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I listened to yesterday's podcast (2007-07-06), and there was a discussion about whether it's ok to destroy the government property, or it's only ok to throw a little wrench into the system. I have a thought about this: Ian's position on "monkey-wrench vs destruction" is fundamentally inconsistent with his position on "violence vs non-violence" (which personally I consider is better described as active vs passive resistance to violence). Let me be more clear here: I am not discussing here which way to resist the government criminals is the best, or which way should one pick for himself, or recommend others. What I am talking about is: if one accepts that government is just a bunch of gangsters, why would it be okay to destroy the value that the gang controls, but not the gangsters themselves?

Ian was pretty clear that he does not encourage people to do either; but it looked like he morally allows destruction of the property of the gang, but at the same time he totally reprimands those who respond with force to actual gang members.

When I agree with him, that I personally wouldn't chose the path of destruction, shouldn't we express our moral support to everybody who is brave enough to resist the gang, in whichever way he choses? If one wants freedom to himself, then he should set others free to do what they want, as long as they don't hurt innocent people, and gang members are not innocent. Bad idea to fight fire with fire? In current situation: I think so, but it's not for me to decide for the others. In the end, bad people must be punished, and some of them will keep using violence on innocent people, some people don't get love and forgiveness. "What you do to others, someone might just do to you" - I think it is important to reinforce this message by giving moral support to those who actively resist aggression, at minimum not to reprimand them. Even if we don't accept their methods.

General / Interesting document I found...
« on: October 25, 2009, 12:46:57 PM »
While bitching with someone on the Internet, I've been pointed out that all my arguments are bogus, and they have all been addressed in details at: http://world.std.com/~mhuben/faq.html, so there's nothing more I could say  :(.

Here's why I'm posting this document here: the guy seems to have spent a bunch of hours debating with liberty people, he could summarized a lot. None of his "rebuttals", obviously, stand a chance, but I thought it could be a good starting point for many beginner libertarians. Get to know your enemy :)

The Show / Oppinion: spanking children
« on: October 06, 2009, 11:49:09 PM »
I've been listening to a Saturday's FTL in the car, and I can't help bringing up some points regarding the child-spanking. I am a parent myself, I have 3 children, and let me say it straight I don't condone violence, especially targeted at the little ones. Beating the one who is not only physically incapable to respond, but also dependent on you is bad-bad-bad. But I also heard some points on the show which I really feel like addressing:

Issue #1: Non-aggression

One of the callers brought up non-aggression principle, and that hitting your child is initiation of force. The problem with this statement is that non-initiation of force is not an axiomatic principle, but derived from the principle of self-ownership. Exercising violence on somebody can be equated to a property damage. Since humans value their body very high, hitting someone, even lightly is like damaging a very expensive item. But violation of property rights does not occur every time you spank somebody. You can spank yourself, since body is your property and you can damage it plenty. You can spank your significant other, because significant other owns the body in question and can authorize that. Who owns the child? Obviously, child does only when (s)he reaches capacity to exercise self-ownership. Little children obviously don't have this capacity, so their parents temporarily act on their behalf. So, there could be cases when spanking little child does not breach non-aggression principle.

Issue #2:  IQ

I very rarely side with Mark, but this time he made a good point: difference in IQ between spanked and non-spanked kids does not establish causal link. It seems to me that it is very likely that children with lower capacity to understand others are getting themselves into situations where spanking is likely solution. Smart kids are likely to avoid those situations, so IQ difference simply reflects the fact that smart kids were smarter all along

Issue #3: Patience

One of callers mentioned that she believes that it is possibler to bring up a child with no spanking, but she simply does not have appropriate time, patience and resources to do this. I think this was the key. Everything is possible when you have infinite resources, time and skills. But not all of us are professional pedagogues, and/or own a fortune to be able to hire one. A lot of parents don't have time, a lot of them don't have skills. Some are lucky to have kids which could be brought without too much trouble, but other kids are not as easy. Being single mother with two boys of approximately same age is a whole different thing, than both parents with enough income, and with more evenly aged kids of alternating sex (I'm assuming she probably is not very well off financially, but of course I might be wrong).

Issue #4: Parenthood and individual liberty

Libertarians always talk a good talk about individual freedom, but somehow, when it comes to parenthood, liberty is forgotten. It is important to recognize that one human being cannot be made a serf to another one, simply because (s)he became a parent. While it's obviously a good idea to make sure you have skills and resources available for your children, it is not always happening. Children are people too. People should probably not look at their kids like they are saints, and expect the others parents to do same thing. It's where the liberty begins to end

General / Automating freedom movement: super lazy public officials
« on: September 05, 2008, 12:20:58 AM »
Tried to get through to the show today, but didn't even come to  the point of being screened, not sure wtf. Anyway, Ian, if you find this idea worth airtime, please read it on my behalf

I don't vote normally, but if I could find a candidate which is pro-freedom, I could spare some of my time to stop by the polls. So, I visited center for smaller government web site today, looking for candidates in my state, and I couldn't find any way to lookup who of the candidates actually did sign the pledge. I have a suspicion that there probably are too few of such candidates, that's why the data is not publicized. But being a public figure is a hard work, pretty inefficient too. What kind of sane person will go for it?

Also, pledge of the smaller government, small as it is, is still some extra reading, and educating people what it is and why it is important is not a simple thing to do. Besides, it smells with legalese, this is probably another reason why so few pledge.

Besides, do we REALLY need public officials to be active? My understanding is the less they do, the better it is for all of us.

I suggest an alternative solution: pledge to stay home. Candidate pledges to stay in government position for the whole period, but not show on meetings, not sign papers, not vote for anything. She may choose to show up and do something, if her action would result in removing a regulation, tax, or prohibition. It is also acceptable to show on official meetings with intent to hinder or stall it; or to record the meeting and expose it's topic to public, but no obligation.

Such a zero-candidate, while spending little or none of her personal time:

- will provide a candidacy to vote for anarchists or those who vote for "lesser evil" like goddamn Mark :x
- is instrumental at the times of crisis, such as crackdown on liberties, as she can use her position to speak up and bitch-bitch-bitch, wreaking havoc in government
- make it harder to pass laws, stall government efforts, make it less efficient, therefore less violent; ideally bring it to grinding halt, or at least tap the balance to voluntary society
- being an elected official, they will be very hard to get rid of

Some voluntary organization may also be helping such candidates by provoding them FAQ on how to get on the ballots, maybe dispatching candidates to positions (in case there's a lack in one area and surplus in another), as well as notifying the electorate about the pledge the candidate has taken. Since candidate pledges to do nothing, it doesn't really matter which position will she take. If such an organization existed, I would be happy to offer my services as a public official of any level, provided that I don't have to spend my time on any public activity. I think many would agree that having a public official who doesn't do anything is significantly better than the one who is using public position for his agenda, like ripping off people, or telling them around.

Don't you think it's a pretty good idea? All of this could probably be automated to the point that candidates will barely have to lift the butt off the couch to get their name on the ballot. And the message would be very clear: "In my role of XYZ, I promise to do absolutely nothing".

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