I decided to start my "2 Reader Mail Posts Per Week" experiment. Wait one or two more to see if they get shorter. I have to "use up" the drafts I already started first.
This story on Overcoming Bias about baby-eating aliens was amusing.
I liked this article, via Hacker News. Games like "Candy Land" and "Snakes and Ladders" are *STUPID*. The player has *ZERO* strategy decisions that affect the outcome of the game.
Even "battleship" has a very simple strategy. Games like "Parcheesi" and "Sorry!" also have relatively simple strategy.
He then compares "classic" board games to Super Mario World. A 6-8 year old can play Super Mario World. Super Mario World has *MUCH MORE* strategic complexity than "classic" board games.
This is one beneficial aspect of computers and computer games. Children are learning logical thinking skills at a very young age.
I've noticed that, among my regular readers who post personal profiles, most of them are 35 years old or younger. Younger people who have grown up with computers and the Internet are much more openminded. Online communities have a fairness that State non-virtual communities lack. In the online world, it's very easy to say "**** you!" and start a competing website, if you believe someone is being unreasonable.
I liked this thread on Joel on Software, for this bit.
I have a couple of friends who are architects (real architects, I mean; they design buildings). When in the early years they looked for a job, noone ever asked them: "Look, for this building here, how many pillars would you put, and where?".
They were architects. They had spend five years studying how to make buildings and related matters
If you're a software engineer interviewing for a job, it's considered commonplace to ask someone "What does the 'virtual' keyword mean?" The presumption is that everyone applying for the job is an unqualified faker. (I don't know how many people really are unqualified fakers, because I'm on the other side of the interview table.)
Asking someone like me with 10 years of experience introductory programming questions is insulting. There are other ways to tell if the interviewee is genuine or faking it.
If I were hiring, I'd screen for "productive personality type" over "parasite personality type", regardless of actual programming experience. I'd rather have someone entry-level with the productive personality type over someone with 10+ years of experience working as a parasite.
I also consider this to be a symptom of a non-free market. In a free market, a business run by productive workers would run rings around the parasite-controlled business. When lobbying the State for favors, someone with the parasite personality type is needed.
This article by Mark Cuban was amusing. It was tracing "Who wrote the software for Bernard Madoff that ran his Ponzi Scam?" Mark Cuban's point is that Bernard Madoff could not have used off-the-shelf accounting software to run his Ponzi scam and generate convincing bogus statements. It had to be custom-written software.
This YouTube video, via Hacker News, was pretty funny. There's a program that automatically converts graphs to music. Someone fed it stock price charts and other economic data.
I liked this article, via Hacker News, on why gold is yellow and why gold has other useful properties.
This article, via Hacker News, was funny. A Microsoft employee had their corporate logo tattooed on his body. He was one of the employees recently laid off.
Via Google Analytics, I noticed this reddit thread on "Jury Nullification in a medical marijuana trial". Someone was citing "The Destruction of Trial By Jury".
Someone commented, "Covering Jury Nullification should be mandatory in all public schools! It's a tragedy this isn't part of the curriculum and heavily emphasized!" My response is "Duh! The purpose of public schooling is to train people to be good slaves. The bad guys do *NOT* want the average person to be thinking for themselves."
I liked this cartoon, cited in the main article of that Reddit thread.
I don't bother promoting my blog on sites like Reddit and Digg. It's more natural if other people mention my site. I'm not interested in wasting time debating fools.
This post on the Picket Line had some interesting bits. A former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote:
It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.
I don't trust *ANY* research by any State-licensed researcher. The only possible exception is the area of electronics, software, Mathematics, and certain areas of engineering. If there's no objective "Does it work?" test, then mainstream science is too out of touch with reality.
Even Computer Science may be losing touch with the real world. In the past 5-10 years, most of the innovations in software have come from the private sector, instead of the academic world.
The Picket Line then quoted an obvious contradiction. In protest of State pro-Choice policies, some members of the pro-Life movement are resisting taxes. Perhaps they are protesting "Some tax revenue is used to pay for abortions!", which is a valid complaint.
However, pro-Life is the pro-State position. If you say "I have the right to prevent women from murdering their unborn children!", you're also saying "There should be a government!" In a real free market, there's no way to prevent someone who wants an abortion from getting an abortion.
I predict that in a true free market, there would be a much lower abortion rate (practically zero). Women would be educated enough about proper birth control practices, making abortions a rare occurrence.
I liked this post on out of step, about an interview with the CEO of Fark.com. Drew Curtis noticed that there's a pattern of garbage stories that appear regularly, some of them recycled from one year to the next.
Most “news,” Curtis says, is negative, trivial, manufactured, and unactionable.
There's one current anti-pattern in news. "Athlete tests positive for drugs." There's Michael Phelps and marijuana. There's A-Rod, Clemens, and Bonds accused of taking steroids. All of these fall under "not really news".
This article, cited many other locations, was amusing. Michael Phelps was photographed smoking marijuana at a party. His agents tried to get the picture quashed and failed.
Some comedians/journalists are saying "This ruins Michael Phelps' ability to get endorsement deals!" This incident might make him seem more marketable to the youth crowd.
Michael Phelps should come out and say "I believe that smoking marijuana is not a crime! The State ban on smoking marijuana is a bad law!" Of course, his agents won't let him say that. The mainstream media would also loudly denounce him if he tried that. Instead, Michael Phelps' handlers and the tone of the mainstream media coverage is "Michael Phelps did something wrong!"
I liked this article via Hacker News. It's a description of how to resolve debts in bankruptcy, according to the Talmud.
In a true free market, this problem does not occur. There's always a "1st priority creditor", "2nd priority creditor", etc. If you lend someone money without inquiring about their preexisting debts, you are a fool. Without explicit agreement, I'd rule that the oldest debtor has highest priority. Otherwise, you can welsh on a debt to someone else by taking out more debt and giving them higher priority. (In the present, corporations do this.) Also, it's the responsibility of the newer creditor to find out about the older creditor.
This article, via Hacker News, was interesting. The poster says "There's no profit to be had selling custom T-Shirts!" I still think it's a worthwhile experiment, as a "promote agorism" idea.
I looked into it. I can buy blank T-Shirts for $3-$4. I spend $1 on electricity and ink and paper. If I can sell for $10, that's a decent profit. The key is to do it off-the-books, avoiding overhead, and doing it as a part-time business while pursuing other things.
Also, if I put my website on my T-Shirt, that's an additional promotional bonus.
In the comments, someone said "This guy is an idiot. You can so make money selling T-Shirts." As an agorist, avoiding taxes and State overhead, it should be profitable.
On Hacker News, the "StackOverflow" website is heavily promoted. It's a Reddit/Digg/Wiki-like system for discussing programming questions. I very rapidly got fed up. I asked "What's a good web hosting vendor?" and the site's content Nazis said "Topic closed! Not programming related!" If a site takes an attitude like that, it's going to be alienating users. My question wasn't merely labeled "offtopic", but *PEOPLE WERE BANNED FROM POSTING RESPONSES BECAUSE THE TOPIC WAS CLOSED!* My response was "**** you! I'm leaving!"
My point is that an online community should *NEVER* ban people. If something is offtopic or trolling, it's acceptable to label it as such. However, absolute censorship alienates people.
Even though I ridicule pro-State trolls, I don't censor them.
I previously cited this post on no third solution. It was about New Hampshire possibly declaring that gold is money. It had a funny comment by David Z.
A pro-State troll wrote:
You don't have to always use Federal Reserve Notes as money. You can also use credit cards and EZ-PASS and debit cards.
David Z responded:
YOU ARE FLUNKING LIFE.
That is the correct attitude towards pro-State trolls. They are sub-human and not worth my time. I should not get upset when pro-State trolls give stupid counter-arguments, because they don't count as intelligent life.
For this reason, I say "Debating pro-State trolls is pointless!" It's a lot of time and effort wasted for negligible benefit. On the other hand, other people seeing me disagree with the trolls in a forum could attract readers to my blog. I'm not interested in that right now.
This post on the Picket Line was interesting. The IRS sponsored a survey regarding attitudes over the income tax. Via loaded questions, they biased the results.
Also, there was one really promising quote. "Nine Out of Ten Americans Say It Is ‘Not At All’ Acceptable To Cheat on Taxes." Really? Does that mean that there's hope for the remaining 10%? If "10% of Americans believe it's acceptable to dodge taxes!", my response is "Progress!"
For example, the IRS survey probably didn't ask. "The mechanism whereby taxes are collected resembles that of a mafia extortion racket. The income tax means that Americans don't actually own their own labor. Is the income tax a good law?"
There also was this quote:
This then allows lawmakers like Senator Tom Daschle to stand up and say things like “Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter” and people nod as though that were the accepted wisdom, although few people, least of all Tom Daschle, really think that.
You'll never see "Taxation is theft!" seriously discussed in a mainstream media outlet. The pro-State troll attitude is "If you avoid paying taxes, you're stealing or free-riding off the rest of society." This is the exact *OPPOSITE* of the truth. Taxes allow members of the parasite class to free-ride off productive workers.
Actually, most Congressmen probably really believe "Taxation is not theft!" You don't get picked as a Congressman unless you're thoroughly brainwashed as a pro-State troll. Most Congressmen only get to meet people chosen by their handlers/advisors. They've probably never heard anyone seriously debate "Taxation is theft!" in their entire life.
There's one funny bit regarding debating pro-State trolls. At one of my recent jobs, there was one guy who was very interested in free market economics. There was one guy who was a total pro-State troll. The pro-State troll said "I thoroughly logically refuted FSK's arguments!", while he was actually spouting incoherent gibberish. That's the part that really astonishes me. The pro-State trolls REALLY BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE LOGICALLY REFUTED THE TRUTH!
I liked this post on the Agitator, via David Z's shared items. It's an imaginary article where Michael Phelps says "Smoking pot is not a crime!"
According to Google Reader, "The Agitator" has 15x more RSS subscribers than me. "The Agitator" has been around since 2002. With blogging, persistence over time pays off.
According to the statistics page, he has 100x more readers than me. At that traffic level, blogging as a full-time job appears to be viable. The author uses his blog to promote other businesses, such as speaking engagements.
That's how I'd like to use my blog. I don't just want to write about theoretical agorism. I want to start actual agorist businesses.
I went into a local coin store and asked about buying gold and silver bullion. The store only had American Eagles. He quoted an offer price of $1040 and a bid price of $910 (spot was $920 at that time). He said that sales over $1000 are exempt from sales tax *BUT* you must show a driver's license. In other words, the transaction is reported to the State.
He quoted an offer price of $16/ounce for silver (spot was $12.50 at that time). That's a *HUGE* markup.
It appears that:
- The store owner wasn't very interested in trading gold and silver.
- The cost of State regulation compliance is high.
- There were huge bid/offer spreads.
- I avoid the cost of taxes.
- I avoid the cost of regulation compliance.
- I can provide my trading partners Anonymity. Buying in a State licensed store has a State reporting requirement.
- I can profitably buy from an online dealer and sell for slightly more. Someone interested in buying Anonymously with cash would reasonably trade with me.
I asked my parents about buying physical gold and silver. They said I'm not allowed to invest in physical gold and silver while living with them. They are concerned that someone would break into the house and steal it.
I wonder what is the risk of theft, if I invest in gold and silver? The only way to be sure is to conduct an experiment! If I buy 1-2 ounces of gold per year, then I'll know if/when I get robbed.
My parents' attitude is the self-defeating one. They say "Accept that you're a slave. Let your savings be stolen by inflation. Let your labor be stolen by taxes. The State is omniscient/omnipotent. Resistance is futile."
I read the NY PHP jobs mailing list, and saw something really weird. A headhunter keeps posting an ad saying "I'm representing several talented PHP developers. Let me know if you're interested." If that's all you're doing as a headhunter, then what value are you adding?
A good headhunter is genuinely valuable. The vast majority are unqualified hacks (just like most hiring managers!).
This post on Debt Prison is about a prominent investment advisor trash-talking Peter Schiff and his defense.
Peter Schiff is a hedge fund manager or money manager, which really limits his anti-State credibility. If he isn't advising his customers to be 100% in commodities (gold/silver/copper/platinum), he's pro-State trolling.
I saw an episode of Chuck and Heroes on February 2. My conclusion was "No interesting fnords in this show!" However, there was one interesting observation about the "spy movie/show" genre. Spy agencies are generally portrayed as being nearly omnipotent and omniscient. This creates the illusion that the State is more powerful than it really is.
I liked this post, via Hacker News. It's on "Don't work for ***holes!" More accurately, "Don't work for members of the parasite class!"
This is a problem in any large corporation. Your direct boss might be a productive worker, but his boss may then be a parasite. Further, the "hiring by committee" approach works poorly also. I can impress the productive worker boss. One of his subordinates is a parasite and advises "Don't hire FSK!", because he feels threatened by me. The boss says "Only hire if all my subordinates vote 'Yes!'". In this manner, the parasite gets veto power over hiring decisions.
You could say "FSK is an ***hole for ridiculing pro-State trolls." I disagree. That is the normal human response to stupidity. Members of the parasite class exhibit fake leadership rather than genuine leadership. Members of the parasite class insult nearly all their subordinates, so they are continually on edge. The key is to keep "saying someone is stupid" and "someone actually does something stupid" highly correlated. Then, you aren't being abusive.
I liked this article, via Hacker News. The "teach via lecture" system as commonly used in universities and schools is broken. If you have a good textbook, then you can read the book instead of seeing the lecture. If all the professor is doing is giving the same lecture every year, you could just videotape it. Then, who needs a professor?
The author says that the system predates the invention of the printing press. You could have the professor print out lecture notes or a book, instead of having students transcribe what the professor says.
The author also pointed out the difficulty of getting an "original" textbook past the editor at a publishing house. With modern computers, you can easily self-publish. Just make a pdf and have the local Kinko's make however many copies. Some professors should release their textbooks under a public domain or GPL-like license.
This post, via Hacker News, had an interesting false reasoning technique I hadn't noticed before. It's called "Proof by Overwhelming Gibberish". You give a list of 100 reasons why the State is needed. Unless I give a detailed response to each of your 100 stupid arguments, I "lose" the debate. I say "wasting time debating idiots is pointless".
This practice partially comes from debate competitions in high school and college. Each side has to list as many arguments as possible in the time allowed. If you make a point and your opponent does not refute it, that's points for you. These debaters always seemed stupid to me, because they talk super-fast so they can get as many points in as possible in the allotted time.
If you say "FSK is wrong!" and I say "I'm not wasting time responding to fools!", that does not mean that, by default, you are correct.
This post, via Hacker News, was amusing. Someone was testing a VoIP application and DOSed their cell phone.
In this post on no third solution, David Z is reading Karl Marx. I'm not interested so much in reading long-dead authors. If you read stuff that's written a long time ago, you wind up with the "argument from authority fallacy". Marx is dead, so I can't ask him to clarify his writing.
Many anti-free-market trolls confuse "arbitrage" with "legitimate profit". If your profits are directly or indirectly backed by State violence, then it is economic rent rather than arbitrage.
Consider the profits of a specialist on the NYSE. They have a special perk that nobody else gets. Their profits are not due to "I'm a brilliant trader!" A specialist is collecting economic rent, paid by everyone else as higher transaction costs. State regulations make gold/silver investments hard or impractical, so people are forced to invest in the stock market. Specialists get perks that nobody else gets. The specialist says "I'm doing arbitrage!", but he's merely collecting rent.
Consider the example given by David Z. Suppose I buy cotton for 1 ounce of gold, hoping to sell it for more later if there's a cotton shortage. In a true free market with sound money, that is not exploitative. Also, suppose that I notice that cotton can be bought for 0.5 ounces in X but sold for 1.0 ounces in Y. If I buy cotton and ship it from X to Y, that is not exploitative.
In the present, suppose a commodity speculator at a bank or hedge fund invests in cotton. He borrows at the Fed Funds Rate (currently 0%-0.25%) and then buys cotton. Over time, inflation is 15% or more, leading to a profit. This speculator did not perform arbitrage. The speculator was collecting economic rent. The speculator was profiting from his ability to borrow at the Fed Funds Rate and use high leverage ratios. Further, if the speculator is wrong due to a recession/depression, then the speculator can merely declare bankruptcy and cheat his creditors.
A completely corrupt economic system causes people to confuse "arbitrage" with "legitimate profit". As another example, is Wal-Mart a pioneer of efficiency? Or, are Wal-Mart executives most skilled at exploiting a corrupt system for their own personal benefit?
A corrupt economic system causes parasites to have very profitable businesses, when they're merely leeching off society as a whole.
Another fallacy is that, in a true free market, there's no incentive to accumulate more wealth than you personally need. It's practically impossible to build a multi-billion dollar business without benefiting directly or indirectly from State violence.
Google Analytics is always interesting. In this thread on a NY Mets fan site, someone was discussing "The Federal Reserve Caused the Great Depression". These discussions always have the same pattern. There's one sensible person (the person citing my blog) and several pro-State trolls.
Here, the usual fallacy was "The Great Depression was a failure of the free market!" The Great Depression was 100% caused by the Federal Reserve. Free markets are not compatible with a central bank credit monopoly.
The pro-State trolls were making another usual fallacy. "FSK does not have a State license to write about economics. Therefore, his ideas are wrong."
This story on RadGeek was interesting. Allegedly, a group of male policemen abused a female prisoner. A local TV station covered the story. The policemen are now suing the TV station.
I liked this article, via Hacker News, on problems with Verizon FIOS. Verizon's DNS and network routing are lousy. This means that you have greater latency when downloading small files like a typical webpage. You are faster for big downloads, but slower for normal Internet use.
He also had a nice bit on pigheadedness by Telecommunication and Cable Companies. FIOS only sells its package as a bundle with cable TV included. However, in many cities, the local cable monopoly successfully lobbied to prevent Verizon from selling TV. In those cities, Verizon has declined to offer FIOS service.
For this reason, consumer Internet access hasn't followed exponential Moore's law growth. It is heavily regulated. It's illegal for me to say "**** Verizon! **** Time-Warner! I'm going to lay my own cable and start a competing network!"
I really liked this article, via Hacker News, about Serge Lang. He's a Math Professor and he's also a conspiracy theorist/factist.
The article was about corruption by scientists. The main problem is monopolistic State funding of research combined with peer review. This makes State-licensed science a ****-sucking contest more than objective.
In that article, he was talking about how a group of sociologists conducted a survey of professors. However, the questions were very loaded and biased. He published a criticism of the survey.
I liked this quote:
if I am presented with a question, do I accept the terms of the question or do I reject the question?
This is an important fallacy. If someone asks you "Are you a Republican or Democrat?", there's a hidden assumption that those are the only two choices.
I was listening to one of Freedomain's podcasts. My mother overheard. She asked "Is he a Republican or Democrat?" I answered "Neither!" She responded. "Oh, he's one of *THOSE* disgusting people."
That interview didn't include my favorite Serge Lang story. He argues "HIV and AIDS might be merely correlated!" instead of "HIV causes AIDS!" A lot of people make a lot of money on HIV research, and are unwilling to give up their loot. For example, HIV might be one of many opportunistic infections that AIDS patients get. As another example, HIV might be present in the general population without them developing AIDS.
This article on Techdirt was amusing. One strategy for dealing with spam is sending out fake spam. Then, people who are dumb enough to click on spam links can be educated.
I liked this article on Techdirt. An amateur musician built a good business giving away his content for free on the Internet.
I saw the comedy special on the Communism Channel about marijuana again. There's another interesting point. In California, *LOTS OF PEOPLE* are growing marijuana. It is impossible for the State to crack down on each marijuana farmer. Since almost everyone is growing marijuana, that reduces the risk to each individual.
The State enforcers try to go after the biggest marijuana growers only.
The US has tightened up border security in the past several years. That is a profit windfall for US-based marijuana farmers!
I liked this post on Kung-Fu Monkey's blog about Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondent's dinner 2.5 years ago. It was worth reading the comments also.
I'm interested in experimenting with "promote agorism via standup comedy". Some pro-State trolls will be deeply offended, but you only need a certain audience to have a viable career. If 90% of the people think "FSK should be violently silenced!" and 10% think "FSK is awesome!", that's a viable business.
This post on no third solution was about the failure of national health care in Japan. Some sick people are unable to find treatment in *ANY* hospital, because the number of sick people is greater than the number of available places. As usual, David Z had a slight error.
Pity,Japan’s bureaucrats don’t understand the fundamental and immutable laws of economics, one of which dictates that price ceilings result in shortages.
Don't forget the damaging effect of State licensing requirements for doctors. The State restricts the supply *AND* imposes price controls!
If you discuss the health care problem without mentioning damaging State licensing requirements for doctors, you are pro-State trolling.
I liked this post on Global Guerrilas about the optimal size of a terrorist cell or criminal organization. Maximum efficiency occurs at around 10-20 people. If you have an organization larger than 100 people, it tends to split into two groups that probably would cooperate peacefully. The crime world has "contract employees" that can be temporarily hired as needed.
Notice that a criminal organization is *NOT* the beneficiary of explicit State subsidies. Organized crime benefits from State laws declaring their activities illegal. Without the State, there's a natural limit to the size of a business. If you get too big, it's more efficient to split into two cooperating businesses.
This article on nostate.com is citing Konkin's recently posthumously released "An Agorist Primer". If I read it, I'd probably say "Tell me something I didn't already know." Ironically, the book was copyrighted.
Once I read the outline of the philosophy of agorism, I was able to figure out most of the bits on my own. I'm much more interested in moving forward with practical agorism, than reading stuff that was written 30+ years ago.
Google had a weird bug recently were every search result was flagged as "malicious". Google seems to be going downhill as a tech company.
I liked this post on Anarchy in Your Head. It's about the "slave test". He was complaining that pro-State trolls didn't get the "You're a slave!" argument.
The slave test says "Disobey all the arbitrary orders of the State, and see what happens, especially those involving taxes." The details of State abuse are hidden from most people, because most people obey the orders without questioning them.
This article, via Hacker News, was disturbing. ESPN has a website where they stream video. The problem is that ESPN will only stream traffic to you *IF* your ISP has a licensing deal with ESPN. If your ISP refuses to make a licensing deal with ESPN, you don't get the content.
This is a really bad precedent for network neutrality. The ISP industry has mostly consolidated. There's really only 2 viable options for Internet access in most areas, the phone company monopoly or the cable monopoly.
This post on the Picket Line shows that he's still missing the point regarding tax resistance. *ALL* taxation is theft, and not just those used directly for war. *ALL* State activities are murder/kidnapping/assault/terrorism, and not just explicit overt warfare. If you object to war, but not all the other evil things the State does, you're missing the point.
The amusing bit came from this link. In protest of the Iraq war, someone withheld $50 from their taxes due and included a note explaining their actions. The IRS fined him $5000 for "frivolous filing". That should not be surprising, because it's like they signed their tax return "**** you IRS!"
The correct solution for tax evasion is to do work and not report that income to the State. If you want to withhold $50 from your taxes, you should do $100 of work for someone and get paid off-the-books. Any other approach for tax resistance is stupid. Resisting taxes on income that has already been reported to the State is a losing strategy.
In another post, David Gross says "Don't inadvertently lend money to the State, by purchasing Treasury Bonds in your IRA or 401(k)!" *ANY* State-licensed investment directly or indirectly supports the State. When your savings are stolen via inflation, then the profits go to the State. Even investing in stock, your savings are stolen by inflation as executives waste the corporation's assets, pay themselves huge salaries, and give themselves stock/option grants.
As long as you use slave points as money, you're supporting the State.
This article on the NYSE website, via Hacker News, was missing the point. Harry Markopolos was an investor in Madoff's fund. He suspected fraud, withdrew his money, and wrote a warning letter to the SEC in November 2005. (That was an interesting read!)
Harry Markopolis said that Madoff's fund had a ridiculously high Sharpe Ratio. It was such a huge statistical outlier compared to other hedge funds that it was a huge red flag. Sharpe Ratio is one of those commonly quoted financial statistics that I looked at and realized "This statistic has nothing to do with any meaningful economic concept." The Sharpe Ratio is always the return of X with respect to Y, where Y usually is the S&P 500. If someone says "Sharpe Ratio" without mentioning Y, it's implied that Y is the S&P 500. It's some weird combination of "amount X outperforms Y" and the relative volatility, which is meaningless because you're using things with different units.
No regulator read that letter and took it seriously. A simple statistical analysis of Madoff's returns was a huge red flag. The SEC merely had to ask Madoff to produce trading records for one month and correlate them with the exchanges, and they would have uncovered the fraud. The State enforcers were buddies with Madoff, and let the scam continue. This is the usual "captured regulators" problem.
The article on the NYSE website said "If only Harry Markopolos had published his letter on a blog. Then, it would have been widely cited and knowledgeable investors would have been warned."
The fallacy is that Bernard Madoff might have sued Harry Markopolos for libel if he did that. (The comments on the Hacker News site mentioned that also.)
In a true free market, massive frauds cannot occur. All the people involved in the fraud would have been personally liable. For example, if I owned a "fund of funds" or advised my clients to invest with Madoff, I should be personally liable. *EVERY* person who dealt with Madoff and didn't smell a rat is personally liable.
That letter also had an interesting tidbit. Madoff let "fund of funds" charge a higher than normal performance fee (1% + 20% of gain) than usual (1% + 10% of gain). There was a financial incentive for investment advisers to look the other way and not notice the scam. Those investment advisers do not have to refund the performance fees they earned in previous years.
Harry Markopolos proved that appealing to the State for redress of grievances is pointless. Similarly, it is pointless to appeal to the State regarding "The Federal Reserve and income tax are immoral!"
By E-Mail, someone wrote:
Ron Paul has simultaneously helped and hindered the freedom movement. He has helped raise awareness for "The Federal Reserve is evil!", "The income tax is evil!", and "Big government is evil!" However, by presenting a weak criticism of the State, Ron Paul almost seems to be endorsing the State.
This is a video of Ron Paul on the msnbc. He does a pretty good, though not great (such is the fate of all Ron Pauls) refuting a bunch of keynesian trolls. The lewrockwell blog post even called it a cage match.
At the end of the video though, it gets hilarious, because one starts asking "OK RP, that's what you wouldn't do. but what would you do."
Even RP doesn't really get what he's saying. Instead of saying "The market will fix it once the regulations are gone, stop trolling!" He says "What do you mean? I already told you what I was going to do."
People like Ron Paul represent the most extreme publicly permissible attitude. There's a "debate ceiling" and ideas more radical than Ron Paul's are not normally discussed on a mainstream media outlet. "Who needs a government anyway?" is not plausibly discussed.
Ron Paul fails at the end of the video. He fails to give a plausible answer to "What should replace a huge State?" For this reason, Ron Paul sometimes is a pro-State troll.
Ron Paul didn't say "We should repeal all the taxes and regulations that make it illegal/impractical to use gold and silver as money." I believe he has said that on other occasions, but he didn't say that in that interview.
The correct solution, agorism, is never publicly discussed.
Comparing M2 in December 2008 to December 2007, the year-over-year change was 9.7%, which is a sharp increase. You can look up M2 on the Federal Reserve's website.
By E-Mail, someone wrote:
I've been a casual reader of your blog over the last few months and I spend much of my leisure time examining conspiracies mainly regarding religion and the central bank.
I would like to see you post a response to the zeitgeist movie, but more specifically, the addendum portion regarding the federal reserve / central bank. Have you had a chance to view this documentary?
No, I haven't specifically watched Zeitgeist, although it's commonly cited. I downloaded it via BitTorrent and have it somewhere. I don't normally spend 1-2 hours watching a movie.
One problem with Zeitgeist is that it has some accurate bits and some inaccurate bits. By the Strawman Fallacy, the inaccurate bits could cause people to also discredit the accurate bits.
I prefer written works to movies and YouTube videos, because I can read much faster than people can speak. I don't have the 1-2 hours of spare time it would take to watch a movie.
My thinking is more advanced than films like Zeitgeist and The Money Masters. They wouldn't present any new information to me. If you're a complete beginner to the freedom movement, then they might be worth watching. A movie with a mixture of good bits and bad bits could confuse someone.
Mainstream religion is a scam. Christianity is the only one I'm familiar with, but the others are presumably similar.
Christianity makes more sense if you understand that the God of Christianity is a version of the God of Absolute Unopposable Evil. The God of Christianity is the State.
The God of Christianity demands his worshipers obey him, without evidence. People accept, without evidence or thinking about it, that government/taxes are good for them.
The God of Christianity tells his worshipers that they should accept abuse while alive, in exchange for rewards after they die. By definition, nobody can know what happens to you after you die. "Accept abuse in exchange for an unspecified reward later" is an aspect of pro-State brainwashing. For example, "Become an excellent software engineer and you'll be later rewarded with a good job!" has proven to be a lie from my point of view.
I'm not as interested in the conspiracy aspects of the Federal Reserve's history anymore. There definitely is evidence of a conspiracy.
The important argument against the Federal Reserve is "The Federal Reserve and income tax are immoral!" Whether they were created as the result of a conspiracy or a series of bad decisions is irrelevant. They are immoral and should be eliminated.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Predator/State vs. Prey/Agorist":
I like to look at it like tank verses anti tank weapons. The predator is the anti tank weapon and the prey is the tank. New armor is much harder to design, costs more, and takes longer to develop.
A new anti armor missile costs much less to design and manufacture. In relation to defeating new armor technology.
Its much harder for the tank to stay ahead of the missile.
But at the same time, the tank that was once the prey, can turn the tables and become the predator in an instant..
I don't understand what you're writing. I have no idea what point you're trying to make.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Predator/State vs. Prey/Agorist":
This is nothing new. The only reason the productive are not in charge is that predators have subverted education, history and media to hide the fact we already have freedom and can easily deal with our predators, should the productive co-operate.
That is the whole point of agorism. Agorism is a strategy for productive workers to prevent the parasite class from leeching off them.
The parasites do have a monopoly of education and the mainstream media. History as commonly taught in school is nearly pure propaganda. The Internet is helping to break the parasite's information monopoly. For this reason, the Internet is a tool for good. Theoretically, the Internet gives the bad guys the ability to spy on everyone all the time, but there are limits.
The "rule of law" is a precisely defined law.
You're referring to "Rule of Law" as "natural/common law". This covers things like
- the Non-Aggression Principle
- You may do whatever you want as long as you don't injure someone else.
- Individuals have a right to own property.
- Individuals have a right to make and enforce contracts.
- Individuals own their own labor.
- Nobody should have a monopoly of anything, including violence/police/defense/justice.
When a pro-State troll refers to "Rule of Law", he means:
- Pay taxes without resisting!
- A debt contract with a bank is a valid contract!
- People who lose their homes due to the Compound Interest Paradox should be forcibly evicted! People must be evicted for not paying their mortgage!
- People must be evicted from their homes for not paying property taxes! If a State agent declares "Eminent domain!", then the victim must be forcibly evicted from their land!
- Respect the State ban on marijuana!
- Respect the State ban on owning guns!
- Respect the State ban on manufacturing incandescent light bulbs!
- Don't work as a doctor/lawyer/accountant/etc. without a State license!
- Respect the ban on using gold and silver as money!
One reason that the USA is more successful economically than other countries is that its legal system approximates "natural law" better than other countries. Regrettably, the USA is moving towards "Corrupt Rule of Law" more than towards "natural law".
(This bit deserves its own separate post.)
It is the highest law of mankind, stated below:
“the suppression of forceful and fraudulent methods of goal seeking”
“all are treated equally by the law”. This means ALL, including king and judges
“absolute property rights”
This is "natural law". The rules of a corrupt legal system have almost nothing to do with natural law or common law. If harassed by the State for possession of marijuana or tax evasion, then an appeal to "natural law" is *NOT* a valid defense.
This in turn is based on the fact that human behavior (the topic of law) is about goal seeking. In the seeking of any goal, there are only three possible methods: force, fraud and honest trade. Any transaction that is not an honest, mutually agreed trade will cause a self-defensive response (conflict) from the victim whose survival has been affected.
"The Rule of Law" is the glue that keeps all of mankind acting together in common interest, tied together by mutual dependence of trade, on an evolutionary path to excellence. Force and fraud creates conflict and destroys civilizations. Mankind is now on a devolutionary path to extinction because the co-operation once forced by "the rule of law" has been replaced by legitimizing force and fraud for those who incorrectly believe they wield power.
I disagree with "Humans will extinct themselves." The parasite class will be eliminated. The most intelligent productive workers will find a way to survive.
The current corrupt system is on an inevitable path towards self-destruction. The only remaining question is "Will the collapse be mostly nonviolent, or will it be peaceful?"
Rule of Law, Defined: http://www.nazisociopaths.org/
There was one interesting bit:
Given the fact that those who wield force under color of law are by definition numerically inferior (but better armed with weapons we have provided to them) to those who must tolerate their actions, the “rule of law,” to be useful must have some advantage able to achieve voluntary consent from a broad base of individuals who would otherwise organize to overthrow it like any other oppressive ruler throughout history.I've heard the phrase "color of law" referring to actions of corrupt State agents. For example, a policeman who arrests you for tax evasion is committing a crime according to natural law, but under "color of law", he is doing something morally acceptable (at least in his own eyes).
Purpose of, Reasons For: http://www.nazisociopaths.org/
That had an interesting take on the "Evolution vs. Creationism" debate. An evolution-based society means "Rules evolve via market forces." A creationism-based society means "A handful of people make up laws and use violence to impose them on others." That explains the attractiveness of promoting creationism among statists.
Mathematics of Rule (explains current economic stall):
(Electronics Design Engineer)
That last link was sort of missing the point. Assuming a 50% taxation rate, and that productive workers get the same salary as parasites, then you have an equal number of productive workers and parasites. However, there are many indirect hidden taxes. I don't just pay 50% directly in income tax. I also pay a "tax" in the form of State regulations that make it hard to start a business. Due to State restriction of the market, whenever I sell my labor, I receive less than the fair free market wage. Due to State restriction of the market, whenever I buy something, I pay more than the fair free market price.
If you add up all "hidden" taxes, then the true taxation rate is 95%-99% or more. A lot of taxes are indirect and hidden. For example, State licensing requirements for doctors are essentially a *HUGE* tax on healthcare costs. Most people get employer-paid health insurance, making the true cost hidden.
steve has left a new comment on your post "Predator/State vs. Prey/Agorist":
i recently came upon a thought (follow the link to my blog post) that i later dismissed as utter misanthropism: humanity could be a virus, existing to further its own life cycle without regard for the welfare of its environment or other organisms. in a reader's comment, the notion of parasitic behaviour arose, which falls in line more so with your line of thinking. but i responded that 'environmentalists' could possibly be a mutation of the human virus.
i suppose my point is that it is very possible a subspecies may exist, but perhaps it is more of a thought-process or paradigm that causes the behaviour we're erroneously attributing to subspecies offshoots. the question remains, though: what brings about this parasitic paradigm? might it simply be the classic struggle between the proles and the bourgeois? how does one combat that without using the weapons of coercion? how do we convince a parasite that abandoning their coercive ways is preferable and more beneficial in the long term? that's a tough question, and i think the essence of the current struggle of humanity.
Are you referring to this post?
I disagree with "Humans are intrinsically parasitic!" or "Humans are intrinsically evil!" If you disagree, then I'll start my own species and let the inferior life forms die!
It is almost impossible to tell what is "normal" human behavior, because nearly everyone is thoroughly pro-State brainwashed.
In the present, the parasitic personality is held as a role model. Most people aspire to be lawyers/MBAs/bankers/etc. The members of the parasite class are usually publicly touted as heroes. If you do actual productive work, there probably are quite a few parasites leeching off your labor. Even if you have an on-the-books small business, then the parasite class is leeching off you via taxes.
Rob has left a new comment on your post "Satanic Death Hospitals":
The symbol comes from ancient Greek mythology. A few seconds of Google searching would have brought you this information from Wikipedia:
"The rod of Asclepius (...) is an ancient Greek symbol associated (...) with healing the sick through medicine. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. Asclepius, the son of Apollo, was a practitioner of medicine in ancient Greek mythology."
Also, in the Bible God commands Moses to make a bronze serpent on a pole to supposedly heal those bitten by serpents. (Numbers, chapter 21, I believe.)
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Satanic Death Hospitals":
it's from the bible dude, the old testament. Numbers chapter 21; a disease was sent on israel and god told moses to put a serpent on a staff and whoever looked at it would be healed and lived. i think it was later made evil because the people began to worship it.
Snakes have been a symbol of rebirth because of their ability to shed their skins and in a sense become reborn.
Oh well. Not every post has to be a success.
What if I'm not Christian? In that case, a Christian logo would be the same as a Satanic logo.
I find that logo to be *EXTREMELY* disturbing, given my history of being abused by ambulances/psychiatrists. From my point of view, that logo represents death.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Money Supply Statistics Explained":
Then how can central banks know the specific amount of M0(or M1,M2)at a given time?
szjimust has left a new comment on your post "Money Supply Statistics Explained":
How can central banks get the specific data of M0(or M1,M2)at a given time?
——I'm thinking this question for a long time,but I'm still puzzled afer reading some materials.
Is this a duplicate comment?
Banks are required to report their total balances to the State every day. More specifically, they are required to report this to the Federal Reserve auditors every day.
Here is how the bank clearing system works. Consider Bank of America and Citigroup. Suppose Bank of America customers wrote $50M of checks cashed by Citigroup customers today, and Citigroup customers wrote $25M of checks cashed by Bank of America customers. Then, $25M must be transferred from Bank of America to Citigroup. Bank of America reports a transaction of "$25M to Citigroup" to the Federal Reserve. Citigroup reports a transaction of "$25M from Bank of America" to the Federal Reserve.
Suppose there was an error. Bank of America reports "$25M to Citigroup" and Citigroup reports "$25.1M from Bank of America". Then, the discrepancy of $100k must be investigated and audited.
Without such transactions reported to the State, fraud would be easy. Bank of America could claim it had $1B more than it actually did. Without the Federal Reserve auditing deposits, banks could make up whatever number they wanted. Notice that such fraud is only possible with fiat money. With a gold standard, a bank cannot commit fraud because its customers would start demanding physical gold.
The Federal Reserve also audits bank balances to make sure they are not violating the "10x reserve ratio" requirement. As part of this auditing process, banks must report their balances to the Federal Reserve.
M3 was only slightly more work to collect than M2. The Federal Reserve stopped reporting M3 because they wanted to cover up how bad inflation actually is. Compared to M2, M3 includes balances over $100k and dollar balances in foreign banks. The Federal Reserve must still track dollar balances held by foreign governments. Otherwise, China could lie and claim it had $2T in dollar assets instead of $1T.
So there's your answer. Banks are required to report all aggregate interbank transactions to the State. Banks are required to report their net assets to the State every day. This is a fraud prevention precaution. This also allows the Federal Reserve to calculate M2.
(This bit deserves its own separate post.)
I noticed another Michael Phelps fnord. It's a trick I've noticed before, but it's worth mentioning again. Normally, when newspapers show a picture of a celebrity or politician, they show an airbrushed picture. People grow accustomed to seeing airbrushed pictures of celebrities and politicians.
When it is time to discredit someone, you merely print a non-airbrushed picture. People are accustomed to seeing airbrushed photos, so a non-airbrushed picture looks ugly in comparison. A non-airbrushed photo is a fnord saying "This person is a ***hole!"
Further, celebrities typically have thousands of pictures taken of them. Normally, the most favorable picture is published. To make someone look bad, an unfavorable picture is selected.
Similarly, all the published pictures of Sarah Palin before the election were carefully selected to make her look good. All the published pictures of Sarah Palin published after the election were carefully selected to make her look bad.
I don't normally watch political speeches. However, I saw bits of Barack Obama's speech on Monday. There was one bit that made me say "ROFLMAO!" Obama said (paraphrasing), "Critics of the stimulus package say it is just wasteful spending. Wasteful spending is exactly what America needs right now!"
I found this transcript and the exact quote:
Obama is literally saying "America needs wasteful spending by Congress!" (The pronoun "that" is ambiguous. When I parse that phrase, "that" refers to "wasteful spending".)
And we can have a respectful debate about whether or not we should be involved in energy policymaking, but don't suggest that somehow that's wasteful spending. That's exactly what this country needs.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "Michael Phelps Marijuana Fnord":
I wish michael would have just given everyone the finger. And said "I had my time in the lime light,I am the best in the world,You fuc%s have nothing on me,I will do as I please with my life"
But he still wants the system to accept him. So he says "I made a bad choice,sorry I won't do that again"
He still wants money through advertisements,I understand,They have him by the balls.
Notice that the State is not explicitly censoring Michael Phelps. Instead, corporations are doing so. They drop sponsorship of him. Large corporations are essentially a branch of the State. Theoretically, they are private organizations that may do as they please. However, they have a State-licensed monopoly.
Notice how effective the censorship engine is! The media (controlled by a handful of people), publishes stories saying "Michael Phelps is an ***hole!" Then, other corporations are forced to drop sponsorship of him.
If Michael Phelps went around saying "Smoking marijuana is not a crime!", then there would be a more aggressive media campaign to discredit him. If he made such remarks, they probably would not be published at all.
For this reason, a mainstream media personally *CANNOT* discuss the ideas I mention in my blog. They would be the victim of censorship. Police do not need to directly violently censor them. Advertisers would refuse to be associated with any celebrity who is "too honest".
an Inside story, you might know this by now. Our government allows drugs to be smuggled into the country. But the deal is that they get payed off. They crack down on others who are not in on the plan. Making them look like they are trying their best to stop the flow.And of course now they have hidden funds for hidden projects.
Technically, it is not the government, but rather certain individuals working from the government. The ban on (certain) drugs is a massive profit center for organized crime.
That which you resist persists. we are the most waring nation on earth.There is the war on,Drugs,poverty,terrorism,
How long do we have to fight before we realize we should give up and let things just correct them selves.
If you want something,you should promote it.and that which you dont want will fall away. Thats why when you fight against something you just make it stronger.
Did you ever wonder why in the schools they teach( say no to drugs) instead if ( a healthy lifestyle) which by the way doesn't include drugs. Because they know that children do exactly the opposite of what you tell them to do.They are secretly promoting the drug trade right under the noses of parents. Who are oblivious to the laws of nature..I consider it a nearly proven fact that the primary purpose of schools is to brainwash children.
Anyway,,,enjoy your weekend people!! Fritz
For example, the practice of "grading on a curve" causes the average students to resent smarter students.
Even an innocuous subject like Mathematics is abusively taught in schools. As Math is generally taught, all but the most talented students wind up disgusted and frustrated.
barry b. has left a new comment on your post "Michael Phelps Marijuana Fnord":
Imagine if Phelps would have responded like a man saying "it's not any of your godd**n business what I smoked" and just left it at that. Like many people, he's too worried about the financial consequences of expressing his true thoughts on the matter. Who exactly did Phelps harm by hitting the bong?
No mainstream media personality would ever dare say the truth. Once you spend many years building up your career and reputation, you can't throw it away by being honest.
AzraelsJudgement has left a new comment on your post "The Illusion of State Omnipotence":
On one hand, "FSK is awesome!" comments are always appreciated. However, I prefer something more substantive.
HUNTER/GATHERER has left a new comment on your post "The Illusion of State Omnipotence":
If taxes were voluntary, they'd be called donations.
I consider "Taxation is theft!" to be proven. It's in the "Duh! Obvious! Not worth debating anymore!" category.
fritz has left a new comment on your post "The Illusion of State Omnipotence":
They should just stop the bull,and call it tribute. At least everyone could be up front about it.
It does make sense to brain wash the public. If you make people believe it is their civic duty to pay their taxes. And some how if you do you can feel patriotic about it. Than that is much easier than forced submission.
We are free people(they have us believe)But we have to pay tribute,Use their federal reserve points as our currency. Lease our own land from the land lords(State).Vaccinate our children with state medicine.Take in floride against our will(sure you can buy bottled water,But what happens when you take a shower?)
Mass brainwashing is a very effective mind control technique. Are there a handful of evil people fully aware of the truth, or is the current corrupt system a horrible tragedy?
I consider "mercury-preserved vaccines harmful" and "fluoride in water harmful" to be not proven either way. There has been no research performed by scientists I trust. I have one relative who is severely allergic to mercury. It is possible to make vaccines not preserved with mercury, but it's more expensive. I know lithium is damaging and is a strong base. Fluoride is a strong acid, and should be damaging for the same reason.
Pay for a license at every turn,register this, excise that. The more police the better, more government more government,Lets regulate peoples rights to make them do whats correct.My answer is "The free market takes care of everything!" The "free market leads to disaster" usually occurs in the context of *OTHER* regulation of the market. It's pointless to say "The free market banking system failed in 2006-2009!" when you have a central bank. A central bank and a free market are opposite ideas.
The reason why critical thinking,and introduction to basic law, as well the bill of rights, Are not taught in public schools. Is because when the children were grow, the system that depends on mindless sheepeople for its very existence would cease to be.
I say free market,no government. The people will know what to do,and how to act. Just let people do whats natural and they will do the right thing. You can not regulate morality.
WINTER IS MORE THAN HALF OVER EVERYONE,,,,YEA!!!!
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Illusion of State Omnipotence":
In my case, people just ignore my views. I think they find them too close to the truth, the logic is compelling and emotionally people are not willing to let go of their pet beliefs which they have grown to love and cherish...it causes great turmoil to go against their indoctrination.
I noticed that people get *VERY AFRAID* when you start telling the truth too accurately. They just reflexively shut their mind down.
Most mainstream discussion of politics and economics is gibberish. Therefore, people learn "Filter out discussions of politics and economics. It's all gibberish."
Look at the films Logans Run, or The Trueman Show. Trueman suspects something is wrong, but is frightened to find the truth.
Did you misspell "Truman" as "Trueman" on purpose? That's an interesting fnord. I saw "The Truman Show" and liked it. I noticed that a lot of Jim Carey movies have a lot of "What is reality anyway?" elements. I haven't seen "Logan's Run", but it was interesting. "They Live!" was a good movie. (I should make a list of movies with good fnords.)
In Bruce Springsteen vs. Ticketmaster, I had a "less than sign" in my post. Even though I was editing in text mode (not html mode), Blogger was not smart enough to convert "less than sign" to the appropriate html escape sequence. It mangled my post without giving a useful error message.
I'm getting so annoyed at Blogger.
F. E. Huginn has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Drop FeedBurner?":
Should've done long time ago. You've been whining and complaining about FeedBurner for some time now, should've dropped it after first three screwups or something like that.
I'm wondering if it's a FeedBurner problem or a Google Reader problem? I checked the raw feed, and FeedBurner was also dropping them.
Anyway, FeedBurner was eliminated.
Go for it, and get your own domain/wordpress
That's on my list of things to do. The only reason I haven't done so already is that my parents would veto the expense. (Yes, it's only $10/month, but my parents are uptight about such things.) I got my parents to approve "FSK may buy his own domain when his first AdSense check arrives!", so that's my plan.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Drop FeedBurner?":
if your purpose for using feedburner was to earn revenue from feed readers then I say drop it - not likely to make much from them anyway
My purpose for FeedBurner was:
- I wanted to try AdSense via RSS, which was a flop.
- I heard that FeedBurner was an awesome tool, so I decided to check it out. It turned out to be nothing special and buggy.
When I get my own domain, I'm going to still include AdSense and the Analytics tracking code. However, there will be no such code for my RSS Feed. Then, the only indication will be in my Apache server logs. I'm planning to write my own custom Analytics engine.
I may try other programs than AdSense for "profit from RSS subscribers", but for now AdSense is the only option I'm trying. I only need $0.33/day to pay for hosting, and my average for Februrary is $1/day. I had more pageviews in Februrary, but a lower eCPM!
DixieFlatline has left a new comment on your post "FeedBurner Dropped Reader Mail #76!":
I don't like how the feed only shows 3 items. I'm pretty sure you can change that configuration.
FeedBurner had a 512k maximium feed size. I had to truncate it to get FeedBurner to burn it.
I dropped FeedBurner (buggy piece of ****).
I'm looking forward to getting my own domain. Based on my AdSense trends, I'll go over $100 sometime in March and get my first AdSense check in May.
There's no need to rush. I'm experimenting with WAMP/LAMP so I'll have some extra goodies to put on my site than just the WordPress blog.
eagledove9 has left a new comment on your post "FSK Asks - Drop FeedBurner?":
I don't know, I was starting to enjoy the routine of seeing "Reader Mail #72" followed by "Feedburner Dropped Reader Mail #72!" :D But yeah, maybe less hassle without it.
I decided to drop FeedBurner. From now on, I'm not going to mention if Google Reader drops my "Reader Mail" post.
I don't know if it's a "Google Reader" issue or a FeedBurner issue. However, the vast majority of my regular readers use Google Reader.
"Write my own RSS reader!" is on my agenda of things to do.
thomasblair has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #76":
I consider anarcho-capitalism to be one of the pro-government versions of anarchy.Perhaps this is just a terminology issue, but can you explain this? There is no state in "Ancapistan".
It's like you said. It's just a terminology issue. Anarcho-capitalists seem to be of the pro-State troll (L)libertarian type. Anarcho-capitalists say stupid things like
- Large corporations are a natural free market occurrence.
- Until the State collapses, we should still obey State laws and regulations.
- By some erotic fantasy, the State will gradually shrink and then disappear. The anarcho-capitalists I read don't have a plausible plan for "How to defeat the State!"
By E-Mail, someone said:
I think a good post idea would be clarifying the differences between agorism, anarcho-capitalism, and free-market anarchism (are the last two different at all? I really can't tell). It seems to me that agorism is simply a means to bring about the other (one, two?), yet you speak negatively of ACs as pro-state trolls. Some clarification would be nice.
I consider "agorism" and "free market anarchism" to be equivalent.
The fallacy of "anarcho-capitalists" is that they fail to answer "How will the State be eliminated?" They assume that the State will gradually shrink and then voluntarily shut itself down. This will occur by voting, which is the usual (L)libertarian fantasy.
Anarcho-capitalists sometimes defend large corporations as a natural free market occurrence. Large corporations cannot exist without State subsidies.
Anarcho-capitalists defend the current State. They say "We should obey State regulations for now. In the present, the State has legitimacy. The State is evil, but we need it right now." Anarcho-capitalism is a pro-State philosophy of anarchy.
An agorist says "The State has zero legitimacy *STARTING NOW*. We will ignore all the stupid taxes and laws that restrict our productivity. We will boycott the State as much as possible, but a perfect 100% boycott is not feasible in the present." An agorist wants the State to get bigger and more inefficient and then collapse, instead of gradually shrinking and disappearing.
If you call yourself an anarcho-capitalist and aren't a fool, your beliefs will be similar to those of agorists. However, the people who call themselves anarcho-capitalists tend to fall into the usual (L)libertarian intellectual trap.
This is the problem with using labels over descriptions. I prefer to substitute definitions for what they actually mean, especially when there could be confusion.
Agorism is the only philosophy that answers "How can the State be eliminated?" If lots of pro-State trolls start calling themselves agorists, then do I have to find a new name for my philosophy?
(This bit deserves its own separate post.)
robert30062 has left a new comment on your post "$500k Executive Pay Cap Loopholes":
Very succinctly put. I was talking with a democratic supporter the other day who was starting to realize what I've been saying about Obama and the whole Democrat/Republican scam in our political process. The parties are meant to purposely appeal to certain feelings and cognitive reasoning that exist in different people. The rhetoric from each party is manufactured to appeal to a certain mindset therefore.
I should start referring to the two parties at the "Demopublicans" and the "Republicrats". They're really both the same.
For a lot of people I think there are three layers of enlightenment. The most ignorant and intellectually lazy people will usually buy the black and white, Disney movie type logic of the world and support the Republicans with their "We good, they bad" mode of thinking.
I have a black and white attitude towards pro-State trolls. There's nothing wrong with having zero patience for fools, if your beliefs aren't contradictory.
Besides, I'm exposed to enough stupid ideas elsewhere. I get plenty of exposure to stupid ideas. I'm trying to cut down on stupid comments here.
Then some kids go to college and learn a few new things, realize that the right-wing is wrong and feel so enlightened when they become a Democrat, an affiliation that admittedly does involve more critical thinking. The fallacy in that however is that while the rhetoric of the Democratic Party may seem more enlightened, their policies behind closed doors are exactly the same as the Republicans. Everyone has a good cry when listening to one of Robert Kennedy's uplifting speeches about peace while at the same time he played an integral role in some of the worst war crimes of the early Vietnam War including illegal bombings of civilians and the coup which assassinated Diem. The third layer of enlightenment is realizing this scam and trying to achieve the agorism you refer to.
Agorism is the only philsophy of economics and politics that isn't inherently contradictory. Every other system I've read has obvious flaws.
You mentioned the mid-term elections in 2006 which I think everyone will admit was won through a largely anti-war platform for the Democrats. "Change", an anti-war message, and financial system reform was a big part of more Democrat gains in the past election year including gaining the Executive Branch and strengthening majorities in the House and Senate. As I have discussed before, the operations of the war in the Middle East and Central Asia to control the TAPI pipeline are proceeding as originally intended and I see no signs that real economic reform is on its way. One might ask, "Why is Obama allowing the Republicans to be an obstruction to the stimulus bill or economic reform?”. The answer is that Obama and the Democrats are the same people as the Republicans, just with different oratorical mechanisms for getting elected. The central bank cartel’s power, the complete monopolization of our economy and media, and an absence of a viable national party should leave little doubt as to the futility of reform within the structures of power that currently exist.Obama represents fake change and not genuine change. That's the scam of the democracy/republic form of government. You change the public figureheads, but you don't change the underlying corrupt system.
People in this country are kept purposely just rich enough to not riot in the streets and just poor enough to have no means with which to travel or become a powerful political force.
This is an important point. If lots of people are starving, then you have rioting. If people have too much spare time and resources, then they figure out the scam and revolt.
In a modern corporate work environment, you spend 45+ hours/week working and 10+ hour/week commuting. That leaves very little time leftover for other things. This also answers the "Why don't people support their communities anymore?" With so much time wasted on work and commuting, there's very little leftover.
However, I altogether fear and hope at the same time that the powers that be cannot control their own greed and will therefore lose their grip on this balance. Meaning that while I fear the reality of the economic situation getting worse, perhaps it will require a total collapse of the corrupt system for a new and natural beginning to take place, something I do hope for.
What's wrong with complete economic collapse?
If you have savings and are too old to work (like my parents), you're SOL as hyperinflation steals your savings.
If you're a productive worker, complete economic collapse is a time of opportunity. Your savings are stolen by hyperinflation. Your debts also are wiped out. I'm thinking "buy a house and get a big mortgage" isn't such a bad idea, if hyperinflation is coming. The trick is making the interest payments. During a recession/depression, you can be wiped out.
I predict in this situation mass riots and violent attacks on buildings and personnel who are perceived to be a part of the current system. I have a friend who works as a maintenance man at a Federal Reserve Bank and he told me that they have been building alternate office locations underground or near the current offices so that they can "operate normally in case of a terrorist attack". An attack from Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, or angry American citizens? A reasonable question in my view.
The threat to the Federal Reserve is not a physical assault on their office. The threat to the Federal Reserve is that people will say "**** this!" and start using gold or silver instead of slave points.
The bunkers are a fnord that provides an illusion of safety to the people who work at the Federal Reserve. Similarly, airline security provides passengers with an illusion of security, but very little genuine security.
Most "Spy on potential terrorists!" laws can also be used as "Spy on Americans!" For example, many "anti-money laundering" laws also are used to catch income tax evaders.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Free State Project Fallacy":
From my own experience in New Hampshire, there is a fantastic & blossoming activist community of agorists & anarchists living in the town of Keene, New Hampshire and surrounding towns. If you want to know more, I'd encourage you to look into it yourself. If you base your whole conception on the name "Free State Project," you should definitely look into it more--because there is alot of exciting things happening here that have nothing to do either with state politics or a "project" seeking to make a "free state."
The Free State Project isn't viewed too well on the net, but the people who take the time come to the annual Liberty Forum (coming up soon, see freestateproject.org/
libertyforum) or annual PorcFest and get to know New Hampshire personally change their mind.
The few websites I've seen on the "Free State Project" were nothing interesting. However, it is encouraging if groups of people are starting practical agorism.
Do you have any more specific information about practical agorism in New Hampshire? Working agorists might be reluctant to publicly disclose their practices.
If you have anything specific on the Free State Project, let me know! I prefer links to specific articles rather than a more general discussion.
For personal reasons, moving to New Hampshire is not an option for me. I've decided that I'm going to do the best I can where I'm living now. As the final collapse draws near, moving to a rural area with like-minded people might be a good idea, but even that precaution seems unnecessary. If I get a good agorist trading group where I live, we should even be able to survive a SHTF scenario without having to move out of NYC.
I'm experimenting with "2 Reader Mail" posts per week. Let's see if Google Reader drops this one.