Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mises: Human Action

"All human action, so far as it is rational, appears as the exchange of one condition for another..."~Ludwig von Mises

Rand: Individual Rights

"The social recognition...of the connection between [man's] survival and his use of the concept of *individual rights*." ~Rand

Bastiat: the law perverted!

"...The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose!..."

"The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!"

"The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it!..." -Bastiat

The State as Terrorist

Terrorists, really just do all of the things that governments do, but on a smaller scale.

Terrorism is nothing more than a nascent form of Statism.

The State, is, in all actuality, a form of institutionalized terrorism.

War is terrorism, with a much bigger budget.

The State is NOT necessary

Saying that, government is necessary, for society to exist, is like saying, domestic violence is necessary for marriage to exist

Saying that, government is necessary in order for society to exist, is like saying, that farms are necessary, for animals to exist

Rothbard: the State

"The State is that organisation in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organisation in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion."


M.L. King jr.: Nonviolence of spirit

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

@CK_MacLeod: The Institution of Violence (The State)

@CK_MacLeod Most people would probably prefer to leave the possibility of violence, to the vagaries of circumstance, rather than the dubious comfort, of the surety of violence, within an institution of violence

Stalin: Anarchism & Marxism

We are not the kind of people who, when the word "anarchism" is mentioned, turn away contemptuously and say with a supercilious wave of the hand: "Why waste time on that, it's not worth talking about!" We think that such cheap "criticism" is undignified and useless.

Nor are we the kind of people who console themselves with the thought that the Anarchists "have no masses behind them and, therefore, are not so dangerous." It is not who has a larger or smaller "mass" following today, but the essence of the doctrine that matters. If the "doctrine" of the Anarchists expresses the truth, then it goes without saying that it will certainly hew a path for itself and will rally the masses around itself. If, however, it is unsound and built up on a false foundation, it will not last long and will remain suspended in mid-air. But the unsoundness of anarchism must be proved.

Some people believe that Marxism and anarchism are based on the same principles and that the disagreements between them concern only tactics, so that, in the opinion of these people, no distinction whatsoever can be drawn between these two trends.

This is a great mistake.

We believe that the Anarchists are real enemies of Marxism. Accordingly, we also hold that a real struggle must be waged against real enemies.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Hoppe: History & Theory

"HISTORIANS qua historians CANNOT RATIONALLY DECIDE between incompatible interpretations of the same set of data or sequence of events...the principle ADVANTAGE that the political economist and philosopher has over the mere his knowledge of pure--a priori--social theory, which enables him to avoid otherwise unavoidable errors in the interpretation of sequences of complex historical data and present a theoretically corrected or 'reconstructed,' and a decidedly critical or 'revisionist' account of history."

~Hans Herman Hoppe

Hayek: Theory & Economic History

"The idea that one can trace the causal connections of any events without employing a theory, or that such a theory will emerge automatically from the accumulation of a sufficient amount of facts, is of course sheer illusion....Common sense is a treacherous guide in this field [economic history], and what seem 'obvious' explanations frequently are no more than commonly accepted superstitions."


The Intellectual Walking-Dead

In my own perspective, curiosity is the most important intellectual virtue.

Anyone who lacks curiosity, about ideas or the world, is already brain-dead; they are zombies of philosophy & science; the intellectual walking-dead.

Liberty is an old idea... Overton 1646

"No man has power over my rights and liberties, and I over no man's."

- Richard Overton,
An Arrow against all Tyrants [1646]

Euro crisis explained: Comedy

If you are interested in the Euro-crisis, or just an aficionado of brilliant comedy, you OWE it yourself to watch:

LeFevre vs. Madison: Human Nature and it's political implications

"If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one." – Robert LeFevre

Puts a whole new interpretation on Madison's, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

Doesn't it?

Four out of five politicians surveyed...

‘‘Four out of five politicians surveyed, prefer unarmed, ignorant peasants.’’ ~Darjeelingzen

LeFevre: Two Assumptions of Human Nature

"If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one." – Robert LeFevre

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Response to the Question: BUT What about the roads?

A Response to the Question: BUT What about the roads?

All such questions, are implicit objections to a state-less society. As such, they are not generally, true inquiries, based on curiosity, they are conceptual hurdles that are thrown down, with the challenge,

"You can't have a state-less society, unless in advance, you solve all of the practical problems of that society, now. Oh and by the way, if my imagination is insufficient to grasp how your suggestions on how to solve these problems, then I will declare that you have failed to justify your cause for a state-less society."

When we understand what people are really asking, we can begin to see that their question, is really an argument, and like all arguments, it makes certain assumptions. If we demonstrate that the assumptions are faulty, then the question itself dissolves, as it it shown to be a 'leading question'.

The first assumption made by the question, is that the current road system in place is of sufficient quality and quantity NOW. Is it possible that currently the roads cost far more to build & maintain than if they were private? You bet!

Is it possible that many roads that we currently have, far exceed the demand for roads? Yup.

Is it possible that the artificial subsidy of roads, creates an artificially increases reliance/dependence on automotive vehicles and road transportation? Hell yes!

The question, "What about the roads?" Is the disease of Statism, asking how we will possibly get along without our disease? The disease of statism, is yet again, masquerading as its own cure!

My little science rant for today:

A Google+ pal of mine, posted this article:

It's about how some social-"scientists" say that "conservatives" have experienced a decrease in their "measured" "trust" in "science" since the mid-1970's....

Here was my response:

...This article, is demonstrative of the common error so many people make. The methodology of science is hinged on the falsifiability of the claims which are made; Karl Popper demonstrated that this feature of falsifiability, is due to the inductive reasoning process which is the premise of scientific reasoning. As such, scientific hypothesis can be falsified but they can never be confirmed. This article makes the common fallacy, of equating an interpretation of data, with the data itself. What's worse, the article does not even describe how the data is collected, the controls... nada. I'm guessing, that some survey was given, that was written by some social-"scientist", the participants answered the survey themselves, and the data was complied. To say that, "conservatives trust in science as decreased over time", is an interpretive leap, from data, to a conclusion, which empiricism could never warrant. The BEST that a scientist qua scientist could say is, "We have observed a change over time, between the correlation of the self-identification of political orientation, with the answers to these specified questions."

The problem with interpretations of the evidence, is that there are always alternate interpretations, and scientists are no more qualified to interpret data, than any other person. Scientists qua scientists collect data, they formulate questions (hypothesis) which will lead to the most interesting/useful data, but their interpretations are as interesting to a philosopher of science, as an actresses' opinion on politics; its just not relevant, or rather, it is as relevant as any other person's interpretation, of the same data.

For example, an alternate interpretation of this study could conclude, "Over X amount of time, Y-kind of political advocates have controlled the government spending on scientific research, this political-orientation/influence on where scientific spending is given, has increased/promoted research in areas where Y-kind of political advocates are interested, this affect in spending on scientific research has increased the amount of reporting on scientific research that Y-kind of political advocates are interested, and those that identify with the political orientation of "conservative" are W times less likely to self-report that they 'trust' the reported scientific research over X amount of time." Alternatively, "Over X amount of time, those that self-identify as "conservatives" have become progressively stupider."

It is fine if a scientist wants to speculate on possible interpretations of the data; personally, I would be curious as to the thoughts of the expert who collected the data, on what she/he thinks her data means BUT I think the problem is, when ANY scientist uses the fallacious appeal to authority, an claim that they are the SOLE official interpreters of data, because they collected it... that's not science, that's being a jerk.

Statists gonna state.

Statists gonna state.

Mencken: A New Deal Constitution

A New Deal Constitution

by H.L. Mencken

This satirical piece first appeared in The American Mercury, 41 (June 1937), 129-36, and was reprinted in condensed form by The Reader’s Digest, 31 (July 1937), 27-29.

The principal cause of the uproar in Washington is a conflict between the swift- moving idealism of the New Deal and the unyielding hunkerousness of the Constitution of 1788. What is needed, obviously, is a wholly new Constitution, drawn up with enough boldness and imagination to cover the whole program of the More Abundant Life, now and hereafter.

That is what I presume to offer here. The Constitution that follows is not my invention, and in more than one detail I have unhappy doubts of its wisdom. But I believe that it sets forth with reasonable accuracy the plan of government that the More Abundant Life wizards have sought to substitute for the plan of the Fathers. They have themselves argued at one time or another, by word or deed, for everything contained herein:


We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish social justice, draw the fangs of privilege, effect the redistribution of property, remove the burden of liberty from ourselves and our posterity, and insure the continuance of the New Deal, do ordain and establish this Constitution.


The Executive

All governmental power of whatever sort shall be vested in a President of the United States. He shall hold office during a series of terms of four years each, and shall take the following oath: “I do solemnly swear that I will (in so far as I deem it feasible and convenient) faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will (to the best of my recollection and in the light of experiment and second thought) carry out the pledges made by me during my campaign for election (or such of them as I may select).”

The President shall be commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, and of the militia, Boy Scouts, C.I.O., People’s Front, and other armed forces of the nation.

The President shall have the power: To lay and collect taxes, and to expend the income of the United States in such manner as he may deem to be to their or his advantage;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States, and to provide for its repayment on such terms as he may fix;

To regulate all commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and within them; to license all persons engaged or proposing to engage in business; to regulate their affairs; to limit their profits by proclamation from time to time; and to fix wages, prices and hours of work;

To coin money, regulate the content and value thereof, and of foreign coin, and to amend or repudiate any contract requiring the payment by the United States, or by any private person, of coin of a given weight or fineness;

To repeal or amend, in his discretion, any so-called natural law, including Gresham’s law, the law of diminishing returns, and the law of gravitation.

The President shall be assisted by a Cabinet of eight or more persons, whose duties shall be to make speeches whenever so instructed and to expend the public funds in such manner as to guarantee the President’s continuance in office.

The President may establish such executive agencies as he deems necessary, and clothe them with such powers as he sees fit. No person shall be a member to any such bureau who has had any practical experience of the matters he is appointed to deal with.

One of the members of the Cabinet shall be an Attorney General. It shall be his duty to provide legal opinions certifying to the constitutionality of all measures undertaken by the President, and to gather evidence of the senility of judges.


The Legislature

The legislature of the United States shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Every bill shall be prepared under the direction of the President, and transmitted to the two Houses at his order by their presiding officers. No member shall propose any amendment to a bill without permission in writing from the President or one of his authorized agents. In case any member shall doubt the wisdom of a bill he may apply to the President for light upon it, and thereafter he shall be counted as voting aye. In all cases a majority of members shall be counted as voting aye.

Both Houses may appoint special committees to investigate the business practices, political views, and private lives of any persons known to be inimical to the President; and such committees shall publish at public cost any evidence discovered that appears to be damaging to the persons investigated.

Members of both Houses shall be agents of the President in the distribution of public offices, federal appropriations, and other gratuities in their several states, and shall be rewarded in ratio to their fidelity to his ideals and commands.


The Judiciary

The judges of the Supreme Court and of all inferior courts shall be appointed by the President, and shall hold their offices until he determines by proclamation that they have become senile. The number of judges appointed to the Supreme Court shall be prescribed by the President, and may be changed at his discretion. All decisions of the Supreme Court shall be unanimous.

The jurisdiction and powers of all courts shall he determined by the President. No act that he has approved shall be declared unconstitutional by any court.


Bill of Rights

There shall be complete freedom of speech and of the press – subject to such regulations as the President or his agents may from time to time promulgate.

The freedom of communication by radio shall not be abridged; but the President and such persons as he may designate shall have the first call on the time of all stations.

In disputes between capital and labor, all the arbitrators shall be representatives of labor.

Every person whose annual income fans below a minimum to be fixed by the President shall receive from the public funds an amount sufficient to bring it up to that minimum.

No labor union shall be incorporated and no officer or member thereof shall be accountable for loss of life or damage to person or property during a strike.

All powers not delegated herein to the President are reserved to him, to be used at his discretion.

Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken (1880-1956)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hazlitt: The Economic Orthodoxy

"This book is an analysis of economic fallacies that are at last so prevalent that they have almost become a new orthodoxy. The one thing that has prevented this has been their own self-contradictions, which have scattered those who accept the same premises into a hundred different "schools," for the simple reason that it is impossible in matters touching practical life to be consistently wrong. But the difference between one new school and another is merely that one group wakes up earlier than another to the absurdities to which its false premises are driving it, and becomes at that moment inconsistent by either unwittingly abandoning its false premises or accepting conclusions from them less disturbing or fantastic than those that logic would demand.". ~Henry Hazlitt

Rothbard: standing in one place

I thought this was an interesting observation by Murray Rothbard:

"Twenty years ago I was an extreme right-wing Republican ... who believed,as one friend pungently put it, that 'Senator Taft had sold out to the socialists.' Today, I am most likely to be called an extreme leftist, since I favor immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, denounce U.S. imperialism, advocate Black Power and have just joined the new Peace and Freedom Party. And yet my basic political views have not changed a single iota in these two decades!"
"It is obvious that something is very wrong with the old labels, with the categories of 'left' and 'right,' and with the ways in which we customarily apply these categories to American political life. My personal odyssey is unimportant; the important point is that if I can move from 'extreme right' to 'extreme left' merely by standing in one place, drastic though unrecognized changes must have taken place throughout the American political spectrum over the last generation."

Boetie: Resolve to serve no more

"Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces."


Monday, March 26, 2012

Hazlitt: Govt ought to assume risks...

"The proposal is frequently made that the government ought to assume the risks that are “too great for private industry.” This means that bureaucrats should he permitted to take risks with the tax payers’ money that no one is willing to take with his own."

~Henry Hazlitt

Rothbard: Impractical Utopians

"The man who puts all the guns and all the decision-making power into the hands of the central government and then says, ‘Limit yourself’; it is he who is truly the impractical utopian."


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Boetie: Summary Analysis of "Discourse of Voluntary Servitude"

The only power tyrants have is the power relinquished to them by their victims.

The tyrant is often a weak little man. He has no special qualities that set him apart from anyone else - yet the gullible idolize him.

The victims bring about their own subjection - they "win their enslavement."

If without violence the tyrant is simply not obeyed, he becomes "naked and undone and as nothing."
Once you resolve to serve no more, you are free.

We are all born free and naturally free.
Grown-up adults should adopt reason as their guide and never become slaves of anybody.

People can be enslaved through either force or deception.

When people lose their freedom through deceit, it is because they mislead themselves.

People born into slavery regard it as a natural condition.

In general, people are shaped more by their environment than by their natural capacities - if they allow it.

Habit and custom are powerful forces that keep people enslaved.

There are always some people who cannot be tamed, subjected, or enslaved. Even if freedom were to be entirely extinguished, these people would re-invent it.

Lovers of freedom tend to be ineffective because they are not known to one another.

People who lose their freedom also lose their valor (strength of mind, bravery).

Among free people there is competition to do good for humanity.

People seem to be most gullible towards those who deliberately set out to fool them. It is as if people have a need to be deceived.

Tyrants stupefy their victims with "pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes."

Tyrants parade like "workers of magic."

Tyrants can only give back part of what they first took from their victims.

Tyrants attain their positions through: (a) Force; (b) Birth; or (c) Election.

Tyrants create a power structure, consisting of a multi-layered hierarchy, staffed by a conspiracy of accomplices. Accomplices receive their positions as a favor from the tyrant.
The worst dregs of society gather around the tyrant - they are people of weak character who trade servility for unearned wealth.

Accomplices can profit greatly from their positions in the hierarchy.
If people withdraw their support, the tyrant topples over from his own corrupted weight.

Gandhi: Slavery

“How can one be compelled to accept slavery I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done.”

~Mahatma Gandhi

Benjamin Tucker: The purpose of liberty

The purpose of Liberty, boiled down to its ultimate essence, is the abolition of authority....what Liberty proposes to abolish is all these gratuitous fictions by which any and all gods, theological, political, and social, are saddled by force upon unwilling shoulders.

--Benjamin Tucker. Liberty. Vol. 1, No. 2

Friday, March 23, 2012

Gandhi: Select Quotations

"You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind."

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always."

"Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth."

"It's very dangerous to mix up the words natural and habitual. We have been trained to be quite habitual at communicating in ways that are quite unnatural."

"In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place."

"Don't bow before another person or another nation."

"I contemplate a mental, and therefore, a moral opposition to immoralities. I seek entirely to blunt the edge of the tyrant’s sword, not by putting up against it a sharper-edged weapon, but by disappointing his expectation that I would be offering physical resistance."

"There are no religions in Heaven."

"God has no religion."

"Only God is truth. I am a human being. Truth for me is changing every day. My commitment must be to truth, not to consistency."

"There is no God higher than truth."

"Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Augustine: Kingdoms & Robberies

"Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.”


Frank Hebert - "Chapterhouse: Dune" On Government

"All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted."
~Frank Hebert - "Chapterhouse: Dune"

Joseph Chilton Pearce: Children

"We have a cultural notion that if children were not engineered, if we did not manipulate them, they would grow up as beasts in the field. This is the wildest fallacy in the world." ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Mencken: Increased Taxes and Diminished Liberties

"There has been no organized effort to keep government down since Jefferson's day. Ever since then the American people have been bolstering up its powers and giving it more and more jurisdiction over their affairs. They pay for that folly in increased taxes and diminished liberties."

~ H.L. Mencken

Which came first?

Asking the question, of whether the politicians, bureaucrats, agents and officers of the State are irredeemably immoral, or whether the political system is inherently corrupt and tyrannical, is implicitly asking the question, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Mencken: The Art of Government

"The art of government is the exclusive possession of quacks and frauds. It has been so since the earliest days, and it will probably remain so until the end of time."

~ H.L. Mencken

Mencken: Democracy

"The highfalutin aims of democracy, whether real or imaginary, are always assumed to be identical with its achievements. This, of course, is sheer hallucination. Not one of those aims, not even the aim of giving every adult a vote, has been realized. It has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good."

~ H.L. Mencken

Chilton Pearce: Living Authentically

"Parenting takes place in a dynamic exchange among all member of a family. By living authentically in relation to one another, there is a sense of aliveness and joy that we do not have when we aim to teach, preach, or get others to do what we want." ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Rosenberg: what I am

"I can never recall learning anything valuable by somebody telling me, what I am. I think there is zero information value being told what you are; and great danger, you might believe it! It is just as dangerous to believe you are smart, as there is that you are stupid; both of them reduce you to [a quality], a thing. We are much more than either of those."

~Marshall Rosenberg

Mencken: Moral Certainty

"Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong." ~ H.L. Mencken

John Locke: Unlawful Force

"That the aggressor, who puts himself into the state of war with another, and unjustly invades another man's right, can, by such an unjust war, never come to have a right over the conquered, will be easily agreed by all men, who will not think that robbers and pirates have a right of empire over whomsoever they have force enough to master, or that men are bound by promises which unlawful force extorts from them."

~John Locke

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parenting & the Net of Interdependence

"Families are core units in our net of interdependence, and the impact of the relationships in your family will be felt for generations to come to the lives of your children and grandchildren. The way that you parents will affect not only your child, but the lives of hundreds and perhaps thousands of people in your child's future. You don't have a choice about whether or not to affect the net of interdependence; however, you do have a choice about how you affect it."

_Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids_
by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson

Respectful Parenting: Co-Operation

"The _co–_ in _co–operate_ means _together_, as in co-creator, co-author, and co-worker. _Oper_ means _to work_, so _co-operate_ means _to work together_. True cooperation is not something you can mandate. When there is no _togetherness_ in the operation of the home – as in mutual agreement about rules that affect a child's life as well as mutual problem-solving and decision making -- then you can expect the following natural consequences: resistance, arguments, hurt feelings, battles of will, and reliance on punishments and rewards. A fundamental law of human relations is: No _co-_ in the household operations leads to resistance, which leads to punishments and rewards to force compliance, which leads to further resistance, and so forth. Parents who leave out the _co–_ in their household operations are destined to reap the consequences of this omission. If you aren't working with your children they aren't going to want to work with you."

"A young woman shared this story with us: her father used to make her clean her room to very strict specifications; he even lifted up the edge of the carpet in an otherwise clean room and punished her if she had failed to sweep up a few crumbs. The more he insisted that things be done his way, the more she was filled with hostility and resistance. She cleaned her room because she was afraid of her father and feared what would happen if she didn't. It was cleaned with spite rather than the desire to co-operate and contribute to the smooth functioning of the home."

"How different might this situation have been if she and her father had agreed upon standards together? If she had been included in deciding whether or not the room was clean?"

_Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids_
by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson

Parenting: A respectful, loving home

"Your home is where your children learn the most elemental lessons of human life – how to take care of their own needs and how to contribute to taking care of the needs of others. Home is a foundation for your children's future relationships as spouses, life partners, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, good friends, community members, co– workers, and stewards of the planet. And home is a sanctuary to protect your children so they can learn lessons of caring and contribution at their own developmental pace and with your support, guidance, and respect."

"A loving home is free of fear, which is the source of all conflict. It is a place where children trust that their needs matter and that everyone's needs – their's included – will be considered and cared for. They can then relax into the life that calls them forth with such urgency – and find their place in the neck of giving and receiving that forms a family, a community,... and a world."

_Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids_ is primarily about parent–child relationships. The processes and suggestions for improving respect and co-operation apply to all ages of children and are also very effective in communicating with adult family members. Each of the three parts of this book will contribute to a parent's growing capacity to create a respectful, loving home."

_Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids_
by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson

Living Authentically & Parenting

"Children need parents who live honestly and with commitment to their values. Parents have a chance to be exemplars and model what they want their children to learn and live. This is an invitation and opportunity, and for many it is a powerful incentive to get clear about what has purpose and meaning for them and to do their best to live in harmony with it."

"To live authentically, clarity about what is important and true for you, is the goal – not perfection. Giving up the ideal of being a perfect parent can be a huge relief. Then, when you blow it and do things that don't match your values – as you will – you won't spiral down into self-condemnation but will be able to enjoy the opportunity to be honest with your children and let them learn what honesty looks like and sounds like. And because you aren't expecting perfection from yourself, you will be less likely to accept it from your children."

_Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids_
by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson

Lysander Spooner: No less a slave...

"A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years."
~Lysander Spooner

Spooner: Juries & Justice

"If the jury have no right to judge of the justice of a law of the government, they plainly can do nothing to protect the people against the oppressions of the government; for there are no oppressions which the government may not authorize by law."
Lysander Spooner

Lysander Spooner: Voluntary Support

"That no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support."
~Lysander Spooner

Lysander Spooner: Natural Rights

"[F]or everybody has a natural right to defend his own person and property against aggressors, but also to go to the assistance and defense of everybody else, whose person or property is invaded. The natural right of each individual to defend his own person and property against an aggressor, and to go to the assistance and defense of every one else whose person or property is invaded, is a right without which men could not exist on earth." ~Lysander Spooner

Clarence Darrow: On the State

"...the state does nothing except to assist the strong to despoil the weak."

"A vast army of officials, governors, legislators, tax-gatherers, judges, sheriffs, policemen, and the like are maintained by the governing class to...keep the exploited in their place."

"To violate the law is often the highest, most sacred duty that can devolve upon the citizen..."

"If punishment has no effect to diminish or prevent crime, then no danger would be incurred to dismiss our jailers and jurors and close our prison doors."

~Clarence Darrow

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Federal Reserve: What should have outraged Occupy

The Federal Reserve: What should have outraged Occupy

The economic realities, that I would humbly submit, that more people need to know...

Consider this scenario:

The State determines that it will create a fiat currency.

The fiat currency is not money, per se, but a financial instrument representing a debt of the State, to be paid to the holder of the currency.

State fiat currency isn't truly money; the currency is actually a financial instrument representing the State's debt; it is a debt the State owes the bearer.

The State, redeems this debt-currency by accepting this debt-currency for payment of taxes.

The State, claims that a citizen owes it a debt, and then the State accepts the debt-currency as payment of this tax-"debt".

The State makes a threat to all citizens, that it will punish anyone refusing to accept the debt-currency as payment for all private debts.

The fear of punishment, forces the debt-currency to be accepted as if it was a market-currency or money.

Then the State, gives to a coalition of the largest private banks the "authority"/permission to print/create the debt-currency; this coalition of private-banks, having exclusive monopoly-privilege to create/print new debt-currency, calls itself "The Federal Reserve"

The State is incentivized to pay for all current political desires through borrowing, rather than taxation (the imposition of debt claims on others). Paying for current political desires through taxation, means that people must pay today, what is spent today; since it is a general rule of economics that a person would rather receive a desired thing, sooner, rather than later, and would rather pay back a debt, later, rather than sooner, it is always in the interest of the politicians/agents of the State to pay for political desires through borrowing against the future than to pay for political desires through taxation.

Then, the State, wishing to borrow money, to provide for current political desires, without having to tax (impose debt claims on others), it borrows money from the private coalition of banks, calling themselves, the "Federal Reserve". The "Federal Reserve", using its State-granted monopoly-privilege of creating money (legal counterfeiting), creates new money to give to the State, which the State spends on current political desires, and which the State promises to pay back in the future, at interest.

Therefore, the State, pays an interest premium, on debt, that was created by its own permission to the Federal Reserve, to create new debt-currency. The State, rather than creating new currency on its own, and spending it on current political desires, it creates a debt-obligation to a coalition of private banks, that the State gives permission, to create new currency.

Persons, that have not yet been born, will have new claims-of-debt-obligation imposed upon them (taxation), to pay back, with interest, the debt owed to the coalition of private banks (the Federal Reserve), given permission by the State to legally counterfeit currency.

The children of tomorrow, will (presumably) be burdened by the rapacity of today.

If Occupy is outraged, this is what they should be outraged about.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Locke: The Unexpected Questions of Children

"There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men, who talk in a road, according to the notions they have borrowed and the prejudices of their education."
~ John Locke

Mencken: Morals

"All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them." ~ H.L. Mencken

Barlow: The Danger of Armed Citizens

The danger (where there is any) from armed citizens, is only to the
*government*, not to *society*; and as long as they have nothing to
revenge in the government (which they cannot have while it is in their
own hands) there are many advantages in their being accustomed to the
use of arms, and no possible disadvantage.
-- Joel Barlow, "Advice to the Privileged Orders", 1792-93

Rosenberg: Parenting

[Excerpted from "Raising Children Compassionately" by Marshall Rosenberg]

"So, in closing I offer you that reassuring advice given to me by my daughter, that nobody's perfect, to remember that anything that's worth doing is worth doing poorly. And the job of parenting, of course, is extremely worth doing, but we're going to do it poorly at times. If we're going to be brutal with ourselves when we're not perfect parents, our children are going to suffer for that."

"I often tell the parents that I'm working with that, hell is having children and thinking there's such a thing as a good parent. That if every time we're less than perfect, we're going to blame ourselves and attack ourselves, our children are not going to benefit from that. So the goal I would suggest is not to be perfect parents, it's to become progressively less stupid parents -- by learning from each time that we're not able to give our children the quality of understanding that they need, that we're not able to express ourselves honestly. In my experience, each of these times usually means that we're not getting the emotional support we need as parents, in order to give our children what they need."

"We can only really give in a loving way tot he degree that we are receiving similar love and understanding. So that's why I strongly recommend that we look at how we might create a supportive community for ourselves among our friends and others, who can give us the understanding we need to be present to our children in a way that will be good for them and good for us."

Rosenberg: Interacting with Children Compassionately

{excerpted from "Raising Children Compassionately" by Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD}

"I'd first like to call your attention to the danger of the word 'child,' if we allow it to apply a different quality of respect than we would give to someone who is not labeled a child. ... it is easy to dehumanize someone by the simple process of simply thinking of him or her as 'our child'."

"So I'm not suggesting that we don't use words like 'child' as a shorthand way of letting people know that we're talking about people of a certain age. I'm talking about when we allow labels like this to keep us from seeing the other person as a human being, in a way which leads us to dehumanize the other person because of the things our culture teaches us about 'children'."

"Having been educated as I was, to think about parenting, I thought that it was the job of a parent to make children behave. You see, once you define yourself as an authority, a teacher or parent, in the culture that I was educated in, you then see it as your responsibility to make people that you label a 'child' or a 'student' behave in a certain way."

"I now see what a self-defeating objective this is, because I have learned that any time it's our objective to get another person to behave in a certain way, people are likely to resist no matter what it is we're asking for. This seems to be true whether the other person is two or ninety-two years of age."

"The objective of getting what we want from other people, or getting them to do what we want them to do, threatens the autonomy of people, their right to choose what they want to do. and whenever people feel that they're not free to choose what they want to do, they are likely to resist, even if they see the purpose in what we are asking and would ordinarily want to do it. So strong is our need to protect our autonomy, that if we see that someone has this single-mindedness of purpose, if they are acting like they think that they know what's best for us and are not leaving it to us to make the choice of how we behave, it stimulates our resistance."

"I'll be forever grateful to my children for educating me about the limitations of the objective of getting other people to do what you want. They taught me that, first of all, I couldn't make them do what I want. I couldn't make them do anything. I couldn't make them put a toy back in the toy box. I could make them make their bed. I couldn't make them eat. Now, that was quite a humbling lesson for me as a parent, to learn about my powerlessness, because somewhere I had gotten it into my mind that it was the job of a parent to make a child behave. And here were these young children teaching me this humbling lesson, that I couldn't make them do anything. All I could do is make them wish they had."

"And whenever I would be foolish enough to do that, that is, to make them wish they had, they taught me a second lesson about parenting and power that has proven very valuable to me over the years. And that lesson was that anytime I would make them wish they had, they would make me wish I hadn't made them wish they had. Violence begets violence."

"They taught me that any use of coercion on my part would invariably create resistance on their part, which could lead to an adversarial quality in the connection between us. I don't want to have a that quality of connection with any human being, but especially not with my children, those human being that I'm closest to and taking responsibility for. So my children are the last people that I wan to get into these coercive game of which punishment is part."

{On the subject of punishment}
"Question number one: What do you want the child to do differently? If we ask only that question, i can certainly seem that punishment sometimes works, because certainly through the threat of punishment of application of punishment, we can at time influence a child to do what we would like the child to do."

"However, when we add a second question, it has been my experience that parent see that punishment never works. The second question is: What do we want the child's reasons to be fore actin as we would like them to act? It's that question that helps us to see that punishment no only doesn't work, but it gets in the way of our children doing things for reason that we would like them to do things."

"Since punishment is so frequently used and justified, parents can only imagine that the opposite of punishment is a kind of permissiveness in which we do nothing when children behave in ways that are not in harmony with our values. So therefore parent can think only, 'If I don't punish, then I give up my own values and just allow the child to do whatever he or she wants.' As I'll be discussing below, there are other approaches besides permissiveness, that is, just letting people do whatever they want to do, or coercive tactics such as punishment. And while I'm at it, I'd like to suggest that reward is just as coercive as punishment. In both cases we are using power over people, controlling the environment in a way that tries to force people to behave in ways that we like. In that respect, reward comes out of the same mode of thinking as punishment."

The following have been excerpted from
There is another approach besides doing nothing or using coercive tactics. It requires an awareness of the subtle but important difference between our objective being to get people to do what we want, which I’m not advocating, and instead being clear that our objective is to create the quality of connection necessary for everyone’s needs to get met.

It has been my experience, whether we are communicating with children or adults, that when we see the difference between these two objectives, and we are consciously not trying to get a person to do what we want, but trying to create a quality of mutual concern, a quality of mutual respect, a quality where both parties think that their needs matter and they are conscious that their needs and the other person’s well-being are interdependent—it is amazing how conflicts which otherwise seem unresolvable, are easily resolved.

Now, this kind of communication that is involved in creating the quality of connection necessary for everybody’s needs to get met is quite different from that communication used if we are using coercive forms of resolving differences with children. It requires a shift away from evaluating children in moralistic terms such as right/wrong, good/bad, to a language based on needs. We need to be able to tell children whether what they’re doing is in harmony with our needs, or in conflict with our needs, but to do it in a way that doesn’t stimulate guilt or shame on the child’s part. So it might require our saying to the child, “I’m scared when I see you hitting your brother, because I have a need for people in the family to be safe,” instead of, “It’s wrong to hit your brother.” Or it might require a shift away from saying, “You are lazy for not cleaning up your room,” to saying, “I feel frustrated when I see that the bed isn’t made, because I have a real need for support in keeping order in the house.”

This shift in language away from classifying children’s behavior in terms of right and wrong, and good and bad, to a language based on needs, is not easy for those of us who were educated by teachers and parents to think in moralistic judgments. It also requires an ability to be present to our children, and listen to them with empathy when they are in distress. This is not easy when we have been trained as parents to want to jump in and give advice, or to try to fix things.

So when I’m working with parents, we look at situations that are likely to arise where a child might say something like, “Nobody likes me.” When a child says something like that, I believe the child is needing an empathic kind of connection. And by that I mean a respectful understanding where the child feels that we are there and really hear what he or she is feeling and needing. Sometimes we can do this silently, just showing in our eyes that we are with their feelings of sadness, and their need for a different quality of connection with their friends. Or it could involve our saying out loud something like, “So it sounds like you’re really feeling sad, because you aren’t having very much fun with your friends.”

But many parents, defining their role as requiring them to make their children happy all the time, jump in when a child says something like that, and say things like, “Well, have you looked at what you’ve been doing that might have been driving your friends away?” Or they disagree with the child, saying, “Well, that’s not true. You’ve had friends in the past. I’m sure you’ll get more friends.” Or they give advice: “Maybe if you’d talk differently to your friends, your friends would like you more.”

What they don’t realize is that all human beings, when they’re in pain, need presence and empathy. They may want advice, but they want that after they’ve received the empathic connection. My own children have taught me the hard way that, “Dad, please withhold all advice unless you receive a request in writing from us signed by a notary.”

Many people believe that it’s more humane to use reward than punishment. But both of them I see as power over others, and Nonviolent Communication is based on power with people. And in power with people, we try to have influence not by how we can make people suffer if they don’t do what we want, or how we can reward them if they do. It’s a power based on mutual trust and respect, which makes people open to hearing each other and learning from each other, and to giving to one another willingly out of a desire to contribute to one another’s well being, rather than out of a fear of punishment or hope for a reward.

We get this kind of power, power with people, by being able to openly communicate our feelings and needs without in any way criticizing the other person. We do that by offering them what we would like from them in a way that is not heard as demanding or threatening. And as I have said, it also requires really hearing what other people are trying to communicate, showing an accurate understanding rather than quickly jumping in and giving advice, or trying to fix things.

For many parents, the way I’m talking about communicating is so different that they say, “Well, it just doesn’t seem natural to communicate that way.” At just the right time, I read something that Gandhi had written in which he said, “Don’t mix up that which is habitual with that which is natural.” Gandhi said that very often we’ve been trained to communicate and act in ways that are quite unnatural, but they are habitual in the sense that we have been trained for various reasons to do it that way in our culture. And that certainly rang true to me in the way that I was trained to communicate with children. The way I was trained to communicate by judging rightness and wrongness, goodness and badness, and the use of punishment was widely used and very easily became habitual for me as a parent. But I wouldn’t say that because something is habitual that it is natural.

I learned that it is much more natural for people to connect in a loving, respectful way, and to do things out of joy for each other, rather than using punishment and reward or blame and guilt as means of coercion. But such a transformation does require a good deal of consciousness and effort.

I can recall one time when I was transforming myself from a habitually judgmental way of communicating with my children to the way that I am now advocating. On the day I’m thinking of, my oldest son and I were having a conflict, and it was taking me quite awhile to communicate it in the way that I was choosing to, rather than the way that had become habitual. Almost everything that came into my mind originally was some coercive statement in the form of a judgment of him for saying what he did. So I had to stop and take a deep breath, and think of how to get more in touch with my needs, and how to get more in touch with his needs. And this was taking me awhile. And he was getting frustrated because he had a friend waiting for him outside, and he said, “Daddy, it’s taking you so long to talk.” And I said, “Let me tell you what I can say quickly: Do it my way or I’ll kick your butt.” He said, “Take your time, Dad. Take your time.”

So yes, I would rather take my time and come from an energy that I choose in communicating with my children, rather than habitually responding in a way that I have been trained to do, when it’s not really in harmony with my own values. Sadly, we will often get much more reinforcement from those around us for behaving in a punitive, judgmental way, than in a way that is respectful to our children.

I can recall one Thanksgiving dinner when I was doing my best to communicate with my youngest son in the way that I am advocating, and it was not easy, because he was testing me to the limits. But I was taking my time, taking deep breaths, trying to understand what his needs were, trying to understand my own needs so I could express them in a respectful way. Another member of the family, observing my conversation with my son, but who had been trained in a different way of communicating, reached over at one point and whispered in my ear, “If that was my child, he’d be sorry for what he was saying.”

I’ve talked to a lot of other parents who have had similar experiences who, when they are trying to relate in more human ways with their own children, instead of getting support, often get criticized. People can often mistake what I’m talking about as permissiveness or not giving children the direction they need, instead of understanding that it’s a different quality of direction. It’s a direction that comes from two parties trusting each other, rather than one party forcing his or her authority on another.

One of the most unfortunate results of making our objective to get our children to do what we want, rather than having our objective be for all of us to get what we want, is that eventually our children will be hearing a demand in whatever we are asking. And whenever people hear a demand, it’s hard for them to keep focus on the value of whatever is being requested, because, as I said earlier, it threatens their autonomy, and that’s a strong need that all people have. They want to be able to do something when they choose to do it, and not because they are forced to do it. As soon as a person hears a demand, it’s going to make any resolution that will get everybody’s needs met much harder to come by.

Solzhenitsyn: keeping silent about evil

"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations." - Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

Gourevitch: Denouncing evil

"Denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good." - Philip Gourevitch

Mencken: A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man

"A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker." ~H.L. Mencken

Mencken: A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man

"A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker." ~H.L. Mencken

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Edwin Seligman: lack of confidence as cause of the crisis

"It is commonly stated that the outbreak of a crisis is due to a lack of confidence—as if the lack of confidence was not itself the very thing which needs to be explained."
—Edwin Seligman (1908)

Of course, it wouldn't hurt to define and explain "the crisis" as well....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Murray Rothbard: Ideas do not float in a vacuum

"...But it should be stressed that ideas do not float by themselves in a vacuum; they are influential only insofar as they are adopted and put forward by people. For the idea of liberty to triumph, then, there must be an active group of dedicated libertarians, people who are knowledgeable in liberty and are willing to spread the message to others. In short, there must be an active and self-conscious libertarian movement." ~Murray Rothbard

Lysander Spooner: The Constitution is unfit to exist

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” ~Lysander Spooner

Murrary Rothbard: The libertarian's full anarchist position

"It is not incumbent on the libertarian to always proclaim his full 'anarchist' position... he should simply leave this perhaps glaring vacuum, and wait for the eager reader to begin to question and perhaps come come to you for further enlightenment." Murrary Rothbard

Muray Rothbard: The Victory of Liberty is found in Education

"The world, at least in the long run, is governed by ideas, and it seems clear that libertarianism is only likely to triumph if the ideas spread to and are adopted by a significantly large number of people. And so “education” becomes a necessary condition for the victory of liberty — all sorts of education, from the most abstract systematic theories down to attention-catching devices that will attract the interest of potential converts. Education, indeed, is the characteristic strategic theory of classical liberalism." ~Murray N. Rothbard

Muray Rothbard: The Victory of Liberty is found in Education

"The world, at least in the long run, is governed by ideas...libertarianism is only likely to triumph if the ideas [are] spread to and are adopted by a significantly large number of people. And so "education" becomes a necessary condition for the victory of liberty" -Murray N. Rothbard

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Robert G. Ingersoll: liberty is the soul of man

"What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man." ~ Robert G. Ingersoll

A Touch of Sarcasm

scott - Yesterday 10:58 PM - Limited

If government carries out the will of the people, why does it have to keep guns pointed at them all the time?

Jacob S. - {sarcasm} Well, as everyone already knows, which is hardly worth discussing, and it's pretty ridiculous to even ask the question, the people have elected their representatives, to force themselves to do what the people want themselves to do, because of their implicit consent to the social contract, which is an undeniable & irrefutable fact and we can not discuss this further until you convince me that everything you would like to propose is reasonable to me, because you are trying to trick me into asking questions which already contain your premises. [ lol ]

scot - {sarcasm} MMM hmm. There's no gun pointed at anyone, it's an administrative thing.

Jacob S. - [sarcasm} If you want to live in a society, then everyone has to obey the rules, no matter how arbitrary, unreasonable, unjust or sometimes contradictory/physically-impossible. You have implictly consented to obey all those rules, so if you don't, no one has forced you to do anything, you agree to be punished by your implicit consent of the social contract; in fact, due to the social contract, if you think about it, it is you, that is putting yourself in jail for not obeying the rules of the authorities [and similarly, if you think about it, because of the implicit consent of the social contract, the Jews weren't murdered during the Holocaust, they by their implicit consent, they committed assisted-suicide].
Collapse this comment
12:54 PM - Edit

Tom- "What's this gun you keep referring to? I've paid taxes all my life and no one has ever pointed a gun at me."

As well as I can remember the quote from an actual discussion thread I was on once.
1:03 PM

Jacob S. "I am happy to pay taxes, because I see that the government does some really good things with that money! Sure they do some things I don't necessarily agree with, but the military is currently undergoing drastic reductions, and foreign military intervention is being decreased. The coercion by force to pay taxes comes in when people break the law. If you choose to break the law, then you choose to endure the consequences."

scott - {sarcasm} Yes, yes all this talk about guns is just scare tactics. Over-dramatizing libertarian crusaders. People implicitly understand the social contract and their duty as an adult in society. There has to be some way to bring everybody into alignment on issues to have harmony. It's just the way it works. I don't see it being done any other way anyplace on earth and there's a got to be a reason for that.
1:09 PM

Jacob S. - {sarcasm} Exactly! If those libertarians can not point to a single place on earth, where people are given the "liberty" they talk so much about, then that is all the empirical proof that is needed, to demonstrate that such "liberty" in a society is not possible. In such a society, all there would be, is complete anarchy! All the bad/evil persons would organize into gangs and they would oppress the people and they would fight each other, until just one gang, got an edge on all the other gangs, and then came to tyrannize everyone! That's why we all implicitly consent to the social-contract and that's why we all need government to create rules for everyone, because without government, there would be one tyrannical gang, telling everyone what to do and punishing those that disobey!

Tom - Anarchy: Somalia. Mud huts. Warlords. Malaria.
1:53 PM

scott - Exactly! You don't want one big gang network controlling everything do you???? Why next thing you know you might have the evil genius bosses of this gang snatching up your kids and whisking them off every day to actually be brainwashed into thinking the gang is virtuous and protective, convincing them that learning and knowledge are boring, logic doesn't exist, and that they must obey the gang to be safe. I could imagine after a couple generations of that everybody would start thinking that way!!!!! You would even have people begging to be controlled by the gang, or believing they actually control the gang themselves and the gang is the only thing keeping them alive. They might even attack those who challenge the gang and become the staunchest defenders of the gang, becoming hysterical and arguing endlessly in defense of the gang and calling those who do not like the gang heartless, cruel, and anti-social!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A question

"If we are called to submit to God alone, how is it, that once having submitted ourselves, we would willingly accept any lesser-master?"

Stephen Crane: Philosophy should always know that indifference is a militant thing

“Philosophy should always know that indifference is a militant thing. It batters down the walls of cities and murders the women and children amid the flames and the purloining of altar vessels. When it goes away it leaves smoking ruins, where lie citizens bayoneted through the throat. It is not a children’s pastime like mere highway robbery.” ~Stephen Crane

Monday, March 12, 2012

Libertarians are poor life-guards... indeed...

Recently, I encountered this image above on Google+. I became somewhat interested in the discussion and while I will not be reproducing the entirety of the discussion, I would like to here highlight a portion of the discussion that seemed reasonable. :-)

Jacob S.: - While I do find many points of agreement with libertarians, I do not personally self-identify with libertarianism as such, but I feel a need to express my empathy for everyone who has had an emotional reaction in response to seeing either this political cartoon or in response to the comments in reply to the cartoon. I am getting the sense that many people are feeling frustrated because they do not feel that their concerns are being recognized from the “other side” and that the would like for their concerns to be recognized. Please permit me to recognize both sides:
The political cartoon depicts a life-guard overlooking a swimming pool, while everyone in the pool as presumably drowned. The caption reads, “Libertarians make poor life-guards”. The cartoonist, as participating in the genre of the political cartoon is trying to express a perspective, so I think we may forgive the cartoonist, if he expresses that point in a dramatic fashion, as this would be in keeping with the genre.
First, allow me to recognize the cartoonist and those that agree with the cartoonist's perspective;the expression of the cartoon is an expression of concern, that if the 'life-guard' (the State) is not sufficiently energetic or active,then people may suffer as a result. At the heart of the concern, isa fear that many people will be left “unguarded” by a State,controlled by libertarians. This is a natural concern that I think we all have; we all (I suggest that this applies even to libertarians) a need to feel secure, to feel guarded (I would suggest again, that this applies even to libertarians).
Now, allow me to recognize the libertarians; they express a frustration, in that they believe the cartoon is a mischaracterization, of their thoughts and concerns;they feel exasperated that the cartoon would present this mischaracterization in such a dramatic way (i.e.: all of the people in the pool have drowned). At the heart of the libertarian's concern, is that they have a sense of fear, that the State acts in ways, that are coercive and do not meet the needs for autonomy and independence; that the State has a tendency to dominate; to setup rules that cannot take into consideration, a need for voluntary/consensual human interactions, and then sets up punishment if those rules are not followed.
Just as the cartoonist (and those that agree with the cartoonist's perspective) are not heart-less tyrants bent on controlling every aspect of personal action, so too,libertarians are not heart-less persons who would uncaringly let people drown. Let us not look at those that are not in agreement with us, and there see the face of an enemy, but rather let us recognize what each are feeling and thinking, and then to understand that those feelings and thoughts, represent human-needs and important-ideas-to-consider.
I do not believe that Libertarians wish to see anyone “drown in the pool”, they rather are afraid that the State, in its attempts to protect people, would require such life-guard-protection that would be unnecessary and prohibitively costly (such as everyone gets provided by the State, their own life-guard & ambulance) and would in turn be burdensome to all in terms of taxation. While everyone needs to feel secure and would like some measure of protection/security provided by others,libertarians suggest that perhaps through voluntary (non-coercive)means, these needs could be met; a personal group of soldiers and a tank would certainly be more than enough security, for nearly any person, but of course, such a measure of protection would be impossible economically to provide (who protects the soldiers &tank-operators?).
I do not believe that the cartoonist or those that would agree with the general point the cartoonist is making, would want the State to coercively (through threats of punishment if demands are not obeyed) provide such a degree/measure of services, that all would be so heavily indebted by the State that they could not meet other needs they may have (such as for entertainment/fun/diversion).
So perhaps, rather than see enemies in others, we can recognize that we are all well-intentioned persons; we are all trying to have our basic human needs met; allow us to discuss ways we could best do that, such that would recognize the fears of some, that people will not be cared for and recognize the fears of others, that they will not be treated voluntarily, that the provision/exchange of services will not be consensual.

Roger Burgess: - @Jacob S. said "I do not believe that Libertarians wish to see anyone “drown in the pool”,"
I have empirical evidence that shows otherwise.
Witness the crowd cheering at the idea of letting people die who don't have health insurance at the Republican debate last year. A very large portion of those people self identify as Libertarian.
Look at the cheers coming from people who agree that the for-pay Fire Department in Kentucky(?) let the man's house burn down because he lacked the requisite insurance.
No, the case is quite clear - large portions of the Libertarian among us are perfectly willing to let people drown.

Jacob S.: - @Roger Burgess I can certainly appreciate how a cheering crowd of persons, celebrating that some State-policy intended to provide people with needed services, would-not or should-not be implemented, might be disheartening to those of us, that would like to see people in need, be provided those needed services. Still yet, I do not think that attributing some evil intent upon that crowd of persons, is going to meet our needs for understanding and empathy. If I do not attempt to understand the libertarians, then they will have little desire attempt to understand me and neither of our needs will get met. I try to connect with what they are feeling, I sense that they feel annoyed, frustrated, angry and afraid (and I think fear is a very common and prominent feeling for both sides) that their needs for autonomy will not be met by State action which limits voluntary/consensual action. I think we can all agree, that we would like the optimum amount of autonomy in our lives; we would like to make as many free choices as possible, so long as we are not harming others. I think libertarians are afraid of State action that is coercive; that does not respect the need of persons to be autonomous, to direct their own lives; libertarians see State action to provide services for people, as simultaneously limiting their own autonomy. Consider this: If a Star-Trek like "replicator" could provide limitless resources, at the expense of no-one, would libertarians still object to the provision of services? I do not think so; libertarians do not object to the provision of services, they like everyone, would like to see everyone meet their needs; libertarians rather object the to the means or methods/strategies by which those needs would best be met. Libertarians see free interactions of persons in the market-place as best meeting everyone's needs. I can respect libertarians for their desires to see all human interactions, to be voluntary and consensual interactions.

Roger Burgess: - @Jacob S. I understand the need for Philosophical Charity, something I show a distinct lack of in this thread I might add, but we need to stick to facts-as-they-are, not facts-as-we'd-like-them-to-be.
A very specific claim was made, that "I do not believe that Libertarians wish to see anyone “drown in the pool."
I showed that claim to be false. It is a fact that large swaths of Libertarians are, in point of fact, 'wishing to see anyone drown in the pool'.
I'm most specifically NOT attributing evil intent here. I'm attributing no intent at all but one: the intent to cleave to an ideology that rejects compassion as a properly motive force in economics or politics.
I understand what Libertarians believe, I used to be one until I studied up on Libertarianism as a philosophy and was confronted with the horror that my beliefs entailed. Like any smart, intellectually honest person, I rejected those beliefs in favor of ones that actually match my moral proclivities.

Steven Sudit: - @Jacob S. The thing is, we voluntarily formed this government. In fact, we rebelled against England and struck out on our own. And we created a system in which we hold frequent elections to ensure that the government represents the interests of society. So, no, we really can't claim that taxes are involuntary or nonconsensual.

Jacob S.: - @Steven Sudit I thank you for sharing your solution, to how we may ethically arrive at a condition, in which all persons have voluntarily consented to obey those persons that claim authority over others. I recognize your solution as a valid logical progression, namely; that (A.) IF there is a "we", that includes all persons now living (unanimously), AND (B.) that same "we" consisted of a progression through time, beginning at some point in which that same "we" established of a body of rules that "we" agreed to abide, THEN (or therefore) that "we" (which would consist of each individual, unanimously), has therefore agreed to abide by that set of rules. While I would concede that your line of reasoning is valid, I do not believe we are in agreement that the premises of that argument are sound. I do not think there is convincing evidence to support that, all persons were in agreement as to the set of rules (that all were unanimous), and we might look to the Anti-Federalist writings as evidence for this assertion (check out Brutus & Colombian Patriot); additionally, I do not think we (you and I) are in agreement that this same "we" is a constant progression back in time (no one living then, is alive today). Furthermore, I am not certain how it could be justified, that a father may make a promise, such that, the son is obligated to keep it. I am not certain there is sufficient ethical argumentation to justify a progenitor creating rules for his/her progeny (posterity). Furthermore, I am unconvinced that there is sufficient ethical/philosophical justification to hold any person, to an agreement unconditionally, even if such a person agreed to be held unconditionally; in what other agreements are the parties bound inextricably? Even under an agreement of marriage, which many consider to be a solemn oath, can be undone by the desires of just one party; the idea of unconditional agreements that are not extricable, are ethically unsatisfactory for me, as they seem to dangerously imply the possibility for legitimate conditions of slavery. But I would like to repeat my thanks to Steven, I thank you for engaging these ideas with me; apathy is a deadly poison to philosophy. :-)

Steven Sudit: - @Jacob S. The problem with demanding unanimity is that a single idiot (hi, Elliott!) can derail all of society. As such, it is an unreasonable demand that I must reject out of hand. What we do instead is allow majority rule within the bounds of law. Moreover, we're not merely given a choice between accepting and rejecting the status quo, but also changing it. The ability of government to change to meet our changing needs is what gives it legitimacy to act in our names.

Jacob S.: - @Steven Sudit I would like to thank you again, for your continued interest in contending with ideas in the realm of ethics and philosophy. I assure you, that I appreciate that unanimity is a strict requirement but not one to be taken lightly; if the argument that we propose, has as its premise, that a "we" at one point at time agreed to follow certain rules, and that is the premise which legitimizes why the rules are binding upon all individuals, the requirement for an initial unanimity is a necessary requirement for the argument to be valid. You and I could agree at one point in time, upon certain rules, but how could we then, impose our agreement upon Elliot? I appreciate that unanimity would make many proposals much more difficult but I am not sure how one could reason with ethical soundness, how you and I could ever legitimately coerce Elliot to follow our agreement. Even the political arrangement of democracy, must presume, that all individuals at one time, agreed upon rules for voting and that all agreed that they would abide by the decision of the majority. For if it would not the case that democracy requires an initial agreement, then we are confronted with the ethical problem of applying/enforcing an agreement against a party that had not joined the covenant/agreement. For instance, if you and I agree to have a democracy and to abide by the results of all majority votes, we could not ethically/reasonably, tell Elliot that we vote, two against his one, that Elliot should do so-and-so, and that we will force him against his will, due to our agreement. I thank you for sharing your ideas with me. :-)

Steven Sudit: - @Jacob S. It is impossible to form a society with the requirement of unanimity because it amounts to giving everyone absolute veto power. As the number of people becomes nontrivial, the chance of veto approaches certainty, so the whole thing falls apart. Instead, we create a system that is responsive to the needs of the people and therefore enjoys a broad acceptance of legitimacy, even by those who disagree with specifics (and that means pretty much everyone, sooner or later).

When you don't get your way politically, you can either become part of the loyal opposition or a rebel. The former accept their current loss and remain within the system, working to make it better. The latter believe that their voices were not heard -- as opposed to heard and rejected -- and so deny the legitimacy of the system.

So long as they stay within the bounds of law, we tolerate even rebels. Consider the teabaggers who deny that Obama can legally be President because he's black foreign-born. However, when they cannot live within the law, we have a fix for that: exile. This can mean leaving the country to go off to the libertarian paradise of Galt's Gulch Somalia. Or it can mean the internal exile called prison.

We've had a few thousand years of experience creating societies larger than a village and this is what we've learned. There's no room for utopian and absolutist ideals that just don't work.

Jacob S.: - @Steven Sudit I would like to thank you once again for wishing to continue our discussion. It would please me, to meet your needs for readable text by the insertion of spaces, and thereby fulfill your request.

I appreciate your concerns; I sense that you have concerns that such an ethical standard would have significant effects on current or traditional political modes. If you are considering the political implications of such an insight and you find those to be both numerous and significant, I believe we would both be in agreement, that such is the case.

The standard I have submitted for a consistent ethical framework, such that, a unanimity of persons must take place, before an agreement could be ethically/legitimately enforced, is a rather simple one that stands up to the consistent standard of application of all other contracts/agreements. Merely because such a standard would make some political modes illegitimate, I do not think that, for that reason alone, we may dismiss the argument; for such a dismissal would have, as an indubitable premise, that every political mode that currently exists, is indubitably ethically legitimate. Given the various possible current and historical evidence that could be submitted for the unethical nature of nearly any political mode, I would not be in agreement with an indubitable assumption that all of the current political modes are perfectly ethical. I would proceed as if it is possible to question the ethical legitimacy of any particular political mode.

I do not believe we are in agreement in the statement, "It is impossible to form a society with the requirement of unanimity". As there is nothing that would make the requirement of unanimity impossible, though difficult it may be, and though it may be impractical for particular purposes. Perhaps we ought to agree on a particular proposition before proceeding; are you interested in discussing the possible necessity for an initial unanimous agreement before the establishment of covenant, or are you interested in discussing the possible necessity for a standard of extricability? It seemed at first you wished to discuss a "we" that first entered into covenant but now it seems that you may be more interested in the possibility for extricability.

"...we create a system that is responsive to the needs of the people..." I would like to question, who is this "we" to which you refer? If it is the initial unanimous 'we', then your argument holds together much better (assuming inextricability), but if the "we" does not include those "rebels" to which you refer, how it is that you and I, can enforce our agreement on those so-called "rebels"? How could they be "rebels" at all if they have never agreed or assented to 'our' agreement? If they have never agreed or assented, then they can not be considered as party to the "we" of you and I. How do you suggest we remedy this ethical problem, that if you and I make an agreement, how is it, that we can include (force)+Elliott Crismore and +Edward Gao into that agreement, without their consent or agreement? What would be the philosophical or ethical justification for creating a special exemption for certain kinds of agreements, that they can include parties that do not agree?

I would request that your next response, please address some of the issues I have raised, as I have a need to know that you would like to continue the discussion in good faith and with philosophical joy, as I do not think that either of us would like to philosophically labor in vain. If this discussion does not meet your needs (if it does not give you joy in the exchange of ideas), then you need only indicate such and I will respectfully attempt to meet your need for space in this discussion. :-)
*How could an agreement between you and I, be enforced against a non-consenting party?
*How could an agreement between you and I, bind our progeny to our agreement?
*How could an agreement between you and I, that we would vote & abide by the majority of vote, legitimately include other parties that do not consent to this agreement of 'democracy'?
*If an agreement between you and I, can-be/should-be enforced upon a non-consenting third-party, how is our enforcement, not a literal, tyranny of the majority?
*If we accept the principle that non-consenting parties, can be included into the agreements of consenting parties, how do you avoid the problem, that any numerous group of persons, could impose any rules they choose upon a less numerous group of persons? (For instance, how do you suggest we avoid the possibility, (if we accept the principle, that an agreement of democracy can be forced on a non-consenting group) of the group of persons commonly known as "Chinese", voting to include those persons commonly referred to as "Americans", into the "Chinese" democracy?
*If you and I make an agreement, to form a 'government', how can we ethically justify an "exile" to those that wish to have no part in our agreement? [If your two neighbors, do not like the color of your house, and they agree that you should repaint your house some color of their choosing, why is it that you should be forced to move (be 'exiled') to avoid conflict, rather than they who make the arbitrary demands, be 'exiled'?]

Steven Sudit: - @Jacob S. I don't claim that all forms of government are legitimate or ethical. I do claim that the sort you're suggesting is, in practice, impossible. If it doesn't work at all, then it's a non-starter, no matter how good it looks on paper.

The reason unanimity is impossible is that it only takes one contrary person to veto everything and you're left with nothing. As I explained, for any significant societal size, there will always be a person who takes this approach, at least with regard to the matters they care about. Instead of a potential for a tyrrany of the majority, you suggest a guarantee of a tyrrany of one.

So what do we do with the misfits? Well, we first do our best to see if they're actually correct. If they appear not to be, we then do our best to try to accomodate them in a way that doesn't harm others (although it may well involve allowing them to harm themselves). And if that's not possible, we exile them, either externally or internally.

The part you seem to be missing is that the primary claim of rights comes from agreeing to be part of society. Someone who disagrees has lost their claim, so we may well deny them rights they would otherwise have had. This can go all the way. For example, if Edward likes shooting people, we may have to shoot him first.

Libertarians and other anarchists, unfortunately, do not understand social contract theory, and instead make claims of freedoms or rights based on arbitrary sources, as per deontology.

Jacob S.: - @Steven Sudit In order to meet my needs for understanding your perspective and recognizing its validity, I would very much like to know your direct responses to the questions I have posed. Thank you. :-)

Steven Sudit: - @Jacob S. I've responded pretty directly. You've offered no support for the plausibility of unanimity.

Jacob S.: - @Steven Sudit I appreciate that we may not be in agreement on many of the issues that have been raised; but my understanding of logically deductive reasoning, is that premises are submitted in order to derive or deduce a conclusion. Your responses to my questions thus far, have appeared to me, to merely re-assert your original conclusions and with that reassertion, you express how the requirement of unanimity would be unsatisfactory to your conclusions. I appreciate that you find the requirement for unanimity as a condition for contract/covenant, a personally unsatisfactory premise. I have already met my needs (for now) for understanding your conclusions; what I am requesting of you now, is to reveal your ethical premises that you have used to derive the conclusions you have asserted. I maintain some curiosity as to how you would ethically rationalize/justify your conclusions. I believe that if you would respond directly to these questions, your responses would help me to understand your premises:

*How could an agreement between you and I, be enforced against a non-consenting party?
*How could an agreement between you and I, bind our progeny to our agreement?
*How could an agreement between you and I, that we would vote & abide by the majority of vote, legitimately include other parties that do not consent to this agreement of 'democracy'?
*If an agreement between you and I, can-be/should-be enforced upon a non-consenting third-party, how is our enforcement, not a literal, tyranny of the majority?
*If we accept the principle that non-consenting parties, can be included into the agreements of consenting parties, how do you avoid the problem, that any numerous group of persons, could impose any rules they choose upon a less numerous group of persons? (For instance, how do you suggest we avoid the possibility, (if we accept the principle, that an agreement of democracy can be forced on a non-consenting group) of the group of persons commonly known as "Chinese", voting to include those persons commonly referred to as "Americans", into the "Chinese" democracy?
*If you and I make an agreement, to form a 'government', how can we ethically justify an "exile" to those that wish to have no part in our agreement? [If your two neighbors, do not like the color of your house, and they agree that you should repaint your house some color of their choosing, why is it that you should be forced to move (be 'exiled') to avoid conflict, rather than they who make the arbitrary demands, be 'exiled'?]

Thank you. :-)

Steven Sudit: - @Jacob S. You need to directly address my argument against the requirement of unanimity. If you cannot, then questions that are predicated upon this refuted premise are of no value.

Jacob S.: - @Steven Sudit I respect your preference not to explain your ethical premises. I understand your hesitancy to do so, as such a request makes one particularly vulnerable to criticism, however, without such an explication of your premises, I do not see how anyone could be reasonably expected, blind of your premises, to reconcile any proposition, no matter how reasonable, with your conclusions, if those conclusions be faulty. Such a request denies the possibility of critique on the soundness of your premises, or the validity of your reasoning by which you derive the conclusions; such a position creates an unassailable collection of bare assertions, without reasoned justification or intellectual merit. Regardless, it is of no importance; my past curiosity as to your premises has now faded. I thank you for the dialog, but I shall excuse myself of further discussion in this forum. :-)
Best Regards,

Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo: No government which governs by the use of force can survive except by force

“No government which governs by the use of force can survive except by force. There is no going back because force begets force and the perpetrators of crimes live in fear that they might become victims in their turn.” Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo, Reconciliation Speech of 24/2/99 at St Mary’s Cathedral Hall, Sydney, NSW

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lysander Spooner: There can be No Treason, if the Constitution is of no authority ...

"The Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago. [This essay was written in 1869.] And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts. Furthermore, we know, historically, that only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now. Most of them have been dead forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years. and the constitution, so far as it was their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children. It is not only plainly impossible, in the nature of things, that they could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them. That is to say, the instrument does not purport to be an agreement between any body but "the people" THEN existing; nor does it, either expressly or impliedly, assert any right, power, or disposition, on their part, to bind anybody but themselves."

Martin Luther King: We should not forget, Everything done in Nazi Germany was illegal

Sometimes you re-read something, and you find something in it, even more beautiful than before:

"We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws."

"I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action'; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a 'more convenient season.' Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

"I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."
~Martin Luther King Jr. 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail'

Friday, March 9, 2012

James Madison: gradual and silent encroachments

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” ~James Madison

NVC (Non-Violent Communication) & Liberty

I sense a need in the liberty-community to explain to those who are interested in the cause of liberty, why they should pay attention to the work being done in the NVC (Non-Violent Communication) community; and perhaps, in a later post, I may be so bold as to suggest why the NVC community, ought to pay attention to the theoretical work done by the liberty-community.

The following will be an attempt to speak to libertarians, voluntaryists, agorists, anarchists, min-archists, anarcho-capitalists, anarcho-anything-else-ists, radical-liberals, classical-liberals, free-thinkers and all liberty-minded individuals as to the value of the NVC methodology, and how it is generally, if not perfectly, consistent with the theoretical ethics of the liberty-community.

NVC is a methodological approach that attempts to remove from our use of language, expressions of aggression towards others, that can cause others to become defensive or aggressive themselves; the NVC community, thinks of NVC as a kind of special consciousness, where we listen for the feelings of others, we attempt to understand the met and unmet needs that are being expressed by others and we open ourselves to empathize with those feelings and needs.

Why is this approach of significance/importance to the liberty-community? Have you ever been in a situation, where in your speaking with someone about the ideas of liberty, there comes a point in which the conversation turns awry? Have you ever experienced a feeling of frustration or anger in trying to have yourself understood? Have you ever observed anyone else object to your arguments with anger or fear ("...but what about the roads? How would we have roads?")? I submit that an NVC consciousness, or at least the methodology, could be critical to overcome the difficulties of communicating the ideas of liberty with others, as those ideas, may naturally provoke emotional reactions of fear and anger in those that are disconnected from their feelings and needs.

I believe we are all familiar, with the harm/damage that occurs to a person, when they experience abuse during their childhoods. Such painful, traumatic experiences can deeply scar people throughout their lives; we in the liberty-community have a need to recognize that those persons that we try to express/communicate the ideas of liberty to, have been deeply scarred by the trauma of living a life under domination. This is why our conversations with others are so rarely fruitful; the trauma of domination is why those discussions aimed at communicating the ideas of liberty, so rarely remain a calm, reasoned analysis of the State and the possible alternatives to domination/oppression. It would probably be foolish, to think that we also have escaped all of the pain and trauma of our lives, lived under societies of domination; so we too, must recognize that when we have become emotional/frustrated in our discussions, that we too are reliving the pain/trauma of domination, transferred to the present.

Logic and reasoning will only take us so far; this is not to say we should stop our works of reasoned analysis, only that, if our goal is to reach as many people as possible with our ideas, if we prefer to negotiate and connect with others rather than draw that deadly line-in-the-sand that would mark the line of our use of self-defense, then we must attempt to make a connection that can overcome the pain/emotions of the traumatic experience of domination and that connection is empathy.

We not only have the experience of our rational consciousness, but we have the experience of having an organic-feeling-body and its attendant sub-consciousness. Our emotions are the alerts/signs of our unconscious mind, that our needs are not being met. Our emotions let us know when the rational consciousness is not attending to the needs of the entirety of the entity (ourselves).

The special consciousness that is developed through use of the NVC methodology, is the direction of the rational-consciousness to an awareness of our emotions, and an awareness of the emotions of others, it is to connect the rational-consciousness with the met and unmet needs of the unconsciousness. With the NVC consciousness, we connect our feelings (both positive and negative) with the needs that are, or are not, being met. When we understand the needs of ourselves and others, we can begin to creatively begin negotiating (with ourselves and others) how we might best meet our needs.

Nearly, if not all, persons have a desire/need to be understood. Have you ever lost a loved one? If you have, did you value the kind words of condolence, or did you value those that were willing to just be with you? My experience has been that most people prefer the latter, and there is an important reason, when we are feeling powerful emotions, we want to connect with others, we want them to empathize with us, we want to know we are not alone in our feeling, that they are willing to share/empathize-with our pain. Empathy is a crucial component to connecting with another person to let them know that their feelings are understandable given their context of met or unmet needs. When we are empathized with, the intensity of emotion is surrendered to the connection; NVC is a methodology/consciousness that may assist the liberty-community to heal from its own scars of domination, and begin to make empathic connections with others, for a future free of domination.

Won't you join me?