My 2016 Ballot

Before you read this post, I recommend that you read my recent post on why I’m doing this. Also, you should probably read No Treason by Lysander Spooner before commenting on this particular post. Most especially, I want you to pay attention to his case for “voting in self defense” (to which I do not ascribe) and his case that a secret ballot proves that a) the government is nothing but a band of criminals and b) that those voting in self defense ought to share their ballot selections in order to promote responsibility for one’s actions (no matter how minor).

voting-sticker

President
Donald Trump
I wish all the propaganda that the media is putting forth were true. I wish that Trump were a belligerent troll who wanted to go back to “the good old days” when only land-owning men could vote. I wish he were willing to imprison and execute the liberal puppets in the media. I wish he would nominate supreme court judges who were radically pro-gun, pro-life, and anti-left. I wish Trump were a radical social conservative who wanted to deregulate the markets and slash taxes. In other words, I wish Trump were literally Hitler.
Looking at the man and his words, though, the best we can hope for is a man who makes liberals cry, move away, and kill themselves because “he said something mean about that one lady that everyone hates”. There’s no telling what he will do in office, but his rhetoric so far has been the best thing I’ve heard any politician other than Putin say in my lifetime.
Hilary Clinton is evil incarnate, Gary Johnson is a drug-addles cuck who doesn’t even know what libertarianism is and he gives freedom-minded people everywhere a bad name, and all the other third-party candidates are religious fanatics and socialists who have only the most tenuous grasp of reality. This makes Trump preferable… even if the comparison is similar that of being slowly dismembered with a spork versus being shot in the back of the head.

US Senator
Lily Tang Williams
This one was a close call between Glenn and Williams. At the end of the day, Bennet will win because of the gerrymandered and skewed electoral pool within the state, so I might as well choose the candidate that has the most sound policies in general. Some may get upset that I’m voting for a candidate that is wishy-washy on abortion, but she’s no less wishy-washy than Glenn if you look at his history. I’m not a fan of her rhetoric on equality and promoting drug use, but her economic policies more than make up for her lack of social conservatism as compared to Glenn

District 6 Rep.
Norm Olsen
This was another tough one between the republican and libertarian. The thing that made it difficult was the abortion issue again. On all other counts, Olsen trounces Coffman. The determining factor for me is that neither Coffman or Olsen are actually pro-life; one wants to try to limit, in some regards, some aspects of the abortion industry while the other basically wants to get the government out of the issue altogether (a largely libertarian position). If Coffman were actually anti-abortion, I would be forced to chose him over Olsen, given that he’s not, I am voting Olsen.

Amendment T
Against
There is a twofold reasoning behind this one. Firstly, because in a free society private enterprises that would serve a similar function to prisons would likely require something that would approach or meet the description of servitude or slavery that the state uses. To disallow, wholesale, that option is to take a step away from a free society. Secondly, because the measure is being put forth by egalitarian cultural marxists in order to push a specific cultural narrative. Barring throwing these people from helicopters, stopping their ballot measures is an acceptable one-tenth measure.

Amendment U
For
Simple: it’s a reduction of taxes. There’s all sorts of minor other arguments taking place; for example, the fact that the state spends more money collecting said tax than they gain means that they are currently literally just stealing our money in order to waste it on things like stamps and envelopes. By reducing the tax burden on small-time property owners, one is also reducing the tax expenditure burden.

Amendment 69
Against
A handful of liberal shithead doctors in Boulder want a violent monopoly on all things related to health services in Colorado. It’s nationalized medicine on a state-level, and it will be worse than even Obamacre. Also, my premiums have already doubled, I don’t need them to triple or quadruple. Also, no legitimate law should take up 11 pages of that stupid blue book they send you in the mail.

Amendment 70
Against
Any legitimate economist will tell you that minimum wage is a bad idea, unless you are simply trying to kill of ethnicities that are less-able to provide value to others by pricing them out of the labor pool and leaving them to starve. (Or, if you’re a democrat, purchasing them via welfare to become professional voters).
I, personally, would go from having a hard time managing my staff as a facilities manager to being unable to do so at all. My place of work would go out of business (and that, given that it’s a church in a wealthy neighborhood, is an indicator that it would destroy what’s left of the Church in Colorado.)

Amendment 71
For
This one took a lot of research and moral/ethical reasoning to decide. Ultimately, the lynchpin argument is thus: If one is forced to be subject to hyper-inclusive mass-democracy, it would be prudent to try and prevent situations like Amendment 69 from arising. If a handful of doctors in Boulder can get enough signatures from CU students to ruin everyone’s lives, that’s a problem.
Yes, it may slow down measures put forth to, say, secede from the Union or to limit the political power of Denver over the rest of the state, but those measures aren’t going to pass anyway.

Amendment 72
Against
Again, it’s a simple matter of limiting the crime of taxation. Also, it’s disingenuous to advertise it as a “cigarette tax”, because the language slips in several, much more broad taxation schemes. Besides, sin taxes are stupid.

Proposition 106
Against
I’m against it, but not for the reasons that most people would assume. I think the Thomists (mainstream Catholics) have gotten themselves all confused and backwards on issues concerning suicide, but that’s a different blog post. In a free society, I could probably go to Walgreens and buy morphine; they may have a system in place to prevent customers from buying lethal doses, but I could have a friend go get a second not-quite-lethal dose for me, or whatever. That would make something akin to 106 look like a “pro-liberty proposition” (yes, I know that’s an oxymoron).
However, with the way the law itself is written (all nine pages of it), it puts way too much power in the hands of doctors and actually removes certain safeguards against malpractice provided to patients. At the end of the day, I cannot help but get conspiratorial about 106 and think it’s an intentional inroad to the Obamacare “death panels” and political assassinations.

Proposition 107
Against
You would think an anarchist wouldn’t have a principled stance on how primaries ought to be conducted. At the end of the day, though, the political parties that exist are voluntary associations of people. By using the violence of the state to allow non-party individuals to impact the goings-on within a party, one effectively destroys the party in any actionable sense. If a handful of my friends decided to build a clubhouse and put up a “no girls allowed” sign, it would be criminal for the state to demand that the activities within the clubhouse correspond to the wishes of women who are, obviously, not in the club. Same idea.
I believe this ballot measure was put forward by the same marxists pushing amendment T. Rather than joining the Republican or Libertarian parties, they would rather just use the aforementioned professional voters to make those parties even more cuck-y and lefty than they already are.

Proposition 108
Against
See proposition 107. This is merely pushing the intrusion even further.

Issue 4B
Against
I am opposed to a good portion of what the SCFD does, and I am certainly opposed to continuing and increasing taxes.

State Board of Education
Debora Scheffel
There’s no actionable difference between the two, so this is merely my anti-democrat bias in action.

Regent of CU
Heidi Ganahl
See Board of Education

State Representative District 43
Kevin Van Winkle
I’m not exactly impressed with Van Winkle, but Wagner is a died-in-the-wool socialist and should be thrown from a helicopter.

18th Judicial District and RTD
Nobody
Since the position is uncontested, there is no opportunity to voice a preference. As such, I can’t justify voting on these positions.

County Comissioner District 2 and 3
Partridge and Thomas
Just the same as the education positions: there’s no actionable difference other than party affiliation.

Judges
This one is a tricky one for me. My default setting is to simply vote against retention of all the judges because they are all terrible. At the same time, some are on the better end of the bell curve as far as terrible judges are concerned. In such a case, it may be preferable to retain said judges because their replacements are (statistically) likely to be worse. That looks too much like an endorsement to me, though; I am either going to vote against retaining or not vote with regards to the judges, either on an individual basis or altogether. I haven’t decided yet.

The Downfall Episode 28

This week, I’ve got a treat for you guys.  I was a guest on The Downfall with Jared and Dave!  I wrote briefly about them before, and it was an honor being welcomed onto their show.  I gave them about a week to get all their regular views before posting it here, just so that they could get credit for their quality production, first.

Also, if you’ve somehow missed the repeated announcements, we’re on Patreon!  Please consider incentivizing the production of more Mad Philosopher content; big donors get neat prizes and the ability to influence the direction of the show and if we hit certain goals, the project can expand.

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Statist Sunday (Episode 1)

A reading from the book of Constitution:
“And, lo, the Founding Fathers rendered the skin og a sacrificial lamb, the sheep representing the flock of ‘we the people’. The Fathers inscribed unto that skin the Covenant prescribed by Locke, binding that flock into the Union. Madison then looked upon the covenant and was pleased. Riding forth on his black steed, he proclaimed in all the land of America, ‘This is truly the social contract by which you, the people, shall build muh roads.”
The Word of the State.
-Muh Roads-

The second reading from the book of Economy:
“In this time of the New Order, King Roosevelt approached the oracles and soothsayers in their den outside the City. ‘I am troubled. My slumber is disturbed by the spectre of time. The young of today will one day become independent and self-sufficient as they age and their descendants will inherit their wealth. The economy will cause them to forget my name and fall prey to the spirits of anarchy.’
Hearing the king’s lament, the spirit of Mammon (in whom we trust) overcame the oracle Keynes and thus he spake: ‘Oh, Roosevelt, builder of greatness, surely the young will one day become aged, but that age need not bring independence. Using your divine authority and seal, sign a covenant with the young of today. This covenant shall guarantee that you provide for their livelihood in old age and thereby secure your name in history.’

The king’s heart was lightened at Keynes’ words, but he was still troubled. ‘How shall I secure their livelihood? Not even the Awesome might of the Federal Reserve can create so much.’ Keynes laughed in the face of the king, ‘Steal it from their children and their children’s children; the old shall devour their young, and when the young age, they shall eat the next generation. These nosferatu will forever praise the name Roosevelt and his Social Security!’

With that, the spirit of Mammon departed from Keynes.”
The Word of the State
-Muh Roads-

The gospel according to Democracy:
“In the days of progressivism, the social planners stood atop capitol hill and began to preach to the schoolchildren. “Blessed are the followers, for leading is risky. Blessed are the victims, for Privileges will be granted to them. Blessed are the entitled, for they shall receive gives me dats. Blessed are the ignorant, for ignorance is bliss. Blessed are the sophists and autists, for they will attain consensus. Blessed are the patriotic and egalitarian, for the moral high ground shall be theirs. Amen, I say to you, vote early, vote often, obey the law, and the Kingdom of Mammon shall be yours.
The Word of the State
-We pledge allegiance-

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.

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.

 

A Solid Definition of Government

This week, I am clearly picking the low-hanging fruit. I have to admit, working on my book last month and getting so worked up last week seems to have burned me out. I’d rather just read Dostoevsky and listen to Dimmu Borgir in my free time this week. Instead, I’m going to lean on my default post-type and define something while looking at the etymology and philology of the term.

Looking at my definition of anarchy (and the preceding discussion), it would seem that I am doing things backwards. Typically, people define anarchy as “the absence of government”; I argue that anarchy was here first and government is the absence (or privation of) anarchy. I could leave the conversation at that, but I wouldn’t be doing the history of the word its due time, nor would the subject warrant a full blog post.

“Government” is one of the many words that English-speakers have lifted from the French, like buffet, ballet, abatement… lots of words that end in “t”, it would seem. In the French use of the word, it largely means the same thing it does in English: “The group of assholes who violently claim arbitrary swaths of land and the people and fruits thereof”. Technically, the noun form of the word is derived from the original verb, “To control or dictate.” Unless we are speaking of self-governance, that sounds an awful lot like coercion and slavery.

As a matter of fact, that’s where the French got the word. Somehow (there’s some debate in academia), the French got a hold of an ancient Greek word: kybernan. Kybernan is the Greek word for “piloting a ship”. Pretty innocuous and maybe even voluntarist, right? Well, this word came into widespread use in the time of Greece’s heyday of naval warfare and mercantilism. Still innocent-sounding? The ships of that period were not diesel or cesium-powered, nor were they steamboats or sailing ships; they were powered by slaves. The primary method of steering a ship was by dictating the manner, rate, and direction the slaves were to row.

It would seem that kybernan has managed to keep it’s meaning fairly well through its multiple iterations. The federalists, especially Madison and Hamilton, were particularly fond of descriptions and metaphors for government that, while not quite “The citizens shall be like slaves rowing a trireme while me and my friends whip them,” were not much different. Interestingly enough, the prefix “cyber-” is derived from the very same Greek word. “Cybernetics” or “systems theory” is inextricably tied to government, too. In today’s vernacular, “cyber-whatever” usually means “computer-y” or “robot-y”, but cybernetics is a field of study much older than computers and robots. Cybernetics is a tradition that reaches back to Plato, but has changed dramatically from it’s origins in “studying regularity in closed systems” into a form of sociological alchemy pursued by many famous intellectuals such as John Dewey, Norbert Wiener, and Alan Turing. This set of theories were predicated on the idea that human environments were closed systems which could be molded by internal and external factors. The idea driving cybernetics was the idea that the masses of under-educated and working castes could be molded into a sort of perpetual-energy machine, sustaining both itself and the lifestyles of the enlightened progressives. All such an endeavor would require is the perfect admixture of coercion, theft, violence, and mind-control.

This may sound like a crazy conspiracy theory, but it is truly a matter of mainstream historical fact. On need only read the writings of those involved in the project to confirm its facticity. Besides, there’s already a popular (and crazy) conspiracy theory about the word “government” that I need to dispel. Rather than focusing on the historical reality of Dewey’s obsession with cybernetics and government, some say that “government” is either Old English or Latin for “governing minds” or, alternatively, “mind control”. Given the relationship between cybernetics and western governments over the last century-and-a-half, it isn’t surprising that one would assume that “government” and “mind control” are synonymous, but there is one degree of separation betwixt the two; it’s just a funny philological quirk that it worked out that way. As is usually the case, it is better to address historical realities and actual conspiracies instead of creating imagined conspiracy theories out of ignorance.

While fun, this linguistic foray has done little to define the term “government”. Unless, that is, we are going to define government as “slave-driving on an ancient Greek boat.” I guess I went on this tangent to bolster the case for my definition, but before I deliver the punchline and just tell you my definition, I have one last point to touch on.

Those Greek slaves were different in nearly every way from the slaves in America circa 19th century, and both were equally different from slaves in Egypt circa the 20th century BC. What, then, is common to each “slave” to make them such? Slaves in the American south were largely allowed to do whatever they wished when not working, so “total loss of autonomy” doesn’t work. Slaves in Greece were afforded second-class citizenship and some degree of representation in government, so “lack of legal ‘rights” and “lack of political representation” does not suffice. Many slaves in Egypt became such voluntarily, as an alternative to the death penalty or to pay off family debts, so even “being conscripted from your home country” doesn’t work. Similarly, nearly every alternative faces similar counterfactuals.

However, even in the case of Greek slavery (which had the most liberty regarding property to my knowledge), that property was more-or-less rented from the local government and could be repossessed via an ancient Greek eminent domain from which real citizens were secure. Therefore, I think I’m going to take a page out of the AnCaps’ book and say that the defining characteristic of a slave is a systematic or institutionalized denial of one’s property rights. It wouldn’t be surprising, then, that Marx would have found the average family of his day to be a form of slavery. I’m sure you’ve already guessed where this is going; kybernan, being equivalent to “slave driving”, and “government”, being equivalent to “an absence of anarchy” gives us a historical basis for saying “government” is best defined as, “an institutionalized denial of one’s property rights”. I have not yet been presented with an example of government, in the abstract or specific, which fails to meet this criteria, nor have I encountered an instance, in the abstract or specific, of an institution which is not a functional equivalent to government which meets this criteria.

Taxation is functionally equivalent to declaring superseding ownership over another’s property or self and demanding rent for continued use of that property or self. Property tax is a declaration of ownership of land and improvements upon the land. Income tax (by the books) is a declaration of ownership concerning monetary gains that arrive in the owned territory and is also (in practice) a declaration of ownership of one’s labor. Sales (and the synonymous “value-added”) tax is the declaration of ownership of both (or either) the property changing hands and/or the relationship between the two parties. This list is as long as the list of things taxed.

Law enforcement is functionally equivalent to declaring ownership of either one’s self or one’s actions (same thing, really). Even the most honorable and benevolent law-maker will admit (as the Federalists openly did) that laws are designed as an attempt to control individuals. I’ve already addressed the relationship between control and ownership, so we don’t need to discuss that now.

In establishing a monopoly on certain services (de-facto or explicitly) such as defense, security, infrastructure management, financial instruments, etc., governments establish a claim on either the concepts themselves or every specific instance of such things. For example, I can’t own a tank, arrest someone, build a power generator, mint coins, deliver packages, or even opt-out of having those services provided without explicit permission. Of course, all of these services are provided by way of stealing my property and by taking out loans from central banks using me and my descendants as collateral… yet another explicit claim of ownership over myself and all I own.

Someone can attempt to contrive something that looks like, and achieves similar outcomes to government without violating property rights. So far, every time I’ve witnessed such attempts, the attempt either fails to meet so simple a moral standard or is, effectively, a description of AnCapistan. This is how I, myself, became an anarchist. I was a communist out of an Aristotelian notion of positive rights and the need for government to provide them. After a decade or so of trying to explicate and enumerate rights and how they could all be upheld without contradiction, I realized that it is metaphysically impossible to uphold positive rights and that the government can’t even protect one’s negative rights.

TL;DR Government, the absence of anarchy, is ultimately defined by one identifiable function. Every historical example of government presents some feature or behavior unique from or contradictory to another, save one. Interestingly, slavery is defined by the same function which is fitting given the etymological root of the word: kybernan. Government is “the institutionalized denial of property rights.”

It’s “Just” a War

Just War Theory used to be a major focus of mine when I was much younger.  When I was a communist, I had two motivations for researching and debating just war theory: the first was whether or not revolution counted as war and whether it would be justified, the second was a result of 9/11, the subsequent continuation of war in the middle east, and the discussions that ensued with parents and classmates.

After a few years of research and debate, I decided that Just War theory really is nothing more than a Theory on How To Justify a War.  Today’s resource is someone much more engaged in this discussion than I in an interview with Tom Woods, but saying essentially the same things I have believed for years, now.

My Last Love-Letter to Science for a While

Today’s resource suggestion is another Cantwell Production.  Like Tom Woods, he consistently produces quality content… and by consistently, I mean 2-3 pieces of content a day that are simply spectacular.  I thought I was done discussing my frustrations with the “scientific” community and people’s misconceptions about how science works, but Cantwell managed to take (almost) everything I had to say on the matter and put it together into this handy little production.

 

He didn’t quite go into the fullest depths of my position concerning philosophy of science, but this effectively explains why I decided to not pursue a career in physics (which is what I was set on until about a year before going to college).

Halloween Candy, or Crystal Meth?

A spectre wanders the suburban countryside, flitting between households and abandoned warehouses… This spectre is not one of revolution, not one of communism or capitalism, it is the shade of Harry J Anslinger.  It is the ghost of slavery, the status quo, and economic illiteracy.

On Halloween, every year, this ghost floats out of the Halls of (in)Justice and the Ministry of Truth to scare the slaves into clamoring for more taskmasters.  What I’m speaking of is the urban legends about drugs in Halloween candy, razorblades in apples, and ricin in the smoke machines.  As long as one isn’t dancing on the freeway, Halloween is the safest night of the year to be wander around one’s neighborhood in the dark.

Today’s resource suggestion is simple: it’s two articles (this one and this one) to help assuage one’s fears that are a result not of reality but, instead, of the indoctrination one is perpetually exposed to in Empire.

And besides, candy hasn’t looked like this for 20 years.

Also, a quick examination of economics would tell us that there is no incentive to poison the Halloween candy.  Therefore, the only people that will do so are the one-in-a-billion serial-killers that value the thrill of handing out poison more than the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost to buy the drugs.  Another limiting factor is the available assets to said serial killer.  One would have  to be consistently wealthy, have access to drugs, and be a serial killer with a special hatred for kids and/or Halloween.  At this point, we’re looking at a one-in-one-hundred-billion event.  So, if the urban legends are true that someone, at some time, did poison the candy, the odds of it happening again are so infinitesimal that we should be putting out PSAs about Halloween alien abductions and commie invasions before we worry about the best Halloween treats and tricks ever.

A Conspiracy Theory

Haven’t you heard about how alien lizard jews did 9/11 to get the chemtrail program off the ground? It’s all part of the plan to take your guns and re-establish the supremacy of the white, cis-male, capitalist, patriarchy. No? Well, how about how american doctors, under the orders of the federal government, injected syphilis into a bunch of black people (calling it a vaccination) and watched them slowly die an agonizing death? No? One more: did you hear about how the founder of Planned Parenthood openly admitted to being a racist and founded the company for the sake of implementing a far-reaching eugenics program and the intellectual and political elite applauded her for it? No? Not surprising. The terrifying thing about this list is that two out of three items are a matter of historical fact easily verified by reading documents published by the actual perpetrators of the crimes in question. The lizard jews, however, are a little better at covering their tracks.

For the longest portion of my life, I have been what is commonly referred to as a conspiracy theorist. At one point in my life, I could have made Alex Jones himself blush The term and practice of conspiracy theory has an interesting and colorful history, but that’s a different story for a later time. Today, I want to explore the nature and role of conspiracy theory in the life of a liberty-minded individual. I believed in alien/government conspiracies of control and technology, worldwide economic planning conspiracies, international government conspiracies, class warfare conspiracies, and more. Smaller in scope, the events around September eleventh, 2001 had led me to strongly distrust the official story which emerges in real time when varying types of crises arise.Looking at myself, making use of the Hobbesian fallacy of introspection, I think I can identify two causes for one to become a conspiracy theorist. If one has a skeptical disposition but is indoctrinated to believe in “higher powers” without rational justification for that belief, one is forced to either eschew or modify ad-hoc their beliefs when faced with rational criticism. In the case of conspiracy theories, lack of evidence is often considered to be proof of conspiracy, implementing the same rationale as a witch hunt, the internment of Japanese Americans, or McCarthy-style paranoia. It’s easy for an irrational belief in celestial parent figure who constantly messes with your life to become a belief that extends to “capitalists” or “all males” or “space aliens”. There may actually be a God, and there may actually be conspiracies, but irrational beliefs in them are just that, irrational. Once one can rationally prove or make a compelling case for such things, it becomes less a theory and more a justified true belief, AKA knowledge.

The second, and likely common, cause for one to become a conspiracy theorist is one of… well… immaturity. If one finds themselves frequently at a disadvantage and lacks the means to overcoming said disadvantage, one can easily fall into what Nietzsche calls “Bad Conscience”. We don’t have time here to really explore Nietzsche (If you, the reader would like me talk more about Nietzsche, let me know. I would love to make at least a full Nietzsche post.), but a super-high-altitude description of “bad conscience” is in order. Bad conscience is basically embracing and fetishizing one’s own weaknesses while demonizing powerful traits and those that one feels disadvantaged against. Whether or not the perceived disadvantage one faces is real or not, it is a natural behavior to pin advantage and blame on someone else. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it is beneficial or righteous, though. Ultimately, as with every other instance of adversity, one must overcome or circumvent one’s disadvantage or consign themselves to death.

How does the externalization of adversity demonstrate immaturity? In itself, it doesn’t. However, if that externalization takes the form of “the Jews”, “the patriarchy” “gun grabbers”, “those Christians”, “Satan”, or whatever other shape-shifting omnipotent boogeyman one can cook up, it demonstrates an unwillingness or inability to educate oneself as to the actual circumstances and how one might overcome them. Again, it very well may be the case that Satan sits on the masonic throne and tells the Jews to go out and impoverish the world for their lizard overlords… but that isn’t the immediate issue one faces in day-to-day life. If you can’t get a job, it could be more because you’ve demonstrated irresponsible tendencies by getting a women’s studies degree on a credit card and a little less because of the patriarchy. In either case, whether or not the conspiracy exists, it is at least intellectual immaturity and could be emotional or social immaturity as well. Here it is, people, an admission that I was once immature. Hell, I still don’t believe the official story of 9/11 and I think the Titanic was sunk intentionally, make of that what you will. Why is it immature? Because, if one is at a disadvantage, one must be able to diagnose and overcome that disadvantage; going “Oh, well, it’s not my fault… it’s impossible to overcome the Bilderberg conspiracy,” renders one unable to grow and overcome adversity. If one is not actually at a disadvantage, yet they see a conspiracy of boogeymen, they develop a learned helplessness and cannot flourish.

Also of note is the manner in which these conspiracy theories influence society once enough people agree that it is the truth. “The Jews” ruined the 20th century German economy, “the Capitalists” oppressed the Russian proletariat, “Islam” blew up the world trade center, “the patriarchy” raped everyone ever all the time, “Satan” made everyone in Africa black and consorts with witches in Salem, “the speculators” caused famines, “the Church”intentionally slowed scientific progress, “Americans of Japanese descent” were plotting to overthrow wartime America’s empire… do we need more examples? The problem with conspiracy theories and mobs of immature, angry people is the way that it collectivizes “the other” and justifies the oppression and slaughter of innocent human beings. Conspiracy theorists feed state violence.

More important than what happens when conspiracy theories become popular, more important, even, than the way immature people will be kept from flourishing, is the way that they distract from more real and actionable issues. The reason I took so long to realize that any organization predicated on coercion, murder, or theft is intrinsically unjust and misanthropic and any job which requires such is unjust and misanthropic, and that I have a responsibility to avoid such practices is because I was distracted from such things by “the evil globalist capitalist cabal”, “secret government/alien alliances”, and a handful of other conspiracies. I see so many people seeing systematic oppression by laws and law enforcement in Ferguson and Baltimore but being distracted from their oppressors by the spectre of “racism”. Conversely, I see people witnessing oppression by federal edict in southern Nevada but being distracted by the spectre of “socialism” (the Republican caricature of it, not the intrinsic nature of statism).

When people are so terrified that ISIS, Mexicans, or Chinese entrepreneurs are going to invade the country and behead Christians, steal their jobs, and give them more government, they forget that the laws passed, armies sent, and crimes committed in the name of defending against these boogeymen will eventually be turned against themselves. When people are bogged down in looking for a specific imperial agendas, like “the war on local government/guns/cash/women/minorities/gays/Christians/the environment/etc.”, they are distracted from the root issue that is empire itself. Even in libertarian circles, many are prone to forgetting that the enemy is the state itself as opposed to just the Federal government, the patriarchy/racists/sexists, neighboring governments, the Fed, lizard Jews, chemtrails, vaccination programs, or any other lesser, symptomatic, nebulous enemy.

If a man were to approach you, brandishing a gun and demanding your money and your obeisance, what is a more pressing matter: the mugger standing before you or a cabal of 1%ers sitting on a private island thousands of miles away? If your livelihood were contingent upon the whims of a sociopath living down the street, what would be more of an existential threat: your unruly neighbor or a guy who really hates white people, humps goats, and prays to the devil on the literal opposite side of the planet? If your king declares that you have no right to raise your own children, own land, or avoid being conscripted, wouldn’t that be more concerning than which patch of dirt he happened to be born on? What I mean to ask is that if there were a demonstrable and immediate existential threat, why would one concern themselves with a merely possible and nigh-unstoppable future crisis?

Besides, the burden of proof rests heavily on conspiracy theorists. One need only to say:

Murder, coercion, and theft are unjust
Taxation is theft
∴ Taxation is unjust

This is all that’s required (with appropriate definitions and such) to undermine the legitimacy of all governments, whereas a conspiracy theorist must often resort to grainy photographs, redacted segments of declassified documents, receipts from trash cans, numerology, and the rantings of this hobo over here in order to show that the UN performs satanic rituals to oppress women and George Soros needs to steal all your guns in order to join the club. If you set a standard of proof for, say, the existence of God (or his non-existence), that same standard must be applied to the existence (or non-existence) of Krishna or Sasquatch. Unless one is willing to say that the absence of evidence of God’s existence if proof that he exists (there are some nutjobs who say this), that same claim cannot be made about a Japanese-American conspiracy to hurt the war effort.

Of course, some conspiracies are real. Some are incredibly high profile and far-reaching.Pop culture sites, wikipedia, and even history textbooks will occasionally feature conspiracies so convoluted and successful that no one would believe a movie that had the same plot. These conspiracies serve as easy examples as to why the state is the enemy, but they are not required in order to make a compelling case. For example, mandatory vaccination programs are categorically unjust as they deprive people of their bodily autonomy and self-ownership. It doesn’t hurt, though, to point to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and ask how one can know that they will only be injected with what they are told they are receiving (or that it is safe, for that matter).

TL;DR: Conspiracy theories typically distract from more pressing and manageable crises. Those who engage in conspiracy theory also tend to demonstrate an unwillingness to improve themselves, instead choosing to allow themselves to be a helpless victim to an omnipotent boogeyman. In the case that conspiracy theory influences state policy, millions are subjugated and killed. One must remember that politicians and cops are the enemy, not because they are gun grabbers or racists, but because they are politicians and cops. In a free world, “the patriarchy” and Islam would have no ability to conspire in any manner that would affect you or me. It is only the violence of the state which allows for conspiracies to harm the human race.