Hi, I’m Skyler.

Welcome to my website.
Who the hell am I?
Just a man.
And a husband.
And a father of 3.
Also a writer.
And a podcaster. (Join me?)
Sometimes a web designer.
But always a seeker of riches.
And the richness of life.
Explore what I do or have done at the links above.

 

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My Latest Content 

    Skyler J. Collins (Editor) – Everything-Voluntary.com

  • Homeschooling Summit, Chelsea Manning, & A Thought Experiment (26m) – Editor’s Break 053

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 053 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: The Homeschooling and Liberty Summit, which begins February 1st, 2018 (homeschoolingandliberty.com), Chelsea Manning and her support for a universal basic income program, government shutdowns, a thought experiment on voluntaryism, why you can’t fix politics by electing better people, and more.

    Listen to Editor’s Break 053 (26m, mp3, 64kbps)

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  • Join Me at The Homeschooling and Liberty Summit, February 2018

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I am very pleased to announce The Homeschooling and Liberty Summit, which begins February 1st, and continues through the end of the month.

    It is an absolute honor to be involved in something of this magnitude, along with so many giants in the liberty and unschooling world. Ron Paul, Peter Gray, Pat Farenga, Pam Laricchia, Tom Woods, Thaddeus Russell, Scott Noelle, Skyler Collins, and the list goes on!

    Please sign up via email through homeschoolingandliberty.com to receive the summit as it proceeds.

    Skyler.


    Your Family’s Adventure Into Homeschooling and Liberty Begins February 1st!

    Are you ready to imagine a new life for your family?

    FREE TO LET YOUR KIDS LEARN NATURALLY AS THEY ENGAGE WITH LIFE?

    Get ready to witness your kids blossom, as they free themselves from constraints of modern day public schooling, free from constant testing, free from peer pressure and safe in a loving learning environment, to follow their interests, study at their own pace and truly understand the world around them.

    Well look no further! There are less than a few days to go to the launch of The Homeschooling and Liberty Summit, where 28 leading lights in the world of Homeschooling, Self-Directed Education and Entrepreneurship will guide you through the highs and hurdles of taking your kid out of traditional government schooling, to live a life of creativity and joy. Our first talk, with the one and only Dr. Ron Paul, will be sent to your inbox on February 1st with one talk released daily throughout February.

    The free on-line summit includes:

    • Reflections on how our guests look back on their time in school and what could have been done better.
    • How the government model of schooling is not designed to raise creative, self reliant and inspired children.
    • Reassurance that if you are at all unhappy with your child’s learning environment, you ARE ready to start this journey. It doesn’t need to be overwhelming or undertaken alone, with a plethora of online resources and like minded families just a click away.
    • The endless possibilities available to let kids create their own path through manifesting their innate curiosity and intrinsic motivation.
    • Ideas about the future of education. How self-directed education is proving again and again that learning can never truly happen from any external motivation.
    • Practical steps when approaching the idea of taking your children out of compulsory schooling, to live a life of creativity and joy.

    These talks are about 20 minutes each to inspire you to look at not what IS but what COULD BE​,​ for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.

    Join us ​as we explore what it means to be free. Sign up completely free today at

    www.homeschoolingandliberty.com​

    (You will firstly receive an email that requires you to confirm your subscription, so keep an eye out for this and make sure it has not gone into your spam folder!)

    Warmest wishes, from all the amazing guest speakers who are about to inspire! We will see you at the summit!

  • Questioning College, Offending People, & Bad Libertarianism (33m) – Editor’s Break 052

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 052 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: questioning college like we question opting out of college, offending people when we share our opinions, particularly political and philosophical opinions, the wisdom in being free and pursuing your own interests, why Hans Hoppe is dangerously wrong in his latest article attacking the idea that governments should not protect “Western society” via border control, and more.

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  • On Getting Libertarianism Wrong

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    One of my mentors and favorite libertarian theorists, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, has once again gotten it dangerously wrong on libertarianism. Read his latest, published just today, titled “On Getting Libertarianism Right“.

    I can agree with most of what he writes regarding the goals of libertarianism (the absolutely necessity of private property toward the goal of conflict reduction over scarce resources) and the conditions of different cultures around the world (lots of shitholes, he says “lawless hell-holes”). He’s not wrong that some cultures and societies are far more tolerant of crime or are crime-ridden than others. This is true, but its not limited to “other” cultures and societies. We see it everywhere, and some of the worst forms of crime (statism) are happily tolerated in even the most “enlightened” Western societies.

    Here’s something else he writes in this article that I agree with (emphasis added):

    Real libertarians – in contrast to left-libertarian fakes – must study and take account of real people and real human history in order to design a libertarian strategy of social change, and even the most cursory study in this regard – indeed, little more than common sense – yields results completely opposite from those proposed by libertarian fakes.

    Real human history of real people. Got it. Understood. Let’s do that. Where does Hoppe take this? Exactly here:

    Viewed from a global macro-perspective, it should be obvious also (especially to a libertarian), that all great libertarian thinkers which successively and gradually built up the system of libertarian law and order have been “Western Men”, i.e., men born and raised in countries of Western and Central Europe or their various overseas dependencies and settlements and intellectually and culturally united by a common lingua franca (once Latin and now English) and the trans-national Catholic Church or more lately and vaguely a common Christianity. That it is in these Western societies, where libertarian principles have found the most widespread public acceptance and explicit recognition as “natural human rights.” That, notwithstanding their blatant shortcomings and failings, it is Western societies, then, that still resemble, comparatively speaking, a libertarian social order most closely.

    You know what else “Western Men” successively and gradually built up, supposedly while it had “widespread public acceptance and explicit recognition” of “natural human rights”? Atlantic slave trade. US federal supremacy. Worldwide military interventionism. Communist and Socialist totalitarianism. Naziism and the Holocaust. Central Banking. Intellectual property protection.

    These are not merely “shortcomings and failings”… they are major components of Western Civilization, directly following the introduction and growth by Western Men of the nation-state, which Hoppe, just a bit later, acknowledges:

    No [nation]-State currently ruling over different parts of the Western World achieved this rank and position as ultimate judge and executioner immediately and at once, however. It took hundreds of years to bring this about and replace or displace a once, for a lengthy period in Western history highly decentralized system of social authority by the present system of centralized and monopolized State authority.

    Western Man did that. Western Man, with its bigger brain and higher intelligence, figured out how to consolidate power inward, then violently colonize and consolidate power outward, expanded slavery, and when that ultimately came to an end, developed a different kind of slavery, smashing civil and economic liberties all the while showing Eastern Man how to do exactly what Western Man did to conquer its own people in every conceivable way, that even today, those who falsely claim the mantle of libertarian, left or right, look to Western Man’s creation, the state, to save them from those who would do them harm.

    The legacy of Western society is not only the appearance of classical liberalism, it’s also millions upon millions of people conquered, displaced, and murdered. One could argue that Western society has been a major net detriment to humankind.

    I understand Hoppe’s lamentation on what allowing criminals or those who tolerate criminals into “our” society will do. I get that. What I don’t get, is why government, who in every single way holds culpability for our current state of affairs, should be looked to, quite inconsistently and hypocritically, as our savior.

    “These observations alone should be sufficient to reveal any libertarian advocate” of state control of anything, including it’s arbitrary and imaginary border, “as a fool.” Fin.

  • Challenging Books, Colleague Friendships, & Rights as Liberties (30m) – Editor’s Break 051

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 051 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: letting your kids pull “all-nighters”, the value in Sudbury Valley modelled private “schools”, reading books that challenge our beliefs, why colleague friendships don’t last after somebody leaves the job, and a reformulation of rights as liberties.

    Listen to Editor’s Break 051 (30m, mp3, 64kbps)

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  • The Reformulation of Rights as Liberties

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    While we’re on the topic of liberties and crimes, I think taking a second third fourth fifth sixth look at the concept of rights is in order. Here’s a question: What if rights were simply, liberties?

    Everyone and their mom likes to posit that humans have rights, and they shan’t be violated. Some say the source of these rights are God, or the gods. Others say that our rights were bestowed upon us by nature. Others, by “government” (Oy!).

    Along came some mostly rational thinkers and explained that rights aren’t a thing, but rather, they are the absence of a thing. Rights, properly understood, are negative. This means that saying, “I have a right to life” is really saying, “Others have no right to kill me.” Another example, “I have the right to dance to music” is “Others don’t have the right to stop me from dancing to music!”

    Some more mostly rational thinkers stepped up to declare that all so-called rights are property rights, starting with self-ownership, and if an action doesn’t concern the use of one’s own property, then it’s not a right. It’s something else, a privilege.

    Finally, some almost totally rational thinkers stepped up to show that rights, positive or negative, aren’t a thing, or an absence of a thing, but instead a tool, a mental construct, that served a purpose by those who shared it, ie. members of a society. The tool is meant to foster peaceful coexistence, and no more. Those who value coexistence will recognize and respect everybody’s rights. Those who don’t value coexistence, may not respect others’ rights, and thus may be dealt with on the same basis, if their actions prove nefarious.

    Through my study of this concept and the evolution of where my thinking on it stood, I have decided, for now at least, that “rights” are just liberties. What are liberties? To understand liberties, we must understand their opposite: crimes. In my articled titled, “Two Types of Laws; The Voluntaryist Perspective on Politics” I wrote,

    Crimes are actions that produce victims, which in popular usage can mean almost anything undesirable under the sun. A more principled approach to understanding crime and victimhood is to narrow the definition to a state in which somebody has been forcefully or fraudulently deprived of life, liberty, or property.

    Crime includes such obvious actions like murder, battery, rape, assault, and theft. How particular people define particular instances of these types of action may differ, but for the most part, physically hurting people or taking their stuff is generally viewed as criminal behavior.

    Liberties, on the other hand, are actions that do not produce an identifiable victim. They are actions that people should be free to perform as they do not victimize, in the criminal sense, other people.

    Liberty includes a much broader spectrum of actions than does crime. I think we can confidently say that any action that is not criminal, is a liberty. Liberties typically comprise 100% of people’s actions day-to-day. Think of anything you do: does it physically hurt somebody or take/damage their stuff? Then it’s a liberty, not a crime.

    As liberties, rights are merely non-criminal positive actions. Everytime you perform a liberty, you are exercising a right. To say, “I have a right to life” is to say, “I am at liberty to live.” And also, “Others are not at liberty to kill me.” Both statements are absolutely true. Simply living is a liberty, as it doesn’t victimize anybody, and when others try to kill me, they are performing a crime, not a liberty.

    Any liberty you perform, you are automatically, by definition, exercising a right. Likewise, any crime you perform, you are automatically, by definition, violating a right.

    Think about it this way: every time somebody is claiming a right or lamenting a rights violation, what are they actually saying in terms of liberties and crimes, and is it valid? Let’s see.

    “These people have rights, you can’t just come in here and take their homes and push them out!”

    What is being said here? Methinks, “These people are at liberty to keep and live in their homes; to come in here and remove them is a crime!”

    Keeping and living in their homes is a liberty (a right), by virtue of it not being a crime. And to forcefully interfere with this liberty is a crime by virtue of its victimizing nature.

    Now, is it true that the people in this example are at liberty to keep and live in their homes? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Depends on how they obtained these homes and whether or not doing so was itself a criminal action. If that’s the case, then forcefully removing them may be an act of justice on the part of those who were victimized to obtain the homes in question. We don’t automatically know, we must investigate the situation, trace cause and effect, determine which actions were liberties, and which were crimes.

    Only then can we know whose rights were violated, and who were the perpetrators of rights violations.

    If at this point you’re thinking that all of this sounds tautological, that’s because it is. I am not claiming that anybody is under any obligation to respect other people’s rights, to abstain from criminal behavior, or anything like that which usually accompanies the concept of rights. I have merely reformulated the entire concept of rights, and I hope that I’ve brought, finally, some sense to it.

    To close, here are some points I’ve made in my past writings on rights, and below each are how these points are reconciled under this reformulation.

    From “Rights are a Tool“:

    It is my belief that rights only exist as a matter of abstract thought among human beings who desire to live together in peace and harmony, in society.

    Reformulated: Rights exist as positive actions, so long as those actions are not criminal in nature. Rights, or liberties, are exercised in lieu of crimes, pursuant to the desire to live among other human beings in peace and harmony, in society.

    From “Might Makes Rights“:

    [The] only way to secure property rights is through the the use of might (of force or reason).

    Reformulated: The exercise of rights, or liberties, are only as secure as the willingness to forcefully (by word or by deed) repel crime. Only the mighty are at liberty, so to speak.

    From “Rights Don’t Exist? Bitch, Please“:

    I see no point in shouting or arguing “Rights don’t exist!” Not only is it to contradict one’s behavioral language, but it serves no purpose. Rights do exist in the way explained. It is far more effective to tease out what people verbally or behaviorally claim are their rights.

    Reformulated: Anyone exercising a liberty is, by the exercise thereof, claiming the right to do so. Rights do exist, in observable reality, in this way. If a person is claiming a right that would require criminal action, it is not a right. It is a crime. So-called rights like “a right to a free education” or “a right to affordable housing” or “a right to free health-care” are only rights insofar as obtaining such are the result of performing liberties, not crimes.

    And finally, from “We All Acknowledge Rights“:

    [Every] actor presupposes some underlying rights-based structure, typically beginning with some theory of self-ownership, and often expanded into a theory of property.

    Reformulated: Every actor engages in either liberties, or crimes. Those committed to avoiding and combating criminal behavior are presupposing the invalidity of crime as compatible with their chosen preferences, which must include peaceful coexistence with other people.

    I can’t finish without two more comments. This reformulation of rights has heretofore presupposed human behavior toward other humans. What about the actions we perform toward animals? From their perspective, our actions are either liberties or crimes. Same logic applies. Do you prefer peaceful coexistence with other animals? Then respect their rights (to live). If you’re like me, and you prefer to eat some animals, and not others, then don’t respect their rights. Animals have every right (are at liberty) to defend themselves from humans. Are humans at liberty to defend animals from other humans? In my opinion, only those animals which are claimed as property by said humans, in which case they are at liberty to protect them.

    What behavior constitutes crime is often a point of contention. Every person, society, and culture have different ideas on what constitutes crime. That’s a discussion for another time, but for those interested I’ve written a six-part series on universal ethics that has a lot to say on this question, which starts here.

  • Shitholes, Due Process, Young People, & #NotMe (31m) – Editor’s Break 050

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 050 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: shitholes and the people who want to leave them, getting triggered into advocating for state action, why not requiring evidence of jurisdiction is a violation of due process, advice to young people on doing what they love and doing it on their own, not allowing victimization to enter your identity, and more.

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  • Not Requiring Evidence of Jurisdiction is a Violation of Due Process

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Here’s a conversation I’ve had over the past week or two regarding jurisdiction. A number of themes are touched on throughout. This conversation began when a friend shared this success story of someone successfully defending themselves from an IRS attack by challenging jurisdiction, covering a six-year span. I’ve only applied minor editing for form.


    Scott: Sounds like questionable income. If someone is claiming no income, and has no accounts reported by banks, but over 10k in payments for mortgage related interest payments, where is the money coming from?

    Lack of continued pursuit does not mean this guy is right or beat the government. Self employed people do something similar to this all the time when they first file for early retirement with social security. They claim to have “retired” and hide their earnings while still working 40+ hours a week. Manipulation of the system.

    These arguments are similar to other groups that repeatedly claim lack of jurisdiction, constitutional authority, and such of the Federal government. It is rare they win this kind of argument in court.

    If there is reasonable suspicion of a crime, such as tax evasion, the Federal government (IRS in this case) has court tested and constitutionally approved authority to pursue, question, subpoena, etc. to determine if a crime has been committed. This guy hardly challenged anything other than responding to an inquiry with questions.

    Skyler: Evidence the code and constitution apply to anyone?

    Scott: Gotta be more specific than that; what “code” you refer to, and the context. The Constitution applies to everyone inside the U.S. basically, and sometimes to U.S. citizens outside the U.S. ill of Rights specifically outlines restrictions on how the government can interact with the people. Case law fills in the gaps.

    Skyler: You wrote, “The Constitution applies to everyone inside the U.S. basically, and sometimes to U.S. citizens outside the U.S.” Do you have any evidence to support this claim?

    Scott: I have a feeling your issue is going to be more fundamental than my answer will narrow down to in about the next 500 replies or so.

    The Constitution applies to the “people”, which has been determined by the U.S. Supreme Court to cover immigrants and illegals (U.S. vs Wong Kim Ark). Courts have also ruled that 4th amendment (search and seizure) protections apply to citizens while abroad as well.

    If your argument is going to be that the government has no authority over a person, because each person is their own sovereign… please reference ANY court jurisdiction that has upheld that.

    Skyler: I’m not making any arguments. I’m requesting evidence to support your argument that the constitution applies to me (or anyone). You’re just repeating your claim. You haven’t offered any supporting, factual, evidence for your claim. At this point, your claim is arbitrary, an opinion. Should people be convicted of crimes on the basis of facts (evidence), or opinion?

    Scott: I gave you the document and supporting case law.

    Skyler: How does the opinion of judges constitute evidence that the constitution applies to me?

    Scott: So the majority ruling of the Supreme Court has no legitimacy?

    Skyler: Seems like it has legitimacy as opinion, but why should it have any legitimacy as factual evidence? In other words, how does the opinion of a court that was created pursuant to the Constitution constitute evidence that the Constitution applies? Isn’t that the same thing as saying “the Constitution applies because the Constitution says so”?

    Scott: No, it is like asking the physicist what his instructions mean. You do not ask someone uneducated in the matter their opinion, you reference experts in that field. The Supreme Court interprets the law. The people basically entered a social contact to create a government, which people are now born in. A centralized, educated body (Supreme Court) addresses issues to avoid fluctuation by the changing opinions of the masses.

    Skyler: You wrote, “The supreme court interprets the law.” What the law says is irrelevant if the law doesn’t apply. Don’t you agree?

    You wrote, “The people basically entered a social contact to create a government, which people are now born in.” This is quite the claim. What people? What social contract? What government? And what evidence do you have to support the claim that this government’s laws apply to people “born in”?

    Scott: But YOUR opinion is it does not apply, U.S. Supreme Court that has ruled that is does apply (see referenced case law). The individual does not decide what is it is not.

    People being the 13 Representatives of the 13 states. Each state, made up of people, ratified the Constitution to accept it as the law of the land. You live inside the confines of a country, you abide by its rules. No one forced you to stay inside the U.S., there is a choice involved here. Declaring something to the contrary pits your resources against the “government.”

    Skyler: Is the burden of proof on those claiming the right to use force against so-called lawbreakers, or not, in your opinion?

    Scott: Is there a point in debating this? You disagree on the fundamental level and believe your opinion supersedes the established law of the land generated over several hundred years. I can sit here and explain how criminal law works, who has the burden of proof, and so forth but if your argument is going to be that your opinion matters more, there is nothing left to discuss.

    Skyler: You seem to hold a standard that prosecutors don’t have to support their claims with evidence, but defendants do. Is that an accurate interpretation?

    Scott: You have that absolutely wrong. I have never expressed anything to imply prosecutors do not have to support a claim. The difference is you seem to consider case law irrelevant and established laws do not apply to you.

    Skyler: Why should I accept a claim unsupported by evidence? If prosecutors (and politicians, judges, LE personnel, etc.) can’t provide evidence to support their claim of jurisdiction (that their codes and constitutions apply to me), why should we just accept it as true?

    Scott: Would you prefer to see opinion not be involved with any government process?

    Skyler: I would prefer opinion not be a component of due process. Don’t you?

    Scott: By your definitions, opinion includes law as law always involves some degree of interpretation. Due process without guidelines and rules, is either just having a show trial or mob rule.

    Skyler: You wrote, “Due process without guidelines and rules, is either just having a show trial or mob rule.” Yes, I agree, which is why prosecutors being allowed to make unsupported claims (jurisdiction) and not defendants is a violation of due process. And when the judge allows it, that’s collusion.


    That’s the conversation to date. It may continue, it may not, but I think you get the point. There are those who believe that some people, by virtue of their title or badge, should not be held to the same standard for due process as the rest of us.

    He’s not wrong when he says that people fail at challenging jurisdiction. But what must be made absolutely clear is that they do not fail because people claiming their laws apply have managed to provide evidence proving such. They haven’t. Challengers fail because “government” has guns. That’s their so-called evidence: their willingness to forcefully violate due process on the basis of arbitrary opinion and proceed to separate people from their money, or worse.

    There are really no such thing as governments or citizens or political authority. They are all a fiction, a long-con, a scam perpetrated by greedy and violent individuals for their own wealth and aggrandizement.

    If they had evidence to support their claim of jurisdiction, that their laws apply to you and me, they’d simply present it for all the world to see, and silence the radicals like myself. Fact is, they can’t. So they collude and connive and force their will upon innocent and peaceful people.

    Reality must be accepted. Whether you agree with the system or not, you can’t pretend that non-existent facts exist, if you want to be honest and intellectually consistent. Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you just want a piece of the ill-gotten pie. I wish you misfortune.

  • Ambition, the Presidency, Types of Laws, & Indoctrination (25m) – Editor’s Break 049

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 049 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: the necessity of ambition in the economic realm by entry level employees, the missing silver lining from the Trump presidency, the voluntaryist perspective on politics and law, how to know what really matters to you, indoctrination in occupational training, and more.

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  • Two Types of Laws; The Voluntaryist Perspective on Politics

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    The best way to understand the voluntaryist perspective on politics is to realize that there are only two types of laws: 1) those that prohibit crime, and 2) those that prohibit liberties.

    Crimes are actions that produce victims, which in popular usage can mean almost anything undesirable under the sun. A more principled approach to understanding crime and victimhood is to narrow the definition to a state in which somebody has been forcefully or fraudulently deprived of life, liberty, or property.

    Crime includes such obvious actions like murder, battery, rape, assault, and theft. How particular people define particular instances of these types of action may differ, but for the most part, physically hurting people or taking their stuff is generally viewed as criminal behavior.

    Liberties, on the other hand, are actions that do not produce an identifiable victim. They are actions that people should be free to perform as they do not victimize, in the criminal sense, other people.

    Liberty includes a much broader spectrum of actions than does crime. I think we can confidently say that any action that is not criminal, is a liberty. Liberties typically comprise 100% of people’s actions day-to-day. Think of anything you do: does it physically hurt somebody or take/damage their stuff? Then it’s a liberty, not a crime.

    Liberties may be offensive in the sensibilities sense, but so long as they are not criminal, they should not be prohibited by political authorities. While every property owner may prohibit the liberties enjoyed within their private domain, they may not call upon third parties with guns to prohibit them in other domains.

    Unfortunately, doing so as all too common, and makes up most of the actions that political authorities engage in today. Politicians, eager to get and remain elected, pander to sensibilities and push through laws that not only prohibit crime, but in too many ways, prohibit liberties.

    The prohibition of liberties is not limited to what people eat, drink, smoke, how they use their bodies, and other such actions. It goes much further, all the way to the very foundations of political authority: the prohibition of competition in the provision of law and order. This prohibition is the root of a dangerous and corrupt system of governance. It amounts to one group of people forcing others to pay them, or else, and with little recourse on the part of their ignorant victims.

    In any event, understanding the voluntaryist perspective on politics is not difficult. It might be bitter, but it is simple. If an action is voluntary vis a vis other people, it’s not a crime, and should not be forcefully prohibited by political authorities. To do so constitutes a crime in and of itself, wouldn’t you think?