Agorist Studies

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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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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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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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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The Scope of the Second Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
–Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

Statists who wish aristocratic domination over the people often enough interpret the Second Amendment as an historical dead-letter preserving only trivial hunting rights. They nullify the ability of the people to organize as law-enforcing militia. In their view militias (that means armed civilians, organized or not) have been replaced by armed paramilitary police forces and the various state and national military guards.

I don’t rely on the dissembling interpretations of those mendacious crats.

Neither, however, do I take the narrow interpretation of the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, or John Lott, that the Second Amendment is only about guns.

Some advocates are willing to include bladed weapons as arms. To me even that is a far too narrow interpretation.

The Second Amendment says “arms.” The crats want that to be as narrow as possible.

I’m a libertarian who insists that the interpretation be as broad as possible.

Here’s where I stretch out my arms and literally reach for the stars.

The Second Amendment protects anything the human mind can devise to expand and protect human liberty.

Anything.

The rest of this essay will give some examples but — like the Ninth Amendment which reads “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” — is not to be considered exhaustive.

J. Kent Hastings
J. Kent Hastings
Libertarian, Second Amendment Professional,
Crypto-expert, Internet maven, HAM


Hard Cryptography

This is the one which already has some legal precedents, since, as late as 1992, cryptography was on the U.S. Munitions List as an Auxiliary Military Equipment.

Since cryptographic codes have already been classified as arms, they’re already protected under the Second Amendment and – by extension – the possession and use of cryptocurrency are protected by the Second Amendment as well.


Motor Vehicles

Are motor vehicles useful in warfare? Without question. Motorized vehicles are ubiquitous in military use – everything from Jeeps to tanks to armored transports. Being used in war has a legal precedent. In the Supreme Court case United States v. Miller (1934) the court wrote, “Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

Motor vehicles are ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


Aircraft

It would be difficult to find any kind of aircraft – fixed, movable, or rotary winged – piloted or drone – that is not part of ordinary military equipment. So all are protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


The Internet

The Internet was first developed and used by DARPA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the Department of Defense. So the Internet is protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.


All Other Communication Devices

Does the military use radio? HAM and CB Radio is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

Television? Yep.

Cell phones? Yes, sir.


Chemicals

Can you find things under your kitchen sink that might have military use? Then it’s protected by the Second Amendment.

Is something in your medicine cabinet used by the military? Something growing in your greenhouse, hydroponics garden, aquaponics pond? If it has any military use the Second Amendment protects your possession and use of it.


Biologicals

If any procedure, treatment, or device has ever been used by the military, the Second Amendment protects its civilian use.


Rocketry

Rocketry has been of military use going back as far as the ancient Chinese. Therefore it is of military use and protected by the Second Amendment.

I told you I would reach for the stars. Congratulations, Elon Musk. Falcon Heavy with its cherry-red Tesla Roadster now being driven to the Asteroid Belt by “Star Man” is protected by the Second Amendment.

Communication satellites? Satellite mapping? You bet.


The General Principle

Okay. I could go on forever. Here’s the principle: If anything has military use it is therefore protected for civilian use under the Second Amendment.

And if you want to maintain the principles – or at least the pretense — of law and order, supremacy of civilians over the military demands this principle be recognized in both statutory law and court rulings.

If you don’t, stop pretending you believe in law and order, or liberty, or even such flawed collectivist concepts as democracy.

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Deep in the Heart of Taxes


Remember me? I’m the guy who wrote Alongside Night, a novel about the United States’ economy collapsing due to the Federal Reserve inflating the dollar to pay for the government spending far more than taxes collected.

What is the national debt today? Somewhere around 23 trillion bucks? And if you figure in future obligations — Social Security, Medicare, promises made to veterans for wounds sustained in endless undeclared wars — I hear the debt comes to somewhere around 160 trillion bucks.

President Donald Trump is calling for significant tax cuts to attract foreign investment, give corporations reason to build new factories in America, bring jobs back to America.

Of course I noted in Alongside Night — published in 1979 — that if the government keeps spending more money than it collects in taxes and tariffs the only way to pay for that spending is for the Federal Reserve to make each dollar worth less, a hidden tax.

So anyone who claims that tax cuts “have to be paid for” — while making the obnoxious claim that anything the people say they own has a lien from the goddam guvmint — they are in fact pointing to a basic principle of reality: you can’t get something out of nothing.

What’s a libertarian to do?

How about this? Tell the truth.

Cutting taxes leaves people and financial institutions with more money to spend. That’s money that can be paid to executives to live a more lavish lifestyle, and the Democratic critics do have that right. Just because a corporation has more money on its balance sheet doesn’t mean they’ll use it to make anything or create new jobs. That’s mostly what happened when in 2008 banks were forced to take taxpayer money that was supposed to be used to make consumer loans.

But let’s say that individuals in the “middle class” — the Marxists used to call that the bourgeoisie — take that money and instead of buying new cars, phones, and toys — they use that money in ways the crats don’t like. They start-up unlicensed and unregistered home schools. They use spare rooms and vacation cabins to compete with hotel chains, use their mommy vans to compete with medallion taxis. They sell jams, pies, home-brew beverages to local stores.

And conceal all this entrepreneurial activity financed with the money not being turned over to Uncle Sam from Uncle Sam.

Same for “small businesses” doing home repairs, or plumbing, or rebuilding car transmissions, or rigging your automobile’s computer to lie to the State about the CO2 emissions because CO2 emissions being the cause of climate change is anti-science globaloney.

Agorist trading floor
The Agorist Trading Floor in Alongside Night the Movie

Yes, President Trump. Bring on the tax cuts. The economy that the tax cuts will save is the one that exists in spite of Jekyll Island and Wall Street.

The economy run by Washington crats? The swamp you talk about? That official economy is doomed and I think you’ve already figured that out.

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War with the North

The forests in Canada are owned by the government of Canada. The forests in the United States are in some kind of marketplace, no matter how compromised. Therefore, subsidized Canadian lumber can be sold cheaper than American lumber. This is especially true when it comes to very useful soft wood.

Predictably, Trump is already accused of starting a trade war. Predictably, Reason and CATO will do what they always do, and scream that this is government interference in the marketplace.

I’ve devoted a large part of my life to promoting the Austrian School of Economics. Ludwig von Mises and Hayek are the Plato and Aristotle of that school. Their contention is that the laws of the marketplace are based on an accumulation of personal choices. These operating principles work at any level of economic activity.

That means white market, gray market, black market. Any market.

That means these laws are not the monopoly of agorism or any other radical counter-economic ploy.

The classic texts of the Austrian School are largely about the above ground economy. That means the topic I’m advancing does not require immediate references to Alongside Night or New Libertarian Manifesto. It requires something else, about which more anon.

So, back to my epiphany.

The high-profile defenders of the “free market” are the Reason and Cato Gestapo. They can’t use the word “Trump” for more than a paragraph without also using the word “Tariff.”

After decades of listening to these empty suits, I finally realize they need a new definition of American Capitalism, since the original Austrian School completely failed to anticipate what has happened at the macro level.

Here is the new paradigm for the above-ground economy.

American Capitalism is defined as the purchasing of products from Socialist Countries.

Any attempt to interfere with the purchase of foreign Socialist goods is itself Socialist.

Therefore, the only way to preserve Capitalism is a de facto monopoly of only doing business with Socialists.

Bye bye, Austrian School in the above-ground economy — which is what the actual Austrian economists really cared about.

Later American non-Austrian Austrians are not the point of my epiphany.

As for anyone trying to be a patriotic American and a supporter of free markets at the same time, lots of luck.

–Author/publisher/filmmaker Brad Linaweaver, in a privately circulated email

Brad Linaweaver
Brad Linaweaver

Brad Linaweaver understates his case. He’s too moderate.

A free market is by definition a market comprising free traders — traders who own private property and are making unregulated trades with other private property owners.

No State or collective of States is a free trade partner. All States have acquired anything they offer for sale by criminal activity.

Whether it’s by mercantalism, Opium Wars, slave trade, gunboat diplomacy, fiat money, trade cartels, “free trade” treaties, etc., nothing a State or cartel of States does promotes or supports free trade. The only thing a State or cartel of States can do to promote free trade is self-destruct.

The Canadian State is preventing private Canadians from purchasing dairy products from private U.S. sellers. This is restriction of trade to protect Canadian dairy producers and keep their prices up against competition from American dairy producers.

The American State, acting on behalf of American dairy producers being excluded by the Canadian State from selling its products to willing Canadian consumers, is retaliating by imposing tariffs on the sale of soft Canadian wood to American buyers. That this wood being made subject to an American State tariff is owned by the Canadian State itself only makes more pointed that we are not dealing with free trade. It would be true even if the Canadian State was merely using trade barriers to disadvantage American lumber producers by subsidizing its own producers.

The White House press conference today with U.S Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used dishonest and loaded language. “Dumping” a commodity is false statist language. In private sales it’s called “discounting” and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But there’s no private seller here so the language of “trade war” is invoked because “war” is how States typically interact with each other.

I favor a free market but we’re not discussing here anything to do with one. This is a tactical war move by one State against another State, as much as a troop movement or dispatch of an aircraft carrier.

If self-impoverished socialist Canada thinks it can win any war against the far-more-capitalist United States with Donald Trump in charge it’s not lumber they’ve been smoking.

Donald Trump is a capitalist who, like Brad, favors free trade but is not uncomfortable with using the superior position of the Unites States if trade barriers disadvantage those Americans he’s pledged to place First.

Those libertarians who don’t agree with Brad on that are either lying or stupid.

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Defending Discrimination & Deportation

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

In his most famous speech Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke in favor of discrimination.

What, Neil?

I’m a writer. Words are what we writers use to communicate. I’m using words to communicate with you right now. So the defined meanings of the words we use matter because differences matter.

The word “discriminate” was originally used to mean an ability to recognize core differences and render judgment. A person who exhibited discriminating taste for fine food and wine, for example, would have taken the sentence, “You discriminate” as a compliment, because a judgment was being rendered between food and wine which was more enjoyable to food and wine which was mundane or disgusting.

But, as often happens for reasons of propaganda, this use of “discriminate” was replaced by a sinister meaning: to render an unjust distinction. The original use was largely buried.

Dr. King wanted the original meaning of “discrimination” to be present in the future world he fantasized about. He wanted people not to refrain from discriminating judgment, but to make such distinctions based on character, which is a measure of moral worthiness, instead of ancestry or appearance, which is largely meaningless to judging a person’s worth.

MLK Memorial

Dr. King was teaching a moral lesson, one he’d learned from his background as a Christian and from fairly recent to him exemplars of moral philosophy such as Mohandas K. Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau. These moral lessons transcended politics. Thoreau was a philosophical anarchist, Gandhi an East Indian nationalist, and King, himself, a Christian democratic socialist.

I call myself a libertarian when that term is not conflated with electoral partisans. I’ve frequently called myself an anarchist when that term is not conflated with vandals, arsonists, communists, or nihilists. I’ve called myself an Agorist since I was closely involved with launching that individualist-anarchist free-market movement founded by my friend and mentor, Samuel Edward Konkin III. Since I consider many calling themselves Agorists are instead stealth communists, I’ve recently considered newer labels such as Konkinist or – pinning it down with my own brand – Alongside Night Agorist.

But whatever label I use, I’m attempting to narrow the meaning to a moral philosophy based on natural law, natural rights, and making meaningful moral distinctions between individuals.

Be clear: the libertarianism I hold to is judgmental. Tolerance is not necessarily a virtue. It depends on what one is tolerating. My friend, author/filmmaker Brad Linaweaver, will be writing eventually about “That Hideous Tolerance,” expanding the concept from the title of his favorite C.S. Lewis novel, That Hideous Strength.

Nonetheless the libertarian moral judgment is narrowly drawn. Taste alone, such as the food and wine connoisseur’s discrimination, allows for one’s individual choice but does not allow for imposing one’s individual choice on unwilling others. So it is within my individual choice what I eat or drink but I may not choose what others may eat or drink – well, at least so far as I’m not holding cooks at gunpoint or murdering other people to drink their warm blood or eat their tasty flesh.

Rendering such moral judgments does require study, thinking, and discussion.

This could go on for volumes but I’m now going to zero in on a current controversy: the deportation of lawbreakers.

As I said, I’m an anarchist. But I do conclude that law and order is necessary even in an anarchist condition – that condition where the State no longer decrees what is punishable.

As an anarchist novelist, filmmaker, and essayist I’ve repeatedly made the point that work and travel are basic human liberties, so I reject the idea that government may rightfully (again, this is a moral discussion) restrict or license who may travel to somewhere else one is welcomed, and to exchange labor for pay when both buyer and seller of the labor freely reach an agreement.

But please remember that this essay of mine starts out by discussing discrimination – rendering judgment on essential differences.

In this instance the statist and the anarchist can agree: there is absolutely nothing wrong with expelling those who rob, rape, defraud, maim, or murder other individuals. Discriminating against others based on race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or even bad character if they have not victimized others by violence, menace, or deceit, is not a morally just reason for deportation. Having committed invasions of the rights of others and their justly-acquired property is a good reason to be a candidate for exile – allowing for mercy and mitigating circumstances.

Statistical analysis of risk that one might commit a violent offense is not a good enough reason for deportation. “Working off the books” isn’t a good enough reason. Passively accepting benefits that others have been swindled out of by politicians isn’t a good enough reason. Taking a job that someone else wants isn’t a good enough reason.

Murder is a good enough reason, assuming a response more severe than deportation isn’t called for. Planning criminal invasions of other people’s peaceful celebrations is a good enough reason.

Being an anarchist it would be neglectful of me not to make what Fox News pundits would call “moral equivalences.” Yes, the operator of a drone who kills innocent bystanders while eliminating terrorists may not be guilty of murder. But this anarchist might hold them to the same standard of negligent homicide that is used against reckless drivers.

If an anarchist can advocate for gated communities drawn up by contract, it’s hard to convince a believer in statist law-and-order that countries can’t have borders and use them to keep out enemies.

But, yes. It would also be so much easier if those same statists were able to discriminate between laws which defend people from being mugged and laws which prevent people from ingesting whatever food, drink, smoke, vapor, or chemical they have decided is necessary to their pursuit of happiness.

I seem to recall that this last was important to those who said countries should be based not on the divine right of kings but on the divine rights of everyone.

So there’s the problem. It isn’t discrimination. It’s that the wrong things, and the wrong people, are being discriminated against.

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The Real Presidential Election


My fellow Americans.

No, wait. This is written also for the unAmerican.

What happens at the polls on November 8, 2016 in the U.S. presidential election simply does not matter.

It’s not unimportant because balloting itself will be tampered with, which is how the media spin it when Donald Trump says the election is rigged.

Uh-uh. The fix is in for the popular voting because both the major political parties and the free press necessary for anything approaching “honest” elections have been corrupted, not allowing for a fair process — for example, not including Libertarian Gary Johnson, a candidate on all 50 state ballots, in the crucial televised debates.

Additionally, none of the cultural traditions that kept debates focused on policy issues exist anymore.

At this moment the media are focused on making the October 18, 2016 final presidential debate mostly about Donald Trump’s sex life.

The major media ignore all the Wikileaks documents from Hillary Clinton and her supporters, just as the Obama/Lynch Justice Department earlier directed the FBI to do.

The Clinton campaign — in coordination with major media — accuse Donald Trump of being paranoid when he talks about their obvious coordination while, simultaneously, Hillary and her supporters talking about Trump conspiring with Putin sound like Robert Welch of the John Birch Society accusing President Dwight Eisenhower of being a Russian stooge.

In a coordinated attack designed to bury Hillary-damaging Wikileaks the major media are obsessing over the endless Clinton-supporters claiming Trump molested them. Liberal/feminist attorney Gloria Allred getting involved is a clear indicator of the set-up.

Then consider the episode of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 18, Episode 6: “Rape Interrupted,” scheduled to air Nov 2, 2016 — six days before the election. Here’s IMDb’s description of “Rape Interrupted”: “A politician’s campaign is jeopardized when several women come forward with damaging accusations.” Such an episode had to be scripted months ago. NBC, the network which aired The Apprentice series and was the employer of Billy Bush, certaintly knew about the Access Hollywood tape for a very long time.

Update/Correction October 26, 2016: The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode I referenced is “Unstoppable” and was originally scheduled to play tonight, two weeks before the November 8th election; as of this writing it has been re-scheduled to play November 16, 2016. — JNS

The coordinated media-smear strategy was simple.

Step One was release of the illegally made Access Hollywood tape. Unless the recording was made with all parties’ explicit consent the taping was illegal under California law. On this private recording Donald Trump bragged to Billy Bush about what a stud The Donald thought he was, even as Trump told Bush a story about a married woman who said no and whom Trump did not have sex with but whom Trump says he ended up taking furniture shopping.

Step Two was when Anderson Cooper relentlessly asked Trump in Debate 2 — interrupting Trump three times to force an answer — if any of the braggadocio on the tape was true. Cooper and his handlers had to know Trump would have no choice but to deny committing anything that could be spun as sexual assaults.

Then in Step Three major media unleashed what the Clintons charmingly called “bimbo eruptions” when it was about Bill Clinton — female accusers.

Nazi Germany’s propaganda master Joseph Goebbels would have been more subtle.

But here’s the ultimate reason the November 8, 2016 election doesn’t really matter.

The American people do not elect the President of the United States the way they elect United States senators, federal, state, and local representatives, governors, mayors, sheriffs, and dog catchers.

The real and only binding presidential election in 2016 takes place on December 19th when the Electoral College votes.

The 538 Electors chosen by voters to cast presidential and vice-presidential ballots in the Electoral College have zero legal obligation to vote for the candidate they’re theoretically pledged to vote for. There is no penalty if they don’t.

If somehow, despite the media’s best efforts, Trump’s November 8th popular vote is like the surprise upset of Great Britain’s Brexit vote and despite media-commissioned polling is greater than Hillary Clinton’s numbers, then changing the Electoral College electors’ vote will be trumpeted as necessary by all major media.

If the electors selected don’t give Hillary Clinton the 270 pledged votes she needs to win I have zero doubt that the Democratic/ liberal/ progressive/ Clintonista/ left would encourage electors pledged to other candidates to come over to them.

Another long-standing American political tradition will be dead.

Republican Elector Roger MacBride taught us the freedom of the Elector in 1972 when he broke his pledge to vote for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, instead casting his electoral ballot for Libertarians John Hospers and Tonie Nathan.

2012 Electoral Voting Map
2012 Electoral College Votes by State

The media is currently so focused on the November 8 balloting they’ve forgotten the popular vote is not how the United States elects its president and vice president.

The Electors of the Electoral College pick the president.

Just because electors have traditionally voted as they have promised in the past means absolutely nothing in the unprecedented presidential election of 2016.

Every instinct tells me that the only people who have to be convinced of anything this time are the electors.

And nobody has even polled them.

Note: After reading the above several correspondents in email and on Facebook have pointed me to articles discussing 34 states that “bind” electors and impose legal penalties (usually fines maxing out at $1000) for “faithless electors.”

First, most legal scholars conclude such laws are unconstitutional and unenforceable, Second, not a felony. Those states usually max out with a $1000 fine — and withdrawing money prematurely from a CD or prematurely switching to an alternate satellite TV or cell phone company usually has the new company picking up the penalty. Out of the 538 electors only several might have to go against their state law and with a 4-4 Supreme Court it’s all politics anyway.

“Indeed, when it comes down to it, electors are ultimately free to vote for whom they personally prefer, despite the general public’s desire.” — Fair Vote — States that Bind Electors

As I wrote in response to an email earlier today:

Party pledges of supporting the party’s nominee were obtained from all primary candidates including Jeb Bush and John Kasich, both of whom reneged on supporting nominee Donald Trump with no party penalty. Such party pledges from electors are likewise meaningless and unenforceable beyond an elector perhaps not being selected again and that’s a big, “So what?”

Fines likewise would be paid by the team acquiring the elector’s vote, just like a new cell phone company offers to pay the remainder of your contract to your old cell phone company if you switch.

Nullification of a “faithless elector’s” vote? That will be decided by a 4-4 Supreme Court — that is, left undecided and the vote left intact.

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