Rant 4: Agree to Disagree

“You think my socialist utopia is unobtainable and I think your anarchist utopia is unobtainable… I guess we will just have to agree to disagree like adults.”

Nope.

In a free society, we really could ‘agree to disagree’; time and market forces would eventually dictate which of us were closer to being right. I’m not sure where you get the idea that I’m a utopian… all I want is to secure my ability to shoot you in the face when you try to steal my stuff in your quest for utopia. Looking to kill violent and aggressive utopians is the opposite of utopianism. If you want to go pursue utopia far away and without initiating violence against me, I would actually encourage you to do so. Worst case scenario is you succeed and I have to admit that utopia is possible, best case scenario, you get all the ignorant and genetically inferior people to go with you and you all starve in the woods (like the early pilgrims).

We lack that freedom in this society, though, because instead of going away and pursuing your ideals with your own labor, you will go to the ballot box and violently inflict your ignorance on me. You will force me to subsidize your ill-advised behaviors at gunpoint. Instead of agreeing to disagree, we would be agreeing that I should allow you to violently inflict your aesthetic preferences on me. So, if you want to agree to disagree, you would have to first consent to the basic precepts of my ideology: that voting is the initiation of force and we are agreeing to refrain from such barbaric behaviors.

My position can tolerate yours, up until your position includes inflicting violence upon me. Yours, however, immediately resorts to such. So, yes, I would be fully justified in killing you before you can cast your ballot for Sanders or Cruz. I would love to agree to disagree, but the only way we could do that is if you weren’t a violent sociopath hellbent on destroying human excellence. When you say “agree to disagree” you mean “Here, you defend my rights while I trample on yours.” I recommend either reconsidering your position or turning that violence on yourself, first and see how well that works out.

“One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and removed from society.” Hans Herman Hoppe

FREEDOM! By Willia- Adam Kokesh

I recently came into custody of a copy of Adam Kokesh’s book “FREEDOM!” on the way to a friend of mine.  I figured there would be no harm in quickly reading through the text, myself, while I was waiting for my chance to pass it along to the appropriate party.

At 97 pages, with large font and margins, it’s a pretty simple read.  It’s written in articulate prose while using a third-grade vocabulary, effectively accomplishing the stated goal of the author: to be accessible to as many people as possible, at any reasonable cost.  The book is available in every format imaginable and is free in nearly every format as well.

If someone wants to read (or wants someone they know to read) the basic concept of freedom and non-aggression in a calm, reasoned, amenable voice, this is likely the text I’d recommend.  It isn’t as philosophically or economically involved as I would prefer, but not everyone can just read Human Action over the weekend and become an AnCap; not even I, myself, was able to accomplish such a feat (I read it in two weeks and it took about a year to become an AnCap).  A compromise between the task of reading Human Action or the less-involved (and, while effective, less satisfactory) process of reading “FREEDOM!” would be to look into Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom or read My Book.

Shoe0nhead: a Manic and Funny Christina Hoff Sommers

Between Christina Summers (mother of one of my favorite podcast hosts) and Shoe0nhead, the camp of reason-and-evidence-based worldviews has been blessed with two shining counter-instances to the rare instance of “respectable” feminists: the older, calmer woman using facts to back up what are intuitively obvious claims, and the attractive, overly-made-up manic pseudo-comedian who manages to convey facts and evidence in a way that is entertaining.

If the state were a rapidly-spreading apartment fire, consuming all wealth and livelihood in its path, feminism (and the other leftist cults of feels and misanthropy) is the jet fuel being dropped from airplanes onto the building.  It is eminently helpful (if insufficient) to have a handful of firefighters and air-traffic controllers, like these two, trying to prevent the spread of destruction.

 

Also, I’m aware the site has been a little low-content the last couple weeks… we had an aborted attempt at moving to NH which presented quite a bit of opportunity cost and monetary expense.  Hopefully, starting Saturday, we will be back in full-force on this site.

Pope Francis and Shrek Babies

The Pope is making headlines again, as he made an allusion to the Thomist position on contraceptives similar in function to the condom being ok in some circumstances. In some ways, this is nothing new… The Church has a history of having such discussions when talking about AIDS in Africa and similar instances of terminal STDs.
 
What is new, though, is the Pope’s excessive dependence on pro-state activist scientists who amount to nothing more than snake oil salesmen. The Zika virus has nothing more than a flimsy correlation with the Shrek baby epidemic in South and Central America. There are far greater correlations that have more causal explanative power than a virus that’s been around for nearly a century and has never before had a correlation to Shrek babies.
 
This is dangerous territory to be wading into, as this sets a precedent for drastically lowering the threshold of severety in situations in which contraceptives would be morally and ethically permissible, almost to the point of conceding that point entirely to the culture of death.

Rant 3: Your Words are Empty

Here’s a list of words and concepts that are meaningless without a context and are more likely to be vices as opposed to virtues (off the top of my sleep-deprived head):

Diversity
Education
Tolerance
Self-Acceptance
Fairness
Equality
Justice

What this list represents is the modern-day list of social “virtues” that everyone strives for. Every last item on this list is vapid bullshit. There is absolutely no reason that one should strive for any of these positions in themselves.

If an insular group of like-minded individuals are managing to flourish, why would one possibly want to introduce elements that may destabilize that arrangement? “Oh, that’s a mighty fine hard-boiled egg you’ve got there, let’s diversify it with some rat poison.” Fuck your diversity and fuck you.

“Education” is synonymous with “government-indoctrinated” and has been since the term was coined in Prussia. I don’t want “educated” people running around, voting for more socialism and cramming the other ideas on this list down our throats. I want people to be intelligent and informed, most certainly, but you will never get that from state-funded bureaucracies pushing an anti-realist and false narrative for political gains.

Self-acceptance is only justified if it is followed by self-correction. You’ve gotta accept that you’re a stupid lump of adipose slowly decaying and wasting your few millions breaths you are given on bullshit like football, patriotism, and transient relationships before you can decide to stop wasting what little you have and start doing something productive. You simply cannot start and end at “I’m a unique and beautiful, Harvard-educated, otherkin, transracial snowflake.” To simply give up there and pretend you are happy with that is to simply wait to die. I would love to expedite that process for you.

One of the things that was told to every generation of children until mine is “life isn’t fair.” As it turns out, “fair” simply doesn’t exist, and neither does equality. I don’t care how much we have in common, you and I are different entities in our entirety. You may be better able to lift heavy objects or hold conversations with inanimate objects and I may be better suited to acting ethically. You may be better suited to designing rocket ships and I may be better constructed from scrubbing toilets and yelling at people on the internet. In the end, we are all different, and nothing can change that, despite what your “Diversity and Tolerance Education for Racial Justice” teacher might say.

And justice does not mean revenge, especially revenge for something my great grandfather may have done to your great grandfather. They’re dead and I’ve never met them, so who cares? What really matters is what you’ve done with yourself. Took out loans to get a meaningless degree and further inflated the largest economic bubble in the history of humanity? Good job, slapnuts.

If you want to make the world a better place, quit violently inflicting your stupid on other people by voting for this shit and start actually providing something of value to others. That’s right, I just told you to get a fucking job and shut up.

Rant 2: Social Darwinism IS Darwinism

Time for another rant:

“I’m totally a darwinist, but I couldn’t bring myself to adopt social darwinism.” Then you’re not a darwinist, you’re an intellectually dishonest waste of everyone’s time.
If humanity is the result of natural pressures (ie. scarcity) driving some monkeys out of the jungle and into the fields, an environment where something as flimsy as a human would have to develop at least partially K-selective behaviors such as lower time preference, increased intelligence, and social interdependence, then the forms those social interdependencies, time preferences, and ideologies take on are a natural extension of those same evolutionary forces.
If you are unwilling or unable to accept that some genetic lines are simply dead-ends and that the species as a whole would be better off if they just ended, rather then being subsidized at the expense of successful genetic lines, YOU ARE NOT A DARWINIST.
What you are is a lukewarm idiot. Don’t take on labels and ideologies out of social self-promotion, only to eschew them on the occasions that they aren’t politically expedient. In the same way every single politician at the debates this cycle (and every politician that ever came before) has changed their positions on how to best use initiatory violence based solely on what they think will get them (re)elected, you are a liar and a whore.
One cannot simply put on and take of different philosophies or hats based on one’s feelings at any given moment, it requires extensive research and contemplation to be able to contribute any value in the marketplace of ideas. Those that have demonstrated that they are incapable of doing so should just remain silent, rather than saying assinine things like “I’m totally a Darwinist, but I don’t feel like following such claims to their logical conclusion.” You’re wasting everyone’s time get a real job and shut the fuck up.

I’m actually an agnostic with regards to the whole “Darwinian vertical-evolution” thing, but it’s not for lack of research and contemplation. If someone who isn’t even committed to your alleged position can explain it better than you can, you’re either stupid or intentionally maligning the position you claim to adhere to. I’m pretty certain you aren’t intelligent enough to plan that far ahead, though.

Zomia Offline Games Pt. 2: Ninja Trek

Following closely on the heels of the first widely-known anarchist video game Zomia Offline Games has done it again.  Brian Sovryn of Sovryn Tech fame (or infamy), having set a challenging standard for what “anarchist game” means, has managed to meet this standard while releasing a more mainstream product.

Ninja Trek is a more mainstream-style RPG than Hypercronius.  What I mean by that is that it is a little longer, has more combat, and less dialogue.  It also has a slightly smaller price tag (It’s hard to get smaller than that of Hypercronius), at a mere .012 BTC.  I’m going to try and review Ninja Trek by it’s own merits, rather than comparing it to Hypercronius, but we’ll see how successful I am in that regard.

Gameplay/Story: The gameplay and story are pretty direct and intuitive.  If anyone has played Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest/Warrior, or any other classic J-RPG, you’ll know how to play Ninja Trek.  Even as a short game, there are exciting story elements, fun puzzles, and a decent variety of baddies to clobber.  Most notable of the story elements are the handful of connections made to Hypercronius, implying that this game takes place thousands or hundreds of thousands of years after the events in Hypercronius; I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it at that.  There’s one main puzzle in the game which is simple but fun enough (I, in my sleep-deprived and mensa-puzzle mindset overlooked the solution and spent hours trying to figure it out). but general gameplay presents it’s own puzzle-like atmosphere; grinding would undoubtedly make the game easier than avoiding combat at every possible chance, but how will that pay off in the long run?  I’ve only played as a straight-up magic user thus far, but may play through again using the fighter class and see how that changes gameplay for combat.  It is possible to beat the game without grinding if one is smart about equipment, items, and party composition, but I’m sure it would be easier to just grind along the way, killing everything in sight.  But that isn’t the gameplay that I was looking for, given the subtext of the game’s relationship to Hypercronius.
There are, like in Hypercronius, a lot of obvious and not-so-obvious references to esoteric ideologies, which add to the richness and apparent depth of the environments in the game.  One can’t miss the use of the Ankh and the Garden of E.DIN, for example.
The Message:  Where Hypercronius is very, very story-heavy, Ninja Trek is a little more gameplay-driven.  As such the message is mostly contained in they payout at the end of the game (“Kami do not kill!“).  The protagonist/player is faced with what could be called a moral dilemma which has profound implications in the world laid out by the game’s plot.  If one is inclined to meditate on the story and the ending, they can easily tease out different implications concerning the nature of power, domination structures, and even the NAP.
A little bit of meta-game message is bundled in as well: the game’s EULA is actually the BipCot license.  It is pretty much the only EULA that I recommend anyone read, as it’s the first ever license that I know of which is valid under the rubric of the NAP.
The Rub:  If one is expecting the level of text, story, character development, and drama experienced in Hypercronius, they will likely be disappointed.  In addition to being less dialogue-driven, there was a noticeable absence of voice acting and sexy sprite-humping.  However, the game stands very well on it’s own as a classic RPG-style hack-and-slash.  I encountered one bug towards the end of the game that led to the game crashing, but I was unable to recreate the bug (it’s just as likely my antivirus breaking things as it is a flaw in the actual game).  Fortunately, the age-old “RPG best practices” of saving constantly meant that I only lost about 5 minutes of gameplay to the crash.
The Verdict:  For just a few dollars, it’s hard to go wrong.  Again, Zomia Offline Games successfully delivers on the stated goals of their project.  Ninja Trek is an excellent companion piece to Hypercronius in that they compliment each other’s absences.  Where Hypercronius lacks the more traditional hack-and-slash RPG elements, Ninja Trek has it in spades; where Ninja Trek lacks full-motion video, voice acting, and visual-novel levels of dialogue, Hypercronius has more than enough.  Seeing as how one could get both for under $10, one can get the full anarchist 16-bit experience for the cost of a cheeseburger.
In it’s own right, though, Ninja Trek is well worth the couple dollars for a couple hours of nostalgic adventure true to the medium which simply doesn’t exist in the modern gaming landscape.  The anarchy just makes it that much more fun.
Oh, and you can buy it with Bitcoin in addition to the usual PayPal et al.

https://zomiaofflinegames.com/product/ninjatrek/

TL;DR:  4 out of 5 stars, fun game, good combat engine, fun environments, yay anarchy.  I’m certainly looking forward to Hypercronius II as I’ve come to expect great things from Zomia Offline Games.

Defending the Undefendable

In the spirit of Rothbard, Walter Block presents a treatise on the relationship between crime and economic manipulation, semi-appropriate ethical indignation and the unintended consequences of using violence to try to prevent those ethically unappealing actions.
In Defending the Undefendable, Walter Block defends the heroin dealer, the speculator, the employer of child labor, and the man who screams “fire” in a crowded theater against accusations of economic perversity and harming the social order.  He does so quite effectively.  After reading this book, one who is educated in economics will have to seriously reconsider support of a minimum wage and legal prohibitions against child labor.
The introduction, written by Rothbard himself, makes it clear that while the people defended in Block’s book are heroes because of the role they play economically and the adversity they face in reducing the friction of a politically-controlled economic system, this is not a moral defense of the particular actions the people make.  For instance, a heroin dealer could very well be a boon to the market and a hero in face of the evils of government while also perpetrating an immoral or unethical act (such as selling poison to people, even if it is a voluntary interactions).
As compelling, concise, and informative as the book is as a whole, there is one chapter, however, that doesn’t seem to belong.  The defense of the “Male Chauvinist Pig” was less an economic defense of chauvinism and much more an incoherent and aggressive defense of feminist talking points, most prominent of which being the importance of abortion.  This defense of abortion is actually inconsistent with a much more compelling case he makes later on in the case of defending “The Employer of Child Labor”.
All-in-all, though, this book is a must-read for anyone who believes in the free market but hasn’t critically assessed their position on “the undefendable” as of yet, people who are genuinely interested in reducing crime and increasing the quality of life for the poor, and those that still believe that government violence can somehow improve the world.  Each chapter is a few pages long, very direct and to the point.

One can acquire the book for free in digital form from the Mises Institute, or purchase a hardcopy at Amazon.  I strongly recommend that you do so.

Engines of Domination

A book written by Mark Corske was recently made into a pseudo-documentary film that is very well-produced and well- written.  I strongly recommend that people watch the video on youtube.  It’s an hour long, but it can easily be played at 1.25X or 1.5X speeds.  It gets a little choppy at 2X speed.  It is well worth the time to anyone who has felt that “something isn’t right” about the world they live in, and it’s even thought-provoking to those who haven’t.
Reading the book would be warranted, too. However, I feel that watching the youtube video for free is much less a commitment than buying and reading the book.  There’s also the issue of market forces… there is a certain AnCom vein that runs through this work, so one’s money may be better spent on Rothbard or Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

If one hour is too long or someone doesn’t want to watch a documentary, there is a third option to the documentary and book.  Here is a 30-minute interview that covers pretty much all the same information and ideas, but without a cool soundtrack and powerful visuals.

Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of Anarchast anymore, but this interview is still legit.

 

Rant 1: Taxes Are Not Repayment for Services Rendered

I’m doing something new, we’ll see how popular it becomes.  I’m just recording low-quality rants when I feel like it and posting them when recorded.  I figure I type all this crap into Facebook while yelling it in real time, so I might as well put is someplace a little more accessible and permanent than a Facebook or NSA (same thing) server.

One of the most common and most ignorant arguments I see in favor of taxes, I think, is a direct result of shitty parents.
“Taxes aren’t theft, they are you paying for use of things like roads or benefiting from the government’s activities indirectly.”
The roads have already been paid for, and whatever government activity is involuntary. If I were to buy you a car and just give it to you (regardless of whether you wanted it), I would be insane, but doing nothing more than giving you a gift. Nothing would be owed to me for that gift. If I were to buy you a car and afterwards demand that you pay me for it (especially at a 65%-400% markup), I would simply be insane. You didn’t want the car (or else you would have bought it, why am I making decisions for you?) and I have no right to demand payment for a gift that is already paid for.
If I were to rob you at gunpoint and use a portion (or all) of the money I stole from you to buy you a car, I still stole that money from you, as a car is less liquid an asset than cash and IF YOU WANTED A GODDAMNED CAR, YOU WOULD HAVE BOUGHT ONE!

Taxes are not “your fair payment for services rendered”, but is instead highway robbery of the highest order, with the added insult of the highwayman saying “I’m doing this for your own good.”  If you believe this rhetoric, you were likely abused as a child (if not physically, emotionally). Go get your issues sorted out before perpetuating your abuse on others.

“The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life…The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the road side and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful. The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber…Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful ‘sovereign,’ on account of the ‘protection’ he affords you.” Lysander Spooner