Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Tale of the Slave

[Excerpt from Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia (pp. 290-2)]

Consider the following sequence of cases, which we shall call the Tale of the Slave, and imagine it is about you.

1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master's whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.

2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Right and Left: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

As a former conservative I definitely have some sympathies for the political right. But as an anarchist (one who rejects the initiation of force), I sympathize with some parts of the leftist agenda as well. I want to briefly describe how I view the two sides of the mainstream political spectrum* through the lens of liberty.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Prince of Peace

It is Christmas time and the best time of year to focus on the wonderful miracle that was Jesus' birth and His subsequent life. His perfect example throughout his mortal sojourn serves as the absolute best template that we can use to try to improve our lives. His Gospel is love. Everything He does is done out of love. He is loveJesus is the Prince of Peace and I believe that we need to be more like Him. How can we do that when we live in a time that is vastly different from the one He was in? I believe it is fairly easy to know what He would and would not do in today's world if we simply imagine Him living with us in our time.

Jesus would never force anyone to do anything against their will.* His Gospel is voluntary. He would let people do whatever they wished with their own property and let them conduct business however they pleased. I cannot imagine that Jesus would ever vote for anyone who pretended to have authority over the people. During His time on Earth Jesus completely disregarded Israel's political leaders and their demands to the point where He was actually a fugitive from the law. Indeed, He spent an awful amount of time condemning those in the political establishment for their extreme hypocrisy. I cannot picture Jesus arresting anyone for any nonviolent activity. He certainly had no trouble letting someone go free who was accused of doing something so offensive to the sensibilities of the time as to warrant a death sentence. Jesus would never support endless foreign interventions that destroy so many lives. In fact, at that time the people of Israel were themselves victims of foreign intervention by the world's only superpower. And finally, Jesus would most certainly not support the use of torture in order to extract intelligence from individuals with a dubious connection to terrorism. In short, Jesus would not support today's status quo.

Let us all be more Christlike and peaceful this Christmas season by taking a close look at the policies we support and viewing them through the lens of the teachings and example of the Prince of Peace.

*Jesus' only violent outburst was when He was driving merchants out of the temple. It can be argued that, since the temple was His house, Jesus was simply exercising His property rights.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Are You Secretly an Anarchist?

Here are three simple questions. The answers to these questions will indicate whether you are an anarchist or not (remember, an anarchist simply believes that no one has the right to rule anyone else).

1. Do you have the right to take someone else's money?

2. Can you delegate to someone else a right that you yourself do not have?

3. Can two or more people delegate to a third person a right that they do not have?

If you answered "no" to all three questions, a consistent application of your morals (beliefs, personal ethics, understanding of rights, etc.) will result in the complete rejection of the legitimacy of the state (any coercive government). You are an anarchist. Let me explain:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What is the State?

The state is the belief that people are too stupid to know what they want.

The state is the embodiment of the belief that liberty is too dangerous for individuals to enjoy.

The state is a gang that offers "protection" to those who pay up but threatens those who do not.

The state is the source of violent interventions that cause never-ending unintended consequences.

The state is the primary cause of non-natural deaths.

The state is a religion with its own idols (flags), chants (pledge of allegiance), sacraments (voting), high priests (politicians), rituals (war), scriptures (the constitution), priesthood (political authority and legislation), patron saints (dead presidents), and tithes (taxes).

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Greed Leads to Good Deeds

Greed gets a bad rap. I do not believe greed deserves the condemnation that it regularly receives at the hands of its critics. And I am not even referring to the violence* introduced by some greedy people. I am only speaking of greed by itself. Those who speak against (non-violent) greed often speak of environmental exploitation, income inequality, spiritual decay, or the destruction of society. But let me help you understand greed and the natural actions taken by greedy people, for then you will see that you have nothing to fear from this alleged bogeyman.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What is an Anarchist Thankful For?

You may think that the only thing an anarchist does is complain, complain, complain. Anarchists perceive more problems than most people so it is fair to say that we make a disproportionate amount of criticisms and condemnations. However, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to show the world what this anarchist is truly thankful for.