Demand Versus Demands


Here’s an irony for you.

The word “demand” as it is used in economics and “demands” as it is used in politics sound like the same thing – yet the two words are polar opposites.

In economics “demand” is what someone wants and what those who want their business work to supply.

People want to communicate to other people who are far away. That’s the demand. To satisfy that demand Morse supplies the telegraph, Bell supplies the telephone, and Tesla supplies the radio.

People want to be able to have light after the sun sets. That’s the demand. People supply torches, gas lights, and electric lighting.

A man wants an erection or a delayed climax. If there are lots of men who want that this is a market demand that stimulates the hunt for or creation of pharmaceuticals to make penises hard or delay ejaculation. The desire is a demand. The entrepreneur looks for a supply with the entrepreneur’s typical motive being profit by meeting demand with supply.

But “demands” in political use is semantically closer to what a foiled bank robber with customers as hostages asks for to release the hostages unharmed.

“Medicare for All!” is a current political slogan used by political candidates. But what is demanded is not demand in the economic sense. No entrepreneur can by invention or offering any combination of products and services supply to everyone regardless of age the medical, hospitalization, and pharmaceutical coverage the United States federal government now provides to seniors, paid for by taxes and fiat money.

But the stark difference between “demand” and “demands” only begins here.

I have had my entire adult life a musical dysphoria caused by being the son of a virtuoso classical violinist who cannot, himself, play the violin. I can imagine myself playing violin at expert level but imagination, alone, can not enable me to do it.

This is not my only dysphoria.

I have never had the upper body strength to do a pull-up, a push-up, or to climb a rope, although I would have loved to have this capability.

I have never had the physical stamina to run for more than a short distance before running out of breath. I am dysphoric – unhappy, in less clinical language – that I have never been able to run a marathon.

Unisex sign

There are people born with male bodies who feel they are gender displaced and belong instead in female bodies, and there are people born with female bodies who feel they are gender displaced and belong instead in male bodies.

If we apply politics we have the political demand that self-identification for gender be granted regardless of physical genitalia, in public rest rooms, locker rooms, and showers.

In our current day the transition from one sex to the other is aspirational and not fully achievable despite hormonal treatment and cosmetic surgeries.

Political demands cannot turn a male into a female or a female into a male.

No male transitioning to female can then be inseminated to pregnancy and bear a child to birth.

No female transitioning to male can then ejaculate semen and impregnate a female.

No dysphoria – no imagination – can overcome the stark fact that a biological technology to accomplish a full gender transition does not yet exist.

Economic demand just might.

As demand set before entrepreneurs, the gender dysphoria of living in the “wrong” body could encourage the development of a full sexual transition as a future market product.

My desire to play the Brahms Violin Concerto – or to run a marathon – might inspire some entrepreneur to satisfy that experience in virtual reality, if not in actual reality.

The difference between “demands” and “demand” is the difference between an idiot holding a gun and a potential customer for a new product.

You only get the satisfaction of a demand in a world where demands aren’t made by first taking hostages.

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Brad Linaweaver on One-World Statism

This begins with a tweet I forwarded in email to my friend, author/filmmaker/publisher, Brad Linaweaver:
Tweet on Cato

Brad responded, and later in the day granted my request to publish. I’ve added links. — JNS

Subject: Re: I tweeted
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2018 18:09:35 -0400
From: Brad Linaweaver
To: J. Neil Schulman
CC: [concealed]

[Personal comment deleted]

As for the fake libertarian at Cato, a lot more is going on than we can lay at the altar of Keynes. The issue is globalism. The current nervousness is about the currency of Turkey. That economy is in trouble because of the ridiculous policies of the Turkish State. The globalists (which coalition includes my favorite whipping boy, the Neo-cons) are all about managing the world economy as if it were the economy of a single state.

The British Keynes gave advice for national economies, a lot more than he did for the entire world. He was more of a nationalist than today’s libertarians, whose problem is not being a critic of nations but instead being advocates of a world state.

The globalists feel the same proprietary emotion for China’s economy, say, as the American economy. They don’t see individual businessmen any more than they see separate nations. They are not low-level collectivists. They are super-collectivists.

No debate is possible without a consensus on the primary subject matter. We can’t discuss a problem about private markets where the other side has redefined markets outside of the private realm forever!!! Cato is on the other side.

Lord Maynard Keynes never went that far.

Do you remember when President George H. W. Bush talked about a “New World Order”? It freaked out a lot of people because Hitler also talked about a New World Order. But Hitler didn’t originate the phrase. He ripped it off from our side — that is, the Anglo American side, the English speaking side. Bush was simply taking the phrase back from German into the original English.

Want proof?

H. G. Wells was not merely the father of modern science fiction. He was the best selling writer in English for many years. He was a best seller before the Great War. He was a best selling writer all over the world in the 1920s.

He advocated new world orders, and new intellectuals (before Rand), and new this and new that, and intellectual samurai, and technocracy, before the Nazis (and a lot of anti-Nazis) used this rhetoric. His last book, Mind At The End Of Its Tether, was a pessimistic meditation on how his dream of world government would never happen. It came out shortly after the conclusion of WW2.

Wells simply died too soon.

His dream is on the march.

As I once told [mutual friend] Bill Ritch, Trump is a speed bump on the way to World Government. But that is only a delay. Reagan was a delay, too.

Robert A. Heinlein went from predicting and advocating World Government (back in the 1930s) to predicting and opposing world government for the rest of his life. But he never stopped predicting it.

My favorite libertarian science fiction long novel* is The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress because it says a world government is coming, but a libertarian revolution off the earth can successfully resist the tentacles of that gigantic state.

My love of the RAH novel is why I made all the sacrifices required for Free Space.

That anthology is not entitled Free Earth.

Heinlein would never have said 1969 is Year One if he believed the future of the human race is here on the old mud ball.

Never, never, never.

Cato is very much of the Earth, but not of the United States. The USA is the greatest nation in the history of the planet, but it will not last forever. Anyone who thinks the USA is eternal is nuts. We are simply fortunate to be citizens of the USA while it is still here. We are fortunate to have a President who is trying to keep America alive at all (which is sufficient greatness for me).

However, any student of history knows this unusually reasonable Empire will not be here forever. It’s not possible.

Even the religious nuts are smart enough to understand this perfectly obvious fact.

*My favorite libertarian science fiction short novel is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. It’s also my favorite novel, without qualifications.

Brad

Brad Linaweaver
Brad Linaweaver

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Plastic Politics


Earlier today (August 15, 2018) I sent out two tweets intended to cause trouble for my political enemies — totalitarians who want to leave no aspect of human life — even the most trivial — free from their commands.

The first:

https://twitter.com/jneilschulman/status/1029905033742172160

J. Neil Schulman
@jneilschulman

Why do progressives want to ban non-biodegradable plastic straws, grocery bags, and rubber balloons, @TuckerCarlson, but would go crazy if San Francisco, Seattle, or Portland legislated that condoms are a hazard to wildlife and condom possession brought fines and jail time?

6:37 PM – 15 Aug 2018

The second:

https://twitter.com/jneilschulman/status/1029906776827809792

J. Neil Schulman
@jneilschulman

Planned Parenthood is destroying the environment and murdering ocean wildlife by passing out nonbiodegradable condoms! @greggutfeld @TuckerCarlson @JesseBWatters @andylevy @nickgillespie @billmaher @iamjohnoliver @colbertlateshow

6:44 PM – 15 Aug 2018

tweet

I’m not a conservative. I don’t oppose Planned Parenthood passing out condoms or even arranging for abortions.

As a libertarian I’m Pro-Choice. The determination of when human life begins — or doesn’t — can’t be taken by the State without violating fundamental human rights.

As a student of religion I note that the religious anti-abortion movement is historically revisionist, based on a modern premise identical to the atheist’s: that only biological gestation — not the inspiration of the immortal soul with a baby’s first breath, as the ancient Hebrews believed — determines when human life begins.

But we live in an age when consistency of one’s political premises is replaced with any momentary expedience. If it diminishes the capitalist bourgeoisie to deprive them of plastic grocery bags, drink straws, or birthday balloons, leftist-dominated cities like Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco are more than willing to ban plastic items with fines and jail time attached for violation, on the grounds that such small items when multiplied by millions of others harm ocean wildlife.

Fine. You want to play it that way, right back at you.

Ban the non-biodegradable plastic condoms that protect against HIV and keep gays alive. Biodegradable sheepskin condoms don’t.

You want to make plastic politically toxic? Pay the political price of killing the gay community and bringing back the AIDS epidemic from the last century.

Make the gays your enemy.

I dare you. I double dare you.

Or leave the personal use of plastic items out of your totalitarian grasp and shut up about that, you lousy crats.

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Anarchists Versus Anarchy

Greg Gutfeld: I challenge you to respond on either The Five or The Greg Gutfeld Show.

Back in my salad days as a libertarian activist, in Fall 1974, I organized the first-ever conference on countereconomics – CounterCon I – featuring Samuel Edward Konkin III as keynote speaker. In May, 1975, Sam, who supplemented his income as a graduate student in theoretical chemistry at NYU by doing commercial typesetting, typeset for me a full-page ad for Countercon II — featuring both Sam and Robert LeFevre — that I wanted to buy, advertising the second conference in the newsletter of Laissez-Faire Books, then a brick-and-mortar bookstore on Mercer Street in Greenwich Village, founded by Sharon Presley and John Muller.

The headline for the ad was, “Will You Survive Anarchy?”

Keep in mind that all of us – Sam, Sharon, John, and I – were all anarchists. Yet the ad was focusing on the chaos that a collapsing above-ground economy — due to government overspending leading to monetary hyperinflation – could cause.

Sharon Presley rejected the ad because it was using the word “anarchy” negatively. The ad as revised and run was stupid and missed the point, reheadlined, “Will You Survive Anomie?”

Since 1974 I’ve established a solid reputation as a writer of books, journalism, Op-Eds, humor, academic essays, commercial copyrighting, fiction, poetry, blogging, tweeting, and screenwriting. A quick look at my bio confirms how I’ve frequently been honored by world-class celebrities and icons – including Nobel-prize-winner Milton Friedman and an Academy-Award winner Charlton Heston – for my writing.

So from my vantage point as a wordsmith going back over four decades – and still an anarchist – I can safely say that my pejorative use of “anarchy” in an ad intended for anarchist consumption was correct.

Welcome to Customer Service

In an article now an afterword to the latest edition of my 1979 novel Alongside NightAlongside Night the Movie Edition – I wrote the following:

In common usage the word “anarchy” is a synonym for chaos and anomie, just as in common usage “anarchist” is a synonym for terrorist or nihilist.
It places an immediate communications burden on anyone who believes, as I do, that a stateless society can be not only as well-ordered and agreeable as any society which attempts by a constitution to limit the powers of government for the purpose of ensuring common individual rights, but in theory could do a better job of preventing a reemergence of tyranny.

I start this essay with a challenge to the Fox News Channel’s Greg Gutfeld because – like Bill O’Reilly before him – Mr. Gutfeld applies the word “anarchist” to the scum who use violence, destruction of private property, and fascist tactics of intimidation against their political opponents.

I’m an anarchist who, after decades of principled non-voting, decided to cast ballots in presidential primaries and races for Ross Perot, George W. Bush, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, Gary Johnson, and Donald Trump.

I watch the Fox News Channel more than I watch CNN or MSNBC.

I wrote in that same afterword:

Yes, that’s right. The revolution only succeeds when the Anarchist is more for law-and-order than the Statist.

As an anarchist thoroughly conversant with the history of anarchists and anarchist movements, I think it’s well past time for the word “anarchist” not to be equated with lawlessness, communism, violence, and nihilism. Of course there are those calling themselves anarchists who are better described because of their actions as fascists. That is nonetheless true of those who call themselves every other label, including liberals and conservatives.

I’ve made it easy for the Greg Gutfelds to know what this particular anarchist thinks. Read my books available on Amazon, both fiction and nonfiction.

Read my blog posts and my many articles in The Libertarian Enterprise.

I have two movies — Lady Magdalene’s and Alongside Night, which I wrote, produced, and directed — currently streaming on Amazon Video / Amazon Prime.

Greg Gutfeld, as a fan of yours if nothing else, I deserve more attention, if not respect.

So do many other anarchists who overlap with you in the values of common sense and common decency, which you’d know if you paid attention.

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Mars Pirate Radio Interviews J. Neil Schulman on The Fractal Man and Multiversal Living

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 143

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142 Logo

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 143 Logo

Episode 142 and 143 of MPR feature Parts One and Two of Doug Turnbull’s July 16th interview with J. Neil Schulman.

During this interview Turnbull and Schulman discuss The Fractal Man, his newest SF novel.

They also discuss at some length, the concept of the multiverse that is an important feature of the novel, and how this concept fits into Schulman’s personal experience.

It is quite a spirited discussion and Turnbull thinks you will enjoy both parts.

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Conversation on Democratic Socialism

An excerpt from my novel in progress, The Metronome Misnomer.

Cover: The Metronome Misnomer

“Five seconds,” said the stage director.

Jennifer sat catercorner to her opponent, just elected to Congress, with the debate moderator between them.

“Three, two –”

Hand signal for one. Camera light on.

“Good evening,” said FNN news anchor, Shawn Oldman. “Our guests tonight are Senegal Diaz-Jaffe, newly elected Congresswoman from New York’s 14th Congressional District, and renowned arbitrator and TV judge Jennifer Solomon. Our topic for tonight’s point-counterpoint is the proper role of government in seeking social justice. Congresswoman, let’s start with you. You describe yourself as a democratic socialist. What, precisely, do you advocate?”

“Only that which almost every American has agreed upon for close to a century now. That everyone be treated with dignity and the least among us be afforded the equal access to adequate health care, education, and housing that the elite seize for themselves. We need to recognize that capitalism is a rapacious system that we’ve evolved beyond.”

“Judge Solomon?”

“Where does the money to pay for these benefits come from, Ms. Diaz-Jaffe?”

“The government.”

“And where does the government get the money?”

“It must tax those whose fortunes were made by exploiting the working poor.”

“Let’s leave out that your math doesn’t work – that even taking one-hundred percent of the wealth from the top ten percent can’t provide the services you’re demanding for the other ninety percent. So let’s ask the primary question. Exploiting how? How can there be exploitation when a worker is free to quit?”

“To quit and starve? Not be able to pay for rent and food? That’s not a real choice.”

“It’s not a real choice to take a job elsewhere, or start their own business to compete with their former employer?”

“That’s a fantasy. Most start-ups end in bankruptcy.”

“What about those whose fortunes were made by their own hard work and superior products enriching everyone?”

“No one is an island,” Diaz-Jaffe said. “Everyone is dependent on everyone else. The rich get a free ride from publicly funded schools and colleges training their workers, direct taxpayer subsidies, legal shields against the harm their products cause to others.”

“That’s called limited liability and I’ll immediately concede these laws distort the market, allowing a corporation to grow larger than the marketplace would otherwise allow. Nonetheless even a company with such legal shielding must compete to win their share of customers, who freely choose their product or service over the existing alternatives.”

“Unless the government stifles the competition,”said the Congresswoman.

“I agree again,” said Jennifer. “The solution isn’t more government regulation – which is always used to protect one company from its competition – but to eliminate the government preferencing and allow competition to do its job. Your problem – Congresswoman Diaz-Jaffe – is that you detect arsenic in drinking water and wish to replace it with cyanide. If you had studied real economics your solution to market corruption wouldn’t be the fascism you label democratic socialism but the truly free market Agorism I advocate.”

Copyright © 2018 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.

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Why Donald Trump Is Not Richard Nixon

I’m an anarchist. Anything I write in this essay is not as an anarchist theorist but as an opinion journalist speaking in common political terms.

Richard Nixon’s presidency ended many of the imperial powers of the presidency that Nixon had enjoyed as a gift from Lincoln as president during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson from World War I, and from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Lyndon Baines Johnson, from World War II and Cold-War enterprises including the Korean and Vietnam unwars.

Watergate weakened the presidency transferring power to courts, lawyers, bureaucrats, and somewhat to the Congress– and neither Barack Obama nor Donald Trump have been able to exercise the power twentieth-century presidents had. People forget that George W. Bush was elected in 2000, the last year of the twentieth century; the September 11, 2001 attacks — though at the opening of the twenty-first century — gave Bush 43 a chance to exercise powers that only pre-Nixon presidents had owned.

To quote the Wikipedia article Saturday Night Massacre:

“The Saturday Night Massacre was a series of events on the evening of Saturday, October 20, 1973, during the Watergate scandal in the United States. U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Richardson refused and resigned effective immediately. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; Ruckelshaus refused, and also resigned. Nixon then ordered the third-most-senior official at the Justice Department, Solicitor General Robert Bork, to fire Cox. Bork considered resigning, but did as Nixon asked. The political and public reaction to Nixon’s actions were negative and highly damaging to the president. A new special counsel was appointed eleven days later on November 1, 1973, and on November 14, 1973, a court ruled that the dismissal had been illegal.”

And that was that for the Imperial Presidency. Presidential powers, both foreign and domestic, are still fulsome, but just aren’t what FDR enjoyed.

Donald Trump & Richard Nixon
U.S. Presidents Donald Trump & Richard Nixon

It’s hard to be the Führer when a former functionary like John Brennan can call you a traitor with zero consequence.

Or when any federal-court judge can reverse any presidential executive order or reverse a Department of Justice order that federal funds be withheld from cities in rebellion against federal law.

Fascism just ain’t what it used to be.

The question remains whether Trump could take back lost presidential powers.

If the 2018 midterms keep both houses of Congress in GOP hands, could President Trump fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — and have his next-in-line fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller — with Trump not facing impeachment from his own party as Nixon did?

It would require Trump to understand that he’s not the CEO of a business enterprise — but a Caesar — for him to do it.

My friend and political advisor (not an anarchist) Brad Linaweaver tells me not to hold my breath.

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Mars Pirate Radio Interviews J. Neil Schulman on The Fractal Man and Multiversal Living

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142

Mars Pirate Radio Episode 142 Logo

Episode 142 of MPR features Doug Turnbull’s July 16th interview with J. Neil Schulman.

During this interview Turnbull and Schulman discuss The Fractal Man, his newest SF novel.

They also discuss at some length, the concept of the multiverse that is an important feature of the novel, and how this concept fits into Schulman’s personal experience.

It is quite a spirited discussion and Turnbull thinks you will enjoy it.

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An Open Letter to Wendy McElroy


Dear Wendy,

I respect you.

Sincerely,

Neil

Link: April 13, 2011 — My Unfinished 30-Year-Old Debate with Wendy McElroy republished in Origitent: Why Original Content Is Property (Steve Heller Publishing, 2018)

Author Wendy McElroy
Author Wendy McElroy

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Now a $0.99 Amazon Kindle: The Fractal Man!


My fourth novel, The Fractal Man, was just published by Steve Heller Publishing as an Amazon Kindle selling for $0.99! And it’s free to read if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited!

Click here or on the cover to go to the Amazon page.

The Fractal Man book cover

You can also use the link http://TheFractalMan.com.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

J. Neil Schulman’s fourth novel, The Fractal Man, could only be penned by a writer who wrote scripts for The Twilight Zone.

It’s a fictional autobiography of lives he never lived.

The story begins when David Albaugh is awakened by a phone call from his best friend, who’s been dead for nine years, telling him they’re late for a science-fiction convention panel.

David’s alternate realities only start there.

If only his abstract photography recommended to New York’s Museum of Modern Art by a photographer for Mad Magazine had been exhibited; if only General Electric had taken up his idea for a practical jet belt when he was 11; if only he’d had the money to execute his own business plan and corner the market on eBooks a decade before Jeff Bezos.

David’s journey to parallel timelines takes him to a world where people and cats can fly but dogs can’t; commissions him as a battlefield general in a war between totalitarians and anarchists; as the bringer of music to a world that’s never heard it; as the head of a movie studio making the Superman/Spider-Man movie; as the explorer of a dead world and the real-estate developer of a new one.

What if there was a war where a loved one can be dead in one world and alive in another? What if different systems of social order were dominant in different universes resulting in extreme conflicts when they met? What if parallel lives could be fused into a melding of personalities and talents?

What if some of your favorite celebrities have entirely different lives in parallel worlds?

The Fractal Man asks and offers speculative answers to these questions.

A stand-up narrative establishes a central flow-through yet many vignettes can be read as stand-alone short stories.

Redefining theoretical physics into possible cosmologies, Schulman employs intrigue and suspense to rewrite everything we think we know about the rules of existence.

This is what science fiction was made for.

Early Praise for The Fractal Man:

“J. Neil Schulman’s The Fractal Man takes MetaFiction to a new level. It’s a wildly entertaining collision of the 20th and 21st Centuries. There is something new under the sun.”
— Brad Linaweaver, Author, Editor, Publisher, Filmmaker, Teacher

“Assuming you know what ‘space opera’ is, this is “timeline opera” done with the exuberance of a Doc Smith novel.”
–Eric S. Raymond, “Armed and Dangerous”

If you are interested in writing a review of The Fractal Man for publication and want a review copy in PDF format, please contact Steve Heller at editor@stevehellerpublishing.com.

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