Common-Sense Guns

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Donnie Davis, October 5, 2017

Let’s end the debate on gun control. Criminals will always be able to acquire guns because they don’t abide by laws. Laws make it harder for ordinary citizens to buy weapons to protect themselves, while criminals access the black market.

In many states, purchasing a firearm requires passing a NICS check. It consists of running your ID through federal and state databases to screen people who have been involved in domestic disturbances or have criminal records.

In addition to the NICS background check, potential gun owners must meet local and state requirements. It is noteworthy that in some cities, such as Chicago, it is illegal to own handguns.  In 2016, Chicago experienced 762 homicides; the gun control crowd bears a heavy burden explaining this. While some instinctually believe restrictions are not rigorous enough, libertarians argue the regulations cause black market activity, which in turn breeds violence. According to the article, “police and prosecutors agree that the city’s black market for illegal guns has thrived in no small part because of street gangs and their drug operations.”

To understand the nature of prohibition we can look at the market for illegal substances, where much study has been completed. Heroin is a perfect example. Though it is illegal to use, possess, manufacture, and sell, our country is experiencing an epidemic. The same is happening with other drugs such as methamphetamines and cocaine. In fact, politicsmadepublic.com reported that the illegal drug trade is one of the most profitable markets in the economy.

Alcohol prohibition in the early 20th century didn’t work either. Bathtub gin, speakeasies, rum runners, and the like managed to maneuver around the law. The black market in alcohol created the environment for organized crime to flourish, offering those willing to take the risk an opportunity to provide that service/commodity anyway. If not for alcohol prohibition, organized crime would have never existed in the capacity it did.

Promoters of gun control may point to a recent review of multiple studies that have shown regulations actually do lower homicide rates. However, the findings “were observational, which meant that researchers couldn’t control for variables. That’s a problem… Failing to control for variables in any social study is huge when we consider the complexities of human society. The article also mentions bias within the team, though they do believe it was not shown in the results.

The real debate is control vs freedom. Permitting incremental losses in freedom for the illusion of gains in security is the path to serfdom. If we allow the government to violate the bill of rights, sooner or later freedom of speech will be legislated against…. oh wait, it already is.

100% freedom is preferable. passing legislation to control people shifts the focus from individual growth to political control. Rather than getting at the roots of violence, we try to manage the symptoms, ironically, using violence.

Laws are only necessary when there are victims; i.e. murder, rape, theft, kidnapping, assault, etc. Passing legislation which is designed to control our behavior violates of our liberty, and arguably the Ninth Amendment. Crime can only exist when someone can claim victimhood. Anything else is just a matter of personal opinion and moral values.

Should negligent behavior be legislated? No. Should negligent behavior that results in someone/thing being victimized be legislated? Could negligence increase the punishment for a crime? Most certainly, because there is a victim. But when we use the law to force people to abstain from doing things that don’t directly threaten us or our rights, we become the criminals.

 

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A Response To The Pro-Choice Thought Experiment

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Joe Kwasniak, October 26, 2017

The official libertarian party platform maintains that the government has no right to make a medical decision on behalf of citizens and their chosen medical professionals. Generally, most libertarians will not argue against this. However the party is largely split between pro-life and pro-choice members.

The pro-choice members believe that life does not begin at conception, and that a pregnant woman’s right to make medical choices about her pregnancy are hers alone. She is the owner of her body and the only one who has any right to make decisions regarding the pregnancy.

The pro-life members believe that all lives (pre or post birth) are guaranteed the rights to life, liberty and property. Murder is illegal and ending the life of an unborn person is morally and legally reprehensible.

Most libertarians can understand the arguments for both sides. Although we arrive at different conclusions, we use reason and evidence as our means.

You may have noticed the thought experiment going around the internet that claims pro-lifers aren’t actually pro-life. The gist of this experiment is this: you are in a fertility clinic when the building catches on fire. You are in a room with a 5 year old child and an incubator that contains 1,000 fertilized embryos. Due to present circumstances you are only able to rescue either the child or the incubator.

The point of this experiment is to show that if someone is truly pro-life they would choose the incubator with 1,000 unborn lives rather than the life of the child. However, this is more a play on our emotions than an argument built on logic.

Below is a similar scenario to demonstrate that choosing to save the child does not mean you don’t care about the unborn lives in the incubator:

A murderer has broken into your family home during Thanksgiving. With a gun pointed at you and your relatives, he separates your mother and father to the other side of the room. He then looks at you and says, “I’m going to shoot one of your parents. You have to decide which one lives. Do you want me to shoot your mother, or your father? If you don’t make a choice I will shoot both of them.” So now you make your decision: are you going to murder your mother or father?

Seems like an unfair question and undeserved guilt huh? You don’t want to kill either of your parents. Yet if you pick one, you’ve murdered the other, right? Wrong. The real question being asked is who do you value more? Still a very difficult moral and emotional question, yet choosing to save one or the other means only that you have saved one of them. No one can put the blame of killing on you. Which is exactly the case with the “pro-choice thought experiment”. This is on the murderer, like the fire is responsible for the situation with the child or embryos.

Don’t be fooled by this one-sided guilt trip of an experiment. Choosing to save the life of a child that has already been born is absolutely not the same as choosing to abort an unborn child. It is logical to value the five year old’s life for many reasons. For instance the child will experience immense pain and suffering in the fire. There is no guarantee that those embryos would survive until birth. Choosing to rescue a child that has made it past birth, instead of 1000 unborn embryos, is in no way morally equivalent to being comfortable with abortion.

This thought experiment was specifically designed to make you feel guilty for not saving the 1,000 embryos- just like the situation described above. Saving one of your parents in a hostage situation is not the same as murdering the other parent. Tell people that you would choose to save the little boy/girl, and explain to them why their little logic trap is not in fact proof that one supports abortion. Maybe even share this article with them.

All issues should be decided based on what allows for the most freedom and justice. As noted above, this is precisely the way libertarians look at abortion, despite the division within our ranks. By examining the validity of this thought experiment, we are able to provide a prime example of how manipulation works, as opposed to sound logic. The intention here was not necessarily to take a side, but to point out that whatever your belief may be, it should be based on reason. As long as we allow ourselves to be emotionally duped, rather than grounded in philosophy, violating our rights is nothing but a matter of time.

 

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Taxation is Theft

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Kris Morgan 10/23/17

“Taxation is Theft” captures the essence of libertarian political philosophy more accurately than any other phrase.  Libertarians believe that basic moral rules should apply to our rulers to the same degree they do private citizens.  In the case of taxation, we maintain that since the threat of force is a key feature, it is a form of theft.  Skeptics of this conclusion have several arguments that seem plausible on the surface, but we quickly see that on the fundamental level libertarians are correct.

The easiest argument to dispose of is the belief that since governments provide services, taxation is just.  One example is charity.  Most of us have room in our hearts to help those in need.  Nevertheless, that does not justify forcing us to fund the welfare state through progressive taxation.  Wanting to be charitable is not the same was wanting the government to take our money through the threat of imprisonment and distribute it as they see fit.  The same logic holds true for all government services. Demand for a good is not a license for a third party to coerce you into giving them money to provide it.  There are other objections that require more attention.

Philip Goff, writing for taxjustice.net, believes there is no moral nor legal right to our income.  The legality of taxation is a matter of fact and law, nothing more.  The moral question is what interests us.  He wrote “there is no justice in the fact that the pre-tax income of a city banker is many hundreds of times the pre-tax income of scientists working on a cure for cancer.”  This is a statement about human preferences and the organization of our financial system, but it is not a comment on the use of force to extract money from people.  Mr. Goff is little more than a tax apologist, using human imperfection to justify coercion.

Robert Nielson at whistlinginthewind.org took the approach of comparing taxation to rent.  “The state owns the land and if you want to live on the land you must pay rent. The state is like a shopping centre (or shopping mall for my American readers). If you want to enter it you must agree to abide by its rules.”  The issue with this position is the operant assumption that the state owns the land through honorable means.  Just ownership of property comes about through homesteading, trade, or gift.  This is not how governments acquire property.  They form hierarchies, draw borders, and assume ownership by fiat.  In contrast, shopping malls do not declare ownership of pre-owned property by force, then threaten to lock up people who refuse to pay tribute.  Mr. Nielson’s proposal serves only to remind us that land has been stolen as well.

Scott Tibbs at Conservatibbs.com declared “Government does need to do certain things. The most obvious Biblical reason is to bear the sword against criminals, which requires a criminal justice system complete with lawyers, police and judges and the support staff for all of them. We also need to defend our nation against foreign aggression…”  If protection from those who wish to do us harm is the goal, threatening people with jail time and economic hardship is a contradiction to the stated objective.  We fail before we even begin.  Like the others above, Mr. Tibbs does not address the act of threatening imprisonment for tax evasion;  he is simply another apologist.  The question is how do we fill the vacuum if we end taxation, not whether taxation is theft.

There are those who believe our consent may be assumed until we decide to leave the country.  This is not true.  Not only is it more patriotic to fight for what’s right, it is inconsistent with justice to demand victims of power leave if they don’t like it. Indeed, if refusing to leave the country is the same as accepting everything our rulers do, there are far fewer tyrants around than it would seem.  Only when dealing with government power do people tell the victims to leave the area if they don’t like the injustices they are suffering.

The fact that taxation is theft is precisely what makes politics so hostile.  The left is usually not interested in funding conservative projects.  The right would prefer not to fund left-wing programs like the welfare state, and the left does not favor our interventionist foreign policy.  Libertarians do not wish to be party to anything outside the confines of security and national-defense.  Both our support for government spending on the things we like and our resistance to it for the things we despise indicate the criminal nature of taxation.  This is why Hans Hermann Hoppe called democracy a soft variant of communism.

Human morality is a universal concept that does not disappear because your organization names itself “The Government.”  Since they are nothing more than groups of people, they should be bound by the same rules as any other group or individual. When governments enforce laws against tax evasion, possessing drug paraphernalia, or any other victimless crime, they are allocating themselves authority which is denied any other group.  This is wrong.

What is most telling when it comes to those who proclaim taxation to be just is their statements only apply to governments.  Defense attorneys would never dream of asserting that a client’s actions were justified because they used the money they stole in a socially beneficial way.  It would be very entertaining to see a criminal in court use social contract theory as a means of defense.  It would be laughable if a suspect seriously suggested they’ve committed no crime because the victim could move to a new neighborhood if they don’t accept being robbed.  

Those wishing to promote the validity of taxation without addressing the well founded threats of imprisonment can be immediately dismissed.  Pointing out services provided, and ignoring the coercion and removal of choice in the matter, is a tactic designed to deflect from the central issues and prey on our shared anxieties about the future.  There are those, such as Mr. Nielson, who intelligently highlight the issue of property ownership.  However, when we look at the full picture, we see such claims are not as well founded as they seem.  If we are honest enough to admit the foul nature of taxation, and follow it up with “you can leave the country”, we consciously choose the side of evil.

There is no doubt taxation is theft.  Not even consent makes it legit, as the compliant individual has no freedom to change their mind and withdraw their money.  If we are to have any chance at real justice, liberty, peace, and a truly civil society, admitting taxation is theft and either limiting it to what’s needed to sustain a secure state and/or eventually eliminating it entirely would be a fantastic step.  We would all be much more open to each other’s thoughts and feelings if the constant threat of government power was removed from the equation.
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Liberty’s End

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Kris Morgan 10/5/2017

Jean Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development, first proposed in 1936, are still used today.  They include:

Sensorimotor: Birth to 2

Preoperational: 2-7

Concrete-Operational: 7-11

Formal Operational: 11 and up

The first three are arrived at naturally, barring injury or tragedy.  However, only one-third of us reach the Formal-Operational.  This poses a problem for libertarians, as many of our ideas rely on transcendental reasoning.  With most people sitting between the Concrete-Operational and Formal-Operational stages, it is wise to illustrate the difference between concrete and abstract modes of thought.

Economics highlight the difference better than any other branch of politics.  The Keynesian idea of passing laws to maintain economic stability indicates the perception that human beings are closer to objects than organic life, consistent with concrete thinking patterns.  Keynesians define government spending and rebuilding after disasters as economic positives since they push up GDP and create an increase in consumer spending.  They see the rise of economic activity and conclude growth has occurred.  

In contrast, the abstract minded Austrian School considers rebuilding as a loss. Rather than saving money or investing in higher-valued ventures, it is being used to replace damaged structures and other goods.  With a strong focus on individual preferences and the subjective theory of value, the emphasis is largely on what could have been. Replacing broken items is never the best use of our resources.

Similar arguments are made pertaining to government spending.  However, Austrian Economists consider that taxpayers would spend their money differently than the state.  If not, there would be no need for taxation whatsoever.  Also, when pondering low interest rates, they consider how altering market signals entrepreneurs rely on leads to malinvestments.  

Hypothetical reasoning is tantamount to empathy.  The ability to imagine ourselves in another’s shoes and determine how we may act facing their conditions is a key component of libertarianism.  Understanding blowback when contemplating foreign policy, or how different parties will react to economic proposals, can be problematic for concrete thinkers.

Additionally, one simply cannot exercise power over those they have empathy for. Children are the only possible exception to this notion, yet even our parenting methods have limits.  Evil thrives where empathy runs short, whether it be business owners, illegal aliens, gun enthusiasts, etc.  This is why anyone the state targets must first be dehumanized.  When we take away the humanity of others in our minds, we unquestionably have lost our own.

Philosophy is another area we face difficulty in gaining understanding.  The question pertaining to road construction without the state illustrates the problem perfectly. Determining construction and maintenance of roads without government is a valuable mental exercise, but is not the primary concern of libertarians.  Our sense of justice, morality, and virtue drive us.  Rarely do libertarians discuss material goods in a minarchist or anarchist society with each other.  Concrete thinkers are more concerned with the material world than they are with questions like ‘What is justice?.’

As libertarians, our job is to bring the voice of freedom to the world.  Liberty always begins in the mind.  Being limited to the concrete is akin to being in mental prison. Your thoughts are the sum total of those around you.  Even if our families of origin are correct in their beliefs, none of us want to merely be a product of our environment.

If political freedom is too much to ask, then maybe as libertarians we can offer some valuable insights to unlocking the mind.  We can express to others how empowering it is to free ourselves on a personal level by strengthening our intricate thinking skills. Until this happens, we will remain in psychic chains and live very deterministic lives; conditions which nobody truly wants.

 

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The Quest For Moral Superiority

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Kris Morgan  September 17, 2017

Liberals believe in big government at home, whereas conservatives support an interventionist foreign policy.  The two combined have given us a welfare/warfare state that cannot last.  The United States has accumulated over 20 trillion dollars in debt, over 127 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, killed innocent people abroad, and jailed millions of peaceful people.  In spite of this, the Federal Government shows no signs of slowing down.  How is it that the “freest nation in the world” manages to imprison more of its citizens than North Korea, a communist dictatorship?  Ironically, these evils exist because our debates revolve around attempts at gaining the moral upper-hand rather than an unhindered search for truth.

Since politics is always a question of when it becomes morally acceptable to use force, our views reflect our sense of justice.  We assume ourselves good and just upon entering political debates.  As a result, we define opposing ideas as unjust.  Any admission on our part that our beliefs are flawed inherently implies the other person is more just and morally superior.  These biases cause our conversations to get out of hand.

For example, many believe that the United States did not provoke Osama Bin Laden to carry out the 9/11 attacks.  Some lash out when presented with a review of US interventions in the Middle East, including sanctions in the 1990s that lead to half-a-million children dying, and our Secretary of State affirming their deaths were acceptable.  They often label the messenger as part of the “blame-America-first” crowd and ignore the facts.

Conservatives who push for interventionism abroad are frequently combative to those who highlight US aggression.  They dismiss the opposition with cliches about how the world is an unfriendly place, or claim the dissenter hates America. Admitting the US is a hostile nation contradicts their view that America is the greatest country on the planet.  To backtrack on that base belief would make them appear weak and discredit their moral authority, so they often react with a critique of their own without acknowledging yours.  This method is not restricted to conservatives.

Liberals voice support for civil liberties, yet favor central economic controls.  When an opponent points out that economic controls are violations of our freedom, they claim their foe is uncaring to those in need.  Their inconsistency goes unrecognized as they focus on attacking their opponents.  It is easier to blindly accuse adversaries of being sexists, racists, or wanting the needy to starve than face their contradiction.

Democrats and Republicans alike listen to their own bases.  If their supporters are not willing to admit discrepancies in their platforms, then politicians will continue to roam free.  The welfare/warfare state will endure until there is no wealth left to tax and the currency hyper-inflates.  Making excuses, creating strawmen, deflecting legitimate critiques, and ignoring new information has allowed our government to grow completely out of control. It is an unsustainable model for political discourse.

One can argue that libertarians are not exempt from taking part in this manner of conversation, and there may be some valid critiques.  However, libertarians have a ‘north star’ with which to follow.  While Republicans and Democrats have only their own sense of moral superiority to guide them, libertarians have the Non-Aggression Principle. This keeps our personal virtues away from our politics.  For instance, a libertarian may wish for society to build a sound safety net.  Nevertheless, progressive taxation is the initiation of force and is accordingly rejected by libertarians.  Libertarians do not use morality to justify coercion.

We are being taken advantage of by a system that knows people have a desire to appear morally strong, so much so that they will defend politicians in order to protect themselves.  The best way to smash this system is to set aside our own egos, admit when we are wrong, develop consistent ideologies, and hold our rulers accountable. We have to make this change if we are ever going to claim our rightful place as the dominant party in our relationship with our power structure.

 

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Actions Speak Louder Than Infighting

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Jared Miller, October 3, 2017

It’s like clockwork. Big news stories dominate the political sphere, and infighting gets quieter. We unite against our common enemy, whatever that happens to be at the time, and most of the petty squabbles we use to entertain ourselves fade. Then we enter a slow news cycle, and it’s back to bickering! Without a common cause to unite us, our minor differences rush back to the surface.

What I love about libertarianism is that dissent against popular opinion is not only allowed, it is practically expected. So much so that it almost feels like a prerequisite to joining the party. When an idea or policy contradicts our hard earned sense of what is right, we take it as a matter of integrity to confront it head on.

This is true whether it comes from within our movement or without. We seem to be the only political party in America with a sound and consistent theory of government, and whose core principles are strong enough to allow for this level of internal debate. Our ability to think critically and disagree with one another is a feature of libertarianism, not a flaw. However, we have to keep the 20% of the time when we do not agree from overcoming the 80% when we do.

When we are able to do that, and work side by side with other libertarians, the friction virtually disappears. With a few very high profile exceptions, it’s amazing how seldom the people who are doing the work argue about trivial nonsense. Action helps us realize that any progress we achieve is a chance to move closer to freedom. Though our desire for ideological purity doesn’t disappear in that climate, it does become less important than the work we need to accomplish together.

Unfortunately, most libertarians would rather waste that potential raging against one another. They hide behind social media’s relative anonymity and lack of potential for physical injury to throw cheap shots at their allies. It’s almost as if internet comment sections are really poor places for constructive dialogue.

It makes sense that libertarians like to live online because, for many of us, it’s the only place to find like minded people. In our everyday lives we have no outlet to discuss the things we’ve read, or the conclusions we’ve worked so hard to develop. The freedom movement could never have achieved the success it has without our ability to grow together in the virtual world.

Even now, tons of activists and volunteers are using those communities to grow our movement. They volunteer their time and energy to things like networking, education, multimedia, and so on, which are just as meaningful as the contributions of activists outside of the internet. But that cannot be our only platform. We do not have to abandon our online communities to admit that it is time to start pounding pavement.

There is a legitimate fear that the desire to prove our purity may betray our true opinion of liberty: that it is somehow an unattainable dream. This may be why many libertarians treat liberty like a purely intellectual exercise. Their behavior suggests the belief that since we’ll never make any progress, all we can hope for is to be the most right, and the most pure, while otherwise going about our lives. It’s as if they feel like there is nothing we can do to actually change things. Yet we absolutely can, and we have to start trying. Today. Admitting that debate is valuable doesn’t negate the fact that spending all of our effort arguing about philosophy is a waste of time and energy we cannot afford.

Our emphasis has to shift no matter how each of us decides to act. If we truly desire liberty, we have to start being bold. We have to start working for the revolution we want to see. We have to believe that we can and will change things. Most importantly, we have to just… start.

Liberty is not an impractical pipe dream. It is not some theoretical utopia. It’s uncomfortable. It’s hard. It’s dangerous. And it’s worth it.

—————-

 

Author’s note:

Our need for action doesn’t require everyone to live off the grid or run for office. There are plenty of ways for you to push for a more free society. One of the best places to start is locally. Local parties are the most important unit of political influence we have. This is where we have the greatest chance of winning elections while building a reputation for integrity and freedom-oriented leadership.

Whether local or not, you could offer a small portion of your time to a Libertarian candidate. Candidates always need help. Any of them could offer some task to help drive their campaign. DON’T FORGET TO DONATE. Campaigns are expensive, and libertarians don’t usually have the deep-pocketed backers that the major candidates do. Any amount of money you can pledge to any candidate is welcome, and greatly needed.

Or, if you don’t want to be involved with the official Libertarian party, you could track down a few ballot initiatives or state level issues and annoy your state representatives. (There’s even an app for that.) Maybe you could stage a pro-liberty demonstration, or simply find your own way to start conversations which educate people on the principles of a libertarianism. Another option would be working with a community non-profit, or contributing directly to sites like gofundme, to show people Libertarians are serious about citizens helping each other.

If you don’t have the time to volunteer right now, there are some great organizations where you can donate money. To name a few:

The Cato Institute
The Institute for Justice
Reason Magazine
The Convention of States Project
The Freedom of the Press Foundation
The Drug Policy Alliance
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF)
…and a million others.

Whatever you decide is best, the hardest part is the first step. If you feel like you’re waiting for the right time (which is always), or for life to settle down (it won’t), it’s usually a sign that you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Do it anyway. We need you.

 

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UBI Part III: Alternatives

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Kris Morgan   September 21, 2017

Universal Basic Income (UBI) comes with high costs.  Economically, it will inhibit growth by placing a tax burden on production, making it more difficult to start new businesses and for small ones to compete.  Taxation also detracts from funds which could be used for reinvestment.  Monetizing more debt would put heavier pressure on our already weak dollar, as well as cause malinvestments.  Our government is not only 20 trillion dollars in debt, but it presently holds over 127 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, in addition to wartime spending.  If we do not reject the UBI on our own terms, basic economics will force the issue.  That does not mean we must embark on the future without a plan.

Fortunately, plenty of economic reforms have been presented which are worthy of support.  Regulations that do not directly protect the property rights of others can be discarded.  Overtime rules, wage floors, truth in advertising, licensing requirements, and others restrict market forces from allocating resources to meet demand efficiently.  For example, the operant assumption in truth in advertising is that a particular business has engaged in false advertising, until proven otherwise.  By pushing back harmful regulations, we give ourselves a fighting chance to build.  It is unwise to face an uncertain future with our hands tied.  

Support for UBI indicates people have empathy for those who are unable to adequately adapt.  UBI is a means of expressing this feeling.  The alternative to government power is the conduit of civil society.  Entrepreneurs could market goods and services as products which support jobs.  Consumers can use purchasing power to reinforce such ventures, and philanthropists could fill in the remaining vacuum.  

UBI has brought attention to significant defects in our education system.  Its original intent may have been to create a labor force suitable for factory work, rather than enlightened critical thinkers.  In 1903, when John D. Rockefeller founded the General Education Board, his advisor Frederick Gates informed “…We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning of science. We are not to raise among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters.  We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians…”  

This design was confirmed in 1990 by New York Teacher of the Year John Taylor Gatto, who said the following during his acceptance speech: “…Schools are intended to produce through the application of formulae, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.  To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this. But our society is disintegrating, and in such a society, the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic…”  

Education to induce conformity may have worked in the past, but it will not suffice any longer.  According to careerfaqs.com, the skills needed in the future include cognitive flexibility, creativity, critical thinking, and complex problem solving, among a few others. We should be pressuring our local school boards to focus on building skill sets, such as these, which are projected for future success.

As parents, we should not leave the task entirely to school.  Computer competence can be taught in our homes.  By teaching our kids a programming language, we could give them a head start in facing the future with a marketable skill.  If need be, we could find someone to act as a tutor.  

It is clear that the areas which need the most reform are our economy and our education system.  Our children must be able to exercise their creative muscles, and it is fundamental they be economically free to adapt.  Anyone supporting the idea of UBI without considering our weak financial position should consider what is addressed in this article.  It is not a question of whether we will have to take responsibility for ourselves, it is whether a severe economic crash will be the cause.

 

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Black-American Libertarians

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Travis Hallman  September 20, 2017

Recently a friend from high school told me he switched from supporting voluntary socialism to democratic socialism because there are not enough Black-Americans within the liberty-movement. Respectably, he said this concerns him because minorities know what’s best for minorities. This author agrees that individuals (including minorities) know what’s best for themselves. The purpose of this article is to highlight a few Black-American Libertarians and why libertarianism is the most caring solution for minorities.

“Averaging across nine Reason-Rupe surveys I conducted at Reason Foundation/Reason Magazine with Princeton Survey Research Associates between 2012-2014 and a recent survey we conducted here at the Cato Institute with YouGov, here’s what we find: Among those who self-identify as ‘libertarian’, 71 percent are Caucasian, 14 percent are Latino, 5 percent are African-American, 8 percent identify as another race, and 4 percent chose not to identify. While not an exact reflection, these numbers are similar to the demographic makeup of all respondents averaged across the surveys: 67 percent white, 13 percent Latino, 12 percent African-American , 7 percent identifying as other, and 1 percent not identifying.”

https://www.cato.org/blog/libertarians-are-more-racially-diverse-people-realize

What is libertarianism?

“Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another”

https://www.lp.org/about/

 

Black-American Libertarian Revolutionaries

Mr. Thomas Sowell:

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“Currently Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, CA. His writing is always strongly in favor of free-market economic policy and a libertarian social policy.”
https://www.theadvocates.org/libertarianism-101/libertarian-celebrities/thomas-sowell/

 

Mr. Walter E. Williams:

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“In this lecture given at a Libertarian Party of Georgia event in 1991, [Walter] Williams talks about libertarianism generally and relates his own moral arguments against state coercion. Williams also briefly suggests a few things he thinks libertarians should be doing if they want the libertarian movement to grow.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/media/video-collection/walter-e-williams-libertarians-liberty

 

Mr. Malcolm X:

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“Malcolm X, for one, was very critical of the U.S. government’s international meddling, particularly in Africa, as well as its social and governmental hypocrisy when confronted with the plight of American blacks. Although embraced by the radical Left, Malcolm’s speeches and writings were not in the spirit of Karl Marx or even Howard Zinn—he preached personal responsibility, entrepreneurship, mistrust of the government, and the unquestionable right to self-defense. This isn’t to say Malcolm was a libertarian, but the ideas that permeate the American Dream have also been prevalent throughout black America’s political and social history, in some form or another. The United States is, thankfully, in a much different place than it was in the 1960s, but the desire to be free and prosperous is just as alive among black Americans, and it has been there for centuries. Perhaps, then, the problem is in the messaging.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/why-are-there-so-few-black-libertarians

 

Mr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong believer in civil disobedience and disobeying unjust laws. That belief was the starting point for every one of his marches and demonstrations. Libertarians today hold that an unjust law is no law at all, as we believe in natural law and natural rights. The government cannot simply pass laws that take away our natural rights, and those laws should not be obeyed.  The other base for Martin Luther King Jr.’s protests and speeches was his strict belief that they should be non-violent. He rightfully understood that he would never achieve his goals through force. Libertarians believe in the non-aggression principle, which states aggression against another’s property is inherently illegitimate. The most important property of all is our bodies, and therefore violence against another person is the worst form of violence. Martin Luther King Jr. agreed with that sentiment and consistently preached non-violent methods for protest. Martin Luther King Jr. displayed libertarian ideals in foreign policy and his famous opposition to the Vietnam War. King saw the dangers of American imperialism abroad and the threat to freedom that it posed at home as well.”

https://alibertarianfuture.com/famous-libertarians/famous-libertarian-quotes/martin-luther-king-jrs-famous-libertarian-quote/

 

Mr. Richard Boddie:

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Mr. Boddie describes himself as an ‘Aframerican individualist’ and ‘secular evangelist.’ Mr. Boddie is a ‘people person’ who can transmit people skills to others. His charisma, personality, background, life experience and vision establish the foundation of his mission: ‘To teach and share the ideals and ideas of individual achievement and individual liberty with others – everyday, for the rest of my life.’

-Highest vote getter ever in Libertarian Party History for U.S. Senate

-250,000 in California’s 1992 election

-Runner up for Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination in Chicago 8/31/91 for 1992 race

-Beat the margin of victory between the Republican and Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in California 1994

-Current Chairman of Orange County Libertarian Party (Region 40 of the California Libertarian Party).

-Executive Director, Focus PAC

-Executive Director & Founder, Socially Tolerant Caucus of the Libertarian Party

-President and Founder, The Motivators motivational speakers bureau.”
http://www.chrononhotonthologos.com/inactive/focus/rbbcv.htm

*Here is a much more extensive list of Black-American libertarians

 

Black-American Libertarian/ Libertarian-Leaning Celebrities

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“Chris Rock is known to be politically cynical and may even be heard praising Democrats and ripping into Republicans. Rock may have even been a little too complimentary of socialist liberals at times, favoring President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, reportedly  donating $42,100 Democratic campaigns.
An important distinction to make is that Rock’s views are not always so one-sided. In fact, some of Rock’s quotations have been ideologically consistent with resisting the idea of a ‘collective’. Here’s a list of 10 Chris Rock Quotations that sound more libertarian than liberal:”
http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/10-chris-rock-quotes-that-are-libertarian-as-fck/

 

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“Anthony Ray (Sir-Mix-A-Lot)

Known For: Grammy Award-winning single ‘Baby Got Back’

Libertarian Leanings: It’s a known trope that most rappers hate taxes and Ray is no exception. However, one particular song called ‘Take My Stash’ off of his Chief Booth Knocka album seems to go a level deeper:”
http://www.thisispw.com/post/94353746341/5-rappers-with-libertarian-leaning-views-and-one

 

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Rapper Big Boi of Outkast explains to Huffington Post why he’s a Libertarian and talks the importance of thinking independently. “I’m a libertarian. I’m, you know, liberty justice for all. Liberty for all. Im really pro people, pro freedom, and you know its all about positivity.”

 

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“Eric July is America’s top black Christian anarcho-capitalist rap-metal artist.” Reason Magazine  Mr. Eric July is a full time activist for the Libertarian movement being a vocalist in his band “BackWordz” & co-founder of Being Libertarian.

 

The following candidates have partnered with Ask A Libertarian in the past or are currently partnering with us to provide Public AMA’s (Ask Me Anything). Check out the links to their AMA events below:

 

Black-American Libertarian Candidates

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Karese Laguerre for NJ Lieutenant Governor under Libertarian candidate Peter Rohrman. Ms. Karese Laguerrec will be available to answer your questions during her guest appearance on Ask A Libertarian via live video feed. Her Live AMA is scheduled for October 15th at 7pm (est).

 

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Larry Sharpe is running for Governor of New York. Mr Sharpe will be available to answer your questions via live video feed during his Live AMA on October 17th at 8pm (est).

 

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Nickolas Wildstar is running for Governor of California. Mr. Wildstar will be available to answer your questions via live video feed during his AMA scheduled for January 15th (Martin Luther King Jr. day). The time for this event is TBA.

 

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Gary St. Fleur is running for Mayor of Scranton, PA. “Gary St. Fleur, chair of the Lackawanna County LP, who has been working to bring runaway taxes, spending, and high debt under control in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is now running for mayor on the Libertarian ticket.” https://www.lp.org/libertarian-gary-st-fleur-rattling-cages-scranton-mayoral-race/

Mr. St. Fleur, along with seven other tax payers, recently sued Scranton Pennsylvania’s local government over illegal tax hikes.  The city was forced to adhere to Act 511, which caps taxes. https://www.lp.org/major-tax-victory-scranton-thanks-libertarian-gary-st-fleur/

Click here to view Mr. Gary St. Fleur’s previous Public AMA.

 

Why libertarianism is the most caring solution for minorities

“1.1 Self-Ownership

Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.”

Www.Lp.org/platform

“Certainly, the Drug War has been the largest driver of the disproportionate black and Hispanic prison populations in recent years, both through the incarceration of non-violent offenders and prosecuting those people involved in the violence associated with prohibition regimes. But the tensions between blacks and the American justice system did not start with Nixon’s War on Drugs in 1971.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/looking-back-look-forward-blacks-liberty-state

“2.0 ECONOMIC LIBERTY

Libertarians want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.”

Www.lp.org/platform

“A free market consists of economic freedom such that anybody could open a business without having to pay the government for permission (permits, licenses, etc). A free market would have no taxes,eliminating reasons for corporations to partner with politicians for tax breaks. A free market would not allow bailouts, allowing businesses to have setbacks, and avoiding the creation of artificial monopolies. These economic freedoms would enable new competition to compete more efficiently.”

https://askalibertarian.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/how-free-markets-empower-green-markets/

Understandably, free markets in America are often blamed for allowing slavery. This is indubitably incorrect. The government failing to enforce the non-aggression principle is what allowed slavery in America. Even though libertarians support free markets, we also believe that slavery violates human rights, and therefore should not be considered a “free market” practice.

“The non-aggression principle (also called the non-aggression axiom, or the anti-coercion or zero aggression principle or non-initiation of force) is an ethical stance which asserts that ‘aggression’ is inherently illegitimate. ‘aggression’ is defined as the ‘initiation’ of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense. The principle is a deontological (or rule-based) ethical stance.”

https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Principle_of_non-aggression

“You might have heard the Libertarian Party (LP) referred to as the ‘Party of Principle.’ This is because the LP bases its programs and policy positions on the non-aggression principle.”

https://www.theadvocates.org/aggression/

 

In liberty,

Travis Hallman

 

 

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UBI Part II: Education

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Kris Morgan, September 15, 2017

Since Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the United States would potentially fill in for wages lost to automation, it is wise to get a snapshot of where American education stands in terms of science and technology. Presumably, the labor market will be reoriented towards developing software and other tasks workers are presently unqualified to perform.  What do we know about science?  Per ultratechlife:  “According to an MIT report, at least 216 million Americans are scientifically illiterate. There are several other reports that seem to highlight this assessment of US ignorance. There appears to be a failure in American culture and the educational system especially when an adult cannot understand basic science concepts.  Where did we go wrong and what can be done about this? Believe it or not, science literacy is a matter of national security, critical for our economy and future as a competitive nation.”  

By solving the mystery of our ignorance, and closing the gap, we can cultivate logical alternatives to the UBI.  Perhaps the explanation of American ignorance can be solved by taking a glance at our school curriculums.

The Atlantic reported that just half of children between seventh and 12th grades attend schools that offer computer science courses, which are typically electives. It is noteworthy that according to the article, minorities are less likely to have access to computer classes, and males are more encouraged to take Computer Science courses than females.

The scientific community is not silent about this issue.  Renowned physicist, cosmologist, futurist, professor, and author Dr. Michio Kaku made the following comments on education in 2016: “The United States has the worst educational system known to science.  Our graduates routinely compete at the level of third world countries.” Referring to our tech sector specifically, he remarked “Without the H1B (visa), the scientific establishment of this country would collapse!  Forget about Google.  Forget about Silicon Valley, there would be no Silicon Valley without H1B.”  The visa allows non-immigrants to work for American businesses if they have “theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc.”

This lack of education is precisely what is causing many of our anxieties and support for UBI. At present, 50% of the population surveyed already favor it.  It is reasonable to expect this number to grow as we see our economy decline due to war spending, quantitative easing, inflation, and the rest of government inflicted hardships.  Indeed, we are facing automation earlier than we would had it not been for wage floors, regulations, and political involvement in the hiring and firing processes.  

Fortunately, we have more tools than ever for self-directed education.  Khan Academy, Rosetta Stone, iTunes U, books on pdf, and of course libraries, are all excellent supplemental educational resources.  We can teach ourselves skills. We can hire tutors to help us and our kids learn basic programming. We can pressure our local schools to do a better job of preparing our children for the future.  Many businesses offer programs for their employees to earn certificates and degrees in areas such as robotics and programming, as they do for maintenance personnel and other departments.

We need not always focus on where we disagree on education, i.e. religion’s place, or how much money teachers are being paid.  The coming of automation and whether we need to be prepared for it is a completely bi-partisan issue.  We all share the responsibility of making this transition easier for future generations, even if that means it is hard for us today.  We should get involved in our local schools and ask “What is being done to ensure our kids have the necessary skills to thrive in the future?”  

People avoid growth often times because it is time consuming, means making mistakes, and invites the possibility of embarrassment. Growth is often painful.  What gets ignored due to these fears is how much better off we will be when we succeed.  Within a generation, mental labor will be the norm and physical labor will be rare.  We have the opportunity to permanently change humanity for the better.  We either fight for a future that revolves around subsidies, with little to show for it in the long run, and remain absent from history; Or we fight for a future dependent on growth, enrich society for generations to come, and go down as one of the great generations in human history.


 

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Government Unchained

 

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Jeremy Medley, September 14, 2017

Federalism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “The distribution of power in an organization (such as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units.” Our founders were so intent on this idea that they gave us the Tenth Amendment in our Bill of Rights. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution delegated few enumerated powers to the Federal Government, reserving all remaining powers to the States and the people. Thus, powers of the Federal Government were meant to be limited by our founders, with no exception. They knew then, as we are learning now, the true dangers of a government unfettered and the beast it can become.

Our federal republic was created by joint action of the several states. It has been gradually perverted into a socialist machine for federal control in the domestic affairs of the states and the individual. The Federal Government has no authority to mandate policies relating to state affairs, natural resources, transportation, private business, housing, nor healthcare. Yet these gross violations of our rights happen every day. We, as a society, are more in awe of what celebrities are wearing, or how our favorite football team is doing. We have given up on the idea that the government is beholden to the people. What caused this societal shift to take place? Can we right the course? The people must call on the Federal Government to close all unconstitutional federal agencies that usurp state power and infringe on the rights of this nation’s citizenry, such as the NSA, EPA, IRS, DEA, DHS, etc.

Throughout our history, as a nation we have allowed the Federal Government to squeeze the rights of the people away. We have nearly nothing left to give, but our labor and our lives. President Lincoln is regarded by many historians as a hero of the nation.  However, the issue of slavery aside, he was actually nothing more than a tyrannical ruler who discarded the constitution as it suited him, when southern states attempted secession.  President Franklin Roosevelt vowed to fill the Supreme Court with justices friendly to New Deal policies, which helped pave the way for our current welfare state. President Johnson and his “War on Poverty” has laid a tax burden on the people that is nearly unsustainable. President Nixon attacked the African American community with the “War on Drugs.” In recent history, Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump implemented legislation which has basically thrown your cConstitutional rights out the window with the Patriot Act. The blame does not only lie at the feet of the presidents, but they are the figurative head of the beast. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin. Yet, we have given up the the warm embrace of liberty to suckle the teat of big government.

In a nation that honors itself on freedom we have allowed basic liberties to be swept away by a few legislators like thieves in the night. Why is there no outcry? What happened to the idea of “Give me liberty or give me death”?  Does this only apply in times of national threat or crisis? If so, aren’t we standing at the precipice of a cliff on which we will be unable to climb back? Yet, we still elect the same failed officials for political expedience. We can’t be bothered with the corrupt or troublesome world of politics unless it is sensationalized via Facebook, soundbite, or tweet.

Libertarians see atrocities across the globe committed in the guise of government doing what is right for the people, and for “freedom.” In the words of Ronald Reagan  “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

Our nation was started by individuals who were tired of the corrupt and oppressive rule of a government that never truly cared for its commoners, the same as we have today. Their political awakening started as a grassroots movement much like ours. Let our voices not go quietly in the night and unheard as if we were never here. We must continue our pursuit of true liberty for all.

 

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