Another Part for the Election Special

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Naturally, if we exist in a democracy, we must vote.  However, some of use refuse to participate in the system.  Some of us do not think that democracy is the end all be all of existence.  Some of us refuse to believe that just because over 50% of any given sampling say that something is so or should be so that something is automatically correct.  

I find that most people have such faith in democracy that it is simply that faith.  Reason goes right out the window when you have discussion as to its merits.  Most people are completely unprepared to even have a discussion and even questioning democracy leads to most folks just gasping as if something offensive, even taboo, has been said.  Even more so, when the discussion takes the inevitable turn as to whether or not government is even a legitimate need.  

Is government a need?  What would happen if government was phased out and people lived on their own without government?  Chaos? Despair? Murder? Mayhem? Bedlam even? Is that what anarachy means? Chaos? That is certainly what everyone wants us to believe.  The line between anarchy and anti-social behavior is often blurred.  People need to socialize and gather in order to have anything beyond basic needs.  Some turn to government for the answer of how to regulate people when they gather. But, people have a way of organizing and regulating naturally.  That organization is called markets.  People naturally come together to organize so that can get good to which others have access.  Ultimately, a natural incentive process is established that enables people to contribute and receive- an incentive item we call money.  

Government, in all its glory, serves to alter the incentives that naturally establish themselves to such an extent that the ultimate symbol of achievement and freedom– $ — is turned into an evil thing that represents corruption and greed.  This conception of money fuels political elections and government.  Demonizing a beautiful thing like $ is the quickest way to a popularly-elected position today.  Most people who find themselves unable to contribute to society in such a way as to eran a living end up running for public office on a platform of changing incentive structures to redistribute wealth from achievers and accomplish-ers to dredges and do-nothings of society.  “Entitlement” is the mantra of the demagouge and the prayer of the masses. 

So, as you cast your vote, know that is for a man who could not suceed in serving society through natural means and will work ferverously to strip you of the freedom that humans naturally have when we commune.

Parts 1-8

•October 20, 2008 • 2 Comments

I apologize for not posting over the past few weeks the promised posts as to why voting is a ridiculous excercise in futility.  Over the past few weeks, as people learned of my decision to never vote again, I have been engaged in several debates.  There are only three outcomes.  Either person aquiesces, and then say something to the effect of “Then you can’t complain;”  or the person insists that voting is my duty as an american, saying something to the effect of “People died so that you could vote;” or, if they do engage, they insist that previous elections have statistically shown that voting truly does mater.  So, we will porceed, handeling the three major arguments in turn. 

The first is often espoused by the “left,” and involves the belief that my dissaproval of a certain government official can only be justified if I have participated in the election process.  First, I do not dissaprove of any single government official.  After all, they are just people who can’t cut it in the world of free competition have offered themselves up to masses for approval.  Unfortunately, we who do participate in actual society have left them no other means by which they can make the kind of living they so often feel they deserve.  SO, they turn to the one thing they can do: demagougery.  I have no problems with the individual, only the system.  I voice my right to decry democracy at every turn and will never criticize the people, only the system, in which I refuse participate because it is wrong.  People who vote, however, must never voice complaint with the system and live without complaint because whatever results from the election is the natural outcome of the system that the voter openly participates and relishes in.  I don’t want to hear complaints from voters about individuals.  

The patriotic folks and generally from the “right” and they believe that somebody died to give me the right to vote.  I say that nobody died to give the right to anything other live in freedom.  Hitler was voted in power, though indirectly, and so was Julius Caesar.  And yet we do hold these governments up as paragons of democracy.  Voting has nothing to with why people fight for this country.  People fight because there was something that country used to stand for that was paramount to absolute freedom.  But, it vainshes each year, with each vote.  Senator Amadala, yes of Star Wars, said it best when she said, “This is how freedom dies– to thunderous applause.”  Your votes are the applause.  

Finally, the statitistics people are the idiots.  The people who confuse stats with storys, fact for anecdote.  Statistically speaking, as more and more people vote, my particualr vote means less and less.  You may regale me with stories of counties that had voting come down to ten or fifteen votes, or even seranade me with stories of how in some far off fantasy land an election could possibly come down to a single vote.  But the fact remains that in the 2004 election, the most closely watched and closest election, saw a voter turn out of 121,480,019,  with margin of victory for Bush at 3,012,497.  Percentag wise this looks incredibly close, but in reality, one among three million does not look very impactful.  Those are the statistics.  And with this year promising even more turn out, the impact goes even further down.  

So what are we left with, a worthless political commodity given to everyone who isn’t a felon?  Yes.  And all of you voters out there would be glad to know that i have decided to vote.  Why you ask?  Because I sold my vote to a rube who thinks that it would make a difference.  So come the 4th I will be casting a vote for Obama, because i am being compensated for it.  I have a comodity that someone else values, so I have given to that person in exchange for something that I value: cash (and a free lunch).  

 

Rock the No Vote, or get paid to Rock the vote.

To vote or not to vote : Election Special Part One

•September 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I am sick and tired of people telling me either that I have to vote or that if i don’t vote that I can’t complain.

Well the truth of the mater is that if you do vote you can’t complain either.  If you vote you really do have to comply with the decisions that are made as a result of that vote– you can’t complain.  The results of that vote really are your fault.  All you can complain about is that your system has contributed to this system that is strangling your freedoms.

Me on the other hand, I will never complain about the individual decisions of the system.  I already know that they are going to lead to the same failures that republics and democracies alike have always lead to– dissolutions, complete destruction of freedom on the greatest levels.  I know that it is going to happen, plain and simple.  So, I don’t complain.  I merely voice the problems i have with the system.  Something that people who participate in it can never do.

Here is a short list of my greveinances with our system:

1) Voting in one man one vote system

2) That 51% of the population can dicatate to me what I have to do

3) The individual is trampled for the sake of the whole

4) Every single democracy that has been in existence has ended in absolute destruction 

5) Republics end in dictatorships– always! and paved the way for the greatest attrocities in human history

But these pail in comparison to problems with government in general

1) Government always tends towards growth

2) Government always requires a sacrifice of some freedom no matter how small

3) As government grows, it takes more and more freedom as its cost

Winston Churchill said ” Democract is the worst form of government… except for all the others.”  And he is right: the other options to the problem of government are worse

Most people take that to somehow mean that therefore Democracy is the best form of government and should be complied with, aquiesed to.  I say that if democracy is the best available form of government, then perhaps we need to think up a different solution to the problem of government.  

Each problem above will addressed in this eight week election special 8 part post.

 

Remember always that Government is the Enemy of Mankind

Wrong

•July 7, 2008 • 1 Comment

A few recent comments and questions from private conversations have provoked this post.

One of the primary philosophies of this blog has been the principle “government is the enemy of the people.”  There is no way around it.  When this Nation was founded, those men who created it understood as much and went to great lengths to prevent tyranny from happening again.  They imposed limits on the government by guaranteeing the people rights to ensure their own pursuit of freedom.  But with freedom comes great responsibility, like with most things.  The founders knew that democracy would, as it has in every other instance of application, devolve into “enlightened tyranny,” where demagogues promise what is not theirs by using fallacies and emotional appeals coupled with “right thinking” and what essentially amounts to elitism.  Ultimately, the 51 oppress the 49.  And, slowly, freedom fades through legislation, morality through legisilation, choice through legislation.  Left with nothing but a shell without a ghost.

How do fight against this?  We voice our opinions, and continually we are told to change the system from within.  But we can’t.  The system it self is flawed, and changes are impossible, because so many are dependent on the system for their wellbeing.  The system feeds itself.

The best society is the one that allows the greatest amount of freedom to every individual.  Until people understand the following, freedom will never be achieved:

1) Failure is as important as success

2) Money and Wealth are not evil, but represent an individual’s contribution to society and societies appreciation for the products the individual has provided.

3) Money is only earned by serving societies needs, and by no other means can it actually be earned.

4) One person does not have any right to another person’s money no matter how much legislation can be passed to the contrary.  However, any individual van, of his free will, give of his money how he sees fit and without penalty.

5) Any government function beyond protecting life and property is done at the sacrifice of those who have contributed to society above and beyond the norm already.

6) Might does not make right, no matter how many people want that to be the case.

7) Money, and all that it represents, is the only way to obtain freedom–true freedom.

If you disagree with any of the above, please, tell me where I have gone wrong.

To Smoke or Not to Smoke

•June 30, 2008 • 5 Comments

It is funny how you think you know people. I was in a bar the other night with a few friends, and we observed that people were smoking in the bar. One of my fellow patrons noted that it was nice in states that had banned smoking in bars. Of course, I quickly objected. Unfortunately, the table turned against me. Uncle Sam says NoApart from the fact that I was shocked that my friend, the initiator of the conversation, was the first to say that these laws were good, because I thought that she was one of the “enlightened” few, who understood individual freedom. Sadly, I was wrong, and suddenly I was to stunned at her arguing with me that I was unable to gather the thought to argue with her. So, why not blog about the subject.

First, let me say, looking on the brighter side, that at least this is being done on a state level and not on a national level. It is true that in the states that have passed these bans the overwhelming majority have been in favor, seen either in public opinion polls or through the referendums that lead to the bans. It is also true that it does improve the atmosphere of the bar in that one does not smell like smoke upon having spent anytime within. Again, there is some utility for those who are forced to work in these atmospheres, being exposed to second hand smoke risks that they would not have otherwise been subjected to.

HOWEVER, none of these arguments are really convincing once we take a deeper look into the matter. Despite the fact that this is being done on a state level, it is still government interference to the highest degree. Apart from making decisions for the individual, the government is forcing private businesses to conform to their views that someone else has decided is the correct view. It is another example of a third party butting its way into what should be a mutually satisfying two party transaction. The dictates of the third party are making the transaction less agreeable or even completely disagreeable for some members of the transaction that was previously two party. Either the smoker losses a Smoking Badplace to patron, or the bar owner losses his customers. Somebody now loses. A private business can always decide to make his bar or restaurant non-smoking. It is his property, his business, he can that decision. I have no problem with that. After all, I could either go elsewhere, or, should I really like the bar, i could suck it up and not smoke. That decision is up to the owner, not the general public.

As for the more democratic aspects of these bans, might does not make right. Simply because a majority of people believe something is correct, does not make it so. Insert any number of historical datum here. But, this leads us into a larger tangent, (one perhaps better served in a post all of its own) but we shall touch upon it here. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Democracy is a tyranny of the masses, in which 51% of the people can take away the rights of the other 49%.” Until people truly understand Ayn Rand’s maxim “Government is the enemy of the people” the above quote will make no sense. In fact, to some extent, even continuing to discuss this topic is senseless in that most people dismiss these thoughts and ideas out of hand.

Atmosphere, ambiance, etc. are at best matters of opinion. Trying to enforce these roles on others is like trying to enforce a national flavor of ice cream. In reality, this little more than elitism. People imposing their “higher and better” values and opinions on the “less well-informed” general masses. It is truly ridiculous, and deserves less attention than it has already been given.

The last concern I mentioned is probably the most cogent argument. But, is there really a place in this country in which a smoke-filled restaurant is the only place to work. I have to believe that there is some other place, even in a small county. Despite the absurdity of the emotional appeal to this fictionally oppressed worker, let us entertain such a place. A town that only has one restaurant. Assuming that the rest of the population commutes to elsewhere to earn the money to support this lone establishment, as well as get their groceries and clothes in these other communities as well, this restaurant with X number of employees is almost hardly worth considering, but, please let’s continue our sojourn into fantasy land. In simple matters of utility, how can the X number of employee’s utility be compared against the thousands of people who get utility from smoking in bars. Still, we press further, assuming that utility is not sufficient against the health of these X number of employees, what do we have to do to ensure that the theseBates employees retain their health, as well as keep the employees right to have a smoker friendly environment. The simple answer is that either the employees who place the health risk above the income for they receive from their employment quit. The ultimate fact may be that they have to move to one the localities that the other people in fantasy land are employed, or that they may have to suffer the consequences of unemployment. This is really is an example of the false value we try to place on human life. If human life is the ultimate value and the thing we must preserve at all cost, even from the minor danger of second hand smoke, what else should we due. The fact is that we do value certain things more than our occasional risk to health. Indeed, some even make recreational and leisurely pursuits out of risking their life. Why should they be able to do it, and not the employees working at the restaurant. The cold hard fact is that people do value expediency, production, and employment. That is why we have ever increasing speed limits instead of a static 10mph speed limit, thus reducing accident fatalities to almost zero. But, people like to get where they are going faster. Further more, it seems odd that the risks these waitresses take are put above the risk that coal miners or other much more dangerous jobs take.

All in all, the argument for banning smoking is wrong. It is a terrible infringement on individual and business rights.

In the end….Thank you for Smoking

Movie Review: Wanted

•June 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

WantedSo, I caught a midnight showing of Wanted. To be honest, I was not very interested in seeing this movie. From the previews I saw it looked really goofy. But, about a week ago, I discovered that Wanted was based on a comic akin to Sin City and V for Vendetta.  So, I thought, what the hell, the opportunity arose, so I went.

And guess what… It was awesome (despite the predictability). The action was ridiculous. It was funny, witty, and a lot of fun to watch in the theaters. I would have given it 7 out of ten, but as I was walking out of the theater I heard someone say, “Man the writer of that movie HATES middle America. Fucking middle class, white collar, bullshit. That movie was awesome.” And so as I reexamined the movie, I was startled to find out that he was right. I was so absorbed in the action that it took some puissant, teenage, class warrior to point out the rhetoric behind the fight scenes and comedy. Phrases like “Obey the weave,” “Follow the Code,” “Sacrifice one, save a thousand” are among the more egregious talking points from the cast. It is an assault not only the individual, but also on being a productive member of society. The movie follows a panic-attack-stricken accountant who is living the “American dream.” Suddenly, he is given the opportunity to rise above and join something greater than the individual society and join the Fraternity. The movie ends with the line, “What the fuck have you done lately,” as if having a job is not a valid life choice. Thinking back, i should have been waiting for “workers of the world, unite.”

Still, despite the ridiculous rhetoric, it was a fun movie. I was pleasantly surprised.

Over all 6 out of 10. I would definitely burn it when it comes out.

Non-Contradiction

•June 23, 2008 • 1 Comment

Athena, Goddess of Reason and Wisdom

I get to arguments with people all the time with whom it is impossible to argue. I have no recourse, no way in which to talk to them. They do accept the basic premises for which argument can ensue. It always ends on there end with something along the following lines: “Well, that may be true for, but it isn’t true for me.” How can something be true and not true at the same time? That is a contradiction.

This is pseudo-relativism. Originally, when it first began, relativism was the statement that there are a lot of different beliefs out there, and one must make an educated choice as to which is true among those various options. But, most people, in their quest for intellectual enlightenment, stop with the first part- the recognition that there are a lot of beliefs. People seemed satisfied to stop there.

The foolishness stops here. A is A. A can’t be A and not A at the same time, or at anytime. When we talk about principles, those things which are statements of truth, they cannot be true and not true. Since the principles themselves are eternal, A is either A, or A is not A.

Now, something can be one thing and potentially be something else at another point in time. Take Ice. Ice is solid at the time it is ice, but it also holds in it the potential to take on two other states at other periods of time (gas or liquid). But, again, these are not principles or truths as we have been speaking of them. Principles and truths are reflections on the eternal things. They do not change.

Principles and Truths, being what they are, are debatable. But they must be debated, discussed, argued over. These truths are not easy to arrive at, by any means. But, nonetheless, they can be arrived at. Not, however, by simply stating, “Well that may be true for you.” It is the fear of truth that leads to this nonsense. It is a fear of having examine beliefs, of testing them against the minds of others, of being found false that leads to the belief in the contradictions.

Allowing for contradictions is like having a brain and not having one.

The BrainDoes not EqualNo Brain

Why?