Hi, I’m Skyler.

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My Latest Content 

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

  • Free Migration is My Jam

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Justin Faber, who I had a chat with on the podcast and has published at EVC, wrote recently, “You: Open borders are incompatible with a welfare state. Me: A welfare state is incompatible with open borders.” And therein lies the difference between libertarian types who disagree on the borders question.

    Neither disagrees that private property owners have the right to close their property borders. That’s not what’s under dispute. What’s under dispute is the role the [admittedly criminal] government should play vis a vis it’s arbitrarily placed lines on a map. Should the government enforce strict border controls in order to protect its welfare state supporting taxpayers? Or should the government leave borders alone and allow the free migration of peaceful people who may or may not become a burden to the welfare state?

    I have two biases that I bring to these questions. The first is my very strong bias against so-called government solutions to any problem under the sun. Simply put, government doesn’t and can’t have all the knowledge required to solve a problem of this magnitude efficiently and effectively, all the while minimizing or eliminating unintended consequences. The second is my very strong bias for the freedom to migrate wherever the hell I want to. I demand the liberty to travel to France, New Zealand, and Japan as easily as I travel to Oregon, Texas, and Illinois, regardless of the duration I’m choosing to spend at each location. If I want to move and work anywhere else in the world, I should be totally free to do so as long as someone is willing to sell or rent to and employ me. It’s none of your goddamn business. Learning the language and adapting to the culture is my challenge, not yours.

    In my opinion, the libertarian solution to the problem of welfare statism and open borders, a problem created by government, is not more government in the form of border and immigration control. The libertarian solution is the abolition of the welfare state. Obviously, the welfare state is incompatible with open government borders, but open government borders are the libertarian position. The welfare state is the intrusion. Why should my liberty and your liberty be curtailed because of a government intrusion?

    Tell me: why should libertarians demand more government intrusion into the lives of peaceful people just because government has already intruded into the lives of peaceful people?

    They shouldn’t, and to do so makes them accomplices to aggression.

  • Libertarians Shouldn’t Be Accomplices of Aggression

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    What libertarians who call for government to enforce its immigration laws fail to understand is their arbitrary nature and become accomplices in government aggression. A quick review is in order.

    People who call themselves “government” make claims that their codes and constitutions apply (jurisdiction) to other people just because of their physical location. In order for these claims not to be arbitrary in nature, they must be supported with factual evidence. People who call themselves “government” have been unable or unwilling time and time again to make such factual evidence available for examination. It is logical to conclude that people who call themselves “government” have no factual evidence to support their claims of jurisdiction. Hence, claims of jurisdiction by people who call themselves “government” are arbitrary. Using violence to enforce arbitrary claims of jurisdiction against peaceful people is an act of aggression. Libertarians, by definition, are opposed to acts of aggression. When libertarians call for people who call themselves “government” to use their enforcement power against peaceful people, they are serving as accomplices in aggression.

    Whether enforcing border laws, drug laws, cohabitation laws, economic regulations, zoning laws, et cetera, if libertarians are allying with people who can’t prove their jurisdictional claims, they are siding with aggression. QED.

    Immigrants don’t arrive in a place uninvited. They have friends, family members, and/or business relationships who have invited them and provided them some of the means of doing so successfully. It is short order before they are back on their feet and producing value for others. These people are not criminals. They are our fellow human beings doing exactly what we’d all be doing if we were in their place. It’s the height of hubris and arrogance to believe it’s okay to direct violence at them simply because you are annoyed.

    I do not and will not condemn anybody trying to find for themselves and their families a better life. Nor will I support anyone acting aggressively against peaceful people, be them an immigrant or bureaucrat. You might think you’re logically correct, but you are wrong.

  • Does “Obedience” Have Any Redeeming Qualities?

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I’ve been sitting on the topic of obedience for awhile now, trying to tease it apart in a way that redeems the phrase, “obedience is a virtue.” But alas, I cannot. Obedience, in my view, is not a virtue. Obedience is abhorrent.

    What do I mean by obedience? I’m not sure, actually. I could mean “submission to a higher power or authority”, and by submission I could mean, “the act of referring to a third party for judgment or decision.” In what ways can obedience be considered virtuous?

    For starters, virtue, again in my view, requires willful intention. If one is being coerced into behaving virtuously, then no virtue is truly being engaged in. Except perhaps in a meta sort of way, ie. going along with a government’s demands to refrain from [insert coerced virtuous behavior here] in order to stay out of jail so that you can fulfill your parental obligations.

    In those cases, obedience is nowhere to be found. A threatened person is not “obeying” or “submitting” in the sense as defined above, but in a wholly different sense, that of a “letting down” of one’s intention to defend themselves from harm, and instead avoiding harm by doing as commanded to do. This type of obedience betrays virtue.

    Are there any other cases of “obedience” being demanded that are not also coercive? Parents demanding obedience is obviously as coercive as government’s demanding it. Same goes for prophets and priests, demanding obedience to their god’s laws and what not.

    Obedience seems to be a confused concept. The definitions provided above came from an etymological dictionary. Yet, how people define obedience today is not merely a matter of voluntary reference to a third party. That sort of things happens all the time. When I research a fix for a malfunctioning computer, I am referring to a third party’s judgment and proceeding to follow it. But I wouldn’t call that “obedience”.

    If some action is a good or wise in the pursuit of one’s desired and chosen ends, then we can expect it will be performed. If you find yourself demanding “obedience” of another person, child or adult, then methinks you should stop and think about what actions you are demanding, and why. Are they something the other person would do without your demand? If not, why not?

    When I ask my children to do something, I’m not demanding obedience, but asking for a favor. If they don’t want to do it, I may whine about it for a bit, but I don’t threaten them. If I need them to behave in a certain way during a particular visit somewhere, I will explain my needs and the visit’s requirements ahead of time, those who agree will participate, and those who don’t, won’t. If the visit won’t meet their own needs, they may decline to come. That’s usually fine. When it’s not, it’s my job to spend more time convincing them of the merits of coming, perhaps appealing to their self-interest. This shouldn’t look any different from convincing another adult of the same thing.

    Obedience, or rather, the demand for obedience, seems always to ignore the demandee’s own desires. “Obey me” has become an abhorrent phrase to me for both the implied threat and implied belief that other people can’t be reasoned with, that they are or should be mindless. If something is a good idea for its own sake, you don’t need to demand obedience. If it’s not a good idea, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Leave “obedience” for dog training. At least that’s the way I see it.

  • 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)

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

  • 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)

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

  • 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”.