Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Vote Trump?




I wish Bionic Mosquito would do a post about the pragmatist vs. purist debate currently being waged among libertarians. "To vote Trump or not to vote," if you will.

Your wish is my command, but I suspect my response won’t be tremendously satisfying.

I'm a parent. I haven't got the luxury of principles.
-        Benjamin Martin

Principles or pragmatism?  A choice that libertarians face numerous times every single day in life.  I am certain that every libertarian chooses pragmatism – not every time they face a choice, but enough times to matter.  We each individually choose when and for what reason we are willing to compromise.  We each decide every day what lines we are willing to cross.

Those who consider themselves the most principled are never shy about abusing those whom they self-righteously judge to be less so – all the while ignoring the planks in their own eyes.

Principle

Define a violation of the non-aggression principle.  Murder and robbery are easy.  We disagree on many other issues – are they violations or not? 

Define self-defense.  Define aggression.  Define punishment.  All subjective terms.  (This is where that pesky thing known as “culture” comes in – a real difficult subject for some self-labeled purists to grasp).  Given this…what is principled?  One libertarian’s “principled” might be another libertarian’s “pragmatic,” and neither be “wrong.”

Is voting a violation of the NAP?  The voter has shot no one, robbed no one.  He has voted.  Yet, he votes for someone who will shoot someone and rob someone….  So I understand fully why a principled libertarian would not vote.  But this doesn’t automatically lead to the conclusion that voting is a violation of the NAP.

There are those who found no problem with supporting or even voting for Ron Paul four or eight (or twenty-six) years ago, but find trouble doing the same with Trump.  The difference between voting for Ron Paul and voting for Donald Trump is…what exactly?  The levels of violation of the NAP between these two once in office is one of degree, not type (as are the definitions of aggression, etc.); further, the power for any president to change much of anything is limited.  Keep these thoughts in mind when you reply to my query.

Because with these thoughts in mind, all you will be left with is…

…Pragmatism

There is pragmatism in the idea about not voting at all because one vote doesn’t matter.  There is pragmatism in the idea of sending a message – the fewer the votes, the less legitimate the government.  While I agree with these, I do not intend to cover these aspects.  I only cover the choice: Trump or Hillary or don’t vote at all?


I have not been shy about offering my opinion on Trump vs. Hillary.  I offer my thoughts for those libertarians who feel that supporting or even voting for a candidate is a reasonable action to take.

While I am certain Hillary will continue to push the US into further confrontations – and most dangerous for the world, further confrontations with Russia – I believe that Trump at least offers the possibility of being something less belligerent.

I might be wrong about Trump being less belligerent, but I am certain that he will not be more belligerent – only because the threshold with Hillary is so low (high?).

Of course, you might disagree with my opinion of the relatively less-neocon desires of Trump as opposed to Hillary – but that is a different subject.

This distinction between Trump and Hillary is not trivial; it is important for two reasons that I see: first, regardless of what damage either candidate might do to those living within the US (and even on domestic issues I see Hillary as more dangerous), it seems a not-trivial issue as to what the US government does to destroy the lives of millions of people around the world.

Second, nuclear war won’t be survived by many, and those who survive won’t enjoy the lifestyle.

To the first point, one might consider that a vote for Trump is akin to coming to the defense of others – not a requirement in libertarianism, yet not prohibited either.  But even on domestic issues, I can see a vote for Trump as opposed to Hillary as one of self-defense (albeit, I haven’t developed this thought much either in my brain or on the screen) – via the only legal means available to most of us.

To the second, I would include “coming to the defense of others” and also add the concept of self-defense (regarding doing whatever one can to avoid nuclear annihilation) – self-defense being a fully libertarian idea.  When it comes to self-defense…I can think of many situations involving me or those I love where minor (or even major) inconvenience to some innocent third party will not stop me from considering applying even deadly force against an aggressor.

In other words, don’t talk to me about all of the NAP violations that come with voting for Trump when the alternative is continuation of neocon policies that will bring the world further into destruction to the point of Armageddon.

Conclusion

Self-defense and aggression – define these subjective terms in a very objective world.  It can’t be done with certainty in every circumstance.

I do not plan to vote for any candidate.  Yet I do not fault those like Walter Block who call for supporting the lesser of two evils when it comes to slave-master (to use his terminology). 

56 comments:

  1. I dunno. I don’t feel there is any compromise between a principled or pragmatic approach to the NAP. The ends do not justify the means; the ends and the means are the same.

    I am being pragmatic when I refuse to vote, knowing my vote will be meaningless and statistically ineffective. I am being principled by not voting for the lesser evil.

    I am being pragmatic when I regularly point out Hillary’s corruption and evil intent on dozens of forums. I know my influence on people who do vote will be far more effective than voting for the lesser evil myself, and it doesn’t violate the NAP in any way.

    I am being principled when I refuse to defend Trump’s many authoritarian plans for “making America great again”. I am also being pragmatic knowing that defending the authoritarianism of one will provide a similar defense for the other.

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  2. I wonder, would you say that Hitler never violated the NAP? He never shot anyone that I have heard or read.
    Voting is indeed pointing a gun at your neighbor. Sure, you might be moving it from your head, but you are directing it to your neighbors head. Maybe it's self defense because your neighbor is pointing it at you? I don't get it at all, to say in these United States today, that voting doesn't violate the NAP. Every election is a decision on who gets to control the stolen loot.
    I also disagree with Blocks "baddy vs. goody" comparison. We are not 1850's negro slaves. It seems dumb to me to make the comparison. It's a apples and rocks comparison. We have many more choices we can make than a slave did. We have many more choices than voting to defeat the State. Voting is the States tool. It's the States deep religious ceremony. Why else would the State spend so much energy to get us to participate?
    Also, does anyone think the president actually makes foreign policy? Isn't that a little contradictory to fact, when we read articles about the "deep state" all the time on Libertarian sites? Isn't the president just a tool to placate the fools?
    Certainly everyone has the right to spend their time in the way they want. I just don't get the "Trump is a small victory for Liberty", or at least not as bad as someone else.
    Voting for the lessor of evils is still voting for evil. Is evil necessary? I say no it's not.
    Look at how much time Libertarians have spent worried about this election, fighting over who to vote for, if we should vote for, in fighting and on and on. The State, if it were a single person, would surely have to giggle at us. Time fretting over voting is time we are not working to defeat the State.
    And I still think the defeat of the State comes from the removal of consent. We could at least refuse to participate in its voting ceremony.

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    1. Joshua, I cannot disagree with any of your points and one reason I started by stating that this post would not be very satisfying.

      I will comment on one: yes, there is a deep state; yes, they drive foreign policy. But their is not a uniform "they."

      My view is that there is a substantial subset of this deep state that wants a significant change in foreign policy. I have written extensively and consistently on this for an extended period.

      I believe this is why Obama came out of nowhere to beat Hillary 8 years ago. I believe this is why Trump remains standing today.

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    2. But THERE is not a uniform "they."

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    3. Joshua,

      It is certainly possible that we will see the total loss of legitimacy on the part of the regime. In the event of this outcome what will you and your ideological fellow travelers do to ensure that your vision of the future wins out? A collapse of the current State does not guarantee ancapistan.

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    4. I don't see where I wrote anything about a utopian ancapistan. I merely wrote against giving legitimacy to the State, or participating in the voting system.And I can guarantee participating with the State voting apparatus won't change a dang thing at all, it certainly won't restore some republic people cling too.
      I'm not naive to think a collapse of the State means Ancapville will replace it. But at least if and when the State does collapse, I'd rather have an alternative to give. What I am doing to ensure this is what I do today. More than likely something worse may come about, but I will be ready to stand against it also.
      Better to know my enemy, and consistently point out who he is and what he is doing, than pretending some lever I pull means anything more than giving legitimacy to the State.

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    5. Nor did I say anything about utopia, I am using Ancapistan to refer to your ideal state (or non-state). The utopian debate is largely pointless.

      Anyways.

      The alternative you provide cannot be purely ideological. In the first place libertarianism, as is understood here at BM's site, is beyond the grasp (or interest) of most of most TV consuming white Americans (lemmings) not to mention the non-european peoples (foreign-lemmings). But more importantly, no struggle for legitimacy cannot be purely ideological since you have deliver where the State fails.

      "More than likely something worse may come about, but I will be ready to stand against it also."

      Depends on your idea of worse. IMO the only thing worse than the rule of international liberalism would be the rule of international communism. Which may well be the future of international liberalism.

      My two main questions for you would be: Is there any possible State which you would be willing to make peace with? Is there any form of authoritarianism you would be willing to go along with?


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    6. While Libertarianism may not be popular now, it certainly has made great strides in the last 40 years. I can remember listening to Dr. Block, and maybe he was commenting on a discussion with Rothbard, how all the Libertarians in America(maybe the world) could fit in one living room. Now there are several million in America alone.
      Not many hundreds of years ago, no one questioned the Divine Right of Kings. They didn't have t.v., but it's the same mentality. True Liberalism (Classical) isn't all that old of a concept. Only 250 years ago the thought of breaking with the Mother Kingdom was a pretty new and radical idea. So I am not too worried about how many lemmings there are these days. They may come around. And Socialism will always fail, even if it takes longer than some would prefer, myself included.
      If I understand your statement correctly about performing where the State fails, well, that's not my job alone, and the free market already does this everyday in every land. And more and more people are coming to realize this. American grocery stores are a good example.
      Is there a "State" I would make peace with? Not within the definition of a State at this website. And I definitely could not make peace with an authoritarian State. Unless it is some State say like Syria. I had no beef with them. I have no beef with the Chinese. I hate their State, but I am at peace with them, they don't even know who I am much less try to rule over me. What happens there is their own people's problem, and I hope for the best for them.
      So I could live with a State next door, and if people chose to live under authoritarianism that's their choice.
      My desire is options. Let me live with folks I desire to live with. Let me and those I choose to live with be left alone, to choose our own "government" if it needs to be called that, or Ancapistan if you prefer.
      For the most part I do this now. I chose to live in Fairbanks, I chose the neighbors I live near, (which is pretty much non existent) because for me now, this is as good as it gets.
      For now.
      Bottom line, it doesn't matter to me if this never comes about. No man has the right to rule over other men. No man has the right to make Law unto themselves. No man has the right to do things that are wrong, just because they are elected or wear some costume and badge.
      So, as long as that's going on, I'll speak up against it, and share with folks a better way.

      No Kings, No Preists.

      Not on this earth anyway.

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    7. https://fee.org/articles/russian-smugglers-renovate-road-neglected-by-the-government/?utm_source=zapier&utm_medium=facebook

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    8. Liberalism is a disease rotting the soul of the West. When I hear libertarians talk about classical liberalism in such a way I reach for my revolver. It reminds me of when communists claim "communism has never been tried," while they sit on top a mountain of bodies.

      Those who romanticize classical liberalism never want to take any credit for the French Revolution, which gives you a window into the true nature of liberalism. No Gods, No Masters, or as you said "No Kings, No Priests." This is an ideology that leads to world revolution just like Trotskyism. It is a Promethean (or even Satanic) revolt against God and Nature, done in the service of international money powers. This isn't just my interpretation but what many of the actors (secret societies among them) believed themselves to be doing.

      There will always be a power that rules a society. With liberalism that power will be an international authority controlled by banks. As Hayek put it in "An international authority which effectively limits the power of the State over the individual will be one of the best safeguards of peace" (The Prospects of International Order, Road to Serfdom, p.259). The above chapter by Hayek is something libertarians need to pay more attention to.

      Freedom is indeed a good thing, but freedom as the negation of authority is not true freedom. An organic state would not be limiting to your freedom but would safeguard it by maintaining the social order.

      A strong state does not need to be big (in fact the larger the State the weaker it is), it does not need a huge bureaucracy, it just needs a loyal and capable ruling class (nobility and priesthood) that prevents the emergence of anything resembling leftism (liberalism or communism). Though I doubt I will find any agreement on these points, would you at least be willing to consider that liberalism is actually cancerous garbage?

      As to this, "the free market already does this everyday in every land. And more and more people are coming to realize this. American grocery stores are a good example"

      One of the main principles of 4th Generation Warfare (https://www.antiwar.com/lind/?articleid=1702) is that when the state fails to deliver basic needs, and enters a crises of legitimacy, people transfer their allegiance to non-state actors who can deliver on these needs. People are never going to transfer their allegiance to an abstraction like the market (which is predicated on the States ability to maintain law and order). If the State fails, so does the market. Do you see people transferring their allegiance to Safeway? That would only happen if Safeway became a state-like entity capable of delivering security.

      Which brings up another question: Would you rather be ruled by Goldman-Schiff-Sachs-Soros-Rothschild Grocery or a good King?

      Liberalism is what brought us the New World Order.

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    9. UC

      I would like to state that I very much appreciate your comments in this thread - not only those immediately above, but sprinkled throughout.

      I do not say that I agree with every sentence, but I do say that you recognize humans for what they are...human. This characteristic of being "human" - surprisingly, inherent in humans - offers good and bad, strengths and weaknesses.

      I find the strength of the NAP in the ideal it espouses regarding a political philosophy. Something always to move closer toward. It offers nothing more than this and I do not expect more from it.

      We may state it differently and come at it from very different roads, but I read your comments and see a similar pattern.

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    10. BM

      My pleasure to be able to contribute. I have not forgotten about my favorite libertarian site :). I was on brief hiatus but now IM BACK!

      Of course I don't expect full agreement (that wouldn't be any fun) but I do believe that if you start with an organic conception of Man and Civilization you end up at more or less at the same place. This is of course because there are such things as human nature, natural order, and eternal Truth.

      I owe a lot to the greatest philosopher of History, Oswald Spengler, on these points. This is also the essence of the fascist world view: society and culture are organic and must conform to their essential nature in order to live. Nor is it exclusively the domain of fascism since that is merely one label to describe something that has always existed. It is apparent to me that the best minds of any intellectual tradition inevitably come to the same universal truth. I could just as easily point to Lao Tzu, Proudhon, or Bakunin as I could to Evola, Junger, or Yockey. (I could not point to Mill or Rawls)

      So while we may have our differences, you are not an enemy of the West or an enemy of the Truth. I would be pleased to call you friend. We are in this together.

      When I first started commenting here I told you that what I wanted to see is a resurrection of the alliance between libertarians and the hard right that emerged in the 90s. I have not given up on this.

      Hail Victory.

      (P.S if Stayton gets to request articles I want one too, any chance you could get around to addressing the internationalism inherit in liberalism as put forward by Hayek in the chapter I cited above?)

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    11. Greetings, UC.

      I mostly agree with your points elucidated here and elsewhere. I have (imagine) one problem with the Philosopher Kings paradigm: the problem of arbitrary power and succession. Since the individual application of force is essentially arbitrary (do we agree here?), a good Philosopher King is ideal in the short-term. Maybe you get one or two generations but then you inevitably get a Mad Targaryen or you get battles of succession - both of which increase the destructive arbitrary forces at work. So, no matter how much capital accumulation a Philosopher King amasses, he must consider the problem of succession.

      Of course, culture matters.

      I read somewhere that what is needed is a culture of respect both of the rulers for the ruled and of the ruled for the rulers. This rings true of any relationship of state power and human nature.

      Perhaps, the best paradigm is marketplace of nations: a Philosopher King, an Anicapistan, a socialist hell-hole, etc...In this way, the information and understanding of different cultures stays vibrant and alive rather than being subsumed by a single cultural solution to governance.

      Cheers!

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    12. Alaska,

      Hows it going bro? Always good stuff from you.

      "Since the individual application of force is essentially arbitrary."

      While power can come to serve the whims of an individual, that is a sign that the Civilization is in decline. Proper use of power is no more arbitrary than the fact that you need to eat or sleep, it is motivated by the inner necessity of the organism. While your choice of food may be conditioned by whim or circumstance, the need for it is derived from your essential nature.

      I view society in the same way. Every Civilization is defined by a High-Culture which has its inner spiritual needs that are then manifested externally. What is required is to maintain the health of the High-Cultural is a vitalism in the form of a Natural Aristocracy. There are of course limits to this because all organisms go through a process of growth and decay, but what a given Civilization needs at any given time will be determined by its Cultural-Vitality and the existential pressures of the external. Just like if you go without food for days the need becomes so intense that all other things have to pushed aside so that you can go on living.

      The best King is going to be first and foremost a servant of the Culture (by serving the Organic State), rather than supreme unto himself. If he goes outside of his role the rest of the culture-bearing stratum need to intervene (but if this has to happen something else is rotten in Denmark).

      Personally, I am not wedded to the idea of hereditary monarch but I also would have no problem with it in the right circumstances. There are many different ways to run a state and manage succession. What is best will vary for different High-Cultures at different stages in their life-cycle.

      "Perhaps, the best paradigm is marketplace of nations: a Philosopher King, an Anicapistan, a socialist hell-hole, etc...In this way, the information and understanding of different cultures stays vibrant and alive rather than being subsumed by a single cultural solution to governance."

      I think a plurality like you describe is completely natural and accords with my view of things. However, I would say that WITHIN a single Culture there needs to be unity and not plurality. The laws of Totality and Sovereignty will eventually lead to the weak political units being subsumed by the strong ones. By this I do not mean total centralization of decision making (that would only happen under the worst of existential threats), but more of a spiritual unity on the basis of shared identity and culture. Of course this includes a sovereign that holds the final say when parts of the whole come into existential conflict.

      In my view we cannot rationally plan or organize society, but are tasked with meeting the imperative of the age and of the inner-necessities of our High-Culture (European Civilization) by assuring its survival by any means necessary. If that means we end up with a king, All Hail the King.

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  3. While I intend to vote for Trump, he is a bit of a pig in a poke. But he also appears to be universally unpopular with the establishment. This gives me hope and comfort.

    The three branches of government have merged to such an extent that the Legislator passes in secret Executive bills as they did in Obama Care. The Supreme Court rewrites clear language in the same law again without public input. In effect, the three branches of government have coalesced into a single backscratching entity. And they do not like Trump. Electing Trump will resurrect the checks and balances between the branches of government and bring the public back into the process.
    TomO

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  4. Since my comments here only say the same thing, over and over again, apparently, according to yourself :-) , here are some thoughts on this subject from another, far more famous political realist, Bill Bonner :

    "....we suspect that, no matter who wins, most Americans will be disappointed.

    The next president might make marginal and largely symbolic changes. But suppose Mr. Trump were elected….

    Would Congress put aside its squalid self-seeking and vapid grandstanding to rally behind him?

    Would it actually pass the new laws he asks for?

    Would lobbyists go home?

    Would Washington apparatchiks, operatives, wonks, and nebbishes get behind the new administration to “Make America Great Again”?

    Would federal agencies stop enacting pettifogging regulations to benefit one special interest or another?

    Would the bailouts, subsidies, and insider privileges stop? Would the cronies lose their sweetheart deals? Would the zombies have to get real jobs?

    What would really change?

    Medical care? Education? War? Bureaucracy? Taxes? ....."

    ".....The Deep State – with its millions of hangers-on, chiselers, wheeler-dealers, cronies, and zombies – produces no wealth. It can only grow wealthier (relative to the rest of the population) by taking wealth from others.

    If it gives a subsidy to Al Gore’s solar power, it must take the money from the rest of economy.

    If it bails out the banks, someone must put up the money.

    If it builds planes, bombs, and drones – the contractors get rich, but someone must pay.

    Who’s going to reshuffle that deck?

    And how?

    Donald Trump?........."

    From: http://bonnerandpartners.com/the-devil-you-know-or-the-one-you-dont/

    Regards, onebornfree.

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    1. Don't disagree with any of this. At most, change will happen at the fringes. For example, had Hillary been elected in 2008 instead of Obama (why wasn't she chosen then when she was a slam-dunk winner? Silence from the audience), Ukraine, Syria and Iran - all in far worse condition than today.

      Wanna bet?

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    2. @onebornfree: Way to keep swinging after that b-mosq slam-dunk. :)

      With regards to Mr. Bonner, whom you quoted, I once proffered the following: The way to elect the president is to toss a dart at a U.S. map. Grab a phone book of the city nearest the dart and open it to a random page and point to a number. Call that number and inform whoever answers that he or she is to be the next president of the United States, and to be ready and waiting on the White House steps on January 20th for the swearing-in ceremony.

      Then sit back and watch how nothing changes.

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    3. Brutus,

      I had the same idea except as it pertains to the nations capitol. I believe it would reduce the luster of power to exercise it from a basement office in Akron. If nothing else, it would be funny if every four years our itinerant politicians were forced to pack up their legislative pencils like gypsies - perhaps, then, people would start treating them with the same distrust as they treated gypsies.

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    4. @alaska3636

      Nice idea. I would so wish for my representatives to be within a tossed tomato's reach at all times.

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  5. Thanks for your post, BM. It helped me solidify my stance on the whole matter. I won't vote for Trump, because it would be a vote out of fear. But why fear what we can't control? Better to recognize that evil and corrupt power is always, eventually, its own undoing. The deep state will collapse, and the sooner the public sees the true face of the central planning wizard behind the curtain and recognizes its rule as illegitimate, the sooner we can fight it. We are the legs of the deep state; we merely have to recognize that without our consent, it loses all its power. A Hillary presidency will only deepen public discontent, and that will drive people to finally listen to us anti-statists and start to understand the backwardness of egalitarianism and central planning. A Trump presidency will only delay the inevitable - it will not turn the tide. The American public isn't yet discontent enough. After 4 years of Hillary, it might be.

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    1. "It helped me solidify my stance on the whole matter."

      My intent was this - not only for you but whoever reads the post. This is why I offer more questions than answers in the post.

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    2. "the public sees the true face of the central planning wizard behind the curtain and recognizes its rule as illegitimate"

      Put no faith in the "public." The vast majority are lemmings and they will do only what other lemmings do- what they are told to do. The regime may enter a crisis of legitimacy but not in the sense that its depravity will be understood by the public. The abomination is already on full display for those who have eyes to see. The crisis of legitimacy consists of the regime no longer being able to deliver what the lemmings expect- comfort and security. This presents an opportunity to whoever can deliver on those things.

      Of course the regime understands this and and from that comes the dialectical process of problem-reaction-solution or more esoterically "order out of chaos." The Regime creates small crises in order that it may be the one to deliver the solution. Which is why the only way to break the process is to usurp the legitimacy of the State by a parallel organization that can deliver where the State fails, a state within a state. This is the model of the Golden Dawn in Greece. They provide services to the needy and security against violent communists and the imported hordes of the global south.

      "Revolution is a spectators sport. The majority will sit in the stands and watch the factions fight. At the end they will choose side with the team that is winning."- George Lincoln Rockwell

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    3. Ah yes, the mythical day in which the "American public" get fed up and overthrow the government. When will this day be? At every government power grab we hear about this, and yet nothing happens. Is there anything the government could do that would make people stand up? I doubt it. There are literally bandits in uniform conducting highway robbery (civil forfeiture) on "the public" and they don't do anything.

      There is a chance with Trump, at least.

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    4. When will this day be? If I could predict the future, I'd tell you. I know that oppressed and disillusioned Britons did it. It led to the founding of a new nation that was massively more decentralized and freedom-loving than its former nation. Why couldn't it happen again?

      You base your pro-Trump stance on "there is a chance, at least." I'm basing my non-vote on the same speculative ground.

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    5. As for "put no faith in the public, they're all lemmings," that's the same kind of attitude the deep state has toward the public -- they're imbeciles who can't be trusted to make their own decisions. "If only people were as enlightened as us." I don't buy in to it. In this very election, we've seen Republicans around the country elect the best, least neocon candidate of the whole bunch. If the American public were really a bunch of lemmings, Chris Christie would be our candidate.

      There's still hope to had in the American public. The moment you give up on them is the moment you give up trying to change anything. You may as well stop posting comments on any websites, if that's really what you think about the American public.

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    6. "I know that oppressed and disillusioned Britons did it."

      May I ask: to which event do you refer?

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    7. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/07/joshua-bennett/the-anarcho-highway/

      It's happening everyday unhappy conservative

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    8. "Is there anything the government could do that would make people stand up?"

      I've always been interested in what exactly drives any given population to actual revolt. You had the population enduring years of misery in the old Soviet Union and it just basically collapsed without much violence, you have Venezuela that is seeing a great % of it's population seeing poverty/dramatic lowering of their standard of living...yet no revolt. Then you have the Civil and Revolutionary wars. I'm sure "culture" plays a role, but there's obviously much more to take into consideration.

      Liking to laugh, I always think of Mel Brooks as well when considering such things:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYpYs9GBXwY

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    9. Sorry, vagueness...British people meaning those living in America who seceded to form the original 13 independent states. AKA the American Revolution. I grant that circumstances were different...we don't have the luxury of an undeveloped continent across the ocean. But my point still stands - revolution leading to a much more libertarian/decentralized nation-state has been done.

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    10. C. Stayton,

      For some reason I expected that a member of a marginalized intellectual group (libertarians) that speaks its own esoteric language would understand my point about the general public. BM has written several times about "the remnant," in the vein of the immortal Albert Jay Nock.

      So as to this: "You may as well stop posting comments on any websites, if that's really what you think about the American public."

      Smdh. You can do better.

      Some quotes from Nock's essay "Isaiahs Job."

      "He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by. He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that NOTHING WAS TO BE EXPECTED OF THE MASSES UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not." (caps added)

      More from Nock, "So long as the masses are taking up the tabernacle of Moloch and Chiun, their images, and following the star of their god Buncombe, they will have no lack of prophets to point the way that leadeth to the More Abundant Life; and hence a few of those who feel the prophetic afflatus might do better to apply themselves to serving the Remnant."

      And you say, "that's the same kind of attitude the deep state has toward the public." Correct. If you read my original response to you closely you will see I admit that. It is also the same attitude of Mencken, Nock, and countless other Old American Right types. It is the attitude of telling the truth and understanding the situation for what it is. Marxist-Lenninism owed it success partly to the fact it understood the lemming principle. Plato understood this as well. Furthermore, the fact that you use the term "deep state" puts you into a very small percentage of the population (remnant?).....food for thought.

      All the technology of social control is based on the lemming principle. This includes television, hollywood, music, journalism, social media, hedonism, trannies, LGBTQTOFOSJKLSG, etc.

      The truth is that a desire to conform is at the heart of the human condition. This is not a bad thing, but it becomes a problem when you are ruled by a degenerate elite that exploits this fact to debase the nation.

      Trump, who I support, actually proves the rule. People have long been unhappy with the state of things but they need to feel like they are not alone and that it is OK to want to physically remove Mexicans. If Trump didn't run these same people would have voted for someone like Christie.

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    11. C. Stayton: “I know that oppressed and disillusioned Britons did it. It led to the founding of a new nation that was massively more decentralized and freedom-loving than its former nation.”

      “Sorry, vagueness...British people meaning those living in America who seceded to form the original 13 independent states. AKA the American Revolution.”

      I am afraid this is a bad reading of history.

      Perhaps start here:

      http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/search/label/Jensen

      While it is an examination of the period during the Articles of Confederation, nevertheless there is much to say about the Continental scoundrels that took over from (and were as bad or worse than) the British scoundrels that they replaced.

      There is much more that I have read, but this link is a start.

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    12. Touché - and I don't mean to ignore the fact that there were bad seeds in America from the start. Our decline began the moment the Hamiltonians won out over the Jeffersonians (and probably before that). Even Jefferson seemed to stray from his libertarian roots later in life. I'm not arguing that early America was some libertarian utopia, simply that it was, at least initially, an improvement over the British state. Of course it's never possible to weed out the scoundrels, and as a rule people prefer comfortable slavery to difficult freedom.

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    13. Absolutely there was a coup in the so called Amercian experiment.
      But, we can't take away from the farmer with his knapsack who did his morning chores, grabbed an apple and ran 25 miles to shoot a redcoat, and ran home to finish his evening chores.
      These men did not fight for a constitution, they didn't fight for a Congress, they faught for their families. As much as we can point out the Hamiltons and whatever, there were men who faught for Liberty. I point to Rothbard's "Conceived in Liberty".

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    14. UnhappyConservative,

      My statement about not commenting on any websites was a potshot and not productive to the conversation at all. I'm sincerely sorry for that.

      Let me clarify more respectfully. What I hear in a lot of libertarians is a fatalistic view expressing itself in two ways. The first is mild antagonism toward one's fellowman. The second is a self-righteous view of oneself as somehow set apart due to superior intellect or insight into the human condition. So I cringe a little whenever I see a libertarian reference "Isaiah's Job," because I think it's often used in a way that Nock did not intend it: as validation of one's moral and intellectual superiority to the masses. (I'm NOT saying this is how you've used it here.) I think Nock's point is simply that the truth is important and should always be told regardless of whether it changes people's minds or not. Nock's point wasn't that Isaiah was better than the rest of Israel. All praiseworthy biblical prophets spoke from a place of humility; the one noteworthy prophet who was antagonistic toward his listeners (Jonah) was also chastised by God for it. In the New Testament, Paul called himself "the worst of sinners," and that attitude of humility and empathy for the human condition (knowing he was once unenlightened, and worse, a prominent member of oppressing state!) is partly what attracted so many people to his message.

      I see a lot of Jonahs in our camp and not a lot of Pauls.

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    15. C. Stayton

      That is admirable of you and I respect that. We cool bro.

      I drew on Nock because he is one of the greatest essayists I have ever read and because he is known to libertarians. What I take from Nock's essay is not an account of Isaiah's moral superiority (as you pointed out), but that there is only ever a minority of people who can be reached directly with the Truth, and if you tailor your message to the masses you miss the remnant, which is what really counts. The main difference between the masses and the remnant is that the later does not look for affirmation of Truth in mass appeal, and the former does. Which is why if the organs of society that disseminate ideology are corrupted, the masses will believe lies.

      This creates a need for two types of propaganda, as discussed by Hitler in Mein Kampf. The first is aimed at the masses and must necessarily be base enough to appeal to the lowest denominator you are trying to reach. The second is aimed at the fanatics, those who will be receptive to bold and unpopular Truth (this btw is why dissident groups are always populated with "colorful" personalities). The problem is that it is not enough to propagandize the masses since they will not be able to act (again because they are lemmings). The purpose of propagandizing lemmings is to make them think other lemmings are thinking similarly to the fanatics, and then when the fanatics seize power they will be more receptive to them. However, the propaganda aimed at the fanatics is far more important if you lack power because you will be competing with the State for control of the mass mind.

      Because, as Edward Bernays said, "we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons [...] who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world." (Propaganda, p.37)

      I believe what really separates the individual lemming from the potential fanatic is mostly temperamental (and the work of Jonathan Haidt points in this direction). So what works to reach the fanatics (or remnant) will vary on an individual basis. Some will be more receptive to humility and some to aggression and scorn.

      I will say that among minority political groups, libertarians are the worst propagandists. They lack symbols, pathos, and any real aesthetic. Their main appeals are rationalizing and moralizing. In order to really understand the ideas you have to read a lot of books.

      This is why I think the best strategy for die-hard libertarians is to embed themselves in Nationalist movements. Gain respect among nationalists (I am one and I respect BM) and when we seize power libertarians can have a role in economic policy. This would be a win-win because there are a lot of nationalists with some really bad ideas on economics.

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    16. I found this relevant to several of the points I have been making here.

      "In the struggle which was necessary, many guilty persons fell without the forms of trial, and with them some innocent. These I deplore as much as any body, and shall deplore some of them to the day of my death. But I deplore them as I should have done had they fallen in battle. It was necessary to use the arm of the people, a machine not quite so blind as balls and bombs, but blind to a certain degree. A few of their cordial friends met at their hands, the fate of enemies. But time and truth will rescue and embalm their memories, while their posterity will be enjoying that very liberty for which they would never have hesitated to offer up their lives. The liberty of the whole earth was depending on the issue of the contest, and was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood?" - Thomas Jefferson, 1793.

      He is of course talking about the (liberal) French Revolution which he supported to the end. Two points. First, notice what he says about using the "arm of the people" and their blindness. Regardless of your political goals the lemming principle always holds true. Second, Marxism has Trotskyites and Liberalism has Jacobins, they are both world revolutionary ideologies. Since America was founded on such an ideology what does that make American conservatives?

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    17. As an aside, I have read a great many things written about Albert Nock. The most repeated opinion of him is that he was an elitist.

      I have also read much if not all of Albert Nock's published work. It never occurred to me that he was elitist until I read it elsewhere.

      I guess that I am saying that it seems like all those whose heads he talked over didn't appreciate his high-mindedness. Same thing with Herbert Spencer. I found both men to be highly lucid and unusually reasonable for such intelligent men beset by such ignorant critics.

      Which probably means that I am an elitist.

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    18. Alaska,

      You might be interested in the book "In Defense of Elitism," by William A. Henry III.

      There is a relevant distinction to be made between elitism in the realm of values and aesthetics (like Nock) and elitism in the sense of belonging to the ruling class. The irony is that the values promoted by the ruling classes to the masses are anti-elitist and pro-mediocrity. They are taught to hate was is higher in man and venerate that which is lower (victimhood for example).

      Part of the reason why it is easy to fall into contempt of the masses is that they are used by the elite as a weapon against higher-type men that do not belong to the ruling class. This is the attitude I get from reading people like Mencken (and it is no surprise that Mencken was influenced by Nietzsche). The double irony is that this kind of contempt stems from a very genuine social awareness and concern for the fact that we are being ruled by degenerate parasites.

      So yes, you are an elitist. Anyone with tastes or values not conditioned by the herd are elitists.

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    19. I hate to say it - because it sounds cliche: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance really informed my sense of what quality is and how to achieve it in life.

      In a way, it is just a matter of troubleshooting: knowing what you want and eliminating ineffective means. In that sense, I feel that Nock went way above and beyond his ability to "see things as they are", and to elucidate those things. His prose is excellent.

      Never the economist, Nock still managed to come to an essentially Miseian view of decentralized systems being propelled by profit and loss. Herbert Spencer as well. Unfortunately, like many cultural connoisseurs, Nock never seemed very interested in economics - his review of Henry George, for instance, holds up poorly for me. I would have loved a review of Human Action by Nock as I feel they were intellectual cousins.

      Yes - Mencken, Mises, Nock - these "elitist" men never seem to reach the highest echelon of state power. Mises' taste of government power seemed to further dissuade him from the position. Perhaps, Marcus Aurelius is the only exception. The men who would give a civilization the medicine that they so desperately need often recoil from cultural manifestations of power. This is one upside to a monarchy, for instance; and, one that took me a while to come around on: a family of Nocks and Menckens has got to be better than a family of Bushs and Clintons for passing power every generation.

      Perhaps the "bad elite" maintain the power of suggestion over the "good elite" by denigrating culture to its basest instincts. The Daily Bell refers to this process as a creation of dreamtime. This tactic seems as old as time. Indeed, the stagnation of a culture fits happily along with a stagnation of its rulers.

      Anyway, in this instance, I will take being called elitist as a complement.

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  6. One day, I was reading Rules for Radicals and got to the part where he says that ends justify the means. To this day, it is the only book I've ever thrown against the wall.

    I believe in justice. I believe in principles. So it's very distressing to me that you imply that practicality ought to trump (no pun intended) principle. If someone gives you a choice, kill or rape, what do you do Mr. Mosquito? Choose the lesser crime? If you are libertarian, you refuse to do either one. So with voting.

    Positive action is required for responsibility. In other words, I must positively choose to do something in order to be responsible for its consequences. If I choose to kill, or have someone else do it for me, it's my crime. If I do not choose, but he gets killed anyway, it's the killer's crime. Yes? So if I vote for Trump, and he violates someone's property rights as of course he will, its as if I did it.

    So, no, I don't give Block a pass for supporting Trump. In doing so, he not only assumes responsibility for Trump's future crimes (if he were elected) but also leads others into doing the same.

    Igor Karbinovskiy

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    1. "I believe in justice. I believe in principles."

      I guess you don't walk on the sidewalks, drive on the streets, use any banking service or government issued currency, either.

      Congratulations on your purity.

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    2. Igor your devotion to the libertarian religion is impressive. I am so glad we have political (sic) philosophy to tell us right from wrong.

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    3. In a situation where there is effectively a binary choice, non-support for Trump is actual support for the other candidate. Also you have spent a lot of time writing against Trump, and not Hillary Clinton. That is essentially an in-kind contribution to her campaign.

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  7. In politics it makes no sense to hold to a principle that will not be reciprocated by your enemies. In this libertarians and conservatives are birds of the same feather- an albatross. For conservatives its "muh constitution" and for libertarians "muh nap," both empty legalisms in absence of power or social norms to give them life.

    The NAP at best is the theoretical basis for a pure liberal (libertarian) society of the future. At worst it becomes a rationalistic personal morality by which all politics are judged. Yet it fails to make the political distinction of friend and enemy outside the abstract state. To most libertarians the enemy is an abstraction that must be argued away. The political view would hold any man, grouping of men, or institution with whom real struggle or conflict is possible to be an enemy. In the case of libertarians this would mean anyone who does not accept their proposed legal order (NAP), and if they fail to draw geographic or ethnic distinctions (as in libertarian law for THIS country or THESE people) this would make an enemy of all States.

    The NAP is only relevant politically if you are willing to draw friend-enemy distinctions around it, and if you are willing to do that it needs to be made clear to whom it applies.

    It is always "legitimate" to use force against your enemies (though it may not always be a good idea). Current enemies of the West include journalists, academics, various political organizations, judges, police, scientists, corporations, banks, foreigners and foreign states, Zionists, street criminals, corrupt religious institutions, and Hollywood.

    (NSA disclaimer: UnhappyConservative is not advocating for any illegal activity. These statements are entirely theoretical.)

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  8. The lack of curiosity I see in the comments here is disappointing. Why is Trump under constant attack in the media, and by people that are literal representations of statism? It is because they fear Trump.

    Why would they fear Trump? Probably because Trump in power will go on a crusade against corruption. He has hinted at this many time. So many Senators and Congressmen are in the thrall of money power, or even foreign states. There is even a prominent congresswoman that has been busted with an Israeli Mossad handler and yet there is no media reaction and no legal consequences. We all know what Trump would think of that.

    Whether Trump will be effective or not is another question. Realistically he would have to have prepared for about a decade to gather people that are prepared to implement his plan, and as far as I know he hasn't done that. He couldn't be worse than the alternative, however, who is corrupt and also a war criminal. I am speaking of Hillary Clinton, of course. As far as I am concerned any propaganda that is anti-Trump and benefits war criminal Hillary Clinton is a violation of the NAP.

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    1. "As far as I am concerned any propaganda that is anti-Trump and benefits war criminal Hillary Clinton is a violation of the NAP."

      LOL. Someone needs to tell this to Wenzel.

      Wenzel seems to be of the idea that "statism" can be discredited by Hillary Clinton. I hope no one here thinks that because if you do you need to quit politics.

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  9. First of all, who and what is a Libertarian?
    Because so-called Libertarians who rah, rah, rah 'the troops' and their missions for America Inc. certainly are not Libertarians.
    They're at best, confused Nationalists.

    A Libertarian? People such as Laurence Vance, Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard are Libertarians.
    (warmongers need not apply)

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  10. P.S.
    Don't think of it as voting for 'the lesser evil'
    Instead, it's a vote for 'the greater good'

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  11. Your vote counts! Yes, it do.
    For state psychopaths.
    I like the way an old friend
    once stated it:

    When you go into the voting booth,
    the only meaningful significance
    that your action will have
    is to show that one more person
    supports the state. ~Mark Davis

    From Be Free, by Mark Davis July 10, 2005.

    http://www.strike-the-root.com/52/davis_m/davis1.html

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  12. Liberty is generally better served when there is competition between different centers of power. As President, Clinton would have control of Congress and the media. When she goes to war, it will be hailed as another "historic first". Trump on the other hand, would have few friends in Congress and a hostile media. If he turns out to be as bellicose as Hillary, we will see a revival of the anti-war movement, which has been dormant for the past eight years.

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    1. This is very good - I had not thought of this before nor read it elsewhere, but it rings as very reasonable.

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  13. Not to be petty... well, maybe a little:
    Getting back to your (BM) original post, I supported Ron Paul mightily in '08 and '12, with lots of $$$ and effort. Why? Well, hell, I KNEW he wouldn't win as did he. It was the EDUCATIONAL aspects, of course, which were important.
    BTW I didn't vote then and never will.

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    1. Last time I voted was 1964 -- well over 50 years ago -- for Barry Goldwater. Like you, I ended up supporting Dr Paul, indirectly.

      Two of my seven kids were ardent and avid Ron Paul supporters and workers, along with my older grandkids. My son owned the "Constitution Bus", which I drove all over the country for Ron Paul events, younger grandkids in tow (I did "grandpa duty", was the only one licensed in all states to drive the bus). Met Dr & Mrs Paul and some of their children numerous occasions. Delightful people -- I would never hesitate to refer the women of my family to his "practice" (he's an OBGYN).

      And, like you, I didn't vote then and never will. Sam

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  14. @Anonymous et al, if you don't vote for Trump you are effectively voting for Clinton. That is completely and utterly inexcusable.

    Twenty five years ago people in Ark. warned us about the Clintons....and yet they're still around. Unbelievable.

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  15. As a few commentators have observed in this thread, the masses everywhere and at all times want to follow and conform. That's why we have organized religion, political parties and fads of all sorts.

    Unfortunately most humans are hardwired by nature to look to others for guidance as to what to think and how to behave. This is the immutable reality of the human condition which we must accept. The malleable many will always be swayed and even controlled by the tenacious few.

    So the issue is always, who will be those few who influence the many and on behalf of what cause? The battles are in reality between the few warring for the souls of the many. For decades Ron Paul was a lone voice in politics speaking out against the evils of entrenched statism. His cause finally gained traction in 2008 and more so in 2012. Helped along by its evident failures pointed out by Ron Paul, the state was finally beginning to lose credibility in the minds of the masses.

    By the time that Trump comes along, revolution has sparked in the minds of a good number of the masses. He is not as articulate and as ideologically coherent as was Ron Paul, but he touches on many of the same issues - war, managed trade, taxes, regulations, bureaucracy, uncontrolled immigration, political correctness, the 2nd Amendment, etc. Where Ron Paul had a style and demeanor that was not conducive to the dirty world of politics, Trump is a street brawler eager to take on all challengers. I suspect that it's Trump's style more than his message which has won him a following among the masses. He's a rich man who feels their pain and is ready to spend some of his money to fight for them.

    America is like a finally sobering drunk tottering along the edge of an abyss. Psychopathic Hillary, we can be sure, will push him over. Trump seems to care enough to at least yank him away. Though he's weak on specifics, there is much in Trump's public utterances which libertarians should have no quarrel with. He wants to replace wars with trade and diplomacy. He wants to lower taxes and government spending and lighten our regulatory burden. He talks about repudiating the crony trade agreements and reducing immigration of people from hostile cultures. He would protect the 2nd Amendment and extend the 1st to churches.

    As for getting things done in the face of a hostile Congress, the President is the Commander in Chief. He can dismantle the empire with the single order to bring all the troops home. He can pardon everyone imprisoned for victimless crimes and non crimes of all sorts. He can order his DoJ to refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws, and they are legion. And if Congress moves to impeach him for daring to look after the interests of the American people, he can invoke the power so foolishly granted him by Congress and order them all arrested and imprisoned indefinitely without due process. How's that for the chickens coming home to roost?!

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