Outcompete God and Country

 Here’s how you could better grow your one and only life, in my view.

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Outside the Busybody Box

Since 1991, I’ve had this metaphor in my head: outcompete god. On levels, it’s hilarious to me that people pray to a skygod for so many of the things man routinely manages and fixes. To state it another way, while I was intrigued by the New Atheists and read many of the books that came out, I never put much into promoting; and I care not for atheist activism in terms of Nativity scenes in the public square, et al. Big waste of time, and a distraction.

To me, the best way to defeat the notion of a skygod is to simply outcompete it. Pray all you like; but in the end, it was that quadruple bypass that saved your grandfather’s life, and humans invented that. …Organ transplants; and now, knee and hip replacements of god’s faulty, worn out equipment that give many old folks new life. I just spoke with the mother of my bro’s significant other on Sunday. She got both hips replaced in Jan/Feb and has a completely new lease on life. Now that she’s fully mobile again, she’s lost a lot of weight, back to her active hiking self. Alternatively, how long, being sedentary in chronic pain, until she’d have developed all forms of metabolic syndrome leading to eventual debilitating “living,” culminating in early death?

Pray all you like. God has been outcompeted. And now, humans have even created “aliens.”

…And so is my approach to the State. Outcompete this 19th Century (and way beyond) Idea. Four fucking videos; but hey, each of them are 3-4 minutes long, and they’re good.

Fuck the State and its pipsqueak & clown, pettifogging limpdicks. Update 1

On Lyft, both the driver and passenger rate each other. Accordingly, if either has too many bad ratings, going to be tough to get a gig or a lyft. I’ve found that people are pretty damn reasonable if you make a little effort to give them what they pay for and as advertised. In my vacation rental business, where I’m on VRBO, AirBNB and FlipKey, I have nothing but top ratings and all of my guests have been nothing but normal good people. AirBNB and FlipKey asks me to review guests just as they were asked to review me.

Fuck the State and its pipsqueak & clown, pettifogging limpdicks. Update 2.

There was a good comment by Lauren Snyder Grosz when I posted this to Facebook this morning.

I thought I might have a lil crush on the founder of EatWith until I heard him talk about working with officials. I don’t think this is the road he’ll be successful going down. The people signing up with EatWith don’t have any interest in having officials check items off a clipboard. They’ll just use technology to find ways around his company if he doesn’t figure out how to stand up for the people he’s getting a cut from.

Indeed.  Good way for him to get leapfrogged by someone who doesn’t give a fuck about working with regulators (OR PEOPLE FIXING DINNER IN THIER HOMES TELLING GUESTS THEY’RE REGULATED). Even for actual restaurants, now. When people want to check out a reputation, where do they go? Yelp, Zagat, etc. Moreover, have you ever watched Robert Irvine’s Restaurant Impossible? Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares? Ever wondered where are the State inspectors, when so many of these small operators are violating not only every health code in the book, but every common sense best practice for professional food servers?

So, the State actually harms you while professing to help you. Gives you a false sense of security. Moreover, it allows bad actors to scoot along because all they have to do is find a way to fill out forms, pay fees, and pass inspections—if tough inspections ever even happen. Restaurants need an Underwriter’s Laboratories equivalent—keeping you actually safe using all manner of electrical appliances for 120 years. Ever wonder why the State doesn’t have a bureau of electrical appliance safety? Can’t even hope to compete with the UL stamped on every electrical device you own (go look), that’s why.

Where is your savior?

Fuck the State and its pipsqueak & clown, pettifogging limpdicks. Update 3

Forwarded this to Beatrice. She has a million lesson plans going back 30 years. Told her I’ll be her editor.

Most notably, she’s more interested in the new stuff she’s been doing over the last couple of years as part of a Project Based Learning experiment in the school she originally taught at, as a new teacher. School went to pot over the last decade since she’s been gone, and she was hand picked—along with the entire staff including new principal—to get it back to where it’s helping kids, again.

She recently raised about $3,000 via online crowd-source-funding to beautify an area of the schoolyard that borders a neighboring property. However, unlike in the meat grinding, just-another-brick-in-the-wall way, the students did everything. She just facilitated and guided.

In other words, education is evolving into an apprentice-master relationship, instead of the loser teacher-student relationship to serve teacher and ivory tower authoritarian ego, and their structures.

Oh, just a footnote; one Kindergarten teacher on TeachersPayTeachers.com has earned $2 million, from other teachers, for her ideas and work. So, pray to your one-size-fits-all-lowest-common-denomiator Teacher’s Union. Or, strike out and get paid what you’re worth on your own.

Fuck the State and its pipsqueak & clown, pettifogging limpdicks. Update 4.

Back in around 2008, I and a co-founder did a startup that came within a few hairs of getting A-round VC funding (from Andy Rappaport at August Capital, a lead original investor in Skype) after dozens of presentations in Silicon Valley. It was in the peer-to-peer lending space. you may have heard of Prosper and Lending Club. These are basically people lending—not giving—other people money, for a rate of return.

As market research, I put $1,000 into each of Prosper, Lending Club, and Kiva.org, a non-profit lending vehicle where your charity is to forego interest (plus the risk of losing principal). I did OK. I lent in increments of $25 and $50 to tons of different folks, got back the vast majority of principle in Prosper and LC, and principle losses were made up for by interest received on good loans. Made a little money. For Kiva, I got back 100% of principle, from sheepherders, farmers, cart and roadside food-shack owners, and whatnot—in the 3rd world!

Educational. You can be a banker yourself.

Long story short, our P2P lending was more P2B lending. See, as small bus people ourselves, we knew how banks operate. Until you get to a scale where you can just sign for a credit line of $250,000 or more, you’re stuck with an equity line of credit, should you have equity in some property. So, our deal was to give people the ability to loan money to small businesses where they had knowledge. People actually know a lot about business, in niches. They frequent coffee shops, bistros, small clothing merchants and on and on. They have knowledge that bankers do not. How often have you thought that you could run this business? You may be wrong, you may be right, but the important thing is that you’re passionately invested, so how about give you a chance to put a little money on the line and earn some back if you’re right?

My active company at the time invested $160,000. Friends and family made up the other $90,000, for a total of $250k. $40K of that was spent on lawyers, because we anticipated regulatory issues. That $40K bought us the word that the SEC would probably file it under one of many exemptions. It did not. Both Prosper and LC had to cease operations for 6 months in order to get their loans registered as “securities.”

It killed our effort.

$250K down the drain. What’s the most disheartening for me is that we had a lending algorithm that would have been very competitive against Prosper and LC, in that the lenders would have had so many more options to manage risk. In essence, we synthesized what you would experience with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd mortgage on your home. Lenders could “pick their position” (plus lots of other variables) with associated risk/return.

So now, FedCo wants you to be able to get actual equity. So they say.

Or, is it just a reach in order to have more stuff to “regulate,” more stuff to make headlines over every time granny does something dumb and invests too many eggs in one basket?

Land of the Free Update, Happy Independence Day, and God on Our Side

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Weird getting back from a short vacationing jaunt
of just a couple of days, on a Friday evening. It’s in advance of a
holiday weekend. We were at Lake Tahoe where shortly after arrival
on Wednesday, I met up with The Great J Stanton. Upon meetup,
’round 8:30pm, on the anniversary eve of “Our Great
He took me down to the lake. Lake

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“JS” on Lake

J told me to “go jump in the lake”…so I

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Pure Delight

A wondrous 65Fish by my
pretty good internal therm…absolutely perfect for a high desert
85 atmospheric temp at sundown; arid, and not a whiff of a
breeze. Tahoe is at about 6,100 ft. elevation. Arguably the most
awesome natural alpine lake in the world, with depths over 1,000
ft. I grew up just up & over, and down in Reno. Spent a lot
of my childhood there—swimming in summer, skiing in winter—and mom
tells stories of floating me in it as an infant.

It’s good to be home. Thanks, J. It was very, very special
for me.

Next day was the actual 4th, where I
suppose I was supposed to feel grateful for being
independent from King George III of England, and
without actually shouting down people,
that: the sot is fucking DEAD…for a long time.
To escape
the embarrassing spectacle of American Flag
themed clothing and hats, I went and took in Brad Pitt’s
World War Z at The Horizon Casino. …Now,
there’s something worth fighting and dying
for…where, all in the while it must be said that Zombyism is
becoming less and less literal fantasy, more
more prescient metaphorical.

Later, I took some water and food to
Beatrice and her sister down at the beach where they’d staked out a
place for the 4th of July Fireworks; wherein, the
sole true feeling of freedom and
independence rendered to my person was that I’d tucked my
flip-flops into the pocket of my cargos and walked the half mile
down barefoot.

I commented to others: “If we
were in Mexico or any number of other countries I’ve been to, there
would be dozens and dozens of concessions on the
beach offering you foot massages, cold beers, the cocktail of your
choice—or any number of other things calculated to potentially
please you—like true service professionals do. Instead,
you have a bunch of ants marching in, to be ants on the sandhill of
the beach—it’s ‘public,’ so that’s
automatically good—while rent-a-cops
masquerading as service professionals loudly and proudly proclaim
that ‘no alcohol is allowed,’ as if to signal an applause

I live in a country of morons and I’m
ashamed of it. This is not my grandfather’s America. I’m very
skeptical that it will ever be, again.

That was
just one of the more prominent of a number of rules for an
Independence Day Celebration in the
so-called Land of the Free. [/spit]


…Independence from having to think for yourselves as
human animals who must survive—prosper if you like. “Freedom from
risk” in the consequent fantasy that is a direct result of
defaulting on the former. The later is the
crack in the deal. Unpack that.

…The fireworks display over Tahoe, given the setting,
was one of the best I’ve seen and with some of the newest
“fireworks technology.” I admit to the affinity for me,
seeing so many wondrous things there as a kid…like when the
carburetor on my dad’s Ford Ranchero caught fire on the ski slope
in about ’68, when he was up to look over the scope of the paint
job for Ski Incline (a 70s ski place, long
since gone). He opened the hood and killed it with dirt from the
summer condition of the slope. Probably would
have been handfulls of snow in the winter.

dunno. When in Europe—or even Japan or Hong Kong or Singapore—the
packed crowds don’t bother me. I just get along, with everyone
else. What’s the difference? What is it that
I’m feeling, and that so irritates me?

I have to
suppose that it’s the collectivist hubris
so many Americans exhibit—either just presumptuously
assuming, or expropriating right in your face. Me? I was just there
to watch a competent fireworks display and, and,
I do not give a runny shit about “America” as it’s shoved by force
in the face of the entire world
—and quite to the
contrary. So many others were there to loudly proclaim—with various
tri-colored symbols—that their vicarious psychoses were
representative of all.

“We’re all here
for God & Country,” and since those are always the loudest
and noisiest, that’s kinda the vibe of the thing. What I see are
followers, kinda like ants and bees.

dislike flag wavers and Bible thumpers: two
species of the same cloth and binding.

I’ll let Joan Baez & Bob Dylan take it away, video
below. Yes, even though I hate commies.

their simple melodic words are pretty easy to understand. I think
it’s more prescient today than when “edgy” and “rebellious” in the
60s. I have to say it was pretty fucking typically commie ignorant
back then, when there was indeed a no-shit geopolitical struggle
going down with balistic nuclear weapons and a coin toss from any
rational perspective. I mean: look how it has
turned out on that score.

And so to my mind’s
eye, that is…vs. a completely
contrived ”threat” over 14th Century
dirt scratching savages of a different
stupid religion worthy of
uproarious laughter, who’re apparently vying go to heaven
with 10-Foot Cocks And a Few Hundred
 (…if you’re a fan of
awesome, unpardonable sin-blasphemy, as am I,
that’s your link).

Or—and get this—in practical
political terms, back in the good old days, politicians dealing
with potential, doable mutual nuclear
destruction rightly ignored all moron Bible thumpers
while giving just enough lip service to placate their simple
But since the geopolitical calculus has so
changed over the last few decades—just as life was getting pretty
cool in spite of Soviets with thousands of
nuclear Ballistic missiles—the most ignorant
people on earth—on every side of moronic religious
fantasy—have unprecedented sway in a
once somewhat free

“New Atheists” were merely a pushback, and I hope to God
they have stolen your children from you, which was the whole
if you had brain enough to understand the
historical context in which that all came about. All of history is
about religion, i.e., all of human history is about the irrational
fantasies humans hold and how it plays out in geopolitical contexts
with the addition of technologies, i.e., weapons
to kill people who don’t believe like you do, and so you don’t want
to trade values with them, but you want to kill them for your

The video now transcends left and right, to
me. Take a voyage back in the context of the independence and
freedom we’ve supposedly won, and are “charitably”
showering the world with. [/barf]

(Davis Straub rendered the
entire inspiration for this

Maybe try actual independence, sometime. Sometime. Try it
before you die.

Laf: 100% of Senate Democrats Vote Against Farmers and For the FDA

I’m not a huge fan of Natural News—not that I know a ton about it, either—because so often, to me, it’s tainted by the Appeal to Nature logical fallacy and has a conspiratorial bent. I could be wrong. Just my general impression as I never explicitly follow it.

Anyhoo, Mike Adams pretty much nails it here: Freedom watch: Not a single Democrat voted in favor of ending FDA raids on raw milk farmers.

Here’s some news for those who still somehow believe the political left in Washington cares about the People. After U.S. Senator Rand Paul introduced an amendment that would have ended armed FDA raids on raw milk farmers and legalized free speech about the curative properties of medicinal herbs, nutritional supplements and superfoods, are you curious how many Democrats voted in favor of this?


Big fat zero, to be exact.

Not a single Democrat in the United States Senate believes in fundamental food freedom, farm freedom or the principles of liberty. Every single Democrat in the Senate is a Big Brother sellout who supports the FDA having more guns pointed in the faces of raw milk farmers, arresting them and throwing them in prison, criminalizing real food and destroying America’s small family farms.

Every single Democrat in the U.S. Senate believes that telling the truth about the beneficial effects of Chinese Medicine, or medicinal herbs, or nutritional supplements should be a crime that can also get you raided, shut down and imprisoned by the FDA. There is not a single Democrat who sees anything wrong with the government sending herbal product formulators to prison. There is not a single Democrat who believes that an Amish farmer has the right to milk a cow and sell that milk to their neighbor without being threatened by the government.

This is an astonishing milestone in U.S. history. When those in Washington who pretend to represent the People openly and publicly vote to crush the very liberties and freedoms they claim to protect, you no longer have a real Democracy. You have a police state.

Well, you’ve had a police state for a long time. They’re just more open about it, now, with Democrats leading the way and Republicans not far behind—they being more like the Mafia Don who knows what’s “bad for business.” …One might say that Democrats are more concerned with what’s bad for the State, Republicans, what’s bad for business. Only thing is, the State doesn’t actually produce anything, just steals and redistributes.

I do find it gratifying, though. From almost total Democrat Party opposition to the 13th Amendment to end slavery (with all or nearly 100% Republican support), to its opposition to the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s, I’m reminded of what I heard P. J. O’Rourke say at a CATO luncheon I attended way back on the difference between the two parties:

Democrats: Smart politicians, dumb voters

Republicans: Dumb politicians, smart voters

The relevant juxtaposition, to me, is that of the patsy moron Democrat voters, combined with the appallingly stupid Republican Party elite. I suppose it’s a balance of power, of sorts.

How many run-of-the-mill Democrat voters do you suppose are not wholly ignorant of the Democrat Party‘s 100 year history of staunch opposition to every single of dozens of federal and state initiatives sponsored by Republicans, that sought greater freedom and economic parity for blacks? Here, this guy runs them all down for you.

It is to laf. In the end, though, “smart politicians” rings true for Democrats. Once they were defeated in keeping blacks enslaved and dependent upon private party slaveholders, they adapted, and over the last 50 years have successfully re-enslaved and made them dependent on the State.

Anarchy Begins at Home: The Blog Series Part 5 – The Real Hobgoblins

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This is a blog post rendition of my 1-hr presentation at The 21 Convention in Austin, TX in August, right after I gave a 20-minute abbreviated version of same at the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012, in Boston, at Harvard University School of Law.

The previous three parts here: Part 1, Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. – Milton Friedman

Our faith in freedom does not rest on the foreseeable results in particular circumstances but on the belief that it will, on balance, release more forces for the good than for the bad.Friedrich Hayek

People have a hard time accepting free-market economics for the same reason they have a hard time accepting evolution: it is counterintuitive. Life looks intelligently designed, so our natural inclination is to infer that there must be an intelligent designer–a God. Similarly, the economy looks designed, so our natural inclination is to infer that we need a designer–a government. – Michael Shermer

I concluded Part 4 of this series with a quote by H. L. Mencken:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed—and hence clamorous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

In other words, when you watch the local and national news, read the newspapers, read books on current events, read nutritional studies, etc…what you are are most often confronted with is the specter of fear. Watch out! But, but: fear not! We’re looking out for you.

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The essential question, however, is how does one discern a real hobgoblin from one that’s contrived? Or, perhaps it’s better to ask: why would hobgoblins be contrived in the first place? We can answer both questions. For the former, you need quality knowledge, i.e., the sort of down to Earth, reality-based knowledge our hominid ancestors relied upon to successfully evolve, migrate to all corners of the globe and spawn our pathetically incapable asses by comparison (save, a precious few). It’s both primitive and fundamental. It’s just plain observation of what’s around you and it’s very, very real. You can—and must—trust its validity. Your life depends upon it and reality in this context will never let you down. The only thing that will let you down is your own accuracy in interpretation, knowledge, experience. You don’t have the national weather service. You have you, and those others in your social sphere with experience in such real elements, if you’re lucky.

Hobgoblins are contrived because that’s what’s needed to keep you in fear. Moreover, you never really know, when the hobgoblin has passed you by, whether it was just by random chance, or that those “looking out for you” were effective. That’s always hit & miss, so what the Nomenclatura really need is hobgoblins in perpetuity. That way, it’s a never-ending war, and your devotion is needed to keep the forces of evil at bay and on the other side of the gates.

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A few real hobgoblins

The norm in a presentation like this is to tell you that all of the foregoing is the result of government meddling in markets. The problem is, save for perhaps inflation of fiat currency, all these things are simply not the exclusive provence of government. Many examples, but the Tulip Bubble of the 1600s is apropos. I doubt the government had much to do with that wild-ass speculation even indirectly.

Statists will drop context and agree, and tell you that’s why you need a government overseer. The problem there, as free-marketeers might point out, is that such economic calamities happen anyway, with government. Both, however, agree they happen “beyond government,” ….else why would commies insist we need government? We’re human, stupid in astounding ways…we love, adore and protect and double-down on a losing streak far too easily. So the real difference is that that those who have supplanted the State for God simply can’t come to grips with the reality that both are utter bullshit and that you, individually—and humanity, collectively—are simply better off on your own.

Shit happens. Deal with it.

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But we don’t. Nobody wants to deal with it. And whether it simply resolves itself over time—because everyone needs food, needs to get places, needs clothing and shelter every day—or whether some random State intervention is taken, one thing is for sure: blame will be assigned. The people always demand a “cause”—even if it’s over something that happened 14 billion years ago—and when it’s not obvious, you better make some “plausible” shit up if you wish to keep your status as an authority.

People are forever envious of greener grass. It probably began with thoughts of a sweeter bush…but I digress.

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These, not the underlying false authorities

Bogus authority is the real cause of real hobgoblins because, simply: we evolved to rely upon our own individual minds, and you have given yours up. I cannot state it more simply. You suffer because of your own default. You defer to authority and nobody is really looking out for you. That leaves nobody…until such point as you realize someone really has to, and you’re the only one left.

Those who’ve managed to uphold their authority over you—or whether you were taught as a child to defer to all sorts of people who wear fancy silly hats—succeed because of your low quality of knowledge (Part 2). Angels & demons…heavenly & terrestrial. Here’s another one: you’ve been indoctrinated your entire life to bite the hand that feeds you. What you never took account of is that the same hand feeds those authorities.

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Perish the thought

…One reason I consider this a valid endeavor for my Paleo friends is that they—you—kinda have a leg up on most people and I do nothing if I don’t mine minds. It’s out of respect for you and not only that, but confidence in you over a long haul to come. …If not in principle or scientific rigor, they—Paleos—have accepted the logic of evolution (those not just posing or giving lip-service for expediency and market opportunity).

This is critically important and I have never, ever discounted the astounding realization that there now exists an increasingly popular and perhaps most effective dietary, fat loss, exercise, well being regime based largely upon a notion of the evolution of humans from hominids.

I laugh at idiots and sock puppets on my blog. I’m more atheist, anarchist and contrarian than all of them put together. But I also have more patience and love—that I do my best to hide—than all of them put together.

But, really, it’s always only just one mind at a time.

…Or, to state it in the context of this series: it’s incremental steps toward a higher quality of knowledge. Boring, but wholly necessary. You’ll never get anywhere good without it.

Or, you can loathe yourself in the classy light of a Manhattan Penthouse (once God & State get the lights turned back on).


An Essential Difference Between Human Animals and All The Rest

If I asked you to begin listing differences between humans and all other animals, I’d likely get a good long list.

  • Conscience
  • Morality
  • Tool creator and perfector
  • Producer beyond environmental constraints
  • Capacity for highly reasoned intelligence

…And so on, and all true. Some of these are quantitative differences and some, qualitative.

In most ways, the balance sheet appears to stack up for humans. Hell, unless an animal has the capacity to burrow into the ground or bore into a tree, they’re pretty much left to the elements, without much shelter. On the other hand, watching a lot of nature shows—and especially those at environmental extremes—I’m often awestruck at their resilience and ability to survive, without a single bit of outside help from anyone.

…But there is one thing that solidly tends to balance the whole balance sheet for me:

Take any metropolitan or city zoo and instantly remove all the cages, bars, barriers and quit feeding them. What would happen? To the extent they could, all who could would scurry off to the wild and to their natural freedom as fast as they could. Most would evade recapture to their utmost ability. And many wouldn’t be able to survive because the surrounding natural environment wouldn’t be suitable, but that won’t stop them either.

Humans, on the other hand, live in a zoo with “bars,” “cages,” and “barriers” of their own mental and imaginary making. Not only that, but they kinda love it. They’ll argue with you, telling you there is no freedom to be had, that it doesn’t exist…it’s an illusion…that this is the natural order of things. Then they’ll tell you all about the cherished delusions they live under and how it’s necessary for everyone to remain in the zoo because another might have “needs.” Others will admonish you as to how well they have been able to get along in the zoo “system,” and you can too yay! And besides, the feedings are regular, like clockwork.

…And every few years they line up with much fanfare, excitement and antagonism: to decide what new color to paint the bars.

What’s the real and most essential difference between human animals and all the rest? They know what real freedom is, and humans don’t, anymore.

“…free to do the right things…”

There you go. A sign of the state of the American culture. Jesus. Doesn’t Radley’s respondent know anything? Who doesn’t know that freedom is about authority?

Why do you think I keep writing about the land of the free? Clearly, we’re just bursting with freedom.

Happy fuckin’ New Year.

Virtue Nugget

Most of my online time today (well, yesterday at this point) was spent brushing up on Lincoln stuff. Lots of it. It so happens that Lincoln is my whole touchstone for what I am today in the libertarian sense. It was essentially discovery of the Lincoln myth in 1990 or so that got things rolling for me. Everything followed from there. Without that, I’d be watching Fox News every day, preening after talking-head liars like Kristol, Hannity, and O’Reilly, generally making myself fit the inner automaton regurgitating memorex that typifies just about everyone else who stoops to that.

More on all that, later: once I get all my bits & pieces in a row. In the meantime, I came across an interesting Murray Rothbard essay (there’s a brief mention on Lincoln), Frank S. Meyer: The Fusionist as Libertarian Manqué. It’s an excellent read from the perspective of sorting out some of the distinctions between certain types of libertarians. (Note: when I write "libertarian," or even "Libertarian," I am never, ever writing about the great contradiction: "The Libertarian Party.") Section II covers Frank Meyer’s position on freedom and if you read nothing else, read section II (it’s short). Here’s an excerpt:

…To be moral, an act must be free.

Frank Meyer put it eloquently in his In Defense of Freedom:

. . . freedom can exist at no lesser price than the danger of damnation; and if freedom is indeed the essence of man’s being, that which distinguishes him from the beasts, he must be free to choose his worst as well as his best end. Unless he can choose his worst, he cannot choose his best.

And again:

For moral and spiritual perfection can only be pursued by finite men through a series of choices, in which every moment is a new beginning; and freedom which makes those choices possible is itself a condition without which the moral and spiritual ends would be meaningless. If this were not so, if such ends could be achieved without the continuing exercise of freedom, then moral and spiritual perfection could be taught by rote and enforced by discipline – and every man of good will would be a saint. Freedom is therefore an integral aspect of the highest end.

Freedom, in short, is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the achievement of virtue. With Lord Acton, we may say that freedom is the highest political end; in that subset of ethical principle that deals with the legitimacy of the use of violence between men, the libertarian – as well as the fusionist Meyer – position holds that violence must be strictly limited to defending the freedom of individuals, their rights to person and property, against violent interference by others.

Good stuff. It pays to keep reminding yourself: "…if freedom is indeed the essence of man’s being…he must be free to choose his worst
as well as his best end. Unless he can choose his worst, he cannot
choose his best." I don’t know about you, but I think that’s just a brilliant insight into the essence of freedom. Seems so obvious — like it’s always been there — once you read the words.

You Can’t Legislate Value

I’ve run an email discussion list for many years for people and businesses within the industry I work, which is the voluntary and mutual settlement of unsecured debts in hardship situations (think of it as a bankruptcy alternative).

What follows is a post from this morning, and my response.

…wouldn’t it be nice if we could get a law on the books where:

…If a creditor has a client in a particular state, then that creditor is FORCED to deal with the debt settlement company on behalf of the customer.   i.e., Citibank, MBNA, Bank of America would be forced to deal with us if the client so chooses.  I believe this is the level of law that we should be trying to push.

Be careful what you ask for.

I know it’s tempting to use the omnipotent power of the state to “FORCE” creditors to deal with you, but I’d never support such an immoral abrogation of the freedom of association (and, I, unlike the “Supreme” Court, don’t make meaningless, logically untenable distinctions between the rights of individuals and the rights of individuals organized into entities like proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations).

Moreover, I believe it’s an impractical measure that’s more likely to cause resentment than anything else. While the state can make Citibank give you the time of day, it can’t make them respect you or find any value in what you do. It’s up to you to produce that value.

See, the state can destroy any life or property it wishes, with or without reason, but it’s wholly incapable of producing, creating a single genuine value in the world. It can only take (steal) the values produced by individuals and businesses, transfer them to someone else, and fake as though they are producing values. In reality, they are parasites: top-to-bottom and wall-to-wall.

So, ultimately, there’s no getting around persuading creditors that settlement is in their best interest.