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Parents as the State

Parents have a unique responsibility. They have the power to create life, and then the duty to protect it and raise it into a functioning adult. But can we say that this life that they create is theirs in the sense of materialistic ownership? I don't think we can. If we are to apply libertarian property appropriation principles, the one who first appropriates and puts to some use the child's body is its rightful owner. Since the child itself is the first one to do this, albeit with little rational direction, it stands to reason that the child is a self-owner the moment he takes his first breath of life (and perhaps before). Therefore, the relationship between parent and child cannot be one of ownership. The most we could call it, I suppose, is stewardship. And because the parent does not own his child, what sorts of behaviors and actions toward the child can we consider ethically justified on libertarian grounds?

Hans Hoppe defined the state as, "an agency that exercises …

More Power, Less Liberty

I had some thoughts on something that I thought I'd put down here. Though people, especially young people, are becoming libertarians in great numbers, it seems that most people are quite comfortable with the size and scope of the myriad levels of government they are subjects of. And I think this has to do with a confusion people have between power and liberty. Let me explain.

Since the secession from Great Britain and the founding of the United States, the US federal government has usurped all sorts of powers and grown to never before seen or imagined size and complexity. In other words, liberty has slowly, and at times very quickly, declined. But I don't think it's commonly felt. And I think the reason is because of the growth in power that the average America has.
What I mean by power is personal power. Power to move, to do, to be what someone wants to be. We can travel anywhere in the world in hours, send a message anywhere in seconds, and meet someone in real-time thousa…

An Exchange with a Progressive Democrat

The following is an email exchange between me, a voluntaryist libertarian, and a progressive Democrat (PD), who shall remain nameless. It demonstrates the common threads of progressive and Democrat thinking. They clearly identify with the state and believe it to be a legitimate social entity, and them a legitimate part of it. Republicans very much believe the same. The difference between the two, however, is in what functions the state should perform. Absent is the question of whether or not the state should even exist, and how society would function without it. I am thoroughly convinced that products like this is the real goal of government schooling. It's self-evident, really. Enjoy:

PD: A group of individuals decide in order to help assure mutual survival they will venture out into the wilderness and build a fort. An agreement is made among the individuals that in order to live within the walls and enjoy the protection provided they will comply with the following:

1. All males b…

Police and Security

A common misconception among society is that the role of police officers is to provide security. It's not. Quite the contrary. Security is on-site, monitoring, and guarding whatever it is that needs to be secured. If it's not, the owner of whatever wealth is in need of security is taking a risk, perhaps acceptable.

Police officers, on the other hand, rarely monitor and guard society. Once in a while there's an event or some such that requires their presence, but that's usually to keep "law and order", not to secure anything. And thus we have their role: law enforcement.

More often than not the law that police officers are enforcing are laws that make it harder for society to secure itself. Laws against firearms, for example. In other words, firearms laws say that we aren't allowed any advantage in securing our persons and property, and we must pay for police officers to bring us to "justice" when we violate these laws.

It's a simple exercise…

Ron Paul and The Future of Liberty

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I've had my share of mixed feelings regarding Ron Paul. As a defender and promoter of liberty, Ron Paul is matched by few men. He's introduced millions to individualism, free markets, sound money, and non-interventionism. I applaud him and praise him for his selfless efforts in this beautiful cause. He's taking his principles to ever wider audiences, and as President of the United States, he would have a greater platform than any libertarian has ever had in the fight for freedom.

But I have my reservations. One the one hand, there are those who argue that a Ron Paul victory would only prolong the life of the American Empire. While it may have it's reigns tightened for a time, it would ultimately continue it's course of plunder and destruction once Ron Paul is out of office. While Ron Paul would be a beacon for educating the masses on the principles of liberty, when the Empire does reach it's logical conclusion, Ron Paul and libertarianism would be made into a …

Thought Experiments on The Violence of The State

Michael Suede of LibertarianNews.com has some excellent thought experiments on the violence of the state:
-Your mother grew illegal vegetable matter and gave it to her sick friend. If found guilty, she faces 1 year in jail and a 1000 dollar fine. – would you convict her?

-Your mother is the CEO of her privately owned corporation and she hid corporate income in order to avoid taxation. She used the money she kept to help you pay for your college. If found guilty, she faces 5 years in federal prison and a 100,000 dollar fine. – would you convict her?

-Your mother owns a restaurant and she agreed to allow a 15 year old waitress to work overtime during the summer so she could save money up for a car. She is guilty of violating child labor laws. If found guilty, she faces 6 months in federal prison and a $10,000 fine. – would you convict her?

-Your mother installed an addition to her home without asking the State permission before doing so. She is guilty of failure to obtain a build…

The So-called Divinely Inspired Constitution

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Here's something that I just wrote up for an online conversation regarding the Constitution:

Derek, let's start from the beginning. For the moment, let's not even consider whether or not God established the Constitution. Let's pretend that we don't know that yet.

Is the Constitution a socialist document? Did the Founders establish a socialist government with the Constitution? The answer to both questions is yes. The Constitution is a socialist document and the Founders used it to establish a socialist government. Read Hoppe's "A Theory of Socialism & Capitalism" to better understand what socialism is. He tackles totalitarian, social democractic, conservative, and constitutional socialism in his treatise.

Did it establish totalitarian socialism? No. It established limited socialism, but socialism nonetheless. Study socialism from those who understand socialism, and you'll understand why these are true statements. There's a one line spectru…

Government Debt and the Libertarian Solution

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Government debt's a big problem in the US and all over Europe (and I'm sure elsewhere). What's to be done? For starters, governments need to cut spending across the board. That'll prevent more debt. As for the existing debt, there's only one libertarian solution. I give you Rothbard via "The Ethics of Liberty", chapter 24, paragraph 5:
Many libertarians fall into confusion on specific relations with the State, even when they concede the general immorality or criminality of State actions or interventions. Thus, there is the question of default, or more widely, repudiation of government debt. Many libertarians assert that the government is morally bound to pay its debts, and that therefore default or repudiation must be avoided. The problem here is that these libertarians are analogizing from the perfectly proper thesis that private persons or institutions should keep their contracts and pay their debts. But government has no money of its own, and payment…

Ron Paul, The Only One We Can Trust

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This video is absolutely superb. If you value life and freedom at all, Ron Paul deserves your support.

Ezra Taft Benson, Anarchist

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I'm not sure why I've been fixated on this the last few days, how it entered my mind's eye, but I can't shake it until I get it out. I believe that Ezra Taft Benson, former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, and prophet of God, was an anarchist of the voluntaryist/libertarian sort, and that's a good thing.

He spoke often about the need to defend and preserve the Constitution of the United States. Now, it is also my belief that constitutional government is a "pure manifestation of Socialism". How do I reconcile the belief that Ezra Taft Benson was both an anarchist and a Constitutionalist? That's easy, for the same reasons that I'm both an anarchist and a Constitutionalist.

One of the most popular essays of Ezra Taft Benson is his "The Proper Role of Government". He begins this essay with these verses of LDS scripture on the proper role of government:
We believe that governments were instituted of God for the be…