Liberty Requires Revolution

On February 21, an author known as Mr. Underhill published an article in which he argues that revolution is not the appropriate method for achieving liberty. It was then republished at Liberty.me in a column by people who, judging by their other articles, should know better. In this rebuttal, I will argue that revolution is not only an appropriate method, but the only possible method.

Underhill’s Case

Underhill begins by denouncing the stereotype of the bomb-throwing, omnicidal anarcho-communist, and rightly so. He then notes that some right-libertarians, such as Christopher Cantwell, also advocate violent revolution. (His dig at Cantwell for supporting Donald Trump is ill-informed, though better-informed criticism on this point is valid.) Most of the rest of the article denounces the tactic of armed rebellion on the grounds that it has historically resulted in a greater degree of statism.

Underhill begins with the English Revolution (better known as the English Civil War), and the use of this term to refer to the execution of Charles I and rule of Oliver Cromwell is a Marxist historical revision. Contrary to Underhill’s claim that a great part of the property in private hands was seized, Austin Woolrych[1] notes that “painstaking research in county after county, in local record offices and family archives, has revealed that the changes in the ownership of real estate, and hence in the composition of the governing class, were nothing like as great as used to be thought.” While Cromwell was generally more oppressive than Charles I, Charles II was generally less oppressive than either Charles I or Cromwell.

Underhill’s description of the French Revolution is quite incomplete, and this leads to inaccuracies such as treating the rise of Napoleon as part of the French Revolution when in fact, he had to engineer a coup against the French Revolution in order to take power. Underhill also neglects to mention Napoleon’s positive achievements, such as the Napoleonic Code, the first abolition of the Spanish Inquisition, promotion of equal rights under law, and hastening the end of feudalism.

In his description of the Whiskey Rebellion following the American Revolution, Underhill actually undermines his argument by citing an example where a failure to engage in violent revolt led to a more powerful state. Had the rebels at their greatest extent marched against Washington’s forces, they stood a decent chance of defeating him in battle, which would have dealt a major blow to the power of the United States government, perhaps even a fatal one. Underhill also commits a factual error; the Whiskey Rebellion was not a non-violent affair. Some tax collectors were whipped, tarred, feathered, and run out of town. Three or four rebels were killed, along with two neutral civilians.

Instances like these are indeed why revolutionaries must seek to abolish state power rather than to wield it. Underhill attempts to rebut this idea with several fallacious arguments. First, he says that revolution against a powerful state historically does not succeed. The idea that something which has yet to happen must be impossible is a logical fallacy. If this idea were true, then there would be no innovation whatever and we would still be in the same state of affairs as our primitive ancestors. This sort of historical determinism is a sign that one lacks courage and imagination, especially the former. This argument is also a straw man because anarchists are not calling for revolution against a powerful state, but against weak states which only appear to be powerful. And even if this were not so, the idea that “peoples never rebel against a power which squeezes the life out of them and grinds them underfoot” is exactly wrong. The truth is as stated in the Declaration of Independence:

“[A]ll experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Until conditions become such that survival demands revolution, most people are not in the proper mindset to overthrow a government. Notably, famines were precursors to both the French and Russian revolutions.

Speaking of the Russian Revolution, Underhill misunderstands this as well. Once again, he conflates two revolutions into one. The February Revolution deposed Tsar Nicholas II and established Menshevik rule, then the October Revolution deposed the Mensheviks in favor of Vladimir Lenin. While the original communist ideal is a stateless society, it is much different from the sort of anarcho-capitalist society that is the desire of those who truly seek liberty. Note also that anarcho-communism is only the final step, and although Karl Marx and Lenin did speak of violence, the elimination of the state in communist ideology was not universally understood as a violent transition. Friedrich Engels writes[2],

“The interference of the state power in social relations becomes superfluous in one sphere after another, and then ceases of itself. The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things and the direction of the processes of production. The state is not ‘abolished’; it withers away.”

Underhill fails to mention instances of violent political revolution which work against his argument. The Irish War of Independence neither increased the power of the British state in Ireland nor led to an Irish state more oppressive than the British state. The Romanian Revolution overthrew the despotic Ceausescu regime and led to much greater economic freedom. The case that historical revolutions result in growth of the state is further weakened by the fact that the state has generally grown regardless of whether revolutions occur.

A Different Revolution

With Underhill’s empirics refuted, let us consider the nature of a libertarian revolution. The word ‘revolution’ is defined as “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.” Historically, this new system has been another government, but this need not be the case. This definition leaves room for a stateless system which would be brought about by an anti-political revolution and maintained by a culture of resistance to any effort to reintroduce statism.

The Nature of the Problem

The primary reason why revolution is not only a feasible option but a required one is that no other method adequately addresses the problem. Those who bankroll political campaigns receive a far better return on investment than they would receive from any free market use of capital, and if they did not make such donations, their business rivals would. Wielding political power causes the same biochemical responses as drug abuse. There are people who carry weapons in the name of the state for the purpose of enforcing the edicts of politicians because they lack the skills and temperament to be productive members of society. There is a dependent class of people who have become accustomed to existing parasitically upon the productive members of society. In sum, the state is too valuable to give up for those who benefit from it, so they will not do so without a fight. As such, any strategy that does not deal with the fact that an institution based upon initiatory force will use force to counter attempts to remove and/or dismantle it is doomed to failure. In particular, various libertarians propose using electoral methods, agorism, cryptography, seasteading, civil disobedience, education, and peaceful parenting to end the state. Let us explore the faults of each of these methods.

Helpful Non-Solutions

Properly understood, libertarianism is antithetical to any kind of statism, but is particularly opposed to democracy. To quote Hans-Hermann Hoppe, democracy promotes shortsightedness, capital waste, irresponsibility, and moral relativism. Whereas a monarch (or any other private property owner with allodial title) owns the capital stock of the property, elected officials serve as temporary stewards. This means that while an allodial title holder is incentivized to care for property to preserve it as an inheritance and capital good, an elected official is incentivized to plunder property while he or she can. Democracy encourages moral relativism by replacing objective ethics with an appeal to the masses. The results of the electoral process are all around us, and they are unquestionably disastrous. To quote Albert Einstein, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we (or our forefathers) used when we (or they) created them. Democracy as a strategy for libertarians either requires uncomfortable truths to be more popular than comforting lies, or for hundreds of anarcho-capitalists to win elections under false pretenses. Even if the matter could be reduced to a simple referendum on the continued operation of the state apparatus, it would still require a majority of voters to support it in order to be successful.

Agorists and crypto-anarchists have the idea that using black and gray markets instead of state-approved markets can starve the state of funds and cause its demise. This method ignores limitations of scale; there are some industrial endeavors which simply cannot be performed entirely outside of Leviathan’s watchful eye. Perversely, a black market can even be counterproductive toward the goal of libertarian revolution, granting people the means to suffer evils rather than allowing them to face the stark choice of revolution or death. We have also seen that the state is faster to react to agorist and crypto-anarchist activity than Konkin thought; the example of Ross Ulbricht is instructive here. Finally, agorism is actually not a non-violent strategy as originally conceived. Konkin wrote that in the final stage of his strategy, black-market agencies use force to defend against the state, and this is the sort of violent revolution being defended here.

Some libertarians believe that escaping to the oceans will save us from statism. (The far more starry-eyed idea of colonizing space for libertarian purposes also belongs here.) The idea is to colonize the oceans by building permanent dwellings on the high seas outside of the territory claimed by any government. This would create an anarchist control zone that allows anyone to make an effort to live there, escape the state, and build a better future for oneself and one’s descendants. This is all well and good, but it fails to account for the response of governments. Governments do not have a track record of going gently into the night or of tolerating existential threats. If history is any guide, then the response by governments to seasteads that are brain-draining, talent-draining, youth-draining, and investment-draining their territories will be to initiate the use of force against them. When a government warship approaches a seastead and makes demands, the residents will have three options: they can give in, which defeats the purpose of the seastead; they can refuse and be sunk, which also defeats the purpose of the seastead; or they can defend themselves against the warship, thus resulting in a violent revolution.

Another method of resistance is civil disobedience, in which people refuse to obey laws until force is brought to bear. Civil disobedience is a better option than democracy, in that less than a voting majority could stop a government. But the historical examples frequently cited, those of the struggle for Indian independence from the British and the American civil rights movement, were anything but civil. In both cases, multitudes of demonstrators were violently victimized by government agents. Remaining peaceful in the face of violent oppression only ensures that aggressors are empowered, victims are weakened, and onlookers are given an example of government violence as a solution to the “problem” of disobedience. As taking civil disobedience to its logical conclusion requires the protesters to tolerate lethal violence being used against them while not fighting back or fleeing, most large attempts at civil disobedience result in either a defeat of the disobedient or an escalation to violent revolution.

Lastly, the strategy of relying upon education and peaceful parenting to defeat the state is essentially a surrender. To fall back upon this option is to write off a solution as impossible in our lifetimes, thus passing the problem on to our progeny. While it is true that if children were raised to initiate the use of reason rather than the use of force, the state would cease to function due to a lack of people willing to act on its behalf, statists will also be breeding and raising their children violently while libertarians try to raise a better next generation. This is also the worst solution in terms of the number of people required for success. Long before this strategy alone would succeed, a democratic effort would be successful, and the other methods all work before voting the state out of existence would.

None of this is to suggest that the above methods are useless. But at best, they will not defeat the state by themselves. At worst, they ease some of the pain of oppression, which gives people less incentive to end it. Their purpose, if any, must be to weaken the state and grow the population and resources of libertarians to such an extent that revolution becomes feasible, then to aid a revolutionary effort. In preparation for revolution, the electoralist should seek to elect politicians who will obstruct the passage of laws and budgets. The agorist or crypto-anarchist should find ways to sell illegal goods and services that directly target the state, such as forbidden arms and political assassinations. The seasteader should research ways to sink government warships and down government aircraft. The protester should plan events which can cripple infrastructure that is vital to the state but not to the general population. The educator should show people why the use of self-defense against government is no less legitimate than the use of self-defense against a common criminal. The peaceful parent should raise children to view the state as an alien parasite worthy only of destruction.

An Artificial Vacuum

Those who study physics will learn that nature abhors a vacuum. This is often said in politics as well; when a powerful leader is overthrown or a state fails, other actors seek to take for themselves the power that those people and institutions once had. Another lesson from physics is essential to understand what must be done in order to end the state. While it is true that no perfect vacuum exists, it is also true that a partial vacuum which is sufficient for practical purposes may be artificially maintained by the continuous application of force. The political equivalent of this is the goal of a libertarian revolution. Just as matter is forcefully expelled from a vacuum chamber, the state must be forcefully expelled from a libertarian-controlled area. Once this is done, there will be attempts by government agents (as well as warlords, terrorists, mafiosos, and lone wolf criminals) to re-enter the resulting stateless society in order to establish a new coercive enterprise, just as atoms attempt to re-enter a vacuum chamber and restore atmospheric pressure. These people must be physically removed from the society by the continuous application of defensive force, just as atoms must be continually pumped out of the vacuum chamber. Notably, libertarians have two advantages over the physicist using a vacuum pump. First, a vacuum pump cannot destroy atoms, but a libertarian can kill an aggressor. Second, the physicist will never turn the entire universe outside of the vacuum chamber into a vacuum, but libertarians can come close enough to turning the entire world into a libertarian-controlled area to be able to live all but free from aggressive violence while standing by to eliminate any new threat.

This method has advantages over the methods described above. Whereas peaceful parenting requires a vast majority, democracy requires a majority (or at least a plurality), and the other methods require large minorities, the people who carry guns on behalf of the state for the purpose of enforcing the edicts of rulers is rarely more than 1 percent of the population in modern nation-states. There are many historical examples of larger forces being defeated by smaller forces, so defeating the enforcement classes may not even require 1 percent of the population. Whereas the other methods either fail when force is brought to bear or deteriorate into violent conflict, a libertarian revolution deals with the problem of state aggression directly by not only defending against it, but by subjecting aggressors to a taste of their own medicine. Whereas the other methods require peacefully convincing a large number of people to support a movement, a libertarian revolution only requires convincing them not to oppose it so strongly as to bring overwhelming force to bear against it. The revolutionaries can operate almost entirely in secret, while at least some government agents and buildings must be identifiable in order to carry out their functions. While a statist revolutionary movement would require an overt presence, people who simply wish to rid their communities of statism do not. And contrary to Underhill, peace talks are not inevitably required at the end of such a conflict; in fact, the approach of an anti-political revolution followed by a culture of resistance makes such talks impossible. At the conclusion of a decentralized revolution, there is no leader with whom the statists may negotiate for peace. They must simply stop committing crimes under color of law and make restitution for the crimes they have committed or be physically removed from the libertarian-controlled area.

Objections

Naturally, such a bold approach will invite criticism. Let us address some of the most common objections to libertarian revolution.

The enemy is too technologically superior to defeat militarily.

For most high-tech attackers, there exist low-tech defenses which can be effective. Proper uses of terrain and stealth can blunt the advantages of government forces, as can hiding among the civilian population. If government forces resort to their usual methods, the result would be a large amount of civilian blood on the state’s hands, and if abroad examples of blowback are anything to go by, this will motivate surviving relatives of the dead civilians to join the effort to end the state. The most destructive government tactics, such as weapons of mass destruction and large-scale carpet bombing, are out of the question if statists care about winning because these destroy their own infrastructure and sources of sustenance. Also, a domestic deployment could endanger family members and friends of the soldiers, leading to loss of morale, disobedience of orders, and defections to the anarchist cause. Finally, a soldier who fights overseas hardly ever faces reprisals after the war by those who were victimized. But if a government fielded its military domestically, it would be much easier for the details of a person’s military service to be recorded and publicized by alternative media, resulting in a soldier having to watch out for revenge-seekers for the rest of his or her life even if the revolution fails.

Engaging the enemy on their terms will certainly end in disaster, but engaging them on our terms has a much more favorable outlook. Note that one could also argue that the enemy is too technologically superior to defeat peacefully. The whole argument reeks of nihilistic laziness.

Libertarians will be viewed as terrorists.

This is a concern to a certain degree. The actions of revolutionaries must be carefully planned to avoid unnecessary collateral damage, as collateral damage plays into the state’s hands. The side that is viewed as terrorists and oppressors, as well as the side that is viewed as heroes and saviors, are determined mostly by who wins. Might does not make right but it does make outcomes, and history is written by the victors.

The public is likely to resist a libertarian revolution.

This is not nearly the concern that it appears to be. While electoral results may make it seem like there is strong opposition to libertarian anarchism, the ultimate reason that people are voting on ballots is that they fear the consequences of voting with bullets. If the option of voting with ballots is taken away from them, then the public is left with the options of either living peacefully or trying to perform the crimes of the state themselves, and their current behavior shows that they fear the latter.

If you force liberty upon people, they are not really free.

The only time that force can legitimately be used within the non-aggression principle is in an act of defensive violence to stop aggressors, reclaim stolen property, make criminals perform restitution, etc. Thus, forcing liberty upon people would only occur when people commit aggressions and are met with defensive force. As such, forcing liberty upon people is compatible with the non-aggression principle. Furthermore, let us remember that because the non-aggression principle is a logical construct, it is subject to logic in the form of consistent application. In the case of statists, anarchists may impose liberty upon them because statists impose statism upon anarchists, thereby estopping themselves from complaining that force is being used to impose a way of life upon them.

If libertarians can do this, then so could someone else, like a group of statist communists.

This is true, and it demonstrates that the nation-state model of providing security is woefully inadequate. This is actually an argument in favor of ending the state monopoly on military defense in favor of market competition.

What protects your revolution from the next one?

The only thing that can; a population that is willing to fight, die, and most importantly, kill in order to defend its way of life against anyone who would try to establish any kind of new dominion over them.

How will co-option be prevented?

This is certainly a concern, as intelligent statists know that the best way to defeat opposition is to lead it themselves. The only way to be sure is to have a truly decentralized revolution with no top-down leadership. If libertarians look for a charismatic leader against the state, then we will get him, and we will yet again fail to solve the problem because we will demonstrate a lack of understanding of the problem.

Why don’t you start shooting?

The personnel and resources necessary for victory are not yet assembled. Moving too soon plays into the state’s hands. A losing revolution will only give the state more cause to grow and sour the reputation of libertarianism.

How will one know when it is time?

It has been time since the first states began. But the meaning of this question is more likely to be, how will one know that the personnel and resources necessary for victory are available? If enough people are willing to carry out a libertarian revolution, then more people than that will be helping the revolutionaries but not taking up arms, and more people than that will be speaking favorably of revolution without taking action toward that end. The signs of the times will therefore be obvious.

Conclusion

The state is the most evil institution ever devised by humans, and its demise is required in order for humanity to survive and prosper. It makes war upon us, regardless of whether we make war upon it. While some of its agents can be reasoned with, others speak only the language of force, and they must be communicated with in their native tongue. If our enemies will use force and we will not, then we will lose conflicts and negotiate from a position of weakness. If we are to negotiate, let us negotiate from a position of strength. If we are to resist, let us do so boldly. If we are serious about ending the state, let us do what is required for success.

References:

  1. Austin Woolrych (2002), Britain in Revolution, 1625–1660. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 794.
  2. “Withering Away of the State.” In The Encyclopedia of Political Science, edited by George Thomas Kurian. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2011.

Charlotte City Council Takes A Stand Against Liberty

On February 22, the Charlotte City Council approved an expansion of its anti-discrimination ordinance by a 7-4 vote. It will be forbidden by law as of April 1 for places of housing and public accommodation (such as stores, restaurants, bars, and taxis, but not public schools) inside Charlotte city limits to refuse service to LGBT people on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. The ordinance already forbids discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, and religion. More controversially, the ordinance allows transgender people to use the restroom or locker room of their choice, depending on whether they identify as male or female.

In March 2015, proposed changes to the anti-discrimination ordinance without the restroom provision failed by a 5-6 vote. Since then, two new council members were elected, both of whom voted to support the changes. The expanded ordinance is the first of its kind in North Carolina.

Governor Pat McCrory and House Speaker Tim Moore have spoken of “legislative intervention to correct this radical course,” which would occur when the legislature’s next scheduled session begins in late April. The North Carolina General Assembly has ultimate power over municipalities and can strike down all or part of any local ordinance.

Most opposition to the ordinance changes comes either from religious freedom arguments or from concerns that pedophiles and other sexual predators would take advantage of the ordinance to gain entry to women’s facilities or men’s facilities with children in them in order to commit sexual crimes. Supporters of the ordinance changes claim that such fears are not borne out in available evidence and that transgender people are currently at risk of being attacked in restrooms and locker rooms.

While all establishment media attention is focused on the LGBT rights, religious freedom, and potential crime aspects of this event, no attention has been given to a secular argument against this measure on the grounds of private property and freedom of association. When a government decrees that private property owners who run a business within their property must serve people despite their individual preferences not to do so, this is both a violation of private property and a form of forced association. (This is no surprise of course, as private property rights and freedom of association both require anarchy, and we are far from that as of this writing.) While we may decry certain forms of discrimination as ignorant bigotry, this is no excuse for asking the state to initiate the use of force against people to turn their private properties into de facto common spaces simply because they reject civil standards of values and/or have legitimate safety concerns.

The correct action to take, if any at all, is to speak out against and socioeconomically ostracize people who disagree with one’s strongly held positions on issues. In a free market, bigots are punished because they relinquish customers and employees who have the traits against which the bigot is prejudiced as well as customers and employees who are sufficiently offended by said prejudice to ostracize the bigot. This is more than a linear relationship, as those who cannot or will not obtain goods, services, and employment from the bigot will be likely to do so from other providers who are not bigoted rather than do without. This will not only impoverish the bigot, but enrich his competitors. The eventual result is that bigots cannot compete with those who are not bigoted, and must either renounce their bigotry or go out of business.

Unfortunately, seven members of the Charlotte City Council have decided that granting special privileges is more important than protecting private property, freedom of association, public safety, and freedom of religion.

The not-so-scary implications of arguments against open borders

On February 16, Jason Brennan published an article arguing that arguments made by libertarians against open borders have disturbing implications that said libertarians almost never address, such as advocacy of censorship, voting restrictions, eugenics, internal migration restrictions, etc. In this rebuttal, I will address these implications and show on a point-by-point basis that some such implications are not only not so scary, but are actually vitally important to the maintenance of a libertarian social order.

“Closing borders is in the first instance a form of economic protectionism. When we close borders, we forbid people from making willing, mutually-beneficial trades with one another.”

Not necessarily. People can engage in economic activity with one another without crossing a border by either having someone else ship goods between them or having some neutral location in which economic activity may take place.

“At first glance, it looks like we’re violating a right of freedom of movement and a right of freedom of association. Perhaps such restrictions can be justified, but we need a good reason.”

Such restrictions can be justified, and a good reason is that forbidding such restrictions violates private property rights as well as the freedom of association of the property owners who do not wish to associate with immigrants. The only exception is for immigrants or refugees who are going to a place where they are welcome but must pass through territory where they are unwelcome in order to get there. In this case, the right to life must be weighed against the right to property. The right to life is clearly superior to the right to property; the exercise of property rights requires one to be alive, and that which is dependent cannot overrule that upon which it is dependent. The result is that immigrants may travel through territory where they are unwelcome if it is impossible for them to get to the destination where they are welcome without traveling through territory where they are unwelcome. This right of emergency easement is subject to some restrictions which can easily be deduced from the above:

  1. If there is any other path, they must take it and avoid the territory in which they are unwelcome.
  2. While in the property of those who do not welcome them, they must not threaten in any way the ability of the property owner(s) to stay alive, as their rights to life cannot overrule the property owner’s right to life.
  3. The immigrants must show as much respect as possible for private property by moving as fast as possible through territory where they are unwelcome and using no more resources from the property than they must in order to stay alive.

“But now look at the reasons people give, and ask whether these reasons imply not merely that we should close borders, but that we may do a whole host of other illiberal things. Consider:

We need to close borders to maintain a liberal culture. If you think so, then to maintain a liberal culture, you should also in principle be willing to censor certain points of view, or forbid or ban certain religions. You might also favor forced indoctrination into liberal ideas.

We need to maintain our distinctive culture. Again, if that’s a good reason to close borders, why is it not also a good reason to censor certain ideas, ban certain forms of music, or ban certain religions? Why not mandate that people support and participate in certain cultural practices? Why not require people to speak certain languages at home, or read certain books?”

Clearly, using illiberal means to maintain a liberal culture is inherently contradictory. But the goal of a libertarian should be the maintenance of a libertarian social order, not a liberal one. Therefore, let us address the objections with this goal in mind.

Maintaining a distinctive culture is a good reason to restrict immigration. A society does not exist in and of itself; it is a mental abstraction and grammatical shorthand to refer to each person within a certain geographical area. Adding people of a fundamentally different disposition to an area will make the society there have a greater resemblance to the place where the immigrants originated. It is amazing that so many libertarians fail to understand this, given the effort to change the culture of New Hampshire in a libertarian direction by increasing the number of libertarians there. By the same reasoning, importing communists or Islamists will change the culture of a community in those directions, and those directions are anti-libertarian.

The implication that certain ideas should be censored, or that certain cultural practices should be required, is consistent with a libertarian understanding of private property. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains in Democracy: The God That Failed, a community established for the protection of libertarian values (self-ownership, liberty, property) cannot abide the promotion of ideas which are fundamentally opposed to these goals. This means that no right to unlimited free speech exists because like other liberty rights, it should not be used to violate private property rights and freedom of association.

We need to prevent domestic wages from falling. If so, would you (if the facts turned out the right way) also forbid women from entering certain jobs?”

There is no need to do this. In a free market, egalitarian nonsense will be defeated by rational incentives which respect inherent biological differences between the genders, such as the greater standard deviation in intelligence test results and the greater average physical strength for males versus females. The result that fields which require high intelligence and/or great physical strength will be male-dominated (though not male-exclusive) will be understood as natural rather than demonized as sexist.

“Immigrants won’t vote the right way. If you find that persuasive, then in principle you should be open to forbidding certain parties, banning certain people from voting, or engaging in political censorship.”

Properly understood, libertarianism is antithetical to any kind of statism, but is particularly opposed to democracy. To quote Hoppe, democracy promotes shortsightedness, capital waste, irresponsibility, and moral relativism. Whereas a monarch (or any other private property owner with allodial title) owns the capital stock of the property, elected officials serve as temporary stewards. This means that while an allodial title holder is incentivized to care for property to preserve it as an inheritance and capital good, an elected official is incentivized to plunder property while he or she can. Democracy encourages moral relativism by replacing objective ethics with an appeal to the masses. A libertarian strategist would be wise to seek to ban certain people from voting, as the perverse incentives of democracy grow as democracy becomes more inclusive. As discussed above, censorship is consistent with a libertarian understanding of private property.

Immigrants will cause crime. Isn’t this also an argument for eugenics or for internal migration restrictions? For instance, should New Hampshire ban young black men from Washington, DC [statistically more likely to commit crime than the average New Hampshirite] from moving there? If banning rap music reduced crime, would you favor that?”

People have a right to defend themselves from aggression, and they may do so by politically incorrect means as long as those means are consistent with libertarianism. Eugenics as historically practiced by states flagrantly violates the non-aggression principle, but passive forms of eugenics (aka allowing people to suffer the consequences of their poor decision-making) are permissible. The state of New Hampshire should not ban people based on race or censor rap music, but a private property owner or covenant community thereof should be free to do so within their private property.

Immigrants will eat up the welfare state or consume too many public goods. Is this not also an argument for restricting births, or forbidding internal migration, or even requiring some people to give birth?”

No, this is an argument for ending the welfare state and privatizing all public goods.

We have a right to self-determination, and we may choose to exclude people. Is this not also an argument that ‘we’ may choose to exclude some people from having children?”

This is only true in a certain sense. The rules of a covenant community may include anything from prohibitions to requirements concerning childbirth. As long as everyone who formed the covenant agreed to it voluntarily, the penalty for violating it could be expulsion from the property or any other punitive measure that does not violate the right to life of the parents or children.

We collectively own our institutions and may exclude people, or dictate the terms on which they associate with us. If so, doesn’t this also license us to do pretty much whatever we want, including censoring people, forbidding some from having children, and so on?”

This argument assumes that a collective exists and has ownership of the government, which is another collective. To exist is to have a concrete, particular form in physical reality. To say that abstract objects exist is to beg the question of where they exist, to which there is no answer because there is no empirically observable entity. To say that collectives exist is beg the question of what physical form they take, as all available physical forms are occupied by the individuals which are said to comprise the collective. Thus, there is no “we”; there is only you, I, and every other individual person. By the same token, the government does not exist; each person, each building, each gun, etc. exists. Additionally, to own something is to have a right of exclusive control over it. Part and parcel of this right is the right to physically destroy that which one owns. As governments use force to stop citizens who attempt to physically destroy the state, the citizens are not the de facto owners of a government.

“Now, perhaps the defender of immigration restrictions can come up with plausible accounts of why immigration restrictions are permissible, but then explain why they are not committed (at least in principle) to these other illiberal policies.”

This is unnecessary because there are good reasons to commit to other illiberal policies, at least within the confines of one’s private property or a covenant community.

“But one thing I’ve noticed, when reading the various arguments philosophers and others have put forward for immigration restrictions, is that they almost never bother to explain why not. They make broad arguments that have scary implications, arguments that do not specifically show that we may close borders, but arguments that, if sound, imply all sorts of illiberal things. But the authors of these arguments just don’t notice where their arguments lead.”

To conclude, such implications are not only not so scary, but are actually vitally important to the maintenance of a libertarian social order. Libertarianism requires borders, as private property cannot exist without them. Private property may be used in an illiberal or even tyrannical way by its owners, but the alternative of embracing open borders is not freedom; it is totalitarian statism.

Why I have parted ways with Examiner

Readers of my Examiner columns will notice that no new articles have appeared in my columns since late January 2016. There are many reasons for this, and a detailed explanation is necessary both for the edification of my readers and the staff at Examiner.

When I first learned about Examiner in December 2011, I had been without any kind of employment for 18 months. My plans to become a doctor of physics had fallen through, and the dismal economy had no opportunities for me. At the time, I thought that Examiner was a way for me to make my own opportunity and become a better writer. It is good for any profession to have a developmental league, and it was my hope that Examiner would be this for writers. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Over the past four years, the conditions at Examiner have progressively gotten worse and my writing skills have grown in spite of Examiner rather than because of it. Let us explore the details of these events in rough chronological order.

The great promise of Internet media is that it can serve as an alternative to the establishment lapdog media, providing a place where formerly censored viewpoints can be expressed and articles which the rich and powerful would see suppressed can be shared. It is unfortunate and regrettable that Examiner has failed to fulfill this great promise, being instead willing to guide its writers in a pro-establishment direction and censor articles toward this end. For example, an editorial initiative released on May 1, 2012 directed writers to treat the presidential election as Obama-Romney only, even though Ron Paul had not been eliminated in the delegate race and there were third party candidates with enough ballot access to have a mathematical chance. An effort on my part to point out this bias resulted in my first censored article at Examiner.

As the 2012 election neared, my traffic at Examiner reached its peak, getting me new subscribers and more pay than I received before or since. After the election, I began writing more philosophical pieces and felt the need to separate these from my news articles. When I split my Libertarian Examiner title into Libertarian News Examiner and Libertarian Philosophy Examiner, my subscribers were not moved over, costing me a significant amount of traffic and revenue. I filed support tickets to solve this problem, and these were denied.

After this, there was a change to the criteria for news articles. Whereas the original standard required that the article contain information that had become available in the past 72 hours, this was tightened to 48 hours. A limit was also added to how many articles could be published on an event. These standards can limit an author’s ability to write about events that develop slowly, and can cause thoughtful and intelligent articles to be censored just because a faster author who wrote a shorter and less informative piece took one of the slots for newsworthy articles on a particular topic. These standards led to several of my articles being unpublished from Examiner without recourse, some of which did not actually violate the standards. Again, I filed support tickets to solve this problem. These received generic, seemingly automated responses which did not even address my specific objections. This would become the new normal at Examiner, following a period when people would actually answer and resolve support tickets.

In 2015, an article review process was established for all articles which is much more extensive than any previous review process. Notably, writers are discouraged in the new site guidelines from writing more than 1,500 words, and reviewers tell authors to stay under 1,100 words. This provides no room for an author to engage in deep discussion of a topic and steers the direction of the entire Examiner site in the direction of click-bait. My articles were held up on several occasions because of this, but that was not as bad as outright refusal to publish two controversial pieces of mine. As a private company, they have the right to decide what will or will not appear on their website, but their rationale in the first case (and lack of rationale in the second) is a legitimate target for criticism. The review feedback said,

“It appears as though your article contains content that we feel readers may find offensive, objectionable or outright libelous.”

First, it is legally impossible to libel the dead, and a reputable news organization should know this. Second, even if a deceased plaintiff were not a defense against libel, truth is. Third, objectionability is in the eye of the beholder, namely the reader. Rather than let their readers decide and inform them if it is objectionable, they decided to believe themselves to be smarter than the audience. Finally, being offended is for people who cannot control their emotions in the face of uncomfortable truths and expect others to do it for them.

(Ultimately, this article may be censored by Examiner as well, but doing so would only strengthen my arguments herein. As it will appear on my other publishing sites, it will not even hide the article from the public.)

Finally, there is the issue of payment. While Examiner claims to pay a competitive rate, Examiners rarely earn more than a pittance, with only the top few being able to make anything resembling a living there. This has gotten worse over time; incentives have disappeared, overall site views have declined to such an extent that I am still in the top five Examiners from my region without publishing in almost a month, and actions taken to attempt to remedy this have only served to drive away writers, as described above. The Examiner staff also does not seem to understand that advising authors to spam social media with their links can get sites to ban posts that contain links to Examiner content, as Reddit has done.

With all of that being said, it is not too late for Examiner to be turned around, saved from failure, and turned into the development site for new writers that it could have been for all of this time. But it is time for me to move up and move on. Toward that end, I began posting content from my Libertarian Philosophy Examiner title at Liberty.me in December 2014. This gained me a wider audience, an article picked up at ZeroHedge, and better constructive criticism than I ever received at Examiner. In January 2016, I created my own site in order to go independent. I invite my readers from Examiner to join me as I begin this new adventure.

UPDATE 1: Within a few hours of publishing this article at Examiner.com, the article was taken down and my account was locked. My time at Examiner is officially over. This comes as no surprise, of course; I did the online equivalent of quitting a job, returning to the premises a month later, and posting a lengthy critique of management where both employees and customers can read it. But rather than address these concerns now after their failure to address them over the past four years, their response indicates that they seem to be fine with losing quality authors and tanking the site into irrelevancy. Quite a shame, really.

UPDATE 2: On July 10, 2016, Examiner.com ceased operations. All content disappeared, meaning that authors who did not keep archives or publish elsewhere lost their work. It seems that my ability to spot imminent decline and failure is sound.

The Decline Of Twitter (And What To Do About It)

Since its launch in July 2006, Twitter has become the go-to online short message service and has broken into the top ten websites by traffic amount. The site grew rapidly over the next five years, going from 5,000 tweets per day in 2007 to 140 million tweets per day in 2011. But the growth would not last. The company reached a peak of around 300 million users in early 2015 and has failed to grow past that point. The company fired its chief executive, Dick Costolo, in June 2015 and replaced him with Jack Dorsey, its founding chief executive who had himself been fired in 2008. Its share price has tumbled from $44.90 at its IPO in 2013 to $15.89 on Feb. 12, 2016.

Several incidents have occurred recently that are clearly harming Twitter’s reputation. Censorship of content that is inconvenient for government officials has long been a problem on Twitter. With the migrant crisis in Europe, Twitter policies against hate speech have been used to censor reports of sexual assaults by migrants against European women. In 2015, Twitter installed content filters that censor the news feeds of users without their consent. More has been done to protect social justice warriors than to keep terrorists from using Twitter as a recruitment tool. More recently, Twitter has targeted conservatives by unverifying Milo Yiannapoulos and locking Adam Baldwin’s account for what are apparently political motivations. Finally, the new Trust and Safety Council contains many of the prominent leftist enemies of free speech and full rational discussion, along with a few promoters of general discord and derangement. Among them are the Anti-Defamation League, Beyond Blue, the Dangerous Speech Project, Feminist Frequency, GLAAD, Hollaback, and the Wahid Institute. Notably absent are any conservative, pro-white, pro-Christian, or pro-male groups.

Many of these problems are not unique to Twitter, but are merely examples of the rise of the social justice warrior and the inevitable reaction to them. The persecution complex, lack of social skills, sense of entitlement, desire to engage in counter-oppression, and desire to avoid responsibility for one’s actions that social justice warriors typically exhibit has manifested on Twitter through the equivocation of simple disagreement with threatening harassment; the positive expression of personal preferences and identities as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism; and the statement of uncomfortable truths as all of the above. The Twitter Rules are written in a such a sufficiently vague way as to allow their interpretation to further the aforementioned actions. In sum, what has happened is in accordance with Robert Conquest’s three laws of politics, specifically the second; any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing. The result is such an obviously contradictory position as was enunciated by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, for which most commenters correctly castigated him:

“Twitter stands for freedom of expression, speaking truth to power, and empowering dialogue. That starts with safety.”

This brings to mind Conquest’s third law; the simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of the enemies of the stated purpose of that organization.

Before discussing what to do about this problem, there are some objections worth addressing. First, although Twitter is a private corporation, it is not a free market institution. Free markets require anarchy, and we are far from that. Second, like all other companies at present, Twitter is mostly operated, used, and financed by people who have been indoctrinated in government weekday prisons to believe in statism and leftism. As a publicly traded company, Twitter is subject to a multitude of regulations that do not affect privately owned companies and is influenced by investors. For example, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal owns over 5 percent of Twitter, and his influence increases the likelihood that criticism of Islam or Muslims will subject a Twitter user to disciplinary action, even if unwarranted by the rules. Third, within a libertarian framework, Twitter has the right to engage in censorship, but people are free to take action against it that is within the non-aggression principle, such as criticism and ostracism.

With the problem described and the caveats addressed, let us examine some possible solutions. The first and most obvious solution can be implemented by Twitter itself. As Bretigne Shaffer notes, there is no singular proper balance between free expression and protection from abuse. As such, multiple balances must be made available. This would involve having several modes of interactions, ranging from a mode that is safe even for young children all the way up to a mode that only excludes clearly illegal behavior. A user would choose which mode in which to operate and posting content beyond that mode would get that user pushed into a more mature mode, perhaps permanently. This is how a free market institution with rational actors would work to solve the legitimate issues on Twitter. Unfortunately, as described above, this is not what we have. Therefore, let us consider some other options.

The next three options can be carried out by Twitter’s users. The alt-right community on Twitter has had success in its efforts to flood the platform with politically incorrect hashtags, to the extent that #ISaluteWhitePeople, #BringBackThePatriarchy, #AbolishDemocracy, and #FeminismIsCancer all trended in the second half of 2015. A mass revolt by Twitter users could keep content of this nature (or any other politically incorrect nature) atop the trends faster than Twitter staff could react. Another option is to use the cashtag $TWTR in such a manner, which can put such activity in front of investors who use the tag to look for news about the site and its stock price. A large enough action of this type could even have the same effect as a denial-of-service attack. Of course, these methods are likely to get many users banned, but this is not much of a problem. The prevalence of Islamic State-affiliated accounts on Twitter shows that it is also possible to create new accounts faster than Twitter staff can ban them.

Investors can play a role in fixing Twitter as well. As the stock prices fall, people are necessarily buying and selling stock. This provides an opportunity for investors who oppose leftism in general and social justice warriors in particular to gain influence in the company, and perhaps even seats on the board of directors. This influence could be wielded to reverse the recent disturbing changes in policy, or even to oust Jack Dorsey (again).

If all else fails, there is always the option to create a rival platform and drive Twitter out of business. If Twitter’s leadership is intent on turning the platform into a safe space, then other platforms will be available to cater to the castoffs from this policy. If this happens, then Twitter’s stock will continue to plummet and its user base as well as its value to advertisers will continue to decline. To quote Shaffer,

“The company does not have to decide whether all of its users get chocolate or whether they all get vanilla. It can allow users to choose their own flavors. And if it’s going to survive, it’s going to have to.”

Would Ron Paul Have Defeated Barack Obama? An Educated Guess

On Nov. 6, 2012, President Obama defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney by an Electoral College margin of 332−206, with the following electoral map.

2012_RomneyObama

But what if the Republican establishment had not gotten behind Romney from the beginning? What if Ron Paul had been the Republican nominee? Could he have defeated Obama in the general election? Let us look at the available data and attempt to answer this question. Before we begin, we must note that this analysis cannot account for the completely different general election campaign and debates that would have occurred between Obama and Paul, the possibility that an establishment Republican-type candidate would have run on a third-party ticket and gained significant support in the event of a Paul nomination, or the possibility that establishment Republicans could have acted faithlessly in the Electoral College in the event of a Paul nomination.

Let us begin by listing the major considerations of such a calculation. We start with Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s vote totals, and then add or subtract the following factors as follows:

  1. Add the number of voters who cast a write-in vote for Ron Paul to the Republican column. Let us call this V(Paul).
  2. Add the number of voters who chose not to vote because Ron Paul was not on the ballot to the Republican column. Let us call this V(Disaffected).
  3. Add the number of voters who voted for a third party candidate but would have voted for Paul to the Republican column. Let us call this V(Third).
  4. Add the number of voters who voted for Obama over Romney but would have voted for Paul over Obama to the Republican column. Subtract this number from the Democratic column. Let us call this V(Spite).
  5. Subtract the number of voters who voted for Romney over Obama but would have stayed home or voted for a third party candidate in the event of a Paul nomination from the Republican column. Let us call this V(Die-hard Romney).
  6. Add the number of voters who stayed home or voted for a third party candidate but would have voted for Obama to try to defeat Paul to the Democratic column. Let us call this V(Third Anti-Paul).
  7. Subtract the number of voters who voted for Romney over Obama but would have voted for Obama to try to defeat Paul from the Republican column. Add this number to the Democratic column. Let us call this V(Romney Anti-Paul).
  8. Subtract the number of voters who voted for Obama over Romney but would have stayed home or voted for a third party candidate in the event of a Paul nomination from the Democratic column. Let us call this V(Anti-Romney).

The estimated vote for Ron Paul can be expressed as

V'(Paul)=V(Romney)+V(Paul)+V(Disaffected)+V(Third)+V(Spite)−V(Die-hard Romney)−V(Romney Anti-Paul), (1)

and the estimated Obama vote can be expressed as

V'(Obama)=V(Obama)−V(Spite)+V(Third Anti-Paul)+V(Romney Anti-Paul)−V(Anti-Romney). (2)

Now let us attempt to determine the values of the factors. In states with semi-open (independents allowed, members of other parties not allowed) or closed primary processes (only Republicans allowed), it is necessary to multiply by 1.5 or 2, respectively, in order to account for Paul supporters who were unable to vote for him because of their party affiliation. Let us call this constant the C-value.

V(Paul) can be directly used on a limited basis, as some states do not require a write-in candidate to file a form to be counted as a write-in candidate. In those states, we can simply use the vote count for V(Paul). We can then compare the percentage of the known write-ins to the percentage of votes Paul received in the Republican primaries and caucuses from those states and account for the type of primary or caucus as well as the total number of general election votes to get an average ratio. This ratio is 0.072, and it can be used to estimate V(Paul) for the states that did not count write-in votes for Paul.

V(Disaffected) is impossible to calculate, because there is no way to count a non-vote. This means that an educated guess will have to suffice. Robin Koerner conducted a poll in August 2012 of Paul supporters and found that 12% of Paul supporters intended to do something other than vote for Gary Johnson (66%; this amount is already present in V(Johnson)), write-in Ron Paul (16%), or vote for Mitt Romney (6%; this amount is already present in V(Romney)). As part of this 12% would be supporters of Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode who are accounted for in V(Third), another part would be “spite voters” for Obama who are accounted for in V(Spite), and it is uncharacteristic for Paul supporters to do nothing, it is best to be conservative in our guess of how many Paul supporters decided not to vote at all. A reasonable figure would be 4%. Therefore, V(Disaffected) should be 4% of Paul’s primary vote in states with open primaries or caucuses, where all of Paul’s supporters were free to vote for him. The problem in calculating comes from so-called “Blue Republicans” who were registered Democratic, and were therefore not allowed to vote in closed Republican primaries and caucuses. A survey done in Iowa before the January 3 caucus showed that only 51% of those who supported Ron Paul self-identified as Republicans. In New Hampshire, the figure was 56%. So in semi-open primary and caucus states, V(Disaffected) should be 6% of Paul’s primary vote; and in closed primary and caucus states, V(Disaffected) should be 8% of Paul’s primary vote.

V(Third) mostly consists of Johnson voters, with a few Goode voters mixed in. It is unlikely to include voters who supported Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Peace and Freedom Party nominee Roseanne Barr, or Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson, as they are mostly a far-left element with little interest in an economic and social conservative like Paul. Johnson publicly stated that he would not have continued running if it meant running against Paul as the Republican nominee. Not all Johnson voters would have supported Paul due to a few differences on social issues, but as Paul was the Libertarian nominee in 1988 and is still highly regarded by most people in the Libertarian Party, most of Johnson’s voters would have supported Paul. As for Goode, while Paul did not endorse anyone in 2012, he endorsed Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party nominee, in 2008. Goode received in 2012 about 60% of the votes that Baldwin received in 2008. This appears to indicate that a Paul endorsement can significantly increase a Constitution Party nominee’s turnout. Therefore, let us assign V(Third) a value of 2/3 of Virgil Goode’s vote who are not part of the 12% of Paul supporters mentioned in V(Disaffected), as well as 90% of the Gary Johnson voters who are not part of the 66% of Paul supporters mentioned in V(Disaffected). Perhaps 4% of all Paul supporters would have looked at Goode as the next best option. The final value of V(Third) is then 2/3 of other Goode voters plus 90% of other Johnson voters plus:

70% of Paul’s primary vote in open primary and caucus states;

105% of Paul’s primary vote in semi-closed primary and caucus states; and

140% of Paul’s primary vote in closed primary and caucus states.

Note that in states with a small turnout for Johnson or Goode relative to Paul’s primary vote, one or both of the first two parts of this factor may be negative. In such cases, the negative parts of this factor should be set to zero, as the purpose is to count positive voters for Johnson or Goode who would vote for Paul.

V(Spite) consists of two main groups: voters who are Democrats but would have crossed party lines to vote for Paul, but did not cross party lines to vote for Romney; and so-called “spite voters” who chose to vote for Obama because their candidate (Paul) did not become the Republican nominee. This group of voters is related to the groups of voters who make up V(Disaffected) and V(Third), but these voters decided that sticking it to Romney and the Republican establishment by voting for his major-party opponent was a better option than staying home or casting a third-party protest vote. This amount is probably about 4% of Paul supporters, but there are also “Blue Republicans” in this group. A good estimate is that V(Spite) is roughly equal to V(Disaffected).

V(Die-hard Romney) consists of people who voted for Romney as a vote against Obama, but would have found Paul to be objectionable as well. They would not have voted for Paul as a vote against Obama, choosing to either support a third party candidate or not vote instead. These voters would mostly be those who supported Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich in the Republican primaries, and could not tolerate Paul’s positions on social issues and/or foreign policy enough to hold their noses and vote for him. The last PPP poll to compare an Obama/Romney race to an Obama/Paul race found that 82% of Republican respondents said they would ultimately be willing to back Romney, while 76% of Republican respondents said they would ultimately be willing to back Paul. Therefore, a reasonable value for V(Die-hard Romney) should not exceed 6% of this 82%, or 7.32% of the Romney vote. Let us assign V(Die-hard Romney) a value of 5% of Romney’s vote total.

V(Third Anti-Paul) consists of left-leaning voters who did not turn out against Romney but would have turned out against Paul. But the Democratic base had an abnormally high turnout like they did in 2008. Any significant value for V(Third Anti-Paul) would probably have to be diverted from the vote totals of left-wing third party candidates, such as Stein, Barr, and Anderson. But the voters who supported these candidates are mostly far-left voters who are disappointed in Obama’s record as President, and are unlikely to vote for him in almost any case. Let us assign V(Third Anti-Paul) a value of 20% of the vote totals of Stein, Barr, and Anderson.

V(Romney Anti-Paul) consists of two main groups: voters who are Democrats but crossed party lines to vote for Mitt Romney, but would not have crossed party lines to vote for Paul; and so-called “spite voters” who would have chosen to vote for Obama because their candidate (Romney) would not have become the Republican nominee. This group of voters is related to the group of voters who make up V(Die-hard Romney), but these voters would have decided that sticking it to Paul and the libertarian wing of the Republican Party by voting for his major-party opponent was a better option than staying home or casting a third-party protest vote. Due to the small number of Democrats who voiced support for Romney, the reluctance of Republicans to back Romney in the primaries, and the nearly universal hatred shown by Republicans toward Obama, this factor is probably rather small. Let us assign V(Romney Anti-Paul) a value of 1% of Romney’s vote total.

V(Anti-Romney) consists of people who voted for Obama in order to vote against Romney, but would not care about an Obama/Paul race. These voters would tend to be progressives who are disappointed enough in Obama to not vote for him on his own merits, but voted for him because they oppose Romney. These voters would be indifferent to Paul, not supporting him enough to vote for him but not opposing him enough to vote against him, so they would vote for Stein, Barr, or Anderson, or stay home. Given Paul’s polarizing nature on issues that are important to progressives, V(Anti-Romney) is probably small enough to be safely assigned a value of zero.

Finally, we must modify the Paul primary vote to account for the difference between primary turnout and general election turnout. This constant, which we will call T, has a different value in each state, and is defined as the number of general election voters in that state divided by twice the number of Republican primary or caucus voters in that state. (The factor of 2 would not apply if there had been a serious primary challenger to Barack Obama. In that case, we could add the Democratic primary figures into the denominator instead.) To avoid anomalous results and keep the modified vote total below the total number of registered voters in each state, let us reduce all T-values greater than 15 to 15. So our final equations are

V'(Paul)=V(Romney)+T*[V(Paul)+2*V(Disaffected)+V(Third)]−V(Die-hard Romney)−V(Romney Anti-Paul), (3)

with the Johnson and/or Goode parts of V(Third) being excluded when they have negative values, and

V'(Obama)=V(Obama)−T*V(Disaffected)+V(Third Anti-Paul)+V(Romney Anti-Paul). (4)

Let us now apply equations (3) and (4) to the national popular vote, as well as to the vote in each state.

Alabama: The general election result was 1,255,925 votes for Mitt Romney, 795,696 votes for Barack Obama, 12,328 votes for Gary Johnson, 3,397 votes for Jill Stein, 2,981 votes for Virgil Goode, and 4,011 votes for other candidates. Alabama has an open primary (C=1), and there were 30,950 primary votes for Ron Paul. Alabama’s T-value is 1.666. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,225,775 votes for Ron Paul and 806,872 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Alabama’s 9 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Alaska: The general election result was 164,676 votes for Mitt Romney, 122,640 votes for Barack Obama, 7,392 votes for Gary Johnson, 2,917 votes for Jill Stein, and 2,870 votes for other candidates. Alaska has an open caucus (C=1), and there were 3,410 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Alaska’s T-value is 11.366. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 237,870 votes for Ron Paul and 123,320 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Alaska’s 3 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Arizona: The general election result was 1,233,654 votes for Mitt Romney, 1,025,232 votes for Barack Obama, 32,100 votes for Gary Johnson, 7,816 votes for Jill Stein, 289 votes for Virgil Goode, 119 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 44 votes for other candidates. Arizona has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 43,952 primary votes for Ron Paul. Arizona’s T-value is 2.253. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,328,462 votes for Ron Paul and 1,031,234 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Arizona’s 11 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Arkansas: The general election result was 647,744 votes for Mitt Romney, 394,409 votes for Barack Obama, 16,276 votes for Gary Johnson, 9,305 votes for Jill Stein, and 1,734 votes for other candidates. Arkansas has an open primary (C=1), and there were 20,399 primary votes for Ron Paul. Arkansas’ T-value is 3.510. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 674,069 votes for Ron Paul and 399,884 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Arkansas’s 6 electoral votes, as Romney did.

California: The general election result was 7,854,285 votes for Barack Obama, 4,839,958 votes for Mitt Romney, 143,221 votes for Gary Johnson, 85,638 votes for Jill Stein, 53,824 votes for Roseanne Barr, 21,461 votes for Ron Paul, 992 votes for Rocky Anderson, 503 votes for Virgil Goode, and 38,665 votes for other candidates. California has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 199,246 primary votes for Ron Paul. California’s T-value is 3.387. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 7,876,793 votes for Barack Obama and 5,699,997 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins California’s 55 electoral votes.

Colorado: The general election result was 1,323,101 votes for Barack Obama, 1,185,243 votes for Mitt Romney, 35,545 votes for Gary Johnson, 7,508 votes for Jill Stein, 6,234 votes for Virgil Goode, 5,059 votes for Roseanne Barr, 1,260 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 5,571 votes for other candidates. Colorado has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 7,759 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Colorado’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,773,281 votes for Ron Paul and 1,328,408 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Colorado’s 9 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

Connecticut: The general election result was 905,083 votes for Barack Obama, 634,892 votes for Mitt Romney, 12,580 votes for Gary Johnson, 5,487 votes for Rocky Anderson, 863 votes for Jill Stein, and 55 votes for other candidates. Connecticut has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 8,032 primary votes for Ron Paul. Connecticut’s T-value is 13.083. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 904,295 votes for Barack Obama and 854,732 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Connecticut’s 7 electoral votes.

Delaware: The general election result was 242,584 votes for Barack Obama, 165,484 votes for Mitt Romney, 3,882 votes for Gary Johnson, 1,940 votes for Jill Stein, 23 votes for Virgil Goode, and 8 votes for other candidates. Delaware has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 3,017 primary votes for Ron Paul. Delaware’s T-value is 7.238. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 242,880 votes for Barack Obama and 203,663 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Delaware’s 3 electoral votes.

District of Columbia: The general election result was 267,070 votes for Barack Obama, 21,381 votes for Mitt Romney, 2,458 votes for Jill Stein, 2,083 votes for Gary Johnson, and 772 votes for other candidates. DC has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 621 primary votes for Ron Paul. DC’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 267,030 votes for Barack Obama and 57,952 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins DC’s 3 electoral votes.

Florida: The general election result was 4,237,756 votes for Barack Obama, 4,163,447 votes for Mitt Romney, 44,726 votes for Gary Johnson, 8,947 votes for Jill Stein, 8,154 votes for Roseanne Barr, 2,607 votes for Virgil Goode, 1,754 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 6,788 votes for other candidates. Florida has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 117,461 primary votes for Ron Paul. Florida’s T-value is 2.533. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 4,420,933 votes for Ron Paul and 4,259,357 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Florida’s 29 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

Georgia: The general election result was 2,078,688 votes for Mitt Romney, 1,773,827 votes for Barack Obama, 45,324 votes for Gary Johnson, 1,516 votes for Jill Stein, 432 votes for Virgil Goode, 154 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 109 votes for other candidates. Georgia has an open primary (C=1), and there were 59,100 primary votes for Ron Paul. Georgia’s T-value is 2.163. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 2,066,809 votes for Ron Paul and 1,789,834 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Hawaii: The general election result was 306,658 votes for Barack Obama, 121,015 votes for Mitt Romney, 3,840 votes for Gary Johnson, and 3,184 votes for Jill Stein. Hawaii has an open caucus (C=1), and there were 1,975 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Hawaii’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 307,320 votes for Barack Obama and 171,295 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Hawaii’s 4 electoral votes.

Idaho: The general election result was 420,911 votes for Mitt Romney, 212,787 votes for Barack Obama, 9,453 votes for Gary Johnson, 4,402 votes for Jill Stein, 2,499 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 2,222 votes for Virgil Goode. Idaho has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 8,086 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Idaho’s T-value is 7.301. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 527,906 votes for Ron Paul and 213,654 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Idaho’s 4 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Illinois: The general election result was 3,019,512 votes for Barack Obama, 2,135,216 votes for Mitt Romney, 56,229 votes for Gary Johnson, 30,222 votes for Jill Stein, 419 votes for Virgil Goode, 185 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 231 votes for other candidates. Illinois has a semi-closed primary (C=1.5), and there were 87,044 primary votes for Ron Paul. Illinois’ T-value is 2.808. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 3,032,281 votes for Barack Obama and 2,319,620 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Illinois’s 20 electoral votes.

Indiana: The general election result was 1,420,543 votes for Mitt Romney, 1,152,887 votes for Barack Obama, 50,111 votes for Gary Johnson, 625 votes for Jill Stein, 290 votes for Virgil Goode, and 78 votes for other candidates. Indiana has an open primary (C=1), and there were 98,487 primary votes for Ron Paul. Indiana’s T-value is 2.065. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,508,648 votes for Ron Paul and 1,159,084 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Indiana’s 11 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Iowa: The general election result was 822,544 votes for Barack Obama, 730,617 votes for Mitt Romney, 12,926 votes for Gary Johnson, 3,769 votes for Jill Stein, 3,038 votes for Virgil Goode, and 9,286 votes for other candidates. Iowa has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 26,036 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Iowa’s T-value is 6.511. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 982,200 votes for Ron Paul and 817,042 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Iowa’s 6 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

Kansas: The general election result was 692,634 votes for Mitt Romney, 440,726 votes for Barack Obama, 20,456 votes for Gary Johnson, 5,204 votes for Chuck Baldwin, 714 votes for Jill Stein, 95 votes for Rocky Anderson, 58 votes for Roseanne Barr, and 84 votes for other candidates. For this analysis, Baldwin’s votes will be counted as though they were Virgil Goode votes because the Kansas Reform Party usually runs the Constitution Party nominee, but it did not update its nominee from 2008. Kansas has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 3,767 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Kansas’ T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 797,191 votes for Ron Paul and 443,305 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Kansas’s 6 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Kentucky: The general election result was 1,087,190 votes for Mitt Romney, 679,370 votes for Barack Obama, 17,063 votes for Gary Johnson, 6,337 votes for Jill Stein, 245 votes for Virgil Goode, 60 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 6,947 votes for other candidates. Kentucky has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 22,074 primary votes for Ron Paul. Kentucky’s T-value is 5.101. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,217,951 votes for Ron Paul and 682,513 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Kentucky’s 8 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Louisiana: The general election result was 1,152,262 votes for Mitt Romney, 809,141 votes for Barack Obama, 18,157 votes for Gary Johnson, 6,978 votes for Jill Stein, 2,508 votes for Virgil Goode, 1,368 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 3,651 votes for other candidates. Louisiana has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 11,467 primary votes for Ron Paul. Louisiana’s T-value is 5.349. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,241,105 votes for Ron Paul and 817,426 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Louisiana’s 8 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Maine: The general election result was 401,306 votes for Barack Obama, 292,276 votes for Mitt Romney, 9,352 votes for Gary Johnson, 8,119 votes for Jill Stein, 2,305 votes for Ron Paul, 62 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 30 votes for other candidates. Maine has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 2,258 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Maine’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 436,382 votes for Ron Paul and 403,155 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Maine’s 4 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

Maryland: The general election result was 1,677,844 votes for Barack Obama, 971,869 votes for Mitt Romney, 30,195 votes for Gary Johnson, 17.110 votes for Jill Stein, 453 votes for Virgil Goode, 204 votes for Rocky Anderson, 64 votes for Roseanne Barr, and 9,588 votes for other candidates. Maryland has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 23,609 primary votes for Ron Paul. Maryland’s T-value is 5.242. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,680,748 votes for Barack Obama and 1,196,008 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Maryland’s 10 electoral votes.

Massachusetts: The general election result was 1,921,290 votes for Barack Obama, 1,188,314 votes for Mitt Romney, 30,920 votes for Gary Johnson, 20,691 votes for Jill Stein, and 6,552 votes for other candidates. Massachusetts has a semi-closed primary (C=1.5), and there were 35,219 primary votes for Ron Paul. Massachusetts’s T-value is 4.276. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,928,276 votes for Barack Obama and 1,329,170 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Massachusetts’s 11 electoral votes.

Michigan: The general election result was 2,564,569 votes for Barack Obama, 2,115,256 votes for Mitt Romney, 21,897 votes for Jill Stein, 16,119 votes for Virgil Goode, 7,774 votes against Gary Johnson, 5,147 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 199 votes for other candidates. Michigan has an open primary (C=1), and there were 115,911 primary votes for Ron Paul. Michigan’s T-value is 2.374. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 2,580,124 votes for Barack Obama and 2,237,393 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Michigan’s 16 electoral votes.

Minnesota: The general election result was 1,546,167 votes for Barack Obama, 1,320,225 votes for Mitt Romney, 35,098 votes for Gary Johnson, 13,023 votes for Jill Stein, 3,722 votes for Virgil Goode, 1,996 votes for Rocky Anderson, 46 votes for Roseanne Barr, and 16,284 votes for other candidates. Minnesota has an open caucus (C=1), and there were 13,282 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Minnesota’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,782,427 votes for Ron Paul and 1,554,413 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

Mississippi: The general election result was 710,746 votes for Mitt Romney, 562,949 votes for Barack Obama, 6,676 votes for Gary Johnson, 2,609 votes for Virgil Goode, 1,588 votes for Jill Stein, and 1,016 votes for other candidates. Mississippi has an open primary (C=1), and there were 12,955 primary votes for Ron Paul. Mississippi’s T-value is 2.186. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 694,906 votes for Ron Paul and 569,242 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Mississippi’s 6 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Missouri: The general election result was 1,482,440 votes for Mitt Romney, 1,223,796 votes for Barack Obama, 43,151 votes for Gary Johnson, and 7,936 votes for Virgil Goode. Missouri has an open caucus (C=1), and there were 30,647 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Missouri’s T-value is 5.467. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,660,269 votes for Ron Paul and 1,231,919 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Missouri’s 10 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Montana: The general election result was 267,928 votes for Mitt Romney, 201,839 votes for Barack Obama, 14,165 votes for Gary Johnson, 59 votes for Rocky Anderson, 39 votes for Virgil Goode, 6 votes for Roseanne Barr, and 12 votes for other candidates. Montana has an open primary (C=1), and there were 20,227 primary votes for Ron Paul. Montana’s T-value is 1.723. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 281,563 votes for Ron Paul and 203,137 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Montana’s 3 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Nebraska: The general election result was 475,064 votes for Mitt Romney, 302,081 votes for Barack Obama, 11,109 votes for Gary Johnson, and 6,125 votes for other candidates. Nebraska has a semi-closed primary (C=1.5), and there were 18,508 primary votes for Ron Paul. Nebraska’s T-value is 2.142. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 497,259 votes for Ron Paul and 304,453 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Nebraska’s 5 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Nevada: The general election result was 531,373 votes for Barack Obama, 463,567 votes for Mitt Romney, 10,968 votes for Gary Johnson, 3,240 votes for Virgil Goode, and 5,770 votes for other candidates. Nevada has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 6,177 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Nevada’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 709,330 votes for Ron Paul and 528,596 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Nevada’s 6 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

New Hampshire: The general election result was 369,561 votes for Barack Obama, 329,918 votes for Mitt Romney, 8,212 votes for Gary Johnson, 1,374 votes for Ron Paul, 708 votes for Virgil Goode, 324 votes for Jill Stein, and 875 votes for other candidates. New Hampshire has a semi-closed primary (C=1.5), and there were 56,872 primary votes for Ron Paul. New Hampshire’s T-value is 1.431. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 414,162 votes for Ron Paul and 368,043 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins New Hampshire’s 4 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

New Jersey: The general election result was 2,125,101 votes for Barack Obama, 1,477,568 votes for Mitt Romney, 21,045 votes for Gary Johnson, 9,888 votes for Jill Stein, 2,064 votes for Virgil Goode, 1,724 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 2,902 votes for other candidates. New Jersey has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 24,017 primary votes for Ron Paul. New Jersey’s T-value is 7.864. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 2,127,090 votes for Barack Obama and 1,738,459 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes.

New Mexico: The general election result was 415,335 votes for Barack Obama, 335,788 votes for Mitt Romney, 27,788 votes for Gary Johnson, 2,691 votes for Jill Stein, 1,174 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 982 votes for Virgil Goode. New Mexico has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 9,363 primary votes for Ron Paul. New Mexico’s T-value is 4.349. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 468,163 votes for Ron Paul and 416,208 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins New Mexico’s 5 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

New York: The general election result was 4,485,781 votes for Barack Obama, 2,490,431 votes for Mitt Romney, 47,256 votes for Gary Johnson, 39,982 votes for Jill Stein, 6,274 votes for Virgil Goode, 217 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 11,258 votes for other candidates. New York has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 27,699 primary votes for Ron Paul. New York’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 4,485,486 votes for Barack Obama and 3,459,220 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins New York’s 29 electoral votes.

North Carolina: The general election result was 2,270,395 votes for Mitt Romney, 2,178,391 votes for Barack Obama, 44,515 votes for Gary Johnson, 534 votes for Virgil Goode, and 11,537 votes for other candidates. North Carolina has a semi-closed primary (C=1.5), and there were 108,217 primary votes for Ron Paul. North Carolina’s T-value is 2.315. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 2,454,467 votes for Ron Paul and 2,186,066 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes, as Romney did.

North Dakota: The general election result was 188,163 votes for Mitt Romney, 124,827 votes for Barack Obama, 5,231 votes for Gary Johnson, 1,361 votes for Jill Stein, 1,185 votes for Virgil Goode, and 1,860 votes for other candidates. North Dakota has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 3,816 caucus votes for Ron Paul. North Dakota’s T-value is 14.214. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 300,527 votes for Ron Paul and 123,358 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins North Dakota’s 3 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Ohio: The general election result was 2,827,710 votes for Barack Obama, 2,661,433 votes for Mitt Romney, 49,493 votes for Gary Johnson, 18,574 votes for Jill Stein, 8,152 votes for Virgil Goode, and 15,483 votes for other candidates. Ohio has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 113,256 primary votes for Ron Paul. Ohio’s T-value is 2.299. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 2,947,694 votes for Ron Paul and 2,837,211 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Ohio’s 18 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

Oklahoma: The general election result was 891,325 votes for Mitt Romney and 443,547 votes for Barack Obama. Oklahoma has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 27,596 primary votes for Ron Paul. Oklahoma’s T-value is 2.329. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 947,441 votes for Ron Paul and 447,318 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Oklahoma’s 7 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Oregon: The general election result was 970,488 votes for Barack Obama, 754,175 votes for Mitt Romney, 24,089 votes for Gary Johnson, 19,427 votes for Jill Stein, 4,432 votes for Will Christensen, 3,384 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 17,707 votes for other candidates. For this analysis, Christensen’s votes will be counted as though they were Virgil Goode votes because the Oregon Constitution Party chose Christensen as its nominee instead of Goode. Oregon has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 36,810 primary votes for Ron Paul. Oregon’s T-value is 3.115. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 973,420 votes for Barack Obama and 909,002 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Oregon’s 7 electoral votes.

Pennsylvania: The general election result was 2,990,274 votes for Barack Obama, 2,680,434 votes for Mitt Romney, 49,991 votes for Gary Johnson, 21,341 votes for Jill Stein, 383 votes for Virgil Goode, and 11,247 votes for other candidates. Pennsylvania has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 106,148 primary votes for Ron Paul. Pennsylvania’s T-value is 3.560. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 3,163,854 votes for Ron Paul and 2,991,116 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

Rhode Island: The general election result was 279,677 votes for Barack Obama, 157,204 votes for Mitt Romney, 4,388 votes for Gary Johnson, 2,421 votes for Jill Stein, 617 votes for Ron Paul, 430 votes for Virgil Goode, 416 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 896 votes for other candidates. Rhode Island has a semi-closed primary (C=1.5), and there were 3,473 primary votes for Ron Paul. Rhode Island’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 278,691 votes for Barack Obama and 241,456 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Rhode Island’s 4 electoral votes.

South Carolina: The general election result was 1,071,645 votes for Mitt Romney, 865,941 votes for Barack Obama, 16,321 votes for Gary Johnson, 5,446 votes for Jill Stein, and 4,765 votes for Virgil Goode. South Carolina has an open primary (C=1), and there were 78,360 primary votes for Ron Paul. South Carolina’s T-value is 1.627. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,116,065 votes for Ron Paul and 872,648 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins South Carolina’s 9 electoral votes, as Romney did.

South Dakota: The general election result was 210,610 votes for Mitt Romney, 145,039 votes for Barack Obama, 5,795 votes for Gary Johnson, and 2,371 votes for Virgil Goode. South Dakota has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 6,657 primary votes for Ron Paul. South Dakota’s T-value is 3.531. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 245,585 votes for Ron Paul and 145,265 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins South Dakota’s 3 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Tennessee: The general election result was 1,462,330 votes for Mitt Romney, 960,709 votes for Barack Obama, 18,623 votes for Gary Johnson, 6,515 votes for Jill Stein, 6,022 votes for Virgil Goode, 2,639 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 1,739 votes for other candidates. Tennessee has an open primary (C=1), and there were 50,156 primary votes for Ron Paul. Tennessee’s T-value is 2.217. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,473,815 votes for Ron Paul and 972,716 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Tennessee’s 11 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Texas: The general election result was 4,569,843 votes for Mitt Romney, 3,308,124 votes for Barack Obama, 88,580 votes for Gary Johnson, 24,657 votes for Jill Stein, 1,287 votes for Virgil Goode, 426 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 934 votes for other candidates. Texas has an open primary (C=1), and there were 174,207 primary votes for Ron Paul. Texas’ T-value is 2.757. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 4,705,147 votes for Ron Paul and 3,339,624 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Texas’s 38 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Utah: The general election result was 740,600 votes for Mitt Romney, 251,813 votes for Barack Obama, 12,572 votes for Gary Johnson, 5,335 votes for Rocky Anderson, 3,817 votes for Jill Stein, 2,871 votes for Virgil Goode, 18 for Roseanne Barr, and 414 votes for other candidates. Utah has a closed primary (C=2), and there were 11,520 primary votes for Ron Paul. Utah’s T-value is 2.144. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 741,381 votes for Ron Paul and 259,077 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Utah’s 6 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Vermont: The general election result was 199,239 votes for Barack Obama, 92,698 votes for Mitt Romney, 3,487 votes for Gary Johnson, 1,128 votes for Rocky Anderson, 717 votes for Ron Paul, 594 votes for Jill Stein, 13 votes for Virgil Goode, 9 votes for Roseanne Barr, and 1,405 votes for other candidates. Vermont has an open primary (C=1), and there were 15,391 primary votes for Ron Paul. Vermont’s T-value is 2.459. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 198,998 votes for Barack Obama and 119,401 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Vermont’s 3 electoral votes.

Virginia: The general election result was 1,971,820 votes for Barack Obama, 1,822,522 votes for Mitt Romney, 31,216 votes for Gary Johnson, 13,058 votes for Virgil Goode, 8,627 votes for Jill Stein, 76 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 7,170 votes for other candidates. Virginia has an open primary (C=1), and there were 107,451 primary votes for Ron Paul. Virginia’s T-value is 7.257. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 2,409,871 votes for Ron Paul and 1,960,595 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

Washington: The general election result was 1,755,396 votes for Barack Obama, 1,290,670 votes for Mitt Romney, 42,202 votes for Gary Johnson, 20,928 votes for Jill Stein, 8,851 votes for Virgil Goode, 4,946 votes for Rocky Anderson, and 2,523 votes for other candidates. Washington has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 12,594 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Washington’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 2,061,302 votes for Ron Paul and 1,758,365 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Washington’s 12 electoral votes, which Romney failed to do.

West Virginia: The general election result was 417,655 votes for Mitt Romney, 238,269 votes for Barack Obama, 6,302 votes for Gary Johnson, 4,406 votes for Jill Stein, and 3,806 votes for other candidates. West Virginia has a semi-closed primary (C=2), and there were 12,412 primary votes for Ron Paul. West Virginia’s T-value is 2.982. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 439,922 votes for Ron Paul and 241,106 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins West Virginia’s 5 electoral votes, as Romney did.

Wisconsin: The general election result was 1,620,985 votes for Barack Obama, 1,407,966 votes for Mitt Romney, 20,439 votes for Gary Johnson, 7,665 votes for Jill Stein, 4,930 votes for Virgil Goode, 112 votes for Rocky Anderson, 88 votes for Roseanne Barr, and 6,249 votes for other candidates. Wisconsin has an open primary (C=1), and there were 87,858 primary votes for Ron Paul. Wisconsin’s T-value is 1.947. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 1,629,794 votes for Barack Obama and 1,469,334 votes for Ron Paul. Obama still wins Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes.

Wyoming: The general election result was 170,962 votes for Mitt Romney, 69,286 votes for Barack Obama, 5,326 votes for Gary Johnson, 1,452 votes for Virgil Goode, and 2,035 votes for other candidates. Wyoming has a closed caucus (C=2), and there were 439 caucus votes for Ron Paul. Wyoming’s T-value is 15. Applying the equations, the vote becomes 253,743 votes for Ron Paul and 70,469 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins Wyoming’s 3 electoral votes, as Romney did.

National popular vote: The general election result was 65,915,835 votes for Barack Obama, 60,933,500 votes for Mitt Romney, 1,275,971 votes for Gary Johnson, 469,928 votes for Jill Stein, 131,877 votes for Virgil Goode, 67,326 votes for Roseanne Barr, 43,018 votes for Rocky Anderson, 26,204 votes for Ron Paul, and 226,520 votes for other candidates. There were 2,105,358 votes for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries and caucuses. Summing the above results, the vote becomes 70,214,176 votes for Ron Paul and 66,169,260 votes for Barack Obama. Paul wins the popular vote, which Romney failed to do. In all but five states, Paul has a better margin against Obama than Romney did. Romney had a better margin of victory than the estimation for Paul in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Utah. These states are all Republican strongholds at present.

Electoral College: The result of the above analysis is that Paul defeats Obama by a 342196 margin, compared to the 332206 margin by which Obama defeated Romney. The difference is that Paul manages to win Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, all of which were lost by Romney. Also, Paul does not lose any state that Romney won. This is a net gain of 136 electoral votes for the Republican candidate. In terms of states carried, Paul carries 36 and Obama carries 14+DC, while Obama carried 26+DC and Romney carried 24 in the real 2012 race. This produces the following electoral map.

2012_PaulObama

In general, a larger T-value indicates a less reliable figure, as it indicates a very small primary or caucus turnout relative to the general election turnout. For the states that Paul flips into the Republican column, the minimum T-values that allow Paul to win are as follows: Maine 11.968, Washington 9.736, Minnesota 8.775, Nevada 5.352, Colorado 5.018, Iowa 3.031, New Mexico 2.899, Virginia 2.778, Pennsylvania 2.649, Florida 1.763, Ohio 1.755, New Hampshire 0.825. The last elections in which these states went Republican were as follows: Maine 1988, Washington 1984, Minnesota 1972, Nevada 2004, Colorado 2004, Iowa 2004, New Mexico 2004, Virginia 2004, Pennsylvania 1988, Florida 2004, Ohio 2004, New Hampshire 2000. Most of these states were considered by at least some commentators to be swing states, except for Washington. That Paul could have won Washington may seem surprising, but Paul had a strong showing in the caucus there with significant enthusiasm across party lines as well.

Now let us grant Obama some leeway and see what happens. If we exclude states that require a T-value above 8, Paul still wins the Electoral College by a 316−222 margin, with the following electoral map.

2012_PaulObamaT8

If we exclude states that require a T-value above 5, Paul still wins the Electoral College by a 301−237 margin, with the following electoral map.

2012_PaulObamaT5

If we exclude states that Republicans have not won since before 2000, Paul still wins the Electoral College by a 296−242 margin, with the following electoral map.

2012_PaulObama2000

So, could Ron Paul have defeated Barack Obama? Absolutely. Would Ron Paul have defeated Barack Obama? We will never know.

The Homs Case For Anarchy

For over two millennia, the city of Homs, Syria has been an important agricultural, industrial, and trade center, with evidence suggesting habitation for another two millennia before that. Five years ago, it was a city of over 800,000 people, the third largest in Syria after Aleppo and Damascus. The population included several religious minorities, and the city contained a number of historic churches and mosques.

Then the Arab Spring happened. Nationwide protests began against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule in the spring of 2011, and his forces responded by violently cracking down on demonstrations. In response, the conflict gradually evolved from protests to an armed rebellion. Homs became a stronghold for the Syrian opposition movement, and Assad’s forces began attacking the city in May 2011. This resulted in thousands of deaths, tens of thousands of refugees, and the destruction of much of the city. Assad’s forces reconquered the city in May 2014, but the damage remains.

This is relatively easy to write about for someone who lives on the other side of the world and is almost completely removed from the atrocities taking place, but it is another thing entirely to see it. Thanks to a Russian film crew that flew a drone over the city and recorded the aftermath, all the world can see what was done to the city of Homs. Block after block of the city lies in ruins. Artillery holes in buildings reveal what were once private apartments. Rubble is strewn across the tops of structures half-standing. Half-cleared roads wind through what used to be thriving neighborhoods. Once-congested avenues now carry barely any vehicles. The scene is reminiscent of Dresden after World War II, but that was done by foreign militaries, not by German forces against their own people. Now imagine the people who used to live and work in every one of the hundreds of destroyed buildings who are now either dead or displaced, their livelihoods lost and their dreams crushed.

This is the nature of government. Governments do not maintain rule by divine right or popular consent; they do it by murdering anyone who dares to challenge their power, and even some who do not. Governments murdered 262 million of their own citizens in the 20th century, and if Homs is anything to go by, the 21st century is not off to a good start. One may object that not all governments have done such things to their own people in time memorial, or even ever, but that is not the point. The point is that all of them would if faced with a sufficiently powerful popular insurgency. The effect of power upon a ruler is intoxicating and addicting, much like substance abuse. Those who enjoy the power, wealth, and fame of being part of the ruling class will react with the utmost hostility toward any threat to their means of rule. The fear of reprisals by the people against the rulers should the regime fall coupled with the potential of having to produce rather than plunder for a living provides them all the motivation they need to violently crush rebellions.

The tragedy of Homs is just the latest in a long line of murderous rampages by the ruling classes. After seeing it with one’s own eyes, a rational person can only come to one resolution: this must stop. The institutions which make possible such atrocities must be brought low before the people presiding over them decide to bring us low. The rulers and their statist systems must be removed from power by any means necessary. There are some who would not risk open war, but the lesson of Homs is that open war is upon us, whether we would risk it or not.

Rethinking ‘No Victim = No Crime’

The phrase ‘no victim means no crime’ is commonly used among libertarians to protest against government abuses. Governments frequently declare that activities which do not harm a person or damage property are against the law regardless, such as failure to wear a seat belt while driving, selling liquor on Sundays, price gouging, drug possession, among many others. While such declarations are immoral and the government officials and agents who make and enforce such laws are the real criminals in such cases, the idea that a criminal act requires some harm to be done is overly simplistic.

Non-Aggression versus Non-Harm

The foundation of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle. It says that initiating the use of force is immoral and that using force to defend against initiated force is acceptable. The idea that a crime requires a victim substitutes non-harm for non-aggression, which is a much different standard. The idea of non-harm comes from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) and was first discussed at depth by John Stuart Mill in the first chapter of On Liberty (1859). The non-harm principle is rooted in consequentialism, not in a rigorously logical derivation from first principles, as the non-aggression principle is. Non-harm means that one may threaten or imperil people at will so long as the threat remains unrealized, while the non-aggression principle forbids this.

Non-Aggression versus Non-Violence

Another troublesome deviation from the non-aggression principle is pacifism, or the confusion of non-aggression with non-violence. While there are few people who believe that crime should be allowed to proceed unchecked (and a free society would likely watch them be victimized to the point of renunciation or elimination in short order), softer forms of pacifism have more successfully crept into libertarianism. This takes the form of the proportionality of force doctrine or the immediate threat doctrine, both of which are nonsensical. If a defender may never escalate beyond the level of force used by an aggressor, then the aggressor can always maintain an advantage and the purpose of defensive force, i.e. to do what is necessary to repel or subdue an aggressor, can go unrealized. If one may only use force to respond to immediate aggressive acts, then one cannot be proactive against threats, reclaim stolen property, stop a crime boss who hires underlings to keep his own hands clean, or deal with any other situation in which responsibility is obfuscated.

In Praxi

With an understanding of the difference between the non-aggression principle and the idea that no victim means no crime, let us explore some examples. First, consider drunk driving. Some libertarians believe that this behavior should be legalized. But let us consider what this behavior entails. A drunk driver is piloting a vehicle which weighs over a ton at potentially lethal speed while being impaired to such an extent as to not be in proper control of it. This poses a threat to everyone in the vicinity of such behavior and is therefore an act of aggression against everyone who could be hit by the car. There are aspects of current DUI laws that need to change, such as being able to get a DUI while sleeping in a car or riding a bicycle, but it is a valid concern for a libertarian security service to act against. The use of force to stop the car and detain the driver so as to keep him from continuing to drive under the influence of an intoxicating substance is justified.

Second, consider firing stray bullets in public. This is a threatening action because the difference between causing no harm and fatally striking an innocent bystander is a matter of chance. The use of force to stop the shooter from continuing to gamble with other people’s lives is justified. There is no need to wait until the shooter actually injures or kills someone.

The first two cases involved threatening acts that have potential to cause harm. The next two cases involve criminal acts with an obfuscation of responsibility. Consider a crime boss who hires a hitman to murder someone. While the boss does not directly murder someone, he has hired an agent to do this for him and is thus vicariously responsible for the murder or attempted murder. The use of force by the would-be victim or an agent of his against the boss is therefore justified, even though the boss did not directly victimize anyone. Note that the alternative produces the absurd result that a potential victim must face one hitman after another instead of eliminating the threat at its source.

Finally, consider a person who is guarding stolen property but did not steal the property himself. When the rightful owner of the property or his agent comes to reclaim it, a guard of stolen property has not directly victimized anyone, but is acting to aid and perpetuate a violation of property rights. The use of force to subdue a guard of stolen property in order to reclaim the property is justified. Note that the alternative produces the absurd result that a thief can profit from theft simply by fencing the stolen merchandise before getting caught.

In conclusion, it is clear that ‘no victim means no crime’ is an inadequate standard for the use of defensive force. It is more accurate to say that no victim means no restitution can be owed and no punishment beyond what is necessary to stop acts of aggression should be meted out.

Seven observations on the end of the Rand Paul 2016 campaign

On Feb. 3, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul announced that he was suspending his campaign. Following a fifth-place showing in the Iowa caucus and polling in the low single digits in New Hampshire, Paul said,

“It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty. Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I.”

Seven observations on this event follow.

1. Rand Paul did not run a principled campaign. Whether pledging to cut military spending and then proposing to increase it, considering cutting foreign aid to Israel and then backing down, being skeptical about belligerence toward Iran and then getting on board, taking a principled stance on the Civil Rights Act and then retreating, pandering to evangelicals, or reaching out to social justice warriors, Rand has repeatedly strayed from libertarian principles.

2. One cannot serve two masters. While running for President, Paul was also in a re-election bid for his U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky, and his victory in that election is by no means guaranteed. Republican Party operatives were becoming concerned that Paul’s attention on his presidential campaign to the neglect of his Senate campaign could cause him to lose both, thus giving Democrats a Senate seat that they might not otherwise get. Had he chosen to focus solely on his presidential bid, he might have fared better. But perhaps not, because…

3. Truth is treason in an empire of lies. The previous sentence is a quote from his father, and it adequately describes Rand’s role in the Republican primary debates, just as it did his father’s when he ran in 2008 and 2012. Whether challenging the dangerous bellicosity of Chris Christie and Ted Cruz, the threat to civil liberties posed by Marco Rubio, or the lack of detail provided by Donald Trump, Paul was the truth-teller on the stage. In a system that favors pleasant lies over uncomfortable truths, this is a campaign-ending liability.

4. Pandering to groups which are at cross purposes will get one support from neither group. Unfortunately, Paul was not always a truth-teller. As mentioned in point #1, Paul tried to broaden his support base by reaching out to people who openly reject libertarian principles. As another example of point #2, this backfired on him because his pandering to non-libertarians was not only believed to be phony by them, but also lost him the support of hardcore libertarians who backed Ron Paul.

5. The Libertarian Party is unlikely to gain much from this. Though the Libertarian Party’s statement on the event is correct to say that “the Libertarian Party nominee will be, indisputably, the only choice for small government in the 2016 race for President of the United States,” said nominee will likely be facing major-party contenders who have much greater difference between them than did Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the last election. The possibility of Michael Bloomberg entering the race as an independent candidate would almost certainly mean that the Libertarian candidate would finish fourth, as Libertarian candidates have historically fared poorly when other well-known third-party candidates ran.

6. The establishment media is using the word ‘isolationist’ as a dishonest smear. Several commentators referred to Rand Paul as an isolationist rather than a non-interventionist. The difference is that isolationism is a non-interventionist military policy combined with a protectionist trade policy. All of the other candidates favor more trade barriers and economic sanctions than Paul does, which means that he is actually the least isolationist of all the candidates. This has been explained to the pundit classes on numerous occasions, so we may rule out incompetence and deem this malice.

7. The path to liberty is anti-political. Many libertarian-leaning voters continue to support politicians as a means of advancing liberty, but this has a terrible track record. Such efforts have not even accomplished as much as random violent outbursts against the state apparatus, let alone the anti-political methods of alternative currencies, black markets, cryptography, mass non-compliance, and revolution. The path to liberty is not to vote away the problems of statism, but to do what is necessary to impose liberty on our fellow human beings.