Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Regulations Are Bad For Everyone.

I think it is very important to have discussion over the role regulations should have in our lives. It seems that we are content with whatever the major government regulation agencies do and ultimately rule on. It seems that most people don't think twice about the implications of having government regulators and exactly what and why they regulate. I don't have a problem with standards that should be followed by private companies but I do have a problem with "standards" forced by the government on private companies. Standards are good but regulations set forth by government agencies are bad for everyone, and I hope to show you why.

Government agencies like the EPA, FDA, OSHA, and many others that enforce regulations on the environment, food, drugs, saftey, minimum wage laws, work age laws, and so many others seem to have our interest at heart, or so they say. But what exactly does this do to the market or to the consumers? Does it actually help consumers or does it hurt them?

Again I'll mention that I do want standards when it comes to these very things, just not at the point of a gun.

When we typically talk about regulations our brain is instantly hard wired into believing they're good and are to protect us. Discussion otherwise is usually looked down upon.

We don't typically talk about how these certain regulations come to be. We don't talk about who is behind the creation of these regulations. We don't talk about the incentive these people have in creating these regulations. We don't talk about how you're ultimately hurt with these regulations.

It comes down to one simple idea, so simple it is easy to let is pass our eyes. This is why you see those lobbying for new regulations are directly connected to large corporations. As a large corporation who has millions if not billions of dollars that can be used to pay for the costs of regulations it doesn't matter if they come into law. The idea is then that since these large corporations can already pay for them it is easier to snuff out competition through enforcing regulations than it is to actually compete with them in the market.

Smaller companies who don't have millions to throw away can therefor not even bring their products to the market. A product that could be much safer for you, much healthier for you, and much cheaper to you.

This is why large pharm-corporations lobby for tight regulations on new drugs entering the market, they can afford to throw away resources while emerging companies can't. This is why large food corporations want to enforce strict "health" regulations because again they can afford to throw away those resources while other can't.

Government backed regulations is nothing short of a method used to protect monopoly privileges, something those who want regulations are so much against.

On top of that the larger corporations are able to bribe regulators while smaller companies can't. They can get away with breaking the law while others would go to jail.

So many times we've heard of good products that work for certain things can't make it to the market when current products do nothing for those things. They can't make it because they're not up to "code". They can't make it because the large corporations know if they do they will not be able to compete in a fair market so they cheat to get their way.

For those Constitutional people out there these federal agencies shouldn't even exist. The Federal government has no right restricting entry into the market place, that's if you believe what's in the Constitution.

So how exactly do we provide for good standards when it comes to food, drugs, the environment, and the like without the government?

It's simple and as usual comes down to protecting private property rights. On one hand it is bad business to make bad products in a society that protects property rights. If a company releases food or a drug that ends up killing people there are heavy repercussions. And we know food and drugs protected by regulations still kill people, so you pay them with taxes to set regulations and continue to pay them when they've failed.

Now assuming this wouldn't be enough to keep those pesky evil companies at bay then a hole in the market has just been created. Private companies could now emerge to set certain standards. Through competition companies with the most attractive standards will be utilized for their well recognized seal of approval. Companies that make food and drugs, and other stuff, would want their products to have this seal of approval because consumers want to see it. Any mischievousness in the process will likely be found and publicized quickly forever tarnishing the respect of the company making the product, the standards company, or both depending on who was at fault.

This can't happen you say? We already have private companies like Consumer Reports who does this very thing. Why do they even exist though since we have federal agencies supposedly doing what they're doing? Because the federal agencies fail at doing it and are still backed by tax payer dollars further diminishing their want to provide a good service, while private companies have incentive to do as well as possible to stay afloat in the market.

Now that we know standards can quickly be made without the need of government we can talk about restriction of entry into the market. Without the government backed agencies all companies can enter the market with their products if consumers want them. It would be up to the consumers to decide what they want to buy and not federal agencies forcing consumers to buy the products their buddies have lobbied for. It always comes down to the individual. Do you believe the individuals should have the right to decide what they want? If you don't then you've justified to its fullest extent a complete totalitarian government telling you not only what you should buy or not buy but what to do in every aspect of your life. This is not the freedom I believe in and I doubt it is the freedom you believe in.

But you don't trust private companies without federal regulations to make quality products? Fine, but if you don't then how can you trust the men large corporations employ to set forth those very regulations you want?

You can't.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Knives Galore

On to the second part of my mini series and as the title suggests it's specifically about knives. Knives as a tool and a weapon have been a pivotal part of the human evolution. Being able to kill game and process it as well as basic cutting needs are a few of the important roles of knives in our life. Most of us these days don't use knives to kill game or even on a daily basis. I hope to at least make my readers want to carry a knife on a daily basis because of how useful a knife can be in life's random situations. I'll add as a side note that I don't believe knives to be an effective tool for self-defense purposes. This is because it is very hard to use a knife effectively when being attacked and usually you're going to get cut up pretty bad as well. Among knife experts there's a saying I've heard about the end result of a fight with 2 skilled knife fighters- "One is dead and the other is dying on the way to the hospital." Besides a firearms is much more suitable.

In any event I'm biased towards three brands of knives from my research and handling. These knives are Benchmade, Zero Tolerance, and ESEE knives. So the knives I'm going to talk about are going to be made by these companies. They are in my mind some of the best knives for the money, they're somewhat pricey but very much worth it.

Folding Knives: When it comes to a daily carry knife that isn't going to see much abuse like repeated prying, screwing, hammering I think you can't go wrong with any of the folding knives made by Benchmade and some by Zero Tolerance. Don't get me wrong these knives can take a beating but I feel the knife I bring up next will be your best bet when needing a knife that takes beatings day in and day out. The knife I would recommend for the money for a decent carry tool is going to be the Benchmade Griptilian, Mini Griptilian, or the Zero Tolerance ZT350. All these knives are a good size for your pocket or purse with the ZT350 being the biggest of the three. When it comes to thinking about a partially serrated or non serrated knife I believe this really depends on application. For someone who needs a daily carrier you're most likely not going to be cutting rope a lot. If that's the case I personally would go with a non serrated blade. If you do need the serration then obviously get a serrated blade.

For someone who needs a knife for day in day out beatings I recommend the Zero Tolerance ZT301, the bigger brother of the ZT350. Now this knife can and will take a lot of abuse but comes with a bigger price tag and a heftier size. The knives above are considered liner locked which means when opened the knife is locked in place by a lining metal on the inside of the handle. The ZT301 is frame locked which means it's locked by the frame of the handle when opened. The part that keeps it locked is machined titanium and the other side is a G10 material. This provides for an exceptionally strong locking mechanism where you don't ever have to worry about the knife closing during hard use.

Fixed Blades Now what about survival situations or even camping and backpacking trips? When it comes to times like these where you don't have to worry about the weight in your pocket you can afford to carry something bigger and stronger than a folding knife. This is when I recommend a fixed full tang knife over a folder but you should still carry a folding knife with you.

There are three different types of knives I believe you should have each with its own application. These don't take up that much room so they should be considered.

First up is the ESEE 5. This is a monster of a fixed blade knife and can do just about anything you need it to. If it came down to it it could be used as an axe to chop wood for a fire. You CANNOT destroy this knife and if you do ESEE has a lifetime warranty. This knife would typically be in your pack possibly on your leg while out in the wilderness since a smaller knife would be more practical for other uses. But when you need a big piece of metal to perform this one will.

The "essential" knife you should have on you when out and about in the wilderness is the ESEE 3. This is the knife you're typically want to pull out for your regular needs around camp and the like. It will be much easier to use because of its smaller size but it can also take a beating.

The next knife I would say is optional but has a very good use for caping game when on a hunt and it's the ESEE Candiru. It's a small blade and can be utilized for intricate cuts that need something that is maneuverable.

With any of the knives made by ESEE you're going to want to take extra care of them because they're made of carbon steel. They've chosen this steel for it's strength and exceptional ability to keep an edge, carbon steel is often used in professional kitchen cutlery. The downside is that carbon steel can rust very easily if not taken care of so you're going to want to make sure this sucker is well oiled when not in use.

As with all knives you want to take care of them and not be dumb with them. Having said that you can probably try really hard to break these knives and will probably fail to do it. After a lot of use you're going to want to keep putting an edge on the blade to keep it continuously sharp. I'm obsessed with knives because there's so many different kinds available with all kinds of different handle materials and steel materials. I feel without spending hours and hours doing research these knives will do you just fine and will be able to keep up to any task you give them.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Firearms FTW!

I've decided to kind of deviate from my regular posts to give some more informational posts about different things I feel are useful. This will probably be a small series and if received well I'll continue. Although I'm no expert on firearms, knives, and survival I feel that I can at least give some insight on the subjects to better inform you. Hopefully for those of you that don't know all that much about these topics you'll gain at least a little bit of knowledge.

Aside from being the anarcho-capitalist that I am I feel that we should all be armed for self-defense, hunting, and survival. Although I don't find this list to be an extensive list of firearms you should own, I find that having these firearms in your collection will prove to be useful in many situations.

RIFLES When it comes to rifles I feel that there are three types of rifles you should have. The first two I'll talk about are pretty much interchangeable. You don't have to have both, you should have one, but both won't hurt. I feel that many of the experts would agree that an AR15 and/or a AK47 would be great firearms with many uses. The AR15 and AK47 have an abundance of cheap ammo available in 5.56 mm and 7.62x39 mm respectively. These firearms could come in handy for self-defense and hunting. For self-defense it is obvious that these semi-automatic weapons will be of great use to you. In a hunting application these firearms will prove very useful for hunting larger game at farther distances than the next rifle I'll be talking about. Either of these rifles will be able to take a beating and still perform when you need them to. As for brands for these rifles I can sit here naming my favorite brands and someone will come and say why this brand is better than the other. Your own research will lead you to a firearm of your liking, but remember you get what you pay for (for the most part). I built my AR15 from scratch from quality parts mostly to have a unique rifle, but if I had to recommend a pre-built AR15 I would take a look into Palmetto State Armory for their quality and price. I have not had much experience with AK47's but the Russian VEPR that I've shot is a damn good shooter and for the price not too bad. Of course your mileage may very.

The next rifle I find to be essential to any collection is a good ol' .22. What's the point of having such a small caliber rifle? It's pretty simple, for hunting and survival needs. When it comes down to having to pack up and get going you usually don't have unlimited amounts of space to carry with you. The beauty with such small bullets is it is relatively easy to carry a few thousand rounds in a pocket of a pack. These small bullets are great for small game and can even kill larger game with a well place shot to the head. A good shooting rifle will allow you to conserve your ammunition for a long time to come. The .22 rifle I would recommend is the Ruger 10-22 and now that they've come out with a take down model that is the one I would recommend the most. This take down model allows you to separate the barrel from the receiver and consolidate the rifle into a smaller package for carrying. Ruger is well known for making one of the longest lasting .22s on the market.

HANDGUNS Handguns have their place in any collection. For discreet carrying around the city or on a hike they are very useful for self-defense. In a survival situation they are best suited to "shooting your way to your rifle" because the rifles are much easier to use in a SHTF situation. When dealing with what kind of handgun you should carry you'll probably get an even bigger range of answers with everyone yelling why they're right and everyone else is wrong. I feel a good deal of research will again lead you to the handgun that is best suited for you. The most important aspect to think about is your ability to control the handgun safely and be able to shoot it accurately. Without having those two down it doesn't matter how much bigger your caliber is over your friends. Personally with semi-automatic handguns I'd stick to the 9mm, .40, and .45 caliber variety. With revolvers you can't go wrong with a .357 or .44. As of right now the two handguns I would have with me would be the Ruger SR40 and the Ruger SP101 in .357. Your mileage may vary with what you feel comfortable shooting so I suggest buying something and trying it or grab a friend with some guns and try theirs!

Hopefully you've learned at least one thing new by reading this and if not good for you you're probably very well prepared for many situations. If there's one thing I cannot stress enough about firearms though is that if you don't practice how to use them effectively they could very well become dead weight for you or even worse turned against you. If you decided that a firearm is for you, which it is, then you must take the necessary steps to be able to use one correctly so that innocent people aren't hurt by your negligence.

In any case, there's nothing like being able to take care of yourself and not having to depend on people that probably can't take care of you anyways.

My next post will be on knives, stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The State Is the Antithesis to Justice

In my posts I've attempted to map out the inner workings of a free society. I've attempted to give adequate accounts on private property, homesteading, and responding to criminal behavior. I've tried to show that a free society is not a utopian ideal but one that can work very well, or at least much better than any system of governance around today. But what is the point of writing on such things without making the endpoint of living in a truly just society. A free society is exactly that, a just society. I now plan to give an account on why every form of State "justice" is a farce.

There is no justice when the State exists.

Free market anarchists are often attacked on the efficacy of privately owned judicial and protective services. The attackers constantly claim that corruption will be widespread and only those well connected would benefit from such private services. I have no problem saying that this might occur in a free society, but there's no economic reasoning to believe this would be a widespread issue given such the fact of market competition.

It's precisely when monopoly privileges are given by the State when corruption occurs and there's no market competition to stop it. It's well known that judges and police are bribed by the very wealthy in order to get away with certain things. Inequality in justice then becomes obvious because the poor who cannot afford to bribe the judges and police are left to the side and end up being jailed for crimes other people can get away with. This is why the richest drug cartels get away with selling millions of dollars worth of drugs but the small drug peddler gets 20 years. This is why blacks are arrested and eventually imprisoned much more than whites, for the mere possession of drugs. This is not justice.

When this corruption is evident the only hope we have as individuals to curtail it is hope charges are brought against the corrupt, they resign, or hopefully replace them the next election cycle.

If this very same corruption were to occur in judicial/protective services in a free society individuals have a much stronger say in who will survive. Granted the corruption wouldn't be over drug issues but could happen in the cases of theft and the like.

When this corruption is evident we have a much greater arsenal to make sure it doesn't happen again. In any arbitration service there will likely be an appeal process if the the verdict was unfair, and would be your chance to achieve the correct verdict. This is an opportunity to show the corruption involved which would bring certain demise to the corrupt. Why? Well that's because once corruption is evident market forces will now come into play. People now knowing that that arbiter does not give fair and impartial opinions will no longer seek to purchase their services. Arbiters now have an economic interest aside from a moral one to seek fair decision or else they will no longer have a job. Naturally, the next attack would be to say that a monopoly of corrupt arbiters would be created to benefit the wealthy. Sure, but non-government granted monopolies do not last long because typically members of that cartel will see that more profit can be made by undercutting the agreed upon monopoly price. Even if this doesn't happen when monopolies aren't granted by the government someone outside of this cartel will see the ability to profit from undercutting and will do just that by offering fair and impartial arbitration.

Free markets are well known to produce products with better efficiency and better quality for any given product than the government can produce, judicial and protective services are no different.

The next big point is an attack on State run protective services and how they perform minimal amount of justice compared to their free market counterparts. There are two areas of concern I will discuss: police brutality and restitution.

Police brutality and wrongful murder is a widespread and well documented problem that occurs in America and I'm sure around the rest of the world. Now I will not claim that every police officer commits such heinous acts but it does happen and these people are usually protected. They're protected because of two reasons, they're backed by unions and they are not held liable to the same set of laws as citizens are. Unions make it practically impossible to fire bad cops when they do bad things. Cops that are caught doing these bad things are usually put on paid administrative leave. They are rewarded with paid vacation time for hurting innocent people! Had a regular citizen done the same to another citizen or even a cop the results would be much different, and it's because police are not held liable to the same set of laws we all are. If they were they would be much more consciences in their decisions since they too could be imprisoned for initiating force on innocent people. Police are also funded by taxes so no matter who does what they are still going to get their paycheck.

A private protection agency would act much differently when it comes to rendering their services. Protection agents would be MUCH less likely to be mean and hurtful to people. This is because those who hire them would want courteous employees to attract as many customers as possible. If customers saw Agency A hire mean people that constantly harassed individuals, they would not survive on the market for very long. Only those companies who go about rendering their services in a professional and courteous manner have a chance in surviving free market competition. Also, since in a free society all individuals are held liable to the same set of laws if a protection agent were to use force wrongfully he would become a criminal and tried as such. Motivated by profit earned from paying consumers protection agencies have economic reasoning to be courteous to individuals, for if they aren't other agencies will take hold of the profit incentive and fill the gap.

Restitution is another area that most people are not accustomed to hearing about, but was the prime way justice was given to victims of theft and the like long before the State instituted its own form of "justice".

Currently if someone steals your car or breaks in your house you do the routine of calling the cops. The cop then does a report and files it and all you can hope for is that they catch the criminal and or your insurance will replace the stolen goods. The police who are supposed to protect you from theft can only file reports and your stolen goods are usually gone forever. On top of that you have not only paid the police for their failed services of protection but you are still forced to continue to pay them even though your goods are gone, what kind of justice is that?

In a free market protective services would be tied to a kind of insurance contract. The protection agency would be paid not only to keep you safe but to make sure your goods are not stolen. What happens if your goods are stolen then? This is where the insurance contract comes into play. If the protection agency fails to keep your goods safe then they must indemnify you by replacing whatever is stolen. If your car or tv is stolen they must replace that car or tv. The protection agency now has an economic incentive to retrieve any stolen goods or else they have to shell out the extra costs of replacing stolen goods. It is a well known fact that insurance agencies today are much more efficient at finding stolen goods than the police can ever dream to be. Restitution is justice that can only be served by private protection agencies.

I hope to have shown how the State is a complete failure to providing for a just society and that it is in fact the exact opposite in its actions regardless of what its intentions are.

Therefore, we must accept that the only just society that can exist is a free society.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Re: Secession & Nullification - Neo Confederates by Jaime Abeytia

Another local blogger which I've been told is followed by many in our city has come out with this ridiculous post.

I plan on rebutting every false claim he's made, which the whole post is nothing more than false claims.

I'll start with his first paragraph.

(SIDEBAR - Apologies to my Libertarian friends on the right, but lets be honest. You are on the right. You aren't this perfect utopian mix of the best of Liberalism and the best of Conservatism. You are conservatives. You never hear of the Libertarian wing of the Democratic Party. You only hear of the Libertarian wing of the Republican Party. Why? Cuz you're Republicans essentially. Sorry, but someone has to say it.
It is very strange to hear such things. My first question is how are we not a mix of Liberal and Conservative ideals? We are the greatest proponents of freedom. From the Liberal side we fight strong and hard for civil liberties like gay marriage, marijuana, and are against invasive policies like the PATRIOT ACT and the NDAA. From the Conservative side we fight equally for economic freedom like less taxes, less regulations, and less bureaucrats running our lives. Your failed attempt to label us falsely as Republicans only comes from the fact that Ron Paul has an R next to his name. Ron Paul isn't a Republican, we aren't Republicans, we believe in freedom that's it. There are "left-libertarians" by the way, they're called anarcho-syndicalists.

I know people want to romanticize the idea of nullification, an idea that went out of fashion more than a century and a half ago, but lets have a little fidelity to history shall we? John C. Calhoun and other people from the south used the idea to promote the further extension of slavery in the United States. But aside from reliving the Civil War, nullification represent the surrender of America. And its uniquely unpatriotic. Nullification is counter-productive to the greatest of American political values - COMPROMISE. You know, that silly little thing that was used to create this nation? Nullification says if I don't like a law, screw it, I don't have to follow it. It literally takes the United out of United States of America.

Nullification didn't go out of fashion, it is in fact being used today. What made it go away is the propaganda that it doesn't even exist. Go ahead and start a poll asking the average American what nullification is and you won't be surprised by the results.

In the same time period of Calhoun Jaime has decided to leave out other areas in which nullification was used. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was a COMPROMISE (as Jaime likes to use) between the North and the South to return runaway slaves found in the North to the South. Vermont and Wisconsin finding that this Federal Law was unconstitutional effectively nullified it with jury nullification. This is where the slaves were tried in these states but the jury said they were not guilty because this federal law was no law at all. I suppose Jaime would approve of forcing these states to return slaves to the South? I sure hope not.

Going farther into our history we can see even more where Jaime claims secession and nullification as unpatriotic is just plain false. The founding of this country was based off nullification and secession from the tyrannical monarchy of England. Without this secession we wouldn't be the United States of America. So you're wrong Jaime, secession and nullification is as American as apple pie.

Even today nullification has been used to stop federal charges against people in marijuana cases, like in the great state of New Hampshire. I suppose Jaime would support the Federal Government jailing these people anyways even though they were shown to be not guilty?

Colorado and Washington have effectively nullified Federal drug laws and have made marijuana decriminalized in their states. I suppose Jaime would support Federal thugs(agents) arresting people for using marijuana?

I suppose Jaime also supports medical marijuana raids done to state licensed businesses offering products peacefully to those who are willing to purchase them?

I suppose Jaime is not as liberal as he thinks he may be.

Hell nullification would essentially create 50 little kingdoms off doing their own thing with only a loose association with one another. Oh great, the Americas version of the European Union.

Hell this statement alone shows Jaime is completely ignorant of the history and creation of this country. At the onset of our country it was well known that each state was a sovereign state. The Declaration of Independence notes, "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government," You'd be a fool to believe that when writing this Jefferson thought only the colonies had a right to secede from the monarchy of England yet they wouldn't have this right under the newly formed government. Thomas Dilorenzo writes, "Secession or the threat of secession was always intended as a possible means of maintaining both the American union and constitutional government."

Your claims are backed by nothing Jaime.

And don't give me this crap that nullification is only for when the feds over-step their bounds. Who decides if they over-step their bounds. And oh by the way, we already have a solution for that...its called the Supreme Court. You remember the judicial branch of government right? Its that branch of government created through...wait for it...COMPROMISE! Nullification is predicated on the idea that the federal government is not the boss of me. So by definition, there is really no limit to the extent of nullification. Which makes people who believe that is a rational solution for America, the Mayor of Crazytown! And don't get me started on international relations. The US would not be able to speak with foreign governments as though it speaks with one voice when there are 50 little kingdoms.
Nullification is the weapon needed when the Supreme Court decides un-Constitutional laws are Constitutional. You'd be crazy to think that a Federally appointed set of life tenured men and women have any interest in reducing their own power. When the Supreme Court fails to do their job, which happens all the time, nullification is the only weapon we the people have left in our arsenal.

The Federal Government isn't the boss of you, it only claims to be. State governments also aren't the bosses of you. Only you are the boss of you. I'm not sure what Jaime means by there aren't any limits to the extent of nullification. The only laws the state's want to nullify are the ones not explicitly granted by the Constitution to the Federal Government.

The only international relations we should be having with other countries is free trade.

You can't have a government that is being undermined by what constituted the government in the first place. Nullification is anti-constitutional.

We had a government that functioned when nullification was used and is still used today.

I'd like to see some facts showing that nullification is anti-constitutional.

As Jaime said he didn't want to dignify nullification with a post it was hard for me to dignify his post with a reply, but I had to. He's so lost when it comes to the history of our government and the checks and balances the people have against intrusive policy.

Jaime, I await your reply.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

State Secession? No, Individual Secession.

In wake of all the commotion about having individual states secede from the union to stop the great evils of the Federal Government, I think many are completely missing the point and the history that goes along with it.

I disagree with those that call sympathizers of state secession foolish or traitors. It should be obvious that secession is as American as apple pie is. It should be obvious that the Founding Fathers of this country seceded from a tyrannical monarchy. In a sense those who want to rip off the hands of the Federal Government are in original terms true Patriots.

This is where my sympathy for "pro-secessionists" stops.

It is not because I believe we shouldn't rip off the hands of the Federal Government. It is not because I believe the Federal Government isn't doing its "job". It is most certainly not because I believe we don't need a Federal Government to live our lives.

You surely shouldn't be surprised when I say my sympathy stops because those who favor secession merely want to replace one form of government with another. Sure, the intentions are all well and good but what has history shown us?

The Founding Fathers wanted to replace a tyrannical Monarchy with a "limited government" in order to safeguard the liberties of the citizens in the new territories. This was done with The Articles of Confederation and then ultimately the Constitution. These intentions were all well and good as well, but one very important problem was never really curtailed from the beginning. This is the issuance of power by one class of individuals (politicians, presidents, judges) over another class of individuals (not politicians, presidents, judges).

The Constitution didn't limit any powers a Federal Government could have over us it CREATED the powers it could have over individuals without the consent of individuals. These powers, however limited their intentions, have ultimately led us to where we are now and our disgust of the Federal Government.

Ending the rant about the Federal Government our own American history has shown the path the secessionists are eventually to follow. For if they were to successfully secede from the Union and create a new "limited government" history will repeat itself.

The process of creating a new government will not fix problems. It's a common saying that government doesn't fix problems it creates them. You can't expect any government to fix social issues, the economy, or anything else for that matter.

Thus the individuals of the states are foolish to believe they have any chance of being more free just by giving a new form of government power. They are foolish to believe creating a separate class, however limited they may wish to believe, to have power over them will not become as tyrannical as the very government they're trying to escape from.

What is my advice to those that promote state secession? Abandon that cause for it is truly futile. Instead promote a different type of secession. A secession that the Federal Government will have much more trouble stopping than it would with state secession. A secession that creates no classes based on power.

Promote secession from all forms of government for individual secession from the State is the only way to obtain a truly free and just world.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On Voluntary Slavery

Many of the what would seem to be small parts of the Libertarian philosophy where there doesn't seem to be much discussion. There's one idea that, to me, can have very grave consequences and that's the idea of the possibility of voluntarily choosing to become a slave. Two of the questions that are argued over are as follows:

1) Can one sell himself in a contract? i.e. Is the self-ownership of your body alienable?


2) Are contracts of voluntary slavery enforceable? i.e. If the "slave" at some future points decides he no longer wants to be a "slave", can the "owner" of the "slave" use force to enforce the voluntarily made contract?

There are many Libertarian scholars that are in the debate of the possibility of people choosing to be slaves or not. The two I will consider here, that I believe bring the most to the argument, are Murray Rothbard and Walter Block. Rothbard has said,

The distinction between a man’s alienable labor service and his inalienable will may be further explained; a man can alienate his labor service, but he cannot sell the capitalized future value of that service. In short, he cannot, in nature, sell himself into slavery and have this sale enforced—for this would mean that his future will over his own person was being surrendered in advance. In short, a man can naturally expend his labor currently for someone else’s benefit, but he cannot transfer himself, even if he wished, into another man’s permanent capital good. For he cannot rid himself of his own will, which may change in future years and repudiate the current arrangement. The concept of “voluntary slavery” is indeed a contradictory one, for so long as a laborer remains totally subservient to his master’s will voluntarily, he is not yet a slave since his submission is voluntary; whereas, if he later changed his mind and the master enforced his slavery by violence, the slavery would not then be voluntary.

Block on the other hand contends that voluntary slavery is not only permissible within Libertarian Philosophy it is essential for making an internally consistent system-

by showing that contract, predicated on private property reach to the furthest realms of human interaction, even to voluntary slave contracts.2

Block goes further to say,

The underlying point of the libertarian critique is that if I own something, I can sell it (and should be allowed by law to do so). If I can’t sell it, then, and to that extent, I really don’t own it. Take my own liberty as perhaps the paradigm case of the debate over inalienability. The claim is that if I really own my liberty, then I should be free to dispose of it as I please, even if, by so doing, I end up no longer owning it.2

It should be noted that I highly respect the opinions and writings of both of these individuals. Rothbard, when alive, at the top of the Libertarian pole and now Block very near, if not there already. I believe both bring great points to the argument and that both should be highly considered when coming to your own conclusions.

Next we shall investigate how each of the arguments attempt to answer the questions posed above.

Rothbard holds that it is impossible to sell the "self-ownership" of one's body because no matter what contract is made that person is still in complete control of their body. They just choose to follow the orders of some person, but the choice is still there's and not the choice of the owners. Following this the second question becomes very easy to answer. Since the will and/or self-ownership of yourself cannot be transferred through any means the contract is null and void from the get go, therefor force would be illegitimate in the enforcement.

Block very ingeniously points out that how can you possibly say you own something without the ability to sell it?2 If "own" a piece of land but cannot sell it then I really don't own it because I can't do what I want with it, so long as I don't infringe on the rights of others with its very use! It then follows that since if you do really own yourself then you can sell yourself. If you can legally sell yourself then any contract in which you transferred said property it as enforceable as any other contract, therefor the slave owner could use force to enforce this contract.

I find it very important to distinguish the types of contracts that are enforceable. Rothbard is correct in stating that the only contracts that are enforceable are to be those where transfer of title can be done. So then why cannot a man decide to be someone slaves for the transfer of 1 million dollars, perhaps in order to save the life of his dying son as Block mentions?

Perhaps I fail to see the distinction in Rothbard's argument between the use of the will now as to the use of the will in the future. For I might voluntarily agree to take out a loan now and say in some future time I will pay it back. But can I not say in the future I no longer want to pay it back, and since I still have the use of my will it then becomes not voluntary? This would be an obvious act of theft from the bank and should I should be forced to pay if I choose not to. But if I accept the 1 million dollars for my enslavement, and no longer have it, then decide to no longer be a slave is this not also a case of theft?

I concede that a mere promise is not an enforceable contract. If I promise to give you 100 dollars tomorrow you cannot force me to do so because initially no title transfer has happened. If this is true, then me merely promising you to be your slave is also not enforceable.

I believe Block to be correct with one caveat. If I take the 1 million dollars for the enslavement and at a later date decide to run away I have stolen. But for the same loan I have made voluntarily that I choose not to pay at some future point the bank has no right into making me their slave.

The caveat lies here, where I believe we can in a way combine Block's and Rothbard's respective analyses.

Since this is not merely a promise of slavery and it is in fact an actual transfer of title force could be justified to amend the situation. They key lies in answering the second question that was posed above. Should the slave owner be allowed to use force to continue the enslavement?

Now, finally, for that caveat. Here I agree with Rothbard, that force should NOT be used to enforce the enslavement unless there's no other way in which to repay the original owner. That is why I disagree with Block on the account that IF the slave COULD repay the owner by returning to whatever work he pleased this should be done.

So, you can contractually become a slave and transfer title. If at some later date you decide you do not want to become a slave the will and control of your body allows you to do so. But this comes with the consequence of paying back the slave owner for whatever time you owe.

Perhaps this is exactly what both are saying though and if so I hope to have at least given you a thorough analysis on the possibility of voluntary slavery, one in which you can come up with your own conclusions.

1Rothbard, Ethics of Liberty, pp. 40-41