Agorist Studies


It’s self-evident to anarchists that taxation is theft.

I’m an anarchist so I accept this statement as self-evident.

This does require more explanation to the non-anarchist.

Libertarian anarchists such as myself see no special status for the State – “government,” in more common language – that gives human beings acting within or on behalf of government any greater rights or rightful powers than any private individual. If it’s wrong for me to use a gun — or join with others into a gang armed with guns – to take someone else’s property or money, then the rituals of elections do nothing to create a moral basis for doing so. Therefore any tax is merely theft with propaganda to disempower the victim.

But there are relatively few anarchists. Most people subscribe to the view that government has rightful powers to take private property or the result of an individual’s labor and put those takings into a “public” till where a monarch or chairman or president or committee or congress may spend it according to their own decisions, often with the claim that they are not acting in their own interests but for All the people.

History often shows this claim to be tenuous at best, and when those with public trust are caught acting for themselves it’s called “corruption” – on the premise that better men can be trusted with the power to spend forcibly taken wealth.

So anarchists are simply self-selected to be outside discussion of tax policy.

I’m not just an ideologue, though. I’m a novelist. Filmmaker. Essayist. Journalist. Self-appointed philosopher.

So screw the anarchists who want me never to compare one kind of taxation with another. I recognize no other anarchist as having the right to tell me what I shouldn’t write about.

The most egregious kinds of taxes are those which require complex bookkeeping and revelation to the government how you spend your money.

The least egregious kinds of taxes most resemble the basic thief: after the property is stolen you don’t have to fill out any forms and explain what you were intending to do with the stolen funds.

Government is least oppressive when it recognizes its thieving nature and doesn’t rape its victims, too.

To the best I can see, that’s what the Framers – those old white men who conspired to impose a Constitutional Republic on the men who’d just fought a war to get free of another tyranny – had in mind. A government of thieves, but fewer rapists. Constitutional conservatives and Limited Government Libertarians seem to be of that sort.

The constitution as originally constructed had as sources of government revenue tariffs on imported goods. There were no income taxes on either individuals or businesses. There were no sales taxes or value-added taxes. There were no estate or death taxes.

Then again, government wasn’t expected to provide public schools, or health care, or old-age pensions, or support for mothers who had children but no husbands.

These socialist ideas were already common at the time. Marx and Engels were distant latecomers to socialist thinking.

As an anarchist I have this to say about tariffs: they’re not as bad as today’s income taxes. My non-anarchist friend Brad Linaweaver notes, “Tariffs are a tax that sometimes goes away. The progressive income tax never goes away.”

The comparative intrusiveness of one tax versus another is not my point.

This is my point: tariffs are a tool of foreign policy. The foreign policies – I must note for my anarchist friends – of States.


It’s another anarchist premise that all governments are bad. Further, that the government nearest you is the worst.

I’m accused by anarchists of being a sell-out because I do not accept that premise. I think that some foreign governments are far worse than the one I live under.

Restricting myself to 2019 (history just muddles it) I think far worse than the government here in the United States are the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Cuba, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. These are the worst of one-party-rule aggressive communist States. Lots of other governments suck. But these are among the worst of the worst.

Libertarians at institutes such as Reason, CATO, and Mises – almost all libertarian pundits who have podcasts or get invited onto TV – favor Free Trade. Being a libertarian I, also, favor free trade.

Here’s where I part with the rest of the libertarian punditariat: I do not consider either trade pacts or trade wars between States to have a blessed thing to do with free trade.

Okay, I guess I do need to bring in history.

Let’s go back to the United States before Fort Sumter.

I would have favored any sort of trade barrier that stopped slave-labor plantations from exporting their slave-picked cotton. Because the Constitution forbade such tariffs between States it was not legally possible domestically. Nonetheless I would have encouraged foreign governments to pass exorbitant tariffs on importation of American slave-picked cotton.

One can make a strong case that the communist States I listed above – China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela – are as much slave states as the antebellum American South.

So – as a libertarian – I do not consider tariffs against importing their slave-made goods – or sales of American goods to the profiteering slavemasters — to be against the principles of free trade I support.

To be specific, I’m talking about officially approved trade. If trade can be accomplished by blindsiding these evil statists and trading directly with secret traders– black-market, countereconomic, Agorist trade – I’m fine with that. Nevertheless one of hallmarks of totalitarian regimes is ubiquitous surveillance, corruption, and blackmail. An Agorist would need to be very sure that one wasn’t trading with a government stooge.

Yes, tariffs are paid for in higher prices by the consumers who buy anything using tariffed components. Tariffs are taxes. Taxation is theft. But it’s also true that marketplaces adapt to tariffs.

If new tariffs reduce sales of Maine lobsters being sold to Chinese plutocrats, prepare to line up at Red Lobster and Outback for lobster specials. If California almonds are not being loaded in freighters to China, I expect the price of the almond butter I buy at WalMart to drop.

Can’t sell soybeans to China? What, nowhere else on this planet wants American-grown soybeans? And with Internet trading can’t the orders be redirected to new buyers almost instantly?

The economic arguments that treat tariffs as static trade barriers are merely talking points. The market for any good is dynamic and any bilateral Trade War opens up opportunities for other buyers and sellers.

Yes, Tariffs are Taxes, which as we know are Theft.

However, if a tariff even marginally deprives the worst totalitarian statists on this planet from their evil schemes – and impels slaves to revolt against their masters – I can’t find it in my heart to support keeping up trade with the worst of Our Enemy the State.

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Liberating Feminism

A person close to me who’s known me for decades recently criticized me for being critical of the slogan “We Believe Survivors!” and for backing off on my intitial support for Christine Blasey Ford’s believability. I was charged with attacking the women’s movement in general.

I agree with my critic that by unintended consequence my opposition could have been taken that way. I do, however, stress the word “unintended.”

To call myself a feminist is a semantic quagmire. First of all, the concept of a male feminist is metaphysically oxymoronic and understandable only if the word “feminist” is regarded either as a man’s personal attitude toward women’s status or as participation in a political movement.

Therein lies the problem. I’m primarily an individualist. I reject the political over the personal when the standard of the political left including political feminism has long been, “The personal is the political.”

How could I as an anarchist opposed to politics at its fundamental level ever agree with that premise? It’s the opposite of what I support, which is to whatever extent possible, replace the political with the personal.

My first impulse in anything I do either as an activist or as an artist is to take the individual person, and the individual case, as a reality, and anything “political” or “movement” as an intellectual abstraction removed from the real individuals or specific facts.

My critic saw my pulling back on my “believing” Christine Blasey Ford — because there was no forensic or witness corroboration of her accusation against Brett Kavanaugh — as a betrayal of the feminist “movement.” I had not intended it to be since in my view one particular case involving two individuals is not generalizable to all men accused of sexual assault or all women who are the victims of it. Nonetheless, if one’s mindset is looking at the status of women as a generalizable condition, I do see how the highest-profile specific case can be iconic, and Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh cease to be individuals but avatars for “men” and “women” in a sociological game ruled not by specific human relations but by overall games theory.

I’m not unfamiliar with games theory and the use of statistical models to analyze human interactions. It’s the base of the Austrian economics I’ve studied in pursuit of general libertarian strategy, and the base of that subset of sociology — criminology — I’ve studied in pursuit of the right to keep and bear arms. Value free — vertfrei, as Austrian-School writers called it — analysis has its place as a tool. But libertarianism, for me, has always been not an analytical set of procedures but a moral philosophy based on natural law.

It’s wrong, even unintentionally, for my writing to suggest women’s assault accusations should be disbelieved, even if the last thing that crossed my mind was that in discussing the wrong-headedness of a politicized movement — or a specific case — my words could be taken as an endorsement of “toxic masculinity.”

That phrase — “toxic masculinity” — is also political and is being attacked as cant by right-wingers. But if a term can be used in balance — and I’m not opening a discussion of countering that phrase with “toxic femininity,” a discussion for another time — then toxic masculinity can also be held as a reason why men suffering physical spousal abuse don’t make police reports because if one sign of failed “masculinity” is fear of being a “sissy,” then a husband being beaten up by his wife means it’s toxic for him to report it.

Just as “All lives matter” as a counter to “Black lives matter” is taken not at its face value as a pro-humanitarian statement but as a “dog whistle” for continued white supremacy over non-whites, “individualism” over “feminism” is not taken at its face value for universal rights but as a dog whistle for male supremacy.

I’ve spent my entire adult career making the case for individual rights. My 1983 novel The Rainbow Cadenza had female characters as both heroes and villains in a literal rape culture, but unlike the later-published The Handmaid’s Tale I was not making a specifically anti-male argument but a humanist one.

Nonetheless two afterwords to the 1986 Avon paperback edition were written by “individualist feminists” and one significant female reviewer of the novel wrote, “It strikes me as strange — and fills me with hope — that a man would write a novel, especially a science-fiction novel, with such a feminist message.”

Let there be no mistake about my position. I am first a believer in universal individual human rights.

Women are human beings, with all that implies.

Women and men must have absolute equality of opportunity in all cases and be judged in all cases according to their individual and real-world identities — their actual choices, specific abilities, and the content of their characters. This is not “identity politics” — a misnomer because all identity adheres not to arbitrary class collectives but only to actual real-world individuals — but it is the “politics” of individual identity.

I support any women’s movement that seeks all female individuals to be as honored, appreciated, and empowered to the same extent male individuals are.

The word of women making accusations of sexual assault must be taken seriously because often such a crime is — for authentic and logical reasons — unreported soon enough to be forensically examined. I maintain that however unfortunate it may be all accusations must be tested before an accused is concluded as guilty.

The two legal and moral principles in opposition produce no obvious legal solution to me that can be collectively applied in all cases.

This is not for me a gender issue but a human one, no anti-feminist dog whistle intended.

One of my mentors, Robert LeFevre, emphasized that it was far better to prevent a crime than seeking retributive justice after damage was done. That certainly applies to the violent crime of rape. I’ve often advocated for women to arm themselves as a technological means of overcoming superior male strength. Criminology finds that defensive gun use stops violent assault — particularly from multiple attackers — more effectively than other means.

But I will not disagree with sociological arguments about the utility of raising boys to be respectful of women — what in older times was called raising “gentlemen.” Gentlemen know to stop when a woman tells them to stop.

The other side of that is raising girls with the self-regard not to allow themselves to be abused. My grandparents raised my mother so that if her husband had ever raised a hand to her in violence even once, she would have left him.

My father never did, even once, and that lesson was passed along to me.

If in my absolute support for the Rights of Women to be free from violent assault I have been misunderstood to be saying anything otherwise, I hope this corrects the record.

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Is Voting Immoral?

From Facebook: A Discussion of Voting from an Antistatist Perspective

I posted on Facebook:

I vote

Zachary Fiscke responded to my post:

Gross. (The voting, not the guns or language).

I wrote back:

One of the nice things about being an anarchist is the lack of rules. Vote, Boycott the Ballot — it’s a strategic debate and a personal preference. Neither choice is immoral or moral. I was a non-voter for decades and vote now so I can argue both sides effectively. Now you want to talk gross? Blue cheese or mint ice cream.

Zachary wrote back:

Claiming neither side is moral or immoral rejects the possibility that it is indeed moral or immoral. Carl Watner ( and the rest of the crew at The Voluntaryist, among others) have argued strongly and largely effectively that it is an immoral act, while Tucker disagreed.

Also, anarchist does not mean no rules.

I wrote back:

Lysander Spooner. But my argument is that if — as anarchists and voluntaryists argue — ballots = bullets, then one can use a ballot to shoot back.

And I continued in a second reply:

Zachary Fiscke wrote, “Claiming neither side is moral or immoral rejects the possibility that it is indeed moral or immoral.”

Exactly. I advocate natural law and natural-rights based morality — as did Ayn Rand, C.S. Lewis, and Samuel Edward Konkin III — but I depart from Carl Watner and others who would turn statelessness into an Amish-like rejection of all modernity. Voting is no more immoral from an anarchistic standpoint than the claim that it’s immoral not to vote from a democratic standpoint. Force me to vote by law — as they do in Australia — and I’ll rebel against voting. But as long as voting is not compelled by law or gains one statist privileges when one does vote it’s not a moral question but a question of strategy, or tactics, or flavor.

Zachary replied:

A moral opposition to voting is not in anyway a rejection of modernity. It can be an act of pacifism, or a rejection of using any of the tools of the state, or a refusal to legitimatize by state… These are all moral objections to voting.

My moral objections to voting typically stem from there being no one or works be moral to vote for, and no moral way to implement any of such a persons policies using the state of someone did win. My primary opposition to voting is far more practical – there is no one to support and they couldn’t win if there was. If literally everyone that shared my views even broadly (legally socially liberal, fiscally conservative) in my district were to vote a candidate sharing those views would still lose even with limited mid term voter turnout.

And I replied:

As one can tell from the opening meme that started this thread it would be odd indeed for me to be a gun owner and a pacifist. I accept the Zero Aggression Principle but maintain the moral premise of violence being acceptable when used to stop a violent aggression. I see the refusal to stop violence against the innocent not as a superior morality but as a great immorality; but I do see cases where non-violent resistance (Gandhi’s Satyagraha) can be more effective than a violent response. That is not a moral decision, however, but a tactical or strategic decision.

Voting cannot advance liberty but it can retard tyranny. So long as the State exists there are more aggressive statists and less aggressive statists; ballot measures which can be a choice between more government or more market.

Agorism is the path to freedom but mitigating statist damage before agorist solutions have achieved what Samuel Edward Konkin III described in The New Libertarian Manifesto as “Phase 4: Agorist Society with Statist Impurities” is allowed so long as it does not betray Agorism, itself – for example, it would be a betrayal to vote for greater tyranny in the hopes it will foment rebellion.

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Caravan, Horde or Convoy?

As a libertarian, as an anarchist, as an Agorist I am for free movement and the right to work of foreigners crossing national borders.

This is not a recent position of mine.

It’s represented in an article I wrote in the early 1970’s called “The Aliens Are Among Us” published in Murray Rothbard’s magazine The Libertarian Forum, and it’s represented in the G. Gerald Rhoames Border Guard and Ketchup Company in my 1979 novel, Alongside Night.

I made it even stronger in my 2014 movie version of Alongside Night where there’s a kiosk on the Agorist underground trading floor for “Mex! I! Can!” — a service that protects undocumented migrants from both the State and coyotes who don’t care about their survival or welfare.

Mex! I! Can! from
Alongside Night The Movie

That said, a so-called caravan with an estimated 7,000+ Guatamalans, Hondurans, and Unknowns — many of them young men of military age — organized to already have crossed through Mexico without that government’s ability to stop them, and now headed for the U.S. national border, does not strike me as necessarily being solely for benevolent purposes such as escaping danger or seeking work.

We were told these immigrant families paid coyotes $5,000 to join this march.

That story won’t fly.

A family with $5,000 could have paid for passports, visas, and plane tickets to fly to a United States airport with an official port-of-entry and applied for political asylum legally.

Throughout history there have been long marches. Some of them, like the forced relocation of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations under the Indian Removal Act signed by President Andrew Jackson — the Trail of Tears — is an example of a tragic march.

The marches of Atilla the Hun’s hordes, or Genghis Khan’s, or Julius Caesar’s — are different. Even if on horseback — much less in twentieth century motor vehicles and tanks — a caravan becomes a convoy.

There is discussion that some of the marchers may board trains. Trains, also, have a mixed reputation, from being used to shoot bison, to troop transports, to transporting European Jews to Nazi concentration camps.

Then again, sometimes trains just carry Mommy and little Johnny to visit Aunt Matilda.

What is the first difference between a caravan and an army?


Are any of the Caravan marchers carrying arms? There has been no reporting to the affirmative. But that doesn’t mean caches of military grade or militia grade arms might not be waiting for them when they reach the United States border. That could depend entirely on who organized this long march and who is embedded in it from military, paramilitary, or gangs.

The marchers could be entirely benign. They could be troops from a military power. They could be gang members. We just don’t know.

What we do know is that it is a well-organized and well-financed horde.

Even if the young men among them do not have caches of arms awaiting them might not they arm themselves with pointy sticks, machetes, rocks, broken bottles, and other handy and potentially lethal items if they’re bound-and-determined to get past layers of U.S. border guards and United States troops deployed to stop them?

Even if the United States forces are not in tanks or armed with M-16’s but are only deployed with “non lethal” rubber bullets, crowd-control gasses, high-pressure water hoses, and cattle prods, how many could die?

You only need to look at a Mad Max movie to see how attackers can use women and children as human shields.

Will this happen?

I don’t know. But what I do know is that the pro-globalist major media would spin any attempt at national border defense against a violent mass crossing as the fault of the United States border defenders.

If we lived in a world without passports — as was Europe prior to World War One — migration would not engender either violent offense or violent defense.

But since we don’t live in a borderless world, even an open-borders / pro right to work libertarian/anarchist/Agorist like me has to ask these inconvenient questions.

On Facebook where I linked this article D Frank Robinson commented:

Confused. One has the right to travel but only if unarmed? Let me read that again.

I replied:

It’s not like nobody’s thought of that before. L Neil Smith in The Probability Broach had an alternate world modern Continental Congress wrestle with that precise issue and conclude that until they start shooting an army is just a bunch of armed dudes out for a stroll. Ask L Neil whether he still agrees with that approach.

Seven thousand dudes conceal-carrying Glocks wouldn’t bother me as much as them arming themselves with pointy sticks, broken bottles, and rocks. One signals being civilized. Want to guess which one doesn’t?

In this same Facebook discussion Rich Freeman Paul wrote:

Guilty until proven innocent?

I replied:

No, but if a crowd starts marching toward you how trusting do you feel like being?

Rich Freeman Paul replied:

If there are seven thousand of them, and three hundred million of us, not that worried.

I replied:

How damaging can a much smaller crowd be if they riot? As someone living in Los Angeles during the 1992 Rodney King riots, pretty damn. Over a thousand buildings set on fire. And even if they don’t riot the ordinary food, water, and sanitation needs of 7,000 pilgrims is massive — and who pays?

Am I arguing both sides?

Also from Facebook:

Erich Georg Kohlhöfer wrote:

Even a well educated person can’t just go wherever he pleases. He first needs to find out whether he can find a job and get accommodation that he likes and can afford. If he can’t, he can’t just arrive and say, “Here I am.”

I replied:

There’s an entire category of just such people who prior to 9/11 didn’t even need a visa. They were an essential part of many countries’ economy. They’re called “tourists.” They could even buy property, open factories, and employ thousands of workers — just so long as they, themselves, didn’t “work.”

Erich Georg Kohlhöfer replied:

This is just crazy, did they stay for ever? Did they pay their own way?

I replied:

Aha! You’ve put your finger on it. If you’re rich you’re welcome. It used to be if you were willing to work you were also welcome. But that changed when unions started “protecting” jobs from competition and government started paying people not to work. Don’t blame foreigners for not knowing that this isn’t still a free country.

Erich Georg Kohlhöfer replied:

BS, what if there is no work for you? You cannot just go somewhere on the assumption that there will be, and if there is not, expect others to pick up the tab.

I replied to Erich Georg Kohlhöfer:

Apply that standard to native-born. If I was born in New York am I not allowed to move to Los Angeles unless there’s a certain job waiting for me?

Erich Georg Kohlhöfer replied:

That is my exact point. You can go there, but you won’t be able to stay there if you cannot sustain yourself, you will have to go back to wherever you came from.

I replied:

And that would be true even without borders.

When in 1975 I moved out of my parents’ New York City apartment to one in Long Beach, California — no job waiting for me, only a couple of months’ rent and food in savings, and five chapters of a first novel the odds were against my ever selling — my prospects were such that I might have failed and had to return home. I didn’t, but the argument that I might have to return home didn’t wash on me and it doesn’t wash on someone taking an even bigger risk by seeking work in a country whose language they have yet to master. I call that spunk.

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The FBI and Christine Blasey Ford

Fiat Justitia
Google Translation:
“Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

Does anybody actually care about the truth of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that as a teenager President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her?

Democrats don’t. They were out opposing the nomination within minutes of the announcement. They have a fantasy that Kavanaugh would be the swing vote to overturn Roe v Wade.

Republicans don’t. The pro-lifers have a fantasy that Kavanaugh would be the swing vote to overturn Roe v Wade.

The #MeToo activists don’t. To them Brett Kavanaugh is an entitled male whom they see as a symbol for male domination and violence.

I’m a libertarian. I’m pro-choice. I’m opposed to how Brett Kavanaugh eviscerates the Fourth Amendment protections of privacy in his rulings allowing the government to collect personal information on private citizens.

I watched his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he made it clear that as a judge he ruled according to the text of the Constitution, of written law, and of legal precedent. The man thinks like a clerk, a bureaucrat. The idea that he’s some sort of incendiary judicial revolutionary that if he’s seated on the Supreme Court will vote to overturn apple carts is ludicrous.

But Democrats, liberals, progressives, feminists, all want the Kavanaugh nomination stopped, if for no other reason than that his nomination came from their nemesis, President Donald J. Trump. So if a scandal needed to be cooked up to stop him — “Borking,” it’s called — that’s D.C. business as usual.

Me, I’m a libertarian, and one of my mentors, Murray Rothbard, wrote that above all libertarianism requires “a passion for justice.”

That passion long ago infected me and I’ve never been cured of it, thank God.

Libertarian and anarchist friends of mine don’t care about the truth or falsity of the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh that Christine Blasey Ford has testified to in subsequent Senate hearings because Kavanaugh is a statist — so whatever happens to him, he has it coming.

That attitude is how over 15,000 people were murdered in what historians record as the Reign of Terror in the 1790’s French Revolution. They “had it coming,” too.

I believe in truth, justice, and the American way, just like my first childhood hero, Superman.

I found Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony emotionally authentic.

I found Brett Kavanaugh’s rebuttal testimony later the same day just as emotionally authentic.

Only one of them can be telling the truth.

Senator Jeff Flake was convinced to go along with his Democratic colleagues’ demand for a further FBI investigation. I’ll leave it to cable-news talking heads to debate the politics of this.

Given the history of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover — and latter controversies about how the FBI labs’ pseudoscience about fibers have put many innocent individuals behind bars — I’m not sanguine about the FBI as a fully competent investigative service.

But “investigation” is in their name so let’s put them to work investigating the charges Christine Blasey Ford has made against Brett Kavanaugh.

To start off, Christine Blasey Ford has testified that she knew and socialized with Brett Kavanaugh while both went to separate high schools, so she knew that it was him who assaulted her.

Let’s test that the way police always have: a line up. Now, this allegation dates back to 1982 when Brett Kavanaugh was 17 and Christine Blasey was 15. A line up is no longer possible.

But when a physical line-up isn’t practical police have relied on a photographic equivalent: asking the witness to make their identification of the accused by picking the suspect out of a stack — or array — of photographs.

There are landmines to test for familiarity of the witness from other encounters. Sometimes photographs of police, or models, made to look similar to the suspect, are used.

There’s a scene in the classic movie The Manchurian Candidate where the brainwashed Major Marco (Frank Sinatra) is shown a series of slides containing the communist scientists and political operatives who could have brainwashed him — mixed in with a bunch of slides of decoys. Marco is able correctly to pick out the genuine commie scientists and political operatives.

Let professionals in the field of photo identification put together just such a photo array to test Christine Blasey Ford’s “100 percent certainty” that her attacker was Brett Kavanaugh.

There are gaps in Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony and her prior interview with the Washington Post.

She can’t remember an address for the house this attack took place, nor a date. She can’t remember how she got to and from the party. I don’t actually have a problem with memory lapses such as this.

But I do have a problem with Christine Blasey Ford testifying that music was already playing when she was pushed into the bedroom, and that either Kavanaugh or Judge turned the volume up. If the two boys were already in the bedroom with music playing, why? Wouldn’t there have had to be someone else in the bedroom that the music was for? Or is she suggesting that these two totally-drunk-out-of-their-minds teenagers were sober enough to plan a rape that they were incapable of executing?

And what was the music playing during the assault? I guarantee you that this song would be burned into her memory by the trauma and she’d be so freaked out by the association she’d react to it every time she heard it forever after.

Christine Blasey Ford says she went to the second floor of this house seeking a bathroom. That implies a full bladder, perhaps from the beer she remembers drinking.

She then testifies that before she reached a bathroom she was pulled into a bedroom, tossed onto her back on a bed, and that Brett Kavanaugh threw himself on top of her, crushing her, and holding his hand over her mouth when she tried to call for help. She says she was afraid he might accidentally kill her.

So why doesn’t she testify to having wet her clothes and the bed? That would have been compelling detail. I wet my long underwear on a Boy Scout camp-out called Operation Zero, sleeping alone in a tent in the dead of winter. It was so humiliating it was the end of scouting for me. It’s the sort of detail it would be impossible to forget.

It’s been pointed out to me that she talks about Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge locking the bedroom door.

But she doesn’t mention unlocking the door when she manages to escape the bedroom to a bathroom across the hall — where once again she testifies to hiding but not relieving herself.

Then she testifies to running out of the house and feeling safe once she’s outside that she’s escaped and that Kavanaugh and Judge haven’t followed her.

But she never tells us why she feels safe just because she’s outside the house. How did she get outside without her attackers seeing her and why couldn’t they follow her outside?

I’m not calling Christine Blasey Ford a liar. I’m just saying that before anyone is judged guilty of anything, the testimony needs to be comprehensive and with certainty not only about the who, but certainty about the where, the when, and particularly the what.

There’s an FBI investigation?

Let them investigate this.

Washington Post Article

Video of Christine Blasey Ford’s Opening Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee

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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.



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

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

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