of non-government, volunteer regulatory agencies doing well. I’ve dealt with them for 20+ years, and I’ve often thought of them as a great example of a non-government regulatory agency that has done impressive work. And it’s all by choice! (Or at least, it used to be).

    And this North Carolina thing make me raise an eyebrow. I lived there for 10 years, and extracted two wives from the state (not at the same time!)

    In my experience, there is a very volatile struggle there between the “leave me alone” and the “government will take care of you” types. My money is on the “leave me alone” folks. It just takes a little while to get them riled up enough to vote.

    • Oh, yeah,just in case. I know you’re not big on voting.

      But in my experience, it can make a difference locally.

  6. Fuck, You are not just good, but perhaps the best we have among the Paleo/Primal crowd.
    Life is more than the food we eat – It is about about how FREE is the air that we breathe.
    You are a hero.. All the power to you.

  7. One of your best posts ever. UL is indeed an outstanding example . The same model could and should be applied to the entire economy.

    Don’t skimp on the enlightenment about government. Everyone is brainwashed to believe in the “magic of gov” until they practically will themselves to really question why they think what they do.

    It is after all just coercive human action given a magical label, isn’t it?

    As far as Cooksey, I mostly bit my tongue there. The thing is, I do agree that some of his advice was off the mark, inappropriate, misleading and even dangerous.

    Just like I have seen advice given by board-certified state sanctioned university based medical doctors be misleading, inappropriate and off the mark.

    But I don’t for a second think it should be ILLEGAL to dispense such advice for anyone, whether for pay or not.

    The state should no more regulate advice given on the internet than they do private conversations about anything over cocktails.

    If diabetics want to trust Cooksey with their health, knowing he is not an MD or endocrinologist or dietician, and only a sincere and enthusiastic layman, then let them.

    Who am I or anyone else to prevent two humans from communicating about anything at all, whether to help, educate. persuade, inform, or whatever?

    So fuck those who say Cooksey deserves harassment by the state for his SPEECH. The same people would happily regulate your speech and mine about anything in the name of gov magic.

    • We’re totally on the same page, Kurt, which is why I was never interested to spend any time going over whether or not I thought Steve’s advice good or bad.

      This all about magic powers and authority and I hope I’ve done a decent job illuminating that.

      Cheers, man.

    • Even though it’s not germane to the point, I can’t help but be curious what advice you found dangerous, Kurt.

    • Uncephalized says:

      Even though it’s not germane to the point, I can’t help but be curious what advice you found dangerous, Kurt.

      As you’re an MD whose ideas and thought process I respect, I’d like to hear some details in that regard as well.

      • Thought processes, damnit. You’ll never get Kurt out of his Fortress of Solitude with bad grammar. He’s a well-known pedant.

      • Uncephalized says:

        LOLWUT? ur sayin i rote it wrongz? o noes!

        For the record, I can detect not even the slightest bend of the Holy Laws of Grammer in my above post. That sentence is equally grammatical written either way. Feel free to attempt to persuade me otherwise if you feel the need, but I am quite confident you are incorrect.

      • I was just messing around, I thought that was pretty obvious, but apparently it wasn’t, sorry for the misunderstanding.

      • Uncephalized says:

        No apology necessary. I often get unreasonably ruffled when I perceive slights to what I like to think of as my impeccably groomed grammatical plumage. It’s a total ego thing. :D

      • Heh, heh.

  8. I’ve been following you for more than 2 years. This is absolutely your best, most powerful, post, ever.

  9. Jaroslav says:

    Great post but I think your referring to Underwriters Laboratories, not United Laboratories

  10. Binny Francis says:

    Richard, your post triggered this train of thought for me: Maybe ‘free will’ is like a muscle. It may get strengthened with exercise and atrophied by disuse. Maybe ‘Obedience’ is like a muscle too.

  11. It’s not late at night for me. Over here in China the Chinese New Year has just wrapped up. This is the year of the Dragon and today I am back to work after the holiday.

    What a crazy celebration it was. The fireworks were once again unbelievable! This was my eighth year celebrating it in China.

    There is an ancient Chinese saying that states something like this, “A Great Emperor is One whom the people have heard of but are not effected by.”

    The character “Zi” is the first character for words such as “Self” (“Zi ji”) and “natural” (“Zi ran”).

    In other words, the Chinese understood that nature essentially runs by itself — no need for any God or gods and no need for Emperors (or Government). These pattern exist throughout nature and we can see it clearly in evolution, economics, the way a child learns or any other “decentralized” system of complexity.

    More often than not order is broken because of centralized authority and the order you see around you is in fact only in spite of government NOT because of it. We’re seeing that now as the snake consumes its tail within the centralized banking system and we can all see it when it comes to our health.

    One thing that amazes me about living in China for over 8 years and watching the amazing economic “miracles” you’ve likely heard about is that it isn’t a miracle at all. You see, the Chinese have absolutely no illusions about government what-so-ever. Chinese people essentially see it for the obstacle that it is and simply work around it. The real secret to the Chinese economic “miracle” is that the government has learned to get the hell out of the way.

    They’re actually just biding their time.

    China is not perfect that’s for sure. I’m not so naive to think things will remain this way. The state always grows to eventually consume itself and I’m quite familiar with the honeymoon stage that China is in. The parasite class called government has just reorganized their criminal enterprise.

    It’s important to understand that under communism there was nothing for “the state” the steal and as the country gets richer the state continues to feed upon the wealth of the people.

    It’s so obvious over here and I just can’t figure out why so many people in the western world can’t yet see it.

    Words like “democracy” seem to blind people to the reality that they somehow have a say in the system.

    Now days in China people are more likely to read Hayek or even Rothbard over Marx (No BS, we’ve got a little Austrian Economics enclave over here and there are a TON of Chinese reading Human Action and buying gold!). Yet, western societies have more and more embraced the ideas of Marx without even really realizing it.

    Corporate communism, fascism, socialism or whatever you call it. They’re all really just one side of the same coin. “The state” is already a dead concept, it’s really just a bunch of people no different than us at all except they have guns pointed at our heads.

    • Dude,
      YOU NAILED IT.

      Pity Americants (spelling intentional) don’t.

      “May you never live in interesting times.”

    • Craig,

      Well said *claps*. I’ve only been in Shanghai a few months but it is like watching evolution at high-speed. China has no rules and it’s like the Wild Wild West back in gold rush days… My main observation is that there are no lawyers, no tort, no Big Religion or Big Govt at work. The Chinese are adept; they reproduce the best from abroad (taobao/amazon/ebay; alibaba/brick-to-brick; etc) and it’s just matter of timing for profits. Nothing is really ‘new’ just retooled. A friend suggests I emulate (e.g. copy) pre-Chez Panisse Alice Waters! Truly I bet half a dozen organic, sustainable freaks have already beat me to it.

      G

  12. I should also add that my Chinese wife has a business here and has never asked for a permission slip.

  13. This is at the root of something that annoys the hell out of me–people bitching about Big Pharma and Big Agra. Hey, guess what? Those also happen to be some of the most heavily regulated, subsidized and overall government intervened sectors of the economy. It’s the government that created the market for statins not teh evul corporashuns. It’s the US government that still hasn’t approved simple antiemetics that are available in most countries. It’s the government that’s the worstest of the them all. Bitching about Big Pharma and Big Farma (without acknowledging the primacy of the government’s role) is akin to bitching about slaves being unmotivated. Perhaps we just need to whip them some more, give them bigger fetters. It’s the same as OWSers who want to fix crony capitalism by adding more regulation, more government intervention. Get a fucking clue, people.

  14. **Underwriter Laboratories** (UL) Great Post.

  15. Trying to stifle the internet is an exercise in futility in any case. Maybe they manage to shut down 1 in 1,000 websites … sucks if you are the 1 but otherwise it’s pissing in the wind.

    The information is out there, but a lot of people won’t find it because they don’t WANT to find it … do you think they really WANT to be confronted with the knowledge that their health is not dependent on a magic pill? Do they WANT to have to make a choice between (1) giving up processed foods and grains; or (2) living a miserable life and dying young?

    Last thing they want is to have to make that choice

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

  16. I wholeheartedly agree in the need for individuals to be skeptical and not look to the government for solutions, and in the ability of government to act competently and altruistically. But the argument against government strikes me to be like criticism of Marx. Marx was great on his critique of capitalism, but failed miserably in crafting a solution. So government is the problem. Granted. It is the product of many competing, diverse and flawed individuals trying to act in concert, usually for their individual best interests at the expense of their fellow citizens. What can you expect. But to those advocating libertarianism or anarchism (and I recognize there are many different types of each), I ask for an example of a successful instance in history. In answer to communism, you need only name those 20th century states we know failed. The only example of anarchism I can think of is Somalia. Would I rather live in a heavily-regulated, paternalistic state like Denmark, or Somalia? I propose the individual cannot succeed without a minimum foundation of government. It is the extent of government, and its individual practices and policies that we cannot avoid debating, because government is necessary.

    • Isobel Riel says:

      Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, we know which came first, which was the creator, and which one can survive without the other.

    • Somalia!!!!! Hurray, Steve, I polish my monocle in your honor.

      Can we now talk about roadz?

      Actually, as a minarchist I agree with your your basic point. If you are serious, I would point out that countries can have a social safety net with or without having economic freedom. Denmark is an example of a country with both. They are currently ranked 11th on the Index of Economic Freedom. http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking.

      For an example of minarchist government one could do worse than look at early America. Is there an ideal to point to and “prove” that government should just get out of the way? No, not really, but there are a hell of a lot less negative examples.

    • I would look at 10th Century Iceland or the Greenland colonies for good examples of “anarchist” communities operating successfully for sometime. Compromised I think by the morality and economics of the time (in Greenland by the climate).

      • Oh yeah, typical fucking Brit to give a better example than colonial America. You just can’t stop taking the piss, can you?

        More seriously, I think the Viking ‘ting’ or thing is overrated as a democratic institution or precursor.

      • One thing I love about quasi-anarchistic anachronistic Iceland is…ok 2 things…first, they produced enormous literature per capita. Second, the reader of the law. Each year, as I recall, the reader of the law had to recite from memory all the lawm and what he failed to recite from memory was no longer “law.”

        Got both of those from David Freidamn’s (yea, son of Milton, with a PhD in Physics from Harvard and a local prof – Santa Clara U- of Econ and Law, never having taken a course in either) Machinery of Freedom. It’s old, now, well worth the read and is available on his website.

      • Yes, it certainly was a quite fecund time for Scandinavian literature with parallels to renaissance Italy, and it is quite interesting the impact of Icelandic culture overall.

        I think my main knee-jerk reaction against the ting is that I have a lot of Scandinavian friends who love to claim this was the first modern (or real) democracy.

    • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

      Somalia is not Anarchy.
      First, no intelligent anarchist argues that the sudden and catastrophic implosion of the state will result in a peaceful, self-regulating society.

      What most of us want to do is reverse the centuries-long process of building up the state, by building alternative social institutions, organized on a voluntary cooperative basis, to supplant the state.

      With the varied meanings of the word, it’s easy to write off Somalia’s issues as merely the fruit of “anarchy.” But Somalia’s problems were created by rulers and aspiring rulers, not by any anarchists advocating no rulers. Somalia does not have anarchy, nor does its situation serve as evidence that anarchism is unlikely to work.

      Since the brutal dictatorship of Mohammed Siad Barre fell in 1991, Somalia has faced varying intensities of civil war between aspiring governments, not an overall defeat of government.

      Violence is done in trying to force a centralized government on a county with decentralized power, and in forcing a modern state onto conflicting customary law. But proponents of central government are unable to accept that forcing everyone to obey whoever has government power might not be the best way to promote harmony among different interests and allegiances.

      Anarchy didn’t establish dictatorships, make International Monetary Fund agreements, or deploy foreign militaries to Mogadishu. The problems in Somalia have been, and continue to be, caused by authoritarians and looters in government, business, and banking.

      So it would make far more sense to look at a stateless or near-stateless society that’s been that way for a long time, under comparatively stable conditions (like some of the near-stateless areas in Southeast Asia described by James Scott in “The Art of Not Being Governed”), and the institutions by which people peaceful govern their lives.

      Second, “Somalia” does not equal “Mogadishu.” Most of the horrific, Mad Max scenes captured in Somalia are in Mogadishu, where the central state was most powerful before the collapse and the institutions of civil society were accordingly most atrophied. As Roderick Long, director of C4SS’s parent body the Molinari Institute, put it, “the farther one gets away from Mogadishu, the more one gets into relatively peaceful areas that have always been anarchic or close to it, barring occasional intrusions from the statebuilders in the city.” In other words, the further you get from Mogadishu, the less Somalia resembles “Somalia,” and the more it resembles the kind of stable society described by James Scott.

      Third, the proper comparison to Somalia is not the United States and similar societies in the West, but to the actual state that existed in Somalia before the collapse of central power. Given that comparison, things in Somalia aren’t that bad at all. For example: a study by Benjamin Powell, Ryan Ford and Alex Nowrasteh took “a comparative institutional approach to examine Somalia’s performance relative to other African countries both when Somalia had a government and during its extended period of anarchy.” And it found that Somalia, when subjected to an honest comparison — “between Somalia when it had a functioning government, and Somalia now” — is less poor, has higher life expectancy, and has experienced a drastic increase in telephone lines.

      http://c4ss.org/content/1201
      One of the more recent heckling techniques adopted by government apologists of all stripes is to point to the Horn of Africa, usually while chortling, and say, “There! You don’t like government? You want anarchy? Well, what are you waiting for? Move to Somalia!”

      Indeed, the mainstream press have painted Somalia with the broad-brush catchphrases “anarchic,” “lawless,” and “chaotic.” This, however, could not be further from the truth.

      Since U.S. troops deposed the dominant governmental regime in the early 1990s, Somalia has been a hotbed of would-be, wanna-be, and actual governments all vying for uncontested rule over the populace. At present, the U.N. and U.S.-backed “official” government is capable of controlling only a few blocks of Mogadishu surrounding its immediate headquarters. African Union troops, headed by the ruling elite in Ethiopia, have thus far proven wholly ineffective in stomping various warlord-run militias and hardline Islamic rebels out of existence. To the contrary, such heavily armed bands roam about the countryside, often entirely unopposed, seizing territory while looting, raping, and killing the inhabitants. Even al-Qaida affiliated or sympathetic groups are now increasingly drawing the attention of U.S. special forces military units, determined to bring the “War on Terror” to yet another front.

      Meanwhile, the “civilan” Somalis attempt to live and work and trade with some semblance of normalcy, erstwhile under a hail of bullets, missiles, and bombs – both from factions domestic and foreign. The devastation and accompanying squalor on land drives many Somali men to piracy off the coastline, which prompts the U.S. Navy and armed vessels of other nations to step up their presence in the region, escalating the tensions and hostilities even further.

      No, there is no “anarchy” in Somalia – not as that word is properly used; to denote an absence of rulers. While there may be many ways in which Somalis under such conditions are not hampered by the institution of taxation, and are thus free to trade what goods and services there are to be made or had on a voluntary, consensual basis, such conditions are not precisely conducive to optimum commerce. With a constant barrage of different warring factions running amok, each competing fiercely to be the one, uncontestable ruling force, there is only an atmosphere of impending statism with no current group of guerilla fighters able to muster enough firepower to snuff or drive away all of the others.

      True anarchy – market anarchy – contemplates free and unbeholden individuals dealing with each other as peaceful traders for mutual benefit. If you want to do good business and turn a profit, you don’t go around killing current or potential customers, suppliers, partners and employees. You compete to be the best at providing quality goods and services at reasonable prices – not with threats and violence. Anarchism is, contary to popular belief, strictly a peaceful philosophy. Governments do and can only rest on violence as their ultimate defense. Markets, in and of themselves, don’t and can’t operate that way.

      The truth is that there is nothing anarchic about Somalia. It is at present a rat’s nest of governmental (i.e. criminal) muscle-flexing, all ultimately to the ill of the Somalian people, and the world at large. It’s time the world learned this indispensable lesson.

      • outstanding, thanks for this

      • Jeremy:

        No firm decision, but I’m strongly considering putting this up as a “guest post,” like right about now. Any complaints?

        This week is all about others, not me, because everyone knows what an asshole I am.

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

        No permission needed to share ideas. But I’m not the actual “author” I simply conglomerated a bunch of other articles and ideas into one write up. Nothing in that is truly original but there would also be no way to cite every source for every sentence.

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

        Also to further clarify, everything after the link, is word for word copied from that link. Which is why I posted it. The author of that article is Alex R. Knight III on Oct 7, 2009

  17. One of the best post that you have made.
    I say it from Venezuela, where I can see first hand, the disaster that a centralized State that want to control it all, can do to the individuals.
    Here we have a mix of the Messiah myth (Hugo Chávez) with the State myth (XXI Century Socialism) at work, and the result is a disaster.
    I can now see all this garbage in my country.
    Freedom means let me do my own thinking and choices, and as soon as a State want to take that from you, then you are a slave.
    In this regard, Venezuela and USA are both sides of the same coin.
    My compliments to you, Richard, for a well put and thoughtful piece.

  18. Great post.

  19. Richard, I recently listened to a very interesting interpretation of the Millgram Experiments, which goes into depth on the effect of the four prompts you mentioned. In sum, whenever a subject was given the fourth prompt — the only one that tells the subject he had no choice — the subject refused to go on! I’m still trying to work out what that says about human nature, but I think you might find it interesting. http://www.radiolab.org/2012/jan/09/

    JD, thanks for sharing about Venezuela. There is not enough attention on what’s going on there.

  20. realLife says:

    Actually what you are talking about is a monopoly that is self regulating for its own good and this will be the downfall of the present medical establishment. Technology is advancing at an exponential rate now so these regulating bodies will not be able to keep up with the evolving environment.
    It is already happening in that one can order ones own blood test at various labs research ones own condition and then find the specialist who understands the state of the art and get assistance here or abroad to help oneself. You can also go to other countries and get drugs that take for ever to be approved in the USA for the stupidest reasons (I read of one company that had to take the FDA to court to get their device approved while it was approved in the EU a year earlier) and bypass the whole mess. Now this is already being done is some private clinics and my the 1% or informed people.

    This is already happening in many fields.

  21. Jennifer says:

    All I have to say is, “be still my George Orwell, Thomas Jefferson, Ayn Rand, Ron Paul loving Libertarian punk ass…you ain’t the boss of me…..heart”

    Sir…I am new to primal living and your website…..and you JUST ROCK (in a very cool Joe Strummer sort of way) I could NOT have said it better myself. As an ER nurse….I could go on and on and on and on about the evils of regulations, paperwork, etc. Many may disagree with me, but I strongly feel that there is NO greater threat to freedom and liberty than a a country run by committees and bureaucrats……nothing but czars with pencils…they are accountable to NO ONE and are fueled by their own self-interest and job security (which can only be obtained through the constant harassing and criminalization of ordinary citizens and their activities)

    I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes that I used to have as a bumper sticker on the back of my car:

    “The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants” -Albert Camus

  22. Jon Cole says:

    Richard-

    I find your comparison of incarceration rates to the ideas of conformity an excellent overview of the nature of freedom and liberty in humans. These connections are everywhere in the field of social psychology. Your discussion of the prison population in the U.S. reminded me of Phil Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo conducted the experiment partly at the behest of the Office of U.S. Naval Research to study the dynamics of prisons.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Twelve (university) students were selected out of 75 to play the prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. Another twelve of the same 75 were selected to play the Guards. Roles were assigned randomly to the 24 men.

    The participants adapted to their roles well beyond what even Zimbardo himself expected, leading the officers to display authoritarian measures and ultimately to subject some of the prisoners to torture.

    In turn, many of the prisoners developed passive attitudes and accepted physical abuse, and, at the request of the guards, readily inflicted punishment on other prisoners who attempted to stop it.
    The experiment even affected Zimbardo himself, who, in his capacity as Prison Superintendent, lost sight of his role as psychologist and permitted the abuse to continue as though it were a real prison.

    Five of the prisoners were upset enough by the process to quit the experiment early, and the entire experiment was abruptly stopped after only six days. The experimental process and the results remain controversial. The entire experiment was filmed, with excerpts made publicly available.”

    You can track down footage of the experiment on YouTube. The mental meltdown of Prisoner #8612 on camera WILL chill you to your core. Furthermore, the sadistic actions of the prison guard they called “John Wayne” quickly shows how your role- determined for you by an authority figure perhaps- leads to the diffusion of responsibility. “John Wayne” was told he was in charge and needed to do what was “necessary” to keep the simulated prisoners in line.

    Perhaps this experiment is not too far removed from the authority doctors are given over their patients. Hell, it even extends to lab coat syndrome and the placebo effect…
    The ethical questions raised of Zimbardo in dealing with human subjects puts the now octogenarian in the same realm as Milgram (Milgram even congratulated Zimbardo after the experiment saying that some of the pressure and criticsm the Obedience study received was now directed at the Prison Experiment).

    What we can glean from studies like Zimbardo’s and Milgram’s are the ramifications of the power of the situation- your level of compliance/obedience versus the role you are expected to play as a member of a social group.

    Every year I bring my students to Angola. This is Louisiana’s maximum security prison workcamp facility. Louisiana has the unpleasant distinction of having more prisoners per capita than any other place on Earth. I use the Stanford study and our field trip with my high school psycholog classes. It routinely elicits surprise and cultivates derision of the lock ‘em up and throw away the key mentality so many Americans have these days.

    I’m not in favor of letting convicted criminals go free, but I think it’s important that criminal offenders are rehabilitated instead of simply following the custodial model as is the case in many jurisdictions today.

    • Thanks Jon, and if you don’t mind my asking, what is your area of expertise and in what capacity do you have students? The reason for my asking is for private emails about this posts to some acquaintances and friends. Feel free to email if you would prefer.

  23. Tony Mach says:

    3. Comercial airlines have killed thousands, therefore we should be free to fly in single-engine aircraft without prior training.

    No.

    • Tony.

      Sorry man, but really ignorant argument. Here’s why.

      First of all, if you are basing it on numbers, as you imply, on a per capita basis and flight hours, civil aviation kills way more people. While commercial flight is indeed very safe–private training BTW–civil aviation is somewhat risky because training and experience levels are so varied.

      Now, let’s talk about people on the ground killed be either. You go first.

      Second, let’s talk about otherwise well-adjusted but untrained people climbing into small aircraft and taking off and taking their chances they can fly the thing and land it safely, not to mention passengers getting in with them. I’ll let you go first.

      I fly hang gliders, powered and sailplanes, BTW.

      • Tony Mach says:

        No, the point is (and I am sorry not have made it clearer), is if someone wants to travel by aircraft. I say from the “not dying” point of view, commercial airlines (with all their shortcomings) are preferable, by far – regardless whether you are an passenger or someone on the ground.

        The same holds true for medical science. The “conventional” evidence based science (with all its shortcomings) is preferable to any non-evidence based “medical” “science”. Otherwise we’d still be using leaches, talking about the four humors, or be using some other “believe-based” shit.

        It is one thing to criticizes conventional medicine for its shortcomings (when it fails its own claim of adhering to the evidence) but it is another thing to say “conventional medicine kills and maims” (as you imply with ) and has therefore no right to criticize unproven BS. That is a relativistc BS argument by you, that you make to lower the position of science and to justify holding a position you have no systematic evidence for. Show me a study showing the effects of a transition from CIAB SAD to Paleo in patients with T2DM. I say such a transition has unknown dangers and is possibly fatal. You can’t prove that it isn’t. The least you (or Steve) could do is acknowledge this instead of trying to prove medicine in general wrong. If you don’t like how conventional scientific based medicine conducts its business and think the alternatives are better, then your are free to not use medicine in general and do what you think is better – but then stick to it.

      • “No, the point is (and I am sorry not have made it clearer), is if someone wants to travel by aircraft.”

        Oh, well then your original statement is non-sequitur.

        “Comercial airlines have killed thousands, therefore we should be free to fly in single-engine aircraft without prior training.”

        “The same holds true for medical science. The “conventional” evidence based science (with all its shortcomings) is preferable to any non-evidence based “medical” “science”. Otherwise we’d still be using leaches, talking about the four humors, or be using some other “believe-based” shit.”

        I think if you check the history, you’ll find that many of the early advances were done by self-trained physicians doing experimentation of themselves and others…point being that all the formal crapola now that passes for “safety” and “protection” mainly keeps incompetent people safe and protected in their jobs.

        None of this is needed to gain knowledge. In fact, the state itself is less than 10,000 years old. How did we possibly survive 4 million years without it?

        “trying to prove medicine in general wrong”

        I’ve done nothing of the sort. Science is science and can be done properly, anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances. There’s nothing magical about “convention” and the very word itself implies resistance to change.

        I think it’s pretty clear that medicine is fucked from top to bottom and wall to wall. Look around you.

      • You know, leeches are again accepted medical practice (as are maggots) and the four humors have their analogue in TCM, which is quite effective for billions of people.

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

        “You can’t prove that it isn’t.”

        I often see that same statement for people that argue that there is a magical omnipotent being in the sky that scatters feel good fairy dust for those that just believe in him.

        You say there’s unknown dangers and it’s possibly fatal. Great, prove it. You’re the one making the claim so the burden of proof is on you. Proponents of the Paleo lifestyle have hundreds of examples of people that have reversed type 2 diabetes and other diseases of civilization. Are you trying to say that NOT having Type 2 diabetes is MORE dangerous (and possibly fatal) than not having it?

        The other point you failed to bring up is that most of the medical science regarding eating grains is faulty. The people behind the studies (follow the money) are GRAIN companies,.Agricultural feedlots, people that have a huge vested interest with millions to lose should the actual results of the studies come out and show how harmful grains are.
        Richard and others have pointed this out numerous times. Look who sponsors companies/ organizations like the American Diabetes Association and you’ll see why the “medical” advice given out by the government and these companies is so flawed.

      • Tony Mach says:

        And I just think to shudder that all people who travel by commercial aircraft would use small Cesna’s instead – uhh.

    • traderpaul says:

      Tony
      You haven’t taken your thought to the root.
      Yes. airlines have killed thousands. But they have done so under the direct supervision of government entities that demand complete authority over safety in order to “protect the public”.
      Richard’s example of UL shows that privately run entities can do an excellent job at providing safety without ruining the end-consumer experience. Been in an airport lately?

  24. Do you know why China has a lower incarceration rate than the US? Because they kill many more people.

    Chairman Mao himself was responsible for 70 MILLION DEAD!

    We have not even come close to this numbers throughout our history.

    • palo, those dead are included in the democide figures I cited, so your point was already accounted for in my post. Moreover, I’m talking about currently, not what happened in the 50s and 60s in China. I think you’d be hard pressed to demonstrate that China kills more than the millions we imprison today.

      • Richard, you kill a lot of people, most people will toe the line.

        Even today – under the enlightened leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, China conducts mass executions and sends the enemies of the people to the laogai.

        Their “official” figures greatly understate executions and imprisonments because they control the means of communications.

      • “Richard, you kill a lot of people, most people will toe the line.”

        As it is with incarceration of a lot of people.

        Palo, I don’t think anyone took my post to mean that China is great and we suck. It was merely an ironic comparison.

        I think most took it that I think all governments suck, worldwide, and regardless of what China does, our incarceration rates are a disgrace, with most being behind bars for non-violent “crimes” like smoking dope or snorting coke.

      • I agree with you. Thanks for the clarification.

  25. Marry me. Amazing blog, amazing entry, spot-fucking-ON

  26. Bong Kim says:

    man, don’t give up your government. You can occupy your government, can’t you? I wholeheartedly agree that you have big problems in your government, but just don’t give up yet. Change it.

  27. As I wrote elsewhere (but is buried in comments with no more nesting),

    I believe that anarchy is an asshole’s charter and makes the world a worse place to live in.
    Assholes & asshole companies are free to make people’s lives a misery. I think that this is wrong.

    Health: In the UK health system, there is suffering caused by ignorance & apathy (you mentioned bed sores).
    In the US health system, there is suffering caused by ignorance, apathy & greed. See Why I have little respect for MDs; a common every day example. What would you do to stop this?

    Drugs: Assholes use alcohol, then crack to get underage girls to do whatever they want (sex, street prostitution etc). What would you do to stop this?

    • “What would you do to stop this?”

      You crack me up, Nigel.

      In what way is any of this an argument against “anarchy” when it’s all clearly happening under an oppressive state with their exclusionary licensing, regulation, red tape, inefficiency and on and on?

      It’s not even worth responding to, it’s so ridiculous.

      Also, you’re begging the question again. First in assuming any of that stuff can be stopped short of a Soviet-style totalitarian regime and second, that anyone has any obligation whatsoever to stop it. I’m really only concerned with people who wish to live good and responsible lives and I’ll be happy for Darwin to take care of the rest.

      • I know that it’s happening despite oppressive laws. If those laws didn’t exist, would things be better or worse? I say much worse.

        Are you saying that assholes should be allowed to fuck-up other people’s lives? Darwin doesn’t take care of them.

        FWIW, I’m not in favour of laws that are there mainly to generate revenue through fines.
        I’m in favour of laws that make the world a better place. Enforcing such laws is a completely separate problem.

      • “I say much worse”

        For whom?

        “Are you saying that assholes should be allowed to fuck-up other people’s lives? Darwin doesn’t take care of them.”

        Assholes already fuck up people’s lives. People fuck up their own lives.

      • “For whom?”
        For vulnerable people (the disabled, young women, children) who can’t stick up for themselves. I gave an example of assholes using alcohol & hard drugs to manipulate vulnerable people. There would be more of that happening.
        “Assholes already fuck up people’s lives.”
        I know. It’s a shame. What are your views on police officers & crime investigators?
        “People fuck up their own lives.”
        I don’t have a problem with that.

        Bear with me a little longer. I don’t know whether or not you carry a firearm in public or whether or not you are skilled in unarmed combat, but consider the following. You are walking down the street and in a side alley, you see an asshole doing something to a vulnerable person. Do you intervene if the something is:-
        Harassment causing distress?
        Assault?
        Rape?
        Strangulation?
        I’m curious.

      • “can’t stick up for themselves. I gave an example of assholes using alcohol & hard drugs to manipulate vulnerable people. There would be more of that happening.”

        First of all, as per usual, the point & goal has now shifted. Guess you had to concede that shit happens in the “utopia” too.

        Peole use hard ggrugs and alcohol to take advantage now, in the “utopia.”

        More happening? You don’t give enough of a fuck or a care now, so what’s your point? You could be out scouring the streets now, but you don’t? Why. Becaue you don’t really give a fuck and that’s the truth.

        Right? You give a fuck only to the extent your fingers can type.

        I have many guns and much ammo, I don’t usually carry’ but yes, I would intervene and I have in many conflagrations, not knowing if someone had a gum.

        But my goal is always to diffuse. I can get my cock sucked any time I want.

      • “First of all, as per usual, the point & goal has now shifted.”
        My mind wanders!
        “You don’t give enough of a fuck or a care now, so what’s your point?”
        I do give a fuck, but I can’t personally do anything about the problem, other than vote to have more police on the beat, more CCTV cameras etc (they do reduce street crime).
        “You could be out scouring the streets now, but you don’t? Why. Becaue you don’t really give a fuck and that’s the truth.”
        We aren’t allowed to carry weapons and I never learned how to fight, so what’s the point in someone like me scouring the streets?
        “Right? You give a fuck only to the extent your fingers can type.”
        Even a nerd like me has noticed that you’re really pissed-off now. I’ll give it a rest.

      • Sounds like you are making all the arguments FOR an armed concerned citizenry.

      • “I do give a fuck, but I can’t personally do anything about the problem, other than vote to have more police on the beat, more CCTV cameras etc (they do reduce street crime).”

        Voting. Really?

        “We aren’t allowed to carry weapons and I never learned how to fight, so what’s the point in someone like me scouring the streets?”

        There are many ways to help the less fortunate. My point is that your concern isn’t so great as to actually help them, only so great as to be a part in forcing others to do so.

        I wasn’t pissed-off (not pissed, either :). I just get more direct when I have a couple of drinks in me, and I was at a Super Bowl party.

      • “Voting. Really?”
        Yes. Really. My local council is politically central and can swing either way very easily.
        “There are many ways to help the less fortunate. My point is that your concern isn’t so great as to actually help them, only so great as to be a part in forcing others to do so.”
        Ways that can make a significant difference? I dunno. I still believe that having laws with stiff penalties against “X” largely reduces their rate of occurrence (where “X” are bad things that people do to other people).
        “I wasn’t pissed-off (not pissed, either :) . I just get more direct when I have a couple of drinks in me, and I was at a Super Bowl party.”
        O.K. I wasn’t too sure.

        Do you have a manifesto of how you think the US should operate?

      • Nigel, rape of underage girls has consequences. What does that have to do with psychoactive substances? Should we outlaw chocolate as well, since children can be influenced by sweets?

      • Don’t get me started on that subject!

  28. Tony Mach says:

    It took me a while, but I know now what problem I have with your position: It is post-modern relativism, basically the position that everything is somehow equally valid (or equally invalid). And in my view, relativism is the retreat of scoundrels, trickers, quacks and the religious deluded.

    There is only one reality – either:
    1. The earth is round (or roundish, to be more correct)

    2. The earth is flat

    3. The earch is hollow (and we live inside)

    These claims are mutually exclusive and only one is based on reality.

    And similarly there is only one reality – either:
    1. Paleo helps most people with T2DM (which does not rule out that it harms some)

    2. Paleo does mainly nothing for T2DM (which does not rule out harm or benefit for some)

    2. Paleo harms most people T2DM (which does not rule out benefit for some)

    And similarly, these claims are mutually exclusive and only one is based on reality.

    In my view, #1 *might* be close to reality. But I do not have proof. Neither do you. And neither does Steve Cooksey.

    I want evidence for #1. I want that everybody knows what the reality is, and what is not reality – and that they can choose accordingly. If they want to continue the SAD, after being show the evidence for #1, well, what can I do? But I want to say “here is the evidence for #1, go ahead and look at them” and *not* “well, my experience is …”, because you can continue that sentence with any BS.

    Again: The plural of anecdote is not data and even the most intuitively obvious medical beliefs must be tested. Otherwise we still be using leaches and talking about the four humors… I like scientific progress, but it has rules. Anecdotes are nice if want to postulate a hypothesis, but you need proper evidence for scientific progress. Same as there is only one reality, there is only scientific process. Just because a few others seem to have forgotten this, does not give us the relativistic right to do the same.

    And the second point is that I honestly do not know if the transition from a CIAB SAD diet towards Paleo can have side effects and harm *some* people with T2DM. Neither do you. And neither does Steve Cooksey. I have read Wolfgang’s Lutz “Life without Bread” and in the German original he writes about his n-1 (and does hint at the patients he treated) that a fast transition can be harmful, citing strokes as a risk of a fast transition.

    Since going to Paleo I started with 94kg (@1.72m) and went (via a transient 77kg) to now 86kg. I made a mistake that may have lead to me gaining weight – I correct the mistake, but don’t seem to be able to loose any more weight. I believe you share some problems getting your weight further down as well. So what is Steve going to do when something happens (let’s say kidney problems) after he effectively given out advice, that he does not know to handle? I want to know what the risks of the transition from SAD to Paleo are, and I want to know what to do to mitigate them. Until it is not know what these risks are, we should not give out advise nilly-willy. Just because others behave badly (and bend the scientific process in their “favour”) is no excuse for us to do the same.

    The reasonable thing for Steve (regardless of what these idiots say) would be to do the following:
    1. State that it is his personal experience

    2. That he does not know if his advice is *generally* helpful to other

    3. That he does not know the *general* short-term and long-term effects of such a diet change

    4. And that he does not collect positive and negative anecdotes in any systematic fashion (because let’s face it, he doesn’t)

    • “The plural of anecdote is not data and even the most intuitively obvious medical beliefs must be tested.”

      On an individual level there’s not much difference either way. Most drugs and other therapies or dietary intervention tested have some sort of distribution in terms of effectiveness, like a bell curve. No individual knows where they are on that distribution unless they test it for themselves. Same basic thing for anecdotes that appear reasonable.

  29. Outstanding post.

    I’ve found Rummel and Balko to be great sources for the very points you’re making.

  30. Fantastic post! Eloquently and clearly stated.

    I think often about the subjects you address, mainly because I am witness to two different cultures on an almost daily basis. I live in podunk Bavaria, Germany, near some pretty prominent U.S. Army installations. My wife is a contractor and works on one of the posts, while I’m self-employed and do my own thing. I see the inflexibility of the German people and their linear way of thinking every time I go to the doctor, grocery store, or just for an amble in the Altstadt of the city I live near. I do live in a fairly repressed and conservative region of Germany, so I don’t want to generalize too much or paint with too wide of a brush. Just speaking from my own experience. I love having this opportunity to live overseas, but it can be a struggle at times. Thankfully, I’ve figured out pretty easily how to eat really clean in Germany. It’s cheap to do, the food is readily available if you know where to look, and I’m not regarded as some hippy-dippy shit brain because I purchase organic produce (like in the US). That’s nice. The Germans could learn a thing or two about the food in their own backyard from me, but, they love their bread, pastries, wheat beer, and the idea of grass-feeding animals hasn’t really caught on yet. I’ve got my sources, though.

    Now, when I go on post to pick up mail, see a friend, or take care of any other type of business, I get to see the really ugly side of Americans and how the government has absolute control over those people. I had the audacity to bad-mouth some of the products being sold at one of the commissaries to one of the managers, and the word “un-patriotic” was actually uttered in my direction. Since the entire post is run by government money, only the government agenda is pushed, of course. The dining facilities serve absolute shit for food, and fast food is the normal meal for most of the soldiers, housewives, and their families each and every day. What does the Army care about their health, really though? These people are disposable in their eyes.

    I believe the Earth is actually indented in these regions where US military installations exist because of all of the obese people who reside in such a local area (I’ve seen it in Germany, Japan, and the UK). But, they are heroes, and I’m just an overeducated college boy with a masters degree who should learn to respect a 19 year old grunt who can’t spell grunt – or count to 19. I really am trying to help some of my friends out around here, but they are just so indoctrinated in the ways of the Army. Questioning that authority is verboten, and not seen in a positive light. It really, really saddens me that these people may never learn to think for themselves. Yes, land of the free, indeed…..

    Best end it there. Again, thanks for sharing your views!

  31. On a completely similar subject…
    Do you think that the manufacturers of Crap in a Bag™ (who make shit-loads of money) have excessive influence on US government policies through lobbying?

    • “Do you think that the manufacturers of Crap in a Bag™ (who make shit-loads of money) have excessive influence on US government policies through lobbying?”

      Well of course, but why?

      Is it not because government has something they’re selling to the highest bidder? And if so, what is the real root of that problem?

      • If there was no government, I would expect the manufacturers of Crap in a Bag™ to influence the public directly. Are you familiar with the psychological tricks used by Edward Bernays to manipulate the masses?

      • Yep, we wouldn’t want the makers of crap in a bag or crapi n a prescription influencing the public “directly.”

        Nigel, you are the biggest question beggar I have come across in a very long time. If this is your normal method or argument you need to reevaluate.

      • I get what it is you don’t want. I’m trying to grasp what it is you do want.
        I’m not aware that I’m begging questions.
        You think that government-run schools are bad.
        CIAB manufacturer-run schools would be much worse.

      • “I’m trying to grasp what it is you do want.”

        I want everyone to mind their own business. I seem to recall the lesson as a 4-yr old, or something like that. It’s a simple lesson.

      • “CIAB manufacturer-run schools would be much worse.”

        Don’t know what CIAB is, but nonetheless: worse for _whom_?

        And why ought we expect that that the good of an education is really materially different from the goods of cars, boats, airplanes, plumbing, electrical work, clothing, food, entertainment or any other good? Some people do better, some worse for themselves, but everyone is doing their own business.

        You’re coming at this from a neolithic, socialist perspective in which education is “too important” to leave to private enterprise, and so it’s all socialized, all lowest-common-denominator, one-size-fits-all: the Volga.

        But what it really is is the indoctrination of virtually everyone into the Zoo Human, such that everyone thinks the same way, spouts the same bullshit, are taught to think that the diarrhea that comes out of their mouth is somehow more insightful than the last time a million ignoramuses said the same thing, et cetera, et cetera.

      • “Don’t know what CIAB is, but nonetheless: worse for _whom_?”

        Crap in a bag. Pupils will be worse-off, as they’ll be eating/drinking loads of CIAB from the large number of vending machines. There’ll be loads of pro-CIAB propaganda to increase sales. If you believe that businesses operate for the benefit of their customers, you’re the one wearing rose coloured glasses.

        “You’re coming at this from a neolithic, socialist perspective in which education is “too important” to leave to private enterprise, and so it’s all socialized, all lowest-common-denominator, one-size-fits-all: the Volga.”

        No. I’m coming at this from a perspective in which human health is “too important” to leave to private enterprise.

      • “Crap in a bag. Pupils will be worse-off, as they’ll be eating/drinking loads of CIAB from the large number of vending machines.”

        Yea, that never happens otherwise. This is question begin, yet one more time where you attempt to assume that some desirable outcome is in our grasp with the state where in reality, they are arguably the root case of the problem in the first place.

        “human health is “too important” to leave to private enterprise.”

        You have no choice in the matter, unless you wish to see hundreds of millions of the 7 billion in the world starve. A government has never fundamentally fed a person ever. They have skimmed off the top of the gruel plenty of times, though.

        This, of course, is part of the pernicious lie. Corps are only concerned about profits, and so they go as cheap as they can, for as large of price, and that will always be the logic of enterprise.

        Governments are simply for sale to the highest bidder, as they always have been, so the natural incentive for the corps gets twisted to insane proportion.

        You, Nigel, are defending the moral fortitude of what has always been a criminal enterprise (the state). I, on the other hand, have no illusions about either. i know exactly what each does and will try to do.

        I prefer the latter, corporations, because I don’t have to deal with them if I don’t want to—and should it ever come down to it, I suspect it would be a long time until there was only one super corporation, in which case, we’re right where we are now.

      • “Yea, that never happens otherwise. This is question begin, yet one more time where you attempt to assume that some desirable outcome is in our grasp with the state where in reality, they are arguably the root case of the problem in the first place.”

        I argue that they aren’t.

        “You have no choice in the matter, unless you wish to see hundreds of millions of the 7 billion in the world starve.”

        Yes, we need quantity to feed the population. Without enforced standards, quality can be shit. I’m told (by someone who travels between UK & US) that US veg is large, watery & tasteless compared to UK veg.

        “This, of course, is part of the pernicious lie. Corps are only concerned about profits, and so they go as cheap as they can, for as large of price, and that will always be the logic of enterprise.”

        Did you just sneak some irony in?

        “You, Nigel, are defending the moral fortitude of what has always been a criminal enterprise (the state).”

        I see it as the lesser of two evils.

        “I, on the other hand, have no illusions about either. i know exactly what each does and will try to do.”

        So do I.

        “I prefer the latter, corporations, because I don’t have to deal with them if I don’t want to...”

        Really?

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

        “I argue that they aren’t.”

        You’re arguing very ineffectually from what I can see. I’m counting through and it’s Richard 17, Nigel 3. And those 3 are pity points.

      • Who elected you as referee?
        Laf!

      • “I argue that they aren’t.”

        No you don’t. You simply assume which, as I have pointed out, is question begging. It’s a logical fallacy which, last time I checked falls quite short of an “argument.”

        “Without enforced standards, quality can be shit.”

        Begging the question.

        “Did you just sneak some irony in?”

        No, reality. See, I deal with reality. I know and understand the motivations of both the thieves and the folks who only want to sell you stuff. You think those who just want to sell you stuff are far worse than the thieves.

        “I see it as the lesser of two evils.”

        See above.

        “Really?”

        Yea, really fucking really, dumbshit. Now you really are pissing me off, because I fucking hate liars and posers.

        I have innumerable choices from the wares of corporations and that’s a fact i won’t spend a second elaborating on.

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

        I elected myself. I don’t elect others. I find the election process and results deplorable and in most cases immoral. Immoral because by voting you are sanctioning the actions of the person elected and condoning the entire government process.

      • I’m off to karaoke now. Thanks for the discussion so far Richard. It’s been mentally stimulating. My brain has been turning to stodge lately.

        I don’t normally discuss politics, as it’s all about beliefs. You believe that the bribers (Corps) are the lesser of 2 evils. I believe that the bribees (Govts.) are.

      • “you believe that the bribers (Corps) are the lesser of 2 evils. I believe that the bribees (Govts.) are.”

        Who has the ultimate power in that equation?

        I get it. You must think that government is just for sale out of the benevolent goodness of their own hearts.

        Suppose I’m a murderer with means. I murder, but have the means to buy off the DA to not prosecute and let me continue in my murderous ways because he benefits.

        Who’s the more fundamentally evil?

      • “No you don’t. You simply assume which, as I have pointed out, is question begging. It’s a logical fallacy which, last time I checked falls quite short of an “argument.””
        I meant believe rather than argue. I paraphrased you. My bad.

        “Begging the question.”
        Maybe for you, but not for me. DEFRA regulations mean higher quality veg (dunno about meat) for us than you.

        “You think those who just want to sell you stuff are far worse than the thieves.”
        Those that sell you worthless shit, yes. Your choice of words shows your bias.

        “Yea, really fucking really, dumbshit. Now you really are pissing me off, because I fucking hate liars and posers.”
        Do you realise that the words you wrote meant something completely different to me from what you intended? So, you have staff to deal with corporations on your behalf?

        “I have innumerable choices from the wares of corporations and that’s a fact i won’t spend a second elaborating on.”
        So do I, but what does that have to do with anything?

        I now know what your political beliefs are and you now know what mine are. We can’t change the system, so whatever we write here is mental masturbation. I’m happy. My tax burden isn’t too high, I have everything that I need, it’s peaceful and the veg is tasty. Ta-Ra!

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

        “We can’t change the system, so whatever we write here is mental masturbation.”
        For the most part that is correct. But mental masturbation educates those that are able to think rationally, and through that, those that wish to live without the violence of government are changing the world, one person at a time.

        You consistently rail against corporations in your rantings. Are you aware that corporations are creations of government? They are government protected businesses. They are not Free market Capitalism, they are Corporatism. The state protects the corporations and then corporations feed the state.

      • “I meant believe rather than argue. ”

        Hmm, so you don’t believe in what you argue? What does that indicate about your Internet presence?

        “regulations mean higher quality veg”

        Shame that you rely upon your masters and overseers to source quality (in the FORMER Brit Empire). If you follow the blogs, there’s an explosion in the US with people somehow, blind and in the dark, nonetheless finding their way to source quality, fresh, organic and pastured meats, fowl, eggs, veggie and fruits locally.

        “Those that sell you worthless shit”

        Alright, point taken. I figured you had a bit of independent discernment but so long as you tell me you and others can’t tell between worthless and quality, sure. Knock yourself out, man. Not my bag, but go for that worthless shit all you want.

        I guess you have no choice. No other producers. No other outlets. You’re fucked. Good thing you have one and only one government where you can take your business elsewhere.

        …Oh, wait…

        “Do you realise that the words you wrote meant something completely different to me from what you intended?”

        No, I don’t, and you’re posing again. Already made the distinction of being pissed from being pissed-off—which, incidentally, was how you wrote it initially in another thread and can look it up. As I said, I don”t take kindly to lying, nor do I take kindly to silly shit that by now ought to be part of the dialectic when brits and Americans get together. When is the last time an American chastised you for using wanker, when they might think instinctively of a guy yanking on a rope or something?

        What, you want to appear rather dense, or what? You’d rather feign ignorance that say, “yea Yank, I know what you mean?”

        …I often wonder if there are any Brit blogs many American’s frequent. Oh. there’s at least one. Samizdata (Google that word). I’ve been a reader since mid 90s. They’ve linked to me a time or two, including just recently.

        “So do I, but what does that have to do with anything?”

        So let’s get this straight. Nigel has a single government he can deal with. He gets to vote, some order of a millionth say on things. Conversely, he has all sorts of choices in what car he can buy…what meats, fish, vegetables. He can choose to buy a TV or not, and escape the tax (I ignored the French over the tax in 1991, on threat if seizure). The list goes on and on, and is evidenced by the vast variation in which people routinely manage their lives without help, supervision or compulsion.

        But Nigel is comfortable with the compulsion. He doesn’t care much that the line created from such is just enough to keep many players out of the market.

        Ironically, he’s a huge fan of the very thing he fantastically believes government to do which it does not and quite the contrary.

      • “You consistently rail against corporations in your rantings. Are you aware that corporations are creations of government?”

        Do me one little fucking favor before you comment, again, Nigel, and Google and Google again and educate yourself about the shielding or personal liability via corporate law (that’s state law, BYW, the source).

        Next, sit and reflect why so often, people are very understanding of local mom & pos, why they actually defend them against the state (in incestuous relationship with big-corp) and how that all turns.

        Then, ask yourself why you are such a sucker in in the whole scheme when it’s so clear what’s going on.

      • Why are you still tilting at windmills? Good night.

      • Then do it fist thin in the morning.

        Really. As at least one other has pointed out, your display of ignorance is quite astounding.

        This isn’t your average BroScience place…as you, Martin, Lyle and what”s his name…James? are used to frequenting.

      • You’re right. This place is….special.
        So, what are you doing to change the things that you hate so much?

      • Ah I see.

        SO Big-bad-corporation has mind-weapon X. => BAD.
        Solution : Let’s give Big-bad-corporation weapon Y(Government).
        Now they have X & Y.

        Retarded much?

      • Government shouldn’t be a weapon against the people that corporations can use.
        The fact that it is is the problem, not government. Get rid of corruption.

      • “Government shouldn’t be a weapon against the people that corporations can use.”

        Oh, my.

        That’s pretty much the libertarian position in a nutshell. Corps enjoy the massive power and influence they can because government is for sale, and pretty much always has been. This is why we have “mixed” economies (fascism—private “control” and “ownership” under the state).

        Corporations enjoy a unique status that goes even beyond persnhood. Not sure how it turns in the UK but in general here in the US, individual owners, officers and stockholders are shielded from personal liability for the acts of the corporation.

        I say, that’s what insurance is for, and let the premiums be what they may, such that the _cost_ of insuring against liability is factored into the cost of doing business in a real way, rather than in the highly leveraged way of lobbying, whereby a few million might by tens of million in downstream protection in the form of laws & regulations that make it tough on your competition.

        “Get rid of corruption.”

        Take off the rose colored glasses.

      • “Oh, my. That’s pretty much the libertarian position in a nutshell. Corps enjoy the massive power and influence they can because government is for sale, and pretty much always has been.”

        Things aren’t as bad here as they are in the US – yet. We’re usually 10 years behind you.

        “Take off the rose colored glasses.”

        I’m not wearing any. I know that things can’t/won’t change in the US. Anyone who does try to implement change won’t last very long.

      • “Things aren’t as bad here as they are in the US – yet. We’re usually 10 years behind you.”

        I doubt that’s true.

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

      • What’s your problem with CCTV in the streets?

      • “What’s your problem with CCTV in the streets?”

        Laf.

        How soon the great Brit Empire becomes tame. I’ll just leave it at that.

        Celebrate your overseers.

      • Leave it to you to conflate a world war with everyday wanking in the streets.

      • I’m British and I hate CCTV.
        The British Government has all the tools and powers of a tyranny we should not be suprised at all when it “begins” acting like one.

      • “The British Government has all the tools and powers of a tyranny we should not be suprised at all when it “begins” acting like one.”

        Take the fucking tinfoil hat off!

      • “Take the fucking tinfoil hat off!”

        Pull a history book off the shelves.

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

        For those truly indoctrinated into believing that government is good, nothing you say will help them change their mind. They have closed their mind to further education, usually because they feel that they have invested so much time and energy into State that can’t fathom living without a giant gang ruling over them.

      • Nice straw man you just build there Jeremy. I never said that government is good. I said that I believed it to be the lesser evil compared to corporations, who are only interested in maximising dividends for their shareholders.

      • “Pull a history book off the shelves.”
        I’ve looked at England: History but I’m struggling to find the bit where our government became a dictatorship.

        We live in a tiny country and we’re a right stroppy bunch (especially them up North!). When a few chavs rioted last year, the police were struggling to cope, so I can’t see a dictatorship getting any help from them. All members of the Army swear (or affirm) allegiance to the monarch as commander-in-chief, so I can’t see a dictatorship getting any help from them.

      • “I said that I believed it to be the lesser evil compared to corporations, who are only interested in maximising dividends for their shareholders.”

        Oh, duh.

        And what share do you hold in government other than a meaningless 1/1,0000000th vote?

        Keep commenting Nigel. I used to think you were smart. Now, not so much.

      • “I’m struggling to find the bit where our government became a dictatorship.”

        Which wasn’t even implied.

      • Sorry mate I don’t know what that means. Are you saying I am a looney conspiracy theorist?

      • I just read throught the rest of that lot, Nigel, what the fuck? I should rpely in a full measured fashion but this;
        “All members of the Army swear (or affirm) allegiance to the monarch as commander-in-chief, so I can’t see a dictatorship getting any help from them.”
        Simply makes my head hurt.

      • Indeed, but I let that one slide as simply too obviously an intra contradiction.

      • “intra contradiction”
        My, aren’t we the intellectual?
        Neal or Richard: Reply in a full measured fashion or STFU about it.
        Richard, I see you censored your rant. You wouldn’t want your readers to see your true colours.

      • Forget the last sentence. Wrong thread!

    • Having worked as a government contractor (computer cartography/GIS/GPS) for 12 years+, I believe this to be absolutely true. There is a reason that Burger King/Popeye’s/Charlies etc… are allowed on military instillations. One thing you find out quickly about the “good ‘ol boy network” is how much they like to brag and talk. I’ve learned a lot of scary things over the years just sharing a beer or two (back in pre-Paleo days) about how government contracts work (including the ones I worked under). This probably isn’t exactly what you are talking about, but it’s all related in my opinion.

      I’d say the answer to your question is an emphatic, ‘Yes’. My German friends complain about their government being influenced in the same way, along with the EU.

      • So corruption of government is the problem, not government itself.
        In the US, you get the best politicians that money can buy.

      • “So corruption of government is the problem, not government itself.”

        Hilarious. Government is how the smartest of the corrupt organize themselves, silly.

        What, you think there’s no difference between the guy who crashes into an all-night mini-mart, hooks the ATM up to his truck—drunk—and tries to make off with it and the guy who goes to law school and gets elected to the Senate of the US?

        The difference is merely that one is far smarter than the other.

      • “Government is how the smartest of the corrupt organize themselves, silly.”

        Or a monarchy. Or a dictatorship. Or military rule. Someone always rises to the top of the pile. Do you have a preference?

      • “Or a monarchy. Or a dictatorship. Or military rule.”

        Of course. There are distinctions to make and I would agree that democracy is generally better.

        But the root fundamental is always there, which is theft. Where it turns is on accountability. Democracy has some, but that nay encourages and incentives the smartest people to go into government work rather than science or industry.

  32. right, and what does government have to sell? US.

    • Yep. The few controlling the many. It’s been that way for a long time. The modern western world just learned how to placate the masses with a bunch of shiny gadgets, and cheap, addictive food. I think we’ve seen that the freedom of the internet is a pretty scary concept for most governments, hence, the proposed legislation introduced recently. Can’t have the free exchange of thoughts and ideas, now can we?

  33. Hey Richard, looks like they are onto you.

    These extremists, sometimes known as “sovereign citizens,” believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference.

  34. the problem is humans and human nature. Up to this point, every system of social organization and government – EVERY one of them, has culminated in kleptocracy at best, torture and genocide at worst. Churches, governments, families, corporations – ALL of them allow the sociopathic to rise like cream to the top because THEY ARE THE ONES WHO WILL STOP AT NOTHING. The rest of us, with consciences and morals, get nowhere. When you figure out how to deal with that, nothing we do will be adequate. Neither government nor anarchy. libertarianism nor socialism, will work for the human animal.

    • Not true, Bobbie. Anarchism and atheism is the natural state of the human animal.

      It’s really simple. There are seemingly natural thieves. There are throats to slit. And there is liver.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] More government pushing the “little guy” around. [...]

  2. Magnesium Deficiency and Fibromyalgia | Bipolar Disorder Cafe says:

    [...] Fibromyalgia By Admin on February 4, 2012 in General Free the Animal’s Richard Nikoley may have no use for government (I recommend the depressing but excellent book, Humanity, A Moral History of the 20th [...]

  3. [...] was in response to this comment by Steve, an [...]