Hi, I’m Skyler.

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Who the hell am I?
Just a man.
And a husband.
And a father of 3.
Also a writer.
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Sometimes a web designer.
But always a seeker of riches.
And the richness of life.
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My Latest Content 

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

  • Rights as a Stato-Legal Construct

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    When two companies contract with one another, each obtain certain “rights” or “privileges” to the other’s stuff. For example, a company building a new apartment complex will lease building equipment from another company. For a period of time, the building company has rights or privileges over the use of the leased building equipment. At the end of the period, the rights or privileges evaporate, to be leased again to another building company.

    People often give each other a “lease” on the use of what they consider to be their property. This quite often is much more than just a temporary lease, but a permanent title transfer. Your property becomes my property, and vice versa. Once it becomes my property, you no longer have rights or privileges over its use. Nobody has rights or privileges over the use of my property without my say-so, or so common convention goes.

    I believe that in many ways, this is how people think of whatever legal systems exercise power over their lives. Nor do I believe that thinking this way is an accident, but rather an intentionally created mindset due in large part to government schooling. One of the very first things I learned in my government schooling about society is our need, and thus desire, for people to make rules about what we can and can’t do with ourselves and with each other.

    From a very young age the idea was planted that our lives must be controlled by other people for, supposedly, our own good. Preceding this “social studies” lesson were very similar lessons from Mom and Dad at home. Without this control, people would hurt one another, and everyone would always be in fear of their lives. So instead of living in a barbaric world, people got together and created a “social contract”, which grants to everyone permission to do some things, and forbids them from doing others.

    If there is something you desire to do, then you must consider whether or not government has granted you the privilege to do it. Going to school, driving a car, starting a business, these are privileges that must be granted, and may be taken away. I do remember learning about governments being “reset” in the past, and new governments forming, and new constitutions being written, and some people fearing the new governments wouldn’t recognize certain pre-existing rights and privileges, and so sought amendments to their constitutions to prevent the abolition of these pre-existing rights and privileges. And often these rights and privileges were described in naturalistic ways, but at the end of the day what was being argued over was a legal document.

    And so, centuries later, people are confused about what they may or may not due in a so-called “free society.” Some people figure it out and are quickly labeled “radical” and “extreme” and kicked to the curb as crazy. Rights are whatever we may do after laws are passed to tell us, say most. Otherwise we’d all be murdered within the week.

    At this point, “rights” are a stato-legal construct in the minds of most anyone you’ll encounter. Maybe “rights” need to be thrown in the garbage heap of history.

  • Cody Wilson, Papa John, TSA Immunity, & Cowboys (24m) – Editor’s Break 090

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 090 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed, and why it’s a good thing that everyone the world over can download and make their own firearms; his mixed feelings on Papa John being rebuked for using the word “nigger” informationally; the TSA being given immunity from liability for their actions; the controversy around the University of Wyoming’s new marketing slogan, “The world needs more cowboys.”; and more.

    Listen to Editor’s Break 090 (24m, mp3, 64kbps)

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”.

  • Safe Spaces Make Sense, but Not Always

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Feeling safe, at least temporarily, could probably be categorized as a human need. People seek out places to feel safe and secure. Nobody wants to constantly be looking over their shoulder or stepping lightly. That’s probably not a healthy way to live.

    Adults buy or rent property in order to sequester themselves and their stuff from the risk of being harmed or stolen. Children find spots in their homes or their neighborhoods where they can feel safer than otherwise.

    Safe spaces are a necessary component of the human experience. Without safe spaces, people become short-sighted about the choices they make. We need security in order to plan and prepare for the future. Children especially need safe spaces where they are free from physical and emotional harm. This space should be their entire home, with their families, but more often than not, they aren’t.

    Safe spaces are only as guaranteed as are property rights secured. What you allow other people to do on your property should be entirely up to you. Same goes for any other privately owned property, be it residential, commercial, industrial, or academic.

    Conflict regarding the desire for safe spaces is no different on a fundamental level than conflict regarding speech and behavior. Case in point: the hue and cry for “safe spaces” on college campuses. Should college campuses have safe spaces? Should the entire college campus be a safe space?

    Where people have contracted for room and board, the safe space nature of those places should be up to the parties of the contract. I for one would not rent a dorm room that did not guarantee I would be free from either physical or emotional molestation. Had I done so believing so, and molestation ensued, I would be just as upset as anyone calling for safe spaces on college campuses.

    The issue shouldn’t concern privately owned or rented places, and I don’t think it does. The issue does concern places designated for public use. And therein lies the root of the problem. It’s the age old economic problem, the tragedy of the commons. Nobody specific has ownership rights over these places, and so nobody can exercise control in designating some as “safe” and others as not.

    The solution is simple: sell public colleges and universities to the highest bidders. Case closed. Unfortunately, that’ll never happen. And so methinks we’ll always have one problem or another of this sort. Today’s it’s safe spaces, free speech, and immigration. Tomorrow it’s… what will it be? It will be contentious and loud… and totally avoidable.

    “Safe spaces” makes sense for dormitories and cafeterias, since in there people should feel safe from encountering potentially offensive ideas. It doesn’t make sense for classrooms and lecture halls, since in there people should feel safe expressing potentially offensive ideas. And that’s all I have to say about that.

  • Intellectual Dark Web, Automation, & Safe Spaces (26m) – Editor’s Break 089

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 089 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: what the Intellectual Dark web is; the various recognized and unrecognized members of the Intellectual Dark Web, such as Joe Rogan, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, Sam Harris, Jordan B. Peterson, Stefan Molyneux, Ben Stone, Tom Woods, et al; the supposed threat of robotics and automation and why there’s nothing to fear; in what ways he opposes so-called safe spaces, and in what we ways he supports them; and more.

    Listen to Editor’s Break 089 (26m, mp3, 64kbps)

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  • Progressives and Conservatives are Allies on a Fundamental Level

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I’ve put together a simple thought experiment for those who consider themselves political enemies. (As always, I stand on the shoulders of giants.) Those who consider themselves a part of “the Left”, such as liberals, progressives, social justice warriors, et cetera, aren’t really divided from those who consider themselves a part of “the Right”, such as conservatives, beltway libertarians, alt-righters, et cetera. The thought experiment goes as follows:

    Me: I understand you hate Donald Trump, is that right?

    Progressive: Oh my god, yes! I hate everything he stands for and everything he does!

    Me: You consider him a political enemy, yes?

    Progressive: Absolutely. He’s the worst thing to ever happen to America.

    Me: What if I could show you that you and Trump are allies on a fundamental level?

    Progressive: That’s not possible. We have nothing in common, and everything he does I oppose.

    Me: Let me ask you this, do believe your government has the authority, or the right, to create and enforce laws that have the effect of controlling other people’s peaceful personal and economic decisions?

    Progressive: Of course, that’s what government is, and why we need government. Without government, especially without democratic government, people would do whatever they want to other people, including hurting them.

    Me: Do you think Donald Trump also believes his government has the authority, or the right, to create and enforce laws that have the effect of controlling other people’s peaceful personal and economic decisions?

    Progressive: Yes, obviously. He’s the President of the United States, hashtag notmypresident.

    Me: So then, it would seem that both you and Donald Trump believe in your government’s authority, and their right, to control other people. Do you know that there are people, such as myself, who do not believe that anybody calling themselves “government” have the authority, or the right, to forcefully control other people’s personal and economic decisions so long as they are peaceful?

    Progressive: People like that, like yourself, are delusional if you think society can exist without government.

    Me: You agree that the question of government authority is fundamental, then?

    Progressive: I suppose.

    Me: Then it would seem that you and Donald Trump are in agreement on a fundamental level. You and Donald Trump are political allies against those like me who do not believe that anyone, including those who call themselves “government”, have the authority or the right to control other people’s peaceful decisions.

    Progressive: Ugh, gross! I’m not an ally with Donald Trump!

    Me: As long as people like yourself and Donald Trump believe in government authority, there will always be conflict over other people’s peaceful decisions. History is replete with examples of political groups violating the liberties of other groups and other people. Government authority, democratic or not, is one-size-fits-all and has little tolerance for people like me who prefer to control their own personal and economic decisions. If you believe in government authority, then you stand with Donald Trump in using it to control other people. You may disagree with how he uses it, but you don’t disagree on his right to use it as President of the United States. If you did, then you’d be an anarchist, just like me.

    This thought experiment works no matter the audience so long as they believe in government authority. Try it out sometime, and see where the conversation goes!

  • New Routine, Stupidity and Ignorance, & Borders (13m) – Editor’s Break 088

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 088 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: getting used to his new routine and finding time to write and podcast; Ted Nugent recently said, “Ignorance is acceptable, but, stupidity is guarding your ignorance.”; and why Ted Nugent and many libertarians are wrong on borders.

    Listen to Editor’s Break 088 (13m, mp3, 64kbps)

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  • Worldschooling, Voluntaryist Ethnicity, & Statist Parenting (36m) – Editor’s Break 087

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Editor’s Break 087 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: his family’s recent travels and worldschooling; the many features of what constitutes a voluntaryist ethnicity; why the family can be viewed as a totalitarian institution and a call for voluntaryists to parent consistently with their principles; and more.

    Listen to Editor’s Break 087 (36m, mp3, 64kbps)

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”.

  • Cultural Marxism’s Fundamental Flaw

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I just listened to a Munk Debate titled, “Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress…” (found here). It was semi-interesting. Much to Stephen Fry’s and my own disappointment, “political correctness” was hardly discussed or debated at all.

    Still, what was discussed had my mind bouncing around different ideas on race and gender. Psychologist Jordan Peterson made the point that only individuals have rights (and thus responsibilities), not groups, and when we assign groups rights without responsibilities (his opponents weren’t interested in doing so), disaster likely ensues.

    I wasn’t quite sure why at the time, but this brought to my mind cultural Marxism. It was not a term used the debate at all, but it is a term associated with the idea of political correctness. And in fact, I’m not well versed on what it even means, so I did some searching. I read the introduction on the Wikipedia page, which wasn’t very helpful. Then I watched this video explaining cultural Marxism, linked to by the Mises Institute.

    The foundational claims made by cultural Marxists seems to be that 1) groups exist, 2) groups act, 3) groups are either oppressive or oppressed, 4) group identity is mostly unchosen, but not always (eg. transgenders), and 5) group identity entails privilege, or not.

    As a cisgendered “white” heterosexual male, I am a member of a number of groups that have historically and contemporaneously been categorized as  oppressive and privileged. The funny thing is, the only person I have ever oppressed is my cisgendered “white” heterosexual (I think) son. I oppressed him violently, actually.

    Cultural Marxists would argue that cisgendered “white” heterosexual males have, at least in the Western world (and for heterosexual males, the entire world), been the group that has oppressed all others, those who identify with groups such as women, “people of color”, homosexuals, and transgenders. Seems inarguable as we survey the history of the West, does it not?

    And as oppressors, they have enjoyed political and legal privileges not afforded these other groups. This also seems inarguable as we survey history. But there seems to me to be something wrong with this so-called “critical theory” approach to topics of oppression and privilege.

    This brings us to what seems to be the fundamental flaw in cultural Marxism: the refusal to engage in methodological individualism. From the Mises Wiki:

    Methodological individualism is the theory that social and economic phenomena can be explained by reference to the actions of individuals rather than groups or collectives. Based on this theory groups and collectives are not entities which can act in and of themselves but only through the action of the individual members of which they are composed.

    If instead we approach the analysis of oppression and privilege under methodological individualism, what you see when you look at me as an individual who happens to be cisgendered, “white”, heterosexual, and male is not an oppressor of women, “people of color”, homosexuals, and transgenders. Never once in my life have I done any such thing (except, again, toward my son). Nor, to my knowledge, has my father (except to his children).

    And when I look out at my group peers, I see nary an individual who has oppressed anyone (except perhaps their children, at some point). You see, I am not an oppressor, and when I was, it was only toward another single individual. It was never toward a group, nor any of the above listed groups.

    For that I consider myself a good person, a good man. And I believe that there are many other good people, good men from “my” group, in this world. And not only my contemporaries, but throughout history. There have been many who have been good men, and most men have never wielded any political power.

    Yet here are the cultural Marxists (and social justice warriors), in their fight against oppression and privilege, grouping good men like myself in with bad men just because we share characteristics. I find that sickening. Not only am I being grouped in with violent pricks, but violent pricks are and have been quite arguably the minority of “my” group.

    And here as a supposed member of “my” group, I must feel guilty for it’s abhorrent actions and “check” the privilege I supposedly have, which having was never in my control to begin with. If you think telling me these things and making demands on me is going to be received with supplication, you are a certifiable idiot.

    I don’t wonder why other cisgendered “white” heterosexual males get pulled into identity politics on the right. I know exactly why. It’s because they’re being accused of doing something horrendous which they have no recollection of doing as individuals. It creates resentment, which breeds radicalism, and when they live in a society ruled by one-size-fits-all policy, which we most unfortunately do, they just might feel like violence, either through the ballot box or not, is their only recourse.

    So no, unless I’m totally mistaken on the details, I don’t consider myself a cultural Marxist. It’s fundamentally flawed because it fails to recognize that groups are imaginary and that only individuals exist and act. And further, it seems to call for political solutions, which are by definition violent, and in this case, violent toward individuals by virtue of group identity. No, thank you.

  • Let This Promise in Me Start, Like an Anthem in My Heart

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    If you haven’t seen “The Greatest Showman” starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, and more, you are missing out one of the best movies and musicals of our time. It’s mesmerizing and uplifting, a true tour de force, and has captured the hearts and minds of my entire family.

    Every one of its ten songs is an absolute gem. But the one I’d like to bring to your attention is from the end of the movie titled, “From Now On”. Here it is in official audio form:

    While it’s not the intended interpretation, the theme that has found its home in my mind is based on the chorus, and goes like this:

    From now on: This voice will not be used to encourage violence against peaceful people.
    From now on: These hands will not used to hit or strike fear in my children.
    From now on: This body will not serve as a means for expropriation or indoctrination of others.
    Let this promise in me start, Like an anthem in my heart!
    From now on!

    Alright so, it’s doesn’t rhyme, but oh well! One of the reasons that I engage in the work of writing and podcasting is to turn hearts and minds away from violent solutions to the problems they have with other people, with special emphasis on the parent-child relationship. Nothing validates my work more than when a parent tells me that I was instrumental in their own “from now on” moment of ceasing to use violent parenting tools. I was told that in my latest podcast conversation, and it warmed my heart.

    It can be difficult internally and challenging to deal with opposition by friends and family when making these sorts of changes. But your children deserve your promise and anthem to never hit or strike fear in them again.

    And when you move forward in partnership, the relationship you build and maintain will last the rest of your life paying dividends every single day. From now on!

  • Josh and Eve’s Journey & Homeschooling (1h2m) – Episode 109

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 109 welcomes Josh and Eve LeVeque to the podcast for a chat with Skyler. Topics include: their separate journey’s to libertarian thinking; the value of discussion groups; each of their police and state court experiences; crimes verse torts; authority verse loyalty; Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd) and homeschooling; phases of learning; having kids; marijuana; their new short term rental business; peaceful parenting and spanking; and more.

    Listen to Episode 109 (1h2m, mp3, 64kbps)

    Show Notes

    Josh LeVeque, Facebook Profile
    Eve LeVeque, Facebook Profile
    Lysander Spooner, “Vices aren’t Crimes
    Skyler J. Collins, “Rulers vs. Leaders
    Thomas Jefferson Education, Website
    Skyler J. Collins, No Hitting!

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