Are You A Voluntary Socialist?

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Travis Hallman, September 6, 2017

Libertarians and Socialists may have more in common than the two realize. There are many denominations of libertarianism within the liberty movement such as; classical liberalism, minarchism, libertarian transhumanism, anarchism, progressive libertarianism, anarcho-communism, etc. Overall, Libertarians agree our current state should be drastically reduced in size and power. Libertarians and Socialists are no exception. Voluntary Socialists support competing voluntary organizations operating within a free market to create a safety net.

2.11 Retirement and Income Security

“Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private voluntary system. The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals [as witnessed with the recent string of hurricanes].  We believe members of society will become even more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.”

A very good example of this happening in America occurred when President Trump cut the spending for Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels was receiving approximately $1,000 per day but they immediately received $50,000 in donations when the president cut their (government-funded) allowance.

For example, if 999 of 1,000 people living in a free market choose to contribute to an organization which provides a safety net but does not require the one person to join,  would that be moral? Yes. Would it be immoral to not allow the 999 to (voluntarily) establish their said safety net if they so desire? Yes.

Libertarians would not prevent an organization from creating a voluntary safety net after we establish a free market for our nation. It’s neither pragmatic nor moral to do so.

One good explanation of Libertarian Socialism can be found in the following excerpt by David Boaz, “The Coming Libertarian Age” Cato Policy Report , “One difference between libertarianism and socialism is that a socialist society can’t tolerate groups of people practicing freedom, but a libertarian society can comfortably allow people to choose voluntary socialism. If a group of people—even a very large group—wanted to purchase land and own it in common, they would be free to do so. The libertarian legal order would require only that no one be coerced into joining or giving up his property.”

Voluntary socialism should not be confused with progressive libertarianism. Progressive libertarians support a government operated safety net but are socially tolerant regarding civil liberties, immigration, and foreign policy. Progressive libertarians should not be confused with liberals either. Liberals support a government operated safety net but are socially liberal regarding civil liberties, immigration, and foreign policy. Socially liberal and socially tolerant individuals both support the legalization of choices regarding bodily-autonomy but socially liberal individuals would require government permissions (permits) to engage in such acts; whereas socially tolerant individuals would support your freedom of choice without requiring (the purchase of) government permission. Voluntary Socialists do not support politicians creating the safety net. Instead, these are maintained by communal efforts of the volunteers.

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

 

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Betrayal Of The American Media

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Kris​ ​Morgan,​ ​September​ ​6,​ ​2017 
 
I​ ​know​ ​everyone​ ​loves​ ​their​ ​right​ ​to​ ​bear​ ​arms,​ ​but​ ​freedom​ ​of​ ​the​ ​press​ ​is​ ​first​ ​in​ ​America’s​ ​Bill of​ ​Rights.​ ​​ ​The​ ​right​ ​to​ ​bear​ ​arms​ ​exists​ ​for​ ​the​ ​instance​ ​that​ ​our​ ​government​ ​becomes unbearable.​ ​​ ​Freedom​ ​of​ ​speech​ ​is​ ​designed​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​tyranny​ ​from​ ​forming.​ ​​ ​The​ ​late​ ​Former President​ ​John​ ​F.​ ​Kennedy​ ​​articulated​​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​the​ ​press​ ​on​ ​April​ ​27,​ ​1961​ ​when​ ​he addressed​ ​the​ ​profession​ ​directly,​ ​stating: 
 
​ ​“…And​ ​that​ ​is​ ​why​ ​our​ ​press​ ​was​ ​protected​ ​by​ ​the​ ​first​ ​amendment.​ ​​ ​The​ ​only​ ​business​ ​in America​ ​specifically​ ​protected​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Constitution–​ ​not​ ​primarily​ ​to​ ​amuse​ ​and​ entertain,​ ​not​ ​to emphasize​ ​the​ ​trivial​ ​and​ ​the​ ​sentimental,​ ​not​ ​to​ ​simply​ ​give​ ​the​ ​public​ ​what​ ​it​ ​wants–but​ ​to inform,​ ​to​ ​arouse,​ ​to​ ​reflect,​ ​to​ ​state​ ​our​ ​dangers​ ​and​ ​our​ ​opportunities,​ ​to​ ​indicate​ ​our​ ​crises and​ ​our​ ​choices,​ ​to​ ​lead,​ ​mold,​ ​educate​ ​and​ ​sometimes​ ​even​ ​anger​ ​public​ ​opinion…​ ​And​ ​so​ ​it​ ​is to​ ​the​ ​printing​ ​press,​ ​to​ ​the​ ​recorder​ ​of​ ​man’s​ ​deeds,​ ​the​ ​keeper​ ​of​ ​his​ ​conscience,​ ​the​ ​courier​ ​of his​ ​news,​ ​that​ ​we​ ​look​ ​for​ ​strength​ ​and​ ​assistance,​ ​confident​ ​that​ ​with​ ​your​ ​help​ ​man​ ​will​ ​be what​ ​he​ ​was​ ​born​ ​to​ ​be,​ ​free​ ​and​ ​independent.”  
 
Media​ ​today​ ​is​ ​certainly​ ​not​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​being​ ​watchdogs​ ​of​ ​government​ ​overreach.​ ​​ ​Instead​ ​we have​ ​what​ ​we​ ​all​ ​know​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​liberal​ ​media​ ​and​ ​conservative​ ​media.​ ​​ ​Deep​ ​down​ ​we​ ​know​ ​we are​ ​getting​ ​a​ ​spin,​ ​but​ ​hope​ ​that​ ​the​ ​effects​ ​are​ ​negligible​ ​and​ ​the​ ​facts​ ​are​ ​solid.​ ​​ ​​ ​We​ ​are​ ​in​ ​the midst​ ​of​ ​an​ ​anti-intellectual​ ​movement​ ​that​ ​is​ ​powered​ ​by​ ​these​ ​left/right​ ​biases.​ ​​ ​Conservatives and​ ​liberals​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​stick​ ​to​ ​their​ ​own​ ​sides​ ​in​ ​media​ ​consumption.​ ​​ ​As​ ​a​ ​result,​ ​each​ ​thinks​ ​the other​ ​nothing​ ​short​ ​of​ ​pure​ ​evil.  
 
This​ ​observation​ ​was​ ​echoed​ ​by​ ​​Mediaite​​ ​when​ ​they​ ​published​ ​the​ ​following​ ​in​ ​an​ ​article:​ ​“Most of​ ​those​ ​who​ ​get​ ​their​ ​news​ ​only​ ​from​ ​Fox​ ​News,​ ​Matt​ ​Drudge,​ ​Rush​ ​Limbaugh,​ ​Sean​ ​Hannity​ ​& Breitbart.com​ ​think​ ​Donald​ ​Trump​ ​is​ ​a​ ​savior​ ​who​ ​is​ ​certain​ ​to​ ​win​ ​(the​ ​2016​ ​election)​ ​and​ ​that Hillary​ ​Clinton​ ​is​ ​the​ ​anti-Christ​ ​[sic].​ ​​ ​Almost​ ​everyone​ ​who​ ​only​ ​consumes​ ​the​ ​New​ ​York​ ​Times, Washington​ ​Post,​ ​MSNBC,​ ​CNN,​ ​NPR​ ​&​ ​The​ ​Huffington​ ​Post​ ​are​ ​sure​ ​the​ ​opposite​ ​is​ ​true.”  
 
These​ ​attitudes​ ​stop​ ​intellectual​ ​discourse​ ​before​ ​it​ ​even​ ​starts.​ ​​ ​How​ ​can​ ​people​ ​with​ ​differing points​ ​of​ ​view​ ​possibly​ ​have​ ​a​ ​productive​ ​conversation​ ​if​ ​they​ ​each​ ​go​ ​in​ ​thinking​ ​of​ ​the​ ​other person​ ​as​ ​the​ ​devil? 
 
According​ ​to​ ​​Business​ ​Insider​,​ ​as​ ​of​ ​1983,​ ​90%​ ​of​ ​everything​ ​we​ ​read,​ ​hear,​ ​and​ ​see​ ​is​ ​owned by​ ​just​ ​six​ ​corporations.​ ​​ ​Prior,​ ​it​ ​took​ ​50​ ​companies​ ​to​ ​make​ ​that​ ​same​ ​market​ ​share.​ ​​ ​This​ ​is important​ ​because​ ​it’s​ ​much​ ​easier​ ​to​ ​manipulate​ ​a​ ​handful​ ​of​ ​companies​ ​than​ ​50.​ ​​ ​The​ ​lack​ ​of diversity​ ​in​ ​mainstream​ ​media​ ​is​ ​most​ ​visible​ ​when​ ​government​ ​wants​ ​war.
On​ ​the​ ​10th​ ​anniversary​ ​of​ ​the​ ​invasion​ ​of​ ​Iraq,​ ​​Howard​ ​Kurtz​​ ​(CNN)​ ​reflected​ ​on​ ​the​ ​beginnings of​ ​the​ ​war​ ​and​ ​wrote​ ​“Major​ ​news​ ​organizations​ ​aided​ ​and​ ​abetted​ ​the​ ​Bush​ ​administration’s march​ ​to​ ​war​ ​on​ ​what​ ​turned​ ​out​ ​to​ ​be​ ​faulty​ ​promises.​ ​​ ​All​ ​too​ ​often,​ ​skepticism​ ​was​ ​checked​ ​at the​ ​door,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​shaky​ ​claims​ ​of​ ​top​ ​officials​ ​and​ ​unnamed​ ​sources​ ​were​ ​trumpeted​ ​as​ ​fact… From​ ​August​ ​2002​ ​through​ ​the​ ​March​ ​19,​ ​2003​ ​launch​ ​of​ ​the​ ​war,​ ​I​ ​found​ ​more​ ​than​ ​140 front-page​ ​stories​ ​that​ ​focused​ ​heavily​ ​on​ ​administration​ ​rhetoric​ ​against​ ​Iraq.”  
 
While​ ​we​ ​do​ ​appreciate​ ​people​ ​like​ ​Mr.​ ​Kurtz​ ​writing​ ​such​ ​pieces​ ​years​ ​later,​ ​the​ ​damage​ ​is done.​ ​​ ​War​ ​is​ ​the​ ​first​ ​example​ ​used​ ​in​ ​this​ ​essay,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​media’s​ ​weakness​ ​is​ ​not​ ​limited​ ​there. How​ ​economic​ ​circumstances​ ​are​ ​reported​ ​is​ ​also​ ​not​ ​entirely​ ​factual. 
 
Matthew​ ​Stein​ ​of​ ​the​ ​​Huffington​ ​Post​​ ​opened​ ​an​ ​article​ ​on​ ​the​ ​2007​ ​financial​ ​collapse​ ​with criticism​ ​of​ ​the​ ​free​ ​market.​ ​​ ​“Unregulated​ ​greed​ ​will​ ​result​ ​in​ ​the​ ​demise​ ​of​ ​our​ ​planet​ ​just​ ​as surely​ ​as​ ​it​ ​is​ ​causing​ ​the​ ​collapse​ ​of​ ​our​ ​economy.”​ ​​ ​Indeed,​ ​there​ ​is​ ​always​ ​a​ ​tendency​ ​to blame​ ​free​ ​markets​ ​for​ ​all​ ​economic​ ​woes​ ​and​ ​praise​ ​government​ ​for​ ​economic​ ​boons.​ ​​ ​That​ ​is to​ ​be​ ​expected​ ​when​ ​the​ ​two​ ​major​ ​parties​ ​are​ ​products​ ​of​ ​​Keynesian​​ ​economics.​ ​​ ​For​ ​a​ ​market to​ ​be​ ​free,​ ​all​ ​levels​ ​of​ ​government​ ​(Federal,​ ​State,​ ​and​ ​Local)​ ​have​ ​to​ ​restrict​ ​their​ ​actions​ ​to the​ ​protection​ ​of​ ​private​ ​property.​ ​​ ​No​ ​economy​ ​riddled​ ​with​ ​regulations,​ ​taxation,​ ​fiat​ ​currency, central​ ​banking,​ ​wars,​ ​uncertainty​ ​about​ ​those​ ​in​ ​power,​ ​a​ ​welfare​ ​state,​ ​etc.​ ​can​ ​be​ ​said​ ​to​ ​be free.​ ​​ ​It​ ​makes​ ​absolutely​ ​no​ ​sense​ ​to​ ​blame​ ​that​ ​which​ ​doesn’t​ ​exist.  
 
Before​ ​2007,​ ​for​ ​about​ ​​two​ ​decades​,​ ​the​ ​central​ ​bankers​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Federal​ ​Reserve​ ​and​ ​politicians alike​ ​specifically​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​giving​ ​cheap​ ​credit​ ​in​ ​the​ ​housing​ ​sector.​ ​​ ​In​ ​essence,​ ​they​ ​inflated a​ ​bubble​ ​that​ ​was​ ​certain​ ​to​ ​burst.​ ​​ ​Credit​ ​and​ ​interest​ ​rates​ ​are​ ​reflections​ ​of​ ​assets​ ​on​ ​hand and​ ​time-preference.​ ​​ ​Using​ ​politics​ ​to​ ​control​ ​interest​ ​rates​ ​obscures​ ​the​ ​information entrepreneurs​ ​use​ ​to​ ​gauge​ ​how​ ​many​ ​resources​ ​are​ ​available​ ​and​ ​where​ ​to​ ​invest.​ ​​ ​It’s​ ​easier to​ ​spend​ ​$100​ ​in​ ​your​ ​wallet​ ​if​ ​you​ ​think​ ​you​ ​have​ ​$1,000​ ​in​ ​the​ ​bank.​ ​​ ​What​ ​happens​ ​when​ ​you spend​ ​that​ ​money,​ ​only​ ​to​ ​realize​ ​later​ ​that​ ​your​ ​account​ ​is​ ​also​ ​empty?​ ​​ ​Free​ ​Market?​ ​​ ​You might​ ​as​ ​well​ ​blame​ ​space​ ​aliens,​ ​at​ ​least​ ​then​ ​it​ ​might​ ​be​ ​possible. 
When​ ​I​ ​was​ ​younger​ ​I​ ​dutifully​ ​watched​ ​the​ ​news.​ ​​ ​I​ ​believed​ ​I​ ​was​ ​staying​ ​informed​ ​about​ ​the world.​ ​​ ​However,​ ​I​ ​later​ ​realized​ ​I​ ​was​ ​exposing​ ​myself​ ​to​ ​story​ ​after​ ​story​ ​of​ ​some​ ​evil​ ​crime taking​ ​place;​ ​people​ ​harming​ ​their​ ​own​ ​babies,​ ​shootings,​ ​robberies,​ ​assaults,​ ​etc.​ ​​ ​After​ ​years of​ ​studying​ ​economics,​ ​philosophy,​ ​politics,​ ​logic,​ ​etc.​ ​I​ ​came​ ​to​ ​the​ ​conclusion​ ​that​ ​the​ ​media​ ​is nothing​ ​more​ ​than​ ​the​ ​watchdog​ ​of​ ​the​ ​people.​ ​​ ​Rather​ ​than​ ​keeping​ ​an​ ​eye​ ​on​ ​government acquiring​ ​unjust​ ​power,​ ​the​ ​news​ ​seems​ ​more​ ​interested​ ​in​ ​running​ ​negative​ ​stories​ ​that originate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​general​ ​public,​ ​almost​ ​as​ ​a​ ​reminder​ ​of​ ​why​ ​we​ ​‘need’​ ​the​ ​state.  
 
​When​ ​politics​ ​is​ ​involved,​ ​reporters​ ​seem​ ​to​ ​act​ ​like​ ​starving​ ​dogs​ ​at​ ​a​ ​dinner​ ​table,​ ​waiting​ ​for their​ ​masters​ ​to​ ​offer​ ​up​ ​any​ ​extra​ ​crumbs,​ ​begging​ ​our​ ​politicians​ ​to​ ​answer​ ​a​ ​question​ ​or provide​ ​a​ ​comment,​ ​so​ ​they​ ​can​ ​simply​ ​repeat​ ​it.​ ​​ ​This​ ​is​ ​not​ ​the​ ​media​ ​JFK​ ​spoke​ ​about​ ​in​ ​his brilliant​ ​​speech​.​ ​​ ​I​ ​am​ ​not​ ​alone​ ​in​ ​this​ ​observation.​ ​​ ​​The​ ​Guardian​​ ​published​ ​an​ ​article explaining​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​negative​ ​effects​ ​of​ ​consuming​ ​too​ ​much​ ​news​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​impotence of​ ​the​ ​media​ ​in​ ​explaining​ ​how​ ​the​ ​world​ ​actually​ ​works. 
 
Although​ ​much​ ​more​ ​could​ ​be​ ​written​ ​on​ ​this​ ​topic,​ ​I​ ​think​ ​it​ ​would​ ​be​ ​more​ ​productive​ ​to​ ​start brainstorming​ ​what​ ​changes​ ​we​ ​can​ ​make.​ ​​ ​The​ ​news​ ​gives​ ​us​ ​information​ ​about​ ​events​ ​taking place​ ​and​ ​provides​ ​us​ ​with​ ​some​ ​hard​ ​facts.​ ​​ ​However,​ ​when​ ​we​ ​dive​ ​into​ ​any​ ​analyses​ ​that requires​ ​serious​ ​thought,​ ​such​ ​as​ ​economics​ ​or​ ​whether​ ​or​ ​not​ ​to​ ​support​ ​wars,​ ​we​ ​have​ ​to research​ ​these​ ​topics​ ​in​ ​detail.​ ​​ ​It​ ​is​ ​irresponsible​ ​to​ ​use​ ​soundbites​ ​from​ ​biased​ ​media​ ​to​ ​make long-lasting​ ​decisions.​ ​​ ​Don’t​ ​be​ ​afraid​ ​to​ ​study​ ​opinions​ ​that​ ​contradict​ ​your​ ​own.​ ​Most​ ​people stick​ ​to​ ​media​ ​and​ ​explanations​ ​that​ ​reflect​ ​their​ ​own​ ​​assumptions​​ ​about​ ​the​ ​world.​ ​​ ​We​ ​are​ ​all prone​ ​to​ ​this​ ​behavior.​ ​Opening​ ​ourselves​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the​ ​possibility​ ​that​ ​we​ ​are​ ​wrong,​ ​or​ ​have​ ​been taught​ ​incorrectly​ ​by​ ​people​ ​we​ ​love​ ​and​ ​trust,​ ​creates​ ​uneasiness.​ ​​ Rather​ ​than​ ​put​ ​our​ ​first instincts​ ​to​ ​the​ ​test​ ​as​ ​we​ ​should,​ ​we​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​associate​ ​with​ ​people​ ​who​ ​echo​ ​our​ ​own​ ​bias.  
 
The​ ​world,​ ​with​ ​its​ ​nuclear​ ​weapons​ ​and​ ​tools​ ​for​ ​economic​ ​manipulation,​ ​cannot​ ​afford​ ​to​ ​be ruled​ ​by​ ​people​ ​who​ ​are​ ​not​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​step​ ​outside​ ​their​ ​comfort​ ​zones.​ ​​ ​Spotting​ ​our​ ​biases​ ​is not​ ​hard.​ ​​ ​Simply​ ​ask​ ​yourself​ ​why​ ​you​ ​believe​ ​X,​ ​and​ ​if​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​have​ ​evidence​ ​and​ ​logic​ ​in your​ ​answer,​ ​then​ ​your​ ​stance​ ​is​ ​based​ ​on​ ​assumption.​ ​​ ​Ask​ ​yourself​ ​why​ ​others​ ​believe​ ​the opposite​ ​you​ ​do.​ ​​ ​Study​ ​their​ ​literature.​ ​​ ​Converse​ ​with​ ​those​ ​of​ ​varying​ ​viewpoints.​ ​​ ​Leave​ ​the “anyone​ ​who​ ​disagrees​ ​with​ ​me​ ​is​ ​the​ ​devil”​ ​stuff​ ​at​ ​home.​ ​​ ​While​ ​there​ ​are​ ​exceptions​ ​to​ ​every rule,​ ​for​ ​the​ ​most​ ​part​ ​we​ ​all​ ​want​ ​the​ ​same​ ​things,​ ​to​ ​be​ ​physically​ ​and​ ​financially​ ​secure​ ​and have​ ​long,​ ​happy,​ ​and​ ​productive​ ​lives.​ ​​ ​It​ ​may​ ​be​ ​more​ ​beneficial​ ​in​ ​debate,​ ​especially​ ​on​ ​social media,​ ​to​ ​determine​ ​if​ ​you​ ​and​ ​the​ ​other​ ​person​ ​share​ ​the​ ​same​ ​values​ ​before​ ​you​ ​begin.  
 
I presented​ ​this​ ​article​ ​for​ ​two​ ​major​ ​reasons.​ ​​ ​First,​ ​libertarianism​ ​takes​ ​a​ ​great​ ​deal​ ​of​ ​abstract reasoning​ ​to​ ​fully​ ​grasp,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​why​ ​we​ ​are​ ​so​ ​often​ ​painted​ ​as​ ​people​ ​who​ ​want​ ​the​ ​poor​ ​to die​ ​off​ ​and​ ​everyone​ ​else​ ​to​ ​shoot​ ​up​ ​heroin.​ ​​ ​Second​ ​as​ ​long​ ​as​ ​we​ ​let​ ​the​ ​news​ ​control​ ​us,​ ​by feeding​ ​us​ ​constant​ ​streams​ ​of​ ​negativity​ ​which​ ​make​ ​us​ ​fearful,​ ​we​ ​lose​ ​domestically​ ​and​ ​we lose​ ​internationally.​ ​​ ​We​ ​cannot​ ​expect​ ​to​ ​make​ ​sound​ ​decisions​ ​when​ ​we​ ​are​ ​driven​ ​by​ ​anxiety. When​ ​our​ ​population​ ​digs​ ​deep​ ​and​ ​pushes​ ​back​ ​against​ ​this​ ​news​ ​lead​ ​anti-intellectualism​ ​we will​ ​get​ ​on​ ​track​ ​towards​ ​real​ ​virtue. 
 
 
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Defining Anarchy 

 

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Kristopher Morgan 8/31/17

Every single time violence is used during a protest you hear politicians, the media, and everyone in between shouting “anarchists!”  Not only do those of us who proudly wear the badge find it insulting, it is an incorrect use of the term.  Ironically, it seems very few members of society are actually willing to spend time studying and contemplating anarchy and what it means to be an anarchist.  I present the following to close that gap and do my part in informing society on what anarchy is and is not.

What Anarchy Is Not

First and foremost, anarchists are not people who legitimize or perceive violent actions as acceptable.  The molotov cocktail throwing ‘anarchist’, who has no respect for law, or people and their property, is a complete farce.  Anarchists have the utmost respect for property, which is why we oppose states in the first place. In order to pay for government provided services, taxes must be collected with or without the consent of the people, as a matter of law.  It is inconsistent to reject governments on the grounds that they constantly infringe on people and property and then riot and commit acts of vandalism to get the message out.

Furthermore, there is a misunderstanding about lawlessness and disorder.  Anarchists understand and respect natural law, but reject legal positivism.  The basis of natural law is private property rights, whereas the operate assumption of positivism is the state may assault private property when the political climate demands.  An example of positivism would be the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Socio-economic circumstances opened the door for another layer of healthcare legislation and President Obama and Congress gave us the ACA.  It violates natural law by demanding people who don’t purchase health insurance pay penalties when filing taxes; a way of using force to alter behavior.  Anarchists view such use of law as not only undesirable, but criminal.

Anarchy is not a utopian worldview.  It may be true that a successful anarchist society depends on everyone following natural law and staying within the bounds of actions that are based on consent.  However, it is also the recognition that if we are to protect ourselves, permitting political coercion by a body of people is a poor first step.  Anarchists do not believe that life without the state would be a paradise by any stretch of the imagination, we simply define the state as another criminal organization the same way we might the Mafia.  It is noteworthy that often times the most adamant defenders of government’s necessity often try to find ways to save money during tax season.  Anarchists simply seek to apply the same rules against theft, arson, murder, etc. to governments as we do everyone else.

Finally, we do not imagine an anarchist society as one wrought with chaos and crime with no means of protection.  Since anarchists are people who reject violence and embrace peace, an anarchist society would be quite orderly.  (I should note here that a society that has decided a state is undesirable due to the violence involved should not be confused with a society whose government has collapsed and created a power vacuum).  There would be no government passing laws which reallocate people’s resources, nor would a society made up of such peaceful people be riddled with crime.  Security would be provided through a host of consensual relationships such as, but not limited to a) the individual, b) family and friends, c) the community, d) charities and e) business.  On the other hand, governments open the door for the chaos we normally associate with anarchist societies.  Since government force is perceived as necessary, everyone is encouraged to use force against others through the hub of the state.  How many people would never participate in such coercive acts if not for the state? Just observe the liberals and conservatives struggling with each other, each to gain the upper hand and get our government to do their bidding.  The outcome? Kids born in 2016 already “owe” the United States Government $42,000; theft on a scale that would otherwise be impossible.  Politics can turn the most peaceful people into monsters if they’re not careful.  Anarchist society would have its imperfections, but its foundation would not be violence.

What Anarchy Is

Anarchy is a philosophy based on total equality and freedom of all members of society, with complete adherence to natural law.  The very act of taxation is coercive in nature, so the logical conclusion is that a government that cannot tax nor hold a territorial monopoly on force cannot be considered a government.  Powers allocated to governments may be written in constitutions and other governing documents.  They may even be accepted by the majority of people. But the ruler/subject relationship is not a part of the human condition and has no place in natural law.  The closest we come to is parent/child relationships, which may explain why America has one mommy party and one daddy party, but it’s still a far cry from saying states are natural.  Authority and power structures will always be artificial.

Anarchists also embrace peace in private life.  It may be true that there are some among us, for example the poorly named anarcho-communists, who wish to overthrow the existence of private property.  Whether they realize it or not, they are closer to competitors of state power, NOT anarchists who eschew the use of force as a means to attain goals.  If their ideas ever become popular, all property would be up for grabs, with everyone in society “defending” their right to take ownership of the things they want.  Everyone struggling over control of everyone else’s property is the beginnings of a communist revolution, and eventually those who do the best job ‘defending’ their right to use resources become a state, since they would have to continue protecting what they have seized.  I must reiterate here that private property is an absolute must to form a society without a state.  Proper ownership of property is achieved through homesteading, gift, or trade, none of which includes theft.  Contrary to the concept of public property, the message of private property is that one only has a just claim over any property gained through the aforementioned methods.  In the framework of private property, property lines are a two way street.  They let others know where their sphere of control ends and yours begins, as well as telling the owner where their sovereignty is limited. States on the other hand fund everything they do through coercion.  Rather than trade or ask for donations (gifts), they simply take.  As is the case with anarcho-communists, states view resources as being theirs for the taking.  For these reasons, anarchy in its truest form will always be a branch of libertarianism, not communism.

Conclusion

Most anarchists have a tough time telling those around them what they truly believe.  This is to be expected when majority of the population is educated in government schools.  Governments and anarchism do not mix.  We all know those liberals who know everything they know about conservatism from liberal media, or those conservatives who know everything they know about liberals from conservative radio.  Each has a caricature impression of what and how the other thinks.  Likewise, government schools and the  superstructure misrepresent anarchy.  Pile that on with the fact that every time a protest turns violent someone labels them anarchists along with the confused anarcho-communists, and it’s easy to see why there is confusion.  By now we should all know better.  Violent actions are not consistent with anarchy or anarchist values.  Anarcho-communism would never lead to the state dissolving.

 

The defining feature of a government is the ability to exercise power over individuals and their property under the perception that their actions are warranted.  This is precisely what any criminal wants.  The bank robber wants a monopoly over taking all the money in the vault.  They don’t want competition from other thieves or from the rightful owners. And they certainly don’t want to be held accountable. When we apply those rules for universal moral standards to the government, what can we call it but the most successful criminal organization in a country?

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HOW TO TOPPLE IMMORAL MONUMENTS WITHOUT FORCE

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Travis Hallman, August 17, 2017

Physically damaging property that isn’t owned by oneself is aggression. Taxing citizens to maintain property is also aggression. Aggression is immoral, impractical, and (above all) not necessary. If you perceive taxing and damaging other’s property as wrong then you may be a libertarian.

This libertarian does not personally support glorifying monuments that represent any form of aggression (such as the Robert E. Lee statue representing slavery, the Vladimir Lenin statue representing communism, the Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument representing the original grand wizard of the KKK, the El Mesteño blue demon horse of death in Denver, and more). Furthermore, I believe Libertarians would have fought the war within the United States to abolish slavery without the intentions to draft slaves into a military (like Abraham Lincoln did).

How do we abolish immoral monuments without using force?

Simple answer, free markets.

What is a free market?

A free market consists of economic freedom such that anybody can open a business without having to pay the government for permission (permits, licenses, etc). A free market has no taxes, eliminating reasons for corporations to partner with politicians for tax breaks. A free market does not allow bailouts, letting businesses have setbacks, avoiding the creation of artificial monopolies. A free market does not allow patents. These economic freedoms enable new competition to compete more efficiently. Click here to see how free markets empower green markets!

How does a free market abolish immoral monuments?

Allowing monuments to be maintained by private owners would allow the owners to require a pay-per-view for the monuments, in museums for example. The immoral monuments that have a lacking of demand for viewing could be abolished by the private owners if they’re not profitable. The immoral monuments that have a demand for viewing would continue to have a supply. There is no reason to abolish immoral monuments with high enough of a demand to continue the pay-per-view business because it’s still deemed to have historical value by the consumer. However, you could collect funds to (consensually) purchase this property and abolish it. That choice may not be pragmatic because profits are attainable.

When will the immoral monuments be abolished?

History creates itself daily with new stories and new monuments. Eventually all (current) monuments will lose their appeal and be replaced with new monuments. Even if they aren’t, I don’t agree with the practices of the ancient Mayans or Egyptians but that doesn’t mean I feel the temples and pyramids should be demolished.

How do we establish a free market?

The libertarian party is the largest political party that consistently supports free markets.


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.”
Lp.org/platform

Voting libertarian in upcoming local, state, and national elections expresses you care about the methods which monuments are allowed to exist or be abolished.

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In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

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Battle of the Laws

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Kristopher Morgan, August 14th

One of the hardest aspects of being a libertarian is being portrayed as someone who does not want any of the goods and services provided by the state.  For example,  when libertarians express the notion that government should not be involved in something like education, our opponents sometimes assume we don’t want an educated population.  Sometimes they’re just creating a strawman, but just as often they are sincere in their belief.  Why do people automatically assume if you don’t want the government to provide a service, it means you don’t want the service to exist at all?  It occurred  to me that the misunderstanding is due to competing philosophies of law.  The libertarian conclusion that natural law is just and moral, while positivism is not, is what separates us from the rest of society, and the consequences of that finding run much deeper than we realize.

Positivism

Positivism dominates society in terms of what constitutes a legit approach to law.  According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Legal positivism is the thesis that the existence and content of law depends on social facts and not on its merits…  positivism is the view that law is a social construction.” In essence, in positivism law is seen as artificial, and as such, the approach isn’t limited by concerns for natural rights.  It’s no wonder there are so many laws in the US the average citizen commits three felonies every day.  Society wants legislation passed and rulers push to make it happen.  A good example is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the bill gets voted on, approved, and signed into law by our politicians.  There is clearly demand for more affordable healthcare, so the political system proposed legislation to solve the problem, and it eventually became law.  Furthermore, the biggest supporters of the ACA paint anyone wanting it repealed as monsters who want to see tens of millions of people dying in the street.  But what if that’s not really the case?  What if the so-called monsters don’t see government as the only acting body within society?  What if we also happen to have an entirely different philosophy of law; one that is incompatible with positivism?

Natural Law

Allaboutphilosophy describes natural law as law that “finds its power in discovering certain universal standards in morality and ethics.” Basically, people who subscribe to natural law believe that concepts of right and wrong are what matter.  In natural law, rules are discovered, not legislated.  Law is not seen an artificial construct, rather we develop our understanding of right and wrong and the human condition is what determines what law ought to be.  Governments are artificial.  They don’t sprout up on their own, people have to form them.  Since they’re made of people, they are held to the same moral standards as everyone else in society.  So when a libertarian says they oppose a bill, such as the ACA, they do so because they perceive violations of natural law.  Private citizens could never get away with using an armed force to regulate local insurance companies and hospitals the way the government does.  Most of us would look at citizens behaving in such a manner and label them criminals.  Natural law does not make a distinction between governing body and private people.  Standards of behavior are universal, not dependent on artificial classes (in this case of rulers and subjects).

Which Is More Just?

Despite what goes on in politics, in private life most people are already followers of natural law.  We don’t hurt each other, we don’t steal from each other, etc. because deep down we identify those actions as flat out wrong.  In fact, if a policeman were caught observing a theft and not confronting the suspect, people would be outraged.  Nobody sits around reading gigantic books on law; but we do assume that we will not be harassed too much if we don’t harm anyone and drive safely.  Because of positivism, we have a superstructure in society that possesses the power to take money from other people through force, to ensure compliance with society’s artificial laws.  So why do we bother making theft a crime?  Why do we get so concerned if a thief knocks over a 7/11 and makes off with a few measly hundred dollars, when all children born in 2016 ‘owe’ the government $42,000?  While it may be true that security services are paid for through taxation, using taxation as a means removes the universality feature of justice.  Having one law that says you get to take through force, yet another that says nobody else can, is clearly meant to create privileges for those in power.

Positivism empowers political forces at the expense of everyone.  Artificial laws always come from politicians, regardless of what form of government.  But in natural law, we are all free to hold each other accountable to universal standards of behavior rooted in the human condition.  We all have the right to defend ourselves and what is rightfully ours.  For physical survival, the one thing everyone has to have to satisfy their needs for food, water, and shelter is property.  Property is nothing more than having control over resources.  It follows logically that interference with the property of another undermines their attempts to satisfy their needs, and so our guide for determining if natural law is violated is whether property is violated.

Society has to choose between these two philosophies.  Either legal positivism is just, in which case law has no real meaning and justice is really just about power and pandering to it; Or natural law is correct, in which case we have to start looking at government as an agency that has no right to initiate force to make its ends meet.  Justice is based on universal standards that flow consistently from the human condition which nobody has the right to take away.  The choice is ours.

 

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Individualism vs. Collectivism: A False Dichotomy

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Kristopher Morgan, July 19, 2017

In political philosophy, individualism and collectivism are treated as two opposing forces that duke it out in an attempt to find justice.  For collectivists, to quote Mr. Spock, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” In politics, this idea leads to governments who willingly encroach on rights for the benefit of society.  Individualists see this as the barbaric tyranny of the majority.  The people have no power to violate the rights of others so neither should the state.  While these ideas seem different, in practice they are actually two sides of the same coin.

Collectivism

In a brief article on collectivism, Armstrong Economics describes collectivism as a “term used to denote a political or economic system in which the means of production and the distribution of goods and services are controlled by the people as a group.” This usually occurs through the state.  In socialism it means the state takes control through direct ownership.  In interventionism, ownership may remain in private hands, but the state exercises control through heavy regulations and taxation.  

Individualism

Boundless explained individualism as incompatible with collectivism.  “Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one’s goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing external interference upon one’s own interests by society or institutions such as the government.” The economic corollary of individualism is capitalism, where ownership of property and control of it rests with the individual, and taxation and regulations are relatively low.

Sounds simple enough, right?  Collectivists support state power to carry out the will of society when it conflicts with individual motives.  Individualists think it completely immoral for governments to disrespect rights.  How can these two possibly be one-in-the-same?

Collectivism In Practice

The stated goal of collectivism is to put decision-making power into the hands of the many over the few, or the one, through government power.  Using the state as a means to accomplish this goal is entirely counter-productive.  Governments are always a minority of the population.  In the United States, the Federal Government is made up of 535 members of Congress, nine Supreme Court Justices, and one President.  Even when local governments are taken into account, the legislators and executives are vastly outnumbered by the general population.  This means when laws are passed and enforced, a minority is forcing their will upon the majority.  While the idea of a minority representing the will of the majority of voters seems reasonable, there is simply no possible way they can know nor understand the values of so many people.  Claiming to represent the general public is one thing, actually doing it is quite another.  Not only do politicians lack the knowledge they need, but by codifying decisions in formal law, it becomes difficult for us to change our minds.  For example, those voters who first supported the war in Iraq in 2003 are not in a position to stop funding it now.  Is it not a little bizarre that we look at countries that are run by dictators, a single will forced upon an entire population, and call it a collective?  

Individualism In Practice

Individualism, where decision making lies with private property owners, appears as though a minority of people are in charge.  There are fewer rich people who own businesses than there are laborers, but the profit motive keeps this control in check.  To gain profits, capitalists and entrepreneurs have to sell goods to consumers.  Consumers reward those who satisfy their preferences by frequenting their establishments.  The little acknowledged truth in these relationships is that everyone is a consumer.  Everyone at minimum needs food and water to survive.  Entrepreneurs who fail to satisfy consumers are put out of business by those who do.  Since consumers drive production, and everyone is a consumer, the collective finds its power within the individualist framework.  When we are free to make choices and live our lives as we see fit, with nobody using law to suppress our will, the outcome is a society that embraces diversity by respecting individual rights.  Diversity is far stronger than pure conformity, as there are multiple approaches to solving complex problems.

Effects on Political Discourse

When a minority of politicians make laws that affect the majority of people, we can safely say the collective loses its influence.  This is most visible in corporate welfare.  Are there really citizens who would consider giving their hard earned money to enormous, multinational, corporations for nothing in return?  If consumers preferred to give their money to said corporations, they would not need the welfare in the first place. Everywhere law is used, collective choice is diluted.  This is a bold hypothesis, but luckily there is a way to test it.

The test for determining if a law truly reflects collective will is to repeal the law in question.  A perfect example is the marketplace plans created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  At Obamacareplans.com, one is free to shop various plans created by the ACA.  Being created by a matter of law, if this marketplace does not reflect true consumer preferences, it is a fine example of power weakening our collective choices.  By repealing at least the marketplace portion of the bill, we can put it to the test.  If it satisfies demand, it will stand on its own without the power of law supporting it.  Entrepreneurs will declare it an efficient use of resources and maintain the business model.  Consumers will frequent the marketplace and make their purchases.  If it collapses, it will disappear and its resources can be put to better use.  

Conclusion

I am a libertarian, but I also believe in the collective.  At first I considered collectivist societies similar to The Borg in Star Trek.  The borg are a cybernetic race linked to a single consciousness, all members sharing a single will.  Though their actions are all directed towards the same goals, their personalities are completely replaced.  An entire species is subjected to the will of a single member, in their case, The Borg Queen.  How can it be called a collectivist society if the entire species is directed by the mind of one?  They don’t celebrate differences in preference or diversity in thinking. All signs of autonomy are eradicated from the collective.  To be truly collectivist, all members of a species must be able to make their own decisions and express themselves free from subjugation and coercion.  By taking the allocation of resources away from consumer control, politicians create an environment where power trumps collective will.  To be strong, we have to band together against centralized control.  Those who use the word collective in conjunction with the idea of a society dominated through law actually want the wills of those around them replaced, similar to The Borg. Such a person may be described as despotic or tyrannical, but hardly collectivist.  Power is the rejection of those around you. It is the need to dominate others instead of allowing society to absorb their individuality.  

Individualism and collectivism are not opposing forces.  The collective only has power if its members have control of their own lives.  A government that has the power to encroach on any individual’s rights has actually seized power over the entire collective, as we are all subject to law.  It’s no wonder the so-called collectivist societies in the 20th century butchered so many of their own people.  How can society thrive if our individual wills are undermined?  It is a contradiction.  Perhaps the best illustration of this point was made by Martin Niemoller when he said:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

 

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Decreasing the homicide rate in Chicago

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Cameron Williams, July 19, 2017

What I usually hear from the people of Chicago who want to decrease the homicide rate there is “Take the guns away and there will be no homicides.” In theory they’re right. If no guns are present in Chicago, or anywhere for that matter, gun-related homicides would then disappear. However, is it really necessary to take guns from legal and responsible gun owners? Is it legal or illegal gun owners committing crimes at high rates?

This topic is tricky. There are multiple solutions. One solution would be to allow responsible gun ownership and defensive training in areas of high crime. This skilled and armed community would act as a deterrent for would-be criminals. Last year, Chicago had well over 700+ homicides. What communities suffered the most? Black communities. Under gun laws that heavily favor the restriction of gun ownership, the people of Chicago were still unable to protect their families and communities.

I support Maj Toure’s “Black Guns Matter” (BGM) movement of pro-second amendment rights and gun safety. BGM is a pro-second amendment movement aimed at educating urban communities on their second amendment rights and responsibilities. The BGM movement has given attention to a much misunderstood topic. Join me and the Libertarian Party of Chicago as we move forward in making Chicago citizens safer and more knowledgeable through gun ownership.

 

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The Guise of Neutrality

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Andrew Patts- Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Sacramento- July 13, 2017

A popular stance to take in the “Battle of the Internet” is to side with the FCC in support of what is known as Net Neutrality. It is such a widely popular stance that objectors are nearly demonized; who could possibly be against the fair and free exchange of ideas known as the internet (this is due to its moniker, more on that later)? For a long time I sided with the FCC; I signed petitions with John Oliver, spread awareness on Facebook, I helped my mom write a college essay in support of Net Neutrality. My loyalty to the cause was unquestionable.

My opinion of the matter began to change after reading and receiving yet another bombardment of the atrocities that would be committed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) without the FCC’s regulation. It came to the point that I found myself becoming suspicious of the one-sided, dark and hyperbolic language that was common in defense of the FCC Regulation.

The argument in favor of FCC Regulation (I refuse to call it by its purposely innocuous title) is that without it, ISPs would destroy the freedom that the internet provides by manipulating and censoring what content is visible to consumers. The ISPs would force fledgling companies to pay a fee in order to have its content delivered to homes. Netflix would be forced to pay exorbitant fees to Comcast for the privilege of having premium bandwidth; fees that would be passed down to the consumer. Netflix would be able to outbid its competition for rights to the bandwidth. I argue that these are healthy indicators of a free market. Not only does the FCC’s Regulation strip the free market of these indicators, but it merely shifts oversight of these indicators from the people who find it to be in their best interest to watch these markers to people who have no vested interest in advancing technology, but rather a maintenance of the status quo.

Without the government, who would prevent Comcast from blocking Fox News or CNN from their customers? Who would prevent Comcast from charging ridiculous fees to one news organization but not the other? The free market. Comcast owns their service, it’s their property and they can do as they wish with it – if they want to restrict the internet to everyone but those who were willing to pay $1000 a month, let them! They’ll find a 99% reduction in subscription and their competition will love Comcast for their horrible decision to restrict the internet. In a free market and society, news of Comcast’s blatant censorship and restriction of the internet would be far-reaching; even consumers who don’t ascribe to the political views of the organization in question would be hesitant to continue their business with Comcast. How long could a company survive the economic pressure to remove roadblocks from their service and provide the best possible internet to the most amount of people (to make the most amount of money, those greedy capitalists!)?

The FCC, on the other hand, would have the authority to do everything Comcast did in the previous hypothetical situation. Fox News? Hate Speech. CNN? Fake news. The FCC, depending on whose administration oversees the agency (currently, President Trump and his administration), would have the power to force organizations to pay registration fees in order to buy the privilege to be on the internet in the first place. The constitutionality of such an action would be called into question. Months or years may pass while waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court, and, depending on whose administration, the Supreme Court may rule that the FCC’s actions are unconstitutional or they may fabricate an obscure but justifiable reason that the FCC is allowed to charge one organization but not another. In the former situation, you could switch providers. Good luck switching governments in the latter situation.

It is Comcast’s right to run their service as they please. Imagine the possibility of Comcast charging exorbitant fees to new companies who are trying to gain market entry. Suppose Comcast and Myspace have an agreement that Myspace would give Comcast x amount of money to prevent startup social media companies from posing a threat. In order to keep Myspace pleased and to make more money, they charge Facebook an enormous fee that will prevent them from solidifying any real market share. I say, good for them!

While Comcast is busy suppressing innovation, their competition is welcoming it with open arms by eliminating fees altogether. Facebook goes to ATT and flourishes. Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, and countless other companies see that there is money to be made in rebuking Comcast and their fees so they switch to ATT as well. Comcast and Myspace would stagnate and die.

It is in Comcast’s best interest (financially) to provide the most open internet possible in order to attract innovators to their service. The notion that Comcast would willingly hamstring themselves by stifling startups, I came to realize, is nothing but a scare tactic – and that’s where I saw the narrative in favor of FCC Regulation beginning to lose its veneered facade.

With FCC Regulation, on the other hand, large corporations would have a method of buying votes in the government to preserve their status as primary market holders. This isn’t a new concept. We see lobbyists of every facet of society bidding for the votes of politicians – the FCC would be no exception. Myspace would be able to spend millions of dollars that startups don’t have in order to buy a few votes in the FCC to preserve their status as the dominant social media. In order to mask their corruption, they would obfuscate their intent by creating hoops and ladders that startups would be forced to overcome in order to have a (virtual) seat at the table. This would cost startups not only in programming, but in lawyers to make sure they comply with the purportedly “Free” internet of FCC Regulation. Instead of investing in their infrastructure to provide groundbreaking new features, startups would be forced to pay for their compliance with the law and adopt features that consumers are sick of, don’t want, or don’t need.

One fear tactic that proponents of FCC Regulation use is the idea that Comcast would begin charging people and companies alike for premium access to their bandwidth, or else Comcast would throttle internet speeds. This is a practice that every company does. Pay X amount for 10 mbps, or pay Y amount for 100 mbps. Proponents of FCC Regulation believe that this is extortionate. Do people have a right to demand paying less for more? Yes they do. But, it is also the right of Comcast to assess the viability of allowing an additional amount of stress to pummel their servers. It’s also the right of the consumer to switch to a service that charges less for more. FCC Regulation to treat every user as equal would have detrimental effect on everyone’s experience if it were enforced to its fullest sense of equality.

I argue, let Comcast practice extortion. Companies would leave Comcast’s service and flock to other services, and consumers would follow – leaving Comcast to suffer a slow but inevitable bankruptcy. Preventing this from happening and forcing ISPs to adopt certain regulations only allows inefficient but established ISPs to maintain their market share while hindering startups who would be expected to comply with inefficient standards that result in the consumer paying more for less. FCC Regulation would empower established corporations, diminishing consumer choice and stifling innovation.

Let us imagine that Comcast, in a lust for greed, decided to allow companies like Netflix and Hulu to wage an economic bandwidth war against each other in an effort to buy the most bandwidth and force the other to suffer limited speeds in order to foster a better rapport among their own customers. I don’t see this as a bad thing. This sort of cutthroat economic warfare culls the herd of devious ISPs. Netflix and Hulu would duke it out, buying bandwidth and reveling in the company’s inability to service their customers. But truly, who is hurt the most? The ISP. When Hulu loses to Netflix and ultimately discontinues service with Comcast, others who love Hulu’s service would leave Comcast as well. This scenario would play out similarly to the one outlined earlier; Comcast’s decision to play favorites with certain companies would utterly backfire when the established order becomes old, outdated, and unfashionable. Comcast would suffer as a result of their greed. This is how the free market punishes the greedy.

FCC Regulation, on the other hand, would expose the internet to the world of politics and allow favorites to be played by the politicians. Netflix could hire lobbyists to ensure that regulations are written to ensure their dominance and force their competition to overcome jungles of red tape for the simple act of gaining market entry. If Comcast were to do this and Hulu discontinued service, Comcast would be held accountable and be punished by the free market. In the case of FCC Regulation, Comcast would be absolved from their involvement and the internet would be beholden to the interest of the 1%, lobbyists, and large corporations like Comcast.

The solution to this problem (if a problem existed in the first place) is to allow the free market to reward the greed that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship, and the uninhibited freedom of ideas. The free market does not reward those whose greed results in the stifling of advancement. FCC Regulation rewards the inverse of the free market. Rather than rewarding innovation, the government rewards the established corporations. Rather than rewarding entrepreneurship, the government creates barriers of entry to protect their own greedy interests. Rather than unleashing freedom, the government would have us apply for permits to practice our free speech over the internet.

Some may call me paranoid when I mention the possibility of government tyranny; they may tell me to put on my tin foil hat when I say that the FCC would have Apple surrender their encryption to the FBI. I know there has never been a single documented case in the entire history of the internet, anywhere in the world, of a government seizing control of the internet and confining its use to state-sanctioned activities, but I embrace my paranoia, nonetheless.

P.S. I find the name choice nefarious in and of itself. “Net Neutrality,” who could possibly want a restricted internet? The name shuts down meaningful conversation and obfuscates the true objective of the law – government control. I liken it to naming a gun ban the “Safe Children Act.” Who wants children in danger? It’s a disgusting manipulation of emotion that should be addressed. “The PATRIOT Act” is a moniker that also appeals to emotion rather than logic; a similar bill named “The Orwellian Expansion of Governmental Powers of Surveillance” would have a snowflake’s chance in hell to be passed.

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A Libertarian Perspective on Trump’s Travel Ban

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M. J. July 13, 2017

Supporters of Trump’s Travel Ban may find themselves justifiably filled with satisfaction that our President has taken a bold step to countering, what for many Americans, is a pressing issue of national security. The federal government of recent memory has been enmeshed in an endless cycle of flaccid chattering, far removed from concrete solutions and novel approaches to solving the myriad issues facing the contemporary United States. When people look to a government for action and receive only glib drivel, a leader willing to take action is a welcome change. However, I caution that adoration of this Travel Ban is perhaps premature, and misplaced. Trump’s Travel Ban is a brute force approach to solving a complex and nuanced issue, and may diminish the United States’s global standing while emboldening our enemies. What follows in this writing is a Libertarian analysis of the Travel Ban, potential consequences, and what is perhaps a more useful approach to reforming our immigration and visa policy.

For the liberty minded individual, a ban on anything is likely to evoke a strong sensation of revulsion. This writing seeks to examine Trump’s Travel Ban, through the lens of Libertarian mores. A national origin based Travel Ban is likely to offend two themes central to Libertarian philosophy. First, one residing in a country where travel to the United States is banned, is consigned to an existence in which he or she is likely prohibited from exercising his or her personal agency because of the tyranny and repression, that is likely present in such a state. Secondly, by fanning the flames of discord in the majority Muslim countries in which travel from is banned or severely curtailed, the United States’ position in the world is diminished. This assumes that a nation is more likely to participate in cordial relations with other nations if that nation does not purposefully create rifts and feuds with entire national populations. This Libertarian’s position on foreign policy is that we avoid complex entanglements, often the product of alliances, and lessen the likelihood of global conflict by maintaining a state of cordial cooperation with all nations of the world.

Free exercise of one’s personal agency is a central tenet of Libertarianism, and if a state or social structure exists in which one is not freely able to exercise his or her personal agency, personal liberty is but a distant dream. Providing a substrate that facilitates the growth and exercise of free will, as long as such exercise does not purposefully cause harm to another or impede his or her own exercise of personal agency, is perhaps the highest goal of Libertarianism, regarding how Libertarianism pertains to the individual actor. However, it is important to consider, if a free society is flooded with those who seek to do it harm or impose their restrictive beliefs on others, the ability of those already residing in the country to exercise their agency is severely diminished. Due care must be taken when permitting foreign nationals access to the United States. We should strive to establish an immigration system that accurately assesses the intentions of all those who seek to enter the United States. In short, one who can demonstrate he or she would be an asset to this nation by way of his or her personal merit or an exuberance for western ideals, and an affinity with classical liberalism should always be permitted access to visit or reside in the United States. Those who seek to do this nation harm, defile its liberty, or repress its people should never be granted access. A blanket travel ban is purely an infantile approach to tackling a complex issue, and is perhaps likely to do far more harm than good.

Individuals currently residing in repressive states are likely to suffer because of this travel ban, however, this nation may bear the brunt of the deleterious consequences. If our enemies can point to our actions as a recruiting tool, the consequences of our bad actions are only amplified. Certainly, we want to coexist in a world in which fewer rather than greater numbers of foreign nationals hate us, and alienating entire national populations does not seemingly present as an effective strategy regarding the realization of this goal. Furthermore, it is likely that bad actors exist in the countries impacted by the travel ban, however it is equally likely that similar bad actors currently reside in all nations on earth. I suggest that most of the people caught in the snare of Trump’s Travel Ban, are no less likely to pose a threat to the United States than the average United States Citizen. However, one who held warm feelings for the United States before then ban, may now possess a cold reserve to do it harm. This is the danger of blanket bans based on national origin. Banning the free movement of one solely based, on his or her national origin, is antithetical to the essence of Libertarian ideals.
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How Free Markets Empower Green Markets

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“It constantly amazes me that defenders of the free market are expected to offer certainty and perfection while government has only to make promises and express good intentions.”
Lawrence W. Reed

How does a free market create a more environmentally friendly business economy?

Reasonably, many voters hesitate to vote for free market political candidates due to concerns that unrestricted and unregulated businesses will naturally choose the least caring routes for profits. Another concern is that a free market will require individuals to shop more wisely (whereas individuals will regularly shop for the least expensive and most efficient product/ service). This simply is not true and here is why:

The free market would create more competition for corporations such as Wal Mart. These corporations would then be forced to offer the best products (green) at the cheapest prices (or fail). Therefore, the responsibility of the consumer to shop wisely would not be required due to the business practices of the corporations who must keep the best products (green) at the lowest prices because that’s what customers want.

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.

Would a free market allow businesses to operate using brown energy?

Yes, A free market would allow businesses to utilize brown energy, but would not offer them bailout money while allowing anybody to open a green company right next door. However, not forcing new competition to pay taxes or purchase licenses would enable new competition to invest that money into the business to more efficiently compete. Then new competition could offer a more efficient (green) product or service at an equal or lesser price to drive the corrupt corporations out of the market. Corporations (like Wal-Mart) will always choose the more efficient product or service if the price is the same or less.

The free market is a solution to climate change that does not require any form of force, coercion, extortion, or incarceration. It is the pragmatic and ethical solution.

Respectfully, are there any other solutions which do not incorporate force, coercion, extortion, or incarceration? Just to clarify, if anybody doesn’t pay taxes then that person will go to jail. Because of this, using any tax dollars is a form of theft called extortion.

Does supporting a free market simultaneously support anarchism?

“Although I wish the anarchists luck, since that’s the way we ought to be moving now. But I believe we need government to enforce the rules of the game. By prosecuting antitrust violations, for instance. We need a government to maintain a system of courts that will uphold contracts and rule on compensation for damages. We need a government to ensure the safety of its citizens–to provide police protection. But government is failing at a lot of these things that it ought to be doing because it’s involved in so many things it shouldn’t be doing.”
A 1973 Interview with Milton Friedman – Playboy Magazine

In other words, if a business is polluting the property you own (whether by damaging your air via dangerous inhalants, damaging your ground via fracking, etc) then you would rightfully be able to sue that business. After enough lawsuits and not receiving bailout money then that business will have to either change its methods of operation, increase the prices (driving them out of the market), or run out of funds to continue operating.

“The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.” -Milton Friedman

What if a corrupt corporation that uses brown energy buys out new technology that utilizes green energy?

The free market would not allow patents to exist. Therefore, the corporation may offer new competition money in exchange for the new competition to cease production. However, thousands of other entrepreneurs across the globe would be able to create this new technology and possibly accept the same offer from the corrupt corporation. But this would not be a wise decision for the corrupt corporation because eventually it will lose all funds from the purchases. All of which still would not prevent the  next new company from utilizing the new technology, driving the corrupt corporation out of the market.

In opposition, would disallowing patents be detrimental to new businesses because big corporations could simply mass produce more of the product without requiring the purchase of a patent?

“Up to 25 million of our customers are going to use this [new technology]; it’s very motivating. And not just 25 million of our customers but other companies tend to follow us. You know it takes a few years but other companies tend to copy us if it works.” –Steve Jobs

In other words, it takes time for new technology to prove itself to be beneficial. In addition, it takes time for any competition to replicate, and they may never precisely emulate the new technology.  This amount of time would allow new competition to attain profits and create more efficient (green) technology of their own in abundance.

To further illustrate:

For 125 years, Coke’s secret recipe has remained one of the most heavily guarded trade secrets in the world.

“The [Coca-Cola] company has always said, and as far as I know it’s true, that at any given time only two people know how to mix the 7X flavoring ingredient,” Mark Pendergrast, historian and author of For God, Country and Coke told This American Life. “Those two people never travel on the same plane in case it crashes; it’s this carefully passed-on secret ritual and the formula is kept in a bank vault.”

The libertarian party is the largest political party that consistently supports free markets. Voting for libertarians at local, state, and federal levels expresses one cares for the environment because corrupt corporations will always circumvent regulations and restrictions whereas new competing business cannot. Only a free market, which removes big corporate protections, will allow room for smaller, greener companies to arise and compete.

*Disclaimer:

This article is written under the assumption climate change is 100% man-made. However, climates have always had changes and scientists have not reached a consensus on how much is man-made vs naturally occurring. Please consider accounting for natural occurrence when debating the practicality of climate change.

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

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