The problem with conservatives

January 6, 2014 3:20 PM ~  
I have always referred to myself as a conservative (in my adult life,) but lately, I just don't seem to like the term. I believe in freedom. I don't believe in freedom under control of wise masters. I believe in the works of the people at Mises.org - in anarchism (the lack of rulers.) I think each person should be the exclusive owner of themselves, their work, and their property. All exchanges should be voluntary and the only law should be natural law (or God's law if you prefer): the non-aggression axiom.

Conservatives don't believe in those things. They are against socialism, or at least what talk radio hosts tell them is socialism, but they are for government run schools, medicare, social security, foreign aid, a standing army, etc. They are full of internal contradictions.

The latest illustration of this is the ongoing drug debate and the recent developments in Colorado. This has brought out the prohibitionist conservatives and they are going on and on about the evils of drugs and the necessity of government bans, or what I call responsibility socialism. They fail to realize that the fundamental principle their arguments rest upon is the exact same thing that progressives use to argue for their government enforced programs, such as welfare, universal healthcare, and gun bans.

It's hard to describe this precisely so I decided to just come up with some examples to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Here's a sample conversation with a progressive:
Me: So you think we should ban guns?

Prog: Yes! Guns are dangerous and nobody has a real reason to have them. They should be banned!

Me: So you want to arrest and imprison people for the act of owning a gun?

Prog: If they don't get rid of it, yes! We have to make society safer, for the children.

Me: I don't think that's morally right. People should be able to own whatever they want, even if it is dangerous. If they use the gun to then commit a crime, then we should punish that, but only that.

Prog: That sounds all nice, but are you seriously suggesting someone should be able to own a machine gun? How about a bazooka?

(on and on - I could continue but that's not the point of this post)

Here's a sample conversation with a conservative:
Me: So you think we should ban drugs?

Con: Yes! Drugs are dangerous and nobody has a real reason to have them. They should be banned!

Me: So you want to arrest and imprison people for the act of owning a drug?

Con: If they don't get rid of it, yes! We have to make society safer, for the children.

Me: I don't think that's morally right. People should be able to own whatever they want, even if it is dangerous. If they use the drug and then commit a crime, then we should punish that, but only that.

Con: That sounds all nice, but are you seriously suggesting someone should be able to own crack cocaine? How about Heroin?

(you get the picture)

Do you see how the logic is exactly the same? These people identify something as bad, and so they come to the conclusion that the answer is then to use the collectivist force of government to remove it from society, via banning it. Never-mind the fact that prohibition never works, why do these people think it is their right to dictate to other people what they can and can't do? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

So, I can't call myself a conservative. I don't think WWII and the 1950's were the ultimate in freedom, but quite the opposite. I don't think the government should parent people for their own good. I don't think people should be serfs and appoint masters every so often via popularity contest.

What am I? I'm an anarchist. People should be personally responsible for their lives, in all aspects. Collectivism is the disease of humanity. You cannot eliminate immorality through collective action any more than you can eliminate hunger or poverty. If only conservatives would realize this, we might actually get somewhere.
 

My thoughts on the slaughter of Clemson by FSU

October 20, 2013 7:41 PM ~  
Last night was just plain embarrassing. Our defense looked soft, but honestly it wasn't their fault. Our offense just flat out handed that ballgame to FSU in the first quarter, and didn't do anything the rest of the game to make up for it.

How could this happen? Well we don't have much of a running game and we rely pretty much 100% on Tajh Boyd. So if he's off a little bit, and we're playing the #5 team in the country.... well there you go.

I'm not happy with the way the defense played but let's be honest with ourselves: we're not a defense-minded, shut the other team down kind of football team. We play football like a fast-break offense basketball team: we try to run the other team to death, score lots of points, and tire the opposition out. Our defense isn't meant to dominate and shut down other teams, just to slow them down enough that our offense can outscore them. Our offense spotted the FSU 14 points to start the game, so the defense gets a pass. The defense responded and got us some pretty good field position actually, but the offense totally squandered it.

I think this all comes back to our offensive style and the architecture of the entire team. FSU played physical offense and physical defense. There was no trickery, they put the fullback in there and ran on us at will. No fancy formations, no reverses, no gimmicks. That's how you play football and dominate, and that's just not what we do.

Games like last night are why I just can't get excited about Clemson Football any more. I used to write more about it, but my hopes have been crushed for years by Tommy Bowden and now Tommy 2.0 (Dabo Swinney). So long as we have this bitch mindset of trickery and gimmickery on offense, we're going to suffer losses like this the first time we face a strong defense. So every year that we start out great and our offense racks up big stats against crappy teams, everyone else that is a Clemson fan is just giddy as can be, and here I am the sour-puss, trying to talk some sense into them. I guess the positive is that I'm not really that devastated from last night... I pretty much expected it.

Hopefully one day Clemson will hire a real coach and stop all of this bullshit. There is no school in the ACC that should be able to out-recruit Clemson, no matter who the coach is, based on our school, environment, fan base, facilities, traditions, etc. We should dominate, and we would dominate if we just had a coach that taught good old fashioned football.
 

Amazing State - A hymn for the religion of Statism

August 5, 2013 9:38 AM ~  
Amazing state
How sweet the sound
That paved a road for me
I once was lost, but now I'm bound
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas state that taught my heart to fear
And state my fears relieved
How precious did that state appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are tight
Though I'm not free
My God, my President has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing state
 

The Civil War [sic] Exposes Statists

July 28, 2013 11:53 AM ~  
You can always tell who is really a statist by how they talk about the Civil War [sic]. If you talk about the evils of the USA and how they shouldn't have invaded the CSA, well then you are accused by statists of defending the CSA (and implicitly slavery.) This shows a complete ignorance of liberty, history, and the principles of individual rights.

The CSA, like all governments, and like our modern government, was controlled by a handful of elites who depended on slavery to maintain their power and privilege. However, most of the people living in the South were hurt by the policies of the USA in the 60 or so years leading up to the war. Tariffs on agricultural exports made the cost of doing business so high that only rich plantation owners could prosper, and tariffs on mechanical imports from the UK made the cost of capital improvements so high that there was little to no improvement in agricultural techniques in the South - something that ended slavey peacefully in the rest of the civilized world.

The vast majority of the people of the South were not slave owners. They were poor tenant farmers, freed slaves, merchants, tradesmen, sailors, etc that generally weren't in control of the state apparatus (weren't even allowed to vote) and actually would have been better off without slavery. The people of power and privilege back then were the only ones who had slaves, and that's very similar to the way things are done today. The well connected, uber-rich businessmen, along with the politicians, cooperate with each other to rob the people of their labor (taxes) then profit from it personally (subsidies, insider dealings, etc). Now don't get me wrong: I have no problem with the uber-rich - I only have a problem with the ones who acquire wealth through crony dealings. The slavery of 200 years ago was more brutal and direct than the "slavery" of today, but the same principle was at work.

Anyhow, the main point here and the most important factor in the debate about the conquest of the South is that the people of the South were 100% justified in defending their homeland. The people of the South, as a whole, held the morally superior position as the USA was the aggressor in the war. The states of the South seceded for many valid reasons and for one invalid one (to protect slavery), which is a peaceful action. Then the North, suffering from a drastic loss in revenues and trade partners, invaded. Then the people of the South joined forces with the new state of the South (the CSA) to defend their homeland.

Long story short, no matter what you think about slavery ,the fact is that there is a difference between the people and the government, despite what we are all brainwashed with in government schools. The governments of the states of the USA and CSA back in the 1800's were run by the power elites, and most people weren't even allowed to vote (not that voting is much better, but still). A statist defends the aggressive actions of the states of the North. A libertarian defends the individual rights of the people of the South, who were fighting against an aggressive invasion.
 

Imagine this Conversation...

July 17, 2013 10:53 PM ~  
Imagine you were taken back 200 years and you overheard this conversation (already in progress):

Lew: Well I think this whole slavery thing is pretty bad.

Karl: Well yes, any reasonable person would, but we can't just end slavery outright. That would be irresponsible.

Lew: I disagree. It is immoral, it violates the unalienable rights of men, and it should be abolished.

Karl: You are such an extremist! Can't you see the benefits in taking a more moderate approach?

Lew: I don't believe it is right to murder people. I don't believe it is right to control people. I don't think we should approach control any more moderately than we approach murder.

Karl: Well it's easy to talk about this kind of thing, but if you like safe roads, safe communities, cool cotton shirts, education for your kids, and all of the wonderful things slavery enables for us, then you should probably stop complaining, or just move to some other country.

Lew: Are you seriously inferring that the only way good things are possible is for us to perpetuate the evil institution of slavery?

Karl: Name one country where they have all these nice things and they don't have slavery. Why has it never worked in the past? Show me some sort of evidence that society would function without slavery.

Lew: I don't need evidence to know the truth. Some things are just logically true, if you can clear your mind of all the preconceptions you've been ingrained with.

Karl: That's nonsense. Slavery built this country and we'd be living in the stone age without it. Unless you can show me any evidence otherwise, then you're just wrong and your utopia is unrealistic.

Lew: Nobody is saying that a society without slavery would be utopia. There would still be problems and problematic people. But at least we'd rid ourselves of an immoral system, and maybe that would help the overall health of society.

Karl: Wouldn't there just be wild gangs of blacks roaming around raping white women and burglarizing white communities in a world without slavery?

Lew: You would be responsible for protecting yourself, but the reality is that such a scenario is nonsense in the first place. People generally cooperate with each other in the absence of rampant unjust conditions, such as those imposed by slavery.

Karl: You must not spend much time around black people.

Lew: I spend too much time around you.

---- End

That seems like a pretty ridiculous conversation, doesn't it? I mean Karl is obviously a racist asshole, an unthinkable slavery apologist. Lew seems like a reasonable guy who just wants people to be treated with basic human decency. 99% of people, if not 100%, would take Lew's side in this conversation.

Now come back to the present and substitute the word "government" everywhere you see the word "slavery."

Suddenly, after that one change, even though the reality of the situation and the validity of the arguments hasn't changed, now Lew is the racist asshole and Karl is the reasonable, responsible citizen. Make that one change, and now 99% of people agree with Karl, and Lew is shunned as the extremist.

Why is that?

My theory is that people don't like to be uncomfortable, especially with intellectual matters. People don't want to think that they are slaves to the state, so they simply refuse to allow that logical line of thinking to enter their minds. Call it cognitive dissonance or even Stockholm syndrome, either way it is the sad state of our present society.