Tuesday, October 31, 2017


My conversation with The NAPster October 24, 2017 at 5:28 AM, from my post “I Love Hans Hoppe!  I will primarily focus on my replies; if you are concerned about context feel free to read the entire dialogue.


NAPster, I offer the following three posts in response. I think this is the most efficient way I can move the conversation forward. After you read these, I will gladly discuss further.

In this last post, "open borders" Walter Block decides I might be on to something; the first two posts set up the "something."


I have read these blog posts, but they do not respond directly to the points I raised above. I am still interested in your views on those points.

…it seems that there is a particular outcome you want – a particular make-up of the society in which you live – and your position on immigration in a world with states is designed to achieve that outcome…

The closest I can come to a libertarian immigration policy in world with state borders is a policy of invitation and guarantee: invitation by a citizen, with the citizen guaranteeing that the immigrant will not be a burden to society and will not be a criminal. Consequences attach to the citizen if either of these is breeched.

So…this doesn’t assume any particular outcome; it is merely as close to a libertarian policy in a world of state borders that I can come up with.

But where I do differ with you and Hoppe is that I don’t believe it is consistent with libertarian philosophy to advocate for the initiation of force – through the use of the state as border control – to create a society that rejects the legitimacy of the initiation of force….

I do not advocate for the initiation of force; I also do not advocate for cultural and political suicide. I do not accept that there can be any libertarian policy on immigration as long as there is a state; there is no such thing as a “do nothing” option – every option involves an initiation of force. Merkel did the “do nothing option”; do you believe this to be a libertarian solution? Do you believe she did not initiate force against those already living in Germany?

As long as there is a state – impossible under the NAP but accepted by libertarian minarchists – there will be state borders. To have state borders requires some sort of defense of those borders – defense being one of the few tasks allotted to government by minarchists. How does the state defend its borders without knowing who comes and goes and having some idea of their intentions?

Now, for the anarchist: the state cannot be derived from the NAP; how can the NAP offer a solution to state borders? I go further: to have a libertarian policy on immigration requires 1) absolute private property rights, and 2) no government intervention in immigration matters.

Libertarians are looking for an answer on immigration in a world of state borders that the NAP cannot offer – the NAP is impotent in this situation, it is incapable of squaring this circle.

I can imagine that someone might respond “Well then, how are we supposed to get to a libertarian society if we don’t forcefully exclude or remove those who would reject its very principles?”

I admit to being one of the libertarian wimps when it comes to “forcibly removing” people already living in peace. I lean on other moral principles in this regard. This is me, personally. But I understand the view.

But what of “exclude”? If you and a dozen friends created your own “society,” and you wanted this to be a society solely comprised of Christian families, are you not allowed to exclude others? For libertarians, there is only one answer to this; that our only option is to rely on the state to make this happen (because we do not have absolute property rights) means what, exactly?

Because we are forced to work via the state in this matter, are we to merely accept being left naked regarding our own personal preferences, our own property? This is a very non-libertarian concept, don’t you think?

…there are some obvious peaceful means that come to mind that may enable progress towards that goal, such as group shunning of unwanted newcomers…

Illegal today. Even individual shunning is illegal – try not baking the wedding cake for the gay couple. It is impossible to square the circle you are attempting to square.

Finally, I appreciate your distinction of type 1 and type 2 OBLs. The type 1 I view as either useful idiots or criminally complicit. For the type 2, I have given my best response above (well, actually my best responses are probably in my more formal posts).

I will summarize: to advocate for open borders in a world absent full private property rights IS NOT LIBERTARIAN.

It is a circle that cannot be squared.


Finally, I would like to state my version of your summary: to advocate for state action in any world IS NOT LIBERTARIAN.

Let’s begin at the end:

1)      I do not advocate for state action; I am stuck with state action – no matter what – on this topic as long as there are state borders.
2)      I am honest enough to admit that my position on this topic is not libertarian, as no position in a world with state borders can be libertarian; you are unable to either see this or admit this.

As to shunning, not all is lost: consumers are still allowed to shun vendors, tenants to shun landlords, employees to shun employers, and neighbors to shun neighbors.

Yes, all of the shunning that makes a communist happy and makes a libertarian cringe. In each of your examples save the last one, consider that it is illegal for the one who owns property to “shun,” and it is legal for the one without property to “shun.”

[I will add now, even the last one is problematic as it depends on who is doing the shunning, who is being shunned, and the (supposed) motives behind the actions of the one doing the shunning.]

My position is clear: it takes TWO things to come to a libertarian open borders position in a world of state borders:

1)      Absolute property rights and all property in private hands
2)      No state involvement in border control

I say why not push for the first; you say let’s take the second without the first. My priority is at the foundation of libertarianism – without absolute private property rights, there is no such thing as “libertarian”; your solution works with the cultural Marxists and Gramsciists and the state to destroy western civilization.

So, when faced with two actions necessary to move to a libertarian policy on border control, why do you side with THAT crowd? The crowd that is worried about outcomes, not means?

I’m not saying that things have worked out well in Germany, but libertarianism is concerned solely with means, not outcomes.

It is comments such as these from less-than-well-considered libertarian positions that will ensure that libertarianism will never gain ground. Some applications of libertarian theory are not so simple, yet too many libertarians bellow simple slogans, ensuring we remain marginalized.

One argument that paleoconservatives make about libertarians is that we tend to become so enamored of our "abstract" though correct theory that we tend to underweigh concrete political or cultural problems, and here is a lovely example.

He is writing of educational vouchers, but his thoughts are perfectly applicable to the topic we are discussing, and I make the point here:


Something has been bothering me about our entire conversation. It is a conversation covering ground that I have covered a dozen times, but this doesn't bother me - nothing says I had the same conversation with you, and I don't expect every reader to have read everything I have written on a subject.

But this is what was bothering me: I HAVE had this same conversation with you.

Econ 101

Automation and robots will cost society millions of jobs.  We regularly read some version of this concern (see a recent version here, from John Mauldin).  There is much that can be discussed on this issue; I will only focus on one point.

Credit is subsidized; labor has artificial price floors.

Is it a surprise that investment in capital assets is higher than it otherwise would be and demand for labor is lower than it otherwise would be?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Compelled Speech

The west is turning more soviet every day, it seems.  This post is based on a recent Jordan Peterson video: A Call to Rebellion for Ontario Legal Professionals.

Professional licensing organizations are sold to the public as entities designed to ensure high-quality standards.  They are nothing of the sort.  They are gatekeepers, agents that work to limit supply such that they can secure higher prices for the services of their members. 

In other words, the mission is primarily economic.  Well…welcome to the next chapter, courtesy of The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC):

All lawyers and paralegals play a vital role in Accelerating Culture Shift, one of 5 strategies adopted by the Law Society to address the barriers faced by racialized licensees.

I thought lawyers played a vital role in drawing contracts, defending clients, and ensuring justice (and on the last two, my experience suggests otherwise).

As part of this strategy you are required to create and abide by an individual Statement of Principles that acknowledges your obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in your behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.

Anyone who works via the good graces of a professional licensing organization should read this statement carefully; consider the implications.

The LSUC will make it easy for a lawyer to comply:

The Law Society has developed resources to help in creating your personal Statement of Principles.

We have provided templates of two sample statements. To satisfy the requirement you may adopt and abide by either statement.

Your principles.  For anyone who holds principles, these are rather personal and deeply held.  But this licensing body will offer you samples from which you can choose.  The templates can be found here; they offer just what you would expect.

OK, so this is enough of the type of society that is being created for us; what about the society they work to destroy?

A private Christian university that forbids sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage will be in Ontario’s top court this week, seeking a green light for its proposed law school after the province’s law society denied it accreditation.

Trinity Western University is a Christian University based in British Columbia.  From the university:

“The LSUC refused to accredit TWU because of those religious beliefs, and not because TWU’s students would not meet appropriate standards of learning, professional competence and professional conduct.”

The accrediting body with which they are fighting is the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) – yes, you got it right; the same body that wants to “play a vital role in Accelerating Culture Shift” by requiring their members to make a statement of principles – and they will offer their members the principles.

They seem to be working that “cultural shift” from both ends.


So…in order to practice law in Ontario, one must hold a license from the LSUC – there is no choice.  While the penalties have not been specified, it is safe to assume that refusal to sign a satisfactory statement of principles could lead to losing one’s law license.

But a single law school – one of dozens if not hundreds in Canada – places requirements and expectations on their students; if the student does not wish to abide by this conduct, they are free to attend one of dozens or hundreds of other schools.

This is your culture shift: they do not respect western civilization; they choose to destroy it.  It is Gramsci, pure and simple.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Walter Block Solves the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Philosophy

What is the meaning of life?
Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
What is reality?

HA!  Those are simple; mere child’s play – challenges for the lesser philosophers like Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.  Walter need not waste his time on such trivialities.  No, I am talking about the connection of libertarianism and culture: is it beneficial – no, even necessary – to maintain a certain type of culture if one wishes to move toward and maintain a libertarian society?  To my surprise (and, I am willing to bet, to Walter’s surprise as well), Walter answered this question more than 20 years ago.

Libertarianism and Libertinism, by Walter Block; Journal of Libertarians Studies, Volume 11, Number 1 (1994).

The least important point Walter makes in this essay is to clarify the difference between libertarianism and libertinism; beyond this, he does significantly more.  I will suggest that he may have made the connection of libertarianism and culture far better than anyone has done since – certainly better than I have done, maybe even better than Hoppe has done (and Hans will likely be surprised by this statement – well, the second part of this statement).

I will spend little time on the immediate subjects:

Libertarianism is a political philosophy.  It is concerned solely with the proper use of force.

Force is justifiable only in defense of or retaliation for aggression against a person or his property.

Libertine: …a person who loves, exults in, participates in, and / or advocates the morality of all sorts of perverse acts, but who at the same time eschews all acts of invasive violence.

OK – but you already knew all of that.  Let’s get to the good stuff:

There is only one thing [the libertarian] cannot do, and still remain a libertarian: He cannot advocate, or participate in, the use of force against these [libertine] people.

Yeah, I know – this doesn’t solve anything in this “libertarians and culture” debate.  Just settle down – do you think solving the greatest problem in philosophy just takes a couple of sentences to explain?

Walter places himself in the category of the cultural conservative who opposes libertinism.  Why?

First and foremost, because it is immoral: Nothing could be more clear than that these perversions are inimicable to the interest and betterment of mankind.

Question: can a society attain and maintain a libertarian order if the actions of individuals in that society work against the “interest and betterment of mankind,” in other words, towards mankind’s destruction?  Doesn’t it seem inherently contradictory, even impossible: a self-destructive libertarian society?

Walter offers another reason – tradition:

At one time I would have scoffed at the idea of doing something merely because it was traditional, and refraining because it was not.  My every instinct would have been to do precisely the opposite of the dictates of tradition.

That’s before he fully appreciated Hayek’s fatal conceit:

From reading his many works (for example, Hayek, 1973), I came to realize that traditions which are disruptive and harmful tend to disappear, whether through voluntary change, or more tragically, by the disappearance of societies that act in accordance with them. (Emphasis added)

Is it possible to have a libertarian society in a society that is disappearing due to disruptive and harmful traditions?  Seems kind of mutually exclusive, doesn’t it.

Presumably, then, if a tradition has survived, it has some positive value, even if we cannot see it.

This is pure Jordan Peterson.  There is a reason that surviving traditions survive: they “work.”  They work in the manner Walter has described above: they work toward the interest and betterment of mankind.  The ones that don’t work get modified or tossed aside; if not tossed aside, the society that maintains (or moves toward) traditions that don’t work will commit suicide.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Truth in Labeling

I find something to admire in the political left – the true left, not the version to be found in the United States.  Mostly I admire the clear vision when it comes to the Anglo-empire and its wars.  But I also admire the left that is unafraid of the label socialist or even communist, the left that is unashamed of their truth.  (I hope I don’t need to add that there is much that I do not admire in the political left.)
Say it Loud, Say it Proud
Despite openly calling for every plank of the communist platform, many in the west are fearful of using the term:
In many ways this fear is justified: communism is a dirty word in the English culture.
Of course, this might also be the strategy – why openly use a “dirty word” when you are able to achieve the same ends by subterfuge?  But I admire those who are direct, open and unafraid, as is the author of this piece:
…many well-meaning, intelligent and prominent Western leftists simply cannot or will not openly call for communism or socialism.
One such western leftist is the former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.  He has written a book, “And the Poor Suffer What They Must?” in which he apparently draws on communist economics in every form absent having a hammer and sickle on the cover.
Varoufakis repeatedly uses the term, “political surplus recycling,” in his book.  According to Mazaheri, this term is nothing other than good old-fashioned communist redistribution and central planning, all dressed in acceptable garb.
Because deficits and surpluses are inevitable between two nations which trade, there must be a multi-national mechanism/parliament/boss which redistributes wealth from surplus nations to deficit nations in order to ensure economic balance and social/regional harmony.
Being that Greece is one of those deficit nations and Mazaheri is an unashamed communist, you will understand precisely the context and intent of the phrase.
Just say it openly, man!
Don’t be ashamed, says Mazaheri; let it all hang out.  Say it loud, say it proud!
Anglophones must accept: They are already communist, they just don’t believe it: “Central planning” does exist in Western capitalist/Anglophone countries: in the United States their economy is guided by the Pentagon, the world’s largest employer; which hands out the fruits of their taxpayer-funded research to private companies…
He nailed that one.
As for the communism already present in the Anglophone world: Do I need to get into social security for the elderly, the 40-hour work week, the living wage, universal health care, rent caps, seniority pay, capital gains taxes, progressive taxes, universal childcare, mass education, free higher education and on and on and on?
He nailed that one as well.
…Westerners and especially Anglophones…appear unable to realize their true communist paternity. And it is a single-parent household….
In this, not so much.  The west has allowed the philosophy of the true left – the true socialist and communist left – to punch holes in the vulnerabilities (and there are many) of traditional liberal and libertarian political philosophies grounded in traditional Christian values. 
Instead of defending and shoring up those vulnerabilities, the west decided to take a walk on the wild side.  The west is not “a single-parent household.”  The west is the product of a beautiful young girl who allowed one too many of those equally-created men to get a little close…eventually, she gave in to temptation.  Unfortunately in this case, the father has yet to run off with another woman.
In Mazaheri’s view, the problem with not being truthful in labeling this dialogue as Marxism is that time is wasted treading the same ground that Marx already opened to the world 150 years ago.  Of course, I think it is a purposefully brilliant strategy to get the camel’s nose back under the tent even after the death of hundreds of millions and the destruction of billions. 
I admire Mazaheri for this and I mean this sincerely: don’t be ashamed for what and who you are.  Of course, it would not play well as a strategy if expanding communism in the west is your goal.
In any case, while the west has taken many steps toward communism (as Mazaheri rightly points out), the road to communism in the west will still pass through cultural, and not economic, gates.  Destroy traditional western civilization and cultural norms and the only thing left will be the state.
Call that communism or whatever you want.  It is the opposite of freedom.  Those who don’t value traditional western culture are leading us down this road.
Mazaheri lives in Paris.  While riding in a taxi, he heard something on the radio which prompted a conversation with his taxi driver:
The Black taxi driver and I listening to the radio agreed: the French (the White French) are willfully blind, hypocritical, extremely clannish, their arrogance causes them to waste the talent of so many millions and billions, etc. and etc. White people are not privy to such conversations, I imagine, and that is a shame – but I can guarantee you they are routinely held among the Colored. White Communists probably have such conversations with the Colored, I would certainly expect…. (emphasis added)
Something to think about when it comes to immigration and the future of France (and the west, generally).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tax Day

The Libertarian Forum, edited by Murray N. Rothbard; April 15, 1969.  Just a tidbit for this post in my ongoing review of this compilation.

April 15, that dread Income Tax day, is around again, and gives us a chance to ruminate on the nature of taxes and of the government itself.

The first great lesson to learn about taxation is that taxation is simply robbery.  No more and no less.

This who claim that taxation is, in some mystical sense, really “voluntary” should have no qualms about getting rid of that vital feature of the law which says that failure to pay one’s taxes is criminal and subject to appropriate penalty.

Rothbard asks: does anyone really take this idea seriously?

Then why don’t we try it for a few years, or a few decades, and find out?


I am no martyr; nor, it seems, was Rothbard.  There have been several individual martyrs on this issue; what has been achieved via this method?

In any case, this isn’t the point.  Taxation is robbery; it is not voluntary.  If you don’t believe this, try to internalize Rothbard’s thought experiment.  If you still don’t believe it…well, you take the next step!