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My Latest Content 

  • Parents May Not Force Other People’s Kids to Wear Masks

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    This is a rather heated conversation from about a month ago on reddit. The original post was linking to a discord for parents who want mask mandates in schools here in Salt Lake City. I responded, “If you want your kid to wear a mask, have him wear a mask. otherwise mind your own business.” The following (and more) ensued.


    azucarleta: Next you people will be railing against hand washing. I mean this shouldn’t be all that surprising, these are the same people against sex ed.

    Why not say the kids who won’t wear masks can stay home? That would also fulfil your childish ethics. A system in which some schools mandate all the kids who will not wear masks and a different school that mandates all the kids who must wear masks. That also would be compatible with your childish ethics. But nah You’re just a Trumper who thinks he’s philosophical and cool but you’re just an ugly Trumper.

    Skyler: You don’t know me. Stop pretending you do. It makes you a liar.

    azucarleta: You are redditting in your own name, as if you believe yourself to be someone who deserves and ought to “make a name for himself.” You author — under this same name — a number of blogs that espouse the philosophy of voluntarism.

    And yet you want to force via state power kids to go to schools in which not everyone is wearing a mask, even though those who wish for everyone to wear a mask have a rational basis for that desire (it’s called germ theory, and it’s the same logic behind universal handwashing ffs).

    Why the hell haven’t you contemplated a more voluntary solution than simply the Trump party line? Stop pretending.

    Skyler: Are you fucking kidding me? If you believe I want to force anyone to school, you obviously don’t know me. Try again. Stop lying.

    Here’s the solution: if you want to wear a mask, or want your kids to wear a mask, do it. End of solution. It’s your prerogative to protect yourself and your kids. No one else’s.

    azucarleta: You’re not reckoning with the point I am making. Or are you poorly doing so?

    Are you suggesting that workers at a school — either a majority or consensus, take your pick — should be able to voluntarily decide among themselves they work at a Mask Mandate school, and then everyone else can voluntarily decide whether they want to go into that school knowing that it is a Mask Mandate school? Because that’s a far cry — and a far more radical and sophisticated position — than what your top-level comment suggests.

    Your top-level comment is the covid-mask equivalent of “let them eat cake.” It’s not helpful, and it reveals not only callousness but your cluelessness. I feel like I understand the philosophy you claim to promote more than you do.

    edit: in short, you’re a voluntarist until things get mucky and would make people whisper about you at church, at which point you revert to Trumpism (but maintain your position has been consistently voluntariest all along, comically). I wonder if you are cunning about this or ignorant to your own shiftiness.

    Skyler: The problem here is the existence of government, non-private schools, all of which should be abolished. Government schools are by their nature political schools, and so the decisions they make are political. Disagreements abound in politics and have a way of getting messy. I abhor politics, and government schools. Privatize everything. Then the owner makes the decision and everyone else is either welcomed, or not. Simple. That’s the voluntaryist solution.

    Saying that some workers can decide what other workers have to do does not mean they are being “voluntary”. Governments shouldn’t be making this decision (or any decision) since governments (states) should not exist. They create conflict. All government should do, if they are to exist, is protect property rights and liberty. That’s it. That’s their only proper role. Anything beyond this is tyranny.

    Find a school that allows masks, and instruct your child to wear a mask. Or better yet, keep your child out of compulsory forms of miseducation. Nobody needs to force anyone else to do anything. Everyone can protect themselves without anyone else’s cooperation. Demanding that others wear masks or get vaccinated proves that it’s not about safety, but control. Fuck off.

    azucarleta: You’ve not explained why you are not advocating for a system in which pro-mask people go to school A, and anti-mask people go to school B. As a matter of public health, I’m not really sure that would even help much, however it’s a lot more practically voluntary than your “let them eat cake” position.

    And you’re kind of the least helpful, most annoying kind of philosopher/radical. One who says essentially, “well I haven’t anything useful to add because frankly y’all everything we see is poisoned fruit of a poison tree!” A more intellectual anarchist knows their philosophy is a moral philosophy, not a political one, and can be applied even in the least hospitable of situations. No matter the context, one can always find a way to be more cooperative, and less hierarchical/authoritarian/coercive. You just don’t seem to be that kind of anarchist; by my way of scoring, that makes you an anarchist not at all. Which is fine, I think pretty much everyone radical, liberal, moderate or extremist knows that “anarcho-capitalists” are just extremist capitalists without any anarchism in sight lol.

    Skyler: I’m not sure why you think “everyone choose for themselves” is “hierarchical/authoritarian/coercive”. It’s the opposite, and a very good solution.

    Please, tell me, how is voluntary choice “hierarchical/authoritarian/coercive”? Use logic.

    azucarleta: Please stay moored to the issue at hand. We, at the moment, have a system of compulsory education. You may oppose that regime (as do I), but it is what it is today and for the foreseeable future, it’s the context we in the commentariat must reckon with if we are being serious about real-world solutions and not simply philosophically masturbating. I certainly hope, but sort of doubt, we agree so far.

    So long as we presume compulsory education will continue indefinitely (if you can’t do that you’re a radical child) we must turn now to the next big piece of context, an infectious pandemic.

    Why would someone committed to voluntarism not acknowledge that allowing people to voluntarily sort themselves is preferable to forcing polarized opposing sides to coalesce around one pole or the other? Your insistence that polarized people must coalesce in schools in which universal mask wearing is not a feature — and that no school functioning as a magnet for like-minded folks may have a universal mask wearing code — is functioning as an authoritarian/coercive force, given the context of compulsory education. Your position is not allowing people who want universal mask wearing to group together and have a school or system of schools in which mask wearing is universal.

    Skyler: You’re telling a voluntaryist that one or two people is going to get shot in the head. That’s the reality, and I must choose.

    No, I don’t have to choose. It’s everybody’s own prerogative to choose for themselves what risks they want to take. If they deem that school without a mask mandate is too risky for them, then it’s their prerogative to stay home or to keep their kids home.

    Everyone may choose for themselves, but no one may choose for others. It’s not difficult or complex, and it works.

    azucarleta: Again I accuse you of being ignorant of the muckiness or being aware of it but pretending it doesn’t exist in order to espouse the Trump party line while maintaining you’re not a party man.

    Why shouldn’t it be those who refuse to wear a mask who have to stay home? Why shouldn’t we recognize that mask wearing is just as benign but also as helpful as hand-washing and as a result create rules around it that teach kids good practice? Why do you believe those who wish to not wear a mask get all the schools and those who wish to have universal mask wearing get zero schools? How do you justify that knowing that education is compulsory, taxpaying is compulsory, and that universal mask wearing is an extremely popular position?

    Skyler: Because one side is using aggression, and the other is not. Think about it.

    azucarleta: You’re such a lightweight dude. The state will collect my taxes at gunpoint should I be foolish enough to try to refuse to pay. The state will take my child to school by force if I am foolish enough to decide to not educate them to the state standard. Both of these will be done very agGresSIvelY. That is the undebated unyielding reality of our current context, pandemic or no pandemic.

    And in that context of an infectious pandemic you wish for zero of the schools that people are aggressively forced to pay for and attend to have universal mask wearing as a policy. Why shouldn’t the government be more complex and offer policy A to people who want policy A, and offer policy B, at different facilities, for people who want policy b? Wouldn’t that be less coercive and more voluntary for those subject to the whole scheme?

    Skyler: Look at the mental gymnastics over a fucking mask mandate.

    People do the exact same mental gymnastics to justify banning marijuana, banning alcohol, banning speech, banning protest, banning guns, banning homosexuality, banning any and everything they dislike. And oh yes, even banning masks.

    Mind your own business.

    azucarleta: Where my taxes go and where the state forces my children to go is my fucking business dimwit.

    Delete your accounts.

    Skyler: So because you’re a victim, that gives you the right to use aggression against other victims?

    azucarleta: I see this point of course but you see I think the simplest solution** is to tell those who won’t wear masks that they may do online or home schooling only, and that in person school relies on appropriate precautions. You see, you have unchecked “default settings” that for you define who is being aggressive. I find luddites who insist on being in public shared spaces in a pandemic without taking precautions to be negligent and showing unwarranted disregard for public safety. Call it aggressive to keep you out of school, but personally I find it quite aggressive that you would force your way in. Your use of “Aggressive” here is unchecked entitlement, defined by personal values, relational, meaningless. It simply begs the question really.

    **But I think we can do much better than simple solutions.

    Skyler: “public safety”: the clarion call of tyrants large and small everywhere. good luck with that.

    azucarleta: you seem to be dodging this question: Why shouldn’t there be a set of Universal Mask schools for workers and families who prefer that, parallel to Mask Anarchy schools for people who prefer that? After all, this is probably going to be going on for years, why not start self sorting for the long haul? It’s a real question, not some gotcha.

    Why shouldn’t the government cater to both and let people self-sort? Why must one solution be chosen and everyone forced to it? Isn’t it less coercive if the government tries to cater to polarized people rather than forcing them to coalesce?

    Skyler: Why don’t we bypass the state entirely and let everyone fund the schools of their choice? Less aggression all around, everyone wins.

    azucarleta: I don’t know why it’s such a problematic question that you would dodge answering it at least 3 times, but that makes me more curious. Your distracting theoretical question here is fine, but I want to set it aside for now. I’ll ask again and would you please: Why shouldn’t the government provide Universal Mask schools in the community commensurate with the level of interest there is for Universal Mask schools among faculty, staff and students? Isn’t it a bit, um, authoritarian to insist that one solution must be the solution?

    It’s a real question because kids and workers with health complications — who maybe can’t even get vaccinated — would really prefer to attend work and school with the double-mask double-vax type of people, and not the types whose parents got drinks after the Garth Brooks concert entirely unmasked and unvaxed. Why not let people voluntarily associate/find their tribe? Why should the Mask Anarchy tribe’s way of doing things be the way everyone is forced to do it in every public school statewide?

    Skyler: I’ve answered it very clearly, you just don’t like my answer.

    I’m against mask mandates and I’m against anti-mask mandates. Everybody should be free to choose if and how many masks they want to wear. And everybody should be free to choose who they will allow on to their property.

    azucarleta: Oh, that’s your answer? You should show your work, so I know you’re giving an answer. How did you come to that conclusion given your supposed “anarchist” leanings? You’re/your position is/would be basically making it impossible for people to associate only with those who they choose to associate. You’re making it impossible for people to freely dis-associate from people who won’t mask and vax and shit, and how can you justify that imposition when germ theory explains exactly why their desire is rational and not just some empty hate? With whom I associate is no longer voluntary in the least, should/when your view rules the day.

    To help me understand: So if a charter school wishes to impose a mask mandate, is that ok with you? More importantly, could a charter be established around the idea of Universal Masks (and vax for those eligible) as its foundational establishing principle?

    Skyler: Depends on whether or not my child attends said charter school. I am free to agitate either way. I am not free to pull out my gun and use aggression to get what I want, or to advocate for the state to do likewise. If I don’t get what I want, I can either live with it, or pull my kid out. Or better, give my kid the choice for themselves (as I do as an unschooling father with a middle child “trying” school for the first time at 11yo).

    You’re making it impossible for people to freely dis-associate from people who won’t mask and vax and shit

    This is demonstrably false. Mine is the only way for everyone to associate or disassociate with whomever they please. The problem, as always, is something I give zero support to: public services and public property. Privatize everything.


    Voluntaryism is simple: don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff, don’t ask permission, and mind your own business. Obviously the state is a thorn, nay, a tusk, in society’s side and forces neighbor to hate, to attack neighbor. Disgusting, isn’t it?

  • On Property Rights II

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    The “Who had it first?property rights convention solves the artificially created conflicts surrounding so-called “intellectual property” eg. copyrights and patents. Ideas only exist embedded in real, physical items, starting with our brains. Your attempt to control my brain or my property forces us to ask the question, “Who had it first?” My brain first belonged to me, not you. If I use my brain to think about an idea you originated, that’s really none of your business. My brain does not belong to you. If I use my mouth to sing a song you originated, with or without the exchange of money, that’s also none of your business. My mouth does not belong to you, and neither does my customer’s money. If I use my property to implement an invention you originated, that’s also none of your business. My property configured any way I please does not belong to you. The “Who had it first?” property rights convention is totally incompatible with a property rights convention that asks, “Who thought about it first?” Ideas, patterns of information, thoughts, can be used by everyone simultaneously, always embedded in real, physical items that cannot. “Who had it first?” is the key. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Property Rights

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Property rights aren’t a difficult concept to grasp. All it comes down to is, “Who had it first?” It’s the very same question we ask children when they’re fighting over a toy. Answering this question is usually not difficult, but sometimes the best we can do is to answer it relativistically, “Between those who are in conflict over the item, who had it first?” If a third party enters the conflict then it’s simply a matter of determining among the three parties, “Who had it first?” After the matter is settled and some time passes, if a new party disputes ownership of the item then all we have to ask is, “Who had it first?” I’ve yet to hear a single valid counter-argument to a “Who had it first?” property rights convention that was not without unsurmountable problems that always entailed property insecurity, and chaos. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • Defamation is Not Aggression, Ergo, Not a Crime

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Tom Wood’s is absolutely correct when he laments that today’s young libertarian is just not studying the classics, the theorists that came before. Here’s one recent anecdote of someone who can’t even properly define aggression in the libertarian sense, which mistake confuses him into believe that defamation is a crime which should be legally prohibited. Judge for yourself. u/Sui_ci_de (who calls himself a “LaVeyan Ancap”) began with: “He’s talking about slander (and libel), not free speech.”


    Skyler: Libel and slander are free speech. Defamation is not a crime under libertarian theory because you don’t own your reputation, which only exists in the minds of other people.

    Sui: Wrong – https://donotpay.com/learn/slander-vs-freedom-of-speech/ + You don’t get to define what is and isn’t a crime under libertarian theory. Have a good day.

    Skyler: The entire basis of the claim is centered around reputation. If reputation is unowned then damaging reputation is not an act of aggression. Only acts of aggression (uninvited force) are crimes under libertarian theory because only acts of aggression may be responded to with force. The same mistake is made when people claim that ideas are property and that copying an idea (piracy) is a crime. It’s not.

    Sui: Intangible assets exist, that shit’s basic economics. Duckduckgo “good will” if you have to be convinced of even that, i’m not going lower than this.

    aggression

    n. Hostile or destructive behavior or attitudes.

    It’s acting on that, not with a physical assault, but it’s still acting on aggression. He’s fully entitled to respond in kind/equal force.

    Silly comparison. Piracy doesn’t remove anything, it merely copies and potentially lowers the chance of a purchase (although in reality it often has the opposite result, if the intellectual property’s worth the requested amount at least). Attacking someone’s character/personhood and trying to demonize them into some predefined enemy class/otherwise dehumanize them is removing something. It’s an attack, just like falsely accusing someone of something horrible like pedophilia is an attack. There is measurable harm caused through defamation.

    Skyler: Nobody’s saying that it’s not a shitty thing to do, but it’s not aggression in the libertarian sense, an uninvited physically forceful act, a physical trespass. You haven’t demonstrated that it is, and so you may not respond to it with physical force or else you become the aggressor. Respond in whatever way you can except with physical force, and you’re fine.

    “Harm” is not and cannot be the standard. Convincing my girlfriend to leave me and be with you harms me. Painting your house a vomit texture harms me. Calling me a bad name harms me. None of these are aggression, so therefore none of these are crimes.

    Sui: Find a unified definition of aggression “in the libertarian sense”. I’ll wait. In the meantime i’ll stick with the dictionary definition. The intent is to cause harm, if it causes harm it’s an act of aggression. It doesn’t need to be a physical action, only the results need to be so they can be proven.

    “Calling me a bad name harms me.” Aw petal, I had no idea you were so delicate! I’ll just leave you to your safe space and coloring crayons, ok?

    Skyler:

    The intent is to cause harm, if it causes harm it’s an act of aggression. It doesn’t need to be a physical action, only the results need to be so they can be proven.

    It doesn’t matter what you call it, what matters is that the response is proportionate to the action. Responding to non-violence with violence (or non-force with force) is disproportionate. By your logic, I may punch (or murder?) anybody who calls me a poo-poo face and hurts my feelings. Simply put, you are wrong. Aggression, according to every libertarian theorist I’ve ever read, is an uninvited act of physical force against person or property. Defamation does not qualify as an uninvited act of physical force against person or property, and so may not be responded to with the like (which is what prohibition laws do). It would be disproportionate.

    You are committing a fallacy of equivocation by defining aggression in a way that doesn’t allow for retaliatory force and then claiming that defamation (or name-calling, or breaking hearts, etc.) is aggression and should be prohibited by law (force) as a crime. You are wrong.

    Sui:

    Responding to non-violence with violence (or non-force with force) is disproportionate

    Strawman.

    Aggression, according to every libertarian theorist I’ve ever read, is an uninvited act of physical force against person or property.

    Citations (you’ve actually expanded how many citations are necessary by exaggerating the claim) required.

    You are committing a fallacy of equivocation by defining aggression in a way…

    I didn’t define it, I don’t write dictionary definitions.

    You are wrong.

    Sure. Sticks and stones may break my bones but WORDS CAN REALLY HARM ME, OK GUIS PLEASE STOP OR I’LL TELL MY MOMMY.

    Exaggerated for lulz, but you provided the joke so thanks 🙂

    Skyler:

    Sticks and stones may break my bones but WORDS CAN REALLY HARM ME, OK GUIS PLEASE STOP OR I’LL TELL MY MOMMY.

    You betray your position with this sarcasm. You know that words (speech, like defamation) are not aggression, and can’t hurt you in the same sense that a fist to your mouth can hurt you. You’ve lost.

    Citations (you’ve actually expanded how many citations are necessary by exaggerating the claim) required.

    You’ve obviously never read any libertarian theorists, like Rothbard, Block, Kinsella, Hoppe, Richman, Read, Long, et cetera, or else you’d realize how completely wrong you are about what aggression is. Some company’s dictionary is irrelevant when libertarian theory defines aggression and then uses it as defined. Pick up any introductory book on libertarianism and you’ll find the libertarian definition of aggression, which is fundamental to all libertarian theory. Here are some examples:

    https://mises.org/wire/what-aggression

    https://mises.org/wire/aggression-versus-harm-libertarianism

    https://mises.org/wire/relation-between-non-aggression-principle-and-property-rights-response-division-zer0

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2003/02/walter-e-block/turning-their-coats-for-the-state/

    https://reason.com/2015/03/29/how-many-rights/

    https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/is-the-non-aggression-principle-axiomatic/

    https://mises.org/library/what-libertarianism

    I didn’t define it, I don’t write dictionary definitions.

    You are assuming definitions every time you speak and write, and when your argument switches definitions, it’s an equivocation fallacy: https://www.txstate.edu/philosophy/resources/fallacy-definitions/Equivocation.html

    Sui: You equated something that falls under free speech, insults, with something that doesn’t fall under free speech, defamation. How cute!

    If me saying that your previous statement of being harmed by words is funny to me is somehow me losing, then your previous statement of being harmed by words is a clear surrender.

    Mine doesn’t state words can never cause harm, merely insults hurting your fee fees do not. And they don’t cause tangible and physical harm.

    Defamation does cause tangible and physical harm though.

    Your position is mutually exclusive from words ever doing harm however, yet you’ve already claimed that you think they can. Oopsie! I wasn’t going to take the cheap win before tbh, but as you’ve tried it when it didn’t even apply.. Live cheap die cheap, you forfeit by your own standards. If they can even be called that.

    GG little fella. You surrendered, in a round about way, it’s over.

    What’s left, bunch of links that don’t matter as you forfeited… Another fallacy, another assertion of me using a fallacy, which don’t matter. As you forfeited.

    Skyler:

    Defamation does cause tangible and physical harm though.

    Define “harm”. Being insulted is “harm”. Losing your girlfriend to a rival is “harm”. Losing value on your house because of an asshole neighbor is “harm”, but none of those are “harm” in the aggression sense. You have failed to make the case that defamation is aggression. You don’t even seem to know what aggression is, in a libertarian sense (the only sense that matters as it concerns politics and law). You can pretend to have “won” all you want. You’ve behaved irrational so far, so keep at it. I’m sure it will serve you well.


    It’s a shame that this person is so confused on basic definitions under libertarian (and anarcho-capitalist) theory. Yes, I think Tom Woods is correct, not enough reading and critical thinking of the giants that came before us.

  • Intellectual Property is Trash and Should Be Abolished

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Had a chat recently with reddit user u/samhw about “intellectual property”. The original post stated:

    TIL that Apple Records, the record company created by The Beatles in 1968, has had many legal battles with Apple Inc over the years. It started with trademark infringement in 1978 and later because Apple Records claimed Apple Inc violated an agreement to stay out of the music business. Link: https://ultimateclassicrock.com/apple-corp-apple-computers-second-settlement/

    My first comment was: “Intellectual property is trash. Should be abolished. #noip” to which he replied and this conversation ensued:


    samhw: I think this is a legitimate debate that’s worth having, but you need to make an actual argument for it.

    Skyler: I’ll do you better: https://c4sif.org/wrongaboutip/

    samhw: Haha, no, a very long blog post from someone who believes the same as you isn’t an argument. What’s your rationale? I’m not saying it needs to be novel, I’m just saying infodumps aren’t really respectful of other people’s time.

    Skyler: My argument is that intellectual property violates real property rights. The purpose of property rights is to minimize conflict over scarce resources. Ideas are just patterns of information and by their very nature are non-scarce. The purpose of intellectual property, rather, and historically is to give producers monopoly protections, not to protect property.

    samhw: How does it ‘violate real property rights’? I don’t understand how the remainder of your comment substantiates that claim, if indeed it’s meant to.

    Skyler: You are correct I never really explained that point. Intellectual property rights create what’s called a negative servitude over the use of your real property. Things like easements or servitudes are usually agreed to explicitly through contract, but in the case of intellectual property they are created by fiat by the state (a taking), transferring some control over your real property to the holders of intellectual property rights. Real property is scarce, meaning only one person can use it at a time, but ideas are non-scarce, everybody can use it all at once simultaneously. Hence the need for the state to use it’s apparatus of aggression (police, monopoly courts, prisons) to grant monopoly protections over ideas. IP entails greater and greater aggressive state intrusions into privacy and scope if it is to protect these monopolies universally.

    Read: https://mises.org/library/goods-scarce-and-nonscarce

    Do yourself a favor and spend time with this. I can’t do your homework for you.

    samhw: This doesn’t explain how IP rights ‘violate’ real property rights. It simply explains how they don’t operate the same way as real property rights.

    Skyler: Your patent and copyright allows you some control over my scarce real property in the form of a negative servitude. By government fiat, I no longer have exclusive right of control over my property. I’m not allowed to arrange it as I see fit. You have taken part of it from me. Hence IP violates property rights. One is supreme over the other.

    samhw: For starters, how do you mean that it allows me control over your real property?

    Skyler: Your IP gives you the right to tell me how I can’t use my property. Again, real property is scarce, only one person can use it at once. Your control supersedes my control.

    samhw: I’m sorry, you’re just saying it again. I was asking how it constrains how you use your property? Can you give an example or elaborate in some way?

    Skyler: Well I can’t arrange my raw materials in a way that supposedly infringes on your patent, or I can’t arrange my raw materials in a way that copies your creative work. I don’t understand why you aren’t getting this, I’m speaking pretty plain English. Intellectual property gives rights to other people over real property. There’s no valid reason why I can’t copy something that somebody else originated if I find it useful to do so using my own real property.

    samhw: You can’t ‘arrange your raw materials’ in a way that creates and detonates a bomb either, lol. Somehow those laws still don’t violate your property rights – maybe because the right to your property doesn’t guarantee the right to create entirely new stuff from it without breaking any law. I didn’t realise that was your point because it’s … well, quite a reach.

    Skyler:

    You can’t ‘arrange your raw materials’ in a way that creates and detonates a bomb either, lol. Somehow those laws still don’t violate your property rights

    Of course they do. Let’s not bring in assumptions and presumptions about what this or that government says about property, IP or not. All of that is totally irrelevant to a conversation on principles.

    The reason that IP violates real property rights is because real property is scarce. I can’t use your real property because it would interfere with your use of your real property. Me copying an idea does not interfere with your use of the same idea. But your enforcement of IP does interfere with my use of my real property. Hence the violation of property rights.

    Ideas cannot be subject to claims of ownership because they are non-scarce and may used by everyone simultaneously and universally. Scare resources can (and must) be subject to claims of ownership because they are scarce, and scarcity creates the potential for conflict (two or more people trying to use the same thing at the same time). Property rights prevent conflict by assigning ownership over scarce resources. “IP rights” create conflict by re-assigning ownership (theft) over scarce resources. These are antithetical concepts.

    If you want to take about what this or that government says about how people may use their real property (including their bodies), we can, but in every case where the use does not threaten an innocent person, that government is also violating property rights because they are interfering with someone’s use of their scarce property, including when they enforce IP.


    I feel I educated this person on the anti-IP argument, but I have no idea if I changed their mind. Probably not, but I believe they’re better off knowing the other side of the debate. Maybe in time they’ll come around. People often do.

  • On Qualified Immunity II

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Most people are (rightly) held responsible for their destructive actions toward other people or their property. If I damage you in some way, accidentally or intentionally, I am held liable and forced to make amends, be it retribution against me or restitution for you. If I demanded immunity from this liability, I would quite correctly be considered an asshole (or for our friends across the pond, a cunt). Yet, their are people in our society that demand such immunity. Those people are police officers, prosecutors, and other government bureaucrats. When they damage other people, so long as it’s pursuant to their jobs, they are granted immunity for liability. They may wreak havoc and destruction against other people or their property without being held responsible for their actions. Anybody who demands or accepts this immunity is an asshole. The saying is true: All Cops (and prosecutors and bureaucrats) Are Bastards. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Critical Race Theory

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    As if I needed another reason to keep my children out of government schools, Critical Race Theory seems to be creeping up everywhere. I could be wrong, but everything I’ve seen and read about Critical Race Theory (and Woke-ism) leads me to believe that at it is fundamentally about making so-called “White” people feel ashamed of the color of their skin. Yes, I think that’s right. Imagine a program designed to make Black people feel ashamed of the color of their skin… perhaps a program that disapprovingly highlights crimes and vices committed by Black people and aimed primarily at making Black people, adults and children, view their skin color as a major contributing factor to these very bad behaviors and their devastating consequences on society. Wouldn’t we reasonable, and rightly, categorize such a program as racist? Judging people or making them feel ashamed due to either their skin color or genetic ancestry is one of the primary weapons of White Supremacists. Those espousing Critical Race Theory are essentially conceding to White Supremacists the superiority of their emphasis on “race” and what it says about individuals. Disgusting, if you ask me, and that’s today’s two cents.

  • On George Floyd and Derek Chauvin

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    The Derek Chauvin trial was an example of authoritarian in-fighting. Had “the system” actually been interested in justice, George Floyd would never have had a broken home, childhood trauma, and drug addiction problem, the police would never have responded to an allegation of a counterfeit $20 bill, Derek Chauvin would never have violently interfered with George Floyd’s life that day, society would never have been coercively handcuffed from keeping the peace and preventing riots and the destruction of many a small business and private property, and Chauvin’s guilty verdict would never mean that other people are coerced to pay for decades of incarceration. Just about every step of the way, authoritarianism set society up to fail, and for justice to be totally sucked out of the airlock. But as we all must know, authoritarians aren’t really concerned about justice, but in lining their own pockets from the blood and sweat of the rest of us. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Socialism II

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    David Friedman had another debate on capitalism and socialism last month, this one with Ben Burgis. They didn’t really cover any new ground, and the discussion period was a total disaster; viewer beware. However, Friedman leveled the poignant question to Burgis on what would happen to he and his friends if they practiced capitalism (one of them hiring the others for a wage) under his socialist system. Predictably, Burgis kept dodging the question. If Burgis would have conceded that they’d be left alone, then his entire system falls apart. Capitalism, no doubt, would spread like a virus as more people than not would prefer present consumption to future consumption. There just wouldn’t be enough scrimpers and savers to make for business builders. Too many would prefer to be paid an immediate flat wage now and forego company equity. And guess what… that’s totally fine! We’re all different, and we have different time preferences, and at different periods of our lives. Capitalism allows for such dynamism, socialism does not. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Racism

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I just read a fantastic essay from 2017 on racism at Slate Star Codex titled, “Against Murderism“. I highly recommend it and was intellectually tickled by how it ended. The too long; didn’t read conclusion was: even when real racism is present, it’s still likely just a branch, and understanding the root issue is far more important if we are to ever solve any real problems and avoid civil war. In other words, crying “Racism!” is low-IQ and lazy, and says nothing about the real problems that plague society, and humanity. I’m probably guilty in a similar fashion by decrying “Authoritarianism!” all the time, as even that is a branch relative to the, ostensibly, root problem of hitting and traumatizing children. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Individualism

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I’m reading a terrific anthology of individualist thought edited by George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore. One essay was excerpted from Oscar Wilde and focuses on individualism being the least selfish among alternatives. Let me put it this way: I am an individualist first, voluntaryist second. I would prefer that everyone else be a voluntaryist as far as their politics are concerned, but I wouldn’t coerce them to it. If they want to be socialist, that’s fine, be socialist and enjoy your socialist utopia. I will respect your individuality by respecting your individual values and preferences. All I ask in return is that you respect my individuality as well. Can you do that? Can you also be an individualist first, and socialist, or communist, or fascist, or Republican, or Democrat second? Or must you disrespect my individuality by coercing me to accept your values and preferences? Are you truly so selfish (and greedy!) that you insist on coercing others to adopt your ideology? For shame! And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Exploitation

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    There’s a very simple test you can apply to determine whether or not a market transaction is exploitative: If the transaction is made voluntarily and offers a better alternative to the parties involved, the transaction is not exploitative; If the transaction is made coercively and offers a worse alternative to one of the parties involved, the transaction is exploitative. In every instance, if neither party is coercing the other, then there’s no exploitation. Of course, coercion may not always be direct, eg. a company might be paying or otherwise influencing the local, legal mafia (the “government”) to diminish or completely remove alternatives for the other party. (Parents may even coerce their children into market transactions, thereby exploiting them.) Nothing else matters to this very important question. Just because you have better alternatives, that doesn’t make an unimpressive market transaction exploitative. By all means create better alternatives if you think someone could get a better deal, but the moment you engage in coercion is the moment you yourself become the bad guy. Never forget that, and that’s today’s two cents.

  • Exploited By a Day Laborer & Compounded Ignorance Leads to Hubris (17m) – Episode 464

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 464 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: an article he wrote in September 2011 titled, “That Time I was Exploited by a Day Laborer“; and an article he wrote in May 2018 titled, “Compounded Ignorance Leads to Hubris“.

    Listen to Episode 464 (17m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Homebuying, Early Starts, Propaganda, & Saving Money (22m) – Episode 061

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 061 looks at being prepared to replace significant parts of an older house after buying one; drinking water before bed to help you get up early in the morning; recognizing that even your side of the political spectrum engages in propaganda from time to time (or even most of the time); and paying yourself first after receiving your paycheck by immediately transferring half or more of it into savings.

    Listen to Episode 061 (22m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “thinking and doing”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc or PayPal.me/everythingvoluntary.

    Other podcasts:Everything Voluntary“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Aphorisms in Honor of Liberty, Part Ten (21m) – Episode 463

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 463 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following aphorisms written by Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski: “A ‘guaranteed profit’ is something akin to a riskless danger.”; “A fool believes that liberty comes from participation in power. A person of reason knows that it comes from dissipation of power.”; “A libertarian does not oppose the welfare state because he does not care about the poor, but because he cares about them too much to believe they deserve being caught in the web of lies, empty promises, perpetual dependence, hate-mongering, and cultural degradation created by self-serving, power-hungry crooks.”; “It takes a common thug to commit injustice, but it takes an exceptional thug to call it ‘social justice’.”; “Collectivism: the practice of exploiting humans in the name of humankind.”; and “All delusions aside, personal development consists in little more than scrubbing oneself clean of endless layers of folly.”

    Listen to Episode 463 (21m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping