The Not-So-Current Year: 2016 In Review

Though the specific demarcation of the passage from one year into another is a rather arbitrary social construct, it does provide a useful annual period for self-examination and remembrance. Now that 2016 has entered the history books, let us take a look back at a year’s worth of essays and review the not-so-current year.

We begin, of course, with last year’s article of the same kind. Some articles in this list are sequels to articles in that list. Aside from that, we may move on.

My first article proper of 2016 was A Case Against the Nineteenth Amendment. It was intended to come out before the New Year, but I was not satisfied with it until January 3. If I were to rewrite this article, I would say more about biological differences between the sexes and why these make the entrance of women into democratic politics a danger to the stability and sustainability of a society. I took down the First Amendment later in the year.

The Bundy standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve began. I made nine observations on the event. Their later acquittal on several felony charges after the standoff ended in what was essentially an instance of jury nullification was cause for celebration.

As usual, leftists called for more gun restrictions and an end to gun violence without seeing that the former would both cause and be enforced by gun violence or the threat thereof. Rather than take the usual path of reductio ad absurdum, I argued the sharper point that gun deaths can be a good thing. This did not sit well with the editors at Examiner.com, who pulled the article. Given a long and contentious history with the site, I decided to part ways with them and start my own site. This proved to be a wise choice, as Examiner gave up the ghost less than six months later, with all content disappearing into the aether. My next task was to choose a name for the site and explain its meaning.

Christopher Cantwell argued the libertarian case for Donald Trump, and I gave him some pushback. Shortly afterward, Rand Paul suspended his campaign, and I wrote a list of observations on the event.

‘No victim means no crime’ is a common saying among libertarians, but an altogether too reductionist one. I explained why.

A Russian film crew flew a drone over the city of Homs and recorded the aftermath of Assad’s forces besieging the city. I rarely get emotional, but seeing the wanton destruction was quite triggering for me. Aleppo was conquered later in the year, and I wrote a list of observations on the event.

I decided to take an educated guess at whether Ron Paul could have defeated Barack Obama if he had been the Republican nominee in 2012. I believe he would have done so easily.

Twitter decided to give in to government and social justice warrior requests to censor their enemies. Unsurprisingly, this tanked their stock prices. I proposed several remedies for the situation, and Twitter has of course used none of them.

Jason Brennan published an article arguing that arguments made by libertarians against open borders have disturbing implications that said libertarians almost never address, so I addressed them and showed 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.

Charlotte City Council approved an expansion of its anti-discrimination ordinance to include transgender people, which I denounced as a violation of private property, freedom of association, public safety, and freedom of religion. Governor Pat McCrory and the state legislature responded with House Bill 2, and the controversy has brewed for almost a year.

An author known as Mr. Underhill published an article arguing that violent revolution is not the appropriate method for achieving liberty. I took the opposite view, which led to a lengthy exchange of four more articles on my part and four more on his part. Following this exchange, I decided to write about how I choose who to debate and for how long, which made me realize that I had entertained Mr. Underhill for far too long. Later in the year, I covered political violence more generally to argue that we need more of it as well.

When examining the intellectual foundation for private property rights, I noticed an unexplored quirk which turned into an original proviso. A critique in the comments section led to another article defending the proviso.

Islamic terrorists attacked the airport and a subway station in Brussels, killing 31 people and injuring 300 others. I wrote a list of observations on the event.

Social justice warriors seem to have their own language which is distinct from both the dictionary definitions and the common understanding of words by most of the general population. I created a glossary to help normal people better understand SJW rhetoric.

Donald Trump suggested that women could be punished for getting an abortion, which outraged both sides of the mainstream abortion debate. I weighed in with a view which did the same.

Having addressed water ownership and pollution in two articles in 2015, I decided to lay out a libertarian theory on air ownership and pollution.

Puerto Rico reached new lows of fiscal irresponsibility, and I explained why it is best to cut them loose from the United States to become an independent country.

The rise of neoreaction and the alt-right has brought reactionary thought back to the forefront. I deemed my first attempt at examining its relationship to libertarianism to be inadequate, so I took a second stab at it. A Jeffrey Tucker article prompted a third effort, and I made a fourth effort later in the year in response to a pro-Trump neoreactionary article by Michael Perilloux.

Peter Weber published an opinion piece arguing that the institution of the American Presidency is being delegitimized, and that this is a dangerous direction. I argued that this is actually a welcome and even glorious development.

Having already explained my decisions about debating other authors, I wrote two more articles explaining my lack of profanity and lack of satirical content.

Many incorrect arguments concerning libertarianism and punishment began to appear, so I laid out a theory of libertarianism and punishment which utilized heavy doses of Rothbard.

The Libertarian Party held its nominating convention, and it was a disaster from beginning to end. The Republican convention was not much better in terms of substance.

Many people have noticed a correlation between weightlifting and libertarianism. I explored this correlation and found many reasons for it.

A terrorist who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 people and injuring 53 others. I wrote a list of observations on the event, but missed a major point in doing so. Democracy is partly responsible for terrorism because it gives the common person a political voice, which makes them viable targets in a way that absolute monarchies or stateless societies would not.

When the Supreme Court ruled against Abigail Fisher in her anti-white racism case, the Internet cheered. I did not, realizing that the decision was a rejection of pure meritocracy.

Against all predictions, the vote to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union succeeded. I wrote a list of observations on the event.

In my most controversial article to date, I argued the most extreme position in the gun control debate: a private individual has a right to own nuclear weapons, and this would be beneficial for liberty. The troll brigades were out in force making typical leftist non-arguments, and I thank them for granting me a then-record in daily page views (and thus advertising money). A few did raise legitimate criticisms which will require an addendum to be written in the future.

As the major-party presidential nominations were secured, the establishment media wasted an inordinate amount of time engaging in speculation about who would be the running mate of each candidate. When discussing the potential benefits that each potential vice presidential pick could have, they neglected the aspect of assassination insurance.

Several recent problems with the criminal justice system demonstrated that government will not hold government accountable, and that a market alternative is required.

Five police officers were killed by a sniper in Dallas. I used the event to argue that those who kill government agents now are not cowardly murderers perpetrating senseless violence, but neither are they heroic or helpful to the cause of liberty.

A certain type of policy analysis exhibits many symptoms which are also found in high-functioning autistic people. This is more common among libertarians than among people of other political persuasions, so I decided to address the phenomenon.

A significant portion of the media coverage leading up to the Republican convention focused on the possibility of violence on the streets involving leftist protesters and rightist counter-protesters. This possibility went unrealized for reasons which were covered up by the establishment media.

Hillary Clinton said that she was “adamantly opposed to anyone bringing religion into our political process” and that it is “just absolutely wrong and unacceptable.” I argued the opposite case.

Gardening is an enjoyable hobby and a useful metaphor for many things, a libertarian social order included.

Trump hinted at the assassination of Clinton should she win and threaten gun rights. Predictably, every element of the establishment went apoplectic. I argued that political assassinations are ethically acceptable, though not usually the wisest practical move.

Since the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, libertarians have had strong differences concerning how to engage with it. I explained the differences between their intentions and libertarian goals.

The 2016 Summer Olympics took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I wrote a list of observations on the event.

Whenever disasters impact an area in modern times, governments play a large role in the cleanup and recovery efforts. But this causes a behavioral problem in the population, not unlike that caused by the Pax Romana.

The Commission on Presidential Debates decided to exclude third-party candidates yet again. I made cases for peaceful and violent protest of this policy, and longed for a future candidate who might actually motivate people to engage in meaningful resistance.

Liberty Mutual created more advertisements that contain economic fallacies, so I did another round of debunking.

The establishment media tells us that every election is the most important of our lifetime. I proved that this cannot be the case, then psychoanalyzed the establishment media to explain why they keep repeating this, as if to convince themselves.

Argumentation ethics has been controversial since its introduction, but Roderick Long’s criticisms of it had gone unanswered. I remedied this state of affairs.

Rioters plagued Charlotte for three nights in response to a police shooting, which happened to involve a black officer and a black suspect. I wrote a list of observations on the event.

Congress voted to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that allows relatives of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot. Though some libertarians argued against the bill, I celebrated it for chipping away at the anti-libertarian idea of sovereign immunity, giving victims of American foreign policy a peaceful means of addressing their grievances, and possibly revealing clandestine activities to the American people about which they have a need to know.

Having heard libertarians argue in favor of every presidential candidate except Hillary Clinton, I decided to give it a shot. Only a bootlegger’s case was possible, and it was rather grim.

The idea of market failure is a widely believed misconception which has found widespread use in statist propaganda for the purpose of justifying government intervention in the private sector. I gave the idea perhaps its most thorough debunking to date.

In the last quarter of the year, I began reading more books, which resulted in several book reviews. I can strongly recommend The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing and Our Sister Republics; The West Point History of the Civil War somewhat less so. Good Guys With Guns, on the other hand, is a disaster.

The month before the election presented several opportunities for rebuttals. Milo Yiannopoulos demonstrated both a misunderstanding of and an enmity toward libertarianism, and I rebutted his assertions, which gained a surprising amount of attention. Jeffrey Tucker tried to defend democracy as a superior alternative to monarchy or political violence, and I showed why this is misguided. Penn Jillette argued in favor of vote swapping, and I argued against it.

Finally, the 2016 election came and went, which presented many observations to be made.

Black Friday is revered by most libertarians as a celebration of free-market capitalism. I updated my explanation of why this reverence is somewhat misplaced.

Finally, Otto Warmbier spent all of 2016 detained in North Korea. I made the unpopular case that he should be left there.

All in all, it was an interesting year full of occasions to make sharp libertarian arguments. May 2017 bring more of the same. Happy New Year!

A Libertarian Social Order In The Garden

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have engaged in agriculture. For millennia, gardens have been a source of nourishment, recreation, and social status. As such, many metaphors have been developed which refer to agricultural concepts to make a point about another subject. Examples can be found in both religious and secular texts from every culture. Therefore, it is only fitting that such a metaphor be made for libertarian philosophy in practice. Let us see how a garden can serve as a metaphor for a libertarian social order, as well as what insights this metaphor can provide for the creation and maintenance of such an order.

The Garden Kingdom

A garden is created and maintained by a gardener. The gardener rules the garden as an absolute monarch rules his kingdom, as there is no power within its bounds to challenge the gardener’s authority. The legitimacy of his rule is established like that of any private property owner; he mixes his labor with unowned natural resources to gain ownership of the improvements made. Ownership of the improvements is impossible without ownership of the things improved, so the gardener’s labor entitles him to the land of the garden and everything growing in it. He uses his sole dominion as he sees fit, determining which crops to plant where, which plants may remain where they are, which must be relocated, and which must be removed. He chooses which insects or other animals to allow to remain, which to import, and which to remove. All plants (and other lifeforms) that remain within the garden do so at the pleasure of the gardener, and they serve his needs and wants in exchange for his merciful provision and protection.

A kingdom is not worth much without its productive citizenry, upon whose production the king relies for sustenance. For the gardener, this role is fulfilled by fruit and vegetable plants, as well as pollinating insects. The gardener sows their seeds in the correct season and provides them with good soil so that they may be successful. This is necessary because unlike humans, the crops cannot optimally manage their own affairs and stand in need of a central planner. If the rain should be insufficient, the gardener irrigates the crops. If the plants need fertilizer, the gardener gives them some. If the plants are attacked, the gardener defends them. If the plants produce too much foliage and not enough crops, the gardener prunes them. If the plants drop seeds in an improper place, the gardener cleans up after them. If the plants cross-pollinate against the gardener’s wishes, he separates them further. In time, the plants will feed the gardener in exchange for his good stewardship of them.

Unproductive Citizens, Immigrants, and Threats

But sometimes, the citizenry are not productive. In some cases, this is because their particular environments are not conducive to their well-being. Some plants fare poorly in one part of the garden but would do well in another. But unlike human citizens in a kingdom, the plants cannot move themselves; the gardener must dig them out and move them. And as the gardener has legitimate powers of eminent domain as well as subjects without any human rights, there is nothing wrong with moving them. Other plants may not produce in the garden’s climate, no matter their location within it. If this happens, the gardener may choose not to replant them and instead buy seeds for new crops, just as a king might allow in immigrant workers to perform necessary tasks which no current citizens can perform. Should the new crops prove successful, the gardener may naturalize these new crops as permanent residents of the garden. If not, then the gardener will keep looking for a different crop to fill the void.

In other cases, the citizenry are not productive because they are under attack. Just as in human life, there are many threats to the safety of a fruit or vegetable plant. A kingdom will contain a criminal element which preys upon the productive citizenry. If a king has a duty, it is to safeguard the citizens from attack. The domestic criminals and parasites of the garden consist of weeds and some animals. Weeds deprive the crops of the nutrients that they need in order to thrive. Left unchecked, they can crowd out the crops, depriving them of sunlight. Some will even wrap around crop plants and strangle them. Rodents and other wild animals will eat the crops and sometimes even the entire crop plants, depriving the gardener of his just rewards.

A kingdom must also be guarded from external foes, as foreign invaders and terrorists can be just as devastating as the domestic criminal element should they be allowed to immigrate into the garden. Harmful insects play this part in the garden. They typically live somewhere outside the garden, but enter to prey upon the crops. They damage fruits and vegetables, destroy leaves, and even chew through stems to destroy entire plants. Left unchecked, they can reduce a gardener’s harvest to zero and leave behind eggs which will hatch new insects to do the same to a future year’s crop.

Defending The Realm

These aggressors are not amenable to any sort of reasoning. One does not ask a weed not to grow or a beetle not to eat, as it is against their inherent nature. The only way to deal with such a criminal element is through physical removal, and escalating to a full extermination is frequently necessary. Fortunately, the gardener has many tools at his disposal to deal with such problems, just as a king has guards, sheriffs, and armies. Weeds may be pulled, hoed, tilled, or sprayed with herbicides. Rodents can be handled with traps or by their natural predators, such as cats and snakes. Larger animals that attack the crops, such as deer, can be shot to feed the gardener as well as eliminate a threat to the garden. Insects can be thwarted by natural predators, traps, or a wide variety of insecticides.

Where are such plants and animals to go, if they may not stay in the garden? It is not the gardener’s concern. They are threats to his property, the fruits of his labor, and perhaps even his livelihood and survival. He is justified in using any means necessary to eliminate the threat and defend his property.

In the worst cases, insects may damage a plant beyond repair while marking it with chemicals that signal more insects to come. When this happens, the gardener must make a sacrifice for the greater good and remove that plant from the garden. Allowing that plant to remain and bring pestilence to the healthy plants of the garden will only cause further damage.

Collateral Damage

Like any tools, those that the gardener uses to defend the garden can be used in such a way that causes collateral damage. An errant blow from a hoe can destroy a crop plant, as can a gust of wind that blows herbicide where it should not go. Insecticides can kill bees as well as harmful insects. Fortunately, such mishaps only negatively affect the gardener’s harvest, and do little other noticeable damage. Although crop lives and bee lives matter to a competent gardener, no gardener has to worry about being retaliated against by the crops or bees in any meaningful way should he accidentally slaughter a few. This is partly because of the nature of non-sentient lifeforms, and partly because a gardener has none of the concerns about popular support that a democratic ruler has.

Conclusion

A garden is not a perfect metaphor for a libertarian social order, as none of the residents of the garden are sentient beings on par with the gardener. But this metaphor does illustrate the creation and maintenance of a libertarian social order according to individual preferences in a simplistic case of black and white morality. This example can be expanded and filled in with nuances as needed to extend it to tenants in a covenant community, which are the building blocks of a flourishing libertarian society.

Supreme Court gives raisin farmers fake freedom

On June 22, the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Horne v. Department of Agriculture, which decided whether the reserve requirement imposed by the Raisin Administrative Committee under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 is constitutional. The requirement forces growers to set aside a percentage of their crop for the government without charge. The justices decided by an 8-1 vote that “The Fifth Amendment requires that the Government pay just compensation when it takes personal property, just as when it takes real property. Any net proceeds the raisin growers receive from the sale of the reserve raisins goes to the amount of compensation they have received for that taking—it does not mean the raisins have not been appropriated for Government use. Nor can the Government make raisin growers relinquish their property without just compensation as a condition of selling their raisins in interstate commerce.” The Raisin Administrative Committee must therefore either stop taking raisins from farmers or pay a just compensation for their taking.

The majority opinion was delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts and was joined by Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan joined as to Parts I and II. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Breyer filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg and Kagan. Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts said “Nothing in the text or history of the Takings Clause, or our precedents, suggests that the rule is any different when it comes to appropriation of personal property. The Government has a categorical duty to pay just compensation when it takes your car, just as when it takes your home. …Nothing in this history suggests that personal property was any less protected against physical appropriation than real property. …When the government physically takes possession of an interest in property for some public purpose, it has a categorical duty to compensate the former owner, regardless of whether the interest that is taken constitutes an entire parcel or merely a part thereof. …Selling produce in interstate commerce, although certainly subject to reasonable government regulation, is similarly not a special governmental benefit that the Government may hold hostage, to be ransomed by the waiver of constitutional protection.”

So, why is this decision which is heralded by many as a victory for private property rights actually a fake triumph for freedom? While the Hornes have won the right to keep all of their raisins instead of handing over whatever percentage the USDA demands of them, this decision was intentionally kept narrow by the justices. The ability of the state to violate private property rights in the name of the “public good” was affirmed. The Court only found that the state must pay the property holders just compensation for doing so. Of course, agents of the state will be the ultimate arbiters of what constitutes just compensation, as they have a monopoly on the courts, so even this may be of little comfort to some victims of eminent domain. The Court also upheld that interstate commerce is subject to reasonable government regulation, and again, agents of the state will be the ultimate arbiters of what constitutes reasonable government regulation. The Court affirmed the idea that a government can legitimately claim and own property, even though everything that governments own has been stolen under color of law from private citizens by current and former government agents. The Court declined to apply the decision in this case to other, similar government programs that affect farmers who grow other crops, so those statist price control initiatives will remain in effect, perpetrating distortions on the market.

The reality of property rights in practice has not been changed by this decision. What is effectively thy property is whatever thou can take and defend from those who would seek to control it in thy stead, regardless of whether those seeking to control it have any logical justification for doing so and regardless of whether they choose to call themselves “the state.”

On American Sniper And Human Farming

The movie American Sniper, which profiles Chris Kyle, has received a mixed response from critics. Kyle is viewed by various observers as anything between a hero who did what he had to do and a mass murderer who was part of a foreign invasion force. But let us consider something else.

While the public perception of Kyle has gotten the bulk of the attention among libertarians, there is a metaphor in the film that bears further examination. During a scene that occurs in Kyle’s childhood, his father tells him that there are three kinds of people in the world: sheep, who “don’t believe evil exists”; wolves, the evil men who prey upon them; and sheepdogs, men with “the gift of aggression,” a “rare breed that lives to confront the wolf.” Kyle understands that his father means for him to be a sheepdog. But a more insightful boy might have asked, “In this analogy, who are the farmers?”

The analogy, as relevant to Kyle’s life and profession, is that the sheep represent good civilians, the wolves represent criminals and terrorists, and the sheepdogs represent military personnel. Taking this analogy further, the farmers represent the ruling classes of politicians, bureaucrats, and regulators. Now let us examine all of the relationships between the four.

  1. The Sheep and the Wolf – The Quest For Protection

Long ago, sheep were wild animals. They had to find their own food and water, fight their own illnesses, and be subject to killing and eating by wolves and other predators. One view of the origin of farming is that people realized that domesticating and exploiting animals is easier than hunting and killing them. Another view is that the sheep (or natural selection guiding the sheep) made the more clever move. Becoming farmed means that sheep are guaranteed food, water, medicine, and protection.

Long ago, humans had no governments. There were natural leaders who were stronger and/or smarter than other members of one’s tribe, but there was no monopoly on initiatory force. The limited amount of resources available to paleolithic hunters and gatherers simply could not sustain a state apparatus as we know it. One way to look at the evolution of civilization is through the concept of human farming. The idea is that the world has become a series of farms where human farmers own human livestock. Humans perceive a benefit from outsourcing their problems of finding food, water, medicine, and protection, just as sheep do.

  1. The Sheep and the Farmer – The False Refuge

Becoming farmed means that sheep suffer a loss of free mating and a periodic loss of wool and milk. Those with a potentially dangerous set of horns might be stripped of those as well. But sheep do not tend to miss what is taken from them. This is because animals have little concept of the future. Thus, they do not care that the farm is a false refuge and that they will eventually be slaughtered for meat once their usefulness as dairy sheep or wool sheep is outlived, or their farmers have a demand for mutton and haggis.

As useful as animal farming is to its practitioners, human farming is far more useful. Unlike any other species on this planet, humans are capable of perceiving future loss and our own mortality. This means that humans have innate aspects that make us easier to control, as we interpret threats differently than members of other species. One cannot get more milk or wool by threatening a sheep, but one can get a man to give one milk and wool from a sheep he farms by threatening him. Moreover, there is the possibility to take some of the products of human labor, which can grant far more wealth to a farmer than the products animal labor.

  1. The Sheep and the Sheepdog – Livestock Management

There are two basic kinds of sheepdogs that manage sheep. Livestock guardian dogs protect the flock from wolves and other predators, while herding dogs direct the flock as an extension of the farmers and enforcer of their will. Notably, these tend to be different breeds of dog, and very few dogs perform well at both tasks. Of course, these dogs are never intended to protect the sheep in an objective sense, as this would entail preventing humans from exploiting them, which is the whole point of the operation. They are only there to make farming less difficult and more profitable for humans.

The sheepdogs of human livestock management are the enforcement classes of the state, consisting mainly of the police and military. The division between the two varies from farm to farm, but one can make the analogy that livestock guardian dogs are to military personnel as herding dogs are to police officers. Just as with sheep dogs, the purpose of the police and military is not the objective protection of the civilian population, as starry-eyed state propagandists would have us believe. The true purpose is threefold: protect the human farmers from the human livestock by making it very difficult for citizens to violently overthrow the government, provide a last line of defense for the institution of human farming in the form of martial law should the citizens succeed in violently overthrowing the government, and present a deterrent to other human farmers elsewhere in the world who might seek to take over the farm and capture the human livestock for themselves.

  1. The Wolf and the Farmer – Not So Different

A pack of wolves simply seek to hunt and kill a sheep for a satisfying meal. The behavior of a farmer is more complex; a farmer protects sheep from wolves and other predators while providing for their needs. But the endgame is the same; the farmer will eventually slaughter a sheep for meat, just as a wolf will. The farmer is simply less direct and timely about it, a wolf in sheep’s clothing (in more ways than one, as the farmer has likely dressed himself in wool).

Long ago, cannibalism was rather common among humans. This is analogous to wolves eating sheep in the case of animal farming. But while this was effective in the short-term, it was vastly inferior to various forms of slavery practiced by human farmers over their human livestock. After all, humans take a long time to develop, and their uniquely exploitable nature makes it far more profitable to control their muscles and minds than to consume them. Over time, those who preferred to merely exploit their fellow human beings won out over those who preferred to eat them.

Today, wolves are more analogous to non-government criminals while farmers are analogous to politicians. And still, they are not so different. One could even argue that they need each other; the politicians need there to be non-government criminals to convince the population of the necessity of state power, and non-government criminals need politicians to create a monopoly on criminal justice which they can then pervert for their benefit.

  1. The Wolf and the Sheepdog – Evolution of Evil

The sheepdog, like all domesticated dogs, is a descendant of the wolf. Over the course of millennia, humans have modified the behavior of sheepdogs to be beneficial to farmers rather than fatal to sheep. Rather than use lethal aggression against the flock, the sheepdogs will use toned-down aggressive behaviors to make the sheep move where the farmer wants them to go. Livestock guardian dogs are even able to blend into the flock and be perceived by the sheep as one of them.

The police officer or soldier, like all government agents, is a criminal in a costume. If anyone who is not a government agent committed the same actions as government agents, such a person would face a lengthy prison term and hefty fine. But rather than modify the behavior of policemen or soldiers in a significant way, the human farmers have forcibly indoctrinated their human livestock over the course of millennia to accept that it is not only moral, but necessary for certain people in the employ of the state to do what no one else is allowed to do. While police officers and soldiers will kill civilians who resist them, they typically use toned-down aggressive behaviors to make citizens obey their political masters. In most settings, few people think anything is amiss about a police officer or soldier being present.

  1. The Farmer and the Sheepdog – Partners in Crime

From a young age, trainers prepare sheepdogs to work with farmers in their efforts to control flocks of sheep. A farmer takes good care of his sheepdogs, as they are the means by which he can control large numbers of sheep. A number of sheepdogs would also be capable of inflicting great harm upon a farmer if they were to attack him as a pack, so abuse of sheepdogs by farmers is disincentivized. The sheepdogs likewise perform their duties for the farmer, as the farmer maintains them even more so than the sheep, who find most of their own food. A sheepdog that is unreliable or mean to the farmer will be expelled from the farm or even killed, so abuse of farmers by sheepdogs is disincentivized. Thus a symbiotic relationship emerges.

From a young age, many children are raised in a violent manner that makes them more likely to initiate the use of force as adults. While some of these people do not join the state and end up in prison, others are found to have the sort of upbringing that human farmers find useful in a human sheepdog. Just like farmers and sheepdogs, politicians and their enforcers have a symbiotic relationship. Politicians are always quick to defend police and military spending, as the enforcement classes are the means by which they can control large numbers of civilians. The enforcement classes would also be capable of carrying out a coup d’état if the politicians presented them with sufficient cause for doing so. The members of the enforcement classes likewise perform their duties for the ruling classes, as the ruling classes maintain them even more so than the civilians, who mostly make their own livelihoods. Police and soldiers who are unreliable or defiant will lose their jobs, face jail time, or even die suspiciously in the field, so compliance with the system is encouraged.

  1. Conclusion

So, what is a sheep to do? Not much. Sheep lack the intelligence and physical implements necessary to free themselves from the condition of being farmed. But what is a human to do? Unlike sheep, we have options. We are facing other members of our own species, not alien-looking predators or even more alien-looking super-intelligent masters. We can outsmart them through technological innovation that frees us from the ability of human farmers to exploit us and our resources. We can outrun them by finding ways over, under, around, and through the fences they build for us. We can out-breed them by raising children peacefully and teaching them to reason objectively, thereby draining the pool of aggressors that human farmers can hire to be their sheepdogs. We can out-debate them by convincing people of the immorality of treating fellow human beings like livestock. And someday, we will be able to outgun them as well by using force to defend ourselves from them and their minions. The future is bright for us human livestock; unlike the sheep, many of us will soon leave the farm alive.

Book review: The Handbook of Human Ownership

The Handbook of Human Ownership: A Manual for New Tax Farmers is a book about historical and political theory written by Stefan Molyneux. In The Handbook of Human Ownership, Molyneux presents a theory of history and politics from the view that government emerged and evolved as a way for elites to control the masses. The book is presented as a welcome message and instruction manual from the ruling elites to a newly elected member of a government.

Molyneux makes the argument that history has been a process of the evolution of human ownership, beginning with primitive cannibalism and continuing through the slavery of classical antiquity, the serfdom of the medieval period, and the current period of free labor and taxed wages. He then portrays the role of public education as a means to keep the ruling classes from being overthrown by teaching children that government is necessary. Molyneux next discusses the origin of the socialist movement as a response to the declining influence of the church in the 19th century, and how the remnants of religion combined with socialism have been used to support and extend the power of the state. He finishes his historical theory by noting that the cycle of human ownership is nearing its end, as the system of fiat currency and government-protected corporations mathematically cannot continue.

Molyneux’s views of history and the future prospects of humanity are certainly not discussed in the mainstream, but the book does a good job of explaining this as well. For anyone who wishes to take a philosophical look at the current world situation and is unafraid of strong medicine, The Handbook of Human Ownership is an excellent, if short, read.

Rating: 5/5